Opinionated Women in the Land of Steady Habits on March 7th

We welcome James Herbert Smith for a discussion and signing of his book, Opinionated Women in the Land of Steady Habits on Thursday March 7th at 7:00pm. Joining Jim will be three women profiled in the book, Linda Tucio-Koonz, Jacky Smith and Jane Stern. To save a spot or pre-order a book click HERE.

About the book:

Newspaper columns by women journalists published in Connecticut newspapers from the 1950s to the present day (including a flashback to 1828) cover a spectrum of topics, including art, fashion, nature, open government, politics, health care, sports and high society events. Each is a singular voice. Collectively, the voices glimmer with facets of recent history, revealed with clarity, honesty, humor and vision.

 

 

 

About the women from the book attending the author event:

Linda Tuccio-Koonz, photo taken April 30, 2009 by Carol Kaliff

Linda Tuccio-Koonz followed her father into journalism. As a cub reporter in Maine in 1984, she helped the FBI solve a coed’s murder. In 2013, she was part of the writing team that captured a national award for a narrative on the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Much of her career was at The News-Times in Danbury, where she served as the longtime features editor. She now writes entertainment features for Hearst Connecticut Media based in Norwalk. Her writing also has appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Newsday, as well as in “Chicken Soup for the Working Woman’s Soul.” She and her husband, Brian Koonz, have two sons. She feels lucky to have had the chance to record and reflect on some of their early shenanigans in a series of parenting columns.

 

Jacqueline (Jacky) Smith, Danbury News-Times managing editor
April 30, 2010

Jacqueline Smith, Hearst Connecticut Media editorial page editor of The News-Times in Danbury and The Norwalk Hour, began her journalism career as a part-time Hartford Courant correspondent with a high school education. Mid-career she earned a B.S. in Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University, summa cum laude; and a master’s degree in writing with honors from Wesleyan University. She has taught Journalism at the University of Hartford and SCSU. Her first full-time reporting position was with The Day of New London, where she won first place in the New England AP News Executive Association for her investigations into wrongdoing in the management of the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp. in Groton. Jacky was a business writer and columnist for the New Haven Register. As a reporter at the Record-Journal in Meriden, her investigation into the dearth of minority teachers in the Wallingford School district, outlining how officials skipped over black and Latino candidates, earned her first place in the National Education Writers annual competition. She also served as city editor and assistant managing editor at the Record-Journal, managing editor of The News-Times and editor of the New Milford Spectrum. Her columns and editorials have won several first, second and third place awards from CT SPJ and from New England journalism organizations. She and her husband, James (the editor of this book), have four daughters.

 

Jane Grossman Stern specializes in books about travel, food, and popular culture. She writes a regular column for Hearst CT Media. With her former husband Michael Stern, they are best known for their Roadfood books, website, and magazine columns, in which they find road food restaurants serving classic American regional specialties and review them. Starting their hunt for regional American food in the early 1970s they were the first food writers to recognize that this food was as worthy to report as was the haute cuisine of other nations. Their book Square Meals (Knopf 1985) put comfort foods like mac and cheese, meatloaf, and mashed potatoes on the culinary map. Jane grew up in New York City where she attended the Walden School and received a BFA in graphic design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Jane earned an MFA in painting from Yale. In addition to their food writing, the Sterns have written books on American popular culture, including The New York Times bestselling Elvis World (1987) and The Encyclopaedia of Bad Taste (1990). In all, they have written over 30 books. They were staff writers for Gourmet magazine for 18 years. They are regular guests on American Public Media’s public radio program, The Splendid Table. They have won numerous awards, including James Beard awards. The couple divorced in 2008. Jane Stern now lives in Ridgefield. They still write as a team. In 2011 they published The Lexicon of Real American Food and Jane Stern published a book on her little known but long-standing career as a tarot card reader. cuisine of other nations. Their book Square Meals (Knopf 1985) put comfort foods like mac and cheese, meatloaf, and mashed potatoes on the culinary map. Jane grew up in New York City where she attended the Walden School and received a BFA in graphic design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Jane earned an MFA in painting from Yale. In addition to their food writing, the Sterns have written books on American popular culture, including The New York Times bestselling Elvis World (1987) and The Encyclopaedia of Bad Taste (1990). In all, they have written over 30 books. They were staff writers for Gourmet magazine for 18 years. They are regular guests on American Public Media’s public radio program, The Splendid Table. They have won numerous awards, including James Beard awards. The couple divorced in 2008. Jane Stern now lives in Ridgefield. They still write as a team. In 2011 they published The Lexicon of Real American Food and Jane Stern published a book on her little known but long-standing career as a tarot card reader.

 

 

Spring Poetry Series at Byrd’s Books

Byrd’s Books celebrates poetry with three opportunities to hear poets read their own work. The dates are Friday March 15th at 7:00pm, Friday April 12th at 7:00pm and Sunday May 19th at 2:00pm.

Poets include: Bethel’s Poet Laureate Cortney Davis, Newtown’s Poet Laureate Lisa Schwartz, Norwalk’s Poet Laureate Laurel Peterson, poet-in-residence for the New England National Scenic Trail (NET) David K. Leff, Van Hartmann, Newbery Honor winner Gail Carson Levine, Jerry Brooker, Jen Sage-Robison, Donna Marie Merritt, Phillip Lu, Jack Powers, Jonathan Anderson and others.

Light refreshments will be served and the poet’s books will be available for sale (when available).

Poetry Writing Workshop for People Who Are Sure They Can’t Write Poetry

Would you like to write a poem but don’t know where or how to begin?  Do you feel some poetic stirrings but are afraid to put pen to paper?  Come join Cortney Davis, Bethel’s Poet Laureate, for a fun, easy, non-threatening workshop on Sunday March 31st from 3:30-5:30 during which you will discover your inner bard.  Through a series of prompts and writing exercises, you will find yourself writing poems–and hopefully go home invigorated with renewed belief in your own creativity abilities.

Bring a pad of lined paper, pen or pencil, an open mind and a sense of humor.

To register, click HERE.

($10 fee)

Writing Workshops

Writing Workshops at Byrd’s Books

We host Sundays at 3:30pm with Judith Marks-White once a month

SUNDAY AFTERNOONS from 3:30-5:30pm: This workshop is with Judith Mark-White. This is a very casual, all-skills-level prompt-writing workshop that is a lot of fun for all. Monthly on Sunday afternoons at 3:30, the group gathers to write from a choice of provided prompts, shares their work and their feedback. This workshop is a great way to break a writer’s block, jump-start your writing or see if writing is something you would like to try. All skill levels are welcome, please bring something to write or type on. Each session is $15.00, with a minimum of 6 participants. Dates: 1/13, 2/10, 3/10, 4/14 and 5/5.

See Judith’s bio below. To sign up call the store (203) 730-2973.

Judith Marks-White     

Addicted to black and white composition notebooks, Judith Marks-White began writing as soon as she could hold a pen in her hand.   Prior to becoming an independent free-lance writer, she was employed at Time Inc.Time-Life Books.   Her work soon evolved into humorous writing when, in 1985, she joined the staff of the Westport News in Connecticut where her column. The Light Touch (now under the heading: In Other Words) has appeared for the past twenty-eight years.  It here that her humorous and reflective voice takes hold as she views life through her own “funny glasses.’  Her articles and feature stories have appeared in magazines and newspapers throughout the country.

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.

Ms. Marks-White is the recipient of numerous writing awards from the Connecticut Press Club, Matrix: Women in Communications, and the New England Press Association (NEPA).  She received a first place award for Best Humorous Personal Column from the National Federation of Press Women and continues to receive award recognition for her columns from the Connecticut Press Club.   In March of 2003, she was honored as one of the Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen Outstanding Women in Connecticut celebrating her achievement and dedication to public service through the art of column writing.  She considers her awards special as it emphasizes her love of the satirical essay as she entertains her audience with her take on the human condition and the small foibles we all experience in our daily lives.  She continues to carry the theme of humor into her novels.  

            In November 2009, ELLE magazine featured Bachelor Degree as a Reader’s Prize Book

Ms. Marks-White along with authors, Judith Viorst and Colette Dowling was a keynote speaker for “Perspectives: A Woman’s Viewpoint” sponsored by the Westport Young Woman’s League and Redbook magazine. Her talk: “Help, I’m Turning into my Mother” is just one of the humorous topics on which she has spoken to many groups and organizations.   She is a member of The National Federation of Press Women, Pen America, National Association of Pen Women, The Connecticut Press Association and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.

Among her many published works include her speech: “The Marketing and Writing of Humor” which appeared in Press Women Magazine.  Her feature articles and humorous essays have appeared in many magazines, newspapers and anthologies.  She lectures widely on the subject of humor and how it impacts the lives of women today.

Ms. Marks-White turned her attention to novel writing.  Seducing Harry was her debut novel.  Her second novel, is Bachelor Degree. Both are published by Random House/Ballantine.  She is presently working on her third novel.

Ms. Marks-White is a regular contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul Books and other anthologies.  Her latest essay: Ghosts of Husbands Past is included in the Anthology: Wedding Cake for Breakfast.  Each story addresses the first year of marriage as seen through the eyes of 23-authors.

(203) 247-0373 (203) 227-7761, www.judithmarks-white.com, joodth@snet.net

TESTIMONIAL: “Judith Marks-White is an excellent and supportive writing workshop leader. She is very helpful in suggesting everything from major changes in your manuscript to interesting venues for its publication. In our workshops, she used writing prompts, giving us one long prompt (from a list she creates for each session) and one very brief one (from visual cues, in this case, reproductions of New Yorker covers from the 1920s on). Then everyone reads what he or she has written, and praise and criticism are offered by all participants, including Judith. She specializes in producing an egoless, conflict-free, and cooperative atmosphere that is generous both to emerging and to experienced writers.” ~ Wendy Wipprecht

 

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Story Time for little ones Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Story TimeByrd’s Books host a Story Time for little ones at 10 on Wednesday mornings. No registration is required. For weather or holiday cancelations, please check the website and/or our Facebook page.

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