Reading/Discussion Class and Poetry Writing Workshop at Library

March 20, 1998

The Andrew Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie, PA, is offering two community classes beginning in April 1998, one a reading/discussion class (novels), and the other a poetry writing workshop. Classes will meet in the Mary Harris Room (the library's bookstore).

Cost for each class will be $50, payable to "Andrew Carnegie Free Library."


READING / DISCUSSION CLASS, 8 weeks, April 7 - May 26, 1998
Tuesday, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
To register for the class, or for more information, call Michael Yellin at (412) 661-2878.

City-slickers often contend that nothing ever happens in small towns, but American novelists disagree. Many of the most fascinating, comic, and moving works of modern American fiction are set in small towns. In this class, we will explore the contours of small town life. We will travel from Texas to upstate New York to rural Washington state, and we will meet an abundance of amusing and eclectic characters. We will eat sumptuous cheeseburgers at greasy diners, and we will learn about the difficulties that come with publishing a local newspaper. The reading list for this class is as follows: The Last Picture Show, by Larry McMurtry (author of Lonesome Dove); Mohawk, by Richard Russo (author of Nobody's Fool); Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson; and A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley. We will also read a collection of poems about small town life. Depending on the pace of the class, we may also read a few short stories (Flannery O'Conner is a possibility). In addition, I invite class members to bring in clippings from local small town newspapers. We will use them to enhance our discussions and to find out if fact really is stranger than fiction.

Michael Yellin grew up in Rochester, NY (not a small town, but a small city). He migrated to Philadelphia, where he attended Haverford college. Currently, he is a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, where he expects to receive his Master's degree in English literature in May 1998. He is a writing tutor, a fan of Henry Roth, and an aspiring cook.


POETRY WRITING WORKSHOP, 8 weeks, April 16 - June 4, 1998
Thursday, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
To register for the class, or for more information, call Luisa Villani at (412) 421-7636.

This eight week workshop is open to the novice, the advanced, and the nouvea poet. If you want to be part of the poetic community, this workshop is for you. Each week will begin with a short lecture on topics such as content, the use of imagery, the creation of sound and silence, and what publishers are looking for in a poet's work. Students will be asked to bring a poem each week to class, and will be required to critique each other's manuscripts. The course will be led by a published poet, who will bring to the students a working knowledge of what the current market is for their work and how the students' poems relate to the contemporary scheme of American poetry.

Luisa Villani's work has appeared in The Birmingham Poetry Review, The Hiram Poetry Review, The Dickinson Review, and many other publications. Her chapbook, On the Eve of Everything, was awarded first place in the WECS Press 1997 chapbook competition and was published this year. Her other honors include a Bucknell Fellowship and an Academy of American Poets Prize. A native of Los Angeles, Luisa currently teaches at the University of Pittsburgh while pursuing a graduate degree.


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