Volume XXXXIX, April 2021
Your monthly news & updates
The library will be closed for Easter on Sunday, April 4
In other news: We are no longer quarantining books for three days before re-shelving. This means that returned books will be back in circulation sooner, and we will once again be charging late fines.
hoopla launch!
We are pleased to begin offering today, as part of your Lanier Library membership, the hoopla digital streaming service that will give you access to more than 950,000 titles in the comfort of your home, including audiobooks, eBooks, comics, movies and TV! Content can be streamed from any computer, television, mobile device or platform by downloading the hoopla digital app for iOS, Android, AppleTV, Chromecast or Roku.

It is as simple as going to the App Store on your IOS device, searching for "hoopla digital"
and downloading the app. Once downloaded, your library card becomes your passport to the world of instant downloads! Each library card is allowed four check-outs per month.

This link will connect you to a video on using the hoopla app: hoopla how-to video. There are copies of the above flyer at the library, and we are happy to help you if you have questions.
 Poetry Month Events
April has traditionally been designated as National Poetry Month. Here at the library, we will be celebrating the art of poetry with four free virtual events held during the month via Zoom, as well as the conclusion of the 12th Annual Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition.  Please sign up with the library for a zoom invitation to one or to all of the poetry zoom readings held daily from April 22nd through April 25th.

Thanks to a Community Matters grant from the Polk County Community Foundation, the Lanier Library is able to virtually host NC Poet Laureate, Jaki Shelton Green who will kick off poetry weekend with a reading on Thursday, April 22nd at 6 pm. She is the first African American and third woman to be appointed as the North Carolina Poet Laureate. She is a 2019 Academy of American Poet Laureate Fellow, 2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee, 2009 NC Piedmont Laureate appointment, and 2003 recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature. Jaki Shelton Green teaches Documentary Poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies and has been named the 2021 Frank B. Hanes Writer in Residence at UNC Chapel Hill. Her publications include: Dead on Arrival, Masks, Dead on Arrival and New Poems, Conjure Blues, singing a tree into dance, breath of the song, Feeding the Light, and i want to undie you. On Juneteenth 2020, she released her first LP, poetry album, "The River Speaks of Thirst", produced by Soul City Sounds and Clearly Records. She is also the owner of SistaWRITE providing writing retreats for women writers in Sedona, Arizona; Martha’s Vineyard; Ocracoke, North Carolina; Northern Morocco, and Tullamore, Ireland.

The second poetry event will be a reading on Friday, April 23rd at 6 pm by a pair of poets, both of whom have multiple connections to the Carolina Foothills. Wendell Hawken and Patricia Corbus each have family in Tryon and they both hold MFA’s from Warren Wilson’s Program for Writers.

Wendell Hawken came to poetry late in life and earned her graduate degree in 2005, many years after her BA in English literature from Vassar College. Her publications include three chapbooks, Mother Tongue (2001), The Spinal Sequence (2013) and Sequel (2019) plus two full collections, The Luck of Being (2008) and White Bird (2017) a sequence about her husband’s battle with cancer.  Hawken lives on a grass farm in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Her work has a strong narrative thread and draws from her rural lifestyle where the weather means more than what clothes to wear.

Patricia Corbus earned degrees from Agnes Scott College, UNC Chapel Hill, and an MFA from Warren Wilson’s Program for Writers. Her poems have been published in The Georgia Review, The Paris Review, The Gettysburg Review, New Letters, among many other literary journals. She won the 2015 Off The Grid poetry prize for her second book, Finestra’s Window. Tony Hoagland called her “a brilliant, virtuoso poet” and Lynn Emanuel praised her work that “vigorously leaps between myth, fantasy, the past, and the very present, mortal, human world.”

The third Zoom poetry event hosted by the library will take place on Saturday, April 24th at 4 pm and will feature readings by three esteemed local poets- Kathy Cantley Ackerman, Erik Bundy and DJ Gaskin.

Kathy Cantley Ackerman was born in coal country, West Virginia, grew up in Ohio, and has lived in the Carolinas since 1984. She holds a PhD in literature from the University of South Carolina. Her latest poetry collection, A Quarrel of Atoms, won the Lena Shull Poetry Book Prize and was published by St. Andrews University Press in 2019. She is the author of Coal River Road (Livingston Press, University of West Alabama), as well as three poetry chapbooks and The Heart of Revolution, the only book to date about North Carolina proletarian novelist Olive Tilford Dargan (University of Tennessee Press). She currently serves as Dean of Arts and Sciences and Writer-in-Residence at Isothermal Community College in Spindale, NC.

Originally from Texas and now a resident of Tryon, Erik Bundy moved here from Belgium several years ago after working for 21 years overseas as a contract specialist for the U.S. government. He writes poetry, short stories and novels and is currently working on a medieval mystery set in southern France. More than thirty of his stories and poems have been published, in addition to his fantasy mysteries- Murder Among the Dwarves and The Dwarf Assassin.

DJ Gaskin has published poetry in Gargoyle, The Typescript, SLAB, The Comstock Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, Ars Medica and others, along with work in two anthologies. DJ’s chapbook, Of Crows and Superstitions, was published by Main Street Rag in Charlotte, NC. DJ is also an artist and lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina with two literate cats named after favorite poets.
The weekend finale on April 25 at 4 pm, will be a virtual reading by former NC Poet Laureate, Cathy Smith Bowers. She will not only read her recent work, but will announce the winners of the 12th annual Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition and will read the winning poems. Cathy Smith Bowers, North Carolina Poet Laureate 2010—2012, was born and grew up in Lancaster, S.C. She was educated at USC-L, Winthrop University, Oxford, and the Haden Institute.Cathy Smith Bowers’ poems have appeared widely in publications such as The Atlantic Monthly, The Georgia Review, Poetry, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, and Ploughshares. She is a winner of The General Electric Award, recipient of a South Carolina Poetry Fellowship, and winner of The South Carolina Arts Commission Fiction Project.
In 2017 she was inducted into the South Carolina Author’s Hall of Fame. She served for many years as poet-in-residence at Queens University of Charlotte where she received the 2002 JB Fuqua Distinguished Educator Award. She now teaches in the Queens University low-residency MFA program and in the Haden Institute Spiritual Direction and Dream Leadership programs. Her first book The Love That Ended Yesterday in Texas was the inaugural winner of The Texas Tech University Press First Book Competition. Her poems have been featured on Garrison Keillor’s Poetry Almanac and on Poetry Daily. Her fifth book, The Collected Poems of Cathy Smith Bowers, Press 53, won the 2014 SIBA Award for Poetry. Her most recent book is The Abiding Image: Inspiration and Guidance for Beginning Writers, Readers, and Teachers of Poetry, Press 53, 2021. She lives in the North Carolina foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

So mark your calendars for the last weekend in April and join us online for this poetry extravaganza made possible by a Community Matters grant from the Polk County Community Foundation.

And for some interesting facts about this year's Poetry Contest see Final Notes below.
Here is the link for poetry month event registration: Poetry Month Reservations
Support @ Lanier
Solar @ Lanier

Earlier this year the Polk County Community Foundation (PCCF) offered Lanier Library a grant of up to $35,000 to help underwrite the cost of installing solar panels on the roof of our building. This grant, together with a rebate Duke Energy extends to all customers who install such solar panels, would more than cover 100% of the cost of such installation. Accordingly, representatives of the Board and staff met with Haynes Solar, a division of MB Haynes Corporation (a highly regarded, 100-year old company based in Asheville and introduced to us by PCCF) to discuss the installation process and answer our questions. Based on this information, the Board voted unanimously at its February meeting to accept the PCCF grant and engage Haynes to install the panels.
Not only will the entire cost of installation be covered by the grant and the rebate, Haynes projects that the Library will save approximately $2,000 annually in energy costs while reducing energy consumption. The panels will look similar to those installed on the roof of the PCCF offices (255 S. Trade Street, Tryon) and on the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (3381 Hunting Country Rd., Tryon).

We are grateful to PCCF for their support of this project.
The Art of Tah Flack
We were pleased this month to have on display some of the vibrant paintings of Lanier Library Legacy Fund donor Hertha "Tah" Flack. Jim and Tah Flack, through thoughtful estate planning, were able to provide generously to many community organization, with Lanier Library being one.

We are grateful to the St. Luke's Foundation for loaning us some of Tah's beautiful paintings from their collection of her work.
A reminder about masks
As we pass the end of the first year of COVID pandemic restrictions, we understand that "COVID fatigue" is very real. But the pandemic is not over and we need to remind you that the library requires the wearing of masks properly to enter the building. This is for the safety of our staff as well as other members on the premises. Please wear your mask to cover your nose and chin, and, although it is sometimes difficult and frustrating, please do not pull your mask down to speak to us or others.

We feel fortunate to have been able to keep the library open with your cooperation this past year, and hope that we can count on your continued support to do so safely now.

For those who who remain uncomfortable with indoor settings, we continue to offer porch drop-off and pick-up.
Smiling for Lanier
We now have 34 members who have designated the library as their charity of choice with Amazon Smile, and the pennies are mounting! Help us to reach our goal of 50 Smile contributors!

Here is the direct link to the library on AmazonSmile:
Membership renewal
Is your membership about to expire? No need to come in to the library, just visit the library website by clicking on: https://thelanierlibrary.org/membership/online-membership-form/ and renew online.
2021 Lanier Library Book of the Month Reading Challenge
On to a book from a series this month. Remember, there is only one rule: the book you read must be a book you have not read before! This doesn't mean you can't continue in a series you have already begun, but perhaps it would be more adventuresome to begin something new....

You can pick-up a 2021 Lanier Library BOM Reading Challenge book log at the library, or download it here:

We're still unsure of the prizes, but you can count on a prize for each group this time. You will earn one ticket with your name on it for each monthly challenge accomplished and be entered into the drawing to be held on January 31, 2022. Since we got a late start, the challenge will run from February 2021 through January 2022.
Books @ Lanier
More brain teasers from Vince Verrecchio. Click on the link below for the April Bibliotrivia Quiz questions. Answers can be found on the library website or in person at the library

Book Lovers Remain Virtual
Book Lovers will meet via Zoom one more time on Saturday, April 3, 10 am. If you are already on the Book Lovers email list, you will receive an invitation with the meeting code from Jenny on Friday. If you would like to join the list and the conversation, let Jenny know by contacting her at thelanierlibrary@gmail.com. Below are the books read and recommended at the March Book Lovers meeting. The group plans to return to the library for meetings in May.

As you can see from the photo above, pets are also part of the Zoom meetings. Rosie the cat photobombed Gloria Underwood's report, and prior to the meeting getting underway we were introduced to Cindy Caldwell's, Eileen Mehta's and Judy Bolton's pups.

And here are the links to our newest orders and acquisitions. Feel free to contact the library to put your name on the hold list for any you would like to read. You can call us or log in through the catalogue on the website using your library card number for ID and PIN. And, as always, let us know if there is a book or DVD you think would enhance the collection.

March Book Review
Eileen Mehta's review of The Code Breaker meets bothThe March BOM challenge goal to read a biography or memoir, and honors Women's History Month.

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race
By Walter Isaacson
Fifty years ago folksinger Peggy Seeger wrote “I’m Gonna Be An Engineer” about a woman whose mother, teacher, husband and bosses all try to crush her dream of pursuing a career in a male-dominated professsion. Jennifer Doudna was seven years old when Seeger penned her feminist lament. Ten years later, when Doudna told her high school guidance counselor that she wanted to study chemistry in college, he replied, “No, no, no. Girls don’t do science.” A few months ago, Doudna received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Her achievement harks back to another lyric from Seeger’s heyday: “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!”

Dr. Jennifer Doudna is the principal subject of Walter Isaacson’s The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race. Isaacson is known as The Biographer of Genius. He has told the stories of Leonardo Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs. He has now added Jennifer Doudna to his constellation of superstars. The subtitle of the book - The Future of the Human Race - hints at where Isaacson thinks Doudna might rank among these luminaries.

At a time when most biochemists and structural biologists were studying DNA, Doudna took the path less traveled and focused her research on RNA. Doudna shared her Nobel Prize with Emmanuelle Charpentier. Both women pioneered CRISPR technology. In the simplest of terms, CRISPR is an RNA-based tool that can edit DNA. The story of CRISPR begins with the billion year old war between viruses and bacteria. Curious scientists, driven to understand how nature works, noticed that bacteria have clustered, repetitive DNA sequences that are part of a system that is used as a defense against viral attacks. A grouping of RNA molecules and enzymes in the targeted bacteria can act like scissors to cut out pieces of the attacking virus. The bacteria can then incorporate fragments of the virus into its own DNA to build an immunity that can be inherited. Isaacson takes the reader inside the labs of multiple scientists to explain - in terms that someone who is not a scientist can understand - how CRISPR has become the gene editing biotechnology that will change the human race. He describes altruistic collaboration among research scientists as well as cutthroat competition in the race for recognition and patents. He shows that scientists can also have a sense of humor. One variant of CRISPR is called Pac-Man because of the way it chomps up the bad stuff.

Gene editing may lead to cures for genetic defects that cause, for example, sickle-cell anemia and Huntington’s disease. The tool that cures diseases, however, may also lead to the ability to engineer genetic enhancements such as stronger muscles or higher IQ. Isaacson’s book explores the moral and ethical dilemmas that society will face in dealing with this futuristic biotechnology.

The Code Breaker begins and ends with the race to use CRISPR tools to create the vaccines that are now providing immunity against the COVID-19 virus. The mind-boggling speed that brought these vaccines from the laboratory to our upper arms is due to CRISPR. One of the creators of the Moderna vaccine has said that there may never be another pandemic because of CRISPR.

As Jennifer Doudna often says, “Nature is beautiful that way.”

Review by Eileen Mehta
Programs @ Lanier
 In order to do our part to control the spread of the COVID virus, we will continue virtual programs for the foreseeable future. 
Last month's programs
We were joined by a large group on Thursday, March 18 for a fascinating discussion about some local history with James Stehlik, Mary Owens and Charles Wilson, who shared highlights and photos from their co-authored book, Merrittsville: A Village Beneath.

Charles Wilson also offered tips on how to research your family ancestry. Here is the link to information about his ancestry research and more: Merrittsville program information.

For those who missed the live program, here is a link to the video: Merrittsville Program
Estate Planning with Tom Ervin and Andy Haynes
On Monday evening, March 30, Board member Tom Ervin and local attorney Andy Haynes shared helpful information on how thoughtful estate planning and planned giving can benefit charitable organizations that you value as well as the donor. This conversational program is a great tool for anyone who is thinking about how they can plan to benefit the institutions they value into the future. Thank you to both members for sharing their expertise and their time.

Pets @ Lanier
Lanier Library welcomes all library-friendly dogs, but asks that they remain on leash at all times.
Party with the Pups!
Lanier Library's Greeter Dog, Nick welcomed new pup Zoe (Brittingham) and old pal Coffee (McCall) to a Sunday get together at the library. Not only did the canines have fun, everyone in the library enjoyed the festivities.
Nancy Pemberton (left) tells us the library visits are helping to socialize Pippin, a rescue from a hoarding situation. And Jeanne Brittingham is doing the same with new puppy Zoe, who is learning library etiquette at only 4 1/2 months!
The very polite Rooney (Celtic for "Red") showed us his favorite method for obtaining treats. Needless to say, he was irresistible and got more than one. Thank you to Margaret Freeman for sharing Rooney with us!
We were sorry to hear from Doris and Jack Saunders that Black Jack had gone over the Rainbow Bridge in March. We will miss his shy Sunday visits and this sweet boy.
Displays @ Lanier
Treasures from the vault

Lanier Library has lots of history--130 years of it! This month, in honor of the library's first opening to the public on April 27, 1890, our display case contains many of the library's foundational documents found in our vaults, some dating back to as early as 1901.
Sandra's March Shelf Display is another double-header, promoting May's BOM reading challenge--books that cross genres, and National Poetry Month!

As always, Sandra's displays are designed to be dismantled by interested readers, so come in and choose some books to meet those April and May reading challenges, and to add a bit of poetry to the beginning of spring!
March display

Thank you to Eileen Mehta for sharing her beautiful and exciting collection of Maori artifacts, and for tantalizing us with dreams of traveling once again.
Final Notes
More Than Expected
We are fortunate to have among our members people retired from a variety of interesting careers. Gloria Underwood is one, with a 26-year career as a college English professor. It was a treat then to have her volunteer her thoughts about books, and the treasure found within.
On Books
"A book is like a mirror: if an ass peers into it, you can’t expect an apostle to peer out." 
(18th century physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg)

That quote has always been one of my favorites (and having taught for 26 years, I’ve seen both!). Books reveal fresh perspectives and new ideas, truths about the human condition, versions of ourselves (welcome and not). It’s a long list. 
What we find in books took on an interesting twist for me recently. When one of my book clubs decided to read M.F.K. Fisher’s The Gastronomical Me, I tracked it down on my shelves in The Art of Eating (1989), a collection of five of her publications. In addition to a bookmark, I found two articles: a review of Stay Me, Oh Comfort Me: Journals and Stories from the New York Times Book Review (December 26, 1993), and a short profile about Fisher in Bon Appetit (November 1998)
This filing system is one of my most reliable. Need a book review? If the book is on my shelf, that’s where I’ll find the review. Need an analysis by a Faulkner scholar on The Sound and the Fury? It will be in the novel. Need to read a Tryon Daily Bulletin article on John Lane when he gave a talk at Lanier Library? It’ll be in Coyote Settles the South. For me, it is a tried-and-true method as I can never find anything in my filing cabinet. 
What else, I wondered, is in my books. Bookmarks, of course. People give me bookmarks – lovely, artistic items; book stores include bookmarks in books we purchase; I even buy bookmarks. But they are never handy when I need them, so I grab whatever is at hand: a handkerchief, a leaf, a blade of grass, some random phone number jotted down in the margin of a newspaper, a feather, an old photo I thought I had misplaced, a nail file, one of those annoying ads publishers insist on inserting in magazines, a stray piece of lace, a bobby pin. Sometimes I find types of money like Monopoly dollars or a bill of Japanese paper money that a friend gave me. One time I found a twenty dollar bill; another time I found an I.O.U. for a ten – “Needed gas” -- no signature. This begs the question about why I haven’t just finished reading the books. 

Various other treasures and ephemera sometimes appear. I’ve found “Thank You” notes and recipes. My sisters and I frequently swap books, so I’ve found notes from their friends. I find memos to help me remember a quote or a passage from a different book. I frequently find titles of books recommended by other readers. I’ve rediscovered a couple of long-lost love letters. I even discovered a note saying simply, “This wine is quite lovely. Don’t share it with a nerd.”

Does all this mean I’m an apostle? Or an ass? The answer is probably some of both. 
And what about you, what peers out of your book?  
Gloria Underwood
Poetry Competition Factioids
This year, sixty-two poets hailing from sixteen different states, (plus Canada and Sri Lanka), submitted a total of one hundred and seventy seven poems. This represents of significant increase over the number of poems submitted to last year’s competition. Approximately twenty percent of the poets this year were from the Carolinas, but Florida, California, Maryland, New York, Colorado and Tennessee also had multiple entries.

A panel of five screening judges is in the process of narrowing down the selection for a final review and decision by Smith Bowers. This panel consists of Kathy Ackerman, Erik Bundy, Frances Flynn, Tom Jackson and Gloria Underwood.

The first place winner will receive an award of $500, the second place winner will get $250 and the third place prize will be $100.
From "Sabbaths 2011" by Wendell Berry
Off in the woods in the quiet
morning a redbird is singing
and his song goes out around him
greater than its purpose,
a welcoming room of song
in which the trees stand,
through which the creek flows.

Lanier Library | 828-859-9535| thelanierlibrary@gmail.com