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Wayne Metro Kicks Off The Big Read!

WYANDOTTE, Mich., March 21, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency joins with the Caroline Kennedy Library of Dearborn Heights to launch the 2010 Big Read, six weeks of free event in celebration of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100321/DC74045) Two Kick-off events will be held: Thursday, March 25, 2010 from 6pm to 8 pm at Caroline Kennedy Library in Dearborn Heights. This celebration includes free copies of Fahrenheit 451 for the first 30 people in attendance, door prizes, and the opportunity to learn more about the upcoming six weeks of related events.

Saturday, March 27 from 11 am - 2 pm at the Barnes and Noble in Allen Park.

Festivities begin at 11am with a children's story time. 12:00pm is the official kick-off and welcome by Honorary Big Read Chairperson and local author, Karen S.

Williams. The first 50 people to attend will receive a free copy of Fahrenheit 451. The event also includes door prizes and an open mic poetry reading with awards.

Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is the story of an ambitious fireman who experiences an intellectual awakening as he lives in a world where books are seen as a danger to society and therefore must be banned and destroyed. The thematic elements of the novel have gained it the reputation as a book which focuses particularly on American consumerism and cultural decline.

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest and is designed to restore reading to the center of American culture.

Check out the Web site at waynemetro.org to learn about events, giveaways, contests and other Big Read activities throughout the metro area. The Big Read is about reading, but it's also about getting people to leave their homes and offices, unplug themselves for a few hours, and enjoy the pleasures of literature with their neighbors.

Special free programs during March and April 2010 sponsored by Wayne Metro coincide with the 2010 Big Read project include: The 451 Chili Cook-off on Wednesday, March 31 from 6 pm to 8 pm at Wayne Metro's office in Wyandotte (2121 Biddle). Chili chefs looking to claim bragging rights of "Best Chili in Wayne County" are invited to participate in the cook-off.

There is no registration fee to enter, however space is limited. Those interested in preparing chili must read the 451 Chili Cook-off rules and submit a registration form (found online at www.waynemetro.org) to participate. Chili connoisseurs are also invited to attend the event and vote for their favorites.

Three top prizes will be awarded in the categories of "Mild," "451 Hot!" (in keeping with the book's themes), and "People's Choice." Bradbury, Utopia, and Fahrenheit 451 on Saturday, April 3 from 10:00am - 11:30am at the VisTaTech Center located on the Livonia Campus of Schoolcraft College.

This a keynote session is presented by author Eric S. Rabkin, noted Arthur F.

Thurnau Professor and Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan. Rabkin also serves as an honorary chairperson for The Big Read. Rabkin is widely recognized for his 170+ publications and contributions to the genre of Science Fiction. Additionally, Rabkin knows Bradbury personally and will share details regarding Bradbury's writing influences.

Writing Workshop Drop That Baggage! Write the Poem, Scene, Experience or Image that Pushes You from Fear to Freedom! - A Creative Writing Workshop with Karen S. Williams on Saturday, April 17 from 10am to 11:30am at Wayne Metro, 2121 Biddle, Wyandotte.

This fun, insightful and inspirational workshop invites local writers and artists of all levels, anyone who enjoys creativity, to creatively confront and quash their inner critic by tapping their imagination and writing skills. Be sure to bring a pen/pencil, a notebook or a laptop and get ready to fire up! You'll be on your way to becoming the free, creative and wildly purposeful person you are meant to be! Seating is limited to 30 persons, please pre-register at www.waynemetro.org/bigread.html.

Book Discussions Sessions last for approximately one hour and are facilitated by experienced book group leaders. Participants are encouraged to read Fahrenheit 451 prior to the book discussion session. Circulating copies of Fahrenheit 451 are available for check out at libraries throughout Wayne County. Wayne Metro will also be giving away more than 1,000 free copies of Fahrenheit 451 and related Reader's guides in the community.

Monday, April 12 - 7:00 p.m. Bacon Memorial Library, Wyandotte Thursday, April 15 - 7:00 p.m. Barnes & Noble, Allen Park Saturday, April 24 - 2:00 p.m. Barnes & Noble, Allen Park Other Big Read events include film screenings and family events at locations throughout Wayne County and will run through April 30, 2010. For more information call Erin Evans at 734-246-2280 ext. 123 or visit www.waynemetro.org.

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