Meghan O'Rourke to Lecture at the Mayapple Center

Meghan O’Rourke, photo by Sarah Shatz

The Mayapple Center for the Arts and Humanities will kick off their Creative Writing guest lecture series on Monday night, July 21, with a lecture by editor, essayist and poet Meghan O’Rourke. The Center, located in Stamford, Connecticut, provides programs, retreats and residencies that cover writing, literature, music, and art therapy, in a “distinctly 21st century climate.”

Augury Books editor Kate Angus, who is also Mayapple Center’s Creative Writing Advisor, will be introducing O’Rourke on Monday night. For more information on the Center and to register, visit Mayapple’s site.

Meghan O’Rourke began her career as one of the youngest editors in the history of The New Yorker. Since then, she has served as culture editor and literary critic for Slate as well as poetry editor and advisory editor for The Paris Review. Her essays, criticism, and poems have appeared in Slate, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, Redbook, Vogue, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, and Best American Poetry. O’Rourke is also the author of the poetry collections Once (2011) and Halflife (2007), which was a finalist for both the Patterson Poetry Prize and Britain’s Forward First Book Prize. She was awarded the inaugural May Sarton Poetry Prize, the Union League Prize for Poetry from the Poetry Foundation, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, and a Front Page Award for her cultural criticism. One of three judges chosen to select Granta’s Best Young American Novelists in 2007, she has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and a finalist for the Rome Prize of the Academy of Arts and Letters. A graduate of Yale University, she has taught at Princeton, The New School, and New York University. She lives in Brooklyn, where she grew up, and Marfa, TX.


Mayapple Center Offers Scholarships to Study with Pulitzer Winner Vijay Seshadri

Mayapple Center for the Arts and Humanities

The Mayapple Center for Arts and Humanities, a nonprofit center in Stamford, Connecticut, is offering two half-scholarships to study with Vijay Seshadri, winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize for poetry. The class is called Transitions and Transfigurations and runs from August 18 — August 22 on Mayapple’s campus.
The focus of this weeklong workshop in the rhetoric of nonfiction prose writing—which will be understood as encompassing everything from personal essays and memoirs to high-end literary journalism to lyric essays of the sort that obliterate the distinction between nonfiction and poetry on the one hand and nonfiction and fiction on the other. Students will examine the ways in which prose is made to move and develop and create meaning and feeling through that movement, as well as read and dissect essays and memoir fragments by writers ranging from Nabokov, Orwell, Virginia Woolf and James Baldwin to contemporaries such as Anne Carson, Vivian Gornick, and John D’Agata.
Vijay Seshadri is the author of the collections Wild KingdomThe Long MeadowThe Disappearances,and 3 Sections, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in poetry. His essays, reviews, and memoir fragments have appeared in periodicals such as The New YorkerThe New York Times Book ReviewThe Threepenny ReviewThe American ScholarVerse, and in the anthologies The Anchor Essay Annual—Best Essays of 1998 and Best Creative Nonfiction (2008). A former editor at The New Yorker, he is currently the Michele Tolela Myers Professor of Writing at Sarah Lawrence College, where he was for over a decade the director of the college’s nonfiction writing program. He holds a BA from Oberlin College and a MFA from Columbia University and has received grants from the New York Foundation from the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony’s Fellowship for Distinguished Poetic Achievement, a fellowship from the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the James Laughlin Award.
The Mayapple Center cultivates imagination through artistic and intellectual cross-pollination in a distinctly 21st century climate. The Center is dedicated to sustainability and its serene lake and peaceful landscape of trees and gardens serve as a retreat to inspire its residents. Activities such as swimming, tennis, canoeing, yoga and meditation promote a strong sense of community among residents, with an emphasis on mindfulness. Meals are partially prepared from organic produce from Mayapple gardens, and locally-sourced food is served at every meal.
If interested in applying for the scholarship, please send an email inquiry to with your CV and writing sample immediately. The program cost is $1,200 and each scholarship is for $600. You can find out more about the program here.

Mayapple Center Is Accepting Applications for Summer Program

Mayapple Center for the Arts and Humanities

The Mayapple Center for Arts and Humanities is now accepting applications for its summer program. The Creative Writing program offers two week-long residency classes for adults, two guest lectures, and one weekend day program for high school students.

Summer faculty in the adult program include Vijay Seshadri, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in poetry, and Cate Marvin, co-founder of VIDA, the organization of Women in Literary Publishing. Summer guest lecturers include Meghan O’Rourke, recipient of the 2014 Guggenheim Award for General Nonfiction, and Brenda Shaughnessy, Poetry-Editor-at-Large for Tin House magazine. The summer high school program instructor is Kate Angus, recipient of the Spring 2014 Orlando prize for Creative Nonfiction from the A Room of Her Own Foundation.

The Mayapple Center creates space to cultivate imagination through artistic and intellectual cross-pollination in a distinctly 21st century climate. Artists and scholars of exceptional stature come to teach and collaborate with small groups of dedicated, like-minded participants. Located just one hour north of New York City and easily accessible by car or Metro North, Mayapple offers diverse programs for adults and youth in a retreat environment where pressures of quotidian life are suspended, freeing participants and faculty to pursue artistic and intellectual passions. The Center is located on a masterfully designed campus whose serene lake and peaceful landscape of trees and gardens serve to inspire its residents. Activities such as swimming, tennis, canoeing, yoga and meditation promote a strong sense of community among residents, with an emphasis on mindfulness. The center’s holistic approach to artistic growth and development is also demonstrated by our dedication to sustainability. Our meals are partially prepared from organic produce from Mayapple gardens, and we serve locally-sourced food at every meal.

Read more on the Best American Poetry Blog.

For more information or to apply to summer classes, please visit