What’s Happening at the Library: Blossom buddies, bird kings and collages

If you get the library’s newsletter and calendar in the mail, you probably think the Local History Potluck Dinner Program will occur this coming Thursday, May 24.

Well, the program had to be re-scheduled, so the Local History Potluck Dinner Program will happen Thursday, May 31, at the same time, 6:15 p.m. for the potluck, 7 p.m. for the program, James Larry Hood discussing Kentuckians, what makes us unique.

More about that next week.

Speaking of schedule changes, please remember next Monday, May 28, the library will close for Memorial Day.

Now the public service announcements are out of the way, let’s get down to the groovy stuff, excellent books recently received books for creative types, books that will inform and inspire the imagination.

“The Bird King: An Artist’s Notebook,” by Shaun Tan (call # 741.6 Tan) is a wonderful collection of spontaneous sketches and scribbles. In his introduction, Mr. Tan comments the sketches in the book are the products of what Paul Klee called “taking a line for a walk.” He goes on to say he often prefers his sketches to his published work because the sketches don’t suffer from “excessive revision, polishing, and commercial compromise.”

This book is also great for writers. Every image is a fantastic writing prompt.

“Blossom Buddies: a garden variety,” by Elsa Mora (call #745.92 Mora) is a book you have to see to believe. It’s even tough to write about because every time I think about it, close my eyes to bring back an image, I start to shake my head and laugh.

One day Elsa Mora playfully pursued her 3-year-old son out into her flower garden where they spent the afternoon playing with blossoms and leaves. When her son went in for his nap, she took in some flowers and started to create blossom beings out of them. The results are superb.

I guess Paul Klee would have called them “taking flowers, leaves and twigs for a walk.” Or a whirl, or a dance. If you want to have a delightful time, check out this book. Look at it with a friend or your children. You will make the day magical.

American poet, John Ashbery, died September 3, 2017. At the time of his death, he was recognized as one of our greatest poets. Few knew he was also a collage artist.

Mark Polizzotti, the director of publications at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has collected Ashbery’s collages, along with some related poems into a new book entitled “They Knew What They Wanted: Poems and Collages,” (call # 700.411 Ashb). This book also contains an entertaining interview with John Ashbery.

If you have not read John Ashbery’s poems, I highly recommend them (especially his 2007 collection, “A Worldly Country,” call # 811.54 Ashb). At a time when you couldn’t get a seat at a Waffle House for vatic, political, confessional and didactic poets, John Ashbery took the spectrum of American speech tumbled it in the lottery hopper of his brain and hit the jackpot.

“The brain is wider than the sky,” Emily Dickinson wrote, anticipating poets like John Ashbery.

These three books are just a few pearls available at the library. It’s more fun to come in, browse the stacks, and find one yourself. American Library Association Reader Advisory Specialist, Joyce Saricks, said the best way to find your book is to stand in the middle of a library and let your instincts lead you through the stacks.

Browse. Quit being so efficient. Like Paul Klee’s line, take yourself for a walk through the library.

John Maruskin is director of adult services at the Clark County Public Library. He can be reached at john.clarkbooks@gmail.com.