Voices of the Community: Julie Poitras Santos

GRADUATE SCHOOL ONE YEAR OUT: putting away my folders

Let me begin by saying this is not my first rodeo: I have another graduate degree. I recall taking a wonderful visiting artist out to lunch mid-way through that earlier degree. He clearly said to me that it took him a good two years to recover from graduate school. Two years!! It seemed like sheer lunacy to me at the time; what was he talking about, what did he mean “recover,” I was doing just fine. Of course, the naiveté of the uninitiated reveals itself in retrospect. I now joke that it took me about ten years to recover. Add a few more years, and it was time for me to go back to school.

It might come as no surprise, then, that I told the announcer before I read in a local reading series this March that I had just graduated, in January. By the end of the evening, however, after ebullient congratulations on my newly minted degree, I was alerted by a companion to the fact that actually no, it wasn’t this January I had graduated, it was last January, over a year ago now. Over a year! Perhaps I truly am time challenged. In part that slip-up must come from a reluctance to let go of the intensity and the transformative qualities of that experience; a desire to hold onto that precious time when a community holds your creativity warmly in its hands and you feel “real”. Velveteen Rabbit real. But in graduate school you become a real writer, a real artist, not because anyone tells you this or a magic fairy grants you your livelihood, but because you decide you are. Because you decide for the love of it, and you do the work of it.

Before going back to school for writing, I harbored a large filing cabinet full of unpublished material. Going back to school for me signified an opportunity to crack that seal, open those files, to stop “writing in silence,” and to get my work out into the world. And so, after graduating, I left my stacks of books and files just as they werespread about my studio, tumbling in disarray, catching dust and yet still managing to look in media res, ready for instant use, implying a certain badge of realness. I abhorred the thought of putting the equivalent of a new filing cabinet’s worth of materials away in metal drawers: it seemed to mark time too harshly, and unfortunately so. Would the writing disappear again behind that metal hum of order? What if I went to school for naught?

Now more than a year out, I am putting away my stacks of papers and folders. I’m happy to say I’ve published a thing or two, here and there; I’ve taught a workshop and read in a few local venues. But more importantly, I’ve sent out hundreds of poems, and I’ve pulled together a manuscript and a chapbook of new poems and I’m sending them out too. I’ve created a small writer’s group and stayed connected to my grad school community; I’ve read new poets and written a few reviews. And of course, this is the work of it. This is the “real writer” I was hoping to becomeno not yet with a published book in hand, no rocket ship of fame for me, not yet. But I’m ok with that. I can put the folders away because I’ve kept working. There is so much still to come, and now I know it.


Julie Poitras Santos, Class of Winter 2014

If anyone else in the community has a similar vignette they would like to share of their post-Residency life, please contact the Stonecoast MFA Alumni Page on Facebook or email me at trevor [dot] gulley [at] gmail.com. -Trevor

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Community News & Updates May 2015

Stonecoast in Ireland

Stonecoast in Ireland will host its 20th residency in January 2016. Information and applications are available from Ted Deppe at theodore.deppe@maine.edu. The deadline for applying is 14 May 2015.

Alumni

Sheila Boneham (Creative Nonfiction/Cross Genre, S’13) is honored to have learned that guest editor Rebecca Skloot has selected Sheila’s essay “A Question of Corvids” for inclusion in the 2015 Best Science and Nature Writing anthology, to be published this fall by Houghton Mifflin. The essay, an earlier version of which was Sheila’s graduation reading, won the 2014 Prime Number Magazine Award for Creative Nonfiction and has been nominated for a Pushcart Award.

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction S ’11) her novel Elysium received the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award Special Citation at Norwescon 38 in Seattle, WA.

Meg Elison, Rod Duncan,  Emmi Itäranta, and Jennifer Marie Brissett (l-r)

Meg Elison, Rod Duncan, Emmi Itäranta, and Jennifer Marie Brissett (l-r)

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) story “Raising Babies”—inspired by memories of southern Indiana,”The Yellow Wallpaper,” and spring—is now available in issue 145 of Crack the Spine.

Sarah R. Flynn (Popular Fiction, W’15) has a piece forthcoming in the July issue of The Writer magazine. The feature article outlines how to create a writing workshop for adult literacy students and was influenced by her third semester project and graduate presentation. This is her first professional sale.

Cynthia Kraack‘s (Fiction, W’10) first literary novel, The High Cost of Flowers, is one of three finalists in two categories of the 25th Anniversary Midwest Book Awards: Literary Fiction and Contemporary Fiction. The competition, sponsored by the Midwest Independent Publishing Association, is judged by experts from all aspects of the book world. They select winners and finalists from a 12-state region based on overall excellence. Cynthia’s first speculative fiction novel, Minnesota Cold, won the 2009 Northeastern Book Award for Fiction.

Mur Lafferty (Popular Fiction, W’14) will be the editor-in-chief and Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) will be non-fiction editor of Escape Artists’ new speculative fiction e-zine this fall. Issue zero is slated for an August release. Escape Artists are best known for the Escape Pod, Pod Castle, and PseudoPod podcasts.

HazardousMaterial-1Matthew Quinn Martin’s (Popular Fiction, S’10) novella Nightlife: Hazardous Material will be released by Pocket Star/Simon & Schuster on May 11. T.L. Costa, critically acclaimed author of Playing Tyler, has called the book “A taut, mesmerizing tale of horror, madness and video games. It’s as if Stephen King penned Ready Player One. Readers will devour this in one sitting.”

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) has a new essay, “Crossing Borders in Fiction,” in The Cleaver magazine, here.

For the second year in a row, Roxanne Ocasio (Popular Fiction, W’15) and Kristabelle Munson (Fiction, current) have been accepted into the prestigious VONA/Voices writers’ workshop in Miami. Co-founded by Junot Diaz, VONA is the only writers’ conference in the country with a multi-genre focus on writers of color as students and teachers.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry, W’11) has had her latest manuscript, Lost Property Hotline, accepted for April 2016 publication by Biblioasis. Her poem “Margaret Rose” (previously published in The Walrus) will be appearing in Best Canadian Poetry 2015. This has been a busy time for Alexandra, who is also celebrating the release of Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters (Random House/Everyman), co-edited with Annie Finch. Here she is in action earlier this month, reading at the Tree Series in Ottawa:

Janet Passehl’s (Poetry, S’10) poems “Dear Colum,” and “his rented left brother and bottle of yellow music” are published in Calibanonline 19.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poem “Think of Sophia Loren” will appear in the 2015 edition of Stolen Island Review. He recently played the principal role in the short film Harvey’s Dream adapted from the Stephen King story of the same name that appeared in The New Yorker several years ago. In addition to playing Harvey, he consulted with the writer-director, Ryan Shelley, on the script. A fall premier is to be scheduled at the University of Maine.

“Side Effects,” a short story by Karen Pullen (Popular Fiction, S’08), will appear in Reed Magazine, Issue 68, in May. In January, Karen’s story “Brown Jersey Cow” was published online by Every Day Fiction, the once-a-day flash fiction magazine.

Michaela Roessner-Herman‘s (Popular Fiction, S’08) short story “Flattened” has been picked for inclusion in the Western Weird anthology, the Speculative Fiction edition of the Manifest West literary anthology series.

Beth Slattery‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’10) essay, “Hello to All That,” which explores Joan Didion’s writing, was published in the Spring 2015 issue of Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Study.

J.G. Strauss (Fiction, S’14) will read from her novel-in-progress, The Three Lives of Gráinne Ó Mháille as part of Cape Whale at SEA Space in Provincetown, MA, on May 1st, 2015.

unnamed

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular fiction, S’13) fairy tale story “Dance Our Shoes to Pieces” appeared in the most recent issue of Farrago’s Wainscot“An Exodus of Wings” has been reprinted in the audio magazine The Drabblecast“Six Ways to Break Her” appeared on the newly-designed SmokeLong Quarterly along with an interview“The Way of Things” appeared in Crack the Spine alongside another interview.

Ashley Warren‘s (Fiction, S’12) short story “Cataphile” has been selected as an honorable mention for Volume 27 of Allegory.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) has retired from the Catawba County (NC) Library System. Her  9-year library newspaper column has converted to a more general one titled “Fork in the Road.” Her essays are also posted on her website.

Students

Elisabeth Tova Bailey‘s (Creative Nonfiction) book, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, was published by Algonquin Books in 2010. Now the digital audiobook has just been released by audible.com. The CD edition of the audiobook will launch from Brilliance in July with narration by Renee Raudman. The Chicago Tribune audiobook review is here.

Kristabelle Munson (Fiction) has been invited to give a presentation at Queers & Comics, the first university conference for queer cartoonists and comics writers with keynote speakers Alison Bechdel and Howard Cruse. Kristabelle will show pages of a graphic novella written at Stonecoast.

Marian Romero‘s (Popular Fiction) poem “A portrait of the witch at sixteen” was featured in Abyss and Apex online magazine.

Faculty

Jaed Coffin (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Writing for Social Change) has accepted a tenure-track position as assistant professor in the English department at the University of New Hampshire, beginning in fall 2015. He’ll be teaching both in the MFA and undergraduate creative writing programs.

Ted and Annie Deppe (Poetry, Coordinator of Stonecoast in Ireland) will be giving a poetry reading at the Connemara Mussel Festival, Mweelrea Hotel, Tully Cross, Ireland, at 6:00 p.m. on 2 May 2015. They will also be reading on the Aran Islands on 21 May for Old Dominion University. Ted’s next U.S. reading has been confirmed for Old Dominion University in Virginia on 8 October 2015.

Beauty and the Beast - Some Gave AllNancy Holder (Popular Fiction) has a new book out: Beauty and the Beast: Some Gave All, based on the Beauty and the Beast reboot on the CW. She and Stonecoast alumna Erin Underwood (Popular Fiction, S’09) have a new column titled “Writing Reading Guides” in the Science Fiction Writers of America Bulletin.

When astronauts overcorrect a negative turtle jacket on their high-tail thruster, initiating precautionary self-destruct protocol, they have only one recourse: radio Mission Control. Unfortunately, Mission Control has been privatized. Mike Kimball‘s (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) 10-minute play Houston will be staged at the Boston Theatre Marathon—50 ten-minute plays, written by 50 playwrights, produced by 50 theatre companies in one day: Sunday, May 10, starting at 12:00 p.m. at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street, Boston. Houston will also be staged in Portland, Maine, at the Maine Playwrights’ Festival—seven short plays by Maine playwrights May 13-16 at the St. Lawrence Arts Center.

HoustonElizabeth Searle‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) rock opera—Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera—will be produced in New York City this summer as an official full-production show at the New York Musical Festival (NYMF) with multiple performances in July, dates TBA. Elizabeth will be in NYC with the show during the residency but she hopes to see some Stonecoasters at “ringside” at the show. Check out the coverage in Theater Mania. For info and updates on performances and tickets, visit www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com

Poster from previous Boston production; NYC dates TBD.

Poster from previous Boston production; NYC dates TBD.

 

 

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Stonecoast at #AWP15

Originally posted on Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing Blog:

Are your bags packed? Have you gotten dizzy looking at the conference schedule yet? We are just days away from the 2015 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Annual Conference in Minneapolis and the Stonecoast MFA Program will be there!

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Community News & Updates April 2015

ALUMNI

Stone Dove” by Elizabeth Beechwood (Popular Fiction, S’14) was featured in Crossed Genres.

Stonecoast poetry alum Kathleen Cerveny (S ‘14) will be having her Farewell Poetry Reading as Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights on Saturday, April 18th. Reading with her will be her Stonecoast mentor Jeanne Marie Beaumont (Poetry). The event will be held at 7:30 pm in the Heights Arts Gallery at 2175 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, OH. If any Stonecoasters are in the area, it would be great to see you; more information can be found here.

Terri Glass’s (Poetry/Creative Nonfiction, S’13) two poems “Sea Stars” and “Wind Turbines of Altamont Pass” have been accepted for publication in the next issue of About Place journal. The theme: primal paradox.

51wCwMNG6+L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Two Faint Lines in the Violet (Negative Capability Press) by Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S11) is a Foreword Reviews2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award Finalist.

Jeanette Lynes (Poetry/Fiction, ’05) co-edited a book, Where the Nights are Twice as Long: Love Letters of Canadian Poets, with David Eso. The book, featuring over 100 poets, was published this February by Goose Lane Editions.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry, W’12) is currently celebrating (with co-editor Annie Finch) the release of Measure for Measure, a new Everyman/Random House anthology of poetic meters. Order yours today! Alexandra will be reading as part of the Tree Series, one of Canada’s longest running literary events, in Ottawa on April 14th.

The Future FireSean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) is pleased to share two publications. “Rustsong” appeared in The Future Fire in March. Check it out. It has illustrations! His story (inspired at Stonecoast) “Beatification of the Second Fall” will appear in Apex Magazine on April 7th.

Not Quite Meet-Cute,” a nonfiction piece by Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08), appears in the current issue of Blue Lyra Review. Lisa will be on a panel at the ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors) Conference in New York City on May 2. And in other very exciting news, she will be published in the upcoming print issue (#55) of Creative Nonfiction Magazine — well, 130 characters of hers will be anyway (a #CNFtweet).

Damien Shuck‘s (Poetry, ’09) collection of poetry, The Drowning Room, will be released soon and preorder is available on Amazon or at New American Press.

519YdnGmWIL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_On April 6, Patricia Smith (Poetry, S’08) will officially receive the 2014 Rebekah Bobbitt Poetry Prize in a ceremony at the Library of Congress. The $10,00 prize is given to the author of the best poetry book published in the United States in the previous two years. The book chosen was Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, which also won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets.

Kevin St. Jarre (Popular Fiction, S’10) is pleased to announce that his short story “Fishes and Time” was published in Story magazine in March 2015.

STUDENTS

Olive Sullivan’s (Poetry) latest poem, “Pin Oak,” is online as part of the “Where I Live” photo and poetry series by Silver Birch Press.

FACULTY

2015_03_16-400Sarah Braunstein‘s (Fiction, Writing for Social Change) short story “All You Have to Do” was published in the March 16 issue of The New Yorker.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Popular Fiction) short story “The Secret of Mexican Wine Cookies” will appear this month in The Chicago Tribune, in their Printer’s Row literary journal.  Also, Aaron will be teaching at the Peripatetic Writing Workshop in Woodstock, NY, this summer, a great way to gear up for Stonecoast!

Elizabeth Hand (Fiction, Popular Fiction) will be the keynote speaker at Newman University’s sixteenth annual Literary Festival in Wichita, speaking on science and literature. This fall, she will join the faculty at Maine College of Art (MECA), teaching a class in fiction writing (she’ll continue at Stonecoast). Forthcoming reviews include new works by Kelly Link, Eleanor Arnason, and John Connolly, in her column for Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine.

1250064422.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_SL400_James Patrick Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) story “Someday” (also known as “The Little Story That Could”) has been selected for another Year’s Best collection, this one being The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2015 Edition edited by Rich Horton from Prime Books. Originally published in Asimov’s Science Fiction May 2014, it has also been selected to be reprinted in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 9, edited by Jonathan Strahan from Solaris Books, and The Year’s Best Science Fiction 32, edited by Gardner Dozois from St. Martin’s Press. Those who were at the Winter 2015 residency may recall this story from Jim’s faculty reading.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) will be performing in an event at AWP in Minneapolis on Friday April 10th, at 4:30 p.m. (along with SCers Suzanne Strempek Shea and alums Matthew Quinn Martin and Libby Cudmore). She will also be doing a seminar with author Lise Haines at the Boston Writers’ Conference, The Muse And The Marketplace, May 1-3. Elizabeth and Lise’s seminar is called “On Love And Safety, Violence And The Horrific.” In it, Elizabeth with read an excerpt from her upcoming novel, We Got Him (2016), which takes place the night of the Boston Marathon bombing manhunt. The seminar is Saturday, May 2nd. Along with Elizabeth, MUSE 2015 features authors Alice Hoffman, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Elinor Lipman, Anita Shreve, Steve Almond, and more, plus many prominent agents and editors.  MUSE info may be found here.

 

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Community News & Updates March 2015

ALUMNI

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is pleased to announce her story “The Scarlet Cloak” will be reprinted in Life After Ashes, an anthology published by Alliteration Ink to benefit a military family who lost everything in a fire.

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S ’11) will be on panel at the Astro Blackness 2 Conference, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA.

Atro Blackness 2 Conference

xiii_webJulie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) story “Pretty Little Boxes” is now available in the Resurrection House anthology XIII edited by Mark Teppo.

Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) has recently sung the US and Canadian anthems at UMaine men’s and women’s hockey and basketball games, and will sing them again at the opening ceremonies for US National Alpine Skiing Championships next month at Sugarloaf USA. Currently he’s playing the part of Harvey in Harvey’s Dream, a short film based on the Stephen King story of the same name being filmed in Bangor. He will be reading at the Poetry & Science Reading on Sunday, March 22, at 1:00 p.m. at The Rock & Art Shop, 38 Central St. in downtown Bangor, and again at the annual Poet’s Speak on April 4th in Bangor. He would also ask that anyone who has recently published a book that deals with sports—in the broadest sense—consider sending a copy for possible discussion on his weekly Sports Lit 101 segment on the Downtown with Rich Kimball Show heard in Eastern and Central Maine on WZON 620 AM on Wednesday at approximately 4:35 p.m. The station is also available on the web and on the free WZON app.

Tamie Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, S’12; formerly Tamie Harkins) won second place for her essay “David the Green Dragon Goes to the Opera” in the Literal Latte essay competition. The essay can be read online here.

Gina Troisi (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) is happy to announce that her essay, “The Angle of Flickering Light,” was recently published in Fourth Genre‘s Spring 2015 issue (17.1). Her email is ginatroisi@yahoo.com.

Dumped coverThe anthology Dumped: Stories of Women Unfriending Women is now available! This anthology, edited by Nina Gaby, contains the work of twenty-five women writers, including six Stonecoast students, alumnae, and faculty. The book explores “the fragile, sometimes humorous, and often unfathomable nature of lost friendship.” Stonecoasters included in the book are: Penny Guisinger (Creative Nonfiction, S’13), Kristabelle Munson (Fiction), Alexis Paige (Creative Nonfiction, S’14), Judith Podell (Fiction, ’06), Julie L. Vandekreke (Creative Nonfiction, S’10), and faculty member Elizabeth Searle. A selection of the SC contributors to the anthology will participate in a reading at the summer 2015 residency with books available for purchase. To hear editor Nina Gaby interviewed about the book on ListenUP! Talk Radio, click here.

STUDENTS

Kristabelle Munson (Fiction) won the title of The Flash at the Boskone Flash Fiction Slam. Kristabelle took first place and was invited to compete at the New Hampshire Institute of Art for the NH Writers’ Project Three-Minute Fiction Slam.

FACULTY

German The Sacred Band CoverBlanvalet will publish the German edition of David Anthony Durham‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) final Acacia novel, The Sacred Band (Reiche Ernte), on March 16th.

Aaron Hamburger (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Popular Fiction) served as a judge for the Bethesda Magazine Fiction Contest.  Also, his Stonecoast-themed essay “How a Gay Guy from the City Found his Inner Rugged Country Boy in Snowy Maine” appeared on Matador.

On Wednesday, March 4th, at 7:30 p.m., The Provincetown Theater (238 Bradford Street, Provincetown, MA 02657 | 508-487-7487) will present a staged reading of Mike Kimball‘s play Best Enemies, the story two cowboys, lone survivors of a sabotaged rodeo cruise, who are marooned together on a tiny desert island. To preserve their sanity, they’ve invented imaginary geography and instituted a system of laws, but ultimately they go to war over their shared cowboy hat. As they rob each other of food and sleep, and their carefully constructed universe begins to unravel, each man faces his death and, in so doing, each begins examining his life. The Portland Phoenix called it “A sly, haunting, and remarkably fun new existential comedy.”

Scene from Best Enemies.

Scene from Best Enemies.

Poetry faculty members Eléna Rivera and Stephen Motika read in San Francisco March 22, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. at CCA Writers Studio, co-presented by the Poetry Center. The reading is a celebration of the work of Kathleen Fraser on her 80th birthday with participants including Bev Dahlen, Frances Richard, John Sakkis, Brenda Hillman, Robin Tremblay-McGaw, Linda Russo, Brian Teare, Latasha Diggs, Eléna Rivera, Lauren Shufran, Stephen Motika, and Susan Gevirtz. Also, Eléna reads in New York on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, as part of “Collection Processed by Poets: Five Writers Respond to the Wagner Labor Archive”; other poets reading are John Keene, Robert Fitterman, Paolo Javier, and Johannah Rodgers. The reading is at the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University, Bobst Library, 10th floor. The event is co-sponsored by Nightboat Books.

Mags Riordan, the subject of Suzanne Strempek Shea’s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) book This Is Paradise: An Irish Mother’s Grief, an African Village’s Plight and the Medical Clinic That Brought Fresh Hope to Both, is returning to New England in March for two weeks of talks. Riordan, a native of Ireland, ten years ago founded The Billy Riordan Memorial Clinic in Cape Maclear, Malawi, in memory of her son who drowned in Lake Malawi in 1999. The former high school guidance counselor now lives in the African nation and runs the clinic that has served more than 275,000 people in an area that previously had one doctor for 800,000 people. Since its publication last year, This Is Paradise has been featured in publications in the U.S. and Ireland, including the Boston Globe, Yankee magazine and The Irish Times. Copies of This Is Paradise and Shea’s ten other books will be available for sale and signing at all events, which are open to the public free of charge. Crafts from Cape Maclear also will be sold to benefit the clinic. Kelly’s Books to Go will be selling at both Maine events, so stop by and say hi to Kelly, too. The schedule:

March 19, 7:30 p.m., Cheshire United Methodist Church, 205 Academy Road, Cheshire, CT.
March 23, 6:00-7:30 p.m., Centerville Public Library, 585 Main St., Centerville, MA.
March 24, 7:00 p.m., Maine Irish Heritage Center, 34 Gray St., Portland, ME
March 25, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Wells Public Library, Route 1, Wells, ME
March 25, 7:00-8:30 p.m., West Springfield Public Library, 11 Main St., West Springfield, MA.
March 26, 7 p.m., Kingston Public Library, 6 Green St., Kingston, MA. With Marianne Leone.
March 27, dinner event, time TBA, Ludlow Country Club, Ludlow, MA.
March 28, 2:00 p.m., Sandwich Public Library, 142 Main St., Sandwich, MA.

For more information, visit www.suzannestrempekshea.com or write the author at sess7(at)comcast.net

Ted Deppe (Poetry, Coordinator of Stonecoast in Ireland) and Annie Deppe of Co. Galway, Ireland, were the visiting writers last month at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA, where Suzanne Strempek Shea is writer in residence. They spoke to and wrote with classes and gave a reading open to the public, and Ted gave a presentation on “Taking It All the Way to Coleman’s: On Abandoning the Good for the Marvelous” at the university’s eleventh Writers’ Day, February 14. Taking second prize for longest distance covered to get to Longmeadow was grad Penny Guisinger, who braved several of the many February snowstorms to drive from Lubec, ME, to present a Writers’ Day talk on “You Should Get a Grant for That! Applying for Funding to Support Your Writing—A Nuts and Bolts Approach.” Suzanne sends many thanks to all the Stonecoasters, past and present and including Stonecoast Ireland alums, who attended the events.

Ted Deppe and Annie Deppe reunite with Stonecoast grad and Stonecoast Ireland participant Melanie Brooks at Bay  Path University in Longmeadow, MA.

Ted Deppe and Annie Deppe reunite with Stonecoast grad and Stonecoast Ireland participant Melanie Brooks at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA.

Penny Guisinger begins her talk at Bay Path University’s Writers’ Day.

Penny Guisinger begins her talk at Bay Path University’s Writers’ Day.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Stonecoast Reviewa journal edited and produced by students at the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program, is now accepting submissions of literary fiction, pop fiction, nonfiction and poetry, for their third and fourth issues. Emerging and established writers welcome. (Deadline: APRIL 1st)

 

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Community News & Updates February 2015

ALUMNI

Eric M. Bosarge (Popular Fiction, W’12) is happy to announce that Medallion Press has acquired his novel The Time Train. It will be released in 2016.

Jennifer Marie Brissett‘s (Popular Fiction S’11) debut novel Elysium has been listed as a Locus New and Notable Book and also has been nominated for the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award. She will be reading and signing with Carlos Hernandez at the NYRSF Reading Series in SoHo on February 3rd.

13coverimage Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) story “The Church of Forgotten Gods” is out in the latest issue of the magazine A cappella Zoo.

Terri Glass’s (Creative Nonfiction / Poetry, S’13) haiku chapbook, Birds, Bees, Trees, Love, Hee Hee will be forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in mid-March. Cait Johnson states, “Glass delivers her crystalline observations of nature—and of being human—with incisive thrust and an unexpected wry humor. I could spend hours happily inhabiting these beautiful miniature worlds, each so alive, so sensual, so ultimately delicious. Like gems shining with concentrated brilliance, here we find language and insight distilled to the bone.” To order, click here.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) recently enjoyed having her first flash fiction publication at Stirring: A Literary Collection. She’d love for you to read “Speaking in English, Speaking in Sudanese” here. Her memoir piece, “Saudade,” which was originally published in the Stonecoast Review, will be reprinted in Hippocampus Magazine in May 2015. Her email is lesleyheiser@yahoo.com.

Two Faint Lines in the Violet (Negative Capability Press) by Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S’11) is a 2014 Julie Suk Award finalist for best poetry book by an independent press.

Flowers-COVERIt has been a busy six months for Cynthia Kraack (Fiction, W’10). Leaving Ashwood, the final book in the dystopian Ashwood trilogy, was released by North Star Press. In December, Calumet Editions released The High Cost of Flowers, a literary novel. The opening chapters of this book were reviewed in workshop sessions at Stonecoast. The High Cost of Flowers follows a family adapting to the rapid decline of its matriarch from heart disease and dementia.

Joe M. McDermott (Popular Fiction, S’11) sold the short story “Farmer” to Analog Magazine, an excerpt of an unpublished novel.

Sandra McDonald (Popular Fiction, W’05) sold the story “The Cthulhu Navy Wife,” a Lovecraftian mash-up, to the anthology The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu for publication later this year. She tweets about markets, writing tips, and more @sandramcdonald.

22999456Ellen Meeropol‘s (Fiction, W’06) second novel, On Hurricane Island, will launch on March 3 at the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA, with events scheduled in Massachusetts, Virginia, New York, Texas, Minneapolis, and Calfifornia (full event schedule here). Former Stonecoast faculty member Walter Wetherell writes that “Meeropol takes on the complexities and dangers of contemporary life in a novel that starts fast and ratchets up the tension all the way to the end.” On Hurricane Island can be pre-ordered from Red Hen Press.

Janet Passehl (Poetry, S’10) has an untitled poem in Caliban Online 18.

Michaela Roessner-Herman (Popular Fiction, S’08) just wrapped up a year of serving as one of the judges on the 2014 Philip K. Dick science fiction award panel.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Popular Fiction, S’13) had three original stories out in January: “He Came From a Place of Openness and Truth” in Lightspeed (cross-published on io9), “Everything Beneath You” in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and “Nostalgia” in Interzone“The Damaged” was reprinted in Story; it first appeared in the January 2014 issue of Interzone. Her story “Six Ways to Break Her” appeared on SmokeLong Quarterly, accompanied by her mother’s artwork.

STUDENTS

David Arroyo‘s (Poetry) poem “Eve’s Cheeseburger” was published in the January issue of Stirring.

FACULTY

Ted Deppe (Poetry, Coordinator of Stonecoast in Ireland) and Annie Deppe will be giving a reading on 12 February at 7:00 p.m., Breck Suite, Wright Hall, Bay Path University, Longmeadow, MA (free and open to the public). On 14 February, Ted will give a talk on writing titled “Taking it All the Way to Coleman’s: On Abandoning the Good for the Marvelous,” at Bay Path’s Writer’s Day from 11:05 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.  On Thursday 5 March at 7:00 p.m., Ted and Annie will give a reading at Trinity House, at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, FL (free and open to the public).  On Wednesday 25 March, at 8:00 p.m. Ted and Annie will read at the Maier Museum of Art, 1 Quinlan Street, Randolph College, Lynchburg, VA (free and open to the public).

1-Marquart_Small Buried Things_2015Debra Marquart’s (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry) poem, “Lament,” was published in New Letters Magazine (Issue 81.1) in December of 2014 and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She was awarded the 2014 Paumanok Poetry Award from Farmingdale State College, New York, and in November 2014 she read from her prize-winning work at the college. She was invited by the North Dakota Humanities Council to travel in North Dakota for six weeks in January and February of 2015 to do field research and teach creative writing workshops in several communities impacted by the oil boom.  The name of the project is Our People. Our Places. Our Stories. 2015. Debra’s poetry collection, Small Buried Things, will be published by New Rivers Press in March of 2015.

Our People. Our Places. Our Stories. 2015.

Our People. Our Places. Our Stories. 2015.

 

DumpedCoverElizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) joins fellow Stonecoasters Kristabelle Munson, Alexis Paige, Judith Podell, Penny Guisinger and Julie L. Vandekreke as contributing authors in the new anthology Dumped: Stories of Women Unfriending Women, which is now available as a pre-order on Amazon and which was reviewed as “gripping from beginning to end” on MomsRising. Watch for news of an AWP reading for this anthology:  www.elizabethsearle.net

Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) looks forward to welcoming Ted Deppe and Annie Deppe at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Mass., where they’ll visit classes for a week. The university, where Suzanne is writer in residence, well host a reading by both Ted and Annie Feb. 12 at 7:00 p.m. in Breck Suite on campus. The event is free and open to the public. Copies of books by both Ted and Annie will be sold.

On Feb. 14, Ted will speak on “Taking It All the Way to Coleman’s: On Abandoning the Good for the Marvelous” at  the university’s eleventh Writers’ Day. Other speakers will include Stonecoast alum Penny Guisinger, who’ll talk about grant writing, and former Stonecoast faculty member Roland Merullo, who’ll talk about conquering the demons of the blank page. Information including schedule, fees and how to register is available at http://www.baypath.edu/news-and-events/writers-day

The Irish Times recently published an essay by Suzanne and an excerpt from her book This Is Paradise: An Irish Mother’s Grief, and African Village’s Plight and the Medical Clinic That Brought Fresh Hope to Both, about the work of Irishwoman Mags Riordan and the medical clinic she founded in Malawi in memory of a son who drowned there. Southern Maine readers interested in meeting Mags Riordan are invited to the Maine Irish Heritage Center, at the corner of State and Gray Streets in Portland, March 24 at 7:00 p.m. Mags will give and update on the clinic. Copies of This Is Paradise and craft items from Malawi will be offered for sale. The center will be charging a $5 admission fee.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Via Amanda Pleau (Creative Nonfiction): Stonecoast Reviewa journal edited and produced by students at the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program, is now accepting submissions of literary fiction, popular fiction, nonfiction and poetry, for their third and fourth issues. Emerging and established writers welcome. (Deadline: revolving)

 

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates January 2015

Happy New Year!

ALUMNI

Sheila Boneham (Creative Nonfiction/Cross Genre, S’13) had a lovely December. Her essay “A Question of Corvids,” winner of the 2014 Prime Number Magazine Creative Nonfiction Award, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for the Best American Science and Nature Writing anthology. Her novel The Money Bird (Midnight Ink, 2013) is a finalist for the Maxwell Award for Fiction from the Dog Writers Association of America. And her poem “On Eating My Way Through a Feast of Poems” appeared in Minerva Rising, Issue 6: Food. That poem began as an “evaluation” of a class on using food in writing taught by Cait Johnson, Jeanne Marie Beaumont, and Aaron Hamburger at the summer 2012 residency—you never know where the seeds will be planted!

Ed Boyle (Fiction, W’09) had two stories published by on-line journals in November: (1) “Honor Thy Wife” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in Crabfat Literary Magazine. (2) He was the featured fiction writer in Mud Season Review and the story, “Making Weight,” can be viewed here.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) story “Faerie Medicine” was reprinted in the December issue of the online magazine Luna Station Quarterly.

The Fragile World final front coverPaula Treick DeBoard’s (Fiction, S’10) second novel, The Fragile World, was published on October 28 by Harlequin MIRA. She was recently a guest on Capital Public Radio’s Insight with Beth Ruyak to discuss the book. Her first novel The Mourning Hours (June 2013) was a recent finalist for the Housatonic Book Award (info here). Paula would like to give continued thanks to Ted Deppe, Suzanne Strempek Shea, and Boman Desai, who mentored her through early drafts of that book. A third novel is scheduled for publication in 2016. More information can be found on her website or on Facebook.

ZombifiedAdam Gallardo‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) book, Zombified, will be available from Kensington books in stores and online later this month. As a promotion for the book’s release, Kensington will also be offering the e-version of his first book, Zomburbia, for just $2.99 across all platforms.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) had two CNF pieces published last month: an untitled essay about a tree, an owl, and a growing boy in the “A Place in Mind” section of the Winter 2014 issue of Northern Woodlands and  “Four Days at Russell Pond,” an account of her family’s first backpacking trip, in issue 19 of TrailGroove. She also read an abridged version of her recently published essay, “Here Be Dragons,” at November’s Local Writers at the Local Buzz event in Cape Elizabeth, ME, alongside novelist Maria Padian and poet Christian Barter.

Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’14) is pleased to announce that her book manuscript, Plumes: On Contamination of Home and Habitat, was selected by Karen Joy Fowler as the winner of the 2014 Siskiyou Prize in New Environmental Literature. The Siskiyou Prize, sponsored by Ashland Creek Press, honors literary works that focus on the environment, animal protection, ecology, and wildlife.  Winners receive a cash prize, an offer of publication from Ashland Creek Press, and a four-week residency at PLAYA near Summer Lake in the Oregon Outback. Plumes was Mary Heather’s Stonecoast thesis.

Anne Britting Oleson‘s (Poetry, W’05) novel, The Book of the Mandolin Player, has been acquired by Bedazzled Ink Publishing Company for their B Ink imprint and will be published in summer 2015. That’s two different books next year, for the 10th anniversary of her Stonecoast graduation!

In September, Passages North ran Alexis Paige’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’14) Stonecoast graduation speech, and later that month she joined Brevity Magazine as assistant editor.

Catherine Schmitt‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) essay “The Coyote Gangs of Hope” is in the current issue of 1966: A Journal of Creative Nonfiction. This piece was improved with the help of Rick Bass and participants in the Summer 2011 nonfiction workshop.

Erin Underwood (Popular Fiction, S’09) is the head of programming for Boskone 52, New England’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention, which takes place in Boston from February 13-15, 2015. There will be a panel titled “Writers on Writing: Talking Plot with Stonecoast MFA Faculty,” featuring faculty members David Anthony Durham, Theodora Goss, Elizabeth Hand, and James Patrick Kelly—moderated by alumna Allison Hartman Adams. Stonecoast faculty and alumni will also be participating in a variety of other panels, readings, and discussions. Boskone is free to the public on Friday the 13th from 2:00-6:00 p.m., and attending memberships are required after 6:00 p.m. on Friday as well as for the duration of the convention. More information about the convention, programming, and weekend/one-day memberships can be found at www.boskone.org

boskone-52-image

CWIsTypingChristopher Watkins‘ (Poetry, W’08) new column, “The Bottle & the Pen: An Exploration through Wine and Literature,” debuted on GrapeCollective on December 26, 2014. You can find the column here.

FACULTY

Jeanne Marie Beaumont’s (Poetry) book Letters from Limbo has been accepted for publication by CavanKerry Press.

Stonecoasters who wish to meet or reconnect with Stonecoast Ireland’s Ted Deppe and Annie Deppe will be interested in two Western Massachusetts appearances next month at Bay Path University, 588 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow, MA. Ted and Annie will give a reading open to the public free of charge Thursday, February 12, at 7:00 p.m. at Bay Path University. On Saturday, February 14, at Bay Path’s Writers’ Day, Ted Deppe will give a talk on Taking It All the Way to Coleman’s: On Abandoning the Good for the Marvelous. He will be joined by speakers Charles Coe, on Writing About Those Close to You: The Joys and the Terrors; Bruce DeSilva, on Writing Crime; Penny Guisinger, on Grant Writing; Nell Lake, on How I Went Deep: Writing Intimate Stories About Other People; and Roland Merullo, on The Demons of the Blank Page. For information on registration and fees for Writers’ Day, please write Briana Sitler, at bsiter@baypath.edu

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) has completed his long-delayed historical novel about the Spartacus slave rebellion. It’s off to his publisher, Doubleday, for publication sometime in 2016. Also, Redwave Films has renewed the film option for Gabriel’s Story for the twelfth year. The producer, Uberto Pasolini, and director, Alan Taylor, seem more confident than ever that this is the year they’ll be able to move the project forward.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) has been been named the new vice president of the Horror Writers Association following the death of president Rocky Wood. She has also been invited to the annual Baker Street Irregulars Sherlock Holmes birthday dinner in New York City, which takes place during the first half of the Stonecoast winter residency. She will be signing In the Company of Sherlock Holmes with her NYT bestselling, Edgar-Award-winning editors Leslie Klinger and Laurie King, as well as Pulitzer-Prize winner Michael Dirda. She is also a Juror for the Shirley Jackson Awards and encourages published horror writers to consider asking their publishers to submit their work. Details are on the website.

James Patrick Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) story “Someday” which originally appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction in April, 2014, has been selected for inclusion in two Best of the Year anthologies: The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 9, edited by Jonathan Strahan from Solaris Books, and The Year’s Best Science Fiction 32, edited by Gardner Dozois from St. Martin’s Press.

dezart flyerMichael Kimball’s (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) play Duck and Cover will run January 30 through February 8 in Palm Springs, CA. On January 22, Mike’s Actual Glass will be performed by The Boiling Point Players, in Houston, TX. Mike did the sound design for The Diary of Anne Frank, running January 9-18 (dates sound familiar?) at The Actors’ Studio of Newburyport, Newburyport, MA.

In 2014, Eléna Rivera‘s (Poetry, Translation) poetry appeared in two new chapbooks: Atmosphered published by Oystercatcher Press, U.K., and Overture published by Metambesen Books. Her poems were also published in the following print and on-line journals: Aethetica Magazine, Creative Writing Annual 2015 Edition, London, UK; Aufgabe 13, Litmus Press; Upstart: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies: Out of Sequence: The Sonnets Remixed; Jacket2, John Taggart feature; The Volta, Trash issue. She has a new book of translation, Parting Movement, Constantly Prevented by Isabelle Baladine Howald, published by Oystercatcher Press, Norfolk, U.K., 2014. She also gave a reading in Paris, France, as part of Thomas Hirschhorn’s art installation, Flamme éternelle, at the Palais de Tokyo.

81---ImageElizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) is happy to report that her newest novel, We Got Him, will be published in 2016 by New Rivers Press. NRP is currently celebrating its 40th year in publishing and published Elizabeth’s most recent novel, Girl Held In Home.  Excerpts from We Got Him have appeared as stories in Epoch (story cited in Best American Short Stories), Words & Images, and Michigan Quarterly Review (the story was winner of the Lawrence Foundation Prize).  Details and dates for the novel TBA; visit:www.elizabethsearle.net

Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) has been named to the board of directors of PEN New England, where she joins fellow boardmember and Stonecoast grad Anthony D’AriesPEN is a worldwide association of writers and all who celebrate literature and defend free expression. PEN New England is a branch of PEN American Center and part of International PEN, the world’s oldest international literary and human rights organization. PEN is headquartered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

From Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14): The Literary Reflections department of Literary Mama has recently opened submissions for essays that explore the world of literature—reading, writing, working as a writer—from a mother’s perspective. We seek unique approaches and deep reflection on words and motherhood. Please see our submission guidelines and our archives of past essays. Literary Mama is also hiring several editors and assistant editors. This is a wonderful opportunity to be immersed in the production of a high-quality online literary journal among a team of dynamic and caring literary mamas.

From Amanda Pleau (Creative Nonfiction, current):  Call for submissions! Amanda Pleau has been judging a flash fiction competition at MASH Stories. The difference between MASH and most other competitions: no entry fee and they will provide notification of acceptance along with critical feedback and encouragement in almost no time at all. Details at mashstories.com.

 

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