Countywide ‘The Big Read’ to celebrate Emily Dickinson
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By Jud Snyder  February 15, 2013 12:00 am


They’re calling it “The Big Read.”

With sponsorship headed by the National Endowment for the Arts, the emphasis is on public libraries, and the star of the show is world-famed American poet Emily Dickinson. In Sonoma County, this literary event takes place throughout the month of March in libraries, theaters, forum rooms and on the radio via Rohnert Park’s KRCB Radio 91-FM.

Some of the venues, especially the libraries, will distribute free copies of Dickinson’s poems, published by Shambala Pocket Classics, in their distinctive 3-by-4½-inch format.

“The Big Read” month begins Friday, March 1, with a reading of one of her poems between 6-9 a.m. on KRCB radio.

One poem will be read in this time slot every day through Sunday, March 31. A discussion of Dickinson’s poems will be heard Wednesday, March 6, from 7-8 p.m. on KRCB’s “Word by Word” program.

Emily Dickinson will be discussed by Sonoma County poets on two days in the Rohnert Park-Cotati public library’s Forum Room, Tuesday, March 19, from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and Wednesday, March 20, from 7-8 p.m. Poetry lovers are invited to participate in the recitals and discussions.

On Saturday, March 23, an afternoon tea focusing on Dickinson’s poems will be held from 2-4 p.m. in The Sitting Room, 2025 Curtis Drive (off Petaluma Hill Road) in Penngrove.

Admission to these events is free.

Countywide, “Big Read” programs will be held in public libraries, theaters and bookstores including Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Healdsburg, Windsor and Monte Rio. There’s a Facebook page for “Big Read” with all the details.

In the middle of all these events connected to Emily Dickinson, the Rohnert Park-Cotati public library will be hosting two open house celebrations. The first is Wednesday, March 20 from 5-7:30 p.m., and the second is Saturday, March 23, from 1-3:30 p.m.
They’ll be held in the Armando Flores forum room just inside the main entrance. Refreshments will be provided. Both will offer library-goers an opportunity to meet, ask questions, and chat with the Library Advisory Board and Friends of the Library members.

For details, call the library at 584-9121, ext. 0910.

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