Know Death throughout October at Deschutes Public Library


Death and dying are often taboo topics. This October Deschutes Public Library explores a variety of topics associated with the end of life during the “Know Death” series. From Buddhist traditions about the afterlife, to the history of the death penalty, to establishing our own grief rituals, experts will offer diverse insight into what death means. All programs are free and open to the public; no registration required unless noted with an asterisk (*).

The History and Constitutionality of Executions*
Opinions about the death penalty are fueled by emotion and driven by passion. But what do we know about capital punishment? People debating either side agree that “death is different” because execution is irreversible. Given these ultimate stakes, it makes sense to dial down the volume and enhance our understanding of state-administered death. During this program, we will review the history and constitutional status of the death penalty in America. This conversation, led by James Foster, OSU Professor Emeritus, aims to deepen insight rather than change minds. *Space is limited and registration is required; register using the links below.

Tuesday, October 3 noon  Redmond Library | 827 SW Deschutes Avenue, Redmond
Wednesday, October 4• 6:00 p.m. • Downtown Bend Library | 601 NW Wall Street, Bend


Death in Poetry
Join us for close reading of poems as we explore ways in which poets have viewed death.The examination of death—both literal and figurative—hasbeen contemplated by poets for centuries. Join COCC’s Chris Rubio for a close reading of poems from Emily Dickinson to Richard Blanco as we explore the various ways poets have viewed death.

Saturday, October 7 1:00 p.m.  Sisters Library | 110 North Cedar Street, Sisters
Ritual and Ceremony in Modern Life
How do we make meaning out of the big milestones in our personal and community lives? For the many people who do not have strong ties to religious or other cultural traditions, major life events such as birth, aging, relationship changes, illness, death and community crises are often marked by no ritual at all. What is the role of ritual and ceremony? How are we affected by life events that pass unobserved? What new ceremonies are people creating to mark these milestones? Join Holly Pruitt for a conversation about ritual and ceremony and the role they play in milestone events.
Thursday, October 12 6:00 p.m. East Bend Library | 62080 Dean Swift Road, Bend


The Journey IntoThat Good Night in Drama
Explore how the staging of death in drama reflects time, traditions, and attitudes toward death. From Sophocles to Shakespeare, Miller to Muller, death has been a central motif in drama. Tina Redd from COCC explores how the staging of death in drama reflects time, traditions, and attitudes toward death across the centuries.
Saturday, October 14 1:00 p.m.  Redmond Library | 827 SW Deschutes Avenue, Redmond

What Is the Meaning of Life?
Explore the psychology behind why humans may believe in ghosts, the afterlife, or other mysterious aspects of life. This presentation, led by COCC’s Dr. Andria Woodell, will explore some of the psychology behind why humans may believe in ghosts, the afterlife, or simply have an overall curiosity to generate explanations for the chaotic and sometimes mysterious aspects of life.
Tuesday,October 17• 6:00 p.m. • Downtown Bend Library | 601 NW Wall Street, Bend

Death, Dying and Great Compassion in Buddhism
In Buddhism, death and dying are understood within the larger cycle of life. At the same time, in the depths of the life of the self, in the oneness of reality, there is also understood to be a great compassion that goes beyond life and death. In this presentation we will explore these two levels of reality; death, dying, and grief within the cycle of life; and the oneness of great compassion beyond life and death.This program is presented by Mark Unno, Associate Professor of Japanese Buddhismat the University of Oregon.
Saturday, October 28 2:00 p.m.  Sisters Library | 110 North Cedar Street, Sisters
Sunday, October 291:00 p.m.  Downtown Bend Library | 601 NW Wall Street, Bend

Dia de losMuertos
Dia de losMuertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican celebration that has its roots in ancient indigenous culture. Over time, it has created many symbolic and artistic ways in which to honor a family’s ancestors. The meaning of each symbol and artistic part of a traditional ofrenda (altar/table to display photos of ancestors) will be explained. A large and elaborate ofrenda will be available to welcome a photo of your favorite ancestor.Come enjoy Mexican dance and folk music performances byRenee Gonzalez and the students from Bear Creek Folk Ballet Group; Miguel de Alonso, guitar; Billy Mickleson, cello; Brad Porterfield, guitarra de son; and Yolanda Alicia, vocalist.
Sunday, November 52:00 p.m. Downtown Bend Library | 601 NW Wall Street, Bend

For more information about these programs, please visit the library website at People with disabilities needing accommodations (alternative formats, seating or auxiliary aides) should contact Liz Goodrich at or 541-312-1032.

The Deschutes Public Library, located in the high desert of Central Oregon, serves Deschutes County residents through libraries in Bend, La Pine, Redmond, Sisters and Sunriver. Outreach services to senior centers, day care providers and homebound residents are an integral part of the Library. The Library’s website provides access to hundreds of resources, magazine articles, downloadable eBooks, and more from the comfort of home and work. The Library also offers free and dynamic cultural programming for all ages to enrich our daily experience and encourage all residents to Know More.



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