Writers Speak Is Back in Session

Stony Brook Southampton's Wednesday series of receptions and readings
Paul Harding and Amy Hempel Ekko von Schwichow and Richard Kern Photos

He’ll wear it around his neck like he was Mark Spitz. 

The Pulitzer Prize. Paul Harding won one for “Tinkers,” his 2009 novel about a son and his aged father in New England and attendant questions of identity and memory. Now he’s at Stony Brook Southampton, and for those teaching in the M.F.A. program in creative writing and literature, among the faculty duties is participation in Writers Speak, the Wednesday evening series of receptions and readings, which is just starting up for the semester.

Next week’s may be headlined by Mr. Harding because of his newness, but there will be other readers nearly as new, like Cornelius Eady, the poet, and Amy Hempel, the short-story writer. They’ll be joined, on that faculty-focused evening — “Your professors! Reading their own works!” in the cheery words of the fall flier — by your friendly neighborhood regulars, from master memoirists like Roger Rosenblatt and Lou Ann Walker to at least one more poet, Julie Sheehan, and even the man in the information office, as it were, Andrew Botsford — actor, bon vivant, associate editor of The Southampton Review, and possibly the party least likely to have been responsible for the flier’s gratuitous “and more!!!!” referring perhaps to the cheese tray and sauvignon blanc.

For those of you out there who’ve been to one of these, put thoughts of the Radio Lounge aerie out of your head, as it’s being renovated, and simply keep to the Duke Lecture Hall on the first floor inside another Hall: Chancellors. That’s where an open house for prospective students will start at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, with Ms. Walker, the program director, laying out the workshops in various genres, and then the chatfest reception at 6:30, with the readings at 7. Questions, answers, and a chance to have books signed wrap up the proceedings.

Moving on to what’s coming down the pike, look for M.F.A. program alumni taking turns at the lectern on Oct. 24; Jonathan Santlofer, the crime novelist, with his new memoir, “The Widower’s Notebook,” on Nov. 7; two from the world of publishing — Alison Fairbrother of Riverhead Books and Alexandra Scholldorf of Skyhorse Publishing, both holders of Stony Brook M.F.A.s — on Nov. 28, and the poet, critic, and professor Lloyd Schwartz on Dec. 5.

All for free.