Sunday, March 05, 2006

They Wrote in Asbury Park

They Wrote in Asbury Park

Local scribes read to benefit city's historical society

Asbury Park, NJ [March 6, 2006] Five writers will present the works of well-known authors in a special event during April in Asbury to benefit the city s historical society.

Helen Pike, author of Asbury Park's Glory Days: The Story of an American Resort, hosts "They Wrote in Asbury Park" at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 9. The venue is the Red Fusion Lounge, Cookman Avenue and Bond Street.

They were in their salad days, Pike said of the writers she discovered during seven years of researching her latest book, yet they were to about to achieve national fame.

Two surprising finds were travel-adventure writer Lowell Thomas who spent a year at his parents' home on Fourth Avenue, churning out his first manuscript. The book, With Lawrence in Arabia, established Thomas s media career. The Society of American Travel Writers gives an annual award in honor of its founding chairman.

"What a happy coincidence given that Asbury Park is best known as a resort destination," Pike said.

The other discovery was writer Margaret Widdemer who was living on Seventh Avenue when she won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

"I first happened on Widdemer's semi-autobiographical novels set here locally," Pike explained. "Researching the woman who was part of the Greenwich Village bohemian crowd of the early 20th century lead to her poetry."

Maureen Nevin, AsburyRadio talk show host, and herself a published poet, will read three of Widdemer's poems, plus one of her own written about Asbury Park.

Don Stine, journalist and owner of Antic Hay Books in the city, will read from Thomas's book.

Frank D'Alessandro is the curator of the Stephen Crane House, the only museum in Asbury Park, Pike noted. He will read some of Crane's early dispatches before he wrote The Red Badge of Courage. D Alessandro also will read one of his own works that appear in The Coaster newspaper. In 2001 he published an anthology, A Year in the Life of Asbury Park: The Rantings of a Frustrated Essayist.

Founding editor and publisher of "The Coaster", Robert Carroll, will read from Maverick. It is the autobiography of investigative journalist Fred J. Cook who began his career at the Asbury Park Press in the 1930s. Carroll was the first environmental reporter for The New York Daily News .

The event benefits the Asbury Park Historical Society. Admission is $5 at the door. A cash bar will be available.

For more info, contact Don Stine: 732-774-4590.

Submitted by Helen Pike, helenpike at comcast dot net


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