Four writers will discuss what they’re reading now, what books have helped sustain them, and what books they consider “essential” for emerging writers. The conversation will include any new projects, as well as a Q & A with the audience.
Writers: Olivia Kate Cerrone, J.D. Debris , Nina MacLaughlin , Peter Sarno
Host: Jennifer Martelli
Olivia Kate Cerrone is the author of The Hunger Saint, a historical novella which won an American Fiction Award and was praised by Kirkus Reviews as “a well-crafted and affecting literary tale.” Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, Psychology Today, Publishers Weekly, The Rumpus, The Brooklyn Rail, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. Winner of the Crab Orchard Review’s Jack Dyer Fiction Prize, she’s currently completing Displaced, which won the 2022 Novel Slices Contest and was long-listed for both the DISQUIET Literary Prize and the Masters Review Novel Excerpt Contest.
J.D. Debris writes poems, songs, and prose. He was a Goldwater Fellow at New York University, where he completed his MFA. His work has been chosen for Ploughshares‘ Emerging Writers Prize, and he has twice been named to Narrative’s 30 Below 30 list. His releases include The Scorpion’s Question Mark (Autumn House Press, 2023), winner of the 2022 Donald Justice Prize, the chapbook Sparring (Salem State University Press, 2018) and the music albums Black Market Organs (Simple Truth Records, 2017) and JD Debris Murder Club.
Nina MacLaughlin is the author of Wake, Siren (FSG), a finalist for a LAMBDA Literary Award and the Massachusetts Book Award, as well as Summer Solstice (Black Sparrow). Her first book was the acclaimed memoir Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter (W.W. Norton). Formerly an editor at the Boston Phoenix, she worked for nine years as a carpenter, and is now a books columnist for the Boston Globe. Her work has appeared on or in The Paris Review Daily, The Virginia Quarterly Review, n+1, The Believer, The New York Times Book Review, Agni, Meatpaper, and elsewhere. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Peter Sarno taught literature and memoir courses at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and has published essays, reviews, and short stories. While a graduate student at UMass, he won the Donald E Cookson prize in nonfiction. His work has appeared in the Boston Globe, Music World magazine, Gannet newspapers, Gatehouse Media, and other outlets. In a starred review, Booklist called Sarno’s Visions of Johanna a “beautifully written literary novel” and stated “the author draws readers into the story with his use of metaphor and lush language…as the story reaches its affecting conclusion, readers may even shed a tear or two.”