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Reading by Denis Johnson and Tom Sleigh
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 4:30 PM
Berlind Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center

(Princeton, NJ) On Wednesday, November 14, two writers whose work spans the breadth of poetry, fiction, journalism and playwriting will read from their works as part of the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series of the Program in Creative Writing at the Lewis Center for the Arts. Princeton student Maia ten Brink will also read from her poetry. The reading, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Berlind Theatre at the McCarter Theatre Center, is free and open to the public.

Denis JohnsonDenis Johnson is the author of several novels, plays, and books of verse. His novel Tree of Smoke was the 2007 winner of the National Book Award.   He attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, and published his first book of poetry, The Man Among the Seals, while there. During the next few years, he published Inner Weather (1976), The Incognito Lounge (1982), and Veil (1987), as well as four novels. One of his novels, Angels (1983), won the Sue Kauffman Prize for First Fiction. Johnson often talks about his struggles at that time with alcoholism and drug abuse. He captured the reclusiveness and darkness of addiction with the publication of Jesus’s Son (1992), a critically-acclaimed collection of short stories later turned into a film. The film version, released in 1999, was widely proclaimed as one of the top ten films of the year by The New York Times.

Johnson has also written The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly: Poems Collected and New (1995), Train Dreams (2002), Already Dead: A California Gothic (1998), The Name of the World (2000), Nobody Move (2009), and a number of plays, including Hellhound on my Trail, Soul of a Whore, Purvis, and Shoppers Carried by Escalators into Flames.

In addition to a National Book Award, he is the recipient of a number of awards ranging from the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction from the Paris Review to a Whiting Writer’s Award. He is the Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte Endowed Chair in Creative Writing at Texas State University.    As a journalist, Johnson has reported from Somalia, Afghanistan, and Liberia. 

Johnson will be introduced by Professor of Creative Writing in the Lewis Center and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jeffrey Eugenides.

Tom SleighTom Sleigh is the author of eight books of poetry, including Army Cats, winner of the John Updike Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Space Walk which won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Award.  He has also published a book of essays, Interview with a Ghost, and a translation of Euripides' Herakles.  Widely anthologized, his poems and prose appear in The New Yorker, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Yale Review, Threepenny, and other literary magazines, as well as The Best American Poetry, Best American Travel Writing, and The Pushcart Anthology. He has received the Shelley Prize from the Poetry Society of America, a Fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an Individual Writer's Award from the Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Fund, a Guggenheim grant, and two National Endowment for the Arts grants, among many others.  He teaches in the MFA Program at Hunter College and lives in Brooklyn.

Sleigh’s published dramatic works include Ahab’s Wife (produced in Boston in 1997 and New York in 1998), Barbarosa (staged reading performed in Boston in 1998), Rubber (produced in New York in 2002), The Knowledge and Conversation of My Holy Guardian Angel, or an Old-Fashioned Love Story (produced in New York in 2004), and Ice Trucker Pilgrimage (produced in 2006 at the San Francisco Film Festival).

Sleigh will be introduced by Professor of Creative Writing in the Lewis Center and Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winner C.K. Williams.

The Lewis Center’s Program in Creative Writing is sponsoring this event as part of the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series which provides an opportunity for students, as well as all in the greater Princeton region to hear and meet the best writers of contemporary poetry and fiction.   All readings are free and open to the public and take place on select Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. at the Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center. Other readings scheduled in the series include:

·       Alicia Ostricker and AS Byatt on February 13

·       Nikky Finney and Azar Nafisi on March 13

·       Matthew Dickman and Joseph O'Neill on April 17

In addition, students in the Program in Creative Writing will present readings of their work in December and May, including seniors who are completing a certificate in the program.

To learn more about the Program in Creative Writing, the Reading Series, and the more than 100 events offered annually by the Lewis Center visit princeton.edu/arts.

Photos Link:    https://lca.sharefile.com/d/s319e1f9e1ed4441b

Photo Caption 1: Poet Tom Sleigh, winner of the John Updike Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Kingsley Tufts Award

Photo Credit 1:    Photo by Annette Hornischer

Photo Caption 2:  Denis Johnson, author of several novels, plays, and books of verse, whose novel Tree of Smoke was the 2007 winner of the National Book Award.

Photo Credit 2: Photo by Cindy Johnson

 
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The Lewis Center for the Arts encompasses Princeton University’s academic programs in creative writing, dance, theater, and visual arts, as well as the interdisciplinary Princeton Atelier. The Center represents a major initiative of President Shirley M. Tilghman to fully embrace the arts as an essential part of the educational experience for all who study and teach at Princeton. Over 100 diverse public performances, exhibitions, readings, and lectures are offered each year, most of them free or at a nominal admission fee. For more information about the Lewis Center for the Arts visit princeton.edu/arts.

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