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Get Ready for Some "Bold Talk" in PLS Big Read Discussion

The Pioneer Library System is ready to offer some “Bold Talk” as part of this year’s commemoration of the PLS Big Read.

The scholar panel discussion “Bold Talk at the FJJMA” will focus on the Charles Portis classic True Grit, the selection for this year’s eighth edition of the PLS Big Read, and begins at 7 p.m. Friday, March 14, at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., on the University of Oklahoma campus.

Panelists for the discussion are University of Central Oklahoma English professor Steve Garrison, an expert on the work of Portis; Pioneer Library System Local History and Genealogy Library Kathryn Ramsay; and Oklahoma Poet Laureate Nathan Brown. The moderator is attorney and musician Bob French, who has worked with the library on past Big Read programming.

“True Grit” is the selection for the library system’s eighth edition of the PLS Big Read, a celebration of reading based on a National Endowment for the Arts initiative. The Charles Portis classic was added to the NEA list for titles in 2012 and is part of not just the PLS Big Read in central Oklahoma but also the “Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma” discussion series of the Oklahoma Humanities Council and separate Big Reads in the Southeastern Oklahoma Public Library System and the Stillwater Public Library.

The discussion will be just part of the evening’s festivities, as the museum galleries will be open before and after the book discussion for the museum’s monthly “Art a la Carte,” part of the Norman Arts Council’s 2nd Friday Circuit of Art. The library will provide wine and light hors d’oeuvres prior to the beginning of the discussion.

In addition to his duties moderating the discussion, French will join musicians Steven Streetman and Gary Howe to perform vintage tunes to add to the atmosphere before and after the book discussion.

The museum will be displaying the exhibit: “Allan Houser Drawings: The Centennial Exhibition” from March 7 through May 18. The exhibit is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Chiricahua Apache artist and is part of a statewide collaboration of museums and institutions that are commemorating his work through the end of 2014.

There is no charge for any of the activities or refreshments, and admission to the museum is always free, thanks to the OU Office of the President and the OU Athletics Department.

The PLS Big Read: True Grit is presented with major funding by the Pioneer Library System, Pioneer Library System Foundation, Oklahoma Humanities Council, Norman Arts Council, The Anne & Henry Zarrow Foundation, and the Friends of the Norman Library. Additional support is provided by Dewayne Sexton’s Cowboy Carriage, Queen of Hart’s Costumes, LLC, University of Oklahoma Video and Media Services, Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art, Moore Warren Theatre, Shawnee Cinema Center 8, Cleveland County OSU Extension, Cleveland County 4-H, Cleveland County Fairgrounds, Pawnee Bill Ranch Association, and Mercury Press, Inc.

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