North Central Regional Library is bringing several speakers to libraries in October in partnership with Humanities Washington.
First up, scholar Lance Rhoades will present a multi-media program on Mary Shelley's masterpiece Frankenstein at the Entiat, Cashmere, Quincy and Soap Lake branches.
The tale of a scientist driven mad by his obsession to animate the dead has resonated widely in the popular imagination, most notably in theater and cinema. Rhoades will lead a conversation about how the work, more than two centuries after its publication, continues to serve as an allegory in debates about technology, slavery and universal suffrage.
Rhoades regularly lectures on the history of literature and film and serves as a program director for the Mercer Island Library and Arts Council.
Oct. 4 at 5:30, Entiat Public Library
Oct. 5 at 2 p.m., Soap Lake Public Library; 6 p.m. Quincy Public Library
Oct. 7 at 4 p.m., Cashmere Public Library
Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshal will give a poetry reading and presentation at the Chelan Public Library on Oct 6 at 7 p.m.
Marshal is the state's poetry spokesperson for 2016-2018. As well as a poet, he is a humanities professor at Gonzaga University. His poems have been published in numerous journals and he has written several books, most recently Bugle (2014), which won the Washington State Book Award.
The Washington State Poet Laureate program works to build awareness and appreciation for poetry through public readings, workshops and presentations.
Author and professor Dr. Cornell Clayton will explore political polarization in a program at Winthrop Public Library on Oct. 6 at 5 p.m.
Clayton is director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at Washington State University. In his program, "Political Incivility and Polarization in America," he will look at the relationship between civility and democratic participation as he's observed and recorded over the last 30 years.
Next up, scholar David Fenner will present "Islam 101: Perceptions, Misconceptions, and Context for the 21st Century" at Twisp Public Library on Oct. 13 at 6 p.m.
Fenner strives to promote a greater understanding of Islam, its history and its place in the modern world. The discussion will address topics such as who is Mohammed, what is the Qur-an, and the use and history of head scarves.
Fenner's interest in Islam dates back to his experience as a young man living in the Sultanate of Oman on the Arabian Peninsula for six years. He retired from the University of Washington in 2007 as the assistant vice provost for International Education after a career that included establishing exchange programs with universities in Egypt, Morocco, Uzbekistan, Turkey and Pakistan.
He and his wife later founded an educational center for Arab and Western students on the Arabian Peninsula.
Finally, radio host and producer Amanda Wilde will talk about the influences of Bing Crosby, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain on technology, business and the notoriety of Washington state.
Wilde's program will address how Washington was a rich breeding ground for these three distinct and revolutionary musicians to push artistic and technological limits to break new ground in their eras and genres of music.
Wilde was a key figure in the development of the cutting-edge Seattle music station KEXP, hosting its afternoon drive show for 12 years. She currently hosts and produces the music program The Swing Years and Beyond for KUOW. In 2014, she was honored by Seattle Women in Jazz for her contributions to the jazz community.
Oct. 24: Royal City Public Library, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 25: Ephrata Public Library, 7 p.m.
Oct. 26: Okanogan Public Library, 1:30 p.m.