Michael Stipe doesn’t make many public appearances these days—a film screening here, a spring gala there—and performances are even fewer and further between. Lately, though, the former R.E.M. frontman has been hinting at a return to the spotlight as a solo artist, debuting three new songs in May; reportedly, there’s more where that came from. (But fans of the seminal band shouldn’t get their hopes up: An R.E.M. reunion “will never happen,” he told the Guardian back in April.)

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With three new songs making the rounds, Michael Stipe is dipping a toe in the solo waters. Image: John Lamparski/Getty Images

It might be awhile before the music is released, but Stipe fans can see him take to the stage in a matter of months—at the library. An accomplished photographer, he was majoring in studio art at the University of Georgia before his musical career took off, and November 1, he’ll be exercising those art-class chops again for “A Visual Record,” an investigation of “the intersection of analog imagery in a digital world.”

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Amitav Ghosh sits down with Nathaniel Rich to talk climate change, in reality as well as in works of fiction. Image: Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images

The event is part of LIVE from the NYPL’s fall 2019 programming, a series of talks at the New York Public Library that cover an array of interests, with tickets on sale now. The season launches on September 10, with Amitav Ghosh (the Ibis Trilogy, Gun Island) and Nathaniel Rich (Losing Earth) discussing climate change in fiction and nonfiction. Other guests this season include former US poet laureate Robert Pinsky, legendary soul-music pioneer Booker T. Jones, and Olive Kitteridge author (and Pulitzer Prize winner) Elizabeth Strout. (An 80th birthday party for Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood wraps things up in December, but it’s already sold out.)

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A birthday blowout for Margaret Atwood is scheduled for December 11, and it's already sold out. Image: Leonardo Cendamo/Getty Images

It wouldn’t be a library event without a look at some primary sources, and for many of the events, rare items—think: hard-to-find books and archival materials—from the collection will be on view, alongside a curator tasked with addressing audience queries. 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit nypl.org.

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