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The Norman Mailer Center & The Norman Mailer Writer's Colony

Workshop Faculty


Meena Alexander
Poetry

Meena Alexander

Poetry

Meena Alexander is an internationally acclaimed poet, scholar and writer. Born in Allahabad, India, and raised in India and Sundan, Alexander lives and works in New York City, where she is Distinguished Professor of English at Hunter College int he MFA program in Creative Writing and at the CUNY Graduate Center in the PhD program in English.  She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, literary memoirs, essays and works of fiction and literary criticiam. 

 

Among her best known works are the volumes of poetry Illiterate Heart and Raw Silk. In addition she has published two novels, Nampally Road and Manhattan Music. Illiterate Heart won the 2002 PEN Open Book Award.

 

 

Meena Alexander Poetry
Bob Begiebing
Publishing: "Selling Your Novel:  A Compelling First Impression"

Bob Begiebing

Publishing: "Selling Your Novel: A Compelling First Impression"

Robert J. Begiebing is Professor Emeritus of English at Southern New Hampshire University, where he has received three awards for excellence in teaching. The author of six books, a play, and more than thirty articles and stories, his works include a trilogy of novels spanning 1648-1850. His novel Rebecca Wentworth’s Distraction won the Langum Prize for historical fiction. The Strange Death of Mistress Coffin was chosen as a Main Selection for the Mystery and Literary Guild Book Clubs and is currently optioned for a film. His novels have been favorably reviewed in The New York Times, The Times of London, The Los Angeles Times, Publisher’s Weekly, Yankee Magazine, and Library Journal, among other major periodicals. His fiction writing has been supported by grants from the Lila-Wallace Foundation and the New Hampshire Council for the Arts, and in 2007 Governor John Lynch appointed Begiebing to the New Hampshire Council. In 2009 he served both as one of the inaugural faculty members at the Norman Mailer Writers’ Colony and as finalist judge for the Langum Prize. He is the founding director of the Low-Residency MFA in Fiction and Nonfiction at Southern NH University.

Bob Begiebing Publishing: "Selling Your Novel: A Compelling First Impression"
David Black
Screenwriting

David Black

Screenwriting

David Black is an award-winning journalist, novelist, screenwriter, and producer. His novel Like Father was named a notable book of the year by the New York Times and listed as one of the seven best novels of the year by the Washington Post. The King of Fifth Avenue was named a notable book of the year by the New York Times, New York Magazine, and the A.P. Among the television shows he has produced and written are the Sidney Lumet series 100 Centre Street, which was listed as one of the 10 best shows of the year, the Richard Dreyfuss series The Education of Max Bickford, Monk, CSI-Miami, Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, and Law & Order, which received an Emmy nomination for Best Dramatic Show and a Golden Globe nomination. He won the Writers’ Guild of America Award for The Confession. He was also nominated for the Writers’ Guild of America Award for an episode of Hill Street Blues. He received an American Bar Association Certificate of Merit for Nullification, a controversial episode of Law & Order about Militia groups, which the Los Angeles Times called an example of “the new Golden Age of television.”  Among his other awards, he has received a National Endowment of the Arts grant in fiction, Playboy’s Best Article of the Year Award, Best Essays of the Year 1986 Honorable Mention, Forward’s Book of the Year Special Mention, and an Atlantic Monthly “First” award for fiction. He has also received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for The Plague Years, a book based on a two-part series that he wrote for Rolling Stone and that won a National Magazine Award in Reporting and the National Science Writers Award. He has taught writing at Lehman College, Mt. Holyoke College, and Harvard, where he is a scholar-in-residence at Kirkland House. He is also a former board member of the Mystery Writers of America and a member of the Century Association, the Williams Club, the Columbia Club, PEN, the Explorers’ Club, and the Players. 

David Black Screenwriting
Bonnie Culver
Screenwriter & Playwright

Bonnie Culver

Screenwriter & Playwright

Bonnie Culver, Screenwriter, Playwright, Novelist. Bonnie Culver’s twenty-plus plays have been produced from NY to LA by colleges, regional theatres, and equity companies. Her professionally produced plays include: LIFELINES, GROUP S.O.S. (male and female versions), ACCIDENT, and SNIPER. In 2004, SNIPER won the New Jersey Arts Council Perry Award for Excellence in the Production of an Original Play and completed a first class equity showcase at Center Stage, NYC, in 2005. In 2006, SNIPER was included in the Florida Studio Theatre’s Richard and Betty Burdick National Playwriting Reading series, an annual event that showcases “the best in American contemporary theatre.” The screenplay SNIPER was a 1996 Sundance Film Development Program finalist as were her scripts GROUP S.O.S. and WATCHFIRES. A new play SILENT PARTNERS, is in development with actress Marlee Matlin. This spring the Villagers Playhouse produced SNIPER which was nominated for seven NJ Perry Awards; Jeff Mashey won the Best Supporting Actor category. Dr. Culver received her PhD from Binghamton University. At Wilkes, she is an associate professor of English, a former college dean, and currently the director of the low residency M.A./M.F.A. programs. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the president of the James Jones Society, and an Advisory Board member of the Norman Mailer Society and Etruscan Press. In 2010 she was elected to the Board of Trustees of AWP Association of Writers & Programs. Her short play CELL was produced in a festival of one-acts at The Venue, Norfolk, VA in 2010. She is currently at work on a novel/screenplay called HARMONY LAKE.

 

Bonnie Culver Screenwriter & Playwright
Beverly Donofrio
Non-Fiction

Beverly Donofrio

Non-Fiction

Beverly Donofrio’s first memoir, Riding in Cars with Boys, has been translated into sixteen languages and transformed into a popular motion picture. Her second memoir, Looking for Mary (or, the Blessed Mother and Me), began as a documentary on NPR and was chosen as a Discover Book at Barnes & Noble.

Her first picture book, an award–winner, Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary, was illustrated by Barbara McClintock and appeared in 2007. The book’s sequel, also illustrated by Barbara McClintock, Maria and Mouse Mouse, Mouse Mouse and Maria, is scheduled to be released in 2013 Thank You, Lucky Stars, a book for middle–graders about dancing and friendship, appeared in 2008.

Beverly is an award–winning radio documentarian and essayist and can be heard on such programs as All Things Considered. Her personal essays have appeared in national newspapers and magazines, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Allure, Cosmopolitan, New York Magazine, The Village Voice, O, Marie Clair, and Spirituality & Health.

 

She lived for four years as a lay Carmelite at Nada Hermitage in Colorado, where she began her next memoir, Astonished, which will be published by Viking in the spring of 2013. Beverly is now in transit, in the hallway, between here and there, a lay Carmelite out in the world, spending time with family and friends, writing as always, and teaching at the low residency MFA program at Wilkes University.

Beverly Donofrio Non-Fiction
Cristina García
Fiction: "Revitalizing Your Writing"

Cristina García

Fiction: "Revitalizing Your Writing"

Cristina García is the author of five novels: Dreaming in Cuban, The Agüero Sisters, Monkey Hunting, A Handbook to Luck, and The Lady Matador’s Hotel, recently published by Scribner. García has edited two anthologies, Cubanísimo: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Cuban Literature and Bordering Fires: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Mexican and Chicano/a Literature. Two works for young readers, The Dog Who Loved the Moon, and I Wanna Be Your Shoebox were published in 2008. A collection of poetry, The Lesser Tragedy of Death, was published in 2010. Her newest work, Dreams of Significant Girls, is a young adult novel set in a Swiss boarding school in the 1970s.

García’s work has been nominated for a National Book Award and translated into fourteen languages. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, and an NEA grant, among others. Recently, Garcia was a Visiting Professor at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas-Austin and teaches at Texas Tech University most spring semesters. This past fall, Garcia was a Visiting Professor at the University of Miami and will serve as University Chair in Creative Writing at Texas State University-San Marcos from 2012-14.

Cristina García Fiction: "Revitalizing Your Writing"
Marita Golden
Fiction

Marita Golden

Fiction

Marita Golden is the author of over a dozen works of fiction and nonfiction, including the classic memoir Migrations of the Heart. Her most recent novel received the Fiction Award from the Black Caucus of the American Liberty Association. She has been recognized both by the Authors Guild and Poets and Writers for her work on behalf of the national and international Black writing community and serves as President Emeritus of the Hurston/Wright Foundation which she co-founded. Her writing is read and has been used widely in colleges and universities in the U.S. and internationally and she has lectured on African-American writers both in Europe and the Middle East.

Marita Golden Fiction
Paul Carter Harrison
Playwriting: "August Wilson Blues Poetics"

Paul Carter Harrison

Playwriting: "August Wilson Blues Poetics"

Paul Carter Harrison is an award winning playwright/director/theatre theorist whose work has been produced and published in both Europe and the United States. He has had a long artistic association, as writer/director, with the Negro Ensemble Company which had produced his earlier plays, Tophat, Abercrombie Apocalypse, and the celebrated Great Macdaddy which won an an Obie Award. Other significant plays include the ritual-drama Ameri/Cain Gothic, the multi-media musical Death of Boogie Woogie, and the Audelco Award winning musical-drama, Tabernacle. As dramaturg/director, he has developed such distinguished works as Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death, Lady Day: A Musical Tragedy, and the Audelco Award winning Trial of One Short-Sighted Black Woman vs. Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae. The recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship for American Playwriting, a National Endowment of the Arts Playwrights Fellowship, and two Meet-the Composer/Reader’s Digest Commission, he is also the author of the The Drama of Nommo, a collection of essays that has been a seminal influence in the exploration of ritual stylization for many contemporary playwrights and directors in Black Theatre practice.

Paul Carter Harrison Playwriting: "August Wilson Blues Poetics"
Bob Holman
Poetry

Bob Holman

Poetry

Bob Holman has taught for the New School, Columbia and NYU and the Stony Brook Writing Program at the Turkana Basin Institute (Kenya) as well as Naropa, Banff, The Gambia, Costa Rica, Medellin, Vilnius, London, Durban, Kathmandu, Dubai, Budapest, Addis Ababa and others. After working at the St Marks Poetry Project and starting the Slam at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, he founded the Bowery Poetry Club, where he is currently Artistic Director. He is devoted to using poetry as an activist tool to create awareness about the Endangered Language Crisis -- he's a Co-director of the Endangered Language Alliance. He created a TV series on this subject with Ram Devineni and Beatriz Seigner which aired on LinkTV, and is the host of Word Up! Languages in Danger! produced by David Grubin for PBS. He has published 15 books, including A Couple of Ways of Doing Something, a collaboration with Chuck Close (Aperture).

Bob Holman Poetry
Kaylie Jones
Memoir: "The Challenge of Depicting Live Characters"

Kaylie Jones

Memoir: "The Challenge of Depicting Live Characters"

Kaylie Jones newest endeavor is her publishing imprint with Akashic Books, Kaylie Jones Books. Her flagship publication is Laurie Loewenstein’s novel, Unmentionables (January 2014), which was honored at the ALA 2014 conference, and was a Midwest Booksellers Association January pick. Kaylie has published six books, the most recent a memoir, Lies My Mother Never Told Me (Harper Collins, 2009). Her novel A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries was adapted as a Merchant Ivory Film in 1998. Jones is the editor of the anthology Long Island Noir, published in Spring 2012. Her non-fiction essay, Judite is included in Ann Hood’s Knitting Yarns, published in November 2013. Kaylie has been teaching creative writing for more than 25 years, and is a faculty member in the Stony Brook/Southampton MFA Program in Writing, and in the Wilkes University Low-Residency Program in Professional Writing. Kaylie and her daughter spent the summer 2013 studying Kung Fu in China with Shaolin warrior monks.

Kaylie Jones Memoir: "The Challenge of Depicting Live Characters"
Amitava Kumar
Fiction: "On the Page, Voice is King"

Amitava Kumar

Fiction: "On the Page, Voice is King"

Amitava Kumar is the author of several works of literary non-fiction, including Husband of a Fanatic, an Editors’ Choice pick of the New York Times. Duke University Press published in August 2010 his novel, Nobody Does the Right Thing, and also a work of non-fiction, A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb, which is a writer's report on the global war on terror. He is Professor of English at Vassar College.

Amitava Kumar Fiction: "On the Page, Voice is King"
Susan Lehman
Non-Fiction

Susan Lehman

Non-Fiction

Susan Lehman is the Editor in Chief at TED Books. 

She was deputy editor of the Sunday Review section of The New York Times and, in recognition of her work setting the tone for the new Sunday opinion section, was awarded the Arthur Sulzberger Prize for Excellence in Publishing.

She has worked as a book, magazine and Web editor and has written for a range of publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Observer and The Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, Glamour, Harper's Bazaar, New York, GQ and Spy.

She was the co-author, with Edward Hayes, of "Mouthpiece: My Life in — and Just Outside — the Law," with an introduction by Tom Wolfe, and has contributed to several essay collections. A former criminal defense lawyer, she was communications director for the Brennan Center for Justice, a producer at Court TV and Lifetime Television, and a consulting producer for CNBC's "Topic A With Tina Brown."

Ms. Lehman graduated from Amherst College and has a master's degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a law degree from Georgetown. Before joining The New York Times, she was a member of the board of The New Press, a leading public interest book publisher.



 

 

 

 

Susan Lehman Non-Fiction
J. Michael Lennon
Nonfiction: "Creative Nonfiction"

J. Michael Lennon

Nonfiction: "Creative Nonfiction"

J. Michael Lennon has edited several books including James Jones Reader and Norman Mailer's The Spooky Art:Thoughts on Writing.  He has produced two PBS documentaries (James Jones and Abraham Lincoln) and edited a monthly magazine, Illinois Issues.  His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Paris Review, New York, Playboy and many literary and academic journals and in 2007 he co-authored with Mailer On God: An Uncommon Conversation. Lennon has taught writing at the University of Illinois- Springfield, where he co-founded the M.A. in Public Affairs Reporting, and Wilkes University, where he co-founded the M.F.A. in Creative Writing.  The former President of The Norman Mailer Society, Lennon is currently writing the authorized biography of Norman Mailer for Simon & Schuster.

J. Michael Lennon Nonfiction: "Creative Nonfiction"
Yona Zeldis McDonough
Young Adult & Children's Literature

Yona Zeldis McDonough

Young Adult & Children's Literature

Yona Zeldis McDonough was educated at Vassar College and Columbia University.  She is the author of five novels for adults, The Four Temperaments, In Dahlia's Wake, Breaking the Bank (which has been optioned for screen) A Wedding in Great Neck and Two of a Kind. Her sixth novel, You Were Meant for Me, will be out in October 2014. She is also the editor of two essay collections, The Barbie Chronicles: A Living Doll Turns Forty and All the Available Light: A Marilyn Monroe Reader. 

Additionally, McDonough is an award-winning children's book author with 21 children's books to her credit. The Doll Shop Downstairs received a starred review from Jewish Book World which opined   that it "will become a classic." In another starred review Kirkus called the sequel, The Cats in the Doll Shop, "a quiet treasure." The Doll With the Yellow Star won the 2006 Once Upon a World Award presented by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Her latest book Little Author in the Big Woods, a biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, will be published by Holt in September 2014.

For over a dozen years, McDonough has been the Fiction Editor at Lilith Magazine and her fiction, essays and articles have been published in many national and literary reviews.  Visit her at www.yonazeldismcdonough.com

 

 

Yona Zeldis McDonough Young Adult & Children's Literature
Andrew Meier
Journalism: "On the Road"

Andrew Meier

Journalism: "On the Road"

Andrew Meier is a nonfiction author and journalist who has written on political and foreign affairs—reporting from Russia, the Baltics, Central Asia, and the Caucasus--more than two decades. A Moscow correspondent for Time, 1996-2001, he is at present a contributor to The New York Times Magazine and Director of Writing for FACING CHANGE: DOCUMENTING AMERICA (www.facingchange.org).

His first book, Black Earth: A Journey Through Russia After the Fall (W.W. Norton, 2003), was widely hailed as one of the best books on Russia to appear since the end of the USSR. The Lost Spy: An American in Stalin’s Secret Service, Meier’s second book, is an award-winning biography of the first-known American to spy for the Soviets, Isaiah “Cy” Oggins. Both were named to a number of “Book of the Year” lists.

At present, Meier is at work on a biography of the Morgenthau family for Random House. A nonfiction history of four generations of the German Jewish dynasty, the book covers 166 years of New York history, culminating in the life and work of Robert M. Morgenthau, the longtime District Attorney of New York County.

Meier has also written for numerous other publications (among them: Harper’s, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, National Geographic, The New Republic, The New York Times, Outside, The Washington Post) and reported for PBS television documentaries. A recipient of fellowships from the Alicia Patterson Foundation, NEH, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers at the New York Public Library, Meier currently teaches Nonfiction and Journalism at Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts in New York City. 

Andrew Meier Journalism: "On the Road"
Alana Newhouse
Journalism: "Long Form for the Internet"

Alana Newhouse

Journalism: "Long Form for the Internet"

Alana Newhouse is the editor-in-chief of Tablet Magazine, as well as a contributor to numerous other media outlets, including The New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, Slate, New York Magazine and others.  Before launching Tablet in 2009, she spent five years as culture editor of the Forward, where she supervised coverage of books, films, dance, music, art, and ideas. She also started a line of Forward-branded books with W.W. Norton and edited its maiden publication, A Living Lens: Photographs of Jewish Life from the Pages of the Forward.

Alana Newhouse Journalism: "Long Form for the Internet"
Sigrid Nunez
Fiction: "Starting with Character"

Sigrid Nunez

Fiction: "Starting with Character"

Sigrid Nunez has published six novels, including A Feather on the Breath of God, The Last of Her Kind, and, most recently, Salvation City. She is also the author of Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. Among the many journals to which she has contributed are The New York Times, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, The Believer, Tin House, Conjunctions, and Threepenny Review. Her honors and awards include three Pushcart Prizes, a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Berlin Prize Fellowship, and two awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters: the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award and the Rome Prize in Literature.

Sigrid Nunez Fiction: "Starting with Character"
Charles Strozier
Nonfiction: "Historical Narrative"

Charles Strozier

Nonfiction: "Historical Narrative"

Charles B. Strozier is a history professor at the City University of New York and a practicing psychoanalyst.  His new book, based on interviews with survivors and witnesses, Until the Fires Stopped Burning: 9/11 and New York City, will be published in August of 2011 by Columbia University Press.  He is also author of the biography, Heinz Kohut: The Making of a Psychoanalyst (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2001); an interview study of fundamentalism, Apocalypse: On the Psychology of Fundamentalism in America (Beacon, 1994); a psychological study, Lincoln's Quest for Union (Basic, 1982); another eight edited books, two published in the last year; and scores of articles on history, psychohistory, and psychoanalysis.

Charles Strozier Nonfiction: "Historical Narrative"
Ronaldo Wilson
Poetry

Ronaldo Wilson

Poetry

Ronaldo V. Wilson, PhD is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (University of Pittsburgh, 2008), winner of the 2007 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books, 2009), winner of the Thom Gunn Award and the Asian American Literary Award in Poetry in 2010. Co-founder of the Black Took Collective, Wilson is also an Assistant Professor of Poetry, Fiction and Literature in the Literature Department of the University of California, Santa Cruz. His latest books: Farther Traveler: Poetry, Prose, Other, is forthcoming from Counterpath Press and Lucy 72 will be released by 1913 Press.  He was recently an Artist in Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts, where he worked on a dance/video project, playing with elements from his sound album Off the Dome: Rants, Raps, and Meditations, http://theconversant.org/?p=3634

 

 

Ronaldo Wilson Poetry