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Writers Reading @ Bennington College

January 12 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Students in a physics class at Bennington college stand in the quad looking at the snow. Press photo courtesy of Bennington College
Photo by David Morelos

Bennington College’s acclaimed low-residency MFA in Writing program welcomes writers in fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Free readings fill the first two weeks of January, and they are open to the public in person in Tishman Lecture Hall or virtually on Zoom

Marie Mutsuki Mockett and Claire Vaye Watkins — January 4 at 7 p.m.

Marie Mutsuki Mockett was born to an American father and Japanese mother. Her memoir, Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye, was a finalist for the 2016 PEN Open Book Award. Her most recent book is American Harvest: God, Country and Farming in the Heartland. Her novel The Tree Doctor will be published in 2024.

Claire Vaye Watkins is the author of Battleborn, Gold Fame Citrus, and I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness. She lives in the Mojave Desert.

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Jai Chakrabarti, Dana Levin and Téa Obreht — January 5 at 7 p.m.

Jai Chakrabarti is the author of the novel A Play for the End of the World, which won the National Jewish Book Award for debut fiction, was a finalist for the Tagore Prize, and was long-listed for the PEN/Faulkner Award. He is also the author of the story collection A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness. His stories have won an O. Henry Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories.

Dana Levin is the author of five books of poetry, including Now Do You Know Where You Are (Copper Canyon), a 2022 New York Times Notable Book. She co-edited Bert Meyers: On the Life and Work of an American Master (Unsung Masters Series, 2023). A grateful recipient of honors from the NEA, PEN, the Library of Congress, as well as from the Whiting and Guggenheim Foundations, Levin serves as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Maryville University.

Téa Obreht is the internationally bestselling author of The Tiger’s Wife, which won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her second novel, Inland, was an instant bestseller, won the Southwest Book Award, and was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Her work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and Zoetrope: All-Story, among many others. Originally from the former Yugoslavia, she now lives in Wyoming.

Deirdre McNamer and Brenda Shaughnessy — January 6 at 7 p.m.

Deirdre McNamer is the author of five novels: Aviary, Red Rover, My Russian, One Sweet Quarrel and Rima in the Weeds. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The New York Times, Outside magazine, and other venues. She is a recent recipient of a Montana Governor’s Arts Award.

Brenda Shaughnessy is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently Tanya and The Octopus Museum, as well as Liquid Flesh: New and Selected Poems (U.K.). She is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Rutgers University—Newark.

Eula Biss and Toya Wolfe — January 7 at 7 p.m.

Eula Biss is the author of four books: Having and Being Had, On Immunity, Notes from No Man’s Land, and The Balloonists. Her work has been recognized by a National Book Critics Circle Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library. As a 2023 National Fellow at New America, she is currently at work on a collection of essays about how private property has shaped our world.

Toya Wolfe earned an MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago. Her debut novel, Last Summer on State Street, is the recipient of the Pattis Family Foundation Chicago Book Award, was a finalist for the PEN Open Book Award, winner of the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award in Traditional Fiction, and selected by four-time NBA Champion Stephen Curry for his August 2022 “Underrated” Book Club. Toya currently resides near Chicago.

Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams and Sabrina Orah Mark — January 8 at 7 p.m.

Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams received the 2013 Whiting Writers Award for her novella The Man Who Danced with Dolls and memoir-in-progress The Following Sea. She has been further supported by a Rona Jaffe National Literary Award and a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship. Her work has appeared in Orion, the Oxford American, StoryQuarterly, The Pinch, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. Hannah currently teaches in the Department of English at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Sabrina Orah Mark is the author of the poetry collections The Babies and Tsim Tsum. Wild Milk, her first book of fiction, was published by Dorothy, a publishing project. Happily, which began as a monthly column on fairytales and motherhood in The Paris Review, was published by Random House in 2023. She has received fellowships from the Creative Capital Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She lives in Athens, Georgia.

Saeed Jones and Shawna Kay Rodenberg — January 10 at 7 p.m.

Saeed Jones is the award winning-author of the memoir How We Fight for Our Lives and the poetry collection Prelude to Bruise. His most recent book, Alive at the End of the World won the 2023 Anisfield-Wolf Prize for Poetry.

Shawna Kay Rodenberg is the author of Kin, a debut memoir deemed “essential reading” by the Washington Post and “gorgeously gritty” by Oprah Daily. She graduated from the Bennington Writing Seminars in 2012 and was invited back as an Alumni Fellow in 2022. She has been the recipient of a Jean Ritchie Fellowship and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, and her essays have appeared in Salon, The Village Voice, and Elle.

MFA Alumni Fellows: Puloma Ghosh ’20, Katie Marya ’17, and Mara Naselli ’13 — January 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Puloma Ghosh, MFA ’20
Puloma Ghosh is a fiction writer based in Chicago. She was a 2020 Bennington Residential Teaching Fellow and a 2021 Tin House Summer Workshop Scholar. Her work has appeared in One Story, CRAFT Literary, Cutleaf, and elsewhere. Her debut collection of short fiction, Mouth, is forthcoming in June 2024.

Katie Marya, MFA ’17
Katie Marya is a writer from Atlanta, Georgia. Her poetry, creative nonfiction, and translation have appeared in literary magazines such as Southern Indiana Review, North American Review, Guernica, Waxwing, Salamander, Fence, and on the national poetry podcast The Slowdown Show. Her debut poetry collection Sugar Work was the Editor’s Choice for the 2020 Alice James Book Award. Marya lives in Nebraska where she teaches at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Mara Naselli, MFA ’13
Mara Naselli is a writer, editor, and recipient of the 2014 Rona Jaffe Writers’ Foundation Award. Her work has appeared in Agni, The Kenyon Review, The Missouri Review, The Believer, Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. She is a member of the International Association of Art Critics and lives in Michigan.

Susan Choi and Carmen Giménez — January 12 at 7 p.m.

Carmen Giménez became Publisher and Director of Graywolf Press in August 2022. She was previously the founder and publisher of Noemi Press and a professor of English at Virginia Tech. A queer Latinx poet, she is the author of six collections of poetry, including Be Recorder, which was a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry; and Milk and Filth, a finalist for the NBCC Award in Poetry. She has been awarded fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Howard Foundation, and the Hermitage Foundation.

Susan 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. Her third novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. In 2010 she was named the inaugural recipient of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award. Her fourth novel, My Education, received a 2014 Lammy Award. Her fifth novel, Trust Exercise, won the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction, and in 2021 she received the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award for “Flashlight.” She serves as a trustee of PEN America and teaches in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

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Event Details

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Date:
January 12
Time:
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Bennington College
1 College Drive
Bennington, VT
802-442-5401

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