Tag Archives: fairfield university

Stuff Coming Up

Here are some upcoming events:

Two events at the upcoming AWP conference in Chicago:

First, I’ve organized & am on a panel discussing the ins & outs & ups & downs of teaching writing in prison. My co-panelists are Mark Powell, Chris Hazlett & former inmate Dave Winfield. The panel is called PROS AND CONS and runs from 3 to 4:15 in the Lake Erie Room, on the 8th floor of the Chicago Hilton.

Later that day I’ll be reading at Blackie’s, 755 South Clark St., starting at 7 PM. Also reading are authors published by two venerable presses, New Rivers Press & White Wine Press, as well as my friend & colleague Nalini Jones.

Later in March, I’ll be reading at KGB Bar as part of their FIZZ series, Thursday March 22 at 7 pm.

On March 31, I’ll be reading as part of an evening called “Scribes & Troubadours: Festival Provencal,” at the Ridgefield Library, at 7 PM. For details, click HERE and scroll down to March 31.

On Monday, June 11, I’ll be reading at the Westport Library at 7:30 PM. A book signing will follow.

Also, watch for a reading to be held at the Fairfield University Bookstore, perhaps sometime in March.

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Reading #1: Enders Island

On the afternoon of January 2, one day shy of the first anniversary of my graduation from Fairfield University’s MFA program, I stood at the same podium where I gave the student graduation address, & read from my new novel Carry-on. I’d been graciously invited to read by the MFA program’s director, Michael White, & the reading was made an official event of the winter residency. What an honor to be the first of many FU-MFA alumni to share his/her work at the place where we learned so much about the craft of writing.

CB reads at Enders Island, 1/2/12

Enders Island is a small island off the coast of Mystic, CT, connected to the larger Mason’s Island by a 50-yard causeway, but miles away from the mainland in spirit. It is the home of the Fairfield MFA program’s twice-yearly residencies, two intensive 10-day immersions in workshops, readings, & seminars, punctuated by 3 (generous) meals per day & plenty of extracurricular activities. It’s a spectacular setting for learning, & I’ve missed being there.

As familiar as the surroundings were, I was anxious about this reading. I hadn’t expected to read in the Chapel, a large venue with a notoriously boomy sound system & lots of wooden pews that could, potentially, remain empty. And while a very good crowd showed up, I remained nervous before, during & even after the reading. Should I have chosen a different section of the novel to share? Was I reading too fast? Too slow? Did the book suck? I’ve given dozens & dozens of readings, in all kinds of situations & venues, & I remain a nervous wreck each time, but this one was especially tense. These were my peers, not to mention my teachers. I felt a certain responsibility to them: this needed to be good. I was so anxious that I forgot to say several things I’d intended to say before reading from the book. I wrote it all down, then proceeded to ignore most of it, convinced that it would be self-indulgent. In retrospect, I should have ignored my written intro & instead spoken about how special it was to be there, in that room, with those people. I wish I had.

After the reading, Mystic’s famous independent bookseller Bank Square Books sold copies of Carry-on, which I was happy to sign. I was also thrilled that we sold 40 copies–all those that I brought!

Special shout-out to Travis Baker for his thoughtful, hilarious introduction.

 

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