Arts and leisure digest

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:16

    Twelfth Night celebration on Jan. 9 to benefit Habitat House Tuxedo Park — At 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 9, Episcopal choirs and musicians of the Hudson Valley region will perform a holiday repertoire to support the EpiscoBuild program with Newburgh Habitat for Humanity at St. Mary’s Church in Tuxedo Park. Free-will offering will be taken to support the building of their 4th Habitat-Newburgh home, with seasonal refreshments to follow. For more information go to St. Mary’s-in-Tuxedo Web site: Middletown library to screen foreign film Middletown — Thrall Library will screen the first film of its year-long Reel Electric Series of independent and international films on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011 at 7 p.m. The screening will take place in the second floor Community Room. Future films in this series will be on the first Thursday of the month. Most of these films are not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America and are intended for adult audiences. Admission is free. Thrall Library is located at 11-19 Depot St., in Middletown. Call the library at 341-5454, ext. 5479 or e-mail for the title of the film or for more information. Jazz Knights to present composers forum om Jan. 12-13 Marlboro — The West Point Band’s Jazz Knights will present their first Jazz Composers Forum on Jan. 12 and 13 at the Falcon Jazz Club in Marlboro. It will consist of a two-day workshop intended to encourage new music composition for large jazz ensemble, and to offer experienced writers the chance to explore their craft with the guidance of jazz composer/arranger Jim McNeely and the resources of a live rehearsal band (the Jazz Knights). The forum will finish with an evening concert on Thursday, Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. at the jazz club, which will feature the Jazz Knights performing the original music of Jim McNeely and the participants. This concert is free and open to the public. McNeely was born in Chicago and moved to New York City in 1975. As a pianist he has enjoyed long-term affiliations with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra (later Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra), the Stan Getz Quartet, and the Phil Woods Quintet. Currently he leads his own tentet and trio, and he appears as soloist at concerts and festivals worldwide. For more information call 938-2617 or visit Poetry center offers free workshops Warwick — The Northeast Poetry Center is offering a series of free workshops and presentations on a variety of topics relating to writing and to literature to be held Saturdays at 2 p.m., with the exception of the first, on Jan. 22, an all-day workshop. All will be presented in the back room behind the Utopian Directions bookstore at 7 West St., in Warwick. On Jan. 22 Mona Toscana will present a memoir writing workshop called Mother Memories/ Father Fables from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. (with an hour break for lunch). Toscana describes her focus as “mother figures, father figures, possibly including archetypes and mythic beings.” She asks that participants bring writing materials and a souvenir or story to “churn” writing. She suggests memoirists might work from “actual memories, family tall tales, or embellished histories,” On Feb. 5 Janet Hamill, who will conduct a spring workshop on 20th century Latin American poetry, will present a program on Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, the poet and scholar who defended women’s access to learning in 17th century Mexico. The session might serve as background for her eight-week workshop as well as an introduction to a neglected poet. Lynn Hoins will lead a two-hour program on Feb. 12 titled Enriching Poetry Through Detail, exploring “how being specific can lead to revealing the universal.” Descriptions of either the physical world or emotional states gain accuracy and power through carefully chosen particulars. The work of writers identified with the Beat Generation has been very influential. On Feb. 19 Teresa Costa will read from and discuss their importance, probably including consideration of her old friend Ray Bremser. On Feb. 26 William Seaton will read and discuss the delights of Middle English Love Poetry, both courtly and crude. Seaton will demonstrate not only the fresh beauty of medieval poetry, he will include a short course in reading Middle English. Robert Milby will present a program on March 5 surveying work by and about celebrated poets with ties to the Hudson Valley. He expects to include such figures as Poe, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Adelaide Crapsey. On the first and third Saturdays of every month readings, including both featured writers and an open mike, are held in the same space at 4 p.m. For more information visit To register or ask questions, contact William Seaton at