This event will provide a fun opportunity for MFA alumni and current MFA and BFA students to connect on the rooftop of Epicure Cafe. (Family and friends are also welcome!) Food and drink will be available to purchase, along with books by American writers inspired by their time abroad.
Past Cheuse Fellows Sam Ashworth, MFA' 18, Carol Mitchell, MFA' 21, and MFA candidate Jace Raymond Smellie will discuss their respective experiences in France, Brazil, and the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana.
This event is in partnership with One More Page Books, who will be selling select books at the cafe.
St. Kitts-born Carol Mitchell is a graduate of GMU’s MFA in fiction. Her work focuses on the Caribbean region. She has written eighteen books for children, three published by HarperCollins UK and the others by CaribbeanReads Publishing. Two of her children’s books have been shortlisted for Caribbean prizes. Her work for adult audiences has appeared in several journals and four of her short stories have been long listed for the Commonwealth Short Story prize. In addition to lecturing at George Mason, Carol is a professional editor and works with CaribbeanReads Publishing, which focuses its work on publishing books by authors in the Caribbean.
Sam Ashworth received his MFA in Fiction from George Mason in 2018, where he received one of two inaugural travel grants given by the Cheuse Center for MFA students. Sam traveled abroad to France in order to research the French culinary industry for a novel about a middle-aged American chef who learns his trade in France. To do so, he spent a week as a stagiaire (trainee) in a Michelin-starred restaurant in a town in Provence, France, working 14 hour days cleaning out fresh squid, or cleaning the walk-in freezer, or peeling potatoes until his fingers turned purple.
Jace Raymond Smellie is an MFA candidate at George Mason University originally from Pocatello, Idaho. Jace is a descendent of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. He was awarded a 2021 MFA Travel Fellowship from The Alan Cheuse Center for International Writers, and his poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Southern Humanities Review, Cimarron Review, Marathon Literary Review, and Boston Accent Lit.