Tag Archives: Redeemer Presbyterian Church

My Literary Highlights of 2015

31 Jan

Even more than art, literature is fundamental to my life. Reading was so important to my development as a child and continues to expand my horizons to this day. I earn my living as a writer and an editor, but even my social calendar revolves around literary events. Literature is very much a part of my identity, and I make a priority for it in my life.

 

BurroughsAnne Waldman, Penny Arcade, Jan Herman, Steve Dalachinsky, and Aimee Herman read at Burroughs 101, hosted by Three Rooms Press, at Cornelia Street Cafe. (Anne Waldman pictured)

HettiePam Belluck, Hettie Jones, Margot Olavarria, Marci Blackman, and Beth Lisick read at Women on Top, hosted by Three Rooms Press, at Cornelia Street Cafe. (Hettie Jones pictured)

BigSur

Big Sur (an adaptation of Kerouac’s novel) on Netflix

brunchEpic four-hour brunch at The District with two writer friends, talking about “ethnic” literature, faith, and relationships.

SunsetAfter Sunset: Poetry Walk on the High Line.

Budapest1My friends surprising me by taking me to a book-themed restaurant on my first night in Budapest.

BookCafeBrunch with friends at the most exquisite bookstore, Book Cafe & Alexandra Bookstore, in Budapest.

ElenaReading Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, a recommendation from my friend Jane.

BEABook Expo America.

AmramDavid Amram telling stories about Jack Kerouac and other literary figures and amazing us with his music at Cornelia Street Cafe.

MisakoBrunch with my friend Misako Oba, whose new book of photography and memoir, which I helped edit, was published.

DurdenDrinks with one of my favorite people at Durden, a bar based on author Chuck Palahniuk’s novel-turned-movie Fight Club.

PoetryNew York City Poetry Festival with my writing group partner.

OdysseyWatched Homer’s The Odyssey performed, put on by the Public Theater, in Central Park.

Reading from Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” (coauthored with Paul Maher Jr.) at WORD Bookstore in Jersey City.

HobartTeaching a writing class at the Hobart Festival of Women Writers.

WritersThe Redeemed Writer: The Call and the Practice, a conference I co-led in organizing through the Center for Faith & Work. (Pastor David Sung pictured)

BrooklynBrooklyn Book Festival.

ReggioBrunch at Caffe Reggio, where Jack Kerouac and friends used to hang out.

BindersFullOfWomenSpeaking on the panel Lessons Learned: Published Authors Share Hard-Earned Insights with Nana Brew-Hammond, Kerika Fields, Melissa Walker, Ruiyan Xu, and Jakki Kerubo at BinderCon.

LibraryMeeting regularly with one of my best friends to read and write together at the New York Public Library.

Hemmingway-1_0

Checking out the Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars exhibit at the Morgan Library & Museum with a friend who is a huge Hemingway fan.

OTRSpotting a first edition copy of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin.

Light

Reading Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See.

Like literature?

Burning Furiously Beautiful on sale at Barnes & Noble.

Burning Furiously Beautiful on sale at Amazon.

My Pinterest posts called Lit Life.

I’m on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

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Write Like a Lion or a Lamb at the Redeemer Writers Group

20 Mar

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Nana, Maurice, Peter, and I are leading a writers workshop at the Redeemer Offices (1166 Avenue of the Americas, 16th Floor) here in New York on March 25, 2015, from 7-9pm. All are welcome to join us. Please bring one to two pages of your writing to share during the critiquing time. FMI.

RSVP through the Center for Faith & Work is mandatory due to office security.

Editor’s Note: Details have now been corrected from an earlier publication. 

Fall in Love with Writing This February 26

13 Feb

2062-writers

Nana, Maurice, and I are leading a writers workshop at the NEW Redeemer offices (1166 Avenue of the Americas, 16th floor) here in New York on February 26, 2015, from 7-9pm. All are welcome to join us. Please bring one to two pages of your writing to share during the critiquing time. FMI.

Please note change of date to February 26 and change of location to 1166 Avenue of the Americas, 16th floor. You MUST register for the event via Redeemer due to new office security measures. Thanks!

Kick Your Writing Off This Year at the Redeemer Writers Group

16 Jan

2062-writers

Nana, Maurice, and I are leading a writers workshop at the Redeemer Offices (1359 Broadway, 4th Floor, Main Conference Room) here in New York on January 21, 2015, from 7-9pm. All are welcome to join us. Please bring one to two pages of your writing to share during the critiquing time. FMI.

Editor’s note: The date has been changed to January 21.

Fall Semester of the Redeemer Writers Group Announced

10 Sep

writers

Along with two other very talented writers and editors, Maurice and Nana, I will once again be hosting the Redeemer Writers Group after our summer hiatus. The dates for our fall “semester” have now been finalized:

 

September 22, 2014. 7-9pm.

October 20, 2014. 7-9pm.

November 17, 2014. 7-9pm.
The writing workshops are completely free and open to anyone interested. Please bring a one- to two-page work of your own writing in any genre that you would like critiqued to share with the group. We are a Christian-based group open to writers of all skill levels and genres. The writing workshop will be held at the Redeemer Offices, 1359 Broadway, 4th Floor, Main Conference Room. NYC.

I’m Leading a Free Writing Worshop Tonight

24 Mar

writers

From the website:::

March 24, 2014. 7-9pm. Stephanie will lead a writers workshop with Nana and Maurice at the Redeemer Offices, 1359 Broadway, 4th Floor, Main Conference Room. Admission is free. Please bring 1-2 pages of your writing for critique.

See you there!

Clip: Creating Space

26 Mar

 

I’m pleased to have a personal essay published inCreating Space.  In the essay, I write about my angsty teen years in New Jersey … and how I still sometimes feel that way.

Creating Space is a Lenten devotional published by RedeemerWrites, part of the Redeemer Writers Group, an arts ministry at the Center for Faith & Work.  As you may know, I’m one of the leaders of the Writers Group, and so I was involved in soliciting entries for Creating Spaceand editing them, under the direction of Maria Fee.  The devotional features poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, as well as calligraphy by artist David Chang.

Creating Space is on sale for $5.

Jeremy Begbie: Using Musical Styles to Find a Writing Style

13 Mar

On Saturday I attended a luncheon with Jeremy Begbie, amazing jazz pianist and theologian, and then in the evening heard him speak as part of the Gospel & Culture series.  As a writer, I find inspiration everywhere and feel like I can learn so much from other arts disciplines.

Begbie really got me thinking about:

  • tension and resolution
  • abundance within containment
  • improvisation
  • the unexpected
  • discordance

He said art should serve a good end but warned against sentimentality.

Here’s how Redeemer’s Center for Faith & Work promoted the event:

What difference can the announcement that Jesus is raised from the dead make to the arts and artists today? Begbie will show how the arts have unique powers to unlock the revolutionary nature of this event, and in turn, how the resurrection revolutionizes the arts. The presentation will include extensive performance.
Jeremy BegbieJeremy Begbie is the inaugural holder of the Thomas A. Langford Research Professorship in Theology at Duke Divinity School, North Carolina, and founding Director of Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts. He teaches systematic theology, and he specializes in the interface between theology and the arts. His particular research interest is the interplay between music and theology. He is also Senior Member at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculties of Divinity and Music at the University of Cambridge. Previously he has been Associate Principal at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, and Honorary Professor at the University of St Andrews where he directed the research project, Theology Through the Arts at the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts. He is author of a number of books, including Voicing Creation’s Praise: Towards a Theology of the Arts (T & T Clark); Theology, Music and Time (CUP), and most recently, Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music (Baker/SPCK) which won the Christianity Today 2008 Book Award in the Theology/Ethics Category. He is a professionally trained and active musician, and has taught widely in the UK, North America and South Africa, specializing in multimedia performance-lectures.

Begbie played snippets of classical music to show how discordance can be beautiful because it is unexpected.  Not only did it make me want to listen to more live classical music, but it inspired me to be more playful stylistically with my writing.  It’s fun to experiment with how unexpected twists and turns that leave the reader turning the page to find out what happens next.

Writing Wednesday: BWC Church Hopping Column Goes Live in NYC This Summer

29 Jun

While I tend to write a lot about my life as a Greek American here, for the past few years I’ve been writing about art and architecture and faith over at Burnside Writers Collective.  Three years ago, I began writing a column called Church Hopping, in which I visit — most of the time physically but occasionally virtually — churches throughout the world, and write about their incredible history and art.  The Church Hopping column is one of the writing projects I’m the most proud of, and of which the Burnside community has been incredibly supportive of.

That’s why I’m so happy to announce that I’m partnering with Burnside Writers Collective, City Grace Church, and Redeemer Presbyterian Church to create live Church Hopping events this summer!  That means that you can join in on the fun.  Read more about it here and register here.  Space is limited and it’s filling up fast so even though the first event is a month away, I suggest registering asap if you plan on attending.

Recap of My Reading at the InterArts Summer Showcase

28 Jun

 

Friday’s InterArts Summer Showcase was a blast!  So much creativity filled the room.  I left feeling so inspired and wanting to be more experimental and collaborative.

There were ten of us presenting.  Four of us were representing the literary arts — personal essay, poetry, argument — while others were photographers, digital artists, singers, hip-hop artists, painters.  As evidenced from the picture above, one artist made a 3D film.  I was impressed by the quality of the projects and the thought process that had gone behind them.  I bought the poet’s chapbook, and if I were richer I’d love to own some of the art.

We each got eight minutes to present.  I’ll admit it: I was nervous.  I’m not a performer, and even though I write about myself a lot I don’t actually enjoy the spotlight.  But, I knew I had a story worth sharing.  I’m not typically a humor writer, but my story had a few funny moments in it, and I began to relax and enjoy myself as I heard the audience laughing.  When I got to the clincher at the end, I even heard someone audible gasp!

…And then my friends showed up.  I was the first presenter of the evening and even though we didn’t start on time, most of my friends missed my reading entirely.  I felt so bad!  Two of them had gotten stuck in rush hour traffic for two hours, another had cycled an hour and a half from another state, someone else had dragged along a friend who was visiting from out of town, and someone whom I had just met at NYFA‘s literary mingle had gotten stuck at work.  Some of my other friends were there, though, and my always-supportive and encouraging sister was there.  Afterward a group of us went out to a pub, so I got to at least catch up with most of them.  Some of them I hadn’t seen in 7+ months!  I’m so thankful for such great friends!  I know attending an arts event isn’t everyone’s ideal Friday night, and it meant a lot to me that my friends were supportive enough to travel–some of them from other boroughs, some from other states–to support my writing.  Awesome friends!