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LIVE ON FACEBOOK: East Coast Vibes on a West Coast Beach

August 26, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm PDT

Featuring Chelsea Catherine, Melanie Conroy-Goldman, Didi Jackson, Major Jackson, Patricia Spears Jones, and Willie Perdomo

Red Hen Press and the Annenberg Community Beach House bring a breath of East Coast air to the western shores. On August 26, 2020, at 4:00 P.M. PDT, the event features readings by Chelsea Catherine, Melanie Conroy-Goldman, Didi Jackson, Major Jackson, Patricia Spears Jones, and Willie Perdomo followed by a conversation on the influences the East Coast play in their writing.

Livestreamed at santamonica.gov/beachculture, this event will also be recorded and viewable afterward. The event is part of a series of literary readings in partnership with Red Hen Press. The next online event will be held on August 26 at 4pm. Sign up for updates from Santa Monica Cultural Affairs here and Annenberg Beach House here. #ArtSaMo

Chelsea Catherine is a PEN Short Story Prize Nominee, a winner of the Raymond Carver Fiction Contest in 2016, a Sterling Watson fellow, and an Ann McKee Grant recipient. Her novella Blindsided won the Clay Reynolds Novella Prize and was published in October of 2018. Her nonfiction recently won the Mary C. Mohr Award through the Southern Indiana Review. A native Vermonter, Catherine lived in Key West for two years where she was secretary of the Key West Writers Guild. She now lives in St. Petersburg, FL.

Melanie Conroy-Goldman is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Hobart and William Smith Colleges where she was a founding director of the Trias Residency for Writers, which has hosted such notables as Mary Gaitskill, Lidia Yuknavitch, and Jeff VanderMeer. Her fiction has been published in journals such as Southern Review and StoryQuarterly, in anthologies from Morrow and St. Martin’s, and online at venues such as McSweeney’s. She also volunteers at a maximum security men’s prison with the Cornell Prison Education Program. Her work is represented by Bill Clegg at the Clegg Agency. She lives in Ithaca, New York with her husband, daughter, and step-daughters.

Didi Jackson’s poems have appeared in the New Yorker, New England Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. After having lived most of her life in Florida, she currently lives in South Burlington, Vermont and teaches creative writing at the University of Vermont.

Major Jackson is the author of five books of poetry, including The Absurd Man (2020), Roll Deep (2015), Holding Company (2010), Hoops (2006) and Leaving Saturn (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems. His edited volumes include: Best American Poetry 2019Renga for Obama, and Library of America’s Countee Cullen: Collected Poems. A recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Major Jackson has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. He has published poems and essays in American Poetry Review, Callaloo, The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Tin House, and included in multiple volumes of Best American Poetry. Major Jackson lives in South Burlington, Vermont, where he is the Richard A. Dennis Professor of English and University Distinguished Professor at the University of Vermont. He serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review.

Patricia Spears Jones was named in Essence.com as one of its “40 Poets They Love” in 2010. In 2018, her poem “Seraphim” is listed in The New Yorker‘s Year in Poems. She  is author of the poetry collections: Painkiller and Femme du Monde from Tia Chucha Press and The Weather That Kills from Coffee House Press and five chapbooks including Living in the Love Economy. Her fourth collection: A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems from White Pine Press (White Pine Press Distinguished Poets series) which features her 2017 Pushcart Prize winning poem, “Etta James at the Audubon Ballroom.”  She was a finalist for the William Carlos Williams Prize from the Poetry Society of America and the Paterson Prize from Passaic County Community College, which was won by her Vermont College MFA advisor, Mark Doty. Her work is widely anthologized.  She is a recipient of grants and awards from the NEA, NYFA, and a Barbara Deming Memorial  Fund Award in 2015. She has been a fellow at Virginia Center for Creative Arts (VCCA), Yaddo, the Millay Colony and in 2018 was granted a Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva, FL and an international residency via The Bau Institute at Camargo Foundation, Cassis, France.

Willie Perdomo is the author of The Crazy Bunch, winner of the 2019-2020 New York City Book Award for poetry, The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Smoking Lovely, winner of the PEN Open Book Award, and Where a Nickel Costs a Dime, a finalist for the Poetry Society of America Norma Farber First Book Award. He is also a co-editor of the BreakBeat Poetry Series anthology, LatiNext. His work has appeared in The New York Times MagazinePoetryThe Best American Poetry 2019, and African Voices. He is currently a Lucas Arts Literary Fellow, a core faculty member at VONA/Voices of our Nation Writing Workshop, and teaches English at Phillips Exeter Academy.

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Annenberg Community Beach House