Jun
5
6:30pm 6:30pm

June Reading: Cooley, Galef, Manick, Teicher

Please join us as we close out our '16-'17 season with Nicole Cooley, David Galef, Cynthia Manick, and Craig Morgan Teicher! Doors open at 6:30pm for coffee, mingling, and bookbuying. Readings begin at 7pm followed by a Q&A! Hope to see you there!



Nicole Cooley grew up in New Orleans. Her most recent books are two forthcoming collections of poetry: Girl after Girl after Girl (LSU Press, 2017) and Of Marriage (Alice James Books, 2018). She has published four other collections of poems, a novel and a chapbook. Her poetry and non-fiction has appeared in The Rumpus, The Atlantic, and The Feminist Wire among other venues. She is currently finishing a non-fiction book, My Dollhouse, Myself: Miniature Histories. She is the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College-City University of New York.

David Galef is a shameless eclectic, with over a dozen books in two dozen directions, including the novels Flesh, Turning Japanese, and How to Cope with Suburban Stress (a Book Sense choice, listed by Kirkus as one of the Best 30 Books of 2006); the short-story collections Laugh Track and My Date with Neanderthal Woman (winner of Dzanc Books’ Short Story Collection Award); and the co-edited anthology of fiction 20 over 40. His latest volume is Brevity: A Flash Fiction Handbook, from Columbia University Press. A co-founder of the M.F.A. program in creative writing at the University of Mississippi, he is now a professor of English and creative writing program director at Montclair State University.

Cynthia Manick is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). A Pushcart nominee, she has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Hedgebrook, and Poets House. Serves as East Coast Editor of Jamii Publishing and is Founder of the reading series Soul Sister Revue. Her poem "Things I Carry Into the World" was recently made into a short film by Motionpoems, an organization dedicated to video poetry. Manick's work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets' Poem-A-Day Series, African American Review, Kweli, Muzzle Magazine, Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Craig Morgan Teicher is the author of three books of poems, The Trembling Answers (BOA, 2017), To Keep Love Blurry (BOA, 2012), and Brenda Is in the Room and Other Poems, (CLP, 2007), winner of the Colorado Prize for Poetry. He also wrote Cradle Book: Stories and Fables (BOA, 2010) and the chapbook Ambivalence and Other Conundrums (Omnidawn, 2014). His first collection of essays We Begin in Gladness, will be published by Graywolf. Teicher edited Once and For All: The Best of Delmore Schwartz (New Directions, 2016) and serves as a poetry editor for The Literary Review. He writes about books for many publications, including The New York Times Book Review, The LA Times, and NPR. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and children.

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Apr
3
6:30pm 6:30pm

Halfway There: April 3rd

Join us at the Red Eye Cafe for an incredible spring line-up! We are so pleased to welcome Claudia Cortese, Marcy Dermansky, Melissa Febos, and Lauren Grodstein to Halfway There.

Each of them will be celebrating the release of a new book, which you can pick up from Watchung Booksellers, who will be on hand. Doors open at 6:30pm for coffee and mingling, the readings start at 7pm and will be followed by an audience Q&A, with time after for book-buying and signing. See you there!

Claudia Cortese is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer. Her first book, WASP QUEEN, was published by Black Lawrence Press in early 2017. She has had work featured in Blackbird, Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast Online, and The Offing, among others, and is a book reviewer for Muzzle Magazine. The daughter of Neapolitan immigrants, Cortese grew up in Ohio and lives in New Jersey. She also lives at claudia-cortese.com

Marcy Dermansky is the author of the novels Bad Marie, Twins, and most recently The Red Car. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney's, Salon, and the Paris Review. Marcy recently moved to Montclair and she is glad that she did. 

Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir, Whip Smart (St. Martin’s Press 2010), and the essay collection, Abandon Me (Bloomsbury 2017). Her work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Tin House, Granta, Prairie Schooner,Glamour, Salon, New York Times, Guernica, Dissent, Poets & Writers, Lenny Letter, Vogue.com, Elle UK, and elsewhere. Her essays have won prizes from Prairie Schooner, Story Quarterly, and The Center for Women Writers and she has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air, CNN, Anderson Cooper, and elsewhere. She is a three-time MacDowell Colony fellow, and has also received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Ragdale, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. The recipient of an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, she is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Monmouth University and MFA faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). She serves on the Board of Directors for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and co-curated the Manhattan reading and music series, Mixer, for ten years. She grew up on Cape Cod and has lived in Brooklyn for seventeen years.

Lauren Grodstein is the author of four novels, including the New York Times bestseller A Friend of the Family and the Washington Post Book of the Year The Explanation for Everything. Her latest novel, Our Short History, will be published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill in March, 2017. Lauren’s work has been translated into French, Turkish, German, Hebrew, and other languages, and her essays and reviews have been widely published.  She directs the MFA Program at Rutgers University-Camden and lives in New Jersey with her husband, son, and dog.

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Sep
26
6:30pm 6:30pm

Halfway There September

Photo credits: Whitney Lawson / Ben Greenman / Rachel Eliza Griffiths / Kylei Kenny

Photo credits: Whitney Lawson / Ben Greenman / Rachel Eliza Griffiths / Kylei Kenny

Join us on Monday September 26th at the Red Eye Cafe for our first reading of our second season! Doors will open at 6:30pm and the reading will go from 7-8:30pm. We can't wait to welcome Mark de Silva, Ben Greenman, Rachel Eliza Griffiths and Sara Weiss! 

Mark de Silva is the author of the debut novel Square Wave, which was released by Two Dollar Radio in February of 2016. He holds degrees in philosophy from Brown (AB) and Cambridge (PhD). After several years on the editorial staff of the New York Times’s opinion pages, he now freelances for the paper’s Sunday magazine, while also serving as a contributing editor for 3:AM Magazine.

Ben Greenman is a New York Times-bestselling author who has written both fiction and nonfiction. He is the author of several acclaimed works of fiction, including the short story collections What He’s Poised to DoSuperbadA Circle Is a Balloon and Compass Both, and the novels SuperworsePlease Step Back, and The Slippage. He is the co-author of the bestselling Mo' Meta Blues with Questlove, the memoir, Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You?, by George Clinton, and the forthcoming memoir I Am Brian Wilson with Brian Wilson. His fiction, essays, and journalism have appeared in the New YorkerNew York TimesWashington PostParis ReviewZoetrope: All StoryMcSweeney’s, and elsewhere, and have been widely anthologized. His new book is Emotional Rescue, a collection of music essays; his next will be  Dig If You Will The Picture, a meditation on the life and career of Prince.

Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a poet and visual artist. Her most recent collection of poetry, Lighting the Shadow (Four Way Books 2015), was a finalist for the Balcones Poetry Prize and the Phillis Wheatley Book Award in Poetry. Griffiths' literary and visual work has appeared widely including, The New York Times, American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Poets & Writers, Lit Hub, Transition, Apogee, Guernica, and many others. Her fellowships include Kimbilio, Cave Canem Foundation, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Vermont Studio Center, Yaddo, and others. Currently, Griffiths teaches at the Institute of the American Indian Arts and Sarah Lawrence College. 

Sara Weiss’s writing has been published in Bustle, Brain, ChildLiterary Mama, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Underwater New York, OutbreatheThe Hook Magazine and on her blog www.shmooples.com.  She holds a BA and an MAT from Tufts University, and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She teaches yoga and creative writing and lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband and two beautiful daughters.

 

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Jun
13
6:00pm 6:00pm

Halfway There June

Photo credits:  Quintan Ana Wikswo, Andy Vernon-Jones

Photo credits:  Quintan Ana WikswoAndy Vernon-Jones

The Red Eye Cafe will open its doors at 6pm for coffee, food and mingling. The reading will start at 7pm. Our final reading for the '15-'16 season will feature James Capozzi, Sarah Dohrmann, Apryl Lee and Helen Phillips. 

James Capozzi is the author of Country Album (Parlor Press, 2012), which won the New Measure Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, New Republic, and Poetry, and he has been the recipient of fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, James A. Michener Foundation, and Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. He lives in Montclair.

 

Sarah Dohrmann is a Brooklyn-based writer of literary nonfiction and fiction. She has been a Fulbright fellow to Morocco, a New York Foundation for the Arts fellow, a two-time Jerome Foundation Travel and Study grantee, a fellow with the Aspen Writers' Foundation, and a Workspace writer-in-residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Sarah received the 2015 Sarah Verdone Writing Award and was co-recipient, with photographer Tiana Markova-Gold, of the 2010 Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Her work has appeared in Harper's MagazineTin House, and The Iowa Review, among others. She is currently at work on her first book, which is a memoir. To learn more about Sarah, please visit her website at www.sarahdohrmann.com.

Apryl Lee's short stories and essays have been published by Necessary FictionWord Riot, and The Feminist Breeder among others. She is an MFA graduate of the fiction writing program at Sarah Lawrence College. In addition to being the cofounder of Halfway There, the wildly successful Montclair reading series, she is currently working on her first novel and a collection of New Jersey stories. She teaches sceenwriting at Seton Hall University and lives with her husband and son in New Jersey.

Helen Phillips is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the Italo Calvino Prize, among others. She is the author of the novel The Beautiful Bureaucrat (a New York Times Notable Book and finalist for the Los Angeles TimesBook Prize) and the collection And Yet They Were Happy (named a notable book by The Story Prize). Her most recent book, the short story collection Some Possible Solutions, publishes in May 2016. She is an assistant professor in the English Department at Brooklyn College.

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Apr
7
7:00pm 7:00pm

Halfway There POP-UP!

Halfway There will pop-up at the Montclair Art Museum's Free First Thursday Night with a roster of wonderful emerging and established local writers of poetry and prose:

Melissa Adamo
Mark Ferguson
Ananda Lima
Joseph Palestina
Joseph Rathgeber
Kem Joy Ukwu

The reading will be part of an exciting evening of events, many of which will honor National Poetry Month! The full schedule of festivities starts at 5pm and goes until 9pm; we will gather in the Museum's Rotunda for our reading at 7pm. Readings will start at 7:30. 

Parking fills up, so come early to enjoy food trucks, a cash bar, art, literature and more!

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Melissa Adamo, associate editor at English Kills Review, received her MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University-Newark in 2012. Essays, poems, and reviews of hers have previously appeared in journals, such as Mezzo Cammin, Per Contra, and The Rumpus, among others. She currently teaches composition and literature courses at Montclair State University, Ramapo College, as well as Rutgers University-Newark, because well… why have one job when you can have three? Follow her word-thoughts about writing, snacks, and Broad City on Twitter @adamopoeting.

Mark Andrew Ferguson, a Bergen County native, is a writer, graphic designer, and sometimes publishing professional now living in Lincoln Park. His first book, The Lost Boys Symphony was published by Little, Brown & Co. in 2015. It was a selection of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program, and has been praised by Wally Lamb, Matthew Quick, NPR, and several others. The paperback is now available from Back Bay Books. 

Ananda Lima has an MA in Linguistics from UCLA and has taught language and linguistics at UCLA and Montclair State University. Her work has been published on The American Poetry Review and she is a Spring 2016 AWP Writer to Writer mentee.  She is currently working on a novel in stories set in Brasilia, the city where she grew up as the daughter of migrants from northeastern Brazil. She lives in Maplewood, NJ with her husband and son.

Joseph Palestina graduated with a BFA in Acting from Montclair State University. He won ‘Best Actor’ both in 2013 and 2015 at The New York City 48 Hour Film Festival in the films Spinach Quesadilla and Burn a Friend, two shorts he wrote and directed. He is the co-founder of touring indie rock band Thing-One and the creator of Joe Pal & Eggs, a web-series that mockuments his daily interactions. He has had several short plays produced by At Hand Theatre Company, Luna Stage and Strangedog Theatre Company. He has recently started a social called Art and Prozac in Montclair--an event that brings artists together to showcase their work. In 2012, he received an MA in Mental Health Counseling from Montclair State and is now a guidance counselor in Paterson, NJ.

Joseph Rathgeber is an author, poet, high school English teacher, and adjunct professor from New Jersey.  His short stories and poems have appeared in The Literary ReviewJ Journal: New Writing on Justice, Mizna, Salamander, and elsewhere.  His story collection is The Abridged Autobiography of Yousef R. and Other Stories (ELJ Publications, 2014).  His work of hybrid poetry is MJ (Another New Calligraphy, 2015). He is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, recipient of a 2014 New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship (Poetry), and a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship (Prose).  

Kem Joy Ukwu's fiction has appeared in BLACKBERRY: a magazine, Carve Magazine, TINGE, Blue Lake Review, PANK and Jabberwock Review. In April 2016, she will serve as an Institute Scholar in the Writing from the Margins Institute at Bloomfield College. She earned her bachelor's degree from Brandeis University and her master's degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband. More of her work can be found at kemjoyukwu.com.

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Mar
14
6:00pm 6:00pm

Halfway There March

Photo credits: Nina Subin, Denise Applewhite, Claudia Cortese

The Red Eye Cafe will open its doors at 6pm for coffee, food and mingling. The reading will start at 7pm. 

John Keene is the author of the award-winning novel Annotations (New Directions); the art-poetry collection Seismosis (1913 Press) with artist Christopher Stackhouse; and the short fiction collection Counternarratives (New Directions), which has been named to "Best Fiction of 2015" lists by New York Magazine and Flavorwire. His art-text collaboration with photographer Nicholas Muellner, GRIND, is forthcoming from ITI Press in 2016. He has also published a translation of Brazilian author Hilda Hilst's novel Letters from a Seducer (Nightboard Books / A Bolha Editora), and has exhibited his artwork in Brooklyn and Berlin. A longtime member of the Dark Room Writers Collective and a graduate fellow of Cave Canem, he currently serves on the board of the African Poetry Book Fund, and teaches in the department of English and African American and African Studies, which he chairs, and also is a core faculty member in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Rutgers University-Newark. 

Brenda Shaughnessy is the author of three collections of poetry: Our Andromeda, Human Dark with Sugar, and Interior with Sudden Joy.  Her new book, So Much Synth, is forthcoming in May 2016 from Copper Canyon Press. Her poems have appeared most recently Poetry, Paris Review, The New Yorker, The Literary Review, and The Awl. She's the recipient of a 2013 Guggenheim Foundation fellowship and is Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing at Rutgers University-Newark. She lives in Verona, NJ with her family. 

Boris Tsessarsky's fiction has appeared in Bare Fiction, Lunch Ticket, Folio, and Temenos Journal. Currently he is working on a collection of speculative war stories, as well as a novel about a German jazz pianist. He teaches first-year writing at Montclair State University and holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. 

(Ed Park previously was scheduled but due to a conflict, will join us another time!) 

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Dec
14
6:00pm 6:00pm

Halfway There December

The Red Eye Cafe will open its doors at 6pm for coffee, snacks, book-buying and mingling. The reading, followed by a Q&A, will be from 7-8:30pm. Readers are Tobias Carroll, Claudia Cortese, Hillary Frank, and Naomi J. Williams--all either New Jersey natives or current New Jersey residents.

Tobias Carroll is the managing editor of Vol.1 Brooklyn. His collection Transitory will be released in 2016 on Civil Coping Mechanisms. He grew up in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. 

Claudia Cortese is the author of two chapbooks—Blood Medals (Thrush Poetry Press, 2015), a collection of prose poems, and The Red Essay and Other Histories (Horse Less Press, 2015), a book of lyric essays. Her poems have appeared in Best New Poets 2011, BlackbirdCrazyhorse, Kenyon Review Online, and Sixth Finch, and her essays and reviews have found homes at Black Warrior Review, Mid-American Review, and Iowa Review, among others. The daughter of Neapolitan immigrants, Cortese grew up in suburban Ohio and now lives in New Jersey, where she teaches at Montclair State University. Wasp Queen (Black Lawrence Press, 2017), which explores a girl named Lucy, is her first full-length collection.

Hillary Frank is host and creator of the award-winning podcast The Longest Shortest Time. She has also been a frequent contributor to This American Life, Studio 360, and Weekend America. Hillary is the author and illustrator of three YA novels. Her first book and first radio story were both unsolicited submissions, which she hopes is proof to aspiring writers that getting published really is possible.

Naomi J. Williams was born in Japan and spoke no English until she was nearly six years old. Her debut novel, Landfalls, a fictionalized account of the 18th-century Lapérouse expedition (FSG 2015), was long-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. A five-time Pushcart Prize nominee and one-time winner, Naomi has published her short fiction in numerous literary journals, including A Public Space, One Story,  and The Gettysburg Review. A proud graduate of Verona High School, Naomi now makes her home in northern California, where she’s hard at work on her second book, a novel about the early 20th-century Japanese poet Yosano Akiko.

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Sep
14
6:00pm 6:00pm

Halfway There September

The Red Eye Cafe will open its doors at 6pm for coffee, food and mingling. The reading will start at 7pm. Readers for the inaugural event will be series co-founder Nicole Haroutunian, and acclaimed area writers Matthew Thomas and Abby Sher. 

Nicole Haroutunian, named a "New Author You Need to Know" by Refinery29, is a New Jersey native currently living in Woodside, Queens. Her first short story collection, Speed Dreaming, was published earlier this year. Matthew Caprioli wrote in The Paris Review, "Haroutunian is smart about contemporary relationships, and her collection will certainly resonant with the Modern Love crowd. Her protagonists, all women, admit to melodrama, but they go one step further than the characters in Girls in that they question what’s behind their woe-is-me antics. Through their honesty, we get characters we actually like, who illuminate what it means to be a woman outside of Lena Dunham’s 'Brooklyn.'"

Abby Sher is a writer, performer, and mother of three cool beans. She wrote and performed for The Second City, ImprovOlympic, HBO and NPR. Her memoir, Amen, Amen, Amen: Memoir of a Girl who Couldn’t Stop Praying got lots of awards and a nod from Oprah. Abby writes regularly for The New York Times and has an advice column called Dear Gefilte. She means well, but is usually five minutes late.

Matthew Thomas was born and raised in New York City; he lives in Montclair, NJ. He has a BA from the University of Chicago, an MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine. His New York Times-bestselling novel We Are Not Ourselves was shortlisted for both the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the James Tait Black Prize, longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, nominated for the Folio Prize, and named a finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Book Award. It was named a Notable Book of the year by the New York Times, one of the fifty best fiction books of the year by the Washington Post, one of the ten best fiction books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, one of the five most important books of the year by Esquire, one of the best fiction books of the year by Publishers Weekly, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Apple, and one of Janet Maslin’s ten favorite books of the year in the New York Times.

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