Previous Special Events

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

Kansas City’s People’s Liberation Big Band marks International Workers Day (aka May Day) with a screening of the silent Soviet film Battleship Potemkin while performing their original musical score for the film.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Short story writer and novelist Adam Johnson discusses his work in a public conversation with local author Whitney Terrell. Known for his “vaguely Blade Runner–esque visions of a cluttered, anaerobic American culture,” Johnson has published the short story collection Emporium and the novel Parasites Like Us. His latest novel is The Orphan Master’s Son.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Husband and wife team Monroe and Jean Dodd take a time-traveling journey across the Sunflower State with their new book Kansas Then and Now, which contrasts historic photographs of Kansas towns (and a few rural locations) with new photos taken in the same places. A spinoff of the Kansas City Then and Now series, the volume offers a new way of appreciating how our landscapes and cityscapes have changed.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Kansas City author Linda Rodriguez discusses her debut novel Every Last Secret, a murder mystery in which big-city cop “Skeet” Banion finds that running a smalltown college police force isn’t as peaceful as she had imagined. The book is the winner of the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel competition.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre continues its sixth season of Script-in-Hand performances with Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. This 1975 “choreopoem” delves into the lives of black women through 20 poems exploring love, hope, broken hearts, and abandonment. A New Yorker review described For Colored Girls... as “a firebomb of a poem” that incorporates a mournful blues with a trickster spirit.


Friday, April 20, 2012
10:30am @ Central Library

Art, Language & Play features original artwork by Stephen T. Johnson, an author and illustrator of children’s books who has been nationally published and exhibited. Johnson’s art forges connections between words, objects, and ideas.

Much of his work is characterized by an interest in the alphabet and language, which began with his book Alphabet City, a Caldecott Honor book, and A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet, named The New York Times Illustrated Book of the Year.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Author Christopher B. Leinberger describes how government policy over the last 60 years – driven by the auto and oil industry – has encouraged suburban sprawl with its strip malls and isolated housing developments. The result: decline of community, urban decay, pollution, and a rise in obesity and asthma. But there’s a new approach (or perhaps it’s an old approach) in which citizens live, work, and play within easy walking distance.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

In April 1862 a Union force under Ulysses S. Grant and a Confederate army led by Albert Sidney Johnston clashed in southwestern Tennessee in the Battle of Shiloh. Precisely 150 years later, military historian Gregory S. Hospodor discusses what was to that point the bloodiest fighting of the Civil War and explains how it brought home to both sides the grim reality of the conflict.

Hospodor is an associate professor of military history at the United States Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he was named teacher of the year for 2011.


Monday, April 16, 2012
6:30pm @ Plaza Branch

The British Museum’s Roger Bland looks at the successes of the U.K.’s Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme, legislation aimed at curbing the looting of historic sites while guaranteeing that those who find treasure are compensated.

Bland is head of the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasures of the United Kingdom and is the American Institute of Archaeology’s Metcalf Lecturer for 2011-2012.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Irish writer Anne Enright’s The Forgotten Waltz is the followup to her international bestseller The Gathering, winner of the 2007 Man Booker Prize. She discusses her work with New Letters on the Air host Angela Elam.

As with The Gathering, Enright offers a momentous drama of everyday life: the volatile connections between people and a wry take on families, marriage, and brittle middle age. In Gina Moynihan she gives us yet another unforgettable heroine on a journey of the heart.


Kansas City Public Library Beta