July is local author month at the Mason Square Branch Library.
On the first four Thursdays in July from 6-7:30 p.m. the Mason Square Branch will feature recently-published local authors who will be available to meet and greet the public, sell and sign copies of their books, and answers questions about writing, publishing, and more. Stop by and see what stories they have for you!
Thursday, July 3, 6-7:30 pm
Haven Williams is co-author of the joint autobiography, Perforated Fiber, which chronicles the difficulties faced while growing up in the ghettos and semi-rural areas of Connecticut and Massachusetts in the late 1970’s into the 1990’s. You can find out more about the book here and see it in the catalog here.
Dr. Oliver Akamnonu is the author of over twelve books that touch on topics as varied as village life in Africa, surviving civil war, class warfare, and moving to the West. His books include: Suppers of Many Dishes part 1; Suppers of Many Dishes part 2>; The Gods have Not Yet Spoken; Taste of the West; Nation of Dead Patriots; Coming Late to America; Bature; The Honorable; and Comedy of Naked Vampires. You can find his website here and view his books in the catalog here.
Thursday, July 10, 6-7:30 pm
Latoya Bosworth: With a little bit of brass, plenty of bold, and the right amount of vulnerability, Latoya Bosworth, aka Brenda’s Child, has performed as a spoken word artist from her hometown of Springfield, MA to San Diego, CA. In 2007 she published her first poetry collection. Since then she has published five books, including two novellas and a memoir. In her most recent book, On Her Own Two Feet, the sequel to the best selling novella Despite Everything, protagonist Desiree Cruz has left her physically abusive, cocaine-addicted boyfriend and her longtime job of exotic dancer to begin to her journey of self-acceptance and self-love. You can find her works in our catalog here and her website here.
Lynnette Johnson: Lynnette calls herself privileged. She was fortunate to be born to two loving parents who not only tolerated her free spirit, they nurtured it. She was able to have experienced an extended childhood. They thought the “it” was dancing, and then “it” was drawing, and then “it” became acting, and then “it” was fashion, but there was always the writing. Mrs Brunelle asked her third grade students to keep a weekly journal. This regular writing exercise grew into a vital part of Lynnette’s life. She has been writing it down ever since.
As she grew into herself she was introduced to Spoken Word. Spoken Word is an art form that combines Lynnette’s two true loves, writing and performing. Once she discovered this form of self expression she could no longer imagine her life without it. Lynnette has a gentle style. Her voice is a combination of humor and sarcasm with wit and charm.
She speaks of love and unlove, human frailty and the favor of God. Her desire is to connect. She recently put together her first book of poems and short stories, fact and fantasy titled I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You. You can find Lynnette reciting at various open mic’s, at weddings and church functions, in the mirror in her bedroom, in her car…. she just can not keep “it” to herself. You can find her website here.
Thursday, July 17, 6-7:30 pm
Price Van Ray: Author, illustrator, publisher, and former Mason Square resident, Price Van Ray, has written numerous books for children. His most recent, Chronicles of the Knickelback: The Monster Survival Guide follows a boy haunted by memories who learns that he is a Knickelback, guardian of the multiverse. You can find his work in the catalog here and his website here.
Andrea Hairston: Professor of theater and Afro-American studies at Smith College, Ms. Hairston is also the artistic director of Chrysalis Theatre, a cross-cultural performance ensemble. In addition to writing a number of plays, the professor has composed two speculative novels including Mindscape and Redwood and Wildfire. Her most recent work, Lonely Stardust: Two Plays, a Speech, and Eight Essays, brings us the texts of nine marvelous works of scholarly performance as well as two works of drama in which the fantastic shows us the way through despair. You can find her work in the catalog here and her bio here.
Andrea will read from her works accompanied by music performed by Pan Morigan.
Pan Morigan: is a songwriter, vocalist, and composer. Her genre-defying work combines the influences of blues, Irish music, Jazz, and something purely of the imagination. She is the music director for Chrysalis Theatre and has created song and improvisational scores for over 25 live productions and for public radio, as well as recording two albums, Wild Blue and Castles of Gold. She is a winner of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship in Music Composition and has toured across the U.S. and overseas with writer and collaborator, Andrea Hairston, composer Adele O’Dwyer, Jazz vocalist, Bobby McFerrin and others. She is currently finishing a recording of original music written for the lyrics from Andrea Hairston’s book of fiction, Redwood and Wildfire.
Thursday, July 24, 6-7:30 pm
Blanche Jackson-Hill: Wilbraham resident, Blanche Jackson-Hill’s book, Straight to the Point Financing: A Quick & Easy Guide to Managing Your Money, has been lauded as the guide that will “revolutionize the finances of the common man.” In her dedication, Jackson Hill notes that the book is for “the younger generation, who has not yet developed any bad financial habits but also has not established a solid foundation for good habits to manage money. For those who find themselves trying to get out of debt, you will hopefully find that these guidelines are easy to adopt. This book gets right to the subject at hand, making it very suitable for people who really do not enjoy reading. Therefore, this book is for everyone.” You can find her book in the catalog here.