Faye Rapoport DesPres


Attention Boston area writers and friends: a reading worth attending


I’d like to pass on this information from the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College: A reading by a number of the program’s alumnae is scheduled for tomorrow, September 14, from 7:15 – 8:45 p.m. at the Luckart Gallery, 338 Lexington Street in Auburndale, MA. This little shopping area is just off of Comm. Ave., or Route 30. If you’re heading out of Boston, you reach Lexington Street before you hit the Newton Marriott and the entrance to the Mass. Pike after that.

Readers include nonfiction writer and poet Faye Snider, fiction writer Ann McArdle, nonfiction and YA writer Jim Kennedy, and poet Melissa Varnavas. Their readings will complement art currently being shown at the gallery, works by event co-coordinator Marcia Cooper and the painter Maria Aguilar.

Below is more information about each of the readers/artists:

• Retired family therapist and inveterate gardener Faye Snider recently published a short memoir, “Goldie’s Gold,” in Alimentum: The Literature of Food. She will read from an essay titled “Mother’s Tears.”

• Interior design writer and teacher Ann McArdle recently published a short story, “Tomorrow” in the journal Pear Noir. She will read from her interconnected short fiction collection, Works of Mercy.

• Accountant and distance walker Jim Kennedy has published fiction and memoir in Prism International and Creative Nonfiction. He will be reading from his recently completed young adult novel, Salamander in the Weeds.

• Journalist and poet Melissa J. Varnavas is a recipient of awards from the New England Press Association and Suburban Newspapers of America, and her poetry has recently appeared in the journals Oberon and Margie.

• Landscape/portrait artist Marcia Cooper has shown her work at the Danforth Museum, Arnold Arboretum, and the Newton Art Association.

• Maria Aguilar, an acclaimed artist in her native Guatemala, interprets the impact of and tensions surrounding Mayan ancestry in Latin American culture.

I am sure it will be a great event.…

In Praise of the Essay: Practice & Form


I am lucky to have met the talented essayist Kim Dana Kupperman at Pine Manor College, and I’ve had the opportunity to do a bit of  volunteer work for her non-profit organization, Welcome Table Press, which is dedicated to publishing and celebrating the essay in all its forms.

On Saturday, October 15, Welcome Table Press will host a symposium in New York City titled “In Praise of the Essay: Practice & Form.” From everything I’ve heard, the first symposium hosted by WTP was a fantastic event, and I have no doubt this one will be, too. The honoree is Phillip Lopate, and speakers include Robin Hemley, Barbara Hurd, Helen Benedict, Joshua Wolf Shenk, and Matthew Swanson & Robbi Behr (creators of Idiots’ Books).

A panel on teaching the essay will feature presentations by Richard Hoffman, Patrick Madden, Suzanne Menghraj, Robert Root, Suzanne Strempek Shea, and Dustin Beall Smith. There will also be readings by Amy Leach, E. J. Levy, Shelley Salamensky, Jerald Walker, and Ryan Van Meter, and a Q&A with editors from Best American Essays, Cabinet, Creative Nonfiction, Defunct, Fourth Genre, Graywolf Press, The Pedestrian, River Teeth, Sarabande Books, and more.

If you’d like to register for the symposium, a registration form can be found online here. You can also stay in touch with Welcome Table Press through Facebook and Twitter:

I’m hoping to make it to the symposium this year. If so, maybe I’ll see you there!…

PMC faculty, students on the move


Some highlights from the most recent issue of the monthly newsletter produced by the Solstice MFA Program in Creative Writing at Pine Manor College (congrats and best wishes, all):

Readings and Events:


MFA Program Director Meg Kearney will read as part of the 2010 PEN New England L.L. Winship Award Winners Reading, Wednesday, April 13 at 6 p.m. at Emerson College’s Bright Family Screening Room of the Paramount Center, 559 Washington Street, Boston, MA.

For more information, email: mailto:Christine_Casson@emerson.edu

Poet Dzvinia Orlowsky will read and give a talk on Tuesday, April 5 from 6:30–7:30 p.m. at the Whitman Public Library, 100 Webster Street, Whitman, MA.

For more information, call: 781-446-7613.

MFA graduate Jina Ortiz will read on Tuesday, April 5 at 6:30 p.m. as part of an event sponsored by the Women’s National Book Association/Boston at the Coolidge Corner Branch Library meeting room, 31 Pleasant Street, Brookline, MA.

For more information, go to: http://www.wnbaboston.org


Multi-genre writer Anne-Marie Oomen will be reading and leading a workshop as part of the Rally of Writers conference, sponsored by the Michigan Humanities Council on Saturday, April 2 in Lansing, Michigan.

For more information, go to: http://www.arallyofwriters.com/


Meg Kearney will read with Baron Wormser on Wednesday, April 20 at 7 p.m. at River Run Books, 20 Congress Street, Portsmouth, NH.

For more information, go to:http://www.riverrunbookstore.com/


Meg Kearney will read with fellow 2010 Paterson Poetry Prize finalists on Saturday, April 2 from 1–3 p.m. at the Historic Hamilton Club Building, Passaic County Community College, 32 Church Street, Paterson, NJ.

For more information, email: mailto:SDESAI@pccc.edu


Kathleen Aguero’s poem “Turkey Pond: Scattering the Ashes,” is included in the recently published anthology, Solace in So Many Words, edited by Ellen Wade Beals. The book is available for sale on Amazon.com

MFA student Melissa Ford Lucken’s story “Undone by the Undead” is available for download on Ellora’s Cave.

For more information, go to: http://www.jasminejade.com

Multi-genre writer Sandra Scofield’s short fiction, “Staph,” was recently published by Narrative Magazine online.

To read the piece, go to: http://www.narrativemagazine.com/files/ScofieldSandra_Staph.pdf