On this installment of ST, a fascinating discussion with the Tennessee-based storyteller and performer Jim Pfitzer, who will soon appear onstage in Tulsa in "A Standard of Change," the one-man play that he created about the life and work of Aldo Leopold (1887-1948). An influential American author, scientist, ecologist, forester, and conservationist, Leopold -- the "father of wildlife biology," as some have called him -- is probably best known as the author of "A Sand County Almanac," which is a literary classic that's especially popular with environmentalist readers.
On this installment of ST, we speak with the winner of the 2014 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, which is annually given by the Tulsa Library Trust. (Past recipients of this honor include Michael Chabon, John Updike, and Geraldine Brooks.) Ann Patchett is our guest today; she is a bestselling American novelist and essayist who's written six novels (among them "The Magician's Assistant," "Bel Canto," "Run," and "State of Wonder") and three books of nonfiction (including the recent "This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage").
The Tulsa library system gets a prestigious award from the state. The Tulsa library is the first library system in the state to win an Oklahoma Quality Award for Pursuit of Excellence. It recognizes organizations and businesses for achievement in quality, performance, and best practices. Gary Schaffer is Library CEO. He says libraries are still very popular, and they’re always looking for ways to make each branch helpful and easier for users.
The Quality Award Foundation program helps both for-profit and non-profit organizations.
When the TCCL's Martin Regional Library opened its Hispanic Resource Center in 1999, the noted author and journalist Roberto Suro was the inaugural speaker. Now, as this facility marks its Quinceañera (or 15th Anniversary), Suro returns to the Hispanic Resource Center to talk about his latest book, "Writing Immigration: Scholars and Journalists in Dialogue," and to discuss changes in the U.S. Latino community over the past decade and a half. Suro's address is free to the public, and it happens tonight (Thursday the 2nd) at 7pm at the Martin Regional Library (2601 S. Garnett Road).
On this edition of our show, we welcome Gary Shaffer, CEO of the Tulsa City-County Library. The TCCL's Central Library, in the heart of downtown Tulsa, has recently entered its "public phase," with direct fund-raising appeals being made to the public to complete the mid-century-modern building's vast, thorough, and state-of-the-art renovation. Demolition of the building's interior is now complete; the actual construction of the new Central Library has begun.
The Tulsa Library Trust's Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature, inaugurated in 1991, aims to "give formal recognition, on behalf of the Tulsa County community, to nationally acclaimed authors who have made a significant contribution to the field of literature for children and young adults." Past winners of the Zarrow Award include Jim Murphy, Jacqueline Woodson, Jane Yolen, Gary Paulsen, Katherine Paterson, Madeleine L'Engle, and S.E. Hinton -- and this year, the highly deserving recipient of this award is Jack Gantos.
Our guest on this edition of ST is the Japanese-born British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, one of the leading novelists of his generation, whose works have been translated into 28 languages, and who's also the recipient of the 2013 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award (which is bestowed annually by the Tulsa Library Trust).
On this edition of our show, we chat with Jim Murphy, winner of the 2013 Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature, which is presented annually by the Tulsa Library Trust. Murphy will be given this award on Friday the 23rd at 7pm at Gilcrease Museum; he will then offer a 10am reading/talk/signing, on Saturday the 24th, as part of the TCCL's Young People's Creative Writing Contest Awards Presentation, which will happen at the Hardesty Regional Library.
On this edition of our program, we speak with Wendell Berry, who's worked as a prolific and highly principled writer of fiction, essays, and poetry for the past 50 years. Mr. Berry has been named the Tulsa Library Trust's 2012 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author, and he'll be in town to accept this honor later this week. Indeed, he'll give a free-to-the-public presentation at 10:30am on Saturday the 8th at the TCCL's Central Library, at Fourth Street and Denver Avenue in Downtown Tulsa.
On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with the Brooklyn-based children's and YA author, Jacqueline Woodson, who is the winner of the Tulsa Library Trust's 2012 Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature. She's written more than 20 books thus far in her career --- many if not most of them concerning the modern African-American experience, especially from a young person's perspective --- and she's probably best known for "Miracle's Boys," her award-winning YA novel that filmmaker Spike Lee made into a mini-series in 2002.