Saturday, March 23
Women Writers on Masculinity: A Reading
Hosted by Nina Ryan and Michelle Gillett, with special guest Katherine Bouton
Gala reception to follow, with special thanks to Rubiner’s Cheesemongers and Grocers
The Mount, Lenox, 3–5 p.m.

This reading of the winning three essays from this year’s essay contest focuses on the question of masculinity. Women and girls were asked to take on the subject of masculinity in a personal essay, exploring the experiences of culture, body, biology, roles, behavior, language, work, and spirit that have defined or interrogated their ideas of masculinity. Check the Festival website for announcement of the three winning essays.

Michelle Gillett has won poetry fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and published work in numerous literary magazines. Her publications include a chapbook, Rock and Spindle (Mad River Press) as well as Blinding the Goldfinches, published in 2005, winner of the Backwaters Press Poetry Prize and The Green Cottage, winner of the Ledge 2010 Poetry Chapbook competition. She received an MFA from Warren Wilson College. She is a regular op-ed columnist for the Berkshire Eagle and a teacher of writing workshops.

Nina Ryan is an independent editor and former literary agent who has worked in book publishing for twenty years. As an agent with the Cowles-Ryan Agency and the Palmer & Dodge Agency (now Kneerim & Williams), and as an editor at Random House, she worked closely with a number of writers to develop book proposals and manuscripts for books published by Alfred A. Knopf, Henry Holt & Co., Doubleday, Macmillan, Walker Books, and other major publishers. She received an MA from the Columbia School of Journalism and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.

KatherineBouton © Joyce Ravid

This year’s essay contest judge is Katherine Bouton, senior editor at the New York Times for twenty-two years and author of the new book Shouting Won’t Help: Why I—and Fifty Other Million Americans—Can’t Hear You. The book is an engaging account of what it’s like to live with an invisible disability along with a robust prescription for our nation’s increasing problem with deafness.