NEW YORK, NY (February 1, 2008) – Girls Write Now (GWN), New York City’s premier mentoring and creative writing organization for teen girls, today announced its second annual commemoration of “Girls Write Now Day,” a local celebration of International Women’s Day. On Saturday, March 8, join participants in the program for an afternoon with young women writers and the women who inspire them, featuring Anne Landsman (The Rowing Lesson) and Lila Zemborain (Mauve Sea-Orchids), plus a chic fashion show inspired by the girls’ own poetry and prose, created in collaboration with designers Erin Darby and Ana Maria Henao of S.I.C. (Smart is Cool), who maintain that “the most fashionable thing you wear is your intelligence. The event, sponsored by the New School University Diversity Committee and the Bachelor’s Program of the New School for General Studies, will take place at the New School, Room 407, located at 66 West 12th Street in Manhattan, from 5-7PM, and admission is free.
Girls Write Now Day, a local celebration of International Women’s Day, highlights the creative work and life-changing relationships that form over the course of a Girls Write Now season, and will feature collaborative works that have either been written and will be read by a mentor-mentee pair together, or two complementary pieces written separately and read together. Anne Landsman will read from her new novel, The Rowing Lesson (Soho Press, 2007), praised by the New York Times Book Review as “intensely exhilarating” and for its “visceral appeal,” and by O: The Oprah Magazine for “The beauty… in its fluid metaphors, its urgent storytelling laced with fragments of Afrikaans, and the lyric desperation of a daughter’s love.” Lila Zemborain will read from her first collection of poems to appear in English, Mauve Sea-Orchids, recently published by Belladonna, a reading series and small press that promotes the work of women writers who are adventurous, experimental, politically involved, multi-form, multicultural, multi-gendered, impossible to define, delicious to talk about, unpredictable, dangerous with language.
The second portion of the program is a fashion show featuring a capsule collection of t-shirts created in collaboration between the designers Erin Darby and Ana Maria Henao of the SIC Smart is Cool Movement, using words written by this year’s Girls Write Now participants during a poetry workshop in November 2007. The fashion show will be followed by a reception with the featured authors, designers, and the girls.
SIC words are evocative. That is what devoted fans – including Young Hollywood tastemakers like Mischa Barton and Ashlee Simpson – of the Smart is Cool Movement, abbreviated SIC, have discovered. Designers Erin Darby and Ana Maria Henao firmly believe that the most fashionable thing you wear is your intelligence, and imbue the full line of sexy, casual t-shirts, hoodies and dresses with their refreshing, self-affirming message. For too long young girls have been sent messages from both the media and some of their celebrity “role models” that physical appearance is more important than character and intelligence; that speaking up for themselves and for their beliefs is something to be look down upon. It’s time to reinvent what’s cool. By refusing to create a line that negatively impacts their core demographic of teen girls and young women while simultaneously aligning with organizations and celebrities that are supportive of the movement, SIC hopes to challenge not only the fashion world and the media, but women everywhere to stand up for themselves, their friends, their sisters, their mothers, and their daughters. Stand up and say “It’s cool to be smart, to be in charge of my life, my character, and my future.” Stand up to negative role models and messages and fire back with a more powerful, more positive message. Stand up and be counted in style at www.sicmovement.com.
Anne Landsman (www.annelandsman.com) is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, The Rowing Lesson (Soho Press, November 2007), which will be published by Granta in the UK and Kwela Books in South Africa in Spring 2008. Her debut novel, The Devil's Chimney, was nominated for four awards including the PEN/Hemingway Award for a distinguished first book of fiction. Originally from South Africa, she lives in New York City with her husband and two children, and remarks on the setting of her books, "some portion of my heart will always beat in that opposite hemisphere, in the shadow of the Brandwacht mountains, not far from the house with the loquat trees. Some part of me stayed down there. I belong where I am not."
Lila Zemborain is an Argentine poet who has lived in New York since 1985. English versions of her work are included in the anthologies The Light of City and Sea (2006) and Corresponding Voices (2002), in the art catalogs, Heidi McFall (2005), and Alessandro Twombly (2007) and in multiple poetry magazines and journals including Ecopoetics, Rattapallax, The Brooklyn Rail, A Gathering of the Tribes, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Bombay Gin, and Mandorla. Selections of her poems have also been translated into French, Italian and Catalan. She is the curator of the KJCC Poetry Series at New York University where she is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the MFA in Creative Writing in Spanish. In 2007 she was selected as a John Simon Guggenheim fellow. Mauve Sea-Orchids (Belladonna Books, 2007; translated by Rosa Alcala and Monica de la Torre) is her first full-length English edition.
Founded in 1998, Girls Write Now Inc. provides a safe and supportive environment where high school girls can expand their natural writing talents, develop independent creative voices, and build confidence in making healthy choices in school, career and life. GWN provides at-risk girls with emerging writing talent the unique opportunity to be custom matched with a professional woman writer who serves as her personal mentor and writing coach, meeting with her weekly for one entire school year, and for up to four years. GWN also enrolls each student in a vibrant writing community and professional network -- all mentees and mentors gather monthly for genre-based workshops conducted at Teachers & Writers Collaborative, home to the oldest writers-in-the-schools program in the country -- in midtown Manhattan. The year is punctuated by public readings, college prep and career seminars, a social action series, and cultural/literary field trips. The magic of the program is reflected in the outstanding writing produced by mentor-mentee pairs, a 65-percent member retention rate, a 100-percent college acceptance rate, an annual anthology by program participants, and the seven-genre portfolios each student emerges equipped with each season. More: www.girlswritenow.org.
Official Website: http://www.girlswritenow.org
Added by LACerand on January 31, 2008