Bluestockings presents A Night with Kali: A Reading by Rita Banerjee – March 12, 7pm, NYC

bluestockingsnyc

A Night with Kali:
A Reading by Rita Banerjee

Bluestockings
172 Allen Street, NY 10002

Sunday March 12, 2017
7:00 – 9:30 pm

Rita Banerjee’s novella, “A Night with Kali,” in Approaching Footsteps, has just been released on Kindle Books and in Print by Spider Road Press. In Rita Banerjee’s novella, “A Night with Kali,” two people from different classes, a taxi driver called Tamal-da and his well-to-do passenger meet under unusual circumstances. Stuck together in a flood in the middle of a monsoon hitting Kolkata, Tamal entertains his bored, out-of-town passenger by telling her the story of his life. As he explains how he ended up hustling the mean streets of Kolkata, how he abandoned his rural village, and why he left his family of fishers behind, Tamal spins a tale that is both mundane and fantastic. Built on the tradition of Bengali ghost stories, Tamal’s coming-of-age tale depends as much on the supernatural as on the possibility or impossibility of human connection.

“Two novellas stand especially tall: A Night with Kali, by Rita Banerjee, begins with a taxi ride through Kolkata during a monsoon and soon develops into an entertaining story-in-a-story supernatural tale reminiscent of classic Indian literature.  In 136 Auburn Lane, novelist Donna Hillevokes a mysterious Harlem boarding house in the 1930’s, where a down-and-out woman has one final chance to rescue her pitiful existence.” -Gay Yellen

“’A Night with Kali’” by Rita Banerjee was a pair of ghost stores-within stories-within a story, set in Kolkata and the surrounding villages. The voice was distinct but unobtrusive and created a cozy familiarity with the narrator. The setting was also particularly vivid, but never got bogged down in exposition – rather, well-placed details sprinkled throughout made me feel like I’d lived in the area all my life. This was my favorite of the four, partly because it was the most upbeat. That may sound strange for a ghost story, but it works.” – MJL

Biography:

RitaBanerjeeRita Banerjee is the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and teaches at Rutgers University.  She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and her writing appears in Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Mass Poetry, Hyphen Magazine, Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Riot Grrrl Magazine, The Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. Her first collection of poems, Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press), received First Honorable Mention for Best Poetry Book of 2011-2012 at the Los Angeles Book Festival, and her novella, A Night with Kali, in Approaching Footsteps (Spider Road Press), released in November 2016. Finalist for the 2015 Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Award and the 2016 Aquarius Press Willow Books Literature Award, she is currently working on a novel, a book on South Asian literary modernisms, and a collection of lyric essays.

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PEN America Presents: LitCrawl NYC 2016 & CWW’s Literary Vaudeville – Oct 1!

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Join the show at the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop’s Literary Vaudeville! The evening will feature tantalizing performances from writers Rita Banerjee, Diana Norma Szokolyai, Megan Fernandes, Claire Ince, Emily Smith, Christina M. Rau, and Frederick-Douglass Knowles II. Enjoy the dexterity of our word-artists and their poetic & prose literary feats!

Featured Readers:

ritabanerjeeRita Banerjee is the Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and the new Executive Director of Kundiman. She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and her writing appears in The Rumpus, Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Riot Grrrl Magazine, The Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. Her first collection of poems, Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press), received First Honorable Mention for Best Poetry Book of 2011-2012 at the Los Angeles Book Festival, and her novella, A Night with Kali (Spider Road Press), is forthcoming in October 2016. Finalist for the 2015 Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Award and the 2016 Aquarius Press Willow Books Literature Award, she is currently working on a novel and book of lyric essays.

diananormaDiana Norma Szokolyai is a writer and Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. She is author of the poetry collections Parallel Sparrows (honorable mention for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 Paris Book Festival) and Roses in the Snow (first runner-­up Best Poetry Book at the 2009 DIY Book Festival). She also records her poetry with musicians and has collaborated with several composers. Her poetry-music collaboration with Flux Without Pause led to their collaboration “Space Mothlight” hitting #16 on the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015, and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive. Szokolyai’s work has been recently reviewed by The London Grip and published in Quail Bell Magazine, Lyre Lyre, The Fiction Project, The Boston Globe, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, The Dudley Review and Up the Staircase Quarterly, as well as anthologized in The Highwaymen NYC #2, Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Always Wondering and Teachers as Writers. Szokolyai earned her Ed.M. in Arts in Education from Harvard University and her M.A. in French Literature from the University of Connecticut, while she completed coursework at the Sorbonne and research on Romani writers in Paris. She is currently at work on three books and recording an album of poetry & music.

eb8tc9Emily Smith is a Managing Editing and Communications Intern for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. She is a Contributing Blogger for Ploughshares and holds a B.F.A. in Creative Writing from New Hampshire Institute of ArtHer work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, Brooklyn Magazine, Refinery 29Bustle, Brevity, Luna Luna and others.

 

meganfernandes_newbioimage2015Megan Fernandes is an Assistant Professor of English at Lafayette College and teaches courses on poetry, feminist theory, and science and technology studies. She holds a PhD in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MFA in poetry from Boston University. She is the author of The Kingdom and After (Tightrope Books 2015), the poetry editor of the anthology Strangers in Paris (Tightrope Books 2011), and the author of two poetry chapbooks: Organ Speech (Corrupt Press) and Some Citrus Makes Me Blue (Dancing Girl Press). Her work has been published or is forthcoming in the Boston Review, Rattle, The Adroit Journal, Pank Magazine, The Walrus Magazine, Postmodern Culture, Guernica, Memorious, the Academy of American Poets, Redivider, the California Journal of Poetics, among others.

c8yndepvClaire Ince is the writer-producer of the movie musical Bazodee. An MFA graduate of New York University’s Dramatic Writing Program, Tisch School of the Arts, Claire previously produced the reality adventure show Run’bout for AT&T/Cingular Wireless Caribbean and the children’s TV pilot The Baobab Tree (a selection of the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.) Claire won best screenplay for Bazodee (formerly known as Scandalous!) at the Bahamas International Film Festival’s Film Residency Program in 2008.  She is also an alumna of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Spring 2015 in Newport, RI Writing Retreat.

13924994_1047861051976627_7319760793243653775_nChristina M. Rau is the author of the poetry collection Liberating The Astronauts (forthcoming, 2017), and the poetry chapbooks WakeBreatheMove (Finishing Line Press, 2015) and For The Girls, I (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). Founder of the Long Island reading circuit Poets In Nassau, her poetry has appeared on gallery walls in The Ekphrastic Poster Show, on car magnets for The Living Poetry Project, most recently in the journals Flapperhouse and Golden Walkman Magazine. She edits The Nassau Review at Nassau Community College where she teaches English full time. In her non-writing life, she practices yoga occasionally and line dances on other occasions.  She is also an alumna of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Spring 2015 in Newport, RI Writing Retreat.

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-10-52-49-amFrederick-Douglass Knowles II (Yesod) is a Poet-Educator-Activist involved in Community Education and the Performing Arts. He has competed on three National Poetry Slam Teams (2x Connecticut and Brooklyn, NY). His works have featured in the Martin Luther King Jr. Anthology by Yale University Press, East Haddam Stage Company of Connecticut, The 13th Annual Acacia Group Conference at California State University, Folio– a Southern Connecticut State University literary magazine, Lefoko—a Botswana (Southern Africa) Hip-Hop magazine and Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: AIDS Anthology by Third World Press. Frederick-Douglass is currently an English Professor at Three Rivers Community College where he infuses English Composition with social injustices, such as AIDS, Poverty and War. His debut collection of autobiographical poetry, Black Rose City, was currently released by Author House.

Registration for CWW Fall 2016 Cambridge, MA Creative Writing Workshops Open!

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Registration for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Fall 2016 Craft of Writing Seminars & Creative Writing Workshops is now open on the Cambridge Center for Adult Education website!  Our featured faculty this fall includes Jade Sylvan, Rita Banerjee, Laura van den Berg, and Diana Norma Szokolyai.  Information on classes, meeting times, and faculty are listed below.  Courses are $40 each and those who register for 5 or more classes will receive a 10% discount on registration.  Two kinds of classes will be offered this fall at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education (56 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA): craft of writing seminars and writing workshops.  In craft of writing seminars, students will learn about a particular craft issue, study and discuss examples of contemporary creative writing, and will do an in-session writing prompt.  For creative writing workshops, students will bring in new and in-progress creative work to be reviewed and critiqued during class.

Since 1938, The Cambridge Center for Adult Education has offered the most diverse menu of courses to adults in Cambridge and surrounding areas, and it aims to give people the opportunity to explore their interests and nurture their talents and potential.  We’re proud to collaborate with the CCAE!

Location:  

Cambridge Center For Adult Education
56 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA

Time:

Saturdays, 10 am – 1 pm, September 10 – December 10, 2016

Schedule:

September 24:
“Science : Fiction – Building Literary Worlds”

with Rita Banerjee (craft of writing seminar)

In this seminar, we will explore how the fabric and rules of literary worlds in realist and speculative fiction are created. By examining the parameters of social and behavioral codes, human interactions and psychology, and the materiality of worlds, we’ll explore that volatile space where truth and lie meet, where conflicts crystallize, and where storytelling disturbs and delights. If you’re currently at work on a short story, novel, screenplay, theatrical play, lyrical essay, memoir, or narrative poem which has a unique literary world at its heart, or if you want to explore your craft through this lens, please join us at the CCAE.

October 8:
“Revision Strategies for All Genres”
with Jade Sylvan (writing workshop)

Writing is a process of discovery, which means first and second drafts are not always the strongest. In this writing workshop, we will revisit drafts of all genres in radical and unusual ways in order to make them their best.

November 5:  
“Time in the Short Story”
with Laura van den Berg (craft of writing seminar)

In craft of writing seminars, students will learn about a particular craft issue, study and discuss examples of contemporary creative writing, and will do an in-session writing prompt.

November 12:
“Spatial Poetics”

with Diana Norma Szokolyai (craft of writing seminar)

In this craft of writing seminar, we will examine how theories in spatial poetics apply to the structure of our writing.  Using literary theory, elements of visual design, sociological paradigms, and our imaginations, we will explore the concept of spatial form in our narratives as it relates to concrete and abstract places and spaces.

December 3:
“Emotion and Suspense in Theatre, Poetry, and (Non)Fiction”

with Rita Banerjee (craft of writing seminar)

Plato argues that human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.  And before staging Kalidasa’s The Recognition of Śākuntalā, the director challenges his actress-lover: “As though in a painting, the entire audience has had their emotion colored through your melody.  So now—what shall we perform to sustain the mood?”  In this class, we will explore how creating vivid emotional worlds between characters and within storylines can build suspense, sustain drama, and lure the reader deeper in.

December 10:
“Writing Yourself Naked”

with Jade Sylvan (writing workshop)

From nonfiction memoirs to poetry, from sci-fi to fantasy, it can be hard to wade through all of our associations, defenses, and unconscious belief systems to find what we really want to say.  Through a series of writing and personal reflection exercises, we will begin to slough off the layers of social, environmental, and biological noise to excavate the core of our authentic voice.

Featured Faculty:

LowRes-DSC_0340-Edit-2Jade Sylvan (they/them/their), called a “risqué queer icon” by The Boston Globe, is an award-winning author, poet, screenwriter, producer, and performing artist heavily rooted in the literary and performance community of Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts. Jade’s most recent book, Kissing Oscar Wilde (Write Bloody, 2013), a novelized memoir about the author’s experience as a touring poet in Paris (sponsored by a travel grant from The Foundation of Contemporary Arts), was a finalist for the New England Book Award and the Bisexual Book Award.  Other work has appeared in The Washington PostBuzzfeedThe Toast, Mudfish, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and many other publications.  Jade has toured extensively, performing their work to audiences across the United States, Canada, and Europe.  They are currently overseeing the production of their first full-length stage play, Spider Cult the Musical, opening June 24th, 2016 at Oberon Theater in Harvard Square.

RitaBanerjeeRita Banerjee is the Executive Director of Kundiman and the Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and her writing appears in The Rumpus, Los Angeles Review of Books,Electric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Riot Grrrl Magazine, The Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. Her first collection of poems, Cracklers at Night(Finishing Line Press), received First Honorable Mention for Best Poetry Book of 2011-2012 at the Los Angeles Book Festival, and her novella, A Night with Kali(Spider Road Press), is forthcoming in October 2016. Finalist for the 2015 Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Award and the 2016 Aquarius Press Willow Books Literature Award, she is currently working on a novel and book of lyric essays.

Laura van den Berg
LauraAuthorPhoto 
is the author of the novel Find Me, longlisted for the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize an selected as a best book of 2015 byTime Out New York and NPR, and two story collections What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us and The Isle of Youth, both finalists for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her honors include the Bard Fiction Prize, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Jeannette Haien Ballard Writer’s Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and an O. Henry Award, and her fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories. She has taught fiction at institutions including Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, the Warren Wilson M.F.A. Program for Writers, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. At present, Laura is a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard University and lives in Cambridge, MA, with her husband and dog.

Diana Norma Szokolyaidiananorma is a writer/interdisciplinary artist/educator and Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Based in Brooklyn, NY, she is author of the poetry collections Parallel Sparrows(honorable mention for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 Paris Book Festival) and Roses in the Snow (first runner-­up Best Poetry Book at the 2009 DIY Book Festival). She also records her poetry with musicians and has collaborated with several composers. Her poetry-music collaboration with Flux Without Pause led to their collaboration “Space Mothlight” hitting #16 on the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015, and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive. Szokolyai’s work has been published in Quail Bell Magazine, Lyre Lyre, The Fiction Project, The Boston Globe, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, and Up the Staircase Quarterly, as well as anthologized in The Highwaymen NYC #2, Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Always Wondering and Teachers as Writers. Szokolyai earned her Ed.M. in Arts in Education from Harvard University and her M.A. in French Literature from the University of Connecticut, while she completed coursework at the Sorbonne and original research in Paris for two years. She is currently at work on three books and recording an album of poetry & music.

For more information on the curriculum, including instructor biographies, please visit: Cambridge, MA Fall 2016 Creative Writing Workshops & Craft of Writing Seminars.

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Cambridge, MA Fall 2016 Creative Writing Workshops & Craft of Writing Seminars!

CCAEClasses1

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is proud to announce our new series of creative writing workshops and craft of writing seminars in partnership with the Cambridge Center for Adult Education in Cambridge, MA!  The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is thrilled to return to Cambridge and to offer an exciting range of courses for our Boston-area writers.  Our featured faculty this fall includes Jade Sylvan, Rita Banerjee, Laura van den Berg, and Diana Norma Szokolyai.  Information on classes, meeting times, and faculty are listed below.  Courses are $40 each and those who register for 5 or more classes will receive a 10% discount on registration.  Two kinds of classes will be offered this fall at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education (56 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA): craft of writing seminars and writing workshops.  In craft of writing seminars, students will learn about a particular craft issue, study and discuss examples of contemporary creative writing, and will do an in-session writing prompt.  For creative writing workshops, students will bring in new and in-progress creative work to be reviewed and critiqued during class.

Registration for our Fall 2016 creative writing workshops and craft of writing seminars will open on the Cambridge Center for Adult Education website on July 27, 2016!  Since 1938, The Cambridge Center for Adult Education has offered a most diverse menu of courses to adults in Cambridge and surrounding areas, and it aims to give people the opportunity to explore their interests and nurture their talents and potential.  We’re proud to collaborate with the CCAE!

Location:  

Cambridge Center For Adult Education
56 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA

Time:

Saturdays, 10 am – 1 pm, September 10 – December 10, 2016
(Registration is now open on the CCAE Website!)

Schedule:

September 10:
“What’s At Stake in your Poetry, Fiction, & Nonfiction Manuscripts?”
with Diana Norma Szokolyai (writing workshop)

September 24:
“Science : Fiction – Building Literary Worlds”

with Rita Banerjee (craft of writing seminar)

October 8:
“Revision Strategies for All Genres”
with Jade Sylvan (writing workshop)

November 5:  
“Time in the Short Story”
with Laura van den Berg (craft of writing seminar)

November 12:
“Spatial Poetics”

with Diana Norma Szokolyai (craft of writing seminar)

December 3:
“Emotion and Suspense in Theatre, Poetry, and (Non)Fiction”

with Rita Banerjee (craft of writing seminar)

December 10:
“Writing Yourself Naked”

with Jade Sylvan (writing workshop)

 

Featured Faculty:

LowRes-DSC_0340-Edit-2Jade Sylvan (they/them/their), called a “risqué queer icon” by The Boston Globe, is an award-winning author, poet, screenwriter, producer, and performing artist heavily rooted in the literary and performance community of Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts. Jade’s most recent book, Kissing Oscar Wilde (Write Bloody, 2013), a novelized memoir about the author’s experience as a touring poet in Paris (sponsored by a travel grant from The Foundation of Contemporary Arts), was a finalist for the New England Book Award and the Bisexual Book Award.  Other work has appeared in The Washington PostBuzzfeedThe Toast, Mudfish, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and many other publications.  Jade has toured extensively, performing their work to audiences across the United States, Canada, and Europe.  They are currently overseeing the production of their first full-length stage play, Spider Cult the Musical, opening June 24th, 2016 at Oberon Theater in Harvard Square.

RitaBanerjeeRita Banerjee received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington.  Her writing has been published or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Riot Grrrl Magazine, Poets for Living Waters, The Monarch Review, The Fiction Project, Quail Bell Magazine, Jaggery, Catamaran, The Crab Creek Review, The Dudley Review, Objet d’Art, Amethyst Arsenic, Vox Populi, Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure, Chrysanthemum, and has been featured on KBOO Radio’s APA Compass in Portland, Oregon.  Her first collection of poems, Cracklers at Night, was published by Finishing Line Press and received First Honorable Mention for Best Poetry Book of 2011-2012 at the Los Angeles Book Festival, and her novella, A Night with Kali, is forthcoming from Spider Road Press in October 2016.  Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, she is currently working on a novel and a book of lyric essays.

Laura van den Berg
LauraAuthorPhoto 
is the author of the novel Find Me, longlisted for the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize an selected as a best book of 2015 by Time Out New York and NPR, and two story collections What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us and The Isle of Youth, both finalists for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her honors include the Bard Fiction Prize, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Jeannette Haien Ballard Writer’s Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and an O. Henry Award, and her fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories. She has taught fiction at institutions including Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, the Warren Wilson M.F.A. Program for Writers, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. At present, Laura is a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard University and lives in Cambridge, MA, with her husband and dog.

Diana Norma Szokolyaidiananorma is a writer/interdisciplinary artist/educator and Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Based in Brooklyn, NY, she is author of the poetry collections Parallel Sparrows(honorable mention for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 Paris Book Festival) and Roses in the Snow (first runner-­up Best Poetry Book at the 2009 DIY Book Festival). She also records her poetry with musicians and has collaborated with several composers. Her poetry-music collaboration with Flux Without Pause led to their collaboration “Space Mothlight” hitting #16 on the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015, and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive. Szokolyai’s work has been published in Quail Bell Magazine, Lyre Lyre, The Fiction Project, The Boston Globe, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, and Up the Staircase Quarterly, as well as anthologized in The Highwaymen NYC #2, Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Always Wondering and Teachers as Writers. Szokolyai earned her Ed.M. in Arts in Education from Harvard University and her M.A. in French Literature from the University of Connecticut, while she completed coursework at the Sorbonne and original research in Paris for two years. She is currently at work on three books and recording an album of poetry & music.

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop feat. in VIDA’s “In & Around 2016 AWP in Los Angeles”

CWW-AWP2016Reading

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop was recently featured in VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts’ article In and Around 2016 AWP in Los Angeles. The article lists events during AWP from VIDA friends and other events that help support women in the arts.

Listed in this article is our reading at Sabor y Cultura on Friday, April 1st from 4 pm- 7 pm. The event features fifteen readers from all over the world, including Rita BanerjeeJess BurnquistJulialicia CaseAriana KellyGwen E. KirbyKatie KnollEllaraine LockieOndrej PazdirekHeather Aimee O’NeillBrenda Peynado, Esther Pfaff, Jessica PiazzaJonathan ShapiroEmily Skaja, and Emily Smith.

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop will be Table 1157 from March 31st-April 2nd. Come to our table to learn about our upcoming writing retreats in Newport, Rhode Island (April 22-25, 2016) , Barcelona & the South of France (July 18-26, 2016), and Granada, Spain (July  28-August 5, 2016). We’ll also have information on our internships and our CREDO Anthology, as well as some other goodies at our table. We’ll also be tweeting our AWP experience @CamWritersWkshp, so be sure to check that out during the week.  We can’t wait to see you all there this week!

Sabor y Cultura: Cambridge Writers’ Workshop AWP 2016 Reading – April 1, 4-7 pm

CWW-AWP2016Reading

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is coming to Los Angeles for the AWP Conference (March 30 – April 2, 2016)!  Last year’s AWP was a success with our bookfair table and reading at Boneshaker Books.  This year, you’ll be able to find us at Table 1157 and find information regarding our upcoming Spring in Newport, Rhode Island (April 22-25, 2016) Summer in Narbonne & Barcelona (July 18-26, 2016), and Summer in Granada, Spain (July  28-August 5, 2016) Writing Retreats.

We’ll also be hosting our AWP Reading at Sabor y Cultura (located at 5625 Hollywood BlvdLos Angeles, CA 90028) on Friday, April 1, 2016 from 4-7 pm.  Featured Readers include Rita BanerjeeJess BurnquistJulialicia CaseAriana KellyGwen E. KirbyKatie KnollEllaraine LockieOndrej PazdirekHeather Aimee O’NeillBrenda Peynado, Esther Pfaff, Jessica PiazzaJonathan ShapiroEmily Skaja, and Emily Smith.

Featured AWP Writers:

RitaBanerjeeRita Banerjee received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington.  Her writing has been published or is forthcoming in the Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Riot Grrrl Magazine, Poets for Living Waters, The Monarch Review, The Fiction Project, Quail Bell Magazine, Jaggery, Catamaran, The Crab Creek Review, The Dudley Review, Objet d’Art, Amethyst Arsenic, Vox Populi, Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure, Chrysanthemum, and on KBOO Radio’s APA Compass in Portland, Oregon.  Her first collection of poems, Cracklers at Night, was published by Finishing Line Press and received First Honorable Mention for Best Poetry Book of 2011-2012 at the Los Angeles Book Festival, and her novella, A Night with Kali, is forthcoming from Spider Road Press in 2016.  Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, she is currently working on a novel and a book of lyric essays.

jess-burnquistJess Burnquist was raised in Tempe, Arizona. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. Her work has appeared in Salon, GOOD MagazineThe Washington PostTime.comNPR.orgJezebelPersona, Education Week, Good Housekeeping and various online and print journals. She is a recipient of the Joan Frazier Memorial Award for the Arts at ASU. Jess currently teaches high school in San Tan Valley, and has been honored with a Sylvan Silver Apple Award. She resides in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area with her husband, son, daughter and three-legged dog, Skipper.


CasePhoto2Julialicia Case’s
fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in Crazyhorse, Willow Springs, Witness, Water-Stone Review, The Pinch, Quarterly West, Confrontation, and other journals. She has received a Fulbright Fellowship to Germany, a University of New Orleans Writing Award for Study Abroad, and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She graduated from the master’s program in creative writing at the University of California, Davis, and is currently studying in the PhD program in fiction at the University of Cincinnati.

img_0283Ariana Kelly earned a B.A. in Literature from Yale University and an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Washington. In September of 2015 Bloomsbury published her first book Phone Booth, a cultural history of phone booths and communication, as part of their Object Lessons series. She has essays, poems and reviews out or forthcoming from The Atlantic, Salon, LA Review of Books, The Awl, The Toast, The Bellingham Review, Salt Hill, and Poetry Northwest, among many other journals. She is currently working on a couple of books, one a collection of essays dealing with health, place and subjectivity, and another about running. Additionally, she is working on a series of erasure poems based on the Wallpaper travel guides published by Phaidon.


KirbyGwen E. Kirby
is a native San Diegian. She left her sunny home state to get her BA at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. She holds an MFA from Johns Hopkins University and is currently pursuing her PhD in creative writing at the University of Cincinnati. Her stories appear in Southwest ReviewNinth Letter, and Midwestern Gothic and have been finalists for the Zoetrope: All StoryIndiana Review, and Narrative fiction competitions. She is a staff member at the Sewanee Writers’ and Sewanee Young Writers’ Conferences.

katie_knollKatie Knoll received a BA from Florida State University and is currently a MA student of fiction at the University of Cincinnati. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Narrative, Nimrod, Rattle, Baltimore Review, and Exit 7, among others. Her poetry and prose have been featured as one of Narrative’s 2013 Top 5 Stories of the Year and awarded the George M. Harper Prize for fiction and the Jean Chimsky Poetry Prize.

ellaraine-lockie

Ellaraine Lockie is a widely published and awarded author of poetry, nonfiction books and essays.  Her chapbook, Where the  Meadowlark Sings, won the 2014 Encircle Publication’s Chapbook Contest. Her newest collection, Love Me Tender in Midlife, has been released as an internal chapbook, in IDES from Silver Birch Press.  Other recent work has received the Women’s National Book Association’s Poetry Prize, Best Individual Collection from Purple Patch magazine in England for Stroking David’s Leg, the San Gabriel Poetry Festival Chapbook Contest win for Red for the Funeral and The Aurorean’s Chapbook Spring Pick for Wild as in Familiar. Ellaraine teaches poetry workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, Lilipoh. She is currently judging the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contests for Winning Writers.

OdeshotOndrej Pazdirek grew up in Prague, Czech Republic and moved to the U.S. at the age of 17. He holds a B.A. degree in English from Florida State University and is currently in his last semester as an M.A. in Poetry at the University of Cincinnati. He is the recipient of the John McKay Shaw Academy of American Poets Award for 2013. He spent the last summer back in Prague as a Taft Graduate Summer Fellow, completing his first book-length manuscript, which is currently undergoing revisions. Ondrej also translates from Czech into English and his translations of Kamil Bouška have recently been published in B O D Y. His own poems have appeared in Bayou Magazine, Radar Poetry and Euphony, among others.


heatherheadshotHeather Aimee O’Neill
teaches creative writing at CUNY Hunter College and the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop. Her most recent collection of poetry, Obliterations, is co-authored with Jessica Piazza and forthcoming by Red Hen Press. A Lambda Literary Poetry Fellow, her poetry chapbook, Memory Future, won the University of Southern California’s Gold Line Press Award, chosen by judge Carol Muske-Dukes, Poet Laureate of California. Her work has been shortlisted for the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner-Wisdom Award and has appeared in numerous literary journals. She is a freelance writer for publications such as Time Out New York, Parents Magazine and Salon.com. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her partner and two sons.

peynadoBrenda Peynado’s
stories have been selected for the O. Henry Prize Stories 2015 and received prizes from the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award, Writers at Work, and the Glimmer Train Fiction Open Contest. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Threepenny Review, Epoch, Shenandoah, Mid-American Review, Black Warrior Review, Pleiades, Colorado Review, Cimarron Review, and others. She received her MFA from Florida State University and is currently a PhD student at the University of Cincinnati.

esther4Esther Pfaff is a Munich based fiction-writer focusing on contemporary stories on personal development and family psychology.   Her current projects involve a short story collection and a novel. In daily life, she divides her time between her job as an IP lawyer and her home-based writing studio. Esther is a member of the Cambridge Writers Workshop since 2015 and was a student at a Master Class by Julia Cho, Hedgebrook (Seattle) December 5 to 14, 2015.


jesspiazzaJessica Piazza
is the author of the award-winning poetry collection Interrobang (Red Hen Press) and the chapbook This is not a sky (Black Lawrence Press). Her third collection, Obliterations (co-written with Heather Aimee O’Neill), is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. Jessica curates the Poetry Has Value blog, where she and others explore the intersection of poetry, money and worth. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she holds a Ph.D. in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California, where she teaches Writing & Rhetoric. She co-founded Bat City Review in Austin, TX, Gold Line Press in Los Angeles, CA and is currently the poetry editor for the Southern Pacific Review. Learn more at www.poetryhasvalue.com, or follow her on Twitter @JessWins.


Jonathan ShapiroJonathan Shapiro
received MFAs from Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Washington where he was a Klepser fellow. His poems have appeared in Crab Creek Review, Sow’s Ear, Cranky, Erg, The Laurel Review, The Seattle Review, and more. Jonathan’s manuscript was a finalist in the John Ciardi Poetry Prize for first books.

emily_skaja-1Emily Skaja grew up next to a cemetery in northern Illinois. She holds degrees in Creative Writing from Millikin University (BA), Temple University (MA),
and Purdue University (MFA). During her MFA, she was the Poetry Co-Editor of Sycamore Review. Emily’s poems have been published by or are forthcoming from Best New Poets 2015, Blackbird, Black Warrior Review, Devil’s Lake, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, The Journal, jubilat, Linebreak, Mid-American Review, Ninth Letter, PANK, The Pinch, Pleiades, Poets.org, Southern Indiana Review, and Vinyl. Emily was the winner of the 2015 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize for her poem “My History As.” Her poems have been shortlisted for the Indiana Review Poetry Prize, the BoothPoetry Prize, the Sonora Review Poetry Prize, and the Black Warrior Review Poetry Contest, for which her work was selected as the runner-up. In 2015, Emily was the winner of The Russell Prize for emerging poets, an Academy of American Poets College Prize, and an AWP Intro Award. In the summer of 2015, Emily taught classes in poetry at the Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing. Currently, she lives in Ohio, where she is a PhD student in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Poetry at the University of Cincinnati.

eb8tc9Emily Smith
is a Managing Editing and Communications Intern for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Originally from Sarasota, Florida, she currently attends school at the New Hampshire Institute of Art where she studies Creative Writing and Art History. She writes for The Ploughshares Blog, Opposing Views, Highbrow Magazine. Her poetry has been published in Walleyed Press, Essence Poetry, and Ayris.

**  How to get to Sabor y Cultura:

If you are driving to the event from the Los Angeles Convention Center, you can access Sabor y Cultura by taking US-101 N to N Wilton Place. From there, take exit 8A from US-101 N. Then continue onto N Wilton Place and drive to Hollywood Boulevard. Or, you can take Georgia St to W Olympic Boulevard. Then follow W Olympic Blvd, S Alvarado St and US-101 N to Hollywood Blvd.

If you are planning on taking public transportation, you can access Sabor Y Cultura by walking approximately four minutes from the convention center to the PicoStation where you will take the Metro Blue Line (801) two stops to 7th Street / Metro CenterStation. From the 7th Street / Metro Center Station, walk approximately one minute to the Metro Red Line (802). Take the Metro Red Line (802) heading towards North Hollywood Station ten stops to the Hollywood/Western Station. From there, it is a four minute walk via Hollywood Boulevard to Sabor Y Cultura.

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop takes on AWP 2016 LA!

AWP2016Poster2

AWP16LAThe Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is coming to Los Angeles for the AWP Conference (March 30 – April 2, 2016)!! We’ve got some exciting plans for AWP, so anyone who is in Los Angeles for AWP should come see us.  Last year’s AWP  was a success with our bookfair table and reading at Boneshaker Books.

This year, you’ll be able to find us at Table 1157 and find information regarding our upcoming Spring in Newport, Rhode Island (April 22-25, 2016) Summer in Narbonne & Barcelona (July 18-26, 2016), and Summer in Granada, Spain (July  28-August 5, 2016) Writing Retreats. We’ll have updates on CREDO and information for those who want to become a member of the CWW or apply for internships.  We’ll also be hosting our AWP Reading: Cambridge Writers’ Workshop takes on Los Angeles! at Sabor y Cultura (located at 5625 Hollywood BlvdLos Angeles, CA 90028) on Friday, April 1, 2016 from 4-7 pm.  Our featured writers include Rita Banerjee, Jessica BurnquistJulialicia Case,  Micah Dean HicksAriana Kelly, Gwen E. KerbyKatie KnollEllaraine LockieHeather Aimee O’Neill,  Ondrej PazdirekBrenda Peynado, Esther Pfaff, Jessica PiazzaJonathan ShapiroEmily Smith, and Emily Skaja.

We hope to see you there!

Podcast Live for Shakespeare & Co. Reading feat. David Shields and Charles Recoursé

During our 2015 Summer in Paris Writing Retreat, the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop organized a reading at the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore.  The reading featured acclaimed essayist, writer, and Cambridge Writers’ Workshop instructor David Shields, who read from his new book I Think You’re Totally Wrong with Charles Recoursé, who is an editor for Au Diable Vauvert and Shields’s French translator.  Following an introduction by CWW Creative Director Rita Banerjee, the two read select passages from I Think You’re Totally Wrong with Recourse’ reenacting the part of Caleb Powell, Shields’s co-author.  The reading was followed by a Q&A and a book signing outside the store.

A full podcast of the reading is now available on the Shakespeare & Co. SoundCloud.  And additional photos from the event can also be found on the Shakespeare and Co. Website.

– Alex Carrigan

The Munich Readery Presents “An Evening with Peter Orner” – June 30, 2015 * 8 – 9 pm

peter-ornerAn Evening with Peter Orner
Moderated by Rita Banerjee
The Munich Readery * 8 – 9 pm
Augustenstr. 104, Munich, Germany

The Munich Readery is proud to host Guggenheim fellow and American fiction writer, Peter Orner on Tuesday June 30 for “An Evening with Peter Orner.”  Orner be reading from the novel Love and Shame and Love as well as from the story collection, Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge.  “I am very happy about coming back to Munich, a city I’ve always admired for its sense of calm, its architecture, food, and kind people. It’s a city I also love to wander around in and have been happily lost on its streets a number of times….” – Peter Orner

Peter Orner is an American writer and the author of four books of fiction. His first book, Esther Stories was a Finalist for the Pen Hemingway Award and Winner of the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has been recently re-issued with a new introduction by Marilynne Robinson. His novel, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, set in Namibia, has been translated widely, including in German by Hanser. Love and Shame and Love, Orner’s second novel, has also recently been published in German by Hanser. Orner’s most recent book, a collection of stories, Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge was named a New York Times Editor’s Choice Book last year. Orner has also published two books of non-fiction, a book on immigration in the U.S. and another about political violence in Zimbabwe. Orner is a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, and has taught at The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Bard College, The University of Montana, and teaches in the MFA Program at San Francisco State University. He lives in Bolinas, California where he is a proud member of the Bolinas Volunteer Fire Department.

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop teams up with Shakespeare & Company, Paris (July 23, 2015)

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is proud to announce that we will be hosting Guggenheim Fellowship and two time NEA fellowship recipient David Shields for a reading at Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in Paris. The reading will take place as part of our Summer in Paris Writing Retreat on Thursday July 23, 2015 from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.  Rita Banerjee will introduce and moderate the event, which will feature David Shields and his French translator, Charles Recoursé, performing the dialogue of Shields and Caleb Powell from I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel.  The performance will be followed by a discussion of collage and the literary essay by Shields and Recoursé, followed by a Q&A portion, which will be lead by Diana Norma Szokoloyai.

David Shields is the internationally bestselling author of twenty books, including Reality Hunger (named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications), The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead (New York Times bestseller), and Black Planet (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award). Forthcoming are War Is Beautiful (powerHouse, November 2015), Flip-Side (powerHouse, March 2016) and Other People (Knopf, 2017). The recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, Shields has published essays and stories in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Esquire, Yale Review, Village Voice, Salon, Slate, McSweeney’s, and Believer. His work has been translated into twenty languages.

Shakespeare and Company became the “literary culture in bohemian Paris” after it was opened by George Whitman in 1951. The English-language bookstore was frequented by many Beat Generation poets like Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, as well as other writers like Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller. The bookstore regularly hosts poetry readings and houses young writers.

To apply for the Summer in Paris Writing Retreat (July 22-30, 2015), visit cww.submittable.com and send an application by May 25, 2015.