Archive for April, 2010


Award-Winning Poet Marilyn Nelson coming to DCL

April 16, 2010

Have you ever heard of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm? I hadn’t, until recently, in preparation for a visit from the poet Marilyn Nelson.

The Sweethearts of Rhythm was an incredibly successful, all-female, mostly-African-American swing band that toured the US in the 1940s and broke all sorts of  attendance records, including those held by Count Basie and Louis Armstrong. Despite its popularity, however, the band and its legacy have now all but faded into obscurity.

Marilyn Nelson, who will be appearing on Monday, April 19 at 7:00 pm at Main Library, has written a book of poems about the Sweethearts and let me tell you, it’s one incredible book. With stunning illustrations by renowned illustrator and artist Jerry Pinkney, Sweethearts of Rhythm tells the story of these unique female musicians, told in the “voices” of their instruments. Here is a sample verse, from the point of view of the tenor sax:

She performed the daily ritual of the reed —
Soaking the reed, trimming it, fitting it in,
Tightening the ligature. She bowed her head,
Then lifted me and eased me into song.

— from the poem “Chattanooga Choo Choo” by Marilyn Nelson

Please join us on Monday night to celebrate National Poetry Month with Marilyn Nelson. Ms. Nelson, who has written a number of award-winning books of poetry, will read from her work and answer questions, followed by a book signing (there will be books, including copies of Sweethearts of Rhythm, for purchase on-site). The event is free and open to the public. See you there!

Marian Fragola, Humanities Coordinator


Spring Book Sale This Weekend

April 5, 2010

The Library Friends Spring Book Sale begins this Friday, April 9. Incredible bargains on books — starting at 50 cents or a dollar — audiobooks, CDs, DVDs, VHS and vinyl, make this event a fun way to stock up for the summer and support the library. The Friends have raised money with used book sales for three decades and they are very good at it. The books are organized in categories, check out is fast and easy (checks or cash only) and volunteers help to count, pack and load. This is one of the biggest used book sales in the Southeastern United States, right here in downtown Durham! The location is Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St., Durham, NC 27701. For directions call 919-560-0100.

At this sale, the Friends will launch their signature zippered tote bag for just $10. They won’t last long, so come early! Friday 4-7P is for Friends members only, and anyone can join the Friends at the door for $15. There are discounts for families ($25), seniors ($10) and youth ($5). Friends members get first choice of the most popular items: specially priced books in gift-giving condition, fiction and children’s books.

The sale continues Saturday, April 10, 10A-5P, and Sunday, April 11, 2-5P. On Saturday, Durham Public Schools will be on site promoting its BookMarks project. You can support both the library and the schools by purchasing a children’s book and giving it to BookMarks. On Sunday the Friends sell books by the bag (paper grocery bags supplied) for just $7.

Parking is free and there is overflow parking in the County lot across Liberty Street.

Hope to see you at the book sale this weekend!

Anastasia Bush
Library Friends Liaison