By visiting Pop-Up Books through the Ages at Newberry Library in Chicago, Celebrate Libraries® begins the second project in a series to explore learning centers of the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence Seaway region of Canada and the US. The first project featured residential writers associated with Maison de la littérature in Québec City.
The Newberry exhibition was viewed in mid-June and we look forward to returning to Chicago in October to gather information and images for our Issuu digital magazine to be published in winter 2023.
Celebrate Libraries® traveled to Chicago on June 15 for a private tour of Pop-Up Books through the Ages at Newberry Library. The exhibition’s curator, Dr. Suzanne Karr Schmidt, explained in fascinating detail the centuries-long development of engineered moveable paper objects leading to the advent of pop-up books.
The handsome installation was well-attended and we only wish we had one more day to spend at The Newberry. Free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, the exhibition closes on Saturday, July 15, 2023.
This video presents the words of four writers who completed residencies at Maison de la littérature (House of Literature) in Québec City, Canada. Music by French composer Claude Bolling, courtesy Frémeaux & Associates.
Cette vidéo présente les propos de quatre écrivains ayant effectué des résidences à la Maison de la littérature à Québec, Canada. Musique du compositeur français Claude Bolling, courtoisie Frémeaux & Associés.
Marie-Célie Agnant, one of the four Maison de la littérature associated writers we are working with, was recently honored by the Canadian government for her commitment to literature. Read more below.
February 1, 2023 – Ottawa – The Speaker of the Senate, the Honourable George J. Furey, and the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Honourable Anthony Rota, announced today the appointment of Marie-Célie Agnant as Canada’s new Parliamentary Poet Laureate, effective January 1, 2023. Ms. Agnant is the 10th poet to hold this office, succeeding Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer. Marie-Célie Agnant was selected by the Speakers from a short list of candidates submitted by the Selection Committee, chaired by Dr. Heather Lank, Parliamentary Librarian, and composed of Raymond Théberge, Commissioner of Official Languages; Leslie Weir, Librarian and Archivist of Canada; and Jesse Wente, Chair, Canada Council for the Arts (represented by Joanne Larocque-Poirier, Chief of Staff and Corporate Secretary). Born in Haiti, Marie-Célie Agnant has lived in Quebec since 1970. Active in the literary scene for 27 years, she has a substantial body of work for which she has won awards both within Canada and abroad. She has published three books of poetry, including Femmes des terres brûlées, which won the 2017 Alain-Grandbois poetry award from the Académie des lettres du Québec. Through her poetry, she explores themes, both timeless and contemporary, such as equality, justice, solitude, the status of women and racism.
After waiting nearly two years and nine months due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, we flew to Québec City in late September to visit the House of Literature (Maison de la littérature). One of 26 public libraries in the provincial capital city, the Maison is a library in the traditional sense with shelves of books and reading desks, but it is also a performance and exhibition space, home to poetry readings, musical performances, art installations and literary residencies for people from around the globe. https://www.citiesoflit.com/quebec-city
We rescheduled the journey twice before visiting Québec. Through it all we received encouragement from Dominique Lemieux, the Maison’s former Director. Dominique is now director of all public libraries in the city. He and the four writers and artists we interviewed for the project were supportive of our plan to feature learning centers of the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River region. And where better to begin than with Québec City? Founded in 1608, the cradle of New France (La Nouvelle France) was home base for generations of persons who traveled from the Old World on voyages of discovery and to improve their lives. Dominique and the Maison’s new director, Valérie Lambert, welcomed us with a tour of the building as well as a portfolio of photos presenting a timeline of the Maison’s transformation from a historic church into a contemporary library. Merci Québec!