Writers’ Workshop Enters 21st Year

Naomi Jackson//Photo: Tyler Joe//Hairstylist: Tabitha, Harlem Masters Barbershop

Williston’s 21st Writers’ Workshop Series draws four presenters from across a spectrum of literary styles and genres. This year’s slate includes a poet, a novelist, a publisher of a literary journal, and a writer of novels, short stories, and nonfiction. Students in Williston’s Writers’ Workshop course will read selected works from the authors in preparation for their visits, which include a master class and a public reading.

The acclaimed, award-winning poet Roger Reeves will be on campus on October 15 and 16. Dr. Reeves’ poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Gulf Coast, and Tin House, among others. He has a B.A. in English from Morehouse College, an M.A. in English from Texas A&M University, and an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Texas and is currently an assistant professor of poetry at the University of Illinois, Chicago. King Me, his debut collection of poems, was published in 2013.

Naomi Jackson is author of The Star Side of Bird Hill, a novel published by Penguin Press in June 2015. The Star Side of Bird Hill was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and longlisted for the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and the International Dublin Literary Award. Star Side was named an Honor Book for Fiction by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Jackson studied fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. A graduate of Williams College, her work has appeared in literary journals and magazines in the United States and abroad, including Tin Housebrilliant cornersObsidian, Poets & Writers, and The Caribbean Writer. Jackson has taught at the University of Iowa, University of Pennsylvania, City College of New York, and Oberlin College. She’ll be on campus November 1 and 2.

Jennifer Acker  is founder and editor-and-chief of the award-winning literary print and online magazine The Common. Based in Amherst, Massachusetts, the magazine is supported in part by Amherst College and the nonprofit The Common Foundation. The Common also runs the Literary Publishing Internship Program at Amherst College, mentoring students in all aspects of literary publishing, and hosts public programming regularly. Acker presents on December 3.

On January 14, Williston will hear from Karen Shepard, the author of four novels, An Empire of WomenThe Bad Boy’s WifeDon’t I Know You?,  The Celestials, and the collection of stories, Kiss Me Someone. Her short fiction has been published in the Atlantic MonthlyTin House, and Ploughshares, among others. Her nonfiction has appeared in MoreSelfUSA Today, and the Boston Globe, among others. She teaches writing and literature at Williams College.