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THE DOWNTOWN WRITER'S CENTER
About the Downtown Writer's Center

As a program of the Arts Branch of the YMCA of Greater Syracuse, our mission is simple: "To enrich lives through education in the literary arts."

Meet Our Staff

Philip Memmer (Director)

Philip Memmer 's poems have appeared in journals such as Poetry and Poetry Northwest. He is the author of "The Apartment" (piccadilly press, 2001) and "For Resident" (FootHills Publishing, 2002).

Speed Weed (Instructor)

Speed Weed is a freelance journalist whose work appears regularly in Discover Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, and National Geographic Adventure Magazine.

Georgia Popoff (Instructor)

Georgia Popoff teaches poetry and memoir courses at the DWC. Her first book of poems, Coaxing Nectar From Longing, has been published by Hale Mary Press.

Gerard Moses (Instructor)

Gerard Moses is an actor, director, and a Professor Emeritus of Syracuse University's theatre department.

Leslie Blanco (Instructor)

Leslie Blanco is the author of several screenplays, and a former intern for Merchant Ivory Productions. She is currently a graduate student in the Syracuse University Creative Writing Program.

Martin Walls (Instructor)

Martin Walls is the author of Small Human Detail in Care of National Trust, a collection of poems from New Issues Press.

Jennifer Pashley (Instructor)

Jennifer Pashley's fiction has been published by Mississippi Review and Two Rivers Review.

Board of Directors

John Frantz, President
Tom Dydyk
Jack Lawyer
Debbie Haylor McDowell
Kate Murphy
Nick Phillips
Virginia Smith 

About Our Programs

The Downtown Writers Center hosts a comprehensive series of literary classes and workshops. Three eight-week terms are offerend over the course of the year, with several courses in a variety of disciplines being offered each term. A shortened summer course schedule is also offered. Fees for workshops and classes are very reasonable, and financial assistance is frequently available for lower-income patrons.

The DWC also hosts a high-quality series of literary readings and lectures, featuring the best local and national voices. Between 12 and 15 authors visit the DWC each year. Previous guests have included George Saunders, Dorianne Laux, Reginald Shepherd, Thom Ward, Michael Waters, Len Roberts, Vivian Shipley and Minnie Bruce Pratt. Visiting authors often give special one-day workshops for advanced and emerging writers.

The Downtown Writers Center also features a browsing library for use by patrons. Resources include samples of a wide variety of literary journals, writers market guidebooks, and a growing collection of poetry, fiction and non-fiction books. To donate books or journals to the DWC library, contact the director.

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How to Find Us

The Downtown Writer's Center is located in the Downtown YMCA building at 340 Montgomery St. in Syracuse, New York.

Parking

Metered street parking is generally available within a block or so of the Downtown YMCA.

There is also a parking garage on Warren St., which is attached to the YMCA building by a ground-level hallway. If you park in the garage, the YMCA desk staff can validate your ticket, reducing the cost of parking. NOTE: THE GARAGE IS CLOSED AND LOCKED AT 9:00 P.M.!

Finally, there are parking lots at the intersection of Washington and Montgomery. These lots are generally open (though unattended) on the weekends.