What's New!

This has been the longest sort of a short month—and I hope you have had time to be alone, but not much time lonely. We celebrated this month with Joe Hutchinson—the Colorado state poet laureate. Several local poets, including past laureates Price Strobridge, Janice Gould, and Jim Ciletti read their own poems and “Oh! The purple of it all…”
It was a celebration of Valentine’s day in the shadows of Pikes Peak. Sometimes we prefer our own company to anyone else’s and sometimes we are able to revel in shared intimacy with others. Love is transitional and changing and a choice—let us all attempt to be more charitable, truthful, and merciful with ourselves and with all those we encounter along the way.

—SMP

[You will find Susan's poem "Dreaming DE" in her hand in the images attached below]

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Join our informal Spanish conversation group, including intermediate-advanced students and native speakers. It is not an instructional time and no English is spoken during the meetings. It is an opportunity to enjoy and practice speaking and learn casually from more experienced speakers. The group welcomes new participants as well as ideas for activities or topics of discussion.

Where: East Library, 5550 N. Union Blvd.
When: Thursdays, 1:30 - 3 p.m.

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It is the middle of winter and I am back east at my cottage on a northern most cove of the Chesapeake Bay on the eastern shore of Maryland. I would love to diagram that sentence. It is snowing and the stillness is tangible for the geese have gone quiet. This home is under the migratory pattern of so many birds—but the Snow Geese, the Canada Geese, and the Starlings are my favorite. It’s best to put seed out just before dawn and just at dusk to draw the most curious creatures. There is a squirrel I adore—he’s a wee thing I call Reepicheep as he is spry and has no tail. He’s been here the whole year and hasn’t grown much bigger…but he certainly is quick. It’s a different world at sea level. It’s been sunless and dreary and cold—but there is peace. There is quiet. There is the constant variation of tides swelling in and out. There are journals and there are pens and there is curriculum to be written. There is a fire, red wine, and my dog. Winter is a time of underground and rejuvenation and rest—and I wish you all the best hibernation.

Dreaming Delaware

I went to the top of a mountain—
collected shooting stars in an old cigar box— laid them at the foot of your bed last night fireflies at midnight a night light to keep you company—

I quiet wondered if silence
tells stories of questions
& kisses

I swung pendulum triplet counts
from tree-swing orchestrations—
skinny-dipped
swam striations
—a soul filled with sentiments—
sediment on insomnia’s spiral pathways
to the shores of Delaware
where ocean sneezes tickled
the bottoms of our pants
& sleep was something
adding brushstrokes
to our kisses—

You looked up at
a polka-dot explosion of sky—
saw a star with a slight shade of blue
& named it after my skin—
I wore short curly hair
& you held a holster for my lips on your jaw—

I picked up a seashell
the color of coming dawn
& held it at my ear
as silver dolphins poked heads up from waves & carried the wish I made to deeper waters—

Keep me.

We dove into the ocean
where freedom beat so strongly
baptizing us in salt water
and fishes clapping—

We tried to keep waking at bay
as long as we could
while the pesky neighbor of morning
crashed the party
& heaven played an encore
with the moon—

The sunlight wrapped around your smile
& I haven’t kissed anything as holy since— my lips still taste of salt & wonder & I will never let you go…

I woke
& saw us the next day
& the day after that
& thirty years from now
finishing each others’ sentences
in the middle of silence,
questions,
& kisses.

Believe me when I tell you—
you are here
when I am washing my hands
in the porcelain sink—
silver dolphins spilling from the faucet— back in Delaware for a brilliant fleeting moment—

Your name is just underneath my tongue
& with every line I can taste you.

You left a love letter on my body—
the note I’d withheld from myself—
the one you took
for safe keeping—

& if you’re ever dreaming—
walking that sacred place again
where seagulls become protectors
& sand a layer of skin—
if through your closed eyes
you think of my palm in your hand—
you will hear my wishing voice
in the last waves—
in the last seashells buried on the beach— whispering a promise—

Forever.

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Poet JOY SAWYER will be the guest speaker for Poetry West’s workshop, Deep Play: a Poetry Romp, from 10 to Noon Saturday, February 4, at Hooked on Books bookstore, 12 East Bijou, downtown. HOB doors will open at 9:30. The workshop is open and free to all but reservations are suggested, call (719) 419-7660. Easy parking is $1 all day Saturday in the City Garage right around the corner from HOB.

Poet and naturalist Diane Ackerman wrote, “the spirit of deep play is spontaneity, discovery, and being open to new challenges.” Who knows this better than the poet? Sawyer plans a playful writing workshop to “exercise several ‘poetic muscles,’ and explore ways to nurture more joy and freedom in our creative work.”

Joy Sawyer’s poetry appears in Books & Culture, Christianity & Literature, LIGHT Quarterly, Lilliput Review, New York Quarterly, Ruminate, St. Petersburg Review, The Bacon Review, Volta, and others. Her book of poems is Tongues of Men and Angels (White Violet Press, 2016).
Joy received her MA from New York University, where she won the Herbert Rubin Award for Outstanding Creative Writing. She teaches at Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver.

PR Contact, Jim Ciletti, (719) 419-7660
Books@hob3918.net

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Books, Beer, & ____

Pikes Peak Library District and Bristol Brewery are collaborating with a different community organization each month for our Books, Beer, & (____) book club. May is the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society.

Register by calling (719) 633-6278 or visiting Cheyenne Mountain Library and check out Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Read the book, then grab a (free with registration) pint of beer at the pub and join us downstairs in the Barrel Room on Saturday, May 12 to discuss the book!

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Drawing and Painting

Bring your creativity to this monthly gathering. Bring whatever project you are working on and work in a group setting. Local artist and instructor Deb Ross will be on hand to help inspire.

Supplies will not be provided. Registration is not required.

  • When: Last Thursday of each month from 2 - 4 p.m.
  • Where: Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Dr.
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It is the observation of Dr. Martin Luther King day in the United States. And unlike our several years prior—this year it has gone largely unrecognized. The celebration and remembrance have been dampened and the mission threatened—because it has never been more obvious than now that the work is not done. As the inauguration looms before us, we must focus on the revolutionary words of a civil-rights pioneer—to honor his message we are required to become heroes ourselves. Peace —Susan M. Peiffer, Pikes Peak Poet Laureate

Villanelle for a Burning House

Black women kneel in churches with flames around their feet as
a caustic smoke sneaks to cover this confederate place—

Black children litter American streets where both bullets & protests
stoke the heat of badges, black hoodies, and race—

Black mothers watch from barred windows with flames at their feet—

Begging for breath and throat choking a black man weeps and
drops like a concrete corpse with a blood and blue stained face—

Black boys are littered on American streets and black girls wail as
their mother’s leap from killing heights to land in defeat as
death-crazed officers attack with tasers and
black fathers perch on ledges, flames burning their feet—

We carry quick-trigger rifles and people can’t sleep while
scorched-wing black angels fall to grace in gunshot embrace.

Our black children like litter on American streets.

They gaze at those imprisoned behind steel bars and at
the freight of unnamed bodies filling cemetery space—

Black people pray in this house with flames burning around their feet—

Our black people litter American streets.

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PPLD now has Sorenson videophones and Video Relay Service-equipped laptops available for patron use. VRS allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired to communicate using American Sign Language through video equipment. It replaces TTY or Text Telephone.

Videophones are now available at the East Library and Library 21c.

VRS-equipped laptops are available at the following PPLD locations: Cheyenne Mountain, High Prairie, Manitou Springs, Monument, Old Colorado City, Ruth Holley, and Sand Creek libraries.

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Happy New Year, friends—

2016 was full of more challenges than joys for many people and I am not sorry to have a fresh year starting. It was a year where governments upheld cruelty, where the political climate became absurd, where countless nameless people died, where so many have had their civil liberties threatened, and where millions seeking safety were turned away. It has been a year of progress, but I don’t know in what direction—I’m afraid calling it “congress” might be an issue.

It has been a year of accomplishment and success in many areas and I am so grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been given in open doors and chances to serve others. I have learned a lot, written a lot, and shared a lot—but I’m left feeling relieved that the year is done.

May 2017 grant you each the peace and happiness you deserve. May your joy be overwhelming and your challenges be blessings in disguise. May you learn much and love much and create and be kind. May your heart be full and your motivation lively. May you make a difference and be comfortable with change. May you find and rest in a place you cherish as home and may you be always deeply loved.

—SMP

2016/17

Cast aside this cut-hard year
slap in the face year
pleading for change year—

Let its casket lily stench waft away—

Grieve what didn’t blossom
flowers mistaken as weeds
fruit that went unharvested

& bouquets you didn’t give

Cleave sentiments
from could-have-been calendars
Stow months with mothballs

& pack up days—

Time is fleeting on careless wings—
we only change what tomorrow brings.

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Beginning Jan. 9, 2017, PPLD will no longer charge fines on overdue children and teen items. Removing overdue fines will provide greater opportunity for children and teens to use the full range of library services. Currently, 15% of children and teen cardholders are blocked from checking out items at the library due to overdue fines.

Also, overdue fines on DVDs and games will be reduced from 25 cents per day to 10 cents per day.

PPLD seeks to foster literacy and life-long learning for children and teens. The Library regularly evaluates policies to see what barriers for service exist and evaluates how to eliminate such barriers. The Library’s Board of Trustees approved the new policy at their December meeting.

Items that will not accrue overdue fines must be designated as “juvenile” or “teen” in the Library catalog. The policy will take effect for any items checked out January 9 or after. Lost item and damage fees will still apply.

Overdue notices will still be sent as reminders to return Library items. Items not returned within 21 days of the due date will be considered lost, and the full cost of the item will be charged to the patron’s account.

Click here for more information

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Manitou Springs Library: Planning for the Next Century

In January 2017, the City of Manitou Springs invited the public to review proposed expansion and remodel plans for the Manitou Springs Library.

After receiving six proposals, a team led by Architect Roger Thorp of Thorp Associates was selected by the City in July 2016 to develop plans for expansion and remodel of the historic Carnegie Library.

The team held a series of public meetings to obtain feedback and information from the community. They then took the public input, and that of personnel from the Pikes Peak Library District, which operates the Manitou Springs Library, and developed over the last five months several versions of expansion plans. The final draft proposal was presented to the Manitou Springs Historic Preservation Commission on December 7, at which time the Commission unanimously approved the conceptual design.

Click here to view the draft expansion plans.

To view a larger version of the rendering seen at upper-right, click here.

For more information, email carnegie@comsgov.com.

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Ron Cousar and Dr. Wanda Tisby-Cousar

PPLD's Makers in Residence for January and February 2017 were Ron Cousar and Dr. Wanda Tisby-Cousar.

Ron Cousar has played R&B, blues, and jazz for many years. In addition to studio work with Savoy Records, he has played with bands in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Baltimore, and now Colorado Springs. He has dedicated his talents to playing blues, R&B, funk and jazz. His influences include Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson, and a host of other artists.

Dr. Wanda Tisby-Cousar storytelling and dance to coach innovation and artistic ability. Sande Leadership, a model Dr. Wanda developed, is based on ancestral lineage to the Mende of Sierra Leone, West Africa. Tisby-Cousar has studied tap and interpretive dance since the age of four with Sydney King School of Dancea nd performed with Afi West African Dance Ensemble.

Visit PPLD's Maker/Artist in Residence page for more information about this program.

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Happy Holidays! When I first moved to Colorado Springs I was coming from a job as program director for a non-profit in Philadelphia whose services supported children with guardians who identified in the LGBTQIA spectrum. We ran a year-round speaker’s program and a two week long residential summer camp in the pine barrens of New Jersey. The creative arts were essential to our activities—poetry was a means of expression the young people eagerly responded to and embraced. I have found their enthusiasm to be universally present—especially among the queer youth of the Pikes Peak region.

In Colorado Springs, Inside/Out Youth Services launched as a program for LGBTQIA youth in 1990 as a program of the El Paso County Department of Health and Environment. Inside/Out is known for trusted, high quality and engaging youth development and recreation programs, as well as referrals for at-risk youth. They are often the only safe space in the city for a queer or questioning young person. An army of volunteers and small staff advocate and empower young people and their allies so that safety, acceptance and liberty breathe across the city, not just behind the doors of our youth center. The creative and outspoken work they do encourages compassion and story telling.

Inside they provide safety and acceptance for LGBTQIA youth and their allies.
Out in the community they provide understanding, respect, and equality.

I am proud to share this poem, written for Inside/Out, with you.

For you whose chest is rainbow fractured—
—you tired seahorses
& unexpected heroes with the birds-nests
worried into your hair—
whose struggle to silence the screaming
has blocked out dove psalms—
There are sparrow seeds sprouting
from the shine seeping through
the cracks of your opening heart.
Your flame flickers in darkness
& grows brighter with the wind.
We have come out of the closet
& have seen scars in the mirror
We have lit candles
& left the house—
Strengthened our spines
by growing wings—
Taken aim & flown
past the moon.
We see her reflection
& plaster her glow
like a smile on the mirrors
of our faces.
We use the light of each other
to fly our way home—
In the safety of our house
nestled in the embrace of branches
& the flutter of wings
we find friends who are ever-enduring shadows
& un-lying mirrors
Candles lose nothing when they share
the warmth of their flames—
There are millions waiting in the dirt of flower pots
for the warmth of owning their own names.
When a flower fails to bloom
you build them a new home—
you do not give up
on their blossoming at all—
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.
We poets who trade in our lives for a living
were once, too, parchment waiting to be inscribed—
We burn our eyes by staring too long
at our bright burning star of a sun—
& we wonder
at the burn of our own reflections
—& at the mirrors we’ve become.
Look what you can do with this world
& a wind-pipe
& a poem
—a whistling bird call
always drawing you home.

-Susan M. Peiffer

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Price at Classic Academy

Penrose Library was the scene of a winter-themed poetry reading on December 11. Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Emeritus Price Strobridge emceed the event that featured some of our areas best and best-know poets, including Jim Ciletti, Teever Handal, Loring Wirbel, Julianza Shavin, Amie Sharp, and Evan Kendrick.

The Classical Academy 5th graders brought hand-knitted hats and scarves, socks and hand warmers, while PPLD provided hot cocoa and cookies to excited Penrose Library patrons.

This is the 2nd poetry and warming clothing give-away that the Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Project has held at Penrose Library.

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Have you read a really great (or really bad) book lately? Tell us all about it! Just fill out this book review form and your review will be posted in the Book Reviews section of ppld.org.

Happy reviewing!

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Jo Hart

PPLD's Maker in Residence for November 2016 was Jo Hart.

Yearning for a change from her Midwest living Jo moved to Colorado less than 18 months ago. She earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics and a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communications. She has worked in the art and design fields throughout her career in the corporate, private, ad agency and not-for-profit sectors. Jo primarily works in clay making sculptural objects with a focus on feminine concerns. Recently she has been making utilitarian pieces and mixing multiple surface decoration techniques to create a balance between discord and harmony. Jo likes to make everyday and if she can’t she is sad.

Visit PPLD's Maker/Artist in Residence page for more information about this program.

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The 2016 Student Literary Award Anthology, publishes poems, letters, and artwork of state and national winners of the River of Words and Letters About Literature. These are two free competitions that are coordinated in Colorado. Check out the what you need to do to enter here:

Both competitions are free to join and each website includes the entry form, short videos, and additional information.

So what is River of Words? It is an international poetry and art contest on the them of "Watersheds" designed to help youth explore the natural and cultural history of the place they live and to express what they discover through poetry and visual art.

Letters About Literature is a national reading and writing competition in which readers in grades 4-12 write a personal letter to an author they admire or whose work has inspired them. Readers respond by exploring the relationship between their personal experiences and the book's characters or themes and describing how the author's work changed them personally or altered their view of the world. Student may write their letter to any author, living or dead, form any genre- fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.

So please, check out these cool competitions coming up in Colorado and get involved!

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Deb Bartos

PPLD's Artist in Residence for September and October 2016 was Deb Bartos, an oil painter who loves exploring the natural world and teaching students about color. She continues to develop her knowledge about how light and color work together, and is fascinated by the process.

Visit PPLD's Maker/Artist in Residence page for more information about this program.

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Introducing SELF-e!  eBooks and ePublishing

Pikes Peak Library District is pleased to partner with Library Journal to offer SELF-e, a new service that brings self-published authors and eBook readers together.

SELF-e for Authors

SELF-e allows self-published authors to submit their original work for circulation in Biblioboard, making your eBook visible at PPLD and other Colorado libraries, as well as at libraries nationwide.

Want to submit your eBook? Click here to learn more about getting started.

You can find SELF-e in the CyberShelf section of ppld.org.

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Gene Wilder: June 11, 1933 - August 29, 2016

Comedic icon Gene Wilder, star of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Young Frankenstein, The Producers, Blazing Saddles, among many others, has died of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 83.

Mr. Wilder is probably best remembered as the sweet but subversive title character in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory where he won over countless young hearts, but it was his work with Mel Brooks in Young Frankenstein and The Producers that brought him critical acclaim, garnering two Oscar nominations. Wilder rarely worked after the death of his third wife, Gilda Radner, in 1989, but his legacy endures as the world remembers him as one of the comedic greats.

 
"Gene Wilder-One of the truly great talents of our time. He blessed every film we did with his magic & he blessed me with his friendship."
- Mel Brooks
 

Click here to search Gene Wilder in the Catalog

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The 2016 Teen Fiction Writing Contest Anthology is here! Compiled are the Honorable Mentions and Winners from the 2016 Teen Fiction Writing Contest. Click on the link to download and view!

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Brian Looney

PPLD's Artist in Residence for August/September 2016 was Brian Looney.

"I learned to draw while sitting alone at the kitchen table. Art is about self-discovery, and there truly is no rule book. The more you do a thing, the more that thing develops, and everything you do along the way is unique. Excuse the play on words... I was born in 1985, and that was a kooky year. Albuquerque, NM is my hometown, and I moved to Colorado for the nature and the art. I haven't been disappointed. Additionally, I am a published poet and a yoyo artist. That last might fall under the 'geek' category, but you may view it all at brianlooney.com. I look forward to meeting you!" ~Brian Looney

Visit PPLD's Maker/Artist in Residence page for more information about this program.

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The Cheyenne’s Creative Community (CCC) Art Project will be on display for National Arts Month – October 1-29, 2016, at the Cheyenne Mountain Library. This call is open to all 2D and 3D forms of art created by residents (18 years and older) in the 80905 and 80906 zip codes. Please submit up to 3 images by Friday, September 2nd and remember that art that is exhibited in any PPLD library gallery must be suitable for all audiences.

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Penrose Library Mural Project

The Penrose Library Mural Project reached completion in May 2016 and involved the generous contribution of Concrete Couch and hundreds of community volunteers. The mural was 22 years in the planning and involved six hub groups, one steering committee, fundraising galore, huge donations of time and materials, and loads of fantastic volunteers. Concrete Couch and Pikes Peak Library District teamed up with Community Prep School, School District 14, Will Rogers Elementary School, Pikes Peak Community College, Colorado College, and the Manitou Art Center to complete this project.

Watch this PPLD TV video for a preview of the project:

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Congratulations to the winners of the Teen Fiction Writing Contest! All the winners stories will be published in a digital anthology.

Results:
Middle School

1st place: "Mary Cinclare" by Rohit Paradkar
Tie for 2nd place: "The Battle of Feather and Claw" by Liberty
Harms and "Life Guarded" by Sophia Mayhugh
3rd place: "Loss and Change" by Madelyn Prichard
Honorable mention: "Anomaly" by Christen Mayberry

High School

1st place: “Purple Problems” by Kristen Kater
Tie for 2nd place: "Fall from (Lack of) Grace" by Nicole Eiland and
"Pictures of Love" by Ellie Ford.
3rd place: "The Truth of Memories" by Maggie Tibbitt
Honorable mention: "An Account of One Of My More Profitable
Jobs" by Victoria Hecker

Congratulations to all the winners! We will post the anthology when it is complete!

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