A Literary Conversation Feb. 14

Editor and Writer: a Literary Conversation is a three-part event taking place at Hollins on February 14. The day features guest readings, Q&As and conversations about writing, editing, publishing – specifically the multifaceted relationship between editor and author.

Lunch with an editor: Ben George  noon.
Goodwin Private Dining Room. This event is for current students only.

Reading by Edith Pearlman and John Rybicki: 4:30 pm
Green Drawing Room, Main Building. Free and open to the public.

Q&A with Ben George, Edith Pearlman, and John Rybicki: 8:15 pm
Hollins Room, Wyndham Robertson Library. Free and open to the public.

Ben George, now an editor at Penguin Books in New York and a founding editor of the journal “Ecotone” and of Lookout Books, a new imprint out of UNC Wilmington, talks with two of the celebrated writers whose work he has published – poet John Rybicki and fiction writer Edith Pearlman – about the relationship between editor and writer and about the role of journals and small presses in today’s literary landscape.

Edith Pearlman has published more than 250 works of short fiction and short nonfiction in national magazines, literary journals, anthologies, and online publications. Her work has appeared in “Best American Short Stories,” “The O. Henry Prize Collection,” “New Stories from the South,” and “The Pushcart Prize Collection – Best of the Small Presses.” Her first collection of stories, “Vaquita,” won the Drue Heinz Prize for Literature in 1996. “Love Among The Greats” won the Spokane Annual Fiction Prize, while her third collection, “How to Fall,” won the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. “Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories” was published in 2011. Pearlman’s short essays have appeared in “The Atlantic Monthly,” “Smithsonian Magazine,” “Preservation,” “Yankee Magazine,” and “Ascent.” Her travel writing – about the Cotswolds, Budapest, Jerusalem, Paris, and Tokyo – has been published in the “The New York Times” and elsewhere.

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, John Rybicki is the author of the poetry collections “Traveling at High Speeds” and “We Bed Down Into Water: Poems.” His third collection, “When All the World Is Old,” was written in response to the long illness and death of his wife, the poet Julie Moulds. His poems have appeared in many publications, including “Poetry,” “Ploughshares,” “American Poetry Review,” “Ecotone,” and “Bomb,” and have been reprinted in “Best American Poetry” and “The Pushcart Prize.” Poet and fiction writer Stuart Dybek says, “Rybicki’s [a] poet whose individual poems seems like autobiographical fragments still hurdling apart from some personal Big Bang,” while National Book Award winner Terrance Haynes describes him as “our great true poet of ecstasy. His poems are soulful, enraptured, euphonic….” Rybicki has been a writer-in-residence at Alma College in Michigan. He teaches poetry to young writers through the InsideOut Literary Arts Project and Wings of Hope Hospice.

Ben George’s stories, essays, and journalism have appeared in “Ninth Letter,” “Tin House,” “Gulf Stream,” “Boise Weekly,” and other publications. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and for “Best New American Voices.” A founding editor of Lookout Books at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, and a former editor at “Ecotone,” and at “Tin House,” he is now an editor at Penguin Books, where he acquires and edits hardcover titles for Viking and paperback originals for Penguin. He edited the magazine “Fugue” while earning his M.F.A. from the University of Idaho. Stories and essays he has edited have won the Pushcart Prize and the O. Henry Prize, and have been reprinted in “Best American Short Stories,” “Best American Mystery Stories,” “Best American Essays,” “Best American Nonrequired Reading,” and “New Stories from the South.” His interviews with writers such as Anita Desai, W. S. Merwin, Andrea Barrett, Margot Livesey, Peter Ho Davies, and Rick Bass appear or are forthcoming in “Tin House,” “Fugue,” and the “Believer.”

Funding for this event is provided by the Beanstalks Fund.