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The Great American Read hosted by Sedona Public Library kicks off at Mary D. Fisher Theatre

Sedona Public Library will preview The Great American Read/Fall Kick Off at the Mary Fisher Theater with host Alberto Ríos, Arizona’s inaugural poet laureate, on Thursday, September 6.

Sedona Public Library will preview The Great American Read/Fall Kick Off at the Mary Fisher Theater with host Alberto Ríos, Arizona’s inaugural poet laureate, on Thursday, September 6.

Originally Published: August 27, 2018 1:57 p.m.

Sedona Public Library will preview The Great American Read/Fall Kick Off at the Mary Fisher Theater with host Alberto Ríos, Arizona’s inaugural poet laureate, on Thursday, September 6 at 6 p.m. All tickets are free.

Sedona Public Library is pleased to partner with Sedona International Film Festival to bring this national television series to Sedona. In addition to the Fall Kick Off preview, the Grand Finale will be streamed live at Mary Fisher Theater on October 23 when America’s best-loved novel is revealed.

Sedona Public Library is one of 50 recipients selected by the American Library Association and PBS to receive a programming grant for “The Great American Read,” the eight-part television series and multi-platform initiative that celebrates the joy of reading and the books we love.

The Great American Read is based on a list of 100 diverse novels selected through a demographically representative national survey of 7200 people earlier this year. The project encourages audiences to read the books, vote from the list of 100, and share their personal connections to the titles.

While anyone can vote online for America’s favorite novel, Sedona Public Library will determine SEDONA’s most-loved novel. Stop by the Library in West Sedona or the Village of Oak Creek and cast your vote.

The public is encouraged to borrow the books or movies from Sedona Public Library, or buy them at Friends of the Sedona Library Used Bookstore in West Sedona.

Alberto Rios is a finalist for the National Book Award and recipient of the Western Literature Association Distinguished Achievement Award, Ríos has taught at Arizona State University for over 35 years. His latest collection of poems is A Small Story About the Sky, preceded by The Dangerous Shirt and The Theater of Night, winner of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award.

For more information on The Great American Read, please visit sedonalibrary.org; PBS.org, or ala.org.

The Great American Read kicks off at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. All tickets are free. Visit www.SedonaFilmFestival.org for tickets and information or call 928-282-1177. Both the Sedona International Film Festival Office and the Mary D. Fisher Theatre are located at 2030 W. SR 89A in West Sedona.

Change your mind – human ‘books’ share their stories

It’s easy to judge a book by its cover. But what if you could “borrow” it and sit down and talk with the subject about aging, near death experiences, communicating with extraterrestrials, being illegally healed, and more.

You can do just that on Sunday, Sept. 23, during the second Sedona Human Library™ event, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. at the Sedona Public Library. Attendees may select from up to eight 45-minute sessions available for you to ‘Read’ a Human Book.  Choose a live Human Book that you may be unaware of or hold a negative opinion of, prejudice, stereotype and even contempt for, listen to their 10-minute story of being marginalized, categorized, or stigmatized for their differences, ask questions of curiosity, engage in dialogue and possibly shift yourself to understanding and compassion of those people with whom you have differed.  

Hosted by the Sedona International City of Peace, Rotary Club of Sedona and Sedona Public Library, the goal of the event is to dissolve prejudices with people one might normally avoid or dismiss, gain understanding and possibly develop new ways of relating.

“This is a crucial time in our community to choose healing from the loss of respect and dignity we have displayed with each other. Thank you to our Human Books for being courageous in sharing your story and vulnerabilities. Thank you to our readers for your willingness to look inside at what is separating us and bring new levels of understanding,” said Margaret Joy Weaver, Board President Sedona International City of Peace and Event Manager.

The event includes over 40 Human Books with stigmas and labels from Transgender, African-Catholic-Lesbian, Weird/Body-Modified; Addict; Victim; Fire Chief, Burn Victim, Talks with Dogs, Wheelchair, UFO Abductee, Woman Priest, Complex Trauma, Privileged Class, Homeless Preferred, Pet Griever, Democrat now a Trump supporter, Tantric Lover and German.

Here are four Human Book excerpts:

“Aging Means Declining” – Retired and getting older, this subject is expected to decline as he approaches death. Instead, he has found passion, purpose, life mission and legacy, and says “I’m just warming up at 75.”

“Dancing with Death” – Two near death experiences from medical experiences and one from a violent attack, had her discover who she really is. Dancing with death can bring a total rebirth.

“A Man and his Extraterrestrial Friends” – From a depressed teenage musician to “the guy who talks to aliens,” he now shares messages of spiritual evolution through close encounters with aliens. Often called weird, he is fully expressed at the core.

“Illegally Healed” – “Cannabis saved my life. When people know that I have used cannabis for healing they assume that I am lazy, immature, escaping, a pot head, a loser and a drug addict. As a cannabis advocate, I want to be a model of the typical cannabis consumer.”

The event is FREE. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the 10 a.m. 10:45, 11:30, 12:15 p.m., 2, 2:45, 3:30, and 4:15 sessions to select and locate your book. For more information call Savannah Sanders, attendee manager

Please register at the link below today for the Sedona Human Library™, space is limited. Eventbrite URL: www.SedonaHumanLibrary2018.eventbrite.com

Weaver adds, “Simply bring yourself and loved ones to open your mind, expand your heart and take a bold brave step in bringing harmony to our community. We look forward to learning and growing in community with you.”

The Sedona International City of Peace was recognized and established as the 35th city of now over 225 International Cities of Peace in 2012. Rotary International is an organization of community leaders who meet regularly to exchange ideas and take action to make their community and the world a better place.  The partnership between the three community organizations aligns us all in our commitment in expanding our reach and impact in creating a culture of peace in Sedona.