Monday, April 25, 2016

Big Read T-Shirt and Book Raffle!

Attention BSC Students!

In honor of the last week of The Big Read program you can enter your name in a lottery to win two great prizes:  
  • a copy of the Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson, with a preface by Billy Collins
  • a t-shirt from award-winning American artist Lesley Dill 
Come by the Library and put your name in the jar--it's in front of the Reference Office.  While you're there, be sure to take a selfie with Emily!

From The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, 1960.


HE ate and drank the precious words,
His spirit grew robust;
He knew no more that he was poor,
Nor that his frame was dust.
He danced along the dingy days,
And this bequest of wings
Was but a book. What liberty
A loosened spirit brings!

Many Thanks to Ms. Stacey Thornberry who wrote the grant to bring The Big Read to BSC.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Arabic Studies and the BSC Library

Question: What do the following have in common?

  • Love in Two Languages
  • Sleeping in the Forest
  • Moroccan Folktales
  • My Soul Is a Woman: The Feminine in Islam
  • The Pistachio Seller 
  • Bent Familia

Answer: They are among the many dozens of books and films related to Arabic language, literature, history, politics, religion, and culture that the BSC Library has recently acquired... all thanks to a Mellon grant procured by Birmingham-Southern to fund Arabic Studies at the College!

The BSC Library is pleased to be a part of this important initiative to build classes and teaching resources related to Arabic Studies.  With the input of BSC faculty, we have been building our collections throughout the academic year to support students interested in learning about Arabic language and cultures.  Most of the books and films are available for checkout and all are listed in the library catalog.

Want to know more about BSC's Arabic Studies program?  Join the Modern Foreign Languages faculty and students for Zaytuniyat (Arabic Culture Day) on Wednesday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second floor of the Norton Center.  A flyer is available here.  Hope to see you there!

Image from manuscript for Qissat Bayad wa Reyad tale,
late 12th century (Source: Wikimedia images)

Monday, April 4, 2016

Join us for The Big Read

Birmingham-Southern College will host a series of events in April on campus and around the metro area to further understanding of the work of Emily Dickinson in conjunction with the Big Read Birmingham project.

Programs will look at Dickinson's poetry via literary analysis, creative writing, visual art, and more and include the Jefferson County Library Cooperative, Hoover Senior Center, Desert Island Supply Company, Creative Scholars, and Wordsmiths. Participants at many events will receive free copies of the featured book, The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson.

"We chose these poems for their broad appeal to a number of audiences and because there are so many ways to look at them," said BSC librarian Stacey Thornberry, the project's organizer. "We wanted to find ways to look at Dickinson's work that are relevant to our community here in Birmingham, and also to spark an interest in poetry in general."

BSC received support from the National Big Read, Books-A-Million, and from the Alabama Humanities Foundation; All Big Read events hosted by BSC or other community organizations are free and open to the public.

Lesley Dill. "The Poetic Body: Poem Gloves,"
1992. Smith College Collections, SC1992:47b
The centerpiece of campus events will be an exhibition by the New York-based artist Lesley Dill, whose sculpture, photography, and performance draw inspiration from and include Dickinson's text. Her pieces have been widely shown and are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of Art.

A selection of Dill's works will be on display at the Durbin Gallery from April 4-28; the gallery is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday; the official opening reception is Friday, April 8 from 6-8 p.m. Dill will give an artist's talk on Thursday, April 7 at from 4-5 p.m. in the Norton Theatre on campus and she'll also hold printmaking workshops for BSC students on Thursday, April 7 from 12:30-3:30 p.m. and on Friday, April 8 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Members of the public may be permitted to attend the workshop if space is available; call 205-226-4750 to inquire about reservations.)

On April 5, BSC will host keynote speaker Dr. Michelle Kohler, a professor at Tulane University, who will talk on "Fatal Promptness: Dickinson, Clocks, and the Disarray of Time." The event, which will be held in the Norton Theatre at 11 a.m., is free and open to the public.

Birmingham-Southern faculty will also lend their expertise to the Big Read:
  • On April 4, Robert E. Luckie Jr. Professor of English Dr. Sandra Sprayberry, along with her Contemporary Poetry class, will read and discuss Dickinson's poetry at the Avondale Branch of the Birmingham Public Library and lead a workshop for participants to create their own poetry.
  • Dr. Lucas Johnson, who directs BSC's Writing Center, will lead a workshop with assistance from BSC students at Desert Island Supply Company's afterschool writing program on April 6; then the students will lead the workshop April 13, 20, and 27.
  • Professor Emeritus of Library Science Dr. Guy Hubbs will lead a discussion on life during the Civil War, which heavily influenced Dickinson's Poetry, at the Hoover Senior Center on Wednesday, April 6 at 12:15 p.m.
In the BSC library, visitors will be able to take in an exhibit about Dickinson in the library's exhibition space (in front of the Reference Librarian's office), and, coming soon, can take a selfie with the Belle of Amherst.

(Text of this post is largely taken from the BSC Department of Communications' news release about The Big Read.)