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Authors, Poets, Publishers Turn Up Heat for Month of August

It's anything but the lazy days of summer as the literary world schedules a full calendar of events.


These may be the lazy hazy days of summer for many. A time to loll, stroll, frolic, relax. But not for literary toilers. Authors are touring, poets are reading, and publishing gurus are offering workshops. Read on.

Travis Hedge Coke will read poetry at 8 p.m. tonight at Cafe Voltaire, 34 N. Palm St., Ventura.

Ana Castillo has won acclaim from her literary peers and the public for her poetry, novels and essays. The best-selling author of "My Father Was a Toltec" and "So Far From God" will sign her new book, "Loverboys" during a champagne reception at 7 p.m. Friday in the Ventura Bookstore, 522 E. Main St.

Joe Gores will sign "Contract Null and Void" at noon Saturday in Mysteries to Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Audrey Moore and staff will close the bookstore for a brief vacation Monday and Tuesday.

A meeting of SPAWN, the Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network, is scheduled at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Performance Studio, 34 N. Palm St., Ventura. Fee for nonmembers is $5. SPAWN also is sponsoring a daylong seminar on getting published, Aug. 24 in the Performance Studio. A workshop on writing and selling magazine articles is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon. A session on how to find a book publisher will follow from 1-3 p.m. Fee for advance reservations is $25 per session or $40 for both. Contact SPAWN, P.O. Box 2653, Ventura, CA 93002. Or, call Mary Embree at 643-2403.

Non-celebrity memoirs are finding an audience, according to publishing pollsters. So consider the memoir writing workshop which Alice Marie DeBerry will conduct from 9:30-11 a.m. and again from 4-5:30 p.m. Tuesdays at the Ventura Adult Center, 550 N. Ventura Ave. The fee is $28. Call 648-3035.

Adventures for Kids and the Ventura Children's Library Services are sponsoring craft sessions and a visit by Kevin Henkes, who will read from his new book, "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse," at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Foster Library, 651 E. Main St., Ventura.

In Santa Barbara: Happenings at the Earthling Bookshop, 1137 State St.: Where did the custom of exchanging baby teeth for gifts originate? "The Tooth Fairy Legend" by Dr. Mac (a retired dentist, educator and children's book author) is the first book written about this age-old folklore. The book's illustrator, Stephen McAllister, will discuss the legend and the ups and downs of publishing at 7 tonight.

Looking for new vacation adventures? Lucy Poshek, author of "Offbeat Overnights," will describe the most unusual places to visit in California at 7 p.m. Friday.

And anyone who loves literary gossip should meet Joan Mellen, who will discuss and sign her controversial biography, "Hellman and Hammett," at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Poems written by prison inmates who participate in the Arts in Corrections program will be read by Abigail Albrecht, Sojourner K. Rolle, Edwin Shaw and Armando Vallejo at 7:30 tonight at Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, 653 Paseo Nuevo, 2nd level.

Literary Club Luncheon guests will hear Psychologist Paul Abramson, author of "With Pleasure: Thoughts on the Nature of Human Sexuality," at noon Monday at San Ysidro Ranch, 900 San Ysidro Lane. Call 969-5046.

Events at Barnes & Noble, 829 State St.: Los Angeles Times reporter Mark Arax will sign his murder mystery memoir, "In My Father's Name: A Family, a Town, a Murder," at 7 p.m. Friday. And Eileen Barish will sign "Doin' California with Your Pooch!" at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Frances Halpern is co-host with Jon O'Brien of "Beyond Words" at 10 a.m. Sundays on KCLU-FM (88.3), Ventura County's National Public Radio station.

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