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Writers in Paradise Conference Readings Held Nightly Through Jan. 27

posted on 01/21/2007

Tom Perrotta kicks off the Writers in Paradise evening reading series with his book-to-film, "Little Children."

Photo by Slobodan Juric '08
Dennis Lehane, (Mystic River), Tom Perrotta (Little Children), and David Simon, writer and producer of HBO's The Wire, are just a few of the top names appearing for free evening readings as part of the Third Annual Writers in Paradise Conference held January 20-28 at Eckerd College. All readings are scheduled from 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. in Miller Auditorium. Authors' books will be available for purchase before and after each program. Please note that speakers are subject to change.

Writers in Paradise Evening Readings
8:00-9:00 p.m., Miller Auditorium

Jan. 20 - Tom Perrotta
Jan. 21 - Les Standiford and Sterling Watson
Jan. 22 - Beth Ann Fennelly and Laura Lippman
Jan. 23 - Tom Franklin and Thisbe Nissen
Jan. 25 - David Simon
Jan. 26 - Roland Merullo and Peter Meinke
Jan. 27 - Dennis Lehane, "Best Of" Nominees announced

Saturday, Jan. 20
Tom Perrotta is the author of Bad Haircut, The Wishbones, JoeCollege, and Little Children. His novel, Election, became the film, Election, starring Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick. Perrotta also worked with Todd Field on the adaptation of Little Children, which has been made into a major motion picture and received multiple nominations for a Golden Globe Award.

Sunday, Jan. 21
Les Standiford is the author of the novels Spill; Done Deal; Raw Deal; Deal to Die For; Deal on Ice; Presidential Deal; Black; Deal With the Dead; the e-book, Opening Day; Havana Run; Bone Key; and the nonfiction works Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean and Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America. He is currently Director of the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University in Miami.

Sterling Watson, co-director of the Writers in Paradise Conference, is the author of five novels: Weep No More My Brother; The Calling; Blind Tongues; Deadly Sweet; and Sweet Dream Baby. Weep No More My Brother was nominated for the Rosenthal Award given annually by the National Academy Institute of Arts and Letters. He is Director of the Creative Writing Program at Eckerd College.

Monday, Jan. 22
Beth Ann Fennelly received a 2003 National Endowment for the Arts Award. Her book Open House won The 2001 Kenyon Review Prize for a First Book and the GLCA New Writers Award. Tender Hooks, was published in April 2004, followed by a book of essays, Great With Child. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi and lives in Oxford, Mississippi.

Laura Lippman was a newspaper reporter at the Baltimore Sun for twelve years. Her Tess Monaghan novels No Good Deeds, By a Spider's Thread, The Last Place, The Sugar House, Baltimore Blues, Charm City, Butchers Hill, and In Big Trouble have won the Edgar, Agatha, Shamus, Anthony, and Nero Wolfe Awards, and In a Strange City was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Tuesday, Jan. 23
Tom Franklin is the author of the story collection, Poachers, and the novels, Hell at the Breech and Smonk. Recipient of a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship, Franklin has published in The Georgia Review; Oxford American; New Stories from the South: (1999 and 2005); and Best American Mystery Stories of the Century.

Thisbe Nissen is the author of the story collection, Out of the Girls' Room and Into the Night, and two novels, The Good People of New York and Osprey Island. She also co-authored The Ex-Boyfriend Cookbook. Her work has been published in Story, Story Quarterly, The Virginia Quarterly, Seventeen, Vogue, and Glamour, and has taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Iowa Elderhostel, and at the Iowa Young Writers' Studio, a camp for talented teenage writers.

Thursday, Jan. 25
David Simon is a Baltimore-based author, journalist and writer-producer of television specializing in criminal justice and urban issues. Simon wrote Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, which received an Edgar Award and was the basis for NBC's award-winning drama HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET for which he worked as a writer, and later a producer. His work on HOMICIDE earned him an Emmy, WGA Award, and a Humanities Award. With Ed Burns he co-authored the New York Times Notable Book, The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood. He co-wrote and produced HBO’s THE CORNER. The series won him an Emmy in 2000 for the year's best miniseries. He is currently writing and producing HBO's highly acclaimed series, THE WIRE.

Friday, Jan. 26
Roland Merullo is the author of A Little Love Story; Golfing with God; Leaving Losapas; A Russian Requiem; and Revere Beach Boulevard, which was a finalist for the 1998 PEN New England/L.L. Winship Prize. He has taught writing and literature at Bennington College since 1993.

The Contracted World is Peter Meinke's 14th book of poems, and 7th in the prestigious Pitt Poetry Series, which includes Zinc Fingers, Scars, and Liquid Paper. His poetry has received many awards, including 2 NEA Fellowships and 3 prizes from the Poetry Society of America. He directed the Writing Workshop at Eckerd College for many years, and has often been writer-in-residence at other colleges and universities; from 2003 through 2005 he held the Darden Chair in Creative Writing at Old Dominion University.

Saturday, Jan. 27
Dennis Lehane, co-director of the Writers in Paradise Conference and 1988 Eckerd grad, has written seven novels (A Drink Before the War; Darkness, Take My Hand; Sacred; Gone Baby Gone; Prayers for Rain; Mystic River; Shutter Island) and the collection of short stories, Coronado. Mystic River was a finalist for the PEN/Winship Award and won both the Anthony Award and the Barry Award for Best Novel as well as the Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction given by the Massachusetts Center for the Book, and was made into an Academy Award winning film starring Sean Penn and directed by Clint Eastwood.

For more information about the Writers in Paradise Conference, visit www.writersinparadise.com or call 727-864-7994.

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