New York State Writers Institute

March 15, 2007

4:15 p.m. Literary Journal Production Seminar
Presented by Rebecca Wolff
Science Library Room 340

8:00 p.m. Poetry Reading
Assembly Hall, Campus Center

Both UAlbany's Uptown Campus

Fence Journal
     Literary Journal

Rebecca Wolff, founding editor and publisher of the cutting-edge literary journal "Fence," and of its publishing arm, Fence Books, will present an afternoon seminar on the pleasures and difficulties of producing a literary journal. In the evening Rebecca Wolff, along with three of Fence Books' featured poets--Michael Earl Craig, Ariana Reines, and Prageeta Sharma--will read from their work.

Michael Earl Craig
Michael Earl Craig
Ariana Reines
Ariana Reines

Prageeta Sharma
Rebecca Wolff
Rebecca Wolff

In its relatively short life, "Fence," a "little magazine" that specializes in idiosyncratic and challenging poetry, fiction, criticism, and art, has become one of the most respected literary journals in America. The publication has also become a national showcase for young, bold, and innovative literary artists in a variety of genres. The "Denver Quarterly" has called it, "the strongest new journal out there.... the youngest of the most significant half-dozen literary journals, period." MacArthur Foundation award-winning poet C. D. Wright has called it, "terrific-so substantial and unlocked and fat with news." "Fence" recently combined resources will other notable, cutting-edge journals and publishers, including "McSweeney's," "Open City," and "Wave Books" to form the online book outlet,

Rebecca Wolff founded "Fence" in 1998. Jonathan Lethem, author of "Motherless Brooklyn" and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, served as fiction editor for the first several issues, and presently sits on the Board of Directors. The current fiction editor is Lynne Tillman, Writer-in-Residence in the Department of English at UAlbany, and a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for the novel, "No Lease on Life" (1998). Poetry editors include Max Winter, recent winner of the 2002 "Boston Review" Poetry Contest, and Katy Lederer, author of the memoir "Poker Face: A Girlhood Among Gamblers" (2003), a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, and an "Esquire" Best Book of the Year.

Yes, MasterMichael Earl Craig

Michael Earl Craig is the author of "Yes, Master" (2006) and "Can You Relax in My House" (2002). John Deming of "Cold Front" magazine declares that, "Michael Earl Craig has envisioned the modern poem in a way that invites readers in and keeps them there.... in the end, you'll find Craig's poems generally improve the quality of your life." Craig currently lives in Livingston, Montana where he works as a farrier (maker of horseshoes).

The CowAriana Reins

Ariana Reines' first book, "The Cow" (2006), was the winner of the Alberta Prize from "Fence" Books. Joshua Corey, of the art and literary blog "Cahiers de Corey," has said, "I can't recall the last time I came across a text so scarifying... that also seemed so verbally alive." Reines, who graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College in 2003, writes for the international contemporary art magazine, "tema celeste," and is at work on a film.

The Opening QuestionPrageeta Sharma

Prageeta Sharma won the 2004 "Fence" Modern Poet's Book Prize for "The Opening Question." Writing for the "Boston Review," Forrest Gander said Sharma's "imagination is whirring at full tilt, and her approaches to the poem are varied and fresh and exciting." Sharma currently teaches creative writing at the New School University in New York City. A new collection, "Infamous Landscapes," is forthcoming.

FigmentRebecca Wolff

Rebecca Wolff is the author of two books of poems, "Manderley" (2001) and "Figment" (2004). In a review of "Figment," "Bookslut" webzine said, "Wolff's language, with its airy playfulness is working overtime in an entirely new space of poetry. I would suggest that the text as a whole explores the odd and unsettling relationship between the seen and heard word." Wolff is also the founding editor of "The Constant Critic," a monthly poetry-review website.