Featured Profile

Lary Bloom
Writer, Editor, Teacher

Lary Bloom grew up in Cleveland, addicted to Cleveland Indians baseball, an affliction he never outgrew. In 1961, he went off to Ohio University to study journalism between performances in plays and musicals. In 1966, after his commissioning in the United States Army, he accepted the Army’s offer for a 12-month, all-expenses paid trip to South Vietnam. All he had to do in exchange was run a field bakery, and, later, be in charge of the food supply for the middle third of the country, and then write press releases for headquarters highlighting the great progress of the war effort while escorting stars of stage and screen around Vietnam during USO tours. When he got back from Southeast Asia, he took a job as a reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal, where he worked for a year until the Army realized it couldn’t do without him. In a reserve call-up, he was ordered to return to duty, and served another 18 months editing a newspaper at Fort Meade, Maryland, where he earned an Army Commendation Medal largely for coming in Saturdays and making photocopies.

 

When he returned to the Akron Beacon Journal, it was to a job writing magazine pieces ­ and so began a career he loved in Sunday magazines. He became editor of Beacon,
in Akron, and then Tropic, at the Miami Herald. In Miami, Tropic became very popular for its incisive and innovative narrative style and for its dynamic design. One of Lary’s staff writers, Madeleine Blais, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Features, and several other writers won national awards. When the Hartford Courant decided to start a new magazine, Lary came to New England. For 20 years, he edited Northeast magazine for the Courant. During that time, he wrote two books ­ Something Personal, and The Writer Within (lessons of nonfiction writing learned from all those years as a Sunday magazine editor). He was editor of and contributor to Twain’s World, a collection of essays on Hartford’s cultural heritage. He also co-founded the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, which featured many of America’s
greatest poets, including Stanley Kunitz, Richard Wilbur, Sharon Olds, James Merrill, Galway Kinnel, Donald Hall, Lucille Clifton and many others. He co-founded Art For All, a public art project, featuring work by Katharine Hepburn, Dave Brubeck,
and many visual artists. He also co-founded Mark Twain Days, a citywide celebration
that featured the music of Ray Charles, and the Kingston Trio, and the comedy of the Smothers Brothers, as well as activities such as frog jumping contests (in which loading down the contestants with lead was discouraged.) His other public projects included Connecticut Voices, during which 50 distinguished state authors (including Arthur Miller, William Styron, and Annie Dillard) were profiled, and then read from their books on public radio.

In 2001, after 20 years at Northeast and more than 30 as a Sunday magazine editor, Lary went off on his own to concentrate on writing, freelance editing, and teaching. His column, Lary Bloom’s Connecticut, appears monthly in Connecticut magazine, and has won national awards. He co-wrote When The Game Is On The Line, with Rick Horrow, a sports business book. He also wrote Alone Together, a novella published by Hartford Hospital on the subject of breast cancer. His collection of pieces, Lary Bloom’s Connecticut Notebook, was published in the fall of 2005 by Globe Pequot Press.

After he taught nonfiction writing for many years at Trinity College, Lary offered
popular memoir writing courses at the Hartford Public Library, the Greater Hartford Jewish Community Center, the Essex Public Library and Chester Village West.

Aside from his Cleveland Indians fixation, Lary was always smitten with theater. In 2003, the musical A Woman of a Certain Age, which he conceived of and wrote
the lyrics for, had its debut at the historic Ivoryton Playhouse. He also wrote the play, Worth Avenue, and produced John DeNicola’s musical, Megillah, at Goodspeed Opera House’s Norma Terris Theatre.

Lary lives in Chester, Connecticut.

Bio courtesy of http://larybloom.net


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