[act-ma] Political Satire, June 14, Cambridge Forum

Cambridge Forum camforum at earthlink.net
Wed May 6 14:15:53 PDT 2009

Cambridge Forum         
 3 Church Street ● Cambridge, MA 02138
Cambridge Forum and PEN New England to host			
Writing Political Satire in the Twenty-First Century
4 p.m., Sunday, June 14,  2009
Cambridge Forum
3 Church Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Free and Open to the Public

Press Release

“One can deliver a satire with telling force through the insidious medium of travesty, if he is careful not to overwhelm the satire with the extraneous interest of the travesty.”  Mark Twain, A Couple of Sad Experiences,  1870

PEN New England and Cambridge Forum present a discussion of the power–and the pitfalls–of writing in the age of Jon Stewart and (soon?) Senator Al Franken.  Panelists include acclaimed novelists Percival Everett and Lise Haines; comedian Jimmy Tingle, former Maine Poet Laureate Baron Wormser, and The Harvard Lampoon.

Presentation: The 2009 Vasyl Stus Freedom to Write Award to Nurmuhemmet Yasin whose satirical story, Wild Pigeon, Chinese authorities considered critical of their presence in the Xinjiang Uighur Region.  After a closed trial in 2005 at which he was denied a lawyer, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Percival Everett, Distinguished Professor of English at U.S.C. and author of sixteen books, including the 2009 publication of I Am Not Sidney Poitier, three collections of short fiction and two volumes of poetry.  His many awards include the PEN Center USA Award for Fiction and the Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  

Lise Haines, author of thee books, including her most recent, Small Acts of Sex and Electricity.  She has been a Writer in Residence at Emerson College and has served as the prestigious Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard.  She has been a finalist in the PEN Nelson Algren Awards and the Paterson Fiction Prize.

Jimmy Tingle, proudly born in working class Cambridge, broke into Boston’s legendary stand-up scene in the 1980s and quickly moved to paid gigs. His many TV credits include two seasons on CBS’s 60 Minutes II and he co-starred in PBS Travels.  He is only Boston performer was has worn “Best of Boston” award as both performer—Stand Up Comedian–and producer–his Off Broadway Theater.  Jimmy Tingle’s Uncommon Sense: The Education of an American Comic became the longest running one-person show at the Hasty Pudding Club.  His most recent CD is Humor for Humanity: Jimmy Tingle for President—the Funniest Campaign in History.  

Baron Wormser, while working as a librarian and writing poetry for twenty five years,  lived with his family in Mercer Maine, in an off-the-grid house on 48 acres.  His memoir, The Road Washes Out in the Spring: A Poet’s Memoir of Living Off the Grid concerns that experience.  He was Poet Laureate of Maine.  He now lives in Vermont.  Since 2002 he has taught at the University of Southern Maine MFA program.  He is author of eight poetry books and three books of prose.

The Harvard Lampoon, America’s oldest continuously published humor magazine has long been famous for its satire in many types, including fake issues of major magazines. It’s editors include George Plimpton, ‘48, Fred Gwynne, ‘50 John Updike, ‘54.  Its writers are widely successful in American TV comedy: from Al Franken on Saturday Night Live to Conan O’Brien, and B.J. Novak. Thirty Six Lampoon writers have worked for  The Simpsons.  

PEN New England is one of five regional branches of PEN America Center, which in turn is part of International PEN, the only worldwide organization of writing professionals and the world’s first human rights organization. PEN’s mission is to promote literacy and a culture of literature, and to defend free expression everywhere.  For more information, contact penne at lesley.edu.

Cambridge Forum is recorded and edited for public radio broadcast.  Edited CDs are available to the public by contacting 617-495-2727.   Select forums can be viewed in their entirety on demand by visiting our website at www.cambridgeforum.org and clicking on the WGBH Forum Network.


Cambridge Forum
3 Church Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone:  617-495-2727
email:  mailto:director at cambridgeforum.org
website:  http://www.cambridgeforum.org

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