Faye Rapoport DesPres

Latest Blog Posts

I have signed a contract for my first book!

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I have just been given permission to announce some exciting news. I have signed a contract for my first book, tentatively titled MESSAGE FROM A BLUE JAY, with an independent press called Buddhapuss Ink LLC. Buddhapuss Ink was founded by 30-year publishing professional MaryChris Bradley, and its current titles include books in the crime thriller and mystery categories, as well as two Independent Publisher Book Awards winners from the Stone Trilogy series. I am honored that Buddhapuss Ink has chosen my manuscript as it adds the creative nonfiction category to its future interests. And could the logo below be more appropriate for my first book? This is in honor of my beloved elderly cat Tribbs, who is ailing but is still with us as of today.

Screen Shot 2013-06-21 at 9.11.58 AM

Website re-boot — I’ll be back soon!

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Hi friends,

My wonderful webmaster, Justin Sablich, is going to re-boot my website so that it is fully designed in WordPress and will more seamlessly match up with my blog. This change, he assures me, will also enable me to make small adjustments to the site without calling on him desperately for help. This is a good thing, because Justin has become rather a big deal at The New York Times — he is now the senior web editor on the sports desk, where he manages the daily content of nytimes.com/sports, produces multimedia packages (audio and video) and writes regularly for multiple blogs and occasionally for the print edition of The New York Times. Congrats, Justin!

Justin assures me he will still be here when I need him :-) . But in the meantime, for the next week or two the blog might remain inactive while some web changes take place. Still, if I have any news — a couple of things might be coming down the pike over the next few weeks — I will likely update the blog.

Enjoy the rest of June!

- Faye

On Reading “This Boy’s Life” by Tobias Wolff

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I’m currently listening to an audiobook of This Boy’s Life, the well-known memoir by Tobias Wolff. I enjoy listening to audiobooks, and this one has kept me company during morning runs and short car rides. But I have wished, more than once, that I could see the words that I am hearing in this book — that I could read the sentences over and over and really appreciate the incredible craft of this writer. Show vs. tell? Move seamlessly from scene to reflection? Use interesting verbs? Find a creative, new way to say something ordinary? Set the scene? Find the universal in the individual experience? It all seems effortless in this book. It all seems, even, beside the point. Amazing.

Here’s a delectable taste (found online — I had to find these paragraphs!):

“We sat gazing out across the water. The river was swollen with runoff. More brown than green, it chuckled and hissed along the bank. Farther from shore it seethed among mossy boulders and the snarled roots of trees caught between them. From under the changing surface sounds of the river came a deep steady sigh that never changed, and grew louder as you listened to it until it was the only sound you heard. Birds skimmed the water. New leaves glinted on the aspens along the bank.

It was spring. We were both caught in it for a moment, forgetful of our separate designs. We were with each other the way kindred animals are with each other. Then we stirred, and remembered ourselves. Father Karl delivered some final admonition, and I said I would do better, and we walked back to the store.”

Sigh. I write like that in my dreams.

In the Boston Area? Some Great Readings Are Coming Up Starting June 28!

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It’s that time of the year again — the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College, my MFA Alma Mater, will soon hold its summer writing residency. Each residency features a variety of evening readings by Solstice faculty members and guests. Readings are held in the Founder’s Room of Pine Manor College, 400 Heath Street, Chestnut Hill, and are FREE and open to the public. All readings are at 7:30 p.m. unless *otherwise indicated. Author’s books will be available for signing, and there is plenty of parking!

Here’s the list for this summer’s residency, which begins Friday, June 28:

Friday, June 28 at 7:30 p.m.: Iain Haley Pollock (Spit Back A Boy, winner of the 2010 Cave Canem Poetry Prize); David Yoo (The Detention Club & The Choke Artist: Confessions of a Chronic Underachiever); & Steven Huff (The Water We Came From & A Pig In Paris).

Saturday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m.: R. Dwayne Betts (A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison & Shahid Reads His Own Palm) & novelist Sterling Watson (Sweet Dream Baby & Fighting in the Shade).

Sunday, June 30 at 7:30 p.m.: Michael Steinberg (founding editor of Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction, author of Still Pitching); Mira Bartók (The Memory Palace, winner of the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography); & Deborah Wiles (author of the Aurora County Trilogy, a fictional account of growing up in the South).

Monday, July 1 at 7:30 p.m.: Graduate Assistant Beth Grosart (published in Eastown Fiction & Somebody’s Child: Stories about Adoption); Assistant Director Tanya Whiton (published in Crazyhorse and American Fiction among other journals); & Laure-Anne Bosselaar (A New Hunger & The Hour Between Dog & Wolf).

*Tuesday, July 2 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.: Graduating Student Readings

Wednesday, July 3 at 7:30 p.m.: Kashmira Sheth (Boys Without Names & Tiger in My Soup); Anne-Marie Oomen (Pulling Down the Barn & An American Map: Essays); & Lee Hope (published in Witness and The North American Review, among other journals).

Thursday, July 4 at 7:30 p.m.: Philip Memmer (The Storehouses of the Snow: Psalms, Parables and Dreams & Lucifer: a Hagiography); Robert Lopez (Asunder & Kamby Bolongo Mean River); & Vievee Francis (Blue-Tail Fly & Horse in the Dark winner of the Cave Canem Northwestern University Poetry Prize for a second collection).

Friday, July 5 at 7:30 p.m.: Lita Judge (Red Hat, Red Sled, & Bird Talk), Program Director Meg Kearney (Home By Now & The Girl in the Mirror); & Laura Williams McCaffrey (Water Shaper & Alia Waking).

Directions to Pine Manor College, complete bios of our authors, and more information about the Solstice MFA Program can be found at www.pmc.edu/mfa.