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Hannah Jane

Meet the Author: Hannah Jane Weber

At Johnson County Library, we love local authors. And when that local author is one of our own, we can't help but celebrate! Before transferring to our Leawood Library to work in the Youth Services Department, Hannah Jane Weber was active in our writing programs. We are proud to share that Hannah Jane had been awarded the 2017 Dylan Thomas American Award for the poem "Scenic Rail Tour" which is published in issue 63 of Rosebud. Of Hannah Jane's work, Grand Prize Winner, Judge Molly Peacock says "it is a twenty-first century nature poem" and she chose it "because of the double helix of its form and its content."

While we can't share the actual poem -- you can seek it out from Rosebud... Continue »

At Johnson County Library, we love local authors. And when that local author is one of our own, we can't help but celebrate! Before transferring to our Leawood Library to work in the Youth Services Department, Hannah Jane Weber was active in our writing programs. We are proud to share that Hannah Jane had been awarded the 2017 Dylan Thomas American Award for the poem "Scenic Rail Tour" which is published in issue 63 of Rosebud. Of Hannah Jane's work, Grand Prize Winner, Judge Molly Peacock says "it is a twenty-first century nature poem" and she chose it "because of the double helix of its form and its content."

While we can't share the actual poem -- you can seek it out from Rosebud -- Hannah Jane took some time to tell us about her relationship with writing and poetry.

Why is poetry important? 

Poetry is one of the many ways we can choose to express ourselves and connect to others.  I’m drawn to poetry because of the importance of line breaks and word economy. With poetry, the white space has the same weight as words, and can even be louder than words. You can make or break a poem with line breaks, a challenge that is both infuriating and exciting. I love how poetry conveys an incredible amount of meaning in the smallest way possible.   

Tell us about your writing process. Where do you write? How do you write?

I’m always writing and jotting down any thought that lights up my mind. About once a month, I put all of these thoughts into a folder. In addition to my folder of thoughts, I have folders of poems in various stages of completion, or abandonment rather, which is from a favorite quote of mine by Paul Valery, "A poem is never finished, only abandoned." My folder system is very simple. A folder is assigned to each day of the week, and for about an hour a day (usually during lunch), I work on a poem from that day’s folder. Once or twice a week I write with absolutely no time limit and regard to folders. Rarely do I write an entire poem in one sitting, and only a couple times a month does a poem move to the next folder. It's a system that works really well for me, and I enjoy each step of the writing process immensely. As for where I write, I am very fortunate that I can write nearly anywhere so long as music is playing. 

You’ve been blogging at squishytulips.blogspot.com since 2009. Why did you start blogging, and have your reasons for continuing changed? Does your blog inform your poetry and vice-versa?

My blog began as a way to share my life with family and friends. In 2009, I found a gratitude journal that changed how I record my memories. It inspired me to put a positive spin on everything. I try to do the same with my blog, and attempt to have a sense of humor and/or find a silver lining with each post. I often sit down to write a blog and it ends up as poem material or vice versus. 

What’s the worst writing advice you’ve received? The best?

I only remember the good advice, which is very Pollyanna, I know. Someone once told me to create an editing checklist for poems I’m ready to "abandon.” This advice has radically improved how I edit my poems. A few of my favorite things on my checklist include looking for identical words, stanza length and count, omitting qualifiers, questioning adverbs, and reading it aloud (my audience is comprised of two golden retrievers).

Do you have a favorite literary magazine?

I love literary magazines. When I was a teenager, I discovered my first literary magazine in a thrift shop. It was an old copy of New Letters, which is UMKC's journal. It featured the poet, Mbembe Milton Smith, in addition to other writers of both prose and poetry. It blew me away. I admired Mbembe Milton Smith and New Letters so much I decided to attend college at UMKC. Though I transferred to KU and finished my Bachelor's degree there, I still have a wealth of gratitude and love for New Letters. I wouldn't be in Kansas City without that worn-out 1983 issue! I am just as enamored with literary journals as I was over 15 years ago when I stumbled upon my first one. Each journal is like a small community of writers living within the pages of a book. As a writer and reader, I feel a sense of belonging that both nourishes and inspires me. If you're new to journals and/or love surprises there's a wonderful journal of the month club that sends a different journal each month for a year.

Who are your favorite authors?

I have so many! 

 What are you reading right now?

  • Light the Dark edited by Joe Fassler - a book of essays by famous writers (Stephen King and Billy Collins for example) who have chosen a favorite quote and written about the profound impact the quote has had on their writing.  It’s inspirational, fascinating, and is definitely providing much-needed creative fuel. 
  • At Home with Dogs and Their Designers by Susanna Salk - a beautiful book for both dog lovers and those who enjoy interior design.
  • Women in Sports by Rachel Ignotofsky - a book about amazing women athletes who have changed the world and the sports they play. P.S. this book is sooo pretty.  Ignotofsky is a brilliant artist.
  • A Family Imprint by Nancy Borowick - a photographic journey of the lives of Nancy’s parents, who both passed away from cancer within a year of each other. It’s an entirely different perspective on grieving and healing and is available through interlibrary loan.
  • Yukon Ho! By Bill Watterson - I’m always in the middle of a comics book (I can’t live without my comics). 
Making Movies

Making Movies

Making Movies are poised for a worldwide audience. With music that combines the anthemic rock elements of U2, psychedelic folk with socially conscious bilingual lyrics and a strong undercurrent of traditional Latin rhythms, the band's second album, I Am Another You, has garnered international acclaim, and not only because it was produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos fame. We are extremely fortunate to share an exclusive interview with main songwriter and singer Enrique Chi about the new album, working with Berlin, and his Art as Mentorship project.

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Talk about I Am Another You in terms of the songwriting process. Were the songs and arrangements all set before heading into the studio?

I think they were about three quarters of the way there.  The way that Steve Berlin and Making Movies like to work is a weird balance of being prepared and letting magic happen in the moment.  For example, we left Cuidad De Oropel completely unwritten intentionally so that we could write it in the studio.   It keeps things exciting that way.  Most of the other songs had been demoed and hashed out pretty well at the point we walked into the studio.  We also knew we wanted to make it a thematic work with pieces that stitched up the songs together but the interludes were created after the album was mostly finished.  They were recorded here in Kansas City at our home studio and various other studios in the area months after completing the songs.  

 

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  • Sometimes I Lie
    Sometimes I Lie Sometimes I Lie
  • Don't Skip Out On Me
    Don't Skip Out On Me Don't Skip Out On Me
  • Girls Burn Brighter
    Girls Burn Brighter Girls Burn Brighter
  • Every Note Played
    Every Note Played Every Note Played
  • The Last Equation of Isaac Severy
    The Last Equation of Isaac Severy The Last Equation of Isaac Severy

March Fiction Roundup

Hello and welcome to our new releases roundup for Fiction for the month of March 2018! If this is your first time here, my name is Gregg and I’m a Readers’ Advisory librarian here at the Johnson County Library. I’ll take a brief look at some of the well-reviewed titles that are published this month that I’ve either read or have heard great things about. You’ll not find John Grisham, Michael Connelly, or Janet Evanovich on these lists; it’s not that we don’t like them – we do! – but those are authors who most folks have already heard of. We love spotlighting books and authors that you might not be familiar with, or are brand new and deserve a bit of attention. Feel free to tell us about the under-the-radar titles that you’re excited about.

We’re still living in the year of the psychological thriller. (Well, the novel that arguably kicked off the craze, Gillian Flynn’s GONE GIRL, was published in 2012, so I guess it’d be more accurate to say that we’re over halfway towards the decade of the psychological thriller.) However, there’s a very real sense of genre fatigue of late, where authors pile on twists and turns on top of even more twists and turns to the point that the plot gets bogged down. SOMETIMES I LIE by Alice Feeney tiptoes right up to this line without ever going over it and creates a wonderfully crafted story where the shocking reveals are just enough to leave the reader feeling satisfied instead of betrayed. Amber Reynolds wakes up in a hospital in a coma – she’s aware and can think, but cannot movie or communicate. As she tries to piece together what happened, the story shifts back in time. There is a rocky marriage, problems at work, a mysterious past…. Well, if we talk too much about the plot, we start giving things away, so trust us and put this one on your hold list if you loved THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW or THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN.

If you love reading about America, this next book is for you. I’m not talking about the history of America, but novels about the American literary experience – the dusty highways, the sprawling prairies, the struggling communities, and the lonely dreams of their inhabitants. It’s the type of literary America that still lives on in Steinbeck and Phillipp Meyer and Louise Erdich. DON’T SKIP OUT ON ME by Willy Vlautin is about a half-Irish half-American Indian orphan who is raised by sheep ranchers, but cannot reconcile himself to that life. He moves to the American Southwest, changes his name, and becomes a boxer, seeking to discover himself by relying on his heart and his fists. This novel is a beautiful, heartbreaking work of art, full of raw emotion and aching humanity. It’s the kind of book that wins awards, frankly, and Valutin has the feel of an author who’s soon going to be getting a lot of national attention.

Moving on to another book that’s set all the way around the world, but also filled with that sense of connection and humanity, but in a completely different way. GIRLS BURN BRIGHTER by Shobha Rao is a dizzying, dazzling novel that cuts right to the heart of friendship that connectes people even in the most trying of circumstances. Two young women in a small Indian village, Poornima and Savitha, bond while creating clothes at their loom. “Bond” is a word that isn’t quite strong enough – it’s the rare, precious kind of friendship that completes a person. It defines lives. The kind of friendship that stretches across thousands of miles and across dozens of years. And it absolutely must, because the two friends are torn apart, and the novel is about the two trying to reunite, with only this unshakable connection that sustains them. Rich in character, strength, and heart, GIRLS BURN BRIGHTER will absolutely stick with you, make you think, and is great for fans of authors like Jesmyn Ward, Charles Frasier, and Yaa Gyasi.

Lisa Genova should be a name that some readers should at least be familiar with – she’s written critically acclaimed books like STILL ALICE and INSIDE THE O’BRIENS that also happen to be crowd-pleasers as well. Genova, a neuroscientist herself, excels at writing about physical afflictions such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s Disease deteriorate the brain, which in turn affects a person’s relationships, personal life, and even their own sense of self. Alongside a scientist’s gift of knowledge, Genova has an author’s sense of compassion and insight, and writes beautifully about the internal struggles that all characters have to go though. Here in EVERY NOTE PLAYED, the antagonist is Amyotrophic Later Sclerosis – ALS, previously known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Partial muscle tremors can quickly lead to full body paralysis, but leaving the mind intact. The novel follows Richard, a well-known classical pianist, who can command his hands and fingers to create amazing music for concertgoers worldwide, but is in the early stages of the disease. One arm is already paralyzed and he knows it’s only going to get worse. His marriage was teetering on the edge to begin with, and his wife, Karina, faces a choice on how to respond. With grace, redemption, and a deep sense of the internal lives of her characters, Genova’s novel should be highly sought out.

Wow. This month’s list got sort of heavy, didn’t it? Let’s pump the brakes a bit and turn our attention to something that’s a bit lighter, but just as good.

Most mystery novel fans absolutely love clues – they love to follow along with the detective to match wits and see if they could solve the crime even quicker than the characters in the novel can. Here, in THE LAST EQUATION OF ISAAC SEVERY by Nova Jacobs, a famous mathematician is found dead, apparently (?) by suicide. A few days later, his foster granddaughter Hazel receives a letter addressed by her deceased grandfather - dated before his death - containing clues to a brilliant, groundbreaking mathematical equation that everyone seems to be looking for. The race is on, and Hazel must follow the clues alongside government agents, rival professors, and bitter family members who want in on the action. Jacobs brings wit, warmth, and an exacting sense of sleuthing to the novel, which should appeal to fans of Gabrielle Zevin’s THE STORIED LIFE OF AJ FIKRY and Ellen Raskin’s THE WESTING GAME.

Hello and welcome to our new releases roundup for Fiction for the month of March 2018! If this is your first time here, my name is Gregg and I’m a Readers’ Advisory librarian here at the Johnson County Library. I’ll take a brief look at some of the well-reviewed titles that are published this month that I’ve either read or have heard great things about. You’ll not find John Grisham, Michael Connelly, or Janet Evanovich on these lists; it’s not that we don’t like them – we do! – but those are authors who most folks have already heard of. We love spotlighting books and authors that you might not be familiar with, or are brand new and deserve a bit... Continue »

Elle is a maker

What I Make

March is Maker Month and we salute every maker, but especially you Elle! Why? Because you just leveled up! 

The MakerSpace is your secret lair where you create awesomeness. 

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Your Wonder Woman bested the costumes of all the others. Your tools? Sewing machine, vinyl cutter and your secret weapon: a 3D printer

Presents
You know that money can't buy happiness. You know how to make friends and family beam with joy: something you made specifically for each of them.

For your ​Olivia: A wood memory box with a one-of-a-kind original top with a dragon design. The CNC Router was the perfect tool to get that hand-carved look. 

You 3D printed a BB-8 Droid for little brother Ethan.

For mom, aunt Sophia and uncle Michael, you went above and beyond! You made your own vanilla extract. You designed your own logo on the MakerSpace Mac and then etched that logo onto bottles using the laser cutter!

You even recorded own version of "Happy Birthday" in the sound booth. Honestly, it wasn't all that great, but it was a nice personal touch!

Life-hacking
When something breaks, you fix it.

While others throw away perfectly good electronics when a wire disconnects, you solder it back into place.

While some of your friends make pies, you dazzle them with your computer skills using your Raspberry Pi!

Why buy a stand for your phone? You know how to make one with a 3D Printer.

You keep up on all the latest listings for Maker-related events

That's what Elle makes! What do you make? 

March is Maker Month and we salute every maker, but especially you Elle! Why? Because you just leveled up! 

The MakerSpace is your secret lair where you create awesomeness. 

Comicon
Your Wonder Woman bested the costumes of all the others. Your tools? Sewing machine, vinyl cutter and your secret weapon: a 3D printer... Continue »

InterUrban ArtHouse: Photography Group

Art at Gardner LibraryInterUrban ArtHouse: Photography Group

Monday, Jan 29, 2018 to Sunday, Apr 22, 2018 at Gardner Library

InterUrban ArtHouse (IUAH) is a non-profit organization creating a new hub for arts and culture in Johnson County, Kansas. IUAH’s mission is to enrich the cultural and economic vibrancy of Downtown Overland Park and surrounding community by creating a place where artists and creative industries can work and prosper in an affordable, sustainable and inclusive environment. This exhibition features local photographers currently working with IUAH. We're happy to share an interview with one of those artists, Sharon Rodriguez.

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What comes first – the medium or the message? Tell me a little about the work that will be on view.

Message comes first.  What message do I want to tell about person experiencing homeless-ness.  Then comes the medium which conveys the message. 

I started this project with questions.  Do we have homelessness in Johnson County?  What do they look like?  Where are they?  These photographs in this “”It’s About Time” art show are the answers to these and many more questions.

What do you feel is your role as an artist?

To raise awareness of the social in/justice issues facing Johnson County the most affluent county in Kansas.  These homeless people are not going away!  In fact the “problem” is getting worse.

What influences your practice/works?

Seeing through my heart is what my work is about.  I see the faces of real people, not someone to be ignored or pushed aside.  I am considered a free-lance photographer.  I work on projects that draw my interest.

Who are the other artists you look to for inspiration? And what about their works do you like?  

Dorothea Lange inspires me because she had a passion for telling the people of plight’s story through her photographs.

What other writings do you recommend reading to have a better understanding of your artworks and your art practice/process? Please look through our on-line catalog and provide any links to resources that you would recommend.

Finding Grace by Lynn Blodgett https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/805551036

Voice in the Mirror by Gordon Parks https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/133908036

Photographs of Dorothea Lange https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/241270036

Homeless Not Invisible my book https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1534292036

InterUrban ArtHouse (IUAH) is a non-profit organization creating a new hub for arts and culture in Johnson County, Kansas. IUAH’s mission is to enrich the cultural and economic vibrancy of Downtown Overland Park and surrounding community by creating a place where artists and creative industries can work and prosper in an affordable, sustainable and inclusive environment. This exhibition features local photographers currently working with IUAH. We're happy to share an interview with one of those artists, Sharon Rodriguez.

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What comes first – the medium or the message? Tell me a little about the work that will be on view.

Message... Continue »

Jocomakes

Create At Your Local Makerspace

Make48 interviewed our very own Maker Ayah about our MakerSpace. We think the most important quote is this:

One thing to know before going: anyone and everyone are welcome to take advantage of the MakerSpace. 

Check out the full article here »

Make48 interviewed our very own Maker Ayah about our MakerSpace. We think the most important quote is this:

One thing to know before going: anyone and everyone are welcome to take advantage of the MakerSpace. 

Check out the full article here »

https://soundcloud.com/anothermaxwell

anothermaxwell

anothermaxwell is Shenita Hughley, a multitalented singer-songwriter, producer and instrumentalist whose music combines hip-hop, R&B and synthpop elements into an engaging whole. She recorded and produced her latest EP, Masterpiece, entirely by herself, right down to the artwork, a process she describes as "a difficult task." We're fortunate to share an interview with Hughley about her creative process, her inspirations and what's ahead for her in 2018.

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Please introduce yourself. Describe your music for new listeners.

I am anothermaxwell, singer-songwriter and producer. My music is eclectic; a wave of mellow melodies with reverb. I dabble in multiple genres such as alternative R&B and atmospheric pop, chill-wave, nu jazz/soul. My music is pretty chill and dark sensual, in a sort of "new silk sheets" kind of way.

Continue »
All Kinds of Friends

New Storywalk at Antioch Park

The days are getting a bit warmer, and next time you're itching to get to the park, don't just take a walk, take a Storywalk! At Antioch Park, you and your little ones can enjoy a story while you stroll. Our newest featured book is All Kinds of Friends, a book about friendships with old friends, young friends, furry friends, feathered friends, "friends with different ways to walk," and "friends with different ways to talk." Thanks to Johnson County Park and Recreation for this partnership.

The days are getting a bit warmer, and next time you're itching to get to the park, don't just take a walk, take a Storywalk! At Antioch Park, you and your little ones can enjoy a story while you stroll. Our newest featured book is All Kinds of Friends, a book about friendships with old friends, young friends, furry friends, feathered friends, "friends with different ways to walk," and "friends with different ways to talk." Thanks to Johnson County Park and Recreation for this partnership.

Read Local

Enter a Writing Contest

We love reading local, and we love local authors here at the Library. In support of our home-grown talent, we invite submissions of poetry, fiction, and essays.

Each month we host a new contest with prizes including a $200 honorarium and a reading at the Library or The Writers Place. Read more about the guidelines and enter your original works here »

We love reading local, and we love local authors here at the Library. In support of our home-grown talent, we invite submissions of poetry, fiction, and essays.

Each month we host a new contest with prizes including a $200 honorarium and a reading at the Library or The Writers Place. Read more about the guidelines and enter your original works here »

Lenexa City Center signage

Signs of Progress

While we’re building the Lenexa City Center Library, Construction Manager Turner Construction Company has arranged for a barrier wall facing the popular Public Market and City Hall. The Library designed the images to reflect our patrons, services and programs, along with a rendering of the completed library building. In total, it’s more than 250 feet of Library imagery! The signs were fabricated and installed by Lawrence, KS-based Star Signs. You can also see their handiwork at the Central and Oak Park Libraries. Read more news about our new building projects »

While we’re building the Lenexa City Center Library, Construction Manager Turner Construction Company has arranged for a barrier wall facing the popular Public Market and City Hall. The Library designed the images to reflect our patrons, services and programs, along with a rendering of the completed library building. In total, it’s more than 250 feet of Library imagery! The signs were fabricated and installed by Lawrence, KS-based Star Signs. You can also see their handiwork at the Central and Oak Park Libraries. Read more news about our new building projects »

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