Bennington Writing Seminars Reading Series to Feature Acclaimed Authors

Jun 13, 2009

Twice a year the Bennington College campus swells with writing talent, when some of America’s most acclaimed and celebrated writers come together for the Bennington Writing Seminars, two 10-day residencies in its MFA in writing program. Hundreds of budding writers travel cross-country to join a host of award-winning faculty and writers-in-residence that include former U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall. Faculty and guest lecturers offer an evening reading series, free and open to the public, in Bennington College’s Deane Carriage Barn. The readings begin Thursday, June 12, 2008, and will conclude Friday, June 20, 2008.


Amy Hempel
Nicholas Montemarano
Thursday, June 12, 2008
7:00 p.m.

Amy Hempel’s newest book, The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel, was a finalist for the PEN-Faulkner Award and one of The New York Times’ Ten Best Books of the Year. She has published four other collections of stories: The Dog of the Marriage, Tumble Home, At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom, and Reasons to Live. Her stories have been published in twelve languages. Her anthology of poems in the voices of dogs, Unleashed: Poems by Writers’ Dogs, was published by Crown. Ms. Hempel received a Guggenheim Fellowship and is currently a contributing editor to Bomb magazine.

Nicholas Montemarano is the author of the short story collection—If the Sky Falls—and the novel A Fine Place. His short stories have appeared in Esquire, Zoetrope: All-Story, Tin House, The Southern Review, AGNI, The Gettysburg Review, The Pushcart Prize, and many other publications. His nonfiction has been published in The Washington Post Magazine and DoubleTake. He is the recipient of fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Edward F. Albee Foundation, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

Martha Cooley
Timothy Liu
Friday, June 13, 2008
7:00 p.m.

Martha Cooley’s first novel, The Archivist, was published in 1998 and has appeared in translation in eleven languages. Her second novel, Thirty-Three Swoons, was published in the U.S. and Italy in 2005 and is now in paperback. Ms. Cooley’s short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in A Public Space, AGNI, Washington Square, and elsewhere.

Timothy Liu’s books of poems are For Dust Thou Art: Poems, Of Thee I Sing, Hard Evidence, Say Goodnight, Burnt Offerings, and Vox Angelica. His poetry has also appeared in American Letters and Commentary, Field, Grand Street, The Nation, New American Writing, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, and The Yale Review among other publications. He edited the anthology, Word of Mouth: An Anthology of Gay American Poetry.

Susan Cheever
Brian Morton
Saturday, June 14, 2008
7:00 p.m.

Susan Cheever
’s newest book, American Bloomsbury: The Lives of Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work (2004), was on the Boston Globe bestseller list for three months. Cheever’s other books include My Name is Bill: Bill Wilson, His Life and the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous, and Home Before Dark: A Biographical Memoir of John Cheever by His Daughter. She has also published five novels. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and many other magazines and anthologies. Her work has been nominated for a National Book Circle Award and won the Boston Globe Winship medal. She is a Guggenheim Fellow, a member of the Authors Guild Council, and a director of the Yaddo Corporation.

Brian Morton’s novels include Breakable You; A Window Across the River, which was a Today Show Book Club selection; and Starting Out in the Evening, which received the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Koret Jewish Book Award for Fiction, a Guggenheim Foundation Award, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and was made into a motion picture.

Charles Bock
Fiona Maazel
Sunday, June 15, 2008
7:00 p.m.

Charles Bock has an MFA from Bennington College and has received fellowships from Yaddo, UCross, and the Vermont Studio Center. His novel Beautiful Children was a New York Times and national bestseller.

Fiona Maazel’s first novel, Last, Last Chance, was published by FSG in March. She graduated from the Bennington Writing Seminars in 2002.

Amy Gerstler
Dinah Lenney
Monday, June 16, 2008
7:00 p.m.

Amy Gerstler’s many books of poems include Ghost Girl, Medicine, Crown of Weeds, Nerve Store, and Bitter Angel. Ms. Gerstler also has two chapbooks of fiction, Primitive Man and Martine’s Mouth. Bitter Angel was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Crown of Weeds received the California Book Award.

Dinah Lenney’s first book of memoir is Bigger Than Life: A Murder, A Memoir. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Agni, L.A. Times, and elsewhere. A working actor, she most recently played a well-intentioned prison warden on Law and Order. Ms. Lenney holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars.

Bret Anthony Johnston
Francine Prose
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
7:00 p.m.

Bret Anthony Johnston is the editor of Naming the World: And Other Exercises for the Creative Writer, and the author of Corpus Christi: Stories. His honors include a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a National Book Award for writers under 35. His fiction and essays have been published in The Paris Review, Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, and in numerous anthologies, including New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2008. Mr. Johnston is the director of creative writing at Harvard University.

Francine Prose is the author of the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer, as well as fourteen books of fiction, including A Changed Man—winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize—and Blue Angel, a finalist for the National Book Award. A critic and essayist, Ms. Prose has taught literature and writing for more than twenty years at major universities.

Michael Burkard
Sheila Kohler
Thursday, June 19, 2008
7:00 p.m.

Michael Burkard’s books of poems include Envelope of Night, Selected and Uncollected Poems 1966–1990, Unsleeping, Pennsylvania Collection Agency, Entire Dilemma, My Secret Boat: A Notebook of Prose and Poems, Fictions from the Self, Ruby for Grief, and In a White Light. Mr. Burkard was awarded a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship and has received a Whiting Writer’s Award and a fellowship in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sheila Kohler’s newest book is the historical novel, Bluebird or The Invention of Happiness. She is the author of five other novels: Crossways, Children of Pithiviers, Cracks, The House on R Street, and The Perfect Place. Ms. Kohler’s work received the O. Henry Award, the Open Voice Prize, the Smart Family Foundation Prize, and the Willa Cather Prize.

Lucie Brock-Broido
Bernard Cooper
Friday, June 20, 2008
7:00 p.m.

Lucie Brock-Broido’s books of poetry include Trouble in Mind, The Master Letters, and A Hunger. Her awards and honors include the Witter-Bynner Prize of Poetry from the Academy of American Arts and Letters, the Harvard Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award, the Harvard-Danforth Award for Distinction in Teaching, the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from American Poetry Review, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and a Guggenheim fellowship.

Bernard Cooper’s books of memoir are The Bill from My Father and Truth Serum. He has also published a book of essays, Maps to Anywhere, a novel, A Year of Rhymes, and a book of short stories, Guess Again. His work will appear in The Best American Essays of 2008—his fifth appearance in this series. Mr. Cooper has received writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.

For more information please call 802-440-4452.