Book Markers10.04.12

Local book news

In the Shadow of a Hospital
    You don’t necessarily need a new medical center dropped on Stony Brook Southampton for there to be signs of life on campus. Consider Chancellors Hall, where upstairs every Wednesday at 7 p.m., writers, readers, master’s degree students, and the curious convene to listen — this week, to Stephen Dau, who will read from a debut novel, “The Book of Jonas,” that’s anything but superficial, concerning, as it topically does, a Muslim family in an unnamed country who are wiped off the face of the earth by a heedless American military operation. Except for a boy, that is, brought to America to try to make his way in a strange and hostile land.
    The series is Writers Speak, and its fall iteration will next offer up James Gleick, a New York Times reporter, interviewed by Daniel Menaker, formerly an editor at The New Yorker, on Oct. 17, Anna North, a novelist, on Oct. 24, Marilyn Nelson, a poet, on Nov. 7, Bret Anthony Johnston, a writer and director of creative writing at Harvard, on Nov. 14, and Susan Isaacs, the author of “As Husbands Go,” with her latest on Nov. 28. On Dec. 5, students in the college’s M.F.A. program in creative writing and literature will read from their work.

Poets and Pilsners
    Who says there’s no fun to be had here after the leaves start to turn? The Poets’ Prix Fixe series returns to Phao restaurant in Sag Harbor on Sunday, once again offering a free glass of wine or beer to those brave enough to rise up before a microphone to share their work.
    “Answer me I shout, lunging / to shove the blade / into his throat.” That’s the, er, arresting first line of a poem from “Omega’s Garden,” the new collection by one of the evening’s headliners, Rosalind Brenner. The other is Monica Enders, who has twice won the East Hampton Library’s poetry prize.
    The readings start at 5:30 p.m. To sign up, the organizer, Teri Kennedy of Springs, can be e-mailed at