2017 Festival

Saturday, May 20, 2017
10:00AM – 5:00PM

We are excited to present a full day of   programs and panel sessions for adults, teens and children!

Festival kick-off event!

Dani Shapiro in Conversation with Elisha Cooper:
Memoir and More

Wednesday May 17, 7 p.m.
The Gallery at  Merritt Bookstore and Toystore
57 Front Street, Millbrook

Dani ShapiroDani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Still Writing (Grove Press), Devotion (Harper) and Slow Motion (Harper), plus five novels, including Black & White (Knopf) and Family History (Anchor). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Los HourglassAngeles Times, and has been broadcast on “This American Life”.  Dani was recently Oprah Winfrey’s guest on”Super Soul Sunday.” She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, The New School and Wesleyan University; she is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. A contributing editor at Condé Nast Traveler, Dani lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Her next book, Hourglass, will be published by Knopf in the spring of 2017. See her online at http://danishapiro.com.

elisha_cooper_authorElisha Cooper is the author of Big Cat, Little Cat (Roaring Brook Press), and Farm (Orchard Books), Train (Orchard Books), 8: An Animal Alphabet (Orchard Books). Other children’s books include Beach (Orchard Books), a Society of Illustrators Gold falling_smMedal Winner, and Dance! (HarperCollins), a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year. Books for adults include A Year in New York, and the memoirs Crawling: A Father’s First Year (Anchor) and Falling: A Daughter, A Father, and a Journey Back (Pantheon). Cooper lives with his family in New York City. His website is  www.elishacooper.com.

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Evan PritchardEvan Pritchard (Mi’kmaq/Celtic descendant), an award winning historian, is the author of over 30 books, including Native American Stories of the Sacred (Turner Books),  No Word for Time (Millichap Books), Native New Yorkers (Council Oak), Henry Hudson and the Algonquins of New York (Council Oak), and Bird Medicine (Inner Traditions). Some of the poems from his book Greetings from Mawenawasic (Foothills Publications), will be Tending the Fireincluded in the forthcoming anthology, Tending the Fire (University of New Mexico Press, book and film April 2017). He has taught Native Studies at Marist, Vassar and Pace University and is the director of the Center for Algonquin Culture in Rosendale, NY. His website is www.algonquinculture.org.

 molly-mcglennen-headshotMolly McGlennen was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is of Anishinaabe and European descent. Currently, she is an Associate Professor of English and Native American Studies at Vassar College. She earned a Ph.D. in Native American Studies from the University of California, Davis, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Her creative writing and scholarship have been published widely. She is the 51+d0FvkiRL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_author of a collection of poetry Fried Fish and Flour Biscuits, published by Salt’s award-winning “Earthworks Series” of Indigenous writers, and a critical monograph, Creative Alliances: The Transnational Designs of Indigenous Women’s Poetry, from the University of Oklahoma Press, which earned the Beatrice Medicine Award for outstanding scholarship in American Indian Literature. Her poems will be included in the anthology, Tending the Fire (University of New Mexico Press, book and film April 2017).

karenorloffKaren Kaufman Orloff has written nine books for children including the popular “I Wanna” Books, including I Wanna Iguana, I Wanna New Room, and 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” orloffbookbooks from Peter Pauper Press. Her tenth children’s book, Goodnight Little Bot (Sterling), will be out in 2017. Orloff also writes a column for The Poughkeepsie Journal. Visit her website www.karenkaufmanorloff.com or contact her at orloff@bestweb.net.

 Jana-Laiz-portrait-180x320Jana Laiz, the first Writer-In-Residence at Herman Melville’s beloved Arrowhead, is currently working on a juvenile biography of Herman Melville. She is the author of the triple award-winning novel, Weeping Under This Same Moon (Crow Flies Press), along with The Twelfth Stone (Crow Flies Press), Elephants of the Tsunami (EarthBound Books), and Thomas & Autumn (Crow Flies Press).  She also is the co-author of both, A Free Woman On God’s Earth, The Truesimon-says Story of Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman , The Slave Who Won Her Freedom (Crow Flies Press), and Simon Says, Tails Told By The Red Lion Inn Ambassador (Crow Flies Press). Laiz is passionate about making a difference in the world through her writing and working with others who feel the same. She lives in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts. Her website is www.janalaiz.com.

Min Jin LeeMin Jin Lee worked as a lawyer for several years in New York prior to writing full time. She has received the NYFA Fellowship for Fiction, the Peden Prize from The Missouri Review for Best Story, and the Narrative Prize for New and Emerging Writer. Her fiction has been featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts and has appeared most recently in One Story. Her writings about books, travel and food havepachinko appeared in The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, The Times of London, Vogue (US), Travel + Leisure (SEA), Wall Street Journal and Food & Wine. Her personal essays have been anthologized in To Be Real, Breeder, The Mark Twain Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and Works, One Big Happy Family, Sugar in My Bowl, and Global and the Intimate: Feminism in Our Time. From 2007 to 2011, Min Jin lived in Tokyo, Japan where she wrote Pachinko (February 2017). She lives in New York City with her family. Visit her website at https://www.minjinlee.com/.

Clark WorswickClark Worswick‘s books on Indian, Chinese, Middle BookClarkEastern and Japanese 19th century photography were the first works to identify scores of non-European artists working in the medium. His books have been named “Best of the Year” by The New York Times, London’s The Times and The Sunday Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek and Time magazine.

kearney_bygparkerMeg Kearney is the author of two books of poems for adults, An Unkindness of Ravens and Home By Now, winner of the 2010 PEN New England L.L. Winship Award, as well as three connected novels in when_you_never_said_goodbyeverse for teens: The Secret of Me, The Girl in the Mirror, and When You Never Said Goodbye. Meg’s award-winning picture book, Trouper, is illustrated by E.B. Lewis. Her poetry has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s “A Writer’s Almanac” and U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” column. She lives in New Hampshire and directs the Solstice MFA Program at Pine Manor College in Massachusetts. Her website is http://www.megkearney.com/.
Tara Altebrando-full-300x200
Photo: Peter Lutjen

Tara Altebrando is the author of numerous novels for children and teens, including The Leaving, The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life and Dreamland Social Club. A graduate of Harvard University, she lives in Queens, NY.

timtocherTimothy 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 tocherbookby 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.
AshleyAshley Hurlburt-Biagini is the former Manager of Collections and Archives at Historic Huguenot Street, where among her varied duties she led student field schools in archaeology. She has curated various exhibits, Runaway Slave cover [8-2-16].inddincluding Slavery in New York, Native American History in the Hudson Valley, Nineteenth Century Women and their Needle Arts, and Nineteenth Century Mourning Customs. Ashley grew up on a dairy farm in Cuba, New York. She is an avid gardener, grows and sells garlic, teaches home food preservation classes, web designer and currently lives in Salisbury Mills, New York with her husband Tony and daughters Amelia and Lenore.

Elaine KhosrovaElaine Khosrova specializes in food history and gastronomic culture. A former pastry chef and fellowship student at the Culinary Institute of America, Elaine holds a BS in food and nutrition. She began her career in food publishing as a test kitchen editor at Country Living magazine, followed by staff positions at Healthy Living, Classic American Home, and Santé Magazine. In 2007, she received a Gold Folio journalism award, and in 2008 she became the founding editor of culture, a national consumer magazine about specialty cheese that continues to serve cheese enthusiasts. She’s contributed to numerous national food and lifestyle Butterpublications, as well as the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Cheese. After many excursions into the world of dairy for the sake of cheese lit, Khosrova left culture magazine in 2013 to begin research on her book about butter–the first and only publication (thus far) to chronicle the life and times of this beloved fat. Her butter chase took Elaine throughout the United States and to France, Ireland, India, Bhutan, and Canada. She’s never been the same. An avid cook, baker, traveler, camper, cyclist, and musician, Khosrova lives with her family in New York’s Hudson Valley.

BettinaBettina Mueller is the author of A Taste of Heaven and Earth (Harper Perennial) which was nominated for a Julia Child Award, and The World in a Bowl of Tea (Harper Perennial). At various times she’s been a cook on a working tugboat, a news photographer, owner and chef of a pioneering vegetarian restaurant, and executive of a cutting edge Internet company. Tea GardenIn addition to her interest in food and media, she’s been a lifelong student of Zen, the Japanese Tea Ceremony, and the natural world. Her latest book A Tea Garden in Tivoli (Tea House Press) won the Silver Ippy award for Best Garden Book of 2016 and was the winner of the International Gardenista Best Garden Design award for 2015. See Bettina’s website at www.TeaHousePress.com.

Talking with Caron Levis – Picture-book author Caron Levis will share thoughts about her books Ida, Always and Stuck with the Blooz in panel session with Suzanne LeFleurre. Caron’s newest picture-book, May I Have a Word? will be available for advanced sell.

Caron Levis
Photo: Jeremy Saladyga

Caron Levis is the author of the picture book Ida, Always (Atheneum) which the New York Times Book Review calls, “an example of children’s books at their best.” Her first picture book, Stuck with the Blooz (HMH) was selected as one of Bankstreet College’s Best Children’s Books of the Year.

Forthcoming titles include May I Have A Word? (Macmillan, 2017) and Stop That Yawn! (Atheneum, 2018). Caron also has authored short stories and is an adjunct professor and the advisor for The New School’s Writing for Children/YA MFA programIda Always. After many years as an arts educator, Caron now loves using acting and writing to teach social, emotional, and literacy skills to students of all ages through her author workshops, Act-Like-A-Writer. Visit her at www.caronlevis.com.


  Suzanne LaFleur NYCSuzanne LaFleur is the author of four books for middle-grade readers. She lives in New York City, where she works Beautiful Blue Worldwith children. Beautiful Blue World (Wendy Lamb Books) is a touch and suspenseful novel that offers a brilliant re-imagining of war, where even kindness can be a weapon, and children have the power to see what adults cannot. Among Suzanne’s other titles are Listening for Lucca (Wendy Lamb Books) and Eight Keys (Wendy Lamb Books).  Visit her website at www.suzannelafleur.com.

Rosalee BRoselee Blooston is an award-winning Hudson Valley writer, whose DyingInDubai-COVER-hirezplays have been produced internationally, and whose prose has been published in magazines, journals, and anthologies. Dying in Dubai, a memoir of marriage, mourning, and the Middle East (Apprentice House Press) is her first book and was named as a finalist for the 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year in the category of Grief/Grieving (Adult Nonfiction). Visit her website at http://roseleeblooston.com/.

Marina-300x288Marina Antropow Cramer is a freelance writer who was born in postwar Germany into a family of Russian refugees. RoadsHer work has appeared in Blackbird, Istanbul Literary Review, and the Wilderness House Literary Review. In 2014, after nearly thirty years in bookselling, she left the profession to focus on writing full-time. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley. Roads (Chicago Review Press) is her first novel. Visit her website at http://marinaantropowcramer.com/.

Marie AndreuMaria E. Andreu is a writer and speaker whose work has Secret Sideappeared in Newsweek, The Washington Post, NJ.com, and the Newark Star Ledger. Her debut young adult novel, The Secret Side of Empty, is a Junior Library Guild Selection, a National Indie Excellence Book Award winner, an International Latino Book Awards Finalist and has been called “captivating” by School Library Journal. Her website is http://mariaeandreu.com/.

Robert StavaRobert J. Stava is a horror author living in the Hudson Valley, apparently not far from the fictional village where so many of Nightmarehis tales are set. His stories have also appeared in various anthologies and magazines in the past few years and he is currently writing a second novel for Australia’s ‘Severed Press’, due out this year. He also has a novella due out from Sinister Grin Press this year. His first book, a military non-fiction based on his great uncle’s experiences as a combat photographer in WWII, was published by Schiffer in 2007. See him online at http://www.wyvernfalls.com/newyork/.

Kevin Egan photo credit Stephen E Morton (2)
Photo: Stephen E. Morton

Kevin Egan is the author of eight novels, including the recently published legal thriller, A Shattered Circle. He works in the iconic ShatteredCircleNew York County Courthouse, which serves as the setting and inspiration for much of his recent fiction. One of the courthouse novels, Midnight, was named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013. His short fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Rosebud, and The Westchester Review. He graduated with a B.A. in English from Cornell University.

tj-oconnor-225Tj O’Connor is the 2015 Gold Medal winner of the Independent Publishers Book Awards for Mysteries and the author of New Sins for Old Scores, Dying to Know (Midnight Ink), Dying for the Past dying-to-tell-200(Midnight Ink), and Dying to Tell (Midnight Ink). Tj is an international security consultant specializing in anti-terrorism, investigations, and threat analysis. He has lived and worked around the world in places like Greece, Turkey, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and throughout the Americas—among others. Visit his website at http://tjoconnor.com.

izatrapaniIza 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 Gabe and Goonextensions, including The Itsy Bitsy Spider (Charlesbridge), which has sold well over a million copies. Her 25th book, Gabe and Goon (Charlesbridge), came out in July 2016. Find out more about Iza and her books at www.izatrapani.com.

nancyfurstingerNancy 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! furstingerbookShe 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. Visit her website at www.nancyfurstinger.com.

Susanna Leonard HillSusanna Leonard Hill is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books for children including Punxsutawney Phyllis (Holiday House), Not Yet, Rose (Walker & Company) and Can’t Sleep without Sheep (Walker & Company).  She teaches an online picture book writing class – Making Picture Book Magic – offers picture book critiques, and does frequent lion_needs_a_bath_coverschool and library visits. Three new titles are forthcoming this summer from Little Simon, including When Your Lion Needs a Bath, When Your Elephant Has the Sniffles and The Road that Trucks Built.  Susanna lives in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley with her husband, children, and two rescue dogs.  Visit her online at https://susannahill.com.

Jackie ReynoldsJackie Reynolds is an award winning magician, ventriloquist and clown. She mixed a love of numbers and her engineering degree with twenty-five years entertaining children to create Bee Bee’s Circus at the Counting Fair. She brings entertaining and educational BeeBees Circusprograms to family and community events, preschools and schools, and libraries through out the Hudson Valley as Jackie the Magician and Bee Bee the Clown. See her website at http://beebeetheclown.com.

Carol and Anne
Carol Ann (left) and Anne Pike-Tay

Carol Ann was raised and formally educated in suburban Philadelphia. A true child of the 60’s, Carol Ann participated in politics and protests commencing when she was 18 and continuing now 5o years later. Professionally, Carol Ann Miss Van Winkleworked for the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, and later, Poughkeepsie law offices. Her authoring a children’s book came as a matter of good fortune when her friend, Anne Pike-Tay, had both the idea and the illustrations well in hand when she asked Carol Ann to join her in composing.

 GailCarsonLevineGail 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 Lost Kingdombooks 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.

Jo Pitkin is the author of CradlPitkin_Joe of the American Circus: Poems from Somers, New York; Commonplace Invasions; and Rendering. She is also the editor of Lost Orchard: Prose and Poetry from the Kirkland College Community. Her poems have appeared in renderingjournals and anthologies including The New York Review of Books, Little Star, Quarterly West, Salamander, Southern Humanities Review, Terrain, Crab Orchard Review, Nimrod, A Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley, and Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace. She lives and works in the Hudson River Valley at the river’s narrowest and deepest point. Visit her on the web at http://www.salmonpoetry.com/details.php?ID=333&a=260.

Lucia CherLuciaCherciu high resolutionciu is a Professor of English at SUNY/Dutchess in Poughkeepsie, NY, and she writes both in English and in Romanian. Her new book, Train Ride to Bucharest, will be published by Sheep Train RideMeadow Press in April 2017. Her other books include Edible Flowers (Main Street Rag, 2010), which was a finalist for the Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize, Lepădarea de Limbă/The Abandonment of Language (Vinea, 2009), and Altoiul Râsului/Grafted Laughter (Brumar 2010). Her poetry was nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her web page is http://luciacherciu.webs.com.