Rhode Island native Ann Hood – the best-selling author of 14 novels, three memoirs and books for young adults – will host an evening talk, free and open to the public, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 1 at the Redwood Library & Athenaeum, 50 Bellevue Ave.

Hood will talk about her relationship with books, the writing life and her role as founding director of the Newport MFA – the state’s first low-residency master of fine arts degree program in creative writing being offered at Salve Regina University. She will also be joined Friday by the novelist Taylor M. Polites, an instructor in the Newport MFA program, who will discuss his work in historical fiction. Their talk will be followed by a Q&A and a reception.

“I am really excited for this first collaboration between The Newport MFA and The Redwood Library—bringing Ann Hood and historical fiction writer Taylor Polites together to discuss the writing life and Salve’s exciting new MFA in creative writing, directed by Ann,” said Jen McClanaghan, director of the Newport MFA. “It will be a great literary and community event.”

For more information, call 401-341-2212 or register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-evening-talk-with-ann-hood-tickets-46149564590.

Hood is the bestselling author of the novels The Knitting Circle, The Obituary Writer, and The Book That Matters Most and the memoir Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, which was a NYT Editor’s Choice and named one of the top ten non-fiction books of 2008 by Entertainment Weekly.

Polites’ first novel, The Rebel Wife, was published by Simon & Schuster and his work has appeared in anthologies as well as arts and news publications. He is a partner with Hood and Hester Kaplan in Goat Hill, a collaboration dedicated to bringing writers and writing professionals to southern New England, and works with local organizations to cultivate storytelling and community in his home city. He is a graduate of the Wilkes University creative writing M.A./MFA program, where he was awarded the Norris Church Mailer Fellowship. He teaches in The Newport MFA program at Salve Regina.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.