Readings / Talks / Workshops


Upcoming Events


The Art of Healing:  Storytelling and Compassionate Caregiving

Meriter Hospital, Madison, Wisconsin 

7 pm, Thursday, October 16

Fenton Johnson, contributor to the nation’s leading magazines and newspapers and professor of creative nonfiction at the University of Arizona, discusses his award-winning memoir, Geography of the Heart, his story of learning how to love in the AIDS epidemic through caring for his partner Larry Rose, the only son of Holocaust survivors.  

Johnson will converse with Dr. Ron Grant, Director of Medical Humanities at the University of Arizona and staff pediatrician at Meriter Hospital, with time for audience questions and stories.





Past Events


Uses of Affliction:  Reading and Writing Illness:  SUNY-Stonybrook Manhattan Reading Series

Reading and conversation with distinguished editor and writer Daniel Menaker, author of My Mistake

Monday, November 18, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
101-113 E. 27th Street, Third Floor
New York, NY  10016

For the full autumn series schedule, visit

For the poster for the complete series:SUNY Stonybrook 2013 poster


Tomales Bay Workshops

October 16-20, 2013
Marconi Conference Center, Marshall, California, north of San Francisco in Marin County

This workshop will address memoir and journaling as means of deepening our writing and our interior life.  We will discuss how reading and research can complement the contemplative experience.  We will devote particular attention to vivid figurative language as a way of enriching our encounter with the world, on and off the page.  Students will share short samples of their writing – fiction, nonfiction, or poetry — and will be offered prompts designed to provoke questions and deepen their encounter with their writing and the world.  Writers who may be included in the reader:  Anne Lamott, Julian of Norwich, Thomas Merton, Bashō, Augustine of Hippo, Kathleen Norris, Hildegard of Bingen, Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, Sor Juana Inez, Theresa of Avila, Pema Chodron.   For more information and to register, visit


Panel:  Going Beyond What You Know: Research and The Personal Memoir
Marina Budhos, Kathryn Harrison, Faith Adiele, Fenton Johnson, Bonnie Friedman

Sometimes, memoir is drawn not just from what we know, but from what we discover through research.  This panel will explore how the writer balances research with personal narrative. How does one blend the researcher’s objective findings with the idiosyncratic, personal voice? How to make use of interviews? When does research reshape the narrative? Panelists will share their strategies for balancing research with the craft of a memoir, and offer suggestions for the writing workshop.

Associated Writing Programs 2012 Conference, Friday, March 2, 1:30-2:45 pm, Empire Ballroom, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL


Lecture:   Medical Humanities Speakers Series: An Intimate Encounter with the Heart: The Physician’s Engagement with Suffering, Loss & the Taking of Life

Wednesday, January 25, noon, Kiewit Auditorium, University of Arizona Medical Center, 1515 N. Campell Avenue, Tucson, Arizona.  Free and open to the public.


Book Discussion, Geography of the Heart
Wednesday, December 21, 4 p.m., Nelson County Public Library, Bardstown, Kentucky, 4 pm.  Free and open to the public.



Workshop:  The Interior Journey: Reading and Writing as Spiritual Practice

with Fenton Johnson

University of Arizona Poetry Center, Mondays, February 20 through April 2, 2012 (no class on March 12), 6:00-8:00 pm
Tuition: $180 + $10 course material fee

This writing workshop arises from a conviction that at their foundation our contemporary challenges are ethical, philosophical, moral, and spiritual.  We will devote particular attention to vivid figurative language as a way of enriching our encounter with the world, on and off the page.  We will explore memoir and journaling as means of deepening our writing and our interior life, and discuss how reading and research can provide a foundation for and complement the contemplative experience.  We will devote particular attention to the calendar, as our meetings lead up to and embrace the great markers of rebirth and renewal—the vernal equinox and its religious correspondents Easter and Passover. As inspiration and model for our writing, we will work from a course reader with selections from Anne Lamott, Flannery O’Connor, Martin Buber, Patricia Hampl, Francine Prose, N. Scott Momaday, Patti Smith, Marilynne Robinson, Brother David Steindl-Rast, and Suzuki Roshi, as well as the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.

For more information and to register:;   520-626-3765



Panel Discussion:  Medicine and the Humanities:  A Collaboration

Friday, December 2, 12:00-1:30 p.m., Modern Languages Building, Room 445

Dr. Tilly Warnock, UA Professor Emerita, introduces / moderates, as Dr. Rishi Goyal, Ph.D. presents The Narrative Logic of Medicine, and Dr. Ron Grant, MD, MFA, presents  Medical Humanities:  Reflective Writing in Compassionate Healthcare.  Professor Fenton Johnson, discussant.  Free and open to the public.



Workshop and Lecture:  Writing and Reading as Spiritual Disciplines

Tomales Bay Workshops, October 19-23, 2011



Reading and Talk, Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning

Wednesday, March 2, 7:30 p.m. , free

251 W. Second Street, Lexington, Kentucky

For more information:  email K.J. Rawson



Keynote Address, Symposium on Undergraduate Writing

Thursday, March 3, 1 p.m., free and open to public

Paterson Office Tower, 18th Floor, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky



Reading with poet Paul Quenon of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, and Rusty Moe, Indianapolis, Indiana
Thursday, June 17, 2010, 7 pm

Bardstown Art Gallery and Thomas Merton Books, 214 W. Stephen Foster Ave.
, Bardstown, Kentucky
Jeannette Cantrell, Director (502) 348-6488



Craft Lecture: The Lion and the Lamb, or the Facts and the Truth:  Memoir as Bridge
Wednesday, September 15, 2:30 pm
St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California.



Wednesday, September 15, 7:30 pm
St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California.



Sixth Annual Clarksville Writers’ Conference
Friday-Saturday, July 30-31, 2010

Austin Peay University Center for Excellence in the Creative Arts, Clarksville, Tennessee.



“On Moral Fiction,” a Semester-long Craft of Literature Course
Autumn 2010
MFA Program of St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California.