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Bennington virtual writers series
January 7 @ 7:00 pm
An event every week that begins at 7:00 pm on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, repeating until January 15, 2021
From January 7 to 15, critically acclaimed, award-winning authors and faculty of the Bennington Writing Seminars will host Writers Reading, an evening reading series during the MFA program’s winter residency, online this year. All of the readings are free, open to the public, and will take place virtually on Zoom. Join on zoom »
On Thursday, January 7, at 7 p.m. — Writers Reading welcomes Jill McCorkle and Carmen Giménez Smith. McCorkle is the author of ten books—four story collections and six novels—five of which have been selected as New York Times Notable Books. Giménez Smith is the author of a memoir and numerous poetry collections, including Be Recorder, a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award in Poetry. She was awarded the Academy of American Poets Fellowship Prize in 2020.
On Friday, January 8, at 7 p.m. — Writers Reading welcomes Doug Bauer and Monica Ferrell. Bauer’s novels are The Book of Famous Iowans; The Very Air; and Dexterity. He has published three works of nonfiction: Prairie City, Iowa; The Stuff of Fiction; and What Happens Next?: Matters of Life and Death, which won the 2014 PEN/New England Book Award in Nonfiction. Ferrell is the author of three books of fiction and poetry, most recently the collection You Darling Thing, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award and Believer Book Award in Poetry. Her novel The Answer Is Always Yes was named one of Booklist’s Top Ten Debut Novels of the Year.
On Saturday, January 9, at 7 p.m., Writers Reading welcomes Deirdre McNamer and Derek Palacio. McNamer is the author of four novels: Rima in the Weeds, One Sweet Quarrel, My Russian, and Red Rover. Her fifth novel, Aviary, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, among others. Palacio is the author of the novella How to Shake the Other Man and the novel The Mortifications. His work has appeared in the Kenyon Review, Witness, Story Quarterly, and elsewhere.
On Sunday, January 10 at 7 p.m. — Writers Reading welcomes David Gates and Susan Choi. Gates is the author of the novels Jernigan and Preston Falls, and the story collections The Wonders of the Visible World and A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me. He was a staff writer for Newsweek for many years. He has won the Guggenheim fellowship, and his books have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics’ Circle Award. Choi’s first novel The Foreign Student won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction. Her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and her third, A Person of Interest, a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award.
On Monday, January 11, at 7 p.m. — Writers Reading welcomes Alice Mattison and Luke Mogelson ’05. Mattison’s most recent novel is Conscience, which is now available in paperback. She is also the author of The Kite and the String: How to Write with Spontaneity and Control—and Live to Tell the Tale. Several of her previous novels and story collections have been New York Times Notable Books or Editors’ Choices. Mogelson is the author of the short story collection These Heroic, Happy Dead. He has been reporting for the New Yorker Magazine since 2013. Before that, he was a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine.
On Tuesday, January 12, 7 p.m., Writers Reading welcomes Marie Mutsuki Mockett and Mark Wunderlich. Mutsuki Mockett’s newest book, American Harvest: God, Country and Farming in the Heartland was a finalist for the Lukas Prize, awarded by Columbia and Harvard University’s Schools of Journalism. She is also the author of a novel, Picking Bones from Ash, and a memoir, Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye, which was a finalist for the PEN Open Book Award. Wunderlich is the author of four books of poetry, the most recent of which is God of Nothingness, published by Graywolf Press in 2021. He is the director of the Bennington Writing Seminars and served as chair of the poetry jury for the 2019 National Book Awards.
On Thursday, January 14, at 7 p.m., Writers Reading welcomes Craig Morgan Teicher and Clifford Thompson. Morgan Teicher is the author of three books of poetry, most recently The Trembling Answers, which won the 2018 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Thompson’s latest book is What It Is: Race, Family, and One Thinking Black Man’s Blues, which was selected by Time magazine as one of the “Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2019.” He received a Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction for his 2013 Love for Sale and Other Essays.
On Friday, January 15, at 7 p.m. — Writers Reading welcomes Paisley Rekdal, who will also be this term’s Bennington Writing Seminars Commencement speaker. Rekdal is the author of four books of nonfiction, and six books of poetry, including Nightingale and Appropriate: A Provocation. Her work has received the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, Pushcart Prizes, a Fulbright Fellowship, and various state arts council awards. She teaches at the University of Utah and is Utah’s Poet Laureate.
Writers Reading is a hallmark series of the Bennington Writing Seminars, a two-year low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing program with ten-day residencies in January and June. During the Seminars, students work closely with distinguished and actively publishing faculty, their path determined by the reading discipline as well as the production of original work. The mission of the Seminars is to connect the emerging writer with much of the best that has been done and to cultivate the critical skills that serve the writing as much as the reading.
About the Bennington Writing Seminars
Steeped in the Bennington College’s literary legacy, Bennington Writing Seminars is consistently named one of the top low-residency Masters of Fine Arts in Writing programs. Founded in 1994, the Seminars was one of the first low-residency graduate writing programs in the country. During this two-year, low-residency program, students commit as much to reading as to writing and conceive reading lists that strengthen and broaden their knowledge. Students perform critical literary analysis and craft bold new works of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry inspired by their discoveries. They finish with a polished thesis and a parting lecture. All this with the expert guidance of authors who, throughout individualized instruction, become familiar with and develop a stake in students’ work.