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Baldwin Honors Late Birmingham Book Lover, Trustee and Friend With Poetry Reading

Elaine Morse, a former trustee at Baldwin Public Library who passed away in April, will be honored with a poetry reading by Milford author Thomas Lynch this Sunday.

On her obituary, Elaine Morse is remembered as "an energetic, vibrant and talented woman with a smile who lit up the room."

"Elaine's memory is now forever etched on all our hearts wherever love lives, stars shine, poets write and music plays," writes one friend about Morse, a longtime Birmingham resident, book lover and Borders employee who passed away April 18, 2012 at the age of 71.

And this weekend, Baldwin Public Library will be honoring Morse for her contributions to the library with a special poetry reading from Detroit-area poet Thomas Lynch.

"Everyone associated with Baldwin is pleased and honored to be offering this event in memory of Elaine, who accomplished so much for the library and the rest of Birmingham," said Doug Koschik, director of Baldwin Public Library.

Aside from her job as assistant manager at Borders, which closed after the company declared bankruptcy last year, Morse was a trustee on the Baldwin Public Library board and member of the Friends of the Birmingham Historical Museum & Park.

Passionate about books, literacy, traval and poetry, Morse said Martha Baldwin — the early Birmingham resident who helped found the library that now bears her name — was one of her heroes. 

"It was vital to Martha Baldwin that citizens had access to books and ideas so I am confident she would be proud to see how well the library continues to fulfill her mission," she said in a 2010 Patron Story on the library website.

During the poetry reading, scheduled for 2 p.m. this Sunday at the library, Lynch will read from his two most recent books of poems, Walking Papers and The Sin-Eater: A Breviary. Lynch, who currently lives in Milford, is the recipient of the American Book Award, Great Lakes Book Award, the Heartland Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award.

The program is partially funded by donations made in memory of Morse as well as the Jane Cameron Endowment Fund. Copies of Lynch's books will be available for purchase and signing at the event, courtesy of the Book Beat Bookstore.

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