The Inspired Writer Series

Fall 2014

mfa_inspired_rinaldi‌Thursday, October 2 at 7 p.m.
Nicholas Rinaldi
The Remarkable Courtship of General Tom Thumb

Aloysius P. Kelley Center Presentation Room - Fairfield University

The long-awaited fourth novel that truly lives up to the superlative title, from a critically-acclaimed, award-winning novelist and poet, Nicholas Rinaldi has finally arrived. His last novel, Between Two Rivers earned praise from the Boston Globe: "vivid, elegiac...wryly humorous and periodically heart-rending." Of his second novel, The Jukebox Queen of Malta, the New York Times exclaimed: "Joseph Heller, William Styron, Norman Mailer...Rinaldi belongs in their company." Rinaldi, is an emeritus professor of English at Fairfield University and  has also been honored as Artist of the Year by the Fairfield Arts Council.  

"Rinaldi imaginatively blends fact and fiction in this breezy 19th-century historical.... top-notch entertainment." -Publishers Weekly
 
This event, presented by the MFA in Creative Writing and the department of English, is free and open to the public. 
 
mfa_inspired_dujardin‌Monday, October 6 at 7 p.m.
Trudy Dujardin
Comfort Zone: Creating The Eco-Elegant Interior  
 
Fairfield University Bookstore, 1499 Post Road, Fairfield, CT 
 
Trudy Dujardin is nationally known for her passion for eco-elegance, as well as award-winning interiors that combine sophistication, elegant use of color, and an intuitive understanding of her clients' lifestyles. Her graceful approach reflects a deep respect for Historic Preservation, the surrounding landscape, and abundant comfort. Based on her belief that a healthy home is the ultimate luxury, she is a LEED Accredited Professional with a specialty in Interior Design and Construction. 

Trudy serves on Traditional Home Magazine's Green Advisory Panel, has written a column, Gently Green, for Nantucket-based Portfolio Magazine, and is a member of the advisory board of atHome Magazine. Her breathtaking interiors have appeared in the most prestigious industry publications.

This event, free and open to the public, is presented by Fairfield University's Interior Design program 

mfa_inspired_paramo‌Wednesday, October 8 at 6:30 p.m.
Adriana Páramo
Memoirs of Immigration

Aloysius P. Kelley Center Presentation Room - Fairfield University

A cultural anthropologist, writer, and women’s rights advocate, Páramo is the author of Looking for Esperanza:  The Story of a Mother, a Child Lost, and Why They Matter to Us, winner of the 2011 Benu Press Social Justice and Equity Award in Creative Nonfiction. Páramo immersed herself in the world of undocumented women toiling in the Florida fields to explore the story of an immigrant mother who walked the desert from Mexico to the U.S.  Páramo is also the author of a memoir, My Mother’s Funeral, a memoir in which she recreates her Colombian mother’s life in order to understand her own. 

This event, free and open to the public, is part of the Politics & Memoir series, supported by the Humanities Institute in the College of Arts and Sciences, the MFA Program, the Writing Center, the History Department, the Sociology and Anthropology Department, the Politics Department, the English Department, the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, the Office of Service Learning, and the Center for Faith and Public Life. 

 

mfa_inspired_fiz‌Wednesday, November 12 at 7 pm
David Crawford
Nostalgia for the Present: Ethnography and Photography in a Moroccan Berber Village

Fairfield University Bookstore
 

Depicting a portrait of everyday life in the contemporary High Atlas village, Tagharghist, Nostalgia for the Present is both a memorialization of a people and a way of life.  A collaboration between an ethnographer, a photographer, a group of Moroccan farmers, and Abdelkrim Bamouh – a native intellectual and translator, this book seeks to repair the relationship between anthropology and photography.  The photos evoke a sense of nostalgia, a longing, while the words explore the contexts and ambiguities that visualize it.  Nostalgia happens in our present, and is about our future.

Dave Crawford is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Fairfield University.  He received his B.A. in American Studies from Cal State University Fullerton, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He also studied at the London School of Economics.

This event is free and open to the public and presented by the College of Arts and Sciences and the departments of Sociology and Anthropology.

 

mfa_inspired_vernona‌Thursday, November 13 at 1:30 pm
Vernona Gomez
Lefty: An American Odyssey

Fairfield University Bookstore - 1499 Post Road, Fairfield

The life of Vernon "Lefty" Gomez is the story of baseball. He was welcomed to the New York Yankees by Babe Ruth, roomed with Joe DiMaggio, consoled Lou Gehrig the day the "Iron Horse" pulled himself from the line-up, started and won the first All Star game, journeyed to Japan on Major League Baseball's great ambassador tour, won six World Series games without losing one, and had collegiate baseball's top award named after him -- all while becoming a pilot, playing an impressive sax, and hobnobbing with the great entertainers of the day.  Drawing upon never-before-published photos and material, this unique American story is vividly recreated by the authors.  Lefty has garnered critical acclaim, and was a top pick by Sports Illustrated, The New York Post, and ESPN’s Mike Greenberg.

Vernona Gomez is the daughter of the Hall of Fame pitcher and June O’Dea, the Broadway headliner.  The co-author of Lefty: An American Odyssey, Vernona bounced on the knee of Babe Ruth, made sand castles with Joe DiMaggio, and tagged along with her parents to numerous All-Star, World Series, and Old-Timers’ games.  A concert pianist, Vernona made her debut at Carnegie Recital Hall at the age of 8.

This event is free and open to the public.  Presented by the Learning for a Lifetime Program 

mfa_inspired_dreyerTuesday, December 2 at 7 p.m.
Elizabeth Dreyer
Accidental Theologians: Four Women Who Shaped Christianity

Fairfield University Bookstore - 1499 Post Road, Fairfield

Four women—Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, and Thérèse of Lisieux—have been honored with the title “Doctor of the Church.” But what does that title mean and what do these women mean for us today?

Elizabeth Dreyer examines the history-changing effect each of their unique theologies have had on our Church and our world. She explains how our understanding of the cross, the incarnation, the Holy Spirit, and the human person have been enhanced by the work of these women. They may not have planned to be thought of as theologians, but reading about their lives, teaching, and writings will have a profound effect on how you live your faith. 

This event, free and open to the public, is presented by the College of Arts and Sciences and the department of Religious Studies.

 

mfa_inspired_rinaldi‌Wednesday, December 10 at 7 pm
Sandra Nunnerley
Interiors

Fairfield University Bookstore - 1499 Post Road, Fairfield

Sandra Nunnerley is one of the most fashionable international interior designers, working with the structural rhythms of interior spaces, furnishings and art works. 

Her company has been featured in the Architectural Digest 100 list of the world's top designers and architects, and she has worked on prestigious residential interior design commissions around the world ranging from urban apartments and town houses to tropical getaways, country homes and estates for more than 20 years. 

This sumptuous new book chronicles those exquisite projects and beautiful interiors arising from her design vision and a wide variety of inspirations. She shares how her globe-spanning travels have influenced her work and thoughts on design, suggesting how we might also look at the world around us to arrive at our own design approach.

New Zealand-born interior designer Sandra Nunnerley lives in New York City, where she runs a design studio specializing in high-end residential projects. magazine has called her one of the most fashionable designers, she has been featured in Architectural Digest's list of the 100 most influential designers, and House & Garden (UK) named her in their international guide of leading designers. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including The World of InteriorsElle Decor, and Vogue Living.

This event, free and open to the public, is presented by Fairfield University's Interior Design program

Spring 2015 

mfa_inspired_petropoulos‌Monday, February 23 at 7 pm
Jonathan Petropoulos
Artists Under Hitler: Collaboration and Survival in Nazi Germany

Barone Campus Center Lower Level – Fairfield University

Artists Under Hitler closely examines cases of artists who failed in their attempts to find accommodation with the regime (Walter Gropius, Paul Hindemith, Gottfried Benn, Ernst Barlach, Emil Nolde), as well as others whose desire for official acceptance was realized (Richard Strauss, Gustaf Gründgens, Leni Riefenstahl, Arno Breker, Albert Speer). Taken together, these ten figures illuminate the hidden cultural history of Nazi Germany, while individually providing haunting portraits of people facing excruciating life choices and grave moral and aesthetic questions. Their personal stories provide a radically new way of coming to grips with a regime which Hitler sought to make a “dictatorship of genius.” It is a story, by turns, of despair and determination, of illusion and reality, of hope and tragedy. 

"A persuasive, nuanced and surprising picture of German culture under the Nazis." - Kirkus Review

Jonathan Petropoulos is the John V. Croul Professor of European History at Claremont McKenna College. He is the author of four books, including Art as Politics in the Third Reich and The Faustian Bargain: The Art World in Nazi Germany. He also served as Research Director for Art and Cultural Property on the Presidential Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States, and has been engaged as an expert witness in a number of Holocaust-era art restitution cases.

This event is free and open to the public.  Presented by the MFA in Creative Writing, the departments of Visual and Performing Arts, History, Judaic Studies, and the Learning for a Lifetime Program.

 

mfa_inspired_glass‌Thursday, May 7 at 7 pm
Julia Glass
And The Dark Sacred Night

Barone Campus Center Oak Room – Fairfield University

In this richly detailed novel about the quest for an unknown father, Julia Glass weaves together the lives of Kit, Jasper, Lucinda and ultimately, Fenno McLeod, the beloved protagonist of Three Junes (now in his sixties), immersing readers in a panorama that stretches from suburban New Jersey to rural Vermont and ultimately to the tip of Cape Cod.  And the Dark Sacred Night is an exquisitely memorable tale about the youthful choices that steer our destinies, the necessity of forgiveness, and the risks we take when we face down the shadows from our past.

Julia Glass is the author of Three Junes, winner of the 2002 National Book Award for Fiction; The Whole World Over; I See You Everywhere, winner of the 2009 Binghamton University John Gardner Book Award; and The Widower’s Tale. Her essays have been widely anthologized. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Glass also teaches fiction writing, most frequently at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. 

This event is free and open to the public.  Presented by the MFA in Creative Writing. 

 

 

Past Events
Spring 2014
 

mfa_inspired_bremzen‌Monday, March 10, 2014 at 5 p.m.

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing
Anya Von Bremzen

Dolan School of Business, dining room, Fairfield University

For all you foodies – the perfect foodoir. Anya Von Bremzen, known for writing about extravagant delicacies in far-flung places around the world, paints a beet-stained picture of what life was like growing up in Russia through the rule of Stalin, Lenin, Khruschev, and Gorbachev before emigrating to America. Each chapter of the book is a collection of von Bremzen family anecdotes, with recipes sprinkled throughout. She has received three James Beard Awards and authored five cookbooks.

This event is presented by the Russian and East European Studies Program and co-sponsored by the programs of Peace and Justice Studies, International Studies, Judaic Studies, MFA in Creative Writing, and the departments of English, Politics, and the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Jewish Studies. 


mfa_inspired_wormser
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Teach Us That Peace
Baron Wormser


Fairfield University Bookstore - Post Road, Fairfield

Baron Wormser celebrates the release of his first novel, Teach Us That Peace with a reading and book signing.  The novel “opens a door on a dramatic American moment when a vision of racial harmony began to be more than a dream.”  Lewis Robinson, author of Water Dogs, writes,  “Teach Us That Peace is so much more than a mediation on the past. With controlled intensity, visual clarity, and emotional precision, Baron Wormser’s unveiling of 1960s Baltimore helps us discern our present world. The storytelling here is exquisite—and completely invigorating.”

Baron Wormser is the author of eight books of poetry, a memoir and a collection of short stories. He is Director of Educational Outreach at the Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire and has served as poet laureate of Maine from 2000 to 2005.

This event is sponsored by the MFA in Creative Writing program and is free and open to the public.

 

mfa_inspired_mujica‌Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7 p.m.

I Am Venus
Barbara Mujica


Fairfield University Bookstore - Post Road, Fairfield

Award-winning author Barbara Mujica celebrates her newest novel I Am Venus with a reading and book signing. I Am Venus is a sweeping and vivid recreation of a corrupt kingdom on the brink of collapse revolving around the mystery surrounding The Rokeby Venus, the only extant female nude by Spanish painter Diego Velázquez. Reminiscent of Girl with a Pearl Earring, it is a thrilling novel that brings to life the public and private worlds of Spain’s greatest painter. Bárbara Mujica is a novelist, essayist, short story writer and critic. I Am Venus was a winner of the 2012 Maryland Writers’ Association Fiction Competition in the category Historical Fiction. Kirkus Reviews writes: “Mujica’s prose is vigorous and intense, and the story is paradoxically both dark and illuminating.” 


mfa_inspired_rea
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
An Evening with Stephan Rea

Fairfield University Quick Center for the Arts

Award winning Irish actor, Stephan Rea reads from James Joyce’s Ulysses. Rea is an Irish film and stage actor who was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Rea has appeared in high profile films such as V for Vendetta, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire, and Breakfast on Pluto. Rea was nominated for an Academy for his lead performance as Fergus in the 1992 film The Crying Game.

Presented by the Fairfield University Irish Studies program. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by visiting the Quick Center website 

 

mfa_inspired_w_patrick
Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Saving Troy and The Call of Nursing
William Patrick


Kelley Center Presentation Room, Fairfield University

Join us for a reading and book signing with award-winning author Bill Patrick. His works have been published or produced in a number of genres: creative nonfiction, poetry, fiction, screenwriting, and drama. His latest book, The Call of Nursing: Voices from the Front Lines of Health Care, published in May of 2013, presents twenty-three occupational portraits that reveal a profession which often hides in plain sight. Saving Troy is a creative nonfiction chronicle of a year spent riding along with professional firefighters and paramedics. From that experience, Patrick also wrote a screenplay, Fire Ground, as well as a radio play, Rescue, which was commissioned by the BBC and aired on BBC 3. 

This event is co-sponsored by the MFA in Creative Writing program and the School of Nursing and is free and open to the public.

  

mfa_inspired_jersey
Sunday, April 6, 2014 from Noon to 3 p.m.

From Tragedy to Triumph
John Tartaglio


Fairfield University Bookstore - Post Road, Fairfield

Join us for a meet and greet with Fairfield alumni, John Tartaglio and Andrew Chapin, co-authors of From Tragedy to Triumph. At the age of 17, John Tartaglio was diagnosed with an extremely rare bacterial infection that left him amputated up to his hipbones. John triumphed over his disability, while at Fairfield University, and became the first person in history to run and complete a 5k and 10k road race without legs, and he later made history running the 26.2 New York City marathon. John’s story is one of true inspiration.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Biology and Department of Student Programs and Leadership Development and is free and open to the public.

 

mfa_inspired_doerr
Friday, May 16, 2014 at 7 p.m.

All The Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr


Gonzaga Auditorium, Fairfield University

Award-winning author Anthony Doerr celebrates his newest novel All The Light We Cannot See with a reading and book signing. Simon and Schuster write, it is “a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Doerr’s gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work.” Anthony Doerr's books have been a NY Times Notable Book, an American Library Association Book of the Year, a 'Book of the Year' in the Washington Post, and he has won the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, the Rome Prize, the Story Prize, the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award, and the Ohioana Book Award three times. Doerr's stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories.

This event is co-sponsored by the MFA in Creative Writing program and the Fairfield Public library.

 

mfa_inspired_hayes
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 7 p.m.

I Am Pilgrim
Terry Hayes


Gonzaga Auditorium, Fairfield University

Terry Hayes celebrates the American debut of his book, I Am Pilgrim, with a reading and book signing.  I Am Pilgrim is the astonishing story of one man’s breakneck race against time…and an implacable enemy."I Am Pilgrim is a 21st century thriller: a high concept plot, but with finely drawn protagonists. The plot twists and turns like a python in a sack. The style is visceral, gritty and cinematic...A satisfying and ambitious book, written with skill and verve."

(Adam LeBor The Times, UK) Terry Hayes began his career as a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald, when as foreign correspondent in the US he covered Watergate and President Nixon's resignation, among many major international stories. He then went on to become a successful screenwriter, having written the screenplays for Mad Max 2, Dead Calm, Bangkok Hilton, Payback and From Hell.

This event is co-sponsored by the MFA in Creative Writing program and the Fairfield Public library. 

 

 Fall 2013

cas_mfa_messapelle

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Contagious Optimism: Uplifting Stories and Motivational Advice for Positive Forward Thinking 
David Mezzapelle

Fairfield University Bookstore 

 

 

john searles
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Help For The Haunted
John Searles

Fairfield University Bookstore - Post Road, Fairfield

John Searles, author of the best-selling novels Boy Still Missing and Strange But True, will sign and read from his latest work, Help for the Haunted, the story of a couple with an unusual occupation - helping "haunted souls" find peace. Lured to a church on the outskirts of town, they disappear, leaving their daughter Sylvie to put together the pieces of this mystery and discover deep family secrets and a harrowing tragedy. Critics have compared Searles' writing to both the vivid eeriness of Stephen King and the quirky tenderness of John Irving.

Editor-at-large of Cosmopolitan, Searles is a regular book critic for NBC's Today Show and CBS' The Early Show. He has written for The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Daily Beast, among other publications.

This event is co-sponsored by the MFA in Creative Writing and the Fairfield University Bookstore‌

mfa_inspired_prince

‌Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Death in the Baltic: The World War II Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff
Cathryn J. Prince

Fairfield University Bookstore - Post Road, Fairfield

Fairfield University alumna Cathryn J. Prince, winner of the Connecticut Press Club's 2011 Book Award in Non-Fiction, will talk about her latest book, Death in the Baltic: The World War II Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, that chronicles the harrowing story of the worst maritime disaster in modern history, the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff. A former Nazi cruise ship, the vessel was carrying more than 10,000 German civilians out of harm's way as the Russian Army closed in on the Third Reich in January 1945. Soon after the boat left port, it was struck by three Soviet torpedoes and about 9,400 women, children, elderly and ill - six times the number lost on the Titanic - were killed.

Prince was a longtime contributing correspondent to The Christian Science Monitor, and she also writes for Weston Magazine, Ridgefield Magazine, Child, and Brain, among other publications.

This event is co-sponsored by the MFA in Creative Writing and the American Studies Department and is free and open to the public.

mfa_inspired_seamon hollis seamon inspired writer
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Somebody Up There Hates You
Hollis Seamon

Kelley Center Presentation Room, Fairfield University

Hollis Seamon, celebrates the release of her acclaimed new novel, "Somebody Up There Hates You". Receiving advance starred reviews from both Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews says: "Each character is vividly drawn, with a sharp, memorable voice that readers will love and remember... A fresh, inspiring story." Seamon is also the author of a "Flesh" "Body Work" and "Corporeality". She has published short stories in many journals, including Bellevue Literary Review, Greensboro Review, Fiction International, amongst others and she is a recipient of a fiction fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

This event is co-sponsored by the MFA in Creative Writing and the American Studies Department and is free and open to the public.

mfa_inspired_muldoon paul muldoon writer
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 6 p.m.

An Evening with Paul Muldoon
Dolan School of Business dining room, Fairfield University

Paul Muldoon, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and renowned author of more than 30 books of poetry, including Moy Sand and Gravel and Meeting the British will present some of his most recent work. He is the Howard G. B. Clark '21 Professor of Humanities at Princeton University and the poetry editor of the New Yorker. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as a recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature for 1996; the 2003 Pulitzer Prize; the 2003 Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry; the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award; amongst many others, Muldoon has been described by The Times Literary Supplement as "the most significant English-language poet since the second World War."

Presented by The Irish Studies Program and co-sponsored by the Humanities Institute of the College of Arts and Sciences, the MFA in Creative Writing and Department of English. This event is free and open to the public.