Event Announcement: Writing From Life, Sunday, September 11, at 4:00 PM


Writing from Life

A Memoir Festival

Sunday, September 11, at 4PM

The Lounge at Hudson View Gardens, Pinehurst Avenue at West 183rd Street


The Sunday Best Reading Series opens its 2011-2012 season on Sunday, September 11, with Writing From Life, an afternoon of memoir and remembrance. Dean Kostos and Phyllis Raphael are the featured readers for the program.  In keeping with Sunday Best’s goal of promoting emerging local writers, Northern-Manhattan residents Risa Hirsch Ehrlich and Bonnie Walker will also be reading from their work.

In the capable literary hands of writers such as Kostos and Raphael, memoir has the power to transform personal experience into something revelatory and relevant to readers of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.  As Richard Russo has noted, “the finest literary memoirs” ultimately reveal “the secret recesses where we most truly dwell. How alike we all are, down this deep.”  It is, perhaps, particularly appropriate to acknowledge and celebrate the power of individual life stories to unite and inspire us on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.  The afternoon’s program will begin with a short poetic tribute in honor of all lost on that day.

As usual, the reading will begin at 4:00 PM in The Lounge at Hudson View Gardens.  Suggested contribution is $7, which covers admission to the reading as well as free drinks and snacks at the after-reception where attendees will have a chance to mingle and meet the authors.


Dean Kostos

“An impassioned observer who sees beneath the surface to subterranean rivers, Kostos is attentive to the confluence of dark forces.” ―Rachel Hadas, poet

Dean Kostos

Dean Kostos’s books include: Rivering (forthcoming), Last Supper of the Senses, The Sentence That Ends with a Comma, and Celestial Rust. He co-edited Mama’s Boy: Gay Men Write about Their Mothers and edited Pomegranate Seeds: An Anthology of Greek-American Poetry. His work has appeared in Barrow Street, Boulevard, Chelsea, The Cincinnati Review, The Dos Passos Review, New Madrid Review, Southwest Review, Stand Magazine, Western Humanities Review, on Oprah Winfrey’s Web site Oxygen.com and elsewhere. His literary criticism has appeared on the Harvard UP Web site. He has taught at The City University of New York and The Gallatin School of NYU.


Phyllis Raphael

“Desperate urban comedy, ground in that fiery furnace, the human heart.” ―Seymour Krim, essayist

Phyllis Raphael

Phyllis Raphael has been writing memoir and personal essays since the 70’s when her fictionalized autobiographical pieces began appearing in The Village Voice.  Since then she has written for Harpers, Creative Non Fiction Magazine, Vogue, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The American Book Review, Oprah Magazine, CNN Living and the Norton anthology Seasons of Women. She is the author of a novel, They Got What They Wanted, and a memoir, Off The Kings Road: Lost and Found in London. She is the winner of  a PEN award for short fiction, has been a Pushcart Prize nominee and has been awarded three Yaddo Fellowships. She has taught memoir writing at NYU, The New School and at Columbia University where she is  member of the undergraduate writing faculty.


Risa Hirsch Ehrlich is a visual artist as well as a writer.  A retrospective of her ceramics can be seen at the  Berkshire Bank, corner of 187th St and Pinehurst Ave. She has previously read her work under the aegis of Above the Bridge at the Red Room.

Writer Bonnie Walker lives in Inwood. She has an A.B. in English and French from Bryn Mawr College, an M.Phil in English Literature from the CUNY Graduate Center, and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. She is currently working on a memoir and is the photographer and official blogger for the Sunday Best Reading Series.


Other Literary Events: Sunday Best Curator Patricia Eakins Reads in the Catskills, August 7, 7:30pm

Patricia Eakins, curator of the Sunday Best Reading Series, will be reading from her work alongside novelist Rilla Askew in Liberty, New York on August 7 at 7:30 p.m.  Eakins and Askew will be performing as part of the First Hearings Series held at the Liberty Free Theatre.  Admission is free.  The Liberty Free Theatre is located at 109 South Main Street in Liberty, New York.  For reservations and more information, call 845-292-3788.


Patricia Eakins, May 2011.


Patricia Eakins is the author of The Hungry Girl and Other Stories and The Marvelous Adventures of Pierre Baptiste (a novel) which won the NYU Press Prize for Fiction and the Capricorn Fiction Award of the Writer’s Voice. Her work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Parnassus, Conjunctions, Fiction International and The Paris Review, which awarded her the Aga Khan Prize.  Eakins is working on a novel and a collection of stories.


Rilla Askew received a 2009 Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  She’s the author of three novels and a book of stories, including an award-winning novel about the Tulsa Race Riot, Fire in Beulah. Her first novel,The Mercy Seat, was a finalist for the Pen-Faulkner Award. Her plays, short fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in a variety of venues, including Prize Stories: The O.Henry Awards, World Literature Today, Nimrod International Journal of Poetry and Prose.

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