This Week is Lit

In preparation for the holiday season, The Saranac Review’s “This Week is Lit” blog series will be going on hiatus for the winter break. But fear not. We are still connecting you with the literary communities and events you love! Here are some upcoming events happening to mark on your calendar!

On Tuesday, December 14 at 8 PM ET, The Poetry Foundation will be hosting another installment of their “Open Door Reading Series”, offering works from emerging poets. This virtual event will feature readings from Lillian Gardner, Saleem Hue Penny, Precious Musa, and Hayley Kolding.

Lillian Gardner is an African and Native American poet, artist, musician, and dancer. In addition to crafting prose and poetry that reflects the experiences of our current social climate, Gardner champions for underrepresented groups in the arts. Her next book of prose poetry aims to explore the definition and genre of the “love story,” as well as how relationships shape our own identities.

Saleem Hue Penny is a self proclaimed, “rural hip-hop blues” poet from Chicago, living with a vestibular disorder and single-sided deafness. Penny’s pieces touch on the stories of young POC and explore feelings of freedom. Penny is also a Cave Canem Fellow, and winner of the BLR Review 2021 Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize for Poetry.

Precious Musa is a first-generation Nigerian American poet, who obtained an MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. Her body of work engages “the inner life of the body, fugitivity, and belonging”. You can find her work in Cosmonauts Avenue, Black Perspectives, and The Journal of the American Medical Association

Hayley Kolding is a teacher hailing from a number of places, including Hartford County, CT, Dennis, MA and Burlington, VT. Her and Saleem Hue Penney are both Poetry Foundation workshop alums, bonding over the topics of art and nature.

To join this virtual reading or for more information, visit the event page here.

More Literary Events

Wednesday, December 15, 7:00pm EDT -- Bellevue Literary Review

This free virtual event hosted by the BLR aims to answer the question of “How Words Can Heal?” More importantly, how poetry plays a role in the lives of physicians, scientists, patients, and caregivers? This event will feature a panel of great minds in the arts and sciences like Jenny Qi, Ph.D., former cancer biologist and author of the award-winning debut poetry collection Focal Point; physician-poet Dr. David Watts, author of Having and Keeping; poet and translator Patrick Donnelly, author of Little-Known Operas; and "rural hip-hop blues" poet Saleem Hue Penny, winner of BLR's 2021 Vilcek Prize for Poetry. Poetry readings will be followed by a discussion about intersections between poetry and medicine in their work and lives. The event will be facilitated by author Sarah M. Sala.

Get your free tickets here.

Thursday, December 16, 7:00pm EDT -- Vermont Studio Center

Join the Vermont Studio Center for their “Writers on the Rise” spotlight reading series, designed to showcase a diverse array of original voices. Speculative literary fiction writer and VSC alum & fellowship recipient, Joy Baglio will be the featured reader. Baglio’s work has appeared in Tin House, American Short Fiction, The Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, TriQuarterly, and SmokeLong Quarterly. She also holds an MFA from The New School and is the founder of the virtual literary arts organization Pioneer Valley Writers' Workshop. Her upcoming publications are a short story collection and a novel about ghosts.

To register for this event, please visit the online event page here. A Zoom link will later be provided.

Friday, December 17, 7:00pm EDT -- Bellevue Literary Review

Finish your week off on a high by attending Grub Street’s free virtual writing session, “Friday Night Writes”. Bring that piece you’ve been procrastinating on or start building on that good idea you have! This hour-long event is aimed to give writers networking opportunities, workshopping ideas, and the safe space to flex those creative muscles.

Register ahead of time here to receive an email with the event link.