Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Music Class, Poetry, and a Film Chat

Jennifer Murphy Damm, free music class

Bring your little ones out to move and groove with Ms. Jen and Music for Aardvarks-Milwaukee!
Music for Aardvarks is an interactive music program for kids, ages 0-6, and their caregivers. Classes incorporate singing, dancing, live music, storytelling, and instrumental jam sessions. The Music for Aardvarks music program began in New York City 13 years ago and can be found in many cities across the country. Aardvarks songs are also featured on Nick Jr. and Jack’s Big Music Show.
Presenter bio: Jennifer Murphy Damm is a singer/songwriter, teacher, and piano instructor.  She graduated from Colorado State University with a Masters Degree in Instructional Leadership and was a middle school Science and Math teacher for seven years before having children of her own.  Damm discovered the Music for Aardvarks program and has now brought this fresh and exciting musical experience to Milwaukee.  Her website is

Poet Annie Finch 
Saturday, November 6 @2pm, MPLs Centennial Hall

From haiku to ode, great poetry has always connected us with earth's cycles. This program will help you rediscover how poetry attunes us to the motions of our moving and vulnerable planet. Poet Annie Finch shares some of her favorite seasonal poems, along with tips for using poetic rhythm to align yourself with the changing year.

Annie Finch is author of the poetry collections Among the Goddesses, Calendars, The Encyclopedia of Scotland, and Eve, reissued in Carnegie Mellon’s Classic Contemporaries Poetry Series. Her other works include libretti; music, theater, and art collaborations; translation; and several anthologies and books on poetry. Winner of a Black Earth fellowship and the Robert Fitzgerald Award, she is Director of the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine.

Nathan Rabin, author of My Year of Flops: One Man's Journey Deep Into the Heart of Cinematic Failure

What if we went to a hundred movies and they all sucked?  But what if, afterwards, we had a beer or two, and after some discussion, several turned out to be works of genius, and others, well, still sucked?  And then one of us wrote a column about it?   

That's the gist of Nathan Rabin's new book, My Year of Flops, based on his twice-weekly column of the same name that began in 2007 and was so popular (his fans include the popular comic Patton Oswalt), he continued beyond the initial timeframe implied in the title. Rabin watches (in most case, re-watches) a commercial and generally critical failure, offers his critique, and puts it in cultural perspective and biographical (his) perspective.   

Think Exit to Eden, Ishtar, Mame, and Battlefield Earth.  It helps that Rabin has encyclopedic film knowledge and a razor sharp wit. My Year of Flops takes dozens of those columns and throws in fifteen brand-new entries as well as bonus interviews. The results are laugh-out-loud funny and, perhaps a little strangely, nostalgic.
Nathan Rabin 
Author bio: Nathan Rabin is the author of the acclaimed memoir, The Big Rewind, which chronicles Rabin’s tumultuous childhood and struggles with depression through a darkly comic lens of pop culture and entertainment.  He attended the University of Wisconsin where he began writing for The Onion, becoming the Head Writer of its entertainment section, The A.V. Club.  Rabin was, briefly, a regular critic on AMC’s short-lived “Movie Club with John Ridley.”  He lives in Chicago. 

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