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Local and Independent Author Event: Poetry

R.J. Julia fully supports local and independent authors and takes pride in their success.  It is our pleasure to dedicate this evening to local and independent authors, each unique in their writing styles and stories.  Please support our local writing community and join us for a wonderful evening of story-telling and friendship.

All books will be available for sale during the event.

Please register for this FREE event here.

Laura Altshul, "Searching for the Northern Lights" 

Honest, concise, witty, and heart-felt, the poems in Laura Altshul's first book, Searching for the Northern Lights, are as intelligent as they are humane. They move from delight through loss and grief, arriving in the end at a lovely raison d être.

Laura Altshul taught for years at many levels including college and kindergarten. She never attended kindergarten herself, went straight to first and missed all the fun; kindergarten remains her favorite grade. She has written stories and essays as well as poems; her poem “Last Visit” won first prize in the Al Savard Memorial Poetry Contest of the Connecticut Poetry Society in 2014. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut with her husband; together they have seven children and ten grandchildren. Searching for the Northern Lights is her first poetry collection.


Charles Douthat, "Blue for Oceans"

Blue for Oceans is a debut collection of poems about family and growing older, written in a style that is sharp, direct, and affecting; J.D. McClatchy calls it "a wise and haunted book." Douthat has published poems in Frogpond, New York Quarterly, Concho River Review, Wisconsin Review, Urthona Magazine, Connecticut Review, and many other fine journals.

Born in California, Charles graduated from Stanford University.  For the last thirty years he's lived in Connecticut where he still practices law.  He began writing poetry during a long mid-life illness.  Since then his poems have been published in many magazines and journals and featured on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac. Blue for Oceans received the 2011 L.L.Winship/PEN New England Poetry Award for the best book of poetry by a New England author.


Sandra Murray, "Infinite Scribbles in the Sand"

Now that I have come to a part in my life where I have time to reflect on the events in my life and the time to write, I have begun the task of writing a book. This one is a compilation of poems and short stories I have written. It is the culmination of all my experiences and imagination. I hope it is diverse enough to be of interest to everyone. Enjoy!

I was born in a small town on the New England seashore. I am the second to the last in sibling order. My parents were older than a lot of the parents of my classmates. They taught us the "old school way." That meant creating your own entertainment and games to play. It made us all very creative. As my life progressed and I married and had children, I became a receptacle of many stories of all kinds. Some very unusual ones caused friends to tell me I should write a book.


Joan Seliger Sidney, "Bereft and Blessed"

Bereft and Blessed, Joan Seliger Sidney's third book of poems, focuses on the author's heritage, which is dominated by the Holocaust in Europe, during which many of her forebears lost their lives, and on the author's own personal holocaust caused by Multiple Sclerosis with which she has been afflicted since her mid-twenties. She has been doubly bereft. But because of the way she has come to terms with both forms of holocaust by writing about them and prevailing despite them she has been doubly blessed.



Joan Seliger Sidney, "Body Diminishing Motion"

This collection of poems and memoir is the second title from Laurel Books, CavanKerry’s Literature of Illness imprint which features poetry and prose that explores the many poignant issues associated with confronting serious physical and/or psychological illness. Sidney speaks to the author’s experiences living with multiple sclerosis for four decades, as well as her personal legacy as the daughter of a strong-willed Holocaust survivor. Body of Diminishing Motion will speak to anyone who has been touched by illness and refused to succumb to its power.

Joan Seliger Sidney is writer-in-residence at the University of Connecticut's Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, and Lecturer in the Department of English. She also facilitates "Writing for Your Life," an adult writing workshop. Her dream-come-true job was teaching creative writing at the Université de Grenoble, France.


All books will be available for sale during the event.

Please register for this FREE event here.

Event Date: 
Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 7:00pm EDT
Event address: 
R.J. Julia Booksellers
768 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT 06443