Byrd’s Books has the rare privilege to host a SKYPE session with author Charles Belfoure of “House of Thieves” and “the Paris Architect” on Tuesday September 27th at 7:30pm. This session is open to all- please join us.
Byrd’s Books welcomes back bestselling author Elissa Atman for an evening of conversation as she shares her new book, Treyf: My Life as an Unorthodox Outlaw, with us. The event will be catered at the bookstore by Michael Bick of Some Thing’s Fishy Catering. Assorted beverages will be served. To register, please click HERE.
About the book:
From the “Washington Post” columnist and James Beard Award-winning author of “Poor Man’s Feast “comes a story of seeking truth, acceptance, and self in a world of contradiction…
“Treyf” According to Leviticus, ” unkosher and prohibited,” like lobster, shrimp, pork, fish without scales, the mixing of meat and dairy. Also, “imperfect, intolerable, offensive, undesirable, unclean, improper, broken, forbidden, illicit.”
Fans of Augusten Burroughs and Jo Ann Beard will enjoy this kaleidoscopic, universal memoir in which Elissa Altman explores the tradition, religion, family expectations, and the forbidden that were the fixed points in her Queens, New York, childhood. Every part of Altman’s youth was laced with contradiction and hope, betrayal and the yearning for acceptance: synagogue on Saturday and Chinese pork ribs on Sunday; bat mitzvahs followed by shrimp-in-lobster-sauce luncheons; her old-country grandparents, whose kindness and love were tied to unspoken rage, and her bell-bottomed neighbors, whose adoring affection hid dark secrets.
While the suburban promise of “The Brady Bunch” blared on television, Altman searched for peace and meaning in a world teeming with faith, violence, sex, and paradox. Spanning from 1940s wartime Brooklyn to 1970s Queens to present-day rural New England, “Treyf” captures the collision of youthful cravings and grown-up identities. It is a vivid tale of what it means to come to yourself both in spite and in honor to your past.
About the author:
Elissa Altman is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir “Poor Man’s Feast “and the James Beard Award winning blog of the same name. She writes the “Washington Post column,” Feeding My Mother, and her work has appeared everywhere from OnBeing.org and “O, The Oprah Magazine” to “Tin House, “the” New York Times” and the TEDx stage, and has been anthologized for five consecutive years in “Best Food Writing.”
Registration is required, due to space limitations- please click HERE.
We are so happy to welcome back Marilyn Nelson, Amy Nawrocki and Eric Lehman for the first of two evenings of poetry and readings in October. Please see the details of “Volume 1” below! Light refreshments will be served.
“Poetry & Readings Volume 1” is on Saturday October 8th at 5:00 p.m. and we will follow with “Poetry & Readings Volume 2” on October 21st at 7:00pm.
In The Meeting House, Marilyn Nelson has focused not only on the history of the First Congregational Church in Old Lyme, Connecticut, but also on slavery and bigotry in a presumably enlightened part of the Union. Her dismay is leavened by generosity of spirit, the same qualities revealed in her earlier books, about which readers and critics have been enthusiastic. Concerning My Seneca Village (2015), Kirkus Reviews has this praise: “Artfully crafted, an engrossing and important collection of memories and moments from a pivotal time in American history.” And this from Booklist: “An American saga so well suited to Nelson’s poetic touch is a gift meant to be gently unwrapped to be read with an intellectually curious spirit ready for an awakening.” Concerning The Homeplace (1990), Christian Wiman has written, “The sheer range of [Nelson’s] voice is one of the book’s greatest strengths, varying not only from poem to poem, but within individual poems as well.” Suzanne Gardinier’s Parnassus review reads thus: “[Nelson’s poetry] reaches back through generations hemmed in on all sides by slavery and its antecedents; all along the way she finds sweetness, and humor, and more complicated truth than its disguises have revealed.” And Arthur Sze writes, “Marilyn Nelson’s poetry is remarkable for its sheer range of voice and style, for its historical roots, and for its lyrical narratives that, replete with luminous details, unfold with an emotional force that, ultimately, becomes praise . . . . She is a vital ambassador of poetry.”
About Marilyn Nelson:
Marilyn Nelson is the author or translator of eighteen poetry books, including several verse-histories, a biography in poems, a verse memoir, and a novel in verse. Her collection The Fields Of Praise: New And Selected Poems won the 1998 Poets’ Prize; Carver: A Life In Poems won the 2001 Boston Globe/Hornbook Award and the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award; Fortune’s Bones was a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and won the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. Nelson’s honors include two NEA creative writing fellowships, the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, a fellowship from the J.S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Poetry Society’s Frost Medal for distinguished achievement in poetry. Currently a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets as well as Poet-in-Residence of the Poets Corner at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, she was the Poet Laureate of Connecticut from 2001-2006, and for ten years opened her home to young poets as “Soul Mountain Retreat.”
Eric’s latest books is, “Shadows of Paris”. About the book: “When William Byrnes takes a teaching job at a private school in the Marais, he thinks he’s escaping his sins. He sentences himself to winter afternoons under the vaulted ceilings of Notre Dame and to rice for dinner, while the City of Light goes unnoticed. Then the pretentious Monsieur Cygne gives him a list of French literature and the address of a bookstore, where he finds fellow expat Lucy Navarre, with the gray eyes of a goddess, a cheating husband, and a mysterious past. Can the two exiles find redemption in the shadows of Paris? Or will they miss their chance?”
About Eric Lehman:
Eric is a professor of creative writing at the University of Bridgeport. His fiction, travel stories, essays, and nonfiction have appeared in dozens of online and print journals and magazines. He is the author of several books, including The Insider s Guide to Connecticut and Becoming Tom Thumb: Charles Stratton, P.T. Barnum, and the Dawn of American Celebrity.”
“Reconnaissance” In her latest collection, Amy Nawrocki plays voyeur and thief, surveying canvases and investigating bookshelves, searching for creativity’s origins and exploring the nature of inspiration. The poems in Reconnaissance uncover muses between the frayed pages of Byron and Shelley, in Chagall’s stained glass, at Oscar Wilde’s grave, past the deep bogs of Glencoe, and in the far away snow caps of Mount Fuji. In these insightful and elegant poems, Nawrocki invites us to believe in “the authenticity of first sight.” Open the paint box and learn how to stare.
About Amy Nawrocki:
Amy Nawrocki teaches English and Creative Writing at University of Bridgeport. She earned her B.A. at Sarah Lawrence College, and her M.F.A. from University of Arkansas. Amy is the author of three chapbooks: Potato Eaters (Finishing Line Press, 2008), Nomad’s End (Finishing Line Press, 2010), and Lune de Miel (Finishing Line Press, 2012). She has also authored two poetry collections: Four Blue Eggs (Homebound Publications, 2014), and Reconnaissance (Homebound Publications, 2015). Dick Allen – former Poet Laureate of CT – referred to Reconnaissance as “a warm, rich, valuable and important collection. I most highly recommend it for … reading and rereading.”
To register and save a spot click HERE.
Byrd’s Books welcomes Corky, Lori and Dana Pollan to the Bethel Public Library on Thursday October 13th at 6:30 as they discuss their new book, “The Pollan Family Table”.
About the book:
In “The Pollan Family Table,” Corky, Lori, Dana, and Tracy Pollan invite you into their warm, inspiring kitchens, sharing more than 100 of their family s best recipes. For generations, the Pollans have used fresh, local ingredients to cook healthy, irresistible meals. Michael Pollan, whose bestselling books have changed our culture and the way we think about food, writes in his foreword about how the family meals he ate growing up shaped his worldview. This stunning and practical cookbook gives readers the tools they need to implement the Pollan food philosophy in their everyday lives and to make great, nourishing, delectable meals that bring families back to the table.
Standouts like Grand Marnier Citrus Roasted Chicken, Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Chips, and Key Lime Pie with Walnut Oatmeal Crust are easy to make yet sophisticated enough to dazzle family and friends. With hundreds of exquisite color photographs, “The Pollan Family Table” includes the Pollan s top cooking tips and techniques, time-tested shortcuts, advice for those just starting out and market and pantry lists that make shopping for and preparing dinner stress-free. This instant kitchen classic will help readers create incredible meals and cultivate traditions that improve health, well-being, and family happiness.”
Please click the link HERE to register.
Byrd’s Books continues our two-night series with “Poetry & Readings Volume 2” with Gail Carson Levine, Judith Marks-White and Lisa Schwartz on Friday October 21st at 7:00pm.
About Gail Carson Levine’s new book:
The poems in Transient will stay with you. When the world turns to war, you’ll remember “Manufactured Rage,” while “Dreaming Washington Irving” will fast-forward you through the stages of your own life. Called up by such poems as “Reunion” and “Lunch at Monica’s House,” lost friends and family will return and visit. In poems like “L.E.D. R.I.P,” you’ll put the dark in humor up against the funny in tragedy. And if you wonder what ET makes of all of it, you’ll return to “Do They Deduce We Had Lips,” the debut poem in this debut collection by acclaimed children’s book author Gail Carson Levine. Those who look to Levine for the fantastic will find a dog-faced man, Medusa, Pygmalion, a hero of the Iliad, and–Jughead!-seen through a lens more Sexton than Seuss. The emotional range here is both broad and nuanced: humor, nostalgia, grief, shame, anger, regret, fear, and even-occasionally-joy. Throughout, in every-day language gracefully arranged, Levine elevates ordinary ideas and common experience so that all is haloed in light.
About the author:
Gail Carson Levine’s poems have appeared in The Louisville Review; The Sugar House Review; Bigger Than They Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems; and the second anthology of the Cancer Poetry Project. A poem is forthcoming in New York Quarterly. Levine recently completed her MFA in poetry at NYU. Best known for her books for children, Transient is Levine’s first poetry collection for adults. She, her husband David, and their Airedale Reggie live in an antique farm house in Brewster, NY.
About Judith Mark-White:
Ms. Marks-White has been involved in the design and instruction of creative writing programs in Connecticut, and has taught writing for many years. She was an adjunct Professor of English/Writing at Norwalk Community College for many years where she won Teacher of the Year Award for 2005 “for imparting wisdom with contagious enthusiasm” and where she continues to teach a course in the Art and Marketing of Humor Writing. Judith has two novels published by Random House/Ballantine. She is presently working on her third novel. Her poetry has won awards from Writer’s Digest Magazine.
About Lisa Schwartz:
Lisa Schwartz is the former Poetry Editor of The Newtowner Magazine, a local literary arts publication. She was also recently named the Poet Laureate of Newtown, Connecticut. Lisa has been writing poetry since 6th grade where she happened upon Walt Whitman’s poem, “When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer,” and fell in love with verse. Lisa is a member of Byrd’s Books Writing Workshop.
Byrd’s Books welcomes Jane Klonsky on Friday November 4th as she shares slides and stories from her new book, Unconditional: Older Dogs, Deeper Love.
Anyone who has ever shared life with a dog knows that the human-canine bond is one that only grows stronger as dogs get older. For years celebrated commercial photographer and dog lover Jane Sobel Klonsky longed to pursue a project featuring dogs but couldn’t find the right catalyst. It wasn’t until a chance meeting at an insurance office in 2012 led her to witness the incredible relationship between Angela, the insurance broker, and her senior Bulldog, Clementine, that it came to her. Since then Jane has traveled the United States with one mission: to capture images and stories that focus on the powerful relationship between humans and their older dogs.
About the book:
Her book UNCONDITIONAL: Older Dogs, Deeper Love (National Geographic Books; October 25, 2016; $19.95; 208 pages) is a captivating collection of photographs and anecdotes that celebrates humans’ special bond with, and love for, their senior dogs. The dogs represented in the book include senior rescues with their adopters, service dogs with those they assist and guide, working dogs and their handlers, and lifelong cherished family pets with the people who dote on them. For each of her subjects, Jane collected personal narratives, accounts and anecdotes of their lives intertwined with their canine companions. Together with the photographs, these raw, funny, sometimes heartbreaking stories celebrate the enduring bond between humans and dogs.
UNCONDITIONAL will resonate with anyone now enjoying a close bond with a pet, and it will provide comfort to those who have lost old friends. It’s a beautiful reminder to cherish our older animals and the rich moments we have with them, and to thank them for the love and friendship they unconditionally offer us.
About the author:
Jane Sobel Klonsky launched her photography career in 1976 as the first photographer to scale the cables to the top of the Verrazano Bridge to get a shot of the start of the New York City Marathon. For nearly thirty years, she was a major player in the world of commercial and sports photography. Her work has taken her around the world to Kenya to shoot photos of a family of Masaai Warriors; to record an international running competition in Tokyo; and to chronicle the untouched beauty of far-reaching places like Papua New Guinea, and Myanmar (Burma). Her award-winning photographs have been published widely, and she has published several books, including one based on a 50,000 mile cross-country photographic tour of rural America taken with her photographer husband and two Great Danes. She continues to do extensive work for Getty Images. Mother to up-and-coming filmmaker Kacey, she lives with her husband, Arthur, their two therapy dogs, Charlie and Sam, and a cat, Humphrey, in rural Vermont.
Bobbi Wolverton Shares Her Story of “Black Empress: Rescuing a Puppy from Iran” on Friday December 2nd at 7pm
Please join us Friday December 2nd at 7:00p.m. for an author talk like no other- saving a puppy while working in Iran. In this inspiring memoir, Bobbi Wolverton tells the story of rescuing her beloved dog from Iran. Her bond with the puppy brought untold happiness and important meaning throughout her life.
In 1972, at the age of 29, Bobbi Wolverton became a secretary at the Iran Safaris Company. Working in a foreign country was challenging and rewarding. Saving a throw-away puppy contributed to those challenges, ones that were both threatening and frightening.
From the moment of her arrival in Iran, she bonded with the runt puppy that was destined to be killed as the dog held no value to the fishing and hunting company.
To save the puppy, Wolverton defied her host and employer, as well as the Muslim culture. She survived dreadful incidents of river crossings, police interrogations and attempted rape and yet witnessed caring individuals who helped her save the puppy, the Black Empress. Join us to hear this thrilling true story.
Light refreshments will be served.
About the author:
Bobbi Phelps Wolverton grew up in Darien Connecticut, graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, and joined an international airline company in 1965. She worked as a flight attendant for six years, flying into Vietnam, bringing troops in and out of the warzone. During her world travels, she landed in Cairo just as the infamous Six-Day War erupted and was one of 567 rescued by the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet.
In 1975 she created the Angler’s Calendar Company. Her business won Exporter of the Year for the State of Idaho.
Her accomplishments include:
- Arnold Gingrich Writing Award
- President of the Authors Guild of Tennessee.
- Twenty-year member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America.
- Nine-year board member of The Nature Conservancy in Idaho.
- Founding member with Dr. Marty Becker (Dr. Oz Show Veterinarian) of the Hound Pound, a Twin Falls, Idaho, animal shelter.
What better way to celebrate Byrd’s Book’s 5th Birthday than with a Cookie Swap on Sunday December 11th at 2:00pm! Dorie Greenspan will discuss her new book, “Dorie’s Cookies” in celebration of the day.
If you choose to bake cookies from the book to bring to the event, you will get a $20.00 Gift Certificate to spend in the store as you like! Bring cookies, get cookies, how cool is that?! Want to take cookies? We will suggest a $10.00 donation to DAWS (Danbury Animal Welfare Society- our local no-kill shelter) Either way, we get to visit with Dorie Greenspan and she gets to see her cookies made by others- and we get to sample them and take some home- what fun!!
About the author:
Inducted into the James Beard Foundation s Who s Who of Food and Beverage in America, DORIE GREENSPAN is the author of “Around My French Table, ” a “New York Times” bestseller that was named Cookbook of the Year by IACP; “Baking Chez Moi;” and “Baking: From My Home to Yours,” a James Beard Award-winner.She lives in Westbrook, Connecticut, New York, and Paris.”
A sign-up link to follow soon…:-)