JAGFest 2.0

Interview: Nathan Yungerberg

Those of you who attended JAGFest 2.0 back in February 2018 might remember a riveting staged reading of Nathan Yungerberg’s play Esai’s Table, where destiny meets eternity for three young black men atop an ancient magical table in a mythic tale of black lives, friendship, family, and love. Back then, we volunteered at JAGFest and were able to do a brief interview with this remarkable, thoughtful playwright.

This month, Esai’s Table is back as a full production at Briggs Opera House in White River Junction, Vermont, and Nathan kindly took time out of his incredibly busy schedule to answer a few of our questions about his experience in moving from a staged reading to a full production. We love his reflections on the process and hope you will too. Thank you so much, Nathan, and Jarvis Green of JAG Productions for bringing this incredible production to the Upper Valley. Break a leg!

The world premiere of Esai’s Table is at Briggs Opera House from October 10 to 17, starring Dimitri Carter, Cornelius Davidson, Marcus Gladney, Jr., and Benton Green, and directed by Stevie Walker-Webb.

Tickets to Esai’s Table are $35 and are on sale now!

Nathan Yungerberg

Nathan Yungerberg


Literary North: How would you describe Esai's Table to someone coming to it for the first time?

Nathan Yungerberg: Esai's Table is an Afro Surrealist fantasy that explores the humanity of young black men. It is hard to explain too much without giving away crucial elements of the story, but I would say be prepared for an otherworldly dimension jumping emotional rollercoaster!

LN: How did JAGfest and the work you did there shape the final creation of Esai's Table?

NY: Getting away from NYC for one week and having a chance to breathe allowed me to see the play from a whole new perspective. I ended up making a significant change to the ending of the play that is much more subtle on some levels but packs an emotional punch and wraps up the themes of the play.

LN: What do you think of the process, in general, of doing staged readings? Have you found it helpful (or essential?) to developing a full production?

NY: Staged readings can be helpful for so many reasons. This day and age, when it is so challenging to get a production, it is beneficial to be able to share your work in a simplified, cost-effective setting. I appreciate readings because I can learn the most when I can hear it. I also find it a great way to introduce people to my work. I can say that over a decade of writing and numerous readings, I am a fan of the process and find it helpful. I have found it useful in the developmental process that leads up to this full production. I have learned so much about the play over the past five years, and each reading I have done, I learned a little more.

LN: Were there things in the staged reading version (themes, characters, scenes, lines, etc.) that you ultimately decided to cut or change for the full production but were sorry to lose? If so, can you tell us about an example?

NY: There was a numerology theme that existed in the staged reading. While I loved it, I felt it was confusing for the audience. I had also not fleshed out the idea enough to warrant its place in the play, so it had to go. I wouldn't say I was sorry to lose it, but it is always a process of letting a creative aspect go. The good thing is that I recycle aspects of my stories that don't make the cut, so I will probably use it in another story one day.

LN: What special gifts do each of the individual actors bring to the production?

NY: First of all, the actors are so amazing, and I love them so much! When Benton Greene, who plays Esai, came into the audition room, he brought this air of mystery and otherworldly energy that was scary, but it was exactly what we wanted for the character! He also brings a lot of compassion and love to the role, which balances out the dark sides of Esai. Benton is also brilliant, and when he comments about something that isn't sitting right, I listen!

Dimitri Carter, who plays Adam, brings a level of optimism and innocence that is crucial to the character. We knew Dimitri was our Adam from the moment he walked into the audition room and melted our hearts.

Marcus Gladney, Jr. IS David. He has this authentic air of self-esteem and self awareness that is so beautiful.

Cornelius Davidson brings both the vulnerability and the sharp edge of Michael into the room. You get the sense that the character has a lot going on deep inside because Cornelius understands the revealing of layers that are required to make Michael believable.

LN: What are you working on next?

NY: I decided a few months ago that I am going to start calling myself a storyteller, and I am launching my own storytelling company, Mercurri. I will be producing a national tour of my play THEA (about Sister Thea Bowman) and an international tour of my play Mother of Pearl, which is a metaphysical love letter to the house music scene. I am also working on a play with music with Larry Waddell, one of the founding members of the R&B group Mint Condition.


Nathan Yungerberg is a Brooklyn-based playwright whose work has been developed or featured by The Cherry Lane Theatre (2017 Mentor Project with Stephen Adly Guirgis), Roundabout Theatre Company, The Playwrights’ Center, JAG Productions, Crowded Fire Theater, American Blues Theater, The Brooklyn Museum, The Nuyorican Poets Café , The Lorraine Hansberry Theater, and many others. Nathan is one of seven black playwrights commissioned by The New Black Fest for HANDS UP: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments, which was published by Samuel French.

The Dipper - March 2018

"The Dipper" is our monthly newsletter, where we highlight readings, events, calls for submission, and other literary-related news for the coming month. If you have news or events to share, let us know!

March News

We hope many of you made it out to JAGFest 2.0 last month. Each of the staged readings was wonderful, but it was the accumulated power of the entire weekend—the writing, the performances, the emotions, the discussions, and the feeling of community—that really made the festival special. If you missed the festival this year, you'll get another chance next February!

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Continuing our collaboration with JAG Productions, we're thrilled to announce the Lady Sings the Blues book group. This one-meeting book group will read and discuss Billie Holiday's autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues, in preparation for attending a performance of JAG Productions' presentation of Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill. We'll meet at Yankee Bookshop in Woodstock, Vermont, on Tuesday, May 15, at 7:00 pm. Local author and fantastic question-asker Julia Cooke will lead our discussion. Want to join us? Visit our event page to sign up.

 

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We're kind of blown away by how many of you have already joined our Slow Club Book Club and we hope you enjoyed the first selection as much as we did. We've selected our Spring book and will announce it to members in early March. Not a member yet? It's never too late to join us!

 

Pie

In other big news, we've got most of the details worked out for Poetry & Pie II! Once again we'll be meeting at Sweetland Farm, in Norwich, Vermont, to listen to and read poems, eat pie, and enjoy a perfect summer afternoon. We'll reveal the fantastic lineup of poets soon. In the meantime, circle Saturday, July 21, 3:00 to 5:00 pm, on your calendar. You won't want to miss this.

Finally, we want to take a paragraph here to thank our community, near and far, for supporting Literary North. So many of you have said such kind things about our work, sent us your literary news, met with us to discuss events and venues, encouraged us, volunteered for us, cheered us on, donated to us, and helped make Literary North better. We truly couldn't do this work without you. Thank you!

 

March's Shooting Stars

A cool literary find from each of us to help light up your month!

  • Thanks to the Vermont Humanities Council, I'm finally reading Moby-Dick. And yes, I'm loving it. If you read it long ago and want a refresher, or if you're daunted by reading it at all, I highly recommend listening to Moby Dick Big Read, a project conceived by Plymouth University. Different voices—some famous, some not—read the book to us chapter by chapter. It's wonderful. For a taste, listen to Nigel Williams' terrific reading of Chapter 3: The Spouter-Inn. —Rebecca
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  • Do you know about The Book Jam? Lisa Christie and Lisa Cadow, both of the Upper Valley, have a blog where they pass on book recommendations of all stripes. Their latest blog post features Norwich Bookstore bookseller, Carin Pratt. Carin's recommendations can't be beat. I always look forward to visiting Carin at the bookstore to hear which books she's raving about. —Shari

March Highlights

The Snapdragon Inn in Windsor, Vermont, is hosting author Ruth Porter, granddaughter of Maxwell Perkins, for their first Author's Book Club weekend on Saturday, March 3. Ruth will be leading a book discussion of her latest novel beginning at 3:00 pm. The discussion will be preceded by afternoon tea and followed by a book signing and a wine and cheese tasting.

Victor LaValle

Victor LaValle

On Thursday, March 1, Victor LaValle will be reading as part of the Cleopatra Mathis Poetry & Prose Series at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. The reading will be held at Sanborn Library and begins at 4:30 pm.

AVA Gallery's quarterly live storytelling event, The Mudroom, returns on Thursday, March 15 in Lebanon, New Hampshire. This quarter's theme is "The First Time." Food at 6:30 pm and the storytelling begins at 7.00. Purchase advance tickets online, $7.50 to $10. Ages 21 and over. Get your tickets soon as this event usually sells out!

On Sunday, March 11, Pam Houston will be giving a reading at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, at 7:00 pm.

Morgan Jerkins

Morgan Jerkins

Morgan Jerkins reads from her critically acclaimed book of essays, This Will Be My Undoing, on Wednesday, March 14, at 7:00 pm at Bennington College.

On Friday, March 16, Dartmouth Professor of History Annelise Orleck will read from and discuss her newest book, We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now, at Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, New Hampshire. The reading begins at 7:00 pm. If you miss this reading, you can also catch Annelise's reading at Phoenix Books in Burlington, Vermont, on Thursday, March 22, at 6:30 pm.

Robin Coste Lewis will be at Bennington College on Wednesday, March 21 as a part of the "Poetry at Bennington" series. Evie Shockley reads on Wednesday, March 28. Both of these readings start at 7:00 pm in Tishman Lecture Hall.

Multi-talented writer Rita Banerjee will read from her debut poetry collection, Echo in Four Beats, on Tuesday, March 27, at 5:30 pm at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire.

 

Worth a Drive

Photo by Tom Hines

Photo by Tom Hines

Poet Ocean Vuong—recent winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize—will be reading at the Alumnae House Conference Hall at Smith College, in Northampton, Massachusetts, on Tuesday, March 27. The reading begins at 7:30 pm. Meet you there?!

Amherst College Lit Fest begins Thursday, March 1 and goes through Saturday, March 3. Writers include Carmen Maria Machado, Min Jin Lee, Junot Diaz, and Masha Gessen. Visit Amherst College's website for more information.

 

We're Looking Forward to These March Releases

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Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

The 2018 Frost Farm Prize for Metrical Poetry is open for entries through March 30. The winner receives $1,000 and an invitation, with honorarium, to read in June 2018 as part of The Hyla Brook Reading Series at the Robert Frost Farm. For more information and to enter, please visit the Frost Farm Prize page.

Applications are open until March 31 for two scholarships at The Frost Place:

  • The Gregory Pardlo Scholarship for Emerging African American Poets is open to African American Poets writing in English who have published up to one book of poetry. The winner will receive a full scholarship to attend the Poetry Seminar, including room and board, and will give a featured reading at the Seminar. For more information, please visit the Gregory Pardlo Scholarship page.
  • The Latin@ Scholarship is open to applicants that self-identify as Latin@, have a strong commitment to the Latin@ community, and are at least 21 years of age. The winner will receive tuition, room and board, and travel for The Frost Place Conference on Poetry. For more information and to apply, please visit the Latin@ Scholarship page.

The Fleming Museum of Art at UVM is seeking original poetry based on the art on view in the museum for their Ekphrastic Poetry Reading (on April 18, at 6:00 pm). Submissions must be received by March 16. For more information, please visit the Fleming Museum's event page.

Vermont Literary Review is taking submissions of creative work about New England until March 31. For more information, please visit Castleton University's website.

The Odyssey Writing Workshop (June 4 to July 13) is accepting applications until April 7. The Odyssey workshop, for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, is held on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. Prospective students must include a 4,000-word writing sample with their application. For more information, please visit the Workshop page.

Registration is open for the VCFA Novel Retreat (May 15 to 21). Faculty includes Connie May FowlerJeff KleinmanRichard McCann, and Crystal Wilkinson. A $200 non-refundable deposit is required. For more information, please visit the Novel Retreat page.

The Bennington Review is open for submissions through May 15 with no reading fee. For more information, please visit the Bennington Review Submissions page.

The New England Review is open for poetry and digital submissions through May 31. For more information, please visit the NER Submissions page.

Registration is open for the 3rd Annual Poetry Festival at the Fine Arts Work Center (August 5 to 10) in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The Festival includes poetry and songwriting workshops. Faculty includes Traci Brimhall, Cornelius Eady, Nick Flynn, Vievee Francis, Ross Gay, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Patty Larkin, and Patrick Rosal. For information on tuition, housing, and registration, please visit the FAWC Festival page.

Registration is open for 603: The Writers' Conference (April 14) on the SNHU campus in Manchester, New Hampshire. The keynote speaker is novelist Richard Russo. The conference includes master classes, workshops, panel discussions, lunch, and a reception. $85 to $135. For more information and to register, please visit the Conference page.

The Summer Writing Intensive at Marlboro College is accepting applications on a rolling basis through July 5. The intensive is open to anyone 18 years or older. Military veterans are particularly encouraged to apply. For more information, please visit the Summer Writing Intensive page.


March Workshops and Classes

Poet Karin Gottshall is leading three Master Classes: "Figuration Smorgasbord: Roll up Your Sleeves and Get Messy with Metaphor," Saturdays, March 3, 10, and 17, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm at the Burlington Writers Workshop in Burlington, Vermont. Note: These workshops do not need to be taken as a series. For more information and to register, please visit the Workshop page.

On Saturday, March 10, from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm, the League of Vermont Writers is offering "Sacred Marriage: The Writer and Their Critic," a workshop that will help you understand and explore the relationship between our writer-self and your inner critic. $60 for League members; $80 for non-members. To attend, you must register and pay in full by March 5. For more information and to register, please visit the Gatherings page.

Are you looking for quality feedback on a work-in-progress but have no time for a weekly class? Joni Cole's one-session "Fast Feedback" workshop on Saturday, March 10, provides writers of fiction and creative non-fiction with a quick fox of feedback, instruction, and collective inspiration. The workshop meets from 9:30 to 10:30 am at the Writer's Center in White River Junction, Vermont. The cost is $45. For more information and to register, please visit the Writer's Center Workshops page.

On Monday, March 12, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm, Catherine Deiley is offering an online workshop titled, "Online Tools to Track Your Submissions." Learn to use tools such as Submittable and Duotrope to stay organized and keep your submissions rolling. $10 for New Hampshire Writers' Project members; $25 for non-members. For more information and to register, please visit the NHWP Workshops page.

Also sponsored by the New Hampshire Writers' Project, Tracy Hahn-Burkett, writer and former DC public policy advocate, will be teaching a "Political Writing: Advocacy" workshop. The workshop will be held at The Ford House on the campus of SNHU, on Wednesday, March 14, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. $50 for NHWP members; $75 for non-members. For more information and to register, please visit the NHWP Workshops page.

Join the Vermont Folklife Center for their "Storytelling for Social Change" workshop on Saturday, March 17, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. This workshop is intended for anyone interested in developing collaborative documentary storytelling skills, including students, community members, and staff members of organizations doing cultural, community, and social-service work. The workshop will be held at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe, Vermont. Tuition for the day is $95. For more information or to register, please visit the Workshop page.

On Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24, join the Vermont Folklife Center for a "Digital Storytelling for Community Engagement and Sustainability" workshop. This two-day workshop, held at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont, is a deep dive into tools and techniques for digital storytelling to engage students and communities in sustainability. $250, includes meals and accommodations. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. For more information and to register, please visit the Workshop page.

Join Mimi Schwartz for "Beyond the I: When Memoir Meets History," a workshop that focuses on the ways that personal narrative is enriched by history—be it family legacies, neighborhood landmarks, or the social history that shapes us. Through readings, discussion, and in-class exercises, participants will discover new strategies for writing their life stories in ways that friends, family or strangers will want to read on. The workshop, held on Saturday, March 24, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, will take place at The Ford House on the campus of SNHU, in Manchester, New Hampshire. $50 for NHWP members; $75 for non-members. For more information and to register, please visit the NHWP Workshops page.

On Sunday, March 25, author and writing coach Annalisa Parent will walk workshop attendees through the elements of a publishable manuscript. Participants will have the opportunity to share their writing andget meaningful feedback. The workshop will be held at the Toadstool Bookshop in Keene, New Hampshire, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. For more information and to register, please visit the Event page.

Join poet Hannah Fries on Wednesday, March 28, at Court Street Arts in Haverhill, New Hampshire, for a joyful exploration of what makes a poem leap off the page and into our hearts. Participants will spend part of the day looking at their own favorite poems and other examples, and part of the day using loose, fun exercises to jump start their own writing. $60 for members; $65 for non-members. For more information and to register, please visit the Classes page.

The Dipper - February 2018

"The Dipper" is our monthly newsletter, where we highlight readings, events, calls for submission, and other literary-related news for the coming month. If you have news or events to share, let us know!

 

February News

Here in New England, we're in the quiet heart of winter. But the minutes of daylight are accumulating on either end of the day, and if you listen quietly you can just begin to hear the gathering pulse of the spring and summer reading season.

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There's still plenty happening in this in between month, though. If you're a regular Dipper reader, you already know about our Slow Club Book Club, which began in January and will go all year long. We're so happily surprised by how many of you are joining us for our first book, A Whole Life, by Robert Seethaler. Haven't joined yet? It's never too late! We'll be sending our next SCBC  newsletter out to subscribers soon.

Predictions of dicey weather forced the postponement of Robin MacArthur's January reading from her new novel, Heart Spring Mountain, at the Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vermont. The new date is Friday, February 9, at 7:00 pm. We hope to see many of you there! In the meantime, you can read our interview with Robin on the blog.

Also starting Friday, February 9 is JAGFest 2.0 at the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction, Vermont. We recently had a chance to ask Nathan Yungerberg—author of Friday night's play, Esai's Table—a few questions. Check out our interview with Nathan.

In what looks to be an annual tradition for us, Shari and I are following in The Millions' footsteps, by sharing our "Year in Reading" with you. See Shari and Rebecca's lists on our blog. What were your favorite reads in 2017? Let us know and maybe can we share a reader's roundup here!

February's Shooting Stars

In this new feature, we'll each share one cool literary find to help light up your month...

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  • I'm eagerly anticipating Nafissa Thompson-Spires' new book, Heads of the Colored People. Check out her interview over at Electric Literature and pre-order her book from your local indie. —Shari
  • I'm loving the new blog, One Great Things, which delivers a mini literary review every Wednesday. So far, they've reviewed an essay, three poems, and a piece of flash fiction. I love their selections, insights, and enthusiasm. —Rebecca

February Highlights

James Crews (who was a featured poet at our Poetry & Pie event last year) will read from his book, Telling My Father, at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont, on Friday, February 9, at 6:00 pm.

Jennifer Tseng

Jennifer Tseng

Jennifer Tseng, poet and author of the chapbook The Passion of Woo & Isolde, will be reading at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Monday, February 12, at 5:30 pm.

On Thursday, February 15, the Young Writers Project hosts its annual Vermont Writes Day. Writers of all ages are invited to take seven minutes to write. You can write in response to one of the supplied prompts, or write anything you like. For more information, visit the Young Writers Project website.

Every third Thursday, the Upper Valley Food Co-op in White River Junction, Vermont, hosts the Lettuce Write Poetry Series, a cost-free, judgement-free, all-ages event open to every poet and listener! Write a poem that relates to the monthly theme, and share it with the group. The next meeting is Friday, February 16, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Bianca Stone has a new book of poetry, The Mobius Strip Club of Grief. Our friends Ruth and Jeremy at Antidote Books in Putney, Vermont, will be hosting an event for Bianca on Saturday, February 17, at 6:00 pm.

Haroon Moghul

Haroon Moghul

On Thursday, February 22, at 5:00 pm, Haroon Moghul, author of How to Be a Muslim: An American Story, will be leading a discussion and signing his book at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire.

On Friday, February 23, novelist James Scott, poet Julia Shipley, and essayist Jericho Parms will be reading at Cafe Anna, on the campus of the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, Vermont. The readings begin at 5:30 pm.

As a part of the Painted Word Poetry Series, Michael Dickman will be at the Fleming Art Museum in Burlington, Vermont, Wednesday, February 28, at 6:00 pm.

 

Worth a Drive

Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones

On Thursday, February 8, at 8:00 pm, poet CA Conrad will be reading in Amherst, Massachusetts, as a part of the UMass Amherst's Visiting Writers Series. The reading will be held at in the Great Hall at Old Chapel on the UMass campus.

Tayari Jones will be at the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Monday, February 12, at 7:00 pm to read from her new novel, An American Marriage.

 

Worth a Listen

Shari loved David Naimon's interview with Leni Zumas on his podcast, Between The Covers.

 

We're Looking Forward to These February Releases

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Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

The deadline to apply for one of Vermont Studio Center's 60+ month-long residency fellowships is February 15. All artists and writers living and working anywhere in the world are welcome to apply. For more information and to apply, please visit the VSC Fellowship page.

Bread Loaf Environmental Writers' Conference (June 1 to 7) is accepting applications through February 15. Faculty includes Brooks Haxton, Amber Flora Thomas, Luis Alberto Urrea, Ted Genoways, Deirdre Heekin, Scott Russell Sanders, and Ginger Strand. For more information, please visit the Conference page.

In neighboring Amherst, Massachusetts, applications are open for the Juniper Summer Writing Institute (July 17 to 24) and the Juniper Institute for Young Writers (July 22 to 29) at the University of Massachusetts. Faculty for the Juniper Summer Writing Institute includes Eileen Myles, Dorothea Lasky, Rickey Laurentiis, Dara Wier, Noy Holland, Mitchell S. Jackson, and Joy Williams. A non-refundable application fee for the Summer Writing Institute is required. There is no application fee for the Young Writers Institute. For more information about both institutes and to apply, please visit the Juniper Summer Writing Institute website.

    Hunger Mountain, the literary journal from VCFA, holds four annual contests: The Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction PrizeThe Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction PrizeThe Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, and The Katherine Patterson Prize for Young Adult and Children's Writing. All contests are open to submissions through March 1. For more information, please visit their Contests page.

    Enter the Mass Poetry contest to have your poem included as part of Mass Poetry's Raining Poetry project. Excerpts from the winning poms will be displayed on the streets of Salem, Massachusetts to celebrate the 10th Massachusetts Poetry Festival (May 5 to 6). Use the submission form to submit up to three original poems on the broad theme of the body by March 1.

    The 2018 Frost Farm Prize for Metrical Poetry is open for entries through March 30. The winner receives $1,000 and an invitation, with honorarium, to read in June 2018 as part of The Hyla Brook Reading Series at the Robert Frost Farm. For more information and to enter, please visit the Frost Farm Prize page.

    Applications are open until March 31 for two scholarships at The Frost Place:

    • The Gregory Pardlo Scholarship for Emerging African American Poets is open to African American Poets writing in English who have published up to one book of poetry. The winner will receive a full scholarship to attend the Poetry Seminar, including room and board, and will give a featured reading at the Seminar. For more information, please visit the Gregory Pardlo Scholarship page.
    • The Latin@ Scholarship is open to applicants that self-identify as Latin@, have a strong commitment to the Latin@ community, and are at least 21 years of age. The winner will receive tuition, room and board, and travel for The Frost Place Conference on Poetry. For more information and to apply, please visit the Latin@ Scholarship page.

    Vermont Literary Review is taking submissions of creative work about New England until March 31. For more information, please visit Castleton University's website.

    The Odyssey Writing Workshop (June 4 to July 13) is accepting applications until April 7.  Odyssey workshop for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, is held on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.. Prospective students must include a 4.000 word writing sample with their application. For more information, please visit the Workshop page.

    Registration is open for the VCFA Novel Retreat (May 15 to 21, 2018). Faculty includes Connie May FowlerJeff KleinmanRichard McCann, and Crystal Wilkinson. A $200 non-refundable deposit is required. For more information, please visit the Novel Retreat page.

    The Bennington Review is open for submissions through May 15 with no reading fee. For more information, please visit the Bennington Review Submissions page.

    The New England Review is open for poetry and digital submissions through May 31. For more information, please visit the NER Submissions page.

    Registration is open for the 3rd Annual Poetry Festival at the Fine Arts Work Center (August 5 to 10) in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The Festival includes poetry and songwriting workshops. Faculty includes Traci Brimhall, Cornelius Eady, Nick Flynn, Vievee Francis, Ross Gay, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Patty Larkin, and Patrick Rosal. For information on tuition, housing, and registration, please visit the FAWC Festival page.


    February Workshops and Classes

    February 9 to 11, Dani Shapiro will lead "The Stories We Carry: Meditation and Writing," a weekend-long workshop that blends meditation and movement, generative writing exercises, group sharing, and discussion. The workshop will be held at Kripalu, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Tuition is $375. For more information and to register, please visit the Event page.

    On February 10, Bill Biddle is offering a workshop entitled "Making Slam Poetry and Preparing to Compete in a Poetry Slam" at Catamount Arts. This workshop is intended for writers new to poetry slams and is geared toward ages 12 and up. The workshop is free but registration is required. For more information and to register, please visit Catamount Arts.

    Join author and associate professor in the MFA program at the University of New Hampshire, Tom Paine, for an hour-long webinar titled “The Secret Architecture of Short Fiction.” The workshop will be held online, on Monday, February 12, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. $10 for NHWP members; $25 for non-members. For more information and to register, please visit the New Hampshire Writers Project Workshops page.

    Steve Carter, co-owner of Maat Publishing is teaching a workshop called, "Making Scrivener Work for You" on Saturday, February 24, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. This workshop will show you how to use Scrivener to write the first draft, manage characters and settings, develop the structure of your writing, revise, prepare your manuscript to be shared with beta readers, editors, and publishers, make an ebook, and more. $50 for NHWP members. $75 for non-members. The workshop will be held at The Ford House on the SNHU Campus in Manchester, New Hampshire. For more information and to register, please visit the New Hampshire Writers' Project Workshops page.

    Judith Hertog is teaching a five-week course, Dare to Write!, from February 27 through March 27 at The Writer's Center in White River Junction, Vermont. The focus of the workshop is personal nonfiction but fiction writers are welcome, too. For more information and to register, please visit The Writer's Center Workshops page.

    Interview: Nathan Yungerberg

    In anticipation of JAGFest 2.0, we're delighted to publish interviews with some of the participating playwrights.

    This week's interview is with Nathan Yungerberg, whose play, Esai's Table, will be presented on Friday, February 9, at 7:30 pm at the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction, Vermont. For more information about the play and to purchase tickets, please visit the JAGFest website.


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    Literary North: What led you to becoming a playwright?

    Nathan Yungerberg: After many years of working as a photographer, I felt a desire to take my creativity to another level. I wanted to be able to sit in a room with my creative visions and watch them speak, move and interact rather than just seeing them expressed in a still photograph.

    LN: What inspired you to write this play?

    NY: The killing of Michael Brown was the impetus for this play. I was tired of seeing the menacing images the media would display of young Black men who had been shot and killed by the police. The fact that those images were the sole representation of the life of someone's child, brother, friend, and son was an insult to the entirety of their existence.  I wanted to create a space where the intricate layers, talents, and humanity of young Black men could be expressed and appreciated.

    LN: Why did you want to bring this play to JAGFest?

    NY: I met Jarvis last summer through a mutual connection, and I immediately sensed that we had shared values on many levels. I was inspired and impressed by what he was doing in VT, and as a Black writer the mission of JAG Productions is congruent with my aesthetic and artistic voice. 

    LN: What do you want the audience to take away from seeing your play?

    NY: I want their hearts to be filled with the beauty and humanity of the three young Black men in my story.


    Nathan Yungerberg is a Brooklyn-based playwright. His plays include Esai’s Table, The Son of Dawn, Pousada Azul, Orchids and Polka Dots, Golden Gate, Brush Strokes and Isosceles. Nathan’s work has been developed or featured  by The Cherry Lane Theatre (2017 Mentor Project with Stephen Adly Guirgis), The Playwrights’ Center,  Crowded Fire Theater, The Brooklyn Museum, The Nuyorican Poets Café , The Lorraine Hansberry Theater, Brava Theater, The Lark, The Fire This Time Festival, 48 Hours in Harlem, The National Black Theatre, The Hansberry Project, The National Black Theatre Festival, The Classical Theatre of Harlem, Blackboard Reading Series, T. Schreiber Studio, The Dramatist Guild,  Flashpoint Theater, The August Wilson Red Door Project, New Venture Theater, The Brooklyn Generator, Multistages theater and BBC Radio Afternoon Drama. Nathan is one of seven black playwrights commissioned by The New Black Fest for HANDS UP: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments. Awards and honors: The 2016 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference (Semifinalist), Ken Davenport 10-Minute Play Festival (Winner), 11th Annual InspiraTO Festival (Finalist), and the Blue Ink Playwriting Award (Semifinalist).

    The Dipper - January 2018

    "The Dipper" is our monthly newsletter, where we highlight readings, events, calls for submission, and other literary-related news for the coming month. If you have news or events to share, let us know

     

    January News

    Happy New Year!

    2018 has barely begun and it's already shaping up to be a very exciting year for Literary North and our friends. We have a lot of plans and we can't wait to share them all with you. But first we'll let you in on some great events happening in just the first few weeks of the new year.

    We hope this fresh year brings you many good things, including good books, good friends, and good health.

    —Shari & Rebecca

     

    Start Your Year at the Right Pace with the Slow Club Book Club

    SlowBookClubWinter.jpg

    As many of you know, we're announcing the Slow Club Book Club* for 2018! Over the course of the coming year, we'll read four books we've chosen to appeal to the quiet and unhurried in us. We'll start reading our first book this month. If this sounds appealing to you, subscribe to our TinyLetter newsletter to find out more and learn the title of our first book. We really hope you'll join us.

    *Shout out to Robin MacArthur for our club name!

    RobinMacArthur.jpg

     

    Be the first to hear a Reading from Heart Spring Mountain

    Speaking of Robin, our first event of 2018 is the celebration of Robin MacArthur's new novel Heart Spring Mountain, which is being released on January 9Join us at the Norwich Bookstore on Wednesday, January 10 at 7:00 pm for her first official reading. We'll be there to celebrate and provide the refreshments. Reservations are strongly recommended, as seating is limited. Please contact the Norwich Bookstore to reserve your seat.

     

    Support Emerging African-American Playwrights at JAGFest 2.0

    And finally, mark your calendars for JAGFest 2.0, February 9 to 11 at Brigg's Opera House in White River Junction, Vermont! JAGFest is a performing arts festival put on by Jarvis Green's production company, JAG Productions. The festival features new works that celebrate the talents of African-American playwrights and performing artists. 

    JAGFest2018

    Over the course of three days, JAG will present four staged readings of new works that are written, directed, and performed by Black theatre artists. The weekend-long festival of play readings celebrates and explores diverse, new voices in American theater. Each performance features a post-show conversation with the playwrights, actors, directors and Dartmouth scholars.

    Tickets are on sale now. Single tickets are $15 per performance, or buy a weekend pass that includes access to all presentations for $50!

    We're huge fans of Jarvis Green and JAG Productions, and are honored to be a sponsor of this incredible festival. We'll be sharing more information with you about the playwrights and their plays in January, so stay tuned!


    January Highlights

    Lauren Markham

    Lauren Markham

    Lauren Markham reads from her non-fiction book, The Faraway Brothers, at VCFA in Montpelier, Vermont, on Wednesday, January 3, at 7:00 pm.

    Jenny Boully and Jill McCorkle read at Bennington College's Tishman Lecture Hall, in Bennington, Vermont, on Thursday, January 4, at 7:00 pm, as a part of Bennington's Writers Reading series. Other authors in the series include Claire Vaye Watkins, Major Jackson, Stuart Nadler, Clifford Thompson, Alexander Chee, and Allan Gurganus. See our calendar for more details.

    Francisco Cantú will be at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Sunday, January 7, at 7:00 pm, to read from his upcoming book, The Line Becomes a River.

    Francisco Cantú

    Francisco Cantú

    Jelani Cobb will give a talk on free speech on college campuses at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, on Wednesday, January 10, at 4:30 pm.

    Dan Chaon will be reading at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, on Wednesday, January 24, at 8:00 pm.

    Jeffrey Lent will lead a tribute to Howard Frank Mosher at the Norwich Bookstore on Wednesday, January 31, at 7:00 pm. Come out and celebrate Mosher's final book, Points North.

     

    Worth a Drive

    Fiona Mozley

    Fiona Mozley

    Fiona Mozley, whose novel, Elmet, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, will be at the Harvard Bookstore, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Tuesday, January 16 with Hallgrimur Helgason. The reading begins at 7:00 pm.

     

     

    We're Looking Forward to These January Releases

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    Calls For Submission and Upcoming Deadlines

    In neighboring Amherst, Massachusetts, applications open on January 1 for the Juniper Summer Writing Institute (July 17 to 24) and the Juniper Institute for Young Writers (July 22 to 29) at the University of Massachusetts. Faculty for the Juniper Summer Writing Institute includes Eileen Myles, Dorothea Lasky, Rickey Laurentiis, Dara Wier, Noy Holland, Mitchell S. Jackson, and Joy Williams. A non-refundable application fee for the Summer Writing Institute is required. There is no application fee for the Young Writers Institute. For more information about both institutes and to apply, please visit the Juniper Summer Writing Institute website.

    Applications are currently open until March 31 for two scholarships at The Frost Place:

    • The Gregory Pardlo Scholarship for Emerging African American Poets is open to African American Poets writing in English who have published up to one book of poetry. The winner will receive a full scholarship to attend the Poetry Seminar, including room and board, and will give a featured reading at the Seminar. For more information, please visit the Gregory Pardlo Scholarship page.
    • The Latin@ Scholarship is open to applicants that self-identify as Latin@, have a strong commitment to the Latin@ community, and are at least 21 years of age. The winner will receive tuition, room and board, and travel for The Frost Place Conference on Poetry. For more information and to apply, please visit the Latin@ Scholarship page.

    The Frost Place is accepting submissions for its 2018 Chapbook Competition until January 5. The competition is open to any poet writing in English. Entries must be accompanied by a $28 entry fee. For details about submitting your manuscript and more information about the competition, please visit their Competition page.

    Also until January 5The Frost Place is accepting applications for the Dartmouth Poet in Residence program, a six-to-eight-week residency in Robert Frost's former farmhouse. The residency is July 1 to August 15, and includes an award of $1,000 from The Frost Place and $1,000 from Dartmouth College. For more information and to apply online, please visit their Residency page.

    Applications for the 2018 MacDowell Colony Summer Residency (June 1 to September 30, 2018)  are being accepted through January 15.  A residency consists of exclusive use of a studio, accommodations, and three prepared meals a day for up to eight weeks. For more information, please visit the Application Guidelines page.

    Registration is open for the League of Vermont Writers' Winter Program and Annual Business Meeting (June 27). The theme of the meeting is "New Directions, New Journeys: Writing Resources for Vermont Writers" and will be held at Trader Duke's Hotel in South Burlington, Vermont. $45 for members; $55 for non-members. Registration is open until January 24. For more information and to register, please visit the Meeting page.

    Hunger Mountain, the literary journal from VCFA, holds four annual contests: The Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction PrizeThe Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction PrizeThe Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, and The Katherine Patterson Prize for Young Adult and Children's Writing. All contests are open to submissions through March 1. For more information, please visit their Contests page.

    Vermont Literary Review is taking submissions of creative work about New England until March 31. For more information, please visit Castleton University's website.

    Registration is now open for the VCFA Writing Novels for Young People Retreat (March 23 to 25, 2018). Faculty includes Donna GephartNova Ren SumaAmanda MacielMaggie Lehrman, and Sarah Aronson. A $200 deposit is required (refundable if the retreat is able to fill your spot). For more information please visit the Writing Novels for Young People Retreat page.

    Registration is also open for the VCFA Novel Retreat (May 15 to 21, 2018). Faculty includes Connie May FowlerJeff KleinmanRichard McCann, and Crystal Wilkinson. A $200 non-refundable deposit is required. For more information, please visit the Novel Retreat page.

    The New England Review is open for poetry and digital submissions through May 31. For more information, please visit the NER Submissions page.

    The Bennington Review is open for submissions through May 15, 2018 with no reading fee. For more information, please visit the Bennington Review Submissions page.


    January Workshops and Classes

    Joni Cole leads "Sunday Surges," a four-session, weekly workshop for fiction and creative non-fiction writers. This workshop, which meets Sundays, January 7 to 28, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, is a great way to generate material, revise with direction, and make solid progress on your prose project. Each meeting provides you with a deadline to assure you are producing consistently. You will be asked to read aloud excerpts from a work-in-progress (three or so double-spaced pages, given time constraints) at each of our meetings. The discussion of these “surges” allows for quality feedback, and fosters teachable moments that benefit every participant in the group. $145 (minimum 4 participants; maximum 6). Preregistration is required. For more information and to register, email jonibethcole@gmail.com.

    Join science fiction author and 2014 NH Flash Fiction winner Ed Ting for an hour-long “Introduction to Flash Fiction” webinar on Tuesday, January 9. This webinar will take a peek at what Flash Fiction is, how you can get started writing it, and how to craft elements to make your story work. You will walk away with the tools you need to tell your three-minute story. Then, when you have your story written, join your writing peers at one of the 2018 Three-Minute Flash Fiction competitions held statewide. $10 for NHWP members, $25 for nonmembers. The event is nonrefundable. For more information and to register, please visit the New Hampshire Writer's Project Workshops page.

    Poet James Crews will lead a two-week, online workshop titled "Mindfulness and Writing" from Sunday, January 14 to Sunday, January 28. Examine connections between the practice of meditation/mindfulness and the act of writing fearlessly from the heart. Using quotes and other written works as prompts, we will complete several exercises each week that invite us to pay closer attention to ourselves, our lives, and the world around us as we do our best to define the term, "mindfulness," and what it means for each of us. Beginners and all skill levels are welcome. You do not need any previous experience with mindfulness, meditation or online courses; all you need is a reliable internet connection and an open mind. The cost is $95. For more information and to register, please visit the event page at the Northshire Bookstore website.

    Join Vermont poet laureate Chard deNiord for a Poetry Master Class on Monday, January 8, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at the Burlington Writers Workshop in Burlington, Vermont. This workshop will focus on reading and writing poems whose speakers place another before them, and then make charged figurative connections to what Walt Whitman called “the other I am.” We will read each other’s poems line by line, examining line breaks, poetic strategy, form, intention, imagery, tropes, verbal music, and what John Keats described in his definition of “negative capability” as the ability to “exist in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” In addition to writing poems with transpersonal speakers, we will also write a few persona poems as class exercises. For more information and to RSVP, please visit the Burlington Writers Workshop Meetup page.

    On Monday, January 22, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, join poet Gary Margolis for a Poetry Master Class at the Burlington Writers Workshop in Burlington, Vermont. This workshop will reflect on the poetic line by looking at examples, including those we'll write in this workshop. Workshop participants should bring three original poems to this class. We'll also write new ones during the workshop. For more information and to RSVP, please visit the Burlington Writers Workshop Meetup page.