Home > New
Back to top

Women's History Month

Women's History Month CIO

Madison Public Library is celebrating Women's History Month, commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.


Schedule of Events

Who Matters: Women's History Edition
June 15, Time TBD - Central Library (Registration opens late March)

In commemoration of Women's History Month and to amplify the experiences of women in Madison, Madison Public Library presents Who Matters: Women's History Edition. This is designed to offer a space, physical and digital, for women to speak with each other about work, neighborhoods, family, recreation, education, civic engagement, and their experience of being a woman in these spaces. Conversations will be recorded and photographs taken during a story gathering day on June 15th, and shared through the Living History Project. Registration to participate will start in late March.​


The Odyssey with Emily Wilson
February 28, 7:30-8:30pm - Central Library

The Wisconsin Book Festival and the UW-Center for the Humanities, present this fresh, authoritative version of The Odyssey. In the first English translation of The Odyssey by a woman, this stirring tale of shipwrecks, monsters, and magic comes alive in an entirely new way. Written in iambic pentameter verse and a vivid, contemporary idiom, this engrossing translation matches the number of lines in the Greek original, thus striding at Homer’s sprightly pace and singing with a voice that echoes Homer’s music.


Memory Cloth Circle: Exploring Stitching & Inspiring Women
March 4, 5:30-7:30pm - Lakeview Library

In honor of Women’s History Month, Memory Cloth Circle members invite children and adults to remember women who inspired them, tell their stories, and stitch with us.

We will provide materials and guidance in embroidery and share our experiences. We were inspired by Amazwi Abesifazane, Voices of Women, in South Africa. We are grateful for those courageous women who began making Memory Cloths to tell their stories of Apartheid; they have asked us to share their process in the US. Registration required.


Hiding in Plain Site: Marjorie Kreilick's Midcentury Mosaics
March 5, 7:00-8:30pm - Central Library

Mosaic scholar and artist, Lillian Sizemore, will reveal the fascinating tale of UW professor emerita Marjorie Kreilick's ten large scale, yet little-known, mosaic murals for Milwaukee's State Office Building. In 1961, invited to submit a proposal by the State's architect, Kreilick offered her radically different vision. Her insistence on using Wisconsin's indigenous ecological landscapes as the subject of the murals continues to inform the legacy of Wisconsin's natural resources which remain a strength of its economy. Sizemore will follow Kreilick's artistic journey from Rome to Wisconsin, and discuss what an uncertain future may hold for this signficant piece of our state heritage. A mosaic demo is included with the visual presentation.


The Body is Not an Apology with Sonya Renee Taylor

March 11, 7:00-8:00pm - Mitby Theater

Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies. The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world--for us all. Presented in partnership with Madison College Office of Equity and Inclusion.


I Can't Talk About the Trees Without the Blood with Tiana Clark

March 12, 7:00-8:00pm - Central Library

For prize-winning poet Tiana Clark, trees will never be just trees. They will also and always be a row of gallows from which Black bodies once swung. This is an image that she cannot escape, but one that she has learned to lean into as she delves into personal and public histories, explicating memories and muses around race, elegy, family, and faith by making and breaking forms as well as probing mythology, literary history, her own ancestry, and, yes, even Rihanna. I Can’t Talk About the Trees without the Blood, because the speaker in this triptych book cannot engage with the physical and psychic landscape of the South without seeing the braided trauma of the broken past—she will always see blood on the leaves.


Era of Ignition with Amber Tamblyn
March 13, 7:00-8:00pm - Central Library

A passionate and deeply personal exploration of feminism during divisive times by actor, filmmaker, and activist Amber Tamblyn. In her late twenties, Amber Tamblyn experienced a crisis of character while trying to break out of the confines of the acting career she’d forged as a child in order to become the writer and director she dreamed of being as an adult. After a particularly low period fueled by rejection and disillusionment, she grabbed hold of her own destiny and entered into what she calls an Era of Ignition–namely, the time of self-reflection that follows in the wake of personal upheaval and leads to a call to action and positive change. In the process of undergoing this metaphysical metamorphosis, she realized that our country was going through an Era of Ignition of its own. 


International Film Night: Sukkar Banat = Caramel
March 15, 6:00-8:00pm - Alicia Ashman Library

A Beirut beauty salon becomes a treasured meeting place for several generations of women from various walks of life, to talk, seek advice and confide in one another. Arabic, French with English subtitles.


Goodman South Book Club - The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
March 16, 1:30-3:00pm - Goodman South Madison Library

All are welcome to join in a book discussion of Sonya Renee Taylor’s The Body is Not an Apology.

A global movement guided by love Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies. The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world for us all.


NewBridge Movie Program: Served Like a Girl
March 27, 1:30-3:30pm - Alicia Ashman Library

Director Lysa Heslov's Documentary provides a candid look at several American women as they transition from active duty to civilian life after serving tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. All shows are free and open to the public. Starring Nichole Alred, Jas Boothe & Rachel Engler [NA=not rated; 1hr. 43min.; Documentary, 2017]


Thursday Book Group discusses Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini
March 28, 1:00-2:30pm - Sequoya Library

Sequoya's Thursday Book Group hosts a discussion of Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini. Enchantress of Numbers illuminates the fascinating life of Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace -- Lord Byron's daughter, the world's first computer programmer, and a woman whose exceptional contributions to science and technology have been too long unsung. Chiaverini unveils the passions, dreams, and insatiable thirst for knowledge of a largely unheralded pioneer in computing.

New members always welcome. Copies of the current book are available at the Ask Here Desk while supplies last.


Lakeview Book Discussion of "Radium Girls" by Kate Moore
April 4, 6:30-7:30pm - Lakeview Library

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives.


Peace and Justice Book Circle: The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit
April 4, 6:30-7:45pm - Goodman South Madison Library

In a timely follow-up to her national bestseller Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit offers indispensable commentary on women who refuse to be silenced, misogynistic violence, the fragile masculinity of the literary canon, the gender binary, the recent history of rape jokes, and much more. In characteristic style, Solnit mixes humor, keen analysis, and powerful insight in these essays.

Peace and Justice Book Circle meets monthly on the 1st Thursday of every month from 6:30-7:45pm at the Goodman South Madison Library.

Everyone is welcome to join the conversation if you are interested in the topic, regardless of whether or not you have read the book.


Memory Cloth Circle Workshop
April 6, 10:00am-12:00pm - Goodman South Madison Library

In honor of Women’s History Month Memory Cloth Circle members invite children and adults to remember women who inspired them, tell their stories and stitch with us.

We will provide materials and guidance in embroidery and share our experiences.


A Small Place with Jamaica Kincaid
April 8, 7:30-8:30pm - Union South

Kincaid will deliver a public lecture as part of the Center for the Humanities' "Humanities Without Boundaries" speaker series.  A Small Place is brilliant look at colonialism and its effects in Antigua--by the author of Annie John. Lyrical, sardonic, and forthright by turns, in a Swiftian mode, A Small Place cannot help but amplify our vision of one small place and all that it signifies. This event is presented in partnership with the UW-Madison Center for the Humanitiesand the Wisconsin Union Distinguished Lecture Series.


Look with  Solmaz Sharif
April 18, 7:00-8:00pm - Central Library

Solmaz Sharif’s astonishing first book, Look, asks us to see the ongoing costs of war as the unbearable loss of human lives and also the insidious abuses against our everyday speech. In this virtuosic array of poems, lists, shards, and sequences, Sharif assembles her family’s and her own fragmented narratives in the aftermath of warfare. Those repercussions echo into the present day, in the grief for those killed in America’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and in the discrimination endured at the checkpoints of daily encounter. At the same time, these poems point to the ways violence is conducted against our language. 


The Handmaiden (feature film)
April 19, 7:00-8:45pm - Hawthorne Library

Set during the Japanese occupation of Korea in the 1930s, a young handmaiden named Sookee is hired by Lady Hideko, a reclusive heiress who lives in a sprawling mansion under the watchful eye of her domineering Uncle Kouzuki. But Sookee harbours a secret: she has been recruited by Fujiwara, a scheming con artist posing as a Japanese Count, to trick Hideko into entrusting him with her fortune. However, when Sookee and Hideko begin to develop unexpected emotions for each other, they start putting together a plan of their own. (2016 / South Korea / Korean with English subtitles / Drama, Romance, Thriller / 144 min. / Not rated)


Additional Resources

Women's History Month

Women's History Month | Library of Congress & National Archives

Mar 1, 2019