Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fall Literature Festivals


It's that time of year again: fall literature festivals! Your favorite writers reading their work as you listen surrounded by other writers and readers? Yes, please.

The National Book Festival, held this year at the Washington Convention Center, will be on Sat., August 30th. Sponsored by the Library of Congress, it is completely free.

The Fall for the Book Festival, organized by George Mason University, has many free events on campus and throughout the D.C. area. The festival runs from Sept. 11 - 18th.

The Dodge Poetry Festival, held at NJPAC and throughout historic buildings in Newark, New Jersey, will be held Oct. 23 - 26. Be sure to purchase your tickets ahead of time.

For monthly listings of literary events in the Washington, D.C., area, check out the Beltway Poetry Quarterly's Poetry News.


Monday, August 11, 2014

AWP 2015 Minneapolis (or bust?)



Thanks to Rachel Simon, I'm looking forward to presenting on a panel at the upcoming Association of Writers and Writing Programs Annual Conference (AWP) in Minneapolis, April 8 - 11. See you there?

For more information, here's an overview of the conference, full list of accepted events and our panel:

Poets Paying the Bills: Balancing Your Writing and Moneymaking. (Rachel Simon, Chloe Yelena Miller, Hila Ratzabi, Shradha Shah, Mary Austin Speaker) “Poetry” is often synonymous with “poverty.” How do we afford groceries and other necessities? Panelists from diverse professional backgrounds will discuss how they balance their paying jobs (emergency room doctor, freelance editor, adjunct professor, poetry press editor, online instructor, and book designer) with their writing practice and families. Two panelists have small children at home.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Starting Early: Writing Your Personal Statement

Why not get started on your college or graduate school applications this summer? Once school starts in the fall, you'll be busy with the current semester.

Most early applications (early action, early decision or single choice early action) are due November 1st or November 15th and the regular application deadlines are between January 1 - February 1st. That is to say, applications are due right before or after the fall/winter holidays and exams, so now's a good time to get started on your essays.

While schools might have different essay questions or numbers of essays, your goal is to tell something about yourself. It makes sense to choose one specific question about yourself and start brainstorming ideas and drafts. Remember that writing is a process that takes many, many drafts (and time in between them.) The earlier you start, the stronger your final essay(s) will be.

For additional help, I'm available to work with you as a private writing coach. I will help you to brainstorm ideas, organize them and present them clearly. We can work on the Common Application essay, essay questions particular to schools and short response questions.

Remember: Your job is to display your writing skills, critical thinking skills and creativity. The admissions counselors want to learn more about you and what you can do. We can make sure that your skills, experiences and interests are fully represented in your application as a whole. Remember to value your creative side - you might click through to this article on the subject from Harvard.

I am available to meet with at convenient times in person, online or on the phone.

Email me {Chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com} to sign up today.

Click here to read more about what happens during a Writing Coach appointment.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Upcoming Memoir Writing Classes @ Politics & Prose

I'm excited to be teaching writing at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C., again this fall. I'll be offering a memoir writing workshop and a new class about legal, ethical and moral issues in memoir with memoirist, attorney and professor Martha Ertman.

Click through to register with bookstore and read the full class descriptions. If you have questions, don't hesitate to email me (chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com.) 

The classes fill up quickly, so register today through the bookstore. 


Mixed Level Memoir
Four Tuesdays: September 23, 30, October 7, 14, 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Politics & Prose Bookstore

This four-week workshop will offer you the tools to write a memoir by breaking it down into pieces: linked personal essays. The class time and take-home writing assignments will primarily focus on student work. Participants will also respond to writing prompts, workshop drafts, and discuss on-going projects. We will consider issues of editing, revising, organizing research and chapters, as well as some strategies for publication. Students will receive feedback from peers as well as from the instructor.

For more details and to register through the bookstore, click here



Ethics of Memoir: Possible Moral and Legal Issues
Monday, September 29, 1 – 3 p.m.
Politics & Prose Bookstore 

Writing about oneself inevitably includes others. How do we morally, ethically and legally present living or deceased people in our memoirs? Martha Ertman, memoirist, attorney, and professor and memoir writing workshop instructor Chloe Yelena Miller will discuss these issues. Come with questions for the Q&A session in the second half. 

I’m excited to offer this brand new class, co-taught with Martha Ertman: Martha M. Ertman is the Carole & Hanan Sibel Research Professor and teaches Contracts, Commercial Law and Contract Drafting courses and writes about the role of contracts and mini-contracts she calls "deals" in family relationships. Her law review articles and book chapters uncover on the often-hidden role of contracts and deals in the legal rules governing the value of homemaking labor, what she calls "Plan B" baby-making through reproductive technologies, and polygamy, and her book Rethinking Commodification: Cases and Readings in Law and Culture (with Joan Williams (NYU Press 2005) explores the reach of markets into all areas of our lives.

For more details and to register through the bookstore, click here

Monday, July 21, 2014

Call & Response in Pank


Thanks to Nicole Rollender, I recently participated in a Call & Response in Pank Magazine. She presented a poem by Jon Anderson and I responded with a poem I'd written from my series Italian Vocabulary. 

In the introduction to the Call & Response, Nicole writes, "Michèle Foster defines call and response as “spontaneous verbal and non-verbal interaction between speaker and listener in which all of the statements (‘calls’) are punctuated by expressions (‘responses’) from the listener.” Call and response has a long history, documented in sub-Saharan Africa as a working way for groups to govern themselves democratically and participate in religious rituals; this tradition survived on slave ships over into the New World, where it has come through centuries in gospel music, folk music, military cadences, rock and roll (...)"

I hope you'll read the piece and spend some time reading Pank.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cross-Pollinate Literary Art Tour Reading

dress by Donna McCullough

I am looking forward to reading poems at the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts on Saturday, August 9 at 3:30 as a part of the Cross-Pollinate Literary Art Tour. Curator Melanie Figg invited poets, including Genevieve Deleon, Melanie Figg, Steve Godwin, Whitney Gratton, Danielle Kuczynski, and Reuben Silberman, to write in response to the current exhibit, Altered Ego.

I visited the exhibit and was moved by the variety of materials. There were bobby pins, toy cars, prints and more. The idea of having a writing assignment was initially intimidating, especially one that I'd read in public. After spending some time with the pieces, I found myself connecting with three sculptures. The intimacy of the pieces, one including human hair, brought me back to particular memories. While the first drafts of the response poems are very memoiristic, future drafts will (probably) move away from some of those personal details. I've been re-reading the poems every day, tweaking them and returning to photographs of the art to reconsider the relationship between the poems and the art. I look forward to seeing how the poems develop.

Click through for more: 
Cross-Pollinate: Literary Art Tour
Altered Ego exhibit (including a video and images)
Facebook invite

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pledge to Support The Singapore Literature Festival!





I encourage you to pledge to support the upcoming - and first - Singapore Literature Festival in New York City. Details below from the co-chairs, including Jee Leong Koh, who has been featured on this blog before:


For three days in October (Oct 10th to 12th, 2014), sixteen Singapore writers will converge on New York City to share their exciting works. It is a wonderful opportunity to hear and engage with the most distinctive voices of the island-state, which celebrates its 50th year of independence next year. The Singapore Literature Festival will help deepen the dialogue between East and West, between Asia and America.

The festival will take place in various locations around New York City including 92nd Street Y, NYU Writers House, Book Culture, and McNally Jackson.

Ten writers will be flying in from Singapore, to be joined by six writers based in the US. The exciting line-up: Alfian Sa'at, Alvin Pang, Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, Christine Chia, Colin Goh and Yen Yen Woo, Cyril Wong, Haresh Sharma, Jason Erik Lundberg, Joshua Ip, Kirstin Chen, Ovidia Yu, Pooja Nansi, Tania De Rozario, Verena Tay, and Wena Poon.

We need your support to make this dream come true. We are a group of volunteers, Singaporean writers and creatives who are proud to call New York City home. We have secured sponsorship for the costs of mounting the festival. The writers have received partial funding for their airfare and are willing to make up the difference, even if it means crashing on someone’s couch. As the organizers, we want to help our writers by raising funds for them. Your donation will go toward paying the writers. It will also pay for professional video recording and photography, so that the readings and conversations will be preserved and made available for future use.


Please contribute generously to our Kickstarter campaign. We have come up with some fantastic rewards for various levels of sponsorship. How would you like to own a piece of art by one of our writers? Or have your name written into a poem or story? You can show your support by contributing an amount as large as $1000 or as small as $10. Every dollar counts.

Please feel free to forward this appeal to family and friends. You can follow us on the festival website or on Facebook.

Make history with us by supporting this independent literary venture!

Yours sincerely,
Paul Rozario-Falcone and Jee Leong Koh
Co-chairs of Singapore Literature Festivl