HUMONGOUS BOOK BASH
AT THE VENERABLE
WHITLOCK FARM BOOKSELLERS
[UPDATED 8-6-05; directions of sorts at bottom / author list growing ...]
Co-sponsored by Connecticut Review
and the IMPAC-Connecticut State University Young Writers Trust
Saturday, August 20, 2005, 1 p.m.
No fee - Open to public
Tell your friends
LIVE JAZZ- Jen Allen Jazz Combo, including Adam Christgau, drums, Jake Thibault, alto and tenor sax....
Connecticut's best poets and writers, liquid refreshments and food.
WINE TASTING COURTESY OF AMITY WINES,
95 Amity Road
SPECIAL THANKS TO SCOTT RANDALL
CATERING BY THE BELVEDERE / ACI OF WOODBRIDGE
70 Bradley Ave., Woodbridge, CT 06525
SPECIAL THANKS TO NEIL ABEL
Whitlock Farms Booksellers is at
20 Sperry Road, Bethany (203-393-1240). Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily except Mon.
FOR MORE INFORMATION,
CONTACT WHITLOCK EVENTS COORDINATOR
* Fax: 860-567-9119 * Cell 860-690-0211
The IMPAC-Connecticut State University Young Writers Trust has given more than $118,000 to teenagers since 1998. Entry forms for the 2006 competition will be available at Whitlock and on line @ ctyoungwriters.org
Connecticut Review, the nationally-renowned literary journal, has been published since 1967 by the Connecticut State University System. The journal and the work published in it have received awards from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, National Public Radio, Best American Poetry, Best American Short Story and The Pushcart Prize.
The CSU System serves more than 35,000 students, making it the largest public university system in Connecticut. A total of 166 academic programs are offered throughout the system, and more than 5,000 degrees are awarded annually.
Subscriptions to the semi-annual journal can be ordered by sending a check to
Connecticut Review, Connecticut State University System, 39 Woodland St.,
Hartford, CT 06105-2337. The annual rate is $24; for 2 years, $40. Connecticut Review
is also sold at local bookstores. Order forms are available @ ctyoungwriters.org
PARTIAL LIST OF POETS AND WRITERS
AT WHITLOCK EVENT:
Stomp and Sing: Poems by Jon Andersen
Curbstone Press April, 2005
Stomp and Sing is Jon Andersen's highly-acclaimed debut book of poetry. The poems illuminate the concerns and aspirations of the new working class generation, and serve as an imagistic autobiography. Clear and direct, narrative and lyrical, they take us from mountaintops to local cafes, from lumberyards to town sidewalks, and range in theme from the impact of racism to the consolation of nature. Luis Rodriguez, author of Always Running, writes: "Jon Andersen's poems sing of a life lived, devoured, explored, and awake. Who writes like this anymore? Oh, for more Jon Andersens in our midst, to remind us we are more complex, nuanced, and meaningful than many are daring to be."
Jon Andersen was born in 1970 in New London, Connecticut. He currently lives with his wife and family in Willimantic and teaches at E.O. Smith High School in Storrs. His poems have appeared in numerous journals including Connecticut Review, Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, The Progressive, and Rattle.
Rowing across the dark : poems
Poet Franz Douskey has been published in more than 150 journals and magazines including the New Yorker, Rolling Stone and Yankee. He teaches creative writing at Yale and communications and English at Gateway Community &Technical College. A featured guest at New Haven's Festival of Arts &Ideas, Douskey's books include Rowing Across The Dark. He is a founding board member of the IMPAC-Connecticut State University Young Writers Trust and has served as a judge every year of the competition.
Faith Vicinanza, the long-time editor of the Connecticut Poetry Newsletter, has been selected by a national panel of poets and editors to be honored by Pudding House Publications' "Poets Greatest Hits" series. The panel selects "poets whose publication histories are impressive, poets who have had a positive impact on the literary landscape, poets whose work teaches by example."
The Cherry Tree
From Publishers Weekly
Rather plodding but appealingly homely, this first novel has the feel of an old family album. In a series of grainy snapshots, Pope chronicles the coming of age of 12-year-old Timmy during the summer of 1974 in suburban Connecticut. Timmy's father ("The Dad") is a boozing, gambling, happy-go-lucky Italian-American builder; his mother ("The Mom") is a no-nonsense Nova Scotia WASP. Timmy spends his time hanging out with his cronies, climbing cherry trees, listening to Elton John, going to movies, masturbating, discovering girls, teasing his older brother and sister and observing the neighborhood's idiosyncrasies. Egged on by his sadistic best pal, Stev (the friends drop the "e" at the end of names), Timmy torments feckless Tony, another neighborhood kid, but draws the line at killing frogs, another of Stev's favorite pastimes. As his parents' marriage slowly disintegrates-mainly because the Mom incessantly nags the Dad about his habit of playing golf and boozing during business hours-Timmy is jarred from his idyllic idling. His dog is killed, and when Stev comes home from camp he betrays Timmy by gambling away Timmy's baseball cards to gain favor with the neighborhood toughs. Pope never builds up much narrative steam with his episodic storytelling, and Timmy's voice is not particularly distinctive (despite his earnest cataloguing of boners and mammoth farts). There is a warmth and authenticity to Timmy's interactions with his parents and siblings...
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Watergate hearings are in full swing. Evil Knievel is traveling the country. And in an East Coast suburb, 12-year-old Timmy is surviving a summer that's both tumultuous and commonplace. His best friend starts hanging out with older kids; his parents fight aggressively and even temporarily split apart; the neighborhood bully beats up his mother with an almost impossible lack of conscience ("Yeah, well. What the fuck, right?" the bully says in response). Narrated by Timmy, Pope's accomplished first novel perfectly captures the shadowy, charged age of early adolescence. Orange-peel wars, tree houses, and baseball cards coexist with nearly constant "boners" and dramatic masturbation techniques (one involves a dog's assistance; in another, Timmy secretly rubs his penis over a glass before handing it to a neighbor). Pope's dialogue is heartbreaking and real; his characters sympathetic in their gross imperfections. But best is Timmy's voice--detached and never too self-aware. Pope never tells too much, and the clipped, spare descriptions will draw readers straight into Timmy's unspoken loneliness, confusion, and sweet, wild joy.
The trickster of the title is the force of transformative chaos, a god-devil who appears in many mythologies to mock our certainties and tempt us into dissolution or freedom. Briggs finds the trickster in human form: as a strangely powerful hooker, as a woman who believes herself to be a shaman. But the trickster also haunts us in enormous bugs, flying bowties, and mass-production lines that won't turn off. There is a breathless quality to Briggs' fiction that is not so much suspense as a sense of suspension, as though the moorings of reality had been cut. Often his stories start with a deceptively straightforward scene: a woman coming upon her husband talking to two coworkers, and none of them notices her presence. But then the trickster energy starts its work: the husband's thoughts turn into insects and devour him. Whether in brief flash-fiction or in more apparently conventional short stories, Briggs is masterful at creating dreamy but somewhat nightmarish narratives.
WATCHING CARTOONS BEFORE ATTENDING A FUNERAL AND OTHER BOOKS BY JOHN SUROWIECKI
John makes his living as a freelance writer. Since 1998, he has been able to write poetry on a regular basis.
He’s had one full collection published, Watching Cartoons before Attending a Funeral (White Pine Press, 2003), as well as three chapbooks: Dennis Is Transformed into a Thrush (White Eagle Coffee Store Press, 2004), Five-hundred Widowers in a Field of Chamomile (Portlandia Group, 2002) and Caliban Poems (West Town Press, 2001).
A fourth chapbook, Further Adventures of My Nose: 24 Caprices, was published in July by Ugly Duckling Presse in Brooklyn, New York.
John’s work has appeared or is scheduled to appear in a wide variety of journals, including: Antietam Review, Blue Mesa Review, Briar Cliff Review, Columbia, Cream City Review, Folio, Gargoyle, GW Review, Indiana Review, Kimera, The MacGuffin, The Mississippi Review, Nimrod, North American Review, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, RHINO, Rosebud, Tar Wolf Review, West Branch, Wisconsin Review and Xanadu.
This year, he was awarded a fellowship grant from the Connecticut Commission of Culture and Tourism, Office of the Arts.
John is a graduate of the University of Connecticut where he received his B.A. and M.A. in English. He is a Ph.D. dropout forever shamed. As a student he won the University’s annual Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize on two occasions.
He is a father, a grandfather, an avid gardener and a washed-up softball hero. He lives in Amston, Connecticut (a part of Hebron), with his wife, Denise.
TITLE: THE BATTLEFIELD OF YOUR BODY
PUBLISHER: HILL-STEAD MUSEUM
BLURB: THE BATTLEFIELD OF YOUR BODY
"Bessy Reyna is an honest poet. She writes unflinchingly of loss: a lost island, a lost lover, a lost moment. She faces the police beating of a neighbor or a father's drunken stupor with the same bravery. Yet she can also sense the fleeting poetry in a circle of fallen leaves, in the intimacy of bodies. Bessy Reyna is a clear-eyed guide to the world we see but don't see." --Martín Espada
BIO: Bessy Reyna, is the author of the poetry chapbooks The Battlefield of Your Body (Hill-Stead Museum Publications) and She Remembers, (Andrew Mountain Press, Hartford, CT, 1997.) Her poem Memoir, was awarded the first prize in the 21st Annual Joseph E. Brodine Poetry Contest sponsored by the Connecticut Poetry Society. She is also the recipient of individual artist's awards given by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and the Greater Hartford Arts Council. She was selected by the Puerto Rican Forum/Hispanic Professional Network as a recipient of a cultural award and as Latina Citizen of the Year, by the State of Connecticut Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission.
Reyna, who is currently an op-ed columnist for the Hartford Courant, has been a frequent contributor to Northeast, the Sunday magazine of The Hartford Courant. Her poems and stories have been included in several anthologies and literary magazines in the U.S. and Latin America, including Connecticut Review; El Coro: A Chorus of Latino and Latina Poetry (UMass Press, 1997); Connecticut Review; and In Other Words: Latina writers in the US (Arte Publico Press, 1994.)
Reyna is a frequent contributor to Spanish language newspapers in CT. She is currently the editor of Latin Arte News, an e-mail newsletter showcasing Latino art and culture which also appears in Identidad Latina. She has been volunteer editor of arts sections for several Spanish-language papers in CT. Selected as a Master Teaching Artist by the Commission on the Arts, she has been a writer-in-residence at several area elementary and middle schools. Reyna who was born in Cuba and grew up in Panama is a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College (B.A.) and the University of Connecticut (M.A. and J.D.)
RONALD E. WINTER
AUTHOR of “MASTERS OF THE ART”
Non-fiction account of the Vietnam War
Released October 1989, Carlton Press, New York, NY
Paperback release scheduled for December 2005, Random House
Previous 20 years in journalism, reporter (Hartford Courant); supervising editor, columnist, Manchester (CT) Journal Inquirer
Pulitzer Prize nomination
(1985 Hartford Courant team nomination)
Scripps Howard Award
Sevellon Brown Award
UPI New England Public Service Award, First Place
SIGMA DELTA CHI Connecticut Chapter, First Place
United States Marine Corps
Combat Air Crewman, Helicopter Electronics Technician, Test Flight Technician,and Aerial Gunner. Flew 300 combat missions. Completed Officer Training Program.
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Vietnamese Civil Actions Medal
Air Medal, Fifteen Awards Vietnamese Campaign Medal
Combat Air Crew Wings National Defense Medal
Two Good Conduct Medals Naval Unit Commendation
Vietnam Service Medal Meritorious Unit Commendation
Random House background
for Masters of the Art
by Ron Winter
Masters of the Art is a bare knuckles tribute to the Marines who fought in Vietnam, seen through the eyes of a helicopter crewman who flew 300 missions as a door gunner. It is a frank and accurate look at Marine operations in northern I Corps in 1968 at such battle sites as Khe Sanh, The Demilitarized Zone and the A Shau Valley. Masters of the Art is true to the Marine tradition of Semper Fidelis, Always Faithful.
The author makes no apologies for serving in Vietnam and refuses to join the ranks of those who say the war was wrong and should not have been fought. Rather, he is proud of his service and believes that American efforts to keep South Vietnam free ultimately helped lead to the downfall of the Soviet Union.
Masters of the Art is a true account of a dedicated group of highly trained, eminently human Marines going about the business of fighting a well-equipped, well-trained communist force. These Marines are determined to do their part to uphold the traditions of the Corps, even as political forces beyond their control work against their efforts.
Masters of the Art portrays Marine Corps boot camp training at Parris Island as a growth experience that enabled the author to meet and overcome later challenges in life, rather than an emotionally numbing experience that produced little more than mindless killers. Drill instructors are portrayed as the fear-inducing masters of military training, yet they also deal with the rigors of producing new Marines with a touch of true humanity.
While the disparities and incongruities of military service, as well as the horrors of actual combat, are acknowledged and recorded in detail, the author does not allow the politics of the time to detract from the successes and sacrifices of the Marines with whom he served.
Scenes from an Ordinary Life:
Getting Naked to Explore a Writer's Process and Possibilities
A well-known writer, lecturer, teacher, and workshop facilitator, Lou Orfanella, the author of Composite Sketches, now takes his readers inside the creative process with Scenes from an Ordinary Life: Getting Naked to Explore a Writer’s Process and Possibilities . In this unique combination of informative essays, personal anecdotes, writing samples, and thought provoking prompts, he combines instruction, inspiration, and memoir to create a literary scrapbook and a portable writing workshop for both novice and veteran authors.
by Lou Orfanella
This collection examines memory and awareness of what has been, where we are and where we might be going. Using wit and steering clear of sentimentality, Orfanella’s poems deliver a plethora of gritty, reality-infused observations contrasted with delightful whimsy and pop-cultural references. The poet explores decades-long change across America, in his heart, and in his family with honesty and reverence. His conclusions will both startle and move the engaged reader.
BOTH FROM FINE TOOTH PRESS.
Law & Justice
In Everyday Life
Everyman And Everywoman Meet The System
A Book In The Great American Muckraking Tradition
Law And Justice In Everyday Life features tales about ordinary citizens as they encounter the justice system.
"Reading Andy Thibault reminded me of the heroes of my youth, the great muckrakers of the early 20th century."
-- From the introduction by Howard Zinn, author of "A People's History of the United States."
"Andy Thibault’s Law &Justice In Everyday Life is an unusual, perhaps extraordinary book. But then Andy Thibault himself is an unusual, and probably extraordinary man. In this day and age, he is a bit of an anomaly, sort of a gunslinger from the Old West, ready to fire at anything that moves -- especially if he doesn’t take kindly to the movement... He is in a way a corollary of Robin Hood; he takes from the powerful and gives to the weak."
-- F. Lee Bailey, whose clients have included Dr. Sam Sheppard, Patty Hearst, Albert DeSalvo and O.J. Simpson, in the Foreword to the 2ndedition
Pit Menousek Pinegar’s
The Physics of Transmigration
(Antrim House, April 2005), her third collection of poems, has been nominated for a 2006 Pulitzer Prize. About the book, Alison Meyers says, “Like many a
good love story…/*The Physics of Transmigration*/ leads me through frenzied page turning, straight from beginning to end, no pause.” “Read
this book straight-through:” says Ted Deppe, “these remarkable poems build on themselves like a philosophical treatise written with passion and grace.”
Pinegar, a fiction writer, playwright, and essayist, as well as a poet, is a teaching artist at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, the
Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, The Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan University, and Litchfield Performing Arts, Inc. For eight
years, she directed the Cheney Hall Broadside Series, a program that brought writers to read at Cheney Hall in Manchester. She also directs
the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival’s Urban Outreach Program and has been a teaching director at the International Women’s Writing Guild
Conference at Skidmore College. She was writer-in-residence at Bucknell University during the summer of 2000 and the spring of 2003. She was a
visiting writer in the University of New Orleans MFA program in Madrid, Spain during the summer of 2003. She has received a Fellowship in
fiction from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and the Governor’s Distinguished Advocate of the Arts Award.
BACKGROUND ON WHITLOCK AND NEW OWNER NORM PATTIS-
Hartford Courant (Connecticut) March 6, 2005 Sunday
Copyright 2005 The Hartford Courant Company
Hartford Courant (Connecticut)
March 6, 2005 Sunday
3 STARS/FINAL EDITION
SECTION: CONNECTICUT; Pg. B1
LENGTH: 965 words
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS TOO MANY BOOKS;
READERS' PARADISE PASSES TO NEW OWNER
BYLINE: WILLIAM WEIR; Courant Staff Writer
When he was growing up in rooming houses in Chicago and Detroit, Norm Pattis would circle the names of books he'd buy if only he could afford them.
Friday, the well-known New Haven-area lawyer became the owner of Whitlock Farm Booksellers, a Bethany landmark known for being a book lover's paradise.
It lends a nice symmetry to things, Pattis said.
The store, commonly called the Book Barn, has been in the Whitlock family since the 1940s and has been a favorite bibliophile destination ever since. When owner Gilbert Whitlock died last March at age 88, the store's future was uncertain.
Whitlock loved nothing more than the hunt for the right book, said his stepson, Cliff Sahlin. He and Sahlin's mother would spend a month in London every year seeking new literary treasures.
``His philosophy was `buy low, sell low,''' Sahlin said. There wasn't much of a profit margin, but books turned over quickly enough to keep things going. Sahlin likes books well enough, but nothing like his stepfather. Still, he wanted to keep the store's legacy going and if that meant moving from Guilford to Bethany to take care of the business, so be it. Then Pattis sent him a letter with an offer.
``There was a level of sincerity and commitment that came through,'' Sahlin said.
``It was exactly what I wanted to hear. He was somebody who loved the place and had a passion for books. I really felt that he could do more for it than I could do. He could do what was necessary. I have a lot of faith in him.''
As a lawyer, Pattis has made a reputation taking on cases few others would. In one of his best-known cases, he represented an inmate in 1999 who sued the state for brutality while he was trying to escape from prison.
The inmate had been convicted of raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl. In his escape attempt, he beat up a female guard, took her uniform and tied her up. Pattis convinced a jury that the prison's guards went over the line when they captured him and won $2 million in punitive damages from the state for his client.
Two months ago, he broke from the New Haven law firm of John Williams, another high-profile defense lawyer, and set up his own practice in Bethany.
He did it partly because he had recently turned 50 and felt it was time to run his own practice. Also, his wife has been sick and he wanted to spend more time with his family. But don't believe any rumblings that he's leaving law.
``The rumors of my retirement from law are greatly exaggerated,'' said Pattis, who moved to Bethany a year and a half ago. ``I plan to continue raising hell in the courts for a long time.''
Pattis bought the business and property for $475,000. He doesn't know how lucrative it will be, but that's beside the point.
``Business-wise, this may not be the smartest thing I've ever done,'' he said. ``But I've been successful enough that I don't need to turn a profit.''
The Book Barn is not a place where you're necessarily going to find what you're looking for quickly -- it will take wandering through the shelves. That's part of the experience. It's a place where people discover books they might not have otherwise considered.
It's a place, Pattis imagines, where Walt Whitman and Robert Frost would feel at home.
``They sure ain't going to Barnes &Noble for some latte,'' he said.
With his 11 years as a lawyer, Pattis knows the power of a good quote, and he usually speaks at a suitable clip for anyone taking notes. But when he waves his arm across a shelf of books with Thomas Babington Macaulay's ``History of England'' and a volume of Washington Irving's works, his speech becomes downright staccato.
``You could pick up any one of these books, and it could change your life; they've changed generations of lives,'' he said. ``This will be a place that's safe for books.''
Books have the power to set you free, Pattis added; they set your imagination on fire. ``A book is nothing more than an invitation to a new world.''
The store consists of two barns, one that houses the older, pricier books and another filled with paperbacks, prints and maps.
The horses roaming the property next door add to the bucolic setting. Inside, bare light bulbs and mobiles hang from the low ceilings. There's not much of a premium on technology here. Employee Audrey White points to the cash register with its keys rounded from wear and a crank on the side.
``It just hasn't changed over the years,'' she said of the Book Barn.
Pattis hopes to maintain the spirit that Gilbert Whitlock instilled in the store. He's keeping the store's name as well as its two employees, White and Elaine Sargeant, who have each been there for more than 20 years.
His law practice is nearby, so he'll pop in the store when he can. He doesn't plan any major revisions.
``I'm just the guy who had enough nickels to rub together to keep it open,'' he said.
He would like to bring a greater online presence to the store to get the word out that the Book Barn will buy and sell books of any kind.
He's also working on making more contacts with people from Yale and other universities so he can get a jump on any books from their estates.
Though he just closed on the property Friday, Pattis has already purchased the contents of a bookstore in Lake Placid and is negotiating with another store in Vancouver. The contents will be stored in a warehouse and he will gradually bring them into the Book Barn.
Before he went into law, Pattis worked as a journalist and a college professor. All of his professions, he said, have involved analyzing power -- who has it and how to redistribute it. Running a bookstore, he said, continues that pattern.
``Bookstores contain the most powerful substance on the face of the earth, and that is a book,'' he said. ``Why do governments ban books? They fear the creative spirit. There is no such thing as a bad book.''
GRAPHIC: PHOTO: (B&W), SHANA SURECK / THE HARTFORD COURANT
DEFENSE LAWYER Norm Pattis entered a new phase of life Friday when he closed a deal to buy Whitlock Farm Booksellers in Bethany.
RTE. 8 SOUTH TO NAUGATUCK RTE. 63 EXIT.
CONTINUE SOUTH TO STATE POLICE BARRACKS BETHANY
continue about a mile, then left onto Valley Road
right onto Carrington
right on Sperry
20 Sperry Road
From: [1012-1025] Farmington Ave West Hartford, CT 06107 US
To: 20 Sperry Rd Bethany, CT 06524-3530 US
1. Start out going NORTHEAST on FARMINGTON AVE toward WALDEN ST. (0.29 miles)
2. Turn RIGHT onto S MAIN ST. (1.83 miles)
3. Merge onto I-84 W toward WATERBURY. (19.18 miles)
4. Take the CT-70 exit- EXIT 26- toward CHESHIRE/PROSPECT. (0.23 miles)
5. Turn RIGHT onto WATERBURY RD/CT-70 E. (0.42 miles)
6. Turn RIGHT onto SUMMIT RD. (3.08 miles)
7. Turn LEFT onto CT-69/PROSPECT RD/WATERBURY RD. Continue to follow CT-69. (0.36 miles)
8. Stay STRAIGHT to go onto NEW HAVEN RD. (2.62 miles)
9. NEW HAVEN RD becomes CT-69. (4.28 miles)
10. Turn RIGHT onto BETHWAY RD. (0.24 miles)
11. Turn LEFT onto SPERRY RD. (0.99 miles)
12. End at 20 Sperry Rd Bethany, CT 06524-3530 US
Total Estimated Time: 55 minutes
Total Distance: 33.50 miles