Last year, I asked every Chautauqua and Literary Scientific Circle author I interviewed what book they would want with them if they were on a desert island. I was fascinated by the responses, and so I decided to ask every CLSC author this year a different question: What book changed their life?
For some members of the community, the Chautauqua experience has given them so much that they feel compelled to give back, sharing their time and talents.
Regular Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle Roundtable attendees who were expecting to see Anthony Doerr in the Hall of Philosophy…
On the afternoon of Friday, June 14, award-winning prose writer Ann Pancake sat in a rocking chair on the porch of the Athenaeum Hotel, looking out over Chautauqua Lake. Around the corner, novelist Anthony Doerr sat next to a student, holding a manuscript with handwritten notes. By the balcony, students Jack Lindy and C. Richele O’Connor talked about their writing.
It was one of the quiet moments during the 10th annual Chautauqua Writers’ Festival, which started last Thursday, June 13, and went through Sunday, June 16. By the second day, participants had already attended workshops, a faculty reading, a poetry panel and a publishing panel. The cast of characters on the porch enjoyed a breath of fresh air before the fiction panel later that evening.
“A lot of these people — all of us — we’re pretty isolated in the way that we don’t have writers all around us unless we’re in a program,” Pancake said. “It’s part of a culture that’s not very valued — writing literature — so to come to a place like this, where there are a lot of people who do value it, validates what they’re doing.”