A Celebration of Teaching and Writing

The Tenth Annual SCCC Creative Writing Festival's

Conference Day 2017


Keynote Speaker

Paul Lisicky



Paul Lisicky is the author of five books: The Narrow Door (a New York Times Editors’ Choice), Unbuilt Projects, The Burning House, Famous Builder, and Lawnboy. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Conjunctions, Fence, The Offing, Ploughshares, Tin House, and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, among others. He teaches in the MFA Program at Rutgers University-Camden.




Featured Readers


Aracelis Girmay



Aracelis Girmay is the author of the poetry collections Teeth, Kingdom Animalia, The Black Maria, and the collage-based picture book changing, changing. Teeth was published by Curbstone Press under the generous and brilliant stewardship of Sandy Taylor. For Teeth, Girmay received the GLCA New Writers Award, and the book was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award. Kingdom Animalia was the winner of the Isabella Gardner Award (BOA Editions) and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Most recently, Girmay's poetry and essays have been published in Granta, Black Renaissance Noire, and PEN America, among other places. She has received grants and fellowships from the Jerome, Cave Canem, and Watson foundations, as well as Civitella Ranieri and the NEA




Rachel Eliza Griffiths


Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a poet and photographer. She received the MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. A Cave Canem and Kimbilio Fellow, she is the recipient of fellowships including Yaddo, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, The Millay Colony, and others. In 2011, Griffiths appeared in the first ever poetry issue in Oprah’s O Magazine.


Her literary and visual work has been widely published in journals, magazines, anthologies, and periodicals including Callaloo, Poets & Writers, The New York Times, American Poetry Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Guernica, The Writer’s Chronicle, Transition, American Poet, Mosaic, Indiana Review, Ecotone, Puerto Del Sol, Crab Orchard Review, RATTLE, Brilliant Corners, Kweli Journal, PMS: poem memoir story, The Drunken Boat, Salt Hill Journal, THRUSH, Folio, Hambone, Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, and many others.


She is widely known for her literary portraits, fine art photography, and lyric videos. Griffiths recently completed her first extensive video project, P.O.P (Poets on Poetry), an intimate series of micro-interviews, which gathers nearly 100 contemporary poets in conversation, is featured online at the Academy of American Poets’ website. Recently, Griffiths was selected by the Poetry Society of America to curate the Poetry Walk, featuring the poetry of Octavio Paz, for the New York Botanical Garden's exhibit, Frida Kahlo: Art Garden Life.


Griffiths is the author of Miracle Arrhythmia (Willow Books 2010) and The Requited Distance (The Sheep Meadow Press 2011). Griffiths’ third collection of poetry, Mule & Pear (New Issues Poetry & Prose 2011), was selected for the 2012 Inaugural Poetry Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Her most recent full-length poetry collection is Lighting the Shadow (Four Way Books 2015), which was a finalist for the 2015 Balcones Poetry Prize and the 2016 Phillis Wheatley Book Award in Poetry.


Currently, Griffiths teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and IAIA (Institute of American Indian Arts). She lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Previously featured:


Ninth Annual SCCC Creative Writing Festival (2016)


Kenneth Sherwood, Keynote Speaker


Jennifer Michael Hecht, Featured Author


Genaro Kỳ Lý Smith, Featured Author


Eighth Annual SCCC Creative Writing Festival (2015)


Spiro Carras, Keynote Speaker


Amy Leach, Featured Author


Will Schutt, Featured Author


Seventh Annual SCCC Creative Writing Festival (2014)


Colum McCann, Keynote Speaker


Kelly Daniels, Featured Author


Allison Seay, Featured Author



Sixth Annual SCCC Creative Writing Festival (2013)


Tim Albaugh, Keynote Speaker


James Arthur, Featured Author


Katha Pollit, Featured Author



Fifth Annual SCCC Creative Writing Festival (2012)


Cornelius Eady, Keynote Speaker


Judith Baumel, Featured Author


Rachel Eddey, Featured Author



Fourth Annual SCCC Creative Writing Festival (2011)


Kris Bigalk, Keynote Speaker


Daniel Nester, Featured Author


L.B. Thompson, Featured Author



Third Annual SCCC Creative Writing Festival (2010)


Enzo Surin, Keynote Speaker


Stephanos Papadopoulos, Featured Author


Dava Sobel, Featured Author



Second Annual SCCC Creative Writing Festival (2009)


Julie Sheehan, Keynote Speaker


David Hajdu, Featured Author


Sam Lipsyte, Featured Author



First Annual SCCC Creative Writing Festival (2008)


Judith Baumel , Keynote Speaker


Brock Clarke, Featured Author


Victor D. Lavalle, Featured Author



Held annually on the Michael J. Grant, Ammerman, and Eastern Campuses of Suffolk County Community College (www.sunysuffolk.edu) in Suffolk County, NY