7 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. If you think poetry’s “not your thing”, you might be surprised to find out you already enjoy it, you just didn’t know it was poetry. Stretch your creative mind and embrace poetry in one of its many forms during National Poetry Month. Here are 7 ways you can celebrate:

1. Borrow a book of poetry from the library. The great thing about poetry books, you don’t need to read them cover-to-cover to enjoy them. Find a few poems that speak to you.

2. Check out a CD and read the song lyrics. Songwriting is a form of poetry. Don’t know where to start? Try:

3. Read a novel told in verse. Don’t know where to start? Try:

4. Attend the Poetry Open Mic Morning at CPL on April 8.

  • Teens and adults are welcome to bring their own original poetry to share, recite a poem by a classic author, or just sit back and enjoy the verses.

5. Create a poem on the Magnetic Poetry Board in our lobby.

  • Sometimes it’s easier when the words are all there, you just need to gather them together.

 

6. Participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 27, 2017.

  • Select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others throughout the day, including on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

7. Watch a “poet” movie. A few ideas:

 

 

Ceòl na h-Alba (Music of Scotland)

wallacesco-368349William Wallace is a Scots folk hero who, it is believed, was born around April of 1270. Wallace was a Knight who fought for Scottish independence from English rule, and was immortalized in the Oscar-winning film Braveheart, at least in name. Braveheart, while an entertaining drama, is about as factual on Scottish history as a tub of Cool Whip is the equivalent to Whipped Cream.

Braveheart’s soundtrack, while pleasant,  is also a modern composition, in the style of 468e4c6be98b994f6e8abf87e1f95732Scottish music but not containing a single actual Scots tune. This begs a greater question: what’s the difference between Scottish Music and Irish Music? Aren’t they the same, but with bagpipes? The question might just get you decked for saying that.

Truth is, they are quite similar, passing traditions back and forth. If you listen to folk steeped in the music, there are subtle differences in rhythms, traditional Scots music tends to be in the key of A (there’s only so much you can do on a bagpipe), while the Irish prefer drums and the key of D. Scots tunes tend to be more “snappy,” while the Irish are more “driving” (the Clancy Brothers version of “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye” all but jumps out and strangles you through the speakers). But, as in anything, the styles change song to song. Each will tell you theirs is better.

brigadoonIrish music tends to be better known for several reasons. Far more people have emigrated from Ireland than Scotland, a country with the same population as Dallas-Fort Worth. The Irish tended to have more children than the Scots, so they beat them on sheer numbers as well. Many of Scotland’s great ballads get lumped in with English, but Scottish music is far from unknown. Amazing Grace, played on bagpipes though it’s an English hymn, is a funeral standard. Pipe bands are often a staple of parades. There is the Broadway play Brigadoon by Lerner and Loewe, complete with kilts and dancing. There’s a 1954 film version, but even for its day it’s rather awful. If any film needs a full Hollywood reboot, this one is 60 years overdue.

If Ancient Scottish Ballads aren’t your thing, and you think bagpipes sound like boiling rodstewartdm1306_468x431witches, there’s a much better chance you’ve enjoyed modern Scottish music. So many of the songs we hear today and think of as American or British acts are actually the work of Scots, since accents aren’t always that obvious in song. Perhaps the best known Son of Scotland would be Rod Stewart, the gravel-voiced rock singer who worked his way from rock to swing music. Annie Lennox of The Eurythmics is a Scottish lass. Sheena Easton, KT Tunstall, Mark Knopfler, now solo but formerly the lead singer of Dire Straits, David Byrne of The Talking Heads, the folk group The Corries, Average White Band, and current smooth hit-maker Paolo Nutini (yeah, that had me fooled, too – his father was Italian, his mother Scotch, and he was born in Scotland). Add in Ian Anderson (lead singer for Jethro Tull), Lulu (you might remember her for the theme from the Bond film “Man With the Golden Gun”), Big Country (a one-hit wonder in America), Gerry Rafferty, Simple Minds, and the Celtic folk group Capercaillie.

200px-wallace_tartan_vestiarium_scoticumThat’s a lot of tartan pride!

So whether you like traditional Celtic folk, the plaintive reels of a good piper, or feel like rocking out to Maggie May, sit back and raise a pint to old William Wallace, a patriot who died keeping his country and culture from being lumped with Ireland and England.

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in April

We’re springing into April with so many great programs for kids, teens & adults, we can’t fit them all here! Check our event calendar for the full list of programs coming up this month.

indexGeology of Cheshire

Monday Apr 3, 2017, 6:30  –  7:30 PM

Ever wonder how Cheshire got its ridges?  Learn about the geologic changes that have shaped the diverse and interesting topography of Cheshire.  Presented by Dr. Charles Dimmick, Professor of Geology, Emeritus.  Sponsored by the Cheshire Planning Department and Cheshire Public Library. Registration is required.

robin-mccahill-e1486659456246-225x300Kids Puppet Making Series

Wednesdays,  April 5, 12, 19, and 26, 4:00  –  5:00 PM

Learn to make puppets using unique and everyday items.  Robin McCahill, local artist at Artsplace, will be our artist in residence leading this workshop on puppet making.  Visit www.artsplacecheshirect.org/ to learn more about Artsplace and the other programs artists like Robin McCahill offer.  This is a 4-week long series, meeting April 5, 12, 19, and 26.  You only need to sign up once to attend all four.  Due to the cost of this program please try to attend all four sessions.  For students in grades K-2, registration is required beginning March 22 for Cheshire residents and March 29 for all others.

poetry-open-micPoetry Open Mic Morning

Saturday Apr 8, 2017, 10:00 AM  –  12:00 PM

Celebrate National Poetry Month with an open mic morning! Teens and adults are welcome to bring their own original poetry to share, recite a poem by a classic author, or just sit back and enjoy the verses. We’ll have tea and coffee available, and we’ll set out some poetry books and resources to peruse for inspiration. No registration required.

bill_96Pysanky Egg Decorating Workshop

Saturday Apr 8, 2017, 2:00  –  4:00 PM

Come learn the art of Pysanky Egg decorating from the egg lady Sharon Leonard. This form of Ukrainian egg decorating uses special wax and color to make beautiful eggs.  Each participant will be able to go home with one decorated egg.  This program is for adults and has limited seating, registration is required.

captureCurious George Party

Monday Apr 10, 2017, 10:30  –  11:30 AM

Join us for a party to celebrate our favorite little monkey, Curious George! We will sing, dance, and read some stories about George and his adventures. Curious George will make a special appearance and pose for photos with his friends! For children of all ages and their families. Registration required beginning Monday March 20.

opener-720x487Foraging and Eating Invasive Plants

Tuesday Apr 11, 2017, 6:30  –  7:30 PM

Join The 3 Foragers, a family that forages for wild, natural, organic food.  This program will highlight edible invasive plants.  Do your part to reduce invasive plants by eating them! The 3 Foragers eat garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed, Rugosa roses, autumn olives, wineberry, sheep sorrel, dandelions, black locust blossoms, and yellow groove bamboo.  Never eat anything from the wild without first consulting an expert! Please forage responsibly. Educate yourself, and have fun. Registration is required.

Community Connections

Wednesday Apr 19, 2017, 12:00  –  2:00 PM

The Cheshire Public Library is pleased to announce a new program that we have started entitled Community Connections. This program connects civic minded individuals with community agencies to perform skilled volunteer projects.  Enjoy lunch provided by the Friends of the Cheshire Public Library while you meet other civic minded folks and talk with local non-profits and government agencies about volunteer opportunities available. Please register in advance (so we know how much food to get!).

back-pain-1911009_1280Exercises to Treat and Manage Low Back Pain

Saturday Apr 22, 2017, 2:00 PM

Whether mild or severe, short-term or long-term, low back pain can greatly affect your daily life. If low back pain is affecting your daily life or if you want to learn the top causes of back pain join Kirsten Albrecht as she explains common causes of back pain and shares exercises to stretch and strengthen your back. Registration is required.

jacket-aspxBirds; Their Side of the Story…

Tuesday Apr 25, 2017, 6:30  –  7:30 PM

John Himmelman is a children’s book/natural history author and illustrator, who has written and illustrated about 80 books since 1981.  He is an avid bird watcher and served as president of the New Haven Bird Club for two years. He will share light-hearted stories of birds and bird watching – from cuisine to cartoons, ornaments to icons, murmurs to murders. Registration is required.

6daf3aa1b259c15f3e788bca1ac6b5a7Taekwondo

Wednesday Apr 26, 2017, 6:00 PM

Join Cheshire resident Master Jonguk Jang for an introductory Tae Kwon Do (also known as Taekwondo) class for adults. Learn about the fascinating history of Taekwondo and its physical and mental benefits such as focus, self-control, confidence, stress release, flexibility and self-defense, as well as an introduction to various fundamental skills and techniques. Registration is required.

dia-banner-imageDía de Los Niños Celebration

Friday Apr 28, 2017, 10:00  –  11:00 AM

Celebrate El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children’s Day / Book Day) with a multicultural storytime! Día is celebrated on April 30 to emphasize the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Teach Yourself Technology

technology support help me please!

At Cheshire Public Library’s weekly Drop-In Tech Help, I am often told that people don’t know where to begin with learning technology. They ask me what special resource of knowledge I use and where I went to school and how long it took me to learn all of these tricks and devices. The answer is simple: There is no secret knowledge! I use books and the internet, and you can, too.

If you recently got a new device or you feel overwhelmed by your device’s capabilities, start with a book. The library has a variety of books on popular devices, and we can always get something for you if we fail to carry it. Books are great for starting out with a new computer, smart phone, or tablet. You can look up topics like Setting Up Your Email or page through the whole book at your own pace. Most technology books are visual, and you can go through step-by-step instructions with your device at your side.

If you prefer video instruction, you can try Lynda.com, which is now available for all Cheshire Public Library resident cardholders. Lynda.com is an online learning site that hosts a constantly growing library of over 3,000 courses.

What are you waiting for? Here’s a small sample of the books we have available:

jacket-aspx iPhone: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

Covers all models with iOS 8.1 software, including iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

 

 

jacket-aspx iPad for Seniors by Nancy Muir

Learn about all the incredible things your iPad can do with this friendly guide. Learn to make video calls, navigate with maps, find almost anything with Siri, and more!

 

jacket-aspx Teach Yourself Visually: Android Phones and Tablets by Guy Hart-Davis

Includes customizing your phone or tablet, working with text and voice, making calls and instant messaging, enjoying social networking, working with apps, browsing the web and e-mailing, taking and using photos and videos, using maps, Google Earth, and clock, playing music and videos, troubleshooting your device.

jacket-aspx Kindle Fire HDX for Dummies by Nancy Muir

Also covers the Kindle Fire HD!

 

 

jacket-aspx My Windows 10 by Katherine Murray

An easy, full-color tutorial on the latest operating system from Microsoft.

 

 


Technology Help – Need device advice? Come to Drop-in Tech Help. No appointment necessary. We provide help with smartphones, laptops, tablets, ereaders, email, Facebook, social media, and more! Check out the calendar for our next session.

Get Informed, Take Action: The CT State Budget

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It’s no secret that our country has seen a surge in political awareness and activism after the last election, and we’ve been getting reference questions about how to get more involved on national, state, and local issues. Some of the biggest rumblings lately deal with Governor Dannel Malloy’s state budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, which is under review right now and contains millions of dollars’ worth of cuts for many municipalities, local and state agencies, and state-funded programs. If you’d like to get informed and take some action on the proposed budget, read on!

GET INFORMED

If you only have time to read one article on the new budget, though, the CT Mirror wrote an informative overview last month that hits some of the big parts of the budget.

TAKE ACTION

You can also send letters to the editors of local newspapers like the New Haven Register, Cheshire Herald, Hartford Courant, and Meriden’s Record-Journal.