Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Poetry and Prose From The Workshops

As many of you know, our 2:00 p.m. Sunday Open Door readings usually are an opportunity to meet featured authors, who are often reading from their books or from a journal or anthology in which their work has appeared.  We also have a long tradition of poetry and prose open mic readings, with a range of writers, including some who are reading in public for the first time. This Sunday, November 24, we're celebrating just a fraction of the very good writing that is being generated in workshops.  The emails came flying in after we invited workshop leaders to suggest writers whose work should be featured. As expected, there were far too many good authors to be able to include them all. 

Ellen Herbert ("Writing from Life"), one of the workshop leaders who suggested workshop participants, recently emailed about the many essays that have been published:

"By my count at least 26 essays generated from our class have appeared in print, such as The Washington Post's "Style" and "Style Plus" sections, The Washington Post Magazine, The Washingtonian Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, Bethesda Magazine, as well as literary magazines such as The Little Patuxent Review, The Sonora Review, The Flint Hills Review, numerous online magazines as well as many themed anthologies. "Writing From Life" also had the privilege of reading drafts from Glen Finland's wonderful memoir Next Stop, published by Putnam."

We'll have a reception after the reading, which is free and open to the public.  We've asked the featured writers for brief profiles, posted below, and we've added a few links to their text. 

Before flowering as poet on Whidbey Island, Washington, in the early years of the twenty-first century, Ann Gerike was a graduate student in Glasgow and London for four years (the 1950s); a faculty wife, mother, and university press book editor in Lincoln, Nebraska (the 1960s and 1970s); and a midlife graduate student, clinical psychologist (PhD 1983), gerontologist, and anti-ageism activist (Houston and Minneapolis, 1980s and 1990s). She is author of a collection of poems, About Face: World War I Facial Injury and Reconstruction.  Her previous book, Old is Not a Four-Letter Word, was published by Papier-Mache Press in 1997.  In 2007 and 2008 she won the Stafford Prize in the Washington Poets Association contest, and her poems and stories have appeared in the Crab Creek Review, Cascade, Soundings Review, Alehouse, and four volumes published by the Whidbey Island Writers Association (Gull Rock Press).  Ann recently participated in a poetry workshop with Nan Fry.

Lynne McKelvey divides her fiction writing career into two phases. As a child growing up in  California, she began writing stories in grade school. When she was a freshman in high school, she won the Seventeen magazine short story contest. At that point, her fiction writing came to a screeching halt.  For the next three decades, she read other people's fiction, taught expository writing, and produced papers in various academic settings. Along the way, she married, had children, and started a singles club in Santa Monica, California. With these distractions under control or out of the way, she moved to Washington, where she enrolled in Joyce Kornblatt's fiction class at The Writer's Center and gradually found her way back to writing fiction. Since then she has participated in a number of workshops, including Jenny McKean Moore workshops at GW University taught by Gloria Naylor and Mary Morrissey, Dos Brujas workshops led by Cristina Garcia in New Mexico and Miami, and, most recently, in a year-long master class in the novel taught by Amin Ahmad at TWC. A Real Daughter is her second novella.   

Timothy Redmond is an attorney working at NIH (in a non-attorney position).  A veteran of the Afghanistan War, Tim has been published in 0-Dark-Thirty, a literary journal for veterans that is published by the Veterans Writing Project.  He has been taking workshops both at The Writer's Center and at Johns Hopkins University since  the Fall of 2010, when he enrolled in an NEA-funded free workshop for veterans.  He most recently attended a fiction workshop with Jim Mathews at The Writer’s Center. Tim is working on his first novel about his time serving in Afghanistan with the Special Forces, and hopes to complete it this year.  

Emily Rich is a former Federal employee and community college instructor who is taking some time off to write. She has taken numerous workshops the Writers Center both at the Bethesda location and online. Last summer she was accepted to the Tin House Writer’s Workshop in Portland, OR. Her work has been published in a number of journals including Little Patuxent Review, Greenbrier Review, River Poet’s Journal and Welter. She has just begun volunteering for Little Patuxent Review as a non-fiction reader. Emily lives in Arlington Virginia with her husband and a too-rapidly emptying nest. Emily recently attended Ellen Herbert's Writing from Life workshop.

Susan Silk is the Director of the Division of Policy and Education in the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare at the National Institutes of Health where she writes policy for the national animal welfare program. During her 30 year career in science and scientific communication, she has served in many positions at NIH including as the senior scientific speechwriter at the National Cancer Institute and as the founding director of the Office of Mice Advice. Susan has participated in writing workshops including the 2013 Santa Fe Science Writers Workshop, Lynda Barry's Writing the Unthinkable Workshop and Ira Wood's Humor Writing Workshop. Closer to home, she has participated in The Writer's Center Workshops including David Taylor's Science Writing, Pamela Toutant's Creative Nonfiction and Liz Reese's Getting Started Creative Writing. Susan has a BFA in Design from Maryland Institute College of Art, a BS in biological illustration from University of Maryland and an MS from University of Maryland in Immunogenetics. 

Cathy Wu has slowly returned to writing after a long hiatus by participating in four Writers’ Center workshops over the past few years, including “My Life, One Story at a Time” with Pat McNees. She has also been using National Novel Writing Month, or Nanowrimo, to put some words on paper, and wishes the best of luck to other Nanoers, especially other non-fiction "rebels." Cathy writes about her family and cross-cultural experiences.



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