Greenwich Library’s April calendar will put a little spring in your step, with virtual programs that will have you writing haikus, practicing chair yoga, reading great books and watching fascinating films.
As April is National Poetry Month, the poet Popona Tsukino will join us virtually on Thursday, April 1, at 2 p.m. to lead a workshop on Haiku writing. Tsukino started writing Japanese Haiku poems in 2002 in New York City, where she has lived since moving from Japan in 1992. She studied with one of the most prominent haiku masters in Japan, Tota Kaneko, and has won numerous prestigious Haiku awards. Workshop participants will learn the art of Haiku writing from one of the best, and practice writing their very own!
The Friends of Greenwich Library will be hosting their virtual Friday Films Reel Talk twice this month. The film to watch for Friday, April 9, at 7 p.m. is Columbus. Stream the movie from the comfort of your own home using your Greenwich Library card and the Kanopy app, and then join the Friends on Zoom to discuss this captivating and gripping movie. On Friday, April 23 at 7 p.m., the Friends Friday Film Reel Talk committee invites you to a special pre-Oscar film discussion. Come and share your own Oscar predictions!
Don’t miss the opportunity on Monday, April 19, at 1 p.m., to go on a virtual tour of the Broken Nature exhibit at MoMa. Join Paola Antonelli, senior curator in the Department of Architecture & Design, as she takes us on a tour of this powerful exhibit that highlights “restorative design” and presents objects and concepts that offer strategies to help humans repair their relationship to the environment and other species. The projects selected for this installation explore a range of themes. Antonelli will guide viewers through them one by one. This talk is co-sponsored by the Flinn Gallery.
For additional April programs, check out the event lineup below. The complete calendar of April programs can be found on the Library’s online calendar.
For the virtual programs below, register via the Library’s online calendar to receive attendee Zoom link and password before the event (unless otherwise noted).
VIRTUAL – Bring Life into Every Moment: Haiku workshop with Popona Tsukino
Thursday, April 1, 2 – 3:30 p.m.
April is National Poetry Month! Join us for a workshop on how to write Haiku Poetry. In this workshop, you will learn the history of Haiku, which is a very short form of Japanese poetry that captures the essence of beauty in everyday life. You will also learn how to appreciate Haiku poems from Haiku history and how to write your own Haiku poems in English, not necessarily following strict rules of traditional Japanese Haiku form. Popona Tsukino started writing Japanese Haiku poems in 2002 in New York city where she has lived since coming from Japan in 1992. She studied with one of the most prominent haiku masters in Japan, Tota Kaneko (1919-2018). She has won prestigious Haiku awards in Japan, such as the Kadokawa Haiku Award, and the New Face Award of the Modern Haiku Association, to name a few. Her Haiku poems are featured in museums, magazines and journals in Japan.
VIRTUAL – A Talk on the Various Images of Women in Classical Chinese Literature (Byram Shubert Library)
Thursday, April 1, 7 – 8 p.m.
A look at the wide range of portrayals of women from devoted wives to shrews, from beleaguered victims to tiger mothers, and of course, including the heroine warrior Mulan. Chinese patriarchy was real but Chinese women often found ways to subvert it in lively and humorous ways. This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Byram Shubert Library.
VIRTUAL – Fiction Addiction Book Club
Monday, April 5, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Join the Fiction Addiction Book Group virtually to discuss The Mothers by Britt Bennett. New members are always welcome to the group! Bennett’s debut novel is a surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small community—and the things that ultimately haunt us most. Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, the novel begins with a secret. It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son, Luke Sheppard, who is 21, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.
VIRTUAL – Chair Yoga with Kristin (Byram Shubert Library)
Tuesday, April 5, 4 – 5 p.m.
Join us for Chair Yoga and start to feel better today! Chair yoga is a 60-minute community class with breathing exercises and a series of movements designed to improve posture and balance, increase strength and flexibility and relax the body and mind. Research shows that yoga increases bone density, facilitates weight loss, stabilizes blood pressure, improves range of motion, and reduces depression. There is no experience necessary for this class and all movements can be modified to suit your needs. This program is sponsored by Friends of the Byram Shubert Library.
VIRTUAL – Medicare 101
Tuesday, April 6, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Medicare can be a confusing topic, so join us to learn more. This seminar, presented by Lou Pelletier of American Senior Benefits, will help you understand the options and programs available through Medicare. Various topics relating to Medicare insurance will be explored.
VIRTUAL – Proust Group (Byram Shubert Library)
Thursday, April 8, 5 – 6:30 p.m.
Marcel Proust is regarded by many as the greatest writer of the twentieth century. The complete Remembrance of Things Past will be discussed methodically page by page, chapter by chapter. Led by Fereshteh Priou. This program in association with Allliance Française, Greenwich. To receive the join link and password, please contact Fereshteh Priou at [email protected].
VIRTUAL – Senior Chinese Book Discussion Group
Held two Fridays this month! April 9 & 23, 10 – 11 a.m.
Join us for this monthly book discussion group specifically for local senior Chinese residents, who are interested in making new friends, understanding American culture, and discussing current events.
VIRTUAL – Meditation Workshop
Held four Fridays this month! April 9, 16, 23 & 30, 3:30 – 4 p.m.
Meditation and mindfulness bring both short-term and long-lasting benefits into all aspects of our lives. Turning inward allows us to connect better, focus more clearly, and express a greater sense of gratitude, especially during this uncertain and unsettling time. Join Zach Redler during this 30-minute class to learn and discuss different meditation and mindfulness techniques that will hopefully allow for a greater sense of joy and spaciousness in your life. No experience necessary. Beginners are welcome.
VIRTUAL – Friends Friday Film Reel Talk: Columbus
Friday, April 9, 7 – 8 p.m.
Watch the movie, Columbus(2017), from the comfort of your own home, and then join us on Zoom to discuss this captivating and gripping movie. Casey (Haley Lu Richardson) lives with her mother in a little-known Midwestern town haunted by the promise of modernism. Jin (John Cho), a visitor from the other side of the world, attends to his dying father. Burdened by the future, they find respite in one another and the architecture that surrounds them. This film was Nominated for Best Cinematography, Best First Feature, and Best First Screenplay at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, and also Nominated for the Audience Award in the Best of Next! Category at the Sundance Film Festival. Access to Friends Friday Films virtual streaming is Free to patrons with a Greenwich Library card, using Kanopy. This series is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Greenwich Library.
VIRTUAL – Friends Book Group
Tuesday, April 13, 1 – 3 p.m.
Join us this month in reading The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner. Fans of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will adore The Jane Austen Society. The book was called a charming and memorable debut that reminds us of the universal language of literature and the power of books to unite and heal. Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable. One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. It’s a powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all. Natalie Jenner’s The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with readers for years to come. Please RSVP to [email protected] to receive the join link and password.
VIRTUAL – International Book Club (Byram Shubert Library)
Tuesday, April 13, 5 – 6 p.m.
Join us this month in reading Parisian Lives by Deirdre Bair. National Book Award-winning biographer Deirdre Bair explores her fifteen remarkable years in Paris with Samuel Beckett and Simone de Beauvoir, painting intimate new portraits of these two literary giants and revealing secrets of the biographical art. In 1971, Bair was a journalist and recently minted Ph.D. who managed to secure access to Nobel Prize-winning author Samuel Beckett. He agreed that she could write his biography despite never having written—or even read—a biography herself. The next seven years of intimate conversations, intercontinental research, and peculiar cat-and-mouse games resulted in Samuel Beckett: A Biography, which went on to win the National Book Award and propel Bair to her next subject: Simone de Beauvoir. The catch? De Beauvoir and Beckett despised each other—and lived essentially on the same street. While quite literally dodging one subject or the other, and sometimes hiding out in the backrooms of the great cafes of Paris, Bair learned that what works in terms of the process for one biography rarely applies to the next. Her seven-year relationship with the domineering and difficult de Beauvoir required a radical change in approach, yielding another groundbreaking literary profile. Drawing on Bair’s extensive notes from the period, including never-before-told anecdotes and details that were considered impossible to publish at the time, Parisian Lives is full of personality and warmth and gives us an entirely new window on the all-too-human side of these legendary thinkers.
VIRTUAL – Tai Chi with Ken Dolan (Byram Shubert Library)
Thursday, April 15, 5 – 6 p.m.
Science shows that Tai Chi improves balance, concentration, flexibility, focus, attention, and learning. Join Tai Chi master Ken Dolan in this interactive session and tap into a path to improved health, strength, wisdom, and compassion.
VIRTUAL – MoMA Tour & Talk: Broken Nature
Monday, April 19, 1 – 2 p.m.
Join Paola Antonelli, senior curator in the Department of Architecture & Design at MoMa, as she presents Broken Nature, an exhibition that highlights “restorative design” and presents objects and concepts that offer strategies to help humans repair their relationship to the environment and to other species. The projects selected for this installation explore a range of themes and Antonelli will guide us through them one by one. Kelly Jazvac’s Plastiglomerates—dense geological formations of sand and plastic waste—reveal the long-term effects that human behaviors will have on the Earth’s layers. Intake Facility for an Anonymous Client, by Mustafa Faruki of the Lab-lab for architecture, imagines a facility for processing angels migrating to Earth; it considers borders, transitions, and entry procedures while investigating architecture’s potential to create a more empathetic world. In Can City, design duo Studio Swine has devised a mobile foundry that melts discarded aluminum cans salvaged from the streets of SaÞo Paulo, helping the city’s waste pickers jump start an artisanal enterprise. Other projects—like Julia Lohmann’s Oki Naganode—explore a range of new materials and processes intended to lead citizens to a more responsible attitude toward the world. The tour will be followed by a live curatorial Q&A with Anna Burckhardt, curatorial assistant at The Museum of Modern Art. This program is co-sponsored by The Flinn Gallery.
Virtual – Foreign Affairs Book Discussion Group
Tuesday, April 20, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
The book to read in April is A Foreign Policy for the Left by Michael Walzer. Foreign policy, for leftists, used to be relatively simple. They were for the breakdown of capitalism and its replacement with a centrally planned economy. They were for the workers against the moneyed interests and for colonized peoples against imperial (Western) powers. But these easy substitutes for thought are becoming increasingly difficult. In Michael Walzer’s view, the left can no longer take automatic positions but must proceed from clearly articulated moral principles. In this book, adapted from essays published in Dissent, Walzer asks how leftists should think about the international scene, about humanitarian intervention and world government, about global inequality and religious extremism in light of a coherent set of underlying political values.
VIRTUAL – Brown Bag Book Club (Cos Cob Library)
Wednesday, April 21, 12 – 1:15 p.m.
New members are always welcome at the longest-running Cos Cob Library book club, led by facilitator-extraordinaire Susan Boyar. Each month, the group reads books chosen by Boyar that warrant special merit and discussion. On Wednesday, April 12, the group will be discussing The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins. As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.
VIRTUAL – Literary Connections with Mark Schenker: Poems of T.S. Eliot
Thursday, April 22, 7 – 8 p.m.
In celebration of National Poetry month, join Mark Schenker’s lecture on two of T.S. Eliot’s greatest poems from his early period The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Gerontion. Schenker has been at Yale College since 1990. He is currently a senior associate dean of the College and dean of academic affairs. A former lecturer in the English Department, he received his Ph.D. from Columbia University with a concentration in 19th-century and early 20th-century English literature. Dean Schenker has for over 25 years lectured on literature and film and has led book discussion series in more than 100 venues in Connecticut, including public libraries, museums, and cultural centers. For the past decade, he has given programs on Shakespeare’s plays in conjunction with Shakespeare on the Sound. He also conducts monthly sessions for a number of private reading groups in Connecticut. In 2001, he received the Wilbur Cross Award for Outstanding Humanities Scholar, presented by the Connecticut Humanities Council.
VIRTUAL – Friends Friday Film Reel Talk: Oscar Night Celebration
Friday, April 23, 7 – 8 p.m.
Please join the Friends Friday Film Reel Talk committee for a special pre-Oscar film discussion leading up to the 2021 Oscar Academy Awards, which take place on Sunday, April 25. Join us for a fun and interactive discussion on some of our own Oscar predictions (including those movies not nominated). Bring your own picks of the season and come in costume for a fun Zoom pre-show night!
VIRTUAL – Quasi-Free Blacks: The Merritt Family of Connecticut (Cos Cob Library)
Saturday, April 24, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
The Friends of the Cos Cob Library are pleased to welcome Dennis Richmond, Jr., the director and founder of the New York/New Jersey Historically Black Colleges and Universities Initiative. Richmond, a 26-year-old historian who has been featured in The New York Times and featured on BET, will be diving into the fascinating story of his own ancestors. He will highlight his great, great grandfather, Mr. John Sherman Merritt (1889-1921).
VIRTUAL – Show Off Your Creativity with Collage Making
Saturday, April 24, 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Come and get creative with The Friends of the Cos Cob Library, as they present a fun afternoon creating collages with Carol Nipomnich Dixon. Dixon is known for her mixed media embroidered collages, and she will guide you through the journey of creating your own using a variety of materials and textures and even items in your household. Dixon has a long list of accomplishments, including more than 40 solo exhibitions at places like the Greenwich Hospital Garden Cafe, Byram Shubert Library, Gertrude White Gallery of the Greenwich YWCA, Nathaniel Witherell Gallery, and People’s Bank in Old Greenwich. Her works have appeared in galleries, museums, corporate headquarters, and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. She is on the Boards of the National Association of Women Artists, the Greenwich Art Society, and the Art Society of Old Greenwich. Participants can select from a variety of themes, like spring with blossoming trees and flowers, a personal theme with photos of family and friends, or create your own theme using shapes and textures to create a collage that expresses your personality and creativity. A full list of required supplies will be emailed to you after you register. The Friends of the Cos Cob Library Poster will provide poster board, glue, and a variety of magazines before the event.
VIRTUAL – Dietary Intervention for Gut Health: Lecture by Janet Levin R.D.N., D.M.D. (Byram Shubert)
Thursday, April 29, 7 – 8 p.m.
Join the Byram Shubert Library to learn about the best foods available to improve digestion. Learn tips for including which foods to eat and foods to avoid in your diet. Get started on the road to gut health with this informative lecture. Levin is a registered dietitian who espouses a plant-based diet and is passionate about helping people live long and healthy lives, avoid chronic disease and eliminate the need for many medications through healthy eating.
Programs and services are made available to Library patrons at no charge through the support of the Greenwich Library Board of Trustees, through contributions by generous donors. For more information and on these and other programs, visit www.greenwichlibrary.org.
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About Greenwich Library
The Greenwich Library system consists of the Main Library and its Byram Shubert and Cos Cob branches. The mission of Greenwich Library is to provide exceptional resources, programs and services that promote the joy of lifelong learning and discovery, and to offer a welcoming place for people to gather and share experiences. With over 2,000 programs and events per year, the Library seeks to serve as the cultural and intellectual crossroads of the community. Greenwich Library has a total circulation of about 1.2 million, the highest reported in Connecticut. Greenwich Library was recently named a five-star library by Library Journal for the 11th time. Greenwich Library is located at 101 West Putnam Avenue in Greenwich. Cos Cob Library is located at 5 Sinawoy Road in Cos Cob. Byram Shubert Library is located at 21 Mead Avenue in Greenwich. More information is available online at www.greenwichlibrary.org or by calling 203-622-7900.