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Spring is in the Air. . . Almost

ee. cummings, who walked in front of my car many years ago and whom I almost ran over that night after he spoke at Smith College, said "Springtime is love time, and viva sweet love." So if truth be told while it is only December the Hunter Writing Center has just announced its spring 2012 program and you've got to love it. At least I hope you love it because we worked very hard to bring the best speakers and teachers here in the spring so that you could enjoy the speaking events free as long as you RSVP to 212-772-4292 (space is limited). To that end I feel like a cultural Robin Hood because I struggle in these parlous times to raise monies from generous benefactors and supporters in order to present these events without charge to you, to the students, and to the community. We also offer refreshments and book-signings for your delectation so it is a good deal and we hope you will join us.

So who are these fascinating speakers you may ask? And I answer: in January we begin our Best-Selling-Author Series with two-time Pulitzer-prize winner  Stacy Schiff, author of Vera and Cleopatra. Stacy will be followed in February by National Book Award-winner Alice McDermott, who in turn will be followed in March by best-selling espionage writer Alan Furst. And as if this were not exciting enough, April will bring one of America's most beloved novelists, Susan Isaacs, who will be followed in May by suspense-writer Stuart Woods, who has produced 28 consecutive books that have made the New York Times Best-Sellers list. We are quite proud of this series, but I am not finished. Also in the Spring we will present our "Great Thinkers of Our Time" series, beginning with the legendary writers Steven Pinker, the renowned Harvard cognitive scientist, and his wife, Rebecca Goldstein, the author and philosopher, in February, to be followed by John Donoghue director of The Brown University Institute for Brain Science who is doing state of the art work with paraplegics who are now able to move limbs and objects with pure thought. Then in April the quantum engineer Seth Lloyd from MIT who has built the first quantum computer will visit with us and discuss the future of computers and nanotechnology, while in May Lisa Randall, who was featured recently in the New York Times as the Harvard physicist and expert on the Great Hadron Collider who is searching for the elusive Higgs Boson or "God particle" which if found could transform our understanding of the known universe. This is exciting stuff folks and I hope you will come hear these outstanding thinkers.

For a change of pace we have also invited David Patrick Columbia, editor of Quest Magazine and The New York Social Diary and New York's supreme social arbiter to spend an evening with us on March 5th, . . . also Michele, Sabrina and Samantha Kleier the hosts of the hit HGTV show "Selling New York, " who also happen to own the giant real estate firm Gumley, Haft, Kleier, and who have written a best-selling novel "Hot Property," will do the same on April 12th. Add to these special offerings our master classes with Daphne Merkin, Alison Espach, Bruce Jay Friedman, and a new workshop on songwriting with Marty Panzer the musical genius who wrote most of the Barry Manilow's songs as well as songs for Julio Iglesias, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, and Dionne Warwick. . . and you are previewing what we believe is one of the finest cultural programs anywhere. Please join us in the Spring for what I believe will be a truly uplifting educational experience.  Call 212-772-4292 for more information or to register, or visit us at www.hunter.cuny.edu/ce/the-writing-center.

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