William Orem - Poet and Playwright
Time & Location
About the Event
William Orem is that rare writer gifted in many forms. A poet, a playwright, and a writer of novels and short stories, he has won prizes in all these categories.
On June 1 at 7:30p The Upper Jay Art Center in Upper Jay, NY will present William Orem reading from Our Purpose in Speaking, which won the 2017 Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize from Michigan University Press. Immediately after the poetry reading, local actors will perform a staged reading of one of his prize-winning 10-minute plays, And Clouds Made of Bones.
Orem writes about spiritual quest, though as one critic has said, he does it without religious belief. “Part prayer, part apostasy,” his work mixes spiritual questing with iconoclasm. As the speaker of the first poem in his book says, “One never fully leaves the Catholic dream.” “What distinguishes this collection,” says Thomas Lynch in the introduction, “is the comingling of religious literacy, spiritual fluency and a comfortable apostasy.”
Orem’s first collection of stories, Zombie, You My Love, won the GLCA New Writers Award, formerly given to Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, Richard Ford and Alice Munro. His short plays, all 10-minutes long, have been performed internationally, winning both the Critic’s Prize and Audience Favorite Award at the Durango Theatre Fest. His work has thrice been nominated for the Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville. He is currently a Senior Writer-in-Residence at Emerson College in Boston.