The best way to end September is to finish the month with an evening featuring three of the smartest women we know. On September 28, 2022 at 5:30PM (Pacific) via Zoom, we have the pleasure of listening to a combination of poetry, memoir, and fiction. Please join us. And before you do, take a minute to learn a bit about our featured writers.
Lizz Schumer is the senior staff writer for Good Housekeeping, Prevention, and Woman’s Day and her freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, HuffPo, Bon Appetit, The Spruce, VinePair, SELF, and others. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goddard College and is also the author of Buffalo Steel (Black Rose Writing 2013). Her essays, poetry, fiction, and hybrid text have appeared in Punchnel’s, Wordgathering, Ploughshares.com, Ghost City Review, Entropy Mag, and elsewhere. She teaches journalism and communications courses as an adjunct professor at the New York University School of Professional Studies and as a writing consultant at the NYC Writer’s Room.
BIOGRAPHY OF A BODY is a lyrical meander through the development of a messy, flawed, imperfect human and what it means to live in a society that both pulls a person into itself and fiercely pushes back. In personal essays and snippets of verse that shift back and forth through time and place, it fidgets with the puzzle pieces of a life that are at once starkly unique and glaringly obvious. The narrator probes the influence of religion on a person’s psychological development, how the legacy of traditional femininity works their way under her skin, and the many pitfalls of living in a body that doesn’t always conform to expectations, both from within and the world pressing on it.
Tara Stillions Whitehead is a filmmaker and multi-genre writer living in Central Pennsylvania. Graduate of University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television Production and San Diego State University’s Creative Writing MFA Program, her writing and films work to subvert the toxic cultural narratives endorsed by popular media and the institutions that profit from stigmatizing and disadvantaging marginalized and historically oppressed groups. Her writing was included in the 2021 Wigleaf Top 50 and has been nominated for various awards, including Best of the Net, Best Small Fictions, AWP Intro Journal Awards, and the Pushcart Prize. A former DGA assistant director for television, she is currently Assistant Professor of Film, Video, and Digital Media Production at Messiah University, where she serves as production faculty for narrative filmmaking. Her hybrid chapbook/concept album, Blood Histories, was published by Galileo Press in 2021.
A 2023 Aspen Words Literary Prize Nominee, The Year of the Monster (2022) explores American culture as commodity and comorbidity. From black holes and animal extinctions to death row trauma porn and the redacted scripts of Hollywood abuses: these sixteen stories subvert traditional notions of justice, challenge vulnerable characters to survive in transgressive spaces. Mixing traditional prose with screenplay and script-hybrid, and certainly not without hope, The Year of the Monster encourages close examination of how American media and our complicity in its marriage of violence and culture perpetuate the human and environmental crises.
Jennifer Sparkman is an expert in the film industry as well as a profession al writer and magazine publisher. Her chapbook LET'S BREAKUP was released in 2018 and explores the aftermath of profound loss.
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