English Department Showcases Faculty Creative Writing Talent

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The JCU community had a chance to listen to creative writing by a group of talented authors who teach in the University’s Department of English Language and Literature on April 24th. The evening kicked off with a musical performance by a student duo composed of singer and guitarist Peter Ogden, and violinist Stefania Piccialli.

Professor Carlos Dews

Professor Carlos Dews

Professor Andrea di Robilant read an excerpt from Autumn in Venice: Ernest Hemingway and His Last Muse, which will be published in the U.S. by Knopf on June 5. It is the story of Hemingway’s long relationship with a young Venetian, Adriana Ivancich, and how she inspired him to complete his work. Prof. di Robilant read a passage in which, after settling into his life in Venice and the island of Torcello, he finally turns his gaze to the nearby region of the Piave, filled with memories from his time in Italy as a volunteer in World War I.

Professor Tara Keenan read an excerpt from a novel she is writing entitled, An Archaeology of my Mother, based on her mother’s life. “My mother used to always say that someday I would write her story. This book is a promise we made to each other: she, in her life and me, in her death. The passage, a scene in a decaying marriage where the only thing that remains is love, focuses on the compromise we force others into when we compromise ourselves.”

Professor Allison Grimaldi-Donahue read from an essay she published in Funhouse magazine that is part of a forthcoming collection of essays on the body and language. It is a work of autotheory, finding an intersection of the theoretical and personal.

Professor Elizabeth Geoghegan read an excerpt from a short story called “Pura Goa Lawah” which is forthcoming in her short story collection Eightball to be published in Spring 2019 by the Santa Fe Writers Project. The collection contains seven stories and a novella, which is the title story, “Eightball.”

Stefania Picciali and peter Ogden

Stefania Piccialli and Peter Ogden

Professor Carlos Dews read the text of an as-yet-untitled children’s book he is currently working on with Greek illustrator Dimitris Fousekis. It is the love story of two boys, then men, who grow up on opposites sides of the world but find each other thanks to a message in a bottle.

Professor Aidan Fadden read an extract from a scene in A Cold Flame, his second novel written under the pseudonym of Aidan Conway, which is due for release this summer from Harper Collins ‘Killer Reads.’ The novel is set in Rome and is the second installment in a series featuring Inspector Michael Rossi. The scene is set near the Roseto Comunale (Municipal Rose Gardens) in Rome. He then read a poem, “At The Municipal Rose Gardens, Rome” published in the UK magazine The Journal (as Aidan Fadden). It was also inspired by this same setting.

Professor Gaby Ford read an edited excerpt from a one-woman show she wrote called “A Broad Abroad “(In the pursuit of sanity, four continents are traveled) performed in 2008 at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival.