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Roger Rosenblatt: The Writing Life

Fulbright was a wonderful, wonderful year. I’d never been to Europe before, my wife had never been either. It was all an eye opener for everything, for meeting people, and the Irish are the most generous and welcoming people, and learning a new language, to learn a little Irish, Irish Gaelic, for making friends and for being somewhere else.

Roger Rosenblatt

On May 14, 2021, the Fulbright Program hosted a virtual event celebrating the life and career of Roger Rosenblatt, a 1965 Fulbright U.S. Student to Ireland and a writer, professor, Emmy Award winner, and Peabody Award winner. The discussion was moderated by Daniel Peña, a 2014 Fulbright U.S. Student to Mexico, assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Houston – Downtown, and author of Bang: A Novel. 

Peña led a conversation that touched on the art of writing, advice for aspiring writers, and the impact of  the Fulbright experience on Rosenblatt’s life and career. The event concluded with a reading from Rosenblatt’s award-winning new book, Cold Moon: On Life, Love, and Responsibility, where the author reflected on the main message of the book: “We are all responsible for one another, and we are all the same.”

MEET THE PANELISTS 

MODERATOR 

Daniel Peña– 1965 Fulbright U.S. Student to Mexico 

Daniel Peña is a Pushcart Prize-winning writer and Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Houston-Downtown.  Formerly, he was based out of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Mexico City where he served as a Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholar. A graduate of Cornell University and a former Picador Guest Professor in Leipzig, Germany, his writing has appeared in PloughsharesThe Rumpus, the Kenyon Review, NBC News, and Arcturus, among  other venues. He is currently a regular contributor to the Guardian and the Ploughshares blog. His novel, Bang, is out now from Arte Publico Press.  

SPEAKERS 

Roger Rosenblatt– 1965 Fulbright U.S. Student to Ireland 

Roger Rosenblatt, whose prolific work has been published in 14 languages, is the author of five New YorkTimes Notable Books of the Year, and three Times bestsellers, including the memoirs KayakMorning, TheBoyDetective, and MakingToast, originally an essay in the NewYorker. TheStoryI  Am, a collection on writing and the writing life was published in April of 2020 and ColdMoon: OnLife, Love, andResponsibilitywas published in October 2020. He has written seven off-Broadway plays, notably the one-person FreeSpeechin America, that he performed at the American Place Theater, named one of The New York Times’s “Ten Best Plays of 1991.” In 2019, The Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor produced Lives in the Basement, Does Nothing, his one-person musical about the writing life, for which he played jazz piano.  

The Distinguished Professor of English and Writing at Stony Brook, Rosenblatt formerly held the Briggs-Copeland appointment in creative writing at Harvard, where he earned his Ph.D. Among his honors are two George Polk Awards; the Peabody, and the Emmy, for his essays in Time magazine and on PBS; a Fulbright to Ireland, where he played on the Irish International Basketball Team; seven honorary doctorates; the Kenyon Review Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement; and the President’s Medal from the Chautauqua Institution for his body of work.