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Susan Stinson

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May 9th, 2015

07:26 pm: Trustees Award Saturday May 30 2 pm
Here is the press release about the ceremony for the Trustees Award at Forbes Library.

I'm getting it this year! It's the Twenty-eighth time they're presenting it. It's a sweet thing to be honored by our local public library I'm reading, and so is Diana Gordon, who was the first Writer in Residence, and Naila Moreira, who is the next one. I'm stepping down as Writer in Residence in June.

If you live nearby, it would be lovely if you could come.

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April 3rd, 2015

05:40 pm: Last Waltz: Events Coming Up at Forbes Library
I know I'm going to miss being part of the flurry of events when I step down as Writer in Residence at Forbes in early June.

In the next eight weeks, though, I'm involved in five events at the library. They are all special to me, and they constitute kind of a big send-off. Since there are so many of them, I thought it would be nice to list them all in one place. You'll be hearing more from me about them, too. Please

They are:

Wednesday, April 8, 7 pm: Shays's Rebellion with Constance Congdon, Dan Bullen, and Richard Colton

This is a Local History/Local Novelist series event that features an incredibly accomplished playwright who has written a play about the Shays's Rebellion, a very passionate poet who has recently finished an epic poem about Shays's Rebellion, and the Park Historian at the Springfield Armory, which the 18th century farmers and ex-soldiers tried to take over. It's the last event in the five year series that has the frisson people who work in such different ways.

Wednesday, April 22, 7 pm: Lambda Literary Awards Finalists reading with Sally Bellerose, M.B. Caschetta, Judith Frank and Lenelle Moise.

Amazing queer writers, all of them with work up for a Lambda Literary Award this year. I'm moderating this one. What could be more fantastic than that?

Wednesday, May 6, 7 pm: Celebration of Local Novelist with Ellen Meeropol, John Clayton, M.B. Caschetta, and Alex Myers

This is the very last reading the in the Local History/Local Novelist series I've been running for five years, and I kind of emotional about it. I've loved getting to do this series. This one is full of wonderful novelists. I'm going to try not to try. Please do come and send the series off right, if you can!

Saturday, May 30, 2 pm, Trustees' Award: I'm receiving the award for my work as Writer in Residence. I'll be reading at the event with Writer in Residence Emeritus Diana Gordon and the incoming Writer in Residence, who will be announced soon. (Scroll down at that link.) It would be so fantastic to see my friends there.

Such a lovely honor.

Wednesday, June 3, 7 pm, Writing Room Reading.

The Writing Room, meets Wednesday and Saturdays, to write. Anyone is welcome to join us! This is the reading in which everyone who has been working with us over the past year and wants to read briefly before a warm audience does. It's great. After this, I'm taking the summer off, then I'll be back running the Writing Room in the fall.

It's important to note that the library is currently installing a new elevator to improve accessibility, but it's not accessible while that work is being done. Call ahead to ask about accessibility, because I don't know when the work will be finished, but it's stairs only right now.

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April 2nd, 2015

12:00 pm: Rain Taxi: Spider in a Tree review
This is truly a lovely thing: a thoughtful, appreciative review of Spider in a Tree in the wonderful Rain Taxi Review. I love the nuances of the insight into the characters:

"The characters have a complicated relationship with religion, the ruling force of their lives—to them, the spiritual is more real and important than the physical."

This makes me so happy:

"This combination of 'absence, presence, and consolation' motivates the complicated inner lives of these well-realized characters, whose psyches Stinson explores in empathetic and satisfying depth."

Here's to empathetic and satisfying depth! It's something I love so much when I read a novel, so it feels great to have this reviewer see this in mine.

Read the whole review here.

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January 29th, 2015

01:00 pm: Canisius College Reading


Leah & Sarah: Imagining the Inner Lives of African & English Women in Puritan New England

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January 1st, 2015

01:30 pm: Practice
Loving yourself isn't a thing a person learns how to do once and is done with it. It's a walk, a dance, a trike ride. The terrain changes. Aging changes us. Experiences do. Maybe just try to cultivate a practice of turning an honest, tender, perceptive eye on yourself, as you might on anyone else you love? Maybe try to look as tenderly and intently at other beings, other things, take in other worlds, too?

Happy new year.

(This started as a comment on facebook, and moved out from there.)

December 12th, 2014

01:48 pm: Stepping Down as Writer in Residence at Forbes in June
0144 300dpi (2)(Photo: Jeep Wheat)
I'm stepping down as Writer in Residence at Forbes Library in June. It has been an enormous pleasure to do this work for five years. After taking the summer off, I plan to keep running the writing rooms as a writer in residence emeritus(!).

This means, though, that the current season of the Local History/Local Novelists series -- an idea that I offered to the library when we started exploring whether it would work for me to be writer in residence there -- is my last. I won't be running the Writing Life discussion series in the summer any more, either. The library is in the process of developing a job description for a new writer-in-residence, and will be making an announcement about that, most likely in January. I'm not part of the process of finding a replacement. I'll be busy finishing this season, working on my new novel, working with writing coaching and editing clients, and taking on other opportunities, including teaching, as they arise.

Yay for all of the great writing and experiences over this five years! Thank you for being a part of it.  Yay for whatever comes next!

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December 7th, 2014

02:45 pm: The Blue Guitar
Cold, rainy last night, and who knew if the roads would turn slick. So, not a big crowd at the Blue Guitar, but it was such a good night. I love stories and music on a winter's night. This music, these stories were perfect for the moment for me. Bill O'Haire and Dan Levy were great. Jeep Wheat  took pictures (gift!), so I expect I'll post some later. I read new, new work, which, in some way, started to make the fact that I'm writing a new novel seem real to me. (That makes me take a deep breath.) Ended with a short piece about JE and a crow feather from Spider in a Tree which I've read many times. This time, though. Christie Svane, who organized the event, followed the short piece by doing a response to it in movement while folks from the audience called out images that had struck them from the piece. It was lovely, and for me, so emotional and moving, to see my work take on three dimensions in the body and voices of others.

Dan Levy Blue Guitar photo by Jeep WheatChristie Svane Blue Guitar photo by Jeep Wheat.Susan Stinson Blue Guitar photo by Jeep WheatBill O"Haire Blue Guitar photo by Jeep Wheat

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November 26th, 2014

12:28 pm: Mollie and Bill, Singing
My mom and dad have been married sixty years on Thanksgiving Day. I wrote this piece about them to read to the extended family at our family reunion last July, but the acoustics in the barbecue place made me think it would be impossible for folks to hear me read, so I just read it to a small group at our table. Marriage isn't a relationship model that works for everyone, but their marriage is a gorgeous thing. Here is the short essay in honor of them as they celebrate their life together for all of those years.

Read more...Collapse )


November 17th, 2014

06:06 pm: December 6 Blue Guitar Reading
I'll be reading with Dan Levy, with Bill O'Haire playing guitar and Christie Svane dancing at the Blue Guitar in Easthampton at 7:30, December 6. Flyer after the cut.  More at the link.

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October 29th, 2014

11:41 pm: Galway Kinnell
I eat oatmeal alone almost every morning. Right now, I'm listening to a recording of Galway Kinnell reading with his grandchildren for Paris Press in Ashfield last summer.   It's an amazing gift of a reading. He reads so many amazing poems: Wait, Oatmeal, St. Francis and the Sow.  (Oh, I've loved that poem so much for so long.)  When he reads The Lake Isle at Innisfree by Yeats -- I will arise and go now, oh, the pull of that  bee-loud glade is so strong. And I will I will thinking of him, with him, inviting him and wishing him -- what? -- safe passage, what other times called a good death, over my oatmeal many mornings to come.

Oatmeal by Galway Kinnell

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