Happenings @ The Writers’ Center

You’re sure to find something to interest you in the Writers’ Center’s offerings during the first week of December, starting with the Latino December Festival on December 3rd, featuring Westchester’s literary star, Esmeralda Santiago, and ending with two outstanding novelists/memoir writers on December 10, Iranian-American Nahid Rachlin and Sigrid Nuñez.

In between we offer you the award-winning writer, Michael Cunningham, who will read, take questions, and sign books at the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry at 7:30 pm on Thursday, December 7.

Cunningham’s third novel, The Hours, earned him the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and was made into a film with Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, and Meryl Streep, and he has won many other prizes and awards.

His latest book, Specimen Days, is haunted by Walt Whitman much as The Hours was haunted by Virginia Woolf.

Admission is $15 ($10 for HVWC members).

The Latino December Festival takes place at 2 pm on Sunday, December 3, at John Paulding Elementary School across from Patriot’s Park in Tarrytown. Esmeralda Santiago’s oldest sister, Delsa, who is featured in Esmeralda’s children’s book, A Doll for Navidades, will be supplying lovingly prepared traditional holiday refreshments.

Their youngest sibling, Ralph Martinez (nicknamed Ciro, in Esmeralda’s memoir, Almost a Woman) will be participating in a lively band led by vocalist Frankie Figueroa (aka “Mister Estilo”), which will provide traditional music that will have people up and dancing.

If you come early (by 1:45) you can have a quick salsa lesson so you can dance along.

Willing audience members will also be given an opportunity to share a holiday story, in either Spanish or English.

This very popular event is free and open to all, thanks to support from the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns, the Rotary Club of the Tarrytowns, the Villages of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, and a municipal challenge grant from Westchester Arts Council.

The reading by Rachlin and Nunez on Sunday, December 10 will take place at 4:30 and it will be preceded at 2:30 by a panel discussion by Nuñez with Amy Holman and Kurt Brown called “Networks for Success.” The panel will talk about the many opportunities out there for writers to get support for their work — from classes at places like the HVWC to festivals, conferences, retreats, colonies, and — last but hardly least — grants!

Admission to the panel discussion and reading is $10. Admission to the reading alone is $5 ($3 for members).

For more information check www.writerscenter.org or call 914-332-5953.

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About the Author: Dare Thompson