SCHMIBROS Stories, Episode 4: What Do You Fear / A Que Le Temes?

We are excited to explore the fourth episode of Schmibros Stories, the theme this month: “What Do You Fear? / A Que Le Temes?” Join us in celebrating the voices of five community members that have been gracious enough to share their perspectives on what the month’s theme means to each of them.

Episode 4: What Do You Fear? / A Que Le Temes? will go live on September 12th at 8:45 Pacific Time, and can be viewed here. Click on the image above to see the video on YouTube — but remember, it won’t work until 8:45 AM Pacific Time on Sunday September 12th.


SCHMIBROS STORIES is a monthly virtual showcase of stories from the community.
Una celebración virtual mensual de historias de la comunidad.
A place for us to explore, create and share our own stories.

Reinventing the Depression-era Federal Writers’ Project could help reintroduce America to itself – USA Today

Click on the image to view the trailer for Soul of a People: Writing America's Story

Congress is going to the movies this week, and you’re invited. 

Rep. Ted Lieu has arranged a free public virtual screening for the nation – and for his colleagues on the Hill – of Soul of a People, a terrific Smithsonian documentary about the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s. This follows a bill he and Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez introduced in May, the 21st-Century Federal Writers’ Project Act, which is jockeying for inclusion this week in the upcoming $3.5 trillion human infrastructure package. 

The bill would hire 900 writers to reinvent a New Deal initiative whose work can still educate and delight readers 85 eighty years later. Among the Federal Writers’ Project’s many gifts, it created the American Guides, a shelf of useful, cheap, shockingly well-written book-length explorations of all 48 states at the time, plus Puerto Rico and Alaska. The Project also recorded roughly 10,000 oral histories around the country, including 2,300 invaluable interviews with formerly enslaved people. 

Read more here:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2021/09/07/3-5-trillion-infrastructure-bill-hire-900-writers-editors-teachers/5722004001/

Soul of a People Documentary – Free Screening & Panel Discussion – Sept 7, 2021

Please join Rep. Ted Lieu, David Kipen, the filmmakers & maybe a special guest or two, Tues 9/7 at 4pm PT / 7pm ET, to watch this terrific doc about the original Federal Writers’ Project, part of the WPA.

A free, virtual screening of “Soul of the People“, a documentary about the Depression era Federal Writers’ Project + panel discussion is being put on jointly by L A Public Library, National Endowment for the Humanities, Library of Congress and Spark Media. Details & a link to get your zoom info are here: https://bit.ly/soulofapeople”

Then contact your member of Congress to co-sponsor HR 3054, the new FWP bill, thanks! Don’t know who that is? Check here: bit.ly/supporthr3054

SCHMIBROS Stories, Episode 3: Sólo Sigue Adelante (Just Keep Going)

We are excited to explore the third Schmibros Stories theme of the year, “Sólo Sigue Adelante (Just Keep Going)”. Join us in celebrating the voices of ten community members that have been gracious enough to share their perspectives on what the month’s theme means to each of them.

Episode 3: Sólo Sigue Adelante (Just Keep Going) will go live on August 8th at 7:45 Pacific Time, and can be viewed here.


SCHMIBROS STORIES is a monthly virtual showcase of stories from the community.
Una celebración virtual mensual de historias de la comunidad.
A place for us to explore, create and share our own stories.

Why We Need a New Federal Writers’ Project

This piece originally appeared on thenation.com

Libros founder, David Kipen, enumerates the many reasons that a new federal writers’ project is just what we need, at this time of collective crisis. This project, like its predecessor, would be the proverbial tide that lifts all boats — er writers — at all stages of their careers and from all backgrounds. Worth the read.

https://www.thenation.com/article/society/federal-writers-project/

Let your representative know that you support the idea, and tell your friends.

We Are Turning 11! – Come Get Your Books!

We are turning 11!  Come get five free books per person, to celebrate!  In store only, during the month of July.

Libros Schmibros Lending Library is turning 11, on July 19, 2021! That’s eleven years sharing books with the Community, we are thrilled to be able to continue to do what we love. To celebrate, come get five free books per person. Offer good in store only, throughout the month of July. Our hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 12 to 6 PM.

All we ask in return is that you share with us a picture of you with your books, or just your books if you are camera shy. We understand. #freebooks #librosschmibros #11yearsofreading

What a year! Who couldn’t use a little lift from a book? Books, the original stay-cation! And the options are pretty wide open. You could get one every week in July. You could get two this week and bring a different friend every week for the next three weeks. You could get five today and share them with four friends. Whatever you do, come get your books! And, enjoy.

A New Deal for Writers in America – The New York Times

Hello, booklovers — and get a load of this, hot off the presses:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/06/opinion/federal-writers-project.html.

Never mind that I’m quoted in this NYT op-ed about the 21st-Century Federal Writers’ Project Act — just please read it and consider forwarding it to your member of Congress and senator. (Not sure who that is? Find out here: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative.) And thanks!

Are you still on the fence about supporting the Writers’ Project Act? Just think of all the books on our shelves at Libros Schmibros that, but for the original New Deal project, might never have been written. There’d be a gap on the Fiction Wall where Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God used to go. The B’s and the E’s there would look a lot thinner without Ralph Ellison and his friend Saul Bellow shelved where they belong. And what happened to John Cheever and Richard Wright?

The Crime Shelf? Kiss Jim Thompson goodbye. Environmental? Loren Eiseley would have gone extinct, too. And think how impoverished the Poetry Shelf would feel without Kenneth Rexroth, Claude McKay or Weldon Kees.

During the Depression, all these writers cut their teeth on the Writers’ Project. And don’t forget the Project’s own greatest monument: the WPA Guides that all these writers helped create. In just eight years, the FWP created cheap, informative, often funny, still delightful booklength Guides to all 48 states, and 40 American cities besides. Many of them appear on our shelves too, whether in their original editions…

Read more about the WPA Federal Writer’s Project and why it’s a good idea to support HR3054 the 21st-century Federal Writer’s Project, here. Read the New York Times opinion that came out today here.

Carribean Fragoza Interview

New on the Libros Schmibros Podcast, the Carribean Fragoza Interview.

Vickie Vertiz in conversation with Carribean Fragoza, writer and artist from South El Monte. Her debut collection of stories Eat the Mouth That Feeds You was recently published by City Lights.
Vickie Vertiz is a poet, educator, and frequently collaborates with Carribean Fragoza. 

Learn more about Ms. Fragoza, and purchase her books here:

Available on:

YouTube  |  Spotify  |  Apple Podcasts  |  Google Podcasts  |  other platforms

John Freeman Interview

New on the Libros Schmibros Podcast, the John Freeman Interview.

David Kipen in conversation with writer and literary critic John Freeman. Freeman is the editor of The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story, a selection of short fiction from 1970 to 2020. 

Available on:

YouTube  |  Spotify  |  Apple Podcasts  |  Google Podcasts  |  other platforms