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Michael Montlack and Sejal Shah, Aug. 20, 2020, 7:30 pm ETVCCA Fireplace Series 08

Featuring: Michael Montlack and Sejal Shah
Thursday, August 20, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Where: Facebook Live and YouTube

Writer and VCCA Board member Rone Shavers will host the August 20 event featuring writers Michael Montlack and Sejal Shah.

Montlack will read from his new poetry collection Daddy (NYQ Books, September 2020). Shah will read from her debut memoir in essays This Is One Way to Dance (University of Georgia Press, June 2020).

Michael Montlack

Michael Montlack is author of two books of poetry, including Daddy (NYQ Books, September 2020), and editor of the Lambda Finalist essay anthology My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them (University of Wisconsin Press). Daddy recently got a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly. His work has appeared in North American Review, The Offing, Cincinnati Review, Poet Lore, Hotel Amerika, Court Green, and Los Angeles Review. His essays have appeared in Huffington Post and He lives in NYC.

Many of the poems in Daddy were written at VCCA. The book was to be released in April but it was postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic. The new publication date is September 7, 2020.

headshot   Book cover

Sejal Shah

Sejal Shah is the author of the debut essay collection, This Is One Way to Dance (University of Georgia Press, 2020). Her stories and essays have appeared  in Brevity, Conjunctions, Guernica, the Kenyon Review Online, Literary Hub, Longreads, and The Rumpus. The recipient of a 2018 NYFA fellowship in fiction, Sejal recently completed a story collection and is at work on a memoir about mental health. She teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshop low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University and lives in Rochester, New York.

“My book was released in June 2020 during the pandemic, on a day of mass protests and mourning, a social media blackout, and our country’s reckoning,” says Sejal. “Since then, I’ve been motivated to write into the silences and gaps in my memoir-in-essays: to write into the places in the narrative that had to do with voice, trauma, race, mental health, sexual harassment, and medical racism. I worked on book edits and proofs during my stay at VCCA in September 2019 and the conversations I had with Fellows then (and now over Zoom) have continued to sustain and inspire me to go forward. I am so grateful for the community of artists I met at VCCA. I will be reading from my debut collection, This Is One Way to Dance. I want to focus on the sustaining power of friendship, mentorship, and creative collaboration.”

Book cover  Author headshot


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About the Series

The VCCA Fireplace Series — in the spirit of the sharing of work that takes place among VCCA Fellows after dinner in front of the fireplace at Mt. San Angelo — features live presentations by two Fellows every other Thursday. The focus of these events is on new work, particularly by artists with public events affected by the pandemic.

Watch Other Events in the VCCA Fireplace Series

As more events take place, we’ll add the recordings to this YouTube playlist: