Writers in Your Neighborhood

December 14, 2023 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm
Salem Athenaeum
337 Essex St.
MA 01970
Free to Members | $15 Non-members
Salem has a long, distinguished literary history that continues today. This special event will allow you to sample the writing of several authors who are members of the Athenaeum or North Shore residents — the prose and verse of your talented neighbors. Join us to get a taste of their work, explore their books, talk writing. Come hear their work!

Sara Johnson Allen
Jennifer Freed
E.E. Holmes
Ben Mazer
Amjed McDonnell
Carla Panciera
Clay Ventre

Sara Johnson Allen was raised (mostly) in North Carolina. Her debut novel, Down Here We Come Up, winner of the Big Moose Prize from Black Lawrence Press, was released in August 2023. A recipient of the Marianne Russo Award for Emerging Writers by the Key West Literary Seminar, the Stockholm Writers Festival First Pages Prize, an artistic grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, and MacDowell fellowships, her work has appeared in PANK Magazine, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Reckon Review among others. When she is not teaching or shuttling her three kids around, she writes about place and how it shapes us.

Jennifer Freed‘s When Light Shifts, a Memoir-in-Poems, finalist for the Sheila Margaret Motton Book Prize, explores the aftermath of her mother’s cerebral hemorrhage and the altered relationships that emerge in a family health crisis. She worked for many years as an ESL teacher, and has been leading writing programs since 2014.  She lives in Beverly, MA.  Please visit her website: jfreed.weebly.com

E.E. Holmes is an internationally best-selling author of YA fiction. Her series include The Gateway Trilogy, The Gateway Trackers, The Riftmagic Saga, and the Vesper Coven, with eighteen total novels to date. She earned a BA in theater from College of the Holy Cross and has worked as an actress, director, playwright, and teacher of English literature. She lives in central MA with her husband, two children, and one very old, very spoiled dog. You can find out more about her and work at eeholmes.com

Ben Mazer‘s early works were praised by Seamus Heaney and Christopher Ricks. He went on to publish more than ten books of poetry, including The Ruined Millionaire, his new selected poems. Most recently he has edited The Collected Poems of Delmore Schwartz, forthcoming in April from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Amjed McDonnell is the author of the YA novel Beneath My Mother’s Feet, published by Simon & Schuster under the name Amjed Qamar. The novel was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick and won the Ohioana Governor’s Award. She has spent much of her time in Ohio where she earned Bachelor’s degrees in English and Psychology and raised two daughters. She now lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts and is currently pursuing an MFA at Lasell University. When she’s not writing or reading at the Athenaeum, she is volunteering around town, collecting too many books, exploring restaurants with her husband, or working it off at the gym.

Carla Panciera was born in Westerly, RI, and lives in Rowley, MA. She is the author of Barnflower: A Rhode Island Farm Memoir (Loom Press), and Bewildered (University of Massachusetts Press), winner of AWP’s Grace Paley Award. She has also published two collections of poetry: One of the Cimalores (Cider Press) and No Day, No Dusk, No Love (Bordighera). Her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous journals including Poetry Magazine and the New England Review. Find more information about Carla and her books at carlapanciera.wordpress.com.

Clay Ventre lives and writes on the North Shore.

Free to Members | $15 Non-members

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