Waldo Reads Together schedule and registration now available

Sat, 03/18/2023 - 4:00pm

    The Waldo Reads Together (WRT) schedule and registration are now available for the 2023 One Book, One Community program, featuring Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty.

    “Since its July 2022 publication, this book has become a national bestseller receiving acclaim from the literary community with numerous positive reviews and awards, including the prestigious PEN American Literary Award for a debut short story collection,” said WRT, in a news release.

    Group discussion sessions led by experienced facilitators will be held from April 6 to May 3. WRT offers a variety of options for participants. These include Zoom vs. live sessions, afternoon and evening sessions as well as one- or two-session program options. Books are available at Left Bank Books at a 15% discount and free books are available to those for whom the cost of book purchase creates a barrier to participation. In addition, the Belfast Free Library card has multiple copies on hand for those with a library card.

    “When WRT 2022 participants indicated a greater interest in titles with themes of Native American life and/or Maine life, our committee took this as a primary criteria for book selection,” said Denise Pendleton, Coordinator of Literacy Volunteers, the organization leading the committee effort, in a news release. “While we reviewed a half dozen books, Talty’s was a clear winner. We hope last year’s participants will return and spread the word about the opportunity to connect with community through reading and discussion.”

    Judges for the PEN award, in describing the book’s prize-winning attributes, noted that “These linked stories probe generational trauma and tradition with honesty, unrelenting humor, and depth, through memorable characters who ask, ‘How did we get here?’ and ‘How do we get out of here?’ Talty’s stories are made of fire and walk among us.”

    Set in a Native community in Maine, Night of the Living Rez is a riveting debut collection of stories linked into a novel-like narrative that portrays one young man’s experience growing up on a reservation in the twenty-first century, according to WRT. Talty himself grew up on the Penobscot Reservation and paints a picture both grim and courageous, unifying the humanity and struggles that are apparent not only on the reservation but in the current social landscape of Maine. 

    “Although the book includes the tragedies of poverty, addiction, and generational trauma, there is humor and redemption to be found in these stories,” said the release.

    One Book, One Community, created by the American Library Association, is a book discussion program that offers a community-wide read of one designated book over the same period of time with discussions and related activities about the book’s themes. Waldo Reads Together is a local version of this program, offered in 2021 for the first time through the initiative of Aging Well in Waldo County and partner organizations to help alleviate some social isolation and connect community members.

    For schedule details and to register, go to the Literacy Volunteers website at www.waldoreads.org.

    FMI contact LVWC coordinator Denise Pendleton at dpendleton@rsu71.org