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Sep 4, 2012, 10:03 AM

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Readings/Workshops Presents
Fall 2012

In This Issue
Applying for Funding
P&W News
Technical Assistance: Tips for Rural Writers
From the Readings & Workshops Blog
Quick Links
Guidelines & Application
Find out how to apply for an R/W grant.

Readings & Workshops
A blog featuring reports from our sponsored writers and presenters.

Literary Events Calendar
Find and list events.
Join Our Mailing List
Applying for Funding

Welcome, Early Birds
The earlier you apply for your winter/spring 2013 events, the better your chances of receiving support. Although we prioritize events that reach underserved audiences, we award the majority of our grants on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, funding becomes more competitive as we move through the fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30.

R/W City Shout-Out 
Atlanta! Chicago! Detroit! Houston! Seattle! New Orleans! Tucson! Washington, D.C.! Why so many exclamation points? We want to remind you that we fund readings and workshops in your city and its associated county. If you're not sure whether your event qualifies, please see our guidelines and application for funding, and feel free to contact us with questions:

For Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C. contact R/W East:
Bonnie Rose Marcus, bmarcus@pw.org, 212-226-0045, ext. 226

For Houston, Seattle, and Tucson contact R/W West:
Jamie FitzGerald, jfitzgerald@pw.org, 310-481-7195 
P&W News

New Members of the R/W Team
Three new faces joined the R/W ranks this summer:

Cathy Linh Che, Assistant Director of Readings/Workshops (East) and Writers Exchange, is a poet and teacher from Los Angeles. Her first book Split (Alice James, 2014) won the 2012 Kundiman Poetry Prize. She is a founding editor of the online journal Paperbag and is co-editing an anthology of writing from the children of Vietnam War veterans. She received her BA in English from Reed College and her MFA in Poetry from New York University and has been awarded fellowships from The Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, Hedgebrook, Poets House, and the Center for Book Arts.  Although new to her position, Cathy is not new to P&W: in 2010-11, she was our very first Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation Readings/Workshops Fellow.

Andrew Wessels is this year's Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation Readings/Workshops Fellow. He has lived in Houston, Cambridge, and Las Vegas, where he held the John Cobain Fellowship from Black Mountain Institute. Currently, he splits his time between Istanbul and Los Angeles. His poems, translations, and collaborations can be found in or are forthcoming from VOLT, Colorado Review, Fence, Witness, The Journal, Washington Square Review, Grist, Handsome, Fact-Simile, and 580 Split. He edits The Offending Adam.

Nikay Paredes
Jasmine Nikki "Nikay" C. Paredes, who is interning in the R/W (East) department, is a second-year MFA candidate in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence College. Since relocating to New York from the Philippines, she has never missed a Manny Pacquiao fight.

Calling All Alaskan Writers! 
P&W is happy to announce that poets and fiction writers who are residents of Alaska may apply for the 2013 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. This year's judges are Afaa Michael Weaver for poetry and Ann Napolitano for fiction. The deadline for entries is December 1, 2012. Visit our website for details and to download an entry form.  Also check out the Anchorage News article about the contest.

2012 Intergenerational Reading
Participants in P&W's annual Intergenerational Reading
in New York City. Credit: Chris Smith.

Intergenerational Reading 
Poets & Writers presented its 11th annual Intergenerational Reading at the Union Square Barnes & Noble in New York City on June 29. More than thirty teens and seniors who have participated in R/W-sponsored writing workshops took the stage to share their work. Hosted by performance poet Regie Cabico, whose antics included an impromptu Tina Turner impression, the reading received rave reviews from a full house.

Technical Assistance:
Tips for Rural Writers

Planning a successful literary event can be doubly challenging when the population of your entire county is smaller than that of most suburban neighborhoods.

We asked several rural writers, including Blake More of Point Arena, CA; Monika Rose of San Andreas, CA; and Ken Waldman, a traveling poet who has worked in Upstate New York and is based in Anchorage, AK, and Southwest Louisiana, how they do it. (City-dwellers can learn from their tips too!)
  • Partner with the local historical society to build events around your town's unique character. Rose is currently working on an event that will include writing workshops and "guest appearances" by Mark Twain, Black Bart, and others who made Calaveras County famous.
  • Local museums, high schools, and businesses make great partners too. Do you live in wine country? Dairy country? Donations of locally made treats will give your event a regional flavor. Waldman suggests linking readings to something larger--a festival, series, or annual celebration. This will make the effort more sustainable than a one-off event. (And don't forget that the R/W program can match writers' fees.)
  • Get involved with the county arts council. "I can't stress this one enough," says Rose. She recommends volunteering, using arts council offices for meetings, and taking an active role in community planning processes.
  • Target an intergenerational audience to ensure a bigger turnout. Rose says, "We're seeing a huge drop in participation by young people who are struggling just to find work, get into college...." Free writing workshops allow young people to engage with their communities even when money is tight, she says.
  • Stay connected online and off. Facebook, regional and literary listservs, publications like Poetry Flash, and message boards like P&W's Speakeasy will help you spread the word about your event and find out about others. Cultivate relationships with local journalists.
  • Volunteer to curate a "local writers" shelf at your library.
  • Arrange regular meet-ups with fellow writers in public venues such as libraries or cafes, and be open to newcomers. Other curious writers and artists will soon join you.
  • Attend readings in other areas to scout writers you'd like to feature in your series.
  • When you invite a writer from out of town, book as far in advance as possible (More tries to plan a year ahead) so they can arrange travel.
  • But if an out-of-town reader cancels at the last minute, have a local alternate on standby.
  • Finally, remember that "rural communities are not created equally," says Waldman. "Just because a county or specific community is defined as 'rural,' that doesn't mean there isn't a high concentration of artists, or a thriving arts and literary scene. Then again, it might also mean the community is several hours away from anything remotely like that. All rural places have their own special character, which leads to specific challenges and specific opportunities."
From the Readings & Workshops Blog

Catch up with writer Tim Z. Hernandez on his P&W-supported workshop tour at a stop in Stockton, CA, where he discovers a fifteen-year-old "natural poet": "Tim Z. Hernandez on the Teenage Poet Laureate of Stockton."

Interested in blogging about your own literary event or community? If you've participated in the R/W program as a sponsoring organization or a writer, send post ideas to Cheryl Klein at cklein@pw.org.    
The Readings/Workshops program is supported, in part, by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

  NYSCA logo  NYCulture logo
Major support for Readings/Workshops in California is provided by The James Irvine Foundation.
James Irvine Foundation logo

Additional support is provided by the Louis & Anne Abrons Foundation, the Axe-Houghton Foundation, the A.K. Starr Charitable Trust, and Friends of Poets & Writers.
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