Rita Banerjee’s novella, “A Night with Kali,” in Approaching Footsteps now available for pre-order from Spider Road Press

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00068]Enjoy suspenseful tales with unexpected twists? In Approaching Footsteps, four compelling novellas by talented women will keep you guessing. Best-selling novelist Donna Hill spins a gripping tale of desperation and danger. Author Jennifer Leeper puts a unique spin on noir fiction. Writer and scholar Rita Banerjee blends a story of two unlikely allies trapped in a monsoon with a tale of murder and magic. Debut writer Megan Steusloff tells the story of an interracial couple and the deadly price that must be paid for freedom.Reader’s Bonus: Highlights from Spider Road Press’ recent flash fiction contests. Spider Road Press donates 5% of the proceeds from its titles to charities which address the issues of sexual assault, supporting American veterans, empowering youth and fighting hunger at home and abroad. Pre-order Approaching Footsteps from Spider Road Press here!

In Rita Banerjee’s novella, A Night with Kali, two people from different classes, a taxi driver called Tamal-da and his well-to-do passenger meet under unusual circumstances. Stuck together in a flood in the middle of a monsoon hitting Kolkata, Tamal entertains his bored, out-of-town passenger by telling her the story of his life. As he explains how he ended up hustling the mean streets of Kolkata, how he abandoned his rural village, and why he left his family of fishers behind, Tamal spins a tale that is both mundane and fantastic. Built on the tradition of Bengali ghost stories, Tamal’s coming-of-age tale depends as much on the supernatural as on the possibility or impossibility of human connection.

Rita Banerjee’s novella, “A Night with Kali,” published by Spider Road Press on November 18, 2016

kalistatueRita Banerjee’s novella, A Night with Kali, will be published in Approaching Footsteps, an anthology of four suspenseful novellas by authors Donna Hill, Rita Banerjee, Jennifer Leeper, and Megan Streusloff.  The anthology is edited by Patricia Flaherty Pagan of Spider Road Press, a feminist press based in Austin, TX which believes that books in America, Canada and the UK should reflect the diversity of these wonderful nations, and that all brave, intelligent writing is literary, no matter what the subject matter. Spider Road Press donates 5% of the proceeds from its titles to charities which address the issues of sexual assault, supporting American veterans, empowering youth and fighting hunger at home and abroad.  If you would like to review a galley copy of Rita Banerjee’s A Night with Kali in Approaching Footsteps, please contact Spider Road Press at here.  And here is a little bit about Rita Banerjee’s novella:

In A Night with Kali, two people from different classes, a taxi driver called Tamal-da and his well-to-do passenger meet under unusual circumstances. Stuck together in a flood in the middle of a monsoon hitting Kolkata, Tamal entertains his bored, out-of-town passenger by telling her the story of his life. As he explains how he ended up hustling the mean streets of Kolkata, how he abandoned his rural village, and why he left his family of fishers behind, Tamal spins a tale that is both mundane and fantastic. Built on the tradition of Bengali ghost stories, Tamal’s coming-of-age tale depends as much on the supernatural as on the possibility or impossibility of human connection.

Kundiman Reading at the Dodge Poetry Festival – October 22

Kundiman Reading at the 2016 Dodge Poetry Festival
feat. Hossannah Asuncion, Wo Chan, R.A. Villanueva, & Margaret Rhee
Moderated by Joseph O. Legaspi and Rita Banerjee
Saturday October 22, 2016 * 11:00 am – 12:10 pm
Aljira: A Center for Contemporary Art
591 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102

Featured Readers:

Hossannah Asuncion is a writer, organizer and educator who was raised near the 105 and 710 freeways in Los Angeles and currently lives near an A/C stop in Brooklyn. She is the author of Fragments of Loss (Chapbook, Poetry Society of America, 2010) and Object Permanence (Collection, Magic Helicopter Press, forthcoming 2016).

Wo Chan is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia’s Area Program for Poetry Writing where he received the Rachel St. Paul Poetry Award for his work. Wo was a finalist for the cream city review Poetry Contest and his poems appear in the journal. Wo is a Kundiman fellow and plans to pursue an MFA. He currently lives in Brooklyn, where he works as a makeup artist by day and performs with the drag alliance, Switch N’ Play by night.

R.A. Villanueva is the author of Reliquaria, winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize. He is also the winner of the inaugural Ninth Letter Literary Award for poetry.  He lives in Brooklyn and London.

Margaret Rhee is the author of chapbooks Yellow (Tinfish Press, 2011) and Radio Heart; or, How Robots Fall Out of Love (Finishing Line Press, 2015). She co-edited Glitter Tongue: queer and trans love poems and Mixed Blood, a literary journal on race and innovative poetics edited by CS Giscombe. She is a Kundiman Fellow and the Kathy Acker Fellow at Les Figues Press. In 2014, she received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in ethnic and new media studies. Currently, she teaches at UCLA and is a visiting assistant professor in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Oregon.

Kundiman Reading at the Library of Congress – October 12, 6:30-8:30 pm

The Library of Congress Presents:
Asian American Literature Today – Kundiman Spotlight
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 * 6:30pm 8:30pm
Montpelier Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building
101 Independence Avenue Southeast, Washington, DC, 20543 USA

Poets Janine Joseph and Aimee Nezhukumatathil read and discuss their work with Kundiman Advisory Board Co-Chair Jennifer Chang. Presented in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center; The Asian American Literary Review; and the Asian American Studies Program, University of Maryland.

Janine Joseph was born and raised in the Philippines and Southern California. She is the author of Driving without a License (Alice James Books, 2016), winner of the 2014 Kundiman Poetry Prize. Currently, she lives in Stillwater, OK, where she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Oklahoma State University.  Her poems and essays about growing up undocumented in America have appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Zócalo Public Square, The Journal, The Asian American Literary Review, The Collagist, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, Waxwing, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, and elsewhere.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is Professor of English at State University of New York-Fredonia, where she teaches creative writing and environmental literature.  Recent honors include a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pushcart Prize. She is the author of the forthcoming book of illustrated nature essays, WORLD OF WONDER (2018, Milkweed Editions), and three poetry collections: LUCKY FISH (2011), AT THE DRIVE-IN VOLCANO (2007), and MIRACLE FRUIT (2003)–all from Tupelo Press.  Her most recent chapbook is LACE & PYRITE, a collaboration of nature poems with the poet Ross Gay.

PEN America Presents: LitCrawl NYC 2016 & CWW’s Literary Vaudeville – October 1

litcrawl3

Join the show at the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop’s Literary Vaudeville! The evening will feature tantalizing performances from writers Rita BanerjeeDiana Norma SzokolyaiMegan FernandesClaire InceEmily SmithChristina M. Rau, and Frederick-Douglass Knowles II. Enjoy the dexterity of our word-artists and their poetic & prose literary feats!

Featured Readers:

ritabanerjeeRita Banerjee is the Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and the new Executive Director of Kundiman. She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and her writing appears in The Rumpus, Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Riot Grrrl MagazineThe Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. Her first collection of poems, Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press), received First Honorable Mention for Best Poetry Book of 2011-2012 at the Los Angeles Book Festival, and her novella, A Night with Kali (Spider Road Press), is forthcoming in October 2016. Finalist for the 2015 Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Award and the 2016 Aquarius Press Willow Books Literature Award, she is currently working on a novel and book of lyric essays.

 

diananormaDiana Norma Szokolyai is a writer and Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. She is author of the poetry collections Parallel Sparrows (honorable mention for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 Paris Book Festival) and Roses in the Snow (first runner-­up Best Poetry Book at the 2009 DIY Book Festival). She also records her poetry with musicians and has collaborated with several composers. Her poetry-music collaboration with Flux Without Pause led to their collaboration “Space Mothlight” hitting #16 on the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015, and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive. Szokolyai’s work has been recently reviewed by The London Grip and published in Quail Bell Magazine, Lyre Lyre, The Fiction Project, The Boston Globe, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, The Dudley Review and Up the Staircase Quarterly, as well as anthologized in The Highwaymen NYC #2, Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Always Wondering and Teachers as Writers. Szokolyai earned her Ed.M. in Arts in Education from Harvard University and her M.A. in French Literature from the University of Connecticut, while she completed coursework at the Sorbonne and research on Romani writers in Paris. She is currently at work on three books and recording an album of poetry & music.

eb8tc9Emily Smith is a Managing Editing and Communications Intern for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. She is a Contributing Blogger for Ploughshares and holds a B.F.A. in Creative Writing from New Hampshire Institute of ArtHer work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, Brooklyn Magazine, Refinery 29Bustle, Brevity, Luna Luna and others.

 

 


meganfernandes_newbioimage2015Megan Fernandes
 is an Assistant Professor of English at Lafayette College and teaches courses on poetry, feminist theory, and science and technology studies. She holds a PhD in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MFA in poetry from Boston University. She is the author of The Kingdom and After (Tightrope Books 2015), the poetry editor of the anthology Strangers in Paris (Tightrope Books 2011), and the author of two poetry chapbooks: Organ Speech (Corrupt Press) and Some Citrus Makes Me Blue (Dancing Girl Press). Her work has been published or is forthcoming in the Boston Review, Rattle, The Adroit Journal, Pank Magazine, The Walrus Magazine, Postmodern Culture, Guernica, Memorious, the Academy of American Poets, Redivider, the California Journal of Poetics, among others.


c8yndepvClaire Ince is the writer-producer of the movie musical Bazodee. An MFA graduate of New York University’s Dramatic Writing Program, Tisch School of the Arts, Claire previously produced the reality adventure show Run’bout for AT&T/Cingular Wireless Caribbean and the children’s TV pilot The Baobab Tree (a selection of the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.) Claire won best screenplay for Bazodee (formerly known as Scandalous!) at the Bahamas International Film Festival’s Film Residency Program in 2008.  She is also an alumna of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Spring 2015 in Newport, RI Writing Retreat.

 


13924994_1047861051976627_7319760793243653775_nChristina M. Rau
 is the author of the poetry collection Liberating The Astronauts (forthcoming, 2017), and the poetry chapbooks WakeBreatheMove (Finishing Line Press, 2015) and For The Girls, I (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). Founder of the Long Island reading circuit Poets In Nassau, her poetry has appeared on gallery walls in The Ekphrastic Poster Show, on car magnets for The Living Poetry Project, most recently in the journals Flapperhouse and Golden Walkman Magazine. She edits The Nassau Review at Nassau Community College where she teaches English full time. In her non-writing life, she practices yoga occasionally and line dances on other occasions.  She is also an alumna of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Spring 2015 in Newport, RI Writing Retreat.

 


screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-10-52-49-amFrederick-Douglass Knowles II (Yesod) is a Poet-Educator-Activist involved in Community Education and the Performing Arts. He has competed on three National Poetry Slam Teams (2x Connecticut and Brooklyn, NY). His works have featured in the Martin Luther King Jr. Anthology by Yale University Press, East Haddam Stage Company of Connecticut, The 13th Annual Acacia Group Conference at California State University, Folio– a Southern Connecticut State University literary magazine, Lefoko—a Botswana (Southern Africa) Hip-Hop magazine and Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: AIDS Anthology by Third World Press. Frederick-Douglass is currently an English Professor at Three Rivers Community College where he infuses English Composition with social injustices, such as AIDS, Poverty and War. His debut collection of autobiographical poetry, Black Rose City, was currently released by Author House.

“Transformations & Disobedience” – A Brooklyn Book Festival Reading – September 17

CWW-BBFReading

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is proud to announce our partnership with the Brooklyn Book Festival.  Join us our Brooklyn Book Festival 2016 Reading, “Transformations & Disobedience,” an evening of stories, poetry, and song, at Molasses Books (770 Hart Street, Brooklyn, NY 11237) on Saturday September 17!  The evening will kick off at 8 pm, and will feature readings from a wonderful array of talented writers such as Stephen AubreyRita BanerjeeMadeleine BarnesEllaraine LockieBen PeaseAnne Malin Ringwalt, Kate McMahonEmily SmithBianca Stone, and Diana Norma Szokolyai, along with a beautiful interludes of music from accomplished songwriters Erica Buettner and Elizabeth Devlin!

“Science : Fiction – How to Built Literary Worlds” – CCAE Workshop – September 24

ScienceFiction

Science : Fiction – How to Build Literary Worlds
Saturday September 24 * 10 am – 1 pm

Cambridge Center for Adult Education
56 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138

In this class, we will explore how the fabric and rules of literary worlds in realist and speculative fiction are created.  By examining the parameters of social and behavioral codes, human interactions and psychology, and the materiality of worlds, we’ll explore that volatile space where truth and lie meet, where conflicts crystallize, and where storytelling disturbs and delights. If you’re currently working on a short story, novel, screenplay, theatrical play, lyrical essay, memoir, or narrative poem which has a unique literary world at its heart, come stop by the CCAE for the next Cambridge Writers’ Workshop craft of writing seminar  led by Rita Banerjee.  To register, please sign up  at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education.  Workshop Fee: $40.  More info about the workshop series available at Cambridge Writers’ Workshop.

Cambridge, MA Fall 2016 Creative Writing Workshops – Registration Opens July 27!

CCAEClasses1

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is proud to announce our new series of creative writing workshops and craft of writing seminars in partnership with the Cambridge Center for Adult Education in Cambridge, MA!  The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is thrilled to return to Cambridge and to offer an exciting range of courses for our Boston-area writers.  Our featured faculty this fall includes Jade Sylvan, Rita Banerjee, Laura van den Berg, and Diana Norma Szokolyai.  Information on classes, meeting times, and faculty are listed below.  Courses are $40 each and those who register for 5 or more classes will receive a 10% discount on registration.  Two kinds of classes will be offered this fall at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education (56 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA): craft of writing seminars and writing workshops.  In craft of writing seminars, students will learn about a particular craft issue, study and discuss examples of contemporary creative writing, and will do an in-session writing prompt.  For creative writing workshops, students will bring in new and in-progress creative work to be reviewed and critiqued during class.

Registration for our Fall 2016 creative writing workshops and craft of writing seminars will open on the Cambridge Center for Adult Education website on July 27, 2016!  Since 1938, The Cambridge Center for Adult Education has offered a most diverse menu of courses to adults in Cambridge and surrounding areas, and it aims to give people the opportunity to explore their interests and nurture their talents and potential.  We’re proud to collaborate with the CCAE!

Location:  

Cambridge Center For Adult Education
56 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA

Time:

Saturdays, 10 am – 1 pm, September 10 – December 10, 2016

Schedule:

September 10:
“What’s At Stake in your Poetry, Fiction, & Nonfiction Manuscripts?”
with Diana Norma Szokolyai (writing workshop)

September 24:
“Science : Fiction – Building Literary Worlds”

with Rita Banerjee (craft of writing seminar)

October 8:
“Revision Strategies for All Genres”
with Jade Sylvan (writing workshop)

November 5:  
“Time in the Short Story”
with Laura van den Berg (craft of writing seminar)

November 12:
“Spatial Poetics”

with Diana Norma Szokolyai (craft of writing seminar)

December 3:
“Emotion and Suspense in Theatre, Poetry, and (Non)Fiction”

with Rita Banerjee (craft of writing seminar)

December 10:
“Writing Yourself Naked”

with Jade Sylvan (writing workshop)

Featured Faculty:


lowres-dsc_0340-edit-2Jade Sylvan
(they/them/their), called a “risqué queer icon” by The Boston Globe, is an award-winning author, poet, screenwriter, producer, and performing artist heavily rooted in the literary and performance community of Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts. Jade’s most recent book, Kissing Oscar Wilde (Write Bloody, 2013), a novelized memoir about the author’s experience as a touring poet in Paris (sponsored by a travel grant from The Foundation of Contemporary Arts), was a finalist for the New England Book Award and the Bisexual Book Award.  Other work has appeared in The Washington PostBuzzfeedThe Toast, Mudfish, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and many other publications.  Jade has toured extensively, performing their work to audiences across the United States, Canada, and Europe.  They are currently overseeing the production of their first full-length stage play, Spider Cult the Musical, opening June 24th, 2016 at Oberon Theater in Harvard Square.

 

RitaBanerjeeRita Banerjee is the Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and the new Executive Director of Kundiman. She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and her writing appears in The Rumpus, Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Riot Grrrl Magazine, The Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. Her first collection of poems, Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press), received First Honorable Mention for Best Poetry Book of 2011-2012 at the Los Angeles Book Festival, and her novella, A Night with Kali (Spider Road Press), is forthcoming in October 2016. Finalist for the 2015 Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Award and the 2016 Aquarius Press Willow Books Literature Award, she is currently working on a novel and book of lyric essays.

lauraauthorphotoLaura van den Berg 
is the author of the novel Find Me, longlisted for the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize an selected as a best book of 2015 by Time Out New York and NPR, and two story collections What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us and The Isle of Youth, both finalists for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her honors include the Bard Fiction Prize, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Jeannette Haien Ballard Writer’s Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and an O. Henry Award, and her fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories. She has taught fiction at institutions including Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, the Warren Wilson M.F.A. Program for Writers, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. At present, Laura is a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard University and lives in Cambridge, MA, with her husband and dog.

diananormaDiana Norma Szokolyai is a writer/interdisciplinary artist/educator and Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Based in Brooklyn, NY, she is author of the poetry collections Parallel Sparrows(honorable mention for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 Paris Book Festival) and Roses in the Snow (first runner-­up Best Poetry Book at the 2009 DIY Book Festival). She also records her poetry with musicians and has collaborated with several composers. Her poetry-music collaboration with Flux Without Pause led to their collaboration “Space Mothlight” hitting #16 on the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015, and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive. Szokolyai’s work has been published in Quail Bell Magazine, Lyre Lyre, The Fiction Project, The Boston Globe, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, and Up the Staircase Quarterly, as well as anthologized in The Highwaymen NYC #2, Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Always Wondering and Teachers as Writers. Szokolyai earned her Ed.M. in Arts in Education from Harvard University and her M.A. in French Literature from the University of Connecticut, while she completed coursework at the Sorbonne and original research in Paris for two years. She is currently at work on three books and recording an album of poetry & music.

Screening of Kamaleswar Mukherjee’s Chander Pahar (2013) – July 5

ChanderPaharRita Banerjee will introduce and lead the discussion for Kamaleswar Mukherjee’s 2013 film, Chander Pahar (Moon Mountain), on Tuesday July 5 from 6-8:30 pm for the Institute for Indology and Tibetology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, (Ludwigstr. 31, Seminarraum 427).  The screening is part of the course Genre and Modern South Asian Literatures at LMU.  Anyone interested in genre, Modern South Asian literature, or art house film is welcomed to join the screening.

Chander Pahar (Moon Mountain), a beloved Bengali adventure novel written by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay in 1937, is not an easy book to bring to the big screen. Key plot points include an erupting volcano and a prehistoric-looking beast, not to mention deadly spiders, snakes and lions. The story follows Shankar (Dev), a young Indian man beset with wanderlust. He can hardly believe his good fortune when he lands a job as a station manager along a Ugandan railroad, which means he’ll be living alone in the wilderness of Africa visited by people only when the train makes its brief daily stop. The latter half of the movie involves Shankar’s friendship with another adventurer, Diego Alvarez (Gerard Rudolf), and their journey to find riches in the Richtersveld, a mountainous desert region in South Africa.   Director Kamaleswar Mukherjee shot the film primarily in South Africa, and the vistas and animals are breathtaking. – Stephanie Merry, The Washington Post

Emotion & Suspense in Theatre, Poetry, and (Non)Fiction – Munich Readery Creative Writing Workshop – June 25 [SOLD OUT]

EmotionandSuspenseEmotion & Suspense in Theatre, Poetry, & (Non)Fiction
Saturday June 25, 2016 * 9:00-12:00

The Munich Readery
Augustenstraße 104, 80798 München

Plato argues that human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.  And before staging Kalidasa’s The Recognition of Śākuntalā, the director challenges his actress-lover: “As though in a painting, the entire audience has had their emotion colored through your melody.  So now—what shall we perform to sustain the mood?”  In this class, we will explore how creating vivid emotional worlds between characters and within storylines can build suspense, sustain drama, and lure the reader deeper in. If you’re currently working on a short story, novel, screenplay, theatrical play, lyrical essay, memoir, or narrative poem which has a unique emotional landscape, come stop by the Munich Readery on Saturday June 25 for our next creative writing workshop led by Rita Banerjee.  To register, send an email to John by June 20 at:store@themunichreadery.com. Workshop Fee: €30.  This workshop is SOLD OUT.