Noëpe: A space to create

Books by Noepe writers in residence. —Photo courtesy of Noepe Center

For the past seven years, Justen Ahren has been presenting public readings by many of the poets and authors who have passed through his M.V. Writer’s Residency program at Noëpe Center for the Literary Arts. The month of October will hold a number of opportunities to hear the work of both established and emerging writers from points around the globe. The readings, followed by Q and A sessions, are always varied and interesting showcases of polished work.

The first reading will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at the West Tisbury library. A second library reading by other poets and authors will be held Wednesday, Oct. 22. A solo poetry reading will be hosted by the Noëpe Center for the Literary Arts on Saturday, Oct. 11.

The Noëpe Center is currently hosting a full house of writers and poets who are signed on for residencies of two to four weeks. Among them are some established names in the literary world, as well as emerging writers who are newly published or enjoying success through magazines and journals. They come from all over. Some are returnees to the program. Others are here for the first time.

Among those involved in readings at the West Tisbury library will be fiction writers Mark Widerander, whose novel “Stevenson’s Treasure,” written during a previous Noëpe residency, was published in 2014 and whose screenplay was a finalist in the Academy of Arts & Sciences annual writing competition; Karen Hunt, also a returnee, who is working on a new novel called “Letters from Purgatory”; Czech writer Barbara Lyckova, who is working on a collection of short stories; and mystery writer Con Lehane.

Nonfiction writers will include Nan Elliot, whose work has appeared in National Geographic and the Los Angeles Times, and who is currently at work on a biography of mountain climber Ray Genet; William Heath, writer of historical works, whose book “William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest”will be published in 2015; Christina Gombar, author of a book of literary criticism, “Great Women Writers, 1900-1950,” who is currently working on a series of interconnected historical novels; and Jane Seskin, author of 12 books, whose poetry and articles have appeared in various newspapers and magazines. Half a dozen published poets will also be participating in the group readings.

On Saturday, Oct. 11, Pushcart Prize nominee Sarah Levine will be reading from her poetry chapbook “Her Man” (New Megaphone Press) at the Noëpe Center. Ms. Levine’s work has been included in the 2013 Best New Poets, PANK, Green Mountains Review, Vinyl, and Handsome,among others.

This past summer the Noëpe Center hosted a full roster of workshops led by acclaimed authors, poets, a panel of food writers, a storyteller, and a literary agent. The series was a success, with many of the workshops selling out. Elizabeth Rosner, bestselling author of “Blue Nude” and “The Speed of Light,” was among those who headed weeklong workshops. She will return next year, along with a number of new participants including acclaimed memoirist, poet, and novelist Jennifer Clement of Mexico City.

All in all, the Noëpe Center has become a serious destination for both writer residents, who are hosted by the center twice each year, and local and off-Island visitors interested in attending the diverse workshops.

Noëpe writers’ readings will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 7, and Wednesday, Oct. 22, both at 4:30 pm at the West Tisbury library. A solo poetry reading by Sarah Levine will be hosted by the Noëpe Center for the Literary Arts on Saturday, Oct. 11, at 6:00 pm. For more information, visit or