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The Word at The Kate: Building Your Voice


Women authors deliver their own voices at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook, CT. 

Spoken word comes to the Kate - come see and hear the inaugural presentation of acclaimed authors reading their own words in "Building Your Voice" to benefit "Raise The Roof" of Habitat for Humanity, sponsored by RJ Julia Booksellers of Madison, CT.

This performance is hosted by WNPR Radio personality Chion Wolf and allows three diverse and powerful voices to express their art. Randi Minetor will read from her thriller Death in Glacier National Park. Padma Venkatraman reads from her story of courage The Bridge Home. Rebecca Coffey reads from her fascinating book Hysterical, Anna Freud's Story.

There will be a chance to meet the authors and talk to them about lifetimes in writing, all to benefit the amazing works of "Raise the Roof." Join us in the world of spoken word performances at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. 


Chion Wolf is the technical producer, announcer, photographer, and personality with WNPR and the Colin McEnroe Show. Her production house is aptly named "Chion Wolf Productions." She produces and hosts The Mouth-Off - a live storytelling event at the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, a monthly live advice show at Sea Tea Improv's underground comedy theater, "Asking for a Friend", and a weekly Facebook live show, "It's Chopped Salad Time! (with Chion Wolf)." In conjunction with Connecticut Voice Magazine, she is the host and producer of Connecticut Voice Podcast, highlighting the stories of people on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum in Connecticut.

Wolf is a an animator, and a stop-motion enthusiast. She is also an actor and on the Board of Directors for Night Fall, Inc., a yearly Hartford-based public performance with Anne Cubberly's giant puppets, dancers, and music, and she is the founder of "Pedal to the Medal", an annual pre-Eversource Hartford Marathon bike ride which benefits Hartford's only educational bicycle store, BiCi Co. Wolf is a founding member of the Hartford-based marching band, the Hartford Hot Several, where she plays the trash can bass drum. Chion is also a certified judge with the International Chili Society, and is unapologetic about her love for onions.



Padma Venkatraman, The Bridge Home

"Readers will be captivated by this beautifully written novel about young people who must use their instincts and grit to survive. Padma shares with us an unflinching peek into the reality millions of homeless children live every day but also infuses her story with hope and bravery that will inspire readers and stay with them long after turning the final page." - Aisha Saeed, author of the New York Times Bestselling Amal Unbound

Four determined homeless children make a life for themselves in Padma Venkatraman's stirring middle-grade debut.

Life is harsh in Chennai's teeming streets, so when runaway sisters Viji and Rukku arrive, their prospects look grim. Very quickly, eleven-year-old Viji discovers how vulnerable they are in this uncaring, dangerous world. Fortunately, the girls find shelter--and friendship--on an abandoned bridge.

With two homeless boys, Muthi and Arul, the group forms a family of sorts. And while making a living scavenging the city's trash heaps is the pits, the kids find plenty to laugh about and take pride in too. After all, they are now the bosses of themselves and no longer dependent on untrustworthy adults. But when illness strikes, Viji must decide whether to risk seeking help from strangers or to keep holding on to their fragile, hard-fought freedom.

Padma Venkatraman was born in Chennai, India, and became an American citizen after attaining a Ph.D. in oceanography from The College of William and Mary. She is also the author of A Time to Dance (IBBY selection, ALA Notable, CCBC Choice, Notable Books for a Global Society winner, and South Asia Book Award Honor Book), Island's End (ALA Best Book of the Year, ALA/Amelia Bloomer List selection, and CCBC Best Book), and Climbing the Stairs (Julia Ward Howe Award, Bank Street Best Book, YALSA BBYA selection, Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, and CCBC Choice).


Rebecca Coffey, Hysterical: Anna Freud’s Story

Young Anna Freud is sexually attracted to other girls. Unfortunately, in the early 20th century, lesbianism is still widely considered to be a symptom of “hysteria,” a psychological disorder marked by paralysis and other extreme symptoms.

Anna’s father, Sigmund Freud, has long believed that fathers are at fault for any daughter’s lesbianism. But he also takes pride in being the world’s leading expert on hysteria, so he can’t ignore what he believes to be the screamingly crazy roots of Anna’s “disorder.” Unfortunately for Anna (and women everywhere), Sigmund believes that any and all hysteria is caused when a woman’s innate and unconscious desire to be sexually violated goes unmet.

Worried about her lack of male suitors, Sigmund psychoanalyzes Anna to ready her for a womanly life. In analysis, Anna tries hard to accept her father’s ideas. But when she meets Dorothy Burlingham, heir to the Tiffany fortune, she can’t help but fall in love. The novel Hysterical is Anna’s fact-based, full-life story of father-daughter conflict, sexual coming of age, and life with Dorothy.

Author Rebecca Coffey is an award-winning journalist, documentary filmmaker, and radio commentator. Also a humorist, she is the author of Nietzsche's Angel Food Cake: And Other “Recipes” for the Intellectually Famished (Beck & Branch, 2013) and Science and Lust (Beck & Branch, 2018).



Randi Minetor, Death in Glacier National Park

Adventures in the wilderness can be dramatic and deadly. Glacier National Park’s death records date back to January 1913, when a man froze to death while snowshoeing between Cut Bank and St. Mary. All told, 260 people have died or are presumed to have died in the park during the first hundred years of its existence.

One man fell into a crevasse on East Gunsight Peak while skiing its steep north face, and another died while moonlight biking on the Sun Road. A man left his wife and five children at the Apgar picnic area and disappeared on Lake McDonald. His boat was found halfway up the west shore wedged between rocks with the propeller stuck in gravel. Collected here are some the most gripping accounts in park history of these unfortunate events caused by natural forces or human folly.

Randi Minetor is the author of more than 60 books, including five in the nonfiction “Death in the Parks” series: Death in Glacier National Park, Death in Zion National Park, Death in Acadia, Death on Mount Washingtonand Death on Katahdin. These books chronicle the life-ending errors, accidents, and sheer bad luck visitors to America’s parks encounter, whether they are climbing mountains, camping, ignoring warning signs on precipices, or taking selfies.

Randi has written travel and nature guides to parks, historic cities, and regions throughout the northeastern United States and across the country, as well as general interest nonfiction books. Her most recent releases include Birding New England, featuring more than 500 color photos by her husband, Nic Minetor; and the second edition of the bestselling Hiking Waterfalls in New YorkShe is currently at work on Death in Rocky Mountain National Park.


Admission costs $25. Please purchase your ticket on The Kate website. 

Event Date: 
Sunday, May 5, 2019 - 4:00pm EDT
Event address: 
The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center
300 Main Street
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
Staff Pick Badge
The Bridge Home Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524738112
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Nancy Paulsen Books - February 5th, 2019

Hysterical: Anna Freud's Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9781938314421
Availability: Special Order
Published: She Writes Press - May 13th, 2014

Death in Glacier National Park: Stories of Accidents and Foolhardiness in the Crown of the Continent Cover Image
ISBN: 9781493024001
Availability: Special Order
Published: Lyons Press - May 1st, 2016