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Wisdom Seekers: The discussion group will feature Brent Florendo, a member of the Wasco Tribe and coordinator of Native American Studies at Southern Oregon University, at 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, at Havurah Shir Hadash, 185 North Mountain Ave., Ashland. Florendo will discuss the meaning of tribal drumming, dance and chanting that celebrates the persona of the American Indian. He also will explain their perspective in relationship to community, Mother Earth and the building of respect and trust with those outside their world. There is a brown bag vegetarian lunch at 12:30 p.m.. Tea and cookies will be provided. Call 488-7716.

how dogs think: "How Dogs Think" is the free January offering in a regular monthly series of programs sponsored by the Friends of Ruch Library, from 7 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9, at the Ruch Branch Library, 7919 Highway 238, Ruch. Dog trainer Cary Voorhees will talk about breed specific problems, health, and what dogs need to be good dogs. Please note: Do not bring your dog with you; they are not permitted in the library. For more information call 899-7438.

poetry workshop: "The Healing Circle: The Words We Need To Share, The Words That Take Us There" will be presented by Robert McDowell, author of "Poetry as Spiritual Practice" from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, at the Ashland Branch Library, 410 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. This benefit workshop for the Friends of the Ashland Public Library welcomes writers of all levels. McDowell will use interactive exercises and guided meditations from his book. Cost for the workshop is $15. Reservations are encouraged. Lunch is not provided. Call 774-6996 for more information.

Southern Oregon University: The university's College of Arts and Sciences offers its free Friday Seminar, "The Unique Natural Farm of Masanobu Fukuoka," by Larry Korn, from 3 to 4 p.m., Friday, Jan. 16, in Room 118 of the Science Building, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. Masanobu Fukuoka is a farmer/philosopher who has lived and farmed for more than 70 years on the southwestern Japanese island of Shikoku. His farming technique requires no machines, no chemicals and very little weeding, yet the condition of the soil in his orchard and grain fields improves each year. For more information, contact Claire Cross at cross@sou.edu, 552-6334.

library Talk: Historian Jeff LaLande will present "An Ornery Tradition: 150 Years of Southern Oregon Politics" in the first of a yearlong series of talks, "Land of the Empire Builders," celebrating Oregon's 150th birthday. The brown-bag lecture series will be offered twice each month, noon to 1 p.m., on the first Wednesday at the Medford Branch Library, 205 South Central Avenue; and on the second Wednesday at the Ashland Library, 410 Siskiyou Boulevard. LaLande will speak Jan. 14 in Ashland. He is an archeologist and historian with the Rogue River National Forest. LaLande's talk will cover Southern Oregon's unusual, distinctive and often entertaining political history. He will cite examples — as well as myths — of the area's "ornery" tradition and cultural history. Attendance is free and listeners are encouraged to bring questions and a brown-bag lunch.

lawson inada: The Friends of the Eagle Point Branch Library will host Lawson Inada from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday Jan. 15, in the community room at the Eagle Point Library, 239 West Main St., Eagle Point. In recognizing Oregon's 150th birthday and the Oregon Reads 2009 Project, Inada will speak about his time during World War II when, along with more than 100,000 other Japanese-Americans, he was sent to an internment camp for the duration of the War. He was one of the youngest to live in the camps, and much of his writing addresses that childhood experience. Inada is an emeritus professor of writing at Southern Oregon University in Ashland and the author of five books and the editor of three volumes. His poetry collection, "Legends from Camp," received the American Book Award. For more information, call 826-3313.