Blog Posts

We hate to admit it, but the end of another phenomenal  One Book, One Philadelphia  season is already upon us! We’ve spent the last eight weeks reading, discussing, watching, creating, playing, and enjoying, with dynamic programs all around the city centered around Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing and our… continue reading

By Kate C.   March 13, 2019   

What is a story? Perhaps the question isn’t what , but where . Every story I’ve read has taken me somewhere, twisting and turning the ground under me until I’m in a place I haven’t been before. A good story invites and encompasses the reader, until he or she knows the characters and imagines each scene,… continue reading

By Lo I.   February 27, 2019   

Throughout Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing , we see how the characters connect, or disconnect, from each other. The novel focuses in on relationships and what one needs for such connections to thrive in positive ways. Each of the story’s relationships hones in on what it means to genuinely care for someone—it also… continue reading

By Lo I.   February 13, 2019   

What’s the difference between hearing and listening? Kirsten, our instructor from the Drexel Writers’ Room , asked us this question last week in a workshop inspired by Sing, Unburied, Sing . We were gathered at the Institute for Community Justice at 12 th and Chestnut, spread out with notebooks and pens and learning names.… continue reading

By Brittanie S.   January 30, 2019   

Back in October, we announced Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing as the 2019 One Book, One Philadelphia featured selection, and since then we’ve been digging in and gathering our thoughts throughout the three-month-long reading period. Tonight, we’ll officially kick off another robust season of programs – One… continue reading

By Kate C.   January 16, 2019   

As we begin 2019 and await the One Book, One Philadelphia Kickoff , I’ve been re-reading Sing, Unburied, Sing and thinking about its outward effects. Many people have called Jesmyn Ward ’s book a protest novel. But what is that, exactly? Howard Zinn gives probably the broadest possible definition, which is "any form… continue reading

By Brittanie S.   January 9, 2019   

We’re about a month away from kicking off the One Book, One Philadelphia 2019 season. After the official Kickoff Event , eight weeks of discussions, films, performances, and more take place across the city! Even if you haven’t read the book, that still gives you a bit of time to catch up! And, if you don’t tackle it… continue reading

By Lo I.   December 19, 2018   

In case you missed it, we announced in mid-October that Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing is the 2019 One Book, One Philadelphia selection . We’re now in the heart of the reading period. Many of us are already deep in the titillating novel, but if you’re not, don’t worry! You still have plenty of time to… continue reading

By Lo I.   December 5, 2018   

Today we kicked off the annual One Book, One Philadelphia reading period with the announcement of the 2019 featured selection. You’re invited to jump into the 17 th season of this citywide book club by reading Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward , the National Book Award-winning author of Salvage the Bones . With interlocking… continue reading

By Brittanie S.   October 16, 2018   

What if the whole city read one book at the same time and then talked about it? What if the book became the basis for hands-on activities in every single neighborhood? What if folks started making art projects about the book, and what if it brought strangers together to talk about social issues in our city? These ideas launched the… continue reading

By Brittanie S.   October 10, 2018   

The 2018  One Book, One Philadelphia  selection was Jacqueline Woodson’s award winning novel,  Another Brooklyn . After an exciting season of discussions and programs about her novel, the Free Library of Philadelphia and the  Philadelphia Jazz Project  have commissioned drummer and… continue reading

By Perry G.   July 3, 2018   

The end of another phenomenal  One Book, One Philadelphia  season is upon us. We have spent eight inspired weeks reading, discussing, watching, creating, playing, and enjoying. The 16th season of this shared reading endeavor has included writing workshops, live music, discussions on mental health and gentrification, and… continue reading

By Julie B.   March 14, 2018   

In Jacqueline Woodson’s books, cooking traces the roots and routes of families and memories. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) joined with the Free Library’s Culinary Literacy Center this week to celebrate the historical flavors of these roots and routes. Patrick Glennon, communications officer at HSP, took the… continue reading

By Julie B.   March 8, 2018   

At the beginning of Jacqueline Woodson’s recent event at the Community College of Philadelphia, she told the roomful of eager students: "Put down the phone and experience me." For those of you who haven’t experienced her yet this season during her visits to Philly, here are some highlights of her talk. On writing… continue reading

By Julie B.   February 28, 2018   

When you first think about reading a book, it seems like a solitary affair. I picture myself curled up by a window, reading by natural light and entering a new little world—alone. Sometimes I picture myself in a coffee shop, surrounded by others and the buzz of conversation, but still on my own literary journey.   Once I… continue reading

By Lo I.   February 21, 2018   

How do we dream ourselves out of this? It’s 1968, 50 years ago. This is what August, a young girl freshly uprooted from her rural Tennessee home, now living in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, asks herself as she stares at the cover of Life magazine. Wide eyes in the hunger-hollowed faces of two other black children look back… continue reading

By Kalela W.   February 14, 2018   

Dear reader, Perhaps a dying art, or perhaps in fact an art that has now expanded in form, letter-writing creates a tangible connection between humans. Usually, letters are thought to be written on pieces of paper, exchanged between two individuals who care deeply for each other. Is an essay a letter? A poem? A novel? The Boston Globe… continue reading

By Lo I.   February 7, 2018   

Last week, One Book, One Philadelphia joined a session of The Best Day of My Life So Far , which brings together older Philadelphians to write and share their stories. Younger folks are invited to listen, with the goal of getting conversation moving between generations. At the session, participants talked a little about memory and… continue reading

By Brittanie S.   January 31, 2018   

Often when we think of "urgent care" we think about the medical drop-in facilities that have opened up in recent years, bridging the gap between primary-care offices and emergency rooms. But what does urgent care mean in a more societal context? What does it mean for women of color dealing with internal and external trauma,… continue reading

By Kamilah C.   January 24, 2018   

Tonight marks the official beginning of One Book season! Join us for an evening of reading, conversation, and performance at Parkway Central Library to kick off eight inspired weeks of programming across the city. Tonight's event is free and open to the public! Following a reading from featured selection Another Brooklyn , author… continue reading

By Julie B.   January 17, 2018   



One Book, One Philadelphia