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Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!

Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!


The KaBooM Writers Notebook: Our Blog

A Sanctuary for the Literary Life

Our group recently took a field trip to the newly renovated Mercer County Public Library in Harrodsburg. It features the work of regional artists, and we were particularly eager to see Mary’s latest quilt of hollyhocks displayed prominently behind the main desk.

Mercer Co Library 001

To our delight we found the library both inviting and inspiring. It’s a sanctuary for exploring and enjoying the written word, in a setting steeped in local history, culture, and art. The work of local painters and artisans is on display, and the glass wall of the local history room is etched with an 18th century map of Mercer County. In the children’s area, little ones can climb on a limb or sit inside the trunk of a spreading Osage Orange tree, modeled on a long-beloved specimen in nearby Old Fort Harrod.

Mercer Co Library 020

In the entrance to the library is a beautiful and dramatic iron sculptural screen, fifteen feet tall, made by Erika Strecker and Tony Higdon. Antique farming tools make up the elements of the screen, many of which were donated for the project by local farm families.

Mercer Co Library 004

This work of art is a celebration of Mercer County, the rural landscape and culture, the labor and ingenuity of farmers. To walk into the library is to experience an affirmation of the place where it is located, as well as the value of literacy.

Mercer Co Library 014

This unique library, reflective of the people it serves, reminded me of the individuality of the connections between writers and readers. As writers, it is a privilege when people take up our work and read, allowing it to become some small part of their own story. Likewise, as readers, it is a gift to have access to a world of books that engage, challenge, and entertain us.

A setting like this one speaks of the value of books and the nourishment to be found in a literary life. Good books are hard-wrought, but they make possible the intimate communion between reader and writer—one that changes the world, one person at a time.

I’m grateful for libraries, and for the readers, writers, and librarians who make them great.

 

5 responses to “A Sanctuary for the Literary Life”

  1. Gail Koehler says:

    YES: the magic the library has managed to capture is indeed an “intimate communion”—the spirit of the place and the welcome to readers of all kinds was striking. Each choice in the physical setting is full of intentionality—and how wonderful it was to see the place so busy, full of folks absorbed in the business of interacting with text of all kinds. Thank you for your wonderful photos.

  2. Mary says:

    Susan, your pictures and words are wonderful! You’ve captured the spirit of both the library and the works of art housed there. Thank you.

  3. A beautiful tour of a beautiful place. Hooray for Mercer County. Thank you Susan.

  4. […] This is the amazing sculptural screen I encountered on a recent visit to the Mercer County Public Library in Harrodsburg. (My friend Mary’s art quilt, Hollyhocks, is on the wall in the background. More pictures and a reflection on the library are at The KaBooM Writers Notebook.) […]

  5. Susan says:

    Thanks to all of you for these wonderful comments. The library is such a fine model for how library resources can be used, and how art can be integrated into the experience of being there. I hope the word gets out, and that lots of folks will visit there.

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