Banned Books Week: 9/21-27
2014: Banned Books Week is 9/21-27
Watch this space to see what we’ll do this year!
What we did in 2013:
Man to live inside Vonnegut Library to protest book banning
‘Banned Books Recovered’ art show, First Amendment Film Fest, YA literature talk and more will mark national Banned Books Week
Sept. 22-28, 2013
At this year’s celebration of national Banned Books Week, local artists will reimagine the covers of banned or threatened literature and display their work at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library – while long-time library supporter Hugh Vandivier lives 24/7 in its plate-glass window, in a “prison” of banned books.
(Read Hugh’s library grand opening speech)
Right here in the United States, books are still being challenged and banned. Censorship is alive and well, which is why we remind the public of its dangers during national Banned Books Weeks, Sept. 22-28 this year.
Parents are the #1 initiator of challenges to books, and they appear to fear sex more than bad language or violence. Since 1990, parents have issued nearly 3,200 challenges because of sexual explicitness, and more than 2,600 for offensive language.
Local writer Hugh Vandivier – who has interviewed Kurt Vonnegut – will be “Locked Up With Vonnegut,” living in the library for the week. He’s also curating “Banned Books Recovered,” an invitational art show and sale. To see Hugh’s imprisonment in real time, click here.
- First Amendment Film Fest – The Vonnegut Library will screen Slaughterhouse-Five, the 1972 film based on the novel (Monday, 9/23); Good Night and Good Luck with George Clooney, about censorship in the early days of TV news (Tuesday, 9/24); and Howl, with James Franco as Allen Ginsberg (Friday, 9/27).
- Chris Finan (right), author and president of American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, will discuss “Corrupting Our Kids: The Attack on YA Literature” (Wednesday, 9/25). (Site: Indianapolis Public Library’s Clowes Auditorium)
- Howard Zinn Day (September 26) – The Vonnegut Library will devote a day of programming to learning more about Howard Zinn. Two films will be screened: Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train (a biography of Howard Zinn) and The People Speak (2009). At 6 p.m., James Alexander Thom and Reverend Bill Breeden of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, Indiana will read from Howard Zinn’s work.
- “Hugh’s Bedtime Stories” – local and national artists, writers and celebrities will read to Vandivier from banned books (nightly). Click here for a schedule of readers and readings.
Performance artist Tim Youd (below) of Los Angeles leads up to the week.
All events will be free to the public, and the library will remain open until 9 p.m. during the first six days of Banned Books Week (including Wednesday, our usual closing day).Some programs are made possible by a grant from the Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund, a part of the Freedom to Read Foundation.
- Check out a complete calendar of activities.
- Banned Books Recovered artists and their book covers:
- Naked Lunch – Flounder Lee
- Lolita and Lolita Darkly (pictured above) – Mab Graves
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret – Kyle Herrington
Welcome to the Monkey House – Holly Streekstra
Grendel – Matt Sommers
Slaughterhouse-Five – Pam Wishbow
Kilgore Trout – Justin Cooper
The Scarlet Letter – Mike Graves
Where the Wild Things Are – Aric Harris
Tropic of Cancer – Seth Kong
Brave New World – Sara Lunsford
The Catcher in the Rye – Kipp Normand
Animal Farm – Emma Overman
Some programs are made possible by a grant from the Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund, a part of the Freedom to Read Foundation.
Fresh off his back-to-back, critically acclaimed typing performances of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Capricorn (on the Brooklyn sidewalk outside Miller’s boyhood home), Charles Bukowski’s Post Office (on the stairs of Bukowski’s employer, the LA Post Office), and Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff (near where Wolfe documented test flights in his work), Tim Youd turns his attention to Kurt Vonnegut with his page-turning performance of Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions.
Dubbed “regional conceptualism,” Youd performs his work in carefully chosen locales that are geographically related to either the author’s life or the plot of the novel. Utilizing the same make and model typewriter used by each author in the original creation, Youd types the novel on a single page, running it through the machine over and over.
With each performance, Youd also constructs a tangible visual companion piece consisting of his sculpted typewriter “portraits,” as well as a self-portrait of himself reading the performed works.
Youd will perform Breakfast of Champions on a Smith-Corona Coronamatic 2200.
Opening Friday, Sept. 6, 6-9 p.m. through Friday, Sept. 20. Free.