Posts Tagged ‘wilderness’

Julie Turkewitz writes at the NY Times about a mountain library planned by two not-exactly-wealthy book lovers with big ideas.

“The project is striking in its ambition: a sprawling research institution situated on a ranch at 10,000 feet above sea level, outfitted with 32,000 volumes, many of them about the Rocky Mountain region, plus artists’ studios, dormitories and a dining hall — a place for academics, birders, hikers and others to study and savor the West.

“It is the sort of endeavor undertaken by a deep-pocketed politician or chief executive, perhaps a Bloomberg or a Buffett. But the project, called the Rocky Mountain Land Library, has instead two booksellers as its founders.

“For more than 20 years, Jeff Lee, 60, and Ann Martin, 53, have worked at a Denver bookshop, the Tattered Cover, squirreling away their paychecks in the pursuit of a single dream: a rural, live-in library where visitors will be able to connect with two increasingly endangered elements — the printed word and untamed nature. …

“They have poured an estimated $250,000 into their collection of 32,000 books, centering the collection on Western land, history, industry, writers and peoples. There are tales by Norman Maclean; wildlife sketches by William D. Berry; and books on beekeeping, dragonflies, cowboys and the Navajo. …

“Mr. Lee and Ms. Martin have a grant from the South Park National Heritage Area and this summer will finally begin renovations, repairing two leaky roofs. Construction will be limited, however, as they have gathered less than $120,000 in outside funds. An estimated $5 million is needed to build out their dream.” More here.

Photo: Michael Ciaglo for The New York Times

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I like walking around town at this season, dodging intent holiday shoppers but without any important agenda of my own. No urgent missions, just fun ones like yesterday’s to choose a pair of socks. I never realized how many local stores carry socks.

Then today, who should pop up outside Barefoot Books but the Acton-Boxborough High School Madrigal Singers, regaling passersby with seasonal favorites. And hand motions.

There was also a poetry reading at the library, part of an ongoing series. Today we had poet Sandra Lim, who read from her collection The Wilderness. The poems tended to start out straightforward and end up obscure. I need to read and think about them. I liked the title of one section of the nine-part poem “Homage to Anne Bradstreet” (a Puritan poet that Lim likes because of the crazy contrasts between controlled and wild), but I’m afraid my train of thought had nothing to do with the subject at hand.

The section of the Bradstreet homage was called “Black Painting,” and it reminded me of a friend who so detested the level of conversation at her husband’s management-consultant social events that she would invariably announce in the middle of the party, “I’m going home now and make a black painting.”

121414-madrigals-at Barefoot-Books

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