Five Local Writers Chosen for Reading Local at the Provincetown Book Festival

The Provincetown Book Festival will kick off at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, September 17, with a curated reading by local authors, chosen by award-winning novelist Lynne Hugo, author most recently of The Book of CarolSue.  The five writers will be reading poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. The writers are: Elaine Bennett, Peter Kazon, Steven Myerson, Michael Nolan, and Judith Newcomb Stiles.

For this event, dubbed “Reading Local,” Ms. Hugo reviewed numerous submissions from local and regional writers. What emerged was a thematic program that gives a strong picture of what Ms. Hugo calls “Ages on the Outer Cape.”

Elaine Bennett (she/her) is an award-winning speechwriter and definitely not the lady from Seinfeld, whose last name is Benes. Her work has been published in The Nasiona. She was a Finalist for the 2021 Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize and won a Queer Writers’ Fellowship to the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. A graduate of Smith College and The Brearley School, and a Mets fan who named her dog Fenway, she lives on the traditional land of the Wampanoag, also known as Cape Cod.

Peter Kazon lives in Provincetown and Washington, DC, with his husband, Paul, and golden retriever, Bond (as in “James”).  Kazon grew up in Maine and began spending summers on Cape Cod when he was in college in Boston.  During his first summer on the Cape, he drove an ice cream truck in Hyannis—still the best job he’s ever had in his life.  He retired from practicing law in 2017, enabling him to write full time.  He has taken classes at Provincetown’s Fine Arts Work Center, at Grub Street in Boston and The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD.  He was a semi-finalist for Nimrod International Journal’s 2021 Fiction Prize and a finalist for Beloit Fiction Journal’s 2021 Hamlin Garland Award.

Steven Bruce Myerson is a playwright, director, producer, artist and spoken word poet whose plays and poetry have been seen and heard on the Cape at Provincetown Theater (the 24 Hour plays and the Day of the Dead Festival), at The Whiteness House: Tarred and Feathered (at Bubala’s), and at student reading nights at Provincetown’s Fine Arts Work Center, to which he received a 2019 Summer Scholarship. His monologues have recently been a part of Sailor Beware’s series of online presentations at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater. To The Extreme! described as “a poetic and political play for our times,” was part of the 2019 Playwright Festival at the Barnstable Comedy Club, and in 2020 received a Winter Play Date for the development of new plays at Provincetown Theater. He was the closing reader for Reading Local in 2019 and is a member of the Provincetown Playwrights Lab. His plays have been presented at theaters and festivals in CA, CT, IL, MA, NY, and RI.

Michael Nolan’s fiction has appeared in the Charles River Review and the Galway Review. He completed the Incubator Program, an exclusive, eleven-month novel-writing workshop run by Grub Street Writers in Boston. His many features and opinion pieces have appeared in venues such as antiwar.com, Dissident Voice, Common Dreams, The St. John’s (NF) Telegram and many others.

Judith Newcomb Stiles’ family, the Newcombs, have lived on Cape Cod for twelve generations. She currently lives in Wellfleet, in the thick of small-town life. She makes her living as a potter, and fire is her tool. For ten years she wrote a weekly human-interest column for The Villager Newspaper in New York City, for lousy pay and the love of writing. She also wrote about everything American for Europa Quotidiano, an Italian daily out of Rome. Recently her piece, “Pheromones and Physics,” was published in The Tiny Love Stories Column in The New York Times.