- Caitlin O'Rourke
- Outside of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
This is the second time I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library and writing about it, so I feel that I am now qualified to say that both the library and the people who work there are wonderful in every way.
I promise you, I have my reasons. One of them is their upcoming event in which we want every single one of you to participate. The KVML is holding an essay contest asking participants to tell the library why Vonnegut’s writing is just as relevant as ever. Only requirements? Keep it under 1,000 words, include a cover sheet with your contact information and send it in by March 25.
The top three essays will be posted on the KVML blog, and the top prize will receive two tickets to the Night of Vonnegut event, which will be held April 16 at 7 p.m. I got to chat with Corey Dalton, the online media director and most frequent blogger—with a special, unexpected guest appearance from Julia Whitehead, executive director, president and library founder—about the contest, Night of Vonnegut and even some upcoming events they’re excited about.
Dalton said the Night of Vonnegut is sure to be as enjoyable as it was last year. Vonnegut’s own bloodline will be in attendance, along with keynote speaker of the night, Steve Inskeep from Morning Edition on NPR. In an especially clever idea, the night will be held at the Marott, which, for any diehard Vonnegut fan out there, will remember as being mentioned in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, or Pearls Before Swine. Dalton said his favorite part of the night last year was the dramatic reading of a scene from Cat’s Cradle, and while he doesn’t know what will be performed this year, he’s only excited for the possibilities.
In essence, everything will be beautiful and nothing will hurt. Therefore, getting two free tickets from the contest would be amazing, and Dalton, currently pursuing his master’s in creative writing, offered his friendly advice for those hopefuls entering.
“The weirder, the better,” he said. “Get creative. Surprise us. But keep it heartfelt. That’s always how Kurt did it.”
Truer words have never been spoken. While you work on those essays, the library will keep doing what they do, having visitors from Ohio to Austria coming in, becoming a regular venue for public discourse, updating the blog with your sweet Vonnegut tats, planning a workshop to be held in the summer for teachers about how to properly teach good ol’ Kurt in the classroom and fully recreating Vonnegut’s working space in the back of the library, with a window and a picture of his father to be added soon.
Visit the Vonnegut Memorial Library website for full details on the Night of Vonnegut Writing Contest.