Dan’s Papers Literary Prize Salon This Saturday

Joe Carson accepts his 2013 award with judge Jim Marquard
Joe Carson accepts his 2013 award with judge Jim Marquard. Photo credit: Nicholas Chowske

If you enjoy listening to people read good literature aloud, then you should come to the Dan’s Papers Literary Prize Salon this Saturday, January 18, at 5 p.m., in the living room of the Southampton Inn on Hill Street. Admission is free, drinks and snacks will be served in front of a roaring fire, and our three readers will each read essays they wrote about this community—one of which was a prize winner in the Dan’s Papers $6,000 Literary Prize for Nonfiction in 2013.

This is the second such literary salon we have held this winter. The first was held at the Southampton Inn on November 23. There will be further readings in February, March and April.

Here are the readers for this Saturday’s salon:

Joe Carson, of Southampton, will read “The Naked Kingdom,” a prize winner in the 2013 Dan’s Papers $6,000 Literary Prize for Nonfiction.

“The Naked Kingdom” tracks two events in Carson’s life—caddying for Vice President Joe Biden as he played golf at a private club in the Hamptons while surrounded by armed security men committed to defending Biden’s life, and an experience he had long ago when, as the smallest member of his immediate family, he was selected to climb a tree to cut down a beehive that had formed high on a limb. His caddying experience reminded him of that climb, when he also found himself surrounded by vicious security guards—that time honeybees charged with defending the life of the queen.

A second essay, called “I Deal,” will be read by Brendan Regan, who has worked for the past 12 summers as a lifeguard at a beach club along the ocean dunes in Water Mill. He had made himself an unusual goal when he first began lifeguarding. He wanted to catch a fish by himself, dress it and eat it. Until the summer of 2013, however, he had not achieved it. His essay describes how, while in San Diego, he learned that Hurricane Sandy had destroyed the beach club. He returned to Water Mill to join the crew rebuilding it anew, was there for its re-opening, and on a particular day in the summer, using an 11-foot rescue board, he paddled out into a school of bluefish and, deploying a surfcasting rod, fought with, caught, towed in, put on ice, dressed and, with co-workers and members, ate this fish at the club.

The third essay was written and will be read by Denize Magyar of Mattituck. Called “Mr. Wolfe, You Can Go Home Again,” it recalls in vivid detail how as a little girl she spent summers on the Long Island Sound in Mattituck with her parents, and now, as a grown-up, she has returned from Germany to care for her aged mother in her mother’s home in Mattituck. Yes, you can go home again.

Those wishing to enter the 2014 Dan’s Papers $6,000 Literary Prize for Nonfiction may do so between March 1 and August 1 by going to literaryprize.danspapers.com. Essays must be between 600 and 1,500 words and reference the East End in a meaningful way.

The awards ceremony for the Prize, now entering its third year, will be held at Guild Hall in late August, on a date to be announced. At the awards ceremony the first year, the keynote speech was given by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Caro. Last year’s keynote speech was given by E.L. Doctorow, whose latest book, The Mind’s Jailer, received a front-page rave review from The New York Times Sunday Book Review this past week. Major funding for the 2013 Prize was provided by Barnes & Noble, and sponsors were Hampton Jitney, Bridgehampton National Bank, BK Builders, Destination America, Southampton Inn and Porsche, Mini and BMW of Southampton.

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