Asali Solomon Discusses Her New Novel DISGRUNTLED, February 3rd. Reception at 6:30 pm; Book Talk at 7:00 pm

  "What's childhood?  It's when you don't know things. What things? The things you learn in childhood. This paradox is the heartbeat of Asali Solomon's moving, tough-minded novel, which talks about all of it: family ties, highs and lows, pop culture, work, race, love, and all the other things that make up life."

--Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson 

Join us for the launch of Asali Solomon's debut novel Disgruntled.  Set in West Philadelphia in the 1980's, Disgruntled tells the story of Kenya Curtis, the daughter of Afrocentric parents, who is teased by her classmates for being "different."  The story follows Kenya from public school in West Philadelphia to private school in the suburbs, from childhood through adolescence, as she grows increasingly disgruntled by her inability to find any place or thing or person that feels like home.   

Book Talk -- Books that Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal; February 6th, 12:30 p.m.

 

Join us for a discussion of Books that Cook with editors Jennifer Cognard-Black and Melissa A. Goldthwaite, as well as contributors Howard Dinin and April Linder.

 

"A buffet of poems, stories, essays and recipes... Food lovers and cookbook collectors will savor this literary stew."

--Kirkus Reviews

 

"This delightful collection of prose, poetry, and essays, all introduced by excerpts from important American cookbooks dating back to the 1700s, explores the way food reflects and creates culture."

  --Ms. Magazine

POEM of the DAY

Wednesday, January 28

In Memory of W. B. Yeats  (1865-January 28, 1939)

I

He disappeared in the dead of winter:
The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted,
And snow disfigured the public statues;
The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day.
What instruments we have agree
The day of his death was a dark cold day.


Far from his illness
The wolves ran on through the evergreen forests,
The peasant river was untempted by the fashionable quays;
By mourning tongues
The death of the poet was kept from his poems.


But for him it was his last afternoon as himself,
An afternoon of nurses and rumours;
The provinces of his body revolted,
The squares of his mind were empty,
Silence invaded the suburbs,
The current of his feeling failed; he became his admirers.


Now he is scattered among a hundred cities
And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections,
To find his happiness in another kind of wood
And be punished under a foreign code of conscience.
The words of a dead man
Are modified in the guts of the living.


But in the importance and noise of to-morrow
When the brokers are roaring like beasts on the floor of the Bourse,
And the poor have the sufferings to which they are fairly accustomed,
And each in the cell of himself is almost convinced of his freedom,
A few thousand will think of this day
As one thinks of a day when one did something slightly unusual.


What instruments we have agree
The day of his death was a dark cold day.

 

 
II

You were silly like us; your gift survived it all:
The parish of rich women, physical decay,
Yourself. Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry.
Now Ireland has her madness and her weather still,
For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives
In the valley of its making where executives
Would never want to tamper, flows on south
From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs,
Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives,
A way of happening, a mouth.

III

Earth, receive an honoured guest:
William Yeats is laid to rest.
Let the Irish vessel lie
Emptied of its poetry.

In the nightmare of the dark
All the dogs of Europe bark,
And the living nations wait,
Each sequestered in its hate;

Intellectual disgrace
Stares from every human face,
And the seas of pity lie
Locked and frozen in each eye.

Follow, poet, follow right
To the bottom of the night,
With your unconstraining voice
Still persuade us to rejoice;

With the farming of a verse
Make a vineyard of the curse,
Sing of human unsuccess
In a rapture of distress;

In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.

 

-W.H. Auden

 

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