Happy Banned Books Week!

Enjoy the illicit thrill of forbidden things — read a banned book today!

The list of authors who have had their books banned, long and diverse, includes to name just a few: J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Aristophanes, Chaucer and Shakespeare, Stephen King, Walt Whitman, Thomas Paine, Lewis Carroll and George Orwell.

The Online Book Place (onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu) reports that The Bible and The Quran were both removed from numerous libraries and banned from import in the Soviet Union from 1926 to 1956. Many editions of the Bible have also been banned and burned by civil and religious authorities throughout history. Some recent examples: On July 1, 1996, Singapore convicted a woman for possessing the Jehovah’s Witness translation of the Bible.

Banned Books Week, September 26−October 3, is sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the National Association of College Stores. Banned Books Week is also endorsed by the Center for the Book of the Library of Congress.

Read all about this important celebration of the freedom to read at bannedbooksweek.org.

Click here to see a map of book bans and challenges in the US from 2007 to 2009.

From the site:

Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982. The challenges have occurred in every state and in hundreds of communities. People challenge books that they say are too sexual or too violent. They object to profanity and slang, and protest against offensive portrayals of racial or religious groups–or positive portrayals of homosexuals. Their targets range from books that explore the latest problems to classic and beloved works of American literature.

poem for a rainy night

By Annette Marie Hyder

tonight
the wind tells secrets to the trees
teaches all the thirsty leaves
tossing black silver and green

that tempest can carry
canting truths, toss branches high
in rush crushed rue
then leave them still, serene

in the middle of the eye
of the storm

where does grace come from?
where does bending blend
to strength and the ability to weather
thunderous calamity?

tonight
a cat with fur on end
will come in from the wind
knowing in its catty ways
that the storm is not for him

and better sieged with lapping tongue
to saucer dipped
than drops of rain on skin
of nose or whiskers fierce

will sit on sill and watch
the arboreal trembling
now with not one hair awry

A reverent home for words


Image courtesy of Design Top News

Via BoingBoing:

Church converted into magnificent bookstore

This breathtaking place is a former Dominican church that was converted into a new retail location for bookseller Selexyz Dominicanen. The architecture firm was Merkx+Girod. From Design Top News:

    The store demanded 1,200 sq m of commercial area where only 750 were available.

    The initial idea of the client to install a second floor within the church was rejected by the designers, because this would completely destroy the spatial qualities of the church. The solution was found in the creation of a monumental walk-in bookcase spanning several floors and situated a-symmetrically in the church. In doing so the left side of the church remained empty while on the other side customers are lead upstairs in the three- storey ‘Bookflat.’

    The ground floor gives room to several different book displays, information desks, magazine-stands and cash registers, all made of standard sheet materials in different colours and surfaces.

two faced wind

(for the first day of fall)
By Annette Marie Hyder
Previously Published in NewsPaper Tree

all the skirts and dresses
flutter, flip and flap in the wind
like colorful birds
like bunches of butterflies
like leaves skirling
or clouds curling
clouds of silk, rayon, polyester and cotton
billow near the ground
pillow out from slender waists
or gallop like horses
around legs
are streams of fabric
running across knees, babbling over thighs
laughing and teasing of carefree days

but it is autumn now
and those who know can see
that the skirts also sway like bells
tolling november
hair rises on the wind
in warning
faces pinch and eyes shut
like the closing of a book
and the posture of those out on the street
on this blustery day
sends signs as clear as any found in almanac
they are bent forward and struggling
against the hard wind blocking their way
as geese make patterns like tea leaves
on the empty bowl of the sky

new fall leaves


Photo Copyright Jasmine Rain H.


point of view
By Annette Marie Hyder

progress can be measured in the quick blush
the rouged rush
of color
or the slow creeping growth
up old brick and down dark earth
of ivy
with fall leaves
depending on your view
of growth and decay
but either way
it’s beautiful