Literary Arts


Poetry Rocks! is a quarterly poetry reading series organized by ACE Artist Member and Vernon Poet Laureate, Pegi Deitz Shea. It is co-sponsored by Arts Center East and the Vernon Arts Commission. In 2017, the then ACE Director, Joan Sonnanburg, approached Pegi about beginning a poetry reading series that would feature Rockville High Schoo’s award-winning poets, early career poets, and established Connecticut poets. Now in its fourth year, Poetry Rocks! has featured numerous poets, including current CT State Poet Laureate, Margaret Gibson, and past CT State Poet Laureate, Rennie McQuilkin. Readings are held on Sunday afternoons at Arts Center East.

Next Event

Date: Sunday, September 26, 2021
Time: 3:00pm
$5 Suggested Donation

Poetry Rocks is back at Arts Center East! This Sunday, September 26 reading will feature José B. Gonzalez and Pat Hale in person at Arts Center East, 709 Hartford Turnpike in Vernon. The student poets are Kaylin Mayer and Cali Miville. There will be an open mic directly following the reading for the first 10 poets to register. Poets can register for the open mic portion by emailing Attendees are required to wear masks.

Poetry Rocks poets are sponsored by the Vernon Arts Commission.


The ACE Book club is meeting virtually!

Date: Wednesday, September 22
Time: 1:30pm, via Zoom
Title: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

If you are new to the ACE Book Club and would like to join the August meeting, email prior to the meeting date.

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.

Please read our Book Club discussion guidelines before joining.