Books

BGSU Arts Events, through Jan. 25

Jan. 11—The Faculty Artist Series begins the semester with a performance by cellist Brian Snow. Snow has earned a reputation as a gifted and versatile performer in chamber music, orchestral and solo settings after spending the past decade performing and teaching in the New York City area. His recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 12—The reading series hosted by the Creative Writing Program and the Mid-American Review begins with BGSU graduate students Nick Heeb and Roseanna Boswell. They will present their work at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Jan. 18—The Faculty Artist Series features Conor Nelson on flute. Nelson has appeared as a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Flint Symphony, among others. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 19—The 59th annual Honor Band and Directors Clinic will feature the BGSU Wind Symphony in performance at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall. Free Jan. 19—Poet Bruce Weigl will read from his work as part of the Creative Writing Program’s Visiting Writer Series. Weigl is the author of “The Circle of Hanh”and more than a dozen other books of poetry, including “The Abundance of Nothing”(2012) and “Song of Napalm”(1988), both of which were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Jan. 20—The Brown Bag Music Series will feature a musical theatre extravaganza by students and faculty from the College of Musical Arts. The program will begin at 11:45 a.m. in the Simpson Building, 1291 Conneaut Ave., Bowling Green. Free. Jan. 21—The 59th annual Honor Band and Directors Clinic will feature all Ohio Honor Bands. The concert will begin at 3:30 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 25—The Faculty Artist Series presents pianist Robert Satterlee. He has appeared on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago, San Francisco’s Old First Concert Series and the Schubert club in St. Paul, Minn., among others. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free


BGSU scholar Rebecca Kinney dissects the myth of Detroit’s death & resurrection

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Rebecca Kinney only realized she should write about her hometown of Detroit when she was living to the West Coast. Kinney grew up in Royal Oak, just north of the city, hugging Woodward Avenue. She remembers watching the fireworks explode over the Detroit River from the National Bank building downtown. She remembers how far the city seemed though it was just a 20-minute drive from her home. And she remembered being impressed by the change in architecture, the towering, imposing structures in the city compared to the single-family scale of the suburbs. Living in San Diego and San Francisco, she found everyone had something to say about the place where she grew up. Even if they’d never been to Detroit or even the Rust Belt, they knew, or thought they knew, something about the place. That made Kinney wondered: where did they get these ideas? Everyone knows this, she was told. What everyone knew was that Detroit had once been an industrial powerhouse, and then it fell into ruin. But now, it was on the rise. News magazines ran front page stories on its advertised rebirth. Photographers captured the city’s ruined beauty, depicting it as a new frontier. Chrysler celebrated it in Super Bowl ads. At the time her writing focused on Chinatowns in other cities, now her attention turned back home. “For me it was the first city I ever experienced,” Kinney said in an interview with BG Independent. “It’s a city I always compare other cities to, which is strange because until 10 years ago it wasn’t considered a city. It was considered a dead city, a dying city, a place where by all accounts nothing was happening. … Writing it off as a dead city suggests that the 670,000 people who lived there did not exist.” Detroit is still the 21st largest city by population in the nation. And what then does it mean, to say that the city is now reviving? Kinney’s analysis and study of those questions resulted in the book “Beautiful Wasteland,” which was published by the University of Minnesota Press this fall. The image of Detroit as a frontier, as depicted in the photographs she discusses in the chapter “Picturing Ruin and Possibility,” served to set up the city as a place ripe for development. That’s akin to way the American West was depicted, just as in…


Will Santino’s “Examples of Anything” is a love song of words & images

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Will Kiley Santino’s new book “Examples of Anything” is easy to describe and impossible to define. The book is a progressive series of squares, each a small abstract painting with a word or phrase attached. And in that dynamic between words and images, the mystery begins. What is the relation between the lime and sky blue watercolor square and the phrase “how lawnmowers say hi”? And as the reader-viewer progresses, rhymes and echoes among squares reveal themselves, hinting at a narrative. Santino, a Bowling Green native now studying art at the University of Wisconsin Madison, will only say that there’s “a through line about intimacy and closeness to another person.” That plays out in an interior monologue of abstract illustration and elusive poetry. Santino said he wanted to create an experience that someone could take from beginning to end, or simply study a single page. The images are abstract smudges of mood. The words may be mundane – “swing set” and “bike trail.” Does the image represent the words? What kind of person would pair those words and colors? Other phrases are more evocative – “blaming autumn” and “cymbal shiver.” Others hint at narrative – “thrown out toys” and “the silence after everyone stops laughing.” Santino shows his love of language by using arcane terms that will have even highly literate readers reaching for the dictionary – heliotaxis (movement of an organism in response to sunlight); keraunomancy (divination by thunderbolts); and borborygmus (a rumbling or gurgling made by the movement of liquid in the intestines). And he’s not afraid to coin a term or two when his muse requires – “pregret” and “heartifact.” Part poetry, part painting, “Examples of Anything” is a lyrical reflection on life as it is being lived. The final words are: “All I want to say is something to you.” Then book ends with several pages of color fireworks. This is the 27-year-old’s second book. His first, from 2015 was a children’s book, “My Week,” about a boy’s adventures through his fantastic hometown, a place every much like Bowling Green. He builds a child’s fantastic world, full of fanciful creatures and places. Santino is a naturalist who explores fantastic worlds of his own creation. “My Week,” Santino said, showed him he could produce a book and self-publish it. He’s dreamed and worked at being a writer since he was a…


BGSU is leader in textbook cost containment

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Even before politicians in Columbus opened the book on textbook costs, Bowling Green State University was taking action to control that expense. David Levey, who chairs the university’s Board of Trustees, said that at a recent conference for trustees from around the state system a presentation on textbook costs was made. He said he was “shocked” at where other institutions in their efforts. “We’re so far ahead on this curve,” he said at Friday’s trustees meeting. “Many of the state institutions are just catching on with this.” The presentation that followed explained what BGSU has done and made clear there’s more work to do. Michelle Simmons, assistant vice president for academic operations told the trustees that as a percentage of the cost of going to college, textbooks is not great. The trouble is that the expense hits at a point that students and families have already paid large sums for tuition and housing. Rachelle Hippler, who chairs the Faculty Senate, said the faculty and staff at BGSU have been taking action before there was any talk of a state mandate. “It’s really important for students to have a lot of options when they go to purchase their textbooks,” said Library Dean Sara Bushong. She catalogued some of those options. Last year the library spent $5,000 to buy textbooks for 42 courses that have high enrollments and high textbook costs. Those are placed on reserve and can be used in the library for up to two hours. Those books were used more than 1,500 times. Faculty also has the option of placing a copy of the text for their class on reserve, she said. That initiative got a thumbs up from undergraduate student trustee Meg Burrell. She used reserved texts for three of her six courses. “I spent more time in the library … but it’s a great place to be. … I can’t plug it enough. It’s just a very comfortable place” Burrell said she rented texts for two of her courses, and purchased books for her sixth course. Burrell said she got “smarter” about buying texts as her academic career progressed. Simmons said that the working group on textbooks is trying to target first year students to make sure they know about their options earlier. Burrell said over time she has made more use of BG Choose, the price comparison tool developed by…


Faculty will write next chapter in plan to reduce textbook costs

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University Faculty Senate opted not to take action on a resolution calling for a goal of cutting student textbook costs by 50 percent. Instead the senate at the urging of Jim Evans will leave it up to an ad hoc committee to come up with a proposal, and then will act on that proposal. That’s the way the senate procedure should work, Evans said. He argued that the resolution before the senate, which had been tabled in November, would be an “insult” to the members of the ad hoc committee because it spells out what they should decide. That resolution called for the committee to report to the full senate by next May, and there was no indication that the timeline would change. Everyone in the senate, everyone at the university, Evans said, wants lower textbook costs. The senate should allow the committee to study the issue and deliver a resolution based on what they find. The decision should be based on “facts and data” not “hearsay,” which is how he characterized what was in the resolution. Anne Gordon asked why the resolution insisted that BGSU lead the state in reducing textbook cost. “That seems to me to be part of the agenda of moving so quickly,” she said. “Why is taking lead in this issue so important?” Allen Rogel said it was important for the senate and the university to present options before “we get something rammed down our throats by the legislature.” Provost Rodney Rogers noted in his remarks that the BGSU Board of Trustees will be discussing textbook costs. At November’s meeting when the resolution was first presented, the initiatives BGSU is already taking were spelled out. Those included the bookstore’s BGSU Choose program through which students can comparison shop for books. Also, the library buys copies of some of the most in demand textbooks and makes them available at the reserve desk. David Jackson said “faculty have little control over what private corporations charge for textbooks.” Michelle Heckman, said the Math Emporium was able to negotiate getting materials for 60 percent less when it bypassed the bookstore. The motion to delay consideration of the resolution until the ad hoc committee delivers its report passed 45-21.


“Living With Earl” finds its voice in reading by author & new audio edition

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Some people were surprised when Tom Lambert wrote a book. Some people even took umbrage at what they saw his literary pretensions. After all, didn’t he flunk English? And Lambert, a cabinet maker by trade, admits he didn’t spend much time in the library either, though he did tend bar at Howard’s Club H when it was located where the Wood County Library now sits. Yet talking to Lambert, it’s clear the man loves a story, and he put the effort into writing some of them down. The result was the book “Living With Earl” which he self-published a year ago. It’s available at Grounds for Thought and Finders downtown as well as online from Amazon or at his website livingwithearl.com. The book recounts Lambert’s interactions with a mysterious visitor, Earl, who claims to be Mark Twain. Though he’s a spectral presence, he still has mortal needs like food, coffee and getting his laundry done. Lambert will revisit the site of his old haunts, when he reads from “Living With Earl” Saturday, Dec. 10, at 1 p.m. in the atrium of the Wood County Library. The reading comes in conjunction with the completion of an audio version of the book, which will be available on Amazon.  Professional actor Brian Schell, who Lambert said has a voice similar to Motel 6 pitchman Tom Bodett’s, gives voice to Lambert’s adventures with his quirky visitor. Lambert, 70, said the book grew out of daily Facebook posts in which he attributed sundry witticisms to Earl, a name he pulled out of thin air. “On this date, according to Earl, the first Dalmatian was spotted” was a typical one.  Lambert would put the posts together in the 40 minutes he had in the morning before heading off to work. The posts garnered the stray like or two.  Disappointed by the seeming lack of reaction, Lambert announced, that he would cease posting the Earl jokes. He was flooded with protests, and the suggestion he pull some of these stories together into a book. Along the way Earl had decided he was Mark Twain. The book is a series of vignettes that have Lambert and the strong-willed Earl, talking, disputing, eating, shooting pool, visiting various area locales. Some of the stories about Lambert are true, others about Earl are made up, and much of the material lies in the netherworld between…


Everyone gets into the act at Arts X

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News At Arts X a surprise awaits the visitor around every corner. An actress in a shimmering gown and dramatic blond wig, steps forward to sing “Let It Go.” One of the Living Statues in the lobby of the Wolfe Center, she’s been waiting her turn as other characters have stepped forward to offer a song or monologue. Look up and there’s a pair of eyes projected overhead. Big Sister is watching. As the audience settles for a performance in the Donnell Theatre, someone says she has just posed for a Vogue cover. Two comedians come careening down the hall on the second floor of the Wolfe Center, making a harried entrance into the Heskett dance studio. Do you know there’s an art exhibit, they exclaim. It’s part of the act; we’re all part of the act. There’s always something to see and hear and do at Arts X, and that means there’s always something to miss. There’s always someone new to meet, or an old friend to greet. With the end of the semester looming, and finals and holiday festivities just ahead, artists, performers, writers and their fans took time out to celebrate. Arts X drew hundreds to the Bowling Green State University School of Art and the Wolfe Center Saturday night. The annual event is part art fair, part music and theater festival, part holiday party. Arts X organizers have been tweaking its presentation since the start. This year the Bowling Green Philharmonia offered a prelude of holiday music in the Donnell before the hubbub officially ensued. The theme “Volanti: Seeking Unknown Heights” tied in with the featured guest artists Violet and Fortuna, storytelling acrobats. They performed two shows in the Donnell, sections from their work-in-progress, “Laces.” The piece combined a disembodied voice emerging from the dark to set the scene, a house in Toledo’s Old West End. The scenes introduced the audience to the home’s inhabitants. There was a very tall man, the original owner. There were stuffed toys left behind in a trunk. There was a lesbian couple who made the property bloom with plants and company. These stories were played out with circus arts – aerial work, acrobatics, clowning, tightrope walking. In the most dramatic instances the duo of Erin Garber-Pearson and Kathleen Livingston hung high above the Donnell stage, muscles taut, twisting in light and shadow. Auxwerks, a dance…


BGSU Lively Arts Calendar through Dec. 9

Dec. 1—The International Film Series concludes with the 1977 film “Neokanchennaia P’esa Dlia Mekhanicheskogo Pianino (An Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano),” directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. From Russia’s most well-known contemporary filmmaker, an intriguing story of former lovers who meet at a pre-revolutionary country estate. Casual conversations on social issues and the music of Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Donizetti supply background to a Chekhovian treatment of returning past love. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free Dec. 1—Creative writing students in the bachelor of fine arts program will present their work. The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Dec. 1—World Percussion Night features multiple styles including performances by the Taiko, Afro-Caribbean and Gamelan ensembles. The concert begins at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased from the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171. Advance tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students and children. All tickets the day of the concert are $10. Dec. 3— BG Philharmonia will perform a Holiday Concert to kick off the 12th annual ArtsX events. The performance will begin at 4 p.m. in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre located in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Free Dec. 3—The 12th annual ArtsX will take place from 5-9 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center and the Wolfe Center for the Arts, including the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries, where student and faculty artists and performers show off their talents to the community. The evening includes works from the College of Musical Arts, the School of Art, the Department of Theatre and Film, the Creative Writing Program, the Dance Program, and numerous other organizations, along with holiday shopping. Free Dec. 3—The Annual Faculty and Staff Exhibition opening reception will be held from 5-9 p.m. in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries located in the Fine Arts Center as part of ArtsX events. Free Dec. 4-14—The Annual Faculty and Staff Exhibition will be on display in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries in the Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Dec. 4— The University Choral Society performs Handel’s “Messiah” with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra in the Peristyle at the Toledo Museum of Art,…


Mr. Lemoncello author has soft spot for Bowling Green & its library

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Maria Simon first reaction when she found her name in “Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics” was to call out to her husband. The next was to order a cake. Cake after all is the celebratory food of choice at Mr. Lemoncello’s amazing library. “I just about jumped off my chair,” said Simon, children’s librarian at the Wood County Public Library. The author, Chris Grabenstein, didn’t only name the reference librarian at the fictional Alexandriaville Public Library after Simon, he buried another reference to Bowling Green in the book. The GPS coordinates for Blue Jay Extended Stay Motel where the book’s young heroes find a vital clue are those of the Wood County District Public Library. That makes it a stop for those who do geocaching. A few people have already visited the library because of that. Simon said she didn’t realize that connection until after she contacted the author to thank him for using her name. “He enjoys making his books interactive.” Grabenstein has been known to drop references to places he’s been and people he’s met, as well as other books.  One of the challenges the heroes of the book face is a contest to see who can eat pizza and read at the same time, and then pass a comprehension test. The winning team read Isaac Bashevis Singer’s “Shlemiel Went to Warsaw and Other Stories.” Another character’s favorite book is “Bud, Not Buddy” by Michigan writer Christopher Paul Curtis. The villains in the Mr. Lemoncello books are those who have precious, overly protective attitude toward libraries and books; the heroes are those who want to share their love of reading widely. Grabenstein is no stranger to Bowling Green. Last year on his way to Michigan on a family visit, he visited to promote his book “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.” He gave a presentation at the middle school, where his skills as a standup comedian were on full display, Simon said. He loved the town, Simon said, asking if it was used in any movies. “When I saw the town, it looked just like I imagined my fictional Ohio town of Alexandriaville might look,” the author wrote in a recent email. “So I now use photos of BG for reference when I am writing Mr. Lemoncello stories.” “Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics” is a sequel to “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.” Simon, he added, has been…


BGSU Lively Arts through Dec. 5

Nov. 29—Undergraduate and graduate piano students will perform at 7 p.m. at the Wood County District Public Library, 251 N. Main St., Bowling Green. Free Nov. 29—Percussion ensembles will perform at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 30—The Early Music Ensemble will perform at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Dec. 1—The International Film Series concludes with the 1977 film “Neokanchennaia P’esa Dlia Mekhanicheskogo Pianino (An Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano),” directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. From Russia’s most well-known contemporary filmmaker, an intriguing story of former lovers who meet at a pre-revolutionary country estate. Casual conversations on social issues and the music of Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Donizetti supply background to a Chekhovian treatment of returning past love. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free Dec. 1—Creative writing students in the bachelor of fine arts program will present their work. The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Dec. 1—World Percussion Night features multiple styles including performances by the Taiko, Afro-Caribbean and Gamelan ensembles. The concert begins at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased from the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171. Advance tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students and children. All tickets the day of the concert are $10. Dec. 3—Ensembles of the BGSU College of Musical Arts will perform a Holiday Concert as part of the 12th annual ArtsX events. The performance will begin at 4 p.m. in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre located in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Free Dec. 3—The 12th annual ArtsX will take place from 5-9 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center and the Wolfe Center for the Arts, including the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries, where student and faculty artists and performers show off their talents to the community. The evening includes works from the College of Musical Arts, the School of Art, the Department of Theatre and Film, the Creative Writing Program, the Dance Program, and numerous other organizations, along with holiday shopping. Free Dec. 3—The Annual Faculty and Staff Exhibition opening reception will be held from 5-9 p.m. in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries located in the Fine Arts Center as part of ArtsX events….


Sweet things to taste, hear, & read on tap at library

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Concerts, a holiday cookie bake-off and tasting, and an author visit help usher in the season at Wood County District Public Library (251 North Main St., Bowling Green). Give yourself a break from the hustle and bustle of the season, and stop by the library for these programs. Tuesday, November 29, 7 pm. Students in piano studies at Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts return to the WCDPL Atrium for another virtuoso concert. This last concert in the BGSU Fall Concert Series at the library features selections from the work of nine master composers, including that of Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms, as well as the work of Alexander Scriabin, Gabriel Fauré, Alberto Ginastera, and Sergei Prokofiev. Sunday, December 4, 2 pm. The Great Holiday Bake-off takes place in the Library Atrium. Bakers and cookie tasters are needed! Tasters are invited to come and sample cookies, then vote on their favorites. To enter the bake-off, bakers are asked to bring 2 dozen cookies and their recipe. Multiple cookie entries are accepted, how ever bakers should a recipe for each type of cookie type. For purposes of determining contest winners, bakers will be divided into 2 categories: 12-years-old and younger and 13-years-old and older. Saturday, December 10, 1 pm. Meet the Author, Tom Lambert. 1st Floor Meeting Room. Imagine acquiring a house guest known to you only as “Earl”. All the evidence before you suggests that Earl in fact may be America’s beloved—albeit long dead–humorist and author, Mark Twain. Who is this person really? That’s the question bedeviling Tom in Living with Earl. Tom Lambert, a life-long resident of Bowling Green comes to WCDPL to talk about his debut novel, Living with Earl. Book signing to follow Mr. Lambert’s talk. These programs are free and open to all.For more information, contact WCDPL at 419-352-5050 and find details at wcdpl.org/calendar.  


Faculty senate mulls options for cutting students’ textbook expense

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Bowling Green State University heard about many ways to reduce the cost of textbooks on Tuesday. When it came time to approve a resolution that called for formulating a plan by May, 2017, that would cut costs in half, the senate balked. Not that the senators weren’t behind cutting textbook costs. Rather they were concerned about committing to that specific target before the issue had been studied, as well as for procedural reasons. Gov. John Kasich and the Republican-controlled legislature have been pushing for reductions on the price of textbooks as part of efforts to reduce the cost of higher education for students. This concern comes at a time when the trend has been a significant decrease in state support for higher education. Universities did receive a modest increase in funding in the most recent budget. Before considering the resolution titled “To Lead Ohio Higher Education in Textbook Cost Reduction,” the senate heard from a panel about what is being done to control the cost of textbooks. Provost Rodney Rogers said that after the major expenses of tuition, fees, room and board are paid, students and their parents are then confronted with “additional costs that are pretty significant and sometimes it surprises families.” Jeff Nelson, the manager of the University bookstore, said that the timing of when professors decide what materials they will use is key. The earlier, the better, he said. Through BGSU Choose, price comparison software, the bookstore gives students information on what books and materials cost at the bookstore and at 12 other national vendors, including Amazon. As soon as the bookstore knows what books will be required it can do the research, he said. The system also “gives us a lot of data and analytics.” Sometimes that information leads the bookstore to discount the price of some textbooks. He said that 85 percent of students who use BGSU Choose end up buying something from the bookstore. Nelson also said that if the bookstore knows before finals week that a text will be required the next semester, a student will get twice as much when selling their copy of that text. The bookstore, he said, was working on making texts in all forms, new, used, rental and online, available to students. Colleen Boff, associate dean of Universities Libraries, said, that the library had piloted a program where certain texts in high…


BGSU arts events through Nov. 16

Through Nov. 21 – “The Deathworks of May Elizabeth Kramer,” a mixed media installation by The Poyais Group, continues through Nov. 21 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery in the Fine Arts Center. The exhibit is a purported recreation by the Poyais Group of outsider artist Kranmer’s (1867-1977) private lifework, a tent version of the town where she lived, with each tent representing someone who had died. Discovered by a team of anthropologists after her death but then lost in a fire, the installation was remade by the Poyais Group (Jesse Ball, Thordis Bjornsdottir, Olivia Robinson and Jesse Stiles) based on notes by one of the original anthropologists. Gallery Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Through Nov. 22 – “Criminal Justice?” an exhibit by activist artists Carol Jacobson and Andrea Bowers, investigates the attitudes and biases embedded in the U.S. criminal justice system. Jacobson is an award-winning social documentary artist whose works in video and photography address issues of women’s criminalization and censorship. See story: http://bgindependentmedia.org/artist-documents-the-cycle-of-abuse-suffered-by-female-inmates/. Bowers’ video “#sweetjane” and drawings explore the 2012 Steubenville, Ohio rape case and the citizens whose activism resulted in two rape convictions. The drawings reproduce the text messages sent among the teenage witnesses to the assault on an underage young woman. “Criminal Justice?” is on view in the Willard Wankelman Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Gallery Hours are 11 a.m. – 4p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Nov. 2 – The Faculty Artist Series features the BGSU woodwind faculty in an 8 p.m.performance in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 3 – The International Film Series continues with the 2015 film “Le Dernier Loup (Wolf Totem),” directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. Life is tenuous for humans and animals in the wonderfully filmed Mongolian steppe. The story presents a stark view of the region 50 years ago, during China’s Cultural Revolution, focusing on Beijing student who goes to live among nomadic herdsmen in 1967. The modern world imperils the ecosystem form the south, while wolves, who hold spiritual meaning for the indigenous people, threaten from the North. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. Free Nov. 3-5 – The 16th annual Winter Wheat festival of writing celebrates writers and readers alike. Created in 2001 and produced by the Mid-American Review on the BGSU campus, the event…


Piper Kerman found friends, a book & a cause in prison

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Piper Kerman was a just a couple years out of college when she stepped over the line. She’d been traveling all over the world with her drug dealing girlfriend. She tried to keep out of her lover’s business until she was asked to carry a suitcase full of money from Chicago to Brussels. Kerman knew what she’d done, and soon after broke off the relationship, returned to the United States and put that life behind her. That’s what she thought. About five years later federal authorities rang her doorbell in New York City, and the time came to pay for her crime. Kerman ended up serving 15 months in federal prison, and came out to write the best seller “Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison.” On Tuesday night she spoke at Bowling Green State University as the guest of University Libraries’ Ordinary People: Extraordinary Lives series. Being in prison meant more than serving time. Kerman said when she had carried that money from Chicago to Brussels she didn’t think about the consequences her actions. In prison she came face to face with those whose lives had been devastated by drugs. “My closeness and connection to those women led me to realize the harm of my own actions, and I’m very, very grateful for that,” she said. Kerman said she was grateful to Jenji Kohan who produced the Netflix series based on the book, for keeping the issues she wanted to highlight in the book in the forefront. Among those were friendship. Kerman said she didn’t go into prison expecting to find friends, but wouldn’t have survived without them. Kerman talked about Pom-Pom. They worked at jobs near each other in prison. Pom-Pom was released a few months before Kerman, just before Thanksgiving. She ended up sleeping on the floor of a relative who didn’t want her there. The area she lived in was cold and dangerous and poor. Before Christmas she wrote a letter to Kerman, telling her to keep her spirits up because she’d be released soon. Then she wrote: “I really miss you guys. I feel like you’re my real family.” Kerman was overwhelmed. She cried not just about her friend’s current situation but because “I wished she was back in prison with us.” In writing “Orange Is the New Black,” she said she wanted readers to…


Author tells BGSU the best answer ends with a question mark

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Warren Berger travels around telling people they should ask more questions. In some circles that could get him labeled as troublemaker; elsewhere, he’d be considered an innovator. As a journalist Berger asks questions for a living, and he’s made them the focus of his work. His book “A More Beautiful Question,” is the common read for Bowling Green State University this year, and the self-described “questionologist” visited campus Wednesday to further proselytize about the importance of questioning. Asking questions, he quipped, “has allowed me to go without a job for 25 years.” Trained as a journalist at Syracuse University, he chafed at the notion of working in a newsroom where his inquiry would be subject to assignments handed out by an editor. So he ventured down the route of independent journalist. And while he asked questions that whole time – “as a journalist questions are the only tool you have,” it has only been in the last few years that the full import of the subject has revealed itself to him. He learned that questioning is not always valued. It challenges the status quo. And over time, people ask fewer and fewer questions. “If you ask questions you can be seen as disruptive,” Berger said. That’s especially true of students in inner city schools. But people are born to ask questions. It starts at age 2, he said, and peaks at about age 4. “A 4-year-old girl is the ultimate question-asking machine,” he said. She averages 300 a day, and boys that age are not far behind. Though questioning falls off afterward, creative people continue ask them, and those questions, he discovered, have shaped our world. The genesis of innovation, whether the internet or Airbnb, the cell phone or Gatorade, is a question. It starts with why? – to understand the problem. Then what if? – to generate ideas. And then how about? – to start solving the problem. These questions unleash a steady stream of what he calls beautiful questions leading to change, big and small, revolutionary and incremental. In Silicon Valley, Berger said, “questions are the new answers.” The questioning doesn’t stop once the product is developed, he said. “It is the most effective to keep the company innovating.” Answers, he said, have “a short shelf life.” But questioning is not only useful for business. Berger told the students in attendance that…