William F. Van Wert is the author of several recent books: Memory Links (essays, University of Georgia Press, 1995, winner of the AWP Creative Nonfiction Competition); What's It All About (novel, Simon & Schuster, 1996); Stool Wives (novel, Plover Press, 1996); Don Quickshot (novel in verse, Livingston University Press, 1997); The Invention of Ice Skating (poetry, Avison Press, 1997); Proper Myth (poetry, Orchises Press, 1998); Vital Signs (poetry, Urthona Press, 1998, winner of the William Blake Award); and The Advancement of Ignorance (short stories, Bookmark Press, forthcoming). He teaches Film and Creative Writing at Temple University.
Toby Olson has published several books of poetry, the most recent of which are We Are the Fire (New Directions) and Unfinished Building (Coffee House Press), and 6 novels including The Life of Jesus and Seaview (New Directions); The Woman Who Escaped from Shame (Random House); and Utah, Dorit in Lesbos, and At Sea (Simon & Schuster). His has received NEA, Guggenheim, and Rockefeller Foundation fellowships, and numerous awards including the PEN/Faulkner Award. He is a Professor of English at Temple University.
Alan Singer is a novelist, literary critic and Professor of English at Temple University. His novels include: The Ox-Breadth (New Earth), The Charnel Imp (Fiction Collective), and Memory Wax (FC2/Black Ice). His books of criticism include: A Metaphorics of Fiction: Discontinuity and Discourse in the Modern Novel (Florida), The Subject as Action: Transformation and Totality in Narrative Aesthetics (Michigan).
Ammiel Alcalay is a writer, translator & poet living in New York City. He has published one book of poetry, the cairo notebooks (Singing Horse Press, 1993). He has also published a critical work from Minnesota Press titled After Jews and Arabs: Remaking Levantine Culture, a work which looks at the cross-influences of Herbraic and Arabic literature.
Tom Mandel is the author of 10 books of poetry, including Ency (Tuumba, 1978), a foundational work in the early language poetry movement, Realism (Burning Deck, 1991), Letters of the Law (Sun & Moon 1994) and Prospect of Release (Chax, 1996). He attended the University of Chicago and currently lives in Washington, D.C.
Recordings from this event that have been made available as part of the PENNsound project can be found here.
Yusef Komunyakaa received the 1994 Pulitzer Prize and the Kingsley-Tufts Poetry Award for Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems. He is the author of ten books, including Magic City (1992), Dien Cai Dau (1988), I Apologize for the Eyes in My Head (1986), and Copacetic (1984). He also co-edited The Jazz Poetry Anthology (with J.A. Sascha Feinstein, 1991). His awards include the Thomas Forcade Award (1991), the William Faulkner Prize from the University of Rennes in France (1994), the Levinson Prize from Poetry magazine (1997), and the Hanes Poetry Prize (1997). His new book, Thieves of Paradise, was just published by Wesleyan University Press. He is professor in the Council of Humanities and Creative Writing Program at Princeton University.
James Tate won the 1995 Tanning Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His Selected Poems received the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for poetry and his collection Worshipful Company of Fletchers won the 1994 National Book Award. He is on the permanent faculty at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
Terri Dewhirst is an experimental videomaker. She teaches video production at Marymount College in Manhattan. During her workshop at the Writers House, she'll show her short video Endoscope, which sifts through media and medical representations of hermaphrodites and questions the very notion of gender. A question & answer session will follow.
"Is there a more or less effective way to respond to the recorded testimony of Holocaust survivors? What are the limits, if any, of our response? We will view short excerpts from video testimonies of survivors, and discuss them by asking these and other questions."
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Since graduating from Penn in 1981, Andy Robinson has worked with a variety of social change organizations as a grantwriters, fundraiser, editor and community organizer. He currently serves as developmental consultant to The Wildlands Project, an international conservation group based in Tucson. Andy's book, Grassroots Grants: An Activist's Guide to Proposal Writing, was published in 1996 by Chardon Press.