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For the past four years, the National Book Critics Circle has partnered with The New School’s MFA Creative Writing program, allowing the students to interview each of the NBCC Awards Finalists. In addition to building excitement for the Awards Finalist Reading and Ceremony held at the New School March 14th-15th, these interviews have built an intergenerational bridge between the writers of today and tomorrow. This year, as part of the ongoing collaboration, and in support of...
Seven summers ago, a phone call upended my life. I was playing SingStar at a friend’s house when my sister called me sobbing. She had just turned 21 the day before, and our small family had gathered at our apartment to celebrate her. I’d just come home from summer school, and was planning to spend the next few weeks with her and my mom before my junior year of undergrad. So, all was right...
My grandpa’s belly hangs low over the tops of his jeans. When he laughs, he thunders and his gut ripples like water in his tight t-shirts. He keeps his sleeves rolled up and a pack of Marlboro Reds rest in the fold. As a child, my favorite days were the days that he stops by our house for afternoon coffee with my mom. As my school bus rounded the corner, I'd press my face...
Beth Wawerna writes about grief because that's what she knows. Punky, bold and self-assured, she sings about topics that lesser writers would side step or gloss over. In her early twenties Wawerna faced an extensive period of self-doubt and perpetual fear about pursuing her desire to be a musician. At 28, she finally stopped writing songs in secret, stepped out into the light, and began chasing down that dream; her debut album, Defender, came...

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