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Poet Gary J. Whitehead Up Next at March 27 Writers Speak

gary whiteheadPoet Gary J. Whitehead will be the next guest in the 2019 spring Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton. Whitehead will read from and talk about his work on Wednesday, March 27, at 7 p.m. in Duke Lecture Hall on the ground floor of Chancellors Hall at the Southampton campus.

Gary J. Whitehead is a poet, teacher, and crossword constructor. His fourth collection of poems, Strange What Rises, was published by Terrapin Books in 2019. He is the author of three previous full-length poetry collections: A Glossary of Chickens (Princeton University Press, 2013), selected by Paul Muldoon for the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets; Measuring Cubits while the Thunder Claps (2008); and The Velocity of Dust (2005). He has also authored three chapbooks of poetry, two of which were winners of national competitions. His poems have appeared widely in journals and magazines, most notably in the New Yorker.

Whitehead's writing awards include a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, the Pearl Hogrefe Fellowship at Iowa State University, and the PEN Northwest Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency Award. He has also been awarded the Princeton University Distinguished Secondary School Teaching Award.

He lives in the Hudson Valley of New York and teaches English and creative writing at Tenafly High School in New Jersey. www.garyjwhitehead.com .

Other programs scheduled for the spring Writers Speak series include: April 3, Amy Hempel and Julia Slavin; April 10, Kyla Marshell and Shane McCrae; April 24, poet Sharon Dolin and writer Chloe Caldwell; and May 1, a showcase reading by MFA students.

Writers Speak Wednesdays programs are free and open to the public. The evenings begin with a brief reception at 6:30 p.m.; readings begin at 7 p.m., followed by a Q&A and book signing. Until completion of renovations in the Radio Lounge, all programs will be held in Duke Lecture Hall on the first floor of Chancellors Hall at Stony Brook Southampton, 39 Tuckahoe Road, Southampton, NY 11968.

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

Accomplished Writers Talk Revision at March 13 Writers Speak

A panel of accomplished writers will discuss "The Art and Craft of the Redraft" for the next program in the 2019 spring Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton.

Poet Cornelius Eady, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Harding, Amy Hempel, Susan Scarf Merrell, and Roger Rosenblatt will talk about the importance of revision in a discussion moderated by novelist and Associate Provost Robert Reeves on Wednesday, March 13, at 7 p.m. in Duke Lecture Hall on the ground floor of Chancellors Hall at the Southampton campus.

cornelius eadyCornelius Eady is the author of several books of poetry, including the critically acclaimed Hardheaded Weather, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award; Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, winner of the 1985 Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets; and The Gathering of My Name, which was nominated for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize.

With poet Toi Derricote, Eady is cofounder of Cave Canem, a national organization for African American poetry and poets. He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Literature, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to Bellagio, Italy, and The Prairie Schooner Strousse Award.

paul hardingPaul Harding is the author of the novel Tinkers, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His second novel, Elon, was published by Random House in 2013. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the PEN American Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers. He was a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, and has taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Harvard University and Grinnell College.

amy hempelAmy Hempel is the author of four story collections, including Reasons to Live, At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom, Tumble Home, and The Dog of the Marriage.The New York Times named The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel one of the Ten Best Books of 2006. A 2017 inductee to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Hempel is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Guggenheim Fellow. She is the recipient of the Hobson Award, a USA Fellowship grant, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction, and the John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence from Centenary College. Hempel is a founding board member of the Deja Foundation, which offers direct assistance to dogs rescued from high-kill shelters in an effort to empower small rescue organizations to support sustainable adoptions.

susan merrellSusan Scarf Merrell is co-director of the Southampton Writers Conference and a professor in the MFA in Creative Writing & Literature program at Stony Brook Southampton.

She is the author of the non-fiction work, The Accidental Bond: How Sibling Connections Influence Adult Relationships, the novel A Member of the Family, and, most recently, Shirley: A Novel, which was selected as one of the top 50 novels of the year by The Washington Post and is being made into a film directed by Josephine Decker and starring Elisabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg.

roger rosenblattWith work published in 14 languages, Roger Rosenblatt is the author of five New York Times Notable Books of the Year, and three Times bestsellers, including the memoirs, Kayak  MorningThe  Boy  Detective, and  Making  Toast, originally an essay in The New Yorker. He has also written six Off Broadway plays, notably  "Free  Speech  in  America," a one-person play that he performed at New York’s American Place Theater, and was one of the Times Ten Best Plays of 1991, as well as the screenplay for his bestselling novel,  Lapham  Rising.

Among his honors are two George Polk awards, the Peabody and the Emmy for his work as an essayist at Time magazine and on PBS; the Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize; a Fulbright Scholarship; seven honorary doctorates; the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement; and the President’s Medal of the Chautauqua Institution for his body of work.

bob reevesAssociate Provost Robert Reeves is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, both published by Crown, as well as short fiction, essays, and literary criticism. Kirkus Reviews hailed Doubting Thomas as "a zesty, classy original," and Patricia Holt of the San Francisco Chronicle called Peeping Thomas "funny, disturbing, and brilliant." He has also taught writing at Harvard and Princeton.

Other programs scheduled for the spring Writers Speak series include: poet Gary J. Whitehead on March 27; Amy Hempel and Julia Slavin on April 3; poet Sharon Dolin and writer Chloe Caldwell on April 24; and a showcase reading by MFA students on May 1.

Writers Speak Wednesdays programs are free and open to the public. The evenings begin with a brief reception at 6:30 p.m.; readings begin at 7 p.m., followed by a Q&A and book signing. Until completion of renovations in the Radio Lounge, all programs will be held in Duke Lecture Hall on the first floor of Chancellors Hall at Stony Brook Southampton, 39 Tuckahoe Road, Southampton, NY 11968.

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

Writers Speak Spring Series Continues March 6 with Rachel Lyon

rachel lyonNovelist Rachel Lyon will be the next guest in the 2019 spring Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton. Lyon will read from and talk about her work on Wednesday, March 6, at 7 p.m. in Duke Lecture Hall on the ground floor of Chancellors Hall at the Southampton campus.

Rachel Lyon is the author of the debut novel Self-Portrait with Boy (Scribner 2018), which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Her shorter work has appeared in Joyland, Iowa Review, Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, McSweeney's, and other publications.

A cofounder of the reading series Ditmas Lit in her native Brooklyn, Lyon has taught creative writing for the Sackett Street Writers Workshop, Catapult, the Fine Arts Work Center, Slice Literary, and elsewhere. She publishes a Writing/Thinking Prompts newsletter; subscriptions available at tinyletter.com/rachellyon . Readers can also visit her website, www.rachellyon.work .

About Self-Portrait with Boy, Diana Wagman wrote in the Los Angeles Review of Books: "Lyrically written, emotionally complicated, and surprising in many ways, it is hard to put down. It explores what constitutes success and fame and art. A single chance occurrence creates something out of nothing, and someone out of no one — but at an enormous expense. Rachel Lyon has given us much to think about."

Other programs scheduled for the spring Writers Speak series include: March 13, MFA faculty members Cornelius Eady, Amy Hempel, Susan Scarf Merrell,  Paul Harding, and Roger Rosenblatt in a panel discussion on revision, "The Art and Craft of the Redraft" moderated by Associate Provost Robert Reeves; March 27, poet Gary J. Whitehead; April 3, Amy Hempel and Julia Slavin; April 24, poet Sharon Dolin and writer Chloe Caldwell; and May 1, a showcase reading by MFA students.

Writers Speak Wednesdays programs are free and open to the public. The evenings begin with a brief reception at 6:30 p.m.; readings begin at 7 p.m., followed by a Q&A and book signing. Until completion of renovations in the Radio Lounge, all programs will be held in Duke Lecture Hall on the first floor of Chancellors Hall at Stony Brook Southampton, 39 Tuckahoe Road, Southampton, NY 11968.

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

Stony Brook Launches BFA Degree in Creative Writing

bfa in creative writingStony Brook University announces a new undergraduate major in Creative Writing, earning a new degree, the Bachelor of Fine Arts. Modeled after its renowned MFA in Creative Writing program and sharing the same world-class faculty, the BFA supports the creation of original student work in the company of other like-minded artists. It is located on West Campus in the Melville Library.

The Creative Writing major offers a wide selection of writing workshops gathered under broadly defined course numbers, so that students can build their own BFA, specializing in the kind of writing they most yearn to master. In their senior year, they write a book-length manuscript under the one-on-one mentorship of a faculty member. Throughout, they are part of a tightly knit community of rigorous but supportive fellow majors.

Courses specific to the major will be available for current and future Stony Brook students starting in Fall 2019. The first cohort of majors will graduate as BFAs in Spring 2021. With a thriving minor in creative writing in its sixth year, many current students have already taken some of the required courses with such regular faculty as Star Black, Cornelius Eady, Neal Gabler, Paul Harding, Amy Hempel, Kaylie Jones, Megan McAndrew, Lou Ann Walker , and Julie Sheehan, who directs the program.

Admission is selective. "We're looking for serious writers who are passionate, curious, and eager to take a risk," said Sheehan," the kind who are already driven to write poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, plays or screenplays, but who are ready to take it to the next level." High school students will need to earn admission to both Stony Brook University and to the CW major. They can apply to both simultaneously. Current students have until March 1, 2019, to apply for Fall admission to the major.

Talented writers can learn more about the BFA in Creative Writing at stonybrook.edu/bfa. The program is also hosting an informational session on Wednesday, February 13, 1-2:20 in Melville Library N3045, the first in a series of 'Imagine Wednesdays.'

Alice McDermott Joins Roger Rosenblatt at 92nd Street Y Event on Feb. 24

Stony Brook University's Distinguished Professor of English and Writing, Roger Rosenblatt, will appear with author Alice McDermott at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan to discuss "The Writing Life."

From the 92nd Street Y website:

Writing is hard. The isolation and loneliness that come with working as a writer can be harder still. Is it worth it? How do celebrated authors like Alice McDermott and Roger Rosenblatt keep going?"

Join these two friends for an uplifting and inspiring conversation about the beauty and madness of writing life. They'll share insights, wisdom, and humor—as well as stories from their ongoing "humiliations competition" in which they report their latest hilarious humbling experiences as writers. And they'll discuss their faith in art as a light leading away from horror and cruelty and toward a nobler life.

The event will take place Sunday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. in Buttenwieser Hall, and is part of the 92Y Talks series.

mcdermott and rosenblatt Photo courtesy 92nd Street Y

Roger Rosenblatt is a novelist and essayist whose work has been published in 14 languages. He has written five New York  Times Notable Books of the Year and three  Times bestsellers, including the memoirs,  Kayak  MorningThe  Boy  Detective, and  Making  Toast, originally an essay in the  New  Yorker. He has also written six off Broadway plays, notably  Free  Speech  in  America, a one-person play that he performed at New York's American Place Theater, and was one of the  Times Ten Best Plays of 1991, as well as the screenplay for his bestselling novel,  Lapham  Rising, shooting scheduled to begin this summer, and starring Frank Langella and Candace Bergen. Rosenblatt formerly held the Briggs-Copeland appointment in the teaching of writing at Harvard, where he earned his Ph.D. Among his honors are two George Polk awards, the Peabody and the Emmy for his work as an essayist at  Time magazine and on PBS; the Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize; a Fulbright Scholarship; seven honorary doctorates; the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement; and the President's Medal of the Chautauqua Institution for his body of work. 

Alice McDermott's eighth novel is The Ninth Hour. Her previous novels include Someone, a finalist for the Dublin IMPAC Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Patterson Prize for Fiction, and The Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Three of her earlier novels, After This, At Weddings and Wakes and That Night, were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Charming Billy won the National Book Award for fiction in 1998 and was a finalist for the Dublin IMPAC Award. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, and elsewhere. She has received the Whiting Writers Award, the Carington Award for Literary Excellence, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for American Literature. In 2013, she was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. She is the Richard A. Macksey Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the 92nd Street Y website.

 

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