Tag Archive for writing program

Visiting Writer Windolf Interviews Game of Thrones Creator Weiss ’93

Game of Thrones cast members Emilia Clarke and Iain Glen are seen in this image by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair.

Game of Thrones cast members Emilia Clarke and Iain Glen are seen in this image by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair.

On the eve of the fourth season of HBO’s fantasy hit Game of Thrones, Wesleyan Visiting Writer in English Jim Windolf talks with series creators D.B. Weiss ’93 and David Benioff and novelist George R.R. Martin – on whose works the show is based – in Vanity Fair:

“Based on ‘A Song of Ice and Fire,’ the epic series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin, the show seemed like an odd fit for HBO. But Benioff and Weiss believed it was in the tradition of The Sopranos,Deadwood, Oz, and other HBO shows in that it would breathe new life into a tired or maligned genre. It wasn’t an easy task, though, to persuade executives that something belonging to a category that includes Xena: Warrior Princess was right for the crown jewel of premium cable. ‘That was one of the big uphill sells,’ Weiss says. ‘It was just a question of convincing them that it applied to a genre that had never seriously crossed their minds before.’”

Windolf traces the history of the show’s creation and rocky HBO debut, and asks author Martin about the relationship between the source material and the series:

“Game of Thrones, which enters its fourth season this month, may be heading toward its second massive problem, as tough to solve as the messed-up pilot, which is this: the show is in danger of catching up to the books.

“Martin started writing the epic saga (more than 4,000 pages and counting) in July 1991. He has published five of a planned seven books. If the 2015 television season carries Benioff and Weiss through Book Five, which is possible, and if Martin has not completed Book Six (The Winds of Winter) by that time, which is also possible, there could be trouble.

“Asked if it’s conceivable the show could overtake its source material, Benioff says, ‘Yup.’ When I mention to Martin that Benioff and Weiss are catching up, he says, ‘They are. Yes. It’s alarming.’”

Windolf is editor of M magazine, contributing editor for Vanity Fair, columnist for Capital New York, and writer for The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The New York Observer.

Author/Reporter McMillan is Wesleyan’s 2014 Koeppel Fellow

Tracie McMillan, the Koeppel Journalism Fellow at the Shapiro Writing Center, is teaching the upper-level seminar "Topics in Journalism: Writing and Arguing About Inequality: How to Make Your Case."

Tracie McMillan, the Koeppel Journalism Fellow at the Shapiro Writing Center, is teaching the upper-level seminar “Topics in Journalism: Writing and Arguing About Inequality: How to Make Your Case.”

(Story contributed by Emma Davis ’17. The full interview appears in the Feb. 21 issue of The Wesleyan Argus)

Tracie McMillan is Wesleyan’s Koeppel Journalism Fellow and author of The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields, and the Dinner Table, a New York Times Bestseller. Her recent work appears in Best Food Writing 2013 and she has received a James Beard Award, the Sidney Hillman Prize, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism and other national awards for her writing about food, consumers’s choices and other social issues.

Q: How did you become a reporter?

A: I became a reporter after interning at the Village Voice under Wayne Barrett. Wayne was the City Politics investigative reporter at the Voice for around 40 years; he left the Voice a couple of years ago. Every semester, he had a cadre of interns who would come in and help him do his work, and that was one of the internships I had as an undergraduate. I did well there, and got on well with Wayne, and that led me into doing reporting work.

When I took that internship, I wasn’t really sure that I wanted to be a journalist. I knew that I wanted to do something with writing, and I had a vague idea that I would work at a magazine, but I hadn’t really thought through the specifics of that. And certainly at the time, I think I was more interested in national politics, and Wayne’s work was very local. But I lucked into getting paired with him at the Voice, and that put me on that path.

Q: What brought you to Wesleyan?

A:  [Director of Writing Programs] Anne Greene brought me to Wesleyan. I have a little bit of a relationship with Wesleyan. In 2006, I got a Davidoff scholarship to attend the Wesleyan Writers Conference. That was when I had just gone freelance. I had taken some time off, and I had taken basically half my life savings and gone traveling for six months. Because I had been working since I was 14, and I had this epiphany—I was about 29 at the time—that I had always been working, and I had never stopped to figure out where I wanted to go; I just went where it seemed like I could go… I didn’t really know if the work I was doing as a journalist was what I really wanted to dedicate myself to, or if maybe there was something else I wanted to be doing. And I didn’t really know myself well enough to make that call, and I realized that I was at a point in my life where I didn’t have anything tying me to any one place.

And once I had enough time to really clear my head, I kept coming back to writing. I didn’t just want to write about me, myself, and I; I wanted to write about the world.

Gift from Shapiro ’74, Silverberg ’76 Will Support Writing Programs

John Shapiro ’74 and Shonni Silverberg ’76

A $3 million gift to support writing programs at Wesleyan was announced March 1 at the Board of Trustees dinner on campus.

The gift from John Shapiro ’74 and Shonni Silverberg ’76, a Wesleyan trustee, builds on their 2009 gift establishing the Shapiro Creative Writing Center.  Shapiro said he was delighted with the speed with which the center was developed.

“We were gratified that the university moved quickly and got this program launched and established,” Shapiro said. “I’ve had good feedback from people both at Wesleyan and elsewhere. It has generated’ a bit of a buzz.”

This new gift will enable the expansion of faculty,  the visiting writers program and courses, among other things.

Shapiro and Silverberg have funded the Shapiro Silverberg Endowed Chair in Creative Writing, as well as the Gittel and Mervin Silverberg Visiting Scholar in Jewish Studies and the Jeremy Zwelling Professor of Jewish Studies, and have given many other gifts to fund scholarships.

Bloom ’75 Named to New Writer-in-Residence Position

Amy Bloom '75, appointed as the Kim-Frank Family University Writer in Residence, read from her latest book, Where the God of Love Hangs Out, April 13 in New York City at "A Conversation with Amy Bloom '75 and President Michael Roth '78." The event was sponsored by the Wesleyan Club of New York and the Wesleyan Writing Programs. (Photo by Bill Burkhart)

Amy Bloom ’75, a distinguished writer of novels, short stories, nonfiction, and projects for television, has been named the Kim-Frank Family University Writer in Residence at Wesleyan University. Her appointment takes effect July 1.

Bloom will have an office in the Shapiro Creative Writing Center.

Bloom will enhance Wesleyan’s curricular offerings in writing by offering two courses per year, and she will serve as a senior thesis advisor. She will have an office in the Shapiro Creative Writing Center.

“Amy Bloom is one of the most accomplished writers in the United States today,” says President Michael S. Roth. “Her insight, her creativity, and her deep understanding of the craft of writing will be a great benefit to our students. The writing community at Wesleyan is prolific and strong, and Amy Bloom’s presence will add to that vitality.”

Bloom is the author of two novels, three collections of short stories, and a nonfiction book. She has been a nominee for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and numerous anthologies here and abroad.

Millett Fellow Ashbery Reads Poetry in Memorial Chapel

John Ashbery, the English Department's 2010 Millett Writing Fellow, read from his poetry book Feb. 17 in Memorial Chapel.

John Ashbery, the English Department's 2010 Millett Writing Fellow, read from his poetry book Feb. 17 in Memorial Chapel.

Ashbery has received a MacArthur Fellowship, two Guggenheims, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Bollingen Prize, and the International Griffin Poetry Prize. He also is renowned for his art criticism and his translations from the French.

Ashbery has received a MacArthur Fellowship, two Guggenheims, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Bollingen Prize, and the International Griffin Poetry Prize. He also is renowned for his art criticism and his translations from the French.

NYT Bureau Chief Bronner ’76 Speaks on Writing

Ethan Bronner '76 speaks inside Memorial Chapel  Oct. 7.  Bronner currently the Jerusalem bureau chief of <em>The New York Times</em>.

Former Wesleyan Trustee Ethan Bronner '76 speaks inside Memorial Chapel Oct. 7. Bronner currently the Jerusalem bureau chief of The New York Times.

As an editor, Bronner worked on a series of articles about Al Qaeda that were awarded a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism.

As an editor, Bronner worked on a series of articles about Al Qaeda that were awarded a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism.

Anne Greene, director of Writing Programs, director of the Wesleyan Writers Conference, adjunct professor of English, introduced the Bronner lecture. The event was part of the Writing Program's Distinguished Writers Series.

Anne Greene, director of Writing Programs, director of the Wesleyan Writers Conference, adjunct professor of English, introduced the Bronner lecture. The event was part of the Writing Program's Distinguished Writers Series.

Bronner concluded his talk with a Q&A session with the audience. (Photos by Stefan Weinberger '10)

Bronner concluded his talk with a Q&A session with the audience. (Photos by Stefan Weinberger '10)

Faculty Kick-Off Writing Programs’s Fall Readings

Anne Greene, director of Writing Programs, adjunct professor of English, introduces the Writing Programs' Fall Faculty Reading series Sept. 23 in Russell House.

Anne Greene, director of Writing Programs, adjunct professor of English, introduces the Writing Programs' Fall Faculty Reading series Sept. 23 in Russell House.

Deb Olin Unferth, assistant professor of English, reads from her work. Unferth is the author of a collection of stories, Minor Robberies, and a novel, Vacation, both published by McSweeney’s. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, 3rd Bed, Fence, and other publications. She has received a Pushcart Prize, a Creative Capital Grant from the Warhol Foundation, and in 2009 the Cabell First Novelist Award.

Deb Olin Unferth, assistant professor of English, reads from her work. Unferth is the author of a collection of stories, Minor Robberies, and a novel, Vacation, both published by McSweeney’s. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, 3rd Bed, Fence, and other publications. She has received a Pushcart Prize, a Creative Capital Grant from the Warhol Foundation, and in 2009 the Cabell First Novelist Award.

Poetry and nonfiction by Lisa Cohen, assistant professor of English, have appeared in numerous journals, including Ploughshares, Lit, Barrow Street, GLQ, Fashion Theory, Bookforum, The Boston Review, and Voice Literary Supplement. She is currently completing a group biography of three early 20th century figures—the fashion professional Madge Garland, the fan and collector Mercedes de Acosta, and the eccentric scholar Esther Murphy.

Poetry and nonfiction by Lisa Cohen, assistant professor of English, have appeared in numerous journals, including Ploughshares, Lit, Barrow Street, GLQ, Fashion Theory, Bookforum, The Boston Review, and Voice Literary Supplement. She is currently completing a group biography of three early 20th century figures—the fashion professional Madge Garland, the fan and collector Mercedes de Acosta, and the eccentric scholar Esther Murphy.

Elizabeth Willis, the Shapiro-Silverberg Associate Professor of Creative Writing, is the author of four books of poetry, Second Law, The Human Abstract, Turneresque, and Meteoric Flowers. Her work has been selected for the National Poetry Series and her awards include the Boston Review Prize, an award from the Howard Foundation, a Walter N. Thayer Fellowship for the Arts, and a grant from the California Arts Council.  (Photos by Stefan Weinberger '10)

Elizabeth Willis, the Shapiro-Silverberg Associate Professor of Creative Writing, is the author of four books of poetry: Second Law, The Human Abstract, Turneresque, and Meteoric Flowers. Her work has been selected for the National Poetry Series and her awards include the Boston Review Prize, an award from the Howard Foundation, a Walter N. Thayer Fellowship for the Arts, and a grant from the California Arts Council. (Photos by Stefan Weinberger '10)

To view upcoming guest speakers go to:
http://newsletter.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2009/09/22/writing-programs-announces-fall-faculty-readings/

Writing Programs Announces Fall Faculty Readings

Wesleyan Writing Programs begin Sept. 23 with a faculty readings and multiple guest speakers.

Lisa Cohen, assistant professor of English; Deb Olin Unferth, assistant professor of English and Elizabeth Willis, the Shapiro-Silverberg Associate Professor of Creative Writing, will read from their work at 8 p.m. Sept. 23 in the Russell House.

Cohen’s poetry and nonfiction have appeared in numerous journals, including Ploughshares, Lit, Barrow Street, GLQ, Fashion Theory, Bookforum, The Boston Review, and Voice Literary Supplement. She is currently completing a group biography of three early 20th century figures—the fashion professional Madge Garland, the fan and collector Mercedes de Acosta, and the eccentric scholar Esther Murphy.

Unferth is the author of a collection of stories, Minor Robberies, and a novel, Vacation, both published by McSweeney’s. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, 3rd Bed, Fence, and other publications. She has received a Pushcart Prize,

Pulitzer Prize Winning Junot Diaz Speaks at Wesleyan

Junot Diaz, the English Department's 2009 Millett Writing Fellow, spoke to the Wesleyan community April 1 in Memorial Chapel. Diaz is the author of Drown, a collection of short stories, and the novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize, the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

Junot Diaz, the English Department's 2009 Millett Writing Fellow, spoke to the Wesleyan community April 1 in Memorial Chapel. Diaz is the author of Drown, a collection of short stories, and the novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize, the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

Amy Bloom ’75 Part of Distinguished Writers Series

The Spring 2009 Distinguished Writers Series features a short story author, New York Times Magazine writer, student poets and a Pulitzer Prize winning author.

Amy Bloom ’75, the 2009 Jacob Julien Visiting Writer, will speak at 8 p.m. Feb. 18 in Russell House. Bloom is the author of the novel Love Invents Us, the short story collection A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You, and the nonfiction work Normal. Her most recent novel, Away, was a New York Times bestseller, and she has received the National Magazine Award and been nominated for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and numerous anthologies here and abroad.

Carlo Rotella will speak at 8 p.m. Feb. 25 in Russell House. Rotella is the author of October Cities, Good With Their Hands,

Visiting Writer Michael Ondaatje Speaks on Fiction Works

Writer and poet Michael Ondaatje, Wesleyan's Joan Jakobson Visiting Writer, led a question and answer discussion for students Nov. 6 in Downey House. Among his best-known works are the novel <i>The English Patient</i>, which was made into an award-winning feature film, and a novel set in Sri Lanka, <i>Anil's Ghost</i>, which received world-wide acclaim, winning France’s Prix Medicis, Canada's Governor-General's Award, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize and the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize.

Writer and poet Michael Ondaatje, Wesleyan's Joan Jakobson Visiting Writer, led a question and answer discussion for students Nov. 6 in Downey House. Among his best-known works are the novel The English Patient, which was made into an award-winning feature film, and a novel set in Sri Lanka, Anil's Ghost, which received world-wide acclaim, winning France’s Prix Medicis, Canada's Governor-General's Award, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize and the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize.

Fiction Author Ondaatje Speaks Nov. 5 at Wesleyan

Michael Ondaatje will read prose Nov. 5 in Memorial Chapel. Ondaatje is the author of <i>The English Patient</i>.

Michael Ondaatje will read prose Nov. 5 in Memorial Chapel. Ondaatje is the author of The English Patient.

Celebrated fiction writer and poet Michael Ondaatje, winner of the British Commonwealth’s highest literary award, the Booker Prize, is this year’s Joan Jakobson Visiting Writer.

Ondaatje will read from his prose at 8 p.m. Nov. 5 in Memorial Chapel. The event is free of charge and open to the public.

“Michael Ondaatje’s works are haunting, seductive stories and his prose is stunning,” says Anne Greene, director of writing programs. “This is a rare chance to hear Ondaatje’s own voice.”

Born in Sri Lanka of Indian/Dutch ancestry, Ondaatje went to school in England and then moved to Canada. Among his best-known works are the novel The English Patient,