★ Cathryn Hankla on roaming with the self through books and LOST PLACES (Podcast Episode 1.5)

A conversation with the thoughtful and prolific Cathryn Hankla adds to our collective thinking around Identity and Action. In this season in the podcast, we're taking a look at our engagement with the written word—how it shapes our sense of self and how we put that into action in the world around us. Cathryn Hankla… Continue reading ★ Cathryn Hankla on roaming with the self through books and LOST PLACES (Podcast Episode 1.5)

★ I might as well be hugging a book: Star City Reads’ Marissa Mazek Blankinship (Podcast Episode 1.4)

Identity and Action: A conversation with Star City Reads' Marissa Mazek Blankinship continues season one of the BOOK CITY ★ Roanoke podcast. This season, we're taking a look at our engagement with the written word—how it shapes our sense of self and how we put that into action in the world around us. What we read,… Continue reading ★ I might as well be hugging a book: Star City Reads’ Marissa Mazek Blankinship (Podcast Episode 1.4)

★ Art for Everyone: Susan Jennings’ lasting impact

Roanoke Arts and Culture Coordinator Susan Jennings is retiring at the end of July.  She was the first person to take on the role, and indeed, it was built for her. Formerly the executive director of the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge, Susan made the move from Arts Commission member to City staff member… Continue reading ★ Art for Everyone: Susan Jennings’ lasting impact

★ Erika Joyner on the Power of Women Poetry Presence

Erika Joyner is an active community building presence in the Roanoke Valley. A native of New York, Joyner has worked in a variety of efforts to create a just and equitable society through anti-war, anti-racism, and cooperative efforts in Detroit and Virginia. A transgender woman, she's been in Roanoke for seven years. During that time,… Continue reading ★ Erika Joyner on the Power of Women Poetry Presence

★ On pace with Blue Hippo Poetry Club’s Sam Lafaye

Being a real fan of something can make life a much richer experience. You study it and learn its intricacies. It's an opening to new worlds. Then when you get together with other like-minded folks, things really start to happen. The energy is infectious. We learn from each other in a common bond. Understanding leaps.… Continue reading ★ On pace with Blue Hippo Poetry Club’s Sam Lafaye

★ Jeanne Larsen on WHAT PENELOPE CHOOSES

Professor Jeanne Larsen of the Jackson Center for Creative Writing at Hollins University has published a new collection of poems, What Penelope Chooses (Cider Press Review, 2019). The work was, itself, chosen—winning the Cider Press Review Book Award. The San Diego press uses an independent judge to select one manuscript for publication each year and… Continue reading ★ Jeanne Larsen on WHAT PENELOPE CHOOSES

★ City Builder: Oneida Huntington rallies an LGBTQ+ Book Club

Christiansburg attorney Oneida Huntington has started an LGBTQ book club through the Southwest Virginia LGBT Memorial Library. The library houses, cares for, and lends books on LGBTQ+ subjects at the Roanoke Diversity Center. Gathering to discuss some those books just makes sense. But indeed, nothing happens without someone to lead the effort, organize folks, do… Continue reading ★ City Builder: Oneida Huntington rallies an LGBTQ+ Book Club

★ Book No Further (than this) new location

Roanoke's downtown bookstore has moved to bright new digs on the Market at 112 Market St., SE. "We learned in the move that books are heavy," said CFO Craig Coker. "And we learned that we have a lot of supporters who want us to succeed and were willing to help." The move might have only… Continue reading ★ Book No Further (than this) new location

★ Make Them Care: Virginia Western’s Carole Tarrant on tough challenges, compassionate responses and the role of the community’s college

In late September, Virginia Western Community College hosted a two-part presentation on Beth Macy's Dopesick. The local and best-selling author again filled the room. There were readers and neighbors, family members of the sick and dead. Some of those who were present are living a constant personal struggle. For others, the struggle is professional, and… Continue reading ★ Make Them Care: Virginia Western’s Carole Tarrant on tough challenges, compassionate responses and the role of the community’s college

★ Celebrating WELCOMING WEEK with the team at Roanoke Public Libraries and Blue Ridge Literacy

September 14 - 23 marks Welcoming Week, a national effort led locally by the City of Roanoke and a dozen nonprofit organizations. Planned events will bring together immigrants, refugees, and native-born residents to promote the benefits of welcoming everyone in our community. To mark Welcoming Week, we asked Roanoke Public Libraries Director Sheila S. Umberger and Blue… Continue reading ★ Celebrating WELCOMING WEEK with the team at Roanoke Public Libraries and Blue Ridge Literacy