Bach to Books

Bach to Books is the name for the Friends’-sponsored arts and humanities series offered at the library, free to the community. Artists, writers, and musicians appear at the library and share their talents.

The main goal of Bach to Books is to share a variety of programs featuring music, dance, visual arts, literature, history and more with the people of our community for their enjoyment and enlightenment. We offer these programs free to the public, so that everybody can attend. Most events are held in the auditorium in the library.

Upcoming Events

Here are our upcoming events. Also, check the Library Calendar or call (214) 509-4911 for more information about any Bach to Books performance.


Award-winning author John Balaban discusses his books Empires, Locusts at the Edge of Summer: New and Selected Poems and more at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12 at the Allen Public Library.

John Balaban is the author of twelve books of poetry and prose, including four volumes which together have won The Academy of American Poets’ Lamont prize, a National Poetry Series Selection, and two nominations for the National Book Award.  His Locusts at the Edge of Summer: New and Selected Poems garnered the prestigious 1998 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.  In 2005, he was a judge for the National Book Awards. His latest book of poetry, Empires, from Copper Canyon Press was published in 2019.

In addition to writing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, John Balaban is the most prominent translator of Vietnamese in the United States. During and after years as a relief worker in Vietnam, he has focused on the nearly extinct ideographic script, Nôm, His book Spring Essence, was the first translation of Nôm ever printed as type. In the past twenty-five years, John has saved that script from extinction.  Ancient Nômwriting has now been digitized and stored in the national museum in Hanoi.

Dr. Eileen Tollett declares, “His poem “For the Missing in Action” makes me cry every time I read it, though I have probably read it a hundred times. His poetry is not flowery or sentimental; it is to the point, which makes it more touching than any other I encounter.”

Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the program is free.  The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr.  Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.  


Shake Anderson African-American Gospel Experience

By Tom Keener

Enjoy the enthusiasm and inspiration of African-American Gospel music with blues and gospel artist Shake Anderson at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 16 at the Allen Public Library.  accompaniment. Music historian Donte Ford will open the concert by giving a brief history of African-American Gospel music.

Nominated for four Grammys, Shake Anderson has played with or produced for a number ofperformers including Curtis Mayfield, B. B. King and Aretha Franklin.  

Performing in Carnegie Hall, The Apollo Theatre and Radio City Music Hall, this multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and producer has also worked on numerous films. As a result, he garnered gold and platinum albums for his work on Blue Streak, Dr. Doolittle, Boys on the Side, and Austin Powers.    Shake spent six years as musical director for soul music legends “The Impressions,” and later formed the Grammy-winning gospel group New Breed with Israel Houghton.

Special guest star is Charles Walter “Chuck” Rainey III, an American bass guitarist who has performed and recorded with many well-known acts. Chuck toured and/or recorded with include King Curtis, Sam Cooke, Etta James, The original Coasters, Jackie Wilson, Harry Bellefonte, The Supremes, Labelle, Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack and Quincy Jones.

Of special note; as a member of ‘The King Curtis All Stars’, Chuck was on the second Beatle Tour of the U.S.

The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr.  Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, this concert is free.  Call 214-509-4911 for more information.



Listen to Susan Colin, an award-winning composer, cantorial soloist and engaging performer, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 22 at the Allen Public Library. Known for her warm and crystal-clear voice, Susan has released six CDs of original and familiar Jewish music that inspires listeners of all backgrounds as she sings about spirituality.

Susan is the owner of, a digital download site for Jewish audio and sheet music. She and her husband live in Phoenix, AZ and are the proud parents of three grown children.

The Dallas Morning News declares, “Susan Colin sings with a clarity that is breathtaking and rare.”

Sponsored by the Allen Public Library the concert is free.  The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr.  Call 214-509-4911 for additional information