Beach Reads

Acclaimed Authors Talk Revision at March 13 Writers Speak

Cornelius Eady, Paul Harding, Amy Hempel, Susan Scarf Merrell and Roger Rosenblatt discuss their craft.

A panel of accomplished writers will discuss “The Art and Craft of the Redraft” at Stony Brook Southampton’s next Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings on Wednesday, March 13.

The esteemed panel features literary luminaries, Stony Brook Southampton MFA program professors, and former Writers Speak guests. Poet Cornelius Eady, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Harding, Amy Hempel, Susan Scarf Merrell and Roger Rosenblatt will talk about the importance of revision in a discussion moderated by novelist and Associate Provost Robert Reeves on Wednesday, March 13, at 7 p.m. in Duke Lecture Hall on the ground floor of Chancellors Hall at the Southampton campus.

Cornelius Eady
Cornelius Eady. Photo: Chris Cooper

Cornelius Eady is the author of several books of poetry, including the critically acclaimed Hardheaded Weather, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award; Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, winner of the 1985 Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets; and The Gathering of My Name, which was nominated for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize. With poet Toi Derricote, Eady is cofounder of Cave Canem, a national organization for African American poetry and poets. He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Literature, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to Bellagio, Italy, and The Prairie Schooner Strousse Award.

Paul Harding
Paul Harding, Photo: ©Ekko von Schwichow

Paul Harding is the author of the novel Tinkers, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His second novel, Elon, was published by Random House in 2013. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the PEN American Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers. He was a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, and has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Harvard University and Grinnell College.

Amy Hempel (photo at top of page) is the author of four story collections, including Reasons to Live, At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom, Tumble Home, and The Dog of the Marriage. The New York Times named The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel one of the Ten Best Books of 2006. A 2017 inductee to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Hempel is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Guggenheim Fellow. She is the recipient of the Hobson Award, a USA Fellowship grant, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction, and the John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence from Centenary College. Hempel is a founding board member of the Deja Foundation, which offers direct assistance to dogs rescued from high-kill shelters in an effort to empower small rescue organizations to support sustainable adoptions.

Susan Merrell at home with her with books in Sag Harbor
Susan Merrell at home with her with books in Sag Harbor, Photo: Barbara Lassen

Susan Scarf Merrell is co-director of the Southampton Writers Conference and a professor in the MFA in Creative Writing & Literature program at Stony Brook Southampton. She is the author of the non-fiction work, The Accidental Bond: How Sibling Connections Influence Adult Relationships, the novel A Member of the Family, and, most recently, Shirley: A Novel, which was selected as one of the top 50 novels of the year by The Washington Post and is being made into a film directed by Josephine Decker and starring Elisabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg.

With work published in 14 languages, Roger Rosenblatt is the author of five New York Times Notable Books of the Year, and three Times bestsellers, including the memoirs, Kayak Morning, The Boy Detective, and Making Toast, originally an essay in The New Yorker. He has also written six off-Broadway plays, notably Free Speech in America, a one-person play that he performed at New York’s American Place Theater, and was one of the Times Ten Best Plays of 1991, as well as the screenplay for his bestselling novel, Lapham Rising. Among his honors are two George Polk awards, the Peabody and the Emmy for his work as an essayist at Time magazine and on PBS; the Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize; a Fulbright Scholarship; seven honorary doctorates; the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement; and the President’s Medal of the Chautauqua Institution for his body of work.

Roger Rosenblatt
Roger Rosenblatt. Photo credit: JIMI CELESTE/patrickmcmullan.com

Associate Provost Robert Reeves is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, both published by Crown, as well as short fiction, essays, and literary criticism. Kirkus Reviews hailed Doubting Thomas as “a zesty, classy original,” and Patricia Holt of the San Francisco Chronicle called Peeping Thomas “funny, disturbing, and brilliant.” He has also taught writing at Harvard and Princeton.

Other programs scheduled for the spring Writers Speak series include: poet Gary J. Whitehead on March 27; Amy Hempel and Julia Slavin on April 3; poet Sharon Dolin and writer Chloe Caldwell on April 24; and a showcase reading by MFA students on May 1.

Writers Speak Wednesdays programs are free and open to the public. The evenings begin with a brief reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by readings at 7 p.m., and then a Q&A and book signing. Until completion of renovations in the Radio Lounge, all programs will be held in Duke Lecture Hall on the first floor of Chancellors Hall at Stony Brook Southampton (39 Tuckahoe Road).

For more information, call 631-632-5030 or visit stonybrook.edu/mfa. You can also find Writers Speak Wednesdays on Facebook and on Twitter @WritersSpeakWed.

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