Visiting Writers Series

Project Write Now invites accomplished writers to Red Bank to read their work, answer questions, and lead a workshop with our writing community.

Visiting Writer Workshop with Martha Cooley
Saturday, April 1, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Our first guest writer is Martha Cooley, a novelist and author of short fiction, essays, and translation whose work has appeared in numerous literary journals. Her first novel, The Archivist, was a national best-seller published in a dozen foreign markets, and her second, Thirty-Three Swoons, was also published in Italian.

During the workshop, Martha will read and discuss her new memoir-in-essays, Guesswork, which will be published in April (see below). Advanced copies will be provided for registered attendees. The workshop will also include a Q&A, along with writing exercises.

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About Guesswork:

Having lost eight friends in ten years, Cooley retreats to a tiny medieval village in Italy with her husband. There, in a rural paradise where bumblebees nest in the ancient cemetery and stray cats curl up on her bed, she examines a question both easily evaded and unavoidable: mortality.

How do we grieve? How do we go on drinking our morning coffee, loving our life partners, stumbling through a world of such confusing, exquisite beauty?

Linking the essays is Cooley’s escalating understanding of another loss on the way, that of her ailing mother back in the States. Blind since Cooley’s childhood, her mother relies on dry wit to ward off grief and pity. There seems no way for the two of them to discuss her impending death. But somehow, by the end, Cooley finds the words, each one graceful and wrenching.

Part memoir, part loving goodbye to an unconventional parent, Guesswork transforms a year in a pastoral hill town into a fierce examination of life, love, death, and, ultimately, release.

For more about Martha Cooley and her work please visit marthacooley.com.