New Leaves Writers' Conference 2017

New Leaves Writers' Conference 2017

Readings, panels, and presentations highlight the 2017 New Leaves Festival, hosted by the Creative Writing Program at George Mason University. Except as noted, all events are open to the public and take place at locations on Mason’s Fairfax, VA, campus.


Monday, April 3

7:30 p.m. — Fiction writer Laura van den Berg, author of the novel Find Me, selected as a Best Book by NPR, and the story collections What The World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us and The Isle of Youth, reads from her work as part of Mason’s Visiting Writers series. Research Building, Room 163.


Tuesday, April 4

7:30 p.m — Nonfiction writer Mike Scalise, an alum of Mason’s MFA program and author of The Brand New Catastrophe, reads from his work as part of Mason’s Visiting Writers series. Scalise’s new book explores his experiences after a ruptured pituitary tumor leaves him with the hormone disorder acromegaly and forces him to navigate the world of illness. Research Building, Room 163.


Wednesday, April 5

10 a.m.-5 p.m. —The Alan Cheuse International Writers Center joins The Center for the Art of Translation to present the inaugural “Day of Translation,” with panels on topics including “Contemporary Spanish Literature,” “Translation as a Political Act,” “The Art of Translation,” and “The Literature of Asylum.” Writers and translators appearing include: Kareem Abdulrahman, Karen Emmerich, Bruce Felton, Katrine Jensen, Roy Kesey, Khet Mar, Soledad Marambio, Howard Norman, and Sergio Weismann. Also supported by Mason’s Departments of Global Affairs and Modern and Classical Languages. Merten Hall, Room 1203

2 p.m. — Award-winning poet and Episcopal priest Spencer Reece introduces and discusses a screening of the film Voices Beyond the Wall: Twelve Love Poems from the Murder Capital of the World, inspired by Reece's work on a Fulbright grant to teach poetry to girls in the Honduras orphanage Our Little Roses. Rescued from the streets of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, the murder capital of the world, these orphaned girls find their voices in poetry as they heal traumas of their past and prepare to transition into an uncertain future. Research Building, Room 163.

4:30 p.m. — Karen Emmerich, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Princeton University and author of the forthcoming book Literary Translation and the Making of Originals, offers the keynote speech for the Day of Translation. Merten Hall, Room 1203

7:30 p.m. — Mason English professor Helon Habila speaks about his new book, The Chibok Girls: The Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria, which explores the 2014 kidnapping of 267 girls from the Chibok Secondary School in the context of northern Nigeria's religious wars. Habila’s talk follows a reading by Linda Chavers, whose prose chapbook (This Fucking Body Is) Never Yours won the editor’s choice award from Gazing Grain Press, sponsored by Mason’s Fall for the Book Festival. Fenwick Library, Reading Room, Second Floor.


Thursday, April 6

7:30 p.m.—Poet Spencer Reece, whose debut collection The Clerk’s Tale was chosen for the Bakeless Poetry Prize by Louise Glück and whose collection The Road to Emmaus was a finalist for the National Book Award, reads from his work as part of Mason’s Visiting Writers series. Chaplain to the bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church in Spain, Reece won a 2012 Fulbright to work on collaborative writing with orphanage children in Honduras. His work there was the basis for the recent documentary film Voices Beyond the Wall (see Wednesday events). Grand Tier III, Center for the Arts


Friday, April 7

Throughout the day (by appointment only) — Literary agents at Folio Literary Management in New York, who have worked closely with the Mason creative writing program for years, will hold pitch appointments with current students and alumni. English Department Conference Room and Lounge, Robinson Hall, Fourth Floor

4:30 p.m. — Loud Fire, the graduate student reading series for Mason’s creative writing program, hosts a reading by Mason MFA students and a reception.  Epicure Café, 11104 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA