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MFA program brings Jonathan Dee and other award-winning authors to campus

Spring reading series celebrates the best in recently released work and is free and open to the public

01/05/10 -  

The low-residency MFA program in creative writing at Queens University of Charlotte is pleased to announce its next series of faculty readings.

The free readings are scheduled for Jan. 10 at 8 p.m., Jan. 12 at 8:15 p.m. and Jan. 15 at 8:30 p.m. in Sykes Auditorium on the Queens campus.

This spring series features Jonathan Dee, who will read from his highly anticipated new novel, "The Privileges."  Tom Perotta said, "The Privileges is an intimate portrait of a wealthy family that gradually becomes an indictment of an entire social class and historical moment, while also providing a window onto some recent, and peculiarly American, forms of decadence. Jonathan Dee is at once an acerbic social critic, an elegant stylist, and a shrewd observer of the human comedy." 

Elizabeth Strout, the recipient of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and a Queens MFA faculty member, calls the novel "an incredibly readable, intelligent, incisive portrait of a particular kind of American family. Jonathan Dee takes us inside the world of what desire for wealth can do, and cannot do, for the self, the soul, and the family. 'The Privileges' is told with admirable conciseness and yet with great breadth, and the reader is swept along, watching the complications of such desire unfold."

More details about the participants in each series event:

Sunday, Jan. 10

Brighde Mullins is the author of 12 plays that have been produced in London, New York and San Francisco. They include: "Water Stories from the Mojave Desert;" "Monkey in the Middle," "Topographical Eden," "Fire Eater," "Pathological Venus," "Meatless Friday," "Baby Hades" and Teach. Her publications include Topographical Eden (in "International Theatre Forum"); Click in the Humana Anthology from TCG Press; a chapbook of poems "Water Stories" (Slapering Hol Press, 2004); and many anthologies, including Lucky Thirteen and The Best American Poetry. Her awards include a Whiting Foundation Award, the Jane Chambers Award, the Will Glickman Award and an NEA Fellowship.

Patricia Powell is the author of "The Fullness of Everything," "Me Dying Trial," "A Small Gathering of Bones," "The Pagoda," and a forthcoming novel, "Revelation."  She is the recipient of a PEN New England Discovery Award and a Lila-Wallace Readers Digest Writer's Award. She is the Martin Luther King Jr. visiting professor at MIT, and a former creative writing instructor at Harvard University, Wellesley College and the University of Massachusetts-Boston.

Tuesday, Jan. 12

Rebecca McClanahan has published nine books, most recently "Deep Light: New and Selected Poems 1987-2007" and "The Riddle Songs and Other Rememberings," which won the 2005 Glasgow prize in nonfiction. She has also authored four previous books of poetry and two books of writing instruction, including "Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively." McClanahan's work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Best American Essays, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, and numerous other publications. McClanahan, who lives in New York, has received the Wood Prize from Poetry, a Pushcart Prize in fiction, and (twice) the Carter prize for the essay from Shenandoah.

Hal Ackerman is the author of numerous short stories published in literary journals over the past two years, including New Millennium Writings, Southeast Review, The Pinch, Storyglossia, and Passages. His short stories, "Roof Garden" won the Warren Adler 2008 award for fiction, and "Alfalfa," was included in the anthology, "I Wanna Be Sedated...30 Writers on Parenting Teenagers."  His play, "Testosterone: How Prostate Cancer Made A Man of Me," won the William Saroyan Centennial Prize for drama and enjoyed a successful run in Los Angeles. His first novel, "Stein, Stoned" has been acquired by Tyrus Books for publication in July 2010. Ackerman has been on the faculty of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television for the past twenty-four years and is currently co-area head of the screenwriting program.  His book, Write Screenplays That Sell...The Ackerman Way, is in its third printing, and is the text of choice in a growing number of screenwriting programs around the country. 

Friday, Jan. 15:

Emily White is the author of "Fast Girls" (Scribner), and "You Will Make Money In Your Sleep" (Scribner), a biography of white collar criminal Dana Giacchetto. Her work has appeared in various magazines including The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Spin, Newsday, and Nest. She was a Stegner fellow at Stanford and has taught at Richard Hugo House in Seattle. She currently teaches at the University of Washington.

Jonathan Dee is the author of the new novel "The Privileges," being released in January 2010. His previous novels are "Palladio," "St. Famous," "The Liberty Campaign," and "The Lover of History." He is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, a frequent literary critic for Harper's, and a former Senior Editor of The Paris Review. In addition to Queens, he teaches in the graduate writing programs at Columbia University and The New School. In 2006 he received a Literature Fellowship in Prose from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information on the readings or on the Queens MFA Program in Creative Writing, contact Melissa Bashor, MFA coordinator, at 704-337-2499 or by e-mail at

Queens University of Charlotte is a private, co-ed, Presbyterian-affiliated comprehensive university with a commitment to both liberal arts and professional studies. Located in the heart of historic Charlotte, Queens serves approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students through its College of Arts and Sciences, the McColl School of Business, the Presbyterian School of Nursing, the Wayland H. Cato, Jr. School of Education, the School of Communication and Hayworth College for Adult Studies.

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