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We Were There: Writing Your Military Experiences
Thursdays, November 2, 9, 16 and 30, 6:30pm. Meeting Room 2, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. Author Elisabeth Petry will continue to lead the Veterans' Writing Group. This series, in its third year, invites all active or retired Veterans to share their stories and photos and to record their experiences in their own voices for their own benefit or to share with family and friends. Currently, service members from combat and non-combat situations from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraqi Freedom attend. We hope to hear from other Iraq War Vets, and those who have served in Afghanistan. Newcomers are always welcome!
Old Saybrook native Elisabeth Petry is a writer and former journalist and lawyer. She lives in Middletown with her husband Lawrence Riley, Commander of the American Legion Milardo-Wilcox Post 75, Middletown, CT.
The workshop facilitator is Christy Billings. She can be reached at (860) 347-2528 or cbillings@russelllibrary.org
Drop in; no registration

Readers Theater presents: Ages of the Moon by Sam Shepard
Monday, November 27, 6:30pm. The Hubbard Room, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. Join us for refreshments at 6:30pm before the play begins at 7:00pm. Since the library will close at 6:00pm, we will open the Court Street entrance to the Hubbard Room, at the back of the library.
Byron and Ames are old friends, re-united by mutual desperation. Over whiskey on a hot summer’s night, they sit, reflect and bicker until fifty years of love, friendship and rivalry are put to the test at the barrel of a gun. 'Longtime fans of Mr. Shepard should definitely see this play. It is a poignant and honest continuation of themes that have always been present in the work of one of this country’s most important dramatists, here reconsidered in the light and shadow of time passed.' -- NYTimes Review, 2010.  Readers Theater is live drama acted by local actors, directed by Anne Cassady and Richard Kamins. 
This series is sponsored by The Middletown Commission on the Arts and the Friends of the Russell Library.

Classic Mystery Book Discussion: The Unexpected Mrs. Polifax
Tuesday, November 28, 6:30pm. Meeting Room 2, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. The Unexpected Mrs. Polifax by Dorothy Gilman “When her doctor recommends that a widow pursue her unfulfilled life ambitions, he doesn't realize that she has always wanted to be a spy. Sending a letter to her congressman gets her an interview with the CIA and accidentally gets her an assignment to Morocco for a supposed easy task of picking up an encrypted code book. When the agency realizes their mistake, they send a super-agent to watch over her. Both are taken prisoner and the real agent is injured, leaving Mrs. Pollifax to use her considerable wits to help them escape and to save the day.”John Sacksteder
Drop in; no registration

Hip Hop Culture Slam
Wednesday, November 29, 5:00pm. The Activity Room, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. Everyone is invited to join in this showcase of the four pillars of Hip Hop (rapping, djaying, beatboxing and breaking! Rhymers, rappers, b-boys and girls may come and share their talents. MC Tang Sauce will be rapping and introducing.  DJ N.E.B. will be providing the music, and B-boy Bryan Giles and his team 'Of Shadow and Earth' will be moving. The graffiti signs which were painted at last May’s Hip Hop event by Alex Pock and the community of helpers will be on display. 
All ages are welcome. 
Drop in; no registration

Sponsored by the Middletown Commission on the Arts and the Friends of the Russell Library

NaNoWriMo Writers!
Thursday, November 30, 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Meeting Room 3, Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown. This is the last day of the challenge! Writers participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) are welcome to drop in and commiserate with others of like mind. Check out the website at: https://nanowrimo.org.
Drop in; no registration.

Donate New Socks and Mittens!

Throughout December
The Lobby

Come celebrate the holidays by donating new socks and mittens. Russell Library staff will be collecting them throughout the month and pass them along to the local shelters.

Jazz Up Close: Robby Ameen Trio

Saturday, December 2, 1:30pm
Hubbard Room

Resonant Motion, Inc. presents the final event in its 2017 “Crossing Cultures” program. Drummer and composer Robby Ameen leads a trio featuring bassist Henry Lugo, pianist and series curator Noah Baerman, plus special guest Jay Hoggard on vibraphone. Grammy award-winning Robby Ameen’s recording career stretches from Dizzy Gillespie to Paul Simon. Of Lebanese origin, Robby is best known for his unique and powerful Afro-Cuban jazz style. He has recorded numerous albums and co-authored the best-selling instructional book and CD: Funkifying the Clave: Afro Cuban Grooves for Bass and Drums, which has sold over 40,000 copies worldwide.

This event is supported in part by the Middletown Commission on the Arts

Racial Justice Book Group: The Street by Ann Petry

Tuesday, December 5, 6:00pm
Meeting Room 2

The Street tells the 'poignant, often heartbreaking story of Lutie Johnson, a young black woman and her spirited struggle to raise her son amid the violence, poverty and racial dissonance of Harlem in the 1940s. Its haunting tale still resonates powerfully today.'
Ann Petry was a Connecticut author, and has written The Narrows, Country Place and Miss Muriel and other Stories. The Street has sold more than a million copies. Corretta Scott King has called The Street, 'A powerful, uncompromising work of social criticism. To this day, few works of fiction have so clearly illuminated the devastating impact of racial injustice.'

The book will be available at the check-out desk.
This book group is open to all; no registration necessary.
The Racial Justice Book Group is in partnership with the Middletown Racial Justice Community.
The group will not meet on January 2, 2018 but will resume on February 6, 2018 with The Warmth of Other Suns: the epic story of America’s great migration by Isabel Wilkerson.

The War of the Roosevelts: The Ruthless Rise of America’s Greatest Political Family by William J. Mann

Wednesday, December 6, 6:30pm
Hubbard Room

The battles between the Roosevelts were deep and personal. The War of the Roosevelts looks at this iconic family of rebels and nonconformists through a fresh lens, correcting for class privilege and outmoded moral judgments, and forever changing the way this American dynasty will be perceived. William J. Mann is a novelist and Hollywood historian, best known for his 2006 biography of Katherine Hepburn, Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn He won the 2015 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime, and the 1999 Lambda Literary Award. He divides his time between Connecticut and Cape Cod.

We Were There: Writing Your Military Experiences

Thursdays, December 7, 14, 21 and 28, 6:30pm
Meeting Room 2

Veterans are invited to share their stories and photos in their own voices. We encourage new members to visit us to see what we are all about! Old Saybrook native Elisabeth Petry leads the group. She is a writer and former journalist and lawyer. Her first book, a collection of letters that she edited, was Can Anything Beat White?: A Black Family's Letters. Her second is At Home Inside: A Daughter’s Tribute to Ann Petry. She lives in Middletown with her husband, Lawrence Riley, Commander of the American Legion Milardo-Wilcox Post 75, Middletown, CT.
The workshop facilitator is Christy Billings. She can be reached at (860) 347-2528 or cbillings@russelllibrary.org
Sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library.
The group will not meet in January or February but will resume in March, 2018.

Make An Ugly Sweater for Ugly Sweater Day

Friday, December 8, 11:00am to 1:00pm
Hubbard Room

“National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day” is Friday, December 15th. We will be preparing for the day by helping you to make an Ugly Sweater! Bring an old sweater or one you don’t wear much and transform it into an Ugly Sweater you can wear on Ugly Sweater Day!
Drop-in, no registration.

Concert: The Avery Ensemble

Saturday, December 9, 1:30pm
Hubbard Room

First Prize Winner of the 2016 American Prize in Chamber Music, the Avery Ensemble is a piano quartet joined frequently by guest vocalists and instrumentalists. Recent engagements include appearances as guests of the Chamber Music Society of Central Kentucky, the Rossmoor Music Association in New Jersey, Coe Hall in New York, the Meadow Ridge Concert Series in Connecticut and the Auditório Jurerê Classic in Florianopolis, Brazil. Avery Ensemble was the focus of an article in the Summer 2016 issue of Chamber Music America's Chamber Music Magazine.
The program for this concert includes pieces that would have been heard by audiences during the years of World War I. 
Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library

Film Screening: The Letter (1940) Classic Mystery Series

Tuesday, December 12, 12:30pm
Hubbard Room

In this 1940 classic film noir directed by William Wyler, the wife of a rubber plantation administrator (played by Bette Davis) shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense. However, a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing. Also starring Herbert Marshall and James Stephenson, the screenplay is by Howard E. Koch and is based on the 1927 play by W. Somerset Maugham

Middlesex County Historical Society: Homegrown Terror: Benedict Arnold and the Burning of New London by Eric D. Lehman

Thursday, December 14, 7:00pm
Hubbard Room

In September 1781, CT native Benedict Arnold and a force of 1,600 British soldiers and loyalists took Fort Griswold and burnt New London to the ground. The brutality of the invasion galvanized the new nation. Eric D. Lehman will chronicle the events leading up to the attack and highlight this key transformation in Arnold—the point where he went from betraying his comrades to massacring his neighbors and destroying their homes. For more information on this presentation, please call 860-346-0746 or see https://mchsct.org
Sponsored by the Middlesex County Historical Society

Paper Crafts for Adults

Friday, December 15, 11:00am
Hubbard Room

Paper is a versatile material that is used around the world for various crafts. Each workshop focuses on a different type of project. Come and explore paper! 
Adults ages 18 and up are invited to bring their own ideas, imaginations and willingness to learn.
Drop in; no registration

Concert: Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem - Wintersong

Thursday, December 21, 7:00pm
Hubbard Room

Looking for a little light in the darkness? Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem's WINTERSONG is a holiday program that skips over the canon and digs up the power and beauty at the roots of Christmas. From danceable, electric guitar- and banjo-driven carols and songs, to hushed settings of Tennyson and Longfellow, to fiddle-driven New Year’s songs from Cajun Louisiana, WINTERSONG is a surprising winter journey full of fierce poetry, wild joy and hope for humanity.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library.

Adult Coloring for Stress Reduction

Friday, December 22, 11:30am
Hubbard Room

Come and enjoy a stress-free environment while you color beautiful pictures!
The library provides materials, or you may bring your own.

Author/Illustrator David Hyde Costello Presents

Friday, December 29, 11:00am.
Hubbard Room

Join author/illustrator David Hyde Costello for a special program that features his books, drawing, music, and puppetry! With a background in theater as well as visual arts, David has painted scenery for plays and motion pictures including Amistad, Spider-man, and The Fighter. He is also a ukulele player, ‘self-taught through the productive use of procrastination.’ 
Drop in; no registration
Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library

Yoga in the Hubbard Room

Saturday, December 30, 11:00am.
Hubbard Room

No prior experience necessary, and no mats will be used. Our instructor will be Jeff Hush, founder of Food and Movement Therapy and a local instructor of Family Yoga, Tai Chi and Chair Yoga. Come experience how practicing yoga can help you feel calmer and more energetic, and learn how it can also help support a stronger immune system and better sleep patterns. If the weather is nice, yoga will be held in the courtyard.
Drop in; no registration
Sponsored by the Friends of the Russell Library


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