Fiction Writer

Open Circle Read & Response

Open Circle Read & Response

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 Upcoming Events:

The Finalé!

In the most dynamic Open Circle Read & Response event to date, the audience will be treated to readings by three acclaimed writers: Dan Fesperman, whose award winning novels of “intrigue and espionage” have won him recognition in seven languages; Slangston Hughes, a local star and national slam-poetry champion; and Danielle Evans, the newest faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, whose first book, “Before You Suffocate Your Own Damn Self” won the 2011 PEN/Robert Bingham Prize. Writers will be responded to by the incomparable Amadou Kouyate, a musical storyteller and practitioner of the Manding musical tradition in West Africa, as well as by former Creative Alliance resident artist, Christopher Kojzar, who will make drawings in real time, to be presented during intermission and after the show.

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Danielle Evans is the author of the story collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, winner of the PEN American Robert W. Bingham prize, the Hurston-Wright award, the Paterson Prize, and a National Book Foundation 5 under 35 selection. Her stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies including The Paris Review, A Public Space, American Short Fiction, Callaloo, New Stories From the South, and The Best American Short Stories. She teaches creative writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

 

 

 

 

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Slangston Hughes is a National Slam Champion based out of Baltimore, Maryland. He’s a decorated performer winning many competitions and awards across the country. Hughes also gives back to the community as the Director of Youth Poetry at Dew More Baltimore and lead coach of the world champion Baltimore City Youth Poetry Team. Slangston Hughes was the first ever Word War grand slam champion in 2008 (Baltimore) and the 2010 Baltimore Crown Awards “Poet of the Year” recipient. His work has been published in the Poets ‘ America anthology via the Kratz Creative Writing Center. Slangston published his first collaborative literary work “Writers’ Alchemy with prosaist Devlon E. Waddell as part of E.M.B.O.D.Y. In addition Slangston is the founder of Speak Out: Slammageddon. Slangston was also a member of the Slammageddon Baltimore slam team that won the 2016 National Poetry Slam and 2017 Southern Fried Regional Slam.

 

Dan Fesperman’s ten novels of intrigue and espionage have won acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, winning the Dashiell Hammett award in the United States and two Dagger awards in the UK. A former foreign correspondent for the Baltimore Sun, his travels as a writer have taken him to three war zones and more than thirty countries. His latest book, The Letter Writer, was named one of the ten best mysteries of 2016 by the New York Times. He lives in Baltimore.

 

Amadou Kouyate

Amadou Kouyate

Amadou Kouyate is the 150th generation of the Kouyate family of Manding Diali (oral historians/musicians of West Africa) and the first generation born of his father’s lineage in America. Amadou performs a musical montage on the 21-string Kora, and rhythmic presentations on Djembe and Koutiro drums. His credits include performances at The Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institution, Bristol Academy and Isle of White (England), Tim Festival (Brazil), Lowell, Baltimore Rhythm Festival, and many more. Amadou received the Maryland Start Arts Council Governor’s Citation, The Maryland Master/ Apprentice Award, among others. Amadou was a 2013-14 Artist In Residence at the renowned Strathmore Music Center, and has lectured and performed both nationally, and internationally, and continues to present worldwide.

 

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Christopher Kojzar received his B.A. in International Affairs and Economics from George Washington University in 2005 and studied fine arts in the Maryland Institute College of Arts Continuing Studies program from 2007-2009. He works in film and television and is currently working on the crew of Bravo. His visual medium includes drawing, digital media, film, and performance. Using stop animation techniques, he creates visual narratives on glass. Christopher is the recipient of a scholarship from the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine, and a recipient of the Lucy Morgan Scholarship at the Penland School of Arts and Crafts in Penland, North Carolina. His work has been exhibited in France, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and Maryland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


PREVIOUS OPEN CIRCLE EVENTS:

OPEN CIRCLE’s Summer Reading, at The ROOM (800 St. Paul) * Friday, June 2nd @ 7pm!!

13332950_10208252657892899_8102035666694661135_nAndria Nacina Cole is co-founder of the critical reading and writing program A Revolutionary Summer (www.arevolutionarysummer.com), which exposes Black girls to womanisliterary giants in an effort to push them headfirst into self-love. Her work has appeared in Baltimore’s City Paper, The Feminist Wire, Fiction Circus, and Hamilton Stone Review, among others. Ploughshares recently published her novella Men Be Either Or, But Never Enough, available for download on Amazon and Audible. She is the recipient of five Maryland State Arts Councils awards, one of which was the organization’s top prize for fiction. She is a 2016 Rubys Literary Arts grant recipient.

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Jordannah Elizabeth (info@publikprivate.org) is an author, music and arts critic editor, and folk soul musician. Elizabeth is also a civil rights and feminist writer who often offers commentary on racial and gender issues in America. She is the founder and director of Publikprivate.org, a literary organization that helps musicians, arts and culture journalists and creative writers find jobs and internships. Links: http://jordannahelizabeth.tumblr.com/https://www.facebook.com/jordannahe/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordannah_Elizabeth. Literary org, Publik / Private and Publik / Private Small Press: https://www.facebook.com/publikprivate/, https://www.facebook.com/publikprivatesmallpress/, https://www.publikprivate.org/

 

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Born in India, Lalita Noronha came to the U.S on a Fulbright travel grant and earned her Ph.D in Microbiology/Biochemistry. She is a research scientist, writer, poet, teacher, editor for The Baltimore Review, past president of the Maryland Writers’ Association, and a Board Member of CityLit. Her work has appeared in literary journals and anthologies in India, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. including The Baltimore Sun, The Christian Science Monitor, Crab Orchard Review, The Cortland Review, among others. She is the author of a short story collection, Where Monsoons Cry (BlackWordsPress) which won the Maryland Literary Arts Award, and two poetry books, Her Skin Phyllo-thin (Finishing Line Press) and Mustard Seed: A Collage of Science, Art and Love Poems (Apprentice House) She has won two Individual Artist Awards (fiction and poetry) and Pushcart prize nominations in poetry and creative nonfiction. Her work has been featured a few times on WYPR’s The Signal. Her website/blog is http://www.lalitanoronha.com

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Jake Weber is a translator in Laurel, Maryland, who also volunteers as an English tutor and mentor to migrants from East Africa. He has an M.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. His fiction has appeared in The Baltimore Review (before he was a reader, we assure you), The Potomac Review, Bartleby Snopes, and coming soon in the Green Hills Literary Lantern. He won the 2017 WWPH fiction contest, and his book comes out in September.

 

CA_resident_Kojzar_portrait_useChristopher Kojzar received his B.A. in International Affairs and Economics from George Washington University in 2005 and studied fine arts in the Maryland Institute College of Arts Continuing Studies program from 2007-2009. He works in film and television and is currently working on the crew of Bravo. His visual medium includes drawing, digital media, film, and performance. Using stop animation techniques, he creates visual narratives on glass. Christopher is the recipient of a scholarship from the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine, and a recipient of the Lucy Morgan Scholarship at the Penland School of Arts and Crafts in Penland, North Carolina. His work has been exhibited in France, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and Maryland.

Matt Shultz

Max Ferency is a pianist and composer. Much of his work focuses on weaving together spoken word and music. He has composed works integrating actors and music with voices from the Baltimore Uprising as well as sounds he recorded from the Arab Spring and Spanish Indignados.  He is currently working on a piece of music using voices from the recent No Muslim Ban marches. You can hear more of his music at maxferency.org.

 

 


OPEN CIRCLE’s Winter Reading, at The ROOM (800 St. Paul) * January 6th, 2017

Ron Kipling Williams uses art, media, performance, and education to break down walls, facilitate open and honest conversations, and build community. He has generated a reputation for being real and authentic in tackling issues of race, class, and identity, and has influenced a geron-kipling-headshotneration of Baltimore-based artists. Ron’s awards include a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award, a Baltimore City African American Male Unsung Hero Award, and a United Workers Human Rights Champion award. In 2016, Ron was selected as alternate for the Fulbright Scholarship. Ron holds an MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts from the University of Baltimore, and serves as adjunct professor. He is the author of an autobiographical book of poetry and memoir entitled Black Freak Mosh Heaven, and is the creator, writer, and performer of Dreadlocks, Rock & Roll and Human Rights. To learn more about Ron, visit his website at www.ronkiplingwilliams.com.

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Clarence Harlan Orsi is a graduate of the PhD program in writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln whose essays and fiction have appeared in publications including the American Literary ReviewThe BelieverChicago ReviewCincinnati Review and n+1. He teaches writing at Cecil College in northern Maryland and lives in Baltimore.

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Marian Crotty is an assistant professor of writing at Loyola University Maryland and an assistant editor at The Common. She is the recipient of scholarships from The Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ conferences, a Yaddo Artists’ residency, a Bakeless Camargo residency, and a Fulbright research grant to The United Arab Emirates. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as The Alaska Quarterly Review, The Southern Review, and The Kenyon Review. Her personal essays, two of which have been cited as notable essays in The Best American Essays series, have appeared in journals such asThe New England Review, The Michigan Quarterly Review, and The Gettysburg Review. 

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Nia Johnson began her professional career as a social worker; graduating from Morgan State University with a Masters degree in Social Work. In 2013 she returned to her initial passion, writing, and created the LesB Inn book series. She is also the creator of GetShitDone, a consulting business that assists people with reaching their goals and enhancing their overall quality of life, and is the co-creator and co-producer of SunSets, a monthly gathering for creatives. Nia continues to work in the field of social work and currently serves as the Director of Admissions for the Masters in Social Work program at Morgan State University. niajohnson.net

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Chris Frick is a pianist, French horn player, improviser, and composer. He is a graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts and is working towards his BM in Horn Performance at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. His diverse musical background has lead to a unique set of opportunities for artistic collaboration in a variety of forms including chamber music, orchestra, musical theater, jazz, brass band, and hip hop. He enjoys working with composers and has made improvisation and new music a focal point of his work. Chris has worked with organizations such as the Baltimore Symphony’s OrchKids program, Creative Connections, and the Archipelago Project, a non-profit music education ensemble. He is the recipient of the 2013 Ethel Ramos Harris Artistic Achievement Award and the 2014 Lottie M. Patterson Memorial Scholarship.

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Christopher Kojzar received his B.A. in International Affairs and Economics from George Washington University in 2005 and studied fine arts in the Maryland Institute College of Arts Continuing Studies program from 2007-2009. He works in film and television and is currently working on the crew of Bravo. His visual medium includes drawing, digital media, film, and performance. Using stop animation techniques, he creates visual narratives on glass. Christopher is the recipient of a scholarship from the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine, and a recipient of the Lucy Morgan Scholarship at the Penland School of Arts and Crafts in Penland, North Carolina. His work has been exhibited in France, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and Maryland.


OPEN CIRCLE’s Fall Reading, back on stage at The Patterson, October 19th!

Jasmine HeadshotJasmine Hogan is an international prize-winning harpist who has performed worldwide both as a soloist, and collaboratively, with internationally renowned orchestras, opera companies, and chamber musicians. Additionally, in 2011–12 she was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to China and was granted a U.S. Fulbright Award to study traditional Chinese in Beijing. She enjoys working with composers and has made new music a focal point of her career. She is the recipient of a 2015-16 Presser Foundation Graduate Award for a new chamber music commission. Jasmine holds a first place prize from the Stockholm International Music Competition and is a graduate of Peabody Conservatory’s Artist Diploma program. Jasmine is on faculty at Peabody Conservatory, teaching Harp Pedagogy. She is the coordinator and founding member of Peabody HarpAdventures as well as Faculty at the Peabody Preparatory and the Baltimore Symphony’s OrchKids program. She was recently named as a Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary International for her work in community engagement.

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Betsy Boyd is a fiction writer, journalist and copywriter. She serves as editor-in-chief of Baltimore STYLE Magazine and is a faculty member in the Creative Writing and Publishing Arts MFA program at the University of Baltimore. Betsy spent more than a decade as a contributor to Daily Variety; she also served as senior editor of Baltimore’s PaperDoll Magazine and of the news and entertainment site Baltimore Fishbowl, both published by Susan Dunn. She is the recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council award, an Elliot Coleman Writing Fellowship, a James A. Michener Fellowship and residencies through Fundación Valparaíso, the Alfred and Trafford Klots International Program for Artists and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Betsy’s fiction has been published most recently in SententiaShenandoahEclectica and Loch Raven Review. Her short story “Scarecrow” received a Pushcart Prize.

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Sally Shivnan’s short story collection Piranhas & Quicksand & Love has just been published by Press 53. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The Georgia Review, Antioch Review, Glimmer Train, Rosebud, and other journals, and in anthologies including The Best American Travel Writing and Travelers’ Tales Best Travel Writing. Her travel essays have been featured in The Washington Post, Miami Herald, Nature Conservancy Magazine, Washingtonian, Saturday Evening Post, baltimore.org, and many other publications and websites. She also broadcasts her bi-weekly “Prose and Poetry” radio program for blind listeners, available for streaming at the Radio Reading Network of Maryland. She was the winner of the 2011 Travel Classics International travel writing prize and a Maryland State Arts Council grant, among other awards. She teaches creative writing at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), is currently at work on a novel, and shares her writing and thoughts at SallyShivnan.com.


   Karen Fish Headshot

Karen Fish is the author of two collections of poems, The Cedar Canoe (Univ of Georgia) and What is Beyond Us(Harper/Collins). She received a BFA in photography and painting from Arcadia University and did her graduate work at Johns Hopkins University where she received an M.A. from the Writing Seminars. Currently, she serves as the Chair of the Writing department at Loyola University Maryland. Over the years her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Denver Quarterly, The Yale Review, The New Republic and Slate.

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Amanda McCormick is an American performer & writer whose work has appeared in a variety of forms & mediums over the past decade. She is the founding curator of Ink Press Productions in Baltimore where she explores the art & craft of DIY printing, publishing, and handmade books. Her latest, AMANDA, is a project of poetry that deals with the physical, experienced, and internalized selfhood of the artist-poet-human who navigates society and the natural world in a slant framework of love and existence.


OPEN CIRCLE at The Book Festival, on the CityLit Stage, September 24th. 

Gregg Wilhelm founded the nonprofit CityLit Project in Baltimore in 2004.  As an editor and independent publisher, he has shepherded roughly 100 titles to publication.  Gregg has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Tampa in 2014 and is the recipient of a Rubys Artists Project Grant in Literary Arts from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. His writing has appeared in the anthologies Clash by Nightand Geo-Poe; in journals such as Gargoyle, The Broadkill Review, and Tampa Review; and in media including City Paper and The Sunhttp://www.greggwilhelm.com

Chris Stewart is editor-in-chief of Del Sol Press (@DelSolPressBks), and an editor with Pitch2Pub.com, an online competition matching writers and editors for manuscript critique before submission to agents. A recipient of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize nominee, some of her publications include Poetry, Ploughshares, Five Points, Blackbird, The Cortland Review, and Smartish Pace. Chris tweets @EditorStewart and provides manuscript editing and critiques. www.therealwriter.com.

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Nia Johnson

Nia Johnson began her professional career as a social worker; graduating from Morgan State University with a Masters degree in Social Work. In 2013 she returned to her initial passion, writing, and created the LesB Inn book series. She is also the creator of GetShitDone, a consulting business that assists people with reaching their goals and enhancing their overall quality of life, and is the co-creator and co-producer of SunSets, a monthly gathering for creatives. Nia continues to work in the field of social work and currently serves as an adjunct professor at Morgan State University.

Spanish-American soprano Anaïs Naharro-Murphy enjoys performing a diverse repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to contemporary works in opera, song, and ensemble pieces. Performances in 2016-2017 include Naked in the Garden at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Vocalissimus with Temple University’s New Music Ensemble, Schumann’s Dichterliebe with pianist Timur Mustakimov, and Bach’s Coffee Cantata in the series Beyond the Notes.  As an avid recitalist and concert soloist, Anaïs has recently premiered and pioneered many contemporary compositions. Opera roles include: Lucio Cinna with Temple Opera, Despina with Concert Opera of Philadelphia, 1st Lady/Papagena with Annex Theatre, La Fée and Mercure with Bel Cantanti, Adina and Suor Genovieffa with La Musica Lirica, Emmie with Hexacollective, Countess Ceprano/Page with Baltimore Lyric Opera, and Gretel with Little Patuxtent Opera Institute. More information at http://www.anaisnaharromurphy.com.

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Ethan Reinking

Ethan Reinking was born in Rockville, Maryland on October 5th 1988. Ethan began playing the violin in third grade and continued through high school. In early high school Ethan picked up the guitar, inspired by bands like The Kinks, The Beatles, Led Zeplin, and all the other classic bands of the 1960’s and 70’s. However, upon hearing Wes Montgomery, Ethan set his sights on playing Jazz. After high school Ethan spent a couple of years at Howard Community College and then went on to study Jazz at The Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Ethan graduated in 2015 with a Bachelors Degree in Jazz Guitar Performance and has since enjoyed playing and teaching in the Baltimore/D.C. area.

Inaugural Event: April 20th, 2016, at The Creative Alliance:

Abdul Ali is the author of Trouble Sleeping, winner the 2014 New Issues Poetry Prize, judged by Fanny Howe. He’s a two-time recipient of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ Literature fellowship. He was a fellow at American University where he received his M.F.A in Creative Writing. His poems have appeared in Gargoyle, A Gathering of Tribes, New Contrast, Poet Lore, Academy of American Poets and elsewhere. He currently is a faculty member at The Bryn Mawr School where he teaches English in the Upper School. A native of New York City and longtime resident of Washington, D.C. Ali currently lives in Baltimore with his daughter.

Michael

Michael Fallon is a poet and a Senior Lecturer in English at UMBC and has edited the literary magazines Puerto del Sol (1980-81) and the Maryland Poetry Review (1984-91). Fallon was a winner of 2 Maryland State Arts Council Fellowships in Poetry in 1988 and 2009 and is the author of 3 collections of poetry, A History of the Color Black: Dolphin-Moon Press, 1991; Since You Have No Body, winner of the Plan B Press Poetry 2011 Chapbook Competition, and The Great Before and After: BrickHouse Books, 2011. His book of poems, House of Forgotten Names, was accepted by Salmon Press of Ireland and will be published in 2017.

Jean

Jean McGarry is the author of eight books of fiction, among them the novel The Courage of Girls (Rutgers University Press) and the short story collection Dream Date (JHU Press). Her 2006 novel, A Bad and Stupid Girl(University of Michigan Press), received the University of Michigan Fiction Prize. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Yale Review, Boulevard, The Southwest Review, and others. She currently serves as co-chair of the department. She previously served as chair, from 1997 to 2005. She is a graduate of the Baltimore-Washington Psychoanalytic Institute.

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Ailish Hopper is the author of Dark~Sky Society (New Issues), and the chapbook Bird in the Head (Center for Book Arts Prize). Individual poems have appeared in APRBlackbirdHarvard Review Online,PloughsharesPoetryTidal Basin Review, and many other places. In addition to page poetry, she has also performed in the poetry band, Heroes are Gang Leaders. Her essays on art and literature that deal with racism and art have appeared in Boston ReviewThe Volta, and the anthology, A Sense of Regard: Essays on Poetry and Race. She has received support from the MacDowell Colony, MD State Arts Council, and Yaddo. She teaches at Goucher College.

paulrucker

Paul Rucker is a visual artist, composer, and musician who combines media, often integrating live performance, sound, original compositions, and visual art. His work is the product of a rich interactive process, through which he investigates community impacts, human rights issues, historical research, and basic human emotions surrounding a subject. Rucker has received numerous grants, awards, and residencies for visual art and music. In 2012, he received an award for Visual Art from the Creative Capital Foundation, a 10-week residency at Headlands Center for the Arts in California, the Conductive Garboil Grant, a Grant for Artists Projects from Artist Trust, and an Artist Project Grant and Gallery Show from 4Culture.

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Christopher Kojzar received his B.A. in International Affairs and Economics from George Washington University in 2005 and studied fine arts in the Maryland Institute College of Arts Continuing Studies program from 2007-2009. He works in film and television and is currently working on the crew of Bravo. His visual medium includes drawing, digital media, film, and performance. Using stop animation techniques, he creates visual narratives on glass. Christopher is the recipient of a scholarship from the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine, and a recipient of the Lucy Morgan Scholarship at the Penland School of Arts and Crafts in Penland, North Carolina. His work has been exhibited in France, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and Maryland.

Curated by Amanda Fiore

Here are pics of our inaugural event, thanks to all who came out to support the artists!

2 responses

  1. Pingback: Things to do in Baltimore this week 10/17 – baltimore food and fun

  2. Pingback: Winner’s Circle | Baltimore Style

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