I recently attended the Colgate Writers’ Conference in Hamilton, NY. While there I met some great people and outstanding writers. In particular J. Robert Lennon (MFA director at Cornell and author of several funny novels), Brian Hall (novelist — check out his recent one on Robert Frost), and Peter Balakian (poetry, memoir, and so forth). The week was long and filled with various readings, lectures, and workshops. The day after Colgate finished I went — via Utica — to Saratoga Springs, where the New York State Writers’ Conference is currently taking place. So far, I’ve met some old friends and had my stories workshopped by Joseph O’Neill (Netherland — a deep, moving, and challenging novel), who, to say the least, is a character! Next week Allan Gurganus will be taking over the class, and I’m highly anticipating some keen insights.