For Immediate Release
19 March 2010

Melissa Lamar
860.773.1407 (office)

Tunxis Community College Hosts Annual 
Writers Festival


Ted Conover

Ted Conover, © Ralph Gabriner/GABRINERPHOTO

The 7th Annual Writers Festival will be held at Tunxis Community College on April 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Founders Hall. Nationally recognized writers of fiction and nonfiction will speak about their works and the writing process. All events are free, and complimentary food and beverages will be served. Tunxis is located at the junction of Routes 6 and 177 in Farmington: ?860.773.1300;

8:30-8:45 a.m.:  Kick-off Reception Continental Breakfast
and Welcoming Remarks

8:45-9:50 a.m.:  Stephen Spignesi and John White

Stephen Spignesi is the author of close to 50 nonfiction books including The New York Times best seller “J.F.K. Jr.” (Carol Publishing Group/Citadel Press, 1999). His most recent book “Dialogues” (Bantam Dell, 2005), is a suspense thriller which recently caught the attention of a major motion picture studio. He is also author of “In the Crosshairs: Famous Assassinations and Attempts from Julius Caesar to John Lennon” and co-author of “Lost Books of the Bible for Dummies,” “The Third Act of Life,” and “George Washington’s Leadership Lessons.”

John White is a literary agent who has represented dozens of writers. He also worked at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, begun by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, and is author of numerous books on spiritual transformation, including “The Meeting of Science and Spirit: Guidelines for a New Age.” He also edited “What Is Enlightenment?: Exploring the Goal of the Spiritual Path.”

10:15-11:20 a.m.: Allan G. Johnson is a nationally recognized writer and public speaker on issues of gender and race whose writing has been translated into several languages and excerpted in numerous anthologies. His nonfiction books include “The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy” and “Privilege, Power, and Difference.” His most recent book, “The First Thing and the Last” (Plain View Press, 2/1/10), a novel about domestic violence, was featured by Publishers Weekly as a notable debut novel for 2010 and is featured in the April 2010 issue of O Magazine. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan. For more, visit his web site at

11:45 a.m.-12:50 p.m.: Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno is the author of “Slamming Open the Door” (Alice James Books, 2009), a book of poetry that describes her experience seeking justice for the murder of her daughter. “Slamming Open the Door” was the 2008 winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award and the #9 best-seller for contemporary poetry in 2009. Bonanno is also a contributing editor of The American Poetry Review and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for two poems from “Slamming Open the Door.”

3:15-4:30 p.m.: Jane Haddam is the author of the Gregor Demarkian Mysteries series of novels as well as the Patience McKenna series. She has also written for a number of magazines, including Working Woman, Working Mother, Ladies Home Journal, Parents, Family Circle, Skeptical Inquirer, and The Nation. Her 25th and most recent novel in the Gregor Demarkian series is “Living Witness” (Minotaur Books, 2/10).

5:00-6:30 p.m.:  Tunxis Poetry Slam.  Lynnette Johnson, a poet from Springfield, will share her poetry to kick off the series of readings. Johnson is putting together her first book of poems and short stories entitled “I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You.” All are welcome to share their poetry and other writings. Refreshments will be served.

6:30-7:30 p.m.: Participants are invited to enjoy jazz ensemble music.

7:30-9 p.m.: Ted Conover is an investigative journalist whose most recent book, The Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today” (Alfred A. Knopf, 2010) examines how our notions of the road and the freedom it once represented have been altered. His award-winning bookNewjack: Guarding Sing Sing,” which describes his experience working as a correction officer in a New York state prison, won the 2000 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. His other books include “Rolling Nowhere: Riding the Rails With America’s Hoboes,” “Coyotes: A Journey Across Borders With America’s Illegal Migrants,” and “Whiteout: Lost in Aspen.” He teaches at New York University and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.