Teaching a Nonfiction Writing Seminar in NY June 17-21

For the third year in a row, I’ll be part of the excellent creative writing faculty at the Manhattanville College MFA Summer Writers’ Week. Taking place June 17-21, the program offers workshops every morning, craft and publishing seminars every afternoon, and readings every evening. It’s an awesome week.

This year’s featured writer is novelist Hannah Tinti, who will be teaching the fiction workshop. The wonderful Melissa Tuckey will be back to teach the poetry workshop and the talented Sharbari Ahmed returns to teach dramatic writing.

Registration is $750 and for a mere $200 more, you can stay in a single room in a suite in the dorms. Manhattanville is in Purchase, NY, just half an hour from New York City, making it easy to add a couple of days in Manhattan on either end.

Go to the Summer Writers’ Week website for full details.

IN HIS OWN WORDS: A TRIBUTE TO BRIAN DOYLE — 7 p.m., Thursday, March 28, in Portland

I’m thrilled to announce I’ll be part of a reading called IN HIS OWN WORDS: A TRIBUTE TO BRIAN DOYLE at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, with these amazing authors:


Robin Cody, David James Duncan, John Freeman, Jordan Imani Keith, Brenda Miller, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Kim Stafford, and Joe Wilkins. Chip Blake, editor of ORION, and Sy Safransky, editor of THE SUN, will speak too.


The event will take place at the McMenamins Mission Theater & Pub (1624 NW Glisan, Portland, OR). It’s FREE but you need tickets, which will be available starting at 4 p.m. (PST) TODAY. (The theater seats about 200 people, but the organizers–ORION and THE SUN–think tickets will be snapped up quickly, so don’t wait!)

To order tickets, go to: https://www.mcmenamins.com/mission-theater. You will go through what looks like buying a ticket, but in the end, there will be no charge, no asking for credit card info, etc.


We’re all going to be reading pieces of Brian’s work. It should be a wonderful evening.

Speaking at a Celebration of Robert Lax at Poets House in NYC: 7 p.m., Friday, November 30

If you live in or around New York City, come down to Poets House at 10 River Terrace at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 30, for a Celebration of Robert Lax on his 103rd birthday.  I’ll be sharing stories about Lax and reading some of his poems, along with poet and former Lax literary assistant John Beer and poet Stacey Tran.  Lax’s niece and literary executor, Marcia Kelly, will be in attendance too.  It should be a wonderful evening of great poetry, fellowship and reminiscences.  The cost is: $10, $7 for seniors & students, free for Poets House members.

Note: We were hoping we’d have copies available of New Directions’ reissue of Lax’s classic collection 33 Poems, but publication has been delayed until next February.  We’ll have advance copies for you to look at, though.

I’ll Be Leading a Nonfiction Workshop for the Manhattanville College MFA’s Summer Writers’ Week, June 18-22

If you’re looking for a summer writing program to attend, you can’t do better than the Manhattanville College MFA’s Summer Writers’ Week.  For just $650 ($750 after March 31), you get an all-morning workshop each day with a small group of fellow writers, afternoon craft presentations in all genres, and evening readings and other events.  Housing for the week is just $40/night–and Manhattanville College is only a half hour away by train or car from New York City.  (All workshop and events take place in the most beautiful rooms you’ll find at any writers’ week anywhere.)

Bestselling fiction writer and memoirist Dani Shapiro will be the week’s keynote speaker and lead the fiction workshop.

Poet Melissa Tuckey, a co-founder of Split This Rock, will lead the poetry workshop.

Screenwriter Sharbari Ahmed will lead the dramatic writing workshop.

And I’ll lead the nonfiction workshop.

Click here for full details and registration information.

Upcoming Talk on the Ethics of Biography

If you’re going to the Associated Writers and Writing Programs conference in Tampa next month, I’ll be participating in a panel called The Lives of Others: Biography as Creative Nonfiction from 9:00 to 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, March 10, in Room 13 on the first floor of the Tampa Convention Center.

I’ll give a short presentation on ethics in biography and the other participants (Joanne B. Mulcahy and Terese Svoboda) will make short presentations too, but much of the session will be devoted to a wide-ranging discussion of biography in general, with plenty of time for audience questions.

Joanne B. Mulcahy recently published Writing Abroad: A Guide for Travelers

Terese Svoboda’s latest book is: Anything That Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge, Radical Poet

Talking About Biography and the Catholic Literary Imagination in NYC this Friday

From 9:15 to 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 28, I’ll be talking about writing my Robert Lax biography on a panel titled “Biography and the Catholic Literary Imagination” in the McNally Amphitheatre at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus.  The panel is part of the 2017 Catholic Imagination Conference with its theme “The Future of the Catholic Literary Imagination.”  Appearing with me on the panel will be:

Dana Greene from Emory University, who has written a biography of Denise Levertov
Mark Bosco, SJ from Loyola in Chicago, who is making a film biography of Flannery O’Connor
Moderator Angela Alaimo O’Donnell from Fordham University, who wrote a short biography of Flannery O’Connor and is helping Bosco with his film

The conference runs all day Friday and Saturday, April 28 & 29.  Featured speakers include Alice McDermott, Ron Hansen, Dana Gioia, James Martin and Mary Gordon.  For complete details, go to the conference website, where you’ll find times and summaries for all of the talks and panels.