Mention Carole and Steve Ford to Paltzonians of a certain vintage – those who attended the Campus School, the New Paltz Middle School and/or High School between the mid-1970s and early 1990s – and you’ll see eyes light up and hear fond memories recalled of the Arts Community Youth Theater. The Fords created a nurturing backstage family for many a creatively inclined youngster, introduced more than a few future thespians and theater professionals to the stage, and provided the community with years of high-quality live entertainment.
“Small Happenings,” a collection of aphorisms, thoughts, observations, witty thoughts, and short poems all presented as a guide of sorts to better living, will be the subject of a virtual book launch and reading with Woodstock’s Golden Notebook on Monday, October 5. Also being printed this year: “The Princeton Diary,” a novella about a Greek writer filling in for a famous writer who’s canceled his four-year stint at the noted Ivy League school, and “Trump Verse,” a collection of short poems that mix up the witty and the outraged and outrageous.
Sometimes, the most interesting parts of a town can be found in slightly out-of-the-way corners the locals know best. It’s easy to see how Parlor, a recently opened shop that’s “a place to meet, see, buy or sell books and other artifacts,” might quickly become such a prize in the Village of New Paltz.
It should perhaps not surprise us that some of the most profoundly moving literary meditations on nature are inspired not by pristine wilderness far from human habitation, but by places in the borderlands that lie just, in Lord Dunsany’s famous phrase, “beyond the Fields We Know.” In the foreword to her new book Reservoir Year: A Walker’s Book of Days, Nina Shengold drily observes that even Henry David Thoreau’s iconic Walden Pond lay “down the road from his parents’ house, where the apostle of solitude often ate lunch.”
The theme was inspired by memories of stories read aloud in childhood, with the participating artists translating that experience into visual media. “When someone read you a story, that information got transmitted and interpreted by whoever was going to read to you,” said Hicks. “There was a kind of comfort in that community aspect. Sharing and transmitting information in art can be literal or abstract. ‘Read to Me’ is also a demand – a cry for help, or a cry for information.”
The vivid world of Sigrid Heath’s Far Cry sets up shop in your head and doesn’t want to disperse when you are done. You are loathe to dismantle it by starting another book. Set in America immediately after the Civil War and during westward expansion, Far Cry is a strangely intimate and epic historical novel with many facets.
Think you’re sick and tired of being cooped up waiting for the pandemic to be over? Isolation can be even harder on energetic children – especially when they’re too young to process why it’s necessary. Hearing the story of another kid who’s going through the same challenge might be just the thing to help some youngster in your life make it through the next few months. That’s where Kingston teacher Holly Winter Huppert’s new children’s book comes in.
Rosendalians and visitors to the town mostly know Mark Morganstern as the music-booking half of the husband-and-wife team who has run the Rosendale Café since the early 1990s. But the affable Morganstern has a secret identity: Besides being a bass player and a substitute teacher, he also has a master’s degree in creative writing and a passion for literature. His short story collection, Dancing with Dasein, was published by Burrito Books in 2015. And now he has a new novel, The Joppenbergh Jump, available in print-on-demand format from Recital Publishing.
Brent Robison and Tom Newton follow their own muses, along with their individual recognition that something inside each man dictates a need to create fiction. The two writers came to a decision to create books, to print literature, via their new Woodstock-based Recital Publishing after they got together several years back and found they had similar interests. They started producing literary podcasts, of their own and others’ work, under The Strange Recital, “a podcast about fiction that questions the nature of reality.”
“I hope I’m wrong,” Martha Frankel said about her decision to cancel the Woodstock Bookfest. “I hope in two weeks people think I’m a complete schmuck. That would be okay with me. I don’t want to be right about this. I just didn’t want to take a chance on anyone’s health.”