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Five acclaimed Maine authors discuss their Starfish Writers Group and the benefits of collaborative creativity


This is a pre-recorded program; no calls will be taken.

Back in November we heard from the members of the "Starfish Writers Group"—authors Monica Wood, Bill Roorbach, Sarah Braunstein, Lewis Robinson and Kate Christensen—for a special All Books Considered Book Club conversation. Join us as we listen back to how they work together and support each other in what can often be a solitary profession.

Monica Wood is a novelist, memoirist, and playwright; the 2019 recipient of the Maine Humanities Council Carlson Prize for contributions to the public humanities; and a recipient of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance Distinguished Achievement Award; her books include The One-in-a-Million Boy, When We Were the Kennedys, and Ernie's Ark.

Bill Roorbach is the author of many books; his new novel is Lucky Turtle; his earlier works include The Girl of the Lake, a collection of stories, The Remedy for Love, a finalist for the 2015 Kirkus Prize, and the bestselling Life Among Giants, which won a Maine Literary Award in 2012. An earlier collection, Big Bend, won the Flannery O’Connor and O. Henry prizes in 2000. His memoir in nature, Temple Stream, just released in a new paperback edition by Down East Books, won the Maine Literary Award in nonfiction 2005.

Sarah Braunstein is a writer and teacher. She is the author of a novel, The Sweet Relief of Missing Children; her short stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Playboy, The Harvard Review, and in other publications. She teaches in the creative writing program at Colby College.

Lewis Robinson is the author of the novel Water Dogs, a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, and Officer Friendly and Other Stories, winner of a Whiting Award and the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award. His short fiction and essays have appeared in Sports Illustrated, Tin House, The Baffler, The New York Times Book Review and on NPR’s program Selected Shorts. He has taught fiction writing at the University of Iowa, Colby College, the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program, the University of Maine Farmington, and Stanford University’s Continuing Studies program.

Kate Christensen has written seven novels, including The Great Man, which won the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction, and The Last Cruise. She has also published two food-centric memoirs, Blue Plate Special and How to Cook a Moose, which won the 2016 Maine Literary Award for Memoir. She has taught fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop as well as short workshops in both memoir and fiction. She has published pieces in Tin House, the Baffler, Down East, Portland Magazine, VogueElle, Bookforumthe New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Food and Wine, as well as anthologies, most recently Why I Like This Story and The Bitch is Back.

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Jonathan was born in Monsey, New York. A field trip to Washington, DC when he was in 7th grade started him on his circuitous path to a career in public radio. The trip inspired a love of politics and led to his desire to one day call DC home. After graduating from Grinnell College, he worked on a couple of campaigns in Iowa (presidential and congressional) and moved to Washington, DC.