Writers series -- Author of three novels, Amy Hassinger, one of eight speakers in SUNY Oswego's 2017 Living Writers Series, said her work explores openness to each other: "How can we best care for one another in the face of space-time's brutal beauty?" Writers series -- Author of three novels, Amy Hassinger, one of eight speakers in SUNY Oswego's 2017 Living Writers Series, said her work explores openness to each other: "How can we best care for one another in the face of space-time's brutal beauty?" Submitted photo
Written by  Aug 17, 2017

Living Writers Series to Feature Writers of Fantasy, Comedy, Poetry, Plays

The author of the international bestselling "Eragon" and other books in a fantasy series; a columnist noted for her "Shrill" book on body image; a young comic book writer and illustrator; and a nationally known comedian, actor and writer with strong local ties are among the speakers in SUNY Oswego's Living Writers Series this fall.

The Living Writers Series serves as the centerpiece of a creative writing course of the same name, and invites the public to free presentations from 3 to 4:20 p.m. on selected Mondays and Wednesdays in Marano Campus Center's auditorium, Room 132.

Here's the lineup for this fall, according to Juliet Giglio, an English and creative writing faculty member who has now organized three years of the series:

* Sept. 13: Poet Shara McCallum, originally from Jamaica and now a professor and the director of Bucknell University's Stadler Center for Poetry, has authored five books of her work, including "Madwoman," "The Face of Water" and "This Strange Land." Recognition for her writing has included a Library of Congress Witter Bynner Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Arts Poetry and the Agnes Starrett Lynch Prize for Poetry.

* Sept. 25: Comedian and writer Owen Benjamin, a native of Oswego, has appeared in such films as "The House Bunny," "Jack and Jill," and "All's Faire in Love." He has frequently performed his unique standup and musical comedy on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," "The Tonight Show" and "Chelsea Lately." He was a lead character on the former TBS series "Sullivan & Son," and has a book coming out next year from publisher Norton Books.

* Sept. 27: Technical writer and software developer Paul Austin is a 1989 SUNY Oswego alumnus who, while not traditionally published, has written constantly for the purpose of communicating during his 28-year career with IBM, and draws on the skills he learned at Oswego. He now manages a team of 22 people at IBM's WebSphere System Test. Austin also has appeared on campus as part of the Alumni-In-Residence career exploration program.

* Oct. 11: Guardian columnist and "This American Life" contributor Lindy West authored the acclaimed memoir "Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman," this year's Oswego Reading Initiative book. West also will speak at 7 p.m. that day in a free public presentation in Sheldon Hall ballroom about her book, a narrative about her life growing up as young girl trying to hide her big body and her even bigger opinions. Her work also has appeared in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan and GQ, among other media.

* Oct. 16: Playwright and actor Carlos Sirah deals with themes of exile, rupture and displacement in relation to institutions in such theater pieces as "The Utterances," "The Light Body" and "Planets Measured by Parallax." His work has been performed or shown at Poet's House, Nuyorican Café, the Granoff Centre and the National Black Theatre Festival. He is a facilitator and serves on the steering committee of the Warrior Writers veterans group.

* Oct. 23: Novelist Amy Hassinger has authored "Nina: Adolescence," "The Priest's Madonna" and "After the Dam." Her writing has won awards from Creative Nonfiction, Publisher's Weekly and the Illinois Arts Council, and has appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, the Writers' Chronicle and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She teaches in the University of Nebraska's MFA in writing program.

* Nov. 8: Cartoonist, illustrator and comic book writer Natalie Riess has worked on such projects as "Space Battle Lunchtime" from Oni Press, Snarlbear (Hiveworks) and Dungeon Critters (self published). She creates whimsical, colorful stories in digital media or watercolor. Riess earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Syracuse University's illustration program, and resides in Pennsylvania.

* Nov. 13: As a home-schooled Montana writing prodigy, Christopher Paolini was 15 when he authored the first book in the "Inheritance Cycle," the bestselling "Eragon." The fantasy series includes "Eldest," "Brisingr" and "Inheritance." The first book spun off the 2006 British movie "Eragon," featuring such notable actors as Jeremy Irons and Djimon Hounsou. Paolini will speak via Skype, a relatively rare appearance for the busy writer, according to Giglio.

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