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Saturday, August 11, 2012


Cold Spring author details Somers' role in American circus legacy


The Elephant Hotel, once owned by the prominent American circus businessman and animal keeper, Hachaliah Bailey is where the launch party for local author, Jo Pitkin's new book called 'Cradle of the American Circus: Poems from Somers, New York' will be hosted on Sunday, Aug. 12.
 Photo courtesy of the town of Somers


from: lohud.com
Written by  Christopher Vaughan
Aug 10, 2012 
SOMERS — Local author Jo Pitkin’s new book on the circus-centric past of her hometown is not your typical historical page-turner.
The Somers native recounts the area’s peculiar yesteryears in a new collection of poetic verses and retellings called “Cradle of the American Circus: Poems from Somers, New York.”
“This whole project began when I thought, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be great to write a few poems about the place (where) I grew up?’ ” said Pitkin, 56, whose second book is a departure from her previous autobiographical pieces.
The work, published by the History Press, is filled with stanzas describing the travels of 19th-century circus pioneers from Somers and the exotic animals that accompanied them. Many pages have vintage illustrations of life under the big top or portraits of those who ran the events.
The Somers Historical Society will host a launch party for the book at the town’s most famous site and national landmark, the Elephant Hotel at 2 p.m. Sunday.
The book “is so innovative and creative,” said Grace Zimmermann, vice president of the Somers Historical Society. “It shows history can show itself in a very untraditional light.”
After Pitkin moved to Cold Spring in 1995, she would not only visit her birthplace to see her mother, a longtime resident of Somers, but also to sift through records of families who had molded the showmanship of the modern American circus.
read more:
http://www.lohud.com/article/20120811/NEWS02/308110046/Cold-Spring-author-details-Somers-role-American-circus-legacy?nclick_check=1

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