Moth Internships

I would so do this if I could. What a great opportunity.


The Moth helps people connect with their own power as a storyteller, and with one another. Our mission is to honor the diversity and commonality of human experience through the art and craft of storytelling.

Our energetic team is made up of directors and producers, archivists and educators with a passion for stories and community building through storytelling.

The Moth seeks to hire staff who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. All positions at The Moth are filled without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, HIV/AIDS status, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. The Moth brings storytelling opportunities to people from a variety of communities. Candidates with a commitment to supporting diversity are strongly encouraged to apply.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January Residency Proposals

Dear Faculty,

Please email me at your earliest convenience your proposals for workshops, lectures, or any other events you may have in mind. Featured at the January residency will be readings and master classes by our Housatonic Book Award winners Reginald Dwayne Betts (poetry) and M. O. Walsh (fiction). Jane Cleland will offer a workshop in Professional Writing Job Opportunities, and Nick Mamatas will offer a workshop entitled “What is Interesting about Texts” that focuses on writing critically about creative work.

At the August residency wrap-up meeting, students expressed preference for hands-on, active workshops and asked for more workshops that are practically oriented (writing magazine pitches, publishing and editing business, grant writing for writers and programs, for just a few possible examples). Workshops will be offered between 1/3 and 1/7.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Buzzed Book Signings

Hi, Everyone,

I want to let those of you in the Danbury area know that I have two upcoming book signings for “Buzzed,” my new book on craft beer and other beverages in New England. Tomorrow (Sat. Oct. 14) I’ll be at Ives Concert Park in Danbury signing books at the Harvest Jam beer and music fest starting at 2 p.m. On Saturday, Oc. 29, at 4 p.m. I’ll be doing a short reading and signing at Byrd’s Books in Bethel.
Good luck with all your writing endeavors!
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Literary Fiction Teaches Humanity

Writing plot-driven genre fiction is the trend but literary fiction and I’m assuming literary non-fiction  still has a place and a great value in our culture. In fact, in a recent NPR interview with Mary Karr, she states that the growth in the popularity of memoir is just that – a desire for more human stories.

In How Literary Fiction Teaches Us to be Human by Tom Blunt in Signature Magazine, the proof’s in the science.

“In an abstract published by the magazine in 2013, researchers found that reading literary fiction led to better results in subjects tested for Theory of Mind. That same year, another study found heightened brain activity in readers of fiction, specifically in the areas related to visualization and understanding language. As Mic explains: “A similar process happens when you envision yourself as a character in a book: You can take on the emotions they are feeling.”

More recently, Trends in Cognitive Sciences reported more findings that link reading and empathy, employing a test called “Mind of the Eyes” in which subjects viewed photographs of strangers’ eyes, describing what they believed that person was thinking or feeling (readers of fiction scored significantly higher). It turns out that the narrative aspect of fiction is key to this response. From the study: “participants who had read the fictional story Saffron Dreams by Shaila Abdullah … were found to have a reduced bias in the perception of Arab and Caucasian faces compared to control subjects who read a non-narrative passage.” More plot-driven genre fiction doesn’t seem to have the same effect.”

Read the rest of the article here 


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On Vladimir Nabokov

An interesting 1967 interview with Nabokov in the Paris Review. He was definitely from another generation of writers. By now, his novel, Lolita, has been translated in several languages and he has written a screenplay of the novel for Stanley Kubrick. Though he complains Kubrick does not stick to his script.

Nabokov dislikes many of the modern canonic writers I read and practically worshipped in my masters program. Ezra Pound for instance is a “fake,” he says.

“Many accepted authors simply do not exist for me. Their names are engraved on empty graves, their books are dummies, they are complete nonentities insofar as my taste in reading is concerned. Brecht, Faulkner, Camus, many others, mean absolutely nothing to me, and I must fight a suspicion of conspiracy against my brain when I see blandly accepted as “great literature” by critics and fellow authors Lady Chatterley’s copulations or the pretentious nonsense of Mr. Pound, that total fake. I note he has replaced Dr. Schweitzer in some homes.”

On teaching:

“My method of teaching precluded genuine contact with my students. At best, they regurgitated a few bits of my brain during examinations. Every lecture I delivered had been carefully, lovingly handwritten and typed out, and I leisurely read it out in class, sometimes stopping to rewrite a sentence and sometimes repeating a paragraph—a mnemonic prod which, however, seldom provoked any change in the rhythm of wrists taking it down. I welcomed the few shorthand experts in my audience, hoping they would communicate the information they stored to their less fortunate comrades. Vainly I tried to replace my appearances at the lectern by taped records to be played over the college radio. On the other hand, I deeply enjoyed the chuckle of appreciation in this or that warm spot of the lecture hall at this or that point of my lecture. My best reward comes from those former students of mine who, ten or fifteen years later, write to me to say that they now understand what I wanted of them when I taught them to visualize Emma Bovary’s mistranslated hairdo or the arrangement of rooms in the Samsa household or the two homosexuals in Anna Karenina. I do not know if I learned anything from teaching, but I know I amassed an invaluable amount of exciting information in analyzing a dozen novels for my students. My salary as you happen to know was not exactly a princely one.”

On being a Russian immigrant and now an American citizen:

“I am as American as April in Arizona. The flora, the fauna, the air of the western states, are my links with Asiatic and Arctic Russia. Of course, I owe too much to the Russian language and landscape to be emotionally involved in, say, American regional literature, or Indian dances, or pumpkin pie on a spiritual plane; but I do feel a suffusion of warm, lighthearted pride when I show my green USA passport at European frontiers. Crude criticism of American affairs offends and distresses me. In home politics I am strongly antisegregationist. In foreign policy, I am definitely on the government’s side. And when in doubt, I always follow the simple method of choosing that line of conduct which may be the most displeasing to the Reds and the Russells.”

More of the interview here:



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Writing About Mothers and Daughters

I’ll be the moderator for a discussion about writing mother-daughter narratives at Bindercon on October 30th at NYU. Bindercon is a conference organized by Out of the Binders Inc., a community for women and gender non-conforming writers. You can learn more here.

Motherhood is a sacred institution in most cultures and is rarely discussed in a negative or even honest light. The idea behind this panel is to create a discussion that goes beyond the platitudes and simplistic, idealized portrayals of what is a primal and deeply formative relationship; one that is often rife with conflict and ambivalence. Mainstream books about the mother-daughter bond can leave certain readers out in the cold, with a sensation of a deep loss and loneliness. Conversely, writing about love, acceptance, and gratitude for our mothers and daughters often only scratches the surface of the meaning they hold in our lives. It makes perfect sense to try to open a vein and try to grapple with the subject, but how can we write about our mothers and daughters without causing trouble? What do we risk by choosing to tell our version of the story? Our panel will address their individual approaches, both in terms of craft and in life.

Sandra Rodriguez Barron, Elizabeth Crane, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Betsy Lerner, Beth Boyle Machalan


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Housatonic Book Award Winners Announced

Folks, if you are on Facebook, do me a favor and share the announcement just put out from the MFA program account regarding the HBA winners! In case you haven’t like it already, the Facebook handle for the program is WCSU MFA in Creative & Professional Writing.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment