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2010-2011 Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series - Preview

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FOCL Announces 2010-2011 Lecture Series Authors


The Friends of the Central Library announced the 2010-2011 Season of the Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series at the conclusion of the Richard Russo lecture on Tuesday, March 16.  “We’ve been so excited to make this announcement,” said Denise Headd, FOCL Program Director.  “We are thrilled with the line up we have
to offer next season.”  All lectures will be held at the Civic Center
and begin promptly at 7:30 pm. 


2010-2011 Authors

Michael Pollan - Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Michael Pollan - head shotSearch OCPL Catalog

Michael Pollan Official Website

Bill Moyers Journal / PBS Profile Page

TED 2007 - Pollan Gives A Plant's-eye View [video]

Michael Pollan is best known for writing books and articles about food, agriculture, drugs, gardens, and architecture.  His interests lie in “where the human and natural worlds intersect.”  He is the author of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s Eye View of the World.  His articles can be seen in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Vogue, Travel + Leisure, Gardens Illustrated, and House & Garden. 

W.S. Merwin - Tuesday, November 9, 2010

WS Merwin - head shotSearch the OCPL Catalog

Biography at the Steven Barclay Agency

Bill Moyers Journal / PBS Profile Page

Interview on NPR

W. S. Merwin is a poet and translator.  He has become one of the most widely read poets in America.  Merwin began his writing career at the age of five writing hymns for his father, a Presbyterian minister.  As a young man he traveled through Europe and fell in love with words and language leading him to find work as a literary translator.  During his career he met and got to know Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and Adrienne Rich.  In 1999 he was named Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress for a jointly held position with poets Rita Dove and Louise Gluck.  He is the recipient of the Golden Wreath, an international poetry award, and the 2004 Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award.  He is a two time Pulitzer Prize winner, and has won the National Book Award, the Tanning Prize, the Bollingen Prize, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. 

Elizabeth Strout - Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Elizabeth Strout - head shotSearch the OCPL Catalog

Elizabeth Strout Official Website

Washington Post Article About 'Olive'

Read or Listen to an Excerpt on NPR

Elizabeth Strout is the third author in the 2010-2011 Season.  She received the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, Olive Kitteridge, a collection of 13 stories all linked to a local, retired teacher named Olive Kitteridge.  She has also written Abide with Me and Amy and Isabelle.  Among several literary awards Strout has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Orange Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.   Strout is a member of the faculty of the MFA program at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Rick Steves - Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rick Steves - head shotSearch the OCPL Catalog

Rick Steves Official Website

Article in Time Magazine

PBS Video & Interview

Rick Steves is best known for his public television show Rick Steves’ Europe, and his best-selling European travel guide books.  Steves teaches fellow travelers to become “temporary locals” when visiting foreign countries, and teaches us how to travel for a fraction of the cost.  He is one of public television’s top pledge drive hosts, and raises millions of dollars annually for stations across the US.  Steves is the author of 30 + European guidebooks, 12 country guidebooks, nine city and regional guides, six phrase books, and is the co-author of Europe 101: History and Art for Travelers.  When asked if he was interested in participating in the Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series Steves was excited as he has never traveled to Syracuse, NY. 

Alice Hoffman - Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Alice Hoffman - head shotSearch the OCPL Catalog

Alice Hoffman Official Website

Biography at BookBrowse.com

Article & Audio at the Lyceum Agency

Alice Hoffman has been called “America’s literary heir to the Brothers Grimm”.  Her everyday fables are a favorite of her readers.  Hoffman can make the ordinary extraordinary as she writes about life’s common struggles including relationships, intimacy, family, identity, love, and basic survival.  Some of Hoffman’s titles include Here on Earth, Practical Magic, Blackbird House, Blue Diary, The Probable Future, The Ice Queen, and Skylight Confessions.  She is also the author of several children’s books and young adult titles.  Her novels have been recognized by the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Library Journal, and People Magazine.  Her books are well loved among book groups across the nation. 

David Baldacci - Tuesday, May 10, 2011

David Baldacci - head shotSearch the OCPL Catalog

David Baldacci Official Website

Article in Newsweek

Interview at BookBrowse.com

David Baldacci will conclude the 2010-2011 Season of the Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series.  Baldacci is the author of 18 novels, nine screenplays, and a novella for the Dutch entitled, Office Hours.  All of his books have been national and international bestsellers with over 90 million copies in print worldwide.  Baldacci is the author of Absolute Power, Total Control, The Winner, Last Man Standing, The Camel Club, The Collectors, Simple Genius, and Divine Justice, in addition to several others.  Baldacci is personally involved in numerous philanthropic efforts including his family’s own Wish You Well Foundation, established by Baldacci and his wife, supporting family literacy in the United States through the development of new and existing literacy and educational programs.  Baldacci partly accepted his offer to participate in the Gifford Lecture Series because Syracuse is well known for its literacy efforts. 


Tickets will be available after Labor Day 2010, please contact FOCL at 315-435-1832 with any questions or concerns. The Oncenter Box Office is located on the second floor of the War Memorial. You may also call the Oncenter Box Office at (315) 435-2121.

Lectures are held in the John H. Mulroy Civic Center, 441 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, New York.
All lectures begin at 7:30 PM.

For information on how to become a sponsor of the Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series, please contact
our FOCL office at 315-435-1832.

Proceeds of the Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series will be used by Friends of the Central Library for new book and material acquisitions as well as children's programming at the Central Library and city branches.


Last updated: December 9, 2010