Writers at Studio 11 reading series will feature authors Leah Naomi Green and John Casteen on Monday, March 4, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Studio 11 Gallery in Lexington. Green will read from her chapbook, “The Ones We Have,” and Casteen will read from his latest, “For the Mountain Laurel.”
The readings are free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served. Books will be available for sale.
Green’s poems have appeared in “The Squaw Valley Review” and “Dirtcakes Literary Journal,” among other places. She is the recipient of many honors, including the Flying Trout Press Award, the Dirtcakes Poetry Award, the Bain-Swiggett Poetry Prize and the University of California Humanities Center International Travel Grant.
Green received her M.F.A. from the Poetry Workshop at The University of California, Irvine, and teaches writing and environmental studies at Washington and Lee University. She lives in Rockbridge County where she and her partner, Ben, grow food and homestead on 80 acres.
Casteen’s “Free Union” (2009) and “For the Mountain Laurel (2011) are part of the VQR Poetry Series from the University of Georgia Press. His poems have appeared in “The Paris Review,” “Prairie Schooner,” “Ploughshares,” “Shenandoah” and other magazines, and in “Best American Poetry” and “The Rumpus Poetry Anthology.”
Casteen is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and for 10 years was self-employed as a designer and builder of custom furniture. He has taught on Semester at Sea (Summer 2008, Fall 2011) at the University of Virginia and as visiting artist faculty in residence at New York University. He lives in Earlysville, Va., and teaches poetry at Sweet Briar College.
The Studio 11 event will include student writers from Washington and Lee University (Cameron Higgins, a senior English major), Dabney S. Lancaster Community College (Taylor Goodwin) and Virginia Military Institute (VMI senior Woody Sudkin).
Other readers will be Toni Shirey, a 2006 graduate of Rockbridge County High School, who attended Blue Ridge Community College and works at Blue Sky. Peggy McCaulley, a member of Sub Terra, who is actively involved in Rockbridge area volunteer work. She is currently writing her memoirs as well as fiction. Janice Bell, also a member of Sub Terra, is a Virginia native with an admitted addiction to knitting. She is a volunteer at Project Horizon.
Ellen Mayock and Stacey Vargas will read from some collaborative work. Mayock has published a book-length study on Spanish women writers, a translation of a one-act play titled “Man Woman Hombre Mujer” written by W&L Professor Chris Gavaler, and 30 articles on Spanish, Latin American and U.S.-Latin literature. Mayock is also co-editor of “Feminist Activism in Academia.” She is the Ernest Williams II Professor of Spanish at W&L.
Vargas is a professor of physics at VMI and also runs a laser spectroscopy research laboratory. She researches and studies the optical
properties on ions doped into solid state crystals and glasses. She has written a variety of publications and presentations on her research.
Studio 11 is located at 11 S. Jefferson St. in downtown Lexington. The artist exhibiting at Studio Eleven during March is local artist Janette Coleman. The reading series is coordinated by Mattie Quesenberry Smith of DSLCC and Lesley Wheeler of W&L with help from both schools, including the Glasgow Endowment at W&L.