Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Eugene O'Neill Festival at Arena Stage

A Capital-wide Celebration of America’s Most Important Playwright

Experience one of our festival events for FREE!

by Eugene O’Neill
directed by Ameneh Bordi
March 25 at 5:00 p.m.
in the Kogod Cradle at Arena Stage

This lost one-act by O’Neill centers on young Ned Malloy in the depths of his despair. A reading performed by the fellows of Arena Stage, Exorcism is another example of O’Neill’s dark poetry, haunting but captivating in its humanity.

Reserve your FREE tickets today! Click Here or call 202-488-3300 and use promo code: EUGENE.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Free Workshop: Writing the Military Experience

We’re very glad to have recently received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts allowing us to offer a free workshop for veterans, active duty military personnel, and their family members this spring. The workshop, Writing the Military Experience, will be held at Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, just two blocks from the Eastern Market Metro station. 

Workshop leader Ron Capps is founder and director of The Veterans Writing Project, and author of Writing War  Please email if you would to attend the workshop, which will meet from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. on six Tuesdays, April 24 through May 29.

Click here for WAMU-FM's podcast of a recent program with Ron.

Monday, March 19, 2012

LPR Reading Photos

Thanks to Truth Thomas for sending us photographs he took from our March 3 reading featuring Little Patuxent Review’s Winter 2012 Social Justice Issue. Truth was guest editor for the issue, and he emceed the program, which featured several authors.
He closes his Editor’s Note by acknowledging the poets, fiction writers, visual artists, and scholars who contributed to the issue:
“Their work, their thoughts, their artwork, is a redemption song, to be sure – not unlike that classic Bob Marley composition entitled “Redemption Song.” It is a testimony of wrongs observed by dedicated lyrical reporters—compelling artistic witnesses—men and women who place a recession-proof value on the price of human dignity. It is a great gift they have given us. It is that great gift we humbly offer you.”
Thanks also to LPR editor Laura Shovan for working to organize the reading, and all the writers who participated. Copies of the issue, which includes work by Martin Espada, Michael Salcman, Tony Medina, Kathleen Hellen, Greg McBride, Clarinda Harriss, and several others, is available for sale at The Writer’s Center. Or you can get a copy, and a subscription, directly from LPR.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Laura Oliver and Jason Schossler

By Sunil Freeman

I’m looking forward to our reading with Laura Oliver and Jason Schossler, authors with great Web sites  who both celebrate the power of storytelling. They’ll share the program this Sunday, March 11 at 2 p.m., here at The Writer's Center.

Check out the video for Mud Cakes, Jason’s first book of poems, which was selected as winner of the inaugural Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize from Bona Fide Books. Jason, a Pushcart Prize nominee, is also the recipient of the 2010 Emerging Writer award from Grist: A Journal for Writers, and Reed’s 2009 Edwin Markham Poetry Prize. His poetry and fiction have appeared, among other places, in The Sun, North American Review, Poet Lore, Green Mountains Review, Rattle, and The Antioch Review, where his poem, “Between Jobs,” was nominated by the editors for the Best New Poets 2010 anthology.

Jason is joined by Writer’s Center workshop leader Laura Oliver, who will read her fiction and discuss The Story Within: New Insights and Inspiration for Writers, recently published by Penguin.  Laura’s essays and short stories appear in numerous regional and national periodicals such as The Washington Post, Country Living, Glimmer Train, The Baltimore Review, and Portland Magazine.  She has taught Creative Writing at the University of Maryland and currently teaches writing at St. John’s College. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, her work has won numerous distinctions, including a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Fiction. Follow her Finding Your Story Within Contest, with writing prompts, winning entries, and videos, on her blog.

Characters Near You

What are the stories close to home? The real places and people you pass every day but may know only half their true dimensions? We give you license to explore those stories in a new workshop starting next month at the Hill Center, Researching and Writing Neighborhood Profiles. It’s intended for people interested in either a broad portrait of a neighborhood or a sharper picture of individuals at the core of that place.

That’s because sometimes you get a snapshot of a whole neighborhood through one person, and sometimes through several people. Years ago when Rick Peabody and Lucinda Ebersole ran Atticus Books on U Street I’d stroll along there, admiring the Duke Ellington mural and the Lincoln Theatre looming above. But I didn’t really know anything about either until I wrote a profile ten years ago for DoubleTake magazine (R.I.P.). For that my interviews included a local historian, a resident’s granddaughter, an artist, Ellington himself (okay, I settled for his memoir) and Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. I could hear in Ertegun’s voice how U Street’s people and places gave him an education in life. I got to share that conversation more fully later, in the Washington Post Outlook.

In some cases you might find a neighborhood portrait through a sort of chorus of shared remembrances centered on a key episode or legend. Not long ago, a play and film about the people involved in saving Woodlawn cemetery in Southeast DC showed that power. DC neighborhoods like Deanwood have been gathering their stories with help from the DC Humanities Council’s DC Community Heritage Project.

We’ll see how to tease those stories out through interviews, historical records and online research (better now than ever), and how to put them together. We’ll practice shaping the narratives for sharing online, in print and in film. The workshop will draw on my own experiences using these methods in magazine essays, books and documentaries, including some explored in making Soul of a People, my 2009 book and the documentary I produced with DC filmmaker Andrea Kalin about the 1930s Federal Writers’ Project, which pioneered local history and oral history.

I’m looking forward to what we find out. Hope to see you at the Hill Center later this month!

--David Taylor

Sign up for David's workshop, Researching and Writing Neighborhood Profiles, today!