Of Libraries & Immigrants: Dayton Treasures

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by Ed Davis on September 27, 2017

New Library: Sacred Space

If you’ve already visited the newly rebuilt Dayton/Montgomery County Library, forgive me, but I’ve got to gush a little. As you can tell from the above photo, taken by writer/blogger Fred Marion, it’s a magical place. And, I believe, a sacred one, too, for, though vast, it contains numerous nooks and crannies where you can get off to yourself to read, write, even converse—since its caretakers do, indeed, desire engagement on the part of users.

The poetry workshop I led there last Tuesday evening was great fun! I applaud and appreciate the 25-30 hardy souls who turned out to discuss how poetry differs from prose (line breaks as well as hyper-attention to word choice, organization and “music”). The spacious, comfy community room the library provided on the second floor was more than adequate as folks kept coming. Staff also cheerfully provided handouts.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if the library contest’s grand prize winner of this year’s adult category (deadline: 9/30) isn’t one of the poems shared in the second half of the workshop. Mark your calendars for Sunday, November 5; that’s when winners are announced at a celebration featuring open mic readings and free refreshments—another great excuse, in case you need one, to visit this creative, enriching and enlightening downtown treasure. (Also, this year’s contest winner will be published in Dayton’s literary magazine Mock Turtle, another Gem City treasure!)

As I surveyed my surroundings, both inside and outside, from the library’s third floor, I marveled at Dayton’s commitment and vision to devote so many millions of dollars to this one-stop shopping center for ideas, media, computers, food and drink (a restaurant will soon open within its walls). But it’s about people, too, and I was honored to interact with not only writers but friendly, helpful librarians like Julie Buchanon, who arranged my workshop; and Gwen Owen, who attended (and also helped, at a moment’s notice). I think you’ll be as knocked out as I was to experience this brand-new jewel in Dayton’s crown. Check it out as soon as possible!

Breaking the Silence About Immigration: 4 Films

Another great source of community pride is Dayton’s welcoming attitude toward immigrants. My former Sinclair colleague Kay Berg informs me that two short films highlighting the immigrant & refugee Crisis will Be shown at four public screenings in Dayton the week of October 2-6, 2017.

Peace Literacy-Dayton Film Forum, a local collaborative project of the 21st Century Peace Literacy Foundation, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and Westminster Presbyterian Church, will host four special screenings of two award-winning short documentaries, “Locked in a Box” and “To Breathe Free,” to call attention to the challenges and issues facing immigrants and refugees today.

To Breathe Free tells the story of a Syrian refugee family fleeing the war and their journey to a new life in the US. Locked in a Box traces the lives of individuals who fled their homelands in search of safety and freedom only to end up in US prisons.
The screenings of these two compelling films, free and open to the public, will be held:

Monday, Oct. 2, 7 PM at Goodwill/Easter Seals, 660 S. Main St., Dayton, hosted by Westminster Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, Oct. 3, 7 PM at Fazl-i-Umar Mosque, hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community at 637 Randolph St. Dayton.

Wednesday, Oct. 4, 5:30 PM hosted at Sinclair Community College Bldg. 7, Room 7-006. (includes refreshments prior to screening & panel discussion afterward.)

Friday, Oct. 6 – 7 PM hosted at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 125 N. Wilkinson St., Dayton (includes a “Meet the Filmmaker” event, panel discussion and conversation).

Along with the screenings, filmmaker David Barnhart and the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Catalyst for Immigration and Refugees, Susan Krehbiel, will attend the events on October 4 and October 6 to participate in panel discussions and meet with the public.

For more information about the Peace Literacy-Dayton Film Forum project, contact Sally Dyer at sbdyer@gmail.com or 937-623-7953 or www.facebook.com/PeaceLiteracyDaytonFilmForum.

Trailers for the films can be viewed at:
To Breathe Free Trailer – https://vimeo.com/220709899
Locked in a Box Trailer – https://vimeo.com/145351153
For more information, contact: Sally Dyer, 937-623-7953, sbdyer@gmail.com

One Last Treasure

And, finally, if you’re interested in the arts and/or reading the blog of a quirky thinker with an original voice, you owe it to yourself to subscribe to Fred Marion’s email newsletter. It’s a warehouse of artistic goings-on in our area as well as a forum for Fred’s insights about the human experience. Try it at http://fredrickmarion.com/email-newsletter/.

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