The Midtown Scholar Bookstore's Podcast
WITF March Pick of the Month: Giving Our Kids A Fighting Chance
March 26, 2013 02:15 PM PDT
Keynote address given by Donna Celano. This is a compelling, eye-opening portrait of two communities in Philadelphia with drastically different economic resources. Over the course of their 10-year investigation, the authors of this important new work came to understand that this disparity between affluence and poverty has created a knowledge gap–far more important than mere achievement scores–with serious implications for students economic prosperity and social mobility. At the heart of this knowledge gap is the limited ability of students from poor communities to develop information capital. This moving book takes you into the communities in question to meet the students and their families, and by doing so provides powerful insights into the role that literacy can play in giving low-income students a fighting chance. Important reading for a wide audience of educators, policymakers, school reformers, and community activists.WITF November Pick of the Month: Kids for Cash: Two Judges, Thousands of Children and a $2.6 Million Kickback Scheme
November 21, 2012 01:44 PM PST
Keynote address given by William Ecenbarger, a Pulitzer Prize and George Polk award–winning investigative journalist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and a Hummelstown resident. The talk was given in celebration of the October release of his dramatic and important new book, published by the Free Press: "Kids forCash: Two Judges, Thousands of Children,and a $2.6 Million Kickback Scheme."WITF Pick of the Month: Keynote address by Shippensburg University's Professor Susan Rimby
November 12, 2012 03:10 PM PST
Keynote address by Shippensburg University's Prof. Susan Rimby, author of a forthcoming biography of Mira Lloyd Dock (pictured left), a leading activist in Harrisburg's City Beautiful Movement.TF Pick-of-the-Month: Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania
October 17, 2012 03:36 PM PDT
Nathanial Gadsden, Marjorie Maddox, Jerry Wemple, David Bauman, and Melanie Simms read poetry to commemorate Pennsylvania at 12:00 pm on Thursday, October 11th, at the Harrisburg Capitol East Wing Rotunda. The event will air on PCN on Oct. 27th from 3:45-5:15.
The evening of the 11th from 7:00-8:00 pm, the Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore hosted poets Jack Veasey (anthology contributor), Jerry Wemple and Marjorie Maddox (anthology co-editors), David Bauman, and Melanie Simms. Click on the above to hear their reading!
Over the years, Pennsylvania has been graced with an abundance of writers whose work draws imaginatively on the state's history and culture. Common Wealth sings the essence of Pennsylvania through comtemporary poetry. In these pages, poems sketch the landscapes and cultural terrain of the state, delving into the history, traditions, and people of Philadelphia, "Dutch" country, the coal-mining region, the Poconos, and the Lehigh Valley; the Three Rivers region; the Laurel Highlands, and Erie and the Allegheny National Forest. Theirs is a complex narrative cultivated for centuries in coal mines, kitchens, elevated trains, and hometowns, a tale that illuminates the sanctity of the commonplace - the daily chores of a Mennonite housewife, a polka dance in Coaldale, the late shift at a steel factory, the macadam of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
With its panaromic vision of Pennsylvania, its culture, and its thriving literary heritage, Common Wealth is a collection of rememberance for a state that continues to inspire countless contributions to American literature.
September 06, 2012 03:22 PM PDT
The Midtown Scholar Bookstore-Cafe is delighted to host author Scott Weidensaul for our monthly WITF Book Salon as a part of "PA Frontier History Day," sponsored by Millersville's Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art. This talk was recorded on Saturday, July 21.A conversation about Harrisburg University
June 22, 2012 12:51 PM PDT
A conversation about Harrisburg University 06.21.12Ed Rendell promoting his new book "A Nation of Wusses"
June 20, 2012 03:45 PM PDT
Democrats who voted for the healthcare bill but pretended they hadn't; Republicans who took local credit for stimulus money while condemning the bill on TV; Eric Cantor, Mitt Romney, and the Democratic former governor of Maryland, Parris Glendening. What do they all have in common? According to former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, they're all wusses—and after more than three decades in politics, he knows a wuss when he sees one.
In A Nation of Wusses, Rendell revisits some of the toughest fights of his career. He recalls most vividly those moments when he saw someone stand his ground, even at the risk of incurring the wrath of supporters and losing the next election. Unfortunately, as he surveys the current political scene, what he sees is a herd of elected officials, both legislators and executives, who seem far more concerned with their own job security than with serving the people who elected them.
Among current office holders and candidates, he sees politicians pretending to stand on principle while, in fact, pandering to their bases; flip-flopping on issues, not because of new information, but because of new polls; and criticizing rivals for actions they would have praised if done by allies. While not at all shy about singling out Republicans like Scott Walker, Eric Cantor, and Mitch McConnell, Rendell has no trouble taking on Democrats who refuse to stand up to the teachers' unions or distance themselves from allies who run into trouble. Other politicians might have left out of their memoirs stories like what happened to their plaque in the park, the story of Swifty the five-legged donkey, a dirty Al Gore joke, the time they considered pretending to faint, and who they're already supporting for president in 2016. Luckily for readers, Ed Rendell is not that kind of politician. Complete with a scathing list of the "Top Ten Reasons Why Most American Politicians Are Wusses" and packed with uproarious tales of politicians in action that will make you wonder why these folks keep getting elected, you might have to go back to Ulysses S. Grant to find a politician with a book as lively and honest as A Nation of Wusses.Flood stories: History, Memory, and Migration
June 20, 2012 05:32 AM PDT
In a Panel Discussion, three prominent speakers will compare urban communities' experiences of floods from the nineteenth century to the present day.
Waterproof author Judith Coopey will discuss the historical circumstances of the 1889 Johnstown Flood.
Harrisburg historian Jeb Stuart will recount the transformation of the capital region in the aftermath of 1972's Agnes Flood.
Eminent playwright and cultural scholar Lenwood Sloan will examine the
May 03, 2012 11:12 AM PDT
Introducing the Midtown Scholar - WITF Pick of the Month!
Kimi Cunningham Grant’s Silver Like Dust (Pegasus Books, 2012) is an eloquent memoir of a Japanese-American family from the early twentieth century to the present day. In an evocative series of conversations with her grandmother, Grant peels back the years to uncover the devotion, anguish, and resilience that have marked her grandmother’s eventful life.
The core of this compelling story is Grant’s reconstruction of the challenges and heartaches of her immigrant family’s imprisonment in war-time internment camps in Ponoma, California, and Heart Mountain, Wyoming.
Combining the descriptive powers of a gifted writer with engaging historical and personal reflections, Grant expands our contemporary understandings as she reflects on the past. By moving seamlessly between her grandmother’s dramatic reminiscences and the quotidian experiences of modern suburban life, she explores how families make sense of their histories.
Grant grew up in rural Central PA, graduated from Messiah College, and received a Pennsylvania Council of the Arts Fellowship in creative nonfiction. She is an English Instructor at Penn State - State College.
20 Years Out: The Legacy of the “Harrisburg Thirteen” – A 1992 Citizens’ Lawsuit against Mayoral Abuses of Power
April 25, 2012 01:58 PM PDT
“20 Years Out: The Legacy of the ‘Harrisburg Thirteen.’”
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