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The Writers House

Past Events

  • Dominic Green

    October 21, 2014: Dominic Green, nonfiction writer and historian, read his work and talked about his writing process.


    Dominic Green is the author of several critically acclaimed works of non-fiction, including The Double Life of Dr. Lopez and Three Empires on the Nile. He holds Master’s degrees from Oxford and Harvard, and a PhD in Comparative History from Brandeis. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Arts, he has taught writing and history at Brandeis and Boston College. He will read from his forthcoming book on the origins of modern spirituality, The Religious Revolution.

  • Joshua W. Buckholtz

    October 20, 2014: The McLaughlin Lecture Series, featuring experimental psychologist and neuroscientist Joshua W. Buckholtz.

    imageJoshua Buckholtz uses behavioral, genetic, brain imaging, and brain stimulation methods to understand why humans vary so dramatically in their capacity for self-control. Dr. Buckholtz is a Network Scholar for the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Law and Neuroscience and serves on the faculty of the Center for Law, Brain and Behavior at Massachusetts General Hospital.

    The annual McLaughlin Lecture Series is presented in memory of Dr. Dennis McLaughlin, who was founder of the Department of Psychology at Merrimack, where he was a beloved professor for 29 years. The lecture series welcomes world renowned scholars within the field of psychology and is held on campus at Merrimack College. This is the 17th Annual McLaughlin Lecture.

  • Andrew Senchak

    October 15, 2014: Andrew Senchak, member of the board of trustees of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, talked about 9/11 and the financial crisis.


    Andrew Senchak is head of investment banking at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. and serves as a director of WeatherWise USA, Inc., as well as the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation, Inc.

    Read an interview with Andrew Senchak conducted by Mary Fetchet. 

  • Nick Flynn

    October 7, 2014: Award-winning poet, playwright, and author of three memoirs, Nick Flynn, joins us in the Writers House to read and discuss his work.


    Nick Flynn has worked as a ship’s captain, an electrician, and as a case-worker with homeless adults. He is a poet, playwright, and has published three memoirs. His most recent book, The Reenactments, chronicles his experience during the making of Being Flynn, a film based on his acclaimed 2004 memoir and starring Robert De Niro.

    He is also the author of a play, Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins (2008), as well as two other books of poetry, Some Ether (2000), and Blind Huber (2002), for which he received fellowships from, among other organizations, The Guggenheim Foundation and The Library of Congress. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, the Paris Review, National Public Radio’s This American Life, and The New York Times Book Review. He is a professor in the creative writing program at the University of Houston.

    Visit Nick’s website to find out more about his projects and upcoming events. 

  • Henry Petroski

    October 2, 2014: Henry Petroski, American engineer and prolific author, joined us to discuss his work.


    Henry Petroski is the Aleksander S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering at Duke University and the author of many books, including, most recently, To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure. He will read and talk about his work.

    Read a review of To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure in the New York Times.

  • Jorie Graham

    September 17, 2014: Pulitzer Prize winning poet Jorie Graham read from her latest title, From the New World.

    imageJorie Graham is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Place, Sea Change, Never, Swarm, and The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994, which won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Her many honors include a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She is the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University.

    To find out more about Jorie Graham’s work, visit her website.

  • Naomi Wallace

    April 22-24, 2014: Naomi Wallace, our first Writer-in-Residence, spent three days meeting with students, conducting workshops, and visiting classes. 

    credit: Jenny Graham

    Naomi Wallace’s plays include In the Heart of America, Slaughter City, One Flea Spare,  The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, Things of Dry Hours, The Fever Chart: Three Visions of the Middle East, And I and Silence, The Hard Weather Boating Party, and The Liquid Plain. In 2009, One Flea Spare was incorporated into the permanent répertoire of the French National Theater, the Comédie-Française. Only two American playwrights have ever been added to La Comédie’s repertoire in 300 years; the other was Tennessee Williams. Her awards include the Windham Campbell Literature Prize, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, an Obie Award,  the 2012 Horton-Foote Award for most promising new American play, and a MacArthur Fellowship. 

    Read more about Naomi Wallace in The Guardian.

  • Gail Mazur

    April 15, 2014: Gail Mazur, the author of six poetry collections, including Figures in a Landscape, was here to read from her work.

    imageMazur’s poems have been widely anthologized and included in two Pushcart Prize Anthologies. Mazur was a 2009 Fellow in Poetry at the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies, a 1996 Fellow at the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, and the 2005 recipient of the St. Botolph Club Foundation’s Distinguished Artist Award. Interviews with Mazur about her work are online at The Atlantic and in the 2008 Provincetown Arts. She lives in Cambridge and Provincetown, Massachusetts, where she serves on the Writing Committee, the Board of Trustees, and the Summer Program Committee of the Fine Arts Work Center. She is an Advisory Editor to Agni and Ploughshares.

    You can read Gail Mazur’s poem “Baseball” here.

  • Andrea Cohen

    April 10, 2014: Andrea Cohen, the director of the Writers House, shared new poems with the community.

    imageAndrea Cohen writes and swims not far from Boston, Mass. Her poems and stories have appeared in The New Yorker, PoetryThe Atlantic Monthly, The Threepenny ReviewThe New Republic, Glimmer TrainThe Hudson Review, etc.  Her fourth poetry collection, Furs Not Mine, will be published by Four Way Books. Other collections include Kentucky Derby (Salmon Poetry 2011), Long Division (Salmon Poetry 2009), and The Cartographer’s Vacation (Owl Creek Press 1999).

    To find out more about Andrea, visit her website.

  • Robert Finch

    April 2, 2014: Nature writer Robert Finch read his work about Cape Cod, which he has written about for forty years.


    Robert Finch is a nature writer who has lived on and written about Cape Cod for forty years. He is the author of six collections of essays, most recently A Cape Cod Notebook and A Place Apart: A Cape Cod Reader.

    Hear Robert Finch read an essay on WCAI.

  • Robert Pinsky & PoemJazz

    April 1, 2014: U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky teams up with musicians Laurence Hobgood and Stan Strickland for an evening of poetry and jazz.


    Poet Robert Pinsky has devised a collaboration with jazz musicians Laurence Hobgood and Stan Strickland to present the human voice reading poetry accompanied by jazz improvisations. “In jazz, as in poetry,” says Pinsky, “there is always that play between what’s regular and what’s wild.”

    Pinsky is an American poet, essayist, literacy critic, translator, and professor in the graduate writing program at Boston University. He has authored nineteen books, most of which are collections of his own poetry. His work in translating The Inferno of Dante Alighieri and The Separate Notebooks by Czeslaw Milosz has been critically acclaimed. Pinsky served as the United States Poet Laureate from 1997-2000.

    Enjoy a little taste of PoemJazz.

  • Piper Kerman

    March 26, 2014: Piper Kerman, author of the memoir-turned-TV series Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, joins us for an informal Q&A.

    NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 25: Author Piper Kerman attends

    Read more about Piper Kerman in “Prison Life, Real and Onscreen.”

  • Bob Hicok

    March 23, 2014: Bob Hicok, author of eight poetry collections, read from his newest book, Elegy Owed, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.


    A recipient of five Pushcart Prizes, Guggenheim and two NEA Fellowships, Hicok’s poetry has been selected for inclusion in six volumes of Best American Poetry. He is also the recipient of the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from The American Poetry Review and the Anne Halley Prize from The Massachusetts Review. Hicok is an associate professor of English at Virginia Tech. Prior to teaching, Hicok worked for nearly two decades as an automotive die designer and eventually owned his own business.

    Read about Bob Hicok and his work here.

  • Robin Becker

    March 12, 2014: Robin Becker, author of seven poetry collections, joined us to read from her latest volume, Tiger Heron.

    imageRobin Becker’s poems and book reviews have appeared in publications such as American Poetry Review, the Boston Globe,Gettysburg Review, and Ploughshares. Her honors include the 1997 Virginia Faulkner Prize for Excellence in Writing from Prairie Schooner magazine and fellowships from the Mary Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

  • Baba Brinkman

    March 11, 2014: Rap troubadour Baba Brinkman performed The Canterbury Tales Remixed, a virtuoso performance linking hip-hop lyrics with Geoffrey Chaucer’s timeless tales.

    imageWatch Baba Brinkman’s video “Performance, Feedback Revision

  • Anna Schuleit Haber

    January 30, 2014: MacArthur Award winning artist Anna Schuleit Haber talked about her latest projects, including The Beverly Oracle, a large-scale public art project commissioned by the city of Beverly, Massachusetts.

    imageAnna Schuleit Haber is a visual artist who studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence and Rome. After graduating from art school in 1998 she worked on two site-specific installations: Habeas Corpus at the abandoned Northampton State Hospital (2000), and Bloom for the closing of the Massachusetts Mental Health Center (2003). Read more about Anna here.

  • Lou Bernieri & Louder Than a Bomb

    January 28, 2014: Lou Bernieri, from Phillips Academy’s Andover Bread Loaf, hosted a screening and discussion of Louder than a Bomb

    imageLouder than a Bomb is a riveting and stereotype-blasting documentary about the world’s largest youth poetry slam, in which teenagers speak out, make noise, and find their voices.  Lou Bernieri, from Phillips Academy, will introduce the film and discuss outreach opportunities with Andover Bread Loaf, which promotes literacy and educational revitalization.

    Find out more about the documentary here.

  • Seven Stories of Service

    November 25, 2013: In the tradition of The Moth Radio Hour, seven students share their experiences from community service with local schools, farms, group homes, and more.


    As part of their course work, students in Joseph Kelly’s Christianity in Context class get out into the community. Hear their stories of service: the ups, the downs, the unexpected and unscripted.

    Participating students and the organizations with which they’ve partnered: Samantha Barbagallo (Bellisini Academy, Lawrence, MA); Rachel Litif (Math and Science Partnership Program at The Arlington School, Lawrence, MA);  Khalfani Champagnie (Ashland Farms Assisted Living, Andover, MA); Andrew Crampe (New Horizons for Youth, Andover, MA); Kristopher Kruszka (Ironstone Farms, Andover, MA); Micaela Trent (St. Martin’s Thrift Shop, Lawrence, MA); and Julia Lemieux (Emmaus House, Haverhill, MA)    

  • Coffeehouse

    November 21: students and faculty spent an evening in the Writers House sharing poems, stories, songs, and other creative work.

    imageStudents Robert DiSorbo and Christopher Mosher perform a song together.

  • Reading with Lucas Mann

    November 15, 2013: Lucas Mann read from Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere, his out-of-the-ordinary story of following the Lumber-Kings, a baseball team in the Seattle Mariners’ farm system.


    Lucas Mann earned his MFA from the University of Iowa, where he was also the Provost’s Visiting Writer in Nonfiction. His essays and stories have appeared in or are forthcoming from BarrelhouseNew SouthWigleafThe Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. He teaches writing and journalism at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. Class A: Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere is his first book.

  • Tribute to Seamus Heaney

    November 13, 2013: A fireside celebration of Seamus Heaney’s life and work.

    imageFaculty and students met in the Writers House to share Seamus Heaney’s poems, prose and translations, as well as to listen to audio recordings of him reading, a poignant reminder of the unforgettable voice we have lost.

    Read “Digging,” the first poem where Heaney thought “[his] feelings had got into words.”

  • Reading with Gail Caldwell

    October 2, 2013: Gail Caldwell read poignant passages from two of her memoirs, reminding us all why a Writers House is essential.


    Gail Caldwell is the author of the forthcoming memoir, New Life: No Instructions, as well as Let’s Take the Long Way Home and A Strong West Wind. The former chief book critic of The Boston Globe, she received the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism in 2001. Long Way Home received the New England Independent Booksellers Award for nonfiction and was named one of the ten best books of the year by Time Magazine, The Washington Post and others. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  • Reading with Jamaal May

    September 23, 2013: We celebrated the grand opening of the Writers House with a dynamic reading by poet Jamaal May.


    Jamaal May is a poet from Detroit, MI where he taught poetry in public schools and worked as a freelance audio engineer and touring performer. His poetry won the 2013 Indiana Review Prize and appears in journals such as Poetry, Ploughshares, and the Believer. Jamaal has earned an MFA from Warren Wilson and fellowships from Cave Canem and Bucknell University. He is founder of the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook Press.