Spark your creativity, make connections, and share the gift of poetry! The P. Faith McMahon Wintonbury Library offers readings by notable poets and a warm, supportive atmosphere for sharing your own work. Everyone is welcome!
The Wintonbury Poetry Series and Open Mic is held at the McMahon Wintonbury Library on the third Thursday of the month, October – April, at 7:00 PM. Poetry writing workshops are offered in May.
Fall 2017 Schedule
Thursday, October 19, 7:00 PM
Featuring Sherri Bedingfield & Ginny Connors
“The Season of the Witch” – Sherri Bedingfield reads poetry about the persecution of 17th century Scottish witches and Ginny Connors reads poetry about the Salem witchcraft trials. Open mic follows.
Sherri [Sheryll] Bedingfield’s poetry has appeared in several anthologies and small press publications including Caduceus, Journal of Poetry Therapy and Connecticut River Review. She has presented her poetry at Connecticut venues including the Noah Webster House, Noah Webster Library, Hartford Public Library, New Haven Public Library, Wintonbury Poetry Series and Yale Book Store. One of her poems was selected for the Poetry in the Parks Project and is displayed at Fernridge in West Hartford. She also did the artwork that frames the poem. Sherri’s work is not just enjoyed locally; she recently read her poetry in Dingle, Ireland. Sherri is the author of Transitions and Transformations, published by Antrim House in 2010. She did the art work on its cover. Her poems have been performed by East Haddam Stage Company in Plays with Poetry. Sherri is on the Board of Riverwood Poetry Series. She works as a psychotherapist and a family therapist. She uses art and poetry as creative therapy with some of her clients.
Ginny Lowe Connors is the author of three poetry collections: The Unparalleled Beauty of a Crooked Line, Barbarians in the Kitchen, and most recently, Toward the Hanging Tree: Poems of Salem Village. Her chapbook, Under the Porch, won the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize. Connors has also edited several poetry anthologies, including the recently published Forgotten Women: A Tribute in Poetry and Laureates of Connecticut: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry (co-edited with Charles Margolis). She is the editor of Connecticut River Review, a national journal sponsored by the Connecticut Poetry Society. Connors also runs a small poetry press, Grayson Books.
Thursday, November 16, 7:00 PM
Featuring Pegi Deitz Shea and Martha Reingold
“An Evening of Wit and Poignancy” – Pegi Deitz Shea, widely published author of both children’s books and poetry for adults, presents her poetry, and Martha Reingold, author of the book, Jewish Wry and Other Slices of Life, reads her poetry in a program that will invoke a wide range of emotions and experiences. Open mic follows.
Two-time winner of the Connecticut Book Award, Pegi Deitz Shea is the author of more than 400 published articles, essays, and poems for adult readers. Her works for young readers (stories, articles, poetry, fiction and nonfiction picture books, as well as novels) frequently focus on human rights issues. Her poetry for adults has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Ireland of the Welcomes Magazine, Connecticut River Review, Earth’s Daughters and other publications. Newly anthologized poems appear in Forgotten Women, published by Grayson Books, and Kindness of Strangers published by Wising Up Press. Pegi teaches in the Creative Writing programs at the University of Connecticut and at the Mark Twain House in Hartford. She is the founder and coordinator of “Poetry Rocks!” a quarterly poetry series at Arts Center East in Vernon, CT.
Martha Reingold was born into an Orthodox Jewish family living in Brooklyn, New York. She was born in 1935 and at the age of 20, she became a career woman in the fledgling computer industry. She retired in 2015 after 60 active years of software design and implementation.
Martha’s first book, Jewish Wry and Other Slices of Life was published in 2015. It is a book of stories, essays and sketches that reflect her Brooklyn Jewish past. She is currently at work on another compilation of short pieces that, so far, has no official title. She is aiming to have it available by the end of 2017.
After a long life of people watching and political angst, Martha has views on everything and is willing to share them at the drop of a hat. She currently lives in West Hartford, CT with her inscrutable calico cat, Tootsie, who cheers her on and offers advice from time to time.
Thursday, December 21, 7:00 PM
Featuring David Mello and June Mandelkern
“Two from the Faxon Poets” – June Sidran Mandelkern, a founder of the Faxon Poets, reads from her newest book, To the Far Country, and David Mello, another member, reads from his recently published book, Finding My Way. Open mic follows.
David Mello is originally from New Bedford, Massachusetts. Earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. Lives in West Hartford with wife Diane, dog Annie Girl and cat Little Voice. Published his first book Finding My Way in July of 2016. (A baby boomers perspective on life and the world around us.) His work has also been published in the annual Faxon Poets Anthologies and the Connecticut Poetry Society’s – Long River Run. He generally expresses a subjective, personal point of view, striving to immerse himself in the verse and in the meaning it conveys, hoping the reader identifies with the piece and is in some way moved with emotion.
June Sidran Mandelkern was born and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She attended Brooklyn College and earned a BA from Hunter College of the City of New York and an MS in Geoscience from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Her husband of sixty years, a World War II veteran, died in 2013. She began to write poetry seriously after moving to West Hartford in 2001 where she joined the Faxon Poets as a founding member. She participated in the Faxon Poets’ anthologies, Perspectives I-XI, also serving as co-editor. She has published two books of poems: Reflections, Tall Trees Press, 2009; and To The Far Country, 2016, which is available at Amazon.com. Both books can be obtained on loan from the Noah Webster Library in West Hartford, CT, where she lives and works.