Newark Arts Alliance’s Literary Arts Discussion Series Highlights Delaware’s Poet Laureate JoAnn Balingit and Other Authors

PLUS: Eat, drink and be merry at the Apple-Scrapple Festival and the Vendemmia Da Vinci Wine and Food Festival.


For the Bookworms

The Newark Arts Alliance has launched a Literary Arts Discussion Series, which means Delaware authors will visit the NAA beginning this month to discuss their work and creative processes, starting with Delaware Poet Laureate JoAnn Balingit on Oct. 19. The series is intended to inspire current and future authors and poets to write and publish, and fans of literature in general will learn more about what goes into written works. The NAA will also present a bookmaking project at the Newark Free Library for children ages 7-12, led by local artist and arts teacher Jennifer Polillo. Each event is free and open to the public. The schedule of authors is this:

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Oct. 1: JoAnn Balingit, poet laureate of Delaware, will celebrate the publication of her new book, “Words for House Story.” She will read poems and lead a discussion about where poems come from, displaying early drafts of finished poems along with the final versions to show her revision process. Balingit is the author of two previous collections, “Forage” (Wings Press, 2011), awarded the Whitebird Chapbook Prize, and “Your Heart and How It Works,” awarded the 2010 Global Filipino Literary Award in poetry. She is an assistant editor at YesYes Books and coordinates the Delaware Writing Region for the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Nov. 16: New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd is the pseudonym of the mother-and-son writing team of Caroline and Charles Todd. They are currently published by William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins Publishers. Their most well known creation is Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard, who stars in a series of mystery novels set in post-World War I England. They also write a series about Bess Crawford, a nurse and amateur investigator in France during World War I. Their recent Ian Rutledge novels include the forthcoming “Hunting Shadows,” “Proof of Guilt” (2013), and “The Confession” (2012). Their recent Bess Crawford novels include “A Question of Honor” (2013) and “An Unmarked Grave” (2012). 

Jan. 18: Ramona Long’s awards include Individual Artist Fellowships from the Delaware Division of the Arts as an Established Artist in Creative Non-Fiction (2013) and Fiction (2009). Her work in fiction, memoir, and creative nonfiction has appeared in regional, literary and juvenile publications, both in print and online, including The Arkansas Review, Delaware Beach Life and Cricket. As an editor, she works with private clients as a developmental and content editor. She has been hired by the Sisters in Crime National Organization to edit two short mystery anthologies, “Fish Tales” and “Fish Nets,” both published by Wildside Press. Ramona’s discussion will include writing for the literary and nonfiction markets, as well as the role of independent editors in the changing publishing industry.

March 14: Cindy Callaghan is the author of the middle-grade novels “Just Add Magic” (2010), “Lost in London” (2013) and “Lucky Me” (coming in 2014), all published by Simon & Schuster’s Aladdin M!x. The popular short story, “Just Add a Famous TV Chef,” is downloaded daily from her website Callaghan is occasionally published in Writer’s Digest and is invited to speak, personally and virtually, at schools nationwide to discuss creative writing and publishing.  In 2013 she will launch Give One For the Books, a donation program that matches new or gently used books with the underserved. She lives, works and writes in Delaware. 

Feb. 16: Children 7-12 can meet Jennifer Polillo at Newark Free Library to join in a book-making project. Children must bring a short piece of prose or a poem to illustrate in the book they will create. Polillo holds a bachelor of fine arts from University of Pennsylvania and teaches at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, the Newark Arts Alliance, and Cecil College.  She was an artist-in-residence at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for 2012-2013.

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Newark Arts Alliance programs are supported, in part, by grants from the Delaware Division of the Arts. The mission of the NAA is to provide people the opportunity to explore and display their creativity, and  to participate in cultural events that build community. Check it out at 276 E. Main St., Suite 102, Newark. 266-7266,

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