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Bee And Thistle Storytellers



Litchfield 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 said.

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 cons
ulting 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 investigator.

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 newsletter.

Other authors in the Bee and Thistle Inn series include: Robert Holland,
The 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
innkeeper@beeandthistleinn.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,
an affiliate of the Library of Congress.

Link:
http://cooljustice.blogspot.com/2007/03/bee-and-thistle-storytellers.html


Three Amigos Read
at Rainy Faye Bookstore in Bridgeport
Thursday, June 29, 2006
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm


Andy Thibault, John Briggs & Ravi Shankar read from new work:

  Rainy Faye Bookstore

940 Broad Street

 Bridgeport, CT. 06604

Phone: (203) 336-6911

  <http://www.anthology.com/rainyfaye/wc.dll?main~bd>

 

Andy 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 Rotary.

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.

Ravi 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 INSTRUMENTALITY

Instrumentality 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.

-Charles Bernstein

Quirky, 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.

-Gregory Orr

A New 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.

-Alfred Corn

Ravi Shankar's 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 consciousness.

-Vijay Seshadri

This 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 world.

-Meena Alexander

Here 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 the stars.

- 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.

            -Richard Harteis

In 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.

             -Gray Jacobik, author of Brave Disguises

 

ANDY THIBAULT, Columnist
P.O. Box 1415
Litchfield, CT 06759
tntcomm82@cs.com
www.andythibault.com
*Phone: 860-567-8492 *Fax: 860-567-9119
*Cell: 860-690-0211

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