Festival Brings New Literary Voices to Ithaca College

By David Maley, April 4, 2017

Festival Brings New Literary Voices to Ithaca College

Eight writers at the beginning stages of their burgeoning literary careers will share fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays and screenwriting with the campus and local communities as part of the New Voices Festival being held at Ithaca College April 5–7.

The festival is distinguished by the involvement of undergraduates at every stage of planning and implementation, and by the range of readings, panels and class visits that make up the three-day program.

All of the events listed below are free and open to the public.

“The Short Short,” a set of brief readings from their works by the eight participating authors.
5 p.m., Buffalo Street Books, DeWitt Mall, 215 N Cayuga Street

“Writing in the Age of Trump,” a panel discussion with the eight participating authors.
Noon, room 301, Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise 

“Writing in and of the South,” a panel discussion with Lauren Slaughter, Chanelle Benz, Allen Gee and Chaitali Sen.
2:30 p.m., Handwerker Gallery, Gannett Center

Original music compositions by Ithaca College students Jason Eldridge and Parker Callister based on the work of Lauren Slaughter (“Syringe Training,” “Home Visit”) and Debora Kuan (“Glacier”).
4:30 p.m., Handwerker Gallery, Gannett Center

Readings from their works by Debora Kuan, Chanelle Benz, Yewande Omotoso and Bob Proehl.
5 p.m., Handwerker Gallery, Gannett Center

“Intersextion: At the Crossroads of Gender and Sexuality,” a panel discussion with Yewande Omotoso, Debora Kuan, Bob Proehl and Chaitali Sen.
11 a.m., Handwerker Gallery, Gannett Center

“Anxiety and Exhilaration: My First Time,” a panel discussion with Allen Gee, Chanelle Benz, Nick Gandiello, Lauren Slaughter, Bob Proehl and Yewande Omotoso.
2 p.m., room 301, Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise

Readings from their works by Lauren Slaughter, Chaitali Sen and Allen Gee.
5 p.m., Handwerker Gallery, Gannett Center

Staged reading of 2008 Ithaca College graduate Nick Gandiello’s “The Blameless,” a play about trauma and forgiveness.
6:30 p.m., Handwerker Gallery, Gannett Center.

This year’s participating authors are:

•Chanelle Benz, the author of “The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead,” the recipient of an O. Henry Prize whose fiction has appeared in Guernica, Granta.com and The American Reader.

•Yewande Omotoso, a 2015 Miles Morland Scholar whose debut novel “Bomboy” won the South African Literary Award First Time Author Prize and was shortlisted for the Etisalat Prize for Literature.

•Chaitali Sen, a longtime elementary school teacher who is the author of “The Pathless Sky” and whose stories, essays and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in New England Review, Colorado Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Brooklyn Magazine and Los Angeles Review of Books, among other journals.

•Bob Proehl, currently a columnist and reviewer for the arts and culture site PopMatters.com, who has worked as a bookseller and programming director for Ithaca’s Buffalo Street Books and was a 2012 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Fiction and a 2013 resident at the Saltonstall Arts Colony.

•Debora Kuan, the author of “XING” and “Lunch Portraits,” who has won a U.S. Fulbright creative writing fellowship and University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop Graduate Merit Fellowship and whose fiction and poetry have appeared in American Letters and Commentary, Atlas Review, Boston Review and New American Writing.

•Nick Gandiello ’08, a playwright, screenwriter and teaching artist who serves as associate artistic director of Writopia Lab’s Worldwide Plays Festival and whose plays include “The Blameless,” “Oceanside,” “The Wedge Horse” and “Sunrise Highway.”

•Allen Gee, professor of English and director of the MFA/Creative Writing Program at Georgia College and editor of 2040 Books — a multicultural imprint in partnership with SFWP— and the author of the essay collection “My Chinese-America” and the forthcoming novel “The Iron Road.”

•Lauren Slaughter, assistant professor of English at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, who is the author of the poetry collection “a lesson in smallness,” which was a finalist for the Rousseau Prize for Literature and the Eric Hoffer Award in poetry.

The New Voices Festival is a collaborative effort of the Departments of Writing and English, with support from the Department of Theatre Arts, School of Humanities and Sciences, and Roy H. Park School of Communications. For more information, visit www.ithacanewvoicesfestival.com