VCFA MFA in Writing & Publishing Faculty Reading feat. Rita Banerjee, Franky Cannon, and David Shields – September 11, 5:30 pm

Join the MFA in Writing & Publishing program in Café Anna as Vermont College of Fine Arts faculty members Rita Banerjee, Frances Cannon, and David Shields kick off our Fall 2019 Reading Series at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, September 11, 2019!

Like all of our readings, this events is free and open to the public. Featuring deliciously catered treats and a cash bar, it’s the perfect way to unwind during your mid-week.

About Our Readers:


VCFA MFA in Writing & Publishing faculty Rita BanerjeeRita Banerjee
 is the director and a faculty member of the MFA in Writing & Publishing program. She’s also the editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, 2018) and author of the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats(Finishing Line Press, 2018), which was named one of Book Riot’s “Must-Read Poetic Voices of Split This Rock 2018,” was nominated for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and was selected by Finishing Line Press as their 2018 nominee for the National Book Award in Poetry. She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard University and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and she is a recipient of a Vermont Studio Center Artist’s Grant, the Tom and Laurel Nebel Fellowship, and South Asia Initiative and Tata Grants.

VCFA MFA in Writing & Publishing faculty Frances CannonFrances Cannon is the author and illustrator of Walter Benjamin: Reimagined (MIT Press, 2019), the graphic memoir The Highs and Lows of Shapeshift Ma and Big-Little Frank(Gold Wake Press, 2017), a book of paintings and poetic translations, Tropicalia(Vagabond Press, 2016), and a book of poems and prints, Uranian Fruit (Honeybee Press, 2016). In addition to teaching with VCFA, she teaches creative writing at Champlain College and visual arts courses at the Shelburne Craft School.

VCFA MFA in Writing & Publishing faculty David ShieldsDavid Shields is the internationally bestselling author of twenty-two books, including 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 Other People: Takes & Mistakes(NYTBR Editors’ Choice).

The film adaptation of I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel, in which Shields co-stars, was released by First Pond Entertainment in 2017; forthcoming in 2019 are two of Shields’s documentary films: LYNCH: A HISTORY and BURNING DOWN THE LOUVRE. His most recent books are Nobody Hates Trump More Than Trump: An Intervention (October 2018) and The Trouble With Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power (February 2019). He is a recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships and a senior contributing editor of Conjunctions.

Learn more about our readers on VCFA’s MFA in Writing & Publishing Faculty Page.

Antidote Books presents Rita Banerjee, Emily Pettit, and Ruth Antoinette Rodriguez – August 23, 8 pm

Antidote Books in Putney, VT will be featuring writers Rita Banerjee, Emily Pettit, and Ruth Antoinette Rodriguez at their 2-year Anniversary Reading at  at 8 pm on Friday, August 23.  Stop by 120 Main Street in Putney, VT, and celebrate Antidote Books and these wonderful writers on August 23!

E M I L Y  P E T T I T is a poet, artist, editor, and teacher from Western, MA. She is the author of Blue Flame (Carnegie Mellon University Press) and Goat In The Snow (Birds LLC). Emily is an editor for Factory Hollow Press and jubilat.⁣

R I T A  B A N E R J E E is the Director of the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and the editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press). She is the author of the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press).⁣

R U T H  A N T O I N E T T E  R O D R I G U E Z is a Houston-born poet living in Vermont. Her poems have appeared in jubilat. She is an alumna of the Fine Arts Work Center, The Home School, and the Community of Writers. She co-founded Antidote Books in 2017 and serves as an associate chapbook editor at BOAAT Press.⁣

Rita Banerjee Selects Winner of Spider Road Press Flash Fiction Prize

Rita Banerjee has selected the winner of the 2019 Spider Road Press’s Spider’s Web Flash Fiction Prize!

Congratulations to Melissa Huckabay, winner of the 2019 Spider’s Web Flash Fiction Prize for her moving, well-crafted piece, “The Playground!” Melissa is a Houston-area teacher, poet, fiction writer and playwright. Her poetry has been featured in Remembered Arts Journal and The Inkling, and her short plays have appeared on several stages in Houston. A University of Texas at Austin honors graduate, Melissa has taught high-school and middle-school English and also worked as a writer in residence for Writers in the Schools. Before becoming a teacher, Melissa was an award-winning journalist and public-relations writer. When she’s not writing, Melissa is a mom, an actress and a musician who believes in the power of the arts to change the world. Look for her piece in the bonus section of the next SRP e-collection, coming in 2020.

SRP is also pleased to award honorable mentions to four writers of outstanding flash fiction pieces: Angélique Jamail, Renee Lake, Charissa Beukema, and Lucy Shapiro. Look for their stories on our website in the coming months.

We thank all of the talented writers from the US, Canada, and the UK who entered this year!

Entries for the are now open and writers can find out more about the prize here.

Applications Open for Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris Writing Retreat (July 17-22, 2019)!

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris Writing Retreat will take place from July 17-22, 2019.  Situated in heart of Paris’ Montparnasse neighborhood, amongst the fresh and popular open air markets and charming boutiques, the hotel stay is full of Parisian charm and our classes will take place in a beautiful Moroccan themed room that opens to a courtyard that can also be used by our writers.  Retreat activities will include craft of writing seminars and creative writing workshops, literary tours of Paris. If you’re serious about writing and want to soak in some exquisite French culture this summer, join our retreat in Paris!   The faculty includes award-winning writers Kazim Ali, Rita Banerjee, and Diana Norma Szokolyai.  Genres include poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. If you’d like to join us in Paris, France, please apply online at cww.submittable.com by June 15, 2019. More info: cww.nyc 

C&R Press Spontaneous Reading Party feat. Rita Banerjee – Concrete + Water, Brooklyn – June 8, 6:30 pm

Rita Banerjee will be reading from CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing (co-edited with Diana Norma Szokolyai, C&R Press, May 2018) at C&R Press’s Spontaneous Reading Party, which will be held Concrete + Water on Saturday, June 8, 2019.  The reading will take place from 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm.  Stop by to hear some great writers and luminaries!   To order a copy of CREDO, please visit C&R Press’s website here.

About CREDO:

CREDO. I believe. No other statement is so full of intent and subversion and power. A Credo is a call to arms. It is a declaration. A Credo is the act of an individual pushing back against society, against established stigmas, taboos, values, and norms. A Credo provokes. It desires change. A Credo is an artist or community challenging dogma, and putting oneself on the frontline. A Credo is art at risk. A Credo can be a marker of revolution. A Credo, is thus, the most calculating and simple form of a manifesto.

CREDO creates a bridge from the philosophical to the practical, presenting a triad of creative writing manifestos, essays on the craft of writing, and creative writing exercises. CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing is a raw look at what motivates authors today.

Contributing Authors:

Kazim Ali * Forrest Anderson *  Rita Banerjee * Lisa Marie Basile
Jaswinder Bolina * Stephanie Burt * Alexander Carrigan * Sam Cha
Melinda J. Combs * Thade Correa * Jeff Fearnside * Ariel Francisco
John Guzlowski * Rachael Hanel * Janine Harrison * Lindsay Illich
Douglas Charles Jackson * Caitlin Johnson * Christine Johnson-Duell * Jason Kapcala * Richard Kenney * Eva Langston * John Laue * Stuart Lishan * Ellaraine Lockie * Amy MacLennan * Kevin McLellan * E. Ce. Miller * Brenda Moguez * Peter Mountford * Nell Irvin Painter * Robert Pinsky * Kara Provost * Camille Rankine * Jessica Reidy * Amy Rutten * Elisabeth Sharp McKetta * David Shields * Lillian Ann Slugocki * Maya Sonenberg * Kathleen Spivack * Laura Steadham Smith * Molly Sutton Kiefer * Jade Sylvan * Anca L. Szilágyi * Diana Norma Szokolyai * Marilyn L. Taylor * Megan Jeanine Tilley * Suzanne Van Dam * Nicole Walker * Allyson Whipple * Shawn Wong * Caroll Yang * Matthew Zapruder

Minerva Rising “Dare to Speak” Contest Winning Chapbook Debuts

In 2017, Rita Banerjee served as the contest judge for Minerva Rising’s “Dare to Speak” Poetry Chapbook competition.  She selected Rebecca Connors‘s chapbook Split Map as the winner of the competition.  Split Map has been recently published by Minerva Rising in May 2019, and of the chapbook, Banerjee writes:

“Split Map is more than a collection of poems about coming-of-age, nostalgia, or childlike wonder, it is a journey through vulnerability into self-empowerment, and a story about how even in the most difficult of situations, female agency exists and reverberates, and how all women can dare to split maps, and thus, transform the world.”

— Rita Banerjee, author of Echo in Four Beats and CREDO, and Director, MFA in Writing & Publishing, Vermont College of Fine Arts

To order Rebecca Connors‘s Split Map, please visit Minerva Rising here.

April 25: Workshop for Film-in-Progress at the Savoy Theatre * 1:15-3:15 pm

Writers Rita Banerjee and David Shields will present a Workshop for their Film-in-Progress at the Savoy Theatre in Downtown Montpelier, VT from 1:15-3:15 pm on Thursday, April 25. Members of the community and writers and artists from the Vermont College of Fine Arts are welcome to attend.  A description of the film follows below:

Shortly before the November 2015 terrorist attacks, David Shields, who is Jewish, and Rita Banerjee, who is Bengali, come to Paris to try to understand the current American racial cataclysm from a French perspective. David and Rita try to discuss skin color, class, gender, privilege, and art—only to discover that they disagree about everything. Back in the States, they discover that the space between any two people is the source of all hate and all love.