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Halfway There: June 18th

  • Red Eye Cafe 94 Walnut Street Montclair, NJ, 07042 United States (map)

We'll see you at the Red Eye Cafe at 6:30pm for coffee, drinks, and mingling, then at 7pm for readings from four wonderful authors, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Ananda Lima, Lisa Romeo, and Leah Umansky. Stay after the Q&A to buy books supplied by Watchung Booksellers and to meet the writers!

Nicole Dennis-Benn is the author of the debut novel, HERE COMES THE SUN (Norton/Liveright, July 2016). Dennis-Benn is a Lambda Literary Award winner, named by Time Out Magazine as an immigrant making a stamp on New York City. Her debut novel has received much acclaim including: a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a NPR Best Books of 2016, an Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Entertainment Weekly, and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016, a BuzzFeed Best Literary Debuts of 2016, among others. Dennis-Benn's debut novel has received a starred Kirkus Review and is deemed one of the best books to read this summer and beyond by New York Times, NPR, BBC, BuzzFeed, Book Riot, Bookish, Miami Herald, Elle, O Magazine, Marie Claire, Entertainment Weekly, Flavorwire, After Ellen, BookPage, Cosmopolitan, Brooklyn Magazine, among others. New York Times Book reviewer, Jennifer Senior describes HERE COMES THE SUN as a “lithe, artfully-plotted debut”; Pulitzer Prize finalist, Laila Lalami, as well as Booklist have deemed it a "fantastic debut"; and Man Booker Prize winner, Marlon James says “[Here Comes the Sun] is a story waiting to be told”. Dennis-Benn was shortlisted for the Texas Library Association 2017 Lariat. She has been a named a finalist for Princeton Arts Fellowship, the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award , and The New York Public Library Young Lions Award
     Her work has appeared in The New York TimesELLE MagazineElectric LiteratureLenny LetterCatapult, Red Rock Review, Kweli Literary JournalMosaicEbony, and the Feminist Wire. Her writing has been awarded a Richard and Julie Logsdon Fiction Prize; and two of her stories have been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize in Fiction. Vicelisted Dennis-Benn among immigrant authors "who are making American Literature great again." 
     Dennis-Benn is a Kowald Visiting Faculty in City College's MFA Program and Faculty in the Creative Writing Program at NYU; and has been awarded fellowships from MacDowell ColonyHedgebrook, Lambda, Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Hurston/Wright, and Sewanee Writers' Conference. 
     Dennis-Benn was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. She is a graduate of St. Andrew High School for Girls and Cornell University; and holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She lives with her wife in Brooklyn, New York. 

Ananda Lima’s work has appeared or is upcoming in The American Poetry Review, Colorado Review, Rattle, The Offing, Jubilat, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Collagist, New South, PANK and elsewhere. She has an MA in Linguistics from UCLA and is pursuing an MFA in fiction from Rutgers University, Newark.  She was selected for the AWP Writer to Writer program and has attended workshops at Bread Loaf, Tin House, the Community of Writers and Sewanee, where she currently serves as staff. Ananda has taught at Montclair State University and UCLA and currently teaches undergraduate creative writing at Rutgers-Newark. Ananda lives in New Jersey with her husband and their son.

Lisa Romeo is the author of Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss, (University of Nevada Press). Her nonfiction is listed in Best American Essays 2016, and has appeared in the New York Times, O The Oprah Magazine, Longreads, Brain Child, Inside Jersey, Tishman Review, Sport Literate, Sweet, Barnstorm, Brevity, and Hippocampus. Lisa is thesis advisor to Bay Path University’s MFA program. She holds an MFA from Stonecoast/University of Southern Maine, teaches in New Jersey with The Writers Circle, and works as a freelance editor and writing coach. Lisa lives in northern New Jersey with her husband and sons.

Leah Umansky is the author of The Barbarous Century (Eyewear 2018), among others. She earned her MFA in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and is the curator and host of The COUPLET Reading Series in NYC. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such places as POETRY, Guernica, The New York Times, Pleiades, Salamander, and the anthologies, The Eloquent Poem (Persea Books) and Misrepresented Peoples (NYQ Books). She is #teamkhaleesi & #teammaeve.

Earlier Event: April 23
Halfway There: April 23rd
Later Event: October 15
Halfway There: October 15th