New Leaves Conference Continues Through Thursday, March 24th

           New Leaves this year promises a hallmark celebration of Mason’s literary life, featuring two readings by visiting writers, a reading from new books by two Mason faculty poets, Jennifer Atkinson and Heather Green, and new essays from faculty member, Tim Denevi. Additionally, there will be appearances by the second author published by Stillhouse Press, and the first prose writer published by Gazing Grain Press, and a Loud Fire reading and visits by editors and agents.

           The week began with Porochista Khakpour, author of two novels, Sons And Other Flammable Objects, a New York Times “Editor’s Choice” book, and The Last Illusion, which was named by NPR as one of the “Best Books of 2014.” She read on Monday, March 21, at 7:30 in George’s in the Johnson Center.

           The conference continued on Tuesday, with a full evening of events, starting at 5:30 with a reading and Q&A featuring Heidi Czerwiec and Nora Brooks, winner and runner-up, respectively, of a new prose chapbook contest run by Gazing Grain, a feminist press run by Mason alums. Also featured is the unveiling of POP! by Mark Polanzak, the book selected by the student-run Stillhouse Press as its second publication. At 7, a reception honored the new publications and the work of the small presses.

           At 7:30 on Tuesday, nonfiction writer Leslie Jamison read from and discussed her work. Jamison is the author of a novel, The Gin Closet, and a collection of essays, The Empathy Exams.

            On Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m in Robinson A 447, Howard Yoon of Ross/Yoon Literary Agency and editors from Sarabande Books, Kristen Radtke and Ariel Lewiton, came to Mason to meet with student writers. Then, Loud Fire took the stage at Epicure from 5 to 7, with a reading by students from all segments of the program. 

            On Thursday afternoon, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., the Sarabande editors will join together with Chris Maier of Little Salon to discuss life after the MFA and finding a position in the writing world.

           Thursday evening, New Leaves wraps up as Jennifer Atkinson reads from her new book, The Thinking Eye, from Parlor Press; joined by Heather Green, whose new chapbook heralds the arrival next year of a new book of Heather’s translation work; and faculty nonfiction writer Tim Denevi reads from his most recent work. It’s all at 7:30 p.m. in George’s in the Johnson Center. Their event is followed by a celebratory reception.