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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Busy Week of Events for Milwaukee Book Lovers

Ralph Nader, Paul Salsini, Earth Day celebrations among highlights

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2010 marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and it remains as vital as ever before. Every day we confront new challenges posed by climate change and our addiction to fossil fuels. Fortunately, however, Earth Day celebrations continue to bloom each spring and highlight ways we can improve our relationship with the environment.

Milwaukee has hosted Earth Day poetry festivities since 1988 and this year the city again gives voice to those who articulate their environmental concerns through powerful lyrics and spoken word at the “Milwaukee Earth Poets and Musicians Performances”April 23-24. A multitude of dynamic events will take place throughout the city this weekend, beginning on Friday, April 23, at 7 p.m. with an interactive poetry and musical affair for the entire family at the Urban Ecology Center. Featuring special guest Susan Firer, Milwaukee’s 2008-2010 poet laureate, along with a mix of other poets and musical performers, the 23rd annual “Earth Poets and Musicians Performances” will help to ignite Milwaukee’s passion to save the Earth and renew the city’s commitment to our water, air and trees. Festivities continue into Saturday; details about each event can be found online at http://milwaukeerenaissance.com/EarthPoetsAndMusicians.

Ralph Nader, himself a longtime advocate for clean air and water, will visit Milwaukee this week to promote his first novel, Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! Nader, a well-known American attorney, political activist and past candidate for president of the United States, has long been an effective crusader for the rights of consumers and the general public. Nader has been exalted for lambasting the abuses of corporate power, so it should be no surprise that his fictional tale chronicles the unlikely collaboration of 15 super-rich individuals who decide to work for the collective good of society. This weighty read is more than 700 pages long, driven by a plot that brings together a unique group of wealthy characters—including real-life figures Warren Buffett and Yoko Ono—to create a “people’s revolt of the rich.” By the end of the saga, a practical utopia has developed, third-party candidates are successful, large corporations are accountable to citizens and America is reborn. Nader will bring his message of hope and societal rebirth to the Milwaukee Public Library’s Centennial Hall on Sunday, April 25, at 1:30 p.m.

A local novelist has released the final book in a trilogy that follows generations of Italian villagers from World War II to 1966. Milwaukeean Paul Salsini is the author of Dino’s Story: A Novel of 1960s Tuscany, the conclusion of his sweeping narrative “A Tuscan Trilogy.” Dino’s Story follows a young man who was just a child in the first novel. Akin to the previous two narratives, The Cielo: A Novel of Wartime Tuscany and Sparrow’s Revenge: A Novel of Postwar Tuscany, Dino’s Story intermixes interesting plotlines, accurate historical details and compelling characters. Salsini is a veteran journalist who has taught writing at Marquette University for many years and also served as a writer, editor and writing coach for the Milwaukee Journal. Salsini will be speaking at Boswell Book Co. on Tuesday, April 27, at 7 p.m.

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