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The Deerfield Public Library Podcast

Thoughtful, in-depth conversations with authors of all genres and other notable people from Chicagoland and around the world. A monthly program from the Deerfield Public Library in Deerfield, IL, hosted by Dylan Zavagno. Our archives include episodes from the Library's John Cotton Dana Award-winning series, The Fight to Integrate Deerfield: 60 Year Reflection; our Pride Month series, Queer Poem-a-Day; and our local history audio tours.
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Now displaying: 2023
Nov 9, 2023

A conversation with Dr. Jennifer MacLure, Assistant Professor of English at Kent State University, on the occasion of the publication of her book, The Feeling of Letting Die: Necroeconomics and Victorian Fiction (Ohio State University Press, 2023). (Our conversation is also occasioned by our Library’s Classics Book Discussion current tackling of Bleak House, Charles Dickens’ massive 1853 masterpiece!) 

The Feeling of Letting Die looks at how the Victorian novel addresses a knotty problem at the heart of England’s rapidly industrializing society—how does a system that creates so much wealth also intentionally let certain people die in the service of the free market? Dr. MacLure explores the underpinnings of this “necroeconomic” system by looking at how fiction by Harriet Martineau, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and William Morris can be seen as a “literary laboratory,” as experiments in how the feelings that support and thwart this economic system circulate. 

 It’s both a delightful conversation and about the origins of some of our most pressing issues today—epidemics, workers rights, gender, racism, poverty, charity—and it all builds to an affirmation of the study of literature as an “epistemological tool” for understanding our world today. As Dr. MacLure puts it, the histories of political economy and literature are more intertwined—and weirder—than normally assumed. Whether you are already a fan or not of Victorian literature, this podcast offers an opportunity for thinking anew. 

You can check out The Feeling of Letting Die: Necroeconomics and Victorian Fiction here at the library in our podcast collection. 

We hope you enjoy our 61st interview episode! Each month (or so), we release an episode featuring a conversation with an author, artist, or other notable guests from Chicagoland or around the world. Learn more about the podcast (and our seven years of archives) on our podcast page. You can listen to all of our episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. We welcome your comments and feedback—please send to podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org.

You can listen to all of our episodes in the player below.

Jun 30, 2023

For our final day of Queer Poem-a-Day Lineage Edition, we reveal the unknown lineage story of the composer Robert Savage (whose "AIDS Ward Scherzo" is our excerpted music this year) and and his connection to poet John Ashbery. While preparing the music for this year, our pianist Daniel Baer discovered a 1982 piece by Savage "Chaconne," dedicated to John Ashbery. For the last month, while we've been presenting lineage poems, we've also been tracking down the mystery of their connection.  

We want to extend our enormous gratitude to David Kermani, John Ashbery's husband, for his time and sharing his insights. And to Jeffrey Lependorf, Executive Director of The Flow Chart Foundation, to Karin Roffman, Ashbery’s biographer, to academic Andrew Epstein, author of the Locus Solus Blog about the New York School Poets. We also want to point listeners to the work of pianist Marcus Ostermiller, whose performances of and dissertation on Robert Savage have been pioneering in increasing the visibility of this remarkable composer. 

Quotations from texts and interviews by John Ashbery are Copyright © 2019, 2020.

All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with Georges Borchardt, Inc. for the John Ashbery Estate.

deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/ 

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this third year of our series is AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

Jun 28, 2023

Amanda Gunn reads a poem by Judy Grahn and the poem "Like This" from Amanda's new book Things I Didn't Do With This Body (Copper Canyon Press, 2023). 

Quick Note: for today’s episode, Amanda Gunn chose a long poem by the living poet Judy Grahn as her lineage work—while Judy Grahn is not a “poet of the past” Amanda’s passion about this poem and this great figure of our current age was irresistible, so we end our Lineage series by reopening the present. 

Queer Poem-a-Day Lineage Edition is our new format for year three! Featuring contemporary LGBTQIA+ poets reading a poem by an LGBTQIA+ writer of the past, followed by an original poem of their own. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Amanda Gunn is a poet, teacher, and doctoral candidate in English at Harvard where she studies poetry, ephemerality, and Black pleasure. Raised in Connecticut, she worked as a medical copyeditor for thirteen years before earning a master of fine arts degree in poetry from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins. She is a 2021-23 Wallace Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford, the inaugural winner of the Auburn Witness Poetry Prize honoring Jack Adam York, the recipient of a writing fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and the recipient of a Pushcart Prize.

"Like This" was first published in Things I Didn't Do With This Body (Copper Canyon Press, 2023). 

Text of today’s original poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/ Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this third year of our series is AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

Jun 26, 2023

Megan Fernandes reads a poem by Federico García Lorca and "Paris Poem Without Clichés" from Megan's just-released book, I Do Everything I'm Told (Tin House, 2023)

Queer Poem-a-Day Lineage Edition is our new format for year three! Featuring contemporary LGBTQIA+ poets reading a poem by an LGBTQIA+ writer of the past, followed by an original poem of their own. 

Megan Fernandes is a poet living in NYC. She has been published in The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, among many others.

Text of today’s original poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/ Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this third year of our series is AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

Jun 23, 2023

Randall Mann reads a poem by Karl Tierney and ""Wi-Fi" from Randall Mann's new book Deal: New and Selected Poems (2023, Copper Canyon Press).

Queer Poem-a-Day Lineage Edition is our new format for year three! Featuring contemporary LGBTQIA+ poets reading a poem by an LGBTQIA+ writer of the past, followed by an original poem of their own.

A queer poet, critic, and medical writer, Randall Mann is the author of five poetry collections: Deal: New and Selected Poems (2023, Copper Canyon Press), Complaint in the GardenBreakfast with Thom GunnStraight RazorProprietary, and A Better Life. He is also the author of a book of criticism, essays, and interviews, The Illusion of Intimacy: On Poetry. His writing has appeared in The Adroit JournalLit HubKenyon ReviewParis ReviewPoetry MagazineSan Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of the Kenyon Review Prize in Poetry and the J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize from Poetry, and his books have been shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award, California Book Award, and Northern California Book Award. Mann lives in San Francisco.

Text of today’s original poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/ Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this third year of our series is AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

Jun 22, 2023

Jameson Fitzpatrick reads a text by Gertrude Stein and a poem "The Genius of Wives I Have Sat With" from Jameson's chapbook Mr. & (Indolent Books, 2018).

Queer Poem-a-Day Lineage Edition is our new format for year three! Featuring contemporary LGBTQIA+ poets reading a poem by an LGBTQIA+ writer of the past, followed by an original poem of their own. 

Jameson Fitzpatrick is the author of the poetry collection Pricks in the Tapestry (Birds, LLC, 2020) and the chapbooks Mr. & (Indolent Books, 2018) and Morrisroe: Erasures (89plus/LUMA Publications, 2014). She is a 2023 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow in Creative Writing and teaches first-year writing at New York University.

Text of today’s original poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/ Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this third year of our series is AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

Jun 21, 2023

Alicia Mountain reads a poem by Pat Parker and "Rewinding the Lesbian Sex Scene on a Flight to Denver" originally published in American Poetry Review.

Queer Poem-a-Day Lineage Edition is our new format for year three! Featuring contemporary LGBTQIA+ poets reading a poem by an LGBTQIA+ writer of the past, followed by an original poem of their own. 

Alicia Mountain is the author of Four in Hand (BOA 2023). Her debut collection, High Ground Coward (Iowa 2018), won of the Iowa Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in The Nation, Guernica, Pleiades, Poetry Northwest, and American Poetry Review. Mountain was a Clemens Doctoral Fellow at the University of Denver and the 2020-2021 Artist in Residence at the University of Central Oklahoma. She serves on the board of Foglifter, a LGBTQIA+ journal based in the Bay Area. Mountain lives in New York City, where she is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Writer’s Foundry MFA program at St. Joseph’s University in Brooklyn. 

Text of today’s original poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/ Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this third year of our series is AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

Jun 19, 2023

Chen Chen reads a poem by Justin Chin and "The World's Italianest Resturant" from Chen's new book, Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency (BOA Editions, 2022); the poem first appeared in bath magg (bathmagg.com/chenchen2/). In this special longer episode, Chen Chen shares (in conversation with Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno) his reflections on the importance of libraries being for everybody and standing against censorship.

Queer Poem-a-Day Lineage Edition is our new format for year three! Featuring contemporary LGBTQIA+ poets reading a poem by an LGBTQIA+ writer of the past, followed by an original poem of their own.

Chen Chen’s second book, Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency, has been selected as a best book of 2022 by the Boston Globe, Electric Lit, NPR, and others. It has also been named a 2023 Notable Book by the American Library Association. His debut, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, was long-listed for the National Book Award and won the Thom Gunn Award, among other honors. A 2022 United States Artists Fellow, his work appears in many publications, including The New York Times and three editions of The Best American Poetry. 

Text of today’s original poem and more details about our program can be found at:
deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/ Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this third year of our series is AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

Jun 16, 2023

K. Iver reads a peice by David Wojnarowicz and their poem "Central Park" originally published in Bat City Review, Spring 2023. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Queer Poem-a-Day Lineage Edition is our new format for year three! Featuring contemporary LGBTQIA+ poets reading a poem by an LGBTQIA+ writer of the past, followed by an original poem of their own. 

K. Iver (they/them) is a nonbinary trans poet born in Mississippi. Their book Short Film Starring My Beloved’s Red Bronco won the 2022 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry from Milkweed Editions. Their poems have appeared in Boston Review, Kenyon Review, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. Iver has received fellowships from The Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Sewanee Writer’s Conference, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. They have a Ph.D. in Poetry from Florida State University. For more, visit kleeiver.com.

Text of today’s original poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/ Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this third year of our series is AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

Jun 14, 2023

Tara Skurtu reads a poem by Elizabeth Bishop and "Morning Love Poem" from from her debut collection The Amoeba Game (Eyewhere Publishing, 2017), and first published in the Minnesota Review.

Queer Poem-a-Day Lineage Edition is our new format for year three! Featuring contemporary LGBTQIA+ poets reading a poem by an LGBTQIA+ writer of the past, followed by an original poem of their own. 

Tara Skurtu is the author of the chapbook Skurtu, Romania, the full poetry collection The Amoeba Game, and the upcoming collection Faith Farm. A two-time Fulbright grantee and recipient of a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship, the Marcia Keach Poetry Prize, and two Academy of American Poets prizes, she is the founder of International Poetry Circle and a national steering committee member of Writers for Democratic Action. Tara is based in Brooklyn, where she is a writing coach for clients worldwide.

Text of today’s original poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/ Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this third year of our series is AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

Jun 12, 2023

Armen Davoudian reads a poem by James Merrill and "The Yellow Swan" from Armen's chapbook Swan Song (Bull City Press, 2020), originally published in Literary Matters, 11.3. 

Queer Poem-a-Day Lineage Edition is our new format for year three! Featuring contemporary LGBTQIA+ poets reading a poem by an LGBTQIA+ writer of the past, followed by an original poem of their own. 

Armen Davoudian is the author of The Palace of Forty Pillars, forthcoming from Tin House Books in in Winter 2024. His poems and translations from Persian appear in Poetry magazine, the Hopkins Review, the Yale Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook, Swan Song, won the 2020 Frost Place Competition. Armen grew up in Isfahan, Iran, and is a PhD candidate in English at Stanford University.

Text of today’s original poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/ Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this third year of our series is AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

Jun 9, 2023

Rachel Mennies reads a poem by Muriel Rukeyser and "Feburary 26, 2017" from Rachel's book The Naomi Letters.

Queer Poem-a-Day Lineage Edition is our new format for year three! Featuring contemporary LGBTQIA+ poets reading a poem by an LGBTQIA+ writer of the past, followed by an original poem of their own. 

Rachel Mennies is the author, most recently, of THE NAOMI LETTERS (BOA Editions, 2021). Her poetry has appeared, or will soon, at Poetry, American Poetry Review, The Believer, and elsewhere. An editor for AGNI, she lives in Chicago.

Text of today’s original poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/ Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this third year of our series is AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

Jun 7, 2023

Maggie Millner reads a poem by Adrienne Rich and Section 2.9 from Millner's new book Couplets.

Queer Poem-a-Day Lineage Edition is our new format for year three! Featuring contemporary LGBTQIA+ poets reading a poem by an LGBTQIA+ writer of the past, followed by an original poem of their own. 

Maggie Millner is the author of Couplets (FSG, 2023). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Nation, BOMB, Kenyon Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. She is currently a senior editor at The Yale Review and a lecturer in writing at Yale.

Text of today’s original poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/ Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this third year of our series is AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

Jun 5, 2023

Derrick Austin reads a poem by Robert Hayden and "Black Docent."

Queer Poem-a-Day Lineage Edition is our new format for year three! Featuring contemporary LGBTQIA+ poets reading a poem by an LGBTQIA+ writer of the past, followed by an original poem of their own. 

Derrick Austin is the author of Tenderness (BOA Editions, 2021), winner of the 2020 Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, and Trouble the Water (BOA Editions, 2016) selected by Mary Szybist for the A. Poulin Jr, Poetry Prize. His first chapbook, Black Sand, is recently out from Foundlings Press. Tenderness was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, a Golden Poppy Award, and a Northern California Book Award. He is a 2022-2023 Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholar.

Text of today’s original poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/ Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this third year of our series is AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission

Jun 2, 2023

Richie Hofmann reads a poem by Walt Whitman and “Reconciliation.” 

Queer Poem-a-Day Lineage Edition is our new format for year three! Featuring contemporary LGBTQIA+ poets reading a poem by an LGBTQIA+ writer of the past, followed by an original poem of their own. 

Richie Hofmann is the author of two books of poems, A Hundred Lovers (2022) and Second Empire (2015). His poetry appears recently in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, and The Yale Review, and has been honored with the Ruth Lilly and Wallace Stegner fellowships. Work from a new manuscript is forthcoming in Poetry and The Paris Review. He lives in Chicago.

Text of today’s original poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/ Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this third year of our series is AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

Jun 1, 2023

For this third season of the program, we are shaking things up with a new format: Queer Poem-a-Day Lineage Edition. In each podcast episode, we asked a contemporary queer poet to read a work of influence by an LGBTQIA+ writer of the past followed by an original poem of their own. Our participating poets also discuss the poem they chose and how their own work responds, offering an educational opportunity to consider how today’s vibrant living voices are in conversation with the voices of the past that live on library shelves. Our new semi-daily format (shared Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), combined with additional educational programs, adds a new, enriching dimension to the Queer Poem-a-Day project.

Queer Poem-a-Day is founded and co-directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Library and host of the Deerfield Public Library Podcast.  Music for this third year of our series is AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. We are once again grateful to have received generous support from both the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

To kick off season three of our series, Lisa and I had a short conversation reflecting on lineage, the threats to public libraries surrounding LGBTQIA+ programming and collections and the backdrop of new specifically anti-trans, and broadly anti-LGBTQIA+ laws, including book and curriculum bans. Our music has changed again as well: our Chicago-based pianist, Daniel Baer, chose the rarely performed AIDS Ward Scherzo by Robert Savage. He joins us for this introductory episode to think through our re-imagined series in the context of classical piano.

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher Radio.

Read our intro blog and see related programs at deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

May 10, 2023

Jersey Breaks: Becoming an American Poet (W. W. Norton & Company, 2022) is the new memoir by former U.S. Poet Laureate, Robert Pinsky. Robert is the author of numerous poetry collections. Robert Pinsky is a celebrated poet, essayist, translator, teacher, and speaker. He served as the U.S. Poet Laureate from 1997-2000, during which time he founded the popular Favorite Poem Project. He is the author of many poetry collections, including the anthology The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems, 1966-1996, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and most recently the collection At the Foundling Hospital (FSG, 2016). He’s also the translator of the best-selling The Inferno of Dante. Robert is a professor of English and creative writing in the graduate program at Boston University. In the words of the New York Times Sunday Book Review, “No other living American poet—no other living American, probably—has done so much to put poetry before the public eye.” 

Jersey Breaks is a fascinating memoir, not least because Robert Pinsky’s poetry and essays often play with the expectations and confines of autobiography and poetry itself. In kaleidoscopic, essayistic chapters, Robert Pinsky considers the experiences that make up his life and voice, while sharing a deep wisdom about how the places and words that make up our identity are always in motion. 

You won’t want to miss this beautiful conversation in which Robert Pinsky tells us that including everything means including our questions about everything, too.

You can check out Jersey Breaks and other books by Robert Pinsky here at the library, or check out his website

The Library is hosting a Favorite Poem Project Reading at the Library on Thursday, June 1, from 7:00—8:00 pm. If you are interested in being considered as a reader, please email me at favoritepoem@deerfieldlibrary.org with a favorite poem and why you chose it.  Or, sign up to attend as an audience member.

We hope you enjoy our 60th interview episode! Each month (or so), we release an episode featuring a conversation with an author, artist, or other notable guests from Chicagoland or around the world. Learn more about the podcast on our podcast page. You can listen to all of our episodes in the player below or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. We welcome your comments and feedback—please send to podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org.

The Deerfield Public Library Podcast is hosted by Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the library. We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

Follow us: Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube TikTok

The Deerfield Public Library Podcast is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include Adult Language. 

Apr 25, 2023

We're sharing the recording of the special in-person interview we held earlier this month with New York Times bestselling author—and Deerfield resident—Lisa Barr. Our conversation was recorded live in front of an enthusiastic audience of fans, family, friends, book clubs, book bloggers, and neighbors. 

Lisa Barr’s novel Woman on Fire (2022) tells the story of the contemporary pursuit of a single Nazi-looted painting and the many lives it touches. Lisa shares how her own family history and her fascinating career as a journalist inspires her fiction. 

We take a local angle on this popular novel and discuss our own identity in the Village of Deerfield and surrounding areas as places where Holocaust survivors and their children made their lives. Weaving in themes from Lisa’s previous novels, The Unbreakables (2019) and the award-winning Fugitive Colors (2013), our conversation is both delightful and deep, considering painting and writing as sites for the expression of rage, passion, and escape.

Find out how the Art Institute of Chicago’s 1991 exhibit Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany started Lisa on a path that led to the creation of her character Ernst Engle, a German Expressionist painter who features in both Fugitive Colors and in Woman on Fire. We even uncovered a local connection to that 1991 exhibit and a painting that hangs in our Library! 

You’ll also hear how actress and producer Sharon Stone came to option the film rights to Woman on Fire among many other stories from a bestselling author at her hometown library. 

You can check out books by Lisa Barr here at the Library or find out more on her website.

We hope you enjoy our 59th interview episode! Each month (or so), we release an episode featuring a conversation with an author, artist, or other notable guests from Chicagoland or around the world. Learn more about the podcast on our podcast page. You can listen to all of our episodes in the player below or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. We welcome your comments and feedback—please send to podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org.

The Deerfield Public Library Podcast is hosted by Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the library. We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Mar 22, 2023

This month on the Deerfield Public Library Podcast, I am very pleased to share a conversation with acclaimed critic Merve Emre on the beloved Italian writer Italo Calvino, known for his genre-defying stories and novels like Invisible Cities and If on a winter’s night a traveler. Merve Emre is a contributing writer at The New Yorker, associate professor of English at Oxford University, and currently a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Wesleyan University.

 

In a recent essay in The New Yorker, “The Worlds of Italo Calvino,” Merve Emre calls Calvino, “word for word, the most charming writer to put pen to paper in the twentieth century.” It is an enthusiasm we both share. Indeed, we learn that for both of us, reading Calvino novels set us on a path of making a career out of talking to people about books. 

 

Emre’s essay on Calvino was occasioned by the new publication in English of a book of his essays, The Written World and the Unwritten World, translated by Ann Goldstein. 2023 also marks the centenary year of Calvino’s birth and here at the Library our Classics Book Discussion celebrated with a recent series on his work. 

 

Whether you are already a Calvino-obsessive or new to his work, you will hear a passionate consideration of how an author creates communications and desires so wonderful (and so thwarted!) that you can not help turning page after page. Appropriately for a discussion of this metafictional novelist, this episode also becomes a conversation about literary conversation itself. Another recent New Yorker piece by Emre considers the fate of literary studies today. I could not help asking her if Calvino’s utopian vision of a world of self-appointed readers might  help us revive the literary world itself. 

You can check out books by Merve Emre and titles by Italo Calvino here at the library. Or check out The New Yorker, physical copies or through our ebook/emagazine service Libby.

Emre is the author of Paraliterary: The Making of Bad Readers in Postwar America (University of Chicago Press, 2017), The Ferrante Letters (Columbia University Press, 2019), and The Personality Brokers (New York, 2018). She is the editor of Once and Future Feminist (MIT, 2018), The Annotated Mrs. Dalloway (Liveright, 2021), and The Norton Modern Library Mrs. Dalloway (Norton, 2021). Her essays and criticism have appeared in publications ranging from The New York Review of Books, Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and the London Review of Books to American Literature, American Literary History, PMLA, and Modernism/modernity. Merve is on Twitter @mervatim

We hope you enjoy our 58th interview episode! Each month (or so) we release an episode featuring a conversation with an author, artist, or other notable guests from Chicagoland or around the world. Learn more about the podcast on our podcast page. You can listen to all of our episodes in the player below or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. We welcome your comments and feedback—please send to podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org.

The Deerfield Public Library Podcast is hosted by Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the library. We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

Follow us: Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube 

Feb 28, 2023

We have the honor of presenting a fascinating conversation with world-famous pianist Seymour Bernstein. You may know Seymour as the subject of the widely acclaimed 2015 documentary Seymour, an Introduction, directed by Ethan Hawke. The film tells Seymour’s inspiring story of abandoning his solo concert career at age 50, and, at the end of the documentary, performing again in his 80s. Yet, as we discuss in this interview, there are other ways to tell this story. Now in his mid-90s (he turns 96 this April), Seymour reflects on his decision to leave solo performing as a necessary refocusing, following his creative impulse to compose, write his books, and study music. 

In his 90s, Seymour has been busy making new recordings, continuing to teach, and even becoming a viral YouTube sensation, releasing videos with the music education streaming service ToneBase, as well as on his channel. He shares with us deep reflections on following your intuition in musical interpretation and in life. 

Seymour Bernstein is also the author of several books, including With Your Own Two Hands: Self-Discovery Through Music (1981), as well as a memoir, Monsters and Angels: Surviving a Career in Music (2002). In addition to Seymour’s reflections on interpreting Beethoven, Chopin, and Schubert we hear some of the under-explored stories from his long career. You’ll hear memories of TV appearances with the singer Kate Smith (of “God Bless America” fame), his Army service in the Korean War, State Department tours around the world, Leonard Bernstein, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and his line of teachers, Alexander Brailowsky, Sir Clifford Curzon, and Clara Husserl. Finally, Seymour reflects on what he feels has supported his continued long and productive life in the arts.

You can check out and watch Seymour, an Introduction through the Library streaming service Kanopy or find the DVD here on the Deerfield Public Library shelves.

The Deerfield Public Library Podcast is hosted by Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the library. We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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