AROOSTOOK COUNTY - The public is encouraged to join Northern Maine Community College in the celebration of both Community College Month and National Poetry Month.
NMCC is hosting a Creative Writers Reading Series in the Edmunds Library during the month of April. Each week a noon-time session will feature a guest writer as well as students from the college.
The reading series, the first of which occurred April 11, will take place on Wednesdays, 18, and 25. Each session begins at noon and lasts for about an hour. Students who are in the creative writing class at the college will each participate by briefly reading their own original work, followed by a guest speaker. The guest speaker for the day will read a passage from their published work and then answer questions about the work, their experiences as a writer, or other areas of interest the audience members may have.
“Maine is fortunate to have a wide range of talented writers,” said Jan Grieco, NMCC instructor and coordinator of the reading series. “I am impressed with the number of professional writers who are willing to share their writing styles and experiences with the public and students attending NMCC.”
The reading series began April 11 with fiction writer Morgan Callan Rogers. She is a native Mainer from Bath, who now splits her time between coastal Maine and South Dakota. Her debut novel, Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea, introduces a spirited young heroine coming of age in coastal Maine in the 1960s. It has been published in Germany, where it won a Reader’s Choice award in general literature, and it will be published in both Spain and Austrailia in 2012. Callan Rogers holds a BA in English and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.
The April 18 reading will feature poet and artist Melissa Crowe. Crowe’s poems have appeared in the Atlanta Review, Calyx, the Crab Orchard Review, and the Seneca Review, among other journals. She was the winner of the Betsy Scholl Award in 2011 for her poem The River. Crowe earned her MFA in poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and her Ph.D. in English at the University of Georgia. She sits on the editorial board of the Beloit Poetry Journaland teaches American literature and writing in the online English program of the University of Maine at Presque Isle. She lives in Portland with her husband and daughter.
Non-fiction writing will be the theme for final session in the series on April 25. The featured artist will be Jen Blood, who writes across the genres. Blood, who was born and raised in midcoast Maine, is a freelance writer and editor with writing credits in Down East, The Bark, Pif, and a number of newspapers, websites and periodicals around the country. Her novel All the Blue-Eyed Angels was just released. It is a fictional biblical/occult murder mystery that takes place on the Maine coast. Blood holds an MFA in creative writing/popular fiction from the University of Southern Maine and does seminars and one-on-one tutorials on writing, editing and social media for authors.
After each of the sessions, the featured guest writer will be speaking to students in Grieco’s creative writing class. They will critique her students’ work, share with them the process to becoming a professional writer, and discuss where they receive their inspiration from, as well as answer any other questions the students may have.
This is the fifth Creative Writers Reading Series that has taken place at the college. With each year the students and guest speakers have changed, but the intent remains the same.
“Each year the students get to showcase their talent to the public and professional writers,” said Grieco. “Most of the students who take this reading series seriously do go on to pursue professional writing careers. It makes me happy, since I enjoy writing so much, to see students from this college have careers in professional writing.”
Members of the campus and community members are welcome to attend the series at noon in the NMCC library.
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