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Creative Nonfiction Writer, Fiction Writer
Alden Jones is the author of The Blind Masseuse: A Traveler's Memoir from Costa Rica to Cambodia, and a collection of stories, Unaccompanied Minors, winner of the 2013 New American Fiction Prize. Her work has appeared in magazines and journals including Agni, Time Out New York, the Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Puerto del Sol, The Smart Set, Gulf Coast, Post Road, and the Best American Travel Writing. She has been a Bread Loaf Scholar, a New York University Creative Writing Program Fellow, and a resident at the Vermont Studio Center and the White Colony in Costa Rica. The former director of the Excel/Cuba program in Havana, Cuba, Alden now teaches creative writing and literature at Emerson College in Boston, and has also taught on Semester at Sea and in the PEN/New England Prison Writing Program.
Sinners and the Sea is Rebecca Kanner’s debut novel. It was published by Howard Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, in April 2013. Rebecca holds a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. Her writing has won an Associated Writing Programs Award, a Loft mentorship Award and a 2012/2013 Minnesota State Arts Board Grant. Her personal essay, “Safety,” is listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2011. Her stories have been published in numerous journals including The Kenyon Review and The Cincinnati Review. The St. Paul Pioneer Press calls Sinners and the Sea "riveting," and Publishers Weekly says, "Debut novelist Kanner brings to life the nameless wife of Noah in a deeply imagined midrashic interpretation of the biblical story of the flood. Noah's unnamed wife is a powerful, memorable character." Kirkus Reviews agrees, “[Noah's wife] proves her strength and character as she tries to protect her family... from the outside forces that threaten. Kanner successfully undertakes a formidable task retelling a familiar religious story through the eyes of Noah's wife. The narrative's well-articulated, evenly balanced and stimulating..." Along with other authors including Anita Diamant, Michael Cunningham, Joyce Carol Oates, Russell Banks and Ron Hansen, Rebecca will be featured in the upcoming title Truthful Fictions: Conversations with American Biographical Novelists.
Fiction Writer, Poet
X. J. Kennedy, known to his friends as Joe, was born in Dover, N. J., on August 21, 1929. Irked by the hardship of having the name of Joseph Kennedy, he stuck the X on and has been stuck with it ever since. Kennedy’s first book, Nude Descending a Staircase (Doubleday, 1961), won a Lamont Award; In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus: New & Selected Poems (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007) was an ALA Notable Book. He has taught writing, mostly at Tufts, and has written textbooks including An Introduction to Poetry (with Dana Gioia) and twenty-four children’s books. In 2009 he received the Poetry Society of America’s Robert Frost medal. His work has appeared in the Atlantic, the New Yorker, Paris Review, Poetry, other magazines and 287 anthologies. He and Dorothy M. Kennedy have collaborated on two children’s books and five children. A Hoarse Half-Human Cheer (Curtis Brown Unlimited, 2015) is his first novel for adults.