Saturday, October 31, 2009

RUMBLE @ THE HARTFORD CLUB: Gaby Versus The Iceman, A CT Young Writers Triple Knockout Event ...


CT Young Writers
Triple Knockout Event
At The Hartford Club Jan. 15, 2010

  • CT Young Writers Trust Website

  • Eclectic Hartford Club Event
    Celebrates Young Writers Competition;
    Notes Entry Deadline

    Open Writing Workshops,
    Readings By Poets & Writers,
    Jen Allen Big Band & Live Boxing

    CEU Credits Granted For Teachers

    More Than $182,000 For Teenage Writers Since 1998
    CT Young Writers Trust
    Surges Into 13th Year
    With Strong Grassroots Support

    HARTFORD, Conn. Oct. 31, 2009 -- The Connecticut Young Writers Trust kicks off its 13th year with vigor and pizazz Jan. 15, 2010 at
  • The Hartford Club

  • "GABY VERSUS THE ICEMAN" is a CT Young Writers Triple Knockout Event: Prose, Poetry And Pugilism.

    The day begins at 11 a.m. with open workshops on the teaching and writing of poetry and the teaching and writing of sports stories. Continuing education credits will be granted to teachers for the workshops and other events including dialogue with poets, writers, musicians and boxers.

    The Jen Allen Big Band -- featuring vocalists including DominiQue Rivers and Laura McCabe -- will perform during lunch.

  • Jen Allen Big Band @ Twain House May 2009

  • Jen Allen Big Band @ Litchfield Inn June 2008

  • Well-known and highly-regarded poets and writers enter the ring after lunch.

    In the main event, poet Gabrielle "She Be Stinging" Calvocoressi and "Iceman" John Scully -- the trainer and former light heavyweight contender -- will read from their works. (A complete listing of poets and writers follows.)

    The evening will conclude with the singing of The National Anthem by Rivers -- a student at Hartford Conservatory -- and a boxing exhibition. The bouts are being organized by Scully; Sammy Vega, a seven-time national amateur champion now working as a paralegal; and Mike Mike "Machine Gun" Oliver, a reigning New England and Eastern Boxing Association Junior Featherweight Champion.

    Co-Masters of Ceremonies are: Rand "Blood" Cooper, the novelist and travel writer for Bon Appetit; "Irish" Ravi Shankar, the poet and Central Connecticut State University English professor; and attorney Jeffrey "No Dice" Dressler, a long-time advocate for education and boxing in Hartford and a boxing announcer.

    The Bookworm of West Hartford will serve as vendor for the event and will take advance orders with reasonable notice.

    Since 1998, the Young Writers Trust has awarded more than $182,000 to Connecticut teenagers. More than 5,000 young poets and writers have competed in the program.

    The Connecticut State University System is the primary donor for prize money. Prize money and expenses are also funded by banks, law and real estate firms, the Litchfield-Morris Rotary, numerous businesses including a construction firm, a wine merchant, a publishing firm, restaurants, bookstores, an art gallery, a tree care firm and a printing company. Sponsors are noted via display ads in the annual program.

    Teenage writers, ages 13-18, are being encouraged to submit original entries to the annual literary competition which also offers state champions an opportunity to have their work published in the literary journal of the Connecticut State University System, Connecticut Review.

    Entry forms for the 2010 competition will be handed out at the Hartford Club event. Forms are currently available on line at the Connecticut State University System site,

    During this academic year, two young writers from each of Connecticut's eight counties will win cash awards for either prose or poetry writing. Entries must be nominated by a teacher in a public or private school, and postmarked on or before February 1, 2010. Home school entries are also accepted. (In 2009, there were about 580 entries.)

    Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, and Western Connecticut State University in Danbury will receive the initial entries and host county award ceremonies in April 2010. Entries are sent directly to one of the universities, depending upon the county in which the student lives (see list at CSU System Young Writers website).

    From the select group of county winners, a distinguished panel of judges will select the state's top poet and writer at a dinner and awards ceremony held in late May or early June 2010. The 2009 event was held at the Mark Twain House & Museum. Winners are also interviewed by local media, and have their work highlighted on the website of the Connecticut State University System.

    A home-schooled student from Redding and a student at Westover School in Middlebury were awarded the top statewide prizes in prose and poetry May 31, 2009 in the 12th annual IMPAC-Connecticut State University System Young Writers competition.

    The competition highlights works of poetry and prose submitted by teenagers from throughout the state. A panel of judges selected works submitted by Emma Lowenberg,16, of the Lowenberg Home School in Redding, for her story, "Bernard," and Felicity Sheehy, 16, of Westover School of Middlebury, for her poem, "Evening Conversation."

    At the annual awards celebration, held at Hartford's Mark Twain House & Museum for the first time, both students received $1,000 for their efforts. Lowenberg and Sheehy also were awarded $500 in April after being named, respectively, prose and poetry winners in Fairfield and New Haven counties.

    A complete listing of all county and state champions since 1998 is included in the 2009 program.

    Poets and writers appearing at The Hartford Club Jan. 15, 2010:

    * Robert "The Breeze" Leuci -- Treat Williams played Leuci's character in the movie, "The Prince of the City." The former NYPD detective reveals the full range of his career in the memoir, "All The Centurions." Leuci's novels include "Doyle's Disciples," "Odessa Beach" and "Renegades." Leuci teaches at the University of Rhode Island.

    * "Merciless" Amy Ma -- Ma is the 2001 State Poetry Champion. She currently teaches for the Hartford Public Schools. Ma earned her undergraduate English degree from Wesleyan and a Masters from Central Connecticut State University. Ma has been a keynote speaker for two annual dinners.

    * Binnie "The Demon Barber" Klein -- Klein, a psychotherapist and lecturer at Yale Medical School, is the author of "Blows To The Head: How Boxing Changed My Mind." The book is a memoir including Klein's experiences in the ring and her observations of The Sweet Science. She hosts a weekly music and interview show on WPKN Bridgeport, CT and Montauk, NY.

    * Shouhua "Hard Rock" Qi -- Qi, a professor of English at Western Connecticut State University, is the author of "When the Purple Mountain Burns," "Red Guard Fantasies and Other Stories" and a dozen other books. "Red Guard Fantasies" is dedicated to his father, who was a middle school principal during the Cultural Revolution. Like many other so-called elites, Qi's father suffered intense physical degradation. He was forced to kneel on broken glass with a wooden chalkboard hung around his neck while being denounced by angry mobs. The volume has 14 stories about Chinese society transforming after the Cultural Revolution, including the signature Red Guard Fantasies.

    * Rich "Six Heads" Esposito - Esposito is the author of "Bomb Squad: A Year Inside The Nation's Most Exclusive Police Unit." Esposito is a winner of the George Polk Award for Television Reporting, is a reporter and producer on ABC News. He is the recipient of the Silurian and Deadline Club Awards, two Associated Press Awards, and shares in a Pulitzer Prize.

    * Chandra "Bonecrusher" Prasad -- Prasad is a writer and editor with an established track record in both fiction and nonfiction. Most recently, Prasad completed a novel based on the life of Amelia Earhart. It is called "Breathe the Sky." Wally Lamb, author of The Hour I First Believed," writes that "Breathe the Sky" is, "by turns, an adventure story, a love story, and a cautionary tale about the double-edged sword of modern American celebrity. From lift-off to landing, [it] is a novel that soars." Prasad is also the author of "On Borrowed Wings," a novel set in Depression-era Connecticut. On Borrowed Wings is about a quarryman's daughter who attends a prestigious university in 1936 in the guise of a boy. A graduate of Yale, Prasad is the originator and editor of, and a contributor to, "Mixed: An Anthology of Short Fiction on the Multiracial Experience." Her works have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Week, Teen Voices, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. In addition, her short stories have been printed in numerous literary forums, including Faultline, the University of California at Irvine's Pushcart prize-winning journal.

    * Kate "La Terrible" Rushin -- Rushin is the author of "The Black Back-Ups" (Firebrand Books). Her "The Bridge Poem" appears in "This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color," a ground-breaking feminist anthology edited by CherrĂ­e Moraga and Gloria E. AnzaldĂșa. Recipient of the Rose Low Rome Memorial Poetry Prize and the Grolier Poetry Prize, her work is widely anthologized and has been published in such journals as Callaloo. A Connecticut resident, Kate currently teaches creative writing at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. Previously, she taught at Wesleyan University, where she served as Director of the Center of African-American Studies, Associate Professor and Visiting Writer. She has read at Hill-Stead Museum's Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, the Geraldine Dodge Poetry Festival and Smith College Poetry Center, among many other places, and has led workshops for the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies and Cave Canem Foundation. She has served as a judge for the Connecticut Young Writers Award, the Connecticut Poetry Circuit Student Poetry Contest, and the NEA's/Poetry Foundation's Poetry Out Loud. Rushin received her B.A. from Oberlin College and her M.F.A. from Brown University. She is a former Fellow of The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and a graduate fellow of Cave Canem Foundation.

    * Franz "Onions Oregenato" Douskey -- Douskey teaches creative writing at Gateway Community College in New Haven. He has been published in more than 150 journals and magazines including the New Yorker, Rolling Stone and Yankee. A featured guest at New Haven's Festival of Arts &Ideas, Douskey's books include "Rowing Across The Dark" and "Indecent Exposure." He is a founding board member of the Connecticut Young Writers Trust and has served as a judge every year of the competition. Douskey is also the author of the forthcoming biography, "The Unknown Sinatra." He currently produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show with musician Bud Finch on 1220 am, WQUN, Quinnipiac University. The show, "Once Upon a Bandstand," is one of the station's most popular programs.

    * "Iceman" John Scully -- Scully is a prolific writer and a commentator for ESPN classic fights. Excerpts of Scully's manuscript -- The Iceman Diaries -- draw numerous comments in posts at his website and on his Facebook page. Scully won numerous amateur championships including the Ohio State Fair in 1987. He defeated a national amateur champion, Darin Allen. Scully turned professional in 1988, just three years after graduating from Windsor High School. He fought for the International Boxing Federation world light heavyweight championship in Leipzig, Germany, in 1996, losing a 12-round decision to Henry Maske. In a controversial bout, Scully connected regularly against two-time world champion Michael Nunn for the World Boxing Organization - North American Boxing Organization super middleweight title, but lost by a decision that was roundly criticized. He racked up wins against Art Baylis, Billy Bridges and Alphonso Bailey in televised fights before retiring in 2001 with a record of 38-11, including 21 knockouts. Scully has served as a sparring partner with world champions including Vinny Pazienza, Roy Jones Jr. and James "Lights Out" Toney. Pros he has trained include Mike Mike "Machine Gun" Oliver, International Boxing Organization light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, Pito Cardona, Scott "The Sandman" Pemberton, former Olympic team captain Lawrence Clay-Bey, Clay Bey's son Jarin and Matt Remillard, an undefeated featherweight contender.

    * Grabrielle "She Be Stinging" Calvocoressi -- Calvocoressi was born in Central Connecticut. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including a Stegner fellowship in Poetry, a Jones Lectureship in Poetry at Stanford University and a Rona Jaffe Woman Writers' Award. Her poem "Circus Fire, 1944" received The Paris Review' Bernard F. Conners Prize. Her first collection, "The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart," was published by Persea Books in 2005 and won the Connecticut Book Award. It was shortlisted for the Northern California Book Award . Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals and online publications including; The Paris Review, The New England Review, Gulf Coast and Guernica. A new multi-media piece is forthcoming online on The Owls. he lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the MFA program at California College of Arts in San Francisco and in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Warren Wilson College. She is serving as a visiting professor at Bennington College in the fall of 2009. Her second collection, "Apocalyptic Swing," is out now from Persea Books. Garrison Keillor read her poem, "Jubilee," on WNPR in October 2009. Calvocoressi's fight poems, including "Blues For Ruby Goldstein," "Boxers In the Key Of M" and "Prayer in the Name of Saint Thomas Hearns," are highly-regarded by boxers, academics and sports writers.

    Workshop leaders:


    Paul "Ding-a-Ling" Doyle has graciously agreed to take handoff from George "The Wolf" Kimball for sports writing workshop. Both guys worked the Dawson fight.

    Doyle has been a sports reporter and columnist at The Hartford Courant for 20 years. A member of the Baseball Writers Association of America, he has been a baseball beat writer and most recently a general assignment reporter. He has also written for the Boston Globe and The Sporting News.

    On the workshop:

    As a teenager, sports inspired me to write and led me to a career in journalism. We'll talk about how the imagery and emotions of the games -- the games we watch and play and debate -- provide such an ideal vehicle to teach writing to kids.

    * David "The Body Snatcher " Cappella -- Cappella is a professor of English at Central Connecticut State University. He has co-authored two books on the teaching of poetry with Baron Wormser: "Teaching the Art of Poetry: The Moves" (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000) and "A Surge of Language: Teaching Poetry Day to Day" (Heinemann, 2004). He is the winner of the 2004 Bright Hill Press Poetry Chapbook Competition, of which the first poem was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He has published poems in The Connecticut Review, The Bryant Literary Review, Diner and other journals.

    * George "The Wolf" Kimball
    -- Kimball (born December 29, 1943 in Grass Valley, California) is an American author and journalist who spent 25 years as a sports columnist for the Boston Herald before retiring in 2005. Considered one of the foremost boxing writers of his era, he is the author of "Four Kings: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran, and the Last Great Era of Boxing." Since 1997 he has written the weekly 'America at Large' column for The Irish Times in Dublin, Ireland, and has contributed to a number of boxing websites. He lives in New York City. In 1980 he began a columnist for the Herald, and for the next quarter-century covered major sporting events around the world, including Super Bowls and World Series, NBA Finals and the Olympic Games, golf's four majors and Ryder Cups, Wimbledon and the America's Cup yacht races. He covered nearly 400 world title fights, and was the 1985 recipient of the Nat Fleischer Award for Excellence in Boxing Journalism. Kimball also received 'Best Column' awards from the Boxing Writers Association of America, the Golf Writers Association of America, Boston Magazine, and United Press International. Kimball served as a regular co-host for several sports talk radio programs in the Boston area, as a television analyst for boxing broadcasts on the Fox SportsNet and Comcast networks, and as a panelist for several PBS programs produced by WGBH-TV. He appeared (as a boxing writer covering a fight between Woody Harrelson and Antonio Banderas) in Ron Shelton's 1999 film "Play it to the Bone." In a ceremony officiated by former heavyweight champion George Foreman, Kimball married New York psychiatrist Marge Marash in 2004.

    Efforts are being made to keep the price of admission for the Hartford Club event to under $40.

    As we begin our 13th year, we face daunting challenges.

    The Trust incurred a $10,000 shortfall of annual funding for the last cycle. But, we were able to continue the program for youngsters in all eight of Connecticut's counties. Many poets, writers, business people, university administrators and board members stepped up to fill the void.

    Sadly, our founding donor suffered an untimely death last month.

    We are bouncing back with vigor, confidence and a clear focus. The CSU System -- led by the Chancellor, Dr. David Carter, and supported by literally hundreds of volunteers -- has ensured the continuation of the program.

    Our 2010 entry form has been mailed to all public, parochial and private secondary schools in Connecticut. To highlight the entry deadline of Feb. 1, 2010, The Hartford Club has agreed to host the Jan. 15, 2010 event.

    Sponsorships remain available as follows:

    Heavyweight Champion

    Middleweight Champion

    Golden Gloves


    Checks should be made out to CT Young Writers Trust and sent to 231 Beach St., Litchfield, CT 06759. Sponsorships are noted on the poster and in the event program. We hope all sponsors can attend this event so they can enjoy all the festivities and accept our thanks and gratitude in person.

    RSVP @ or 860-690-0211.

    Connecticut Young Writers Trust
    231 Beach St.
    Litchfield, CT 06759

    * 800-814-6931 * Fax- 860-567-9119

    Cell: 860-690-0211

  • Retired CT State Trooper Jerry Longo Reviews NYPD Bomb Squad Book

  • -- Photo By Bob Thiesfield
    For The Connecticut Young Writers Trust,
    Courtesy Of The Hartford Club

    GABY TUNES UP FOR JOHN ICEMAN SCULLY, 9-24-09, WITH 7-TIME FORMER NATIONAL AMATEUR CHAMPION SAMMY VEGA (left) AND MIKE MACHINE GUN OLIVER, A REIGNING PROFESSIONAL FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPION, AT THE HARTFORD CLUB. Gaby, aka Gabrielle Calvocoressi, the poet / ring enthusiast, and Iceman, the former light heavyweight contender / trainer, also got together.

    -- Photo By Bob Thiesfield
    For The Connecticut Young Writers Trust,
    Courtesy Of The Hartford Club


    -- Photo By Bob Thiesfield
    For The Connecticut Young Writers Trust,
    Courtesy Of The Hartford Club


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