Monthly Archives: February 2012

Alumni Newsletter Sign-up Form

Did you know that the Stonecoast alumni have an Alumni Newsletter? It goes out about once a year at the moment, and the next one is due to come out soon. So, if you’re a member of the Stonecoast community (alumni, students, faculty, staff) and you’d like to be added to the mailing list for the SCAA Newsletter, please go to this web form to join the mailing list.

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Accepting Alumni Flash Reading Submissions

As part of the 2012 Stonecoast Alumni Reunion, the alumni have been invited to showcase four recently published alumni at a Stonecoast Residency flash reading with guest faculty member Jeff VanderMeer.  The reading is Thursday, July 12, 2012.*

The readings must have been published in 2011 or 2012 and must be limited to 5-7 minutes.  If you are planning to read from a longer piece, please highlight the text that you plan to read. The Alumni Flash Reading committee will be reading submissions until May 1st.

~ 5 Minute Flash ~

Please indicate the following on the top of your submission:

  • Name
  • Residency/Year of graduation
  • Genre
  • Title(s)
  • Year/Month/Place of Publication (no self-publication/vanity presses/personal blogs, please)

Please attach as a .doc or .rtf and indicate SUBMISSION/NAME/TITLE in the subject line. Send all submissions to before May 1st, 2012.

We’re looking forward to reading work from all of our distinguished alumni!

All the best,
The Stonecoast Alumni Reading Committee

*Please note that the July Stonecoast Residency Schedule is still being constructed and is therefore subject to change. If the timing or the date changes, we will notify you immediately.

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Alumni News: Alison McMahan

It’s always fun to share good news!

Alumna Alison McMahan PF W’10 has signed with a literary manager. She is now represented by Alexia Melocchi of Little Studio Films. Alison says, “Melocchi and I have signed a one year contract, and she is working hard at getting my three most marketable scripts, ImprintedDestroying Angel, and Girl in Trunk, into the right hands.” Please join us in congratulating Alison on this fantastic achievement. Kudos, Alison!

Read her full agent announcement.

In addition, Alison’s production company Homunculus Productions LLC has optioned the poem “The Wander King” from our very own faculty member Ted Deppe. She plans to adapt the poem into a supernatural thriller screenplay that will be retitled Risk Everything. We are very excited about this turn of events and wish Alison the best of luck with this project.

You can watch Ted Deppe reading “The Wanderer King”:



 on a word
Risk Everything graphic by Katerina Athanasapoulou





What if Franz Kafka didn’t die, but poured his life into a doll?

Berlin, 1989. A failed writer is possessed by a doll that houses the soul of Franz Kafka; it is up to his wife to free him.

Inspired by the true story of the letters Kafka wrote from a doll to a little girl. Based on the poem The Wanderer King by Theodore Deppe. You can read the full synopsis on the Homunculus Productions blog as well as the announcement about the adaptation.

Again, congratulations to Alison and Ted. We’re thrilled to hear about Alison’s literary manager and about her up coming project Risk Everything.

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Reunion Registration Form


** After submitting your registration… **

You can click here to make a donation to the Stonecoast Alumni Fund.

Thank you!


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Happy Valentine’s Day from the Stonecoast Community

Poetry has long been the currency of love whether it be love lost, found, desired, feared, forbidden, or something in between. Therefore, in honor of Valentine’s Day the Stonecoast community wishes you a poetry filled holiday that is shared with friends and loved ones. We hope you enjoy this selection of poems and would love to hear some of your poetry in return in the comments below.

~ *~

Valentine’s Day, 2012
by Alexandra Oliver

Because your bird has died, I’ll give you mine;
I never heard it sing. It’s grey of plume
But bright of eye. Its needs are quick and plain
It values an accomplice in the room.

I understand your orchid plant has gone
Take heart: I have a cabbage. Short on bloom
But big on taste (just add a Balkan wine)
It asks you not to ogle, but consume.

I see you have a broken violin.
But offer up my wooden ear. The gloom
Of missing music will not mean a thing
Right after me, my nail-on-blackboard hum.

I hear you wish you were a better man
The wilted, dead and broken have a name
But none applies to you. As right as rain
Unmended, getting better all the time.

~ *~

Your One Too
by Mike Kimball

how it hits me
somewhere between
mcdonalds and walmart
after hearing a human bomb
has blown apart a market
and everyone in it, how
in this short life
this sudden life
this whole life long
and all through time,
You’re the one.
And what’s more
I’m your one too

~ *~

Not a love poem
by Soyini Ayanna Forde

This is what it’s not about.
This is not about
the way you trudge out of bed at ungodly hours
life-infused Frankenstein, too tall; arms and legs
like Tolkien’s Ents, lumbering to the bathroom
where you always remember to put the seat back down. This is
not about how you said you could wine (but didn’t) and you learnt
about J’ouvert, third-eye aflutter so you saw beneath my paint and mud.

This is not about how you said you weren’t a smoker, but really
really you are one—
and when you told me how your mother died

lips tasting like cheap cigars and ‘dro—

how, when you curled your mouth
around the sadness, I felt sad too
but I didn’t want you to think I was pitying you.

This is not about your head beneath my fingertips
pecan skin
or your big-big feet
or your big-big hands
how they wrap around my own
your body enveloping mine, all fetal reabsorption-like
or a giant burrito, warm and delicious
making me feel tiny, which I almost never do these days.

This is not about how I wouldn’t mind if you loved me
if you wanted to go down that road again
even for a moment
barefoot, to feel the dust and fresh dirt between your toes.
I’d carry you if I could
me, my bad back, my heart an open birth canal
oozing, thumping, waiting for a bloody head to crown.

~ *~

If This Were The Final Swim
by Bruce Pratt

If this were the final swim,
the last ever from the float to the rocks,
rippling the shadows of the praying birches,
the memory would anneal the fissures of my heart.

the black dog paddling ahead of you,
worrying up sand in the shallows.
the brown dog posed on the hill,
nosing the far mountains.
a frost-tinged alder leaf,
sailing the breeze-dimpled lake.

If this were the final swim,
I could die recalling the pattern of your
bathing suit and the curve of your body,
and marvel that you’ve yet to find any gray.

Where summer migrates before Labor Day,
and the northern night is the province of
the anxious loon and fire-eyed owl,
I will sleep entombed in this thought:
that the end of August, like a good story,
must always break your heart.

First appeared in Wild Goose Poetry Review 2006
Reprinted in the anthology Only Connect from Cinnamon Press Wales UK 2007

~ *~

Remnants: A Poem
by Julie Scharf

I found your sock
My bed.

What more
Should I ask

I’ve known others
To break my heart
And at least lie,

No trace—scent
Of tobacco, your hands

And this one
Piece of you,

My dreams, reasons
I am sleepless

I can’t even
Think of you

There was nothing
I could do

Now, this foot stench

You’ve forgotten it

In the meantime
I wait
Cry more

And you
Move forward
I stay

What else can I do.

It has your faint smell
On the top of it.

A smell I came
To miss when
You weren’t

Now, I imagine
You sitting right there,
Moving forward—I keep
No precedence in your mind.

No thought.

No desire.

I’m nothing to you.

My love for you,
Pushed aside—worthless.

Meant nothing.

My words, “I want to spend
The rest of my life with you,”

No effect.


~ *~

The Golem
by Jessica DeKoninck

I understand the magic of dead things,
the resurrection of mud into matter,
desiring, as I do, to recreate you from clay,
dry grass, beach glass and sand,
wood shavings, graphite, the earth
around your plain pine box. Anything,
to bring you back. Some seed
or pod. Some breeze to breathe
life into you.

I would sit beside you. Breathless,
we would drive away. In our silence
I might forget, Golem do not speak,
cannot differentiate the living
from the dead and out of ignorance
do harm. No one in this room
has risen from the dead. No one’s
kiss tastes of maggots and ash,

but nothing would stop me
from blending my mortar
of grief and desire to will
you here. I am ready to die.
I would follow you anywhere.

First appeared in the collection Repairs by Jessica DeKoninck, published by Finishing Line Press.

~ *~

All poetry has been published with the consent of the authors.

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Retreating into the Words: 3Bears

I’ve taken time to retreat in the past–to get straight, to write, to recharge. My most recent retreat was to Wellspring House in MA where I found friends, some space, and a new way to enter a draughty novel. In July, I’m planning on spending a few days prior to the reunion holed up at Maine Idyll in Freeport. My hope is for a few days solitude and writing.

Retreating into quiet works for me, and I’m rather hoping it might work for you. You see, I have a home (“3Bears”) that’s standing empty. It’s not just a house; it was my home, my five-year bolt hole. But now I’m trying a new living arrangement. Given the lousy housing market and the fact that writing retreats are horribly expensive, I thought I would try something a little creative.

I’m offering this little house as a short-term (say 1-4 weeks), quiet, writing hide-away to Stonecoast Alumni at a reduced weekly rate of $300 inclusive. It has one bedroom (queen size), a little office/writing room, kitchen-dining room, a living room, recently renovated bathroom and a large screened porch. Hardwood floors, books, no phone and no internet. The backyard is about .75 acres and it’s fenced, so I could be open to writers and their house-friendly pets. I know in the past I’ve ended up paying more for the dog’s lodging at the vets than I have on my own.  

The nearest town is about 2 miles away with a library (Wireless), a supermarket, a post-office, Subway, Hardies, Chinese take-away, and a few other small stores. The Blue Ridge Parkway is an hour away. As is Charlottesville. Lynchburg, the closest town, is about 12 miles down the road. VCCA is about 30 minutes away.

 It’s 800sqft of quiet. Located in Rustburg, VA, it’s out of town on a very quiet road to nowhere. There are houses nearby, but the neighbors are quiet and rarely around. One night in 2009, the neighbors did get rowdy and flat-footed around the garden to their friends’ banjo. The woods in the back yard hold Whip-poor-wills, and with no street lights, there are stars you cannot imagine. Possums come by to try the cat flap while Lunar moths hang out by the porch light…

 Photos on facebook at

I’ve already taken one booking from a Stoner, so my toes are wet. If you’re interested, or want to know more, email me at

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