Community News & Updates February 2023


July 13–16, 2023Attention: Published and Aspiring Writers: Join us for the first annual Mesa Verde Writers Conference! Immerse yourself in wilderness and beauty in a town that is the gateway to Mesa Verde National Park. Mountain vistas and dark, starry nights. Live music and bonfire on Saturday night. Location: Harmony Barn, Mancos, Colorado (mountain vistas all around). Enrollment limited to 25 for maximum personal attention. Meals are included. Nearby lodging available. Faculty includes award-winning writers, Alan McMonagle (Ireland), Nick Arvin (US), and Lisa C. Taylor (US). Generative fiction, poetry, and hybrid writing workshops, Manuscript consultations available for extra fee. Questions? Email


Laurie Lico Albanese (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) is teaching a creative writing memoir course at Montclair State University for Spring 2023. She will be speaking at the Tucson Festival of Books in March 2023, and invites local Stonecoasters to reach out.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) has accepted a position as Editor for Mandala Earth, an imprint of Insight Editions, where he will be acquiring and editing books on spirituality, environmental advocacy, and nature photography. Mandala Earth presents the diverse voices of today’s leading environmentalists, photographers, spiritual leaders, artists, and activists. Insight Editions is an award-winning independent book publisher and entertainment company.

J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) came to the Stonecoast 2023 Winter Residency as guest faculty, conducting a two-day course on “The New Review” and was BLOWN AWAY by the current students and the caliber of their writing! J’s fiction essay “Time Will Tell” (developed during a 2020 post-grad Stonecoast class with Elizabeth Hand) will be published this month in The Fiddlehead Magazine (Canada’s oldest lit mag).

Martha McSweeney Brower’s (Creative Nonfiction, W’19) essay “A Bit of Wisdom” has been accepted for June publication in the 2023 issue of Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry. From Deep Wild Journal, now entering its fifth year, the home for creative work inspired by journeys to places where there are no roads: “We are excited to have [Martha’s] work as one of these offerings. It is a vivid, insightful, engaging piece, bringing a clear eye to the AT hiking culture and to the individuals she encountered out there—a fine contribution to the literature of the trail.”

Lauren M. Davis’ (Poetry, S’15) book Women Bones is now immediately available at Finishing Line Press.

Adam Gallardo (Popular Fiction, S’12), has a short story in the upcoming winter issue of Occult Detective Magazine. The story, “Inviting a World of Trouble,” features his recurring character, Christopher Dark. More information about ODM, and links to buy the issue (once it goes live), are available here. (Cover art below by Dan Sauer)

Natalie Harris Spencer‘s (Fiction, S’21) story “Fish Mother,” the winner of the 2022 Stubborn Writers Contest, has been published in Chestnut Review‘s Winter 2023 issue (4:3). She also has a short story in Issue 7 of Subnivean.

David A. Hewitt‘s (Popular Fiction, S’09) story “Alviss the Dwarf” is now available on Metastellar.

Alan King‘s (Poetry, W’13) second collection made The Washington Post bestsellers list at number four, right after The Handmaid’s Tale. He didn’t know about this until nearly four years after the fact. Here’s the list of the other 2019 bestsellers. In other news, Alan’s mini-doc, Sing the Heart of the Magic: A Jennifer L. Nelson Story, won a Silver at the Spotlight Documentary Film Awards in Atlanta, Georgia. Jennifer’s sister, Marilyn Nelson, was a 2009 Stonecoast MFA visiting faculty.

Nadja Maril’s (Fiction, W’20) creative nonfiction piece “The Horseback Riding Accident” has been accepted for publication in the spring edition of Spry Literary Journal. She is also excited to have her micro-fiction story “How Low Will You Go” included in the Yard Sale-themed edition of Blink-Ink, publication release March 1st.

Julia McKenzie Munemo (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) published an op-ed in Inside Higher Education discussing that AI Chat Bot we’ve all been hearing so much about, and why students (and faculty) should be wary of attempts to normalize it. 

Marisca Pichette (Popular Fiction, S’21) is pleased to share that she had a poem published in the January 2023 issue of Fantasy Magazine, “As the witch burns.” Early reviews of her poetry collection, Rivers in Your Skin, Sirens in Your Hair, have rated it highly on Goodreads and The Firebird’s Bookshelf. In February, she will be reading from the collection and sitting on panels at Boskone 60. She hopes to see other alumni and faculty from Stonecoast there!

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poem “New Year’s Eve Brewer Maine” will appear in the next edition of Pinyon Poetry. His short story “Vanity Plate”will appear in the next issue of Aethlon: The Journal of Sports Literature.

Milena Blue Spruce at Little, Brown has acquired Tale of the Flying Forest. a middle-grade novel by R.M. Romero (Popular Fiction, S’15). Pitched as a “Jewish Narnia,” the story follows the adventures of a girl who journeys through the enchanted flying forest of Bei Ilai to find and rescue her long-lost twin brother, recovering pieces of his broken heart along the way. E.K. Belsher will illustrate and publication is set for fall 2024. Also, R.M.’s The Ghosts of Rose Hill has been named a Jewish National Book Award Finalist and a Sydney Taylor Notable Book. It was also listed as one of Kirkus, School Library Journal,, and Buzzfeed’s best YA novels of 2022, and named a Rise: A Feminist Book Project Honoree. 

Linda K. Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09) announces the publication of her poetry chapbook Sleepwalker by Finishing Line Press. “Sleepwalker is a moving poetic tribute to Sienkiewicz’s late son, Derek. Resolute, lyrical, and unflinching, these poems are informed by profound loss even as they pulse with a mother’s capacious love. A brilliant and devastating account of parenthood as the junction where both our greatest gifts and our greatest fears sometimes converge.”—Kelly Fordon, author of Goodbye Toothless House (Kattywompus Press) This is a limited-edition collection and pre-publication sales determine the press run, so please reserve your copy now. Advance orders ship May 19, 2023. Please go to Finishing Line Press or send $15.99 plus $3.49 to Finishing Line Press, P.O. Box 1626, Georgetown, KY 40324

Patricia Smith (Poetry, S’08) has been elected to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets, along with Kimiko Hahn, Ilya Kaminsky, and Ed Roberson.

Kevin St. Jarre‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) novel Celestine is now also available as an audiobook from Audible, narrated by the talented Ode McGuire.

“The Empty World beneath Her Hand,” one of Robert E. Stutts’s (Popular Fiction, S’10) thesis stories, was published in Stonecoast Review issue 18 in January.

Lisa C. Taylor (Poetry, S’04) and others are starting Mesa Verde, a brand-new writers conference in the little town of Mancos, CO, near Durango. Art galleries, great breakfast/lunch restaurant, good coffee, and friendly walkable downtown. July is a fantastic time to be here—warm, sunny days and cool mountain nights (and very few bugs). See Announcements above. Lisa will be at AWP in Seattle and would love to connect with other Stonecoasters. Email her at if you want to meet up. She’ll be reading for the AWP W2W Lightening Round reading (bookfair stage on Saturday) and also for Naugatuck Review (also bookfair stage on Thursday morning).

Adrienne S. Wallner‘s (Poetry, W’09) Pages and Poems exhibit will be on display February 20- March 3 at the LOLA Gallery in Land O Lakes, Wisconsin. From journal scribblings to the polished poem, Pages and Poems allows an intimate glimpse into the writing process, featuring nine poems from Adrienne’s poetry collection, To the 4 a.m. Light (Finishing Line Press). Viewers are invited to page through collections of journal entries, revisions, and feedback and assembled to reflect the journey of each displayed poem from inspiration to completion. Also featured are images of several journal covers adorned and decorated by the author. On February 28th Adrienne will also host LOLA’s first Poetry & Prose Open Mic event. 

Robin Clifford Wood (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) will be teaching the memoir class at the Maine Writers and Publishers “Snowbound” workshop weekend, March 2-5. It will be entirely remote, so you can attend from home! There will also be workshops in poetry and fiction. 


In her kickoff piece as Senior Editor for the rejuvenated PANORAMA: The Journal of Travel, Place, and Nature, Faith Adiele (Creative Nonfiction) discusses superpowered perspectives, critical viewpoints, and redefining travel writing in “At Long Last, A New Dawn in Travel Writing.” Meanwhile, Alta Journal featured last summer’s “Alta’s 2022 Favorite Bookstores: By Region”—which she contributed to—as one of their Editors’ Top Stories of 2022 and her latest DETOUR column (featured in several newspapers around the US) delightfully portrayed the final leg of an inter-generational vacation in “Sandwich-generation travel: Taking a 80-year-old mom and a teen niece to México.”

Fiction faculty Ron Currie helped develop and co-wrote the finale of Extrapolations, the Apple TV+ anthology series that premieres on March 17th. The show, starring Meryl Streep, Kit Harrington, Edward Norton, Forest Whitaker, and others, tells stories set against the backdrop of climate change in the near future. More information here

Would you like to win a free copy of Hotel Cuba by Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction)? Enter this Goodreads Giveaway for your chance.

Raina Léon’s (Poetry) poem “Southwest Philadelphia, 1988,” which appeared in her book sombra : (dis)locate,has been chosen for Latino Poetry: A New Anthology. This is the introduction to the project:  “The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded Library of America a grant in partial support of Latino Poetry, a national public humanities initiative planned for 2024–25.  As part of this national public humanities initiative, Library of America is pleased to announce that in the Fall of 2024, we’ll be publishing a volume entitled Latino Poetry: A New Anthology edited by poet and scholarRigoberto González, professor of English at Rutgers University, who will also serve as Principal Humanities Advisor for the project. // Latino Poetry: A New Anthology is the first anthology to embrace the entire tradition of Latino poetry in all its many strands and from its sixteenth-century beginnings to the present. Published in the authoritative Library of America series, it will stand as a permanent legacy of the project.  For more information on this project, click the link here.”

Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty (Fiction Faculty | Fiction, W’19) is one of three finalists for The Story Prize, “honoring the author of an outstanding collection of short fiction.” The winner receives $20,000 and an engraved silver bowl; the runners-up each receive $5000. The winner will be announced on March 15th.


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