News

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.

 

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.

20/20/20 Student Joan Stein Schimke's screenplay selected to Sundance Screenwriters Lab

stein schimkeThe screenplay for "Buried Life," a film co-written and directed by Joan Stein Schimke, a 2013 20/20/20 student and Academy Award® nominee, has been selected to the Sundance Institute's January Screenwriters Lab.

The film was written and directed by Stein Schimke and Averle Storck and is also the recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, given to a project that explores science and technology themes and characters.

Led by Artistic Director Howard Rodman, the lab fellows will work with filmmakers including Dustin Lance Black, Naomi Foner, John Gatins, Michael Goldenberg, Erik Jendresen, Patty Jenkins, Kasi Lemmons, Tobias Lindholm, Walter Mosley, Marti Noxon, Jon Raymond, Susan Shilliday, Zach Sklar, Peter Straughan, Quentin Tarantino, and Bill Wheeler. The lab runs from January 10-15, 2014, at the Sundance Resort in Utah.

"Buried Life" is set in Sag Harbor, and is described as follows: "An archaeologist risks her reputation for the dig of her career, but when her rock ‘n’ roll sister and overbearing father follow her to the excavation, she discovers her biggest challenge is facing what’s above ground."

Stein Schimke was nominated for an Academy Award® for her short film One Day Crossing, which won several other awards, including the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Best Woman Student Filmmaker, Best Director, National Board of Review and the Student Academy Award® Gold Medal. Other directing credits include "Law and Order" and the short film "Solidarity." Stein Schimke is an MFA graduate of Columbia University’s Film Program and is currently an Associate Professor at Adelphi University in New York.

Photo caption: Writer/Director Joan Stein Schimke directing actor Robert Hogan in a scene from "Buried Life."

 

tumblr siteMFA Students Create Tumblr Poetry Site

Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing students Brian Cudzillo and Carlie Timbie have put together a site-specific poetry project and Tumblr site as part of an independent study.

According to MFA in Creative Writing Director Julie Sheehan, Cudzillo and Timbie were interested in exploring the commodification and commercialization of art, issues of ownership, and how art is defined. The pair’s TV poems and other wonders may be found at: www.artaroundtown.tumblr.com.

 

 

 

Lauren Wolkstein's Short Film Jonathan's Chest to Show at 2014 Sundance Film Festival

wolksteinLauren Wolkstein, a faculty member for the Southampton Arts film program, will have her short film, Jonathan's Chest, screened at the 30th anniversary Sundance Film Festival Jan. 16-26, 2014, in Park City, Utah.

Sundance Institute announced the short film program on December 10 and Jonathan's Chest, produced by Wolkstein, was one of 66 short films selected from a record 8,161 submissions, 59 more than the 2013 Festival.

Wolkstein is an award-winning filmmaker who received her MFA in film directing from Columbia University’s graduate film program and a BA in computer science and film from Duke University. She was named one of the top twenty-five emerging filmmakers through The Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Independent Filmmaker Project’s inaugural Emerging Visions program at the 2011 New York Film Festival. Her films have been selected to screen at Sundance, SXSW, Rotterdam, San Sebastian and Clermont-Ferrand.

Wolkstein is a visiting production specialist at Southampton Arts, and mentored students through their scripts and productions at the 20/20/20 Killer Films Workshop in 2013.

Jonathan's Chest was written and directed by Christopher Radcliff. The synopsis on the Sundance Festival website is as follows: "Everything changes one night for Alex, a troubled teenager, when he is visited by a boy claiming to be his brother — who disappeared years earlier."

Read the complete press release on the 2014 slate of Sundance short films HERE.

 

Walsh-Friedmann Essay Published in Newsday

walsh-friedmannAn essay by Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing student Mary Ellen Walsh-Friedmann, “A Boy’s Illness Puts Halloween in Perspective,” was published in the OpEd Expressway column of the October 25 print and online editions of Newsday.

Walsh-Friedmann, who published the essay under her customary byline of Mary Ellen Walsh, wrote in an email that she had already written the piece before she approached the Newsday editor, because the family she was writing about “means so much to me.”

After reading six or seven of the paper’s Expressway essays to get a feel for the tone and length, she wrote the piece in the Stony Brook Southampton library while on campus to teach in the Semester by the Sea program. “While the students were writing poems, novels and screenplays, I began to write the essay within three days in late September. Five drafts later, I submitted it.”

Commenting on the editing and publishing process, Walsh-Friedman added that “also key is that the story has spread everywhere and has, to date, 350 likes on Facebook and some Tweets. Social Media is an incredible part of this journey for writers, too.”

Poet Richard Howard at Nov. 6 Writers Speak

howardPulitzer Prize-winning poet Richard Howard will be the next guest in the fall Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton. Howard will read from and talk about his work on Wednesday, November 13, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Also known for his work in literary criticism and as a translator, Howard writes poetry in which figures from history and literature such as Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman speak directly to the reader in a form that has been described as “darkly comic monologues.”

He served at one time as New York’s Poet Laureate and, in addition to winning the Pulitzer for his poetry collection, “Untitled Subjects,” he was honored with a National Book Award in 1983 for his translation of Charles Beaudelaire’s “Les Fleurs du Mal.”  

He is the translator of more than 150 works from the French, including books by Cocteau, Gide, Breton, Stendhal, Barthes, Sartre, and Beauvoir. He also has been awarded the PEN Translation Medal and the first French-American Translation Prize, and was designated a Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Merite by the French government in 1982. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1983, he served as President of PEN American Center, and was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1996.

In the final Writers Speak program of the fall semester on December 4, the evening will be devoted to readings by “the stars of tomorrow”: students enrolled in the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program.

 

Dwight Garner Joins Dan Menaker at Oct. 30 Writers Speak

menakergarner

New York Times literary critic Dwight Garner will be the next guest in the fall Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton. Garner will read from his work and be interviewed by former New Yorker fiction editor Dan Menaker on Wednesday, October 30, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Formerly the senior editor at the New York Times Book Review, where he worked from 1999 to 2009, he was also the founding books editor of Salon.com, where he worked from 1995 to 1998.

His essays and journalism have appeared in The New York Times MagazineHarper’s MagazineThe Times Literary Supplement, the Oxford AmericanSlate, the Village Voice, the Boston PhoenixThe Nation,[2] and elsewhere. He has served on the board of the National Book Critic’s Circle.

In a January 2011 column for Slate, the journalist Timothy Noah called Garner a "highly gifted critic" who had reinvigorated the New York Times's literary coverage, and likened him to Anatole Broyard and John Leonard.

The author of Read Me: A Century of Classic American Book Advertisements, he is currently at work on a biography of James Agee.

Also the former executive editor-in-chief of Random House, Dan Menaker serves on the faculty of the Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program and is co-coordinator of the Writers Speak program on Mondays at the Stony Brook Manhattan site. In addition to his writing for The New Yorker and other periodicals, he is the author of A Good Talk: The Story and Skill of Conversation, The Treatment, and two collections of short stories.

A memoir, My Mistake, is due out November 19.

bonapaceBonapace Essay Appears in Newsday

Rewarding her mustering of the “courage to send it out,” Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing student Ruth Bonapace had an essay, “She Didn’t Have an Open Door Policy,” published in the October 22 edition of Newsday

Bonapace, whose work has previously been published in TSR: The Southampton Review, wrote in an email announcing the publication that she was not responsible for the headline.

She noted that she started writing the piece in Roger Rosenblatt’s “Write Everything” class and then refined it further in Matt Klamm’s summer workshop.

 

fischl Eric Fischl to Appear at October 23 Writers Speak

Artist turned author Eric Fischl will be the next guest in the fall Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton. Fischl will speak on Wednesday, October 23, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Fischl’s memoir, Bad Boy: My Life On and Off the Canvas, was published in the spring of 2013, sharing its title with one of the artist’s earliest controversial and notorious narrative paintings. During the Southampton Writers Conference in 2012, Parrish Art Museum Director Terrie Sultan interviewed Fischl on the stage of the Avram Theater about his narrative approach to painting. The interview was transcribed and was published in the most recent edition of TSR: The Southampton Review, which came out in summer 2013.

In one of the many positive reviews of the book, a critic for The New York Times Book Review wrote: “Fischl is entertaining company. The same observational frankness that imbues his paintings makes this a brave and candid book. It's also, in many ways, a painful book: he's such a deft portraitist that he captures himself at his most unknowing, wounded, prideful and self-contradictory...Occasionally vain, occasionally score-settling, it's as unsparing as the aging Rembrant's blunt self-portraits.” 

Fischl’s figurative paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints are in major collections worldwide, including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and at the Beaubourg Museum in Paris. He is a Fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

 

MFA Student Bob Morris Sells Memoir to Hachette Imprint, Twelve

morrisBob Morris, a student in the Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program, has sold his memoir, Wonderful: An Imperfect Son Buries His Parents, to the Hachette Book Group’s literary imprint, Twelve, for publication during 2014.

In an informal “welcome” email to Morris in August, Grand Central Publishing Editor-in-Chief Deb Futter, identifying herself as “a longtime fan” of his work, wrote: “I can’t tell you how happy I am to be publishing you and your wonderful new memoir.”

Futter, who in April of this year was also named publisher at Twelve, continued: “It is so well done … I laughed, I cried … Welcome to the Hachette Book Group!”

Negotiating the sale was Jay Mandel, the agent at William Morris Endeavor who also sold Morris’s first book, Assisted Loving: True Tales of Double Dating with My Dad, to Harper Collins, published in 2008.

Morris describes the new memoir this way: “It's about exactly what you'd think, an honest, intimate and yes, funny look into what happens when our parents are at the end … What I realized, as I sat with both parents in their last hours of life and watched how my brother and I had different ideas of how these endings should occur, is that death is as much for the living as the dying. So while my book is not a ‘how to,’ there may be something instructional in it, or perhaps some comfort.”

 Morris has published three different pieces in TSR: The Southampton Review. According to TSR Editor-in-Chief Lou Ann Walker, two of those pieces, including “Summer, Evening, Music” in the most recent TSR, represent sections of the memoir to be published under the Twelve imprint.

A frequent contributor to The New York Times, Morris was scheduled to have a piece in the Thursday, October 24 Home section exploring his issues with the Gateway Theater Haunted Playhouse in Bellport, where he spends a lot of time when he is on Long Island.

 

Patricia McCormick to Co-Author I Am Malala, about Teenage Education Rights Activist

mccormickLittle, Brown Books for Young Readers has announced that Stony Brook Southampton faculty member Patricia McCormick, a two-time National Book Award Finalist, will be the co-writer with Malala Yousafzai for the new book I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World.

The book for young readers age 10 and up will be simultaneously released in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook on August 5, 2014. I Am Malala will be published in the UK by Orion Children’s Books, an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, a division of Hachette UK, and in France by Hachette Jeunesse, an imprint of Hachette Livre.

In October 2012, 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head at point-blank range because she had the temerity to campaign for girls’ education. She survived the attack and the story made headlines around the world. Overnight, Malala became a global symbol of peaceful protest and education for all. In recognition of her courage and advocacy, Malala was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, the youngest person ever to earn that distinction. The United Nations declared July 12, 2013—Malala’s 16th birthday—“Malala Day” in honor of her heroic stand to ensure universal education.

I Am Malala is the memoir of this remarkable teenage girl, who risked her life for the right to go to school. Raised in a changing Pakistan by enlightened parents, Malala was encouraged to speak up for herself and taught to stand up for her beliefs. Written for her peers, I Am Malala tells the story of her bravery and determination in the face of extremism, detailing the daily challenges of growing up in a world transformed by terror.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb, a book for adult readers, will be published by Little, Brown and Company on October 8, 2013.

Malala continues to champion universal access to education through the Malala Fund, a nonprofit organization investing in community-led programs and supporting education advocates around the world. For more information, go to malalafund.org.

McCormick is the author of several critically acclaimed books for young adults, including Sold, an account of human trafficking based on her research in the brothels of Calcutta, and Never Fall Down, the story of a boy who survived the Killing Fields of Cambodia by playing music. 

One of the mentors in the new Children’s Literature Fellows program at Stony Brook Southampton, McCormick was named a New York Foundation for the Arts fellow in 2004 and a MacDowell Fellow in 2009. She is also the winner of the 2009 German Peace Prize for Youth Literature. She lives in New York with her husband. For more information, go to patriciamccormick.com.

 

Writers Speak Wednesdays Continue with Marisa Silver on Oct. 2

silverAuthor, screenwriter, and film director Marisa Silver, whose most recent novel, Mary Coin, was a New York Times bestseller, will be the next guest in the fall Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton. Silver will speak on Wednesday, October 2, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Mary Coin, a fictionalized look at Dorothea Lange's iconic Depression-era photograph, "Migrant Mother,” was published in 2013 by Blue Rider Press/Penguin. Silver made her fiction debut in The New Yorker when she was featured in the magazine's first “Debut Fiction” issue. Her collection of short stories, Babe in Paradise, was published by W.W. Norton in 2001 and was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year.

In 2005, W.W. Norton published her novel, No Direction Home. Her next novel, The God of War, was published in 2008 by Simon and Schuster and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction. Her second collection of stories, Alone With You, was published by Simon and Schuster in April 2010. Winner of the O. Henry Prize, her fiction has been included in The Best American Short StoriesThe O. Henry Prize Stories, and other anthologies.

Silver directed her first film, “Old Enough,” while still a student at Harvard. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 1984, when Silver was 23. She went on to direct three more feature films, “Permanent Record” (1988), with Keanu Reeves, “Vital Signs” (1990) and “He Said, She Said” (1991), with Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Perkins, co-directed with her then husband-to-be, Ken Kwapis.

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

 

screening Killer Films 20/20/20 Film Screening in Manhattan on Sept. 15

Join us for the New York City premiere of the short films made during Killer Films and Stony Brook Southampton's 20-day intensive summer film program.

The screening will take place Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Stony Brook Manhattan location at 101-113 East 27th Street, on the third floor.

The screening will feature the work of filmmakers Jeanne Applegate, Steven Arvanites, Hannah Bailey, Darcy Brislin, Jill Campbell, Victoria Coram, Jason Evans, Jeffrey Hirschberg, Kevin Kuo, Michelle Ngo, Oren E. Paley, Kareema Bee Pinckney, Cécile Ragot, S. Iturri Sosa, Julia C.K. Stein, Joan Stein Schimke, Alexandra Stergiou and Phebe Szatmari.

The first screening is at 3 p.m., with an intermission at 4 p.m. and part two beginning at 4:30 p.m.

A reception will be held at 6 p.m.

To RSVP for the screening, email mfamanhattan@stonybrook.edu.

 

Ali Simpson Story from TSR Published on Electric Literature Site

aliMFA graduate Ali Simpson’s short story, “The Monster,” which first appeared in TSR The Southampton Review, has been posted on Electric Literature’s weekly fiction magazine, Recommended Reading (Vol. 16, No. 4).

Simpson’s story was recommended to the site by Southampton Review Fiction Editor and Stony Brook Southampton visiting professor Susan Merrell, who wrote in an Editor’s Note on the site that the “dark, and twisted, and unforgettable” story “is as much an allegory about a nervous breakdown as it is a metaphorical description of the transition to adulthood, and of the writing process itself.”

Merrell also noted that “The Monster” was the first piece by Simpson that made it clear she had “transcended student status—that she’d crossed over to a full understanding of what a story has to have to exist on both the fantastic and the human level.”

In addition to The Southampton Review, Simpson’s work has been published or is forthcoming in The First Line and Carrier Pigeon. She is currently working on a collection of speculative fiction, When Meat Is Given a Second Chance. She is currently working as a publishing assistant and lives in the forest.

Electric Literature is an independent publisher working to ensure that literature remains a vibrant presence in popular culture. Electric Literature’s weekly fiction magazine, Recommended Reading, invites established authors, indie presses, and literary magazines to recommended great fiction.

Sept. 7 Deadline for Winter Writers Workshop in Cuba

This winter, head down to Cuba for eight days and study essay writing with Robert Reeves, acclaimed author and Associate Provost of the Southampton Graduate Arts Campus. The program, which runs from January 2 to January 11, 2014, will include the graduate writing workshop, plus trips to Ernest Hemingway’s house Finca Vigia, Buena Vista Social Club and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.

READ MORE | PROGRAM INFORMATION

The Southampton Review Summer 2013 Launch Features Readings, Book Reception

tsr summer 2013The latest edition of TSR The Southampton Review, the literary and art journal published by the Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program, will be launched at a gala evening on Friday, July 26, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Avram Theater on the Shinnecock Hills campus.

The launch festivities will include an art exhibition and reception at 9 p.m. to mark the release of the first artist’s book brought out by TSR Editions and Scott Sandell’s Almost Beachfront Print Studio, Nunc et Semper by Joe Pintauro.

Reading from their work at the launch, which starts at 7:30 p.m., will be two-time U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins and award-winning essayist, memoirist, novelist, and playwright Roger Rosenblatt, both frequent contributors to The Southampton Review.

Collins, who regularly leads summer poetry workshops at Stony Brook Southampton, has two poems in the summer 2013 edition: “The Folded Note” and “The Last Thing You See.” Another Collins poem,“Foundling,” which first appeared in The Southampton Review (Vol VI, No 1), was selected for inclusion in The Best American Poetry 2013.

Rosenblatt, who is a Distinguished Professor of Writing at the campus and teaches classes in Southampton and Manhattan, will be reading from his new memoir, The Boy Detective: A New York Childhood, coming out from HarperCollins in November. An excerpt appears in the summer 2013 TSR.

Loosely organized around a theme of “Why Memoir Matters,” this edition of TSR has the customary mix of established and emerging writers and artists. Included in the thematic mix are: an essay by Ursula Hegi, “Did This Really Happen to You?”; Arlene Alda’s memoir piece, “Before the Vaccine”; “Jitney Story” by Robert Reeves; Elena Gorokhova’s “A Good Run”; and Sally Sussman’s “Rocky Time.”

pintauroFiction includes “Kosta” by Marian Thurm and “A Short, Short, Short Story” by Richard Panek. Among the pieces on craft are: “The Dethroning of the Dowager” by Susan Cheever; “There’s a Closet for That” by Terese Svoboda; Zachary Lazar’s “Prison Truths”; and “No Such Thing as Time” by Sven Birkerts, the director of the Bennington College Writing Seminars.

The summer 2013 edition of TSR also includes “An Interview with Maggie Scarf” by the editors and “An Interview with Eric Fischl” by Terrie Sultan, transcribed from the 2012 Southampton Arts Summer event in Avram Theater.

On the visual arts side, there is art by Cornelia Foss and an excerpt from “Barsha,” an artist’s book brought out by the library council of the Museum of Modern Art featuring text by Anita Desai and images by Ranjani Shettar.

Also included is “La Serenissima” by Joe Pintauro, an excerpt with images from his artist’s book, Nunc et Semper, (see example, left) being brought out by the Almost Beachfront Digital Studio and Scott Sandell and TSR Editions and the subject of the exhibition and reception following the TSR launch.

Cartoons are always a part of TSR, and the latest edition includes a cartoon portfolio by Barry Blitt, a cartoon by Paul Noth, and two cartoons by Jules Feiffer.

In accordance with tradition, the cover image, Roz Chast’s “Rebirth of Venus,” is also the poster image for Southampton Arts Summer 2013.

Contributors to the latest edition of TSR will read from their work at 2 to 4 p.m. on Friday, July 26, in Duke Lecture Hall in the Chancellors Hall building.

The gala launch with readings by Roger Rosenblatt and Billy Collins starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Avram Theater in the Fine Arts building and the art exhibition and reception for Joe Pintauro begins at 9 p.m. For more information or to register, visit the Avram Theater events page.


Dorothy Lichtenstein Donates $1 Million to Southampton Graduate Arts

Southampton resident and Stony Brook Foundation Trustee Dorothy Lichtenstein has made a $1 million gift to Stony Brook Southampton Graduate Arts programs. The gift was announced on July 17 during the annual Southampton Writers Conference opening night, which featured a conversation about writing with former PBS News Hour anchor and novelist Jim Lehrer and his wife, novelist Kate Lehrer.

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TSR Featured Writers to Read at BookHampton June 29

rogerFive writers who have been featured in TSR: The Southampton Review, the literary and fine arts journal of the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program at Stony Brook Southampton, will read from their work at BookHampton in Southampton on Saturday, June 29, at 5 p.m.

The five writers are Roger Rosenblatt, Jules Feiffer and Julie Sheehan from the MFA faculty, Genevieve Crane, who earned her MFA in December 2012, and Christopher Byrd, who is currently working on his MFA thesis.

Rosenblatt, the author of, most recently, Making Toast and Kayak Morning, will be reading from his soon-to-be-published memoir about growing up in New York City, The Boy Detective.

craneFeiffer—playwright (Little Murders), screenwriter (Carnal Knowledge), cartoonist (The Village Voice), novelist (Ackroyd), memoirist (Backing into Forward), and graphic novel and children’s literature author—will choose a piece or pieces from among his many genres.

Whiting Award-winning poet Julie Sheehan, the director of the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program and the author of, most recently, Bar Book—Poems and Otherwise, plans to read some of her own poetry as well as a poem or poems by other writers.

Crane will read fiction and memoir and Byrd will read fiction.

Southampton BookHampton is now at a new address, 16 Hampton Road in Southampton Village.

For more information, contact Southampton BookHampton at 283-0270.

Memorial Reading for Harvey Shapiro at Stony Brook Southampton

shapiroA memorial reading to honor the acclaimed poet and editor Harvey Shapiro will be held on Saturday, June 22, at 6 p.m. in the Duke Lecture Hall at Stony Brook Southampton. The evening will include Shapiro’s friends, former students, and family reading his poetry and reminiscing about his life. Shapiro died in January, just a few days shy of his 89th birthday.

Among the many poets participating will be Grace Schulman, former poetry editor of The Nation, Geoffrey O’Brien, editor-in-chief of the Library of America, Robert Hershon, co-editor of Hanging Loose Press, and Julie Sheehan, director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literature at Stony Brook Southampton. The reading will also include the poets Star Black, Donna Brook, Fran Castan, Kimko Hahn, Kathryn Levy, Simon Perchik, Hugh Seidman, and Bill Zavatsky, as well as Bill Henderson, the publisher of the Pushcart Press.

Harvey Shapiro (January 27, 1924- January 7, 2013) was the author of 13 books of poetry, including The Sights Along the Harbor: New and Collected Poems. He wrote poetry while working for decades at The New York Times, for nine years as editor of the Book Review and for many years as a senior editor at the Times Magazine. Although he was based in Brooklyn, Shapiro also spent time in East Hampton,where for the last 15 years of his life he lived part-time with his companion Galen Williams. On June 22 he will be celebrated by friends from both New York City and the East End.

The memorial will be held in Chancellors Hall. A short video and reception will follow the reading, and the public is invited to attend.

For additional information, contact Kathryn Levy at kalevy@aol.com.

 

First Group of Children's Lit Fellows Welcomed to MFA Family

Six writers from New York and across the U.S. have been welcomed into the extended family of the Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program as members of the inaugural class of the Southampton Children's Lit Fellows. All six will be completing their course of study in the new certificate program over the next year with mentors drawn from the MFA faculty.

The six writers accepted for the first year of the program’s individualized instruction are: Janas Byrd of Miami, FL; Julie Farkas of Brooklyn, NY; Julie Gribble of New York City; Jamie Mott of Sag Harbor; Cailin Riley of East Quogue; and Tessa Ryser of Sandy, UT.

"This is a wonderful and eclectic group of writers, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the work they produce from this unique and exciting new program," said Emma Walton Hamilton, director of the Children’s Lit Fellows.

Read more at Happenings

Windmill Designated a Literary Landmark

windmillThe historic and iconic windmill on the Southampton campus of Stony Brook University has won designation as a Literary Landmark from United for Libraries, formerly known as the American Library Association. Landmark status was granted to the windmill based on playwright Tennessee Williams having lived there during the summer of 1957 while he was writing his experimental play, “The Day on Which a Man Dies,” in response to the death of his friend Jackson Pollock the summer before.

In recognition of the landmark designation, a dedication ceremony will be held at the windmill on Saturday, July 13, with a reading of a new one-act play, “At Stanley’s Place,” by MFA in Creative Writing and Literature faculty member Frederic Tuten. The Stanley of the title is Stanley Kowalski from the Williams classic, “A Streetcar Named Desire.” In addition to the characters of Stanley and Blanche DuBois from that play, men and women from other major American plays populate the cast of “At Stanley’s Place.”

Earning the designation required equal measures of research and dedication. In September of 2011, Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Theatre Director Nick Mangano took the first steps after he heard that the playwright had lived there at a time when the 300-year-old windmill was in use as a guest house/summer rental connected to the Tucker Mill Inn.

Mangano first investigated the protocols and requirements as set out by the American Library Association, the sponsoring agency for the Literary Landmarks registry.

He then started searching for substantiation, eventually talking to local historian John Strong, who told him that although his information seemed to be correct, there were no definitive sources to confirm that the playwright had stayed at the windmill, or that he had written the play here. Believing he needed more evidence of the playwright’s residency at the windmill than he had already obtained, Mangano put the project on the back burner for a bit while he was building the new MFA in Theatre program at the Stony Brook Southampton campus and at Stony Brook Manhattan.

After Children’s Literature Conference and Young Artists and Writers Project Director Emma Walton Hamilton introduced him to Rocco Staino, director of the Empire State Center for the Book and a United for Libraries coordinator, Mangano learned that he already had in hand more than enough supporting documentation and worked with Staino to expedite the process.

Following the approval of his application, Mangano drafted the wording for the plaque that will be struck to identify the newly minted 300-year-old landmark:

The Windmill

In the summer of 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) lived in this windmill and wrote an experimental play, The Day on Which a Man Dies, responding to the death of his friend, Abstract Expressionist painter Jackson Pollock. Author of the American classics A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and The Glass Menagerie, Williams also wrote short stories, poetry, novels, screenplays, and essays. His poetic realism continues to inspire writers, actors, directors, and filmmakers.

Reopened in June 2009 after $250,000 worth of renovations and restoration were completed at the behest of Stony Brook University’s then President Shirley Strum Kenny, the windmill has played host to campus and community events in the years since, including an annual holiday lighting ceremony and a number of special dinners and receptions. Considered a local landmark long before the recent designation, the windmill is now once again an integral part of the vibrant Stony Brook Southampton campus, home to the MFA programs in Creative Writing and Literature and in Theatre, the Almost Beachfront Digital Studio, the Pollock-Krasner House Library, and the soon-to-be-completed $6.9 million Marine Station for the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.

In 2012, Stony Brook invested another $50,000 to replace the massive yoke, the shaft on which the windmill’s vanes, or sails, are mounted.

The windmill, which originally sat on what is now Hill Street in Southampton Village, was moved to its current location in 1890 to become part of what was then known as the Claflin estate. During that time, it served as a playhouse for the Claflins’ daughter Beatrice, according to “The College Windmill: An Affectionate History,” a booklet authored by Edward Glanz, the founding provost of Southampton College.

The property remained in the Claflin family until it was sold following World War II and was then run as the Tucker Mill Inn, catering primarily to summer visitors. Long Island University purchased the property in 1963 and opened it as Southampton College. During the college’s early years, the windmill served as a meeting place for students and its top floor offered overnight accommodations to the school’s more prominent guests. The 82-acre campus was acquired by Stony Brook University and reopened as Stony Brook Southampton in fall 2007.

Jules Feiffer Wins NYC Literary Honor for Humor

feifferJules Feiffer, a longtime faculty member of the Southampton Arts MFA program in Creative Writing and Literature, was among the winners of the second annual NYC Literary Honors, announced by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg April 23 at Gracie Mansion in Manhattan.

Feiffer won the award for Humor and was one of eight artists honored, including Toni Morrison for Fiction, Calvin Trillin for Non-Fiction, Jon Scieska for Children's Literature, John Ashbery for Poetry, Morton Janklow and Lynn Nedbit for Literary Life, and Alice Markham-Cantor for Student Writer.

The NYC Literary Honors were created by Mayor Bloomberg to highlight the important role of authors and scholars who have demonstrated a lifetime of achievement and for whom New York has been a central inspiration.

"We created the NYC Literary Honors to underline the important role great words and great works play in New York City's cultural fabric," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Those who give us the very best of language – the authors, writers, poets and scholars – deserve our gratitude, our support and recognition."

Robert Reeves, Associate Provost for Graduate Arts at Southampton, called Feiffer "the quintessential New York cartoonist, dramatist, satirist and commentator on modern culture. It was Feiffer's plays and cartoons," Reeves continued, "that first expressed the edginess tinged with anxiety that actually defines the contemporary urban American voice. For well over a decade now, every spring, Professor Feiffer has taught one our most popular MFA courses, titled Humor and Truth. As his life's work clearly demonstrates, Jules knows quite a bit about both."

Feiffer is a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, a playwright and a screenwriter. His internationally syndicated cartoon ran for 42 years in the Village Voice and his work has been featured in The New Yorker, Esquire and Playboy. He won the Pulitzer for Editorial Cartooning in 1986. Feiffer’s short subject animation Munro won an Oscar, he won an Obie for his play Little Murders, and his plays Knock Knock and Grown-Ups received Tony and Pulitzer nominations, respectively.

Feiffer also wrote the screenplays for Carnal Knowledge, Popeye and I Want to Go Home, the latter winning best screenplay at the Venice Film Festival. Taking inspiration from his three daughters, he has reinvented himself as a children's book author with the award-winning books, Bark George, I Lost My Bear, and The Man in the Ceiling.

Feiffer has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from The National Cartoonist Society and the Writers Guild of America. He has been honored with retrospectives at The New York Historical Society, The Library of Congress, The School of Visual Arts, and the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. He is a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters and The Dramatists Guild Council.

The NYC Literary Honors nominating committee included Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate Levin, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and the heads of the City's library systems. The ceremony featured a reading by each award winner.

 

Brian Abrams Wins Thayer Fellowship for 2013

abramsStony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing student Brian Abrams has been awarded $4,000 as a winner of the Thayer Fellowship for 2013. The annual fellowship is given to outstanding candidates applying from all the campuses of the State University of New York, funded through an endowment established in honor of Jeanne C. Thayer, Trustee of SUNY from 1974-1984.

Joe Hildreth, artistic director for the Thayer Fellowship in the Arts, made the announcement earlier this month. “The committee of jurors was extremely impressed with Abrams,” said Hildreth, making special note of the way his experiences as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps were reflected in his writings.

Michael Perkins, juror for Creative Writing, said that Abrams’s screenplay about the life of an Iraqi interpreter may well be produced. He went on to say that he is excited about the fellowship winner’s poetic gifts, noting that “with his talents, discipline and drive, he has literary success within his grasp.” 

The 30-year-old Abrams, who hails originally from Houston, Texas, and did his undergraduate work at Texas A&M University, is expected to earn his MFA by December of 2013. Upon learning he had won, Abrams said he was “humbled to have been awarded the Thayer Fellowship,” especially in view of the fact that he was competing against “some of the top creative minds in the state, from multiple fields of study.

"Being validated for one's work is the highest honor an artist can receive,” he added, “and prize money never hurt a young writer either.”

In her letter of recommendation, Whiting Award-winning poet Julie Sheehan, the director of the Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing and Literature, wrote that she sees a bright future for Abrams.

“He writes at the highest level in multiple genres—fiction, screenwriting and poetry—and so it’s difficult to predict exactly where his successes will come. Brian’s an original: reflective but outspoken, willing to take risks with his work yet skeptical of flamboyance, a military man with a poet’s touch, a disciplined writer without being formulaic.”

Among other projects, Abrams is currently working on his thesis, a screenplay about an Iraqi interpreter embedded in an American military unit, under the advisement of screenwriting professor and Screenwriting Conference Director Annette Handley Chandler. In her letter of recommendation, Handley Chandler saluted the first-time screenwriter, averring that he has the kind of “fresh, original voice and ability to write visually and create characters that will attract the right director and actors.”

In addition to his thesis, Abrams is currently finishing a collection of stories, essays, and poems, primarily based on his experiences as a Marine infantry officer in Iraq and elsewhere. He and his wife, who are currently living in Sag Harbor, New York, are expecting their first child in October and are “thrilled to be starting our new family.”

Abrams, who started his post-graduate writing studies at The New School in New York City, enrolled in the Stony Brook Southampton MFA program after interrupting his studies to do volunteer work in Africa, where he met his future wife. After the two were married in the UK, they moved to New York, and it was then that Abrams made what he calls “the best educational move of my life.”

“I love the school, classes, peers, faculty, the laid-back family atmosphere,” he said recently, “and the fact that the faculty works so closely with the students in a mentorship approach. My creativity has grown tremendously here.”  

Each year, a Thayer Fellowship in the amount of $7,000 is awarded to one student or shared between two students who demonstrate outstanding achievement and high professional potential in the arts. Both the Thayer and the $1,000 Patricia Kerr Ross Award are intended as a bridge between SUNY study in the arts and entry into a professional career in the arts, to assist SUNY's most talented young artists at the most difficult period of time for a young professional, when the struggle to make a living can overwhelm even the most dedicated individual. The fellowship helps the artist take advantage of important opportunities in developing a professional career.

Stephen Adly Guirgis Wins 2013 Windham-Campbell Prize from Yale

Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, who is returning to the Stony Brook Southampton campus in July to teach in his second Southampton Arts Summer playwriting workshop, has been named one of nine winners of Yale University’s Windham-Campbell Prize for 2013.

The Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes call attention to literary achievement and provide writers with the opportunity to focus on their work independent of financial concerns. In addition to a citation and award, winners of the prize receive an unrestricted grant of $150,000 to support their writing.

The citation for Guirgis—one of three winners for outstanding achievement in drama—reads: “Stephen Adly Guirgis writes dramatic dialogue with passion and humor, creating characters who live on the edge, and whose linguistic bravado reinvigorates the American vernacular.”

Guirgis is a Co-Artistic Director and longtime member of NYC's Labyrinth Theater Company. His plays have been performed on five continents and throughout the United States. They include: The Motherfucker with the HatJesus Hopped the A TrainOur Lady of 121st StreetThe Last Days of Judas IscariotIn Arabia We'd All Be KingsThe Little Flower of East OrangeDominica the Fat Ugly Ho, and Den of Thieves.

The playwright is also a former Violence Prevention Specialist/HIV Educator and has facilitated numerous workshops in NYC area prisons, schools, shelters, and hospitals.

The week that he learned he had won the prize, Guirgis wrote to MFA in Theatre Director Nick Mangano that he was looking forward to his second summer of teaching playwriting at the Southampton International Theatre Workshops.

“I was really so impressed last year by the wide ranging faculty, the diverse theater approaches and companies, and the great VIBE at Southampton Arts,” he wrote. “It's a great place, a place I wish I knew about when I was younger, but am so glad to be a part of now. The program is generous and solid — and the people running it CARE about the students."

For more information about this summer’s Stephen Adly Guirgis playwriting workshop, visit the International Theatre Workshops site.

 

Author Elissa Schappell Will Be Final Writers Speak Guest on April 24

schappellElissa Schappell will be the final guest author in the spring Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton, reading from her work on Wednesday, April 24, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

The final program of the spring 2013 Writers Speak Wednesdays series, on May 1, will be devoted to readings by “the stars of tomorrow”: students enrolled in the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program at Stony Brook Southampton.

The former senior editor of The Paris Review, Elissa Schappell is the author of two books of fiction, most recently Blueprints for Building Better Girls, which was chosen as one of the Best Books of 2011 by The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek/The Daily Beast, and O magazine.

Her previous book, Use Me, also a collection of linked stories, was cited as a New York Times Notable Book and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award.

She is currently a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, and her work has also appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Paris Review, BOMB and SPIN

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 631-632-5287. On Facebook, visit Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @ WritersSpeakWed.

 

Student Writers Are Ready for "Sounding Our YAWP" on April 18

yawp studentsIn the spirit of the Writers Speak Wednesdays readings and talks featuring guest authors at Stony Brook Southampton, students involved with the Young Artists and Writers Project will present an evening of poetry, fiction and essay readings on Thursday, April 18, in the Radio Lounge of Chancellors Hall at 7 p.m.

Since the inception of this educational outreach, executive director Emma Walton Hamilton said, all YAWP classroom programs offered in East End middle and high schools conclude with presentation/publication opportunities. For the playwrights, it’s a playwriting festival with student plays presented on the stage of the Avram Theater. For the essayists, short story writers and poets, it's "Sounding Our YAWP, a spoken word event at the campus.

This spring, participating middle and high school students from East Hampton High School, Riverhead High School, Ross School, Southampton High School, The Marlborough School, and Ward Melville High School, as well as students from the Shinnecock Nation, will read from their work on April 18.

Sounding Our YAWP programs are free and open to the public. The April 18 event begins 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 or visit the YAWP website. To follow on Twitter, @YAWPwritersproj; on Facebook, YoungAmericanWritersProject.

 

Dan Menaker to Interview Deborah Treisman at April 17 Writers Speak

treismanNew Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman, winner of the 2012 Maxwell Perkins Award for distinguished achievement in the field of fiction, 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. She will be interviewed by former New Yorker fiction editor and Stony Brook Southampton visiting professor Dan Menaker on Wednesday, April 17, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Previously the managing editor Grand Street, she has also been a member of the editorial staffs of The New York Review of Books, Harper’s, and The Threepenny Review. She is the host of the award-winning New Yorker Fiction Podcast, the editor of the anthology 20 Under 40: Stories from the New Yorker (Farrar,Straus, 2010), and a Chevalier of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.  

The final guest writer scheduled for the series will be author Elissa Schappell on April 24. On May 1, 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. 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.

Poem by Phebe Szatmari Published in The American Poetry Review

szatmariPhebe Szatmari’s poem, "Outside LaGuardia’s Delta Terminal at Dusk," has been published in the March/April 2013 edition of The American Poetry Review (Vol. 42 No. 2).

A 2012 MFA in Creative Writing graduate, Szatmari  is a freelance writer and editor. She recently directed a comedy web series that she co-created, Randy’s Panties, which is now in post-production.

Currently a resident of Brooklyn, she's also finishing up her first play and hopes to find a stage for it in the New York area in the coming year.

Szatmari was awarded the 2010 Jody Donohue Poetry Prize and was nominated for the 2011 Rachel Wetzsteon Memorial Prize.

Prior to publication in The American Poetry Review, her work has appeared in The Southampton ReviewPodiumLilliput Review, and Bayou Magazine

 

YA Author Maryrose Wood Coming to Campus for April 10 Writers Speak

maryrose woodMiddle-grade and young adult author Maryrose Wood 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, interviewed by Children’s Literature Conference Director Emma Walton Hamilton on Wednesday, April 10, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Wood is the author of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place books, an acclaimed series for middle-grade readers. One of the books in the series, The Mysterious Howling, was named a Best Children’s Book of 2010 by The Christian Science Monitor and Kirkus Reviews. Wood’s seven novels for young adults include My Life: The Musical and Why I Let My Hair Grow Out

Other writers scheduled for the series include: middle-grade and young adult author Maryrose Wood in conversation with Children’s Literature Conference Director Emma Walton Hamilton, April 10; New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman interviewed by former New Yorker fiction editor Dan Menaker, April 17; and author Elissa Schappell, April 24.

On May 1, 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. 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.

Latest Edition of The Southampton Review Launching April 1 in Manhattan

tsr spring 2013The latest edition of TSR The Southampton Review, the literary and art journal published by the Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program, will be launched at a reception on Monday, April 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Stony Brook Manhattan site on the 3rd floor at 101-113 East 27th Street.

The spring edition of TSR The Southampton Review (Volume VII No. 1) is a special issue honoring the late David Rakoff. The celebrated essayist, humorist, playwright, screenwriter, director, actor and novelist, who died August 9, 2012, had been a member of the Stony Brook Southampton faculty since 2005.

Included in the spring edition are two essays, a workshop assignment, a poem, and an adapted screenplay by Rakoff, along with images of a number of gifts that he crafted for friends. In a publisher’s note, Associate Provost Robert Reeves remembers Rakoff and unveils plans for the creation of the David Rakoff Studio Theatre on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Editor-in-Chief Lou Ann Walker also remembers Rakoff in her introductory editor’s note, in which she shares that this edition of TSR also pays tribute to the late Dave Engeldrum, an MFA graduate who went on to teach writing and publish his fiction and poetry.

Friends and writers remembering Rakoff in this edition include: Roger Rosenblatt, Patricia Marx, his sister, Ruth Rakoff, Laura Baudo, and Daniel Menaker.

Beyond the Rakoff memorials, Walker said, the latest edition of TSR includes the customary mix of contributions from “both accomplished and recognized writers and artists and emerging voices.”

Among the “many, many treasures throughout this volume,” Walker singles out a few notable contributions, including, in “Memoir & Essay,” Konstantin Soukhovetski’s “Thoroughly Modern Wagner.” Short stories by Patricia S.Follert, Ali Simpson, Christopher Byrd, and Joshua Pasternak earn special mention in Walker’s introduction, as does poetry by Gerard Beirne, Lisa Bellamy, and Alexandra Scholldorf.

In addition to Rakoff’s adaptation of Anders Thomas Jensen’s “The New Tenants,” the “Play & Screenplay” category includes excerpts from “Old Jews Telling Jokes” by Daniel Okrent and Peter Gethers.

On the visual arts side, the spring edition includes portfolios by Sadie J. Valeri, Jim Gemake, Stephen Hartman, and Vincent Brandi, and photography by Meryl Spiegel.  

Cartoons are always a part of TSR, and the latest edition includes portfolios by Gahan Wilson and Jules Feiffer.

For more information or to RSVP for the April 1 launch in Manhattan, call 631-632-5030, or email TheSouthamptonReview@stonybrook.edu.

 

Alice Mattison on Campus for April 3 Writers Speak

mattisonAlice Mattison 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 3, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Mattison, who teaches fiction at the Bennington Writing Seminars, is the award-winning author of four story collections and five novels, including Nothing Is Quite Forgotten in Brooklyn. Her new novel, When We Argued All Night, was published by Harper Perennial on June 12, 2012. Placing imaginary people in real situations, When We Argued All Night asks how people manage to be friends, how they endure the people they love, and how any of us can make sense of history. 

Other writers scheduled for the series include: middle-grade and young adult author Maryrose Wood in conversation with Children’s Literature Conference Director Emma Walton Hamilton, April 10; New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman interviewed by former New Yorker fiction editor Dan Menaker, April 17; and author Elissa Schappell, April 24.

On May 1, 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. 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 or visit www.stonybrook.edu/mfa. On Facebook, visit Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @ WritersSpeakWed.

 

MFA Grad Lucas Hunt Celebrates Launch of Publishing Company

huntMFA grad Lucas Hunt has announced that he and a group of associates have established a new poetry publishing company, Hunt & Light. The launch of the new firm and the release of its first title, *****Original Message***** by Matthew Frazier, will be celebrated at a party at Poets House in New York on Saturday, April 20.

Co-sponsored by Poets & Writers and the Poets House Literary Partners program, the party will begin with a welcome at 6 p.m. sponsored by Montauk Brewery. A reading from the new collection by Matthew Frazier will be followed by a reception with snacks from Coppelia, the Latin diner at 207 West 14th Street that has been garnering rave reviews.

According to the founders’ media advisory, the vision for Hunt & Light “comes from a desire to make beautiful books that will stimulate imagination. Poetry is a timeless art form, and our objective is to hand-publish quality collections with simplicity and style. Our authors’ work is original, inventive, and most of all, demonstrates a strong passion for life. The human voice is an ancient tool, powerful in its ability to transmit an experience through the ages. The mission of Hunt & Light is to share the voices of great poets, and inspire readers to create new worlds.

hunt logo“Hunt & Light believes that participation in the local community is integral to a successful enterprise. We are also sponsoring contests and readings for schools and organizations in the Hamptons, and encourage our authors to share their work and participate in events within their own communities. We feel that poetry can make an essential contribution to culture, and serve to enrich the dialogue of a society. And we want to help people relate to poetry, in a way that is meaningful and beneficial to their lives. In that spirit, we will promote events for those who may not normally have exposure to poetry.”

The April 20 launch party, in Kray Hall, is open to the public and all MFA students and alumni are welcome. Poets House is at 10 River Terrace (Battery Park) in Manhattan. For more information, visit http://www.poetshouse.org/programs-and-events and click on View Full Calendar.

All those wishing to attend are requested to RSVP by April 10 to huntandlight@gmail.com.

To get to Poets House by subway, take the 1, 2, 3, A or C lines to Chambers Street Station. Walk west along Chambers Street all the way to the end (Rockefeller Park, along the Hudson River). Turn left and walk along River Terrace two blocks; Poets House is at the corner of Murray and River Terrace.

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PHOTO CAPTION (above right): Poet Matthew Frazier, left, and MFA graduate Lucas Hunt.

 

Three Southampton Authors Launching Books at Manhattan Writers Speak

mandelThree MFA writers — Judy Mandel, Victor Giannini and Michael LoCurto — will be launching their books at the next installment of the Writers Speak series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Manhattan on Monday, March 25, at 7 p.m.

In MFA student Judy Mandel’s memoir, Replacement Child, a plane crash, a critically burned 2-year-old and the death of a child leave a hole in a family that threatens to tear it apart. In a great act of hope, the parents give birth to a "replacement child," born to heal wounds and provide a "salve for the burns." The child unwittingly plays her role throughout childhood, riding the hidden currents of the family tragedy.

In this powerful story, Mandel discovers the truth that forces her to confront the complex layers of her relationships with her father, mother, and sister. When she has her own child, her epiphany comes full circle. http://www.replacementchild.com

Scott Too, a novella written in Roger Rosenblatt's class by recent MFA graduate Victor Giannini available from Silverthought Press (http://www.silverthought.com/scotttoo/), has already earned high praise from Rosenblatt and another Stony Brook Southampton MFA professor, Kaylie Jones.

gianniniAccording to Jones, "Victor Giannini’s Scott Too is a tour de force that echoes the best speculative fiction of Philip K. Dick and the magical realism of Jose Saramago. In this brilliant short novel, Scott Alvin comes home one day, after almost getting killed in a drive-by shooting, to find his double, also named Scott, relaxing on his living room couch, talking to his roommate. Scott struggles to maintain his identity as Scott Too asserts his personality in ways that do not gel with Scott's sense of self. Giannini’s fantastic world forces us to tackle our own questions of identity, responsibility, and free-will. Scott Too ultimately serves as a philosophical mirror, not only for Scott Alvin, but for ourselves."

MFA graduate Michael LoCurto’s first novel, To Sea, tells the story of Long Island fisherman Jon Brand, who blames his years of greedy overfishing for the complete absence of life in the local waters. His wife deems this conclusion without merit and urges him to find work on shore to support his family, but Jon has to seek his own answers from the sea before he can choose the right course for his future.

locurtoOther programs scheduled for the series include: a St. John’s Night on April 8 with readings by Derek Owens, Bill Torgerson and MFA alumna Nicola Ruiz, along with an info session on teaching freshman comp with St. John’s Institute for Writing Studies; and an end of semester Student Night of readings and short films produced, edited and directed by students in the Digifilm Practicum on May 13.

Monday readings at 7 p.m. at Stony Brook Manhattan, located on the third floor at 101-113 East 27th Street, are free and open to the public.

To RSVP or for more information, call 646-472-2000; email MFAManhattan@stonybrook.edu or visit our web page. On Facebook, visit Manhattan Track MFA.

For more information about Stony Brook Manhattan programs and courses, tuition or registration, please contact magdalene.brandeis@stonybrook.edu.

 

Benjamin Anastas to Read from His Work at March 13 Writers Speak

anastasBenjamin Anastas 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 his work on Wednesday, March 13, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Anastas is the author of the novel An Underachiever’s Diary and The Faithful Narrative of a Pastor’s Disappearance: A Novel, which was selected as a New York Times Notable Book for 2001. His memoir, Too Good To Be True, was published by New Harvest/HMH, an imprint of Amazon Publishing in New York, and for that reason a number of bricks-and-mortar booksellers refused to stock it on their shelves.

His work has appeared in The Paris Review, Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, Bookforum, The Yale Review and The Best American Essays 2012. In 2005, The Yale Review published his novella Versace Enthroned with Saints: Margaret, Jerome, Alex and the Angel Donatella, and later awarded it the Smart Family Foundation Prize for Fiction.

Other writers scheduled for the series include: author Alice Mattison, April 3; middle-grade and young adult author Maryrose Wood in conversation with Children’s Literature Conference Director Emma Walton Hamilton, April 10; New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman interviewed by former New Yorker fiction editor Dan Menaker, April 17; and author Elissa Schappell, April 24.

On May 1, 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. 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, visit our webpage or call 631-632-5287. On Facebook, visit Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @ WritersSpeakWed.

 

Dan Menaker Interviews Author Sloane Crosley at Feb. 25 Manhattan Writers Speak

crosleySloane Crosley, author of the collection of essays I Was Told There’d Be Cake, will be the next guest in the spring Writers Speak series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Manhattan. Crosley will be interviewed by Dan Menaker on Monday, February 25, at 7 p.m. at 101-113 East 27th Street, 3rd Floor.

I Was Told There'd Be Cake, published by Riverhead Books in April 2008, became a New York Times bestseller and was a finalist for The Thurber Prize, as well as being rated one of Amazon.com's best books of the year and optioned for a series by HBO.

Crosley was a weekly columnist for The Independent in the UK and was editor of The Best American Travel Writing 2011. Her e-book, Up The Down Volcano, released in December 2011, was a #1 Amazon Kindle bestseller. Her essays have appeared in 2011's The Best American Nonrequired Reading and The Library of America's The 50 Funniest American Writers According to Andy Borowitz.

The founding columnist for The New York Times "Townies" Op-Ed series, Crosley was a columnist for The New York Observer Diary and The Village Voice, a contributing editor at BlackBook Magazine and is a regular contributor to GQElle and NPR. She has also written cover stories and features for SalonSpinBon AppetitVogueEsquire and Playboy.

MFA in Creative Writing Professor Dan Menaker was an editor at The New Yorker for 20 years and wrote frequently for the magazine. He started at Random House as Senior Literary Editor in 1995, and eventually became Editor-in-Chief there, working with such writers as Salman Rushdie, Colum McCann, Elizabeth Strout, and Nassim Taleb. He now serves as a consultant for Barnes and Noble.

Menaker has published five books of his own, two of them New York Times Notable Books, and has twice won the O. Henry Award for short fiction.

Other programs scheduled for the series include: a student book launch on March 25 for Judy Mandel, Victor Giannini and Michael LoCurto; St. John’s Night on April 8 with readings by Derek Owens, Bill Torgerson and MFA alumna Nicola Ruiz, along with an info session on teaching freshman comp with St. John’s Institute for Writing Studies; and an of semester Student Night of readings and short films produced, edited and directed by students in the Digifilm Practicum on May 13.

On Saturday, March 23, Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler of indie film producing powerhouse Killer Films will offer a Killer Masterclass from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Stony Brook Manhattan. For registration information for the Killer Films Masterclass, contact: magdalene.brandeis@stonybrook.edu, or visit http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/mfa/film/masterclass.shtml.

Readings are free and open to the public, on Mondays at 7 p.m. at Stony Brook Manhattan, 3rd floor at 101-113 East 27th Street. To RSVP or for more information, call 646-472-2000; email MFAManhattan@stonybrook.edu ; or visit www.stonybrook.edu/southampton/mfa/manhattan_events.shtml. On Facebook, visit Manhattan Track MFA. For more information about Stony Brook Manhattan programs and courses, tuition or registration, contact magdalene.brandeis@stonybrook.edu.

Billy Collins Poem Selected for Best American Poetry 2013

billy collinsA poem by MFA in Creative Writing Poetry Professor Billy Collins titled “Foundling,” which first appeared in TSR The Southampton Review (Vol VI, No 1), has been selected for inclusion in The Best American Poetry 2013, guest edited by Denise Duhamel.

The U.S. Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003 and the New York State Poet Laureate from 2004 to 2006, Collins was the guest editor of The Best American Poetry 2006 and his work has appeared in a number of editions of the annual collection.

In other news, as part of the MTA’s Poetry in Motion initiative, Collins reads his poem “Grand Central” over a video posted on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szZiNq3PSgg) in celebration of the Manhattan terminal on 42nd Street turning 100.

On Wednesday, April 10, at 7 p.m., Collins, Aracelis Girmay, and Jeffrey Yang, among others poets featured in the newly re-launched Poetry in Motion program, will join performers from Music Under New York for a performance in the terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall honoring Grand Central in its centennial year. The performance in celebration of Grand Central’s architecture, crowds, iconography, and poetics is being presented by MTA Arts for Transit and the Poetry Society of America. (http://www.grandcentralterminal.com/centennial/)  

 

collage Screenwriter Bill Collage to Be Interviewed at Feb. 27 Writers Speak

Screenwriter Bill Collage 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. Collage will be interviewed by screenwriter, producer, professor and Southampton Arts Screenwriting Conference Director Annette Handley Chandler on Wednesday, February 27, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Working with his writing partner Adam Cooper, Collage has co-written more than 30 feature films and created four shows for network and cable television channels. The two writers’ upcoming projects include Moses, directed by Sir Ridley Scott, The General, a biography of George Washington directed by Darren Aronofsky, and Holliday, an HBO seris about Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp directed by Ron Howard.

Collage and Cooper are currently writing a 38-episode hour-long series, Cleopatra, for BBCAmerica, as well as a feature film adaptation of best-selling novel The Submission by Amy Waldman for director Noam Murrow.

Produced projects Collage has been a part of include Tower HeistGet Smart, Fun with Dick & Jane, Accepted, New York Minute, Wrong Turn, I'll Be Home For Christmas and Ransom.  After early success in comedies, he and Cooper changed gears in 2008, completing dramatic projects such as Moby Dick, Marco PoloIncarceron, and Blood Feud

Other writers scheduled for the series include: author Alexandra Styron, March 6; author Benjamin Anastas, March 13; author Alice Mattison, April 3; middle-grade and young adult author Maryrose Wood in conversation with Children’s Literature Conference Director Emma Walton Hamilton, April 10; New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman interviewed by former New Yorker fiction editor Dan Menaker, April 17; and author Elissa Schappell, April 24.

On May 1, 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. 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 or visit www.stonybrook.edu/mfa. On Facebook, visit Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @ WritersSpeakWed.

 

Dan Menaker to Interview Robin Desser in Feb. 20 Writers Speak Event

desserAlfred A. Knopf senior editor Robin Desser 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. She will be interviewed by former New Yorker fiction editor Dan Menaker on Wednesday, February 20, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Desser, who is also a vice president at Knopf, has worked at the Knopf Publishing Group for 20 years. Among the authors and books she has published are: Arthur Golden’s  Memoirs of a Geisha;  Susanna Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted; Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth; James Salter’s Last Night; and Cheryl Strayed’s Wild.  

Other writers scheduled for the series include: screenwriter Bill Collage in conversation with Screenwriting Conference Director Annette Handley Chandler, February 27; author Alexandra Styron, March 6; author Benjamin Anastas, March 13; author Alice Mattison, April 3; middle-grade and young adult author Maryrose Wood in conversation with Children’s Literature Conference Director Emma Walton Hamilton, April 10; New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman  interviewed by Dan Menaker, April 17; and author Elissa Schappell, April 24.

On May 1, 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. 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.

FILM: Killer Masterclass with Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler March 23

Legendary independent film producers Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler of Killer Films offer a master class to die for: telling you how to get it made, make it right, get it seen, and live to tell about it at Stony Brook Manhattan on Saturday, March 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

LEARN MORE HERE.

New Children's Lit Fellows Program Debuts at SB Southampton

emma walton hamiltonPart of Emma Walton Hamilton’s mission last weekend at the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conference in New York City—where she and her mother, Julie Andrews, were invited to give a keynote speech on Sunday, February 3—was to unveil the new Children’s Literature Fellows program being launched this spring as part of the MFA in Creative Writing program at Stony Brook Southampton.

The one-year, project-based course of instruction was developed by Walton Hamilton, a children’s books author and director of the Children’s Literature Conference at the campus, and MFA in Creative Writing Director Julie Sheehan to give children’s books and children’s literature—including middle grade, young adult, chapter and picture books—a more significant presence in the writing program, while at the same time offering writers a more affordable and flexible option than matriculation in a two- or three-year MFA program.

Walton Hamilton points out that more and more thesis content in the MFA program has been in middle grade and YA books, demonstrating its increasing appeal for MFA students of all ages. “Children’s literature and YA are the fastest, if not the only, growing sectors in the publishing industry right now according to the Association of American Publishers,” says Hamilton. “So it’s attractive to writers on a number of levels.”

Because not all writers who want to complete projects have the time or the funds to complete a full degree program, the Children’s Literature Fellows will do their work within a framework tailored to their needs. The Children's Literature Fellows will receive a year-long course of instruction (bearing 16 graduate level credits) that is customized, affordable, comprehensive, and professionally useful.

Fellows will work independently with the accomplished writers who make up Stony Brook Southampton’s outstanding faculty and, twice a year, will come together as a cohort, once in July during the Summer Conference and a second time in January for a special Publishing and Editing Conference, during which they will have the chance to meet with editors, agents and other members of the publishing industry.

During their year, Fellows will complete one publishable YA or middle grade manuscript, or, for chapter and picture book writers, either a series concept with one completed manuscript or, alternately, three separate manuscripts. Admission is selective; only 12 applicants will be chosen for the program each year. The deadline for applications this year is April 15, 2013.

“There are not many programs like this out there for aspiring children’s literature authors,” Walton Hamilton said. She added that the few places where graduate level programs like this are offered tend to be remote, while Stony Brook Southampton, with its satellite campus in Manhattan, is near to the heart of the publishing industry in New York City, and therefore offers more opportunities than most. The publishing industry tends to be very closed to writers not represented by agents, Walton Hamilton said. The Editing and Publishing Conference is therefore key, and timed to segue into the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ (SCBWI) Winter Conference in New York City, for those who wish to attend.

For more information about the Stony Brook Southampton Children’s Literature Fellows program and the application process, go to http://childrenslitfellows.org or visit http://www.stonybrook.edu/mfa and click on Children’s Lit Fellows.

PHOTO by Star Black: Emma Walton Hamilton, center, with two students at the summer 2012 Children's Literature Conference in Southampton.

Major Jackson Opens Spring Writers Speak Wednesdays

Major Jackson, whose volume of poetry Leaving Saturn was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, will be the first guest in the spring Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton, speaking on Wednesday, February 13, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

In addition to Leaving Saturn, Jackson is the author of two other volumes of poetry: Holding Company and Hoops. He is the Richard Dennis Green & Gold Professor at the University of Vermont and poetry editor of The Harvard Review

Other writers scheduled for the series include: Alfred A. Knopf senior editor Robin Desser interviewed by former New Yorker fiction editor Dan Menaker, February 20; screenwriter Bill Collage in conversation with Screenwriting Conference Director Annette Handley Chandler, February 27; author Alexandra Styron, March 6; author Benjamin Anastas, March 13; author Alice Mattison, April 3; middle-grade and young adult author Maryrose Wood in conversation with Children’s Literature Conference Director Emma Walton Hamilton, April 10; New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman  interviewed by Dan Menaker, April 17; and author Elissa, April 24.
On May 1, 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. 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.

 

School Break Writing Workshops for Gifted Young Writers

yawp students

The Young American Writers Project (YAWP), created and sponsored by Stony Brook Southampton's MFA in Creative Writing and Literature, has announced that it will once again offer week-long School Break Writing Workshops for teens during the winter and spring school breaks.

The workshops will pair professional writers with middle and high school students for 5-day retreats in creative writing.

The Winter Break Writing Workshop in Creative Writing will run February 18-22, from 10  a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.  Student writers will develop and hone their fiction, poetry and personal essay skills in order to discover the most powerful ways to express their ideas and to have them heard. By week’s end, each student will have several pieces of completed work to submit or publish.

The Spring Break Writing Workshop will also be in Creative Writing, and will run from March 25-29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

Both workshops will be in Chancellors Hall on the Stony Brook Southampton campus. Student work from both workshops will be eligible for publication in the YAWP Ezine and for presentation in the “Sounding Our YAWP” event at Stony Brook Southampton in late April.

The course fee for each workshop is $525; partial scholarships are available. The registration deadline for the Winter Break Writing Workshop is February 8; for the Spring Break Writing Workshop the registration deadline is March 15. Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.

The Young American Writers Project (YAWP) is dedicated to mentoring young people in the development of creative expression and critical thinking through writing. YAWP Programs are offered throughout the year in area schools as well as during the summer at Stony Brook Southampton.

For further information, visit http://www.youngamericanwritersproject.com or email william.chandler@stonybrook.edu.

victor giannini

Victor Giannini novella, Scott Too, coming from Silverthought Press

Scott Too, a novella written in Roger Rosenblatt's class by recent MFA graduate Victor Giannini, is now available from Silverthought Press (http://www.silverthought.com/scotttoo/).

The novella has already earned high praise from Rosenblatt and another Stony Brook Southampton MFA professor, Kaylie Jones.

Rosenblatt writes that "Victor Giannini's Scott Too is fiction of the highest order. Giannini uses his device of confused identities to get at basic questions of what it means to be one’s self, to be human. In spare, restrained prose, he gives us a taut, intense novella, at once mysterious and moving. This is a work of humane imagination."

According to Jones, "Victor Giannini’s Scott Too is a tour de force that echoes the best speculative fiction of Philip K. Dick and the magical realism of Jose Saramago. In this brilliant short novel, Scott Alvin comes home one day, after almost getting killed in a drive-by shooting, to find his double, also named Scott, relaxing on his living room couch, talking to his roommate. Scott struggles to maintain his identity as Scott Too asserts his personality in ways that do not gel with Scott's sense of self. Giannini’s fantastic world forces us to tackle our own questions of identity, responsibility, and free-will. Scott Too ultimately serves as a philosophical mirror, not only for Scott Alvin, but for ourselves."

Stony Brook Southampton Shining Bright at Sundance Film Festival

christine vachon at sundance

It's been a busy week out west for new Stony Brook Southampton faculty member Christine Vachon, co-founder of indie film production powerhouse Killer Films, who traveled to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, with several objectives in mind.

Already scheduled to attend to support two films she produced that are being screened at Sundance, Vachon has also been capitalizing on myriad opportunities to get the word out to industry insiders and her peers about the new film program she is developing at Stony Brook Southampton and at Stony Brook Manhattan. 

"Part of my mission while at the Festival," Vachon said, "is to spread the word about our exciting plans for the new film program at Stony Brook Southampton, beginning with the 20/20/20 scholarship program for this summer."

CONTINUE READING

YAWP Fourth Annual High School Playwrights Festival Dec. 8

Six short plays written and performed by local high school students will be presented at Stony Brook Southampton's Avram Theater on Saturday, December 8, at 7 p.m. as the culminating event of the 2012 Young American Writers Project (YAWP) High School Playwriting Program. Playwrights for the fall festival were drawn from YAWP classes at Bridgehampton High School, Sag Harbor's Pierson, Southampton, Eastport South Manor, and Westhampton Beach.

A playwright from Ward Melville High School who participated in the YAWP summer program at the Stony Brook Southampton campus will also have his play produced as part of the festival, using actors and crew from the YAWP class at Eastport South Manor.

The festival represents the collaboration between student playwrights, actors and designers who have been taught and mentored by theater and writing professionals affiliated with Stony Brook Southampton's MFA in Creative Writing and Literature, which created and sponsors the YAWP programs. Professional directors stage the plays, which encompass a wide array of genres— from comedies to dramas—with subject matter drawn from the students' own lives.

The Young American Writers Project is dedicated to mentoring middle and high school students in the development of creative expression and critical thinking through writing, and is an integral part of Stony Brook Southampton’s commitment to its community, and to the next generation of readers and writers. The YAWP programs send professional writers and teaching artists into classrooms to lead workshops in a wide range of writing disciplines, including Playwriting, Screenwriting, Poetry, Personal Essay and Fiction.

Over 100 students participated in the inaugural YAWP High School Playwriting Residency this fall. Over the course of two months, students explored the basic elements of dramatic writing: how to develop ideas, characters, themes, dialogue and scenes. One play from each participating class was then selected for production in the Festival. Due to Hurricane Sandy, the annual week-long Playwriting Retreat program, which typically generates four to six additional plays for the festival, had to be postponed.

The Young American Writers Project is helmed by Executive Director Emma Walton Hamilton and Program Director Will Chandler. Ms. Hamilton is a bestselling children's book author, editor and arts educator and serves as director of the Southampton Children's Literature Conference.  A co-founder of Bay Street Theatre, she served as the theatre's co-artistic director, and subsequently director of education and programming for young audiences for 17 years.  Mr. Chandler, an American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) Nicholl Fellowship screenwriter, also served as education director and as a teaching artist for Bay Street Theatre. He has written a number of screenplays for clients ranging from Sony Pictures to actor Russell Crowe and has been a story analyst/script doctor for ABC, CBS, NBC, Viacom and HBO, among others.

"Dramatic writing and production skills give young people unparalleled lessons in communication and collaboration," Ms. Hamilton said. "They build confidence, and have a direct impact on young people’s abilities to become engaged and compassionate citizens in later life. This project represents a wonderful synergy between all the creative disciplines and values about which we are passionate."

"When we go into schools, we work closely with classroom teachers as we convey the basic elements of dramatic writing," Mr. Chandler added. "Learning dramatic writing is a great way to improve overall writing skills, but what we’re really teaching them is that each student has a ‘voice,’ and we want to hear it."

For ongoing curriculum development and program design, the YAWP administrators draw on the substantial strengths of the Stony Brook Southampton MFA faculty, including novelist and MFA Director Robert Reeves; recent Whiting Award-winning poet Julie Sheehan; best-selling memoirist and editor-in-chief of The Southampton Review, Lou Ann Walker; and screenwriter and Emmy award-winning producer Annette Handley Chandler.

"The YAWP programs are a wonderful way for us to reach—and to help shape— the next generation of American writers," said Reeves, "as well as an ideal way to offer training and teaching experience to our very talented graduates and graduate students."

The YAWP Playwriting Festival takes place December 8 at 7 p.m. at the Avram Theater, in the Fine Arts Building on the campus of Stony Brook Southampton, 239 Old Montauk Highway, Southampton.  Tickets for the performance are free. For reservations and more information, email william.chandler@stonybrook.edu

YAWP program expands, will now include visual arts
High school plays at Avram December 8

yawp visual arts

Emma Walton Hamilton, the executive director of the Young American Writers Project (YAWP) educational outreach to high schools and middle schools offered by the Stony Brook Southampton graduate arts campus, has announced the expansion of the program this year to include the visual arts.

Artist Scott Sandell of Sag Harbor, who has been spearheading the introduction of visual arts to the array of offerings at the graduate arts campus, is working with Pierson Middle/High School teacher Peter Solow to introduce a print-making program for Pierson students at the campus from November 27 to 29.

"Over the summer we had 10 artists come through the new Almost Beachfront Print Studio," Sandell said recently. "Each artist worked one-on-one with me to create original prints using our wide-format digital printers. While there were some very traditional print editions created, there were also some artists books, and mixed media works. It's a very exciting moment in printmaking, as new technologies are redefining the idea of what a print is."

"Our pilot program in the visual arts," he continued, "will invite 10 talented students from Sag Harbor's Pierson High School to the Almost Beachfront Studio, where they will have the same opportunity as the professional artists. The students will work with Peter and myself to create large format prints, artists books, and even installation pieces; they will have a chance to define printmaking on their own terms: exciting stuff."

Aside from Sandell's initial lecture on artists books, the students' experience will involve full studio immersion. The young artists, Sandell said, "will walk out dreaming prints."

Work the students create will enhance their college application portfolios, Sandell said, and the three-day intensive in the studio "will provide them with a unique experience, as well as a window into the way professional artists work."

The visual arts pilot program, which is being funded by the Reutershan Trust, is the first of many such visual arts collaborations with different schools planned for YAWP, which Hamilton said will be the acronym, going forward, for the Young Artists and Writers Project.

"YAWP's expansion is a reflection of the expansion of the graduate arts programs at Stony Brook Southampton to include theatre and film MFA degrees as well as visual arts programs," Hamilton said. "There's never been a more important time for the arts, in education and in society," and budget cuts in arts programs, she said, mean that without the scholarship fund, many schools would not be able to take part.

On Saturday, December 8, plays by six high school playwrights from schools across the East End will be presented at the Avram theater at Stony Brook Southampton as the culmination of the YAWP fall playwriting program. Last year's plays included one by an Eastport South Manor student on the negative impact on students' lives of cutting arts programs.

To help make YAWP programs across the board more accessible to more students and schools, a scholarship fund has been created for YAWP and leadership gifts have already been made to the fund by Frank and Theresa Maglio as well as the Rose Family Foundation.

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., who has previously gained approval for state funding for YAWP and other educational and cultural East End programs, has announced that he will be sponsoring a line-item appropriation for the 2013 State Budget to support the YAWP Scholarship Fund. Thiele is committed to developing the full potential of educational opportunities at the Southampton campus, and considers the success of YAWP to be a critical part of the educational mandate at the campus. Thiele will be proposing a $75,000 appropriation.

Photo caption: Artist Scott Sandell with Southampton Arts Summer workshop students in the Almost Beachfront Digital Studio. Photo by Star Black)

Author Susan Isaacs at Writers Speak Wednesdays Nov. 28

susan isaacs

New York Times bestselling author Susan Isaacs will be the next guest in the fall Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton, speaking on Wednesday, November 28, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

The renowned Long Island author's newest novel is Goldberg Variations (Scribner, 2012). Popular titles among her 13 novels include: As Husbands Go, Any Place I Hang My Hat, Long Time No See and Compromising Positions. A recipient of the Writers for Writers and John Steinbeck awards, she wrote the screenplay for the 1985 movie adaptation of her 1978 novel, Compromising Positions, and also wrote the screenplay for, and co-produced, the 1987 Touchstone Pictures comedy Hello Again, which starred Shelley Long and Dana Ivey. 

As a Los Angeles Times critic noted in a review of After All These Years, “Susan Isaacs writes wonderful books . . . endlessly entertaining and beautifully written.”

On December 5, the evening will be devoted to readings by “the stars of tomorrow,” students enrolled in the Southampton Arts MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program at the campus.

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 or visit www.stonybrook.edu/mfa. On Facebook, go to Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @ WritersSpeakWed.

Richard Panek honored with AIP award for science writing

panek

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) has selected Richard Panek, a visiting professor for the Manhattan track of Stony Brook Southampton's MFA in Creative Writing and Literature, as the winner of this year's AIP Science Communication Award in the Science Writing category for his book The 4% Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality.

"The mysteries of cosmology easily capture the imagination," said Catherine O'Riordan, AIP vice president for Physics Resources. "This particular book presents the underlying physics of dark matter and dark energy in a way that draws the reader in and tells an engaging story of researchers at the frontiers of discovery."

Panek will receive a $3,000 honorarium, an inscribed Windsor chair, and a certificate of recognition at the 221st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), to be held Jan. 6-10, 2013, in Long Beach, Calif.

In recent years, a radically new vision of the universe has emerged: Only four percent of it consists of the matter that makes up you, me, and every planet, star, and galaxy. The rest — 96 percent — is completely unknown. Through extensive on-site reporting and hundreds of interviews, Panek offers an intimate, behind-the-scenes portrait of the bitter rivalries and fruitful collaborations, the blind alleys and the eureka moments, that have redefined science and reinvented the universe.

Panek's background is not in science; it's in journalism and fiction. By combining the exploratory sensibility of journalism with the storytelling techniques of fiction, he writes to illuminate and humanize the history and philosophy of science for all readers—especially those who, like himself before he began writing about science, might know little or nothing about the subject. His books have been translated into 14 languages.

Richard Panek, who lives in New York City. has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (in Science Writing) and the New York Foundation for the Arts (in Literary Nonfiction), as well as an Antarctic Artists and Writers grant from the National Science Foundation. The 4% Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality was long-listed for the 2012 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.

Panek's books also include The Invisible Century: Einstein, Freud, and the Search for Hidden Universes and Seeing and Believing: How the Telescope Opened Our Eyes and Minds to the Heavens.

The AIP Science Communication Awards aim to promote effective science communication in print and new media in order to improve the general public’s appreciation of physics, astronomy, and allied science fields. The awards are presented at venues that best highlight the science covered in the publications.

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) is an organization of 10 physical science societies, representing more than 135,000 scientists, engineers, and educators. As one of the world’s largest publishers of scientific information in physics, AIP employs innovative publishing technologies and offers publishing services for its Member Societies.
AIP’s suite of publications includes: 15 journals, three of which are published in partnership with other organizations; magazines, including its flagship publication Physics Today; and the AIP Conference Proceedings series. Through its Physics Resources Center, AIP also delivers valuable services and expertise in education and student programs, science communications, government relations, career services for science and engineering professionals, statistical research, industrial outreach, and the history of physics and other sciences.

Patty McCormick’s Never Fall Down named finalist for National Book Award

patty mccormick

Author and Southampton Arts visiting professor Patty McCormick's Never Fall Down has been named a National Book Award finalist in young people's literature for 2012.

Based on the true story of an 11-year-old boy who survived the Khmer Rouge by playing music in the Killing Fields, Never Fall Down came out in May 2012.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu praised the book, saying, "One of the most inspiring and powerful books I've ever read. Never Fall Down can teach us all about finding the courage to speak our truth and change the world."

Following a reading by the finalists on Tuesday,  November 13, at The New School in New York City, the winners will be announced at the annual National Book Awards ceremony hosted by Faith Salie on Wednesday, November 14, at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. At the ceremony, Elmore Leonard and Arthur Sulzberger Jr. will be given lifetime achievement awards by the National Book Foundation.

Bret Anthony Johnston to be interviewed by Dan Menaker for Writers Speak Nov. 14

Bret Anthony Johnston

Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Corpus Christie: Stories and the Director of Creative Writing  at Harvard, will be the next guest in the fall Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton, interviewed by Southampton Arts faculty member Dan Menaker on Wednesday, November 14, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Corpus Christi: Stories (Random House, 2004) was named a Best Book of the Year by The Independent of London and The Irish Times. In addition, the collection received the Southern Review's Annual Short Fiction Award, the Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers, the Texas Institute of Letters Debut Fiction Award, the Christopher Isherwood Prize, the James Michener Fellowship, and was shortlisted for Ireland's Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, "the richest short story prize in the world."

His work has appeared in magazines such as EsquireThe Paris ReviewOxford American, and Tin House, and in  a number of anthologies. A graduate of Miami University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he has written essays for The New York Times MagazineThe New York TimesSlate.com and NPR's “All Things Considered,” and he has been a skateboarder for almost 20 years.

Dan Menaker served as the fiction editor for The New Yorker magazine for 22 years before moving to Random House in 1995 as Senior Editor. In 2001 he became Executive Editor at Harper Collins, and then returned to Random House as Executive Editor–in-Chief in 2003. The author of a novel, The Treatment, and two books of short stories, two of which won O. Henry awards, his most recent book is A Good Talk: The Story and Skill of Conversation, published in 2010 by Twelve, an imprint of the Hachette Book Group.   

Renowned Long Island author Susan Isaacs will be the final guest in the series on November 28. On December 5, the evening will be devoted to readings by “the stars of tomorrow”: students enrolled in the Southampton Arts 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.

For more information, call 631-632-5287 or visit www.stonybrook.edu/mfa. On Facebook, go to Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @ WritersSpeakWed.

Frost Medal winner Marilyn Nelson's Writers Speak appearance postponed

m nelson

Due to high winds and seas on Long Island Sound associated with the nor'easter sweeping the New England coast, the reading by poet Marilyn Nelson scheduled for November 7 at Stony Brook Southampton has been indefinitely postponed. 

The MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program, which is sponsoring Nelson's visit as part of the Writers Speak Wednesdays series, will announce the new date for the reading as soon as it has been determined. 

Nelson, the 2012 recipient of the Robert Frost Medal, is the author or translator of 14 books, including The Homeplace (1990) and The Fields of Praise: New and Selected Poems (1997), both of which were finalists for the National Book Award. Her numerous children's books include, Carver: A Life in Poems (2001) which received the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award. 

Nelson is a professor emerita of English at the University of Connecticut; was founder/director and host of Soul Mountain Retreat, a small non-profit writers' colony (2004-2010), and held the office of Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut from 2001-2006.

The Frost Medal is presented annually by the poetry society of America for "distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry." Previous winners of the award include Wallace Stevens, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, Marianne Moore, and Charles Simic, who was the 2011 recipient.
In a starred review in Kirkus Reviews, The Book of Jonas was described as “rich with symbolism, marvelously descriptive in language ... Dau's novel offers deeply resonating truths about war and culture, about family and loss that only art can reveal. A literary tour de force.”

For more information, call 631-632-5287 or visit www.stonybrook.edu/mfa. On Facebook, go to Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @ WritersSpeakWed.

Anna North Joins Writers Speak Wednesdays on Oct. 24

anna north

Author Anna North will be the next guest in the fall Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton, speaking on Wednesday, October 24, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

North's first novel, America Pacifica, was published by Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Glimmer Train, and online at Jezebel.com. She is a senior editor at BuzzFeed.com.    

Other writers scheduled for the series include: poet Marilyn Nelson, November 7; author and Harvard director of creative writing Bret Anthony Johnston interviewed by Dan Menaker, November 14; and renowned Long Island author Susan Isaacs, November 28.

On December 5, the evening will be devoted to readings by “the stars of tomorrow”: students enrolled in the Southampton Arts 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.

For more information, call 631-632-5030 or visit www.stonybrook.edu/mfa. On Facebook, go to Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @ WritersSpeakWed.

James Gleick to be interviewed by Dan Menaker for Writers Speak on Oct. 17

james gleick

Former New York Times reporter James Gleick, author of Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman and Chaos, among other books, will be the next guest in the fall Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings at Stony Brook Southampton, interviewed by Southampton Arts faculty member Dan Menaker on Wednesday, October 17.

Gleick served as the McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University in 1989-90, and three of his books have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. His most recent best-seller, The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood, published in 2011, was described by Philip Ball, a reviewer for The Observer, as ". . . a deeply impressive and rather beautiful book."  

After serving as the fiction editor for The New Yorker magazine for 22 years, Dan Menaker moved to Random House in 1995 as Senior Editor, and in 2001 he became Executive Editor at Harper Collins. He returned to Random House as Executive Editor–in-Chief in 2003. The author of a novel, The Treatment, and two books of short stories, two of which won O. Henry awards, his most recent book is A Good Talk: The Story and Skill of Conversation, published in 2010 by Twelve, an imprint of the Hachette Book Group.   

dan menaker

Other writers scheduled for the series include: novelist Anna North, October 24; poet Marilyn Nelson, November 7; author and director of creative writing at Harvard Bret Anthony Johnston interviewed by Dan Menaker, November 14; and renowned Long Island author Susan Isaacs, November 28. On December 5, 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. 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, go to Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @ WritersSpeakWed.

 

Poem by Michelle Whittaker Accepted by The New Yorker

whittaker poem

Recent MFA graduate Michelle Whittaker learned in August that she has had a poem accepted by The New Yorker. The poem, "Process," is from her debut manuscript. No date has been given yet for when the poem will be published.

Of Whittaker, poetry editor Paul Muldoon says, "I do think you have a voice all your own and I'm very happy to hear it!"  A Cave Canem Fellow and previous winner of the MFA program's Jody Donohoe Prize, Whittaker teaches introductory creative writing at Stony Brook Southampton, where she earned her MFA in Creative Writing and Literature in June of 2011.

Whittaker is a poet and a pianist. Her research interests include eco-poetics, creative non-fiction, and early-to-late 20th century American and British poetry. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Southampton Review, Xanadu, Drunken Boat and Long Island Quarterly. She has received the 2009 Jody Donohue Poetry Prize, a Pushcart Prize honorable mention, and a Cave Canem fellowship.

 

Tracy King-Sanchez screenplay wins grand prize in competition

king sanchez wins

A screenplay by Tracy M. King-Sanchez, who received her MFA in Creative Writing from Stony Brook Southampton in 2012, has been selected as the Grand Prize Winner in the 2012 Women in Film & Video/New England Screenwriting Competition.

Writing about the achievement, 2012 Screenwriting Competition Judge Cheryl Eagan-Donovan noted that "this year's finalists included three great roles for women on screen.  The Grand Prize Winner, Pigeon, features a strong protagonist who overcomes a series of increasingly difficult challenges, and in the process, is transformed into a confident, courageous and compassionate individual.  

"The characters are recognizable but never clichés; each has a mix of admirable traits and realistic flaws. The dialogue is well crafted and the story moves forward quickly and deftly.  The writer has mastered both form and format, taking the reader on a journey into a world where success is not as simple as just getting a college degree. The heroine returns home to learn the meaning of family, friendship, love and responsibility.

"This is a screenplay that is flawless in execution and ready to cast and shoot. Congratulations!" 

As the Grand Prize Winner, King-Sanchez will receive a detailed script analysis and consultation from award-winning screenwriter, Susan Kouguell, founder of Su-City Pictures.  She will also receive a Final Draft software package and a listing on Inktip.com.  

An awards event is planned in October in Boston or Cambridge, Massachusetts.  

Tracy M. King-Sanchez wrote, produced, directed and edited the short film, Artistic Closure, which premiered at the Stony Brook Film Festival and was screened at the Big Apple and Great Lakes Independent Film Festivals.

Her screenplays have placed in other contests, including the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting. Her one-act play, Lifted, was published in TSR: The Southampton Review.

 

elena gorokhhova

Elena Gorokhova interview appears on The Daily Beast

Elena Gorokhova, the author of A Mountain of Crumbs and a participant in the late Frank McCourt’s memoir workshop at the Southampton Writers Conference in 2004, was recently interviewed for the How I Write page of The Daily Beast.

Written up by How I Write contributor Noah Charney, the interview appeared on August 2.

Read the interview here.

 

Gala launch scheduled July 27 for new edition of The Southampton Review

TSR image

The latest edition of TSR The Southampton Review, the literary and art journal published by the Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program, will be launched at a gala evening on Friday, July 27, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Avram Theater on the Shinnecock Hills campus.

Two-time U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins and award-winning essayist, memoirist, novelist, and playwright Roger Rosenblatt, both frequent contributors to TSR, will read from their work at the launch. Collins regularly leads summer poetry workshops at Stony Brook Southampton and Rosenblatt is a Distinguished Professor of Writing at the campus, teaching classes in Southampton and Manhattan.

In addition to the customary mix of established and emerging writers and artists, the summer 2012 edition of TSR (Volume VI, No. 2) includes a special Turkana Basin insert with photographs and writing from the MFA program’s January 2012 winter conference at Stony Brook University’s Turkana Basin Institute in Kenya, home base for research by renowned paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey.

"TSR is all about visual art and written language," Editor-in-Chief Lou Ann Walker said, "and since Richard Leakey had been talking about the origins of language while MFA in Creative Writing Director Julie Sheehan was leading a poetry workshop at the institute in January, we decided to do a special insert."

Included in the insert is a long poem by workshop co-leader Bob Holman, the founder of the Bowery Poetry Club and self-described poetry activist. Writing in The NewYorker, HenryLouisGates Jr. called Holman "the postmodern promoter who has done more to bring poetry to cafés and bars than anyone since Ferlinghetti."

Walker said the poem explores "what it's like to write poetry in a place like Turkana," against the backdrop of Richard Leakey talking about his ideas about evolution based on the many fossils he has found there.

The Turkana insert also features poetry by workshop participants Ruth Bonapace and Betsy Bonner, Walker said, "pieces about what it's like to be singing with the people there," as well as "beautiful photographs" by William Westbrook Burford, Christian McLean, and Valerie Scopaz.
Beyond the Turkana insert, Walker said, the latest edition of TSR represents "our usual gorgeous, poignant, sophisticated take through literature and the visual arts," with "about a 10 percent increase in the number of contributors over the last issue."  As she has done for all the previous editions, the editor-in-chief said she has selected contributions by "both accomplished and recognized writers and artists and emerging voices." 

There is an excerpt from Wanderer, the forthcoming memoir by Roger Rosenblatt, and five original poems from Billy Collins. The novelist Ursula Hegi contributed what Walker called "three beautiful poems" on the subject of Alaska.

Among the contributions from emerging voices, Walker mentioned Prison Visit, "a searing short story" by Jen Senft, and "a moving memoir piece" by Mitchell Kriegman titled The Crooked People in the Crazy House. Albert Abonado’s Three Colophons, she said, "have the look of the forward of a book but are actually poems," and Ginny Rosenblatt contributed a "very moving poem" titled March 20.

On the visual arts side, Francine Fleischer of Sag Harbor contributed "five extraordinary photos of swimmers in a mysterious watering hole," Walker said; Massachusetts artist Paul Chojnowski, working with a blow torch on paper and wood, contributed three "quite beautiful" nudes; and Margaret Garrett of Shelter Island submitted three "extremely detailed paintings" from a series titled Tuning Fields.

An emerging artist, Diana Frank of Bridgehampton, contributed some examples of her photographs of water that Walker said "have been blown up on giant pieces of Plexiglass."
Cartoons are always a part of TSR, and the latest edition includes two each from two New Yorker cartoonists, Michael Maslin and Liza Donnelly.

Contributors to the latest edition of TSR will read from their work at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, July 27, in Duke Lecture Hall in the Chancellors Hall building, immediately following an information meeting on the Southampton Arts MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program at Stony Brook Southampton scheduled at 2 p.m.

The gala launch with readings by Roger Rosenblatt and Billy Collins starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Avram Theater in the Fine Arts building and will be followed by a reception. For more information or to register, visit www.stonybrook.edu/avram.   

For more information about TSR The Southampton Review, call 631-632-5030 or email TheSouthamptonReview@stonybrook.edu.

panel for mfa

Shanley, McMullan, Lazaridi and Guirgis discuss character and dialogue with Mangano

On July 11, the opening night of Session I of Southampton Arts Summer at Stony Brook Southampton, Nick Mangano, (above photo, at left) the director of the new MFA in Theatre at the campus, served as the moderator for a craft panel on character and dialogue with, from left: John Patrick Shanley, author of the screenplay for "Moonstruck" and the Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Doubt," among others; celebrated and award-winning children's book author Kate McMullan; Academy Award nominated screenwriter Christina Lazaridi; and playwright, television writer and actor Stephen Adly Guirgis.