The Festival will be located in the brand new Student Center on the college's picturesque 135-acre campus, which encompasses the Northeast Nebraska Arboretum and Nature Center. Wayne is located 97 miles north of Seward on Highway 15.
The theme for the 1998 Festival is "The World in the Plains: Plains Literature as World Literature." Invitations have been issued to speakers and an excellent response has been received already, according to Edward Battistella, Chair of the Wayne State College Humanities Department, and Katherine L. Walter, Chair of NCB's Festival Committee.
Programming will be announced in the next issue of this publication.
Friday, September 18 will be Student Day, with programming open to high school and undergraduate college students. The general public is invited to attend events Friday evening and all day Saturday, September 19.
For people planning to stay in Wayne Friday night, motel accommodations may be sparse due to other events in the community. Wayne State College will be providing information about bed & breakfasts in northeast Nebraska. Plan ahead to make this a literary weekend and join us for this wonderful event.
The Nebraska Literature Festival 1998 will be the seventh Festival sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Humanities Council. In 1997, NCB received the Daniel Boorstin/Center for the Book Award from the Library of Congress and a Mayor's Arts Award from the Lincoln Arts Council. Both awards recognized the Nebraska Center for the Book for its outstanding Nebraska Literature Festival.
One attribute that distinguishes humans from other animals is the power to organize experience by telling stories. Two upcoming storytelling events offer you the chance to discover this art form.
Children benefit from stories, not only through reading, but also by hearing a message transmitted directly from the mind of the storyteller. Storytelling ignites children's imaginations and motivates them to read. It offers a purer and more intense story experience and teaches listening skills.
The absence of illustration in told stories helps to develop visualization skills. Stories are passed from listener to listener and drawn from a common memory pool, linking the listener to the past, to humanity.
Polish up your storytelling skills and add to your repertoire of stories at one of these area storytelling festivals.
On May 29 and 30, the 1998 Buffalo Commons Storytelling Festival will be held at various sites in McCook NE. It begins on Friday at 6 P.M. in Norris Park with a buffalo barbecue. Festival headliners perform at 7:30 P.M. at the Band Shell, followed by Ghost Stories. Saturday workshops begin at 9 A.M. at the Museum of the High Plains, Carnegie Library, Fox Theater, and Norris Park. Headliners include Nancy Duncan, Omaha, Nebraska's State Poet William Kloefkorn, Lincoln, Michael Cotter, MN, Cactus Chris Buethe, and Andy Wilkinson. Fees vary. Contact McCook Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 337, McCook NE 69001, 800-657-2179.
June 19 - 21, the Nebraska Storytelling Festival will be held at the College of Saint Mary in Omaha. The event includes workshops and storytelling for adults and children and features Ghosting on Friday night at 9:30 P.M. Headliners include Donald Davis, Ocracoke NC, Charlotte Blake Alston, Philadelphia PA, Derek Burrows, Jamaica Plain MA, Angela Lloyd, Victorville CA, Jack Gladstone, a member of the Blackfeet Nation from Kalispell MT, Peninnah Schram, New York City, Judith Simundson, Dubuque IA, Karen Libman and Senator David Landis of Lincoln, and Omaha's Five Bright Chicks. Tickets are available at the Story Monkey Bookstore, or by calling 402-551-4532.
For more information about the power of storytelling, contact Mary Jackson at 402-471-4006 or 800-307-2665.
With the leadership of Board President Denise Brady, 1997 was a year of accomplishments and changes for the Nebraska Center for the Book. The Board used a scholarship grant from Trustee Leadership Development for a day-long training session early in the year. This session helped the Board to refocus on its mission and recognize that fostering a passion for books and maintaining a strong community of the book within the state are key. Although the organization's name suggests a physical location, our role really revolves around spirit rather than place.
We affirmed the Nebraska Literature Festival as a vital part of our identity and purpose and resolved to continue it. At the same time, we decided not to have a festival in 1997 in order to step back, regroup, and attack the project in a more orderly way, with strong legal, organizational, and financial underpinnings. We now look forward to an exciting Nebraska Literature Festival in September at Wayne State College in Wayne.
The leadership training session also clearly identified an ongoing problem in the lack of staffing. Without paid staff, Board members set policy and did all of the work involved. Based upon knowledge gathered at a Library of Congress Center for the Book information exchange meeting, Laureen Riedesel developed a proposal and made a presentation to the Nebraska Library Commission which should help ease this problem. The Commission now serves as the host for NCB. This brings a change of address, new channels for publicity, and some very welcome help with the workload.
The Nebraska Center for the Book was honored in 1997 with a $5,000 cash award from the National Center for the Book recognizing our innovative literature festival.
On Omaha Radio:
KIOS (91.5 FM) in Omaha carries five programs specifically about books and reading:
Dick: How did you get the idea of
starting up a bookstore for used, out-of-print, and rare books?
Wendts: We started out as book collectors ourselves. At times we would see books that we thought other people might like and we would buy these, as well. For some seven or eight years we worked at home, continuing to accumulate an inventory, now and then selling to other book dealers. 1984 was the big year. We made the big decision to open Bluestem Books in its present location.
Dick: How many books do you have
in stock and how did you acquire them?
Wendts: We have around 40,000 books on the shelves. The primary source of adding new inventory is books brought or offered to us by our customers. We are primarily interested in hardbacks and trade paperbacks,1 both recent and old. In addition we do travel to buy books. We have gone as far afield as Canada and Mexico. And we usually get to all major book sales in the region. We also buy estates. If someone has books to sell, we do appreciate a call in advance (402-435-7120).
Dick: What subject areas do you
cover and which seem to be in the greatest demand?
Wendts: We try to maintain a general stock - everything from children's books to gardening, Irish literature and history, and fine bindings. We are always developing new areas, too. For example, we recently added sections on quilting and medieval history. The span of our customers' interests is very broad. As to which areas seem to be most in demand, at present these are Western Americana, Nebraska authors, military history, and theology.
Dick: Are there types of books that
you do not normally buy?
Wendts: Books in poor condition, most ex-library books,2 Readers Digest Condensed Books, textbooks, and mass market paperbacks.
Dick: How about sets of books and
Wendts: We buy and sell sets, but do not generally deal in encyclopedias. The 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica is an exception. That edition is collectible and we do try to have it on hand.
Dick: What is the most expensive
book that you have sold to date?
Wendts: That would be An Oration Delivered on the Battlefield of Gettysburg by Edward Everett, published in 1863. What made this particular book so valuable was that it included Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. This happens to be the first book appearance of the Lincoln speech. We sold the book for $850.
Dick: Didn't Larry McMurtry buy
a large number of books from you a while back?
Wendts: Yes, he did. He bought them for his Washington, DC bookstore. This would have been about 10 years ago. He purchased a collection of some 200 books on African history, plus a number of other books that he picked out.
Dick: What do you like most - and
least - about owning and operating your bookstore?
Wendts: What we like most is buying books, working with books, and learning new things about them. Less fun is the normal red tape that goes along with running a business: bookkeeping, filling out business forms, and the like.
Dick: We hear some talk about the
book being made obsolete by the computer. What do you think?
Wendts: The book is very much alive here in Nebraska. In fact it is stronger than ever. In a word, it is doing splendidly! The range of our customers is truly amazing - all ages, all backgrounds, all interests. People buy books to collect, but even more so, to read. We are glad that we can help them out.
Dick: Thanks, Pat and Scott. By the way, I was really happy to pick up a copy of Umberto Eco's Il Nome della Rosa in your foreign language section. Now I just need to learn some Italian!
1 Mass market
and trade are bookselling/publishing terms that refer to the size of paperback
books. Mass market paperbacks are a standard size (about 4" wide by 6"
high). Most popular fiction is published in this format. Any other size
paperback is referred to as trade or trade size.
2Ex-library books are those that have been part of a cataloged library collection and bear markings of the library's ownership and often call numbers on the spine, pockets glued in the back, etc.
Two scenarios: 1) Someone is turning 21 or 50 or 65. You want to give them a first edition of Curious George by H. A. Rey, Gail Sheehy's Passages, or a book cited in John Stuart Mill's Autobiography; 2) you have been looking for a book for well over a decade, despair of finding it, and interlibrary loan just does not give you the sense of possession and ownership that this particular book demands.
Libraries, new and used bookstores, antiquarian catalogs, though enjoyable, are labor-intensive, and hit and miss. But now, on the Web, with your own computer, or one at your local library, is the most powerful and user-friendly source to fill your bibliophilic longings.
Two online book dealers, Bibliofind.com and Interloc.com, flourish on old, used and rare books. Bibliofind.com boasts "some timely gift ideas from the world's largest inventory of books for sale," based on 1,750 booksellers listing 5 million books. Interloc.com claims "the world's largest selection of out-of-print books" based on 1,800 booksellers and 3.6 million volumes. Many booksellers list their stock on both lists. Both contain impressive holdings and we need not tarry on truth in advertising and who is number one.
A recent search of Willa Cather on Bibliofind.com revealed 1,000 volumes, over 20 titles in various editions available in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, England and Australia. One of the less known works was the Life of Mary Baker Eddy for $1,000 in a first edition, or a 1993 University of Nebraska reprint for $6.00. One bookseller was advertising three autographed letters for $2,500. The cheapest book was My Antonia for $3.99.
Tillie Olsen had 90 volumes and eight different titles. Searching Bess Streeter Aldrich on Interloc.com revealed 138 volumes, about a dozen titles, ranging from $5.00 to $45.00.
I am sure a search for other Nebraska authors like Loren Eiseley, Alvin Johnson, Weldon Kees, Wright Morris, John Neihardt, and Mari Sandoz would reveal a similar cache.
I would be pleased to answer any questions and ease your passage into this technology. I can be reached at email@example.com.
Love played in the band with Count Basie, Lester Young, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie. He was a backup player for Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder. Love's territory band played gigs all over the Midwest, including Alma, Fremont, Grand Island, Nebraska City, and Omaha. His touring took him to over 25 states, Canada, France and Italy.
Love is unapologetic. Music is a life of extremes, of feast or famine. These gyrations are made worse because of racism and white musicians, including Elvis Presley, appropriating music pioneered by blacks, and receiving disproportionate rewards and renown.
Love claims to have stayed faithful to art and truth, even if it hurt other people's feelings. He distinguishes between great musicians and musicians. Clarinetist Benny Goodman, for example, was the finest technician, but his solos were very mechanical and empty from a jazz standpoint, in Love's view.
This book is a testament to Love's incorruptible sounds and educational objectives. Love is unsure about the future of his style of jazz in the face of "hirsute maniacs" and "predatory purveyors." On March 13, the Omaha World Herald reported "Preston Love's group has ended a 3-year run at the Bistro restaurant in the Old Market. Love said the restaurant's entertainment budget could no longer support his jazz group." Preston Love's mother, Mexie, lived to 103. My wish is that we have Preston's music and opinions for many more years.
Of course they're all dead, but Chautauqua brings them to life.
The Nebraska Humanities Council (NHC) and the Great Plains Chautauqua Society will present "Behold Our New Century: Early 20th Century Visions of America," in two Nebraska communities each summer for three years.
In 1998, Chautauqua will appear in Sutherland (July 30 - August 4) and in Oakland (August 7 - August 11). Locations are yet to be determined for the subsequent years.
In addition to evening programs under the tent, scholars will be on hand throughout the day for breakfasts, luncheons and afternoon teas. Additional programs for children and adults will allow participants to interact more closely with the Chautauqua characters.
Chief Chautauquan Ruth Alexander will offer "Going to School at the Turn of the Century" where youth audiences can experience what children read, where they went to school, what they learned, and what games they played nearly a century ago.
Other programs for children include: "Meet Colonel Roosevelt," with John Lehman as Theodore Roosevelt; "If You Were a Millionaire," with Jeffrey Smith as Andrew Carnegie; "Dakota Traditions, Stories, Songs and Dances," with Jerome Kills Small as Charles Eastman; "New Americans from Around the World," with Erika Kuhlman as Jane Addams; and "African and African-American Folk Tales," with Charles Everett Pace as Booker T. Washington.
Adult workshops will focus on Charles Eastman's wife, Elaine Goodale Eastman, a white woman who bridged two cultures; opposing philosophies of those who did not agree with Theodore Roosevelt; a view of those whose labor created the wealth of Andrew Carnegie and others; the rights and citizenship of women in World War I; other black voices during Booker T. Washington's era; and traditional medicine and food of the Dakotas.
The Chautauqua Reader and the community schedules will be available by June 1. For more information, contact the Nebraska Humanities Council, 215 Centennial Mall South, Suite 225, Lincoln NE 68508, 402-474-2131, http://www.lincolnne.com/nonprofit /nhc
Nebraska Literature Festival Committee
Katherine Walter, Chair
Linda Hillegass, Chair
Mary Jo Ryan, ex officio, Nebraska Library Commission staff
Mel Krutz, Chair
Denise Brady, Chair
Rod Wagner, Nebraska Library Commission Director, is an ex-officio member of all committees to coordinate staff support from the Library Commission during the transition year, 1998.
August 8, Oakland, 2:00 P.M. (in conjunction with the Great Plains Chautauqua; site to be announced.)
November 8 - Lincoln, annual meeting, time and site to be announced.
The NCB Quarterly is published three times a year by the Nebraska Center for the Book, The Atrium, 1200 N Street, Suite 120, Lincoln, NE 68508-2023.) Subscription is free with membership.
Editor: Linda Hillegass.
Design and production: Valerie Dayton
|Willa Cather Spring Conference
Contact: Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial, 326 N. Webster,
Red Cloud, NE 68970. Phone: 402-746-2653.
|May 1 - 2||Red Cloud|
|Sandoz Society Annual Program
|Norfolk Public Library's 4th Annual Youth Literature Festival
Contact: Karen Drevo, Literature Festival, Norfolk Public Library,
308 Prospect Avenue, Norfolk, NE 68701. Phone: 402-644-8710.
|Nebraska Literature Festival 1998
"The World in the Plains: Plains Literature as World Literature"
Contact: Katherine Walter at 402-472-3939.
|Sept. 18 - 19||Wayne|