VWS: Annie Liontas and Jeff Parker
By Barbara McGlynn | Thursday, February 4, 2016
By Barbara McGlynn
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Faculty member Jeff Parker and author Annie Liontas to read at Visiting Writers Series
AMHERST, Mass. — The University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA for Poets and Writers presents a reading by writers Jeff Parker and Annie Liontas on Thursday, February 18th at 8pm in Memorial Hall. In November 2015 UMass Press released A Manner of Being: Writers on Their Mentors, co-edited by Parker and Liontas which Publishers Weekly called “a fascinating work on writing and the student-teacher relationship.”
Jeff Parker is the author of the nonfiction book Where Bears Roam the Streets: A Russian Journal (Harper Collins), the novel Ovenman (Tin House), and the short story collection The Taste of Penny (Dzanc). George Saunders calls him “a master of the hyper-compressed sentence that explodes with more meaning and nuance than should be possible.” With Pasha Malla, he co-assembled the book of found sports poetry Erratic Fire, Erratic Passion (Featherproof), and with Annie Liontas he edited A Manner of Being: Writers on Their Mentors (UMass Press). His short fiction and nonfiction have been published in Guernica, Ploughshares, Tin House, The Walrus, and many others. With Mikhail Iossel he co-edited two volumes of contemporary Russian prose in translation, Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia (Tin House) and Amerika: Russian Writers View the United States (Dalkey Archive). He currently teaches in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at UMass Amherst.
Annie Liontas' debut novel, Let Me Explain You (Scribner), was featured in The New York Times Book Review as Editor's Choice and was selected by the ABA as a 2015 Indies Introduce Debut and Indies Next title. She is the co-editor of the anthology A Manner of Being: Writers on their Mentors, and the recipient of a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. Her story "Two Planes in Love" was runner-up in BOMB Magazine's 2013 Fiction Prize Contest. Since 2003, Annie has been dedicated to urban education, working with teachers and youth in Newark and Philadelphia. She co-hosts the TireFire Reading Series in Philadelphia and lives across the street from the best pizza jawn with her wife and cat.
Parker and Liontas are reading as part of the MFA program’s Visiting Writers Series. Celebrating its fifty-second year, the nationally renowned Visiting Writers Series at UMass Amherst presents emerging and established writers of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. The Series is sponsored by the MFA for Poets and Writers and the Juniper Initiative, and made possible by support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the University of Massachusetts Arts Council, and the English Department. The reading is free and open to the public.