Op-Ed

Whatcom View: Whatcom Reads offers events with author Ruth Ozeki

Bestselling author, Zen Buddhist priest and filmmaker Ruth Ozeki will be in Whatcom County March 3-5, 2016, for Whatcom READS’ annual literary event.
Bestselling author, Zen Buddhist priest and filmmaker Ruth Ozeki will be in Whatcom County March 3-5, 2016, for Whatcom READS’ annual literary event. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Bestselling author, Zen Buddhist priest and filmmaker Ruth Ozeki joins us March 3-5 for Whatcom READS, our community’s premier annual literary event.

An interesting and diverse schedule of events centered on Ozeki’s bestselling novel “A Tale for the Time Being” offers multiple opportunities for people to meet the author and hear her speak.

Whatcom READS is our area’s community-wide reading program, encouraging all residents to read and discuss the same book.

All events are free of charge and open to the public.

Author events

Ozeki will appear at six events, each distinctly different and offering opportunities to learn more about “A Tale for the Time Being,” her other writings, and aspects of her life and work.

Book Discussion with Ozeki

11 a.m., Thursday, March 3, Ferndale Library

A facilitated discussion about “A Tale for the Time Being” with author Ozeki. Book signing after the program. This free event is open to the public with no ticket required.

“Halving the Bones” Screening with Ozeki

6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 3, (pre-screening reception at 5:30 p.m.), Pickford Film Center

Join Ozeki to view and discuss “Halving the Bones,” a film that she wrote, directed and produced. The film traces 100 years of her maternal family history in a narrative and visual web of family lies and stories, home movies and documentary footage. Tickets are free; available at the Pickford Film Center box office only. More information available on the Pickford Film Center website.

Principles of Buddhism with Ozeki and Tim Burnett

1:30 p.m., Friday, March 4, YWCA Ballroom, 1026 N. Forest Street

Join Ozeki for a discussion of Buddhism and how it influences “A Tale for the Time Being” and her other creative work. Joining her is Tim Burnett, a Buddhist priest and director of the local Red Cedar Zen Community. This free event is open to the public with no ticket required.

Keynote Event: An Evening with Ozeki

7 p.m., Friday, March 4, Mount Baker Theatre main stage

Ozeki will talk about “A Tale for the Time Being” and her life as a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest at this Whatcom READS keynote event. Book signing after the program. This free event is open to the public with no ticket required. Seating is first-come, first-served. Lobby doors open at 6 p.m. with main stage seating by 6:30 p.m. More information at whatcomreads.org and on the Mount Baker Theatre website.  

The Art and Craft of Writing with Ozeki

1 p.m., Saturday, March 5, Wilson Library Reading Room, Western Washington University

Gain insight into the writing process as Ozeki discusses the art and craft of writing, including tips and inspiration for writers of all levels. This free event is open to the public with no ticket required.

An Interview with Ozeki

7 p.m., Saturday, March 5, Jansen Art Center, Lynden

Paul Hanson, general manager at Village Books will interview Ozeki about her life as a novelist, filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest. Book signing after the program.

About “A Tale for the Time Being”

Buddhism, physics, school bullying, Japanese culture, ocean currents and journaling are just some of the many thought-provoking topics Ozeki explores in “A Tale for the Time Being.” Throughout this brilliant, unforgettable novel, Ozeki intersperses humor and hope, historical detail and pop culture, explorations of the notion of self, and the relationship between readers and authors, weaving an inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.

Whatcom READS is our area’s community-wide reading program, encouraging all Bellingham and Whatcom County residents to read and discuss the same book. Now in its eighth year, Whatcom READS is organized by all the public and academic libraries of Whatcom County and our community partner, Village Books. The program receives significant funding from Friends of the Bellingham Public Library and the Whatcom County Library Foundation, as well as support from other local businesses and organizations.

Visit whatcomreads.org for more information about Whatcom READS. We hope to see you enjoying Ruth Ozeki’s visit March 3-5!

Janice Keller is the communications, community relations and programming manager for the Bellingham Public Library. For more information, visit bellinghampubliclibrary.org.

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