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More than a dozen events will explore the novel "Station Eleven."

Are you a poet, writer or someone desiring a unique way to practice public speaking skills? If so, shake the dust off your journal or spill out your creative juices onstage at Shorewood Reads’ free open mic night. The event takes place in the lower level meeting room of Shorewood Village Center (3920 N. Murray Ave.) on Wednesday, January 24 at 6:30 p.m.

The night will be the first of more than a dozen events centered on the novel Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. It’s the third novel featured in Shorewood Reads, a program that tries to get the whole North Shore suburb to read the same book and explore it in a number of creative ways.

On Wednesday, storytellers of all ages, from inexperienced to seasoned, are invited to take the mic with five-minute personal stories or original fictional tales. The stories must be centered around airports or transportation, which are themes in Station Eleven.

The novel explores the exploits of the fictional Traveling Symphony, a group of musicians and actors who perform largely Shakespearean plays. The theater troupe travels to towns along Lakes Huron and Michigan in an attempt to keep art and humanity alive after an obliterating flu pandemic. Shorewood Reads is sponsored by the Shorewood Library, Friends of Shorewood Library, the Shorewood Foundation, Shorewood schools and Boswell Book Company. 

The story slam, a new event for Shorewood Reads, brings the program’s goal full circle to unite the community through a shared reading experience. Other events to look forward to include an end-of-the-world game night; the performance of a scene from King Lear by Stone Soup Shakespeare, a touring theater company from Chicago; comic book art for kids; and a presentation on the history and culture of tattoos. These events tie in other themes and incidents woven throughout Station Eleven. The events culminate in a visit from Mandel on April 10.

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Shorewood Reads previously featured Shotgun Lovesongs, by Wisconsin author Nickolas Butler, in 2015, and Montana 1948, by Larry Watson, a Milwaukee author and visiting professor at Marquette University, in 2011.

For more information on Shorewood Reads 2018, including details on all upcoming events, visit shorewoodlibrary.org. All Shorewood Reads events are free and open to the public.

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