Category Archives: Event

Stonecoast Reading Series: A Feast of Stonecoast Poetry for National Poetry Month

This month’s Stonecoast Reading Series event will feature poet and Stonecoast alum Richard Cambridge, who will read from his work as well as the work of fellow Stonecoast writers and other favorite poets.

Wednesday, April 24th – A Feast of Stonecoast Poetry for National Poetry Month 

7:00pm at Local Sprouts 649 Congress Street, Portland, ME.

Richard Cambridge

Richard Cambridge

Richard Cambridge’s work has appeared in The Paterson Literary Review, Nantucket JournalAsheville Poetry Review, and other publications.  He is the author of a collection of poetry, Pulsa— A Book of Books (Hanover Press), of which Robert Pinsky wrote, “Full of heart, sincere ambition and a genuine devotion to the mysteries of language,” and The Cigarette Papers— A Memoir of Addiction (Fern Hill Records), from which he developed a one-man play that opened at The Institute of Contemporary Art, and was hailed by the Boston Globe as “A tour de force.”

Cambridge is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize. He was a finalist for a residency at the Fine Arts Work Shop in Provincetown, MA, and he won the Masters Slam at the 1997 National Poetry Slam. In 2011 he graduated from the University of Southern Maine with an MFA in creative writing (Fiction) and completed his first novel, RIDE, based on a hitchhiking journey.  He is currently at work on a new novel titled 1970, an alternate history centered on his experiences with the Black Panthers, featuring a cast of supporting activists who successfully bring revolution to America.  He is a Fellow Emeritus at the Black Earth Institute, a think tank that encourages awareness of the arts as a means of promoting a progressive, inclusively spiritual and environmentally aware society.

The Stonecoast Reading Series was created in 2013 in celebration of the program’s 10th Anniversary and as a way to give something back to the inspiring, creative people of Portland, Maine. The reading series occurs on a bi-monthly basis and features the talents of our students, alumni, and faculty. 


Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Event, Readings

Stonecoast Reading Series Kickoff and Celebration of Black History Month with Performance By Lady Zen

Lady Zen, photo by Helen Peppe

Lady Zen, photo by Helen Peppe

by Ashley Johnson

University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA Program will kick off its Stonecoast Reading Series on February 27 in celebration of Black History Month and the MFA Program’s Tenth Anniversary. The event will feature the music and poetry of Stonecoast student and local performer, Lady Zen.

“Black History Month highlights a tradition of creative expression,” says Stonecoast’s Associate Director, Robin Talbot. “One of Stonecoast’s fundamental values is to foster culturally diverse writers who have a clear understanding of the role writers play in social activism. We honor those writers who have contributed to these values.”

One of these writers is Stonecoast student and social activist, Lady Zen. Born in Brazil and adopted by American parents, Lady Zen began a journey in creative expression as a vocal child prodigy. She won numerous awards, including a J. William Fulbright Scholarship for Opera Performance. In 2007, Lady Zen moved to Portland, ME and experienced a renewed sense of creativity. She shifted her focus to poetry and began working with Portland’s music scene. In 2010 she released a five-track EP titled “Poverty to Poetry.” Lady Zen was also named a Maine Poet of the Month in 2012 and was a semi-finalist on the 2012 season of the X-Factor.

The Stonecoast Reading Series will occur on a bi-monthly basis beginning in February and will feature students, faculty and alumni from the program. Future events will include a celebration of National Poetry Month on April 24 with a reading given by Stonecoast Director Annie Finch, “Stonecoast stories” on June 26 featuring faculty member Sarah Braunstein, author of The Sweet Relief of Missing Children, “Writing Nature: An Evening of Creative Nonfiction” on August 28, and “Goths and Demons: A Halloween Spookfest” featuring popular fiction writers on October 23. Stonecoast’s Director Annie Finch said of the Reading Series, “Stonecoast MFA has long wanted to start a reading series in order to give something back to this inspiring, creative community. Our tenth anniversary is the perfect time to launch, and Robin Talbot has developed a fabulous, must-see kickoff event.”

The Stonecoast Reading Series kickoff event will take place at 7:00pm, Wednesday, February 27 at Local Sprouts on 649 Congress St. in Portland.

For further announcements and a schedule of upcoming events in the Stonecoast Reading Series visit the Stonecoast MFA website at https://cms.usm.maine.edu/stonecoastmfa.

Leave a comment

Filed under Event, Readings

Create your AWP Portfolio Page

I’m putting together portfolios to feature our alumni and faculty at AWP and other public gatherings in which we can showcase our collective work. If you’d like to be included in the portfolio, it’s really easy. Each person gets ONE page in the portfolio, which will comprise a series of 3-ring binders arranged by Stonecoast concentration.

I’ve included two different ONE-PAGE samples based on my own work that you can use as an example when putting together your portfolio page. Feel free to take a look at them and copy the style or come up with something of your own that you feel adequately represents your work. I think something along these lines is good since it gives you an opportunity to display book covers as well as text. However, the choice is yours. Use your one-page of space wisely. The only part of the portfolio that needs to be identical for everyone is the header since that is what I will use to organize the pages within each binder.

If you want to be included in the AWP portfolio, please be sure to send your ONE portfolio page to me as a WORD document no later than January 31, 2013. Please do not send late submissions. Note, whatever you send will include in the portfolio. So please make sure that your page is perfect before submitting it to me. Thank you for your understanding.

When submitting your page, please email it to Erin Underwood and include “Portfolio Page” in the subject line so that I can easily search my email to ensure that I don’t miss anything. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Cheers, Erin

Examples:

Portfolio Pages Received:

  • Armistead, Cal
  • Bouthillette, Emma
  • Bovenmyer, Karen
  • Martin, Amy
  • Rhodes, Steve
  • Roessner, Michaela
  • Schmitt, Catherine
  • Underwood, Erin

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Communications, Event, Uncategorized

AWP 2012–Don’t Stop Believin’

by Libby Cudmore PF W’10 and Matthew Quinn Martin PF S’10

Everyone on the dance floor immediately recognized those oh so familiar piano chords from Journey’s most famous song–even if it had been plastered over with a generic dance beat. There was little double that their shadows were searching in the night–underneath the disco ball and gel-covered stage lights. And those who win as well as those who lose, along with a smattering of those who may or may not have been born to sing the blues, belted out the rest–Don’t Stop Believing!

For the better part of the past three days AWP ’12 Chicago’s nine-thousand plus attendees–the largest turnout in the conference’s history–go, have been rising at the crack of dawn and rarely hitting the sack before midnight. All of us have spent our time shuffling from conference room to conference room, from hotel to hotel, butts glued to uncomfortable chairs when available, and camping out on the floor when not. We’ve taken in panel after panel, found our way to late-night readings on the outskirts of a mostly-unfamiliar town and connected with friends and colleagues we haven’t seen in far too long. During the day we’ve subsisted on overpriced coffee and candy scrounged from an endless sea of book fair tables competing for our attention. At night we raid the many receptions for crudete, cheese ‘n crackers, and the occasional pulled pork slider, as well as any complimentary libations that might be extended by the more generous hosts. And we’ve seen it all, the undiscovered gems as well as the big stinking turds, all hoping that we’ll hear those magic words of inspiration, or make that one chance connection that will take us to the next level in our writing careers.

For some this is their first experience with the madness that can be the Association of Writers and Writing Programs annual conference, others are hardened vets. Speaking personally, this is a return to the scene of the first AWP that we’d attended three years ago. To call the Chicago Hilton’s layout a labyrinth would be generous. Our own overwhelming confusion that first year eventually birthed the story “Convention of Exphrasis” (published in Stonecoast Lines S’10). The many elevators that all stopped at a different selection of floors, the creepy-eyed gloved bellmen and the winding staircases that seemed to lead nowhere were still there and still terrifying.  It was like coming home.

AWP is an odd mix of hope and fear, joy and frustration, uplift and disappointment. Nearly every writer there could point to at least one booth and justify taking a few extra mini-Snickers or an additional piece of swag because they rejected a submission.  The book fair can seem like a crowded bazaar of hustlers and carnival barkers.  It’s hard not to look at all the books on the table and wonder, Will that ever be me? And if it is, will anyone buy it?  Hands shoot up during Q&A’s to ask non-questions or to openly argue with the panelists. And it can seem like everyone there has it figured out except you–not just AWP, the whole writing game.

But here, on the dance floor, at five till midnight, we’re all still believing. We’ve weathered the storm, and at the brink of exhaustion we know, at the bottom of our hearts, that we deserve to dance. Because maybe sitting on top of that stack of form rejections is the one from the editor that loved it. And even if it isn’t yet, it’s only yet, and that acceptance might be sitting in our e-mail waiting for us when we get back. If only we could keep believing long enough to get us through the next double shift, at the keyboard or the coffee shop, we’d make it. And tonight, there isn’t a single soul in that sweaty, ecstatic, frenzied horde that wasn’t.

We took the midnight train to get here–literally, not metaphorically–and now as we sit in our tiny cabin, rocking back and fourth on the rails as we make our way back to New York, we find ourselves wondering about some of the other Stonecoasters. Not the ones we were able to meet up with, or those whose many newsletter announcements trumpet their accomplishments. No, our minds turn to those we haven’t heard from in a while, and we wonder how many of them may havestopped believing. There isn’t a writer alive that hasn’t in some part bought into the myth of the solitary genius, but the reality is that no one is truly successful on their own, and it is the duty of the Stonecoast alumni as a group–as well at our Alma Mater itself (if it is to deserve that title of “nourishing mother”)–to make sure that none of us stop believing. Believing in ourselves andbelieving in each other.

~

Libby Cudmore and Matthew Quinn Martin are Summer 2010 graduates.  Libby’s work has been featured in Pank, Umbrella Factory, Postcard Press, Connotation Press, The MacGuffin and the Yalobusha Review. Matthew Quinn Martin is the writer of the feature film Slingshot. His prose work has been featured in Transition Magazine, Thuglit and JMWW. Their collaborative work has been published by Emprise Reviewand Big Pulp and will be featured in the July issue of The Writer.   Record of the Month/Boys on Filmwww.matthewquinnmartin.com

2 Comments

Filed under Event, Special Features, Uncategorized

Event: Morgan Callan Rogers & Elizabeth Searle at Writer’s Day

Electronic publishing will be detailed ­ and accomplished ­ in a one-session workshop heading the list of lectures on writing at Bay Path College’s Writers’ Day 5, Feb. 18, from 9:30 to 3:15 at the campus in Longmeadow, Mass. Starting at 9:30 a.m., Peter Sarno, founder of the Georgetown, Mass.-based PFP Publishing, will guide participants through the steps involved. In subsequent timeslots, Shonna Milliken Humphrey will talk about self editing, Elizabeth Searle will talk about writing fiction and newly published author Morgan Callan Rogers will detail one writer¹s journey. To register, visit: http://www.baypath.edu/NewsandEvents/Conferences/WritersDay2012.aspx

Date: Feb. 18
Time: From 9:30 to 3:15
Location: Campus, Bay Path College, Longmeadow, Mass.

Featuring presentations from Stonecoast alumna Morgan Callan Rogers and Stonecoast faculty members Elizabeth Searle as well as Suznanne Strempek-Shea who helped to set up the event.

Session Three:
12:30 – 1:45 p.m. A First Novelist’s Journey
With Morgan Callan Rogers, Stonecoast alumna and author of the Ruby Red Heart in a Cold Blue Sea.

.

.

.

.

Session Four:
2:00 – 3:15 p.m. Writing Fiction
With Elizabeth Searle, Stonecoast faculty member and author of newly released Girl Held In Home.

2 Comments

Filed under Event, Signal Boost