Friday, October 1, 2010

Milwaukee ACLU Celebrates Banned Books Week

The ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation, Woodland Pattern Book Center, the Wisconsin Center for the Book and Art Night Books co-hosted, co-presented the 2nd annual Banned Book reading in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on the evening of October 1st at Woodland Pattern.

About 45 attendees enjoyed wine, food and challenged book readings by guests Vince Bushell, Daisy Cubias, Tom Montag, La Shawndra Vernon and Scott Walter.

Vince Bushell, botanist & publisher of the Riverwest Currents, read from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughter House Five.

Daisy Cubias, celebrated poet and native of El Salvador, chose to read selected poems from a Salvadoran poet Roque Dalton. Poet, printer and Wisconsin Center for the Book board member, Tom Montag, read from Ulysses by James Joyce. La Shawndra, activist and well known performer, read from The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee professor and lecturer, Scott Walter, appropriately read 1984 by George Orwell.

Asking the audience, “where would we be as a people and a society without many of these wonderful books we grew up with?” Angie Trudell Vasquez invited people to imagine how our lives would be different without such great literature. Co-host and poet, Vasquez read from Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger.

Another co-hosts, ACLU of Wisconsin Youth & Program Director, Emilio De Torre, dressed this year as Lord Byron and read from his much enjoyed original poem combining Banned Book titles and pleas for donations to our represented worthy organizations.

After the event people thanked the ACLU of Wisconsin for supporting their freedom to read said what a good time they had hearing celebrated works, banter and conversation. Many people commented on their literary favorites being on the banned book list. An English teacher in the audience said much of what she assigned showed up on the classics lists.