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A Literary Feast

The following is a post by Kristen King, Writers & Books’ Community Engagement Coordinator. 




Those who know me well know that there are generally two things (and two things only) on my mind: books and food. Thus it is safe to assume that when those two things come together – in a novel’s tantalizing dinner description or a particularly lovely ode to fruit – I find bliss. Something quite visceral awakens in me when I read “the knife/sinks/into living flesh,/red/viscera,/a cool/sun/profound,/inexhaustible/populates the salads of Chile…” from Pablo Neruda’s Ode to Tomato, and Elizabeth Alexander’s poem Butter could feed me for days. The town “so rich in poultry,/poor in everything else” from Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s Two Egg, Florida is the dream of every literati and foodie; C. S. Lewis’ Turkish delight seems so sweet, I’d swear I’d held it between my teeth. And don’t even get me started on the meals described in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Woof – I don’t know if I’ll ever live to see a meal so magical.

I think what I enjoy most about the combination of my two great loves is that with both there is a very definite arousal of all my senses. While literature dominates my sense of sight and sound, food then takes over serving my mouth, my nose, and my hands (and on occasion my sense of sight and sound with an onion’s sizzle or the beauty of a ripe pomegranate). The combination of the two provokes my imagination into experiencing all five senses. Both food and literature prompt hunger, thus their fusion transcends a simple feeding of the mind, stimulating the whole body. It is a combination that serves my entire being, one that I enjoy infinitely.

What are your favorite literary feasts?

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Who Are You? Kathy Pottetti

For the next couple of months, we will be doing a series of blog posts from our staff members called “Who Are You?” The following is the third of nine and is from Kathy Pottetti, Gell Center Director of Operations & Programming & Front Office Manager. 

I enjoy the challenge of word games such as Boggle or Scrabble and coming up with various words in a short amount of time, then comparing them to the words other players have found.

During the summer months when I was growing up in Rochester, one of the pastimes I remember with great joy was walking to the Maplewood Branch Library with the neighborhood kids for story time. Afterwards I’d check out many children’s books to take me to new and different places or amuse me! Nancy Drew Mysteries by Caroline Keene was one of my favorite set of books to read. Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham was another top favorite!

I was also one of those students in grammar & junior high school that looked forward to spelling quizzes! Some of my friends totally dreaded them, not me, I thought they were fun and I was good at it. Dictionaries are interesting to look through and see how they change with the times.

Keeping this in mind, my friend Lynda and I started a book club in 2009 entitled “LitChicks”. We have about 10 women that attend on a regular basis. We meet once a month at Writers & Books, and each year we read and discuss the “If All of Rochester…” book, we’ll be discussing this year’s book Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea next month.

Another thing I enjoy are the sound of words from various places – such as Houston St. in NYC vs. Houston, Texas. Spelled the same & pronounced very differently or Chili, NY vs. Chili’s Restaurant. It’s a part of the English language that I’ve found quite interesting in the various places I’ve lived and traveled.

How words come alive on stage, all the various genres and how words are used, how they sound & look, how they flow together. How every aspect of life uses words, and how working at Writers & Books instills in each of us every day the importance of literature in our lives.

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January Events

Well December has dissolved in January and somehow 2012 has turned into 2013 (we know, we can’t believe it either). Of course with a new month comes new events – here’s what happening at Writers & Books for the month of January:

Friday, January 4th from 7-9PM – First Friday/Wide Open Mic

Tuesday, January 8th from 2-4PM – Senior Reading Group

Tuesday, January 8th at 7:30PM – Genesee Reading Series

Thursday, January 10th at 7PM – The Bertrand Russell Society: General discussion of the future of the Greater Rochester Russell Set

Wednesday, January 16th from 1:30-3:00PM – Book Discussion at Valley Manor

Wednesday, January 23rd from 7-8:30PM – Monthly Story Slam

Thursday, January 24th from 7-8:30PM – History Reading Group: The Louisiana Purchase

Wednesday, January 30th from 12-1PM – Lunch Break Book Talks

Thursday, January 31st at 7PM – Book Kick Off: Sex and Manifest Destiny: The Urge that Drove Americans Westward by Martin Naparsteck

For more information on any of these events, please visit our website at wab.org, or give us a call at 585-473-2590.

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12 Days of WAB-Mas!

On the first day of WAB-Mas my true love gave to me: 

  • a signed copy of Home on the Range by Elizabeth Gilbert! 






On the second day of WAB-Mas my true love gave to me: 

  • two Writers & Books journals 
  • and a signed copy of Home on the Range by Elizabeth Gilbert! 









On the third day of WAB-Mas my true love gave to me: 

  • three Writers & Books memberships 
  • two Writers & Books journals 
  • and a signed copy of Home on the Range by Elizabeth Gilbert! 










On the fourth day of WAB-Mas my true love gave to me: 

  • four Writers & Books tote bags 
  • three Writers & Books memberships 
  • two Writers & Books journals 
  • and a signed copy of Home on the Range by Elizabeth Gilbert! 




On the fifth day of WAB-Mas my true love gave to me: 

  • FIVE “IF ALL OF ROCHESTER” BOOKS (this year it’s Into the Beautiful North by Luis Urrea) 
  • four Writers & Books tote bags
  • three Writers & Books memberships
  • two Writers & Books journals 
  • and a signed copy of Home on the Range by Elizabeth Gilbert! 



On the sixth day of WAB-Mas my true love gave to me: 

  • six WAB class gift cards
  • FIVE “IF ALL OF ROCHESTER” BOOKS
  • four WAB tote bags
  • three WAB memberships
  • two WAB journals 
  • and a signed copy of Home on the Range by Elizabeth Gilbert! 




On the seventh day of WAB-Mas my true love gave to me: 

  • seven copies of Pigs in Paris by Steve Huff
  • six WAB class gift cards 
  • FIVE “IF ALL OF ROCHESTER” BOOKS
  • four WAB tote bags
  • three WAB memberships
  • two WAB journals 
  • and a signed copy of Home on the Range by Elizabeth Gilbert! 





On the eighth day of WAB-Mas my true love gave to me: 

  • eight signed copies of Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder
  • seven copies of Pigs in Paris by Steve Huff
  • six WAB class gift cards
  • FIVE “IF ALL OF ROCHESTER” BOOKS
  • four WAB tote bags
  • three WAB memberships
  • two WAB journals 
  • and a signed copy of Home on the Range by Elizabeth Gilbert! 

On the ninth day of WAB-Mas my true love gave to me: 

  • nine signed copies of Hannah Tinti’s The Book Thief
  • eight signed copies of Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder
  • seven copies of Pigs in Paris by Steve Huff
  • six WAB class gift cards 
  • FIVE “IF ALL OF ROCHESTER” BOOKS 
  • four WAB tote bags
  • three WAB memberships
  • two WAB journals 
  • and a signed copy of Home on the Range by Elizabeth Gilbert! 




On the tenth day of WAB-Mas my true love gave to me: 

  • ten copies of Big Pencil Press’ Nevermore
  • nine signed copies of Hannah Tinti’s The Book Thief
  • eight signed copies of Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder
  • seven copies of Pigs in Paris by Steve Huff
  • six WAB class gift cards
  • FIVE “IF ALL OF ROCHESTER” BOOKS
  • four WAB tote bags
  • three WAB memberships
  • two WAB journals 
  • and a signed copy of Home on the Range by Elizabeth Gilbert! 

On the eleventh day of WAB-Mas my true love gave to me: 

  • eleven Gell Prize Winning Books
  • ten copies of Big Pencil Press’ Nevermore
  • nine signed copies of Hannah Tinti’s The Book Thief
  • eight signed copies of Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder
  • seven copies of Pigs in Paris by Steve Huff
  • six WAB class gift cards
  • FIVE “IF ALL OF ROCHESTER” BOOKS
  • four WAB tote bags
  • three WAB memberships
  • two WAB journals 
  • and a signed copy of Home on the Range by Elizabeth Gilbert! 


On the twelfth day of WAB-Mas my true love gave to me: 

  • twelve peaceful days of reading
  • eleven Gell Prize Winning Books
  • ten copies of Big Pencil Press’ Nevermore
  • nine signed copies of Hannah Tinti’s The Book Thief
  • eight signed copies of Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder
  • seven copies of Pigs in Paris by Steve Huffs
  • six WAB class gift cards
  • FIVE “IF ALL OF ROCHESTER” BOOKS 
  • four WAB tote bags
  • three WAB memberships
  • two WAB journals 
  • and a signed copy of Home on the Range by Elizabeth Gilbert!

Phew! Are you tired yet? We are! Happy Holidays from Chris, Kristen, and the rest of the WAB team! 

  

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Winter Classes

Often I receive emails from prospective students who want to know what our classes at Writers & Books are really like. Maybe they’re envisioning a typical college classroom scenario with rows of desks and a ratio of two students listening to one sleeping and one surreptitiously surfing the net. Or maybe they have heard stories about some of the nationally known writers’ workshops where your fellow students are famously competitive, even cutthroat.

Neither of those scenarios describes the experience at Writers & Books. While people who sign up for our classes are serious about learning to write, they are not earning a degree here. And if there is one attribute that describes our teachers–besides those qualities that one would assume, such as being highly knowledgeable and experienced—it is that they are nurturing. You come to us yearning to learn, and our teachers respond by helping you find your way in what has to be understood as a difficult field—writing.

As for the rows of desks, we do not have them. Most of our classes form around a table where you can bring a cup of coffee. They are non-competitive, but serious. Does everyone who attends these classes become a professional writer? No, of course not. But I dare say the vast majority become better writers. And it is partly because of this nurturing, elbows-on-the-table atmosphere in which no one should be afraid to ask a question or to present their writing to the group. No one bites.

Read through this catalog. We’ve tried to cover every genre, and I think you’ll find at least one class that interests you. But if you still are unsure, still want to know more about what to expect when you enter the class, drop an email to me, at steveh@wab.org. I don’t bite either.