Reading and discussion led by Susie Kaufman and Joan Embree
Deb Koffman Artspace, 129 Front Street, Housatonic, 4 p.m.
Writers need solitude to do their work and to visit their personal past where their material lies waiting for them. But writers are also famously lonely, exiled in the attic like Emily Dickinson, often without a community or even one other trustworthy listener to exchange experiences with. In this event, Joan Embree and Susie Kaufman, who have re-discovered each other as literary friends after more than 30 years, will explore this paradox by reading from their work, talking with one another and engaging the audience. They will entertain such thorny questions as: Can writing actually decrease our sense of isolation and despair? Is it possible for writers to be friends? Is it more or less difficult for women writers to become friends? And when they do come together to read, to talk, to listen, is that not sacred space?
Joan Embree is a mother and grandmother living in the Berkshires with three dogs and one cat. She works as a caterer, private cook and yoga teacher. Formerly the owner of Embree’s Restaurant, she worked with the gifted poets, Michael and Peter Gizzi, who encouraged her to write. A passionate reader all her life, she has been writing and publishing fiction for many years. In 2012, she won a writing contest during the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers. She is currently seeking an agent for her recently completed first novel, Summer of the Stolen Dog.
Susie Kaufman, a 40-year resident of the Berkshires, is a retired Hospice chaplain. Her spiritual writing has appeared in America (The Jesuit Weekly); Lilith, and Presence, the quarterly journal of Spiritual Directors International, as well as its online publication, Connections. Susie was the second place winner in the 2012 New Marlborough Mystery Writers contest. She reads her work regularly at IWOW, the monthly Open Mic in at Deb Koffman’s Artspace in Housatonic. In 2013, Susie was a participant in the BFWW panel “Women of a Certain Age.” Last June, she appeared with Joan Embree in a reading at the Great Barrington library.