Thursday October 4, 2012

BRATTLEBORO -- The 11th annual Brattleboro Literary Festival starts with a Civil War or two at Brooks Memorial Library.

Vermont Reads, the statewide reading and dialogue program of the Vermont Humanities Council has chosen two Civil War-related books as its highlighted titled for 2012 -- "Bull Run" by Paul Fleischman and "Red Badge of Courage" by Stephen Crane.

The first two events of the Literary Festival focus on these Vermont Reads selections.

On Wednesday, Oct. 10, there will be a screening of the film "Red Badge of Courage" and a discussion at 7 p.m., at the Brooks Memorial Library Meeting Room. Crane’s novel is accurately brought to the screen. Audie Murphy (the most honored soldier in World War II) stars as the young Civil War soldier coming to grips with the horrors of war. John Huston’s screenplay and direction made this film a true classic of its genre. The film runs 69 minutes, and also starts Bill Mauldin and Royal Dano. After the film, join BUHS English Department Chairwoman Nancy Olson for a discussion.

On Thursday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m., the NEYT Players will present a staged reading of "Bull Run" in the Main Room of Brooks Memorial Library.

Join NEYT artistic director Stephen Stearns, and readers Emma Bliss, Henry Weisel, Ralph Meima, Jay Gelter, Jessica Callahan Gelter, Dan Yates, Jerry Goldberg, Greg Lesch, Curtiss Reed, Winifred Mixon, Moriah Martel, Clark Glennon, Tony Grobe, Genna Nethercott, Ian Mahoney and Willie Finkel in a staged reading of "Bull Run," the Vermont Reads book of 2012 selected by the Vermont Humanities Council.

The reading by a mix of NEYT students, alumni and local business people, directed by Stearns. The New York Times calls Bull Run "A deft, poignant novel." The book jacket states, "Newbery Award-winning author Paul Fleischman re-creates the first great battle of the Civil War from the points of view of 16 participants, Northern and Southern, male and female, white and black. Here are voices that tell of the dreams of glory, the grim reality, the hopes, horror, and folly of a nation discovering the true nature of war."

In short letter form, foot soldiers, colonels, wives, slaves, doctors, boys wanting to enlist and kill Yankees before the "supply runs out"... real people from the past tell a riveting story of what it was like on the doorstep of a nation about to involve itself in its bloodiest war ever.

Vermont Reads is a project of the Vermont Humanities Council and brings together communities and people of diverse ages, abilities, and experiences to read and discuss a book of high quality and acclaim. The program promotes community building, open dialogue, intergenerational exchange, the humanities and literacy.

For more information, contact Brooks Memorial Library at 802-254-5290 or e-mail brattlib@brooks.lib.vt.us.