Bits: Writers Speak Wednesdays, Ladles of Love, All for Alabama, Raimondo Sings and Shares

Amy Hempel. Vicki Topaz photo

Hempel’s ‘Sing It: Stories’ Makes the Cut for Writers Speak Wednesdays

Author Amy Hempel is basking in the release of “Sing It: Stories,” and will discuss her newest book — which hit bookstores on March 26 — during Writers Speak Wednesdays on April 3 at Stony Brook Southampton.

A member of the MFA in Creative Writing faculty, Hempel is also the author of four story collections — The New York Times named “The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel” one of the Ten Best Books of 2006 — and was inducted to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2017.

She will share the stage with Julia Slavin, author of The New York TimesNotable Book “The Woman Who Cut Off Her Leg at the Maidstone Club and Other Stories.” Other books include her novel “Carnivore Diet” and a new collection, “Stories for Squatters.” Her work has appeared inGargoylemagazine and Tin House, and she is the winner of the 2000 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. She lives in Washington, D.C.

The “Writers Speak” series will continue with Kyla Marshell and Shane McCrae on April 10; poet Sharon Dolin and writer Chloe Caldwell on April 24; and a showcase reading by MFA students on May 1.

The readings begin at 7 p.m. in Duke Lecture Hall at the Southampton campus, located at 39 Tuckahoe Road, each preceded by a reception at 6:30 p.m. and immediately followed by a Q&A and book signing. Admission is free. For more information, call (631) 632-5030 or visit

‘Ladles of Love’ Fundraises, And Rocks The Talkhouse, For Food Pantries

“Ladles of Love” has its work cut out.

On Friday, March 29, the benefit concert will attempt to raise $40,000 for the East Hampton and Amagansett Food Pantries — their reported deficit via their appeal letters — from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Stephen Talkhouse, located at 161 Main Street in Amagansett.

Bands are booking fast — including Mama Lee, Jetty Coons, Lynn Blue Band, Bastards of Boom, Taylor Barton, Bobbi Terzi Originals and OCDC — but don’t be surprised if a few special guests swing by for the fundraiser, which will also include a silent auction, 50/50 raffle and merchandise from Polar.

“In the first ever Supervisor’s Jam, Peter Van Scoyoc and his band, Supe du Jour, and Jay Schniederman and Friends will at some point share the stage,” according to a press release.

Tickets are $35, which includes a dish of rice and beans with corn bread, courtesy Art of Eating. For more information, call (631) 324-2300 or (631) 267-2411, or email John Kowalenko at

‘All for Alabama’ Benefit Concert: Tornado Victims Seek Relief 

Even before the official start of spring, 37 tornadoes have ripped through Alabama — and if that sounds like a lot, it is.

In the first three months of any given year, the southern state typically sees less than 10 cyclones, and very rarely do they kill dozens of people, as the cluster of storms on March 3 did.

Lives, homes and livelihoods were lost, and in their wake, Bay Street Theater will host the benefit concert “All For Alabama” on Thursday, March 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Sag Harbor theater, located at 1 Bay Street. All proceeds will be donated to United Way of Alabama.

“Everyone involved will be volunteering their time and talents, including all of the musicians, the Bay Street staff and volunteers, and Jay Schneiderman and his staff,” Executive Director Tracy Mitchell said in a press release. “It’s always so heartwarming to see the artists and the entire community come together in times of need for others.”

Mitchell and the Southampton Town supervisor will emcee the night, featuring performances by Eagle River Band, Jay Schneiderman & Friends, and more — all under the “Benefits by Bay Street” banner.

Over the years, the program has provided aid for victims of the typhoon in the Philippines, the earthquake in Haiti, the tsunami in Japan, Long Island victims of Hurricane Sandy, and the ambulance and fire teams who assisted in the Sag Harbor cinema fire, raising more than $62,000 total.

“The All for Alabama relief concert is in honor of all those whose lives were literally uprooted in recent weeks by the tornadoes,” the release said. “Rebuilding will be required for many months and years to come.”

The suggested donation is $25, but any amount, large or small, is welcome. Cash and checks are preferred. Additionally, the theater will collect donated items from local retailers and restaurants to assist in the fundraising efforts. They can be dropped off at the box office from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and should be addressed to Michele Wilson. Make sure all gifts are properly marked with the donor’s name.

For more information, call (631) 725-9500 or visit 

Fred Raimondo

Fred Raimondo To Sing, and Share, During Concert Series

Fred Raimondo is more than a singer and songwriter.

He is a storyteller.

An original member of the acoustic trio Damaged Goods, the musician has shared stages with the likes of Jorma Kaukonen and Taj Mahal to Suzanne Vega and The Marshall Tucker Band.

And on Friday, April 5, he will take to the Songwriters Share stage at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse, located at 977 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike in Bridgehampton, joined by acoustic Americana combo The Cosmic Pioneers.

“The Cosmic Pioneers joined forces early in 2016 they consist of two parts, Leah Kay and Dave Grube,” according to a press release. “Dave is a guitar playin’ man with a voice that will melt your soul. Leah plays guitar and mandolin, and is also an accomplished singer. When harmonizing they sound as one voice. They search the universe gathering musical inspiration. Their sound is Americana, Roots, rocky with a smattering of the blues.”

Proceeds from the concert will benefit The Retreat, a safe haven for families in crisis. Since 1987, The Retreat has been providing domestic violence and sexual assault services and education to families, friends and neighbors on the East End.

Tickets are $20 and $15 for seniors and students, and a reception will follow the show. Upcoming concerts include Gene Casey playing for Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons on May 3, and Nancy Remkus and Dan Koontz performing for the Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry on June 7.

For more information, call (631) 537-0132.