Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Edwidge Danticat, Luis Urrea, & Daniel Alarcón

Star at Aspen Summer Words 2012

The Aspen Writers’ Foundation’s 36th Annual Literary Festival, “Solazú,”

Celebrates the Stories of Latin America and the Caribbean

May 15, 2012 — Igniting a hot mix of literature and politics this summer, the Latino and Caribbean stars of Aspen Summer Words 2012 will draw on a long history of provocative writing from the south to set stories on fire for Aspen audiences. From June 17-22, the Aspen Writers’ Foundation (AWF) will celebrate the stories of Latin America and the Caribbean with a new generation of authors who conflagrate literature and politics like the maestros who proceeded them: Mario Vargas Llosa, Juan Bosch, Miguel Asturias, among them. The 36th annual festival, with the theme “Solazú,” will feature some of the most important contemporary authors of the region — Edwidge Danticat, Luis Urrea, Daniel Alarcón, Francisco Goldman, and many more — whose artful writing continues to give voice to the voiceless and bring a spotlight to injustice and rebellion, both personal and political. Aspen Summer Words will be held at the Doerr-Hosier Center, the Aspen Summer Words’ headquarters on the Aspen Meadows campus. Festival passes, starting at $150, are available from Aspen Show Tickets at http://www.aspenshowtix.com and 970.920.5770.

“Given the influential role Latino culture plays in our valley’s modern day story,

we are delighted to honor the heritage of Latin America and to highlight some of the most prominent authors from that region,” said Lisa Consiglio, executive director of the Aspen Writers’ Foundation.

Solazú Theme

This year’s festival, “Solazú,” will celebrate the rich literary heritage of our neighbors to the south: Latin America and the Caribbean. Traveling the spine, seas, and islands of the Americas, Aspen Summer Words 2012 will explore one of the most ancient and diverse areas on the planet.  With some of the region’s most acclaimed authors at the helm, our festival will traverse vast distances — across 51 territories, 6500 miles, 14000 years, and 1000s of languages — to reveal the stories that unite us all.

Aspen Prize for Literature

During Aspen Summer Words, the AWF will present the Aspen Prize for Literature to two literary lions: Edwidge Danticat, representing the Caribbean, and Luis Urrea, for Latin America. Since 1995, the prize has been awarded annually to the writer(s) who embodies the very best writing of the region. The prize will be awarded during a special event, “Neither Here Nor There,” on June 17th at 5:30pm, when the two celebrated authors, whose lives and work inhabit the world between cultures, will share literary insights into the subjects that are as close to their hearts as they are imbued in their writing: immigration, separation, and yearning. Previous winners include: Paul Muldoon and Edna O’Brien (2005), N. Scott Momaday (2006), Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Wole Soyinka (2008), Salman Rushdie (2008), Ron Carlson (2009), Ernest Gaines (2010), and Colum McCann (2011).

Featured Authors and Performers

Danticat and Urrea are among the distinguished roster of authors and performers who will be featured at the festival:

  • Peruvian-born writer Daniel Alarcón is an editor, scholar, and author of seven books, including War by Candlelight, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. In their annual “20 Under 40” article, The New Yorker named him “one of the most inventive writers who have influenced modern American fiction.” 

  • Kathleen Anderson is an award-winning editor and agent and the founding partner of Anderson Literary Management LLC, whose many clients include Emma Donoghue (Room), and Nadeem Aslam (Maps for Lost Lovers).

  • Erin Belieu is the author of three poetry collections, the winner of the National Poetry Series and The Rona Jaffe Foundation Award, and the founding editor of Hotel Amerika.


  • Gioconda Belli is a Nicaraguan poet, writer, and political activist, and the author of six novels, a memoir, two children’s books, and six books of poetry. She received the Biblioteca Breve, one of the most prestigious Spanish literary prizes, for her novel Infinity in the Palm of Her Hand.
  • Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat is an award-winning author whose novels include Krik? Krak!,The Dew Breaker, and Brother, I’m Dying, among others. She is a recipient of the American Book Award, the Story Prize, and the MacArthur Foundation ‘Genius’ Grant.


  • Francisco Goldman is an acclaimed author of four novels who divides his time between New York and Mexico City and whose books have been finalists for several prizes, including the Pen/Faulkner and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. 

  • Son of a Puerto Rican mother, Derek Green speaks fluent Spanish, has a deep interest in Latino cultures, and is an award-winning short story writer and author of New World Order, a collection of eleven short stories, each set in a different country.
  • Andrew Sean Greer is the bestselling author of The Story of a Marriage and The Confessions of Max Tivoli and the recipient of the PEN/O’Henry Prize for Short Fiction and the California Book Award.


  • Laura Fraser is an award-winning essayist and journalist and the author of All Over the Map, a travel memoir and sequel to her New York Times bestselling memoir, An Italian Affair.


  • Prize-winning author Randall Kenan’s stories span nonfiction, young adult biography, and fiction, and include A Visitation of Spirits and Let the Dead Bury Their Dead.

 

  • Brian Laidlaw is a poet, folksinger, and songwriter who has released numerous full-length projects and who is the creator of wolf wolf wolf, a hybrid collection of poems and songs.

  • Scott Lasser is the author of four novels — Battle Creek, All I Could Get, The Year That Follows, and Say Nice Things About Detroit — and numerous non-fiction articles that have appeared in national publications ranging from Dealmaker to The New Yorker
  • William Loizeaux is the author of two children’s novels and two memoirs including Anna: A Daughter’s Life, a New York Times Notable Book; his stories and essays have appeared in numerous national publications.
  • Orlando Patterson, a Jamaican-born American writer known for his work regarding race in the U.S. and the sociology of development, is the author of numerous academic papers, five major academic books, three novels, and the National Book Award-winning book Freedom in the Making of Modern Culture.


  • Award-winning author Benjamin Percy has penned two books of short fiction, the novel The Wilding, and countless articles in the pages of Esquire, GQ, Outside, Men’s Health, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • Irene Rawlings is the host of an award-winning, book-related radio program, the author of three books, and the skillful mastermind behind book marketing campaigns for authors such as Lisa See, Douglas Preston, and Nelson DeMille.



 

  • Mona Simpson is the author of five novels including Anywhere But Here, The Lost Father, A Regular Guy, Off Keck Road, and My Hollywood. Among other awards, she has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner and the recipient of the Whiting Prize.



 

  • The Three Louies are a trio of Chicano artists – musician Louie Perez of Los Lobos, author Luís J. Rodriguez, and journalist Luís Torres.


  • Raised in Tijuana, Luis Urrea is the author of 14 books, including The Devil’s Highway, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; the national bestsellers The Hummingbird’s Daughter and Into the Beautiful North; and Nobody’s Son: Notes from an American Life, winner of the American Book Award.

 
  • A powerhouse of Brazilian bossa nova jazz, vocalist Claudia Villela, celebrated for her five-octave range, and guitarist Romero Lubambo, renowned as the “Segovia of Brazilian guitar,” have been hailed as the biggest expression of Brazilian music in the Untied States today. 


 

Festival Highlights

During the weeklong literary extravaganza, booklovers may choose from a schedule of over 12 hour-long events that offer rare opportunities for intimate dialogue with authors, behind-the-scenes glimpses into the publishing industry, and lively interaction between readers and writers. During a typical day, a festival passholder may partake in up to three literary events (choosing from author readings, artist conversations, craft talks, and panel discussions); take a yoga or tai chi class; attend a book party; and, with their mornings off, still have time to explore Aspen’s recreational, sightseeing, dining, or shopping prospects. A full festival schedule is available online at http://www.aspenwriters.org. Highlights from the program of literary performances include:

Mi Tierra

Travel the literary length and breadth of Latin America and the Caribbean as the stars of our festival introduce themselves and their home countries by way of a personal story on the theme, “Mi Tierra.”

Three Louies

Spalding Gray meets the Marx Brothers in East L.A., when this trio of Chicano artists — musician Louie Perez of Los Lobos, author Luís J. Rodriguez, and journalist Luís Torres — roll out their satirical wink at “growing up Mexican” in the U.S., an unforgettable mix of performance art, storytelling, and comedy.

Violencia

An undeniable shadow of life and literature in Latin America, violence threads throughout the work of talented writers Daniel Alarcón and Francisco Goldman, who artfully, and unsparingly, render the destructive force in their novels.

Writing Retreat

Complementing the literary festival that is held during the afternoons and evenings, a morning writing retreat offers beginning through advanced workshops and classes to the registered Aspen Summer Words student. Among the workshop faculty are celebrated author-educators: Luis Alberto Urrea, Benjamin Percy, Mona Simpson, Scott Lasser, and Derek Green (fiction); William Loizeaux (memoir); Erin Belieu (poetry); Andrew Sean Greer and Randall Kenan (Young Writers). The AWF will also offer a two-day Songwriting course, a two-day Readers’ Retreat for literature lovers (no writing experience necessary) with Francisco Goldman, and a one-day Marketing Your Book seminar with marketing guru Irene Rawlings. All workshops and classes are open to the public. As of press time, limited space is still available in the following workshops: Beginning Fiction, Readers’ Retreat, Songwriting, and Marketing Your Book. To register, visit http://www.aspenwriters.org or contact Lauren Lowinger at 970.925.3122 ext. 4#.

 

The Details

Passes starting at $150, and discounted lodging are available now through June 17. Individual event tickets starting at $15 are on sale now and are available through Aspen Show Tickets at http://www.aspenshowtix.com and 970.920.5770. Lodging deals, with rates as low as $115 (a savings of up to 58%), can be found through the AWF’s website. To reserve these rates, contact participating hotels directly. Promotional codes and more information are available at aspenwriters.org.

The Aspen Writers’ Foundation (AWF) was founded in Aspen in 1976 as a cutting edge poetry conference and literary magazine. Today the Aspen Writers’ Foundation is one of the nation’s leading literary centers and a stage for the world’s most prominent authors, reaching over 1,150,000 literary enthusiasts globally. AWF programs employ literature as a tool for provoking thought, broadening perspectives, fostering connections, inspiring creativity, and giving voice. Since 2009, the AWF has partnered with the Aspen Institute, underscoring the highest humanistic ideals of Aspen Institute founder Walter Paepcke: to better understand human challenges by cultivating one’s inner life through the exchange of words, stories, and ideas.

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has an international network of partners.

Advertisements

Aspen Writers’ Foundation Reaches for the Stars with Winter Words XV
Geraldine Brooks, Michael Chabon, Kathryn Stockett, Ann Patchett, and Tracy Kidder Headline 15th Season


November 21, 2011, Aspen, CO
— The Aspen Writers’ Foundation (AWF), already elevated at 7,809 feet in the Colorado Rockies, goes stratospheric this ski season as its 15th annual Winter Words literary performance series draws the stars of the writing world to Aspen from February through April, 2012.

This sparkling season features a Pulitzer Prize-rich lineup of novelists, short story writers, journalists, nonfiction masters, and a poet who inhabit the magical intersection of critical acclaim and popular success, where award podiums and bestseller lists meet. The AWF, a program of the Aspen Institute, announces authors Kathryn Stockett, Geraldine Brooks, Tony Horwitz, Michael Chabon (interviewed by Andrew Sean Greer), Tracy Kidder, Ann Patchett, Daniyal Mueenuddin, and Jonathan Wells for its Winter Words program, which will be held at downtown Aspen venues. Individual tickets, season passes, and Author Salon packages, starting at $20, are available from Aspen Show Tickets at www.aspenshowtix.com and 970.920.5770  beginning December 1.

“We always shoot for the stars when it comes to Winter Words, and this year we exceeded our goal,” said AWF executive director Lisa Consiglio. “We consider all lovers of literature to be rock stars, and this line-up proves that Aspen is the place to be for anyone who is passionate about the written word.”

The season schedule is as follows:

  • Feb 7, Ann Patchett, Wheeler Opera House
    Orange Prize winner; bestselling author of Bel Canto; renowned for her brilliance on the page and podium
  • Feb 21, Michael Chabon in conversation with Andrew Sean Greer, Wheeler Opera House
    One of the most celebrated writers of his generation; the genius behind The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay; winner of the Pulitzer Prize
  • Feb 27, Geraldine Brooks and Tony Horwitz, Wheeler Opera House
    Pulitzer Prize-winning masters of form: fiction, journalism and nonfiction; bestselling authors of People of the Book (Brooks) and Midnight Rising (Horwitz)
  • Mar 1, Tracy Kidder, Wheeler Opera House
    Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner; nonfiction powerhouse; bestselling author of Strength in What RemainS
  • Mar 8, Daniyal Mueenuddin, The Little Nell
    Debut author of In Other Rooms, Other Wonders; Story Prize winner; finalist for the Pulitzer and the National Book Award
  • Mar 19, Jonathan Wells, The Gant
    Author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection, Train Dance; finalist for the   Pushcart Prize; expert on the poetry of rock n’ roll
  • Apr 3, Kathryn Stockett, Wheeler Opera House
    Author of the international sensation, The Help; the literary inspiration for the #1 box office hit film; book club phenomenon

The Details
Winter Words events take place at 5:30pm (doors at 5pm). Tickets are $20/event or $110/season subscription with deeper discounts available for AWF members, Aspen Institute Society of Fellows, students, and educators.

Immediately following the public talk by each author, a private party for the guest of honor will be held at a downtown art gallery. Author Salons are a rare opportunity to break bread and share conversation with a renowned author, all while participating in a private viewing of the gallery’s art collection. Author Salon Packages include an event ticket with reserved seating at Winter Words 2012 and a pass to the private after-party. These special gatherings are sponsored by Aspen Peak magazine.

Tickets, passes and packages may be purchased starting December 1 from Aspen Show Tickets at 970.920.5700 and through www.aspenshowtix.com.  More information is available from the Aspen Writers’ Foundation at 970.925.3122 and www.aspenwriters.org.

The Aspen Writers’ Foundation (AWF) was founded in Aspen in 1976 as a cutting edge poetry conference and literary magazine. Today the Aspen Writers’ Foundation is one of the nation’s leading literary centers and a stage for the world’s most prominent authors, reaching over 1,150,000 literary enthusiasts globally. AWF programs employ literature as a tool for provoking thought, broadening perspectives, fostering connections, inspiring creativity, and giving voice. Since 2009, the AWF has partnered with the Aspen Institute, underscoring the highest humanistic ideals of Aspen Institute founder Walter Paepcke: to better understand human challenges by cultivating one’s inner life through the exchange of words, stories, and ideas.

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has an international network of partners.

###

THE ASPEN WRITERS’ FOUNDATION AND GLOBAL NOMADS GROUP PARTNER TO BRING ARAB AND JEWISH YOUTH OF ISRAEL TOGETHER

(Northern Israel, September 6, 2011) — Arab and Jewish high school students of Israel — from two communities that are minutes apart but rarely interact — will come together for the first time this month to engage in Story Swap International (SSI), a ground- breaking program that employs the art of storytelling to build bridges of understanding. The collaborative project, founded by the Aspen Writers’ Foundation (AWF) and expanded to an international level in partnership with Global Nomads Group (GNG), will take place September 19-23 in one of the most controversial regions of the globe. “Nowhere else does a program like Story Swap hold the potential, not to end the conflict, but rather to build a dynamic that might allow a resolution to survive,” said Mickey Bergman, SSI advisor and director of Middle East Programs at the Aspen Institute.

“Story Swap is powerful precisely because it harnesses storytelling — the most accessible and universal of all human activities — to open the doors of communication that might otherwise be closed,” said Lisa Consiglio, executive director of the AWF. “It works because when listening to stories, we suspend argument, engage our imagination, and, walking in the shoes of another, build compassion.”

The 24 participants of SSI’s inaugural Middle East Swap, selected from a Jewish high school in Haifa and an Arab high school in Nazareth, will be paired together for a five- day creativity exchange that is part of a two-year storytelling initiative in the region by the AWF and GNG. Over the next couple of weeks, the students will begin preparing for individual exchanges with their partners by taking classes in storytelling, creative writing, active listening, and media skills (such as interactive videoconferencing and digital storytelling). The Swap week will culminate with face-to-face exchanges between partners on September 23 that will provide the groundwork for future community outreach, including digital storytelling presentations by students to their communities in November.Story Swap is based on the simple premise that by knowing the story of another we are better able to understand each other.

“The program’s model taps into the creativity of youth and engages them not through the lens of their conflict, but rather through their storytelling and listening. The methodology allows participants to genuinely take in perspectives without the ‘threatening’ proposition of agreeing with one another,” said Bergman.

During the swaps, participants open their minds to difficulties, joys, hardships, and successes that are not their own. They share stories of family, landscape, and cultural and emotional differences (and, notably, similarities) that challenge their perceptions. They experience their shared humanity and, in doing so, create bridges of understanding. Past swaps have demonstrated that the transformative effect of the program lies in imagining the potential in their partner, which allows swappers to imagine the potential in themselves and, in turn, the world.

“When young people engage in dialogue through directly exchanging personal stories, we have seen it lead to greater empathy and mutual understanding, which is a building block towards positive, social change,” said Chris Plutte, Global Nomads Group’s executive director. “Youth leadership skills are also developed as a result of participating in SSI, where young people can act as positive role models for others in their local communities.”

The Middle East Swap has been in the works for several months, since the first international collaboration between the AWF and GNG that was held for student survivors of natural disasters in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and New Orleans, Louisiana, following the Haitian earthquake of 2010. This successful partnership, brokered by the Bezos Family Foundation (BFF) chronicled in the documentary “Story Swap,” forged a bond and a common mission between the literary arts organization and the educational NGO to take Story Swap to a global level. The two independent nonprofits share a humanistic approach and a belief in the power of stories. Together, they aim to break down isolation, increase interaction, encourage compassion, and raise awareness through storytelling.

Founded in 2007 by the AWF, Story Swap was first implemented between students from Basalt High School in Basalt, Colorado. Recognizing the wider application of this unique storytelling process, Story Swap was expanded to the community at large. By 2012, thanks to the Bezos Family Foundation, the Goldrich Family Foundation, and an anonymous donor, approximately 20 swaps will have taken place within neighborhoods, across economic divides, over state lines, and among countries.

More information is available from Natalie Lacy, Programs Manager of the Aspen Writers’ Foundation, at Natalie@aspenwriters.org and 970.925.3122, ext. 3#. Please visit http://www.aspenwriters.org to learn more about Story Swap.

The Aspen Writers’ Foundation (AWF) was founded in Aspen in 1976 as a cutting edge poetry conference and literary magazine. Today the Aspen Writers’ Foundation is one of the nation’s leading literary centers and a stage for the world’s most prominent authors, reaching over 1,150,000 literary enthusiasts globally. AWF programs employ literature as a tool for provoking thought, broadening perspectives, fostering connections, inspiring creativity, and giving voice. Since 2009, the AWF has partnered with the Aspen Institute, underscoring the highest humanistic ideals of Aspen founder Walter Paepcke: to better understand human challenges by cultivating one’s inner life through the exchange of words, stories, and ideas.

The Bezos Family Foundation (BFF) is a private, independent foundation established by Jackie and Mike Bezos, who along with their children and spouses, serve as directors. BFF’s vision is that all young people are prepared to achieve their full potential and make a meaningful contribution to society. The Bezos Family Foundation supports rigorous, inspired learning environments for young people, from birth through high school, to put their education into action. Through investments in research, public awareness and programs, the foundation works to elevate the field of education and improve life outcomes for all children.

Established in 1998, Global Nomads Group (GNG) is an international NGO that creates interactive programs for young people around the world. By exploring the similarities and differences that define who we are, GNG programs provide tangible opportunities to build bridges and foster meaningful dialogue through collaborative projects. In its 12- year history, GNG has conducted interactive videoconferencing programs in more than 50 countries on all seven continents, and reached more than one million young people.

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has an international network of partners.

## #

“To understand the people of the Middle East, we must move beyond headlines

and look towards its literature, for that is where the soul lies.”

— Firoozeh Dumas

Khaled Hosseini and Mona Eltahawy

to Headline Aspen Writers’ Foundation’s

Middle Eastern Literary Festival

Aspen, CO, May 31, 2011  As revolution — carried on the wings of poetry and social media — dawns across the Middle East, all eyes are on the fabled region, including, auspiciously, those of the Aspen Writers’ Foundation (AWF). Celebrating “the magical literature of the modern Middle East” next month during the 35th annual Aspen Summer Words Literary Festival, the AWF and its boundary-defying festival have once again found themselves at the leading edge of literature today. The 2011 festival, with the official theme, “Papyrus,” will feature some of the most important Middle Eastern spellbinders of our time — Khaled Hosseini, Mona Eltahawy, Firoozeh Dumas, Assaf Gavron, and Reza Aslan among them — weaving stories of their homelands and illuminating timeless themes in ways that shed new light on old worlds. Aspen Summer Words will be held June 19 through 24 at the Doerr-Hosier Center, the Aspen Summer Words’ headquarters on the Aspen Meadows campus. Early bird passes, starting at $150, are available now from Aspen Show Tickets at http://www.aspenshowtix.com and 970.920.5770.

“We look forward to sharing these magnificent storytellers whose trail of words extends across the Middle East, from Pakistan to Israel to Egypt to the U.S.,” said Lisa Consiglio, executive director of the Aspen Writers’ Foundation. “I can guarantee that this will be an eye-opening, insider view of a long-misunderstood part of the world.”

 Firoozeh Dumas, a festival advisor and featured author of Papyrus, adds: “Festivalgoers will come out of this experience with an expansive outlook, and, perhaps, a craving for hummus.”

 Featured Theme & Authors

The Papyrus theme, which puts a spotlight on the ancient lands where paper was born and poetry has flourished since yore, will provide a platform for an international mash-up of authors who by definition offer a dynamic mix of perspectives. East will meet West and time-honored will encounter cutting edge when Papyrus’s eight Middle Eastern authors convene on stage. This diversity — the authors hail from seven countries of origin and write in as many genres — will assure unexpected combinations and a measure of levity for a region that is typically viewed from the West with stereotypes and gravity.

“Even though the Middle East is in the headlines every day, the soul of the region remains a mystery,” says Firoozeh Dumas.  “Aspen Summer Words 2011 promises four days of stories, laughter, poetry and the types of discussions that only take place at a festival dedicated to broadening minds.”

Dumas is among the roster of distinguished Middle Eastern authors who will be performing at Aspen Summer Words. All guest authors write in English:

  • Born in Jordan to Lebanese parents, Rabih Alameddine is a painter and bestselling author of four books of fiction, including the Roma Prize-winning novel, The Hakawati.
  • Iranian-American Reza Aslan is an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, bestselling author of No god but God, and the editor of the Middle Eastern literature anthology, Tablet & Pen.
  • Peter Cole is a celebrated American poet and translator who divides his time between Israel and the U.S. and whose anthology, The Dream of the Poem, won the National Jewish Book Award.
  • Iranian-born Firoozeh Dumas is the author of two books of nonfiction stories, Laughing Without An Accent and Funny in Farsi, which was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor.
  • Egyptian Mona Eltahawy is an international public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues and an award-winning columnist for Qatar’s Al Arab newspaper, Israel’s The Jerusalem Report, and Denmark’s Politiken.
  • Israeli Assaf Gavron is an internationally acclaimed novelist, essayist, translator, and singer/songwriter whose novel Hydromania won the 2011 Israeli Prime Minister’s Creative Award for Authors.
  • Khaled Hosseini is the author of two runaway international bestsellers, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, both of which are set in his native Afghanistan.
  • Daniyal Mueenuddin is an award-winning fiction writer raised in Pakistan and Wisconsin, whose debut story collection, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, won The Story Prize and was a Pulitzer finalist.

 Other special guests, who will also serve as writing faculty, include:

  • Colum McCann: National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin and four other acclaimed novels
  • Nikky Finney: poet and author of four heralded poetry collections including Head Off & Split and On Wings Made of Gauze
  • Erica Jong: internationally bestselling author whose 20 books include works of nonfiction; memoir; novels; volumes of poetry; and the megahit Fear of Flying
  • Elinor Lipman: author of nine critically acclaimed novels including The Family Man, My Latest Grievance, The Pursuit of Alice Thrift, and Isabel’s Bed
  • and many more

 Program Highlights

During the weeklong literary extravaganza, booklovers may choose from a schedule of over 12 hour-long events that offer rare opportunities for intimate dialogue with authors, behind-the-scenes glimpses into the publishing industry, and lively interaction between readers and writers. During a typical day, a festival passholder may partake in up to three literary events (choosing from author readings, artist conversations, craft talks, and panel discussions); take a yoga class; attend a book party; and, with their mornings off, still have time to explore Aspen’s recreational, sightseeing, dining, or shopping prospects. A full festival schedule will be available online June 1 at http://www.aspenwriters.org. Highlights from the program include:

 Revolutionary Literature  //  On the streets of Iran, Tunisia, Egypt and beyond, poems are being used as rallying cries for revolution while social media have become the vehicles for delivering them. Mona Eltahawy and Reza Aslan give voice to literature mirroring the ills of society and poets transforming into journalists, historians, and cultural critics.

 Backstory  //  This sparkling afternoon of on-stage chemistry will feature friends Khaled Hosseini and Firoozeh Dumas sharing the backstories of their lives: who they were before they became writers and how their paths, from Afghanistan and Iran, respectively, led them to this very moment.

 Alter Egos  //  In the tradition of doctor-poet William Carlos Williams, two authors who have hyphenated their time between writing and another fully engaged profession (in this case, artist Rabih Alameddine and farmer Daniyal Mueenuddin) discuss what it means to have a creative and professional alter ego.

Writing Retreat

Complementing the literary festival that is held during the afternoons and evenings, a morning writing retreat offers beginning through advanced workshops and classes to the registered Aspen Summer Words student. Among the workshop faculty are celebrated author-educators: Colum McCann, Ron Rash, Elinor Lipman, and Derek Green (fiction); Erica Jong (memoir); Nikky Finney (poetry); and Randall Kenan (Young Writers). The AWF will also offer two seminars for literature lovers (no writing experience necessary): a five-day Digital Storytelling course and the 2-day Readers’ Retreat with Mona Eltahawy. All workshops and classes are open to the public. As of press time, limited space is still available in the following workshops: Beginning Fiction, Readers’ Retreat, and Digital Storytelling. To register, visit http://www.aspenwriters.org or contact Lauren Lowinger at 970.925.3122 ext. 4#.

 The Details

Early bird passes, starting at $150, and discounted lodging are available now through June 1. Starting June 2, individual event tickets go on sale and pass prices go up to $200. Both are available through Aspen Show Tickets at http://www.aspenshowtix.com and 970.920.5770.

 Lodging deals, with rates as low as $115 (a savings of up to 58%), can be found through the AWF’s official lodging partners, The Molly Gibson and Hotel Aspen. To reserve these rates, contact either hotel by June 1 and mention code: ASW2011. More information is available from http://www.mollygibson.com and http://www.hotelaspen.com.

The Aspen Writers’ Foundation, Colorado’s oldest nonprofit literary organization and a program of the Aspen Institute, has been bringing readers and writers together since 1976. The organization’s mission is to provide programs that encourage writers in their craft and readers in their appreciation of literature. Through its repertoire of ten year-round programs and projects, the Aspen Writers’ Foundation annually serves 100,000-plus literary enthusiasts of all ages.

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has an international network of partners.

###

Aspen, CO, March 8, 2011 — On March 24, bestselling author Joyce Maynard brings a triumphant close to Winter Words 2011, the Aspen Writers’ Foundation’s 14th annual literary performance series.  The award-winning author of 11 books that span half as many genres, Maynard is an apt choice for the final author in the organization’s “Off The Page” season that, like Maynard, has overflowed with literary talent of all stripes — novelists, performance artists, poets, memoirists, singer-songwriters, magazine journalists, and comedians, among them. The genre-bending Maynard will give a reading and talk, followed by an audience Q&A and book signing, at 5:30 pm (doors at 5pm) at the Little Nell. Tickets start at $15 and are available from Aspen Show Tickets.

“Joyce Maynard’s dexterity across genres is a testament to her storytelling prowess,” said Lisa Consiglio, executive director of the Aspen Writers’ Foundation (AWF). “She is beloved by her readers for writing novels that seem real enough to be memoir and memoirs that are gripping enough to be novels.”

Author Profile

Joyce Maynard first came to national attention with the publication of The New York Times cover story, “An Eighteen Year Old Looks Back on Life” in 1973, when she was a

freshman at Yale. Since that auspicious debut, the hard-working writer has built a career as a reporter and columnist for The New York Times; a contributor to the CBS program “Spectrum;” a syndicated newspaper columnist whose “Domestic Affairs” column appeared in over 50 papers nationwide; a storyteller for The Moth; and a regular contributor to NPR and national magazines including O, The Oprah Magazine, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, and many more. She has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, Hard Ball, Charlie Rose, and (on NPR) on Fresh Air. Always ahead of her time, Maynard was a pioneer in the blogging movement even before it had a name, becoming one of the first authors to communicate to her readers directly and regularly, using an online discussion board (and later posts on her website) since the late 90s.

She is well known for her numerous books, including the bestsellers Labor Day (a 2008 novel), At Home in the World (a 1999 memoir about her relationship with J.D. Salinger), and the 1992 novel To Die For (whose film adaptation by Gus Van Sant, starring Nicole Kidman, earned a Golden Globe Award). Her novel, The Usual Rules, a story about surviving loss, has been a favorite of book club audiences of all ages, and was chosen by the American Library Association as one of the Ten Best Books of The Year for Young Readers. She has been touring for her most recent novel, The Good Daughters, which Elizabeth Berg called “hard to put down and impossible to forget.”

As a writer who works across genres – which, in addition to novels and memoir, include young adult, children’s literature, and true crime – she has said: “I approach it always as storytelling. Sometimes the story actually happens, sometimes you invent the story, but my goal as a writer has not changed; it’s to tell a story well.”

The mother of three grown children and two recently-adopted girls from Ethiopia, she spends her time in Mill Valley, California; in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala; and in various retreat centers, where, in addition to pursuing her own work, she runs and teaches writing workshops.

Winter Words & The Great Read

Joyce Maynard is the last of five authors who together formed the 2011 Winter Words literary performance series that launched on January 5th with Terry Tempest Williams. In addition to these five events, the AWF’s “Off The Page” season included The Great Read community reading program, featuring dozens of events celebrating F. Scott Fitzgerald’s modern American classic, The Great Gatsby. Upcoming Great Read events include: Jazz Downstairs at the Little Nell presented by Jazz Aspen Snowmass (March 26), Jazz Poetry Night presented by the Aspen Poets’ Society at the Hotel Lenado (March 27) and the Plum TV’s Speakeasy (March 31).

The Details

Tickets to Joyce Maynard’s Winter Words event are $15. Discounts are available for AWF members, students and educators (with current school I.D.), and groups. Also available are tickets to the Author Salon series of Winter Words private after-parties honoring each author ($40/event, which includes event and party, with AWF or Society of Fellows membership). Tickets to Winter Words and the Author Salons may be purchased from Aspen Show Tickets at 970.920.5770 and through www.aspenshowtix.com.  More information is available from the AWF at 970.925.3122 and www.aspenwriters.org.

The Aspen Writers’ Foundation, one of the West’s pioneering literary centers and a program of the Aspen Institute, has been bringing readers and writers together since 1976. The organization’s mission is to provide programs that encourage writers in their craft and readers in their appreciation of literature. Through its repertoire of ten year-round programs and projects, the Aspen Writers’ Foundation annually serves 100,000+ literary enthusiasts of all ages.

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has an international network of partners.

 

# # #

 

Now celebrating its 35th year, Aspen Summer Words features hands-on instruction with some of today’s most notable authors and educators.  We are pleased to announce the faculty for the following 2011 Aspen Summer Words workshops:  Advanced Fiction with Colum McCann; Advanced Fiction with Ron Rash; Fiction with Elinor Lipman; Beginning Fiction with Scott Lasser; Poetry with Nikky Finney; Poetry with Marie Howe; Memoir with Erica Jong; Digital Storytelling with Daniel Weinshenker and Allison Myers; and the Young Writers Workshop with Randall Kenan.  Applications will be available online beginning February 1st; stayed tuned for full course descriptions and faculty bios to be posted on http://www.aspenwriters.org soon!

# # #

Aspen, CO August 2, 2010 ­­–– The Aspen Writers’ Foundation (AWF), a program of the Aspen Institute, and the Basalt Regional Library are pleased to present PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author Ann Patchett in a free reading and talk on Tuesday, August 10, at 5:00 pm at the Basalt Library.

In her first Roaring Fork Valley appearance since previewing her novel Run during AWF’s 2007 Winter Words series, Ann Patchett will once again offer a sneak preview of new work. The best-selling author of Bel Canto plans to read from and discuss her latest book of fiction, entitled State of Wonder, slated for publication in June 2011.

“We are delighted to provide local audiences with this very special treat,” says Aspen Writers’ Foundation executive director Lisa Consiglio. “It is a rare opportunity to hear one of today’s most acclaimed novelists read from new work – several months ahead of the rest of the world! Presenting Ann Patchett in a free event at the Basalt Regional Library is our way of thanking the community for another great year of celebrating the literary arts in the Roaring Fork Valley.”

Ann Patchett is the author of five novels and a memoir: The Patron Saint of Liars, which received a James A. Michener/Copernicus Award for a book in progress; Taft, winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for the best work of fiction; The Magician’s Assistant, which earned her a Guggenheim Fellowship; Bel Canto, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Truth and Beauty, a memoir of her friendship with the writer Lucy Grealy; and most recently the New York Times bestselling novel Run.

“Ann Patchett has become a dear friend to the AWF,” says Consiglio. “She is among the most dazzling speakers we have had the pleasure to present, and we are thrilled to be able to share her prodigious talents with the Roaring Fork community.”

The Aspen Writers’ Foundation, Colorado’s oldest nonprofit literary organization and a program of the Aspen Institute, has been bringing readers and writers together since 1976. The organization’s mission is to provide programs that encourage writers in their craft and readers in their appreciation of literature. Through its repertoire of ten year-round programs and projects, the Aspen Writers’ Foundation annually serves 100,000-plus literary enthusiasts of all ages.

The Aspen Institute’s mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

# # #