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Hamptons Life

Sep 4, 2017 9:47 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Amy Hempel, Cornelius Eady Kick Off Fall 2017 Writers Speak Series

Sep 4, 2017 9:47 PM

Stony Brook Southampton’s fall Writers Speak series will kick off on Wednesday, September 13, with readings and a conversation by two new Stony Brook University creative writing and literature faculty members: short-story writer Amy Hempel and poet Cornelius Eady.

Ms. Hempel has four short story collections, including “Reasons to Live,” which contains “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried,” a story that has been selected for countless anthologies over the last quarter century. “Collected Stories,” published in 2006, won the Ambassador Book Award for Fiction, and was among the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year. This year, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Mr. Eady is a cofounder of Cave Canem, a national organization for African-American poetry and poets. Among his books of poetry are the critically acclaimed “Hardheaded Weather,” which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and “Victims of the Latest Dance Craze,” “The Gathering of My Name” and National Book Award finalist “Brutal Imagination.”

In addition to poetry, Mr. Eady has worked in theater. He wrote the libretto for the opera “Running Man,” which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1999, and wrote the play “Brutal Imagination,” which won Newsday’s Oppenheimer award in 2002. He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Traveling Scholarship to Tougaloo College in Mississippi, and a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to Bellagio, among other honors, according to Stony Brook Southampton.

“This was the first time our program has done a national search, and, boy, were we amazed at the depth and quality of applicants,” said Julie Sheehan, the director of the Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing program. “Given the results—two of the best writers working today—it’s no surprise we had a terrific pool to draw from.

Taking place at the campus in Shinnecock Hills, Writers Speak is a series of free readings and talks with acclaimed writers. The events are always open to members of the public. The Wednesday, September 13, event begins at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge in Chancellors Hall, preceded by a reception at 6:30 p.m. with complimentary refreshments.

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