The Community Wide Reading program began in 2007. It is modeled after the One Book, One Community program already taking place across Minnesota and other states.
The goal of the Cambridge Community Wide Reading program is to bring the community together through a shared reading experience, promote literacy and build relationships with adults in the community.
They hope to reach this goal by encouraging residents in the area to read the same book at the same time. The book chosen for the 5th year of the program is a book of poetry, “First Words” by Joyce Sutphen. Most of the poems in this volume were inspired by her childhood on a family farm near St. Joseph.
The Community Wide Read will kick-off with a poetry contest. Everyone is invited to participate and selected poems will be published in a commemorative poetry booklet. For more information pick up an entry form at Cambridge Public Library, Scout & Morgan Books or at the District 911 Community Education office. Entry forms will be available starting Feb. 16.
Don’t know how to write a poem? Or would you like your poem critiqued? Then join at the Cambridge Public Library on Thursday, Feb. 16, for a workshop led by poet, Angela Foster, from 6 to 8 p.m. Ages 16 and older are invited to participate. Pre-register at the Cambridge Public Library.
The public is also invited to attend one of two book discussions on “First Words.” They will be held Thursday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cambridge Public Library and on Saturday, April 14 at 11 a.m. at Scout and Morgan Books. If you can’t attend one of the discussions, start your own at church, work or in your neighborhood.
The culminating event of the reading program will be an appearance by Sutphen. She will discuss her book at the Cambridge Campus of Anoka Ramsey Community College on Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m. in Room G202 and talk about her appointment as Minnesota’s poet laureate. She will also sign books at Scout & Morgan Books from 4 to 5 p.m. on April 20.
The Community Wide Reading program is sponsored by Cambridge Campus of Anoka Ramsey Community College, Friends of the Cambridge Library, District 911 Community Ed, Rotary Club of Cambridge-Isanti and Scout & Morgan Books. This project was funded in part or in whole with funds from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
All events are free and open to the public. For more information contact the Cambridge Public Library at 763-689-7390 x15.
About Joyce Sutphen
Governor Mark Dayton recently named Sutphen as the new advocate, lover and promoter of Minnesota poets and poetry. Sutphen is Minnesota’s second official poet laureate replacing Robert Bly who was appointed by Gov. Pawlenty in 2007. She lives in Chaska and teaches creative writing at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. Sutphen grew up on a farm in Minnesota. She earned a PhD in Renaissance drama from the University of Minnesota, and has taught British literature and creative writing at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter.