This exhibition is part of the UA Poetry Center's multi-year celebration of independent bookstores and libraries from around the world, which will feature many lost, endangered, and otherwise dramatic and brave oases people have built to protect, house, share, and enjoy books around the world. In 2016-2017, the inaugural exhibition featured a mural honoring the Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore in Paris, founded by Sylvia Beach (publisher of Ulysses) and owned for many years by the late George Whitman. The following year, the featured bookstore was the African National Bookstore in Harlem. The Poetry Center recreated the façade of the historic bookstore as well as a jazz club and a bodega in the Children's Area.
Our 2018-2019 exhibition is Brave Books: Bold Librarians, Readers, and Booksellers of the Arab World. Created in partnership with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, this exhibit includes a mural of the Library of Alexandria in Egypt and interactive playspaces modeled after the story of Alia Baker, the chief librarian of Iraq's Basra Central Library. Learn more about this year's Brave Books here.
Illustration by Joe Quarnberg