“Voicing Empathy” & “Slush Pile to Publication”

March 5, 2021 @ 4:00 pm
Hermitage Artist Retreat
6660 Manasota Key Road
FL 34223

“Voicing Empathy” & “Slush Pile to Publication”
Friday, March 5 @ 4:00pm
With Hermitage Fellows Sam Max, Sarah Gorham & Jeffrey Skinner
Hermitage Great Lawn, 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood, FL 34223 

Register here. $5 per person.

Hermitage Fellows Sam Max (playwright), Sarah Gorham (poet and essayist), and Jeffrey Skinner (poet) will offer an afternoon writing workshop beside the Hermitage banyan tree.

Playwright Sam Max will offer a workshop for writers and non-writers alike. In a series of brief exercises, we will use guided prompts and approachable free-writing techniques to give voice to unlikely subjects. By looking within at the antagonistic voices already taking up residence inside ourselves, we can tap into our innate storytelling potential as human beings, and expand the possibilities of our empathy.

Sarah Gorham and Jeffrey Skinner, co-founders of independent literary press Sarabande Books, will offer a behind-the-scenes look into what it takes to get a literary work published. Gorham ​and Skinner ​will take questions about how a book makes its way from the “slush pile” to publication. 

Capacity is limited to accommodate safe social distancing. Registration is required and early reservations are recommended. Masks are requested and strongly encouraged. Audiences members are invited to bring their own beach chairs and blankets.

Sam Max (pictured above) is a writer and director. They are a resident playwright of New Dramatists. Sam’s play Coop was selected for the 2020-21 Theatertreffen-Stückemarkt in Berlin, and premiered at the Paradise Factory last spring under their own direction. Their other works for stage include Pidor and the Wolf (Winner: Chesley Bumbalo Playwriting Award, Finalist: National Playwrights Conference, Honorable Mention: The Relentless Award), and Twin Size Beds (Selection: Under the Radar Festival at The Public). Sam’s plays are published and represented in translation by Suhrkamp Theater Verlag in Berlin. Sam is an alum of The Public’s Devised Theater Working Group and Pipeline Theatre Company’s PlayLab, and they have been awarded residencies and grants from The Hermitage Artist Retreat, National Sawdust, The Mastheads, Cutting Ball Theater, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. In 2018 Sam was named one of Hollywood’s “Top 100 New Writers,” and they are currently working on their first feature, as well as an experimental memoir. 

Sarah Gorham is a poet and essayist, and most recently the author of Alpine Apprentice and Study in Perfect, the latter selected by Bernard Cooper for the 2013 AWP Award in Creative Nonfiction. Both were published by University of Georgia Press. Gorham is also the author of four collections of poetry— Bad Daughter, The Cure, The Tension Zone, and Don’t Go Back to Sleep. Alpine Apprentice was one of four finalists for the PEN Award in Essay.  Other honors include grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and three state arts councils. She is co-founder and editor-in-chief at Sarabande Books, an independent, nonprofit, literary publisher. 

Jeffrey Skinner is the recipient of a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry. His most recent book of poems, Chance Divine, won the Field Prize and was published in 2017. In 2015, Skinner was given one of eight American Academy of Arts & Letters Awards, for exceptional accomplishment in writing. In 2006, he was awarded his second Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has published six previous full collections of poems: Late Stars, A Guide to Forgetting (a winner in the National Poetry series), The Company of Heaven, Gender Studies, Salt Water Amnesia, and Glaciology, which won the Crab Orchard Open Poetry Award. Skinner has edited a number of anthologies, including Last Call: Poems of Alcoholism, Addiction, and Deliverance; and Passing the Word: Poets and Their Mentors. His full-length play Down Range has had successful limited runs in New York City, Chicago, and Harrisburg, PA. He is co-founder of Sarabande Books, and lives in Louisville, Kentucky.