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Dove, Rita

Born: August 28, 1952 Ohio connection: Birth Akron The first African American, as well as the youngest individual, to be awarded the post of United States poet laureate (1993-95), Rita Dove desires to make poetry more appealing to the general reader. She was born on August 28, 1952, in Akron, Ohio, into a highly-educated family whose house …

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Daniel Keyes’ “Flowers for Algernon” – Discussion Questions & Ponderables

Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon: Discussion Questions & Ponderables Ponderables According to Dr. Joel Frohlich, a postdoctoral researcher studying at UCLA, Charlie Gordon’s intellectual disability is a result of an inherited metabolic disorder called Phenylketonuria. This disorder occurs when cells are unable to produce an enzyme called phenylalanine hydroxylase. Why is this enzyme critical? Without …

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Literary Frolic Fridays – July Edition: Daniel Keyes’ “Flowers for Algernon”

Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon A Literary Frolic Friday discussion guide PART ONE: 1953-1966 How Keyes came to write Flowers for Algernon, publishing it first as a short story (1953) and then as a novel (1966), and how Flowers ultimately attracted the attention of actor Cliff Robertson In 1953, Daniel Keyes was hired by Martin …

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National Book Festival 2019 Discover Great Places Through Reading: “Miss Mary Reporting”

The 19th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will be held in Washington, DC, Saturday, August 31. The festival brings the nation’s leading authors, poets and illustrators together for one day to read and discuss their works. Each year a list of books representing the literary heritage of the 53 affiliates of the Library …

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Literary Frolic Fridays: June, 2019 edition ~ John Steinbeck’s East of Eden

In the winter of 1947, John Steinbeck was desperate to “get back” to writing, to real writing, and to devote every fiber of his being to “a long slow piece of work.” To him, his hitherto published work represented only practice, training, a foreshadowing of what he could write—what he must write.  Far too long …

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Study Guide from the Literary Friday Frolickers to John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony

PART ONE: CIRCUMSTANCES BEHIND CONCEPTION OF THE RED PONY Leading up to his writing of “The Gift,” the first of what became the “Jody” short story quartet, 30-year-old John Steinbeck was deluged by a series of career setbacks and family tragedies.   Career setbacks The bulk of the royalties guaranteed to him by contract from …

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Okorafor, Nnedi

Born: April 08, 1974 Ohio connection: Birth Cincinnati Nigerian-American writer Nnedimma Nkemdili Okorafor was born on April 8, 1974 in Cincinnati, Ohio. A writer of fantasy, science fiction and speculative fiction for both children and adults, Okorafor’s novels and stories reflect her Nigerian heritage and her life in the United States. Okorafor’s books have generated a fan …

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