Keynote Event! Meet authors Daniel Alarcon & Stephen D. Gutierrez

Saturday, April 23rd, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. (Main Library)

If you enjoyed reading In the Time of the Butterflies, don’t miss the opportunity to meet two prominent Bay Area-based Latino writers at this special Big Read event. Stephen D. Gutierrez is a professor of creative writing at California State University East Bay. His recent collection of short stories, Live from Fresno y Los, won a 2010 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.

Daniel Alarcón, a native of Peru who lives in Oakland, is the author of Lost City Radio, the March 2011 selection of the Mostly Literary Fiction Book Group.  The recipient of numerous literary awards for his debut novel and short story collection, War by Candlelight, Alarcón was named by the New Yorker magazine as one of “20 Under 40” writers who will be key to their generation. He is also the editor of the Secret Miracle: The Novelist’s Handbook, which features a wide-ranging, insightful roundtable discussion among some of the world’s best contemporary writers.  Alarcón’s first Spanish graphic novel, Ciudad de payasos, [City of Clowns] produced in collaboration with artist Sheila Alvarado, is now available in the U.S.


. at 13:21 Leave a comment

Movie Showing

Wednesday, April 13th, 6:00 p.m. (Weekes) & Monday, April 25th, 2:00 p.m. (Main)

You’ve read the book, now join us for a  movie showing.  See the story of the Mirabal sisters on the big screen.

. at 13:07 Leave a comment

Closing Event: A Conversation with Julia Alvarez

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. (Main Library)

Julia AlvarezJoin us for an Internet-assisted live discussion with the author facilitated by Hayward City Council member Francisco Zermeño. Bring your questions about the Big Read selection and enjoy a unique opportunity to talk with this internationally influential author.

. at 12:39 Leave a comment

Multigenerational Poetry Slam

Saturday, May 7th, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. (Main Library)

Join us in the Library’s garden plaza for an afternoon of entertainment and inspiration from local poets of all ages, presenting original poetry based on themes from In the Time of the Butterflies. Sign up to present your poetry at this special event— bring up to four original poems to participate in the competitively judged event where everyone will be celebrated as a winner. The top three participants will be awarded a cash prize of $75, $50, and $25, respectively.  Contact or 510-881-7700 for more information or to register.

. at 12:36 Leave a comment

The Big Read – Update 2010

For the second year in a row, Hayward Public Library has been awarded a grant by National Endowment for the Arts to participate in a nationwide “one book” reading program known as The Big Read. The NEA has awarded the Library $20,000, which is the maximum grant amount. The award also includes high-quality promotional and learning materials produced by the NEA; free access to professionally produced public service announcements, short films, publicity materials, and other resources to support the program; and the opportunity for two staff members to attend the national Big Read orientation and training in Minneapolis, with all expenses paid by the NEA.

The program series will take place in Hayward during the month of April, 2010. The Library will lead a partnership which includes six Hayward area high schools, Chabot College, and all three of Cal State East Bay’s campuses, among many other organizations, to bring people of all ages and walks of life together to read and learn from the modern classic book, Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. This expanded partnership will bring The Big Read to a wider audience than the 2009 program by including communities throughout the greater East Bay Area, with Hayward as the hub of activity.

View a short film about the work of Rudolfo Anaya.

. at 20:43 Leave a comment

The Big Read – a new kind of stimulus package

Have you ever read a book that transformed your life? Books have the power to stimulate, educate, and open minds. That’s why we are proud to be a part of The Big Read in April 2010. The Big Read is an initiative of National Endowment for the Arts. It is designed to encourage people in communities across America to spend more time reading.

Why The Big Read? Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, a 2004 report by the National Endowment for the Arts, found that not only is literary reading in America declining rapidly among all demographic groups, but that the rate of decline has accelerated, especially among the young. Fewer than half of all American adults now spend any time reading any literature at all.

Why does The Big Read matter? Besides the obvious reasons – we all know reading is a good thing – the report also showed that literary readers are far more engaged and active in their communities. For example, literary readers are nearly three times more likely than non-readers to attend a performing arts event, one-and-a-half times more likely to attend a sporting event, and over two-and-a-half times more likely to do volunteer or charity work.

What is The Big Read? It’s about one community reading and talking about one great work of literature together. Our featured Big Read book is the Rudolfo Anaya classic “Bless Me, Ultima.” We’re proud to report that hundreds of local students are studying the book in their classrooms for The Big Read. The NEA provided funding for us to buy copies of the book to give to these students, thus removing economic barriers and providing more stimulus for them to participate.

Is that all? That’s just the beginning. We’re proud to present over 15 events this month, at locations all over the East Bay, including the two-day “Read-a-Thon 2010” event on March 31st and April 1st, in which over 100 community members will take turns on the microphone to do a cover-to-cover public reading of the book.

How can I be a part of The Big Read? It’s easy – Read the book. The library has dozens of copies available for check out. Get your copy today!

Don’t miss the keynote event, a Conversation with Rudolfo Anaya, live via web at Cal State East Bay on April 27th. See the Big Read website for complete event information – and be sure to pick up your Big Read event brochure today (available at the library and many other locations around town).

The Big Read Hayward partnership includes Hayward Public Library, Chabot College, Cal State East Bay, Friends of the Hayward Public Library, Hayward Literacy Council,and Barnes & Noble Booksellers.

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.

. at 08:55 Leave a comment

Flashback: The Big Read 2009

Over 2,500 adults and children participated in The Big Read 2009 series of events and activities during March of this year. Of those 2,500 participants, over 1,000 were students at area high schools and colleges, who read and discussed the featured book, A Lesson Before Dying, in their classrooms as part of The Big Read. The National Endowment for the Arts provided $15,000 in grant funding to support the 2009 program, the bulk of which was spent to buy copies of the book (over 900 copies) to give to these students, thus removing economic barriers and providing more stimulus for them to participate.

Other program highlights included:

  • The Big Read‐A‐Thon opening event, in which 85 community members (including the Mayor and City Council) took a turn at the podium to read the featured book, A Lesson Before Dying, out loud from cover to cover. The event lasted 9 ½ hours, and was recorded for broadcast on KCTH‐TV. Segments from the event are currently airing on local Comcast Channel 27 every weekday at 7:00 p.m.
  • A special Big Read engagement featuring theater company Word for Word, who performed “More Stories by Tobias Wolff” at the Chabot College Little Theater.
  • A book talk and signing by Oprah book club author Lalita Tademy at the Main Library.
  • A live interactive videoconference with Ernest J. Gaines, author of the Big Read featured book A Lesson Before Dying, who streamed in via the web from his home in Louisiana. The event was a three‐way connection between Louisiana and the two audience locations at Cal State East Bay Hayward and Cal State’s Oakland center.
  • A “college hour” appearance by local broadcast personality Brian Copeland, author of Not A Genuine Black Man.
  • A Poetry Slam competition at Hayward High School, with original poetry performed by local high school students.
  • The Big Read Wrap Party, an awards and recognitions event which featured a dramatic sketch from the book performed by two Chabot College theater students; a performance by two Teen Poetry Slam champions of their winning poems; and recognitions of City Council members, project partners, and others whose participation of the Big Read made the program a success.

. at 23:42 Leave a comment

Older Posts Newer Posts


Pick up your official Big Read Hayward event brochure today! Available at many locations around town.
Download the calendar.

Join The Big Read on


Multigenerational Poetry Slam

Saturday, May 7, 1-5pm

Attend a workshop to get help preparing your poem.
Saturday, Mar 19 @ 1:00-3:30pm
Saturday, April 9 @ 1:00-3:30pm
Saturday, April 16 @ 1:00-3:30pm
Main Library
Registration is required. Call 510-881-7700.

What is The Big Read?

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts. Its goal is to revive the love of reading for fun and enjoyment across America. The community of Hayward is honored to be a Big Read participant in April 2011. Learn more.

Sponsor Links