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News Release

Date: August 19, 2005
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 301-251-7970; Steve Simon, 301-251-7952

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Montgomery College to Host Four Readings by Award-Winning Authors
“Books and Ideas” Series Features Pietrzyk, Morris and Poets Satterfield, Balbo

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Montgomery College’s Paul Peck Humanities Institute invites the public to learn more about the writings of local authors at this fall’s “Books and Ideas” reading series.

  • Novelist Leslie Pietrzyk opens the author series on Monday, September 19, at Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus Faculty/Staff Dining Room, located in the Campus Center, 51 Mannakee Street, Rockville.
  • Biographer James McGrath Morris will read at the College’s Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus on Wednesday, October 5, in the Bliss Room, Campus Commons, 7600 Takoma Avenue, Takoma Park.
  • Poets Jane Satterfield and Ned Balbo conclude the series on Wednesday, November 2, at Montgomery College’s Germantown Campus in Room 216 of the High Technology and Science Center, 20200 Observation Drive, Germantown.  All the readings begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

“The Paul Peck Humanities Institute’s “Books and Ideas” reading series celebrates the work and creativity of the very wide range of devoted and talented writers — novelists, biographers, poets, playwrights, historians, critics — who call the Greater Washington community home,” said Judy Gaines, executive director of the Paul Peck Humanities Institute.

Leslie Pietrzyk is the author of the novels “Pears on a Willow Tree” (Avon, 1999) and “A Year and a Day” (William Morrow, 2004), which was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection.  James McGrath Morris is the author of “The Rose Man of Sing Sing: A True Tale of Life, Murder, and Redemption in the Age of Yellow Journalism;” “Jailhouse Journalism: The Fourth Estate Behind Bars;” and the forthcoming “Joseph Pulitzer: A Biography.”

Poets Jane Satterfield and Ned Balbo teach at Loyola College in Baltimore and are past recipients of the Towson University Prize for Literature, among other awards. Each has published two collections of poems (Satterfield: “Assignation at Vanishing Point” and “Shepardess with an Automatic;” Balbo: “Galileo’s Banquet” and “Lives of the Sleepers”).

Prior to their public readings, each “Books and Ideas “author conducts an afternoon master class for Montgomery College students.  “Books and Ideas” is funded, in part, by the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.  For more information, contact Ruthann Wilbraham at 301-251-7417 or

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md.  The College serves nearly 50,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study. 

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