Micro Memoir Event Tuesday, Mar 30 2010 


Thanks to everybody who came to the Athanaeum and wrote micro-memoirs last week. I want to especially thank Risa Gilpin, who created a cloud of words and phrases from all the memoir readers. I have used the language she collected to weave together this multiple memoir from the evening. I hope it helps you remember all the unique voices you heard!

I was a tall child // Cleaving with the tamarack tree / weathered footbridge // He was my horse and I was his cowboy // Desire satisfaction man sandwich / slather with mayonnaise // My mother couldn’t cook at all // Fastest kid in the playground / me and mister flash // I hope bees come and sting you on the butt // Usually scary, rarely trusted, all that snarling / the dog was chained, not me // They took him out back // Haughtily high stepping / red wattles / movements revealed by ripples // Elephants did all the work // Stupified by beer / I’d guess rattlesnake // Cool to be a mermaid // Sailing equals yelling and tying knots // Sixteen eyeballs zuppa // Frozen dinners, cranberry chicken / my stomach not under control / covered with cold Atlantic // Ran through monsoons, torrents of water / one baffling dish after another // Nature an abstraction // Nature not fair // Pinch of his face / tethers pinning me to my seat / nauseated, stripped bare / I chewed the words // Too much information! // Brocade tablecloth / familiar diatribes // Interstate highway, chaos in my mind // Trees wrapped in white shroud of frost // Loud gaudy oversexed public TV // Roadhouse on the way to Giverny / bulls blood, sangre de toro // It ends with tortillas and eggs / fire escape searching for moon and stars / levántate, wake up! // Juicy, spicy, sweet, sour / I made it myself

Thanks to Risa Gilpin (left) and guest poster, Karen Donovan

How to Recycle Old Paperback Covers Monday, Mar 22 2010 

Converting book covers into postcards is another form of book art.  If you still send postcards, you may like this idea. It comes from a book called: Playing with Books: the Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book by Jason Thompson. Books have become raw material for arts and crafts.

Thanks to John and Lifehacker for the lead and if you’d like the instructions for book cover postcards they are available, with permission of the author, from Re-Nest.

William J. Brown Thursday, Mar 11 2010 

The autobiography of William J. Brown, a 19th century freed black man,  is causing a stir in Providence Rhode Island in the 21st century. Ray Rickman has been studying Mr. Brown for over 20 years and he recently spoke on RI’s NPR station, WRNI. Next month he will be leading walking tours around Providence, highlighting Mr. Brown’s life. The events schedule is posted on their website.

What, you might ask, does this have to do with the Athenaeum? Well, from within our rich special collections we have found an original edition of The Life of William J. Brown, donated to us by his daughter, Mrs. Freelove Case Peters.

The book has been republished by the University of New Hampshire with a forward by Rosalind Wiggins and an introduction by Joanne Pope Melish. It can be purchased from the William J. Brown website. There is an electronic copy available from the Internet Archives, or you can make an appointment to come and see ours.

Alice in Wonderland Wednesday, Mar 10 2010 

Lewis Carroll’s classic work has had so many manifestations over the years it is incredible. The current Tim Burton 3D extravaganza is just the latest. I can’t imagine trying to collect it all, but others have tried. The Private Library blog had a post by Linda Hedrick about collecting “all things Alice” that got me looking at our collection.

We have an assortment of editions in our special collections but the Macmillan, 1886, facsimile of the original ms of Alice’s Adventure Under Ground is my favorite. Here’s a sample with the author’s own illustrations:

The Library of Congress has a YouTube Channel Friday, Mar 5 2010 

The Library of  Congress’ webcasts website made me marvel, yet again, at the quality of online content that is out there for all to see. And then I noticed they have a YouTube Channel. The search box is a bit buried under the heading Uploads but overall an amazing site.

Women in Victorian England Friday, Mar 5 2010 

In honor of Women’s History Month and because we are a 19th century library, I have selected two YouTube videos that remind us from whence we’ve come. The first is oral history of two women from the nineties:

The second discusses fashion realities of the times:

Accolades Monday, Mar 1 2010 

Last week at the New Members reception a young man and his friend visited the Athenaeum for the first time. He later wrote on Hibernian Homme: Last night was spent euphorically touring a true gem..

We love praise, so we followed the link to the source of his pictures, Apartment Therapy and found this statement: shelves and shelves of new and historic collections make it the kind of place we always dreamed of living in…The comments to this post are full of love and regards.

We humbly thank all our admirers out there.


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