On Friday, May 4, 2018, the Queens Writers Lab graced QCA with a reading of new works at our LAB program. The writers shared riveting fiction, nonfiction, and poetry with a packed house. After the event we sat down with writers Nancy Agabian, Catherine Fletcher, Mary Lannon, Vaughn Watson, Meera Nair, and Jared Harel, to talk about the value of the LAB program and its impact on artists and Queens communities.

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MARY LANNON
I am originally from Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania (the "gateway" to the Poconos).  I've lived in Kew Gardens since 2008. For me, QCA's LAB is important to artist-writers because its an opportunity to share and celebrate my work with my fellow writers and our community.  I am also able to receive responses and feedback to my work that gives me new ways of looking at it, as well as motivation to continue the hard work of writing. I believe the Lab is important to the community because it's an opportunity to come together and hear stories, to hear language put in new ways, and to engage with new ideas.  Sharing in artistic experiences with others can bring us closer to one another and engaged with each other in different registers than in our more mundane interactions. I am currently at work on a satirical dystopian novel (my second novel).


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MEERA NAIR
I have lived in jackson Heights (or Momoland) since 2006. LAB fosters a sense of community and in my case, commitment to the artistic practice. The community gets to experience art and meet working artists. I am currently working on a number of essays and short stories. 


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NANCY AGABIAN
I live in Jackson Heights. LAB gives artists a means to test out new work and to find new audience.  It also allows artists to find resources among each other. I am currently working on a collection of personal essays exploring the liminal spaces of identity.


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VAUGHN WATSON
I'm originally from Corona and am still living there, after a brief stint in China and Japan. The QCA LAB provides a space for artists to engage the community with new work. I'm currently revising my first short story collection, Payaos


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CATHERINE FLETCHER
I'm originally from Virginia and currently split my time between Jackson Heights and Norfolk, Virginia. LAB offers artists that scarce resource in New York City: free space.  For me, LAB offers the opportunity to read works-in-progress in a supportive environment and to get both audience feedback as well as wider exposure for my writing. I'm currently reworking my first manuscript, as well as writing a new series of poems in email format on hacking, espionage, and the cyber bears.


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JARED HAREL
I'm from Long Island, NY and currently live in Rego Park, Queens. QCA's LAB program is an essential component to connecting Queens artists and building a community right here in our borough. Writing (or painting, etc) can be a very solitary endeavor, and so creating a network of artists to support one another, bounce ideas around and share new work is a true gift. My poetry collection 'Go Because I Love You' was published this Spring, and so I'm currently in the process of writing new poems for an eventual next book. Refilling the well, I guess. 

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