100 Thousand Poets for Change Open Mic


The WH House 100 Thousand Poets for Change Global 2014 Event Reading was one of 650 events that occurred internationally on September 27th.

At WH, a broad poetic spectrum of poetry, including slam, hip-hop,experimental, free verse and rhymed was presented by sixteen readers: Catherine Twomey, Bill Prindle, Erika Castillo, Mary Burns, Tom Brown, Fred Maus, Joanna Lee, William Sypher, Fred Wilbur, Sigrid Mirabella, Jamie Reaser, Jason Kirkey, James McDowell, Patsy Ascuncion, Susan Shafarzek, and Polly Lazaron — Writer House 100 Thousand Poets for Change Event Volunteer Coordinator.

How to Speak to the Dead with Poet TJ Jarrett: Historical Narrative as Lyric

2013-12-13-1-JarrettOn December 13, 2013, award-winning poet TJ Jarrett discussed her book Ain’t No Grave, and ways of entering the historical poem as means to a greater understanding of history, as well as the pitfalls of inserting the self into the historical moment. Thanks to our moderator, poet Amy Woolard.

WriterHouse: The Risks and Rewards of Writing What You Don’t Know with Josh Weil

2014-07-27-1On July 27, 2014, author Josh Weil talked to UVA Slavic studies professor Andrew D. Kaufman about the challenges, both internal and external, of breaking far away from yourself in your fiction, and the ways in which doing so can bring you closer to your core project at the same time. He also discussed his relationship with Russian culture and his current fascination with humanity’s efforts to bring light into darkness.

Always a Stranger: The Poetry of Refugees and Others on the Margins

Cecilia_LlompartOn May 22nd, 2014 Cecilia Llompart discussed her new book The Wingless and explored what it meant to be an artist, specifically that it may require feeling you’re on the “outside” at one point or other in your life. The discussion went into whether differing languages have different beauties, and what it’s like to live as an artist and to attempt to make a living as an artist.

Cecilia Llompart was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Florida. Her first collection, The Wingless, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in the spring of 2014. She is the recipient of two awards from the Academy of American Poets, and her poems have appeared inTriQuarterly, The Caribbean Writer, poets.org, and other journals. Most recently, she served as guest editor for Matter: A Journal of Political Poetry and Commentary, and she will be teaching high school students while serving as chair of creative writing for BLUR: The Blue Ridge Summer Institute for Young Artists in June 2014.


WriterHouse: From the Page to the Stage with James Magruder

James Magruder reading from his novel, Let Me See It, at WriterHouse
James Magruder reading from his novel, Let Me See It, at WriterHouse

On June 26, 2014, James Magruder, who started his first short story in 2001 after sixteen years in show business as a dramaturg, translator, and musical book writer, discusses of his new story collection, Let Me See It, and how his career in professional theatre has both warped and enhanced his writing. Thanks to our moderator, Gare Gailbraith

WriterHouse: Finding the True Story Behind the Myth: Dean King on the Hatfields and the McCoys

On February 6, 2014, Dean King, author of The Feud, talked with Henry Wiencek (author of Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves) about the interaction of myth and history and how to write about events and people that are already larger than life. Members of both the Hatfield and McCoy families were in the audience.

WriterHouse: Writing the Cross-Genre Novel with Alma Katsu

What happens when your novel doesn’t fit in one genre? What are the perils–and opportunities–of writing a book that defies categorization? Is there a marketplace for cross-genre books? On June 14, 2012, Alma Katsu, author of The Taker Trilogy (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster), talked with mystery author Meredith Cole about fundamentals of storytelling, breaking the rules, and winning over readers of all stripes.

Alma Katsu is the author of The Taker and The Reckoning. The Taker was selected by the American Library Association/Booklist as one of the top ten debut novels of 2011, and translation rights have sold in a dozen languages. She is a graduate (MA) of the Johns Hopkins writing program and an alumna of the Squaw Valley Writers Conference.


WriterHouse: From Blog Posts to One-Woman Show

On Wednesday, June 13, 2012, playwright DeeDee Stewart and WriterHouse member Elizabeth Derby discussed Stewart’s journey from blog posts about her southern childhood to the international premiere of her one-woman show “Dirty Barbie and Other Girlhood Tales” at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She talked about the process of turning scenes from her life into a sold-out show.