Daily Archives: April 20th, 2012

Ammerman Campus Hosts Fifth Annual Creative Writing Festival

By Ashley Maisano

Suffolk presents their fifth annual Creative Writing Festival, which will be a six-day event, held from Monday, April 23 to Saturday, April 28, 2012 at the Ammerman campus.

This year’s week of festival activities include: readings by critically acclaimed authors, lecture and panel sessions, student, alumni, and faculty readings, creative writing workshops, creative writing awards for college writers, and a catered complimentary lunch with keynote speakers.

The conference day on Saturday, April 28, is an all-day affair and begins at 9:30 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. Participants might want to get there earlier for registration and sign-in at the Shea Theatre lobby where they will be welcomed with a complimentary breakfast.

Preceding the sign-in will be a welcome address and reading with Rachel Eddey and Judith Baumel in room 117 of the Islip Arts building. Both women are featured readers of the festival and have successful careers in journalism.

Eddey is an author of several books who graduated from Binghamton University with a BA in Creative Writing and Comparative Literature. Her essays have appeared in many publications such as Newsday and The New York Times. Eddey says her memoirs class at Binghamton helped prepare her for the eventual journey of writing a book.

“[In the class], I felt so overwhelmed because I didn’t know what I wanted to write about,” Eddey said. “I learned that it doesn’t have to be your whole life story. Running of the Bride [her latest book] is not my whole life, but it’s one experience I was able to parlay into a book because it’s an interesting story.”

Baumel is a poet, critic and translator. She is an English professor and was Founding Director of the Creative Writing Program at Adelphi University. She also lectures on modern and contemporary American poetry at Oxford University. Her work has also been published in The New York Times, among other places.

“The passionate and personal poems in Now, Baumel’s second collection, often unfold in long sentences that picture the world in sometimes harsh detail. But if they reflect an essentially troubled view of life, they also articulate a readiness to be astonished by beauty heartened by love,” said Jonathan Aaron, writer for The Boston Globe.

At 11-12 p.m., guests can choose one of many panel discussions and workshops to attend. At these workshops, participants can learn tips and tools on how to write a great story, poem, or book. Each workshop is unique and spans from writing about your life in memoirs and personal essays to writing haiku’s and even how to publish your work.

In room 202 of the Islip Arts building, Diana Gallagher will be talking to guests about writing essays and how they’re not as scary as they sound.

“I work as a freelance editor, sharpening sentences, reshaping paragraphs, and chopping pages,” Gallagher explained. “Hey, sometimes its gotta happen.”

Gallagher holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from Stony Brook University. She writes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and plays and teaches creative writing to a diverse group of middle and high school students, as well as first-year composition to the college crowd.

A complimentary lunch will be served from 12:15-1:45 p.m. with a keynote address from Cornelius Eady in the Montauk Point Room of the Babylon Student Center.

Eady is the author of several books of poetry in which he has won many awards for. In most of his poems, there is a musical quality drawn from the Blues and Jazz. He is a cofounder of Cave Canem, a national organization for African American poetry and poets. He has taught at numerous universities and currently is an English professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

“I really enjoy the idea of the language that’s inside of music itself,” Eady says of the musical references in his poetry. “The idea that maybe when you hear a jazz solo, or when you’re hearing a good saxophonist, or a guitarist, that you’re actually hearing that person’s story.”

From 3-3:30 p.m., there will be a coffee break and book signing in the Shea Theatre lobby where participants will have the chance to get their books signed by the festival’s featured authors.

To end the event, closing remarks and writing contest award winners will be announced at 4:40 p.m. in room 117 of the Islip Arts building.

Everyone is encouraged to attend and must pay the appropriate registration fee the day of the event. All undergraduates are allowed to attend the Conference Day events for free, as are SCCC administration, faculty, or staff, but everyone will need to complete a separate registration form for each individual attending to guarantee a seat at the luncheon.

If you have any questions about registration, please call the Ammerman English Department at (631) 451-4159 or contact the Creative Writing Festival Committee at cwfest@gmail.com.