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Writers in New York 2015

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Writers in New York (May 26–June 18, 2015) offers students of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction an opportunity to develop their craft while living the writer's life in Greenwich Village. Daily workshops and craft seminars are supplemented by readings and lectures by New York-based writers and publishing professionals. Field trips, cultural activities, readings, and guest lectures constitute an integral component of the program.

Most classes and readings are held in the Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House, home of the NYU Creative Writing Program. Located on one of the most beautiful blocks in Greenwich Village, this historic townhouse hasLVCWH2.jpg been a gathering spot for artists and intellectuals since the 1870s. It was in this building that members of the Tile Club, a group of notable painters, sculptors and architects, met and conducted their famous symposia. Today, the Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House allows students to learn and write in the same neighborhood where many writers—including Mark Twain, E. E. Cummings, James Baldwin, Willa Cather, Marianne Moore, Richard Wright, and Frank O’Hara—have lived and worked. 

Classes meet in the afternoons (2:30pm-5:00pm), Tuesday-Friday during the program's first week, and then Monday-Thursday for the remaining three weeks. Evenings (6:00pm-8:00pm) after class feature readings, lectures, panel discussions, and special events. The schedule includes time for writing, reading, and exploring New York. The program culminates in a celebratory reading showcasing student work. This is a four-week program carrying eight points of undergraduate credit. Enrollment in the entire program is required.


All students attend a nightly series of readings, lectures, panel discussions, publishing forums, literary walking tours, and special events. Visiting writers and editors in 2014 included Thomas Beller, Cathy Linh Che, Eduardo C. Corral, Matthea Harvey, Todd Hasak-Lowy, Amy Hempel, Major Jackson, Karl Ove Knausgård, Wayne Koestenbaum, Sam Lipsyte, Anna Moschovakis, Vince Passaro, Aaron Petrovich, Joshua Prager, Patrick Rosal, Dani Shapiro, Karl Martin Sinijärv, and Brando Skyhorse.


Cris Beam (Creative Nonfiction Workshop) is an author and professor in New York City. She is the author of Transparent (Harcourt 2007), a nonfiction book that covers seven years in the lives of four transgender teenagers, which won the Lambda Literary Award for best transgender book in 2008, and was a Stonewall Honor book. Her young adult novel, I am J, was released by Little, Brown in March 2011, and was named a Kirkus Best Book and Library Guild Selection of 2011, and is the first book with a transgender character to be placed on the state of California's recommended reading list for public high schools. Her memoir, Mother, Stranger was published by The Atavist in 2012 and quickly reached the top ten on Kindle Singles. Her most recent book, To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care, was released by Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt in August 2013. She's currently working on a novel. Cris teaches creative writing at Columbia University, New York University, and Bayview Women's Correctional Facility. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from Columbia University and has received fellowships from the Point Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and the Corporation of Yaddo.


John Murillo
(Poetry Workshop) is the author of the poetry collection Up Jump the Boogie, which was a finalist for both the 2011 Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Open Book Award, and was named by The Huffington Post as one of “Ten Recent Books of Poetry You Should Read Right Now.”  A graduate of New York University's MFA program in creative writing, his other honors include a Pushcart Prize, two Larry Neal Writers Awards, and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Cave Canem Foundation, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the New York Times, and the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing.  His work has appeared in such publications as Callaloo, Court Green, Ninth Letter, and Ploughshares, and is forthcoming in Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of African-American Poetry. His choreo-play, Trigger, was commissioned by Edgeworks Dance Theater and premiered in spring 2011. A founding member of the poetry collective, The Symphony, he has taught at Cornell University, New York University, Columbia College Chicago, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Miami.


Matthew Rohrer
(Poetry Craft Seminar) is the author of A Hummock in the Malookas, Satellite, A Green Light, Rise Up, A Plate of Chicken, and Destroyer and Preserver. With Joshua Beckman he wrote Nice Hat. Thanks. and recorded the audio CD Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. Octopus Books published his action/adventure chapbook-length poem They All Seemed Asleep in 2008. His poems have been widely anthologized and have appeared in many journals. He’s received the Hopwood Award for poetry and a Pushcart prize, was selected as a National Poetry Series winner, and was shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize.

SAYRAFIEZADH_0017_hires.jpg  Saïd Sayrafiezadeh (Creative Nonfiction Craft Seminar) is the author of the short story collection Brief Encounters With the Enemy and the memoir When Skateboards Will Be Free, which was selected as one of the best books of 2009 by Dwight Garner of the New York Times. His short stories and essays have appeared in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, Granta, Open City, The New York Times, and other publications. He is the recipient of a 2010 Whiting Writers' Award.

Elissa Schappell (Fiction Workshop) is the author of two books of fiction, most recently Blueprints for Building Better Girls , which was chosen as one of the "Best Books of the Year" by The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and O Magazine, runner up for the PEN Hemingway award, a New York Times "Notable Book" and a Los Angeles Times "Best Book of the Year". She is co-editor with Jenny Offill of two anthologies, The Friend Who Got Away and Money Changes Everything. Her fiction, non-fiction and essays have appeared in publications including The Paris Review, BOMB, The New York Times Book Review and SPIN as well as anthologies such as, The Mrs. Dalloway Reader, The Future Dictionary of America, Bound to Last and Cooking & Stealing. Currently, she is a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair, and a Founding-editor, now Editor-at-Large, of Tin House. She teaches in the MFA program at Columbia University, NYU and the low-residency MFA program at Queens, in Charlotte, N.C. She lives in Brooklyn.
Helen Schulman (Fiction Workshop) is the author of the novels This Beautiful Life, A Day At The Beach, P.S., The Revisionist and Out Of Time, and the short story collection Not A Free Show. P.S. was also made into a feature film starring Laura Linney and was written by Helen Schulman and Dylan Kidd. She co-edited, along with Jill Bialosky, the anthology Wanting A Child. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in such places as Vanity Fair, Time, Vogue, GQ, The New York Times Book Review and The Paris Review. She is presently the Fiction Coordinator at The Writing Program at The New School where she is a tenured Associate Professor.
Irini Spanidou (Fiction Workshop) is the author of three highly acclaimed novels: Fear, God’s Snake, and, most recently, Before. She has taught creative writing at New York University, Sarah Lawrence College and Brooklyn College. Her work has been translated into several languages, including her native Greek.
Darin Strauss (Fiction Craft Seminar) is the author of the international bestseller Chang and Eng, and the New York Times Notable Book The Real McCoy, one of the New York Public Library's "25 Books to Remember of 2002," the novel More Than it Hurts You and most recently a memoir Half a Life, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. His work has been translated into fourteen languages, and he teaches writing at New York University, for which he won a 2005 "Outstanding Dozen" teaching award. Also a screenwriter, Darin sold the rights to Chang and Eng to Disney, and is currently adapting the novel for the screen with the actor Gary Oldman. Another screenplay on which he collaborated is in pre-production at Paramount Studios. Darin was awarded a 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction writing.

Joanna Yas (Director) is the editor of Open City Books and co-founder of Editrixie, an editorial services company. She was the editor of Open City Magazine for over a decade, and previously held positions at Ploughshares, Grand Street, and Zoetrope: All-Story. She is currently an executive editor of Washington Square Review, and is on the editorial boards of The Literary Review and The Common. She has conducted panels, seminars, and workshops on writing and publishing at several universities, including The New School, Sarah Lawrence, Columbia, and NYU, where she is the Creative Writing Program's Readings & Special Programs Manager. Her writing has appeared in a variety of publications, and she is the co-editor of They're at It Again: Stories from Twenty Years of Open City.

Rachel Zucker (Poetry Workshop) is the author of four books of poetry, most recently, Museum of Accidents, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Along with poet Arielle Greenberg, Zucker co-wrote Home/Birth: a poemic and co-edited two anthologies: Starting Today: 100 Poems for Obama’s First 100 Days and Women Poets on Mentorship: Efforts and Affections. She lives in New York with her husband and their three sons. In addition to teaching at NYU and the 92nd Street Y she is a certified labor doula and is studying to become a childbirth educator.