Connections Literary Series

Author smiles while reading at a podium

Connections Magazine

ecl_connections_fa21_cover.pngConnections Literary Magazine is a regional literary journal published twice a year that features the very best poems, stories, artwork and photography of Southern Maryland. Also included in each issue is featured material from visiting writers. Publication readings take place in December and May each year.

View Guidelines and Archive

Want to be published? Connections Literary Magazine is now accepting submissions. Poetry, short stories, and black and white photography are accepted for consideration. See submission guidelines for more information.

Connections Literary Readings

Since it began in 1990, the program has featured writers such as National Book Award winners, Tim O'Brien and Robert Stone, Pulitzer Prize winning poets, Yusef Komunyakaa and Henry Taylor, and Maryland Poet Laureates Lucille Clifton and Michael Glaser. Connections readings offer the Southern Maryland community a chance to hear from and meet established and emerging local writers up-close-and-personal.

Fall 2021 Readings

Come out and meet the most engaging and interesting authors in literature today as they read from and reflect on their works.

Copies of the books featured in the Connections Literary Series can be purchased at any CSM College Store location or online at Previous readings are available on our YouTube playlist.

Eduardo Corralpoet_eduardocorral.jpg

September 16, 2021, 2:30 p.m., Online via Zoom

Eduardo C. Corral earned degrees from Arizona State University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His debut collection of poetry, “Slow Lightning” (2012), won the Yale Younger Poets Prize, making him the first Latino recipient of the award. His second collection is “Guillotine” (2020). Praised for his seamless blending of English and Spanish, tender treatment of history, and careful exploration of sexuality, Corral has received numerous honors and awards, including the Discovery/The Nation Award, the J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

A CantoMundo Fellow, he has held the Olive B. O’Connor Fellowship in Creative Writing at Colgate University and was the Philip Roth Resident in Creative Writing at Bucknell University. In 2016 he won the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University. Corral teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University in Raleigh and is currently a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University.

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Jennifer Rosnerjenniferrosner.jpg

October 6, 2021, 11:30 a.m., Online via Zoom

As Nazi soldiers round up the Jews in their town, Róza and her 5-year-old daughter, Shira, flee, seeking shelter in a neighbor’s barn. Hidden in the hayloft day and night, Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as music pulses through her and the farmyard outside beckons. To soothe her daughter and pass the time, Róza tells her a story about a girl in an enchanted garden:

The girl is forbidden from making a sound, so the yellow bird sings. He sings whatever the girl composes in her head: high-pitched trills of piccolo; low-throated growls of contrabassoon. Music helps the flowers bloom.

In this make-believe world, Róza can shield Shira from the horrors that surround them. But the day comes when their haven is no longer safe, and Róza must make an impossible choice: whether to keep Shira by her side or give her the chance to survive apart.

Inspired by the true stories of Jewish children hidden during World War II, Jennifer Rosner’s debut is a breathtaking novel about the unbreakable bond between a mother and a daughter. Beautiful and riveting, “The Yellow Bird Sings” is a testament to the triumph of hope―a whispered story, a bird’s song―in even the darkest of times.

“Desperately moving and exquisitely written. If you only read one book this year, make it ‘The Yellow Bird Sings.’”
–AJ Pearce, author of Dear Mrs. Bird

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karlin-que-mai-books.jpgA Conversation with Novelist Wayne Karlin and Author Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

November 9, 2021, 10:30 a.m.
Prince Frederick Campus (Room 119) or Online Webinar

Register here to Attend Online

The Webinar is open to all. To register to attend in person, please email Neal Dwyer,  Due to COVID restrictions, in-person attendance is limited.

Born into the Việt Nam War in 1973, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai grew up witnessing the war's devastating aftermath. As a girl and young woman she worked as a street seller and rice farmer before winning a scholarship to attend university in Australia. She is the author of eight books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in Vietnamese and bi-lingual English editions, and her writing has been translated and published in more than fifteen countries. She has been honored with some of the top literary awards of Vietnam, including the Poetry of the Year 2010 Award from the Hanoi Writers Association. Her debut novel and first book in English, The Mountains Sing, has become an international best seller. It received the BookBrowse Best Debut Award for 2020 and has been named a best book of 2020 by more than ten media establishments, including NPR.  Dr. Nguyễn was awarded a Lannan Literary Awards Fellowship for contribution to peace and reconciliation and The Mountains Sing is a finalist for this year’s Dayton Literary  Peace Prize. ‘[An] absorbing, stirring novel… Que Mai contains her saga with a poet’s discipline… She evokes the landscape hauntingly, as a site of loss so profound it assumes the quality of fable.’ – New York Times Book Review.

Wayne Karlin is an author, editor, and teacher. His books include ten novels and three works of non-fiction, including Wandering Souls: Journeys with the Dead and the Living in Viet Nam (Nation Books, 2009) which was also published in translation in Vietnam. His books have been published in translation in Sweden, Finland, Italy and Holland. Karlin has received five State of Maryland Individual Artist Awards in Fic­tion, two Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Paterson Prize in Fiction, the Vietnam Veterans of America Excellence in the Arts Award, and the University of Massachusetts Juniper Prize for Fiction for his latest novel A Wolf by the Ears.

Note: A 20% discount is available with promo code TMS20. It can be used with either the hardcover or paperback edition of the book.

Pádraig Ó Tuamapadraigotuama.jpg

Poet, Theologian, and Mediator

November 10, 2021, 11:30 a.m., Online via Zoom

Irish poet and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama’s work centers around themes of language, power, conflict, and religion. He is the author of four books of poetry and prose: “Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community,” “In the Shelter,” “Sorry for your Troubles,” and “Readings from the Books of Exile.” He presents the podcast “Poetry Unbound” with “On Being Studios,” where he also has responsibilities in bringing art and theology into public and civic life. From 2014-2019 he was the leader of the Corrymeela Community, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation community. He is based in Ireland.

“Probably the best public speaker I know.”
—William Crawley, BBC

“Today, we are not just neighbours, but old friends who, tragically, have travelled a troubled road, along which many wrongs have been done. I wonder, here, whether I might quote the words of a Cork man, the poet and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama, whom I met when my wife and I visited the Corrymeela Community in Northern Ireland three years ago. His poem, ‘Shaking Hands’ makes reaching out an imperative of leadership.”
―Prince Charles

“Putting to work poetry and gospel, side by side with story and Celtic spirituality, Ó Tuama explores ideas of shelter along life’s journey, opening up gentle ways of living well in a troubled world. The reader can’t help but be drawn in, slip-sliding into the harbor of the author’s soulful words.”
—Chicago Tribune

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Fall 2021 Connections Literary Magazine Publication Reading

December 3, 2021, 7 p.m., Online via Zoom

Contributors to the Fall 2021 Connections Literary Magazine will read and discuss their published works.

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Thank you to our sponsors

The Connections Literary Series is sponsored by CSM's English, Communication, and Languages Department, and, in part, by grants from the Arts Council of Calvert County, the Charles County Arts Alliance, the St. Mary’s County Arts Council, and the Maryland State Arts Council.

Arts council of calvert countycharles county arts alliancemaryland state arts councilst. mary's arts council

Watch Past Connections Readings


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