Acclaimed Writers to Headline Bennington's Summer 2010 Graduate Reading Series

Jun 08, 2010
Critically acclaimed, award-winning authors and faculty of the Bennington College Writing Seminars will offer an evening reading series during the MFA program's summer residency beginning on Thursday, June 10, and ending on Friday, June 18.

All readings are free and open to the public, and will take place at 7:00 pm (with the exception of the reading on Thursday, June 17, which will take place at 7:30 pm) in the College's Deane Carriage Barn.

Thursday, June 10
Amy Hempel's most recent book, The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and one of the New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2006. 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. Ms. Hempel received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2000 and the PEN/Malamud Award in 2007. She is currently a contributing editor to Bomb magazine.

Ed Ochester's books of poetry include Unreconstructed: Poems Selected & New, The Republic of Lies, The Land of Cockaigne, Changing the Name to Ochester, Miracle Mile, and Dancing on the Edges of Knives. Mr. Ochester has received fellowships in poetry from the NEA and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Educated at Cornell, Harvard, and the University of Wisconsin, Mr. Ochester has taught at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Pittsburgh.

Friday, June 11
April Bernard is a poet, novelist, and essayist. Romanticism, her new book of poems, will be published this month. Her pre­vious books of poems are Blackbird Bye Bye, winner of the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets; Psalms; and Swan Electric. Ms. Bernard was educated at Harvard and has taught at Barnard, Yale, Columbia, Amherst, and Bennington. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry and the Stover Memorial Prize in Poetry. In the fall of 2009 she joined the faculty at Skidmore College as Director of Creative Writing.

Brian Morton is the author of the novels Breakable You, The Dylanist, A Window Across the River, and Starting Out in the Evening, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and was made into a motion picture. Mr. Morton has received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Guggenheim Foundation Award. He teaches at New York University and Sarah Lawrence College, where he also directs the graduate program in fiction.

Saturday, June 12
Timothy Liu's books of poems include Bending the Mind Around the Dream's Blown Fuse; Polytheogamy; For Dust Thou Art; Of Thee I Sing, named a 2004 Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly; Hard Evidence; Say Goodnight; Burnt Offerings; and Vox Angelica, winner of the 1992 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. He holds a BA from Brigham Young University and an MA from the University of Houston and currently teaches at William Paterson University.

Lynn Freed's books include six novels:  The Servant's Quarters, House of Women, The Mirror, The Bungalow, Home Ground, and Friends of the Family; a collection of stories, The Curse of the Appropriate Man, and a collection of essays, Reading, Writing & Leaving Home. She is the recipient of the inaugural Katherine Anne Porter Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has received fellowships, grants and support from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Guggenheim Foundation. Born in South Africa, she now lives in northern California.

Sunday, June 13
Susan Cheever's newest book is Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction. Her previous book, American Bloomsbury was on The Boston Globe bestseller list for three months. Ms. Cheever's 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. Ms. Cheever holds a BA from Brown and has taught at Yale, Hunter College, and elsewhere.

Dinah Lenney is the author of Bigger than Life: A Murder, a Memoir. She has taught acting at various institutions and cur­rently teaches nonfiction at the University of Southern California and the Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, Washington. A working actor, she's played in film, theatre, and primetime television. She holds a BA in American Studies from Yale, a certificate of acting from the Neighborhood Playhouse School, and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars.

Monday, June 14
Bernard Cooper's books of memoir are The Bill from My Father and Truth Serum. Maps to Anywhere, a book of essays, was published in 1991. Mr. Cooper has also published a novel, a book of short stories, and has appeared in the Best American Essay series five times. He has received writing fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation as well as the PEN/Hemmingway Award and an O. Henry Award. He holds a BA and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.

Amy Gerstler's books and chapbooks of poems include Dearest Creature, Ghost Girl, Medicine, Crown of Weeds, Nerve Storm, Bitter Angel, White Marriage & Recovery, and Yonder. Bitter Angel was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1991, and Crown of Weeds received the California Book Award in 1998. Her chapbooks of fiction are Primitive Man and Martine's Mouth. She received a Durfee Artist Award in 2003. Ms. Gerstler holds an MFA from Bennington College.

Tuesday, June 15: no readings

Wednesday, June 16
Martha Cooley first novel, The Archivist, was a national bestseller and has appeared in translation in eleven languages.  Her second novel, Thirty-Three Swoons, was published in the U.S. and Italy.  Ms. Cooley's short fiction, nonfiction, and translations of poetry have appeared in A Public Space, AGNI, Washington Square, and elsewhere.  She has taught in the M.A. programs in writing at Boston University and Manhattanville College.  Ms. Cooley is an Associate Professor of English at Adelphi University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Wells Tower is the author of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, a collection of short fiction. Tower's fiction and journalism have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, McSweeney's, The Paris Review, GQ, The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, The Best American Short Stories and elsewhere. Tower is the recipient of the Plimpton Prize from the Paris Review, two Pushcart Prizes and was named Best Young Writer of 2009 by the Village Voice.

Thursday, June 17, 7:30 pm (note later start time)
Lynne Sharon Schwartz is the author of 21 books, including novels, short story collections, non-fiction, poetry, and translations.  Her new memoir, Not Now, Voyager, was just published by Counterpoint.  Her first novel, Rough Strife, was nominated for a National Book Award and the PEN/Hemingway First Novel Award.  Other novels include The Writing on the Wall; In the Family Way: An Urban Comedy; Disturbances in the Field; and Leaving Brooklyn, nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Ms. Schwartz has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, and the New York State Foundation for the Arts.  Her stories and essays have been reprinted in many anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Best American Essays. She has taught writing and literature at colleges and universities here and abroad. She lives in New York City.

Jane Hirshfield, a former core faculty member, is the author of six books of poetry, most recently After, which was named a "best book of 2006" by The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and England's Financial Times. She has also published Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, a now-classic collection of essays, three of which were given during an earlier visit to Bennington as visiting faculty. Her honors include fellowships from The Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, the NEA, and The Academy of American Poets. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Orion, Tricycle, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and five editions of The Best American Poems. Her seventh book of poems, First Light Entering Cirrus, will appear from Knopf in August 2011.

Friday, June 18
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 many 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 Tin House. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he is the director of creative writing at Harvard University.

Nick Flynn's most recent book is The Ticking is the Bomb, which the Los Angeles Times calls a "disquieting masterpiece." His previous memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, was shortlisted for France's Prix Femina, and has been translated into thirteen languages. He is also the author of two books of poetry, Some Ether, and Blind Huber, and a play, Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins, for which he received fellowships from, among other organizations, The Guggenheim Foundation and The Library of Congress. His film credits include artistic collaborator and "field poet" on the film Darwin's Nightmare, which was nominated for an Academy Award for best feature documentary in 2006. Each spring he teaches at the University of Houston, he then spends the rest of the year in Brooklyn, NY.

For more information, contact 802­-440-­4452, or e-mail