Sabor y Cultura: Cambridge Writers’ Workshop AWP 2016 Reading – April 1

CWW-AWP2016ReadingThe Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is coming to Los Angeles for the AWP Conference (March 30 – April 2, 2016)!  Last year’s AWP  was a success with our bookfair table and reading at Boneshaker Books.  This year, you’ll be able to find us at Table 1157 and find information regarding our upcoming Spring in Newport, Rhode Island (April 22-25, 2016) Summer in Narbonne & Barcelona (July 18-26, 2016), and Summer in Granada, Spain (July  28-August 5, 2016) Writing Retreats.

We’ll also be hosting our AWP Reading at Sabor y Cultura (located at 5625 Hollywood BlvdLos Angeles, CA 90028) on Friday, April 1, 2016 from 4-7 pm.  Featured Readers include Rita BanerjeeJess BurnquistJulialicia CaseAriana KellyGwen E. KirbyKatie KnollEllaraine LockieOndrej PazdirekHeather Aimee O’NeillBrenda Peynado, Esther Pfaff, Jessica PiazzaJonathan ShapiroEmily Skaja, and Emily Smith.


The Brooklyn Book Festival presents New York’s Exciting New Voices – September 20

BBF-NewYorksExcitingNewVoices2015The Brooklyn Book Festival in collaboration with the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is proud to announce New York’s Exciting New Voices, a Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Reading at Muchmore’s (located at 2 Havemeyer Street, Brooklyn, NY) on Sun September 20 from 7 – 9 pm.

The event will be moderated by Diana Norma Szokolyai and features writers Rita Banerjee, Jonah Kruvant, Brandon Lewis, Elizabeth Devlin, Lisa Marie Basile, Gabriella Rieger Lapkoff, Jessica Reidy, Gregory Crosby, Matty Marks, and Emily Smith.  Enjoy a drink and a bite to eat in the heart of Williamsburg as you hear from some of New York’s most exciting, new voices, many of whom are faculty members for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop.  The Brooklyn Book Festival is the largest free book event in New York City and presents established as well as emerging writers each year.  The Bookend Events kick off the week’s festivities each year with literary themed events at clubs, bookstores, parks, etc.  More information is available at

Shakespeare and Company Reading, Paris – July 23, 2015

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is proud to announce that we will be hosting Guggenheim Fellowship and two time NEA fellowship recipient David Shields for a reading at Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in Paris. The reading will take place as part of our Summer in Paris Writing Retreat on Thursday July 23, 2015 from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.  Rita Banerjee will introduce and moderate the event, which will feature David Shields and his French translator, Charles Recoursé, performing the dialogue of Shields and Caleb Powell from I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel.  The performance will be followed by a discussion of collage and the literary essay by Shields and Recoursé, followed by a Q&A portion, which will be lead by Diana Norma Szokoloyai.

David Shields is the author of Reality Hunger (named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications), The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead (New York Times bestseller), Black Planet (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award) and I Think You’re Totally Wrong (released this year alongside a film directed by James Franco). Shields’ work has been published in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Esquire, Yale Review, Village Voice, Salon, Slate, McSweeney’s, and Believer.

Shakespeare and Company became the “literary culture in bohemian Paris” after it was opened by George Whitman in 1951. The English-language bookstore was frequented by many Beat Generation poets like Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, as well as other writers like Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller. The bookstore regularly hosts poetry readings and houses young writers.

To apply for the Summer in Paris Writing Retreat (July 22-30, 2015), visit and send an application by May 25, 2015.

An Evening with Peter Orner – June 30

peter-ornerAn Evening with Peter Orner
Moderated by Rita Banerjee
The Munich Readery * 8:00 – 9:00 pm
Augustenstr. 104, Munich, Germany

The Munich Readery is proud to host Guggenheim fellow and American fiction writer, Peter Orner on Tuesday June 30 for “An Evening with Peter Orner.”  Orner be reading from the novel Love and Shame and Love as well as from the story collection, Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge.  “I am very happy about coming back to Munich, a city I’ve always admired for its sense of calm, its architecture, food, and kind people. It’s a city I also love to wander around in and have been happily lost on its streets a number of times….” – Peter Orner

Peter Orner is an American writer and the author of four books of fiction. His first book, Esther Stories was a Finalist for the Pen Hemingway Award and Winner of the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has been recently re-issued with a new introduction by Marilynne Robinson. His novel, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, set in Namibia, has been translated widely, including in German by Hanser. Love and Shame and Love, Orner’s second novel, has also recently been published in German by Hanser. Orner’s most recent book, a collection of stories, Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge was named a New York Times Editor’s Choice Book last year. Orner has also published two books of non-fiction, a book on immigration in the U.S. and another about political violence in Zimbabwe. Orner is a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, and has taught at The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Bard College, The University of Montana, and teaches in the MFA Program at San Francisco State University. He lives in Bolinas, California where he is a proud member of the Bolinas Volunteer Fire Department.

Guest Lecture: The Rāmāyaṇa as Speculative Fiction by Anil Menon – June 17

BreakingtheBowSouth Asian Science-Fiction writer Anil Menon will give a special guest lecture on “Rendevous with Rama: The Rāmāyaṇa as Speculative Fiction” in Rita Banerjee’s course Modernity and the South Asian Imaginaire.  The lecture will take place on Wednesday June 17 from 12-2 pm at the Institute for Indology and Tibetology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in Seminar Room 427 (Ludwigstr. 31, Munich).  The lecture is part of the course Modernity and the South Asian Imaginaire at LMU.  Anyone interested in Modern South Asian literature, history, or art house film is welcomed to join Menon’s special guest lecture.

Rendezvous With Rama: The Rāmāyaṇa as Speculative Fiction

In speculative fiction, a story’s context is also a part of the story, and when writing speculative fiction, an author can play with many other contexts as well: political, psychological, social, anthropological, historical, ethical, and so on.  Speculative fiction is thus a literature of ambiguity, interpretation, and surprise.  In this talk, we’ll examine the Rāmāyaṇa (mainly, Valmiki’s version) and see if it can be characterized as speculative fiction. As Naiyar Masud’s story “Sheesha Ghat” illustrates, it can be tricky to make these decisions. At the other end of the spectrum, we have “The Jaguar’s Wife,” a narrative with rather improbable events, but which insists on being read as a realist tale. Between the stuttered speech of Masud’s child protagonist and the multitude of voices in “The Jaguar’s Wife,” may be positioned the silent lonely figure of Lord Rama, the man devoted to moral action. I’ll argue that it is in playing with the contextual assumption that Text (words, laws, rules,…) can represent the actual world, that the Rāmāyaṇa becomes a work of speculative fiction.

AnilM15Anil Menon’s short fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies including Albedo One, Interzone, Interfictions, Jaggery Lit Review, LCRW, Sybil’s Garage, and Strange Horizons. His stories have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Hebrew and Romanian. His debut novel The Beast With Nine Billion Feet (Zubaan Books, 2010) was short-listed for the 2010 Vodafone-Crossword award and the Carl Brandon Society’s 2011 Parallax Award. Along with Vandana Singh, he co-edited Breaking the Bow (Zubaan Books 2012), an anthology of speculative fiction stories inspired by the Ramayana. He has a forthcoming novel Half Of What I Say (Bloomsbury, 2015). He can be contacted at

Echo in Four Beats – An Evening of Poetry & Fiction by Rita Banerjee – Feb 7, 2015

EchoSaturday February 7, 2015 * 19:00-20:30
The Munich Readery * Augustenstraße 104 München, Germany

Join the Munich Readery for an evening of original poetry and fiction by writer and creative writing instructor, Rita Banerjee. Rita Banerjee will be reading from her poetry collection, Cracklers at Night, and her new poetry manuscript, Echo in Four Beats. She will also read excerpts from her novel manuscript, Mélusine, as well as her selections of her short fiction.

ritaRita Banerjee is a writer and creative writing instructor at the Munich Readery. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University and her writing has been published in Poets for Living Waters, The New Renaissance, The Fiction Project, Jaggery: A DesiLit Arts and Literature Journal, Catamaran, Amethyst Arsenic, The Crab Creek Review, The Dudley Review, Objet d’Art, Vox Populi, Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure, and Chrysanthemum. Her first collection of poems, Cracklers at Night, received First Honorable Mention for Best Poetry Book at the Los Angeles Book Festival. Her novella, A Night with Kali, was digitized by the Brooklyn Art-house Co-op. She is Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, and her writing has also been recently featured in VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, Quail Bell Magazine, Speaking of Marvels, and on KBOO Radio’s APA Compass in Portland, Oregon.

LitCawl Manhattan: Literary Masquerade – Sept 13, 8:15pm

cwwliterarymasquerade20141The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop will host a literary masquerade with writers and performance artists Gregory Crosby, Diana Norma Szokolyai, Jonah Kruvant, Elizabeth Devlin, Rita Banerjee, and Nicole Colbert at LitCrawl Manhattan. Original readings and performances will be intermingled with musings on masks from Pessoa, Kierkegaard, Descartes, Dickinson, de Beer, and more.  There will be masks.  There will be libations.  Join us at LitCrawl Manhattan.

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop’s LITERARY MASQUERADE
8:15-9:00 p.m. | One Mile House, 10 Delancey St., NY, NY 10002