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More authors slated for PCPL Festival of the Book

Monday, August 31, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- The Putnam County Public Library is inviting the community to "travel through time" during its Festival of the Book.

Travel through the 14th Century to present day with notable Indiana historian John Dittmer, Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf with jazz pianist Monika Herzig and children's book author Marie Bradby, among others.

Professor emeritus of history at DePauw University, Dittmer will discuss his latest book "The Good Doctors: The Medical Committee for Human Rights and the Struggle for Social Justice in Health Care."

"The Good Doctors" is set in the Deep South at the height of the civil rights movement. It tells the story of the Medical Committee for Human Rights, a group of health professionals who put careers on the line for their belief that "health care is a human right." His book tells the story of these nurses and doctors for the first time.

Dittmer received the Bancroft Prize, generally considered the most prestigious award in the field of American history writing, and several other awards for his 1994 work "Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi."

Dittmer served on the DePauw faculty from 1985 until his retirement in 2003. He still resides in Greencastle.

Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf will be joined by jazz pianist Monika Herzig to present what they describe as "a contemporary Indiana form of chamber music, an accessible combination of jazz and poetry."

Travel through music time with the duo, whose sounds owes something to the best of '50s and '60s-era collaboration between poets and jazz musicians.

Krapf was born in Jasper and is a graduate of Jasper High School. He left Indiana for New York in 1970 and began to trace his family's German history, study German and write poems. From 1970 until 2004, he taught at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, where he is now emeritus Professor of English.

In 2004, Krapf moved with his family back to Indianapolis and has since paired with singer-songwriters. When he was appointed a two-year term as Indiana Poet Laureate in June 2008, Krapf planned to continue his efforts to reunite poetry and music, try to bring Indiana poetry to TV and radio, give readings, talks in libraries and visit schools to share with students his enthusiasm for reading and writing poetry.

Adding the music to Krapf's poetry will be jazz pianist Monika Herzig. A native of Germany, Herzig came to the United States in August 1988 on a scholarship for a one-year exchange program to University of Alabama.

She has been performing as a professional jazz pianist for more than 15 years. Currently she teaches in the arts administration program at Indiana University, Bloomington, where she completed her doctorate in music education and jazz studies.

Herzig has gained international notoriety for her writing skills. Recently she received her third Individual Artist Grant from the Indiana Arts Commission in support of her newest music project.

Take a fictional trip through the 1960s with children's book author Marie Bradby, who will be talking about her latest book "Some Friend."

The fictional story is about an 11-year-old girl. Readers see race relationships, the politics of class and prejudice, the civil rights movement, friendship and loyality through the little girl's eyes.

"Some Friend," published in 2004, was chosen for the 2006-2007 West Virginia Children's Book Award "Master List." It is a middle-grade novel for ages 9 to 12.

Bradby grew up in the suburbs on the east coast, the sixth of seventh children. After graduating from Hampton University, she worked as a journalist for newspapers and magazines for years.

After the birth of her son, she became interested in writing children's books. She began seriously studying children's literature by reading, attending writing workshops, writing and joining professional writers' organizations and a critique group.

"It took about eight years before my first book was published," she wrote on her Web site www.mariebradby.com. "When I am not writing, I enjoy gardening, playing tennis, biking, yoga and, of course, reading."

Today, Bradby has had five award-winning books published.

Join these authors, poets, a jazz pianist and historian for an adventure through time from noon to 8 p.m. Sept. 12 at PCPL. Festival of the Book is being sponsored by Banner Graphic, First National Bank, Friends of the Library, Greencastle League of Women Voters, North Salem State Bank and Putnam County Museum.

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