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Pittsburg State University Alumni & Constituent Relations has partnered with Axe Library to create the Gorilla Alumni Book Club for alumni and friends.

Join our virtual book club to connect with fellow Gorillas while enjoying books authored by PSU alumni. The Gorilla Alumni Book Club connects members with a private forum where all participants can discuss the current book and network with one another. The group will read one book every two months, so readers have plenty of time for each book. Participation is free – you just need a copy of the book to enjoy!

How it works:

  1. Sign up for the Gorilla Alumni Book Club.
  2. Join the Gorilla Alumni Book Club Facebook group. This is where members will participate in weekly discussion questions regarding the books. Members can participate as much or as little as they like.
  3. Purchase or borrow the book from your local library. Axe Library will house copies of the selected book.

Frequently asked questions:

How often will books be read, what is the time commitment and what are the expectations?

We plan for the group to read one book every six weeks. The books selected cover a range of genres and length. The maximum amount of pages to read in a week is approximately 60 pages, and at times, this number will be much lower. If you have between one to two hours a week to read and participate, you should be fine.

Will there be any in-person meetings for the book club?

The book club will mostly be virtual and online. At the end of some of the books, we plan to welcome members to campus to have an open discussion and enjoy coffee and other beverages. When these occur, we will do our best to live stream the discussion to the Facebook group to keep everyone involved. However, the goal of this group is to allow participation from anywhere you have internet access.

Is there any cost to participate?

Participation is free! You just need a copy of the book to enjoy.

How do I get the books?

Members can purchase the book or borrow the book from local libraries.

How do book club discussions work?

The book club will have a moderator from Axe Library who manages the Facebook group where discussions occur online. The moderator will pose questions to the group and facilitate conversation about topics in the book. Members will be encouraged to post, share, and discuss as well. The Facebook group allows for ongoing conversation and makes it easy for readers to connect with each other online.

What if I am unable to participate in a week's discussion?

Real life happens and we understand that. The benefit of a virtual book club is that you can go back and see what you missed, as well as further add to the discussion. The discussion does not stop, so feel free to contribute at any time! Just be aware if you have not finished reading the weekly portion, there might be spoilers.

I've already signed up. How do I log in?

If you have already signed up, click here to join the Facebook group. 

Questions:

Contact Danielle Driskill, Assistant Director of Alumni & Constituent Relations, at ddriskill@pittstate.edu or Ruth Monnier, Learning Outreach Librarian and Assistant Professor, at rmonnier@pittstate.edu.

Happy Reading, and Go Pitt State!

Upcoming Book:

Ghost Sign: Poems from White Buffalo by Al Ortolani (BSEd ’74, MA ’83, EdS ’87), Melissa Fite Johnson (BS ’03, MA ’05), Adam Jameson (BA ’95), and JT Knoll (BS ’71, MS ’76) is our eighth reading beginning March 31st.

Synopsis: In the 1920s and 1930s, Pittsburg, KS was a major coal-mining town, attracting various ethnic groups from southeast Europe and beyond. The often belligerent and divisive spirit of the miners and the unpredictable politics of Southeast Kansas earned the region the nickname, "The Little Balkans." The four poets (Al Ortolani, Melissa Fite Johnson, Adam Jameson, JT Knoll) appearing in this collection carry forward that same proud, independent spirit. They call themselves White Buffalo, after a now-defunct café in Pittsburg that offered writers, poets, artists, musicians, and friends a place of warmth and community, which in turn fostered an environment of challenge and diversity.

Ghost Sign epitomizes honest work that is both lyrical and painful while simultaneously joyous and sad. It is rooted in folklore and mystery, and its place is informed by powerful imagery: sunlight on the crater of a strip pit, the shadow of an owl at Camp 50, junkyard mechanics, railroad men, and a grandfather at a piano plunking out Methodist hymns. With craft and passion, the Ghost Sign poets, who each know how to remember, resurrect those indomitable, lost places, folks, and ghosts from the forgotten past of Southeast Kansas.

Timeline:

  • April 7: pages 1-29 
  • April 14: pages 30-57
  • April 21: pages 58-97 
  • April 28: pages 101-131 
  • May 5: pages 133-161 
  • May 12: pages 162-195 

Ghost Sign

Amazon     Barnes & Noble

During COVID-19, many independent bookstores are providing delivery and curbside pick-up. Check with your local bookstores today!

Previous Book Club Reads:

Questions? Contact PSU Alumni & Constituent Relations

Phone: 620-235-4758    
Toll Free: 877-PSU-ALUM
Fax: 620-235-4949
Email: alumni@pittstate.edu

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