The New Yorker staff writer and bestselling author of The Orchid Thief talks with musician Ben Arthur about her music, inspiration, distraction, adaptation, and her new book about the Los Angeles Public Library fire in 1986.
Writing about trauma is sometimes called “navel-gazing,” particularly for women writers. An essayist and memoirist confronts this stigma, and calls on writers to explore their personal traumas and truths.
Book Soup is located on the world famous Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California. The bookstore has been serving readers, writers, artists, rock and rollers, and celebrities since it was founded by Glenn Goldman in 1975. With over 60,000 titles, specializing in art, film, photography, music, controversial nonfiction, and literary fiction, the shop hosts author events and is open daily.
Founded in 1974, Changing Hands Bookstore is an independent community bookstore and online bookseller that gives a portion of its proceeds to local schools and over two hundred local, national, and international charities and service organizations. A second location, in Tempe, was opened in 1998. The bookstores host frequent author readings and signings, writing classes and workshops, and other literary events. The Phoenix branch of the bookstore also has the First Draft Book Bar, which serves beer, wine, coffee, and food, and hosts a happy hour book club.
Main Street Books has been an independent book provider for over twenty years. In addition to books, patrons can purchase a multitude of gift items, including greeting cards, bookmarks, journals, card games, and children’s toys. Main Street Books also coordinates several author events per month, both at the store and with the St. Charles City-County Library District. They have hosted local favorites as well as national bestseller authors.
Established in 1984, Politics and Prose is an independent bookstore and cafe in Washington D. C. that hosts regular author events, readings, and writing classes throughout the year.
The Spoken Word Club of Laguna Woods is a place for writers, poets, playwrights, monologuists, and storytellers to read their work and develop new material. In our monthly meetings, members have an opportunity to read and hear others. There is a featured reader every month. Guests are welcomed to listen or read ($2 charge for guests per meeting). Light refreshments at the Redwoods Room in the Community Center on El Toro on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 1pm-3pm.
Have you ever smelled something so sweet it made you smile? The sense of smell, in contrast to vision, sound, and touch, is connected to areas of the brain associated with memory and emotion making it a powerful agent at triggering memories and feelings. Think of a scent, such as an ingredient for a meal, a perfume, or perhaps something from the outdoors or nature, that you associate with a person who has played an integral role in your life. Write a personal essay that explores the intertwining of smell and the resonant memories and emotions you associate with this person.
The Whiting Foundation announced the ten recipients of its $50,000 awards at a ceremony tonight in New York City. The annual awards are given to emerging writers of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama.
The winners are Rickey Laurentiis and Tommy Pico in poetry; Anne Boyer in poetry and nonfiction; Patty Yumi Cottrell, Brontez Purnell, and Weike Wang in fiction; Esmé Weijun Wang in nonfiction; and Nathan Alan Davis, Hansol Jung, and Antoinette Nwandu in drama.
“Year on year, we’re astounded by the fresh ways Whiting winners challenge form and stretch the capabilities of language, while scrutinizing what’s most urgent in the culture,” says Courtney Hodell, the Whiting Foundation’s director of writers’ programs. “The award is intended to give them the freedom to keep experimenting and growing.”
Established in 1985, the Whiting Awards have given more than $7.5 million to 330 writers since its inception. Previous winners include poets Tracy K. Smith and Jorie Graham, fiction writers Deborah Eisenberg and Denis Johnson, nonfiction writers Mary Karr and John Jeremiah Sullivan, and playwright Tony Kushner.
Photos clockwise from top left: Rickey Laurentiis, Tommy Pico, Anne Boyer, Patty Yumi Cottrell, Brontez Purnell, Antoinette Nwandu, Hansol Jung, Nathan Alan Davis, Esmé Weijun Wang, and Weike Wang.
Tracy K. Smith on what she’s reading; booksellers defend the University Press of Kentucky; Michael Chabon writes an ode to David Lynch; and other news.