July 13, 2005
Southampton College Summer Writers Conference Continues to Attract Literary Luminaries to Share Their Insights and Experiences with Gifted Students from Across the Country
July 20-31 Event will Draw Record Number of Participants
Pekka Paavonpera (Pekka.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Southampton, NY – Each year, during the height of the Hampton’s summer season, Southampton College of Long Island University hosts its prestigious Summer Writers Conference, during which a star-studded line-up of best-selling authors, poets and playwrights share their years of experience through a two week-long series of creative workshops and lectures focusing on the novel, the short story, the poem, the play, the literary essay and the memoir. This year’s Conference, which runs from July 20th through July 31st is expected to be the best attended in its 30-year history. Despite recent changes at Southampton College regarding its undergraduate programs, its M.F.A. in English & Writing program continues to flourish and its Writer’s Conference is attracting more students that ever before.
“Record numbers of Conference applications clearly demonstrate that the Conference remains one of the most prominent literary events in the country,” said Conference Director Robert Reeves. “We are thrilled with this year’s turnout. Every Conference is unique and exciting in its own way, but I sense that this year’s will be particularly stimulating. We have built our reputation by having faculty and guest lecturers of the first rank, teaching and sharing their experiences in small intimate settings. Although registrations are up by 10%, we have capped the Conference at 110 students to ensure that we are able to maintain the personalized attention that our participants have come to expect.”
Among this year’s literary luminaries are:
- Billy Collins – the author of seven collections of poetry, including “Questions About Angels,” “The Art of Drowning” and “Picnic, Lighting”. He is a distinguished professor of English at Lehman College, City University of New York and a visiting writer at Sarah Lawrence College. He was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States for 2001-2202.
- Frank McCourt - the author of “Angela's Ashes,” for which he won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Boston Book Review's Non-Fiction Prize, the ABBY Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award, Mr. McCourt taught in the New York City public school system for 27 years, the last 17 of which were spent at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. He also is the author of “Tis”
- Bharati Mukherjee - the author of several books of fiction, she won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1988 for “The Middleman and Other Stories,” she has taught creative writing at Columbia University, New York University and Queens College. She currently is a professor of English at the University of California at Berkeley.
- Clark Blaise - the former head of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, Mr. Blaise is the author of 16 books, including his most recent work “Time Lord: Sir Sanford Fleming and the Creation of Standard Time.”
- Melissa Bank - the winner of the Nelson Algren Award for Short Fiction, and author of the best-selling “The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing.”
- Meg Wolitzer - the author of six novels including “The Wife,” “Surrender,” “Dorothy,” and “This is Your Life,” her short fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories and has won the Pushcart Prize. She contributes regularly to WNYC’s “The Next Big Thing.”
- Roger Rosenblatt - an Emmy, Peabody and George Polk Award winner and Long Island University’s Parsons Family University Professor of Writing, best known for provocative contributions to Time magazine and to PBS’ “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.”
- Jules Feiffer - one of American's most influential editorial cartoonists, he also is a playwright, a novelist, a screenwriter and an author of children's books. He was presented with an Obie Award for his book “Little Murders” and won an Oscar for his anti-military short subject animation, “Munro.”
- Christopher Durang – his plays “The Nature and Purpose of the Universe,” “Titanic” “A History of the American Film,” “Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You,” “Beyond Therapy” and “Baby With the Bathwater,” among others, have appeared on and off Broadway. He has received numerous honors, including an Obie Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Tony nomination.
- Matthew Klam - named one of the 20 best young writers by The New Yorker in 1999, Mr. Klam won the O. Henry Award for his first book, “Sam the Cat and Other Stories.” He is a recipient of a Robert Bingham/PEN Award, a National Endowment of the Arts and a Whiting Writer's Award.
- David Rakoff - the author of the essay collections “Fraud” (Doubleday 2001) and the forthcoming “Don't Get Too Comfortable” (Doubleday 2005), He is a regular contributor to Public Radio International's “This American Life” and to Outside Magazine, GQ, The New York Times Magazine,Wired, Salon, Slate and The New York Observer
- Susan Kinsolving – author of the critically acclaimed “The White Eyelash”, published by Grove Press in 2003.She also has written “Dailies & Rushes”, a finalist for The National Book Critics Circle Award 1999, and was named in "Best Poetry of 1999." Her books are selected and edited by the eminent poet and critic, Richard Howard.
The public will have the opportunity to meet Conference faculty and to hear them read from both their published and yet-to-be-published works at the Gala Reading which will be held on Friday July 31, the final Friday of the Conference.
In addition, the Conference will present “Caraboo.” in the Avram Theatre on Monday, July 25th at 8 pm. The play, billed as a “ true fairy tale” adapted from the book written by Marsha Norman with lyrics by Beth Blatt and music by Jenny Giering, will feature Tony-nominated Celia Keenan Bolger (Spelling Bee) who will be singing the lead, Caraboo, and Joe Cassidy (currently starring in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) who will be singing the role of Eyenesso.
Caraboo has just recently been chosen for the National Alliance of Music Theatres presentations for next year, a key indicator of a show on the move
For more information on the Writers Conference, call the Southampton College PR Office at (631) 287-8313 or visit: http://www.southampton.liu.edu/summer/2004/wc2004.htm
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