Freedom to Read Week

February 22, 2021

It’s Freedom to Read Week in Canada, which, like Banned Books Week (September 26 – October 2, 2021) in the U.S., raises awareness about intellectual freedom and threats to free speech. Visit the Freedom to Read website to find out more about the freedom to read on the north side of the border, including Censorship at the Canadian border, 1985-2020 and Bannings and Burnings in History. What are you reading?

free to poem

January 8, 2015

PEN American Center

“For the last 90 years, PEN American Center has been working to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to make it possible for everyone to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others.”

In support of that goal, PEN Poetry Series publishes a poem each week by emerging and established writers. The poems are selected by a guest editor who makes brief comments about the choice and the writing. You can view the poems on the PEN Poetry Series page and you can also subscribe.

There’s more PEN on Facebook.

Banned Books Week

September 22, 2014

Banned Books Week 2014

Imagine contemporary poetry without Leaves of Grass or Howl. In fact, Whitman and Ginsberg are just two of the poets whose work has been “challenged” with the goal of removing it from libraries, schools, bookshelves, hands and minds.

The freedom to read what we want is not universal. Banned Books Week celebrates that freedom, highlighting the value of free and open access to information and supporting the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

For more information, visit your local library or bookstore, Banned Books Week online and Banned Books Week on Facebook. See Boynton Blog posts from 2012 and 2013. See a post on “Dangerous American Poets” from the Banned & Dangerous Art seminar the the University of Mary Washington. See a list of Frequently challenged books of the 21st century (through 2013). See planned events state by state. Show your support for the freedom to read by adding a “twibbon” to your social media. Read!

Banned Books Week

September 27, 2012

BANNED

Banned Books Week, observing its 30-year anniversary September 30 through October 6, 2012, highlights the benefits of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982.

How will you participate?

Village Books, in Bellingham, will host a Banned Books Week Read-Out on Sunday, September 30, 2 to 4pm. In addition to the store’s annual, much-commented-upon banned books display, community members will read a banned text or talk about a book banning event. Village Books will record and post videos of each person as part of the nationwide Virtual Read-Out.

The Whatcom County Library Foundation invites the public to an open house to “Celebrate the Freedom to Read” on Saturday, October 6, 2 to 4pm at the Ferndale Public Library.

Show your support for the freedom to read. Check your local library and independent bookstore for Banned Books Week displays and events. Look over lists of the 10 most challenged titles of 2011 and 97 banned or challenged classics. Here’s a list of the 100 most frequently challenged books from 1990-1999 and 2000-2009. See a short 2010 list of banned poems, thanks to Harriet, the blog of the Poetry Foundation. Watch a Banned Books Week video created by Bookmans, an independent bookstore with six locations in Arizona. Like Banned Books Week on Facebook. Read a banned book.

reading across borders…

February 26, 2012

Freedom To Read 2012Canada’s Freedom to Read Week begins today and continues through March 3. According to the University of British Columbia, Freedom to Read Week “is an annual event that encourages Canadians to reflect and examine their commitment to intellectual freedom.”

The American Library Association has compiled a list of 46 of the top 100 novels of the 20th century that have been banned or challenged and a list of the top 100 banned or challenged books of 2000-2009.

Celebrate. Read a book.

%d bloggers like this: