Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Writer’s Center Announces 35th Anniversary Reading Series

Includes slam poetry featuring Taylor Mali; “the Latino poet of his generation,” Martín Espada; and Kurt Vonnegut’s biographer, Charles J. Shields

The Writer’s Center is pleased to announce the fall line-up for its 35th Anniversary Reading Series. The list of authors represents the diversity of The Writer’s Center community, which has nurtured a wide variety of writers—and readers—throughout its long history in the DC area. Featured readers include “the Latino poet of his generation,” Martín Espada; renowned slam poet Taylor Mali; and the author of the first-ever biography of Kurt Vonnegut, Charles J. Shields—also the prize-winning biographer of Harper Lee.

Longtime TWC workshop leader and novelist Robert Bausch and his former TWC student Allison Leotta prove how successful workshop leaders inspire success in workshop participants, and the two will come together for a joint reading. Additional 35th Anniversary events are planned for the winter/spring, and will include Stanley Plumly/Josh Weiner, Clark Blaise/Bahrati Mukhurjee, and BookTalk: Double Indemnity featuring novelist Con Lehane, NPR critic Maureen Corrigan, novelist Megan Abbott, and Round House Theatre’s Blake Robison in an event moderated by fiction writer and critic Art Taylor. This event is co-sponsored by Round House Theatre, which is staging the theatrical adaptation of Double Indemnity in May/June 2012.

All 35th Anniversary Reading Series events are at The Writer’s Center.
Tickets for all fall events are $10 for members of The Writer’s Center; $15 for nonmembers. Except for Taylor Mali: members/students with a valid ID $5; nonmembers $10. To purchase a season ticket to attend each of these events, the cost is $30 for members; $45 for nonmembers. For additional information, or to purchase tickets, visit the 35th Anniversary Reading Series page at or e-mail

The Events:

Saturday, September 10, 7:30 P.M. Martin Espada: The Trouble Ball
Known as the “Latino poet of his generation,” visiting writer Martín Espada is the author of 10 collections of critically-acclaimed poetry, including the recent The Trouble Ball. A poet, editor, translator, and attorney, Espada’s powerful poetry explores the social conditions affecting immigrants and Latinos. He is also leading a one-day workshop, “The Barbaric Yawp.”
Friday, September 30, 7:30 P.M. Robert Bausch & Allison Leotta
Robert Bausch was educated at George Mason University, and he says he has been a writer all his life. Since 1975, Bausch has been a college professor, teaching creative writing, American literature, world literature, humanities, philosophy, and expository writing. In 2009 he was awarded the John Dos Passos Prize in Literature.

Allison Leotta served as a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C. for 12 years. Her first novel, Law of Attraction, was named one of the best books of the year by Suspense Magazine, and The City Paper called her "one of the most notable new faces to debut in 2010." Leotta also blogs about what TV crime shows get right and wrong, from her perspective as a real-life sex-crimes prosecutor. 
Purchase individual tickets

Tuesday, October 11, 7:30 P.M. Taylor Mali: Slam Poetry Competition
Taylor Mali is one of the most well-known poets to have emerged from the poetry slam movement. At this one-of-a-kind event, the finalists of TWC’s poetry slam competition will get to show their stuff. A performance by Mali follows. If you are a slam poet and would like to participate, visit us at for details. We will ask our community to vote for their favorites, and winners will be invited to the finals.

Taylor Mali is the author of two books of poetry, The Last Time As We Are and What Learning Leaves, and four CDs of spoken word. He received a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in 2001 to develop Teacher! Teacher!, a one-man show about poetry, teaching, and math which won the jury prize for best solo performance at the 2001 Comedy Arts Festival. Purchase individual tickets.

Saturday, November 12, 7:30 P.M. Charles J. Shields: Portrait of a Biographer
Charles J. Shields spent five years researching and writing And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut, A Life. He is also the author of Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee—a New York Times best seller. Two years ago, he co-founded the 400-member Biographers International Organization (BIO), and is currently associate director of the Great Lives program, which features presentations by 20 famous biographers each year at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. Purchase individual tickets.

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