Tag Archives: Michael Cunningham

Open Events at the 2014 Shasha Conference

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The directors of the Shasha Seminar for Basic Human Concerns this year invite you to their open events:

Saturday, April 5th:

10:00-11:30am: Interview of Michael Cunningham and Richard McCann by Faith Middleton of WNPR [Beckham Hall]

11:30-Noon: Reading by Richard McCann [Beckham Hall]

4:00-4:30pm: Reading by science fiction writer Sam Delany [Beckham Hall]

8pm: Michael Cunningham Reading and Talk [Memorial Chapel]

All open events are free. We hope to see you there!

The Shapiro Creative Writing Center Exists

Email irode[at]wesleyan[dot]edu with a FABULOUS NAME for  animal-cracker-filled bear-- and like the Shapiro FB page-- and if your name is the best, you'll win a prize!

Like the Shapiro FB page and message us with a FABULOUS NAME for animal-cracker-filled bear and if your entry is the best, you’ll win a prize! [You can like the Shapiro Center on Facebook to stay updated here.] —Professor Bloom

In 2009, two alums, Shonni Silverberg ’76 and John Shapiro ’74 donated approximately one shit-ton (followed by another $3 million pledge last year march) to establish the Shapiro Creative Writing Center at Wesleyan. We should all send them a thank-you note, because even though a young entity on campus, the Shapiro Center is wonderful. In regard to the second gift:

“We were gratified that the university moved quickly and got this program launched and established,” Shapiro said. “I’ve had good feedback from people both at Wesleyan and elsewhere. It has generated a bit of a buzz.”

Bit of a buzz, yes. Enough of a buzz, no. More on what you can do at Shapiro after the jump!

Michael Cunningham Masters Class


The incredible Amy Bloom ’76 and less-so-but-working-on-it Izzy Rode ’14 at the Shapiro Creative Writing Center are excited to announce:

Apply for a masters class with Michael Cunningham this spring!

Michael Cunningham is the author of the novels A Home at the End of the WorldFlesh and BloodThe Hours (winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award & Pulitzer Prize), Specimen Days, and By Nightfall, as well as the non-fiction book, Land’s End: A Walk in Provincetown. His next book, The Snow Queen, comes out in May, 2014. He lives in New York, and teaches at Yale University and now is offering a series of Master Classes, 2.5 hours on 3 Wednesday nights at 167 High Street, Shapiro Center for Creative Writing. Dinner will follow after the first and third class. Space is limited to 12 students; seats will be filled on a rolling basis.

The dates are as follows:
February 5th
March 5th
April 16th

No fee, no credit–just extraordinary honor and opportunity.

Application Requirements:
A cover letter: why you want to take this class and two books you have loved–and why.
Fiction sample (No more than 10 pages)
Must have taken at least one fiction-writing workshop previously.
Must commit to attending all 3 workshops. No exceptions.
Please send these documents to Amy Bloom at amy[at]amybloom[dot]com, no later than November 18.

Cunningham Takes Off the Kid Gloves; Remains Charming, Avuncular

Like a boss

In the introduction to his New Yorker fiction podcast reading of Denis Johnson’s “Emergency,” famed “dirty realist” Toby Wolff remarked that the story is one known by “every person who fancies herself literate that I’m acquainted with”. I’d submit that any Wesleyan student who considers hirself literate was surely aware of, if not greatly enthused by, the presence of Pulitzer-winning author Michael Cunningham on campus last week. At a reading in Memorial Chapel last Wednesday, Cunningham rattled off a charmingly hurried analysis of the development of the English novel (one could not help but notice the particular attention to his modernist forebears) and proceeded to preview an excerpt from “Sleepless”, a yet unfinished novel ostensibly centered around the peregrinations of two drug-addled youths and their quest for greater self-location.

Notwithstanding an interruption caused by the absence of a page from his manuscript, Cunningham read splendidly.

The Argus published a wonderful account of Cunningham’s chapel evening, but touched only briefly on his master class talks. I was lucky enough to attend one hosted in the Shapiro Center last Friday morning, and happened to record some of his more flavorful remarks.

I’ve culled a few for y’allz enjoyment: