Sunday, January 19, 2014

Feb 19: Sonya Chung

*Photo credit Robin Holland*

Sonya Chung is the author of the novel Long for This World (Scribner 2010). Her stories, reviews, and essays have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Tin House, The Late American Novel: Writers on the Future of Books, FiveChapters, and The Common Online, among others. A recipient of a MacDowell Colony fellowship, she is a staff writer for The Millions, founding editor of Bloom, and currently teaches fiction writing at Skidmore College.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mar 5: Lorin Stein

Lorin Stein is the editor of The Paris Review. Previously he was a senior editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, where he worked with such writers as Lydia Davis, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Franzen, John Jeremiah Sullivan, and James Wood. Stein's reviews have appeared in Harper's, The New Republic, the London Review of Books, and The New York Review of Books. His translations from French include The Mystery Guest, by Grégoire Bouillier, and Autoportrait, by Edouard Levé. In 2011 he was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.

Mar 12: Tim Davis and Joe Hagan

In the tradition of Walker Evans and James Agee, artist Tim Davis and journalist Joe Hagan are creating a new project about the state of the American Dream.
Crisscrossing the country interviewing Americans of all stripes, orientations, perspectives and desires, they are creating a collective portrait of this country’s sense of itself, in a time beyond bust and boom, and of increasing uncertainty about politics. Inspired by the WPA and by the oral histories of Studs Terkel, Hagan and Davis are working with old-fashioned tools: pen and paper, and a large format view camera.
Portraits will be presented with accompanying text in the most venerable tradition of the photographic documentary — vista and voice — but keyed to the present, in all of its uncertain glory.
Tim Davis is an artist and writer currently at work on a long-form music and video project called It’s OK to Hate Yourself.His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Guggenheim Museum and the Walker Art Center, among many others. He teaches photography at Bard College.
Joe Hagan writes about politics and media for New York Magazine and Rolling Stone. He has published long-form profiles and investigative exposes on Karl RoveHenry KissingerBill MaherDan RatherGoldman SachsThe New York TimesTwitter and the Bush family. In 2010, he discovered and wrote about the secret diary of civil rights singer Nina Simone.
View the project at

Apr 2: Paula Fox (Michael Mahoney Memorial reader)

Paula Fox is an American author of novels for adults and children.  Included among her numerous, numerous novels are Poor George, The Widow’s Children, The Slave Dancer, A Place Apart, and Desperate Characters, a quintessential text on gentrification in Brooklyn. Fox has won the Hans Christian Andersen Award, a Newbery Medal for The Slave Dancer and a National Book Award.

After Fox’s work had been out of print for years, Jonathan Franzen discovered her novel Desperate Characters on a shelf at the Yaddo. He and Tom Bissell led the charge to bring this incredibly important writer’s work back into print. Franzen has called Fox’s writing, “plainly superior to any novel by John Updike, Philip Roth, or Saul Bellow.”

Fox has also written two memoirs, Borrowed Finery and The Coldest Winter. These books detail events from her truly extraordinary life. Born in 1923, the unwanted daughter of absentee parents, Fox spent her childhood in the care of a series of guardians including a two year stint on a Cuban plantation with her maternal grandmother.

Fox worked several different jobs after finishing high school, ranging from machinist to publishing company employee. She read books for a film studio. She worked as an English teacher for both Spanish-speaking children and emotionally disturbed children. At twenty-two, Fox found work as a stringer for a British news service in newly liberated Europe. She published her first novel at age forty-three.

Apr 9: Judy Grahn (Women's History Month reader)

Judy Grahn is internationally known as a poet, writer, and cultural theorist. 
Her writings helped fuel second wave feminist, gay and lesbian activism, and women’s spirituality movements beginning in 1965 when she picketed the White House for Gay rights, and wrote her first article, “A Lesbian Speaks Her Mind,” published the next year in Sexology Magazine. She co-founded Gay Women’s Liberation and the Women’s Press Collective in 1969. She taught writing, literature, and spirituality in Oakland for fifteen years, sometimes in collaboration with Paula Gunn Allen, and Betty De Shong Meador. She graduated from California Institute of Integral Studies with a Ph.D. concentration in Women’s Spirituality, after doing research in South India.
She has published three poetry collections, eight chapbooks, and two book-length epic poems tracing Helen of Troy as a version of Sumerian goddess Inanna. Much of her work has been dramatized, danced, and put to music. For instance, an acapella chorus, “She Who,” does some of her She Who Poems. Judy is a performer, collaborating with singer-songwriter Anne Carol Mitchell; their cd is called Lunarchy. Judy has also published an ecotopia novel, short stories and articles, and four nonfiction books, including Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds, and Blood, Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World. Her latest collection of poetry and prose is The Judy Grahn Reader, and her newly published memoir is A Simple Revolution: the Making of an Activist Poet.
Judy is a professor in the Women’s Spirituality Master’s Program at Sofia University in Palo Alto, Ca. She co-edits an online journal based in her theory of menstrual ritual origins of human culture: Metaformia Journal,

Her work has won awards: an NEA Grant, an American Book Review award, an American Book Award, an American Library Award; a Lifetime Achievement Award (in Lesbian Letters), a Founding Foremothers of Women’s Spirituality Award. Triangle Publishers feature a “Judy Grahn Nonfiction Award”. Seattle Gay Day Parade of (199 was based on Judy’s book,Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds.

Apr 23: Jen Bervin and Brian Blanchfield

Jen Bervin's work brings together text and textile in a practice that encompasses poetry, archival research, artist books, and large-scale art works. She publishes artist books and poetry with Granary Books and Ugly Duckling Presse; titles include The Dickinson Composites, The DesertThe Silver Book, A Non- Breaking Space, and Nets. Her most recent trade publication, The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems, edited by Jen Bervin and Marta Werner (with a preface by Susan Howe) from Christine Burgin/New Directions, made Best of 2013 lists in The New Yorker and The Times Literary Supplement. Her work has been shown at The Power Plant in Toronto, The Walker Art Center, The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Temple Contemporary, and is in more than thirty collections including Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and The J. Paul Getty Museum. Bervin has received fellowships in art and writing from Creative Capital, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, The New York Foundation for the Arts, The MacDowell Colony, and The Camargo Foundation in France. In 2014, she will be a Fitt Artist in Residence at Brown University and will teach at Vermont College of Fine Arts and Harvard University.  Current research for her Creative Capital project, The Silk Poems, includes consulting nanotechnology and biomedical labs, medical libraries, textile archives, and sericulture museums in over fifty international sites. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Brian Blanchfield is the author of two full-length collections of poetry--Not Even Then (University of California Press) and A Several World (forthcoming, early 2014, Nightboat Books)--as well as a chapbook, The History of Ideas, 1973-2012 (Spork Press) and a book of essay prose in progress, Onesheets (also forthcoming from Nightboat). His work has appeared in The Nation, The Brooklyn RailThe Paris ReviewChicago ReviewLana Turner, Manor House Quarterly, Boston ReviewThe PEN Poetry Series, Guernica, and The Awl. A poetry editor for Fence, he lives in Tucson and teaches at the University of Arizona.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

May 7: Elisabeth Subrin

Elisabeth Subrin is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and artist, and a professor in the Film and Media Arts Department at Temple University. Her award-winning films and videos have been screened extensively in the United States and abroad, including at The New York Film Festival, The Whitney Biennial, The Vienna International Film Festival, The Museum of Modern Art, American Film Institute, The Rotterdam International Film Festival, The Vienna International Film Festival, The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, the VIPER International Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland, The Guggenheim Museum, The Sundance Channel, PBS, and numerous other major film festivals, museums, and arts institutions. Her narrative short The Caretakers, starring Cara Seymour, premiered at The New York Film Festival. Her video Well Well Well, created for the electro-pop feminist band Le Tigre, has been screened and broadcast internationally. The Fancy premiered at the New York Video Festival and was awarded the 2001 VIPER International Award for Film/Video. Shulie received the 1998 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Independent Film and Best Experimental Film at the 2000 New England Film and Video Festival. Swallow was awarded First Place Experimental at the 1996 USA Film Festival, and Juror’s Choice at the 1996 Charlotte Film and Video Festival. In 2012, Shulie was selected for the once-a-decade British Film Institute’s Sight&Sound Magazine Critic’s Poll for “Greatest Films Ever.”
She has received grants and fellowships from The Rockefeller Foundation, The Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, and The Annenberg Foundation, and she has been a fellow five times at The MacDowell Colony and as well as Yaddo. She has received film commissions from The MacDowell Colony and The Danish Arts Council for recent projects, The Caretakers (2006) and Sweet Ruin (2008). She participated in the Sundance Institute Screenwriting and Directing Fellowships with her feature film project, Up.
In February 2010, Sue Scott Gallery in New York mounted a 20 year retrospective of her film and art work, Elisabeth Subrin: Her Compulsion To Repeat, including her 2010 video installation Lost Tribes and Promised Lands, her 2008 two-channel film projection Sweet Ruin, as well as selected films, videos, and large-scale photographic stills from 1990-2010. Lost Tribes and Promised Lands was subsequently presented at MoMA/PS1's 2010 Greater New York exhibition, as well as at La Musée d'Art Contemporain de Val De Marne, Paris, The Mattress Factory Museum in Pittsburgh, PA, Fittja Open in Stockholm, Sweden, and at the Marquette Museum of Art in Milwaukee in 2012. In 2011, her work was the subject of solo exhibitions at The Jewish Museum in New York and VOLTA NY 2011. A new commissioned work, Damage Report, will be presented at The Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia next spring. Her second feature screenplay, A Woman A Part, starring Maggie Siff and Cara Seymour, is in preproduction.