AMHERST, Mass. – The Juniper Summer Writing Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst hosts readings of prose and poetry from Sunday, June 17 to Saturday, June 23. Readings are open to the public and begin at 7:30 p.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Center. Books will be available for sale and the authors available for signings.
The Juniper Summer Writing Institute, a program of UMass Amherst’s MFA for Poets and Writers, brings together writers of all levels to work closely with world-renowned poets and writers. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and memoir are the heart of the program that includes craft sessions and manuscript consultation with faculty and writers in residence.
June 17: Bianca Stone and Joy Williams
Stone is a poet and visual artist. Her books include Poetry Comics From the Book of Hours, (Pleiades, 2016), the illustrated edition of Antigonick, (New Directions, 2012) a collaboration with Anne Carson, and most recently The Mobius Strip Club of Grief, (Tin House, 2018). Williams is the author of five story collections and four novels, including The Quick and the Dead, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and a book of essays, Ill Nature, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
June 18: Stephen Graham Jones and Evie Shockley
Jones is the author of 16 novels, most recently Mongrels, six story collections, and some comics. He has received an NEA fellowship in fiction and other accolades. Shockley is the author of the new black, for which she won the 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry, and semiautomatic (Wesleyan, 2017), among other collections of poetry. Her honors include the 2015 Stephen Henderson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry and the 2012 Holmes National Poetry Prize.
June 19: Terrance Hayes, Eileen Myles and Lisa Olstein
Hayes is the author of five poetry collections. His honors include a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Guggenheim fellowship, and a 2014 MacArthur fellowship. He is the current poetry editor at New York Times Magazine and has two forthcoming manuscripts. Myles is a poet, novelist, performer and art journalist. They are the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship in nonfiction, an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital art writers' grant, four Lambda Book Awards, the Shelley Prize from the PSA, and others. Olstein is the author of four poetry collections, most recently, Late Empire (Copper Canyon, 2017). She co-founded and for 10 years directed the Juniper Summer Writing Institute.
June 20: Ricky Laurentiis and Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Laurentiis is the author of Boy with Thorn, winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and the Levis Reading Prize, and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery award. Sexton was a recipient of the Lombard Fellowship and spent a year in the Dominican Republic working for a civil rights organization and writing. Her debut novel, A Kind of Freedom, was long-listed for the National Book Award, and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
June 21: Camille Rankine, Matthew Zapruder and Leni Zumas
Rankine’s first full-length collection of poetry, Incorrect Merciful Impulses, was published in 2016 by Copper Canyon. She is the recipient of fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and the National Endowment for the Arts, and was named an Honorary Cave Canem Fellow. Zapruder is the author of four collections of poetry and Why Poetry, a book of prose. An associate professor in the MFA at Saint Mary’s College of California, he is also editor at large at Wave Books. Zumas is the author of three books of fiction: Red Clocks, The Listeners, and Farewell Navigator. She lives in Oregon, where she teaches in the BFA and MFA programs at Portland State University.
June 22: Noy Holland, Arthur Flowers and Dorothea Lasky
Holland’s I Was Trying to Describe What It Feels Like, New and Selected Stories, was published by Counterpoint in January 2017. She has received a Massachusetts Cultural Council award for artistic merit and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. Flowers is the author of novels, nonfiction and graphic works including Mojo Rising - Confessions of a 21st Century Conjureman, and I See the Promised Land. Lasky is the author of five books of poetry, including the forthcoming Milk (Wave Books, 2018). An assistant professor of poetry at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, she co-directs Columbia Artist/Teachers and lives in New York City.
June 23: Mitchell S. Jackson, Paul Lisicky and Dara Wier
Jackson’s debut novel is The Residue Years. He received a Whiting Award and the Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence. Lisicky is the author of memoirs, novels, and Unbuilt Projects, a collection of short prose. Wier’s newest book of poems is in the still of the night (Wave Books, 2017). She is a publisher and editor of the small independent Factory Hollow Press, and the literary magazine jubilat. She co-founded the Juniper Initiative for literary arts and action and the Juniper Summer Writing Institute and Workshops.
The Juniper Summer Writing Institute is supported, in part, by the UMass Amherst English Department, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Amherst Books, Factory Hollow Press, Fiction Collective 2, The Valley Advocate, The J.E. and Marjorie B. Pittman Foundation and the Edwin L. and Elizabeth L. Skelton Foundation, jubilat, The Massachusetts Review, Orion and individual contributors.