Romance in the Library

By Kim Crail   |   February 8, 2022
Arthur Baral, Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, Carole Baral and Kim Crail

In the mood for a steamy read or just a happily ever after? We could all use some healthy distraction these days and Montecito Library staff are preparing for one of our favorite displays: “Blind Date with a Book.” Rather than judging a book by its cover, author, or genre, let us surprise you with something that you might not normally go for – a romance novel gift wrapped up just in time for Valentine’s Day. 

Enjoy some romance in your reading life or give it to your Valentine.

Former Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Joins Us

Our Poetry Club discussion of Langston Hughes was greatly informed by the contributions of attendee Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, Santa Barbara Poet Laureate from 2015-2017. Sharing extensive biographical information and treating us to a reading of Hughes’ “The Weary Blues,” Rolle helped our group to see Hughes’ nuanced background and his impact on American poetry and the Harlem Renaissance. We were also pleased to learn that Rolle has a new children’s book being published in May called Free at Last: A Juneteenth Poem, which features her own poetry alongside illustrations by Alex Bostic

The group read aloud many of Langston Hughes’ poems, including “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” “Jazzonia,” “Kids in School with Me,” “Mother to Son,” “Good Morning,” “I Dream a World,” and “Harlem.” I was honored to read an all-time favorite poem, “Theme for English B,” and remember my wonderful high school English teacher who introduced it to me way back then. Thank you, Mr. Hagar!

Book Club on Fire

Our January Book Club selection, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life, Freedom, and Justice, by Anthony Ray Hinton, moved many of our members to question how best to reform a justice system that could falsely imprison someone on death row for almost 30 years. Reading about how Mr. Hinton’s faith helped him to forgive and his incredible ability to use his mind and imagination to leave the confines of his five-by-seven-foot cell inspired us during this difficult time of Omicron. His best friend visited him every week, making the seven-hour drive without fail to help keep Hinton’s spirits up throughout. We wondered – do we have a friend who would do that for us? Or maybe, more importantly, would we be so dedicated if our loved one was falsely imprisoned?

Our February selection is Stay With Me, a debut novel by Nigerian author Ayòbámi Adébáyo, about what happens to a young couple’s relationship when infertility collides with extended family’s expectations. Modern and traditional solutions compete, including polygamy and deceit with the goal of preserving marriage and family. All are welcome!  

February Events

Library Van at Cold Spring School: Thursday, February 3, 3:30-5:30 pm
Storywalk at Lower Manning Park: Wednesday, February 9, 2-3:30 pm
Montecito Book Club: Stay With Me by Ayòbámi Adébáyo– Tuesday, February 22, 12-1 pm
Poetry Club: William Stafford with special guest Paul Willis – Thursday, February 24, 2-3:30 pm
Knit ‘n’ Needle: Fridays, 1-2:30 pm

2022 Montecito Library Hours: 

Tuesday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm
Saturday, 10 am to 2 pm

See you at the library!  

Kim is the Branch Lead of the Montecito Library. 
Questions or comments? Contact her: kcrail@sant 


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