West Paris Public Library

Let's Talk About It - Becoming American: Struggles, Successes, Symbols

Being ethnic. Becoming American. The quest for ethnic identity

The West Paris Public Library has been selected by the Maine Humanities Council to offer “Let’s Talk About It”, a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. This program is provided by the Maine Humanities Council’s Maine Center for the Book in cooperation with the Maine State Library.

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The series “Becoming American”, begins 6 pm, Thursday, September 14 at the West Paris Public Library in West Paris, Maine, and continues for 5 total sessions, The last session will be held Thursday, December 7.

Books to be read and discussed in this series include:
• Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya (September 14)
• Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin (October 5)
• An Orphan in History by Paul Cowan (October 26)
• The Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday (November 16)
• Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston (December 7)

Doug Rawlings is our facilitator for these discussions.

Doug Rawlings retired from the University of Maine at Farmington four years ago after 27 years of teaching and administrative tasks. Prior to his work at UMF, he managed two Bass Shoe Factory outlets for six years and taught high school English for six years (Boston, Brunswick, Maine, and Oakland, Maine). He is also a founding member of Veterans For Peace. He continues to be active — editing two national newsletters and publications in addition to pursuing his own writing. He volunteers at Togus Veterans Administration each week and helps his wife tend organic gardens. He has an abiding love for poetry. Most recently, Doug’s poem “Unexploded Ordnance” is being featured as a “courageous story” used by MPBN to introduce the Ken Burns series on Vietnam (Doug was with the 7/15th Artillery in Viet Nam), and his poem “The Wall” will be read by Stuart Kestenbaum in mid-September.

“Exploring ideas and issues through literature has a unique and fun way of creating community,” said Nicole Rancourt, director of Let’s Talk About It. “We find that there is great interest among adults in getting together to discuss what they’ve read with others. Having a discussion leader like Doug Rawlings who is both excited about the readings and skilled in facilitating can help to deepen this experience.”

Books for the program are available for loan at the library. Please call the library at (207) 674-2004 to register and come in to pick up the first book of the series.

The library is open Monday and Friday 1:30 – 6pm, Wednesday 1:30-7pm and Saturday 10am-2pm.

This program is offered to Maine libraries through the Maine Humanities Council in partnership with the Maine State Library.

For more information about “Let’s Talk About It” and the work of the Maine Humanities Council, see www.mainehumanities.org or call the office in Portland at 207-773-5051