Free Writer Events in Philadelphia – March 2018

#CCP #writing #Philadelphia   #VietDinh
Writer friends! CCP peeps! Community College of Philadelphia has several cool workshops and readings open to the public this week, and I especially recommend
Viet Đinh‘s event on his Penn/Faulkner Award-finalist novel, After Disasters. (Full sched. with times and locations at
Dinh teaches at the University of Delaware. AFTER DISASTERS is an aMAZingly well researched novel about international and domestic relief workers struggling to provide aid after a disastrous 2001 earthquake in the Indian city of Bhuj. Dinh weaves together the stories of several intriguing characters–Dev, a married Indian doctor who works with HIV patients; Piotr, a disaster relief logistics expert facing burnout; Andy, a UK fire rescue worker on his first international assignment; and much more! It’s rare to find a novel with such rich characterization and an exacting eye for the logistics of the global world. My students and I are learning a great about how international relief works as well as the competing philosophies behind providing aid. We’re learning too the painful ironies and human failings that sometimes arise amid best intentions.
Dinh will also discuss his story “Substitutes” in a later session. This story won an O’Henry Prize and centers on Vietnamese schoolchildren left in the lurch during the fall of Saigon. Its use of first-person plural is a masterful example of a rarely used point of view.
All this, and he’s a snappy dresser to boot. Come if you can!
You can read the review of After Disasters at the LA Review of Books here.

America’s Promise: Community College of Philadelphia at 50

The premiere blog of all things Philly––publishes my take on the challenges as CCP looks ahead to another fifty years. Read by clicking on this link.

“As CCP looks to the future, changes are afoot. The college has a nationally recognized Reentry Support Project that has helped over 500 students with criminal records meet academic goals. It provides a growing number of study abroad opportunities, and classroom designs are currently being overhauled in a push to make the college’s facilities world class. To attract new foreign students, CCP hopes to build student housing and retail space…”

[Source: Wikimedia Commons]

[Picture source: Wikimedia Commons]




Creative Writing at CCP–Come Study With Me!

Creative Writing at Community College of Philadelphia – January 2014
Need to develop a portfolio of your creative writing? Consider taking English 285 at Community College of Philadelphia. English 285: THE WRITING PORTFOLIO is ideal for advanced writers who want to develop a portfolio to submit to create a writing programs, writing contests or publishers. English 285 – Writing Portfolio helps writers polish old work and start new projects. It’s a mixed-genre workshop consisting of poets, story writers and essayists who are seeking to take their work to the next level. We will workshop stories, poems and essays and discuss aspects of the writer’s life, which will include exploring the rich opportunities of the Philadelphia writing community. Several of my students have gone on to get their MA’s, MFA’s and Ph D’s in creative writing and publishing, and to start literary magazines that draw local and national attention. In addition, CCP classes are among the most inexpensive college courses in the region.

As a teacher, I have over twenty years of experience. I have also freelanced for newspapers like The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Weekly and The City Paper in addition to serving as a contributing editor for two national publications. My own stories, poems and essays have been anthologized numerous times and my work has appeared in such journals as The Pinch, Painted Bride Quarterly, American Writing, Paper Nautilus, Assaracus and more. I’ve won awards and fellowships for my work, including two from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in fiction and nonfiction, as well as a prize for my forthcoming collection of poems, Velvet Rodeo. I run an independent literary salon called Poetdelphia (find us on Facebook!), I work with the One Book, One Philadelphia program, and I run the Poets and Writers’ Festival at CCP. This is all to say that I have a lot of experience that I can put to work for you. Because the course has prerequisites, student candidates outside the CCP Creative Writing Certificate Program will need to submit a short writing sample in the genre of their choice. If you are interested, email me a brief letter describing your writing projects and a work sample of up to five pages (excerpts from longer works are okay). Send to kmcquain [at] and please CC the Director of the Certificate Program in Creative Writing, Jeff Markovitz (jmarkovitz [at] since you will need his approval to waive the prerequisites for the course. If you have friends who have been working hard on their writing, please tell them about this opportunity.

ENGL 285: Writing Portfolio – ENGL 285-001 16149 Class WEDNESDAY EVENING 6:00 pm-8:55 pm in WINNET S3-07 The first class is January 15th.