JERSEY CITY, N.J. August 29, 2012 – Writers Who Perform, the theme of A Tale of Our City 2012, Jersey City’s annual book festival, brings an exciting assortment of authors ready to (literally) rock your world!
The two Jersey City-based writers – known for their polished performances – will give a lively finish: spoken word artist Dujuana Sharese and singer/songwriter Debra Devi, lead in the rock band Devi and author of The Language of the Blues: From Alcorub to Zuzu, at the 5th annual book festival, A Tale of Our City on Saturday, September 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Victorian, historic Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, N.J.
A Tale of Our City is presented annually by Jersey City government: Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy and the Municipal Council, the Jersey City Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Jersey City Free Public Library.
Twenty-six writers and performers will be featured at the book festival. Authors of original works abound, including five memoirs (A City Set on a Hill by Shamina Allen, I Am Myself: A Woman Growing Up with Tourette Syndrome by Theresa Borrelli, Fragments: A.K.A., Incomplete Thoughts by Zakee Howze, My First 30 by Nadira Persaud, and Save Me a Seat by the Drummer by Carmine J. Scarpa); six novels (Dream Come True by Debra A. Daly, Vengeance Is Sacred by Peter Healy, La Conspiración Sagrada – presented in Spanish by Santiago Marte, The Man Jacob by Clarence Matthews, The Wicked Education of Henry Holliday by J.J. Tomkins, and Husband in Waiting by Robert J. Woolsey); and three children’s stories (The Adventures of Izzy and JuJu: Twin Detective Investigators (T.D.I) by Dr. Andrea Blake-Garrett, Doby’s Creek, a novella for young adults, by Jane Pedler, and Perfected by Girls, a YA novel by Alfred C. Martino).
Bonnie the Magic Lady, who presented several shows during Summer Reading Program 2012, has offered her performance, gratis, for A Tale of Our City 2012.
There are six poets – Kenza Ashley, Beth Bird, Jacqueline Hallenbeck, Dujuana Sharese, Nickole Williams and Michael T. Young – with Yvonne Hernandez performing three monologues (50 Ways / What is this strange feeling? / The Date), and Nancy Méndez-Booth, Jersey City-related short stories. Canary in a Cage: The Smith-Bennett Murder Case by Maureen K. Wlodarczyk is one book of Jersey City-based, historical non-fiction.
“Michele Dupey’s idea of including performers of the spoken word has really taken off! We are having such a fantastic response from the community from both the literature and performing. The book festival will really ROCK,” said Assistant Library Director Sonia Araujo, who is chair of the annual book festival, A Tale of Our City.
Four at A Tale of Our City 2012 are solid musical performers, and singer/songwriters in their own right: the aforementioned Debra Devi; acoustic folk rock musician Javier Orellana,; the previously mentioned spoken word artist Dujuana Sharese; and Tom Thiel of Tom’s Dream, a unique blend of traditional country, folk and Americana music.
Returning to A Tale of Our City, with new works, are authors Alfred C. Martino, Clarence Matthews, Jane Pedler, and Maureen K. Wlodarczyk, as well as poet Jacqueline Hallenbeck.
Memoirists deal with pain, in one form or another, yet demonstrate the indomitable spirit of being human: Shamina Allen reaches beyond her pain to include both gays when their straight spouses in A City Set on a Hill; Theresa Borrelli, originally from West New York and currently residing in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, describes life with Tourette Syndrome in I Am Myself; actor/writer Zakee Howze’s life on the streets unfolds in Fragments; Nadira Persaud’s My First 30, deals with family abuse; and Jersey City-native, multi-talented Carmine J. Scarpa wrote a memoir dealing with growing up with a disability in Save Me a Seat by the Drummer.
Novels and short stories transport us to locales and situations unknown, with Jersey City-native J.J. Tomkins’ The Wicked Education of Henry Holliday giving shape to his Tommy Tune-like persona, Peter Healy’s Vengenance Is Sacred setting the stage in Jersey City history with suspense and paranormal activity, Santiago Marte’s La Conspiración Sagrada weaving a story with intricate religious intrigue, and former Pentagon intelligence officer Robert J. Woolsey brings that secretive life to Husband in Waiting, his first novel. The short stories of blogger Nancy Méndez-Booth and Jane Pedler, whose Doby’s Creek is a Civil War story about a physically and mentally challenged young man who has a hero’s heart, feature Jersey City, front and center. Clarence Matthews has been presenting his Jacob ‘Rite-of-Passage’ trilogy at previous festivals, now completing it with The Man Jacob.
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