News

News Archives:   2013 2012

MFA Student Readings Close Writers Speak Wednesdays Fall Series Dec. 3

On December 3, the evening will be devoted to readings by students enrolled in the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program. The Writers Speak Wednesdays series hosts readings by authors, giving students and community members a first-hand view into the course of contemporary literature.

By attending our traditional winter closing event, you will not only be privy to the razor’s edge of contemporary literature, but also to the early work of the writers who are on their way to becoming “household words.” We hope their memoirs will mesmerize, their fiction fascinate, and their poetry please you.

Alumni of the program include Helen Simonson (MFA, 2008), author of the New York Times bestseller Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. Michelle Whittaker (MFA 2011) was a Cave Canum Fellow and has had her poetry published in The New Yorker. Victor Giannini (MFA 2012) published his first novella with Silverthought Press in 2012, and Dorothy Marcic (MFA 2013) saw her play Sistas premiere at St. Luke’s Theatre.

Writers Speak Wednesdays programs are free and open to the public. All readings begin at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall at Stony Brook Southampton. For more information, visit the Writers Speak web page or call 631-632-5030. On Facebook, visit Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @WritersSpeakWed.

 

Daniel Menaker to Interview Brian Morton at November 12 Writers Speak

mortonNovelist Brian Morton will be the next guest in the 2014 fall Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton. Morton will be interviewed by former New Yorker fiction editor Daniel Menaker on Wednesday, November 12, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Morton’s latest novel, Florence Gordon, was released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in September 2014 and received glowing reviews. National Public Radio reported, “Florence Gordon is one of those extraordinary novels that clarifies its readers' sense of things, rather than cozying up to our conventional pieties.”

Morton’s other books include The Dylanist, Starting Out in the Evening, A Window Across the River, Breakable You. He has been the recipient of the Guggenheim award, the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Koret Jewish Book Award for Fiction, and has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award.

Daniel Menaker has been the fiction editor at The New Yorker and executive editor of Random House. He is the author, most recently, of the memoir My Mistake.

The fall Writers Speak Wednesday series will conclude on December 3, with readings by “the stars of tomorrow”: students enrolled in the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program.

For more information, visit the Writers Speak web page or call 631-632-5030. On Facebook, visit Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @WritersSpeakWed.

 

Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya to Appear at Writers Speak Wednesdays on November 5

joydeepAuthor Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya will be the next guest in the 2014 fall "Writers Speak Wednesdays" series of free author talks and readings, open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton.

Roy-Bhattacharya will speak on Wednesday, November 5, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall, followed by a book signing facilitated by BookHampton Booksellers.

Roy-Bhattacharya’s The Watch, released by Random House in 2013, was named one of the “Ten Best Contemporary War Novels” by Publishers Weekly. The critically acclaimed novel is set in Afghanistan and modeled on the Antigone myth. His latest book, Light Angel, will be released this winter as the first in his “Peace Cycle” series of three discrete novels set in the Islamic world. Roy-Bhattacharya has said the cycle aims to “redress the gross simplifications accorded that culture in the West, and to highlight aspects of the contemporary world's Muslim inheritance.” He has published two other works of fiction, The Gabriel Club and The Storyteller of Marrakesh.

Roy-Bhattacharya was born in India and educated in Politics and Philosophy at Presidency College, Calcutta before coming to the United States to study International Relations and Political Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. During his studies he travelled to Eastern Europe, where he witnessed the Velvet Revolutions of 1989-90, which inspired his book The Gabriel Club. He has taught at Bard College, and the University of Albany.

Writers Speak Wednesdays is a series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton. Brian Morton will be interviewed by former New Yorker fiction editor Daniel Menaker on November 12. On December 3, the evening will be devoted to readings by “the stars of tomorrow,” students enrolled in the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program.

For more information, visit the Writers Speak web page or call 631-632-5030. On Facebook, visit Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @WritersSpeakWed.

 

Roger Rosenblatt's The Boy Detective Featured in NY Times Sunday Book Review

The Boy Detective: A New York Childhood, a memoir written by Roger Rosenblatt, Distinguished Professor of English and Writing at Stony Brook Southampton Graduate Arts, was featured in The New York Times Sunday Book Review's "Paperback Row" on Oct. 25.

The Boy Detective was one of seven works featured, and included an excerpt from a review in the Times last November by bestselling author Pete Hamill:

Contemplating landmarks and the lives of writers who came before him, Rosenblatt “walks the streets like a poetic stray, embracing chance and accident,” Pete Hamill wrote here.

Read the complete Hamill review here.

 

Julia Fierro Coming to October 29 Writers Speak Wednesdays

fierroAuthor Julia Fierro will be the next guest in the 2014 fall Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton. Fierro will speak on Wednesday, October 29, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Fierro's debut novel, Cutting Teeth, was released by St. Martin's Press in May 2014. Cutting Teeth was listed as one of the "Most Anticipated Books of 2014" by HuffPost Books, The Millions, Flavorwire, Brooklyn Magazine, and Marie Claire. The New Yorker called it “a comically energetic debut.” Fierro’s work has been published in Guernica, Ploughshares, Poets & Writers, and Glamour.

In 2002, Fierro founded the Sackett Street Writers Workshop, where she currently teaches the Post-MFA workshops. What started as eight writers meeting in her Brooklyn kitchen has grown into a creative home for more than 1,700 writers. She served as a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers Workshop, which awarded her an MFA in 2002.

Fierro lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

Writers Speak Wednesdays is a series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton. Other writers scheduled for the series include: Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya, November 5; and Brian Morton, interviewed by former New Yorker fiction editor Daniel Menaker, November 12. On December 3, the evening will be devoted to readings by “the stars of tomorrow,” students enrolled in the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program.

For more information, visit the Writers Speak web page or call 631-632-5030. On Facebook, visit Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @WritersSpeakWed.

 

20/20/20 Student JULIACKS to World Premiere Architecture of an Atom in Stockholm

Trans-media artist and director JULIACKS, a 2013 student of the Southampton Arts 20/20/20 filmmaking program, will see her project Architecture of an Atom have its world premiere at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden on October 31.

JULIACKS is a trans-media artist, director, writer, producer, performer and event designer who creates "narrative universes using the mediums of filmmaking, multi-media performance installations, comics and theatre in North America and Europe," according to her website.

The screening of the 62-minute film will be followed by a conversation between the artist and John Peter Nilsson, director, Moderna Museet Malmö.

View the trailer for the film here.

 

Award-Winning Author Alissa Nutting Coming to Writers Speak Oct. 22

nuttingAward-winning author Alissa Nutting will be a guest in the 2014 Fall Writers Speak Wednesdays series. Nutting will speak on Wednesday, October 22, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Nutting’s debut collection of short stories, Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls, won the Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction in 2010. Her 2013 novel Tampa was lauded as a brave satire of the perception of female pedophiles in American society. In a glowing review in Salon, Kyle Minor wrote, “like the best of satires, [Tampa] has a deadly seriousness at its center.”

Nutting’s prose has appeared in The Norton Introduction to Literature, Fence, Tin House, the New York Times, Bomb, Conduit, and O: The Oprah Magazine. She received her MFA from the University of Alabama in 2008 and her PhD from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada in 2011.

Nutting lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. She is currently an assistant professor of creative writing at John Carroll University.

Writers Speak Wednesdays is a series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton. Other writers scheduled for the series include: Julia Fierro, October 29; Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya, November 5; and Brian Morton, interviewed by former New Yorker fiction editor Daniel Menaker, November 12. On December 3, the evening will be devoted to readings by “the stars of tomorrow,” students enrolled in the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program.

For more information, visit the Writers Speak web page or call 631-632-5030. On Facebook, visit Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @WritersSpeakWed.


Amy Sohn Coming to Writers Speak Wednesdays on Oct. 15

amy sohnAuthor Amy Sohn will be the next guest in the 2014 Fall Writers Speak Wednesdays series at Stony Brook Southampton, speaking on Wednesday, October 15, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Sohn's most recent novel, The Actress, is set against the backdrop of contemporary Hollywood and tells the story of a New York thespian who becomes involved with a major movie star and soon begins to question her role as his wife.

The bestselling author’s other novels are Motherland, Prospect Park West, My Old Man, and Run Catch Kiss. She graduated from Brown University in 1995, and in 1996 she launched an autobiographical dating diary in the New York Press. She has been a columnist at New York Magazine, New York Press, and The New York Post, and has written pilots for ABC, Fox, HBO, and Lifetime.

Sohn lives in Brooklyn, New York with her family.

Writers Speak Wednesdays is a series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton. Other writers scheduled for the series include: Alissa Nutting, October 22; Julia Fierro, October 29; Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya, November 5; and Brian Morton, interviewed by former New Yorker fiction editor Daniel Menaker, November 12. On December 3, the evening will be devoted to readings by “the stars of tomorrow,” students enrolled in the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program.

For more information, visit the Writers Speak web page or call 631-632-5030. On Facebook, visit Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @WritersSpeakWed.

 

Creative Writing Program Offers Winter Workshop in Florence, January 2015

florenceEscape this January for Florence, Italy.

Spend 10 days living the life of a writer abroad in an intimate group of your peers. Take a writing workshop with Susan Scarf Merrell, the author of two novels: Shirley: a Novel and A Member of the Family. Merrell also wrote the nonfiction book The Accidental Bond: How Sibling Connections Influence Adult Relationships. She teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing & Literature Program at Stony Brook Southampton, and is fiction editor of TSR: The Southampton Review.

"I want to take people back to the planning phase and character backgrounds so they can get a greater idea of the world that’s being written about," Merrell said of her plan for the workshop. "I just want people to know it’s going to be a different construct from the traditional workshop design."

To add to the appeal, the experience includes electives in Italian Style and Design, Italian Cooking, and History, all taught by Florentine instructors. "This is a chance to learn who you are as a writer now," Christian McLean, Conference Coordinator, said.

Two MFA students who went to Florence the inaugural year of the program have set their theses in the city because the experience left such a lasting impression. McLean said travel "is one of the most wonderful ways" to get in touch with your creative side. This is your opportunity to spend a concentrated period of time writing in one of the most culturally-rich metropolises in the world and get credits for doing it.

When: January 13-24, 2015

The course can be taken as graduate, undergraduate or noncredit.

Application deadline is October 1, 2014.

Learn more about our Winter Workshops here.

 

Announcing TSR's First Annual Robert Reeves $1,000 Prize in Comic Fiction

Submit your short comedic fiction (no more than 5,000 words) to The Southampton Review’s first annual Robert Reeves Comic Fiction Contest! We won't even try to tell you what we're looking for. The comic impulse is so widely and variously expressed in fiction that it resists definition. But if your comic muse has led you to a story that you consider a match, throw caution to the wind and send it to us.

Entry fee is $15 per submission. Winners will be notified on or before January 15, 2015, and will be honored at the Manhattan launch of TSR: The Southampton Review’s Spring 2015 issue. Submission period is September 1st through October 31st.

1st Place: $1000 and publication in the Spring 2015 issue of TSR: The Southampton Review.

Finalist stories will be considered for publication in TSR Online.

Notably irreverent contest judge Daniel Menaker has been the fiction editor at The New Yorker, and executive editor of Random House. He is the author, most recently, of the memoir My Mistake.

Author of many works, including the comic novels Doubting Thomas and Peeping Thomas, Robert Reeves is the founder of the MFA program in Creative Writing and Literature at Stony Brook Southampton.

Rachlin, Gorokhova Come to Writers Speak Wednesdays Oct. 8

rachlinNahid Rachlin, novelist, and Elena Gorokhova, memoirist, will appear together at the Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton. Rachlin and Gorokhova will speak on Wednesday, October 8, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Rachlin is the author of four acclaimed novels; Jumping Over Fire, Foreigner, Married to a Stranger, and The Heart’s Desire. Most recently she published a memoir, Persian Girls. After coming to America from Iran, Rachlin attended the Columbia University Writing Program on a Doubleday-Columbia Fellowship and then went on to the Stanford University MFA program on a Stegner Fellowship. She has written for the New York Times, Newsday, Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. She has received the Bennet Cerf Award, PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant.

gorokhovaGorokhova grew up in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, Russia and is the author of the memoir A Mountain of Crumbs. In the United States Gorokhova received a Doctorate in Language Education and has taught English as a Second Language, Linguistics, and Russian at various New Jersey colleges and universities. Mountain of Crumbs has been called the Angela’s Ashes of Russia, and indeed, Gorokhova wrote the book after taking Frank McCourt’s memoir-writing workshop. She lives in New Jersey.

Writers Speak Wednesdays programs are free and open to the public. All readings begin at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall at Stony Brook Southampton, 239 Montauk Highway.

For more information, call 631-632-5030. On Facebook, visit Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @ WritersSpeakWed.

Adrienne Becker of Killer Content Talks Social Media at IFP Independent Film Week

beckerAdrienne Becker, CEO of Killer Content, gave a Blitz Week speech at the Filmmaker Conference at Independent Film Week, presented by the Made in NY Media Center by IFP.

Becker shared her insight about the business of social art and spoke about the Stony Brook film program's association with Killer Films.

We’re a partner to New York’s own Stony Brook University, where Killer has been teaching Master Classes in filmmaking for a couple of years now, and we’re working on expanding that program and making it available online to larger audiences in the coming year.

A few students in last year’s SBK Filmmaking program even had the chance to work on Still Alice, our film that just sold to Sony and has everyone excited about Julianne Moore’s critically acclaimed performance. And in addition to the master classes in writing/directing and the very popular new producing class, over 25 filmmakers in the program have grown their short films from idea through development, production, finish and distribution, earning them festival laurels, grants and fellowships. It’s awesome hands-on training with working professionals that you don’t often see in academia.

Read the full text here.

Ally Kirkpatrick Is First Marcie Bloom Fellowship Winner from Southampton Arts

kirkpatrickAlly Kirkpatrick has been awarded the prestigious IFP / Marcie Bloom Fellowship in Film in support of her graduate studies in the Stony Brook/Killer Films Program in Digital Filmmaking.

The Marcie Bloom Fellowship in Film offers small-group mentoring and networking for aspiring filmmakers. Fellowship students meet once a month in New York City with Marcie Bloom, former co-president of Sony Pictures, and invited guests from the film industry, including directors, writers, producers, distribution professionals, and festival programmers, including Christine Vachon, co-founder of Killer Films and the director of Stony Brook’s Southampton Arts film program.

The Marcie Bloom Fellowship is a springboard for launching students’ careers in the film world as well as their independent film projects. Organized in collaboration with the Independent Feature Project (IFP), the Marcie Bloom Fellowship admits just four students and recent graduates each year, chosen from a large pool of candidates.

Kirkpatrick is Stony Brook University’s first Marcie Bloom Fellow.

During her coursework at Stony Brook, Kirkpatrick completed the two-semester 20/20/20 program in digital filmmaking, Stony Brook’s incubator for the filmmaking art form. Kirkpatrick and other aspiring writers, directors, and producers participated in advanced training at Stony Brook’s Manhattan campus. While learning the ins and outs of the ever-changing landscape of the film business, the students tried their hand at everything from pitching an idea to shooting a script from January to May 2014.

in June, students traveled to the Southampton Arts campus to scout locations and cast their films. They returned in July for the 20/20/20 Production Bootcamp, filming and editing their own short films and working as crew on their classmates’ projects. The comprehensive, experiential approach helped students master both the business and artistic sides of visual storytelling.  

With supervision from Christine Vachon of Killer Films and other talented faculty at Stony Brook Southampton Arts, Kirkpatrick wrote, directed, and acted in her first short film, about a library researcher who is accosted by her spam mail incarnate.

After Kirkpatrick’s success in Stony Brook’s 20/20/20 program, she was nominated for a Marcie Bloom Fellowship by Magdalene Brandeis, Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Digital Filmmaking,.

“The Marcie Bloom Fellowship's mission is similar to our own: to give young filmmakers access to and a realistic overview of the film business, and to prepare them for a long, sustainable life in film,” Brandeis said. “I'm delighted that Ally Kirkpatrick has been the first of our students to be awarded the honor. She proved herself in every way over the past year – as a writer, a visionary, a director, an actress, a cinematographer, an editor and an all-around good egg.”

Kirkpatrick is currently working on a Master’s Degree from NYU’s Gallatin Program for Individualized Study, with a focus on identity and creative work. She plans to use the Marcie Bloom fellowship to augment the experiential learning she undertook as a student of film at Stony Brook University.

 

 

Writers Speak Wednesdays Begins with Vijay Seshadri Sept. 24

seshadri

Vijay Seshadri, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for his book of poems 3 Sections, will be the first guest in the 2014 Fall Writers Speak Wednesdays series. Seshadri will speak on Wednesday, September 24, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Just prior to the reading, the Southampton Arts MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program will hold an informational Open House in the Radio Lounge starting at 6 p.m.

Seshadri is also the author of two other books of poems, The Long Meadow (2004), which won the James Laughlin Award; and Wild Kingdom (1996). His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, the Times Book Review, The Yale Review, and in many anthologies, including: Under 35: The New Generation of American Poets; Contours of the Heart; Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times; and The Best American Poetry 1997, 2003, 2006, 2013.

Born in Bangladesh, India, Seshadri moved to the U.S. at the age of 5. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio, where his father taught chemistry at Ohio State University. Educated at Oberlin College and Columbia University, he has taught in the creative writing department at Sarah Lawrence College since 1998. Seshadri lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son.

Writers Speak is a series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton. Other writers scheduled for the series include: Nahid Rachlin and Elena Gorokhova, October 8; Alissa Nutting, October 22; Julia Fierro, October 29; Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya, November 5; and Brian Morton, interviewed by former New Yorkerfiction editor Daniel Menaker, November 12.

On December 3, the evening will be devoted to readings by “the stars of tomorrow,” students enrolled in the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program.

All readings begin at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall at Stony Brook Southampton, 239 Montauk Highway. For more information, call 631-632-5287. On Facebook, visit Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @ WritersSpeakWed.

 

kill my mother Jules Feiffer's Kill My Mother Gets Rave Review from The New York Times

Long-time Stony Brook Southampton faculty member Jules Feiffer received another rave review for his first graphic novel, Kill My Mother, this time from Laura Lippman in The New York Times Book Review on Sunday, Aug. 14. Here's an excerpt:

Jules Feiffer’s Kill My Mother is a tribute to film noir and detective fiction….But Kill My Mother isn’t mere pastiche. The story is a thoughtful meditation on female identity and whether the not-so-simple art of murder can ever be defended as a moral necessity. It is a story about stories, the myths we have to create in order to keep putting one foot in front of the other....I know what I think: Kill My Mother is terrific.

Professor Feiffer's graduate seminar in the graphic novel will be offered at Stony Brook Southampton, Spring, 2015.

You can read the complete review at The New York Times website. Professor Feiffer previewed the novel for The New Yorker, which you can read here.

 

 The Moth Storytelling Comes to Southampton

The Manhattan based Stoytelling program comes to Stony Brook Southampton with Adam Gopnik and friends.  Here's an except from The Sag Harbor Express written by Mara Certic:

gopnik

In a world in which technology seems to be taking over, entertainment often becomes 

interactive and distracting, desperately trying to grip the ADD generation with graphics and fanfare. But for over 15 years, a group of writers, scientists, criminals, musicians, th

inkers and average Joes have come together under the guise of “The Moth” to provide the public with something raw: a simple story.

As the story goes, writer and poet George Dawes Green spent the summer evenings of

 his youth sitting on his porch, telling stories with his friends, as moths would flock through a hole in the screen door toward a nearby light. This group of friends began calling themselves The Moths and many years later, Mr. Dawes Green started “The Moth” in New York City in an attempt to recreate the low-key nights he spent in his native Georgia. Since then, it has become a nonprofit group dedicated solely to the art of storytelling. “The Moth” offers a weekly podcast and a radio show and has heard stories from speakers as diverse a bunch as The Moldy Peaches’ Kimya Dawson, Garrison Keillor, Ethan Hawke and Salmon Rushdie.

You can read the complete article at The Sag Harbor Express

 

Spalding Gray's Stories Left to Tell on July 12

 Starring: Mercedes Ruehl, Matthew Klam, Ain Gordon, and othersspalding

Stories Left to Tell catapults us into the hilarious and heartbreaking life and words of one of the most revered storytellers of our time. A five-person ensemble performs Spalding Gray’s legendary stories and monologues—interwoven with previously unpublished material from his letters and journals. As Backstage put it: “Gray was a funny funny man; this show is a gift.”

“Vividly funny, joyous, devastating, affecting, gorgeous…a breathing portrait.” – Ben Brantley, New York Times

“Fresh, engaging, moving, powerful. Gray’s words not only relate the story of his own life, they allow a new group of artists to reflect on what being alive can mean.” – Mark Blankenship, Variety

 

Dinah Lenney Coming to April 30 Writers Speak

dinah lenneyActor and author Dinah Lenney will be the next guest in the spring Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton, reading from her work on Wednesday, April 30, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Lenney earned her MFA in creative nonfiction from the Bennington Writing Seminars, and trained as an actor at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, studying with Sanford Meisner.

The author of Bigger Than Life: A Murder, A Memoir (2007), about the murder of her father, Republican Party politician and businessman Nelson G. Gross, she is also the co-author, with Mary Lou Belli, of Acting for Young Actors.

In her acting career, Lenney has had a variety of stage, film, and television roles. On television she has appeared on shows such as “Married... with Children” (1991), “Murphy Brown,” “Judging Amy,” “A Fine Romance” and “South of Nowhere.” Beginning in 1995 she played a recurring role on “ER” as Nurse Shirley.

Writing about her most recent book, The Object Parade, Stony Brook Southampton Distinguished Professor of English and Writing Roger Rosenblatt wrote: “How better to track the stages, shape, and meaning of a life than by way of the significant objects in it? But Dinah Lenney is a good deal more than clever. Every object she embraces in this beautifully-wrought book— the piano, the Christmas tree, the mole, the green earrings—discloses the compressed and hidden power of things, the nouns with which we write our lives. Piece by piece, the author reveals herself as a first rate observer in possession of a kind and generous mind—the most treasurable object in her rich parade.”

The May 7 installment of the Writers Speak Wednesday series will be devoted to readings by students enrolled in the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program.

Writers Speak Wednesdays programs are free and open to the public. All readings begin at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall at Stony Brook Southampton, 239 Montauk Highway.

Jordi Alonso Is Creative Writing Program's First Turner Fellowship Winner 

jordi alonsoJordi Alonso has been named the first winner of a Turner Fellowship from Stony Brook Southampton's MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program.

The W. Burghardt Turner Fellowship is a graduate fellowship program for eligible underrepresented students whose immediate academic plans include obtaining graduate or professional degrees in a variety of disciplines, including the biological sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine, humanities, engineering, and the arts.

Currently teaching himself Greek while finishing up his undergraduate education at Kenyon College, Alonso attended the 2013 Southampton Writers Conference, taking a poetry workshop with Heather McHugh, and also took a poetry workshop with Billy Collins at the 2012 Writers Conference. Alonso will matriculate in the MFA in Creative Writing program in the fall of 2014.

When Alonso, who is Latino, applied for fall 2014 admission to the MFA program in Southampton, the program director, Julie Sheehan, nominated him for a Turner, which supplies significant financial support over three years to underrepresented students who show leadership.

“It’s wonderful for our program to have its first recipient of a Turner Fellowship,” Sheehan said. “Instead of seeing his upbringing in a Spanish-speaking household as a liability, Jordi considered it an asset, and credits his early experience of growing up bilingual for a facility with languages that has helped him to master Latin and now Greek and Anglo-Saxon in his efforts to improve his craft as a writer.”

“Latinos are woefully underrepresented in graduate education, which is our loss,” Sheehan continued. “Kudos to the administrators of the Turner Fellowship for doing their best to redress this unfortunate situation.”

In a special message on the Turner Fellowship page of the Graduate School website, Charles Taber, Dean of the Graduate School at Stony Brook University, pointed out that: “The values and goals of the Turner Program exemplify institutional, local, and national imperatives for building a diverse community of academic and research professionals who are committed to serving as leaders in scholarship, research, and public service.

“The New York Statewide Graduate Diversity Fellowship Program, coordinated through the SUNY Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and named here at Stony Brook after Dr. W. Burghardt Turner, has graduated nearly 400 underrepresented students from Stony Brook’s masters, doctoral, and professional degree programs. Because of their diverse racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds, these Turner alumni bring a vital breadth of perspective to their current leadership positions. The Turner program currently supports over 75 graduate and professional degree students at Stony Brook through financial and professional development mechanisms, making it possible for our Turner Fellows to develop their knowledge, talents, and networks in pursuit of academic and professional excellence.”  

 

Application Deadline April 1 for 2014 Writers Conference and Southampton Arts Summer

The Southampton Arts graduate campus at Stony Brook Southampton has announced that April 1 is the deadline for applications to the 2014 Southampton Writers Conference, the 2014 Children's Literature Conference, and the 2014 Southampton International Theatre Workshops & Festival.

Southampton Arts Summer offers a wide range of opportunities and time frames for participants to immerse themselves in their chosen field of interest in the company of other serious and accomplished writers and theatre artists from July 9 to 20.

2014 Southampton Writers Conference: July 9-13; July 9-20

Now in its 39th year, the Southampton Writers Conference and the Children’s Literature Conference offer intimate, intensive workshop sessions led by a distinguished author, with a rich schedule of readings, lectures, panels and discussions given by world-class novelists, essayists, editors, poets and children’s book authors.

For 2014, both the full 12-day conference, July 9-20, and the intensive 5-day conference, July 9-13, will offer workshops in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. The children’s literature 5-day intensive will be offered this year from July 16-20.

Learn more: Southampton Writer's Conference | Children's Literature Conference

Get Your Feet Wet Options

Recognizing the different levels of interest and experience in the act of writing, the 2014 Writers Conference is offering two “Get Your Feet Wet” options this year.

For writers just getting started or trying to assess their aptitude, Find Your Voice: the Craft of Writing, available for the full conference or in a 5-day intensive, features a non-credit creative writing workshop with writing prompts, feedback and constructive support, along with access to all the electives, readings, evening events and receptions the conference has to offer.

For those who love literature but not writing, the Listener’s Pass, available for the full conference only, provides access to all the electives, readings, mini-workshops, evening events and receptions the conference has to offer, all without having to pick up a single pen (though there is no prohibition against it).

Writers Residency

For those who wish they had a place to get away from the distractions of everyday life and finally finish that manuscript, the 2014 conference offers a Writers Residency Program. Writers will be able to spend 12 days in the seclusion of their own rooms hammering away at the keyboard or scratching on legal pads. During breaks for inspiration or some conversation with other writers, the Southampton Writers Conference is there for the taking, with all its readings and craft talks with some of the best writers in the country.

As part of the residency program, writers have access to all the conference has to offer, except for morning workshops. To make the most of this program, writers are required to reserve a single dorm room.  

International Theatre Workshops and Festival    

Two 5-day intensive workshops in playwriting from July 9-13 and a 12-day Theatre Festival July 9-20 make up the MFA in Theatre portion of Southampton Arts Summer this year.

Students in the two 5-day workshops will focus on the craft of playwriting under the mentorship of master playwrights, with approaches varying from instructor to instructor. The workshops culminate in participant readings, which will be part of the Theatre Festival. Playwright David Adjmi will be the instructor for one of the workshops, and Leslie Ayvazian and Ivan Anderson will lead the other.

Learn more about the Theatre Workshops and Festival HERE.

Young Artists and Writers Program: Workshops for Gifted Youth

 The Young Artists and Writers Project (YAWP) created by Stony Brook Southampton's MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program is dedicated to mentoring young people in the development of creative expression and critical thinking through writing.

The YAWP Summer Workshops in Creative Writing (July 7-12; $525) and Scriptwriting (July 14-18; $575) pair seasoned writers with students age 13-18 in fiction, essay and poetry and in playwriting and screenwriting, respectively. Partial scholarships are available for both programs. Learn more HERE.

 

Creative Writing Faculty Enjoy Successful 2013; More to Come in 2014

collins aimless love2013 was another strong year for the distinguished writers on the faculty of the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program at Stony Brook Southampton, and 2014 is promising continued success.

Billy Collins received national attention for Aimless Love (Random House, October 2013), his collection of new and selected poems, and appeared on “The Colbert Report” on October 29 and “Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor on November 2.

Roger Rosenblatt’s latest memoir, The Boy Detective (Ecco, November 2013) garnered glowing reviews from major media, including PBS, NPR and The New York Times.

Dan Menaker’s memoir about his days at The New Yorker, My Mistake (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, November 2013) was widely reviewed, including in The New York Times Book Review on December 13, 2013.

rosenblatt boy detectiveThis year, Meg Wolitzer’s best-seller, The Interestings, is due out in paperback from the Riverhead Books division of the Penguin Group in March. MFA in Creative Writing and Literature Director Julie Sheehan cheerfully pointed out in December that the paperback edition should be out just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Purim and World Kidney Day.

Susan Scarf Merrell’s novel Shirley, a literary thriller about the novelist Shirley Jackson, is due from Blue Rider/Penguin in June.

Jules Feiffer’s much-anticipated graphic novel, Kill My Mother, will be released in August.

Also in August, Patricia McCormick’s co-written I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World, is coming out from Orion Children’s Books.

And there is good news, too, for Patty Marx, as the Twelve imprint of Hachette Book Group has announced it will publish Let’s Be Less Stupid, an account of her so-called “adventures in cognitive interventions.”

Susan Wheeler Joins Writers Speak on March 5

wheelerSusan Wheeler will be the next guest in the spring Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks, reading from her work on Wednesday, March 5, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Wheeler is the author of a novel, Record Palace, and six books of poetry, most recently Meme, shortlisted for the National Book Award. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Witter Bynner Prize for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she is director of Princeton’s creative writing program.

In a 1998 essay in Boston Review, the critic Stephen Burt coined the term “elliptical poet” to describe Wheeler, defining the label in this way: "Elliptical poets try to manifest a person—who speaks the poem and reflects the poet—while using all the verbal gizmos developed over the last few decades to undermine the coherence of speaking selves.

“They are post-avant-gardist, or post-'postmodern' … Elliptical poems shift drastically between low (or slangy) and high (or naively 'poetic') diction. The poets tell almost-stories, or almost-obscured ones. They are sardonic, angered, defensively difficult, or desperate; they want to entertain as thoroughly as, but not to resemble, television."

Other writers scheduled for the spring series include: Masha Gessen interviewed by former New Yorker fiction editor Dan Menaker, April 2; Mark Epstein, M.D., April 9; and Dinah Lenney, April 30. On May 7, the final installment of the Writers Speak Wednesday series for the spring semester will be devoted to readings by students enrolled in the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program.

The March 12 event with Megan Abbott has been cancelled.

Writers Speak Wednesdays programs are free and open to the public.

 

Writers Speak Welcomes Alexandra Styron on Wednesday, Feb. 26

styronAlexandra Styron will be the next guest in the spring Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton, reading from her work on Wednesday, February 26, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

A graduate of Barnard and Columbia University’s MFA program, Styron is the author of Reading My Father (a memoir about the late William Styron) and a novel, All The Finest Girls. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children and is currently teaching memoir writing in the Hunter College MFA program.

Other writers scheduled for the spring series include: Susan Wheeler, March 5; Megan Abbott, March 12; Masha Gesseninterviewed by former New Yorker fiction editor Dan Menaker, April 2; Mark Epstein, M.D., April 9; and Dinah Lenney, April 30. On May 7, the evening will be devoted to readings by “the stars of tomorrow”: students enrolled in the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program.

Writers Speak Wednesdays programs are free and open to the public. Learn more here.

Producer Praises Advice from Christine Vachon at Sundance Film Festival

Independent film producer Alix Madigan delivered the keynote address at the Producers Lunch Jan. 19 at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and she praised the advice she received several years earlier from Christine Vachon. Madigan said:

"Years ago, when I was just starting to produce, I was screening a movie I had worked on for the Sundance Independent Producers Conference.  I was sitting in the back of the theater next to Christine Vachon.  Sensing my anxiety, Christine turned to me and told me about the great responsibilities we have as producers and how indebted we should be to the filmmakers who choose us to realize their visions.  She said that our business was unique in that it allows us to collaborate with extraordinary people, that we get to put their creative work in front of audiences without knowing how it will be received and how exciting that great unknown can be when we are part of that audience.

Christine's words have stayed with me over the years, especially during those days when I am hearing the word “NO!” all too frequently.  It is during those days that I have to remind myself to be thankful, as Christine seemed to be.  Thankful that, despite what some days can feel like monumental resistance, I am still here and I am still making movies."

Read the complete article on Indiewire.com here.