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Twain House Offering Nature Poetry Workshop

Special To The Courant
Connecticut novelist Nan Rossiter will appear Aug. 25 at R.J. Julia in Madison.

The Mark Twain House & Museum, 351 Farmington Ave., Hartford, will offer a workshop on writing nature poetry on Saturday, Aug. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $40, and participants should bring a lunch.

Poet and essayist David K. Leff will lead the workshop, which will include readings, discussion, a walk outdoors to observe nature regardless of the weather and a writing assignment with feedback.

Leff has published eight books, four of which are poetry collections. He is also a former deputy commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection and supports natural resources conservation causes.

Registration: 860-280-3130 or

Poetry In Hopkins Vineyard

Poets David K. Leff, Charlie Bondhus, Amy Nawrocki and Melissa Tuckey will read, and vocalist Carol Leven and jazz guitarist Nick Moran will entertain, on Sunday, Aug. 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Hopkins Vineyard, 25 Hopkins Road, New Preston. Admission is $15.

Information: 860-868-7954.

Authors At R.J. Julia

R.J. Julia Booksellers, 768 Boston Post Road, Madison, will host free talks by a historian and novelists. All are at 7 p.m. and require reservations: 203-245-3959 or

Best-selling romance novelist Kristan Higgins, who lives in Connecticut, will discuss her new novel, "If You Only Knew" (HQN Books, $14.95) on Tuesday, Aug. 25. It's a funny and touching book about two sisters who must move on from failed first marriages and reinvent their lives. Higgins is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and has twice won the Romance Writers of America RITA Award.

Also taking part that night is Connecticut novelist Nan Rossiter, whose latest is "Nantucket" (Kensington, $15). Set on Nantucket, it is the story of a teenage romance that ends in sorrow and an unexpected second chance at finding true love.

(Rossiter also will sign copies of her new book at The Hickory Stick Bookshop, 2 Green Hill Road, Washington Depot, on Saturday, Aug. 29. at 2 p.m. Information: 860-868-0525 or

Historian and author Todd Brewster will talk about "Lincoln's Gamble: The Tumultuous Six Months That Gave America the Emancipation Proclamation and Changed the Course of the Civil War'' (Scribner Book Company, $27) on Wednesday, Aug. 26, at R.J. Julia. The book details the six months of Abraham Lincoln's presidency during which he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation, freed the slaves despite his own ambivalence, fought with his generals and changed the course of the Civil War. Brewster has served as director of oral history at the United States Military Academy, West Point, and worked as an editor for Time and Life and a senior producer for ABC News. He has written for Vanity Fair, Time, Life, The Huffington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times and, with the late Peter Jennings, co-wrote the bestselling books "The Century," "The Century for Young People" and "In Search of America." He lives in Ridgefield.

Diana Bletter will discuss her new novel, "A Remarkable Kindness" (William Morrow, $14.99) on Thursday, Aug. 27. It is about four American women who now live in northern Israel (as does Bletter), where they perform ancient rituals of preparing women for burial and grow in friendship and wisdom. Bletter grew up in Great Neck, N.Y., and has worked for newspapers and magazines, including The New York Post, the New Jewish Times and the National Lampoon. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Huffington Post, Glamour and Beliefnet, and she was the first prize winner of Family Circle Magazine's 2011 Fiction Contest.

'Gonzo Girl'

Cheryl Della Pietra, a graduate of Guilford High School who was once Hunter S. Thompson's assistant, will discuss her debut novel, "Gonzo Girl" (Touchstone Books, $24.99) on Thursday, Aug. 27, at the Guilford Free Library, 67 Park St., Guilford.

Her book is about a young woman trying to break into publishing who becomes an assistant to a famous author known for his considerable talent and wild behavior (much like Thompson, who was known for practicing "gonzo" journalism). Della Pietra is a longtime New York City magazine editor, writer, and copy editor who now lives in Branford.

She will give the free talk at 7 p.m. for a Friends of the Library program.

Registration: at the library reference desk, online at or at 203-453-8282.

Connecticut Authors Trail

The 2015 Connecticut Authors Trail, presented by a group of libraries in eastern Connecticut, offers free talks by authors who live in the state or write about it. At each event, guests can acquire "passports" that are guides to the series and offer a chance to win a themed basket. The trail will conclude at The Mohegan Sun Cabaret Theatre on Sept. 10, at 6:15 p.m., with a talk by baker, cookbook author and culinary arts expert Robert Landolphi.

On Tuesday, Aug. 25, at 6:30 p.m. at Jonathan Trumbull Library , 580 Exeter Road, Lebanon, Captain George William Jackson, who writes as G. William Weatherly, will discuss his book, "Sheppard of the Argonne: Alternative History Naval Battles of WWII" (iUniverse, $20.95). During his long Navy career, Jackson commanded three submarines and taught at the U.S. Naval War College.

On Thursday, Aug. 27, at 6 p.m. at Preston Public Library, 389 Route 2, Preston, Jedah Mayberry, who grew up in Connecticut and now lives in Texas, will talk about his novel, "The Unheralded King of Preston Plains Middle" (River Grove, $14.95). It's about a young boy coming of age and his family in Preston.

On Saturday, Aug. 29, at 1 p.m. at Bill Memorial Library, 240 Monument St., Groton, cookbook author Adrienne Kane will discuss "United States of Bread : Our Nation's Homebaking Heritage: From Sandwich Loaves to Sourdough" (Running Press, $20). It offers 75 vintage and forgotten bread recipes. Kane is the author of the memoir "Cooking and Screaming" and the cookbook "United States of Pie." She is a food writer, recipe developer and food photographer who lives in New Haven.

Avon Local Author Festival

The free Avon Free Public Library's Local Author Festival continues at the library, 281 Country Club Road. It will host book signings and sales at its Farmers Market from 4 to 7 p.m.

On Monday, Aug. 24, Emily Filloramo, of Glastonbury, will sign copies of "How to Permanently Erase Negative Self-Talk So You Can Be Extraordinary" (New Chapter Press, $19.95), and Rebecca Schwartz will sign copies of "Inertia" (Desert Breeze, $9.99).

In addition, the library is offering a free Story Walk through August on its grounds based on the children's book "Market Maze" by Roxie Munro, a story about collecting things to take to a farmer's market. Visitors can solve the maze and find objects hidden in pictures.

Information: 860-673-9712, ext. 235.

'American Airpower'

Author John Cilio will give a free talk on the history of American bomber aircraft, with an emphasis on World War II, and will display vintage photos on Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 2: p.m. at Hagaman Memorial Library, 227 Main Street, East Haven

His new book is "American Airpower: Bombers 1935-1960 Vintage Aviation Photographs from WWII, Korea and the Cold War" (Vintage Flyer Media LLC, $20).

This WWII Veterans Discussion Group presentation is open to all.

Information: or call 203-468-3890.

Poetry On The Porch

Poets Christine Beck And Katharine Carle will give a free reading as part of the Poetry on the Porch series in Hartford's West End on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 6 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring a chair as well as a dish or drink to share. Please bring a lawn chair and a drink or dish to share with others. For information and the address of the reading, call 860-965-8800 or email

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