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Workshop Leaders

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Biography

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is from Spring Valley, New York. He graduated from SUNY Albany and went on to receive his MFA from Syracuse University.

He was the '16-'17 Olive B. O'Connor fellow in fiction at Colgate University.

His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications, including Guernica, Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing, Printer’s Row, Gravel, and The Breakwater Review, where he was selected by ZZ Packer as the winner of the 2nd Annual Breakwater Review Fiction Contest. Friday Black (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is his first book and arrives October 23rd 2018.

Workshop Description

Coming soon.
Peter Balakian - Poetry
Peter Balakian

Biography

Peter Balakian is the author of seven books of poems, four books of prose and two collaborative translations. Ozone Journal won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for poetry. His other books include Ziggurat (2010) and June-tree: New and Selected Poems, 1974-2000. His books of prose include Black Dog of Fate (an American son uncovers his Armenian Past), which won the 1998 PEN/Martha Albrand Prize for the Art of the Memoir, and was a best book of the year for the New York Times, the LA Times, and Publisher’s Weekly, and The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response (HarperCollins, 2004), which won the 2005 Raphael Lemkin Prize and was a New York Times New York Times Best Seller, and his newly published selected essays Vice and Shadow: Essays on the Lyric Imagination, Poetry, Art, and Culture.

Balakian is the recipient of many awards, prizes, and civic citations, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Spendlove Prize for Social Justice, Tolerance, and Diplomacy (recipients include President Carter). He has appeared widely on national television and radio (60 Minutes, ABC World News Tonight, PBS New Hour, Charlie Rose, CNN, C-SPAN, NPR, Fresh Air, etc), and his work has been translated into a dozen languages. He is the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities, Professor of English, and Director of Creative Writing at Colgate University.

2017 Workshop Description: Poetry

We will be focused on your poems for an intensive week. The workshop is grounded in an atmosphere of trust and intellectual honesty. You will bring poems you've submitted or newly written poems to the workshop, and we will, as a group, read them with great care and rigor and discuss how to push them further and discuss how the poem can realize its materials in the fullest possible ways. Poets will be asked to read their work aloud in class. The workshop is predicated on the belief in the ancient and contemporary value of the lyric poem as a continual landmark in human consciousness and thought and form of language. You should read each other's submissions before we convene our first workshop. At our first meeting I will hand out a small sheaf of poems (mostly by 20th century poets) and we may refer to them during the week. My hope is that each poet will leave the workshop energized and writing with new intensity and at new levels.

Workshop Submission Limit

Participants may submit up to six poems totaling no more than twenty-five pages.

Videos

Garnette Cadogan

Biography

Coming soon.

Workshop Description

Coming soon.
Amy Rose Capetta

Biography

Coming soon.

Workshop Description

Coming soon.
Brock Clarke - Novel
Brock Clarke

Biography

Brock Clarke is the author of seven books of fiction, most recently the collection The Price of the Haircut (published March 2018) and the novels The Happiest People in the World (which was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Pick, an Indie Next Pick, and an Amazon Book of the Month choice), Exley (which was a Kirkus Book of the Year, a finalist for the Maine Book Award, and a longlist finalist for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award) and An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England (which was a national bestseller, and American Library Associate Notable Book of the Year, a #1 Book Sense Pick, a Borders Original Voices in Fiction selection, and a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice pick). His books have been reprinted in a dozen international editions, and have been awarded the Mary McCarthy Prize for Fiction, the Prairie Schooner Book Series Prize, a National Endowment for Arts Fellowship, and an Ohio Council for the Arts Fellowship, among others. Clarke’s individual stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Boston Globe, Virginia Quarterly Review, One Story, The Believer, Georgia Review, New England Review, and Southern Review and have appeared in the annual Pushcart Prize and New Stories from the South anthologies and on NPR’s Selected Shorts. Algonquin Books will publish his eighth book—the novel I Am Calvin Bledsoe—in 2019. He lives in Portland, Maine, and teaches creative writing at Bowdoin College.

Workshop Description: Novel Intensive

This workshop will focus on writing and revising a novel, with an eye toward pacing, structure, logic, theme, voice, plot, characterization--everything, in other words. Workshop members are asked to submit whatever they've finished, whether it's a full draft or a representative excerpt or something in between, just as long as the submission is substantial enough to enable your readers to give you what you need. Speaking of that: workshop members will be asked to do a good bit of reading in preparation for the conference. I encourage everyone to line-edit brief passages in each other's work, but I will definitely expect everyone to be able to talk, in detail, about each other's fiction during workshop, and also to provide a detailed letter to the writer offering praise, encouragement, gentle (but specific) criticism, and ideas for revision. I will write each of you a long letter, and will line-edit a substantial, representative section of each of your manuscripts. Each participant will get his or her own workshop session, and I will meet with you outside of workshop as well. Finally, I will bring in examples of fiction and non-fiction that will help you with writing and revising your novels.

Workshop Submission Limit

60,000 words (~200 pages)*

Videos

CJ Hauser - Generative
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Biography

CJ Hauser teaches creative writing and literature at Colgate University. She is the author of the novel The From-Aways and her fiction has appeared in Tin House, Narrative Magazine, TriQuarterly, Esquire, Third Coast, SLICE, Hobart, and The Kenyon Review. She has received McSweeney's Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award, The Jaimy Gordon Prize in Fiction, and Narrative's Short Story Prize. She is at work on a new novel about sex, death, and ducks.

2018 Workshop Description: Two Fictions, Fat and Thin (Stories and Flashes)

For this workshop you will submit a complete short story draft to be critiqued by your fellow writers. You will receive written critiques from all members of the class as well as from me. We will discuss your work to help guide you toward a revisions strategy, but we will also use your submissions as a springboard for more macro discussions about the craft of story writing.

Each day we will also read a piece of flash fiction in class in order to learn how to conjure potent language and enchant readers with our storytelling. We will do exercises in class, inspired by our daily flashes, to generate new ideas and work.

This workshop welcomes writers of realism as well as writers of speculative or experimental fiction. Bring me your unflinchingly real, your incisively true, your fantastically weird, or your terrifically peculiar. I can’t wait.

Workshop Submission Limit

7,500 words (~25 pages)

Videos

Naomi Jackson - Novel
Naomi Jackson

Biography

Naomi Jackson is author of The Star Side of Bird Hill, published by Penguin Press in June 2015. The Star Side of Bird Hill was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and longlisted for the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and the International Dublin Literary Award. Star Side was named an Honor Book for Fiction by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Star Side is the winner of Late Night Library's 2016 Debut-litzer Prize. First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray selected the novel for the City's 2016 Gracie Book Club. The book has been reviewed by The New York Times, The New Yorker, Kirkus Reviews, NPR.org and Entertainment Weekly, which called Star Side “a gem of a book.” Publishers Weekly named Jackson a Writer to Watch.

Jackson studied fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. A graduate of Williams College, her work has appeared in literary journals and magazines in the United States and abroad, including Tin House, Brilliant Corners, Obsidian, Poets & Writers, and The Caribbean Writer. She is the recipient of residencies and fellowships from Bread Loaf, MacDowell Colony, Djerassi, the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers House, Hedgebrook, and the Camargo Foundation.

Jackson has taught at the University of Iowa, University of Pennsylvania, City College of New York, and Oberlin College. She currently teaching in the National Book Foundation's BookUp program. Jackson was born and raised in Brooklyn by West Indian parents.

For more about Naomi, please see interviews with The Rumpus, LargeUp, Apogee, and Elle.com.

2018 Workshop Description: This Summer, You Write Your Novel

Stephen King suggests that a novel should be written in a season. Walter Moseley’s This Year, You Write Your Novel offers advice on how to do as the title of this book suggests. In this workshop, students will make significant progress towards their goal of finishing a complete first draft of their novels by the end of the summer. Participants will cheer each other on as they break through obstacles to their projects’ completion. Each student will submit and receive substantive feedback on a new excerpt of their novel-in-progress. Appropriate for beginning as well as advanced writers, this weeklong workshop will be of particular interest to writers who want to strengthen character development and employ new ideas for plotting and structuring their manuscripts.

Workshop Submission Limit

60,000 words (~200 pages)*

Videos

Angela Palm - Narrative

Biography

Coming soon.

Workshop Description

Coming soon.
Anne Valente - Novel
Anne Valente

Biography

Anne Valente’s debut novel, Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down, was released from William Morrow/HarperCollins in 2016 and was selected as a Midwest Connection Pick and an Amazon Best Book of the Month. Her second novel, The Desert Sky Before Us, is forthcoming from William Morrow in May 2019. Her short story collection, By Light We Knew Our Names, won the Dzanc Books Short Story Prize (2014), and she is also the author of the fiction chapbook, An Elegy for Mathematics, which re-released with Bull City Press in 2017.

Her fiction appears in One Story, The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Ninth Letter and Hayden’s Ferry Review, among others, and won Copper Nickel’s 2012 Fiction Prize and a 2015 Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren Award Finalist Prize. She was the Georges and Anne Borchardt Scholar at the 2014 Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a featured author at the 2015 One Story Debutante Ball, a Walter E. Dakin Fiction Fellow at the 2017 Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and a 2019 Fellow-in-Residence at the Women’s International Study Center. Her work was selected as notable in Best American Non-Required Reading 2011 and anthologized in Best Small Fictions 2017, and her essays appear in The BelieverCatapultThe Rumpus and The Washington Post. Originally from St. Louis, she currently teaches creative writing at Hamilton College.

Workshop Description: Novel Intensive

This summer, we will work on outlining, drafting and revising the novel. Participants should submit either completed drafts or representative excerpts of a novel-in-progress, and we will focus on the entirety of the novel in workshop as well as zeroing in on two or three specific, key passages. Each workshop member will receive substantial feedback from me on their work, both in an individualized workshop as well as in a one-on-one conference. Participants should write detailed, one-page letters in response to each manuscript in advance of workshop, either digitally or printed, and will be expected to thoroughly discuss the work on the day of each participant’s workshop. Above all, workshop members should expect an encouraging, supportive environment for discussing and strengthening their novels.

Workshop Submission Limit

60,000 words (~200 pages)*
Jenny Xie - Poetry
Jenny Xie

Biography

Jenny Xie was born in Hefei, China, and raised in New Jersey. She is the author of Eye Level (Graywolf Press, 2018), selected by Juan Felipe Herrera as the winner of the 2017 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets and a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award; and Nowhere to Arrive (Northwestern University Press, 2017), recipient of the 2016 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Prize.

About Xie’s poetry collection, Eye Level, the former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera writes: “We go places; we enter multiple terrains of seeing; we cross cultural borders of time, voices, locations—of consciousness. Then—we notice we are in a trembling stillness with all beings and all things. Jenny Xie’s Eye Level is a timely collection of beauty, clarity, and expansive humanity.”

Xie has received fellowships and support from Kundiman, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Elizabeth George Foundation, and Poets & Writers. She is the 2018 recipient of Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts Holmes National Poetry Prize. A recipient of the Poets & Writers Amy Award and a Narrative Poetry Prize, her poems appear in Poetry, the New Republic, Tin House, Kenyon Review Online, Narrative Magazine, and the American Poetry Review, among other publications.

Xie holds degrees from Princeton University and New York University’s Creative Writing Program. She currently lives in Brooklyn and teaches at New York University.

Workshop Description

Coming soon.

Workshop Submission Limit

Participants may submit up to six poems totaling no more than twenty-five pages.

Readers and Speakers

Pamela Cannon

Biography

Coming soon.

Director

Jennifer Brice
Jennifer Brice

Biography

Jennifer Brice has been on the Colgate faculty since 2003. Unlearning to Fly, a memoir in essays, is her latest book. She is also the author of The Last Settlers, a work of literary journalism. Her essays have appeared in such journals as The Gettysburg Review, Under the Sun, and River Teeth.

A graduate of Smith College, Jennifer holds an MFA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. At Colgate, she teaches creative writing and literature courses as well as the college’s signature Living Writers and LW Online courses.

Videos