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LITTLE SILVER: IMMIGRATION POET VISITS RBR

Award-winning British poet Caroline Smith (at far right in photo) made Red Bank Regional a special stop on her book tour for “The Immigration Handbook.”  She was invited to the school by RBR alumnus Rik van Hemmen (at left), and joined for the occasion by students Bella Scheider (Union Beech), Jack Davis (Little Silver), and Tamia Waddy (Red Bank).

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

At its September 27 board meeting, the  Award-winning British Poet Caroline Smith came to the United States recently on a tour to promote her latest work The Immigration Handbook — and along the way, she did a dear friend a favor and came to talk to his alma mater, Red Bank Regional High School.

RBR alumnus Rik van Hemmen told the assembled students, which included Creative Writing, International Baccalaureate and English AP classes as well as English Language Learners, of his own experiences coming to this school and country as an immigrant back in the 1970s. Read More »

RED BANK: ARTISTS HONOR ONE OF THEIR OWN

Colleagues in creativity plan to honor the late artist Terry McCue, above, with a bench that overlooks the Navesink River from the Red Bank Public Library, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

To honor of one of their own, the members of a long-standing monthly art class at the Red Bank Public Library plan to install a bench on the institution’s grounds overlooking the Navesink River.

First, they’re selling their own work to fund it.

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FAIR HAVEN: BEACH READ ON RIVER ROAD

Best-selling novelist Patti Callahan Henry comes to River Road Books Wednesday with her latest, ‘The Bookshop at Water’s End.’  

The swimsuits and summer gear may have already been supplanted on store shelves by back-to-school items and other mellow-harshing signifiers of autumn’s advance, but at River Road Books in Fair Haven, the season of the “summer read” remains very much in effect, with more than enough sun-dappled and seabreeze-kissed titles to fuel a thousand oceanfront excursions.

The last bastion of independently owned bookstores on the Greater Red Bank Green continues its decade-plus history of guest-author appearances when best-selling novelist Patti Callahan Henry drops by Wednesday evening with something of an affirmation that summer, and its literary contents, remain alive and well.

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RED BANK: BOOKMARKS MARK FAVORITES

St. James first-grader Declan Duffy chose to draw Red Bank’s Molly Pitcher Inn as his favorite place in town, above. Below, the other winners by grade. (Click to enlarge)

[Press release from the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library]

The Sixth Annual Friends oft he Red Bank Public Library Bookmark Contest has announced this year’s winners!  At a well-attended party on May 20, the Friends presented the winners with certificates and gift cards to local businesses.

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RED BANK: SCHOOL TO GET 500 BOOKS

[Press release from the Office of the Governor, June 9, 2017]

Supporting the development and enhancement of student reading skills, First Lady Mary Pat Christie announced today that Red Bank Primary School in Red Bank is receiving 500 books as part of the 11th annual Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Last year, 43 Governors’ Spouses, Governors and Lieutenant Governors participated as Reading Ambassadors for the summer program.

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RED BANK: LIBRARY MARKS PAST, EYES FUTURE

The heirs of manufacturer Sigmund Eisner donated his West Front Street mansion to the library, which opened there on April 15, 1937. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Continuing its comeback from a period of drastic retrenchment, the Red Bank Public Library plans a celebration of the borough’s past Saturday with the reopening of the Local History Room, which was put off-limits due to staff cuts three years ago.

The second-floor room’s return to part-time action is one piece of a daylong schedule of events to mark the institution’s 80th year in its home overlooking our beautiful Navesink River.

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ON THE GREEN: AUTHORS SERVE UP MEMORIES

George Severini of Dorn’s Classic Images (above left) joins co-author Rick Geffken for a Thursday evening presentation keyed to their book “Lost Amusement Parks of the North Jersey Shore.”

A must-see presentation on some of the most fondly remembered attractions of our local Shore — and not one but two encore appearances by a best-selling beach-read favorite — are booked in this Thursday, May 11 for galloping gourmets and nostalgia buffs alike.

It begins tomorrow afternoon at Red Bank’s Molly Pitcher Inn, during the Fourth Annual Scholarship Luncheon for the Northern Monmouth County Branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women) — an affair at which members of the community are invited to join in an afternoon filled with fun, good food and the opportunity to hear from the New York Times bestselling author, Mary Kay Andrews.

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RED BANK: FAMOUS AUTHOR COOKS UP LUNCH

Press release from the Northern Monmouth County Branch of AAUW

On May 11, the Northern Monmouth County Branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women) will hold its Fourth Annual Scholarship Luncheon at the Molly Pitcher Inn.

Members of the community are invited to join in an afternoon filled with fun, good food and the opportunity to hear from the New York Times bestselling author, Mary Kay Andrews. The Georgia-based creator of numerous popular mysteries and other novels set in beach and coastal communities, Ms. Andrews will share stories about how she came to be an author, and how she decided to write her latest book, The Beach House Cookbook.

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FAIR HAVEN KIDS MEET THE AUTHOR

Children’s author Patricia Polacco with Sickles School third graders during her recent visit to the Fair Haven School District.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

She is the writer and illustrator of over 115 books, including Keeping Quilt, Babushka’s Doll, The Dream Keeper, My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother, Chicken Sunday (a 1994 President’s Commendation Medal winner), and Welcome Comfort. Her Thank You Mr. Falker was awarded the 1999 Best Book Award by the Association of Dyslexic and Learning Disabled Readers — and in 2013, the Library of Congress and the President of the United States recognized her book Pink and Say as one of the best books written for children in the past 100 years.

A wish came true last week, when New York Times bestselling children’s book author Patricia Polacco paid a special two-day visit to the Fair Haven school district.

Students in fourth, fifth, and sixth grades at Knollwood School spent quality time with the author during presentations on April 3, while Polacco’s visit to Viola L. Sickles School on April 4 included lunch with two students chosen by lottery from each third grade class, along with their teachers.

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YA AUTHOR VISITS FAIR HAVEN SCHOOL

Press release from Fair Haven School District 

On March 27, award-winning Young Adult fiction author Jordan Sonnenblick visited Knollwood School, and made presentations to students in sixth through eighth grades.

Sonnenblick is well-known for exploring the complicated themes of friendship, family, and real- life tragedy while still managing to be hilariously funny. His books convey a genuine understanding of life as a teenager. Titles include Zen and the Art of Faking It, Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip, Are You Experienced? and Falling Over Sideways.

After Ever After, the sequel to Sonnenblick’s Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie, was the 2011 Middle Grades winner of the American Library Association’s Children’s Literature Award.

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LINCROFT: THEY’RE SPEAKING HIS LANGUAGES

Linguist David J. Peterson discusses his creation of the Dothraki and Valyrian languages for ‘Game of Thrones’ at Brookdale Community College this Thursday. (Click to enlarge)

In an age when many of the planet’s lesser-spoken dialects are feared to be on the verge of dying out, it might surprise you to note that the art of language invention is on the rise — and that a thirty-something guy from California named David J. Peterson is surfing the crest of this man-made wave.

A cult celebrity, thanks largely to his work on TV’s Game of Thrones, for which he crafted the Dothraki and Valyrian languages, and the Marvel Universe franchise — where his Dark Elf dialogue made beautiful music in Thor: The Dark World — Peterson has been sparking renewed interest in constructed linguistics through YouTube videos and personal appearances. And this Thursday, the man who can truly claim to have “the best words” will have the podium when he comes to Brookdale Community College. in Lincroft

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RED BANK: KIDS’ AUTHOR ‘ROCKS’ AT MDCC

Courtesy of Gilda Rogers

In a recent visit from children’s book writer Sandra L. Richards (pictured at left), the children of  Monmouth Day Care Center were treated to a reading of the author’s RICE & ROCKS. Illustrated by Megan Kayleigh Sullivan, it’s the story of a boy whose embarrassment over the traditional dishes served up by his grandmother is turned into a celebration of cultural diversity, thanks to a favorite aunt and a talking pet parrot. The kids of MDCC were also treated to their own free copies of the book, courtesy of a generous donation from Morgan Stanley.

RED BANK: POETRY WITHOUT BORDERS AT RBPL

The second-floor reading room at the Red Bank Public Library (above) is the setting for this Saturday’s monthly River Read event, featuring Hungarian-born poet, theater producer and translator Dr. Gabor Barabas (below).

Audience regulars at the Long Branch professional playhouse New Jersey Repertory Company have come to appreciate the pre-show remarks given by the theater’s co-founder Dr. Gabor Barabas — introductions that are often illuminated by the retired neurologist’s recollections of his youth in his native Hungary, his fascination with the mythic popular culture of his adopted country, and his signature exhortation to “enjoy, enjoy the show” (to say nothing of those “deal of the century” subscription pitches).

An author, published poet and dramatist in “his own write” (he narrates his own poem “The Spider” in this animated short inspired by the late artist Louise Bourgeois) the NJ Rep executive producer has also garnered acclaim as a translator, with a specialty in the particularly challenging transition between English and Hungarian. On Saturday morning, March 11, the good doctor visits Red Bank Public Library as guest speaker on the topic of “Poetry in Translation.”

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RUMSON: NOURISH THE THOUGHT

Co-authors and nutritionists Wendy Bright-Fallon and Debbie Peterson visit Oceanic Library Saturday to promote a newly published edition of their popular cookbook, ‘Nourish.’

As longtime friends and collaborators, Debbie Peterson and Wendy Bright-Fallon could claim a few things in common. For one, they each married a local dentist — Debbie to Doug Peteron, of Little Silver Dental Care; Wendy to Red Bank-based cosmetic dental specialist Dana Fallon. They’ve forged professional partnerships with makers of progressive and socially conscious bodycare products. They enjoy a range of hobbies that include reading, sailing, tennis, knitting, gardening and the care of numerous furry family members.

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LINCROFT: BCC HOSTS RENOWNED AUTHORS

Acclaimed poets Janine Joseph (above) and Matthew Olzmann (below) will host a free presentation in Lincroft on February 20, as part of Brookdale Community College’s 2017 Visiting Writers Series. (Photos courtesy of the authors)

Press release from Brookdale Community College

Award-winning poets and authors, acclaimed screenwriters and an internationally recognized journalist and historian will headline the 2017 Visiting Writers Series, which kicks off Monday, February 20 at 7 p.m. at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft.

The free lecture series will begin with a 7 p.m. presentation by award-winning poets Janine Joseph and Matthew Olzmann. Joseph is the author of Driving Without a License, the award-winning 2016 poetry collection focusing on the poet’s experiences as an undocumented American immigrant. Olzmann authored the 2013 Kundiman Prize-winning collection Mezzanines and the 2016 book Contradictions in Design.

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RANNEY STUDENTS LEARN OF UNTOLD HISTORY

Press release from Ranney School 

On January 25, the ongoing Distinguished Speaker Series at Ranney School gave students the opportunity to hear from writer, teacher, and Harvard doctoral candidate Clint Smith.

A 2014 National Poetry Slam champion, Mr. Smith (pictured) has focused  on the sociology of race and the history of inequality in the United States in his published works, the most recent being the poetry collection Counting Descent. His two TED Talks, “The Danger of Silence” and “How to Raise a Black Son in America,” have collectively been viewed more than 5 million times — and this past Wednesday he shared several of his poems, and the meaning behind them, with nearly 400 Upper School students and faculty on Ranney’s Tinton Falls campus.

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RUMSON: ACTOR HELPS MAKE A BOOK ‘SCENE’

SiobhanFallonHoganSiobhan Fallon Hogan makes a Saturday morning appearance at Oceanic Library, keyed to a new children’s book collaboration with fellow Rumson resident Lori Oakes.

suzy-the-sceneLast we caught up with her in the pixelated pages of redbankgreen, the busy screen actor and Rumson resident Siobhan Fallon Hogan brought us up to date on a pair of exciting new projects — the M. Night Shyamalan-produced sci-fi TV series Wayward Pines (the third season of which begins filming in spring 2017), and her second self-penned solo stage show, a multi-character tour de farce entitled Acting Out.

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FAIR HAVEN: CAN WE TALK JOAN RIVERS?

Joan Rivers' other books include I Hate Everyone ... Starting With Me and Men Are Stupid ... And They Like Big Boobs.Journalist Leslie Bennetts (below) visits River Road Books Wednesday evening for a “can we talk?” session on the career of the late Joan Rivers (above).

leslie-bennettsBefore her sudden passing in 2014 at the age of 81, Joan Rivers seemed to have lived several lives in the public eye. From her training in the hepster coffee houses of Greenwich Village and the challenges of being a “comedienne” in the Sullivan-era standup scene to a spate of late-career activity that included a hit cable TV show — and a tour stop at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre — Rivers acquired new generations of fans as readily as she made enemies in and out of the business.

So writes author Leslie Bennetts in Last Girl Before Freeway: The Life, Loves, Losses, and Liberation of Joan Rivers, her newly published comprehensive study of the star’s “tumultuous, victorious, tragic, hilarious, and fascinating life.” A regular contributor to Vanity Fair magazine and an interviewer of stars, Bennetts visits River Road Books in Fair Haven for an intimate “can we talk?” session Wednesday evening.

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ON THE GREEN: AUTHOR! AUTHOR! AUTHOR!

amy-ellis-nutt-julie-otsukaPulitzer winner Amy Ellis Nutt (above left), National Book Award finalist Julie Otsuka (right), and historical novelist James L. Haley (below) are among the celebrated wordsmiths appearing in the coming days at events in Shrewsbury, Fair Haven and Lincroft.

james-l-haleyThere’s a Pulitzer Prize winner who trained in the trenches of Jersey journalism. A novelist whose credits include a PEN/Faulkner Award and a National Book Award nomination. And a celebrated historian turned master purveyor of “ripping yarn” page-turners.

Apparently the Greater Red Bank Green hasn’t gotten the memo that books are dead, because the joy of reading, and the highly anticipated appearances of some high-profile authors, are alive and well in the coming days and nights.

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RED BANK: GHOSTLY, AND PARTLY TRUE, TALES


dublin-display-092716-2A framed photo in a locked display case at Red Bank’s Dublin House Pub may have been turned around by a ghost, according to Pat Martz Heyer, below.
 (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

pat-martz-heyer-092316In her self-published new book, “13 Ghostly Tales and Yarns of the Navesink River,” Patricia Martz Heyer recounts the history of the house that’s now home to Red Bank’s Dublin House Pub: its origins on the Middletown side of the river and two subsequent relocations over the years.

Along the way, the place seems to have acquired a non-paying tenant, in the form of a generally benign if somewhat mischievous ghost named Mrs. Roberta Patterson. Read More »

RED BANK: YOK-TOBERFEST IS ON AT BASIE’S

david_sedaris_5004Best-selling author and humorist-storyteller David Sedaris (above) returns to the Count Basie stage on Thursday night…while Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood (below) bring their impishly improv’d interactions back to Red Bank on Saturday.

mochrie-sherwoodEven the most polarized of next-door neighbors could use a good shared laugh experience these days — and even as our Count Basie Theatre continues to reinforce its reputation as a premier stop for big-time touring comics, two separate events in the coming nights serve to point out that  live comedy is a big tent, with room for more than just the tried and true stand-up standard.

Returning to the Basie boards for a third (or is it fourth?) appearance tomorrow night, October 13, author and essayist David Sedaris once again displays the audience-friendly skills that have allowed him to transfer his celebrated sense of humor from the printed page (Holidays On Ice, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim and other best selling collections of essays, observations and occasional tall tales) to the performance stage, as witness his Grammy nomination for the audio version of Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. It’s a dexterity that’s allowed him success in formats ranging from Off Broadway theater to public radio and even children’s books — with a road show that will find him reading from his excerpted works, riffing on recent events, and interacting with the audience, sometimes in ways that might give pause to even the most “fearless” of comedy-club commandos.

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RED BANK: DENMAN TO DISCUSS OLYMPICS

rbpl-090816The Red Bank Public Library hosts 1956 Olympic racewalker Elliott Denman, seen at left below with George Sheehan Jr. in 2014. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

denman sheehan 061414During the relatively brief time that Red Bank Public Library has been hosting its regular monthly series of “Author Talks,” attendees have been been given the opportunity to meet a fairly eclectic collection of scribes expounding on an equally eclectic range of topics — the subjects of books that the guest speakers have been more than happy to summarize, sign, and sell.

When the series resumes on Wednesday evening, however, it will represent a slight deviation from the norm, as the visiting writer — veteran sports journalist and former Olympian Elliott Denman — will lead an in-depth discussion of someone else’s book.

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ON THE GREEN: BORN TO MAKE A BOOK RUN

artie-bennettChildren’s author Artie Bennett (above) brings his tales of butts and burps to Oceanic Library next week…while Hester Young (below; photo by Francine Daveta) brings her thriller THE GATES OF EVANGELINE to River Road Books on Thursday, September 22.

hester-young-francine-davetaOne has carved out a niche career by explaining various bodily functions to beginning readers. The other aims to scare it all out of you, via her debut novel in the Southern Gothic Thriller vein. In the run-up to the release of Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography “Born to Run” (and his golden-ticket appearance at the Freehold Barnes & Noble), a couple of very different authors are speaking, selling and signing copies of their works at two favorite haunts for bibliophiles.

Her debut novel, “The Gates of Evangeline” is being called a “spooky tale perfect for longer fall nights” — and even as she prepares to release a sequel in autumn 2016, Hester Young makes time to visit Fair Haven’s River Road Books on Thursday evening, September 22. It’s there that the Boston-born, Jersey-based teacher/ mother/ author will read from “Gates,” the first in a planned trilogy of tales starring one Charlotte “Charlie” Cates, a reporter (and bereaved parent) whose investigation into a cold-case mystery in Louisiana is spurred by her recurring dreams of children in danger. There’s no charge to attend Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. event, but seating and signing copies of “The Gates of Evangeline” can be reserved by calling River Road Books at (732) 747-9455.

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RED BANK: THIRD NOVEL FOR BARTENDER

brandon zenner 052114the after war coverWhen he’s not pulling pints for the clientele of Red Bank’s Dublin House Pub, bartender Brandon Zenner (seen here in 2014) puts in long hours at his laptop, conjuring fictional worlds. His third novel in little more than two years, titled “The After War,” debuts this week. It’s a post-apocalyptic story based on an idea Zenner had almost two decades ago, when he was a 16-year-old student at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, and it’s available as an e-book here. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)