Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Fiddleheads Poet Speaks

Poet Elizabeth Thomas
On Ray & Diane Show Friday

Broadcast Interview Notes Appearances
By 10 Poets & Writers Saturday
At Fiddleheads Natural Supermarket, Litchfield

Mornings with Ray and Diane
WTIC 1080 AM

Nationally-renowned poet and performer Elizabeth Thomas is scheduled to appear on WTIC Radio's Ray & Diane show Friday at 7:20 a.m.

Thomas is the Connecticut Review Poet-in-Residence for the Naugatuck Public Schools and the founder of UpWordsPoetry, a program for young writers. Thomas and her group of young performance poets – also known poetry slammers – have performed at the Bushnell in Hartford and at venues in major cities throughout the United States.

Her radio interview will highlight an appearance Saturday with nine other poets and writers at Fiddleheads Natural Supermarket in Litchfield. Festivities begin at 10:45 a.m. with live jazz performed by a group of Litchfield High School students.

Thomas was a member of three CT National Poetry Slam teams (1994, 1995, 1997), a member of the 1998 U.S. team that traveled to Sweden and an individual competitor at NPS in the 2003 (Chicago) and 2005 (Albuquerque).

She is an organizer/coach for Brave New Voices/National Youth Poetry Slam and Festival. She organized and hosted the 1st National Youth Poetry Slam in Hartford, CT in 1998. The event included teams from the CT, Washington DC, NYC and Worcester, MA and a team from the Navajo Indian Nation of New Mexico. Since 1998, she has traveled with the CT team to New Mexico, San Francisco, Ann Arbor, Chicago, Los Angeles and NYC. Brave New Voices 10 will be held in New Orleans in April 2007.
Her first book of poetry, Full Circle was published in 2000 by Hanover Press. She is working on her second collection of poems and has just finished a book on creative writing for children and teachers entitled, 'If Only Red Could Talk.

Also appearing with Thomas Saturday at Fiddleheads are Tom Hazuka, Davyne Verstandig, Ravi Shankar, Lynn Hoffman, Ron Winter, Shouhua Qi, Jim Scrimgeour, Robin Cullen and David Cappella.

Several members of this group have been published in Connecticut Review and serve as judges for the IMPAC-CSU Young Writers competition.

Connecticut Review is the literary journal of the Connecticut State University System. It is published twice annually, in the Fall and the Spring.

By June 1 of this year, the IMPAC-CSU Young Writers Trust will have given more than $150,000 to Connecticut’s best young writers. Thousand-dollar winners include students from more than 50 schools. About 4,000 students have participated in the program since 1998.

Poets and writers in each of Connecticut’s eight counties win $1,000 prizes annually, awarded during ceremonies at the four CSU campuses. About a dozen finalists in prose and poetry from each county are invited to the regional ceremonies.

Those events for spring 2007 are as follows: Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, April 23; Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, April 24; Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, April 26; and Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, April 30.

Judging begins this week for county finalists and winners.

The 16 county winners – as well as their parents, families, teachers and friends – will be invited to the annual dinner at the Litchfield Inn. Grand prize winners – to be announced at the June 1 dinner – will also earn a trip to Dublin for events connected with the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Dublin Writers Festival.

Litchfield Community’s
Natural Supermarket
Village Green, Building E
Rte. 202, Litchfield, Connecticut

Fiddleheads Natural Supermarket celebrated its grand opening in February.

Fiddleheads hours and days of operation are as follows: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The store is at Litchfield’s Village Green complex, Route 202, down the hill from Dunkin’ Donuts and Blockbuster.

Patrons of Northwest Connecticut’s natural and organic supermarket might get distracted staring at the museum-quality floor. An emerald green, terrazzo-style floor has been built and installed by Chris Krone of Concrete Supplement Co.

The mosaic features uniquely blended elements of marble, glass and stone. The “F” for Fiddleheads in the community room will glow in the dark. The emerald green texture with smaller glass aggregates continues throughout the store.

“I want customers to have a one-of-a-kind experience,” said Krone, whose client base is in Fairfield County and New York.

“Our focus on this magnificent floor is reflected in quality throughout the entire store,” Weaver and Freeman said in a joint statement.

The 5,700 square foot store features products including natural / organic fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry and fresh fish. There is a wide selection of local farm products, a salad bar, coffee, homemade breads and baked goods and prepared foods and meals to go. Specials include sushi, tappas, variety quiches and wholesome soups and stews.

“Fiddleheads is committed,” Weaver said, “to become the flagship grocery and prepared foods store of Litchfield County -- in a way that promotes health through a wide range of products harvested and manufactured with integrity, fairness and responsibility, while respecting the environmental balance of the surrounding community.”

The natural foods supermarket encourages awareness of the community’s dietary, organic and other natural product choices, she said.

“Though its existence as a community center, Fiddleheads will support a healthy
lifestyle through its retail products, its prepared food selections, its catering, and its health, cooking and kids’ classes,” Weaver said. “It will also provide meaningful economic support to the local population through employment opportunities as well as serving as a retail outlet for local farm products, manufacturers and industries committed to providing healthful products. The store seeks to be known for its innovative and health conscious products, its variety and its excellent service.”

The natural foods supermarket offers a Community Room suitable for cooking classes, small venue concerts, wine / beer/ chili tastings and lectures. Cookbooks, nutrition books and a limited selection of fiction, non-fiction and poetry are offered. Dr. Georgia Day, owner of the Rainy Faye Bookstore & Gallery in Bridgeport and an assistant academic vice president at Fairfield University, oversees the book operation.


Anne Freeman, owner of Anne’s Place, LLC brings over 20 years of extensive experience within the food and beverage industry. She held the food service contract with the University of Connecticut Torrington Branch, providing a variety of prepared foods for students and staff on a daily basis as well as a full service catering menu. Additionally, Anne has been a personal chef for the past ten years and currently runs Anne’s Place, a business which caters to specific client needs focusing on special dietary requirements and specific food preferences.

Anne has several years of event planning and catering experience through which she has acquired an extensive inventory of food and vendor contacts. Through her management of the restaurant, bar and banquet facility, Anne was successful in reinvigorating the Torrington Country Club, bringing about an unprecedented increase in wedding and event bookings. While in that management position, she developed the staff training manuals, and implemented the “Point of Sale” system that the Country Club still uses today. She also developed a food service program for all staff & faculty at The Education Connection. She prepared all menus for the Head Start
program at that facility as well. She is a board member of the Litchfield County Women’s Network (LCWN) and is responsible for its venue and menu planning. Through her tenure the LCWN has enjoyed its highest membership in its 25-year history.

Stephanie Weaver is the principal in the Law Offices of Stephanie M. Weaver, LLC, located in Litchfield, Ct. In her 19th year of practice, she concentrates on divorce and family law, as well as business law, preparing commercial loans for banks, and general real estate. She is General Counsel to the Litchfield County Board of Realtors, which stands at 650 members, and provides the organization with legal advice and assistance. A board member of the IMPAC-Connecticut State University Young Writers Trust, Stephanie helped the organization expand in 2000 from Litchfield County to cover the entire state.

In 1997, she formed a business venture with Alan Landau, and opened a New York-style athletic club in Litchfield. Now in its eighth year of operation, the club has become a treasured and valuable community member. Currently, she is renovating a farmhouse on 22 riverfront acres in central West Virginia for a bed and breakfast locale. She has served on many charitable organizations, including being a past president of the Northwest Connecticut YMCA. She will oversee the business of the venture, including its financial workings, and will provide legal support as needed.

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