Events calendar

River River organizes free writing groups and many literary events throughout the year— hope you’ll join us! Click on any event in our calendar (scroll down to the bottom of the page) or visit us on Meetup for more details and up-to-the-minute information.


Upcoming events:


Reading with Mary-Kim Arnold and Suzanne Parker

3pm Sunday, July 15
95 1/2 Main, Nyack, New York

Join us as we welcome two writers for a Sunday afternoon of provocative prose and poetry!

Suzanne Parker is a poet, non-fiction writer, editor, and writing teacher/coach. Her chapbook Feed was a winner of the Sunken Gardens Poetry Chapbook Award and was published in summer 2016 by Tupelo Press. Her poetry collection, Viral, was a winner of the Kinereth Gensler Book Award and was published by Alice James Books in 2013. Her poetry has appeared in Drunken Boat, Hunger Mountain, Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, Rattapallax, and elsewhere. About Viral, Suzanne has said: “The book focuses on homophobia, technology, and bullying as realized through the tragedy of the suicide of Tyler Clementi, the gay Rutger’s University student who took his own life after having his privacy violated by his roommate. I very much want this book to start conversations and reach an audience that needs to know they are not alone.”

Mary-Kim Arnold is a poet, writer, and visual artist. Litany for the Long Moment, her book-length experimental essay exploring her identity as a daughter, an adoptee, and a Korean-American, was selected by Carla Harryman for the 2016 Essay Press Prize. Other writings have appeared in Hyperallergic, The Georgia Review, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. Adopted from Korea and raised in New York, she lives in Rhode Island with her husband and children.

“write!” community writing salons

Check our calendar for upcoming community writing salons! Writers in all genres are welcome to join us. Including writing prompts and discussions, and plenty of time to free-write, our salons culminate in a wide variety of readings from participants’ fresh-on-the-page works. We often highlight our favorites in the “Borrowed Pages” feature on the River River blog. Connect with other local writers, and write!

Summertime “write!” field trips

For more inspiration, we have planned excursions to writer-friendly sites in the area on Saturdays this summer. Including the Dewint House, Storm King Art Center, and more. See our calendar for specific places and times.

Past Events:

Reading & conversation with writers David Means and Bethany Ball

Award-winning, local writers David Means and Bethany Ball join us for an evening of reading and conversation on the art of writing. Don’t miss this literary event!

Copies of the authors’ books will be available for purchase and signing. Light refreshments will be served, too.

7pm Saturday, June 2
The Carson McCullers House, 131 S. Broadway, Nyack.
Co-sponsored by The Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians at Columbus State University.

About the writers:

The writer David Means, December 12, 2015, New York, New York, photograph © Beowulf Sheehan

David Means was born and raised in Michigan. His second collection of stories, Assorted Fire Events, earned the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction, and his third, The Secret Goldfish, was short-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize. His fourth, The Spot, was selected as a 2010 Notable Book by The New York Times and won an O. Henry Prize. His first novel, Hystopia, was published in 2016 to wide acclaim, and was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. His new collection, Instructions for a Funeral, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Means’s fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Esquire, The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and numerous other publications. He was the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 2013. He lives in Nyack, New York, and teaches at Vassar College.

Bethany Ball was born in Detroit and has lived in Santa Fe, Miami, New Jersey and a kibbutz in the north of Israel. She currently lives in New York with her family. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence and has been published in The Common, BOMB, New York magazine, The American Literary Review, the Detroit MetroTimes, and Literary Hub. Her novel WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE SOLOMONS was published in 2017 by Grove Atlantic. It was short listed for the 2017 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and was a runner up in the Jewish Book Council’s debut fiction prize. Judy Blume called Bethany Ball a “new writer who creates memorable characters in a setting we don’t see every day. Funny, sexy, and smart.” The New York Times wrote, “ Despite their collective penchant for psychodrama , there’s something profoundly lovely―and loving―about the Solomons. And about Bethany Ball’s debut.”

River River Writers Circle appreciates and acknowledges the support of our state and local arts granting agencies. Rockland Decentralization Project Grants are made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program (DEC), a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature and administered by ArtsWestchester.

Open mic and reading with guest writer Sophfronia Scott

Join us for a literary open mic, followed by featured writer, Sophfronia Scott. Sign-ups for the open mic (5-minute limit per reader) begin at 7pm. Friday, November 3, at The Carson McCullers House, 131 S. Broadway, Nyack. Co-sponsored by The Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians at Columbus State University.

Sophfronia Scott grew up in Lorain, Ohio, a hometown she shares with author Toni Morrison. Her father was a Mississippi-born steelworker who never learned how to read and her mother was a stay-at-home mom who always made sure there were books in the house. She holds a BA in English from Harvard and an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Sophfronia spent a big chunk of her career as a writer and editor for Time and People magazines. When Sophfronia’s first novel, All I Need to Get By, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2004 Sophfronia was nominated for best new author at the African American Literary Awards and hailed by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as “potentially one of the best writers of her generation.” Her essays, short stories, and articles have appeared in numerous literary journals and her essay “Why I Didn’t Go to the Firehouse” was listed among the Notables in Best American Essays 2017.

Her latest novel is Unforgivable Love, published by William Morrow / HarperCollins. She also has forthcoming a spiritual memoir, This Child of Faith: Raising a Spiritual Child in a Secular World, co-written with her son, being published by Paraclete Press (December 2017) and an essay collection, Love’sLong Line, from Ohio State University Press / Mad Creek Books (February 2018).

Sophfronia lives in Sandy Hook, Connecticut with her husband and son and where she continues to fight a losing battle against the weeds in her flowerbeds. She enjoys teaching at Regis University’s Mile-High MFA in Denver, Colorado and Bay Path University’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction. She blogs at

Lodestar Reading and celebration of the spring issue of River River

The biannual River River Lodestar Series welcomes writer and designer Matthew Derby for a reading and a Q&A about his broad experience working in both print and digital media, as well as on platforms spanning literature and game design. Read an interview with Matt here.

The evening will also feature contributions to the Spring 2017 issue of River River. Saturday, July 22 at 7 p.m., at Cuppa Pulp Writers Space, 119 Main Street, Suite 2, Nanuet, NY.

Matthew Derby‘s recent novel, The Silent History (Farrar Straus and Giroux 2014), was originally concieved as the first major exploratory interactive novel designed for digital platforms.  The Guardian called The Silent History “A compelling story about difference, rights and power”; Wired called it “Entirely revolutionary.” Matt’s work has also appeared in The Anchor Book of American Short Stories, Dzanc’sBest of the Web 2009, McSweeney’s, The Believer, Guernica, and elsewhere. He is also a designer for Harmonix, a video game studio in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Open mic and poetry reading featuring Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Join us for a literary open mic, followed by featured poet, Rachel Eliza Griffiths. Sign-ups for the open mic (5-minute limit per reader) begin at 7pm. Friday, June 9, at The Carson McCullers House, 131 S. Broadway, Nyack. Co-sponsored by The Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians at Columbus State University.

Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a poet and visual artist. Her four collections of poetry are Miracle Arrhythmia (Willow Books), The Requited Distance (Sheep Meadow Press), Mule & Pear (New Issues Poetry & Prose), and most recently, Lighting the Shadow (Four Way Books). Her visual and literary work appears widely in a broad range of publications, including The New York Times, Poets & Writers, American Poetry Review, Callaloo, and Guernica. Griffiths has received fellowships from Yaddo, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Vermont Studio Center, Millay Colony, and the Cave Canem Foundation. Her video project, P.O.P, which gathers more than 100 contemporary poets in intimate interviews, is now featured online by the Academy of American Poets. She is currently teaching creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and the Institute of American Indian Arts.

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