Boston Events

From: NWU, Boston Chapter <[email protected]>
Date: Fri, Jan 18, 2019, at 3:01 PM
Subject: January Update 2019
From: [email protected]>

National Writers Union - Boston Chapter
January Update 2019

 Writers Night Out, Monday, January 21 (MLK Day)    
Our Fabulous Annual Book Party, Sunday, January 27
Our Book Party Needs You
The Beginning of America, <strong>Monday, February 4</strong>

WRITERS' DAY CAMP RESCHEDULED to Saturday, February 16
What Our Boston Chapter Accomplished in 2018
What Books Shaped Your Life?
Upcoming Events

Publicize Your Events and Services Here and On Our Website
The NWU-BOS Listserv Is Here For You
6:00-8:00 P.M.

At last month's Writers Night Out
Hello to Boston Chapter NWU Members and Friends:

There are many events this coming Monday--community breakfasts and lunches, lectures and panels and the like--to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We encourage you to attend one or to acknowledge his contribution in your own personal his timeless "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" or watch a clip of his "I Have a Dream" speech with family and friends.

And in the evening, head over to Christopher's to join NWU colleagues and friends for our monthly chat and chew. Now more than ever is a good time to celebrate community and enjoy some intelligent conversation...

Christopher's is at 1920 Massachusetts Avenue, across the street from the Porter Square subway stop. There's metered parking on Mass Ave. and permit-only parking on side streets. (Don't park in the Porter Square Shopping Center lot; they tow.)

Hope to see you there!

Your Boston Chapter Steering Committee

Questions? Click here.

2:00 TO 5:00 P.M.

Keynote Speaker "Miss Manners" Robin Abrahams
Our annual Book Party, where we celebrate members who have had a book published in the previous year, happens Sunday, January 27th, at the Dance Complex
in Cambridge's Central Square. It's easy to reach by MBTA and parking is free on Sundays.

The day will feature short readings from our recently published authors and a keynote talk by Robin Abrahams, The Boston Globe's "Miss Conduct" columnist. Robin, who has a B.A. in theater and a Ph.D. in psychology, has experience as a stand-up comedian as well as a business writer, a teacher of psychology, and the author of Miss Conduct's Mind Over Manners. She has been writing the column since 2005.

Suggested donation is $10. Pizza and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided.

 Readers at Our 2018 Book Party


Would you like to be a SPONSOR? A donation of $25 to $100 will help us defray the costs of the book party and our Boston chapter's work. 

Or would you like to VOLUNTEER to help us set up, tear down, staff the registration desk, sell raffle tickets, or otherwise contribute to making the party run smoothly?

If you want to help us in either or both of these ways, contact Barbara Mende at  [email protected] Thank you in advance!

FEBRUARY 4, 2019

Our Boston chapter will be the curator of a reading and discussion of The Beginning of America: Personal Narratives About Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century, edited by Cathy J. Schlund-Vials and Tara Betts, at Porter Square Books on February 4, 2019, from 7 to 9 pm. 

Four contributors to this "race matters" anthology will share their personal accounts of being mixed race people in the United States: Nadine Knight, Abra Mims, Via Perkins, and series editor Sean Frederick Forbes. Nadine Knight Director of Africana Studies at Holy Cross College in Worcester. Abra Mims blogs on mothering and race, and is writing a memoir. Via Perkins is a Boston area journalist. Sean Frederick Forbes is series editor of the 2Leaf Press Explorations in Diversity series and director of the creative writing program at the University of Connecticut. For a review of the anthology, click here. 

The collection of personal narratives by 39 poets, writers, teachers, professors, artists, and activists articulates the complexities of interracial life. This absorbing and thought-provoking collection of stories explores racial identity, alienation, with people often forced to choose between races and cultures in their search for self-identity. While underscoring the complexity of the mixed-race experience, they offer a genuine, poignant, enlightening and empowering message to all readers.  

10 A.M. to 4 P.M.

This is Charles Coe, inviting you to join me for our next WRITERS' DAY CAMP, a writing workshop happening Saturday, February 16th from 10 to 3 at the Brookline Community Foundation, 40 Webster Place, Brookline (Brookline Village). PLEASE NOTE THAT THE DATE HAS BEEN CHANGED.

The day will include writing prompts and exercises, discussion of each others' work and coaching on how to read before a group...a day of "serious fun." If you're looking to jump start your writing, please join us. 

"We left charged up and inspired and ready to hit the keyboard."-- NWU Boston co-chair Barbara Beckwith, describing our recent WRITERS' DAY CAMP.

The workshop is in Brookline Village, two short blocks from the Brookline Village T stop, with ample on-street metered parking. 

The event is a fundraiser for the Boston Chapter of the National Writers Union, of which I'm co-chair. The fee is $100 (sliding scale available). VEGETARIAN LUNCH PROVIDED. To register, or for more information: [email protected]

I'm the author of two books of poetry and one novel. Memento Mori my next volume of poetry, will be published in April of 2019. I've taught at numerous writing conferences and served as poet-in-residence at Wheaton College and the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York. I've taught in Dingle, Ireland, for the Bay Path University MFA-Abroad Program and am on the faculty of Newport's Salve Regina University, teaching poetry in their new low-residency MFA Program.

We've had a great response to our request for the titles of books that have shaped your life, writing or otherwise. We're hoping to hear from even more of you. If you're so inspired, please email your thoughts on up to four books to [email protected]


I stumbled across Pearl Buck's The Good Earth as a grade school library rat. It's the book that sparked my early interest in becoming a writer, one that's become deeper and more meaningful over the years with every re-reading. 


I am still moved by the story of Abraham in Genesis. I wrestle with my own inner voice and God by exploring the voice and God that guided Abraham.
James Joyce: Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake guide me.  Ulysses helps me enjoy my stream of consciousness. The Wake inspires plowing with weirds. 
Whitman, Dickinson, and Frost continually move me to co-create life and death artfully.
Dostoevsky and Marquez reveal the magic infusing my life.

by Co-Chair Barbara Beckwith

As both the publishing and political worlds faced turmoil in 2018, our Boston Chapter kept on keeping on!

We (unlike our government) know how to communicate. We keep in touch with both close-by and far-flung members who live throughout New England, via our monthly e-newsletter (thanks to Update editor Barbara Mende and copyeditor Susan Schopp). We also know how important it is to get together in person, which we do on the third Monday of every month at our Writers Night Out social/networking gatherings in Cambridge.

We welcomed fresh perspectives from Willie Wideman-Pleasants, who joined our nine-member Steering Committee this year, and from Roger Leisner, a new delegate at the three-day NWU national Delegate Assembly where representatives of all 12 chapters met to set the union's agenda.

We co-sponsored, with indie Porter Square Books, a lively conversation between authors Randy Susan Meyers and Meta Wagner. Our co-sponsored series continues in 2019, featuring the editor of and contributors to The Beginning of America: Personal Narratives About Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century. After our 2017 Black Lives Have Always Mattered reading, Willie Pleasants interviewed the contributors on her Boston Neighborhood Network cable TV show, Willie's Web.

We shared the value of the NWU's nuts-and-bolts free-to-members contract advice and grievance support, with the value of having a dedicated writing space, at The Writers Room of Boston's Open House (thanks to Mary Bonina) featuring our chapter.

We showcased our members' accomplishments via kudos,, Facebook, and our annual book party. And added our voice to the Massachusetts Artists Leadership Coalition, thanks to John Hodge and Charles Coe.

We offered a four-hour Writers' Day Camp workshop for poets and non-fiction writers, co-sponsored and led by Charles Coe, who will offer a second, five-hour workshop in 2019.

We accomplished this all, despite publishing and political turmoil, because we know our words matter: "I'm a firm believer that language and how we use language determines how we act, and how we act then determines our lives and other people's lives" - Ntozake Shange

Literary Events in the Boston Area

National Writers Union, Boston Chapter, World-Famous Annual Book Party - Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Beginning of America, Co-Sponsored by NWU Boston and Porter Square Books - Monday, February 4, 2019

Writers' Day Camp - Saturday, February 16, 2019 (RESCHEDULED)


Please send any news of a publication, award, or writing-related appearance that has already happened, to your editor, Barbara Mende. (A piece on your own blog or website doesn't qualify.) Send 50 words or less, plus your name and a link to the publication, event, or website where readers can find more info about you or the happening. Don't send notices of work that will be published in the future. Do send news of future events, but see the "Upcoming Events" block for that.

Are you speaking or reading from your work in the near future? Do you want to publicize an event that writers would be interested in? Can you provide a service, such as editing or indexing or publicity, for your fellow union members?

Our Boston Chapter website, which you can reach at or, is here for you to use. Not only that but if you send us an announcement of a specific event by the second Monday of each month, we'll try to include it in these updates.

Please send us news of any upcoming events that you'd like us to publicize, along with links to the venue or PDF posters if you have them. If you'd like to promote your services, plug your latest book, tell us about something writing-related that happened to you, or post anything else you can think of, we'll try to give it a place on the website. And we'd love to hear from you if you'd like to contribute to these updates.

Send all your news to your webmaster.

Here's another way you can communicate with your fellow members - and not only about writing. All NWU-Boston members are invited to sign up for the NWU-BOS online discussion list. Send a blank email to [email protected], and you'll quickly get a notice that you're in. Then send any message you like (within the usual bounds of netiquette) to [email protected]

Use the list to publicize your achievements or announce an event. Use it to look for editors or illustrators or babysitters or accountants or Patriots tickets. Use it to advertise a room for rent or a concert you're in. You can even attach pictures or links or PDFs. It's one way we writers can help each other.

The more people who join, the more useful it will be. It won't be high volume, and you can unsubscribe easily. Try it!

Questions? Email your webmaster.
Co-Chairs: Barbara Beckwith and Charles Coe
Editor and Webmaster: Barbara Mende
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