Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dates of Note: Reading, Writing, & Rewards

September 16:
Sam Kean, one of my former workshop students, will be reading from his new, New York Times best-selling book The Disappearing Spoon on September 16, at Georgetown University at 6 p.m., at the Georgetown University Bookstore. The book is about the Periodic Table of the Elements, so I’m certainly unable to claim I taught him anything he knows, but it is always nice to see a former student do so well!

About the book: “The Periodic Table is one of our crowning scientific achievements, but it’s also a treasure trove of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The fascinating tales in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, gold, and every single element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, conflict, the arts, medicine, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.”

Review from the New York Times
Sam Kean’s website, including an excerpt of the book

October 1:
This is the deadline for applying for the Converse College Low-Residency MFA Program if you wish to enter the program in January. I teach there, so of course I have some self-interest, but let me also note some recent news from my distinguished colleagues:

Fiction writer Marlin Barton has a story in the forthcoming edition of Best American Short Stories; poet Sarah Kennedy’s book Home Remedies is a finalist for the Library of Virginia Award; and Dan Wakefield’s memoir New York in the Fifties is one of my favorite books about, well, New York, and has been listed here as one of the books to read if you’re interested in delving deeper into the “Mad Men” era and what preceded it.

All this and more await you at Converse—including the world famous Beacon Drive-In! Application details are here.

December 1:
This is the deadline for applying to the Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award, administered by McSweeney’s, and given to a young woman writer in honor of fiction writer Amanda Davis. I knew her only barely at Bread Loaf, but Amanda Davis was a gorgeous force of nature and this award is an apt tribute to her memory. Application details are here.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.