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Unterberg Poetry Center

Welcome to the seventh issue of Podium! In this issue, we've culled students from our 2009 summer and fall writing workshops and we are proud to present the 20 (yes, 20!), amazing writers for our biggest issue to date.

The 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center's Writing Program offers writers, from first-time to seasoned, the opportunity to take workshops with well-known authors that range from fiction, poetry, nonfiction, playwriting, literary seminars and advanced level creative writing workshops. At the end of each semester, students are selected to be published in Podium magazine and showcase their work.

The featured artist in this issue is Tiffini Swanston, a photographer whose great eye captures the smallest details in her subjects and brings them to a larger perspective of appreciation. We're very honored to have her work featured here.

We hope you enjoy the issue, and don't forget to check out the upcoming readings and classes the Poetry Center has to offer!

Sign up for the Poetry Center's eNews and learn about new events, discounts and exclusive specials for eNews subscribers.


Atrophy—Jonathan Parks-Ramage 
Selected by Meg Wolitzer's Fiction Workshop

Ochkarik—Vladimir A. Kleyman 
Selected by Darin Strauss' Advanced Fiction Workshop

The Harmonicaman—Ankur Parikh 
Selected by Sandra Newman's Fiction Workshop

CIRCUMFLEX—Lisa Maguire 
Selected by Chris Sorrentino's Fiction Workshop

Stage Fright—Holly Woodward 
Selected from Rafi Zabor's Advanced Fiction Workshop

Night Call—Arlene Heyman 
Selected from Sigrid Nunez Fiction Workshop

The Encounter—Camila Santos 
Selected from Rafi Zabor's Advanced Fiction Workshop

The Dinner Party—Rachael K. Combe 
Selected by Stephen Wright's Novel Workshop


Devotional—Melissa Ahart 
Selected by Marie Ponsot's Poetry Thesis Workshop

excerpt from 'Aina Waipahu: a history—Helen Dano 
Selected from Cornelius Eady's Summer Poetry Workshop

Without Guardrails—Patricia Behrens 
Selected from Emily Fragos' Poetry Workshop

show you love her—Ana C. H. Silva 
Selected by Sharon Dolin's Poetry Workshop

She Wonders Why Bomb Light Leaves No Trees—Maya-Catherine Popa 
Selected by Brenda Shaughnessy's Poetry Workshop

TORSO—Bo Niles 
Selected by Rachel Hadas' Poetry Workshop

The Reckoner—K. Hazzard 
Selected by David Yezzi's Poetry Workshop

Turn Off the Lights—Suzanna Best 
Selected by Rachel Zucker's Poetry Workshop


Moo. Moo. Moo.—Susan Knox 
Selected by Hettie Jones's Nonfiction Workshop


Excerpt from The Garage—Jennifer Clare Stuckert 
Selected from Han Ong's Playwriting Workshop

Scene from THE WALKER—Carla Hoke Miller 
Selected by Han Ong's Playwriting Workshop


The Housesitter—Carrie Cooperider 
Selected by Patty Marx's Humor Writing Workshop

About the Instructors

Sharon Dolin's books of poems are Heart Work, Serious Pink, Realm of the Possible, and the forthcoming, Burn and Dodge. She is poet-in-residence at Eugene Lang College of The New School for Liberal Arts and she also directs The Center for Book Arts Annual Letterpress Poetry Chapbook Competition.

Cornelius Eady's latest book, Hardheaded Weather, was nominated for a 2008 NAACP Image Award. He is a cofounder of the Cave Canem workshop and teaches at the University of Notre Dame.

Emily Fragos's books of poetry include Little Savage and the forthcoming The Juggler's Hands. She is the editor of two anthologies of poetry, The Great Cat and The Dance, and is working on a third, about music, due in April 2009. She teaches at New York University and Columbia University.

Rachel Hadas is the author of more than 15 books of poetry, essays and translations. Her most recent collection is called The River of Forgetfulness.

Hettie Jones' memoir of the Beat scene is How I Became Hettie Jones. Her poetry collections are Doing 70, Drive and All Told. She has taught writing at New School University, SUNY Purchase and the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility and worked with Rita Marley on her recent autobiography, No Woman No Cry: My Life with Bob Marley.

Patricia Marx's writing credits include Saturday Night Live and Rugrats. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker, The New York Times and Time magazine. Her novel, Him Her Him Again the End of Him, was published in 2006.

Sandra Newman is the author of two novels, Cake and The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done, and the forthcoming memoir Folk Tales of the Rich. She is the coauthor of a book on writing: How Not to Write a Novel.

Sigrid Nunez's novels include A Feather on the Breath of God, Naked Sleeper, For Rouenna and most recently, The Last of Her Kind. She has taught writing at Smith College, Columbia University, the New School and the University of California, Irvine.

Han Ong is the youngest playwright to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. His plays include Watcher, The L.A. Plays and Swoony Planet. He is also the author of the novels Fixer Chao and The Disinherited.

Marie Ponsot's books include The Bird Catcher and Springing: New and Selected Poems. Recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Shaughnessy Medal from the MLA, and the Frost Medal, she teaches at the New School and Queens College.

Brenda Shaughnessy is the author of Interior with Sudden Joy and Human Dark with Sugar, winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. She is the poetry editor of Tin House magazine and Tin House Books, and teaches at Princeton University and Eugene Lang College.

Christopher Sorrentino's books include Sound on Sound and Trance, a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction. He has taught writing and literature at The New School and Columbia University.

Darin Strauss is the author of the novels Chang and Eng, The Real McCoy and More Than It Hurts You. He is the recipient of a 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction writing, and a clinical associate professor at NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science.

Meg Wolitzer recent novels include The Ten-Year Nap, The Position and The Wife. Her short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories.

Stephen Wright's novels include M31: A Family Romance, Meditations in Green and The Amalgamation Polka.

David Yezzi is the author of the poetry collections The Hidden Model and Azores, and is the executive editor of The New Criterion. He has taught at the West Chester University Poetry Conference and at Stanford University. He was the director of the Unterberg Poetry Center from 2001-2005.

Rafi Zabor is the author of the novel The Bear Comes Home, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award, and I, Wabenzi, a memoir.

Rachel Zucker's books of poetry include Museum of Accidents, The Bad Wife Handbook and The Last Clear Narrative. She is coeditor of Starting Today: Poems for Obama's First 100 Days and has taught at Yale and New York universities.

About the Artist

I fell in love with photography at the age of 15, during my sophomore year at the High School of Art and Design in NYC. I was always amazed at how the simple click of a shutter could immortalize a beautiful moment and etch it in one's mind so much faster than the colors could flow from my paintbrush or the sketch leap onto the page from my pencil. In the almost 20 years since then, I've learned to appreciate the little details of life that we so often overlook and have used my love of this art form to capture those small moments in a timeless way.