Monday, 31 August 2015 12:20

Living Writers Series to Open with Children's Book Author Jennifer Jackson

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Fresh off the release of her debut children's book published by Disney Hyperion, Jennifer Jackson, an Oswego alumna in English and theater, will lead off SUNY Oswego's Living Writers Series with a free presentation at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, in the Marano Campus Center auditorium.

"The Punkydoos Take the Stage," geared for children 3 to 6, tells the story of Lexi-Lou in words, pictures and even lyrics. Jackson said her love of storytelling began in theater. She has worked as a choreographer, creating character-driven movement for actors on both stage and screen, and is now based in Los Angeles.

The Living Writers Series, a long-running program of the English and creative writing department, also will feature a graphic novelist, the Oswego Reading Initiative author, an artist and educator, a poet, a writer/producer, a humorist and a screenwriter, all with free 3 p.m. sessions in the Marano Campus Center auditorium.

Juliet Giglio, coordinator of this year's series, expressed excitement at having an alumna such as Jackson as the leadoff presenter.

"It allows students attending to say to themselves, 'That could be me someday,'" Giglio said.

Michael Raicht will appear on Sept. 21, discussing his graphic novel, "The Stuff of Legend," and his recently released comic book, "Wild Blue Yonder." He is the first graphic novelist to appear in the series, Giglio said.

"Movie studios are always paying attention to graphic novels, making this style of writing very viable to students looking at screenwriting as a profession," she said.

Diverse lineup

Giglio, who worked for months to assemble the series roster, said she has no favorites among the wide range of professional writers who will appear. "Each writer is bringing something new and important, and the guest diversity this year is the most exciting part," she said.

Karen Joy Fowler will precede her 7 p.m. Oswego Reading Initiative lecture later that evening with a 3 p.m. Living Writers presentation on Sept. 30. "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves" was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2014, and Fowler previously received PEN/Faulkner and California Book awards.

On Oct. 14, Adam Falkner, founder and executive director of the Dialogue Arts Project, will appear. His work has been featured in the New York Times and Painted Bride Quarterly, on HBO and elsewhere. He teaches in the sociology and education programs at Vassar College and Columbia University.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of three books of poetry, will make a presentation Oct. 19. Her book "Lucky Fish" won a Hoffer Grand Prize for Prose and Independent Books and other honors.

Lew Schneider, whose television writing credits include "American Dad," "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Men of a Certain Age," will appear Oct. 26. He worked for nine years as writer-producer of the Emmy Award-winning "Everybody Loves Raymond."

Dani Klein Modisett, author of "Take My Spouse, Please: How to Keep Your Marriage Happy, Healthy and Thriving by Following the Rules of Comedy," will make a presentation Nov. 9. She also is the editor-author of "Afterbirth: Stories You Won't Read in a Parenting Magazine."

On Nov. 23, Keith Giglio, whose screenwriting and producing credits include "A Cinderella Story," "Walt Disney's Tarzan," "Return to Halloweentown" and others, will bring that and his other experiences as a narrative designer for video games at a toy company and as a book author to the Living Writers Series.

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