If you feel like your day job robs you of your best writing time, poets and novelists Michael Gaspeny and Steve Cushman know your pain. They also want to remind you the same day job contains a bonanza of writing material. Every office, store, restaurant, and institution bursts with characters, rituals, and conflicts caused by rival personalities, turf wars, and competition for advancement.
That kind of frustration and friction can ignite the imagination. Join us for a reading and community conversation focused on using the workplace environment to your artistic advantage. We’ll talk about ways to mine your work life for poems, stories, and essays, and emphasize strategies for getting that writing done as you navigate both professional and domestic duties.
Steve Cushman is the author of three novels, Portisville, which won the 2004 Novello Literary Award, Heart With Joy, and Hopscotch. He has also published a short story collection and two poetry chapbooks. Cushman’s first full-length poetry collection, How Birds Fly, won the 2018 Lena Shull Book Award and his latest collection, The Last Time, was published in 2023. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his family and works in the IT department at Cone Health after working as an X-Ray Technologist for twenty years.
Michael Gaspeny recently published Flight Manual: New and Selected Poems and A Postcard from the Delta, a Blues-infused novel about football and racial discord. He’s the author of a novella in verse, The Tyranny of Questions, and two chapbooks. He won the Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition and the O. Henry Festival Short Fiction Contest. For hospice service, he received the North Carolina Governor’s Award for Volunteer Excellence. His work history includes reporting, ad-writing, selling vacuum cleaners, and shackling chickens.
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