James Lasdun

James Lasdun -Spring 2015


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THE CENTER FOR THE LITERARY ARTS IN NEW YORK STATE

Community Writers Workshop

Reaching out - Spring 2015
Each semester the Writers Institute sponsors residencies of varying lengths by authors who have distinguished themselves both for their writing and their teaching. In tandem with these residencies free writing workshops are offered on a competitive basis to members of the community.

Fiction Writing Workshop Offered by
Writers Institute Fellow James Lasdun

New York State Writers Institute Fellow James Lasdun will conduct a writing workshop in spring 2015 for writers interested in all aspects of fiction. The focus will be on detailed discussion of students' work but there will also be readings from published novels, novellas, and short stories. These will range from the classic to the contemporary, and will be selected with a view to broadening the discussion of topics such as character, plot, style, and form, as they arise. Participants will be expected to be strongly self-motivated and to submit two works of up to twenty pages each over the course of the semester. These may be short stories or excerpts from longer works.

The workshop is scheduled for eight Tuesday nights (February 24, March 3, 10, 24, 31, April 7, 14, 21) from 6 to 9 p.m. In addition, individual student conferences will be scheduled. Please note there is no class on March 17. The workshop will take place on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. This workshop is offered for non-credit, free of charge for non-University students. Enrollment will be limited to ten to twelve students. To be considered, submit manuscripts to the Writers Institute according to the guidelines listed below. Students who participated in a Lasdun workshop during spring 2014 are not eligible to apply. Due to the volume of manuscripts received from previous workshops, we must insist that you follow the guidelines exactly.

Guidelines for Fiction Master Class Workshop

  1. All manuscripts must be typewritten and double-spaced.

  2. All submissions must include a separate cover sheet with name, home address, work and home telephone numbers, and e-mail address.

  3. Submit 5–20 pages of fiction writing—a short story, part of a short story, or part of a novel. Include a brief statement (50–100 words) describing your interest in fiction writing and what you hope to learn by participating in this workshop. To insure a blind selection process, do not put your name on any of these pages.

  4. Be sure to keep a copy of your work as your manuscript will not be returned to you.

  5. Manuscripts delivered in person will be accepted up until 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 5, 2015. Mailed manuscripts must be postmarked no later than Saturday, January 31, 2015. No faxes or e-mails.

  6. Notification of acceptance will be by Tuesday, February 17, 2015. Please do not call regarding the status of your manuscript. We regret that neither Mr. Lasdun nor the Institute can comment on manuscripts by writers not selected.

  7. Mail manuscripts to: Lasdun Fiction Writing Workshop
    New York State Writers Institute
    , University at Albany, SL 320
    1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY  12222

Poetry Writing Workshop Offered by
Writer-in-Residence James Lasdun

New York State Writers Institute Writer-in-Residence James Lasdun will conduct a poetry writing workshop during the spring 2015 semester. This workshop is for self-motivated students who already have some writing experience, and is intended to give participants an opportunity to develop and revise poems within a context of constructive peer-group criticism. Course work will concentrate on students' writing, but will also include close reading of selected texts with a view to discussing specific aspects of the art of poetry, such as voice, metaphor, and the relation of style to subject. Participants will be expected to submit up to ten pages of poetry every second week.  

The workshop is scheduled for eight Wednesday nights (February 25, March 4, 11, 25, April 1, 8, 15, 22) from 6 to 9 p.m. Please note there is no class on March 18. The class will take place on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. This non-credit workshop is offered free of charge and will be limited to twelve writers. To be considered, submit manuscripts to the Writers Institute according to the guidelines listed below. Students who participated in a Lasdun workshop during spring 2014 are not eligible to apply. Due to the volume of manuscripts received from previous workshops, we must insist that you follow the guidelines exactly.

Guidelines for Intermediate/Advanced Poetry Writing Workshop

  1. All manuscripts must be typewritten and double-spaced.

  2. All submissions must include a separate cover sheet with name, home address, work and home telephone numbers, and e-mail address.

  3. Submit three to five pages of poems, one poem per page, or individual poems up to five pages in length.  Include a brief statement (50–100 words) describing your interest in poetry and what you hope to learn by participating in this workshop. To insure a blind selection process, do not put your name on any of these pages.

  4. Be sure to keep a copy of your work as your manuscript will not be returned to you.

  5. Manuscripts delivered in person will be accepted up until 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 5, 2015. Mailed manuscripts must be postmarked no later than Saturday, January 31, 2015. No faxes or e-mails.

    1. Notification of acceptance will be by Tuesday, February 17, 2015. Please do not call regarding the status of your manuscript. We regret that neither Mr. Lasdun nor the Institute can comment on manuscripts by writers not selected.

    2. Mail manuscripts to: Lasdun Fiction Writing Workshop
      New York State Writers Institute
      , University at Albany, SL 320
      1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY  12222

    James Lasdun
    James Lasdun is a fiction and nonfiction writer, poet, and screenwriter. Born and raised in England, he has received awards and critical praise for his work on both sides of the Atlantic. Literary critic James Wood has said, “James Lasdun seems to me to be one of the secret gardens of English writing . . . When we read him we know what language is for.”

    Lasdun’s newest book, Give Me Everything You Have (2013), is a nonfiction account of his experience of being cyberstalked. Rebecca Mead, writing in The New Yorker’s ‘Page Turner’, described it as “one of those books that made me grateful for subway delays, so much did I want the excuse to keep reading it. It begins as an account of Lasdun’s alarming experience of being stalked by a onetime student—a premise for a book that no writer would envy—and ends up a rigorous and moving and very elegantly wrought examination of obsession, relentlessness, power, envy, and ambition.”

    Lasdun’s first novel, The Horned Man (2002), was a New York Times Notable Book and an Economist Best Book of the Year. Comic and terrifying at once, the novel tells the story of a professor persecuted by a secret enemy—or perhaps by his own paranoid delusions. The London Sunday Times called it an “enormously inventive, superbly written novel [that] puts more seasoned authors in the shade.” The Washington Post called it, “unputdownable… a masterpiece of chilling mesmerizing control.”

    A political thriller, Lasdun’s second novel, Seven Lies (2005), tells the tale of a former East German who, by a series of blackly comic maneuvers, attempts to invent a perfect life for himself in the United States. The Guardian reviewer called it, “a marvel—exciting, atmospheric and the best summation to date of what it felt like to grow up on the other side of the wall.” It was long-listed for the Man-Booker Prize.

    Lasdun’s most recent story collection, It’s Beginning to Hurt (2009), was listed by The Atlantic Monthly as one of its top five books of 2009. In sharply evoked settings that range from the wilds of Northern Greece to the beaches of Cape Cod, these intensely dramatic tales chart the metamorphoses of their characters as they fall prey to the full range of human passions. One of the stories, “An Anxious Man,” was the inaugural winner of the United Kingdom National Short Story Prize in 2006.

    Lasdun first came to public attention with the publication of his story collection Delirium Eclipse and Other Stories (1986), winner of the Dylan Thomas Award. The Washington Post Book World called Lasdun’s stories “the most auspicious first collection of stories to come out of England” since the mid-1970s. Lasdun is also the author of Besieged: Selected Stories (1999). The title story provided the basis of Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1998 film, Besieged.

    Lasdun’s 2001 poetry collection, Landscape with Chainsaw, was short-listed for the T. S. Eliot Prize, and the LA Times Book Prize. It was described by The New Yorker  as “An extraordinary deconstruction and reconstruction of landscapes, both natural and interior” His new book, Bluestone: New and Selected Poems, will be published by FSG in May 2015.

    Lasdun is also the author of two travel guides with his wife, Pia Davis, Walking and Eating in Provence (2008) and Walking and Eating in Tuscany and Umbria (1997).

    Lasdun’s screenwriting credits also deserve mention. With director Jonathan Nossiter, he shared the Screenwriting Award for Sunday at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival (Sunday also received the Grand Jury Prize). Again with director Jonathan Nossiter, Lasdun co-wrote the screenplay of Signs and Wonders (2002), a psychological thriller starring Charlotte Rampling and Stellan Skarsgaard.

    A Writing Fellow at the New York State Writers Institute, Lasdun has taught at a number of American universities, including the University at Albany, Columbia, Princeton, and The New School.


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    CONTACT INFORMATION:
    Science Library, SL 320, University at Albany, NY 12222 | Phone 518-442-5620, Fax 518-442-5621, email writers@albany.edu