Deans Suzanne Kessler and Louise Yelin will launch the Purchase Writers
Center in the fall of 2010.
Founded by Deans Kessler, Yelin and Westchester writer Marilyn Johnson, author of the Dead Beat and This Book is Overdue, the Center is intended to give the college the same visibility in writing as it has in the visual and performing arts and to give writers what they need—a place to read, write, to do research and to meet other writers.
The Center will be overseen by an Advisory Board of distinguished writers, and, onsite, an Executive Committee of Purchase College writers and writing program heads. Among the writers who have joined the Advisory Board are Benjamin Cheever, Aminatta Forna, Sheila Kohler, Caryl Phillips, Marie Ponsot, Esmeralda Santiago, David Shields and Purchase alumni Jeremy Gerard and Donald Margulies.
The Writers Center has been awarded a grant by the SUNY Office of Diversity and Educational Equity to support writing workshops for students from the local community.
To inaugurate the Center, Purchase will appoint two or three Westchester-area writers as Fellows for the academic year in September, 2010.
Fellows will have offices in the Writers Center on campus, access to the library and its databases and a small stipend. Fellows may give one or two readings (solo or together) or conduct a one-session workshop for students or community members. Their main obligation will be to do what they love and do best—to write.