KPL in the News

Local media items about Kalamazoo Public Library, library related events and services.

2014 | 201320122011 

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Apr 1, 2014

Published and unpublished poets invited to the first annual Kalamazoo Poetry Festival

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Your bus driver, the person delivering your pizza, your kid's kindergarten teacher: They could all be poets, and you don't even know it. The first annual Kalamazoo Poetry Festival aims to bring together published and unpublished poets, those from academia and not, for readings and workshops April 4-5. "The fact that Kalamazoo has so many phenomenal poets is amazing," Marsha Meyer, chair of the festival's program committee and librarian at the Portage District Library, said. Visiting poets Aracelis Girmay, poetry professor at Hampshire College, Amherst, Ma., and Ilya Kaminsky, native of Odessa, U.S.S.R., now an English professor at San Diego State University, will read at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts for the closing event. more...  


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Apr 1, 2014

WSW: City Life on the Farm

Author Novella Carpenter says she grew up in the environment of "grow your own food." Carpenter traces her interest to her parents who she describes as "back to the Earth hippies." Carpenter is the author of Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer. The book, which details her experience farming in inner city Oakland is one of this year's selections for the Kalamazoo Public Library's Reading Together program. Carpenter will speak at two events in Kalamazoo, April 15th at the Kalamazoo Central High School Auditorium and April 16th at Kalamazoo College. WMUK correspondent Brian Peterson, who is also a professor in Western Michigan University's Department of Environmental Studies spoke with Carpenter via Skype. more...  


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March 24, 2014

Kalamazoo quietly emerging as a literary hot spot (Detroit Free Press)

Kalamazoo is a midsize city, but in literary terms, it’s gigantic. The southwest Michigan hub, home to Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College, has quietly become a thriving literary town that cultivates extraordinary readers and writers whose accomplishments are attracting national attention. The city will host the inaugural Kalamazoo Poetry Festival on April 4-5, featuring acclaimed writers, workshops, readings and discussions. But literary enthusiasm has long been teeming in this community of 74,000 that lies halfway between Chicago and Detroit. more... 


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March 13, 2014

Reverend Robert Jones Brings Storytelling and Soul as a 'Holy Blues' Performer

When an employee finds themselves with idle hands and time to fill while at work, they might read a book, break out a crossword puzzle, or fall prey to Facebook scrolling. But Reverend Robert Jones found a different way to kill time. "I happened to be working as a board operator for an educational radio station in Detroit. What I basically did to keep myself sane was to bring my guitar in to the studio and just sort of practice. And I realize that was a blessing now because I worked there for years and I had four years of paid practice," he says. more...  


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March 7, 2014

See what Kalamazoo-area communities have proposals and/or candidates on the May 2014 ballot

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Eight school districts, two intermediate school districts,  two cities and one library district in the Kalamazoo region will participate in the May 6 election... The Kalamazoo Public Library is seeking to renew a 1.8-mill operating tax for 20 years. That tax was originally approved in 1995 and expires this year. more...


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March 4, 2014

WSW: The American Way of Eating

Tracy McMillan wanted to find out what happens to food before it reaches the table and how income and lifestyle impact what we eat. McMillan's book The American Way of Eating is one of this year's selections for the Kalamazoo Public Library's Reading Together Program. McMillan will speak at the Kalamazoo Central High School Wednesday night at 7:00. McMillan told WMUK correspondent Brian Petersen that she felt that too much of the discussion around food has been about people with extra time and money. McMillan decided to go undercover working three different jobs in the food industry and write about her experience. That took from the farm fields of California to a Walmart in the Kalamazoo area to an Applebee's Restaurant in New York.

Read the article... | Listen to an extended interview with Tracie McMillan... (mp3)


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March 2, 2014

Top 5 things to do in Kalamazoo this week: Reading Together, 'Titanic' talk and more

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Here is a look at the Top 5 entertainment events happening today through Friday in the Kalamazoo area... 1. Meet author Tracie McMillan. Michigan native and journalist Tracie McMillan, author of "The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table," will appear in Kalamazoo this week as part of the Kalamazoo Public Library's Reading Together Series. more...  


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February 27, 2014

Karen Santamaria talks with WVFM host Ken Lanphear

KALAMAZOO (WVFM) -- Reading Together, the community wide book club organized by the Kalamazoo Public Library, this year is focusing on two books at a time. Program coordinator Karen Santamaria says that, right now, the book club is urging people across Kalamazoo to read a couple of books that examine the way America eats.

Read the article... | Listen to the interview... (mp3)


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February 25, 2014

The Kalamazoo Public Library announces "The Romantic Muse" featuring Deborah Ann Percy and Arnold Johnston

In a belated Valentine’s Day presentation, playwrights and authors Arnold Johnston and Deborah Ann Percy will read and perform selections of their varied work and will discuss the “romance” of their more than twenty years of collaboration. Selections will include drama, fiction, poetry, and song appropriate to the program’s title. Books will be available for sale by Dean Hauck of the Michigan News Agency, and the writers will be available for signing. The reading will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25, in the Meeting Room at the Oshtemo Branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library, 7265 West Main Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009. Admission is free and refreshments will be provided. more...  


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February 24, 2014

Teen Filmmaker Festival 2014 winners: Event announces best young movie makers

KALAMAZOO, MI -- The Teen Filmmaker Festival organizers handed out awards to six young movie-makers at the 11th annual event on Sunday at the Kalamazoo State Theatre. The festival, organized by the Kalamazoo Public Library, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Public Media Network and Campaign Pictures, showcased 24 films from filmmakers ages 12 to 19. While many of the entrees were from the Kalamazoo area, other submissions hailed from other lower Michigan communities, including Grand Rapids, Lansing and the Detroit Area. more...  


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February 21, 2014

Stop Motion, Dogs, and Betrayal: Highlights From the 2014 Teen Filmmaker Festival

Each year as much of the entertainment world speculates on who will be taking home the Academy Awards, Kalamazoo audiences get ready for their own cinematic competition. The Kalamazoo Teen Filmmaker Festival is in its 11th year, and two dozen movies from filmmakers between the ages of 12 and 19 will be screened at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Kalamazoo State Theatre. more...  


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February 20, 2014

154-Year-Old Kalamazoo Public Library Still Changing

From a library in 1860 with 120 inherited books, open one hour a day for a school district, the Kalamazoo Public Library downtown and its four branches have evolved into community centers with concerts and performances, movies and speakers. While there are still lots of books for reference and reading, digital technology is an important service of the library. The head of Adult Services, Michael Cockrell, manages a growing number of digital content that includes eBooks, eAudio, digital magazines and streaming of video and audio and audio books and music. more...  


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February 18, 2014

11th annual Teen Filmmaker Festival promises to be the biggest yet

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Following one of its biggest turnouts in its history, the Teen Filmmaker Festival won't change much for its 11th installment. The annual showcase of local and regional filmmakers ages 12 through 19 will return this weekend when 24 films will be screened starting at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23 at the Kalamazoo State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St. more...  


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February 17, 2014

Reading Together book club focusing on two books at a time

KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Reading Together, the community wide book club organized by the Kalamazoo Public Library, this year is focusing on two books at a time. Program coordinator Karen Santamaria says that, right now, the book club is urging people across Kalamazoo to read a couple of books that examine the way America eats.

Read the article... | Listen to the interview... (mp3)


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February 3, 2014

What Ever Happened To Idlewild?: Find out this week

Some of the greatest African American musicians of our time performed during racial segregation—artists like Chuck Berry, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, and The Supremes. But if you were black, you weren’t allowed in the venue down the street. You had to go to Idlewild resort about thirty minutes northwest of Big Rapids. “Everybody who was anybody came to Idlewild one way or another. They either had a cabin there or they came for the entertainment—just everyone," says Donna Odom, the executive director of the Southwest Michigan Black Heritage Society. more...  


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January 28, 2014

Kalamazoo Community Foundation awards $4.5 million in fourth-quarter grants

KALAMAZOO, MI --  The Kalamazoo Community Foundation awarded more than $4.5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in the fourth quarter of 2013. Responsive grants from unrestricted funds totaled $1,109,396, in the fourth quarter, supporting the Community Foundation’s four community investment priorities: early childhood learning and school readiness, economic and community development, programs benefiting individuals and families, and youth development. more...  


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January 21, 2014

6 Michigan poets to hold free reading, discussion Tuesday at Kalamazoo Public Library

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Six Michigan poets will read from their work Tuesday evening at a free event at the Kalamazoo Public Library. The poets, all of whom are alumni of or professors at Western Michigan University, also will participate in a panel discussion on how living in Michigan has influenced their work. more...  


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January 1, 2014

Community resolutions for 2014: What Kalamazoo-area leaders want for the New Year

KALAMAZOO, MI — 2014 is here! On Sunday, the Kalamazoo Gazette editorial board offered a list of area-wide resolutions. We listed things such as have the city of Kalamazoo address its structural deficit problem, have good focused debate in the 20th District state Senate race and see progress on the Allied Paper landfill clean-up. We’ve asked area leaders what is on their lists of resolutions for the area. What specific priorities would they like to see addressed? What resolutions would they set for their communities or the constituents they serve? Ann Rohrbaugh, director, Kalamazoo Public Library... more...