Emerging Writers Festival

Sponsored by Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Event Occurs:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012-Friday, April 13, 2012

Who’s up for a few words with some new friends?

Franklin & Marshall College’s 11th annual Emerging Writers Festival begins April 11. The celebration, which runs through April 13, brings to campus five talented and promising young writers who spend three days and nights mixing—often and informally—with students, faculty and professional staff, and neighbors of the College. They take part in a series of free readings, craft workshops and panel discussions, all of which are open to the public.

Support for the literary celebration comes from Richard Hausman ’50 and Edna Hausman P’85.

This year's writers are Megan Mayhew Bergman, Jamaal May, Anna Moench, Christine Hemp and Rebecca Makkai. Here is a little more about each of them:

Megan Mayhew Bergman was raised in North Carolina and now lives on a small farm in Shaftsbury, Vt., with her veterinarian husband, two daughters and lots of animals. Her first collection of short stories, Birds of a Lesser Paradise, was published with Scribner in March 2012. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has been published in The New York Times, Best American Short Stories 2011, New Stories from the South 2010, Ploughshares, Oxford American, Kenyon Review, One Story, Narrative, and elsewhere. She teaches literature at Bennington College.

Christine Hemp has been called a “poetry adventurer.” She has aired her essays and poems on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, sent a poem into space on a NASA mission to monitor the birth of stars, and her program Connecting Chord, which unites cops and youth offenders through poetry, was called a “milestone event” by the London Chief of Police. Her awards include a Harvard University Conway Award for Teaching Writing, a Washington State Artist Trust Fellowship for Literature, and an Iowa Review Award for nonfiction. Her collection of poems, That Fall, was selected for the 2011 New Women’s Voices series at Finishing Line Press. Hemp teaches poetry and creative nonfiction at the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival. She lives in Port Townsend, Wash.            

Rebecca Makkai is a Chicago-based writer whose first novel, The Borrower (Viking, June 2011), is a Booklist Top Ten Debut, an Indie Next pick, an O Magazine selection and one of Chicago Magazine's choices for best fiction of 2011. The New York Times called The Borrower “an appealing, nonromantic love story about an unexpected pairing—and a surprisingly moving one.” Makkai’s short fiction has been chosen for The Best American Short Stories in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, and appears regularly in journals such as Tin House, Ploughshares, New England Review, and Shenandoah. She has just completed a short story collection, Music for Wartime, and is at work on her second novel. She has two young daughters.

Jamaal May is a Cave Canem Fellow, Callaloo Fellow, and graduate from Warren Wilson’s MFA for writers. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks (The God Engine, 2009 and The Whetting of Teeth, 2012) and editor of the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook Series. His work appears in Callaloo, Indiana Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Sou’western, Blackbird and Verse Daily, among other journals, magazines, and anthologies. He has appeared on radio, television, and in documentaries such as “A Poet in Every Classroom” and “Televising a Revolution,” jury prize winner at the 2010 Trinity Film Festival. May is the Stadler Fellow at Bucknell University, where he hosts a poetry slam, is associate editor for the literary journal West Branch, and fusses over his first full-length manuscript, which was a finalist for The National Poetry Series.

Anna Moench's plays include HungerIn QuietnessGreat Eastern and The Pillow Book. Other productions of her work have been seen at the Old Vic, The Flea, Dance Theater Workshop, Dixon Place, The Kraine, The Looking Glass Theatre, and FringeNYC. She holds the 2012 Van Lier Fellowship at the Lark Play Development Center, the Jerome Foundation’s 2009 Travel Grant, and the 2010 T.S. Eliot Exchange with the Old Vic. She has been a writer in residence at the Tofte Lake Center, the Vineyard Arts Project, and the FAR Space. Moench is a member of Youngblood at Ensemble Studio Theatre and a former member of the 2011 Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater and New Georges’ writer-director lab, The Jam. She is currently working on a commission for NYU Tisch with director David Frederic Chapman.

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, April 11

8 p.m. Opening Night Reading featuring Rebecca Makkai and Jamaal May at the Green Room Theatre (500 block of College Avenue)

9:30 p.m. Opening Night Reception at the Writers House (633 College Avenue)

Thursday, April 12

10 a.m. Craft Workshop with Anna Moench at the Writers House

12:45 p.m. Craft Workshop with Jamaal May at the Writers House

4:30 p.m. Craft Workshop with Rebecca Makkai at the Writers House

8 p.m. Second Night Reading featuring Megan Mayhew Bergman, Christine Hemp and Anna Moench at the Green Room Theatre

9:30 p.m. Second Night Reception at the Writers House

Friday, April 13

10 a.m. Craft Workshop with Megan Mayhew Bergman at the Writers House

11:15 a.m. Craft Workshop with Christine Hemp at the Writers House

12:30 p.m. Panel Discussion featuring our 2012 Emerging Writers at the Writers House

2 p.m. Bye-bye Barbecue at Writers House

This event is open to the public.

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