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Visiting Writers - 2014

The front steps of the Coop on campus
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Penny Lane, Filmmaker

In residence Wednesday, August 6

Penny Lane has been making award-winning documentaries and essay films since 2002. 

Her first feature documentary, OUR NIXON, world premiered in 2013 at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, had its North American premiere at SXSW, and was selected as the Closing Night Film at New Directors/New Films. OUR NIXON went on to win awards at film festivals such as Seattle, Nantucket, Ann Arbor, Traverse City and IFFB, before being released by Cinedigm and CNN Films. Penny is a 2012 Creative Capital grantee and was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film." She has been awarded grants for her work by Cinereach, Tribeca Film Institute Documentary Fund, LEF Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Adrienne Shelly Foundation, Experimental Television Center, IFP and the Puffin Foundation. She was named "Most Badass!" at the Iowa City Documentary Film Festival in 2009. She has taught film, video and new media arts at Bard College, Hampshire College and Williams College, and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Colgate University. And yes, Penny Lane is her real name!

Janelle Schwartz, Poet and Travel Writer

In residence Monday, August 4

Janelle A. Schwartz received both her master's degree in comparative literature and her Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

She has published articles, essays and blogs on literature and ecology, cabinets of curiosity and pedagogy. Her poetry has been published in The Arkansas Review and in an anthology dedicated to Mary Shelley's The Last Man. Schwartz is the co-editor of Curious Collectors, Collected Curiosities: An Interdisciplinary Study. She is also the author of Worm Work: Recasting Romanticism (2012, University of Minnesota Press), which focuses on the intersection of invertebrate zoology during the 18th and 19th centuries with the poetry and prose of Romanticism. The direction of Schwartz's next research project involves literary polar landscapes, and she is currently at work on her first travel narrative.


Jen Calonita, Young Adult Fiction Writer

In residence Tuesday, August 5

It's no secret how Jen Calonita knows the inside scoop on young Hollywood. A former Senior Entertainment Editor at Teen People, Jen has interviewed everyone from Reese Witherspoon to Zac Efron. An entertainment journalist for the past ten years, Jen has written for TV Guide, Glamour and Marie Claire.  It was her work in the entertainment world that inspired her first series, Secrets of My Hollywood Life, which won the Louisiana State Young Readers' Choice Award for grades 6-8 in 2009. The series has been published in Germany, Brazil, Portugal, France, Japan and Russia.  Jen has also published two stand-alone novels: Sleepaway Girls and Reality Check.

Her latest book, Summer State of Mind, was released April 2014.