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Writers@Grinnell

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Writers@Grinnell: Lynda Barry & Dan Chaon

Award winning authors Lynda Barry and Dan Chaon will read from their work and discuss writing on Thursday, September 29, as part of the Writers@Grinnell series at Grinnell College. The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 8 p.m. in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

Dan Chaon imageDan Chaon is the acclaimed author of Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and You Remind Me of Me, which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications.

Chaon’s fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, and he was the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Chaon lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing.

Lynda Barry imageLynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator, and teacher and found they are very much alike. The New York Times has described Barry as “among this country’s greatest conjoiners of words and images, known for plumbing all kinds of touchy subjects in cartoons, comic strips and novels, both graphic and illustrated.”

Barry has authored 21 books, including the beloved novel Cruddy, called “a work of terrible beauty” by The New York Times and the award-winning book What It Is, based on her now famous “Writing the Unthinkable” workshop.

Barry is currently Assistant Professor in Interdisciplinary Creativity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and runs the Image Lab at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.

Barry has received numerous awards and honors for her work, among them two William Eisner awards, the American Library Association’s Alex Award, the Wisconsin Library Association’s RR Donnelly Award, the Washington State Governor’s Award, and the Holtz Center for Science & Technology Outreach Fellowship.

Creativity Workshop Led by Lynda Barry & Dan Chaon

Author and artist Lynda Barry, along with author Dan Chaon, will lead a Creativity Workshop from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, September 30, in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

Dan ChaonLynda Barry and Dan Chaon have been teaching together for the last three years and have developed a set of writing exercises that are part of their upcoming book, Workbook 52. This workshop is about a way of creating a sustainable writing practice for anyone at any level who may be interested in writing and is having a hard time figuring out how to start or continue a story. 

It’s based on using a common but extraordinary sort of memory almost of all of us have; the instant kind that ‘floods’ us when a certain smell or a song triggers a vivid image of certain place-in-time. It’s the kind of memory that is unwilled and vivid, something that feels somehow on-going and plastic, a living place where a story is happening. We’ll learn an easy method to create the circumstances for these kinds of images to come to us and set them down quickly in writing. We’ll start by using autobiographical memory, and then show how to apply it to writing fiction.

Lynda BarryLynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator, and teacher and found they are very much alike. The New York Times has described Barry as “among this country’s greatest conjoiners of words and images, known for plumbing all kinds of touchy subjects in cartoons, comic strips, and novels, both graphic and illustrated.”

Barry has authored 21 books, including the beloved novel Cruddy which was called “a work of terrible beauty” by The New York Times and the award-winning book What It Is, based on her now famous “Writing the Unthinkable” workshop. Barry is currently assistant professor in interdisciplinary creativity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and runs the Image Lab at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. Barry has received numerous awards and honors for her work, among them two William Eisner awards, the American Library Association’s Alex Award, the Wisconsin Library Association’s RR Donnelly Award, the Washington State Governor’s Award, and the Holtz Center for Science & Technology Outreach Fellowship.

Dan Chaon is the acclaimed author of Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and You Remind Me of Me, which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications. Chaon’s fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, and he was the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing.

The event is co-sponsored by Artists@Grinnell, Public Event series, and Writers@Grinnell.

The Milieu Runs the Show

The Department of English, with funding from the Grinnell College Innovation Fund, will present Trans, Julian Goldberger’s feature film directorial debut, which was screened at the Toronto, Sundance, and Berlin film festivals. The screening will begin at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

Goldberger, a frequent collaborator with writer-in-residence Dean Bakopoulos, will come to Grinnell as part of a new series of pilot courses on screenwriting and filmmaking, taught by Bakopoulos and assistant professor of English Alissa Nutting.

Trans tells the story of Ryan Kaminski, played by Ryan Daugherty, a 16-year-old who escapes the harsh world of juvenile detention in Florida. The movie follows Kaminski as he tries to decide where to go and what to do once he has his freedom.

Julian GoldbergerFollowing the screening of the film, Goldberger will lead a discussion about the film and down-home, low-budget, regional filmmaking. The event is open to Grinnell College students, faculty, and staff.

Goldberger received widespread critical acclaim for Trans, including the Readers’ Jury Prize, Best Film, 1999 at the Berlin Film Festival, and it was screened as part of the New Directors/New Films series at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

In recognition of his first feature, Goldberger also received an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for the Someone to Watch Award. His second feature, The Hawk is Dying, stars Paul Giamatti, Michelle Williams, and Michael Pitt, and premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006.

His adaptation of the Harry Crews novel, also screened in the Directors Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival, won both the Grand Jury Prize as well as the Audience Award at the Brasilia International Film Festival. In 2011, Lionsgate Television optioned Goldberger’s pilot for the drama series Maple Rock, which he co-wrote with Bakopoulos.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Room 101 in the Rosenfield Center is equipped with an induction hearing loop system, which enables individuals with hearing aids set to T-Coil to hear the program. You can request accommodations from Conference Operations, 641-269-3235.

Writers@Grinnell: Chris Martin

Chris Martin image Grinnell College will host poet Chris Martin for the second Writers@Grinnell event of the fall semester on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016.

Martin will host an informal discussion at 4:15 p.m. in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 209. He will also read from his work at 8 p.m. in Rosenfield Center, Room 101. Both events are free and open to the public.

"Though invention will always be a crucial aspect of poetic work," Martin says, "poets are also here to remind us of the marvel of existence, no matter how banal the territory of the poem gets."

Martin is the author of three collections of poetry: The Falling Down Dance, Becoming Weather, and American Music, which was selected by the late C. D. Wright, a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, for the Hayden Carruth Award.

In addition, Martin is the author of several chapbooks, including HISTORY, enough, and How to Write a Mistake-ist Poem. His recent work can be found now or soon in The Cultural Society, Fence, Paperbag, SPOKE TOO SOON, and The Brooklyn Rail.

An editor at Futurepoem books, Martin lives in Minneapolis with his wife, the poet Mary Austin Speaker, and their son, Atticus. Martin teaches at The Loft and is a visiting assistant professor of English at Carleton College, where he earned his bachelor's degree. He also holds a master's degree from New York University and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa.

He cofounded and is a teacher-writer at Unrestricted Interest, a program dedicated to transforming the lives of unconventional learners and students on the autism spectrum through poetry.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system, which enables individuals with hearing aids set to T-Coil to hear the program. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations, 641-269-3235.

Writers@Grinnell: Kazim Ali

Award winning poet, essayist, fiction writer, and translator Kazim Ali will read from his workKazim Ali image and discuss writing on Thursday, September 22, as part of the Writers@Grinnell series at Grinnell College. The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 8 p.m. in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

In addition, Ali will lead a roundtable discussion which is free and open to the public, at 4:15 p.m. September 22, in Rosenfield Center, Room 209.

Kazim Ali's books include several volumes of poetry, including Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry​; ​The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth DayAll One’s Blue; ​and the cross-genre text Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities. He has also published a translation of Abahn Sabana David by Marguerite Duras​, ​Water’s Footfall by Sohrab Sepehri, Oasis of Now: Selected Poems by Sohrab Sepehri, ​and (with Libby Murphy) L’amour by Marguerite Duras. His novels include Quinn’s Passage, named one of “The Best Books of 2005” by Chronogram magazine,​and The Disappearance of Seth​. H​is books of essays include Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art and the Architecture of Silence and Fasting for Ramadan. In addition to co-editing Jean Valentine: This-World Company, he is a contributing editor forAWP Writers Chronicle, associate editor of the literary magazine FIELD, and founding editor of the small press Nightboat Books. He is the series co-editor for both Poets on Poetry and Under Discussion, from the University of Michigan Press.

Ali’s forthcoming titles include: Uncle Sharif’s Life in Music, a collection of short stories; The Secret Room: A String Quartet, a novel; and Anais Nin: An Unprofessional Study, a new book of essays.  Ali ​is an associate professor of creative writing and comparative literature at Oberlin College.

Writers@Grinnell: Hai-Dang Phan '03 & Rick Barot

Award-winning poet, translator, and scholar, Hai-Dang Phan ’03, along with award-winning poet Rick Barot, will read from their work and discuss writing on Thursday, Sept. 1 as part of the Writers@Grinnell series at Grinnell College. The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 8 p.m in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

In addition, they will lead a roundtable discussion, which is free and open to the public, at 4:15 p.m. Sept. 1 in Rosenfield Center, Room 209.

Hai-Dang Phan photoHai-Dang Phan, born in Vietnam and raised in Wisconsin, is a poet, translator, and scholar who teaches courses in Ethnic American Literature and Creative Writing at Grinnell. His research interests include modern and contemporary American literature, race in American literature, war literature, reconciliation, modern and contemporary poetry in English, and translation studies. A former Thomas J. Watson Fellow, he received his bachelor’s in English from Grinnell College and his doctorate in literary studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is completing his master of fine arts in creative writing (poetry) from the University of Florida.

His poems and translations appear or are forthcoming in literary journals such as AnomalousAsymptoteBarrow StreetThe Brooklyn RailCerise PressDrunken BoatKartika ReviewLana TurnerNOÖ Journal, and RHINO. He has interned at Harper’s Magazine, and for five years co-curated FELIX, a quarterly series of new writing based in Madison. He is currently working on a number of critical and creative projects: a book manuscript entitled A Rumor of Redress: Literature, the Vietnam War, and the Politics of Reconciliation, a book-length translation of new and selected poems by the contemporary Vietnamese poet Phan Nhien Hao, and a collection of poetry tentatively entitled Small Wars.

Rick Barot photoRick Barot has published three books of poetry with Sarabande Books: The Darker Fall (2002), Want (2008), which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and won the 2009 Grub Street Book Prize, and Chord (2015).  Chord received the UNT Rilke Prize, the PEN Open Book Award, and the Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award.  It was also a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize. His poems and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including Poetry, The Paris Review, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, Tin House, The Kenyon Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review.

He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Artist Trust of Washington, the Civitella Ranieri, and Stanford University, where he was a Wallace E. Stegner Fellow and a Jones Lecturer. He lives in Tacoma, Washington and directs The Rainier Writing Workshop, the low-residency master of fine arts program in creative writing at Pacific Lutheran University.  He is also the poetry editor for New England Review.  In 2016 he received a poetry fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation.

2016 Creative Writing Contest Winners

The winners of this year’s creative writing contests are:

Nick Adams Short Story

Nelson Ogbuagu ’16, winner — $1000 for “Playing It Safe”

Grace Lloyd ’16, honorable mention — for “Crush”

James Norman Hall '10 Aspiring Writer Award

Alejandra Rodriguez Wheelock ’17 — $2000 for “The Basic Principles of Long Distance Running”

Selden Whitcomb Prize

Clara Trippe ’18, winner — $500 for “The Year of Cicadas; Lechuguilla Cave; Atmosphere; and Yours: Flesh and Ground”

Maya Elliott ’18, 2nd prize — $100 for “Bruises, CHURCHGOING, A HYMNAL?; and The Physicality of Atheism”

Emma Soberano ’17, 2nd prize — $100 for “Mi papá me llama ‘chile’; Duloxetine, 30 mg; Bruises are like post-it notes; and Cielito Lindo”

Henry York Steiner Memorial Prize for Short Fiction

Emma Soberano ’17, winner — $500 for “Sex”

Josie Sloyan ’18, 2nd prize — $100 for “Long Way Out”

Emma Thomasch ’16, 2nd prize — $100 for “Hold Your Peace”

Lorabel Richardson Prize, Academy of American Poets

Maya Elliott ’18 — $100 for “Witchblood: A Fantasy”

Writers@Grinnell: Alissa Nutting

Award-winning author Alissa Nutting will read from her work and discuss writing on Friday, April 22nd as part of the Writers@Grinnell series at Grinnell College. The free, public event will start at 4:15 p.m. in the Burling Library Lounge.

Alissa Nutting authored the short story collection Unclean Jobs for Women and GirlsAlissa Nutting photoselected by judge Ben Marcus as winner of the 6th Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction, and the novel, Tampa. A new novel is forthcoming from Ecco in early 2017. Her writing has appeared in Tin House, Fence, BOMB, Elle, The New York Times, Conduit, and O: The Oprah Magazine, as well as the fairy tale anthology My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me. She holds and master's in fine arts from the University of Alabama, and a doctorate from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She is currently at work on two television pilots, teaches in UNLV’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, housed at the Black Mountain Institute, and is currently a visiting writer at Grinnell College in Iowa.

In addition, the winners of this year’s Creative Writing Contests will be announced after the reading.

Writers@Grinnell: Rob Spillman

Award winning author, Rob Spillman, will read from his work and discuss writing on Monday, April 18 at 8:00 p.m. in ARH 302.

In addition, Spillman will lead a roundtable discussion which is free and open to the public, at 4:15 p.m. April 18 in JRC 209.

Rob Spillman is Editor and co-founder of Tin House, a sixteen-year-old bi-coastal (Brooklyn,Rob Spillman photo New York and Portland, Oregon) literary magazine. He is the 2015 recipient of the PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing as well as the 2015 VIDO Award from VIDA. Tin House is the recipient of the 2015 Firecracker Award for General Excellence and has been honored in Best American Stories, Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, O’Henry Prize Stories, the Pushcart Prize Anthology and numerous other anthologies. He is also the Executive Editor of Tin House Books and co-founder of the Tin House Summer Workshop, now in its thirteenth year. His writing has appeared in BookForum, the Boston Review, Connoisseur, Details, GQ, Guernica, Nerve, the New York Times Book Review, Rolling Stone, Salon, Spin, Sports Illustrated, Time, Vanity Fair, Vogue, among other magazines, newspapers, and essay collections. He is also the editor of Gods and Soldiers: the Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing, which was published in 2009. He is on the board of CLMP (the Community of Literary Magazines and Small Presses), the Brooklyn Book Festival Literary Council, Narrative4, and is the Chair of PEN’s Membership Committee. He has guest taught at universities around the world, including Queensland University in Brisbane, the Farafina Workshop in Lagos, Nigeria, the SLS Workshops in St. Petersburg, Russia and Nairobi, Kenya, the Catholic University of Santiago, Chile, the University of Florida, New York University, Brooklyn College, Amherst, Williams, and is currently a lecturer at Columbia University. His memoir, All Tomorrow’s Parties, will be published by Grove Press in April, 2016.

CANCELLED: Writers@Grinnell: Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay's visit to Grinnell on April 7, 2016 has been cancelled. 

Bestselling author and feminist scholar Roxane Gay will read from her work and discuss writing on Thursday, April 7, as part of the Writers@Grinnell series and Scholars’ Convocation at Grinnell College.

Roxane Gay ImageThe Scholars’ Convocation lecture will start at 11 a.m. in the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101.  

In addition, Gay will lead a free, puplic roundtable discussion at 4:15 p.m. April 7, in Rosenfield Center, Room 101.

An accomplished scholar, Gay is an associate professor of English at Purdue University in Indiana. Her research interests include the intersections between race, gender, and popular culture; contemporary fiction; and the political novel.

Gay uses her personal experience with race, gender identity, and sexuality to inform her analyses and deconstruction of feminist and racial issues in her work. In addition to her more serious scholarly and creative work, she is a well-known figure on social media, with tens of thousands of Twitter followers, many of whom are drawn to her often irreverent and humorous “instant” commentaries on major news events, politics, pop culture, and reality television.

"Bad Feminist," her bestselling essay collection, is a personal manifesto that takes readers through the journey of Gay's evolution as a woman of color and describes how feminism affects Gay's own life — for better or worse. The essays cover a wide a range of topics, from competitive Scrabble to novels written by women to advice on acknowledging privilege.

Gay's writings on gender and racial inequality have won numerous awards in recent years and have appeared in Tin House, Oxford American, The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Time, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Rumpus, Salon, and many other media outlets.

Gay's debut novel, Untamed State, explores the privilege that made Haitian-American Mireille Duval Jameson a target for kidnapping and the strength she must draw on to survive the kidnapping and reclaim her life. Deadline.com recently reported that the novel will be adapted for film by Beyond the Lights director Gina Prince-Bythewood. Gay is co-writing the script with Prince-Bythewood. Gugu Mbatha-Raw has been selected to portray Jameson.

Gay's latest book, Hunger, is scheduled to be released in June. Hunger focuses on Gay's experience with weight, body image, and building a positive relationship with food.