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And Thistle Storytellers
author Andy Thibault is among six writers featured during the Sunday Night
Storytellers series this spring at the Bee And Thistle Inn in Old Lyme.
The series of dinner parties runs March 18 through April 29.Thibault's
appearance is scheduled for 6 p.m. on April 29.
"We're quashing the winter doldrums," innkeeper Linnea Rufo
Thibault, author of Law & Justice in Everyday Life, published the
award-winning Cool Justice column in The Connecticut Law Tribune from
2000-06. He currently publishes a blog on cops, courts, general news and
the arts at www.cooljustice.blogpsot.com.
F. Lee Bailey described Thibault as "a gunslinger from the Old West,
ready to fire at anything that moves -- especially if he doesn't take
kindly to the movement ... He is in a way a corollary of Robin Hood; he
takes from the powerful and gives to the weak."
Thibault's reporting on the Smolinski missing person / love triangle case
last fall coincided with a request by the Waterbury police department to
seek FBI assistance. A series he co-authored about a shady land deal and
an attempt to shut down a Montessori school in Enfield has drawn the
attention of corruption investigators. An extensive interview with
Thibault about blogs was published in the Fall 2006 edition of Readings,
the quarterly publication of The Connecticut Center for the Book.
He is an adjunct lecturer in English and a mentor in the MFA writing
program at Western Connecticut State University. He is a consulting
editor for the literary journal Connecticut Review and the author of
several other books including The History of the Connecticut State Police
and The 12-Minute MBA for Lawyers. Thibault chairs a non-profit foundation
that awards $1,000 prizes annually to young poets and writers in
Connecticut -- The IMPAC-Connecticut State University Young Writers Trust.
He is also a licensed professional boxing judge and a private
As chief investigator for the Washington, D.C. public interest law firm
Judicial Watch, Thibault brought in from the cold two girlfriends of the
late U.S. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown as the firm probed cash for trade
mission placements and other corruption in that agency.
Thibault delivered the 2004 Pew Memorial Lecture in Journalism at Widener
University, Chester, Pa. His speech was reprinted in The Executive Speaker
Other authors in the Bee and Thistle Inn series include: Robert Holland,
Voice of the Tree, March 18; and Mary-Ann Tirone Smith. Girls of a Tender
Age, April 1.
The Bee and Thistle Inn sits on five acres by the Lieutenant River in Old
Lyme. It has 11 guest rooms. The inn was built in 1756 as a private home.
Patrons can reserve for the storytelling series and a three-course dinner
at 860-434-1667 or by email at email@example.com
Thibault has been an editor at publications including The Hartford
Courant, The Commercial Record and The Times Leader, Wilkes Barre, Pa.
His writing also has appeared in Connecticut Magazine and on "Page
Six" of The New York Post. He is a former commissioner of the
Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission, a former vice chairman of
the Litchfield Board of Education and a former board member of the
Connecticut Commission on the Arts. He has also served as vice president
of the Litchfield-Morris Rotary.
Thibault's work as an investigative reporter and feature writer hasearned
numerous state and national awards, including a series that won first
place prizes from the National Newspaper Association for investigative
reporting, the New England Press Association for community service and the
Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.
Thibault is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He also
serves on the advisory board of the Connecticut Center for the Book,
affiliate of the Library of Congress.
Rainy Faye Bookstore
June 29, 2006
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Andy Thibault, John Briggs & Ravi Shankar read from new work:
Rainy Faye Bookstore
Thibault, author of Law & Justice in Everyday Life, is an
award-winning columnist for Law Tribune Newspapers, mentor in the MFA
writing program at Western Connecticut State University
and adjunct professor at the University of Hartford. He is the author of
the History of the Connecticut State Police and business books including
The 12-Minute MBA for Lawyers. He is editor of APS Publications (www.apsreview.com
<http://www.apsreview.com/> ), the publishing arm of the Association
of Productivity Specialists.
As chief investigator for
the Washington, D.C. public interest law firm Judicial Watch, Thibault
brought in from the cold two girlfriends of the late U.S. Commerce
Secretary Ron Brown as the firm probed cash for trade mission placements
and other corruption in that agency.
Thibault also manages a non-profit foundation that awards $1,000 prizes
annually to young poets and writers in Connecticut. The IMPAC-Connecticut
State University Young Writers Trust (www.ctyoungwriters.org <http://www.ctyoungwriters.org>
) has given $135,000 to teen-age poets and writers since 1998. He is also
a licensed professional boxing judge.
He has been an editor at such publications as The Hartford Courant, The
Stamford Advocate, The Commercial Record, Norwich Bulletin, Register
Citizen and The Times Leader of Wilkes Barre, Pa. His profiles of subjects
including poets and prosecutors, as well as essays on the arts, have
appeared in Connecticut Magazine and Northeast Magazine. His work has also
appeared on “Page Six” of The New York Post. He is a former
commissioner and hearing officer for the Connecticut Freedom of
Information Commission, an agency charged with opening access to
government records; a former vice chairman of the Litchfield Board of
Education and a former board member of the Connecticut Commission on the
Arts. He has also served as vice president of the Litchfield-Morris
Thibault’s work as an investigative reporter and feature writer has
earned numerous state and national awards. A judge from the Society of
Professional Journalists writing competition said this about Thibault’s
probe of the cover-up of a hit-and-run death in a Connecticut city: “The
writer explores whether New London’s former mayor benefited from a
widespread cover-up for the 1973 hit-and-run death of a college student.
Witty, compelling -- the writer has a knack for speaking in conversational
tone, all the while quietly weaving in crucial facts to support his
arguments that more people should be outraged by the shoddy circumstances
surrounding the 1973 investigation.”
He co-authored and edited a series on the court system’s handling of a
juvenile sexual assault case in 1982 and 1983 that led to changes in
Connecticut law regarding the status of juveniles in adult court. The
series won first place prizes from the National Newspaper Association for
investigative reporting, the New England Press Association for community
service and the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists for
in-depth reporting. Twice since 1999 Thibault’s notes and sources were
sought by a lawyer who subpoenaed him to federal court. He refused to give
up the sources and notes, and the court and the lawyer eventually left him
alone. His legal expenses were subsidized by friends, colleagues, pro bono
assistance from attorneys Phil Russell, Roy Ward and Norm Pattis and the
Society of Professional Journalists Legal Defense Fund.
Connecticut’s state court
judges, in reaction to a satirical column Thibault wrote about the
prospects for the notorious basketball judge Bobby Knight to gain
appointment to the bench (Cool Justice 10-2-00 http://www.andythibault.com/columns/Cool%20Justice%20-%2010-2-00.htm
), cancelled their subscriptions to The Connecticut Law Tribune en masse.
(Judge Takes Issue with Law Tribune www.andythibault.com/interviews-articles/Judge-Law%20Tribune.htm)
[Both articles on line @ www.andythibault.com
“In terms of what we buy
and distribute in the judicial branch, we have a choice, and right now
we’re not buying the Law Tribune,” said the Connecticut Chief Court
Administrator, Robert Leuba. “There are some attitudes being used
editorially which are not helpful to improving communications among the
legal community … ” Law Tribune Publisher and Editor Vincent Valvo
said the cancellations -- valued at $16,000 in annual revenue – didn’t
put a significant dent in his paper's circulation or finances. But, he
allowed, “We are not happy that the judiciary as a branch of government
has decided to boycott us.”
In September 2004, the
Hartford Courant and The Connecticut Law Tribune reported that the FBI
seized notes, cameras, a journalist’s phone book containing sources and
other materials from investigators working with the Murzin-Thibault
Investigative Group. Lawyers chastised the government for taking the
materials, noting the Fourth Amendment prohibits such seizures.
Thibault is a member of the
National Conference of Editorial Writers, the Society of Professional
Journalists, the Connecticut Library Association and the Society of
American Business Editors and Writers. He also serves on the advisory
board of the Connecticut Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Library
of Congress. His current writing projects include books about
prosecutorial misconduct, political corruption and the murder of a black
youth by a white policeman in Connecticut, as well as a series of short
stories about the adventures of a private eye.
JP Briggs is the author of Trickster Tales, a collection of
stories published by Fine Tooth Press (2004). He has had over 25 stories
published in literary magazines, including Pudding Magazine, Manifold, New
Novel Review, Ibis Review, River Oak Review, Northwest Review, Art Times
and a chapbook entitled Entangled Landscapes, which he co-authored with
poet James R. Scrimgeour from Pudding House Press. He is the author and
co-author of several nonfiction books on aesthetics and physics, including
Fractals, the Patterns of Chaos (Simon & Schuster); Fire in the
Crucible (St. Martin’s Press); Seven Life Lessons of Chaos
(HarperCollins), and Turbulent Mirror (HarperCollins), as well Metaphor,
the Logic of Poetry (Pace University Press). He is the senior editor of
Connecticut Review and a Distinguished CSU Professor at Western
Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut, where he led the
team that developed the MFA in Professional Writing.
Shankar is a poet-in-residence at Central Connecticut State University
and the founding editor of the internationally acclaimed online journal of
the arts, <http://www.drunkenboat.com>.
His first book Instrumentality,
was published by Cherry Grove in May 2004 <http://www.cherry-grove/shankar>
and was named a finalist for the 2005 Connecticut Book Awards. His work
has previously appeared in such places as The Paris Review, Poets &Writers, Time Out New York, The New
Hampshire Review, Blackbird, Gulf Coast, The Massachusetts Review,
Descant, LIT, Crowd, The Cortland Review, Catamaran, Caketrain, Fourth
River, 88: A Journal of Contemporary American Poetry, The Paris/Atlantic,
Ecopoetics, The Indiana Review, The Electronic Book Review, Western
Humanities Review, The Iowa Review, Smartish Pace, and the AWP
Writer’s Chronicle, among other publications, including two
anthologies of contemporary poetry. He has taught at Queens College,
University of New Haven, and Columbia University, where he received his
MFA in Poetry. He has read at such venues as The National Arts Club,
Columbia University, KGB, the Asia Society, Artspace, University of
Virginia, the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, and the Cornelia Street Café,
has held residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Ragdale, and the Atlantic
Center for the Arts, has served on panels at UCLA, Poet’s House,
South-by-Southwest Interactive/Film Festival, and the AWP Conference in
Baltimore and Vancouver, been a commentator for NPR, KKUP and Wesleyan
radio and been featured in the Hartford Courant, The Journal Messenger and
in the Shoreline Press, reviews poetry for the Contemporary Poetry Review and is currently editing an anthology of
South Asian, East Asian, and Middle Eastern poetry. You can read an
interview with him at: <http://jacketmagazine.com/16/dev-iv-shank.html>.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR
plays expectations and delivers uncanny reformulations that seem
"predestined, in retrospect." Ravi Shankar’s poems are filled
with the pleasure of subjects dissolving into ideas, ideas folding into
sounds, and sounds echoing familiar but elusive translocations.
quizzical, inquisitive, Ravi Shankar in Instrumentality
goes in quest of what the oddness of language and imagination can
reveal: “a hush of atoms holding a planet together.” By turns, lyrical
and meditative, these poems are guided by a strong intelligence toward
resolutions that are both surprising and apt.
Confessions of Zeno, this time in verse. Topics most of us brood over in
private are here brought out into daylight by an analyst clad in
bullet-proof unembarrassment. Ravi
Shankar is a comic tragedian of philosophic collisions that occur at the
intersection of memory, desire, perception, mutability, and language. Wild
swoops made on the rheostat of diction and intricate consonantal
echolocation enable the invention of this poet’s analogue for the
metamorphic nature of what is past, or passing, or to come.
poems are immortal in the flesh, finding in the life of the mind--its
interpretations, its "instrumentality"--the surpassing,
transient lyrical moment; and in the life of the world's body the
permanent, unflinching presence of thought, unconfined by time or space.
They are the verbal artifacts of a singular, many-sided, and distinguished
is a very special first book. Ravi Shankar's poems have a fine tuned sense
of form, a rare delight in language. Through wit and abstraction they
reveal a metaphysics of longing, binding us to the elements of our moving
are poems I’ve not seen before. A
fog lifts and Ravi Shankar gives the reader a landscape of language filled
with sharp, stainless, geometric forms. There is considerable distance to
travel from page to page. Even in a poem like “Home Together” Shankar
detects a vacuum in love. From a men’s room to a San Francisco sunrise,
Shankar emerges with a pocketful of koans reflecting the wisdom hidden in
E. Ethelbert Miller
Lovers of poetry will find in Ravi Shankar's INSTRUMENTALITY the lucky
serendipity one hopes for in a new poet: an original voice. The poems take
their origin as does all fine poetry, in a love of language and a
metaphorical vision combined with the imperative of music.
Below the shimmering surface, however, currents of Indian
spirituality and western philosophy draw the reader deeper into the works
- a serious dialectic playing out in the soul of a sensitive young man
pondering life's mysteries, large and small. The old questions take on a
freshness and interest when seen through the new eyes of a poet of such
complexity. Other times, the work is more playful. Like Wallace Stevens or
the metaphysical poets, his conceits sing with intelligence, wit, and the
intricacies of extended metaphor. Coming away from the work, one thinks of
the jewel-encrusted coat of a raja or a wizard - a pun comes to mind:
Ravishing. In a long poem celebrating the launching of the space shuttle
Discovery, th poet says, "I feel as though a part of us has lifted
off." And so it is for the reader of this fine collection of poems.
the stunning title poem of Instrumentality, Shankar writes of “action’s unstuttering arc
which is eloquence and muteness at once.” That idea expresses what I
find in this collection, for here poems becomes performatives that enacts
their totality in the tension between graceful expression and silence. Shankar is a deeply philosophical poet who explores the major
questions while attuned to the flux that is the very stuff of existence,
and does so while moving from place to place—Illinois, Florida, Mumbai,
Monteverde, and Hell’s Kitchen—a Spiderman of the imagination. And, in
terms of tone, there’s no cynicism or irony here, rather the pleasures
of varied vocabularies and deft juxtapositions ajumble on multiple levels.
One senses the sheen of a new poetry.
Jacobik, author of Brave Disguises
ANDY THIBAULT, Columnist
P.O. Box 1415
Litchfield, CT 06759
*Phone: 860-567-8492 *Fax: 860-567-9119