A Tale of Teaching and Writing (in Parentheticals)

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Monday, April 14th, 2014 | 2,097 views

Remember what you’re here for, my professors repeated during my two years enrolled in the Rutgers-Newark MFA program. Do not permit teaching responsibilities to interfere with writing, they would say. Their words echoed in my adjunct office, bouncing back and forth between concrete walls (there were no windows; it looked like a glorious prison cell). I felt as if I was hiding a shameful secret when I nodded along to their sage words. But here it is in print now: I felt as passionately about teaching as I did about writing, and on many occasions (please don’t tell them), I did let teaching trump writing; I was still learning the program’s requirements and the students’ abilities (or lack thereof) as well as my own (or lack thereof works here, too). I felt I was there for both (like the true rebel that I am).

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Bernardine Evaristo reads Mr. Loverman with Chris Abani and Colin Channer

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Friday, April 11th, 2014 | 2,591 views

Bernadine Evaristo, Chris Abani, Colin Channer

Bernadine Evaristo launched her latest novel, Mr. Loverman, at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn. She was joined by Chris Abani who read from his latest novel, The Secret History of Las Vegas (January 2014). Colin Channer facilitated the discussion.

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Douglas Watson Reads A Moody Fellow Finds Love and Then Dies

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Friday, April 11th, 2014 | 1,656 views

Douglas Watson reads his novel A Moody Fellow Finds Love and Then Dies

Douglas Watson celebrated the release of his novel A Moody Fellow Finds Love and Then Dies at WORD bookstore in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Watson is a local and the store offered a fitting place for him to launch the novel; much of the novel was workshopped in the very room with the Greenpoint Writers Group. The workshop is run through WORD.

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Contradictions in the American Dream from a First-Generation American Writer

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Monday, April 7th, 2014 | 2,655 views

My grandfather, Luigino Adamo, sold most of what he had in the summer of 1957 to buy four one way tickets for a boat to America. He landed with only the Italian language and a fifth grade education. Born in the southern Italian farming town of San Mango D’Aquino, Calabria, his first destination was a relative’s farm in Pennsylvania. After working with them for three months without seeing financial results, Luigino took his family to Brooklyn and set about finding work. As an uneducated laborer, his options revolved around factory work, plumber assistantships, and gardener positions. He worked, saved, and looked toward his future. By 1958, he acquired a part-time, seasonal job in a cemetery that would eventually turn into a full-time gravedigger position and then a heavy equipment operator.

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Rachel Urquhart Reads The Visionist with Elissa Schappell

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Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 | 1,516 views

Rachel Urquhart Reads The Visionist with Elissa Schappell, co-founder and editor of Tin House at Community Bookstore in Park Slope Brooklyn

Pacifist, celibate, and highly religious, the Shakers are perhaps best remembered for their furniture. But they also possessed a fascination with the mysticism surrounding teenage girls who spoke tongues. Two of these teenage girls are the focus of Rachel Urquhart’s new novel The Visionist. She was joined by Tin House co-founder Elissa Schappell at Community Bookstore to talk about the novel and the Shaker influence.

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Sam Lipsyte, Walter Martin and Wesley Stace talk Novels and Rock Albums

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Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 | 1,637 views

No one brought up “The Worm in Philly”—there will be few band names that ever beat the fictional “The Annihilation of the Soft Left”—but Sam Lipsyte moderated a discussion about rock and roll and literature with the same gritty humor that permeates his fiction. On Friday night at Housing Works, in front of an intimate […]

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Gary Shteyngart and Suketu Mehta Discuss Little Failure

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Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 | 1,892 views

Gary Shteyngart and Suketu Mehta Discuss Little Failure

Super Sad True Love Story (2010) turned Gary Shteyngart into a superstar. He is now the kind of author that fills venues. In January, he released a memoir, Little Failure. He met up with his longtime friend and fellow author Suketu Mehta at New York City’s Tenement Museum to discuss the book.

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Ted Thompson reads The Land of Steady Habits

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Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 | 2,337 views

Ted Thompson reads from his debut novel The Land of Steady Habits at BookCourt in Brooklyn

What began as a short story eight years ago grew into Ted Thompson’s debut novel, The Land of Steady Habits. Thompson, a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s workshop, launched the novel at BookCourt in Brooklyn. Cupcakes were served.

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