"South End Writes" Guests Sue Miller, Chris Castellani and National Slam Competition Winner Regie Gibson Team up for First Night Celebration of Teen Poets, December 31, 3 PM at Copley Library

First Night 2014 Authors Novelists Sue Miller and Chris Castellani will be joined by 1998 National Poetry Slam Winner Regie Gibson to host a literary event for teenage writers at the BPL's Copley Library next week, as part of Boston's First Night festivities. The hour-long literary celebration of Boston, Beantown Outloud, will showcase teen writers enrolled in the city's outstanding creative-writing center Grub Street. Authors will be introduced by short-story writer and essayist, Steve Almond, who hopes that the gathering of literary talent of this magnitude will demonstrate once again there's a hunger for such literary events, and that First Night is a perfect place for it. Sue Miller reported she heard the 'Grub Street teens' read in the fall and was struck by their support and enthusiasm for one another's work as well as by the mix of it: suburban types, immigrants, stories of first love, of painful entry into a new country, of sports contests. "Such energy," she commented, "such loud cheering! Such a sense of community. I think that's at least a substantial part of what they get out of the experience. They seemed less nervous about reading their work in public than I am, probably because of that." Beantown Outloud co-host Chris Castellani --who's also Grub Street's artistic director-- is scheduled to speak at the South End library on Tuesday, January 14. He will read from his widely praised novel, All That Talk About Love.

Steve Almond is the author of ten books, has become a strong advocate of self-publishing, and is a regular correspondent for NPR's Here and Now and WGBH. Sue Miller's new novel, The Arsonist, will come out in June. The event starts at 3 PM, Tuesday, December 31 at the Copley Library and is free