Saturday, May 21, 2016
10:00AM – 5:00PM
Panels and Presentations:
Click Here for a Printable Schedule: 2016 Millbrook Literary Festival
We have panels for all ages! Please use this key to help plan the day for your family:
A Conversation With Lauren Belfer– 11:15am – 12:15pm
Join Merritt Bookstore owner Kira Wizner as she talks with the award-winning novelist.
Lauren Belfer’s second novel, A Fierce Radiance, was named a Washington Post Best Novel, an NPR Best Mystery, and a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Her debut, City Of Light, was a New York Times bestseller, as well as a number one Book Sense pick, a New York Times Notable Book, a Library Journal Best Book, and a Main Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club. It has been translated into six languages. Her newest novel, And After the Fire, will be out in May. Belfer lives in New York City. Visit her online at laurenbelfer.com.
Ancient Wars/Modern Vets – 1:45 – 3:15pm. A program especially for combat veterans and their families. In this illustrated presentation, Peter Meineck offers short readings from contemporary translations of ancient stories showing the connections between the experience of the American veteran community and the ancient Greeks and Romans. Participants will be asked to relate their own stories to the ancient material and together will explore themes such as coming home, democracy and war, women at war, the ethics of war and the relationships between veterans and civilians. All veterans and civilians are welcome.
Peter Meineck PhD is Clinical Professor of Classics at New York University and Founder of Aquila Theatre. He has published several volumes of translations of Greek comedy and tragedy with Hackett and his translation of Aeschylus’ Oresteia was awarded the 2001/2 Louis Galantiere Award by the American Translators Association. He received the 2009 NYU Golden Dozen Teaching Award, a 2009 Humanities Initiative Team Teaching Award, the American Philological Association Outreach Prize and a 2010 National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman’s Special Award. His presentation is sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities and the Millbrook Library.
Suzan Saxman – The Reluctant Psychic– 4:15pm – 5:00pm
We all, as children, saw imaginary friends and heard monsters in the closet. But for Suzan Saxman, those friends and monsters didn’t go away, and they weren’t imaginary. They were the dead who came to her from the time she was a little girl with urgent messages for the living. Always skeptical of her tremendous gift, Suzan struggled to come to terms with her calling even as she revealed the destinies of everyone, from housewives to hit men, stockbrokers to rock-and-rollers. She could witness everyone’s future, everyone’s but her own. Why was she visited by angels and demons? Could she ever escape this strange fate? Where was her own soul mate? Now Suzan tells the story of her journey and answers your questions about her unusual gift.
Suzan Saxman lives in Woodstock, New York, and runs a small shop called Fiona, selling gothic fashions. She is a lifelong vegetarian and passionate animal rights advocate. Her first book is The Reluctant Psychic. Read more about Saxman, or schedule a psychic reading with her at suzanfionasaxman.com.
More Than Superheroes: Graphic Novels Come Of Age– 10:30 – 11:30am
Moderator: Pauline Uchmanowicz with panelists Mark Siegel, Barbara Slate, and Owen King
Graphic novels have come a long way! No longer are they simply considered
“comic books” for adults. They run the gamut from speculative and science
fiction to humor, historical themes, contemporary issues, women’s
issues, and even non-fiction like biographies, memoirs and essays.
If you love reading (or writing) graphic novels, this is the panel for
Pauline Uchmanowicz is Associate Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at SUNY New Paltz. Her scholarly and creative works have appeared in International Journal of Comics Art, College English, Ploughshares, Z Magazine, and elsewhere. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the graphic narrative in multiple forms, and has delivered numerous academic papers related to comics and graphic novels.
Owen King is the author of the novel Double Feature, and most recently, the graphic novel Intro to Alien Invasion. His fiction and non-fiction has appeared in such publications as the Los Angeles Review of Books, the New York Times Book Review, One Story, and Subtropics. Find out more about King at www.owen-king.com.
Mark Siegel is the author and illustrator of several award winning picture books, and the NY Times bestselling graphic novel Sailor Twain, or the Mermaid in the Hudson. His latest picture book is Oskar and the Eight Blessings. He is also the founder and Editorial Director of First Second Books, the acclaimed graphic novel imprint from Macmillan Publishers. Learn more about Siegel at sailortwain.com.
Barbara Slate is a pioneer among women in the comics industry. She has written hundreds of comic books and graphic novels for DC, Marvel, Archie, Disney: Barbie, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Archie, Betty and Veronica, CreatedAngel Love, Yuppies from Hell, Sweet XVI. Getting Married and other Mistakes. Barbara is profiled in A Century of Women Cartoonists. A resident of Hudson, NY, she travels extensively nationwide as a keynote speaker, teacher, moderator and panelist. www.youcandoagraphicnovel.com.
Bringing the Printed Word to Life: The Process of Screenwriting– 3:15 – 4:15pm
Moderator: Joseph Muszynski with panelists Jim DeFelice, K.L. Going, Jack Kelly, and Valerie Martin.
Have you ever read a book and then went to see the movie version, only to find that they were very different? Why are characters and events often changed? Our panel of screenwriters and authors will discuss the challenging process of taking the printed word and bringing it to life on the screen.
Best known for American Sniper, Jim DeFelice is the author of 15 New York Times best-sellers, many of them celebrating the real lives of unsung American heroes, including American Wife and Code Name: Johnny Walker. Along with his critically-acclaimed novels Leopards Kill and The Helios Conspiracy, DeFelice frequently collaborates with other bestselling military authors on such series as The Rogue Warrior and the long-running Dreamland series. DeFelice’s critical military biography, Omar Bradley: General At War was the first ever written about the WWII general. He also developed and wrote Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, the number one selling air-combat franchise in the world. His upcoming releases include the techno-thriller Puppet Masters (August, 2016) and the true-life military memoir Fighting Blind (November, 2016).
K.L. Going is the award winning author of numerous books for children and teens. Her first novel, Fat Kid Rules the World was named a Michael Printz Honor Book. Her books have also been Booksense picks, Scholastic Book Club choices, Junior Library Guild selections, and winners of state book awards. They’ve been featured by Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Kirkus, and Children’s Book Council as Best Books of the year. Her work has also been published internationally, and her novel Fat Kid Rules the World is an independent film that premiered at the SXSW film festival and won an Audience Award. Visit Going online at klgoing.com.
Jack Kelly is the author of Band of Giants, a reader-friendly overview of the Revolutionary War, which won the Daughters of the American Revolution History Medal. Kelly’s novel Protection was made into a feature film starring Stephen Baldwin. His new book Heaven’s Ditch, coming in July, is a rousing account of the spiritual and political turmoil that erupted along the Erie Canal. He lives in Milan, NY.
Valerie Martin is the author of eleven novels, including Trespass, Mary Reilly, Italian Fever, and Property, four collections of short fiction, and a biography of St. Francis of Assisi . She has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as the Kafka Prize (for Mary Reilly) and Britain’s Orange Prize (for Property.) Valerie Martin’s most recent novel The Ghost of the Mary Celeste was published by Nan A. Talese/Random House in 2014, and is now available in paper from Vintage. Sea Lovers, a volume of new and selected short fiction, also from Nan A. Talese, was published in August of 2015. Two volumes of a trilogy for middle-grade readers Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea and Anton and Cecil: Cats on Track, co-written with Valerie’s niece Lisa Martin, began publication from Algonquin in October of 2013. The final volume Anton and Cecil: Cats Aloft will appear in the fall of 2016. Valerie Martin has taught in writing programs at Mt. Holyoke College, University of Massachusetts, and Sarah Lawrence College, among others. She resides in Dutchess County, New York and is currently Professor of English at Mt. Holyoke College. Find her online at valeriemartinonline.com.
Joseph Muszynski teaches screenwriting at Vassar College and is a Hudson Valley-based filmmaker. He was a writer and executive producer on Peace, Love & Misunderstanding (2011) directed by Bruce Beresford, and starring Jane Fonda and Catherine Keener. His next film, Rhymes with Banana (2014), starring Zosia Mamet, marked his directorial debut. More recently, he directed Mahjong and the West (2015), about a young woman who returns to Wyoming to bury her mother. Joe is currently attached to direct Eden’s Folly, a futuristic re-imagination of the story of Eden; and he is currently in the process of adapting two novels to the screen. He has worked as a script consultant on numerous projects and has taught filmmaking through the Bard Prison Initiative.
Literary Luncheon: A Violet Season– 12:00 – 1:00pm
This special edition of Millbrook Library’s monthly book discussion group will feature author Kathy Leonard Czepiel talking about her book A Violet Season. Bring a lunch and bring a friend! New members are always welcome.
Kathy Leonard Czepiel is the author of A Violet Season (Simon & Schuster), named one of the best books of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews. She is the recipient of a 2012 creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and her short fiction has appeared in Cimarron Review, Indiana Review, CALYX, Confrontation, Brain Child, and elsewhere. Czepiel teaches writing at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. Learn more at her website, kathyleonardczepiel.com.
Spring Into Science and Nature– 10:45 – 11:45am
Moderator: Tim Tocher, with panelists Jordan D. Brown, Nancy Castaldo, and Nancy Furstinger.
Acclaimed children’s authors Jordan D. Brown (Science Stunts: Fun Feats of Physics), Nancy Castaldo (Seeds), and Nancy Furstinger (Paws of Courage) will spark young readers’ interest in the world around them. From fun science experiments kids can do at home to a new perspective on the plants and animals around us, everyone will walk away inspired to learn more.
As an author and educational consultant, Jordan D. Brown loves to create entertaining books and TV series for kids. His latest book, Science Stunts: Fun Feats of Physics features many hands-on science magic tricks. Brown explores chemistry in Crazy Concoctions: A Mad Scientist’s Guide to Messy Mixtures (reluctantly co-authored with Dr. Viskus von Fickleschmutz). He examined the disgusting side of biology in Micro Mania: A Really Close-up Look at Bacteria, Bedbugs & the Zillions of Other Gross Little Creatures. For Simon & Schuster’s The Science of Fun Stuff series, he has written about amusement park rides, baseball, airplanes, and super powers. When not writing books, Brown has served as the educational consultant for many kids TV shows such as Ready Jet Go! and Dinosaur Train (both for PBS). He lives in the Hudson Valley with his wife, two children, two dogs, and countless bacteria. Read more about him at www.jordandbrown.com.
Nancy Castaldo is the award-winning author of several nonfiction books. The Story of Seeds: From Mendel’s Garden to Your Plate and How There’s More of Less to Eat Around the World brings in a global cast of men and women, scientists and laypeople, and photographic documentation to chronicle where our food comes from, and more importantly, where it is going. Nancy can’t wait to share this new timely title with young readers and adults. Visit her online at www.nancycastaldo.com.
Nancy Furstinger has been speaking up for animals since she learned to talk, and she hasn’t shut up yet. She is the author of nearly 100 books, including many on her favorite topic: animals! She started her writing career in third grade, when her class performed a play she wrote while recovering from chickenpox. Since then, Nancy has been a feature writer for a daily newspaper, a managing editor of trade and consumer magazines, and an editor at two children’s book publishing houses. She shares her home with big dogs and house rabbits (all rescued), volunteers and fosters pets for several animal organizations. www.nancyfurstinger.com.
Timothy Tocher is the author of four sports themed novels for middle grade students. Chief Sunrise, John McGraw, and Me (Cricket Books, 2004) was named a Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association. The sequel, Bill Pennant, Babe Ruth, and Me (Cricket Books, 2009) received a starred review from Kirkus. His latest book,Odd Ball: Hilarious, Unusual, and Bizarre Baseball Moments (Marshall Cavendish, 2011) is his first work of non-fiction. Tocher lives in the Hudson Valley. Read more about him at http://sites.google.com/site/tochertales.
How Cool Is That?! Owl Pellet Dissection Workshop– 10:00 – 10:45am
Please register your grade K-6 children by signing up in the Children’s Room at Millbrook Library
Children are invited to join teacher and author Velya Jancz-Urban as she shares her most popular hands-on science class for kids. As their natural curiosity leads them to explore the natural world, each child will come away with something different from dissecting an owl pellet, from an understanding of the food chain and circle-of-life concept, to mammal anatomy.
Velya Jancz-Urban, author of Whooo Eats What?, and the upcoming One Lucky Mealworm!, taught English and History at Ridgefield High School, and she was the Elementary \Gifted/Enrichment teacher for Connecticut Regional School District #12. She currently lives in Connecticut with her family. Visit her online at www.howcoolisthat.name.
The Art Of the Picture Book– 1:45 – 2:45pm
Moderator: Steve Metzger, with panelists Lesa Cline-Ransome, Karen Orloff, Iza Trapani, and Hans Wilhelm.
Join masters of the craft Hans Wilhelm (author and illustrator who has sold more than 42 million books worldwide), Steve Metzger (acclaimed author of 70 books), and Iza Trapani (author of over 20 books) and Hudson Valley authors extraordinaire Karen Orloff (Miles of Smiles) and Lesa Cline-Ransome (Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong) in a lively discussion of the importance of picture books in developing higher level reading and thinking skills. Learn how words and illustration combine to create art.
Lesa Cline-Ransome‘s first book was the biography of Satchel Paige, an ALA Notable Book and a Bank Street College “Best Children’s Book of the Year. She later wrote Quilt Alphabet, Young Pele: Soccer’s First Star, Words Set Me Free Light in the Darkness, Benny Goodman and Teddy Wilson, Freedom’s School, and, her newest title, Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong. My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey was a 2016 Orbis Pictus recommended Book. Many of her books are in collaboration with her husband James Ransome. Lesa’s books have received numerous honors and awards including two NAACP Image Awards. She lives in Rhinebeck with her family. Visit her website, www.lesaclineransome.com.
Steve Metzger is the award-winning author of more than 70 picture books, including Pluto Visits Earth! (Children’s Choice Award Nominee and ABC Best Books for Children), Detective Blue (Colorado Children’s Book Award Nominee), and The Way I Act (aligned with Common Core State Standards and approved for classroom use by the California Dept. of Education). Visit him online at www.stevemetzgerbooks.com.
With over 42 million books in print, Hans Wilhelm is one of America’s most read authors/illustrators of children’s books. Many of his 200 books have been translated into thirty languages and have become successful animated television series that are enjoyed by children all over the world. Find him online at www.hanswilhelm.com.
Karen Kaufman Orloff has written nine books for children including the popular “I Wanna” Books (I Wanna Iguana, I Wanna New Room, I Wanna Go Home, G.P. Putnam), as well as If Mom Had Three Arms; Talk, Oscar Please, Miles of Smiles Sterling), and three “Nightlight Detective” books from Peter Pauper Press. Her tenth children’s book, Goodnight Little Bot, will be out in 2017. Orloff also writes a column for The Poughkeepsie Journal. Visit her website www.karenkaufmanorloff.com or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iza Trapani was born in Poland and moved to the U.S. at age seven. Fascinated with a Mother Goose Treasury, Iza learned English through the rhymes. Little did she know that someday she would retell many of them and become a best-selling children’s book author and illustrator. Iza is known for her award-winning series of nursery rhyme extensions, including The Itsy Bitsy Spider, which has sold well over a million copies. Among her other titles are Little Miss Muffet, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and recently released, Old King Cole. She is now at work on her 25th picture book. Learn more about Iza at www.izatrapani.com.
Teen Writing Workshop– 3:00 – 3:45pm
In a warm and welcoming environment, teens will learn the basics of storytelling. Workshop includes craft lessons on setting your scene, how to build a character and a plot, and how to revise your story. Make sure to bring your favorite notebook and pen or pencil!
Julie Chibbaro is the award-winning author of three historical young adult novels: Into the Dangerous World (Viking, 2015), a Junior Library Guild Selection, Deadly (Simon & Schuster 2011), winner of the National Jewish Book Award and a Bank Street College Best Book, and Redemption (Simon & Schuster 2004), which won the American Book Award. Julie teaches writing at Gotham Writers Workshop, and is a mentor for the PEN Prison Writing Program. She lives in Beacon, NY with her family. Visit her at juliechibbaro.com.
You’ve Written a Novel For Teens: Now What?– 4:00 – 5:00pm
Moderator: Jake Wizner with panelists Gail Carson Levine, Jennifer Castle, Barbara Dee, and Kimberly Sabatini.
Join young adult author Jake Wizner (Spanking Shakespeare) as he talks to Newbery medal honoree Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted), and award-winning authors Jennifer Castle (The Beginning of After), Barbara Dee (The (Almost) Perfect Guide to Imperfect Boys), and Kimberly Sabatini (Touching the Surface) about the paths that they took to get their work published. How did they decide which age group to write for? Find out what it takes to succeed in the world of young adult and middle grade literature.
Gail Carson Levine is the author of 22 children’s books and is best known for her novel, Ella Enchanted, which won a Newbery honor medal in 1998 and was made into a motion picture in 2004. Other books include the historical novel, Dave at Night, and the two nonfiction how-to’s, Writing Magic, Creating Stories that Fly, and Writer to Writer, From Think to Ink. Her latest is Stolen Magic, the second in the mystery series that began with A Tale of Two Castles, about detective dragon Meenore and its assistant Elodie. Gail, her husband David, and their Airedale Reggie live in a 1790 farmhouse in Brewster, New York. Read more about her at gailcarsonlevine.com.
Jennifer Castle is the author of the YA novels The Beginning of After, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, You Look Different In Real Life, a 2015 Florida Teens Read selection, and What Happens Now, forthcoming in June from HarperCollins. She like to write about love, healing, identity, unusual human connections, and kissing. She lives in New Paltz, NY with family and can be found online at www.jennifercastle.com.
Barbara Dee writes humorous fiction for tweens. She is the author of The (Almost) Perfect Guide to Imperfect Boys, Trauma Queen, This Is Me From Now On, Solving Zoe (Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year), and Just Another Day In My Insanely Real Life. Barbara is one of the founders and directors of the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival. A former English teacher and lawyer, she lives with her family in Chappaqua, New York. Her next book, Truth Or Dare, will be published by Aladdin/Simon & Schuster inSeptember 2016. Visit her website at www.BarbaraDeeBooks.com, and read her blog at www.FromTheMixedUpFiles.com.
Kimberly Sabatini is a former Special Education Teacher who is now a domestic engineer. After her dad passed away in 2005, she used writing as a way to make sense of the experience and discovered that she’s full of questions that need to be answered. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband and three boys. She is represented by Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary Agency. Touching the Surface is her debut novel. (Simon Pulse – Simon & Schuster). Visit her online at www.kimberlysabatini.com.
Jake Wizner teaches eighth grade English and social studies at the Salk School of Science in New York City. He is the author of the young adult novels Spanking Shakespeare (Random House, 2007) and Castration Celebration (Random House, 2009) and has spent the past two decades developing and inspiring young writers.
Reaching Across Generations Through Books– 10:00 – 11:00am
Moderator: Rona Boyer
Residents of the Fountains at Millbrook and area high school students who have exchanged favorite books report to us on the insights they each gained about the other generation and how different or similar it is to their own perceptions and life experience.
Writer’s Groups: Is One Right For You?– 1:45 – 2:45pm
Moderator: Jan Egry with panelists AnnaLee Conti, Howard Massey, Andrea Stanet, and Sharon Watts
The Hudson Valley is home to many writer’s groups. Members of The Beacon Writers’ Group, The East Fishkill Women’s Writers Group, The Hudson Valley Writing Workshop, and the Wild Plum Writers’ Group will discuss how their organizations function and their value to an author.
What Is “Literary” Writing? And How Does It Help Us Think?– 3:00 – 4:00pm
Moderator: V.N. Alexander with panelists Michael Joyce, Joseph Luzzi, and Ashley Mayne.
It is well-known that learning to play music develops cognitive abilities, especially those that help scientists and mathematicians. It is also true that reading literary writing helps develop critical thinking skills. This panel will explore the question, What is “literary” writing? and how does it help us think? “Literary” can be applied to fiction, journalism, and non-fiction and in the most general sense, it describes writing that is stylized or poetic, that connotes more than it denotes; often a “literary” work refers to other works of literature; and sometimes a “literary” work may be challenging, designed to get readers to think about the topic from a new perspective.
Michael Joyce is the author of afternoon: a story (1987), one of the first literary hypertexts whose meaning could change dramatically depending on the path taken. The New York Times called afternoon “the granddaddy of hypertext fictions.” Joyce’s books include War outside Ireland: a novel (1982), Of two minds: hypertext pedagogy and poetics (1995), Othermindedness: the emergence of network culture (2000), and Moral tales and meditations: technological parables and refractions (2001). His most recent work of fiction is Foucault, in Winter, in the Linnaeus Garden (2016). He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and a professor at Vassar College.
Joseph Luzzi holds a doctorate from Yale and teaches at Bard. He is the author of In a Dark Wood: What Dante Taught Me About Grief, Healing, and the Mysteries of Love (HarperCollins, 2015), and My Two Italies, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. His essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Bookforum, and the Times Literary Supplement.
Ashley Mayne is the author of two recently published novels, Tiger and Mankiller. Her work has appeared in Metambesen, The Doris, and Fish and Game Quarterly. A Bard graduate, she lives and writes in the woods bordering Hell’s Acres, near the site of the infamous 1853 riot and prizefight between John Morrissey and “Yankee” Sullivan. Read more about her at www.ashleymaynebooks.com.
Victoria N. Alexander is a philosopher of science (The Biologist’s Mistress: Rethinking Self-Organization in Art, Literature and Nature) and Public Scholar for the New York Council for the Humanities. A director at Dactyl Foundation, she serves the literary fiction community as editor of Dactyl Review. Her latest work on art, science and creativity appears in Fine Lines: Nabokov’s Scientific Art, published by Yale University Press. Alexander is also a literary fiction novelist (Smoking Hopes 1996, Naked Singularity 2003, Trixie 2010). Her latest novel, Locus Amoenus (2015), has been nominated for the 2016 Dayton Literary Peace Prize.
Visit the Book Tent on the Library lawn to meet your favorite authors and have them sign your books. Authors include those on panels plus these talented local writers: John Briggs, Gloria Caviglia, Sally Cook, Joe Cosentino, Susan Davis, Kathleen Duble, Ina Claire Gabler, Eve S. Gendron, B.S. Gibbs, Gary Glauber, David Gordon, Mihai Grunfeld, June Hyjek, Lu Ann Schnable Kaldor, Walter Keady, Judith Kerman, Keith Korman, Gayle Krause, Jana Laiz, Phyllis Lake, Steven Lewis, Allison Marchese, Stephen Matthews, GA Mudge, Cheryl McNeil Fisher, Anne O’Brien Carelli, TJ O’Connor, Lisa Paris, Valerie Pfundstein, David Pietrusza, Jackie Reynolds, Jeanne Rogers, Roger Roloff, Jesse Saperstein, Boria Sax, Shanika Sealy, William Teets, Lisa Thiesing, and Daphne Uviller.