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Canio´s Books Celebrates Their 10th Anniversary And Launch Of Canio´s Cultural Cafe

Originally Posted: November 19, 2009

Kathryn Szoka and Maryann Calendrille will launch their new not-for-profit, Canio's Cultural Café on November 27. Photo by Bernard Gotfryd

Sag Harbor - Canio's Cultural Cafe is here! On Friday, November 27 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., celebrate the 10th anniversary of Canio's, under the direction of Maryann Calendrille and Kathryn Szoka, and the launching of their new not-for-profit, Canio's Cultural Café. The new venture will expand upon the rich cultural series of events already happening at Canio's Books, and will ensure continued community programming into the future. Szoka and Calendrille envision Canio's Culture Café as a moveable feast of ideas. While they won't exactly be serving meals, they will be serving interesting ideas.

The mission of Canio's Cultural Cafe (CCC) is to support and engender community interest in the cultural arts, with an emphasis on literature, visual arts, and current events. The CCC will accomplish this by hosting lectures, workshops, seminars and other public forums that will include a diversity of artists and writers who might not otherwise be heard. Example of future possible events includes "Voices in Contemporary Irish Story-Telling;" "Through The Viewfinder: Photography Forums;" and "Of Monks And Mystics: Learning From Spiritual Writers."

Celebrate the past and the future of Canio's on Friday from 5 p.m to 7 p.m. at the launch party, and hear more about the CCC. A suggested donation of $25 to Canio's Cultural Café is requested.

Taylor Plimpton will read from his anthology "The Dreaded Feast: Writers on Enduring the Holidays" on November 28. Image courtesy of Canio's Books

On Saturday, November 28 at 6 p.m. Canio's Books will host writer and editor Taylor Plimpton reading from the anthology "The Dreaded Feast: Writers on Enduring the Holidays" published by Abrams. 'The Dreaded Feast' is an anthology, edited by Plimpton and Michele Clarke. P.J. O'Rourke, America's leading political satirist, wrote the introduction. The book includes darkly humorous essays, short stories and poems that, through poking fun at the holiday season, will help its readers survive it.

The idea - to collect the best writing on the worst part of the year - originated with Plimpton and Clarke's personal experiences enduring those hellish weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's - the repetitive jingles and vicious shoppers, the tension and awkwardness of family dinners. Sound familiar?

Of course, misery loves company, and the editors discovered many writers shared theirs. From Calvin Trillin denouncing fruitcake to Hunter S. Thompson celebrating Christmas by shoving a couch out the corner window of the 85th floor of the Empire State Building, to James Thurber ranting about the absurdity of holiday greeting cards, the anthology demonstrates that great writers love to hate the season, and love to serve up laughter as the best cure for the holiday blues. 'The Dreaded Feast' is undoubtedly an ideal gift for the holidays.

Other contributors include Dave Barry, Robert Benchley, Charles Bukowski, Augusten Burroughs, Billy Collins, Lewis Lapham, Jay McInerney, Fiona Maazel, George Plimpton, David Rakoff, David Sedaris, Charles Simic, and John Waters. Plimpton is a New York-based freelance writer and editor, who previously was an editor at Men's Journal magazine, where he wrote book reviews, travel articles, and various features. He spends time with family in Southampton; sometimes for the Holidays.

Looking Ahead
 • On Saturday, December 12 at 6 p.m. Writer Simon Van Booy reads from his new short story collection, "Love Begins in Winter."

 • On Sunday December 13 at 3 p.m. How to serve a Holiday tea with Margaret M. Johnson author of "Tea & Crumpets."

 • On Saturday, January 2 at 6 p.m. Jason Epstein reads from his new book "Eating: A Memoir."

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