Press Releases

February 13, 2003
Literary Luminaries to Light up a Winter's Night in Downtown NYC

Benefit for Southampton College's star-studded writer's conference brings world-class writers together for one night only

Darren Johnson
(631) 287 8313
Fax: (631) 283 4081

Billy Collins, Roger Rosenblatt, Jules Feiffer, Frank McCourt and Nora Ephron are just a few of the illustrious writers who will read from their works as part of a special event on February 24 at 6:00 p.m. at The Culture Project in Manhattan. "Friends of the Southampton Writers Conference," a dazzling program emceed by George Plimpton, will benefit Southampton College of Long Island University's 28th annual Summer Writers Conference. The College, which boasts a renowned M.F.A. program in English and writing, has become a literary Mecca on Long Island's East End, drawing the finest writers to campus to share their insights and teach their craft. The event is invitation-only.

All of the writers slated to appear on the 24th served on the College's faculty last summer, providing instruction in various genres including poetry, screenwriting, playwriting, the memoir and the essay. They brought an astonishing array of credentials, artistic accomplishment and life experience to the classroom: U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, who has published six collections of poetry, helped open a special session of Congress in New York in honor of the one-year anniversary of 9/11; Jules Feiffer, Pulitzer Prize winner, cartoonist and screenwriter, has written a number of award-winning plays including "Knock Knock" and "Little Murders"; Frank McCourt, author of "Angela's Ashes," has won top honors including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; Roger Rosenblatt, an Emmy, Peabody and George Polk Award winner, is best known for his provocative contributions to Time magazine and PBS' "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer"; and Nora Ephron is an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and di rector whose work includes "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle."

Designed to offer inspiration and guidance to new writers, established authors, editors, and teachers of writing alike, the Conference attracts students of exceptional promise from across the country and around the world. Those accepted into the program attend a series of workshops and lectures with top talent in the publishing industry. Distinguished authors that serve on the M.F.A. program faculty year-round join together with eminent guest lecturers to present a curriculum that is friendly, rigorous, professionally useful and intellectually challenging. Additional evening lectures and events which are open to the public make the Conference a star attraction among the East End's vibrant cultural offerings. This year's conference will be held from July 16 to July 27. Scheduled workshops include poetry with Billy Collins, playwriting with Joe Pintauro, the novel with Bharati Mukherjee, the memoir with Frank McCourt, the short story with Clark Blaise and the literary essay with Roger Rosenblatt. A special evening with Emmy, Academy and Tony Award winner Mel Brooks and his wife, Anne Bancroft, will punctuate the conference.

The special evening of readings at The Culture Project will raise funds to help ensure that the Writers Conference continues to grow as it enters its third decade. The performance will be followed by a reception during which the audience will have the opportunity to interact with the authors.

The Culture Project is located at 45 Bleecker Street in downtown Manhattan. For more information about the College and its programs, please call 631-287-8313.