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Past Society Events

Generative Writing Workshop with Pam Houston

September 24, 2019
1-5 p.m. Evolve, 106 West German St.

Pam has taught writing workshops all over the world along with her Professorship of English at University of California Davis and in the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA Program. She is the author of multiple books, including the best seller Cowboys Are My Weakness. Her new book Deep Creek Finding Hope In The High Country has her visiting Shepherdstown on a countrywide book tour. Don’t miss out on a rare opportunity to learn from a writing coach well known for helping writers become the best they can be, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist Tommy Orange. This will be a small intimate group with limited space, so please register early.

For detailed info and registration go to:
Questions? Contact Kelly at
Cost per person $81.20 which includes registration fees through Eventbrite.
Deadline for registration is September 22, 2019

The Danske Dandridge Literary Festival

October 11-13, 2019

The Society for Creating Writing Literary Festival will take place from October 10-13. The festival will feature writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including Sir Andrew Motion, Jane Brox, Nancy Naomi Carlson, Jennifer Grotz, Roser Caminals, and Barrett Warner. The event will also offer writing workshops, readings, a panel on translation, and Q&A sessions.


Sir Andrew Motion was born in London and raised in Stisted, Essex. He is the author of many books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Motion’s poetry collections include Coming in to Land: Selected Poems 1975-2015 (2017), The Customs House (2012), The Cinder Path (2009), and Public Property (2002), his first collection as UK Poet Laureate. Motion’s collections of nonfiction prose include biographies of Thomas Wainewright (2000), of Philip Larkin (1993), and of John Keats (1997). His novels include The Invention of Dr. Cake (2003) and Silver: Return to Treasure Island (2012). Motion was knighted in 2009. From 1999–2009, he was poet laureate for the UK. In 2015, he moved to Baltimore, Maryland, to become the Homewood Professor of the Arts at Johns Hopkins University.


Jane Brox’s fifth book, Silence, was published in January 2019, and was named an Editors’ Choice by The New York Times Book Review. Her most recent book, Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light, was named one of the top ten nonfiction books of 2010 by Time magazine. She is also the author of Clearing Land: Legacies of the American FarmFive Thousand Days Like This One, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction; and Here and Nowhere Else, which won the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award. She has received the New England Book Award for nonfiction, and her essays have appeared in many anthologies including Best American EssaysThe Norton Book of Nature Writing, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. She has been awarded grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Maine Arts Commission. She has taught at Harvard University and Bowdoin College, and is currently on the faculty of Lesley University’s low-residency MFA Program. She lives in Brunswick, Maine.


Nancy Naomi Carlson is a poet, translator, editor, and essayist who has authored ten titles (six translated), including translations of René Char (France), Suzanne Dracius (Martinique), and Abdourahman Waberi (Djibouti). She has received grants from the NEA and Maryland Council for the Arts, and was a finalist for the Best Translated Book Award, as well as the CLMP Firecracker Poetry Award. Her work has appeared in such journals as the American Poetry Review, The Georgia Review, Poetry, and The Paris Review. A senior translation editor for Tupelo Quarterly, she holds two doctorates, including one in Foreign Language Methodology. She has been decorated with the rank of Chevalier in the Order of the French Academic Palms.


Jennifer Grotz is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Window Left Open. The Needle, which received the Paul Nasser Prize and the 2012 Best Book of Poetry Award by the Texas Institute of Letters, was named one of the “5 Best Books of Poetry of the Year” by National Public Radio. Her first book, Cusp, received the Katharine Bakeless Nason Prize and the Natalie Ornish Best First Book of Poetry Prize from the Texas Institute of Letters. Her translations from the French of the poems of Patrice de La Tour du Pin are collected in Psalms of All My Days. She is also the translator of a novel, Rochester Knockings, of the Tunisian-born author Hubert Haddad. Other poems, essays, translations, and reviews have appeared widely in journals such as The New Yorker, The New RepublicThe New York Review of Books, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, as well as in the Pushcart Prize and four volumes of the Best American Poetry anthologies. A recipient of awards from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and the Camargo Foundation, she teaches at the University of Rochester and serves as the director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences.

Roser Caminals

Roser Caminals earned her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Barcelona. A native of Barcelona, she is the author of seven novels and one non-fiction book. Her work, published in three languages (Catalan, English, and Spanish), and in paperback, hardback, and digital form, has been featured at the International Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany. She also has an interest in literary translation. Her English rendition of the Spanish classic Los Pazos de Ulloa (The House of Ulloa), by Emilia Pardo Bazán, was published by The University of Georgia Press and earned her a grant-award from the Spanish Embassy in 1992. In 1996 she won first prize in narrative at the Jocs Florals de la Diàspora, a contest for Catalan writers outside of Catalonia, for Les herbes secretes (The Secret Herbs). Since then she has received critical acclaim in the Spanish media (newspapers, radio, and television), as well as in the Mexican newspaper La Jornada. Her novel Cinc-cents bars i una llibreria (Five-Hundred Bars and One Bookstore) was celebrated in La Vanguardia as “one of the best Catalan novels written in recent years”. Roser Caminals is currently an Emerita Professor of Spanish at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, and is married to author William Heath. The title of her upcoming book is The American Seduction. For more information about Roser Caminals, you may go here.

Barrett Warner

Barrett Warner is the editor of the print journal Free State Review. He is also the acquisitions editor for Galileo Press and the poetry critic for Riot Material. His awards include the Liam Rector Prize, the Cloud Bank prize, the Princemere prize, the Tucson Book Festival essay prize, and the Salamander fiction prize. He was recently the nonfiction fellow at the Long Leaf Writer’s Conference, and is currently a finalist for the Midway Journal prize and the Pattersonpoetry prize. He is the author of Why Is It So Hard to Kill You? (Somondoco, 2016) and My Friend Ken Harvey (Publishing Genius, 2014). His recent work appears in Pirene’s FountainBeloit Poetry JournalRabbit CatastrophePassaic Literary JournalAnti-Heroin Chic, and elsewhere.

William Heath

When William Heath began writing poetry in the 1960s, James Wright hailed him as “one of the most brilliantly accomplished and gifted young poets to appear in the United States in quite some time.” William Heath’s novel about the civil rights movement in Mississippi, The Children Bob Moses Led (Milkweed Editions 1995, paperback 1997) won the Hackney Literary Award for best novel, was nominated by the publisher for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize, and by Joyce Carol Oates for the Ainsfield-Wolf Award. In 2002 Time magazine online judged it one of the eleven best novels of the African American experience. He has published over thirty reviews and sixteen scholarly essays on Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, William Styron, and Thomas Berger, among others, in such reputable journals as The Massachusetts Review, The South Carolina Review, The Kenyon Review, The Texas Review, Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, The Journal of American Studies, The Indiana Magazine of History, and Northwest Ohio History. Now he has returned to his first love, poetry. His most recent chapbook Night Moves in Ohio, published by Finishing Line Press, will be available this fall.

Poetry Reading

Featuring Hope Maxwell Snyder and former Maryland poet laureate Michael Collier
February 8, 2019 • 7:30 p.m. • Marinoff Theater

Hope Maxwell Snyder was born in Bogotá, Colombia. She holds degrees from The College of William and Mary, George Washington University, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Manchester. She is currently the Assistant Director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Sicily, Poet Laureate of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and Poet in Residence at Shepherd University. Her poems and translations have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Kenyon Review, International Poetry Review, Poetry Northwest, The Poetry Society of America, and other journals. Hope is the author of a novel, Orange Wine, a play, The Backroom, which is being adapted into film, and two books of poems. Her most recent book of poems, Esperanza and Hope, was published in 2018 by Sheep Meadow Press.

Michael Collier, former director of the Bread Loaf Conference, is the author of six books of poems: The Clasp and Other Poems; The Folded Heart; The Neighbor; The Ledge, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Dark Wild Realm and most recently, My Bishop and Other Poems. He is also co-editor, along with Charles Baxter and Edward Hirsch, of A William Maxwell Portrait. Collier has received Guggenheim and Thomas Watson fellowships, two NEA fellowships, a “Discovery”/The Nation Award, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, and a Pushcart Prize. Poet Laureate of Maryland from 2001–2004, he teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Maryland.

Poetry Reading

Featuring Temple Cone, inaugural Poet Laureate for the city of Annapolis
March 21, 2019

Temple Cone is the inaugural Poet Laureate for the city of Annapolis and Professor of English at the U.S. Naval Academy. He is the author of four books of poetry: Guzzle, from FutureCycle Press (2016); That Singing, from March Street Press (2011); The Broken Meadow, which received the 2010 Old Seventy Creek Poetry Press Series Prize; and No Loneliness, which received the 2009 FutureCycle Press Poetry Book Prize. He has also published six poetry chapbooks, as well as reference works on Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Walt Whitman, and 20th-Century American Poetry. He holds a Ph.D. in Literature from the University of Wisconsin, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia, an M.A. in Creative Writing from Hollins University, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Washington and Lee University.