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Three award-winning writers who are in Newport as featured faculty in Salve Regina’s exclusive summer residency creative writing degree program, the Newport MFA, will host public readings and reflections from some of their best-selling works on June 23, 24 and 27.
All readings are free and open to the public, and will be presented in the Antone Academic Center, Lawrence Avenue, on Salve Regina’s campus. Presentations are as follows:
Saturday, June 23 at 7:30 p.m. – Shelia Weller
Weller is the author of seven books – three of which are New York Times best-sellers – and numerous magazine articles for Vanity Fair, where she is a regular contributor of major features. She also writes for Glamour, New York, the New York Times and virtually every major women’s magazine.
Seller has won nine major magazine awards for her feminist investigatives and real-life narratives on pressing social, emotional and legal/justice issues. Her best-loved book is the 2008 best-selling “Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon – and the Journey of a Generation,” which Billboard named No. 19 of the best music books of all time. Her most recent (2014) is, “The News Sorority: Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour – and the Triumph of Women in TV News.”
Weller is also the author of the 2003 memoir “Dancing At Ciro’s: A Family’s Love, Loss and Scandal on the Sunset Strip” and the 1995 best-seller on O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson’s marriage, “Raging Heart.”
Sunday, June 24 at 2 p.m. – Tim Weed
Weed, co-founder of the Cuba Writers Program, will present “Writing in Havana, Cuba.” He is the winner of a Writer’s Digest popular fiction award and a Solas best travel writing award.
His first novel, “Will Poole’s Island,” was named one of Bank Street College of Education’s best books of the year. His short fiction collection, “A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing,” was a finalist in the short story category of the International Book Awards and has been shortlisted for the New Rivers Press Many Voices Project, the Autumn House Press fiction prize and the Lewis-Clark Press Discovery Award.
Weed teaches a popular novel revision series at Grub Street in Boston, and occasionally works as a featured expert for National Geographic in Cuba, Spain and Patagonia.
Wednesday, June 27 at 7:30 p.m. – Andre Dubus III
Dubus III is the author of “The Cage Keeper and Other Stories,” “Bluesman” and the New York Times best-sellers “House of Sand and Fog,” “The Garden of Last Days” (soon to be a major motion picture) and his memoir “Townie,” a New York Times Editors Choice.
His work has been included in The Best American Essays and The Best Spiritual Writing anthologies, and “House of Sand and Fog,” a finalist for the National Book Award, was made into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly. His novella collection, “Dirty Love,” was published in 2013 and has been listed as a New York Times “Notable Book,” a New York Times Editors Choice, a 2013 “Notable Fiction” choice from the Washington Post and a Kirkus “Starred Best Book of 2013.” His new novel, “Gone So Long,” is forthcoming in October 2018.
Dubus has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, two Pushcart Prizes and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in more than 25 languages, and he teaches full time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
The Newport MFA is the state’s first low-residency master of fine arts degree program in creative writing. The program was launched together by founding director and Rhode Island native Ann Hood – the best-selling author of 14 novels, three memoirs and books for young adults – and Salve Regina University.
Aspiring writers can pursue the terminal degree in their field by attending eight-day residencies in Newport twice a year (with an optional winter residency being offered in Havana, Cuba) that will connect them with established professionals in a location steeped in literary history. Henry James, Thornton Wilder and Edith Wharton are among those to be inspired by Newport.
These intensive residencies will offer specialization in fiction, poetry, nonfiction or young adult writing with daily workshops, craft lectures, manuscript consultations and keynote readings. Students will be initiated into the writing life as well as the business of publishing and editing, and will spend the months between residencies writing and reflecting in individualized mentorships with eminent writers.