Poets of all ages are can enter their work in the Dakota County Library's annual poetry contest in April.

Participants can enter one poem or rap (clean language only) of no more than two pages. Poems will be judged in adult, 6-9, 10-11, 12-14 and 15-18 age groups. Judges will select first, second and third-place winners based on creativity, clarity, style, form and meaning. Winners will be published on the Dakota County Library website.

Entries can be submitted online or at any Dakota County Library between April 1 and midnight on April 30. For contest guidelines and submission information, call 651-450-2918 or see www.dakotacounty.us/library and search poetry.


'OneBook' events start this week in Lakeville

A teen aging out of the foster care system and an elderly widow discover they have much in common in Christina Baker Kline's novel "Orphan Train," which has been chosen as this year's selection for the "OneBook, OneLakeville" program. The program encourages the whole city to read and engage about the same book. A series of activities related to the book begin Wednesday at the Heritage Library in Lakeville.

Steve Glischinski, author of "Minnesota Railroads: A Photographic History," will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the library and relate the story of Minnesota railroads. He'll explain the role of railroads in building our nation and helping to win two world wars.

On Saturday, people of all ages are invited to play "OneBook Bingo" at 10:30 a.m. and compete for book prizes.

And at 7 p.m. April 10, Renee Wendinger, author of "Extra! Extra! The Orphan Train Riders" and "Newsboys of New York" will share true stories of the largest mass migration of children in American history.

All events are free. The Heritage Library is at 20085 Heritage Drive. For more information, see www.heritagelibraryfriends.com, like OneBook, OneLakeville on Facebook, or pick up a brochure at the library.


Inspirational talk planned at Peace Church

Sheila Raye Charles, daughter of singer Ray Charles, will tell her personal story of abuse, addiction and salvation at Peace Church in Eagan on Friday.

The program is at 7 p.m. at the church, 2180 Glory Drive. Admission is free and the general public is invited. A goodwill offering will be accepted.

Charles is one of 12 of Ray Charles' children; she grew up with her mother and didn't know her father until later in life. She has authored a book, "Behind the Shades," and released a music CD in 2005.


Send your Dakota County arts and leisure news to dylan.belden@startribune.com.