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These events all took place in our Essex store.

Newt Night (Essex)

Phoenix Books and Café at the Essex Shoppes & Cinema invites budding scientists, concerned citizens, and naturalists-at-heart to join us for Newt Night!  This event is a perfect opportunity for participants to get hands-on experience, become educated about Vermont's amphibian population, and learn how to assist in their protection/preservation. There will be live specimens, a slide show, demonstrations, and "loads of fun & knowledge to be enjoyed by all attendants," says Rachel Mower, Phoenix's Cafe Manager and the coordinator of this event.Newt Night will be hosted by the North Branch Nature Center of Montpelier, as part of Citizen Science, a partnership between scientists and the broader community. Citizen Science allows the every-day person to participate in fun and exciting research projects, and to experience the natural world in a new way. It allows the scientist to enlist a small, or in some cases, a large army of volunteers to help collect data that wouldn't be possible without the help of the community.Space is limited; to reserve a spot or for more information, please contact Rachel Mower at 802-872-7111 or This demonstration involves delicate critters, so is best for ages 5 and up.

Art Reception with Karen Dawson and Jane Sandberg (Essex)

Jane Sandberg was raised within the lakes and mountains of the Adirondacks. Jane has a degree in Elementary Education from SUNY Oswego, and in Landscape Development and Ornamental Horticulture from VTC. When Jane moved to Vermont, she lived in Barre amidst the granite quarries and sculptures. As she raised her 3 children, she progressed from learning stained glass to pastels to watercolors. At VTC, freehand drawing and drafting were introduced; figure drawing, with Bill Braer, began in Montpelier. Jane continued her watercolor studies in classes with Kathy Berry- Bergeron. In 2004 she won First Prize in Watercolor during the NVAA June Juried Show, at the Bryant Gallery, in Jeffersonville. She has taught Beginner and Intermediate Adult watercolor classes and workshops. Jane is a member of the Essex Art League and enjoys painting with friends.Karen Dawson has been operating a visual art studio in Burlington's Lakeside Neighborhood for the last 18 years. She has 30 to 50 paintings in the works at any given time. Her professional experience ranges from farming to real estate to teaching, but art is always at the root of her adventures. She has been an apprentice at a stained glass business for nine years, and stained glass panels, murals, and mosaics are part of the mix in her own studio. Since 1998, she has facilitated four classes a week at a local correctional center. She has been inspired by Emily Carr, Wayne Thibaud, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, and Frank Gehry, among others.

Graphic Novel Readers and Creators (Essex)

Get together to discuss graphic novels past and present, talk about graphic novel you're reading now or the one you're working on, network with other readers, writers and artists, or just come to gab about comics in general. No style or genre will be ignored. If you are a creator, be ready for real critiques. Facilitator Rick Evans is a graphic designer and comic book fan living in Underhill. In his spare time he creates sequential art for no money at all at and

Phoenix Writing Group (Essex)

Join us for the next meeting of the Phoenix Writing Group! This group is intended to support efforts by writers in all genres and all levels of expertise, from beginner to published. Participants were invited to bring a sample of their original work for reading and discussion, as well as a favorite piece to read and share with the group. Nothing is required, though, and the event is free and open to the public.

Megan Price: Vermont Wild Volume 2 (Essex)

Come meet the author behind one of Phoenix’s bestselling books of 2010, Vermont Wild Volume 1. Megan will join us for the afternoon to talk about and sign her latest collection of Fish & Game Warden stories, Vermont Wild Volume 2. Did you know both volumes feature laminated water-resistant covers designed to slide into a backpack and be taken into the woods for reading out of doors? Come in and have Megan personalize a copy of Vermont Wild for the hunter or wildlife-watcher in your life!

Stephen Russell Payne: Cliff Walking (Essex)

Set on the rocky and at times unforgiving coast of Maine, Stephen Russell Payne's emotionally powerful debut novel, Cliff Walking, shares a poignant tale of loss and love that weaves together the lives of three desperate people who struggle mightily to find a way to save each other. Stephen Russell Payne has written for Vermont Life magazine, The Tufts Review, The Vermont Literary Review, Livin' the Vermont Way magazine, and Route 7-Vermont Literary Journal.


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