I was honored to be a guest speaker at VCLA. I had the pleasure of meeting Winchester, VA. Here are some videos and photos from the event…
VCLA’s stated mission is at once focused yet broad: we intend to open a world-class residency that welcomes writers (of all disciplines and genres) year-round, featuring workshops, seminars, and residencies, allowing authors time and space to work. But VCLA will be –and already is– bigger…and better. We envision the bricks and mortar (in historic Winchester, VA) as an eventual and inevitable destination for this programming, but also a satellite (physical, virtual) for creativity and community. Check out our 2019 events calendar, very much a work-in-progress, but one that is rapidly expanding, to get a sense of what we’re doing, what we’re delivering, and who we are hoping to attract (hint: everyone, especially you).
That said, the only criterion for participating in VCLA’s programs is an opened and curious mind. Whenever possible, my goal is to present fresh and under-represented voices, which involves avoiding cliché and predictability. Our ongoing Author Series at Handley Library will continue to feature writers from myriad fields, and has thus far included non-fiction and political biography. For our first foray into the world of fiction, the key word is world. As in global; not local, not American. This weekend it was our considerable honor to invite Egyptian writer Ahmed Naji to discuss his novel Using Life.
Matt Davis reads a translated section from Using Life:
في 2016 أثناء سجنى، وبمبادرة كريمة من مهرجان “دى-كاف” لفنون وسط البلد. نظم المهرجان هذه القراءة البديعة للفنان سيد رجب حيث قرأ قصة “لغز المهرجان المشطور” كاملة. قراءة ولا أروع من فنان كبير ومفضل أضافت للنص وأثرته. شكرا أستاذنا وشكرا دى-كاف