Upcoming Events

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Children’s Author Talk: Picture book creator Juana Medina will be talking about her new book, Sweet Shapes, Monday, June 18 at 7 p.m. in the children’s room.

Petit Chansons/French Circle Time: Join Madame Marie for the library’s monthly program of French rhymes and songs, Saturday, June 23, at 10:30 a.m. (for children).

Puppet Show: Beech Tree Puppets presents the Apple Tree puppet show, Saturday, June 30, at 10:30 a.m. (Sponsored by the Friends of the Takoma Park Maryland Library)

Favorite Poem Evening

It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there.
William Carlos Williams

Since 1996, the Friends and the City Library have been sponsoring an annual reading of favorite poems by city residents and others in the area. Originally a joint project with the Washington Adventist University English Department, the yearly gathering is modeled on the Favorite Poem Project undertaken by Robert Pinsky, then Poet Laureate of the United States. “Poetry is not a luxury,” wrote Audre Lorde, “but a vital necessity of our existence.” With this in mind, readers gather in the library each April, each in turn reading a poem that has special meaning for them.

This year’s reading will be on Tuesday, April 24, 7:30. While everyone is welcome to drop-in, you can send the title of the poem you will read to library director, Ellen Robbins so that it can be included in the evening’s program: ellenr@takomaparkmd.gov



Spring for Poetry in Takoma Park 2018

If winter comes, can spring be far behind, wrote the English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. The succession of flowers will soon be springing up throughout the city and in April, along Carroll Avenue from the Junction to Old Town, new poetry posters will have seemingly sprung anew as they have over the last eleven years.

In 2007, the Friends began collaboration with the Montgomery College School of Art and Design in which second-year graphic arts students design poetry posters of poems that a small committee selects. Friends board members Merrill Leffler and Michele Morgan have been presenting the program to students each year and giving them critical feedback on their initial designs. Many of those designs are stunning -there are more than 200 posters, most of which can be seen on our Spring for Poetry archive page.

Conceived by Leffler, Morgan, and Ann Slayton, the Friends have the posters professionally laminated, then frame and mount them on specially installed polls, assisted by the city’s Public Works department.

This year’s selection of poems range from “The Garden” by a 13th century Arabic poet, Abd Allah ibn al-Simak, to poems translated from the Spanish of Gederico Garcia Lorca and Daisy Zamora, from the Hebrew of Moshe Dor, and from the Welsh of Anthony Raftery, as well as poems by such American/U.S. poets as Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Marilyn Nelson, and two poets who live in the metro area, E. Ethelbert Miller and Terence Winch.

Keep an eye out later this spring for this year’s poem’s.

Fannie Lou Hamer Film and Discussion

It was a full house on February 1 in the city council auditorium as the Friends of the Takoma Park Maryland Library and the City of Takoma Park hosted a film screening of Robin Hamilton’s “This Little Light of Mine: The Legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer.” The film screening was followed by a discussion with the filmmaker and José Morales, Community Engagement and Projects Director for the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. The discussion was moderated by Andrew Penn.

We learned of the struggle and violence experienced by Ms. Hamer as she fought for voting rights for African Americans in Mississippi in the 1960s. In the discussion following the film, we were reminded that the struggle for voting rights continues, and how so many forces conspire to keep people from voting to this day.

Where can you learn more?

Head on over to the website of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee to find out how you can get involved.

Learn more about the film at fannielou.com, and you can find information about the filmmaker Robin Hamilton on the website of ARound Robin Production Company.

Film Screening: The Legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer

On Thursday, February 1 at 7:30 PM, the Friends of the Takoma Park Maryland Library will co-host with the City of Takoma Park a film by Robin Hamilton, “This Little Light of Mine: The Legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer.” The screening will take place in the Takoma Park Community Center Auditorium, 7500 Maple Avenue.

Fannie Lou Hamer was a middle-aged sharecropper living in poverty in Mississippi before she rose up to become a pivotal civil rights activist of the 1960s. She helped organize the 1964 Freedom Summer African American voter registration drive, working with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. She also helped found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which challenged the state’s all-white delegation to the 1964 Democratic convention.

Robin Hamilton is an Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist, who highlights Hamer’s neglected story in the film. After the film, Hamilton will discuss Hamer’s life and the ongoing fight for civil rights with José Morales, the community engagement and projects director for the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which works to end gerrymandering across the country. The event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Takoma Park Maryland Library and the city of Takoma Park’s “We Are Takoma” cultural series.

Spring for Poetry 2017

For the eleventh successive year the Friends of the TP Library will have new posters of poems at numerous locations around Takoma Park. The posters were created by graphic design students at Montgomery College. The project was originated and is adminstered by Merrill Leffler and begins in April for National Poetry Month and continues through Takoma Park’s Street Festival in October.

For links to the 2017 poems and to all of our poems from the past, go to our Spring for Poetry page.