Let’s Talk About It – Behind the Beautiful Forevers (December 1, 2022)

The final Let’s Talk About It program will be held on Thursday, December 1, 2022, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Library’s meeting room. Several copies of the book are available for checkout. Below is some information about the book and the speaker for September.

About the Book
In this breathtaking book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport.

As India starts to prosper, the residents of Annawadi are electric with hope. Abdul, an enterprising teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Meanwhile Asha, a woman of formidable ambition, has identified a shadier route to the middle class. With a little luck, her beautiful daughter, Annawadi’s “most-everything girl,” might become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest children, like the young thief Kalu, feel themselves inching closer to their dreams. But then Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal. 

With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects people to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, based on years of uncompromising reporting, carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds—and into the hearts of families impossible to forget. 

WINNER OF: The PEN Nonfiction Award • The Los Angeles Times Book Prize • The American Academy of Arts and Letters Award • The New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award

(Summary from amazon.com).

About the Speaker
Ken Hada is a poet and professor at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma where he directs the annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival. Ken finds the natural order a powerful presence for writing. His work has received the 2022 Oklahoma Book Award, the 2017 SCMLA Poetry Prize, has been featured on The Writer’s Almanac, received the Western Heritage Award, named finalist for the Spur Award and six-time finalist for the Oklahoma Book Awards. In 2017 Ken gratefully accepted the Glenda Carlile Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book. His published poetry collections include: Feral Skies: Selected Poems 2008-2020, Contour Feathers, Sunlight & Cedar,  Not Quite PilgrimsBring an Extry MulePersimmon SundaySpare PartsMargaritas & RedfishThe Way of the Wind and The River White: A Confluence of Brush & Quill. Ken enjoys reading his work at venues around the country. (Summary from kenhada.org)

Let’s Talk About It Book Club to Meet November 14

The final two programs in the Let’s Talk About It book club series are coming up on November 14 and December 1, and both will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Library’s meeting room. Let’s Talk About is a book club designed for adults who are interested in reading, learning about history and current events, and who enjoy discussing their thoughts and ideas with others.

The overarching theme of this program is civil rights, and each of the five books were chosen to reflect this theme in different ways. On Monday, November 14, Dr. Nyla Khan will present The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich, a fictional story based on real events that occurred in the 1890s. This novel explores racial injustice and its effects on the relationship between Native and white communities in North Dakota in both the past and the present.

Dr. Nyla Ali Khan is a professor at Rose State College, Midwest City, OK and taught as a Visiting Professor at the University of Oklahoma. She received her Ph.D. in English Literature and her Masters in Postcolonial Literature and Theory at the University of Oklahoma. She is the author four books, as well as several articles, book reviews, and editorials. She was named one of the 100 Trailblazers for 2018 by the Oklahoma League of Women Voters, received the President’s Volunteer Service Award & Silver Medal for her national public speaking and her bridge building work at the community and grassroots level in the state of Oklahoma, and was also recently selected as one of The Journal Record’s “50 Making a Difference” for 2019 and “The Journal Record Woman of the Year.”

On Thursday, December 1, Dr. Ken Hada will present Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, a non-fiction book about the residents of Annawadi, a settlement in Mumbai, India, whose residents face extreme poverty. The book follows the interwoven lives of several people who live in Annawadi as they struggle to survive in various ways amidst religious and economic tensions in a city with massive inequality.

Dr. Ken Hada is a professor in the Department of English and Languages at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma and the director of the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival. He has published several collections of poetry and received the 2022 Oklahoma Book Award, the 2017 SCMLA Poetry Prize, the Western Heritage Award, a finalist for the Spur Award, a six-time finalist for the Oklahoma Book Awards, and the Glenda Carlile Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book.

Both of these programs will include a presentation, refreshments, and small group discussions. Pre-registration is encouraged as space is limited. To register, visit the Chickasha Public Library in person, call 405-222-6075, or email library@chickasha.org with your name, phone number, and which dates you would like to attend. Several copies of each of these books are also on display and available to check out from the library.

The Chickasha Public Library received a matching grant from Oklahoma Humanities for this program. Additional funding and refreshments are being provided by the Friends of the Library. Books, services, and other materials for this series are provided by Let’s Talk About It, a project of Oklahoma Humanities. Generous funding and support for this series was provided by the Kirkpatrick Family Fund and Oklahoma City University. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these programs do not necessarily represent those of Oklahoma Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Let’s Talk About It – The Plague of Doves (November 14, 2022)

The fourth Let’s Talk About It program will be held on Monday, November 14, 2022, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Library’s meeting room. Several copies of the book are available for checkout. Below is some information about the book and the speaker for November.

About the Book

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, The Plague of Doves—the first part of a loose trilogy that includes the National Book Award-winning The Round House and LaRose—is a gripping novel about a long-unsolved crime in a small North Dakota town and how, years later, the consequences are still being felt by the community and a nearby Native American reservation.

Though generations have passed, the town of Pluto continues to be haunted by the murder of a farm family. Evelina Harp—part Ojibwe, part white—is an ambitious young girl whose grandfather, a repository of family and tribal history, harbors knowledge of the violent past. And Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, who bears witness, understands the weight of historical injustice better than anyone. Through the distinct and winning voices of three unforgettable narrators, the collective stories of two interwoven communities ultimately come together to reveal a final wrenching truth.

Bestselling author Louise Erdrich delves into the fraught waters of historical injustice and the impact of secrets kept too long. (Summary from amazon.com).

About the Speaker

Dr. Nyla Ali Khan is a professor at Rose State College, Midwest City, OK and taught as a Visiting Professor at the University of Oklahoma. Formerly, she was a professor at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. She received her Ph.D. in English Literature and her Masters in Postcolonial Literature and Theory at the University of Oklahoma. Author of several published articles, book reviews and editorials, she has edited Parchment of Kashmir, a collection of essays on Jammu and Kashmir, written four books, including The Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism and Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir: Between Indian and Pakistan. Several of her articles have appeared in academic journals, newspapers and magazines in the United States and South Asia. They focus heavily on the political issues and strife of her homeland, Jammu and Kashmir, India, where she visits frequently. She has reading competence in Arabic and Hindi and is fluent in Urdu and Kashmiri.

Dr. Khan was recognized at the OK State Capitol for her human rights work in 2018 and honored by the Oklahoma League of Women Voters as one of the 100 Trailblazers for 2018. She was recently awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award & Silver Medal for her national public speaking and her bridge building work at the community and grassroots level in the state of Oklahoma. She was also recently selected as one of The Journal Record’s “50 Making a Difference” for 2019 and “The Journal Record Woman of the Year which recognizes women in Oklahoma who epitomize leadership in both their professional endeavors and in the communities where they live.” Dr. Khan currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma. (Summary from Oklahoma Governor’s International Team). 

Computer Q and A

Do you have questions about how to use your computer? Bring your laptops, tablets, and questions to the Library on Thursdays at 5 pm to receive individual help! Library staff will available to answer questions one-on-one, on a first come, first serve basis. Whether it is using email, navigating the internet, or finding information online, Library staff can help!

Let’s Talk About It – Arc of Justice (October 6, 2022)

The third Let’s Talk About It program will be held on Thursday, October 6, 2022, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Library’s meeting room. Several copies of the book are available for checkout. Below is some information about the book and the speaker for September.

About the Book
In 1925, Detroit was a smoky swirl of jazz and speakeasies, assembly lines and fistfights. The advent of automobiles had brought workers from around the globe to compete for manufacturing jobs, and tensions often flared with the KKK in ascendance and violence rising. Ossian Sweet, a proud Negro doctor-grandson of a slave-had made the long climb from the ghetto to a home of his own in a previously all-white neighborhood. Yet just after his arrival, a mob gathered outside his house; suddenly, shots rang out: Sweet, or one of his defenders, had accidentally killed one of the whites threatening their lives and homes. And so it began-a chain of events that brought America’s greatest attorney, Clarence Darrow, into the fray and transformed Sweet into a controversial symbol of equality. Historian Kevin Boyle weaves the police investigation and courtroom drama of Sweet’s murder trial into an unforgettable tapestry of narrative history that documents the volatile America of the 1920s and movingly re-creates the Sweet family’s journey from slavery through the Great Migration to the middle class. Ossian Sweet’s story, so richly and poignantly captured here, is an epic tale of one man trapped by the battles of his era’s changing times. Arc of Justice is the winner of the 2004 National Book Award for Nonfiction.

(Summary from amazon.com).

About the Speaker
Teaching has been the passion of Professor Lloyd K. Musselman, who, after receiving his Ph.D. degree, came to Oklahoma City University in 1969 and has taught there ever since. An historian by trade, Professor Musselman has inspired students in all majors to seek the full development of their interests. In recognition of his teaching skills, Dr. Musselman was appointed the Darbeth-Whitten Professor of American History in 1978, presented the Sears Roebuck Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence in 1990, and named the school’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year in 2002. As part of a survey Oklahoma City University made of its past graduates, responders consistently named Dr. Musselman as one of the teachers who inspired them, including a former national social studies teacher of the year. Lloyd Musselman has also served as Department Chair, the Director of the Robert A. Taft Institute of Government, and the Acting Dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences. He has been notable for enriching the cultural life of the state by his participation in the Oklahoma Humanities Council and the Let’s Talk About It program sponsored by the Oklahoma Libraries Association.

Let’s Talk About It – Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey (September 1, 2022)

The second Let’s Talk About It program will be held on Thursday, September 1, 2022, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Library’s meeting room. Several copies of the book are available for checkout. Below is some information about the book and the speaker for September.

About the Book
Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for poetry and former U.S. Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey’s elegiac Native Guard is a deeply personal volume that brings together two legacies of the Deep South.
The title of the collection refers to the Mississippi Native Guards, a black regiment whose role in the Civil War has been largely overlooked by history. As a child in Gulfport, Mississippi, in the 1960s, Trethewey could gaze across the water to the fort on Ship Island where Confederate captives once were guarded by black soldiers serving the Union cause. The racial legacy of the South touched Trethewey’s life on a much more immediate level, too. Many of the poems in Native Guard pay loving tribute to her mother, whose marriage to a white man was illegal in her native Mississippi in the 1960s. Years after her mother’s tragic death, Trethewey reclaims her memory, just as she reclaims the voices of the black soldiers whose service has been all but forgotten. (Summary from amazon.com).

Some questions to think about while reading:

  • Do the themes of historical erasure and amnesia recall Edward Jones’ The Known World? The series theme of civil rights and equality? 
  • Did you like this book? Think of your experience of reading it and reflecting about it. 
  • In any book some subjects or situations must be left out, intentionally or otherwise. Which ones did you find yourself wanting to know about in Native Guard?

About the Speaker
Dr. Harbour Winn was involved with the “Let’s Talk About It” program as the state humanities scholar on the original committee that wrote the grant for the funding to begin the program in Oklahoma. He has been a scholar in more than 330 of these programs across the state of Oklahoma. For seventeen years, Dr. Harbour Winn taught as a Montessori teacher at Westminster School and at Oklahoma City University in the Master of Liberal Arts Program and the Montessori Early Childhood Program. In 2013 he received the Oklahoma Humanities Council’s State Public Humanities Award; was chosen a DaVinci Fellow, DaVinci Institute, in 2012; and received the 2011 Award for Distinguished Service from the Oklahoma Film & Video Studies Society State Film Consortium. 


Genealogy Workshop: Using the Chickasha Newspapers Online

The Chickasha Public Library will be hosting a genealogy workshop at 4:30 pm on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, in the library’s meeting room. The topic for this workshop is Using the Chickasha Newspapers Online.

The library’s microfilm newspaper collection was recently digitized through an Oklahoma Historical Preservation Grant from the Oklahoma Historical Society, along with a contribution from the Friends of the Library. All the Chickasha newspapers from 1892-2019 are now freely accessible on the Gateway to Oklahoma History and can be accessed on any internet-capable device. The library also provides public access computers that can be used for exploring the newspaper collection.

Participants in this workshop will discover how to navigate the Gateway to Oklahoma History, search strategies to help with finding obituaries and articles for family history research, and using keywords and time frames to find information about specific people or events. Participants are welcome to bring their laptops or other devices if they wish so that they can access the collection during the workshop. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and to receive help with individual searches at the end.

Registration is encouraged as space is limited. To register, call the library at 405-222-6075, email library@chickasha.org, or talk to staff in person at the front desk.

Let’s Talk About It – The Known World by Edward P. Jones (August 4, 2022)

The first Let’s Talk About It program will be held on Thursday, August 4, 2022, from 6:30-8:30 in the Library’s meeting room. Several copies of the book are available for checkout. Below is some information about the book and the speaker for August.

About the Book

From National Book Award-nominated author Edward P. Jones comes a debut novel of stunning emotional depth and unequaled literary power. Henry Townsend, a farmer, boot maker, and former slave, through the surprising twists and unforeseen turns of life in antebellum Virginia, becomes proprietor of his own plantation―as well his own slaves. When he dies, his widow Caldonia succumbs to profound grief, and things begin to fall apart at their plantation: slaves take to escaping under the cover of night, and families who had once found love under the weight of slavery begin to betray one another. Beyond the Townsend household, the known world also unravels: low-paid white patrollers stand watch as slave “speculators” sell free black people into slavery, and rumors of slave rebellions set white families against slaves who have served them for years.

An ambitious, courageous, luminously written masterwork, The Known World seamlessly weaves the lives of the freed and the enslaved―and allows all of us a deeper understanding of the enduring multidimensional world created by the institution of slavery. The Known World not only marks the return of an extraordinarily gifted writer, it heralds the publication of a remarkable contribution to the canon of American classic literature. (Summary from amazon.com)

About the Speaker

Dr. Kalenda Eaton is a humanities scholar whose research interests include studies of the American west; intersections of Black literary and gender studies; Black social and cultural history; and Black Diaspora studies. Recent publications can be found in Gender and the American West, American Studies Journal, Teaching Western American Literature, and Africa Today. She is a Fulbright scholar, experienced administrator, and advocate for the public humanities. (More information from the University of Oklahoma)

Look Up! Step Back in Time with The James Webb Space Telescope on Beanstack!

Explore our universe with the James Webb Space Telescope Challenge. Learn all about the science behind NASA’s newest space telescope mission, the James Webb Space Telescope. Scheduled to launch this winter, JWST is the most advanced infrared space telescope ever launched and will allow us to look deeper into time and space than ever before! Help your library win a collection of programming materials from NASA @ My Library by logging your reading and completing activities. Earn new badges all month long! NASA @ My Library is supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under grant No. NNX16AE30A. The work was also assisted and supported by the Space Science Institute, which was the recipient of the grant. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASA or the Space Science Institute

To join this challenge and more visit https://chickashapl.beanstack.org/reader365

Building Resilience Through Playfulness

Join Virginia Savage, LCSW, Art Therapist, on Saturday, July 23, from 10 AM – 12 PM and continue our conversation about mental health as we engage playfully with art materials. Then, using found objects and our imaginations, we will create a three-dimensional figure that will serve to invite us to be more light hearted and have fun this summer.

We will talk about the importance of self-awareness for improving our feeling state. You may not know it, but what you say to yourself, what’s called our inner dialogue, can make a big difference in how we feel and act in the world. We will look at some common cognitive distortions (thinking errors) that can create unnecessary inner turmoil and then will use a method called re-framing to reword our negative inner dialogue to a more balanced way of thinking. This process promotes peace of mind. 

We will be using some art materials to create visual reminder to be more self-aware of how our thoughts impact our feelings.

This program is free; however, space is limited, so registration is required.

Call (405) 222-6075 or email library@chickasha.org to register for a program. 

This program is funded in part through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries with a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.