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R JIM STAHL
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R. Jim Stahl (Creator of Monocular Man) created the literary magazine Merlyn's Pen. For eighteen years it published rising teen writers, poets, and playwrights for a readership of 95,000, earning Merlyn's Pen coverage in Time magazine, the New York Times, Washington Post, and a feature in the Christian Science Monitor. Merlyn's Pen was one of eight magazines picked for the New York State High School Reading List, alongside the New Yorker, Newsweek, and Time. Among today's leading novelists whose stories appeared in Merlyn's Pen are Amity Gaige (Schroder, The Folded World, O My Darling), Curtis Sittenfeld (Sisterland, American Wife, Prep), and Dara Horn (A Guide for the Perplexed, All Other Nights, In the Image, The World to Come). Stahl founded the New Library of Young Adult Writing (www.merlynspen.org), a resource of 1000 curated young adult stories (many illustrated) and poems for young adults. He also created The American Teen Writer Series, eleven paperbacks that enjoy readership in nine countries and translation into three languages, including Mandarin and Bulgarian. Books in the series were nominated to Best Books for Young Adults (ALA) and Books for the Teen Age (New York Public Library). Stahl created and produced Stories on Stage and (with Olga creator Diane Postoian) The Olga Project!, touring shows that inspired students in New England to honor their voices and question commercial advertising targeting them. Stahl created the summer program Down to the Sea with Paper and Pen: each summer it takes creative teens out to sea on a tall ship for a week of writing and adventure. Stahl's original monologues, which he began performing in 2010, at age 53, laid the groundwork for Monocular Man. They won several 'Best of the Best' competitions, including First Place in the Greater Boston All Star Story Slam (2010) and Best Storyteller and Audience Favorite at the First Person Festival of Memoir and Documentary Art (Philadelphia, 2011). He represented New England in the first National Story Slam Competition (Chicago, 2011). His short story "Goodbye, Eye!," now part of Monocular Man, was offered publication in Painted Bride Quarterly, one of the country's longest running literary magazines. Stahl lives, writes, and sails a wooden boat on Narragansett Bay, in Rhode Island. He attended the Northfield Mt. Hermon School and at Georgetown majored in Philosophy before pursuing graduate training at Stanford and the University of Chicago. He holds an MAT (English) in Education.
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A dramatic comedy of five stories about a sensitive but resilient Jewish boy's unusual life. The keystone story finds Jim losing his eye in a fireworks mishap and later seeing his replacement eye take flight in Spanish class. STORY TWO finds Jim in the hospital as he attempts to trick his eye surgeon into thinking Jim can see through his blind eye. STORY THREE is set in Miami following his parents' divorce, when young Jim sees that the new suitors vying for the hand of his mom are false. But he finds emotional shelter in one sincere suitor he calls Big Marty, who in Jim's eye "took up as much space as an ice-cream truck in our living room." Fighting the scabbed son of redneck parents is the action of STORY FOUR, where the boxing lessons of Jim's Ivy-League dad prove to be useless in a street fight. In the climactic STORY FIVE, Jim, now an English teacher, witnesses a theft and chases the thief to recover a stolen painting. Confronting the thief forces Jim to confront himself and question the lies he has held dear. Monocular Man is set against the political and social upheaval of the late 1960s.
SubCulture, New York Festival Fringe 11 Aug 2013
Merlyn's Pen, Inc
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