Press Release - Detail
For immediate release on Friday, February 13, 2015.
Contact: Angela Fisher Hall, Interim Director
Phone: (205) 226-3616
Library Gets Early Start on Cherry Blossom Celebration
Birmingham, Alabama—If a trip to our nation’s capital for the March Cherry Blossom Festival is not on your calendar, make plans to join the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) for an early start on the celebration. Once again partnering with the Japan American Society of Alabama (JASA) and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, BPL is planning several programs—including a haiku contest, a special edition of the signature Bards & Brews event, a film screening, and a main event at the Gardens—in support of the annual observance. All programs are free and open to the public.
BPL began organizing programs around the Cherry Blossom Festival several years ago to bring awareness to Miss Iwate, a Japanese “Friendship Doll” who came to BPL in July 1928 and has been a treasured resident of the library ever since. In the 1920s, American dolls were sent to school children in Japan in an effort to improve relations between the two nations. In return, officials in Japan had 58 dolls made by the finest doll-makers to represent each prefecture and major city in Japan and sent them to museums and libraries in the largest cities or capitals in each state.
A popular feature of the programming is an online haiku contest for teens and adults residing in Alabama which begins on February 22 and runs through March 14. With separate competitions for teens and adults, winners will be picked at the end of each week and will be eligible for cash prizes. Poems may be on any topic and may be submitted on Twitter with #bplhaiku or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries will be judged by the Southeast Chapter of the Haiku Society of America. The weekly winners will be ranked first, second, and third and their prizes awarded at the main event of the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Saturday, March 21. In case you are wondering, the cherry blossom is a flower which blooms on trees of the Prunus genus, particularly the Japanese Cherry, which is called sakura.
Additional Cherry Blossom Festival program partners for this year include The Alabama State Council on the Arts; Haiku Society of America; and Hop City Beer and Wine. A full list of the programs is on the library’s website.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BPL
For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, visit our website at www.bplonline.org and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system—with nineteen locations and serving the community for 128 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast.