Twain House Postpones Writers Weekend Until Fall

Special To the Courant
Poetry readings around CT among this week's literary events

The Mark Twain House & Museum announced Monday that it is postponing its 5th Annual Writers Weekend, originally set for April 15 to 17, to Sept.  23 to 25.

A“We put together a terrific slate of workshops and other activities to appeal to a broad range of writers,” said Jennifer LaRue, who joined the museum’s staff as director of writing program in January, in a press release.  “But we didn’t have time to build the audience that the event deserves. Rescheduling for fall will give us the opportunity to get the word out more widely and ensure that we attract a full house.”

Those who registered for the April weekend will receive full refunds and are invited to attend Saturday evening’s, April 16, Conversation with Larry Kramer free of charge.

For more information contact Jennifer LaRue, director of writing programs, at or 860-280-3147.


 West Hartford Reads!

Luis Alberto Urrea, the award-winning author of 16 books, including the 2009 novel, "Into the Beautiful North," the first book chosen to be read and discussed by West Hartford residents, will give a free talk Thursday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m., at Town Hall, 50 S. Main St.

His best-selling book imagines what happens when all the men in one Mexican town emigrate to the U.S., pursued by a group of young women who want them to return home. Urrea grew up in Tijuana, Mexico, a few miles from California.

His books can be bought at a discount by cash or check at the event. Free parking is available in the Town Hall lot. Information: 860-561-6990 or

AvonCon 2016

AvonCon, the Avon Library's free celebration of comics and graphic novels for all ages, will take place at the library, 281 Country Club Road, Avon, on Saturday, April 16, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Costumes are encouraged.

David Wenzel, who illustrated a graphic novel version of "The Hobbit," will speak at 11:30 a.m.

The keynote speaker at 2:30 p.m. will be Scott McCloud, who will discuss comics, cartooning, visual communication the relationship of art to old and new technologies.

Workshops will be offered on comic book creation, illustration, cartoon anatomy, monster creation and arduino open-source hardware and software. Lectures will explore publishing a web comic, queer subtext in comics and Sense 8's cosmopolitan utopia and public service announcements in comic books in the 1960s. Information: 860-673-9712.

Wallant Award Winner

Author Rebecca Dinerstein is the 2015 Edward Lewis Wallant Award winner for her debut novel, "The Sunlit Night"(Bloomsbury, $26), about two heartbroken people who find refuge in one another in the far north. The award is presented by the University of Hartford's Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies.

The ceremony will be held Wednesday, April 13, at 7 p.m. in Wilde Auditorium, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford. It also will mark the re-publication of Wallant's acclaimed novel, "The Pawnbroker" (Fig Tree Books, $15.95), and honor the late Mark Shechner, an award judge, author and editor, and 2015 Wallant finalist Daniel Torday, author of "The Last Flight of Poxl West" (St. Martin's Press, $25.99).

The award, established in 1963 in Wallant's memory, is given annually to a Jewish writer, preferably unrecognized, whose fiction has significance for the American Jew. Previous winners include Cynthia Ozick, Chaim Potok and Myla Goldberg. Information: 860-768-4964 or or

Writing At Wesleyan

Rivka Galchen, the Jacob Julien Visiting Writer at Wesleyan University, will give a free talk on Wednesday, April 13, at 8 p.m. at Russell House, 350 High St., Middletown.

Galchen, a journalist and author whose work frequently appears in The New Yorker, The New York Times and Harper's, has won many prizes. Her novel, "Atmospheric Disturbances," won the 2008 William Saroyan International Prize for Fiction. Her latest book, "Little Labors" (New Directions, $16.95), a collection of stories and essays, will be published in May. Information: 860-685-3448 or

Poetry Events

April is National Poetry Month, and many events are being held.

>>R.J. Julia Booksellers, 768 Boston Post Road, Madison, will present a free Local and Independent Author Event: Poetry on Thursday, April 14, at 7 p.m. Taking part will be Laura Altshul, of New Haven, whose collections is "Searching for the Northern Lights" (Antrim House, $15); Charles Douthat, a Connecticut lawyer and writer whose poetry debut "Blue for Oceans" (New Haven Review Books, $15), won the L.L. Winship/Pen New England Award; Sandra Murray, whose "Infinite Scribbles in the Sand" (Outskirts Press, $16.95) combines poems and stories; and Joan Seliger Sidney, UConn Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life writer-in-residence, whose third collection, "Bereft and Blessed" (Antrim House, $18), which focuses on the Holocaust and her long battle with multiple sclerosis. Reservations: 203-245-3959 or

>>The Riverwood Poetry Series will present Carolyn Forché, known as a "poet of witness" for her work on behalf of human rights and the preservation of memory and culture, in a free reading and discussion on Thursday, April 14. The reading will follow refreshments at 6:30 p.m. and an open mike at 7 p.m. at Asylum Hill Congregational Church, 814 Asylum Ave., Hartford. (Open mike poems on the topic of "Against Forgetting: the Poetry of Witness" are encouraged but not required.) Forché's four collections have won major awards. Information:

>>The third annual free South Windsor Poetry Day celebration will be Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. at South Windsor Public Library, 1550 Sullivan Ave. Connecticut and Simsbury Poet Laureate Rennie McQuilkin will read, along with other town poets laureate: Joan Hoffman off Canton, Hugo DeSarro of East Hampton, Julia Paul of Manchester, Charlie Margolis of South Windsor, Tarn Garnucchi of Wallingford and West Hartford Poet Laureate Emeritus Ginny Connors. Marie Menut will play Himalayan music on sacred bowls. Information: or

>>Connecticut and Simsbury Poet Laureate Rennie McQuilkin will begin a free eight-session series of A Place for Poetry workshops for up to 10 people on Tuesday, April 12, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Simsbury Public Library 725 Hopmeadow St. Readings and discussions of work by participants and published poets will sharpen writing skills. Classes will be held on the second Thursday of each month, April through November. Registration: 860-658-7663, ext. 2200, or

>>Award-winning poet Miller Oberman, who is studying poetics at UConn, will read with Anna Ziering and Shannon Hearn at a Long River Reading Series event on Tuesday, April 12, at 6 p.m. at the UConn Co-op Bookstore, One Royce Circle, 101 Storrs Center, Storrs. Information:

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