Virginia Yerxa Community Read
"It is not down in any map; true places never are." ~Herman Melville
Supporting Community Through Reading
Our 2011 selection was Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. Considered a failure when first published, Moby-Dick has become a well-known American classic. On May 14, 2011, our community enjoyed a “Whale of a Weekend,” which included two art shows, a poetry reading, book discussions, a community mural and more!
For more detailed coverage, look for our 2011 Album on Facebook.
Readers interested in the Biblical references in Moby-Dick joined local clergy and Melville scholar Henry Hughes for a panel discussion. This event took place in Barrell Hall at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church at 642 Fifth Street.
“The events were all superb, and a fitting memorial for Virginia's passion for art and literature,
and love of people, especially children....” ~Donna Krause
12:00 noon - Virginia Read Picnic and Art Show
Our second annual Virginia Read Day picnic was once again held at the Main Street levee steps. This event featured a life-size outline of Moby-Dick, live music, and work by local and student artists, which was on display at 735 Main Street. Everyone was invited to bring a picnic, or purchase a barbecue lunch from the Lions Club.
"It was such fun to walk onto Main Street...and there was that huge white whale taking up half the street, with hamburgers sizzling, children 'sledding' down the hill, along with the delight of the spirited live music....The teacher in me literally rejoiced at the variety of modalities and venues you offered. ~ Barclay Braden
Melville scholar, poet and avid fisherman Henry Hughes read from his new books, Moist Meridian and The Art of Angling: Poems about Fishing. The backdrop for this reading was “Responses to Moby-Dick,” the inspiring work of Chico artist Peter Jodaitis.
"I feel very fortunate to live in a community that is dedicated to giving back, and honoring those who made such a wonderful impact here." ~Elvira Gutierrez
Henry Hughes, literature professor at Western Oregon University, gave a presentation on the meaning and interpretations of this American classic. He was joined by Robert Davidson, associate professor of American literature at California State University, Chico. This event took place in the Morse Conference Room at the Colusa County Library at 738 Market Street.
“Henry Hughes was terrific everywhere he contributed.” ~Barclay Braden
The full-length feature of "Moby-Dick" starring Gregory Peck was shown at our historic Colusa Theater at 513 Market Street.
“I am so impressed with the variety and the quality of events and activities throughout the day!
Fantastic! Thank you for all of the thought and energy put into this community event.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed the day and hope you can expand to more than just one day/year.
Your endeavors are much needed in our society today.” ~bfj
“It made me miss Virginia, actually." ~Erik Krause