Saturday, October 21, 2017, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Thayer Memorial Library
Suspense on Stage and Page, with James Nicola
How do you keep an audience riveted throughout your poem, song, or play? How do you keep a reader turning the pages of your novel or short story? How do you make your memoir not merely an account, but an adventure?
James B. Nicola’s workshop Suspense on Stage and Page is designed for writers of all genres—drama, poetry, song, memoir and essay. It looks at how some of the greats have created suspense not only with plot and character development, but through devices like word choice, repetition, tension and conflict, mystery, danger, voice, wonder, nuance, and restraint. Exercises will involve participants as performers and audience as well as authors. This workshop will also prove helpful, maybe even essential, to all performers, directors, and lovers of literature who want to get the most out of their experience as writers, readers, or audience. All you need bring is pen and paper, an inquisitive creativity, and an adventurous spirit. In other words, come ready to play—and to write!
James B. Nicola’s poems have appeared stateside in the Antioch,Southwest and Atlanta Reviews, Rattle, Tar River, and Poetry East, and in many journals in Europe and Canada. A Yale graduate, he won a Dana Literary Award, a Willow Review award, and a People’s Choice award (from Storyteller), and he was featured poet at New Formalist. His nonfiction book, Playing the Audience, won a Choice award.
Following the tradition of poets Stanley Kunitz, Elizabeth Bishop, and Frank O’Hara, James moved from his native Worcester, Massachusetts, to New York City where he makes his home. Lately he has been conducting both theater and poetry workshops at libraries, literary festivals, schools, and community centers all over the country, most notably the Kennedy Center/American College Theater Festival.
James is also a director, composer, lyricist, and playwright. His children’s musical Chimes: A Christmas Vaudeville premiered in Fairbanks, Alaska, where Santa Claus was rumored to be in the audience on opening night.