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Calling All Writers and Poets

If at first you succeed, do it again and again! Last year the University’s inaugural Summer Ocean State Writing Conference was so successful it has become an annual event.

The 2007 conference attracted more than 240 beginner and veteran writers and poets from Rhode Island, New England, and beyond to our Kingston Campus.

This year’s conference, to be held Friday, June 20, and Saturday, June 21, promises to be even bigger and better. The conference committee, under the auspices of the English Department, has assembled two days of writing events, including larger panel discussions, craft talks, publishing information, and a session about earning a master of fine arts degree in creative writing. During the conference, instructors will maintain a “workout room” where participants can sign up for brief one-on-one meetings to receive feedback on current writing projects.

Ann Hood ’78, author of 11 books of fiction and nonfiction whose memoir, Comfort, was released this month will kickoff the conference. Denise Duhamel, author of 10 books of poetry, most recently Two and Two, Mille et un Sentiments, and Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems; and Nick Carbo, author of three books of poetry, Andulasian Dawn, Secret Asian Man, and El Grupo McDonald’s will be featured the second day.

Highlights include Annette Blair, Amy Caldwell, Alexander Chee, Betty Cotter, Melissa Hotchkiss, Robin Lippincott, David Rutschman, Aaron Tillman, and URI’s own Mary Cappello, Talvikii Ansel, Peter Covino, Robert Leuci, and Kate Schapira, who will be on hand to lead talks, offer advice, and/or read from their work.

Separate pre-conference workshops will be offered for an additional fee. The sessions will be led by such writers as URI’s Jody Lisberger, Amity Gaige and Jibade-Khalil Huffman; and poets Wayne Miller and Tina Chang. Poet-critic essayist, Scott Hightower will offer a special pre-conference workshop geared toward teaching creative writing. Those sessions, which meet Thursday afternoon, June 19th and Friday morning, June 20th, are scheduled on successive days so instructors will have time to read and comment on participants’ work.

The conference provides a great opportunity to visit your alma mater and spark your creative juices. Reserve your space early as the conference fills quickly. For a schedule, offerings, and registration check our Web site For more information, email

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