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‘Pipe Dream’

[JULY 3, 2002]  "Pipe Dream: A Novel, " Solomon Jones, Random House, 341 pages.

A pipe dream is the illusion or fantasy experienced as a direct result (in the case of this book) of the smoking of crack. Crack is a serious problem in American society today. It affects thousands of lives nationwide, not just the ghettos it is most commonly associated with. It affects all classes, ages and levels of society.

Solomon Jones’ "Pipe Dream" takes us through a not-so-typical week in the lives of four crack addicts. The beauty of this book is the deeply affecting way in which Jones presents these addicts. While most media present crack addicts as less-than-human derelicts, Jones shows this as an unfortunate side effect of the addiction.


Black, a crack addict with a conscience, is also the main character. He begins the story handcuffed to a table in the prison’s visiting room two days before a trial in which he expects to be found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in the shooting of city councilman Johnny Podres.

Black’s narrative introduces the secondary characters in the story. Leroy is the closest thing to a friend that a crack addict can expect. He and Black part ways for the evening after their failed attempt to con a priest, and Leroy heads to the nearest crack house in hopes of catching someone smoking so he can "get a hit," while Black heads to the renovation site of a local club to see if he can "get paid" (translation: find something worth stealing and sell it for a cap).


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In the meantime Pookie has lured a "suited down" (translation: expensively dressed) Puerto Rican named Podres to the "house" with the promise of a sexual act or two in exchange for a cap. Paranoia begins to creep up on Podres after several hits from the straight shooter, and he imagines everyone is out to get him.

Leroy picks this moment to knock on the door, Podres jumps to his feet and grabs a 9 mm from his suit, and when the dust clears, on the floor lies "councilman" Podres, dead from a bullet wound to the head. Black, who wasn’t at the "house" at the time of the shooting, finds himself accused of murder.

"Pipe Dreams" is Solomon Jones’ debut novel. The idea for the novel came from his own experience with crack addiction. Jones is a staff writer for the Philadelphia Weekly. He is a native of Philadelphia, where he lives with his wife and is currently working on his next novel.

[Bobbi Reddix, Lincoln Public Library District]

Ticket office opens today
‘Dearly Departed’

[JULY 1, 2002]  It would be hard to imagine a goofier or funnier set of individuals than the members of a Southern family named the Turpins. Despite the family’s earnest efforts to pull themselves together for their father’s funeral, other problems keep overshadowing the solemn occasion. Amidst the chaos, the Turpins turn for comfort to their friends and neighbors — an eccentric community of misfits who just manage to pull together and help each other through their hours of need, and finally, the funeral.

D. Ann Jones of Clinton, director for Lincoln Community Theatre’s July 12-20 production of "Dearly Departed," has announced the play’s cast. Lincoln residents appearing on stage will be Bob Wood as both Bud and Norval, Gail King as Raynelle, Kelly Dowling as Lucille, Eric Agostino as Junior, Cindy McLaughlin as Suzanne, Kay Mullins as Marguerite, Alison Kessinger as Delightful, Allen King as Reverend Hooker, Amanda Perry as Nadine, Melanie Goodgin as Veda and Heather Ferguson as Juanita. Other cast members from the area include Chuck McCue of Mount Pulaski as Ray-Bud, David Mankey of Clinton as Royce and Larry Jones of Hartsburg as Clyde.

Also helping in the production of the comedy are Jennifer Hieronymus of Clinton as director’s assistant and Jerry Dellinger of Lincoln as technical director and lighting director.


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The box office opens Monday, July 1, for season ticket holders to make reservations. General admission sales will be available beginning July 6. Ticket prices are $9 for adults and $6 for students through eighth grade. The box office, located in Johnston Center for the Performing Arts on the Lincoln College campus, is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

For further information call (217) 735-2614 or go to the LCT website:

[Judy Rader, LCT publicity chairman]

Nature and haiku poetry
to be featured in reading

[JUNE 26, 2002]  Two award-winning poets will present a varied program of readings and discussions at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Coffee With Einstein, 201 S. Sangamon in Lincoln. The program will feature the husband-and-wife team Penny Harter and William J. Higginson. An open mic session will follow.

Harter, who has received national recognition for her poems on nature themes, will share poems from some of her 16 published collections, as well as new work. Higginson, an internationally acknowledged author and lecturer on the brief Japanese nature poems called haiku, will include translations from his several books on the subject, as well as reading some of his own original work in English. The reading is sponsored by Modern Haiku and the Vachel Lindsay Association.

This is the inaugural program in the "Poetry with Einstein" poetry reading series.

Harter’s poems reflecting the natural environments of the Northeast and Southwest have won repeated inclusion in the annual volumes of the "American Nature Writing" series established by the Sierra Club. She recently received the first William O. Douglas Nature Writing Award, for her poems in the 2002 volume. She is also fascinated with human cultures and has written poems based on Japanese and Tibetan life. She will round out her portion of the program with poems dealing with family relationships and social consciousness, including some of the environmental and human problems of our time.

Higginson has translated a wide variety of traditional Japanese poems, including the brief, season-based haiku, the lyric tanka and the collaborative linked poems composed by groups of poets who hold parties to write together. He will share these, as well as his own haiku and haibun (haiku-prose) in English. His reading will also include some of his longer poems on family relationships.


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In addition, the pair will read from the haiku journal of their previous cross-country drive through Lincoln, 11 years ago. Harter and Higginson return to Lincoln to once again visit their friend Lee Gurga, poet and editor of Modern Haiku, the leading magazine in its field. They are traveling cross-country from Santa Fe, N.M., to their new home in New Jersey.

Both authors have written numerous books, including Harter’s "Turtle Blessing," "Lizard Light: Poems from the Earth" and "Buried in the Sky" and Higginson’s "The Haiku Seasons," "Haiku World" and "Over the Wave: Selected Haiku of Ritsuo Okada." They collaborated on "The Haiku Handbook — How to Write, Share, and Teach Haiku," one of the most widely read books on the subject. Many of their books will be available for sale at the end of the program.

Coffee With Einstein is located at 201 S. Sangamon in downtown Lincoln. The phone number is (217) 735-5282.

For information concerning the program, please contact Modern Haiku editor Lee Gurga, phone (217) 732-8731; e-mail

[News release]

Click below for more information on the poets:

Penny Harter

Penny Harter has published 16 books of poetry, six since 1994. The most recent are "Grandmother’s Milk" (Singular Speech Press), "Shadow Play: Night Haiku" (Simon & Schuster), "Stages and Views" (Katydid Books/U. Hawaii Press), "Turtle Blessing" (La Alameda Press/U. New Mexico Press), "Lizard Light: Poems from the Earth" (Sherman Asher Publishing) and "Buried in the Sky" (La Alameda Press).

Known for both longer poems and haiku, she is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Haiku Society of America and the Poetry Society of America. She recently received the first William O. Douglas Nature Writing Award, for her poems in the anthology "American Nature Writing 2002." She is listed in "Who’s Who in the West," and her autobiographical essay about becoming a writer appeared originally in Volume 28 of the "Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series" and was reprinted in the regular "Contemporary Authors" series in 1999.

Her work appears in numerous anthologies and literary magazines worldwide and has been translated into Dutch, French, Japanese, Korean, Polish and Romanian, She has presented readings, talks and workshops from coast to coast at venues such as the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, Santa Fe, N.M.; the Border Book Festival, Las Cruces, N.M.; Haiku North America, in various cities; and the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, Waterloo Village, N.J.; and in Japan.

Contact information: Penny Harter, P.O. Box 2740, Santa Fe, NM 87504; (505) 438-3249;


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William J. Higginson

William J. Higginson has been a leading figure in the North American haiku movement since his first small book of translations from Japanese appeared in 1968. "Twenty-Five Pieces of Now" was followed in 1971 by the first book of critical essays about haiku in English, "Itadakimasu: Essays on Haiku and Senryu in English," which received one of the first Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards.

Since these early efforts, Higginson has published three of the leading books in the field: "The Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Share, and Teach Haiku" (McGraw-Hill, 1985), "The Haiku Seasons: Poetry of the Natural World" and "Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac" (both Kodansha International, 1996). In addition, he has published two volumes of longer poems, a book of haiku and an international anthology of haiku for children. His longer poems and haiku, as well as translations and articles, have appeared in magazines and anthologies worldwide and on the Internet. He is also the volunteer editor of the "Haiku and Related Forms" section of the Open Directory, the world’s largest actively edited directory of Internet sites.

Higginson is also known internationally as a speaker and reader of poetry, and has given keynote addresses at conferences in Tokyo, San Francisco, Duluth and Boston. For 10 years he made his living as a visiting poet in the National Endowment for the Arts Writers in the Schools Program, and he has led workshops and literary events at community centers, colleges, schools and Y’s in the United States, Canada and Japan.

Contact information: William J. Higginson, P.O. Box 2740, Santa Fe, NM 87504; (505) 438-3249;

[News release]

Movie classics

Logan County Arts Association upcoming films

All upcoming monthly features in the Logan County Arts Association series of classic films will start at 7 p.m. at the Lincoln Cinemas, 215 S. Kickapoo.

Thursday, July 11

"Top Hat" (1935)

Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers

Showman Jerry Travers is working for producer Horace Hardwick in London. Jerry demonstrates his new dance steps late one night in Horace’s hotel, much to the annoyance of sleeping Dale Tremont below. She goes upstairs to complain, and the two are immediately attracted to each other. Complications arise when Dale mistakes Jerry for Horace.

Thursday, Aug. 8

John Ford’s "Fort Apache" (1948)

John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple, Ward Bond, Victor McLaglen

In John Ford’s somber exploration of "Custer’s last stand" and the mythologizing of American heroes, he slowly reveals the character of Owen Thursday, who sees his new posting to the desolate Fort Apache as a chance to claim the military honor which he believes is rightfully his. Arrogant, obsessed with military form and ultimately self-destructive, Thursday attempts to destroy the Indian warrior Cochise after luring him across the border from Mexico.

Thursday, Sept. 12

"Breakfast at Tiffany’s" (1961)

Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Buddy Ebsen, Patricia Neal

Based on Truman Capote’s novel, this is the story of a young jet-setting woman in New York City who meets a young man when he moves into her apartment building.


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Thursday, Oct. 10

Horror/sci-fi double feature

"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1931)

Frederic March, Miriam Hopkins

Based on the story by Robert Louis Stevenson. Dr. Henry Jekyll believes that there are two distinct sides to men: a good and an evil side. He faces horrible consequences when he lets his dark side run wild with a potion that changes him into the animalistic Mr. Hyde.

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951)

Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe

An alien (Klaatu) with his mighty robot (Gort) lands their spacecraft on cold-war Earth just after the end of World War II. He tells the people of Earth that we must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

Tickets will be available at Serendipity Stitches, 129 S. Kickapoo; the Lincoln Public Library Annex; at the door; or by calling (217) 732-4298. Ticket prices are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $2.50 for children 13 and under. These features are one show only, with limited seating.

[Logan County Arts Association ]

Lincoln Community Theatre information

Lincoln Community Theatre’s box office, phone 735-2614,  is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday for the summer season. The office is located in the lobby of the Johnston Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Lincoln College.

Performances of "Dearly Departed" are scheduled for July 12-20, and "The King and I" will be presented Aug. 2-10. Show times are 2 p.m. on Sundays and 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The LCT mailing address is Lincoln Community Theatre, P.O. Box 374, Lincoln, IL  62656; e-mail:

Visit the LDC website at Pictures from past productions are included.

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