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Poet George Ellenbogen to Read from Memoir at Writers at Studio Eleven

Writers at Studio Eleven reading series will feature author and poet George Ellenbogen on Monday, Oct. 14, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Studio Eleven Gallery in Lexington.

The event is free and open to the public and books will be available for sale. Refreshments also will be served. Writers at Studio Eleven is co-sponsored by Washington and Lee’s Glasgow Endowment and Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.

Ellenbogen will read from a new memoir “A Stone in my Shoe: In Search of Neighborhood.” This book charts the journey of his family’s journey from Franz Joseph’s Austro-Hungarian empire to an immigrant Jewish neighborhood in Montreal.

“Writers do not always write the book they intend to,” said Ellenbogen. “What I planned when I rummaged through early memories was a book about my Montreal past, a collection of old neighborhood anecdotes and descriptions. What I ended with was a discovery of neighborhood rituals that sustained me, that sustain millions.”

He will also be reading from his wife’s memoir “Teaching Arabs, Writing Self,” by Evelyn Shakir which is about to be released. She was a fiction writer, essayist and scholar of Arab American literature who died in 2010.

In addition to his memoir, Ellenbogen is the author of many poetry collections, including “Morning Gothic: New and Selected Poems” (2007), “Winterfischer” (2002) and “Portes aux rhinos et autres poems” (1997). He is the author of translations and magazine entries (poems), and his poems have appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including “The Literary Review,” “Partisan Review,” “Boulevard,” “Revue Europe” and “Queen’s Quarterly.”

Ellenbogen’s work has been supported by the Whiting Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Canadian Department of External Affairs and Gesellschaft fur Kanada Studien, to name a few.

He has read his poems on both sides of the Atlantic and was featured in a documentary, “George Ellenbogen: Canadian Poet in America.” He is also one of several poets featured in Jean Tobin’s “Creativity and the Poetic Mind” (2004). He is professor emeritus of English at Bentley University.

Student readers are Sarah Williams from W&L, Nathan Fowler and Phillip Jones from VMI and Nicole Southers from DSLCC. Sub Terra members Janice Bell, Ted Duke and Peggy McCaulley will also read.

Studio Eleven is located at 11 S. Jefferson St. in downtown Lexington. The artist exhibiting during Writers at Studio Eleven’s event is Barbara Crawford of Rockbridge County. Her show, Sanctuary, runs until Oct. 26.

Ellenbogen will offer a workshop on memoir-writing on Tuesday, Oct. 15, from 9-10 a.m. Space is limited – any interested community member please contact Lesley Wheeler at wheelerlm@wlu.edu.

The Writers at Studio Eleven event is coordinated by Mattie Quesenberry Smith of DSLCC and Lesley Wheeler of W&L.