Poet, teacher and cruciverbalist (crossword constructor) Gary J. Whitehead is the next luminary to lead a free reading and discussion as part of the spring Writers Speak Wednesdays series at Stony Brook Southampton on March 27.
When not in the classroom teaching English and creative writing at Tenafly High School in New Jersey, Whitehead is hard at work writing poetry. His writing honors are many, including a prestigious New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, the Pearl Hogrefe Fellowship at Iowa State University, the PEN Northwest Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency Award and the Princeton University Distinguished Secondary School Teaching Award.
Whitehead has penned for full-length poetry collections—A Glossary of Chickens, Measuring Cubits while the Thunder Claps, The Velocity of Dust and his most recent collection Strange What Rises—and he’s also authored three chapbooks of poetry, two of which were winners of national competitions. His poems have appeared widely in journals and magazines, most notably in The New Yorker.
At his Writers Speak session, which takes place on March 27 at 7 p.m. in Duke Lecture Hall on the ground floor of Chancellors Hall at the Southampton campus (39 Tuckahoe Road), Whitehead will read from Strange What Rises, discuss his work and answer questions from the audience. All Writers Speak sessions are free and open to the general public. Each begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m., then continues with reading, a Q&A and finally a book signing.
Additional programs scheduled for the spring Writers Speak series include: short story writers Amy Hempel and Julia Slavin on April 3, poets Kyla Marshell and Shane McCrae on April 10, authors Sharon Dolin and Chloe Caldwell on April 24 and a showcase of readings by MFA students on May 1.