Writers

Nancie Battaglia

Russell Banks is the author of more than a dozen works, which include poetry, short stories, novels and essays.  His novels Cloudsplitter and Continental Drift were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.  The Sweet Hereafter and Affliction were made into feature films.  His latest work is a short story collection called A Permanent Member of the Family.  Banks is the recipient of numerous literary awards, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  He lives in Keene, New York and Miami, Florida.

Leta Warner

Maria Semple is the author of This One Is Mine and Where’d You Go Bernadette. Before turning to fiction, she wrote for Mad About You, Ellen, and Arrested Development. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker. She lives in Seattle. http://www.mariasemple.com/

Jayne Anne Phillips is a short story writer and novelist.  She was born and raised in West Virginia. Her first book of stories, Black Tickets, published in 1979 when she was 26, won the prestigious Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, awarded by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.  Her novels include Machine Dreams, Shelter, MotherKind, Lark and Termite and Quiet Dell.  She is currently Distinguished Professor of English and Director of the Rutgers Newark MFA Program at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey. http://jayneannephillips.com/

Paula Broadwell is an American writer, academic, and former military officer who is known for the extramarital affair ending the career of David Petraeus as the Director of the CIA .

She spoke at the Aspen Security Forum in the summer of 2012, before the scandal broke.

Dr. Mitchell Besser is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and founder of mothers2mothers, in which mothers living with HIV are employed to work in health centers, educating and supporting pregnant women and new mothers with HIV.

Since its inception in 2001, mothers2mothers has grown to provide services in seven countries in Africa, with nearly 3 million contacts with women each year.

APR Special: Slam Poets at the Wheeler

Feb 18, 2014
Myrlin Hepworth's website

For the last month two poets have been in the Roaring Fork Valley working with students in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Basalt and Aspen.  Organized by the Aspen Writer’s Foundation, they held workshops on poetry encouraging, guiding and mentoring.  And, what they were about in these sessions; was slam poetry.

The poetry sessions culminated in public poetry slams, one of then at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen last week (2-13-2014.)  We’re featuring some of the poems performed at the Wheeler and we’ve asked a local poet to guide us along as we listen.  Kim Nuzzo could rightly be called the Roaring Fork Valley’s own poet laureate.  Nuzzo is a published poet and co-founder of he Aspen Poet’s Society.

We will hear poems by the two professionals who led the student workshops; Myrlin Hepworth and Logan Phillips.   Also performing are three students;  Riley Marshall from Roaring Fork High School, Tibet Boyer from Carbondale Middle School and Karyme Lara from Basalt High School.

About Kim Nuzzo:

Kim Nuzzo is a local performance poet/actor who has appeared in many local productions with the Hudson Reed Ensemble: The Crucible, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, The Beats, Red Herring.  He also appeared recently in ACT’s 1776 as John Hancock.  He is President of the Aspen Poets’ Society and a Host/Cofounder of Live Poetry Night at Victoria’s Wine and Espresso Bar in Aspen.  He is the author of HolyFunk: Polaroids and Poems and is currently working on a new collection of poems: The Sayings of Twilight Jesus.

Caitlin Saunders

George Saunders is the author of four collections of short stories: the bestselling Pastoralia, set against a warped, hilarious, and terrifyingly recognizable American landscape; CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, a Finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, In Persuasion Nation, one of three finalists for the 2006 STORY Prize for best short story collection of the year, and Tenth of December. Pastoralia, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, and Tenth of December were all New York Times Notable Books. Tenth of December was nominated for the 2013 National Book Award in Fiction. The Boston Globe lauds Saunders’ ability to “construct a story of absurdist satire, then locate within it a moment of searing humanity." In 2014, Saunders' graduation speech at Syracuse University will be published as the book Congratulations, by the Way.

Bastian Schweitzer

Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Devotion and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, and has been widely anthologized. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, The New School and Wesleyan University, and she is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. She is a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure. She lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Her new book is called Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life.

Poem: Looking for Robert Frost

Jan 29, 2014
Jose Alcantara

The light in the desert comes on slowly

as though we need to prepare for it

or as though it is a gift given grudgingly.

At other times the edge of the world

begins in a blaze brighter than anything

we deserve. Last night I dreamt my father died

as we tried to find where Robert Frost wrote.

We were headed to a beach shack

on the other side of a concrete canal

when he jumped, trying to swim beyond

the surge that flowed toward land

as though Frost wrote with the power

Richard Dubois

Kenneth Bonert was born in South Africa and is the grandson of Lithuanian immigrants.  His fiction has appeared in McSweeney's, Grain and the Fiddlehead.  His journalism has appeared in the Globe and Mail and other publications. He lives in Toronto.

Rebecca Zeller

Elliott Holt was born and raised in Washington, D.C. A former copywriter who worked at advertising agencies in Moscow, London, and New York, Holt attended the MFA program at Brooklyn College (where she won the Himan Brown award) at night while working full time in Manhattan during the day. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Salon, Guernica, Kenyon Review online, The Millions, Bellevue Literary Review, The Pushcart Prize XXXV (2011 anthology) and elsewhere. In addition to winning a Pushcart Prize, she was the runner-up of the 2011 PEN Emerging Writers Award. Her first novel You Are One of Them was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice.

Pages