Riverside Public Library

Riverside Public Library

Past Events Highlights

2009 Events

Thursday, January 22 at 7:00 pm

Poetry Reading with Sholeh Wolpe

Sholeh WolpeSholeh Wolpé is a poet, literary translator and playwright. She is the author of The Scar Saloon, Rooftops of Tehran and Sin—Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad. She is the associate editor of The Norton Anthology of Modern Literature from the Muslim World (Norton, 2010) and her poems, translations, essays and reviews have appeared in scores of literary journals, periodicals and anthologies worldwide. Funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant from the James Irvine Foundation. While all programs are free, registration is required. To register, please call (951) 826-5213 or register online.

Wednesday, February 11 at 6:00 pm

Big Read Kickoff featuring Juan Felipe Herrera

The Big ReadThe Inlandia Institute and the Riverside Arts Council will host two special book events in February as part of The Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. At the February 11th Kickoff, featuring celebrated local author Juan Felipe Herrera, you will receive free copies of the books for discussion: Herrera's Crash Boom Love and the Big Read-featured book Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. You will also register at which branch you will attend the discussion on Wednesday February 25th, so it is important to attend this first meeting. While all programs are free, registration is required. Find out more about the NEA's Big Read program.

Eli ShipleyThursday, February 19 at 7:00 pm

Poetry Reading with Ching-In Chen and Ely Shipley

Ching-In ChenChing-In Chen is a poet and multi-genre, border-crossing writer. The Heart's Traffic is Ching-In's debut collection of poems. This novel-in-poems chronicles the life of Xiaomei, an immigrant girl haunted by the death of her best friend.

Ely Shipley’s first book of poems, Boy with Flowers, won the 2007 Barrow Street Press book prize.

This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant from the James Irvine Foundation.

P. Sterling StuckeySaturday, February 21 at 2:00 pm

Author Event with P. Sterling Stuckey

P. Sterling Stuckey is a noted writer and historian on Afro-American intellectual and cultural history. He will be presenting his newest book, African Culture and Melville's Art: The Creative Process in Benito Cereno and Moby-Dick, a groundbreaking new look at Herman Mellville and the African customs and traditions that influenced this great American writer.

Wednesday, March 11, 7 pm

Dr. Carlos Cortez: A Conversation with Alana: One Boy's Multicultural Rite of Passage

The Inlandia Institute brings theatre to the library with this one-hour solo performance by Dr. Carlos Cortes. The son of a Mexican Catholic immigrant father and an American-born Jewish mother, Cortes presents his own history of growing up in Kansas City, Missouri. The play chronicles his struggles with racial and religious identity and coming of age in a culturally textured, and ambiguous, world.

Saturdays, March 7, 14 & 28 at 12-2 pm

The business of being a filmmaker: Approaches to success in the creative world

Ever wondered how to make a living as a filmmaker? In this fun and informative seminar series, nationally recognized filmmakers offer valuable insights to help you advance in the creative world. Penny Styles McLean of Small Potatoes Productions will host the three-session series featuring experts in the business of being a filmmaker.

The Business of Being a Filmmaker is a continuation of the popular series Business of Being an Artist. The program is being presented by the Riverside Cultural Consortium, the Riverside School for the Arts and the Inlandia Institute with financial support from the Riverside Main Partnership.

2008 Events

Tuesday, February 12, 2:30 pm

Author Reading / Discussion

The Poetry of Marvin Bell

Iowa Poet Laureate Marvin Bell reads and discusses his work. He is the author of several books of poetry, most recently Mars Being Red (Copper Canyon Press, 2007), Rampant (2004) and Nightworks: Poems, 1962-2000 (2000). His earlier book Stars Which See, Stars Which Do Not See (1977) was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Bell was born in in New York City in 1937, and grew up in the rural hamlet of Center Moriches, Long Island. He holds a bachelor's degree from Alfred University, a master's degree from the University of Chicago, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa.

About his early work, the poet Anthony Hecht said, "Marvin Bell is wonderfully versatile, with a strange, dislocating inventiveness. Capable of an unflinching regard of the painful, the poignant and the tragic; but also given to hilarity, high-spirits and comic delight; and often enough wedding and blending these spiritual antipodes into a new world. It must be the sort of bifocal vision Socrates recommended to his drunken friends if they were to become true poets."

His honors include the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and Senior Fulbright appointments to Yugoslavia and Australia. He was on the staff of the The University of Iowa's Writers Workshop for more than thirty years, where he was the Flannery O'Connor Professor of Letters.

Beginning in 2000, Bell served two terms as the state of Iowa's first Poet Laureate. He currently divides his time between Iowa City and Port Townsend, Washington.

Historical family portraitWednesday, February 13, 5 pm

Inlandia Event: Reading / Discussion

Opening Reception: Riverside African American Society Journal, The African-American Presence in Riverside

The Riverside African American Historical Society (RAAHS) was born of the need to ensure the visibility of the African American experience in the celebration of the City of Riverside’s 100-year anniversary but has evolved into something much larger, an organization whose stated mission is nothing less than “to preserve African American culture and heritage in the Inland Empire”. The Journal of the RAAHS is filled with stories of pioneering and exceptional people and is a key part of the Society’s effort to “preserve the past” and “capture the present” in Riverside and beyond.

Camille F. ForbesSaturday, February 23, 2 pm

Author Event

Camille F. Forbes

Camille F. Forbes is an Assistant Professor of African-American Literature and Culture at University of California at San Diego. She will be discussing her newly published book Introducing Bert Williams: Burnt Cork, Broadway and the Story of America's First Black Star (Basic Civitas).

Egbert Williams was raised in Riverside, attending Riverside (now Poly) High School in the early 1890’s. “…modest, private, and conservative in his personal life, Williams left political activism and soapbox thumping to others. More than the simple narration of a remarkable life, Introducing Bert Williams offers a fascinating window into the issues surrounding race and artistic expression in American culture. The story of Williams' long and varied career is a whirlwind of inner turmoil, racial tension, glamour, and striving — nothing less than the birth of American show business.”

Sponsored by the Riverside African American Historical Society.

Wednesday, May 14, 6:30pm

Author Reading / Discussion

Mine: A Name for Herself by Mary Curtin

The author discusses her play and the fascinating life of internationally renowned artist Mine Okubo, a Japanese-American born and raised in Riverside. Okubo studed art in France and Italy under a 1938 scholarship but was forced to return home when World War II broke out. She began working for the Federal Arts Program and even worked under Diego Rivera on WPA mural projects. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, she was suddenly considered an enemy and was forcefully relocated to the Japanese internment camp of Tanforan. While there she recorded details of life in the camp through paintings, drawings and sketches which were published in her book, Citizen 13660.

Saturday, August 2, 2:00 pm

All Lit Up: Three regional women poets read from and discuss their new books

Cati Porter is the founder and editor-in-chief of Poemeleon: A Journal of Poetry and associate editor for Babel Fruit. She is the author of two collections, a chapbook of prose poems, small fruit songs (Pudding House Publications, 2008), and her newest, Seven Floors Up (Mayapple Press, 2008).

Dr. Judy Kronenfeld is both a scholar and a poet, as well as a more occasional writer of fiction, memoir, essays and reviews. She has taught English Literature at the University of California, Irvine, the University of California, Riverside and Purdue University. She will be discussing her newest collection, winner of the 2007 Annual Litchfield Review Book Award in the poetry category, Light Lowering in Diminished Sevenths.

Maureen Alsop, PhD is the author of two chapbooks and is an associate editor for Poemeleon. The book she will be discussing, Apparition Wren, was a semi-finalist for the 2007 Walt Whitman Award.

Sunday, October 26, 1:30 pm

James Jeffrey Paul, Nothing Is Strange With You: The Life And Crimes Of Gordon Stewart Northcott

In celebration of National Archives Month, the Riverside Historical Society presents James Jeffrey Paul of Raleigh, North Carolina. For over 15 years, Paul has been writing the biography of Gordon Stewart Northcott, a serial killer and pedophile living in Riverside County in the late 1920s responsible for the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders. The case exposed corruption in the Los Angeles Police Department and received nationwide attention, and is the subject of the new movie Changeling directed by Clint Eastwood.

Sunday, November 9, 1-3 pm at the Arlington Library

Joanna Mersereau, Coyote and the Gods of Wood

Well known for her beautiful watercolors, this accomplished Inland Empire painter is also an author. Inspired by the California Missions she painted, Joanna thoroughly researched them and compiled their history into an engaging novel. She will exhibit her paintings, share her process and read from her new book.

W.J. Miller calling cardSunday, November 16, 1 pm

A Century of Art & Business in Riverside

A workshop featuring Wallace J. Miller watercolors, circa 1890, that are part of the Library’s Local History Collection. Steve Lech, of the Old Riverside Foundation and the Riverside Historical Society will present slides of the works and discuss their significance and the importance of local history documents in general.

Saturday, November 22, 1 pm

Enid Baxter Blader, Local 909er

Enid Baxter Blader makes paintings, experimental films, and plays music. Her work has been presented at the Smithsonian, Sundance, and the Director's Guild of America among others. “Local 909er” is a film, a website and photographs about the Inland Empire. The project was funded by the California Council for the Humanities California Story Fund.

David SundstrandSunday, December 14 at 2 pm

Karen Wilson — Christmas Was Just Breakin’: Memories of Harlem and Christmas

Stories and songs with the assistant director of UC Riverside's Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts, a program designed to bring the arts into the community. Born in Harlem, Wilson is a performer, teaching artist and scholar who has sung with folk icon Pete Seeger and has told stories at New York's Metropolitan Museum and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant it has received from the James Irvine Foundation.

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