Monday, September 28, 2015

Upcoming Readings: Emerging Writer Fellows Tanya Olson and Karina Borowicz



Last year's winners of the Emerging Writer Fellowships, Tanya Olson (left) and Karina Borowicz (right), will be reading at the Center on Sunday, October 4 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, October 11 at 2 p.m. Olson and Borowicz will appear with Nancy Naomi Carlson and Ann MacLaughlin respectively. Awarded each year to two emerging writers, the Fellowships offer the opportunity to read at the Center and receive a cash honorarium.
 
Tanya Olson lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, and is a lecturer in English at University of Maryland Baltimore County. Her first book, Boyishly, was published by YesYes Books in 2013 and received a 2014 American Book Award. In 2010, she won a Discovery/Boston Review prize and was named a 2011 Lambda Fellow by the Lambda Literary Foundation.

Olson emphasizes the importance of building a system of support. “I was a long-standing member of a writing group in Durham, the Black Socks, and I learned so much as a beginning writer from the other poets in the group,” she said. “I also have a partner who comes to readings, doesn't bat an eye when I get up in the middle of the night to write things down, and is generally very patient with my moody poet tendencies.”   

The second winner this year, Karina Borowicz, is the author of two poetry collections, Proof (Codhill Press, 2014) and The Bees Are Waiting (Marick Press, 2012), which won the Eric Hoffer Award for Poetry and was named a Must-Read by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. Her poems have appeared widely in journals and have been featured on the web and in radio. Trained as an historian, Borowicz also holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of New Hampshire. She makes her home in the Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts. 

Borowicz works at Springfield College’s writing and resource center for returning students.  She also occasionally leads poetry workshops as a writer-in-the-schools, but most of her career, she earned a living teaching English as a Second Language, which also allowed her to travel. “Before that, I worked as a baker, cook, and caterer,” she says. “I’m pretty serious about food.”      

“Throughout all these various jobs and careers, I always made time for writing, trying to fit it in during spare moments, often in the evening or even during a lunch break,” she went on to say.  “These days, however, writing time is my top priority and I make sure to put in at least an hour first thing in the morning, five days a week, before the world starts making its demands.” 
  
As someone who has had to eke out writing time for many years, Borowicz has good advice for other emerging writers. “Read widely and deeply in your chosen genre, which will not only provide valuable lessons in craft, but also sharpen your instincts about what works and what doesn’t,” she said. But don’t hole up as a bookworm all the time. “Be sure to engage with the world in a concrete way, because we experience the world through our senses and the best writers know that.  Tolstoy took up shoemaking. Bake bread, learn bookbinding, keep bees, grow vegetables. Get your hands dirty—your writing will be the richer for it.”   

Requirements for the Emerging Writers Fellowship include the publication of one or two full-length single-author books in a single genre and no more than three books published to their credit (including as editors of anthologies) in any genre. Keep your eyes peeled for our official announcement of this year's winners coming soon!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Spotlight on Literary Events: September 25-October 1



Steve Sheinkin — Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War
Friday, September 25th at 10:30 am and 7 pm
Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse
(Children’s and Teens’ Dept)
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

Was he a hero or a traitor? Daniel Ellsberg is one of history’s prime examples of how a whistleblower can be seen as both the best and worst of people. Working at the Pentagon, Ellsberg was involved in the American government’s attempt to justify its involvement in the Vietnam War. Seven years later, he leaked documents that did the exact opposite. Sheinkin examines what changed Ellsberg from an instrument of the government into a crusader for the antiwar movement. Free admission.

Confluence: Translation in the Capital Area
Friday, September 25th at 6:30 pm to Saturday, September 26th at 7.30 pm
Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center
7995 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910

A celebration of International Translation Day bringing together translators and others interested in the field of translation. The conference will offer workshops and opportunities for discussion, networking and career development, and celebration, focused on various aspects of translation, including literary, practical, and philosophical dimensions. The conference will open Friday evening, September 25, 2015, with a keynote address by Sen. Jamie Raskin, "Translation and Representation," and a brief program on developments in the profession of translation and translation education followed by a reception with opportunities for informal networking. Saturday sessions will feature a variety of workshops on translation and translation studies throughout the day. Saturday evening, September 26, the D.C. Area Literary Translators Network and The Writer’s Center will host their annual open mic event in celebration of International Translation Day. Free admission.

John Lahr — Joy Ride: Show People and Their Shows and Tennessee Williams
Friday, September 25th at 7 pm
Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

The only critic ever to win a Tony Award, Lahr reviewed plays and profiled playwrights for some two decades at The New Yorker. His nineteenth book, Joy Ride, is a selection of this work and ranges from interviews with timeless American dramatists such as Arthur Miller and August Wilson to intimate looks at international figures of the stature of Harold Pinter and Ingmar Bergman. Lahr is also the author of the book-length study Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, which was nominated for the National Book Award and is now available in paperback. Free admission.

Joe Urschel — The Year of Fear: Machine Gun Kelly and the Manhunt that Changed the Nation
Saturday, September 26th at 1 pm
Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

Joe Urschel reconstructs, in great detail, the outlaw George “Machine Gun” Kelly’s (1895-1954) most flamboyant crime, the kidnapping of a Texas oilman in 1933. He charts the 20,000-mile chase that made J. Edgar Hoover a household name and gave the country what amounted to a national police force, with FBI agents permitted to cross state lines in pursuit of suspects. Urschel is an award-winning journalist and former USAToday managing editor who is now executive director of the National Law Enforcement Museum Free admission.


Ira Chaleff — Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You're Told to Do is Wrong
Saturday, September 26th at 3:30 pm
Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

Doing one’s duty is generally a point of honor—but sometimes it’s more honorable disobey authority. Ira Chaleff uses the model of guide dog training to understand when to follow and when to lead. Service dogs are conditioned not merely to obey, but also to recognize when obedience poses a risk and to figure out an alternative method to achieve the goal. Chaleff is founder and president of Executive Coaching & Consulting Associates and the author of The Courageous Follower, The Limits of Violence, and other books in the field of followership studies, which he has pioneered. Free admission.

Scott Shane Objective Troy: a Terrorist, a President, and the Rise of the Drone
Saturday, September 26th at 6 pm
Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

Scott Shane defines the technology, politics, and moral challenge of the war on terrorism. His book chronicles dual transformations, charting how the American Imam Anwar al-Awlaki first called for moderation after 9/11, then for jihad, comparing it to Obama, who after initially rejecting Bush’s policies, embraced the use of drones in targeted killings. The two narratives meet when both feed into the country’s intensive hunt for al-Awlaki and his eventual assassination. Shane is a veteran New York Times national security reporter. Free admission.

Nerds! Trivia Night at Politics and Prose
Saturday, September 26th at 7 pm
Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

How many rings were forged by Sauron in J.R.R. Tolkein’s Middle Earth? Excluding monuments, what is the tallest building in D.C.? Put on your thinking cap, grab a drink, and join us for our monthly trivia night! Enjoy the grilled cheese sandwich special at the P&P Coffehouse from 7 to 8 pm, grab a latte (with a lid!) and trek upstairs to four rounds of mind-bending trivia questions. Prizes will be awarded. Trivia night is open to all ages.

Poetry and Prose Open Mic
Sunday, September 27th from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
2015 from 2 pm to 4 pm
The Writer’s Center
4508 Walsh Street
Bethesda, MD 20815

Sign-up for readers begins at 1:30, and the reading starts at 2:00 p.m. The reading will be followed by a reception. Free admission.

Liz Pichon Tom Gates: Everything's Amazing (Sort Of)
Sunday, September 27th at 2 pm             
Takoma Park Library
101 Philadelphia Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912

Liz Pichon reads from her children’s book. Tom Gates’s journal is full of doodles and drawings. He illustrates the ups (annoying his sister Delia) and downs (math class) of his daily life, as well as the mystery of why his list of desired birthday presents appears to be invisible as far as his family is concerned. What’s a mischievous boy to do? Ages 8 – 12.

Thomas Mallon — Finale: a Novel of the Reagan Years
Sunday, September 27th at 5 pm
Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

Famously called the “Teflon President,” Reagan may be less elusive to historical fiction than he was to the day’s headlines. If anyone can pin him down, it’s Thomas Mallon. Focusing closely on the months between August 1986 and January 1987, Mallon recreates the Cold War’s final, treacherous days, recreating the Soviet-American negotiations in Iceland as well as the rising panic and anger surrounding AIDS. He reimagines each of these events from the perspectives of the Reagans, Nancy’s astrologer, Margaret Thatcher, Christopher Hitchens, and a host of others. Mallon is the author of nine novels, most recently Watergate, and seven books of nonfiction. Free admission.

Elizabeth Poliner What You Know in Your Hands & Kim Roberts - Fortune’s Favor: Scott in the Antarctic
Sunday, September 27th at 6:30 pm
Busboys and Poets (14th & V location)
2021 14th St, NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

A teacher at Hollins University’s Jackson Center for Creative Writing, Elizabeth Poliner has published stories and poems in many literary journals, in addition to Mutual Life & Casualty, a novel in interlinked stories, and Sudden Fog, a collection of poetry. Poliner’s second gathering of poems looks back to her prose, recording her characters’ valediction to their creator at the end of the writing.

Editor of the on-line journal Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Kim Roberts has published her poems throughout the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and France. Her work has been included in American Poetry: The Next Generation and she is the author of The Wishbone Galaxy and The Kimnama, based on travels through northern India. Always drawn to the exotic, in her third book, Roberts reimagines Scott’s second, tragic expedition to the South Pole. Free admission.

Ron Rash Above the Waterfall
Monday, September 28th at 6:30 pm
Busboys and Poets (14th & V location)
2021 14th St, NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

Through several collections of poetry and short stories along with longer fiction—notably Serena, the basis for the movie—Ron Rash has made the isolated, economically depressed communities of Appalachia his fictional territory. In his fifth novel, this skillful nature writer combines astute social commentary with a compelling plot, following a sheriff who is nearing retirement and all but burnt-out from battling the dire effects of crystal meth abuse. Working with a park ranger, he tries to resolve a dispute over a poisoned trout stream and get to the bottom of a series of violent incidents. Free admission.

Kate Harding Asking For It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture—and What We Can Do about It
Monday, September 28th at 6:30 pm
Kramerbooks
1517 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

In Asking for It, Kate Harding combines in-depth research with an in-your-face voice to make the case that twenty-first-century America supports rapists more effectively than it supports victims. Drawing on real-world examples of what feminists call "rape culture" — from politicos' revealing gaffes to institutional failures in higher education and the military — Harding offers ideas and suggestions for how we, as a society, can take sexual violence much more seriously without compromising the rights of the accused. Free admission.


JAY WINIK 1944: FDR AND THE YEAR THAT CHANGED HISTORY
Monday, September 28th at 7 pm
Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

What Jay Winik did for the Civil War in his detailed focus on April 1865 he does on a larger and more complex scale in his third book, a close look at the penultimate year of World War II. As he traces events including FDR’s re-election, D-Day, and the Soviet liberation of the death camp at Majdanek, Winik recreates the suspense of those moments when the course of events was anything but clear and the outcome of many pivotal battles and decisions could as well have taken history in a different direction. Winik is also the author of The Great Upheaval and a frequent public speaker and media commentator Free admission.

Katherine Applegate Crenshaw
Monday, September 28th at 7 pm
Maret School
3000 Cathedral Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

Jackson has a sidekick unlike any other: a giant cat named Crenshaw who enjoys skateboarding, surfing, and bubble baths. After a prolonged absence from being Jackson’s imaginary friend, Crenshaw has reappeared in the boy’s life—but why? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Jackson’s family is once again in danger of being evicted. What remains to be seen is whether a cat who is not even supposed to exist can come to Jackson’s rescue. Doors open at 6 pm. Ages 10 – 14.

Purchase of the book ($18.57, with service fee) includes up to four tickets.

Monday Night Open Mic Poetry hosted by Shelly Bell
Monday, September 28th from 8 pm to 10 pm
Busboys and Poets (Shirlington location)
4251 South Campbell Avenue
Arlington, VA 22206

For two hours, audiences can expect a diverse chorus of voices and a vast array of professional spoken word performers, open mic rookies, musicians, and a different host every week. $5 cover.

Monday Night Open Mic hosted by Drew Law
Monday, September 28th from 9 pm to 11 pm
Busboys and Poets (Brookland location)
625 Monroe St. NE
Washington, D.C. 20017

For two hours, audiences can expect a diverse chorus of voices, and a vast array of professional spoken word performers, open mic rookies, musicians, and a different host every week. $5 cover.

Ed Vere Max the Brave
Tuesday, September 29th at 10:30 am
Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

Max is on a mission to do what all cats must do: chase mice. The only hitch is that Max does not know what this Mouse looks like. Will Max’s determination be a match for Mouse’s cunning? Ages 4 – 7. Free admission.

International Literature: Swedish Literature
Tuesday, September 29th at 4 pm
Library of Congress
James Madison Building (Montpelier Room – Sixth floor)
101 Independence Ave SE
Washington, DC 20540

Editors and translators Malena M├Ârling and Jonas Ellerstr├Âm read in English and Swedish from their new book The Star by My Head: Poets from Sweden. Free admission.

Tim Denevi — Hyper: A Personal History of ADHD 
Tuesday, September 29th at 6:30 pm
Kramerbooks
1517 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

This compelling and moving memoir about what it's like to be a child with ADHD also explains the history of the diagnosis and how we have come to medicate more than four million children today. Riveting, thought-provoking, and deeply intelligent, this is a remarkable book both for its sensitive portrait of a child's experience as well as for its ability to illuminate a remarkably complex and controversial mental condition.

Marianne Bohr Gap Year Girl: a Baby Boomer Adventure across 21 Countries
Tuesday, September 29th at 6:30 pm
Busboys and Poets (Takoma location)
235 Carroll St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20012

Thirty-three years after backpacking across Europe, Bohr and her husband quit their jobs and retraced their steps. Avid travelers throughout their lives, the couple were well prepared for this “senior year abroad,” and Bohr’s chronicle is full of seasoned insights into both the bucolic French countryside and the exotic whirl of Moroccan bazaars. Along the way, Bohr also finds moments to reflect on the variety of experiences travel affords, from the thrill of exploration to disorientation to the delight of finding something familiar in a strange place. Free admission.

Ed Vere Max the Brave
Tuesday, September 29th at 7 pm
Takoma Park Library
101 Philadelphia Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912

Max is on a mission to do what all cats must do: chase mice. The only hitch is that Max does not know what this Mouse looks like. Will Max’s determination be a match for Mouse’s cunning? Ages 4 – 7. Free admission.

David Maraniss Once In a Great City: A Detroit Story
Tuesday, September 29th at 7 pm
Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

Journalist, historian, biographer, and a Washington Post associate editor, the award-winning David Maraniss has written critically acclaimed books on events including the Vietnam War and the 1960 Rome Olympics. He has also turned out thorough, even definitive telling of the lives of figures ranging from Clinton and Obama to Clemente and Lombardi. Born in Detroit, Maraniss devotes the same wide-ranging consideration to this profile of his hometown in 1963, at the peak of its economic and socio-cultural promise, when both the auto industry and the UAW were strong. Motown and Aretha Franklin were poised to become national icons—and yet already strife and breakdown were in the air. Free admission.

Tuesday Night Open Mic hosted by Matt Gallant
Tuesday, September 29th from 9 pm to 11 pm
Busboys and Poets (Takoma location)
235 Carroll St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20012

For two hours, audiences can expect a diverse chorus of voices, and a vast array of professional spoken word performers, open mic rookies, musicians and a different host every week. $5 cover.

Tuesday Night Open Mic hosted by Khadijah Moon
Tuesday, September 29th from 9 pm to 11 pm
Busboys and Poets (14th & V location)
2021 14th St, NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

For two hours, audiences can expect a diverse chorus of voices, and a vast array of professional spoken word performers, open mic rookies, musicians and a different host every week. $5 cover.

Beltway Poetry Slam
Tuesday, September 29th from 9 pm to 11 pm
Busboys and Poets (Brookland location)
625 Monroe St. NE
Washington, D.C. 20017

DC's only Poetry Slam, Inc certified slam event meets the last Tuesday of every month at Busboys and Poets' Brookland location. $5 cover.

Nicola Davies I (Don't) Like Snakes
Wednesday, September 30th at 10:30 am
Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

What’s a girl to do when her family loves snakes not wisely, but too well? This young lady simply cannot understand her relatives’ penchant for the slithery, spooky creatures. When they begin to explain to her why snakes do what they do, however, a revolution may be in the offing. Davies mixes scientific fact into this story of one girl’s change of heart. Ages 5 – 7. Free admission.

Theresa Brown —The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’ Lives
Wednesday, September 30th at 6:30 pm
Kramerbooks
1517 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

A moving story unfolds in real time as practicing nurse and New York Times columnist Theresa Brown reveals the individual struggles as well as the larger truths about medicine in this country. She lets us experience all the life that happens in just one day in a busy teaching hospital's oncology ward. In the span of twelve hours, lives can be lost, life-altering treatment decisions made, and dreams fulfilled or irrevocably stolen. Every day, Theresa Brown holds these lives in her hands. Free admission.


Paul Fleischman — Eyes Wide Open: Going behind the Environmental Headlines
Wednesday, September 30th at 6:30 pm
Busboys and Poets (Takoma location)
235 Carroll St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20012

Everyone knows climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today. How did our modern lifestyle lead to our current precarious situation, and what needs to happen in order to save our planet— and ourselves? By showing readers how to read between the headlines, Fleishman teaches young readers the critical thinking skills that they will need to give our world a brighter future.  Ages 11 and up. Free admission.

Paul Theroux — Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads
Wednesday, September 30th at 7 pm.
Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

Paul Theroux’s long writing career has encompassed both fiction and nonfiction and he’s produced some of the classics of travel literature, including The Great Railway Bazaar, chronicling his train trip from Britain to Japan, and Dark Star Safari, about his journey from Cairo to Cape Town. Other adventures have taken him through Patagonia and China, but only now, in his tenth travel narrative, has this award-winning writer covered the U.S. Exploring the American South, Theroux discovers wonderful music and food, as well as lamentable education systems and economic conditions. As he visits fairs and churches, gun shows, and state houses, Theroux talks to everyone he encounters and paints a vivid portrait of the place today. Free admission.

Dana Suskind, M.D., with Arne Duncan — Thirty Million Words: Building a Child's Brain
Wednesday, September 30th at 7 pm
Sidwell Friends Meeting House
3825 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20016

Dr. Dana Suskind titled her book Thirty Million Words: Building a Child's Brain based on research showing the more words children are exposed to in their first four years, the higher their achievement level will be on a wide range of developmental skills. With this in mind, as well as her knowledge of brain plasticity, Dr. Suskind has formulated ways parents can be more attentive and descriptive when talking with their children. Dr. Suskind will be in conversation with Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education and former chief executive officer of the Chicago public schools. Suskind is a Chicago cochlear implant surgeon.

Student Ticket: $5; 1 Ticket: $10; 1 Book and 1 Ticket: $30; $28 for P & P members; 1 Book and 2 Tickets: $35; $33 for P & P members

Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers — Imaginary Fred
Thursday, October 1st at 10:30 am
Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

Fred is an imaginary friend by nature: he becomes a companion to lonely children, one by one, until they no longer need him. Eventually, though, Fred begins to long for a friend who will stick around. When he meets Sam, has he found his kindred spirit?  Ages 4 – 8. Free admission.

Anne-Marie SlaughterUnfinished Business: Women Men Work Family
Thursday, October 1st at 7 pm
Sixth and I Historic Synagogue
600 I St NW
Washington, DC 20001

In the July/August 2012 issue of The Atlantic, Anne-Marie Slaughter published an article exploring “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” The piece quickly drew more readers than any other in the magazine’s history. In Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family, Slaughter makes a compelling case for gender equality in the workplace and for a balance of the personal and the professional in each working woman’s life. Slaughter is President and CEO of New America and former director of policy planning at the State Department and dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson Center.

1 Ticket: $18; 1 Book and 1 Ticket: $30; $28 for P & P members; 1 Book and 2 Tickets: $40; $38 for P & P members

Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers — Imaginary Fred
Thursday, October 1st at 7 pm
Takoma Park Library
101 Philadelphia Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912

Fred is an imaginary friend by nature: he becomes a companion to lonely children, one by one, until they no longer need him. Eventually, though, Fred begins to long for a friend who will stick around. When he meets Sam, has he found his kindred spirit?  Ages 4 – 8. Free admission.

Ian W. Toll — The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944
Thursday, October 1st at 7 pm
Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

There are thousands of islands in the Pacific, and in the Second World War, many of these were held by Japan. Pushing the Japanese back to Tokyo was crucial to Allied success, and in his third work of military history, Ian W. Toll draws on letters, journals, and other accounts of the time to vividly recreate pivotal air, sea, and land battles, as well as to chart the strategic planning by leaders of both sides. Toll is the author of Six Frigates (winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison and William E. Colby awards) and Pacific Crucible, Free admission.


Thursday Open Mic hosted by DJ Tao
Thursday, October 1st, from 9 pm to 11 pm
Busboys and Poets (Hyattsville location)
5331 Baltimore Avenue
Hyattsville, MD 20781

For two hours, audiences can expect a diverse chorus of voices, and a vast array of professional spoken word performers, open mic rookies, musicians, and a different host every week. Expect to be moved, expect a packed house, expect the unexpected, but above all come with an open mind and ear. $5 cover.