Monday, August 27, 2012

C.S. Lewis presentation: recommended reading

Wednesday, September 19th at 7pm at Friendswood Public Library  

C.S. Lewis - his life and works presented by Mark T. Crawford 

Rev. Mark T. Crawford was educated at SMU, Dallas and Oxford University before completing his Doctor of Ministry Degree at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He now serves as Staff Chaplain at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. 

C.S. Lewis was a novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, and lay theologian. He is known for books The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Mere Christianity among many others.  Lewis was close friends with J.R.R. Tolkien. Both authors served together on the English faculty at Oxford University and were active in the informal Oxford literary group known as the "Inklings".


Mark Crawford provides a recommended reading list covering most of the areas of Lewis’ works. See below:

The Allegory of Love - one of Lewis' academic works.

The Chronicles of Narnia - the most popular of his children's fantasies.

The Great Divorce - an allegory about heaven and hell.

Mere Christianity - probably the best known of his apologetic works.

The Poems of C.S. Lewis - yes, he was also a poet!

The Screwtape Letters - one of Lewis' most original and insightful books on temptation.

Surprised by Joy - an autobiographical account of Lewis' early life.


Most of these titles are available at the Friendswood Public Library.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

2 poems by award winning poet Adamarie Fuller

Adamarie Fuller’s poems have appeared in several publications including Texas Poetry Calendar (Honorable Mention, 2009), The Weight of Addition, The Austin International Poetry Festival Anthology (Honorable Mention, 2011), A Summers Poems, The Houston Poetry Fest Anthology, Sol Magazine, The Poetry Revolt and Poetry at Round Top.  Outside the poetry world, Adamarie is a CPA for a multinational firm, mother and grandmother.


 Farm Life   

The summer wind whispered through cracks in the clapboards;
outside, his high-plains cows rested in the meager shade.
Lunch consisted of an unlucky chicken, with okra and tomatoes.
She sipped sweet tea while he cleared dishes from the table;
he washed - she dried.  She tuned the radio to her soap opera,
he walked toward the barn to start his afternoon chores.

He could see so far that day - certainly outside Floyd County -
maybe all the way to New Mexico.  He dreamed of California,
forests of redwood trees, beautiful women, water.
It was comforting to squeeze that cool trigger,
leave this reality behind for others to inhabit.
After the funeral, people wondered why he would leave
his farm of sixty years, the house, the barn, the cows.
She sat, eating vanilla ice cream, and understood.

(Austin International Poetry Festival Honorable Mention 2011) 

Adamarie Fuller 


Change of Life    

My theory is that responsibility
makes you gain weight,
worry adds cellulite,
gray hair and bunions.

It must be true because
the evidence is right in front of me:
the old lady staring back
at me from the bathroom mirror.

When I was a teenager I would
down two hamburgers at a time,
Coca-Colas were swilled
throughout bikini summers.

An ex-husband, two kids,
assorted pets, jobs and homes
have worked their way through
my life, my character, my face.

It’s now one-piece swimsuits for me,
with a cover-up, floppy hat, sunglasses
and a big bottle of sun screen
for those romance-novel summers ahead!

(Texas Poetry Calendar Honorable Mention 2009) 

Adamarie Fuller


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Last Night: First in Texas with Friendswood Author Bob Arnold

A most enjoyable evening was had yesterday at the Friendswood Public Library. Friendswood author Bob Arnold discussed the content of his book First in Texas to a well-attended and receptive audience. Bob spoke about Josiah Bell and his influence in Austin Colony and the Brazoria County area, developing the towns of East and West Columbia. Josiah Bell was friend to Stephen Austin and Bob spent time researching the letters written between these two leaders of early Texas history. We learned about Josiah’s third son, James Hall Bell, the first native-born Texan to serve as a justice on the Texas Supreme Court. James Hall Bell was elected associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court in August 1858 and served until August 1864, when his term expired. He was an outspoken opponent of secession, believing that it would ultimately result in disaster for Texas; these sentiments cost him his reelection bid in 1864.

Finally, we heard about Bob’s father, Red Arnold, a Texas Ranger for 25 years. Bob shared stories both humorous and serious. We learned a little about Red Arnold’s career and Bob answered some questions regarding Texas Rangers in general.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Poet Donna Pauley's Mirror, Mirror

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

ARTlines Ekphrastic Poetry Competition 

FPL Poetry Series featured poet, Donna Pauley, was one of the winners of the inaugural ekphrastic poetry competition (Ekphrasis is the graphic, often dramatic, description of a visual work of art) for Artlines/Public Poetry in Houston headed by Fran Sanders and co-sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts-Houston (MFAH). It was judged by the current Texas Poet Laureate, Jan Seale, as well as two former Laureates, Dave Parsons and Paul Ruffin, together with well know Texas poets, Carmen Tafolla, and Van G. Garrett. The reading by all nine contest winners (one for each artwork) was held in Brown Auditorium at the MFAH. Each poem was recorded and is available to listen on the cell phone tour for visitors of the MFAH. The reading in Brown Auditorium was video- taped for educational classes to use in the Kinder Education Center.

Unknown maker
(Italian or American)
Mirror (one of a pair)
Early 19th century
Red pine, paint, and gilding, The Rienzi
Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harris
Masterson III, 96.1355.1.

Honorable Mention
Donna Pauley (Manvel, TX) 

Mirror Mirror 

What faces have been reflected in this glass?
The artisan, of course, his smug visage
admiring his own handiwork of
carved red pine and gilded paint
as he first hung it on the wall,
his wife smoothing a dark errant curl
slipping loose from her elegant comb,
his young son standing on tippy-toe to find
his brown eyes looking back in surprise.
Countless other faces in the ensuing years:
grave gentlemen straightening their collars,
pretty girls making moues with their soft pink mouths,
grand dames silently aghast at what the
passing years have done to their images,
and then,
the delighted O of the curator’s mouth
as she unpacks the splendid piece of art,
the admiring glances of the museum patrons
as they tuck hands deep in pockets
resisting the urge to reach out and touch
the intricately carved cornucopia.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dulcimer Society rocks library!

Nine members of North Harris Co. Dulcimer Society played traditional folk songs to a standing room only crowd last night at Friendswood Public Library.  The music was fantastic and the audience had a wonderful time singing along to traditional songs such as Yellow Rose of Texas and Amazing Grace. Instruments played include banjo, upright bass, autoharp, dulcimers, guitars, flute, fiddle, and various percussion instruments.  Group speaker and bass player Mary Ann Drabek shared her knowledge of the history of each song performed. The program was both entertaining and educational. The library hopes to have North Harris Co. Dulcimer Society back for another performance.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

3 poems by featured FPL Poetry Series poet, Carrie Kornacki

Carrie L. Kornacki has a B.S. in Journalism from Ohio University and a Certificate of Education from Bowling Green State University.  She taught English Language Arts and Reading for nine years in Ohio; English As a Second Language in Suzhou, China; British Literature in Galveston and currently teaches at Westfield High School in Spring, Texas. In addition to her experience as a teacher in public and private schools, Ms. Kornacki worked for over 12 years as a copywriter and executive in print and broadcast advertising where she won regional CLIO awards for freelance radio campaigns. She has also worked in public relations and has performed her original poetry in Ohio as part of a community therapy team to assist the mentally ill. In addition, Ms. Kornacki has taught Sunday school and has worked with kids in summer creative writing programs. She lives in Spring, Texas with her husband and three dogs. She is currently working on a children’s fantasy Middle Reader, and performs her original work throughout the Houston area. 

Carrie L. Kornacki will be a featured poet at our FPL Poetry Series reading on Wednesday, October 3 at 7pm. This reading, in honor of National Poetry Day, will be hosted by poet John Milkereit and will include poets Vanessa Zimmer-Falls and Kelly Ellis.


What might happen if my forehead split open,
right down the middle, perfect like a walnut,
just like the head of Milton’s god?

Could billions of colored dots shoot from
that blackness at the front of my head,
shoot one, two, three, each one a Eucharist
with sugar invading the world?

What would you do with these pieces of me
I give you?

Would you take the color hungrily in your mouth,
your heart darting like suicide without its whys?

Would you press these circles into your dusks
and dawns, until they fall shimmering like gravel,
until they’re only an echo, a copy, a nothing to touch?

And if you could, would you collect and study them,
buy, sell, trade and exploit them: make them stars,
put them on Oprah, steal their eyes, their hearts,
their souls?

Could you use them at home for bath salts
and wedding rings, doorstops and money,
miracle drugs, patio lights, earrings and buttons?
You could boil them like eggs, bake them in cakes,
fold them in dough and forget them.

Maybe you’ll think they’re cute, rock them
like babies, squeeze their cheeks, take their
temperature, watch them grow up into mudslides,
so you’ll have to run like crazy. 

Maybe you’ll stop and build a monument
to the god of space and worship each dot with
palms and ornaments and costumes.

Or maybe you’ll just send those dots home in a squall
of pride, my head still open like loving arms and ready,
ready to take it all back in a ricochet,
back into my cold black fire.                         

Carrie Kornacki (Garns) 

Save what you can, Emily.  Save every bit of thread.
One of them may be the way out of here.”
Thomas Higgins, in a letter to Emily Dickinson 

The layers of her coalesce with the scattered handfuls
of romance novels on East Beach, perhaps a month ago,
discarded from the window of someone’s car.

Brown words pose on shriveled, parchment pages
arching up and out like wings, and she sees everything
quivering gold, as things do at dusk, with the tumult
of her own stories where she, the heroine, in the middle
of her obsession, does not see the cliché.

She knows these stories should have never been written,
but she cannot surrender them.  Touching the edges,
she will fold their pinions into the earth of her until she flies.

Carrie Kornacki (Garns) 

Branch in the Postage Stamp Room
Suzhou, China

I trip over bars of light. Gemmed polyps of claustrophobia
and panic current through me as I run on cement walks,
over stone bridges, past whitewashed buildings, pagoda-tiled roofs,
my ink shape pounding into willow herb, amber lily,
persimmon trees burning inward with their suns.

Around a still silver pool, I pace, feel lotus-root citadels, unstained,
pursing hidden lips at me; see moon cats kneading my mutable
shadow, hear torso rock formations breathe as the things I’ve broken
stitch together into this frightening fecundity.

Here, over the polar ice-cap, where it is noon at midnight
I have no place to put the things I’ve severed.

Then I see the French Oak branch torn from its trunk.

This branch will bring things from outside in, save my mind
from imploding into a twilight crucible for all my mistakes. 

And in my postage stamp room, I will hang snapshots of who I thought
I was, hang them from the blue silhouette of this twisting branch next
to my white bed.  I will see my husband, my daughter, my lover,
my God and pretend they are still part of me, pretend nothing is lost
as a watch everything fade away. 

Carrie Kornacki (Garns)

Other Poems by Carrie Kornacki:

Saturday, August 4, 2012

North Harris Co. Dulcimer Society this Wednesday

North Harris Co. Dulcimer Society will perform at the Friendswood Public Library this Wednesday, August 8 beginning at 7pm.