Booked: Poetry and Literary Soundtracks

You’ll have two chances to check out poet Amir Sulaiman on Saturday, September 3rd. He’ll be at the Charles B. Washington branch of the Omaha Public Library at 2868 Ames Avenue from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. to conduct a poetry workshop for teens and adults. That evening he’ll be at the Malcom X Memorial Center at 3448 Evans Street from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a performance. Sulaiman has been featured on the Def Poetry Jam and has released three albums, so this is a rare opportunity to see a poet of this caliber. The library appearance is free, but the event at the Malcom X Center will cost $10 in advance ($15 at the door, or $5 if you’re a Malxom X Center member, a student or an elder). You can get  advance tickets at the Aframerican Bookstore  at 3226 Lake St. To learn more about Sulaiman, go to

The New York Times recently ran a short feature on Booktrack, a new startup that is planning to release e-books are accompanied by a soundtrack that plays throughout the book. Their first book/soundtrack pairing will be “The Power of Six,” a young-adult novel, followed by “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “Jane Eyre,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Three Musketeers.”

“We’re learning that everything is up for grabs in terms of what people are going to respond to or be interested in, and the digital space is ever changing,” Tara Weikum, an editorial director for HarperCollins Children’s Books, the house behind “The Power of Six” told the paper. “If a reader falls in love with the book, they want more of it. And if we can give it to them in something like an e-book or the Booktrack edition, then it’s pre-emptively anticipating what readers might be looking for.”

Some authors, such as George Pelecanos, have offered playlists that accompany or inspired a particular work, so for those authors this seems like a logical extension. And some books beg for the audio treatment. Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin’s books, are a logical choice for songs like “The Wheels on the Bus,” for example, while Dick Cheney’s upcoming memoir, “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir” would certainly compliment Fear’s The Record, with songs like “Let’s Have a War” and “I Don’t Care About You.” What other books are begging for a soundtrack? Send your suggestions to


Kyle Tonniges

Category: Art

Leave a Reply