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Celebrate Pride with These Poetry Collections!

Leigh Hurwitz, School Outreach Librarian
June 11, 2020

Here is a brief list of books from the last year-ish that transcend Pride Month, and presents a more nuanced, representative and resonant experience of queerness than what is often front and center this time of year. Homie by Danez Smith (Graywolf) These are poems for and about queer black community, friendship, and queer black poet elders. Crossfire: A Litany for Survival by Staceyann Chin (Haymarket) The first full-length collection of Chin’s poems spanning 21 years of work, with a subtitle that references Audre Lorde. NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes From the Field by Billy-Ray...

Ecohorror: Where Landscape and Anxiety Devours

Leigh Hurwitz, School Outreach Librarian; Moira Peckham,
October 10, 2019

Among literary genres, horror retains a unique capacity for social critique. It is unsurprising then that a subgenre depicting the growing tension between humans and the environment has arisen out of horror: ecohorror. The consequences of industry and capitalism—in particular on vulnerable or marginalized populations, grow increasingly apparent in the world around us. And as such, the true villains of ecohorror are neither the carnivorous hippos nor the trees that come to life and snatch you into the dark, but rather the extractive systems that have led to total environmental revolt. Yet...

February 23 kicked off a new event series at Central Library, Cool Work x Interesting People (CWxIP). Co-curated by award-winning cartoonist and head publisher at Diskette Press, Carta Monir, and myself, CWxIP features six indie cartoonists leading unique monthly workshops, culminating on June 15, 2019. The series title derives from the Carta-helmed podcast, We Should Be Friends, self-described as a “podcast about cool work by interesting people.” It is in the same spirit that Carta and I organized a lineup of creators who are actively critiquing their own community, as well as forming...

Genderful! Exploring Gender Through Art

Leigh Hurwitz, School Outreach Librarian
October 11, 2017

My first memory of overt gender awareness is of browsing through my elementary school’s library (I was immensely lucky to have such a thing, complete with an incredible librarian, Mrs. Biesel) to find a suitable subject for an upcoming book report. My hand caught on the spine of a Betty Friedan biography. In 1990, a children’s biography about the second wave feminist activist and writer, most notably of The Feminine Mystique was a rare find indeed. (I have since tried to find this book, to no avail.) It was my first conscious exposure to the idea of gender inequality, oppression...

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