The winners of the 2013 Literary Arts Awards were announced last Sunday on the porch of the Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall. Any person who has visited Chautauqua Institution throughout the season was eligible to submit previously unpublished poetry or prose for the Young Writer Awards (ages 12 and under), Young Adult Awards (under 18) or the Adult Prose and Poetry awards (ages 18 and older).
There is a slim stack of books in Sherra Babcock’s office. It may seem inconsequential in a room full of several shelves brimming with volumes, but that small pile is the beginning of next year’s Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle reading list.
David Valdes Greenwood, the Chautauqua Writers’ Center prose writer-in-residence, has been known to write either the funniest tragedy or the saddest comedy, depending on how a reader looks at it.
Two women sneak out before the Q-and-A session of each Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle author presentation. Lugging boxes of books, plenty of pencils and a cash box to the porch of Alumni Hall, they get ready for the book signing that follows each presentation. No matter how long the line, they are always the last to leave.
Week Nine’s theme, “Health Care: Reform and Innovation,” will undoubtedly feature talk about health care policies, models, policies for models and models for policies. And appropriately so — Chautauquans can’t sustain a real discussion on health care if they don’t explore the nitty-gritty of how it is being implemented.
Not in his wildest dreams did Richard Gilfillan hope to see the likes of the Affordable Care Act. By addressing issues in the health care insurance marketplace as well as in delivery systems, the Affordable Care Act exceeded the expectations of Gilfillan and many other health care professionals.
In fact, Gilfillan left his position as head of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, where he worked for three years, this past June, citing a curiosity to explore the multitude of opportunities produced by the Affordable Care Act.
Damon Weber would have turned 25 on Aug. 8. The vivacious, red-haired boy wanted to be an actor and, unlike most of his friends, he was not afraid to talk to girls. Damon was also born with a malformed heart and had two open-heart surgeries by the time he was 4. At age 13, Damon was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening disease called protein-losing enteropathy.
Damon died three years later, on March 30, 2005. He was 16-and-a-half years old.
This last Saturday was Bryant Day, a tradition that marks the official start of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle reading season. The ceremony featured Sherra Babcock, vice president and Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education, announcing the first three selections of the year: Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende, What I Did by Christopher Wakling, and The Names of Things by John Colman Wood. The three novels fall within the season’s vertical theme, “Exploration and Discovery,” which honors Week Five’s morning lecture theme and the second interarts collaborative project on the American West.
Imagine your life story from the point of view of a spoon. The ethical question to ask might be what an actual spoon might think of this. The honest question to ask might be whether or not anyone would find your life story interesting enough to read.
Nancy McCabe earned an MFA in fiction from the University of Arkansas and a Ph.D. with a dissertation on fiction from the University of Nebraska — but she currently writes nonfiction. As someone who specializes in creative nonfiction and memoir, McCabe knows that life has a way of not going as planned.