Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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The 2008 Emerging Writers Festival

The Emerging Writers Festival at Franklin & Marshall College is a three-day celebration of the work of talented and promising younger American writers. Each year, the Festival brings five fine younger writers to campus all at once for three days, giving them opportunities to mix often and informally with students and with one another.

2008 marks the seventh year of the Festival, which has grown into a treasured tradition at the College and a nationally recognized honor for the writers who are invited to participate. This year’s Festival runs from April 9-13 2008 and features poets Ilya Kaminsky and Remica Bingham, non-fiction writers Rachel DeWoskin and Emily Rapp, and fiction writer Jess Row.

The Emerging Writers Festival is generously supported by Richard and Edna Hausman, parents of a Franklin & Marshall graduate and tireless and generous supporters of the arts at the College.

2008 Writers

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Remica L. Bingham, a native of Phoenix, Arizona, received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing and Literature from the Writing Seminars at Bennington College. She has attended the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshops and is a Cave Canem fellow. In addition to other journals, her work has been featured in 5 AM, New Letters, PMS, Crab Orchard Review, Gulf Coast, Mosaic, and Essence. She is the recipient of the 2005 Hughes, Diop, Knight Poetry Award and was nominated for a 2005 Pushcart Prize. Her first book of poetry, Conversion, won the 2007 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award and was published by Lotus Press. Currently, she is working on a book of interviews with African American poets and has recently completed her second book of poetry, What We Ask of Flesh. She resides in Norfolk, Virginia where she serves as the Writing Competency Coordinator at Norfolk State University.

Read a few of Remica Bingham's poems from her collection Conversion


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Rachel DeWoskin is the author of Foreign Babes in Beijing (W.W. Norton, 2005), which has been published in five countries and is being developed as a feature film by Paramount Pictures. Her novel, Aysha's English, is forthcoming in 2008. Rachel holds a BA from Columbia University in English and an MFA from Boston University in poetry. She has published poems in magazines including Ploughshares, Seneca Review, The New Delta Review, and Nerve Magazine, and non-fiction in the Sunday Times Magazine of London, Conde Nast Traveler, Departures, Teachers & Writers Magazine and Wanderlust, an anthology by Thundersmouth Press. Her awards include an American Academy of Poets Award and a Bread Loaf Writer's Conference Fellowship. She is the Associate Poetry Editor at Agni Magazine, and an artist in residence at Teachers & Writers. She teaches creative writing at New York University. 

Read an excerpt from Rachel DeWoskin's memoir Foreign Babes in Beijing


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Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former Soviet Union in 1977, and arrived in the United States in 1993 when his family was granted asylum by the American government. Ilya is the author of Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004) which won the Whiting Writer's Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Metcalf Award, the Dorset Prize, and the Ruth Lilly Fellowship given annually by Poetry magazine. Dancing in Odessa was also named the Best Poetry Book of the Year 2004 by ForeWord Magazine.

Ilya has served as a Writer In Residence at Phillips Exeter Academy and has taught poetry at numerous literary centers. Ilya has also worked as a Law Clerk at the National Immigration Law Center, and more recently at Bay Area Legal Aid, helping impoverished and homeless in solving their legal difficulties.

In addition, Ilya writes poetry in Russian. His work in that language was chosen for "Bunker Poetico" at the Venice Bienial Festival in Italy. In the late 1990s, he co-founded Poets for Peace, an organization which sponsors poetry readings in the United States and abroad with a goal of supporting such relief organizations as Doctors Without Borders and Survivors International. 

He teaches Contemporary World Poetry and Literary Translation in the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing at San Diego State University.

This year, he is also the 2007-2008 Writer-in-Residence at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He lives in San Diego, Califonia with his beautiful wife, Katie Farris.

Read a few of Ilya Kaminsky's poems from his collection Dancing in Odessa


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Emily Rapp is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir (BloomsburyUSA), which was released in paperback this year. A former Fulbright scholar, she was educated at Harvard University, St. Olaf College, Trinity College-Dublin, and the University of Texas at Austin where she was a James A. Michener Fellow in Fiction and Poetry. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Jentel Arts Foundation, the Fine Arts Work Center, and Bucknell University, where she was the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence. Her work has appeared in The Sun, Narrative, StoryQuarterly, Good Housekeeping, Fitness, Body + Soul, the Cimarron Review, the Bellevue Literary Review, the Los Angeles Times and other journals. She teaches writing and literature in the M.F.A. program at Antioch University-Los Angeles.

Read an excerpt from Emily Rapp's memoir Poster Child


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Jess Row was born in 1974 in Washington, DC. After graduating from Yale in 1997, he taught English for two years as a Yale-China fellow at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He completed an MFA at the University of Michigan in 2001. His first book, The Train to Lo Wu, a collection of short stories set in Hong Kong, was published in 2005; in 2006 it was shortlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Award and a finalist for the Kiriyama Prize. In 2007 he was named a "Best Young American Novelist" by Granta magazine.

His stories have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Ploughshares, Granta, American Short Fiction, The Atlantic, Threepenny Review, Five Chapters, Ontario Review, Harvard Review, and elsewhere, and have been anthologized twice in the Best American Short Stories. He has also received a Pushcart Prize, an NEA fellowship in fiction, and a Whiting Writer's Award. His nonfiction and criticism has appeared in Slate, Kyoto Journal, and The New York Times Book Review. He is currently at work on a new collection of short stories and a novel set in Laos during the Vietnam War.

Row is an assistant professor of English at the College of New Jersey, and lives in Princeton, New Jersey, with his wife, Sonya Posmentier, and daughter Mina. A longtime student in the Kwam Um School of Zen, he was ordained a dharma teacher in 2004.

Read an excerpt from Jess Row's short story "The Train to Lo Wu" from his collection The Train to Lo Wu

2008 Schedule

Wednesday, April 9, 2008  

Opening Night Reading featuring RACHEL DeWOSKIN & ILYA KAMINSKY
8:00 PM
Green Room Theater

Opening Night Post-Reading Reception
9:30 PM
Philadelphia Alumni Writers House  

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Craft Class led by ILYA KAMINSKY
10:30 AM
Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Lunch (as part of craft talk)
11:45 AM
Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Craft Class led by RACHEL DeWOSKIN
12:00 PM
Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Craft Class led by JESS ROW
4:30 PM
Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Second Night Reading featuring JESS ROW, REMICA BINGHAM, and EMILY RAPP
8:00 PM
Green Room Theater

Second Night Post-Reading Reception
9:45 PM
Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Friday, April 11, 2008

Craft Class led by REMICA BINGHAM
10:00 AM
Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Craft Class led by EMILY RAPP
11:15 AM
Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Lunch with our writers
12:15 PM
Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Panel Discussion with all the Emerging Writers
1:00 PM
Philadelphia Alumni Writers House

Bye-Bye Barbecue
4:30 PM
Philadelphia Alumni Writers House