Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Patriotic Readings

Our Fourth of July barbecue and readings, held on the 7th, was exceptional! A large crowd enjoyed beautiful weather, and read/heard the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, Lincoln's "With Malice Towards None" Second Inaugural Address, Teddy Roosevelt on conservation, FDR's "Nothing to Fear" Inaugural, Ronald Reagan's "Tear Down This Wall" speech, and excerpts from his farewell speech on the necessity of teaching history to our children; and, finally, MLK's "I Have a Dream".

Great night all the way around.

Monday, July 14th, we're back to our regular schedule of outstanding authors and poets. It's a special line-up-- We have two women who grew up locally and then went off to find great success-- and three of our favorites from last year, back to delight us again! Come on down--and bring a friend!

Our Readers this Monday, July 14th are:
Sandi Sonnenfeld

Sandi Sonnenfeld grew up in Rockville Centre and graduated from Oceanside Senior High. Drawn to the arts at a very early age, Sandi studied ballet for more than 15 years, ultimately attending classes at the Joffrey Ballet School in Manhattan. She attended Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, where she majored in English (and minored in dance), graduating magna cum laude. After a brief stint performing with a professional dance troupe in Boston, Sandi enrolled in the MFA program in fiction writing at the University of Washington, where she studied under National Book Award winner Charles Johnson. While at the UW, Sandi was awarded the Loren D. Milliman Writing Fellowship, the top scholarship given to only one writing student each year. Since that time, Sandi has published more than 30 short stories, essays, and journalism pieces in a variety of publications, including Sojourner, Voices West, Hayden's Ferry Review, ACM: Another Chicago Magazine, Somerset Review, The Raven Chronicles, Perigee and in the upcoming issue of New Works Review (

Her first full-length book, This Is How I Speak, a memoir in diary form that explores Sandi's struggle to come to terms with the end of her dance career even as she embarks on a new one as a writer, was published by Seattle's Impassio Press in June 2002. This is How I Speak was a BookSense 76 finalist and for which The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association named Sandi a 2002 Celebration Author, one of a select group of writers whose work merits special attention.

Writing awards include The David Dornstein Memorial Creative Writing Award for Young Writers (1998) sponsored by the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education, as well as a finalist for Rosebud Magazine's X.J. Kennedy Award for Creative Nonfiction (2001), Greensboro Review Literary Awards (2001) and the Serpentine Fiction Award (2000). Sandi currently resides in Brooklyn with her filmmaker husband Warren Berry and the world's most perfect cat, Princess Stormwalker. Visit for more.

Brenda Janowitz

A native Oceansider, Brenda Janowitz has had a flair for all things dramatic since she played the title role in her third grade production of Really Rosie. When asked by her grandmother if the experience made her want to be an actress when she grew up, Brenda responded, "An actress? No. A writer, maybe."

Brenda attended Cornell University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Human Service Studies, with a Concentration in Race and Discrimination. After graduating from Cornell, she attended Hofstra Law School, where she was a member of the Law Review and won the Law Review Writing Competition. Upon graduation from Hofstra, she went to work for the law firm Kaye Scholer, LLP, where she was an associate in the Intellectual Property group, handling cases in the areas of trademark, anti-trust, internet, and false advertising. Brenda later left Kaye Scholer to pursue a federal clerkship with the Honorable Marilyn Dolan Go, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York.

Since her clerkship, Brenda has worked as a career counselor at two New York City law schools, where she published a number of articles on career related issues in publications such as the National Law Journal and the New York Law Journal. She currently lives in Manhattan where she lectures on the publishing process and teaches creative writing at Mediabistro.

Denis Gray

Denis Gray is a great friend of our series. A frequent member of our audience, Denis was our final reader last year--reading his wonderful works by flashlight and headlights as the sun set on us last August. He is a novelist/playwright who lives in Woodmere, Long Island. He is the author of 28 books, three novellas, thirteen plays, and over fifty short stories. His novella Benny's Last Blast!!, was published in 2002. He expects the release of his first audio short story CD, "Black Love Notes," later this summer.

Over the years, Denis' work has been featured at many poetry venues within the tri-state area. He thanks the "Summer Gazebo Reading Series" for this opportunity for his work to be heard. This is an event, he feels, which promotes the cultural richness of the vast community of great contemporary writers.

Adriana DiGennaro

Adriana read last year to glowing praise-- a truly exceptional young poet! A member of the Academy of American Poets and the Italian American Writers Association (IAWA), Adriana DiGennaro is a graduate of Bennington College in Vermont where she studied literature and creative writing. A native New Yorker, her second book of poetry, Acts of Contrition, was published in Spring 2007 by Windstorm Creative. Peripheral Vision, her first book published in 2001 by Writers Ink Press, debuted when she was just 17. That same year she was on Red River Review's list of nominees for a Pushcart Prize.

Ms. DiGennaro's poetry has been featured in Edifice Wrecked, The Abrabesque Review, BigCityLit, Red River Review, PoetryBay, Merge, The Aurora Review, Poetz, Boston Literary Review, The Tipton Poetry Journal, Tryst, Ancient Heart (United Kingdom), Eclectica, City Writers Review (NYC), Poetry Midwest, Esopian, Adagio Verse Quarterly, Falling Star Magazine, Flutter, Wonder Writings, Long Island Quarterly, Triplopia, Ward6Review, Clean Sheets, Sidereality, Southern Ocean Review (New Zealand), Perigee, Sage of Consciousness and The Improper Hamptonian. She is the youngest poet whose work is featured in The Light of City and Sea (Street Press 2006), an anthology of Suffolk County poetry edited by Suffolk County Poet Laureate Daniel Thomas Moran.

Other anthologies with her work include Southshire Pepper-Pot: A Literary Feast With Culinary Refrains (Windstorm Creative, 2006); Susan B. & Me: An International Collection of Women's Writings & Photographs edited by Patricia Ronsvalle, LCSW (Big Kid Publishing, 2006); In Our Own Words: A Generation Defining Itself edited by Marlow Peerse Weaver (MWE Press, 2005), Whispers of Inspiration: An Anthology of New American Poets edited by Darlene and Steven Manchester (Sunpiper Press, September 2005); Ancient Heart Magazine Poetry Anthology Vol. III edited by Richard van der Draaij (Ancient Heart Press, 2005). To watch a short video of her reading at Good Times Books, Port Jefferson, NY, go to:

A born city dweller and dreamer obsessed with all forms of reggae music, she needs lots of sunlight and is happiest when in transit. She is always in search of adventure. She lives and works in New York City.

Robert Dunn

Also a fan favorite from last year-- Robert is guaranteed to bring laughter to Schoolhouse Green! Writer/artist Robert Dunn is the author of such books as Zen Yentas in Bondage, Horse Latitudes, and Baffled in Baloneyville. He is the editor of Asbestos Poetry Journal and has served as Editor of Medicinal Purposes Literary Review and The New Press Literary Quarterly. Mr. Dunn's poetry has appeared around the world, which is more than you can say for him. His comic strip, Knish & Carob, has appeared in Street News. In every generation, there are 36 individuals whose very existence persuades the Almighty not to destroy the world. Among these 36 individuals, Mr. Dunn is definitely #37.

The Readings start at 7pm at Schoolhouse Green, located on Foxhurst Road, just east of Long Beach Road, Oceanside NY. For more information, or our new blog site

(By the way, check out photographs of our readers and the Green at

We are re-scheduling the Readers we lost to the weather. Subject to additions, our schedule for the balance of the summer is:

July 21 Jack Anderson Judy Turek Geri Lipshultz Anthony Policano Richard Vetere
July 28 Betsy Transom -double slot Christine Timm Lee Kostrinsky Clive Young
August 4 Teri Coyne Bruce Grossberg Paula Comacho Susan Deacon
August 11 Long Island Writer's Guild
August 18 Yolanda Coulaz- The Reverend Mofo Doris Bush Florence Gatto
August 25 Barbara Hoffman Barbara Reiher-Meyers Barbara Southard Karen Swenson

The Readings start at 7pm at Schoolhouse Green, located on Foxhurst Road, just east of Long Beach Road.

The Summer Gazebo Readings are sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Oceanside, in support of the Oceanside Education Foundation. The Gazebo Readings will be held each Monday evening in June, July and August, and will feature 4 readers each evening. Scheduled readers include some of Long Island's most prestigious poets, published authors, comedians, fiction and non-fiction writers, and local community members sharing some of their favorite literature. The Summer Gazebo Readings will be held outdoors; seating is limited, so bring a lawn chair, a blanket, a picnic table. The grounds are open, and the public is encouraged to come early and have a quiet summer's picnic on the grounds. Admission is free.

Sponsors include:
Home & Hearth Realty
Tower's Funeral Home
Oceanville Mason Supply
Westron's Light Bulb Warehouse
NY Municipal Credit Union
Childs Murphy Kuehn & Cesiro, Inc. Insurance
Dr. Aaron Rappaport, DDS & Dr. David Rappaport, DMD
Marsh Hawk Press
LI Pulse Magazine
Councilman Anthony J. Santino
M. Schamroth & Sons

E. Fine
C. Scarlata & Family
Kaufman Family

Doc's Mechanical Piping & Heating Corp.
Bondi & Iovino, Attorneys at Law

For more information:

Tony Iovino
68 Yorktown Street
Rockville Centre, NY 11570
H 516 763-1667
C 516 459-3262
W 516 741-8585

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