Interesting article by Hrag Vartanian in Hyperallergic
What do you think?
Phillip Lopate recently visited CALA’s fall Feature Writing for Print and Digital Media class, taught by Susan Hartman, to discuss the craft of writing personal essays. Mr. Lopate, who is widely celebrated for his essays, has also published two novels, novellas, books of poetry, and film criticism. Chatting informally, he encouraged students to sometimes break away from the old writing rule: “Show don’t tell.” And to celebrate the element of surprise.
This spring Susan Hartman will be teaching two courses. Please click on title links for information and to register:
For all Spring 2017 Writing Courses at CALA click on links below:
Irish writer, William Trevor died peacefully in his sleep during the early hours of 21 November 2016, at his home. He was 88 years old.
Born as William Trevor Cox in Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland, to a middle-class Protestant family, he moved several times to other provincial towns, including Skibbereen, Tipperary, Youghal and Enniscorthy, as a result of his father’s work as a bank official.
He was educated at St. Columba’s College in Dublin, and at Trinity College, Dublin, from which he received a degree in history. Trevor worked as a sculptor under the name Trevor Cox after his graduation from Trinity College, supplementing his income by teaching. He married Jane Ryan in 1952 and emigrated to Great Britain two years later, working as a copywriter for an advertising agency. It was during this time that he and his wife had their first son.
His first novel, A Standard of Behaviour, was published in 1958, but had little critical success. He later disowned this work and refused to have it republished.
In 1964, at the age of 36, Trevor won the Hawthornden Prize for Literature for The Old Boys. The win encouraged Trevor to become a full-time writer.
He and his family moved to Devon in South West England, where he resided until his death. In 2002, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom for services to literature. Despite having spent most of his life in England, he considered himself to be “Irish in every vein” (Wikipedia)
This spring CALA is offering a timely course in which William Trevor and his compatriots will feature. It will be taught by Nancy DiBenedetto.
If that’s not enough of the Irish for you, CALA has more in this one-session course from George Scheper, focusing on the “greening” of New York:
“I think it is the art of the glimpse. If the novel is like an intricate Renaissance painting, the short story is an impressionist painting. It should be an explosion of truth. Its strength lies in what it leaves out just as much as what it puts in, if not more. It is concerned with the total exclusion of meaninglessness. Life, on the other hand, is meaningless most of the time. The novel imitates life, where the short story is bony, and cannot wander. It is essential art.”
― William Trevor
From fiction writer and journalist Carol Bergman comes a third potpourri of very short stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, verbal snapshots and mini-essays: NOMADS 3. In these subtle, profound and original works, each using a different narrative persona, Bergman demonstrates her experience as a phrasemaker and storyteller. Like Lydia Davis and Czeslaw Milosz, her writing is both unique and difficult to classify, yet its cumulative affect in the last volume of the NOMADS TRILOGY is clear. Humorous, perceptive, precise, wry, sometimes chilling, she writes about war and peace, love and disappointment, the mundane and the sublime, with deep attention and warmth.
To make reservations for a 45 minute performance on Tuesday, December 6, click Cornelia Street Cafe
Carol Bergman’s articles, essays, and interviews have appeared in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, and Salon.com. Her essay, “Objects of Desire” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize; her short stories have appeared in many literary magazines. She is the author of biographies of Mae West and Sidney Poitier, a memoir, Searching for Fritzi, two books of novellas, Sitting for Klimt and Water Baby and two novels, Say Nothing and What Returns to Us. She compiled and edited Another Day in Paradise; International Humanitarian Workers Tell Their Stories, nominated for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize. She lives in New York City and teaches writing at New York University
She will be teaching two courses at CALA this spring: Click the links below for details.
The Hartman Profile is an ongoing series that features CALA faculty, staff, and students—all through the lens of award-winning Adjunct Associate Professor and writer Susan Hartman.
The Hartman Profile: Letizia Mariotti
Six years ago, Leti Mariotti—a young Frenchwoman—walked into my classroom. She looked shell-shocked.
Leti had just arrived from Berlin, where she’d been living, and working as an editor. “Berlin’s tough,” said Leti, 34, who was born in Paris. “The weather is cold and dark. I was looking for a break.” She had sublet an apartment for three months on the Upper West Side, and was planning to return to Berlin. But she also wondered if she might find a niche here and stay.
She had signed up for my Art of the Photo Essay class not long after she’d arrived. “I wanted to feel more comfortable in English,” she said. Already an accomplished photographer, she liked the idea of telling a story in photographs and words.
I was taken aback by the beauty of Leti’s first photo, which she shot for our class: a Renoir-like little girl on a gritty playground. And I was amazed by her later photos of a local character, the Pigeon Man of Washington Square Park, sitting enveloped by hundreds of birds.
But she struggled to write in English. “You have shorter sentences,” she said. “It’s more to the point than French.” And she felt self-conscious speaking in class. “I mumble in English,” she said. “My friend told me, ‘You seem so much more clever in French!’”
But our class was welcoming, and Leti started to relax. She worked hard on her text for the Pigeon Man photos, sitting with me after class, and working with me through email. By the end of the five week course, “I felt more confident, and more at ease,” she said.
She started to see herself as a photographer: “It became 100% of my time,” she said. She began doing freelance work for Philadelphia Weekly, and shooting stills on TV and independent film sets. She moved to the Lower East Side–and fell in love with her new neighborhood’s narrow, dense streets.
We’d sometimes meet for coffee—and Leti began showing me a personal project: She was documenting Judith Malina, 87, the artistic director and co-founder of The Living Theatre, who was being evicted from her longtime residence and theater on the Lower East Side, and moving into the Lillian Booth Actors Home, a nursing home facility in New Jersey.
I loved Leti’s black and white photos of the fragile looking Ms. Malina. I wanted to meet her—and to write a story to go along with Leti’s images.
I contacted my editor at The New York Times. And Leti and I—no longer student and teacher—began working together on an assignment.
Read the finished piece here: The New York Times: Founder of Avant-Garde Theater Tackles a New Scene
Take one of Susan’s courses this Spring!