Winners and a Reading

Thanks to all of you who entered the book club giveaway for The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach.  With the help of Random.org, Anne Berger won a book for each of her club’s 8 members.

Congrats to her and her members, and we hope that you enjoy it.  Hachette Group will mail the books out to you and your book club soon.



Also Congrats to Margaret who won a copy of Irish Lady by Jeanette Baker from Sourcebooks.


I also wanted to update you on the reading I attended at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Md., which turned out to be a mostly empty room and me as the only woman in the room — other than Wiggles.  The illustrious authors were Eric Goodman, author of Tracks — which I’m sure by now you’ve heard me rave about — and Eric Dezenhall, author of my newly acquired book, The Devil Himself.  Each author took to the reading in a different way, with Eric Goodman reading abridged short stories from his novel in stories, Tracks, and Eric Dezenhall deciding to tell the true story behind his historical fiction novel set during WWII.

Goodman read the Prologue, which is told from the point of view of the conductor, and Prewitt’s story from the beginning of the book.  Both stories are funny in their own quirky ways, and provides the initial set up for the rest of the book.  He also read the story about the poet and his climb on the mountain of sand, which is as true to the life of a poet as any story could be.

Dezenhall began by shying away from reading from the book and told us of how he verified the historical facts in his novel.  Operation Underground began when Naval Intelligence realized that German spies could have been responsible for the sinking of the Normandie near Manhattan following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  In order to police the docks and discover the spies, the government made a devil’s pact with the Jewish and Italian mobs that controlled them at the time.  Meyer Lansky, a real life mobster, agreed to help the government in exchange for benefits for Lucky Luciano and other mobsters.  There is a convoluted spy game afoot here, but I’ll not recount it because you must read the book.

Want to learn more about the book, visit Dezenhall’s Website.

There was no formal question-and-answer following the reading, but there was a more informal reception for the readers and the guests, which turned out to be less than a dozen due to the cold weather.  I did not partake of the cheese and beverages, but did have a nice conversation with Goodman about Social Media and the firewall it provides those of us who are more shy in public.  I also got my copy of Tracks signed, and my new book signed by Dezenhall, who seemed to take a shine to Wiggles — I think it was the cheeks.

Here’s a couple of pictures and a really short video since my memory card ran out of space:

Have you been to any great readings in your area?

More Poetry Events . . .

As promised, I’ve been posting about poetry-related events on the Savvy Verse & Wit Facebook page, but I’m also posting information here on the blog about similar or the same events.  I hope that if you get out to see any of these events that you’ll stop by the blog and tell me about them or share them with your own readers if you have a blog.

John Amen, a poet who has appeared on this blog before and whose poetry I’ve reviewed before (At the Threshold of Alchemy and More of Me Disappears — click for my reviews), will be touring parts of the eastern United States and reading his poetry in honor of National Poetry Month.  Check out the schedule below:

04/07/2011: Reading and Workshop at Coker College: Hartsville, SC
Workshop at 3:30PM (in-school/closed event); Reading at 7:30PM (open to public)
Reading to be held in the C.W. Coker Auditorium in Davidson Hall; 300 East College Ave; Hartsville, SC 29550

04/12/2011: Reading in Wallingford, PA
Stage One; 101 Plush Mills Road (Route 252 & Plush Mills Road); Wallingford, PA.

04/14/2011: Reading in Lake Katrine, NY
Bohemian Book Bin; 85 Carle Terrace; Lake Katrine, NY 12449.

04/17/2011: Reading in New York, NY
Bowery Poetry Club; 308 Bowery; New York, NY.

04/19/2011: Reading in Fanwood, NJ
The Carriage House/Kuran Arts Center Series; 75 N Martine Ave; Fanwood, NJ 07023.

04/22/2011: Reading at Towson University in Towson, Maryland
More information available soon. For more info, email [email protected].

Also, he’s got a special going for his books:

I’m still running the special, until April 15. My first two collections (Christening the Dancer and More of Me Disappears) and my two CDs (All I’ll Never Need and Ridiculous Empire) are on sale for $5 each. My latest collection, At the Threshold of Alchemy, is marked down to $10. All purchases can be made easily and securely through Paypal via my website (www.johnamen.com). It is also possible to make purchases via check.

The Bethesda, Md., based Writer’s Center also is holding a series of great poetry events this month.

Open Door Reading with Erika Meitner and Candace Katz
Sunday, April 10, 2:00 P.M.

Erika Meitner reads poems from her latest collection, Ideal Cities. She is joined by novelist Candace Katz, author of Schaeffer Brown’s Detective Observations. Register here.

Poet Lore Vol. 106, No. 1/2 Launch Party
Sunday, April 17, 2:00 P.M.

Celebrate the launch of Poet Lore’s spring/summer issue! The nation’s oldest continuously published poetry journal, at 122 years old, hosts readings by local poets Janice Lynch Schuster, Melanie Figg, and R. Dwayne Betts. Register here.

Here are some other local Maryland and Washington, D.C., events:

Annapolis Book Festival
Saturday, April 9, 10:00 A.M.-4:00 P.M.

The ninth annual Annapolis Book Festival will feature nationally renowned authors from a variety of fiction and non-fiction categories. This Festival is free and open to the public, and will be held on the campus of The Key School at 534 Hillsmere Drive in Annapolis, Maryland. Check the schedule for TWC-sponsored events on writing and publishing. For more details, visit their Web site.

Bethesda Literary Festival
April 15th-17th

Celebrate literature at Bethesda’s weekend-long festival. Highlights include the Poet Lore Launch Party on Sunday (see above).

Just for Kids
Saturday, 1:00 P.M.
Bethesda Library

See award-winning children’s book author, poet, playwright and songwriter, Mary Amato (TWC workshop leader), as she reads from her most recent book, Edgar Allen’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook. Children ages 6-12.

Poetry Readings and Awards
Saturday, 8:00 P.M.
Hilton Garden Inn

Hear from award-winning poets David Keplinger and Michele Wolf (TWC workshop leaders), and the winners of the Bethesda Poetry Contest.

See the festival Web site for more details.

Also, please check out the latest Shelf Awareness article on poetry, which I really enjoyed because it is about the casual reader of poetry.

Garth Stein Wows The Writer’s Center

Over the weekend, I had a great opportunity to meet author Garth Stein at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Md.  Even though it was not officially part of the Bethesda Literary Festival, which I attend every year, I took time to pop on over to the center.

Stein captured the attention of the audience of young and old easily as he discussed the germ that created The Art of Racing in the Rain and the struggle to find a new agent and publisher for a book narrated by a dog.

I happily wrote up the event for the D.C. Literature Examiner.  I hope you’ll go over and check out the article and the video I took of the reading.


Also don’t forget today’s National Poetry Month Blog Tour stop at A Few More Pages.