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Author who writes for a living and lives for writing. // WOMB: a novel in utero (Merge Publishing 2017) // TRACKS: A Novel in Stories (Atticus Books 2011) // FLIGHTLESS GOOSE, a storybook for children (Writers Lair Books 2008) // www.EricDGoodman.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Coffee and Cuisine Add Flavor to Fitzgerald

Every year, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference offers workshops, readings, and the chance to meet with other writers—from novice to pro—for a full day of literary activities. An international theme dominates this year’s F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference. The 14th annual conference is scheduled for October 17, 2009 in Rockville Maryland.

Popular novelist Julia Alvarez is the 2009 honoree for the prestigious F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Award. She will accept the award and give a reading from her work at the conference. And she wants to give back to those in attendance — so she has graciously donated the coffee to be served at the event, grown on her own farm.

Her farm the Dominican Republic, Finca Alta Gracia, is named after the country’s spiritual protector, La Altagracia. Since purchasing
the farm, Julia Alvarez and her husband, Bill Eichner, have been restoring and improving the land. Beyond growing coffee, they work for the social, environmental, spiritual, and political issues that comprise sustainability.

“I like to think of Alta Gracia, named after our national Virgencita de la Altagracia (The Virgin of High Grace), as not just a place high in the mountains of the Cordillera Central that we hope will spread grace,” said Alvarez. “I also like to think of it as a state of mind, accessible to all of us through stories, in which we come together and sustain each other through community and the magic of song."

The coffee, roasted and packaged by Vermont Coffee Company, will be served throughout the day at the conference, which runs from 7:30 a.m. until 6:15 p.m. at Montgomery College’s Rockville campus.

In keeping with the international theme of the conference, lunch will consist of international selections, including Hispanic, Asian, Italian, and American dishes. Lunch will be catered by Rock Terrace School of Rockville, where they have a training program for students going into the culinary arts.

Even more filling than the breakfast, lunch, afternoon refreshments, and coffee (all included in the registration fee) will be the conference sessions — on such topics as Teaching The Great Gatsby in Tehran, Literary Border Crossings and a number of workshops on craft and style. Julia Alvarez will read from her work after she accepts the 14th Annual Fitzgerald Award.

Support comes from the City of Rockville, Montgomery College, Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Gazette Newspapers, the Rockville Cultural Arts Commission, Peerless Rockville Historic Preservation, Ltd., Legacy Hotel and Meeting Center, Vermont Coffee Company, Roundhouse Theater and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society.

Learn more about Julia Alvarez and her work at her website.

For a taste of Julia’s coffee, visit http://www.vermontcoffeecompany.com/.

Make plans to participate in the international literary celebration at the next F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference on October 17, 2009. Visit the conference website, where you can find an brochure, schedule, registration form, and more details on the big event.www.peerlessrockville.org/FSF


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