Tag Archives: Aaron Hamburger

Community News & Updates March 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

This year, Stonecoast is thrilled to be launching two bi-monthly series:

The Stonecoast WISE Series, which kicked off at the January residency with “The Rhetoric of Rage”—a Task Before Us event where Stonecoast faculty, alumni, and guests discussed the use of rage in writing to fight oppression—continues this March with a reading from January’s Stonecoast Alumni Scriptwriting Workshop. Featuring alumni Stacie McCall Whitaker, Jeannie Mullins, Ellen Meeropol, and Dan McMinn, and a cast of brilliant professional actors from around the country, the event on Thursday, March 25th, at 7:00 p.m. EST will include a post-reading Q&A session with actors, writers, and directors on scriptwriting as a tool for social justice. Check the Stonecoast website next week for more information.

Alumni Master Class: Stonecoasters Demystify the Business of Writing is a collaborative, interactive series where alumni presenters share trade tricks, hacks, secrets, and valuable wisdom gained from life experience in the creative writing industry. Our first session was held in February, and featured Tom MacDonald, Candace Nadon, and Cameron Steiman discussing “Writing Habits.” Watch the video or peruse the resource list compiled during the session. We hope to see you in April as we tackle Self Marketing and Promotion!

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts, Writing for Social Change) musical, Stepping Into Fire, will be featured on Season 3 of the Latest Draft Podcast along with interviews of Tom and his collaborator, Jonathan Brielle. Tom will also be teaching his very popular “Developing Believable Characters Who Know What They Want” workshop as part of the San Miguel Writers Conference’s online literary season. March 9th and 11th. Sign up now!

Martín Espada (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) had his first western Massachusetts Floaters event on February 24th, a virtual reading and conversation with his friend Paul Mariani, poet, biographer of poets, former UMass professor, and University Professor Emeritus at Boston College. The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA, an independent bookstore that needs and deserves our support, hosted the event.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) is one of the artists included in A Brief Compendium of Cool. On March 9th, she’ll be part of a discussion on crime fiction at the Sturgis Library (via Zoom) with Steph Cha, Dan Chaon, and Rachel Howzell Hall; the event is free but does require pre-registration.

The New York Times Editors’ Choice novelist Cara Hoffman‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) story collection Ruin—an excavation of the American landscape revealing the beauty of outsiders and examining the varied ways the human conditions of isolation, despair, and joy connect us all—has been sold to Ramsey Kanaan at PM Press, in a very nice deal, by Rebecca Friedman at Rebecca Friedman Literary and will be published in spring 2022. Her nonfiction title Dream of No Nation: An Homage to Exarchia is forthcoming in 2023.

ALUMS 

Jillian Abbott’s (Popular Fiction, S’04) op-ed with Kathleen Wallace at the New York Daily News on the science of storytelling appeared on February 1st.

For his work as the audio producer of the fantasy fiction podcast PodCastle, Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) has received the British Fantasy Award for Best Audio, alongside co-editors C.L. Clark and Jen R. Albert, assistant editor Setsu Uzumé, and all of PodCastle‘s fabulous associate editors.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction S’18) is pleased to announce that her story “The Certainty of Silence” is included in Twisted Anatomy: A Body Horror Anthology. This piece is a Bluebeard/Little Mermaid mash-up written as a protest against domestic violence. Proceeds from this anthology benefit the Pulmonary Hypertension Association and the National Domestic Violence Hotline. She is also thrilled to announce that the anthology Arterial Bloom, edited by Mercedes M. Yardley, made the final Stoker ballot for Superior Achievement in an Anthology! “Rotten,” a Snow White retelling, is the final story in the book. In other news, her interview of past HWA president Lisa Morton is included in the StokerCon 2021 Souvenir AnthologyThe Phantom Denver Edition, edited by Josh Viola at Hex Publishers. She also shared her hopes and dreams for women working in the horror genre during the online panel Females of Fright!, which was moderated by award-winning author Gwendolyn Kiste.  

Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) is thrilled to announce that the third installment of her mosaic novel Stories of Driesch will be released this month. The first two stories of the novel are already available as ebooks and online.  Every month of 2021 will include a new original story in this world, available to read on the Vernacular Books website or to purchase as an ebook. At the end of the year, the pieces will be published as a mosaic novel (ebook & print) by Vernacular Books.   

In this cyberpunk-ish city, consciousness is a commodity. And the self is an augmented, fractured creation. Death detectives work with memories in storied Limm-Glass. Children are outfitted with secondary Glassed-personalities. Black market operators acquire and traffic virtual Glassed-personalities, and man-made tools utilize modified and unmodified versions of both the living & the dead.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) will appear on the Fifth Estate livestream on Tuesday, March 2nd, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time to discuss an article he wrote on sex robots for their upcoming Spring Issue. You can listen to the stream here, or if you prefer hot, live video when it comes to talking about sexy smartbots, one will be uploaded at a later date.

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) was the featured guest on February 22nd at 1:00 p.m. EST, on Queer Spirit on OUT Cast at WMPG radio, Portland, ME. Queer Spirit is a series of conversations exploring queer life and the power of the Sacred. Listen here to the 30-minute+ conversation between hosts Marvin Ellison and Tamara Torres McGovern and Gail as they talk about her recently published memoir, She Said God Blessed Us: A Life Marked by Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Church. One reviewer describes the memoir this way: “This book is a gift. . . written with compassion, righteous anger, and deep insight about the turmoil that abuse generates and about the courage and tenacity required to disarm a debilitating curse and claim an authentic blessing.”

 Clifford Royal Johns’ (Popular Fiction, W’18) new novel, Velocity Blues, is now available for pre-order (paperback or Kindle) from your favorite bookstore (or Amazon). The novel was written at Stonecoast and was Cliff’s thesis work. It will be released in June.

The Best American Poetry site interviewed Alan King (Poetry, W’13) and his publisher about his upcoming chapbook, Crooked Smiling Light, which will be released in March; you can read the interview here. Alan’s chapbook was also reviewed in Auburn Avenue; read the review here.

In addition to co-editing a League of Women Voters book, publishing a poem and an essay, Linda Quinby Lambert (Creative Nonfiction, W’16) is a ghostwriter for LifeTime Memoirs. LTM is looking for ghosts and interviewers; if interested in PT work, see their website for vacancies in the U.S. and an application. Also, read Linda’s “Becoming a Ghost.”

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W ’06) participated in the Stonecoast Alumni Scriptwriting workshop with Tom Coash and Jeni Mahoney and loved it! The full-length version of her script Gridlock is in development with Silverthorne Theater Company, as a collaborative project with LAVA (Local Access to Valley Arts) in Greenfield, MA. Gridlock is a quasi-sequel to Ellen’s fourth novel, Her Sister’s Tattoo. Who knew that writing for theater was so different from writing a novel, and so much fun!

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) story “Om Land Security” will be published in the next issue of The Clackamas Review and his poem, “That’s Not Right,” will be featured in the next Poetry Box anthology devoted to pandemic poetry. His story “Alex the Amazing” will appear in the next issue of Portland Magazine. Three of Bruce’s poems—“Sugarloaf December,” “Skating with the Eagle,” and “Cloud Skating”—will appear in the next issue of Aethlon: The Journal of the Sport Literature Association.

How do you keep going when everything seems stacked against you? Listen to award-winning author and illustrator Linda K. Sienkiewicz (Fiction S’09) discuss how to foster a creative life on the Ferndale Library’s podcast “A Little Too Quiet,” and learn how she navigated her venture into children’s picture books with Gordy and the Ghost Crab. Also, Linda was featured on a livestream poetry event for The Detroit Writers Guild, Detroit Public Library, and Poets & Writers, reading with writers Arnold Johnston and Bill Harris. 

Richard Squires (Fiction, S’14) has published his short story, “Branching Off in Shadow Heights,” in the Winter 2021 issue of BigCityLit. This story was selected by the Stonecoast Alumni Committee to represent Stonecoast’s Fiction genre at the celebration of the Stonecoast program’s 15th anniversary in 2017, where Richard was beyond thrilled to read. Work on this story began during the program under Aaron Hamburger’s expert mentorship. Special thanks to Alexandria Delcourt (Fiction, S’14), who helped with the pesky, final, magical touches.

Robert E. Stutts (Popular Fiction, S’10) was promoted to full Professor at Presbyterian College, where he is the Director of the Creative Writing Program and current Chair of the English department.

Lisa C. Taylor‘s (Poetry, S’04) poem “Mathematics and Language” will appear in the April edition of Sky Island Journal. Her poem “Imposter” will be featured on the website for Lily Poetry Review and also in the print version of the next issue. Lisa will be reading, along with Irish writer Geraldine Mills, at a virtual author event sponsored by the Irish Heritage Society of Milford on March 6th at 2:00 p.m. EST:

The IHSM Cultural Committee is thrilled to announce a reading with Geraldine Mills (direct from Ireland) and Lisa C. Taylor (now from Colorado) who have presented at the IHSM Clubhouse in the past. Geraldine will read from and hold discussion on her latest book, Bone Road, a verse memoir of her great grandparents’ immigration to America. She will be joined by her friend, and frequent collaborator, Lisa C. Taylor, who will read from her past and current poetry and from The Other Side of Longing, co-authored by Geraldine. Please contact Maureen Moore by March 5th at maureenmoore_2001@yahoo.com if you wish to attend, and she will send you the Zoom invitation link. Please type “Irish Author Event” in the subject of your email. 

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) short story “Eve” was just published in the print edition of Night Shift Radio.

Adrienne S. Wallner’s (Poetry, W’09) debut poetry collection To the 4 a.m. Light will be released on March 26, 2021 by Finishing Line Press; to order, visit here. Read Adrienne’s blog at www.inkinthebranches.com. Find Adrienne on IG & FB @inkinthebranches. Click here to sign up for Adrienne’s newsletter.

Marco Wilkinson (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) will be leading an online writing workshop at the Hudson Valley Writers Center on April 18th from 12:30-4:30 p.m. entitled “What’s Left Unsaid: Writing Around and In Spite of the Truth in Creative Nonfiction.”  For more details and to register, go here

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Community News & Updates February 2021

CURRENT STUDENTS

Shannon Bowring‘s (Fiction, Third semester) short experimental piece “Avian Elegies” has been nominated by Waterwheel Review for Best Small Fictions 2020. In addition, one of Shannon’s stories from her linked collection (a work-in-progress) was selected as a finalist in the fiction category of the 50th New Millennium Writing Awards.

FACULTY

Faith Adiele’s (Creative Nonfiction) latest essay, “On Traveling While Black,” appears in the latest issue of december magazine (31.2). Issues can be purchased here. Also, on January 23, 2021, Faith conversed with writer Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) about her new book, The Listening Path: The Creative Art of Attention,on NYC Open Center LIVE, available to watch here.

Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts, Writing For Social Change) short play Thin Air is currently available online as a free podcast, by Lost Souls Monologues. Also, Tom’s play Raghead will be streamed online February 13 by Silverthorne Theater Company as part of their Short & Sweet New Play Festival.

Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) fifth book, Landslide, is a novel recently published with Knopf and named a “Most Anticipated Book for 2021” by Bustle, the New York Post, Biblio, and Medium, among others. Susan will be doing a virtual book tour that crisscrosses the country, with dates at Susanconley.com.

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) is thrilled about the recent cover reveal for his forthcoming middle grade fantasy novel, The Shadow Prince, with art by Eric Wilkerson. It pubs in September of this year!

Martín Espada (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) published a poem, “I Now Pronounce You Dead,” in the January 24th issue of The New York Times Magazine. The poem comes from his new book, Floaters, just released by W.W. Norton.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) will be appearing on a special pre-Valentine’s Day panel called “Love = Love = Love: Five Authors on Equal Love in Lit,” sponsored by Three Rooms Press, on Saturday, February 13th, at 7:00 pm. The panel will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube. This lively discussion of equal love in literature by five award-winning LGBTQ authors—including, in addition to Aaron, Meagan Brothers, author, Weird Girl and What’s His Name; Aimee Herman, author, Everything Grows; Alvin Orloff, author, Disasterama; and Julia Watts, author, Quiver. Kat Georges, co-director of Three Rooms Press, will host. The discussion will explore: How love in literature has become more inclusive during recent decades; How each author addresses love in their writing and opens doors to acceptance of love without boundaries; Why literature can provide inspiration in times of loneliness and heartbreak; Different levels of love: from friendship to red-hot lust. Following the discussion, the authors will field questions from the livestream audience.

In Scriptwriting news, Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting, Writing for Social Change) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera just won four Broadway World Regional Theater awards for the 2020 TheatreZone production, starring Broadway’s Andrea McArdle. The awards are given by Broadway World for different regions of the USA. Tonya & Nancy won Best Production of the Decade of a Musical—for the Southeast Florida region—and also Best Director, Best Vocal Performance, and Best Setting Design. For updates, see www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com

ALUMS 

Frank Ard (Popular Fiction, S’14) is thrilled to announce the upcoming publication of his first novel, titled Back to Zero, a coming-of-age story about a high school student who discovers an unbelievable power, only to learn it is more perilous than he ever imagined. The e-book will be released in late April 2021, with a paperback edition to follow. Additionally, Frank plans to launch a Kickstarter on March 2nd to produce a limited print run of a signed hardcover edition; follow the project here.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is currently offering open registration for The Storied Imaginarium’s popular workshop Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales, and Myth. This workshop meets in an online format once a week during March and April. Traditional fairy tales and myths are paired with cultural or scientific concepts in this generative writing experience. Past participants have published workshop stories in a multitude of anthologies and magazines, including Apex Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless SkiesClarkesworldDaily Science FictionEscape Pod, and Interzone. For more information, visit The Storied Imaginarium.  

Minerva Canto‘s (Fiction, S’18) memoir essay was published in A Short Guide to Finding Your First Home in the United States, an anthology of immigrant stories, essays, poems and art. The title of her story was chosen as title for the book itself, which celebrated publication with a book launch reading. Minerva also participated in a discussion about cultural identity and read from her work for Literary Voices, Music, and the Chicano Community event hosted by the Cheech Marin Center for Art & Culture, Riverside Art Museum and Inlandia Institute. In addition, Minerva’s 13-year-old daughter published a horror story, “Sunflower Trades” in Young Voices, an anthology by Culture Cult Press featuring stories from teen writers in India, Australia, Philippines, Canada, and elsewhere. 

Darcy Casey‘s (Fiction, W’19) short story “Bird Day” was long-listed and shortlisted for the 2020 Fractured Literary Micro Fiction Contest. While it’s still waiting to find a home, she’s pleased that it’s had a nice run of success with one of her favorite literary magazines, and is eager to send it out into the world again. Her weird, second person experimental piece, “How to Return a Phone Call,” has found a home at Midway Journal and was published in January. You can read it here and let her know what you think by reaching out through her website at darcyleecasey.com, because she’s not so sure she’ll write another second person piece again. Additionally, she is currently working hard on editing her first novel as a writer-in-residence at Jentel Arts Foundation, and will be through mid-February.

Lauren M. Davis‘s (Poetry, S’15) poem “The Flowers You Brought Back From Italy,” published by Wrath Bearing Tree, has been released; read it here.  

David A. Hewitt‘s (Popular Fiction, S’09) story “The Continuing (Superpositional) Adventures of Schrödinger’s Cat” appears in the inaugural issue of Underland Arcana, now on sale. 

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) will be the featured guest on February 22 at 1:00 p.m. EST, on Queer Spirit on OUT Cast at WMPG radio, Portland, ME. Queer Spirit is a series of conversations exploring queer life and the power of the Sacred. Hosts Marvin Ellison and Tamara Torres McGovern talk with Gail about her recently published memoir. As introduction, Ellison says, “We could easily have an extended conversation with Gail about the Pan-African justice movements and her activism as a white ally in southern Africa and back in the U.S., but today we’re talking about her more recent publication, a memoir entitled She Said God Blessed Us: A Life Marked by Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Church. One reviewer describes the memoir, this way: ‘This book is a gift . . . written with compassion, righteous anger, and deep insight about the turmoil that abuse generates and about the courage and tenacity required to disarm a debilitating curse and claim an authentic blessing.’”

Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’10) short story “Volcano” will be released February 22, 2021, in the anthology The Great Filling Station Holdup: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Jimmy Buffettedited by Josh Pachter and published by Down & Out books. Pre-order link is here.

Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) is thrilled to be joining the SALT Institute of Documentary Studies faculty this March to teach Writing the Creative Profile, a five-day intensive that reaches beyond traditional profile writing to aim for the universal. Registration is open to the public, and the early bird special ends February 15th. Jenny’s story “Just Don’t Fall,” about pushing through fear to climb a frozen waterfall with outdoor mentor Toby Arnold, was published last month in Maine Magazine.

Photo credit: Andy Gagne Photography

Suri Parmar’s (Popular Fiction, W’17) short script “Vomit Comet,” which she wrote for a dialogue workshop with Stonecoast mentor Mike Kimball, appears in Issue 07 of Waxing and Waning: A Literary Journal from April Gloaming Publishing. Suri would also like to thank her fellow workshop participants—Erin Barker, AJ Bauers, Ella Carroll-Smith, Elisha Emerson, and Amy Burroughs—for their feedback, which she implemented in the final draft. 

PJ Piccirillo’s (Fiction, S’04) The Indigo Scarf continues to gain traction. USA Today-bestselling author David Poyer says: “The story never falters, and the description certainly clearly evokes the time period and the mountains and valleys this author obviously loves. The escaped slave Jedidiah especially is a tormented soul; his story and ultimate fate sucked me in. …for the thoughtful reader it rings astoundingly true. This skilled and talented author should be much better known!” And Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04), author of The Trash Detail, writes: “Rich in illuminative detail, a deep sense of history, and a remarkable sense of place, this narrative is driven by beautifully drawn characters limned in exquisite prose. A literary page-turner of the highest stripe.” The Indigo Scarf is available from Sunbury Press,  Amazon, and bookstores. About The Indigo Scarf:

Based on the true story of two slaves who fled their owners with white women into the wilderness of north-central Pennsylvania, The Indigo Scarf interprets the little known legacy of slavery persisting in the north during the nineteenth century. Meticulously researched, the author’s work is informed by scholars in early American slave laws and northern black codes, by experts in post-colonial folkways, and by descendants who live to this day in the fugitive settlement their forbears established. While The Indigo Scarf relates the covert workings of sympathetic Quakers, the ruthlessness of a slave catcher, and the irony of a Revolutionary War veteran forced to face his daughter’s love for the slave Jedediah James, it treats the deeper theme of the spirit-breaking impact slavery has had across generations since abolition. Though shadowed in whiskey-making and timber-pirating, novel is a paean to devotion, testing the lengths a woman will go to save her man from a burning vengeance as he confronts the privations of a wild frontier while his former owner schemes his return. On a broader scale, the story is a testament to the perseverance and vision of pioneer women who devoted themselves to planting in their offspring the seeds of hope for liberty which may only be realized by descendants they would never know. Woven between scenes spanning a forbidden, historically based slave marriage on a plantation in Virginia’s tidewater region to a tragic liquor operation on the Susquehanna’s un-peopled and feral West Branch during the frontier decades after Pennsylvania’s last Indian purchase, the narrator’s own sub-tale culminates in her realization of how a pioneer-woman ancestor had destined her to break the generational chain of bondage.

 

An essay by Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08), which appeared in the Autumn 2020 issue, has been nominated by Tiferet Journal for a Pushcart Prize. A “Power Profile” interview with Lisa appeared in October on the blog of author Laraine Herring.

Morgan Talty’s (Fiction, W’19) Night of the Living Rez, a collection of interconnected stories of family and life in the Penobscot Indian Nation in Maine, will be published in 2022 by Tin House. Books published by Tin House have made The New York Times’ and other national bestseller lists, won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, been long-listed and among the finalists for the National Book Award, and more. Morgan has also recently won a generous grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation to support his next projects. 

To Speak in Salt, the collection of poetry Becky Thompson (Poetry, W’21) worked on while studying at Stonecoast, was awarded the Ex Ophidia poetry Prize and was a finalist for the Hollis Summer Poetry Prize (Ohio University Press).  All praises to Becky’s mentors—Katherine Larson, Debra Marquart, and Chen Chen.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) flash fiction piece “After the Boston Marathon Bombing,” which was published in Gemini Magazine earlier this year, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her forthcoming memoir, The Angle of Flickering Light, most of which was written during her time at Stonecoast, is now available for preorder via https://gina-troisi.com/.

Christopher Watkins (Poetry, W’08) is pleased to share that three of his poems are forthcoming in Beatific Magazine. He is honored to announce that his song “The Damned (So Many More of Us Than Them)” was awarded SONG of the YEAR at the 2020 Manifesto Awards. Christopher records under the name “Preacher Boy.”

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Community News & Updates January 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Stonecoast MFA 2021 Winter Residency

Join the Stonecoast MFA 2021 winter residency January 7-17th, 2021 for a week of inspiring readings and discussions! Evening events are free and open to the public and will be hosted online through Zoom. View the schedule and register here.

Stonecoast Tidings

If you’d like to receive Stonecoast’s quarterly newsletter featuring faculty interviews, alumni writing, and opportunities to rejoin residencies and engage with Stonecoast literary events, you can sign up for Stonecoast Tidings by updating your USM alumni profile.

The Stone House Readers’ Series

The Stone House Readers’ Series is a regular series for alumni, faculty, staff, and current students to share their writing live on Facebook. Readers are scheduled in advance and are asked to bring 15 minutes of material to share, whether it’s a work in progress, a published piece, or anything in between. This is a program run by Troy Myers and Amanda Pleau (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) to give members of our community a casual and consistent opportunity to connect. Join us Sundays in January! 

CURRENT STUDENTS

Shannon Bowring‘s (Fiction, Thirdsemester) essay “Fresh Cut” was recently selected as the winner of the Just Write Maine-related Nonfiction Award for the Joy of the Pen writing contest. In addition, her short experimental piece “Avian Elegies ” was published in Issue #4 of Waterwheel Review.

Natalie Harris-Spencer‘s (Fiction, Third semester) short essay “Expat Guilt,” which details the isolation of living an ocean apart from your family during a pandemic, appears in the British publication Dissonance Magazine

FACULTY

Faith Adiele’s (Creative Nonfiction) new Calm sleep story, narrated by acclaimed actor Idris Elba, was released on December 1, which was #GivingTuesday. For every listen of “Kingdom of the Sky,” Calm will donate $1 (and up to $100k) to support RED’s fight against AIDS and COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part One by id Software saw instructor Tobias S. Buckell (Popular Fiction) in the credits under Writing and also in Story Development, his first foray into writing in-game content for a major platform game. Tobias also edited and had a story in the anthology Reclaim, Restore, Return: Futurist Tales from the Caribbean, published for the 2020 Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad. Other short stories appeared in editor John Joseph Adams Dystopia Triptych, Escape Pod: The Science Fiction Anthology, and Slate Magazine. He just turned in his latest novel, A Stranger in the Citadel, to Audible Originals, which will be out in May 2021.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) wrote a feature for The New York TimesHow New York City Vaccinated 6 Million People in Less Than a Month. He’s also at work on a young-adult book about Frank Serpico, the New York City cop who famously exposed systemic corruption in the NYPD.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) short story “My Darling Socialist” was chosen as a finalist in the Saints and Sinners Festival fiction contest for 2020-21. It will be published in the Festival’s 2021 anthology, forthcoming from Bold Strokes Books.

Elizabeth Hand’s (Popular Fiction, Fiction) The Book of Lamps and Banners received a rave review from Locus Magazine, and was named one of the year’s top 5 crime novels by Crime Reads/LitHub, one of the year’s top 10 thrillers by Crime Fiction Lover, and made LitReactor’s list of the year’s best novels. It was also noted in Fine Books Magazine in their roundup of best books about books. The audiobook was named one of the year’s best audiobooks by both Slate and AudioFile Magazine. Elizabeth was featured on the podcast 99% Invisible, talking about novelizations. Her recent reviews include Christopher Golden’s novel Red Hands and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas, both for The Washington Post.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting, Writing for Social Change) will lead a virtual Playwriting Workshop called ACT ONE for the Charlotte Writer’s Club North, based in Charlotte NC, on February 27, 2021. Her personal essay “Covid Class of 2020” was published in NOW, a new online literary journal from the wonderful Hobart Festival of Women Writers, co-founded by Breena Clarke.

ALUMS

The film short The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, adapted by Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) from her memoir of the same title, screened in December at the Academy-accredited Leuven International Short Film Festival in Belgium. In March, the film screens at the Academy-accredited Tampere Film Festival in Finland. That month the film will also be part of Discover Film Awards in London.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is thrilled to announce the appearance of her story “An Embrace of Poisonous Intent” in the anthology Bitter Distillations: An Anthology of Poisonous Tales, published by Egaeus Press. This hardcover edition is limited to 340 copies. December also came with news that her linked vignettes created for a shared world were published in The Lost Citadel Roleplaying Game, which opens with a story by Elizabeth Hand.

Ryan Brod (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) has an essay coming out in the next issue of The Maine Review (Issue 7.1)He’s excited to start another semester teaching creative nonfiction at the University of New England.

J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) had “Nowhere to be Found is Atonement,” a poem about Yom Kippur during the pandemic, published by Detour Ahead Literary Magazine. J has enjoyed a number of essay publications in 2020, yet rarely has poems accepted for publication. Not complaining, though—merely commenting.

Terri Glass‘s (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’13) poem “Unexpected Visitor” will be published in San Diego Poetry Annual 2021, and her poem “Amid all this Light” will appear in Issue 13 of Young Raven’s Literary Review. She will be reading on January 30 from her new book of poetry, Being Animal, via Zoom for the Watershed Festival, an environmental poetry festival based out of Berkeley, CA. Check her website, terriglass.com, for the link and time.

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) engaged in a wide-ranging conversation with blogger Dr. Deborah Adamy on December 14. They discussed Hovey’s memoir, She Said God Blessed Us: A Life Marked by Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Church, in the larger context of truth telling in this tumultuous year. 

Nina Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) had an essay published in Kveller that starts like this: “A few years ago, my then 19-year old son called me from Norway via FaceTime to ‘share some news.’ Benya was spending a gap year in my native country. He was anxious about our conversation, an unease that was obvious to me—the mama bear back in the States—as soon as I saw his sweet punim on the screen. // ‘Mama, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about some things…’ he began.”

Nylah Lyman (Poetry, S’10) has signed a contract with Encircle Publications. They will publish her poetry collection in September 2021.

Catharine H Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will be opening Memoir 101: Writing the Stories of Your Life to a fourth cohort this month. This five-week live online series will meet Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. EDT starting January 26, 2021. To register or for more information, go to catharinehmurray.com (the direct link).

On January 8th, Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will be moderating The Journey You Must Take, a conversation between debut authors Maggie Downs and Katherine E. Standefer, hosted by PRINT Bookstore and Portland’s Mechanics Hall. In Braver Than You Think, Maggie backpacks around the world to visit countries her mother—struck with early-onset Alzheimer’s—cannot make it to herself. In Katherine’s book Lightning Flowers, she travels to mines across Africa and the American West trying to understand whether her potentially-lifesaving implanted cardiac defibrillator might have caused loss of life along its supply chain. The dialogue will be enhanced by Jenny’s own 2014 solo trek across Finland (the subject of her current book project and Stonecoast thesis) following the footsteps of a female legend into the heart of the Arctic Circle. Guaranteed to be rich and vulnerable, this conversation will travel from what it takes to move from knowing you need to do something to actually doing it, to the financing of such journeys, to the craft challenges of telling personal stories that unfold in foreign contexts, to the unexpected things that happen along the trail, to the way grief can change along a journey. Register for the (free) event here.

Ellie O’Leary (Poetry, W’17) will be one of the featured poets reading for (Un)Cloistered Poetry on Sunday, January 10, at 6:00 p.m. Email EllieOLeary@gmail.com for the Zoom link.

Anne Britting Oleson (Poetry, W’05) has contracted her latest novel, Aventurine, to Encircle Publications, with an expected publication date of January 2022. This will be Anne’s fifth published novel. She joins Stonecoaster Kevin St. Jarre as an Encircle author.

Meghan Vigeant‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) essay “The Shame Files” is about the contents of a plain, brown file labeled “Sexual Assault 2010.” It appears in the Stonecoast Review, issue 14, winter 2021. 

Adrienne S. Wallner’s (Poetry, W’09) debut poetry collection To the 4a.m. Light is now available for preorder from Finishing Line Press. For every book ordered before January 30, 2021, buyers will receive a one-of-a-kind bookmark, each with a unique line of poetry from To the 4 a.m. Light handwritten by the author. Bookmarks will be mailed after January 30, unless arrangements are made by contacting the author. All books will be shipped on the official release date of March 26, 2021. To order, go here. Read Adrienne’s blog at www.inkinthebranches.com. Find Adrienne on IG & FB @inkinthebranches. Click here to sign up for Adrienne’s newsletter.

An essay by Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) appears in the 2020 anthology Friends: Voices on the Gift of Companionship, published by Jack Walker Press. “Dear Anne” was inspired by a 25-year correspondence that began in childhood.

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Community News & Updates December 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

STONECOAST ALUMNI WINTER 2021 SCRIPTWRITING WORKSHOP:
THE NEXT STEP–REHEARSING YOUR SCRIPT!

As part of Stonecoast’s offerings at our January 2021 Virtual MFA Residency, alums are invited to sign up for “The Rehearsal Experience” with Stonecoast MFA faculty member and playwright Tom Coash and guest playwright-director Jeni Mahoney—a 3-day workshop with access to the entire winter residency. More information can be found here.  

A huge part of scriptwriting is learning to collaborate and glean valuable information about your script during the rehearsal process. Being in a room with really smart, talented people, all working together, readying your script for the public is an incredibly inspiring, unique experience. Scriptwriters, in this special, four-session, alumni workshop, will submit a ten-minute play/screenplay and during the course of the workshop will read, discuss, rewrite, and REHEARSE these pieces for an online, post-residency Stonecoast public reading. Taking advantage of the online residency possibilities, we will bring in professional, guest artist actors and directors from all over the country to rehearse each play individually in online breakout rooms. Writers will have one-on-one sessions with their directors, rehearsals with actors/directors, discussion of scripts with workshop members, and opportunities to observe other rehearsals. Come join us and see your script brought to life by some of the best talent in the country. All levels of scriptwriting experience welcome.

This workshop is also open to writers who have not attended Stonecoast. So, please tell your friends. Space is limited, sign up asap!

Workshop Dates: January 7th (one-hour introduction meeting) through January 10th, though participants will have access to the entire residency (January 7-17)
Workshop Time: 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Cost: $1100, or $880 early bird discount for those who sign up before December 11th. A deposit will be required. 
Email Tom Coash for additional information. Email Lindsey Vazquez for questions and registration and to enroll. Space is limited! 

STONECOAST MFA ALUMNI READING SERIES

Join us for the first annual Stonecoast MFA Alumni Reading Series! Over the course of two sessions (December 2nd & December 9th), we’ll hear readings from twelve alumni authors who published a book in 2020. Additional information & RSVP:

Stonecoast MFA 2020 Alumni Reading Part I (December 2nd) featuring Kevin St. Jarre, Cynthia Kraak, Julia McKenzie Munemo, Ellie O’Leary, Anne Britting Oleson, and David Sloan

Stonecoast MFA 2020 Alumni Reading Part II  (December 9th) featuring Brenda Cooper, Terri Glass, Gail Hovey, Ellen Meeropol, Colin W. Sargent, and Joanna Solfrian

CURRENT STUDENTS

Darcie Abbene‘s (Fiction) essay “Go On, Then” was featured as an Editor’s Selection by Emma Bolden in Tupelo Quarterly’s Issue 22. In addition, Darcie’s review of Kingdomtide by Rye Curtis was recently published in Necessary Fiction.

FACULTY

Faith Adiele (Creative Nonfiction) writes about meeting and getting naked with long-lost Finnish family in “A Family Project” in The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 12: True Stories from Around the World, edited by Lavinia Spalding and illustrated by Colette Hannahan.  

JJ Amaworo Wilson‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) new novel, Nazaré, will be published by PM Press in Fall 2021. The novel tells the story of a peasants’ revolt, led by a homeless boy and a washerwoman, to topple a dictator.

Martín Espada‘s (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) new book of poems, called Floaters, is forthcoming in January from W.W. Norton. The book is now available for pre-order.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) wrote his latest piece on civil rights for ESPN’s The Undefeated: Bloody Police Assault on Miles Davis Feels Like it Could Have Happened YesterdayHis next book will be for young adults and is slated for release next year. Doomed: The Tragic Story of Sacco & Vanzetti tells the controversial story of two Italian anarchists convicted of murder and later executed in Boston, MA. 

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) review of Lynne Sharon Schwartz’s story collection Truthtelling appeared in The New York Journal of Books.

Elizabeth Hand’s (Popular Fiction, Fiction) forthcoming collection, The Best of Elizabeth Hand, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, which called it “a superior collection [of] prose that elevates genre tropes to transcendent levels.  Readers will be blown away.” Her novel The Book of Lamps and Banners made BookPage’s Top 10 list for the year’s best crime & suspense fiction, and received more rave reviews from Crime Reads, Crime Fiction Lover, and The Portland Press Herald. She was recently profiled at LitHub, and her review of Lisa Robinson’s rock and roll memoir, Nobody Ever Asked Me About the Girls, just ran in The Washington Post.

This month Cara Hoffman (Fiction, Popular Fiction) signed a two-book contract with PM Press for a collection of essays and a collection of short stories; she will also be featured in their Outspoken Author series. Her most recent children’s novel, The Ballad of Tubs Marshfield (Harper Collins), was named an Indie Next pick; she was recently interviewed in Grist about the book. Her essay “The Evolution of Everyday Life” about the scientist and philosopher Peter Kropotkin will appear in LitHub in mid-December.

ALUMS

Jillian Abbott (Popular Fiction, S’04) been invited to present a paper on the Curating the Self panel and moderate another panel at the Teaching Life Writing Conference, an international virtual conference on nonfiction and pedagogy at the University of Alberta, Canada, December 10-11, 2020. She’ll moderate the panel RT1 Life Writing Beyond the Undergraduate Literary Classroom at 8:00 a.m. MST on December 10, 2020.

Laurie Lico Albanese (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) has sold her novel Hester to Sarah Cantin at St. Martin’s in a two-book pre-empt deal. Hester, set in Salem 1829, is the retelling of Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter told from the “real” Hester’s POV. Laurie started the novel while she was a student at Stonecoast working with mentor Susan Conley

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) published a ghost story written in her last workshop with Liz Hand. That story, “Gaze with Undimmed Eyes and the World Drops Dead,” was published in the anthology Terror at ‘5280, which recently won Best Anthology at the 2020 Best Book Awards (BBA) by American Book Fest. She also made an appearance at MileHiCon 52 as a speaker on the panels “Building SF & Fantasy Mythologies” and “Modern Age of Poetry.”

Wingless Dreamer, a publisher of books of poetry, published “Sticks” by J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) in their recent volume entitled Sunkissed. While J has had a string of published essays since graduating, “Sticks” marks the first poem that has been published.

Renee S. DeCamillis’s (Popular Fiction, W’14) short story “Bad Trip Highway” appears in the new horror anthology Wicked Women, which was published by NEHW Press in November and features all women authors and artists from New England. 

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) interviewed former Stonecoast faculty member James Patrick Kelly for Barnstorm, the University of New Hampshire’s official literary journal. You can read Jim’s thoughts on writing during the pandemic, how stories turn into movies, contemporary Chinese science fiction and other topics under this fall semester’s segment of “The Writer’s Hot Seat,” available online.

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) is pleased to announce that she was interviewed on Books Q&As with Deborah Kalb on October 31.

Clifford Royal Johns (Popular Fiction, W’18) has committed cozy with his mystery short story, “Death in the Lower Forty,” which is in the newly released anthology, Cozy Villages of Death.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) has a new video inspired by his poem “Gluttony.” The poem is from his forthcoming chapbook from Plan B Press.

40 Thieves on Saipan, written by Joseph Tachovsky and Cynthia Kraack (Fiction, W’10), was awarded Winner in the Military History category of the American Book Fest competition.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’12) is delighted to share that she has signed with Bison Books, the trade imprint of the University of Nebraska Press, for publication of her memoir Uphill Both Ways: Hiking Toward Happiness on the Colorado Trail.

Nina Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) recently had a flash essay published in Moment Magazine. She’s also pleased to finally see published the result of ten years’ work, The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, Volume 9: Catastrophe and Rebirth, where she was on the advisory board and did much of the research that resulted in the inclusion of literature and culture by Jews from Arab lands, often excluded from Anglophone, Ashkenaz-centric publications. (The dude standing on his head looks like Picasso, but it’s Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel).

Julia McKenzie Munemo (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) spoke to Dani Shapiro for the Family Secrets podcast about the secret at the center of her memoir The Book Keeper: A Memoir of Race, Love, and Legacy.

J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes’s (Poetry, W ’11) latest poetry collection, was that you Boss?,has been accepted for publication by Wipf and Stock Publishers in 2021. The collection consists of psalm poems addressed to an unspecified higher power, and they rely heavily on an intimate language drawn from experiences of nature and life on a farm. The collection is dedicated, in part, to Maurice Manning, whose collection Bucolics had no little influence on the author.

Linda K. Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09) announces her first picture book, Gordy and the Ghost Crab, published by Writer’s Coffee Bar Press. Linda wrote and illustrated the text herself and created her own book trailer. The PreK-age 8 book also includes fun facts about crabs and a conservation message. Teacher’s guide available. The book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and bookstores nationwide. 

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Community News & Updates November 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Stonecoast Alumni Scriptwriting Workshop: The Next Step – Rehearsing your Script! – Winter 2021!!

Instructors: Tom Coash (Scriptwriting/Playwright) and Jeni Mahoney (Scriptwriting/Artistic Director of the Seven Devils New Play Foundry)

A huge part of scriptwriting is learning to collaborate and glean valuable information about your script during the rehearsal process. Being in a room with really smart, talented people, all working together, readying your script for the public is an incredibly inspiring, unique experience. Scriptwriters, in this special, four-session, alumni workshop, will submit a ten-minute play/screenplay and during the course of the workshop will read, discuss, rewrite, and REHEARSE these pieces for an online, post-residency Stonecoast public reading. Taking advantage of the online residency possibilities, we will bring in professional, guest artist actors and directors from all over the country to rehearse each play individually in online breakout rooms. Writers will have one-on-one sessions with their directors, rehearsals with actors/directors, discussion of scripts with workshop members, and opportunities to observe other rehearsals. Come join us and see your script brought to life by some of the best talent in the country. All levels of scriptwriting experience welcome.

This workshop is also open to writers who have not attended Stonecoast. So, please tell your friends. Space is limited, sign up asap! Contact Tom Coash (thomascoash@sbcglobal.net) or the Stonecoast office for more information: stonecoastmfa@maine.edu or 207-780-4423.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Natalie Harris-Spencer‘s (Fiction) short story “Phrenology,” which she shared in David Anthony Durham’s “Grim Tidings” workshop last residency, will be published in the next issue of The Dark City Crime & Mystery Magazine.

FACULTY

Faith Adiele (Creative Nonfiction) wrote two episodes in the new HBO Max mini-documentary series A World of Calm, which premiered on October 1st and is designed for relaxation. Her episodes are #8 “Horses,” narrated by Kate Winslet, and #10 “Water,” narrated by Mahershala Ali. The trailer is available here. Faith also has an essay in the anthology Alone Together: Love, Grief & Comfort in the Time of COVID; sales go to benefit indie bookstores.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) was awarded an individual fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. 

Elizabeth Hand’s (Popular Fiction, Fiction) new novel, The Book of Lamps and Banners, continues to receive rave reviews, including from The New York Times Book Review, which wrote, “Cass Neary is a remarkable heroine. As with Sherlock Holmes, her power lies in the act of seeing what ordinary people cannot, only where Holmes brings clues to light, Neary is content to linger in the dark. Her eye catches the liminal spaces between clarity and shadow so well I found myself rereading passages for the beauty of her way of seeing.” Oprah Magazine named Liz’s 2015 novel Wylding Hall one of the 29 greatest gothic novels of all time. In October, she taught at the NYC Writer’s Hotel virtual writer’s conference, and led an online workshop on supernatural fiction at Clarion West.  

Scriptwriting Instructor Jeni Mahoney, the Producing Artistic Director of Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, was featured in a recent American Theatre Magazine article celebrating the 20th anniversary of the program, which she founded in 2001. Since 2001, Seven Devils has supported the development of more than 220 plays, including Veils by Scriptwriting Faculty member Tom Coash, who now serves on the Seven Devils Board of Directors.

ALUMS

Lindsey Barlow‘s (Popular Fiction, W’19) short story “Dr. Catalyst,” which she workshopped while at Stonecoast with Liz Hand and fellow students, was turned into a 55-minute production by No Sleep Podcast. Her short story is featured in Season 15, Episode 5, and begins around the one hour, thirty-eight minute mark.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’16) has a piece of humorous horror titled “The Stages of Monster Grief: A Guide for Middle-Aged Vampires” in the anthology Coffin Blossoms, which was published by Jolly Horror Press in October 2020. She also appeared on the panels Building SF&F Mythologies and Modern Age of Poetry at MileHiCon 52. 

J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) won Honorable Mention in Streetlight Magazine’s 2020 Essay/Memoir contest. A review of the essay “Finding Barbie’s Shoes” said, “J Brooke’s ‘Finding Barbie’s Shoes,’ an elliptical narration of how something as small as the foot of a Barbie doll can lead to consideration of topics larger and more painful. There is humor in this account, but also that edge of reality we all have to contend with. Its two poles inform each other.” The essay can be read here.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has stories in The Quilliad and Nightmare this month. She is also pleased to announce the one-year anniversary of the ephemera reading series. Join readers Kate Heartfield, Fonda Lee, and Vivian Li, and performer Kari Maaren, on November 18 at 7:00 p.m. EST.

teri elam (Poetry, S’19) had two poems published in Limp Wrist magazine: “On Writing A Fan Letter To Lynda Carter Circa 1975” and “On Being Called The N-Word In Atlanta, 2016: A Southern Ghazal.” Her ghazal has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. teri will also have two essays, “Memory as Dance: The Darktown Strutters’ Ball” and “In Praise of Greenwood,” included in the exhibition catalog for the upcoming Greenwood Art Project. This project will commemorate the centennial anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre and the historic Black Wall Street.

Colleen Hennessy‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’20) essay “Motherhood in Irish Nonfiction: Abortion and Agency” appeared in the fall issue of Assay: Journal of Nonfiction Studies. The research and analysis arose from her third semester paper and graduation seminar at Stonecoast. 

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) annually writes a Christmas novella; On One Condition is available on the kindle app.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) is thrilled to announce that her short story “The Quilt” was published last month in Willows Wept Review. The story is about climate change, fracking, and the enduring nature of love, with a bit of magic realism and ancient mythology thrown in. Bonus points if you can determine what mythological figures and events it’s inspired by.

Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) recently had an essay in Past Ten, a literary project exploring the transformative power of time and the human condition to turn the unpredictable into art, by asking contributors, “Where were you ten years ago on this date?” She also had an essay out in The Forward, the country’s oldest Jewish newspaper (founded in 1897) about her recent reckoning with her misguided use of the Yiddish word schwartze, when she was a 23-year old convert to Judaism.

Nylah Lyman‘s (Poetry, S’10) poem “Noah’s Wife” has been accepted by Stonecoast Review for publication January 2021.

Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will be opening her live online memoir classes to a new cohort this month. Memoir 101: Writing the Stories of Your Life is open for enrollment. This five-week live online course begins Thursday, November 12, from 12:00-1:30 p.m. EDT. Memoir: Craft and Application also will be open to new students starting this month with Thursday or Saturday classes, 10:00-11:30 a.m. EDT. To apply or for more information, visit www.catharinehmurray.com or email her at writingwithcatharine@gmail.com

First Light,” Jenny O’Connell‘s(Creative Nonfiction, S’17) essay about finding home in the wild waters of Maine, appears in the November issue of Decor Maine. Her opera libretto on advocacy and domestic violence during quarantine, “The Sky Where You Are,” was produced by An Opera Theatre of Minneapolis and premiered worldwide last month as part of the Decameron Opera Coalition’s “Tales from a Safe Distance.” Tickets are available through the end of the year. 

Suri Parmar (Popular Fiction, W’17) has a new story titled “Lady of the Slake” in Upon a Once Time, a color print anthology of reimagined fairy-tale mash-ups published by Air and Nothingness Press. Suri’s story is an interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Wild Swans” combined with the Arthurian literary cycle. 

Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) has poems in two anthologies released in October: “Dead Bodies and Declaratory Judgments” appears in Show Us Your Papers from Main Street Rag Publishing, and “Le Rire ” appears in its original French alongside his English translation in The Very Edge Poems from Flying Ketchup Press.

J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes (Poetry, W’11) was made Canon Poet of Grace Episcopal Cathedral, Charleston, South Carolina, on October 11th, 2020.

Kevin St. Jarre‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) short story “Chuligani,” published in Solstice Literary Magazine, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Kevin’s novel Aliens, Drywall, and a Unicycle will launch virtually at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10. Hosted by Longfellow Books of Portland, Maine, and Encircle Publications, Kevin will be joined in conversation by author Bill Roorbach. To register in advance for this meeting please use this link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

Kathleen Sullivan (Poetry, ’06) is currently writing a series of weekly essays: “2020: Life in the Time of Pandemic.” Her blog site is Kathleensullivan.substack.com. The essays are the process notes of a poet, a psychotherapist, a grandmother, three quarters of a century old as she makes sense of this extraordinary moment in history.

Morgan Talty’s (Fiction, W’19) short story “The Name Means Thunder,” which originally appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of The Georgia Review, was selected as a Distinguished Story for The Best American Short Stories 2020

The Learned Pig published Darlene Taylor‘s (Fiction, W’17) “Haunting Stones” essay as a Root Mapping feature. The essay can be read in the online journal here. Also, Darlene won a D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship; she plans to complete the work noted in “Haunting Stones” as part of the fellowship. Separately, as part of her continued service to the arts community, Darlene has been named an Advisory Board member of The Clifton House located in Maryland. The Clifton House honors creative work and the legacy of Lucille Clifton in the Baltimore home where she lived with her family and wrote poetry.

Meghan Vigeant‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) flash non-fiction story “Don’t Live Past Ninety, Dear” appeared on Multiplicity‘s blog in October. 

Stonecoast fiction alum (W’19) sidney woods was honored that “Monsoon” was recently published in Brilliant Flash Fiction (under pen name sid sibo).  

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Community News & Updates July 2020

FACULTY

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) wrote his latest piece on sports and civil rights for The Nation: “When the KKK Played Against an All-Black Baseball Team.” His next book will be for young adults and is slated for release in 2021. Doomed: The Tragic Story of Sacco & Vanzetti tells the controversial story of two Italian anarchists convicted of murder and later executed in Boston, MA.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana Is Here received a Bronze Medal in the 2019 Foreword Reviews Indie Book Awards!

Elizabeth Hand’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) novel Curious Toys is a finalist for both the Locus and Shirley Jackson Awards. The Book of Lamps and Banners, the fourth Cass Neary novel (due in September), has received great advance trade reviews, including a starred review from Booklist.  Hand recently wrote about John Garth’s The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien: The Places that Inspired Middle-earth for The Washington Post.

Jim Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) story “Faithful Sister” was published in Daily Science Fiction on June 17.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) is one of six writers who formed the group Writers Against Racial Injustice to raise funds for The Equal Justice Initiative. The group started with a goal of raising 10K and have wound up raising over 50K, with help from many supporters including Stonecoasters and coverage in The Boston Globe, Shelf Awareness, and a feature article on June 24 in Publishers Weekly. The fundraiser is running through July 4th; donations are welcome here.

The publication date for Robert V.S. Redick’s (Popular Fiction) new epic fantasy novel, Sidewinders (sequel to Master Assassins), has just been announced: it will be on the shelves on May 4, 2021, from Talos Press.

 

ALUMS

One of Jillian Abbott’s (Popular Fiction, S’04) students, Hastride Eduoard, was profiled for the animation project she submitted for her final project in Jillian’s ENG 384 RC Writing for Electronic Media class (Hastride’s video is at the end of the article).

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is thrilled to announce that her short story “A Seed Planted” has been translated in Japanese for Night Land Quarterly Vol. 21 “The Fantasy of Sky Realms.” This short story was originally included in the anthology Hath No Fury, edited by Melanie R. Meadors. She also has a reprint of her flash piece “The Landscape of Lacrimation” included in the Weird Dream Society: An Anthology of the Possible & Unsubstantiated in Support of RAICES, edited by Julie C. Day. Both of these stories were originally drafted during her time at Stonecoast.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has been long-listed for the Sunburst Award for her story “When the White Bird Sings,” published last year in Augur. In addition, the ephemera Reading Series is a finalist for the Aurora Award, under Best Fan Organizational.

Ed Boyle (Fiction, W’09) will have a story, “The Keeper of the Marsh,” published in the July issue of The Scarlet Leaf Review.

Libby Cudmore (Creative Nonfiction/Popular Fiction, S’10) has sold her second story, “A Brief History of Local Warfare,” to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Her first, “All Shook Down,” is scheduled for publication in the September/October issue of EQMM.

teri elam’s (Poetry, S’19) personal essay “On Asking Mama To Pray for Me” will be included in the forthcoming anthology, Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort During the Time of COVID-19 which is raising money for indie bookstores. Stonecoast professor Faith Adiele (Creative Nonfiction) is a contributor as well.

Terri Glass’s (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’13) new book of poems, Being Animal (published by Aldrich Press), is now available for purchase through kelsaybooks.com and Amazon. These poems observe and embody a vast array of animals from the honeybee to the mountain lion in poems that celebrate their beauty, grieve their loss, and reflect on their wisdom. For a signed copy, please visit www.terriglass.com. Derrick Jensen, author of A Language Older than Words and Endgame, says, “A love for wild nature suffuses this beautiful collection. Poetry can serve no more important purpose than to rekindle our love of those who are wild.”

Barbara P. Greenbaum (Fiction, S’05) has had poems published or accepted for publication in Main Street Rag, Clementine Unbound, Green Hills Lantern, and Arcturus. She has also launched a website with co-editor Pit Pinegar dedicated to providing writing exercises for those who need them. The exercises were contributed by writers who teach. Anyone who has published work and teaches and is interested in contributing an exercise can contact her at barbarapgreenbaum@gmail.com for more details.

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) is happy to announce that her memoir, She Said God Blessed Us: A Life Marked by Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Church, will be published by Exposit in August. Many people at Stonecoast helped in the writing of this book. Here’s what fellow alum Elliot Long (Creative Nonfiction, S’10), now with the Emmett Till Interpretive Center, has to say about the memoir: “In She Said God Blessed Us, Gail Hovey introduces us to a firebrand who confronts her world with a fierceness and determination to fight for change. As she participates in several of the pivotal social justice movements of our times, from the fight against American racism in the 1960s to the campaign to end South African apartheid in the decades that followed, Hovey grows to recognize how abuse of power also shaped her young life—abuse at the hands of her religious mentor. Wrenching and celebratory, Hovey’s memoir depicts a long struggle to move through guilt and pain toward a peace she can claim as her own.” For more information and to order an advance copy, please visit Gail’s website.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has won the Neosho Arts Council’s short story contest for her story “December 1, 1969.” Judge Kevin Dilmore said, “A relatable protagonist and a suspenseful construction make this story a compelling read from the beginning. Backstory is introduced at a great pace just when readers will benefit the most from it. This is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read, and images from this will stay with readers for a long time.”

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) created four new poetry videos. The videos for “Beacon” and “Into the Light,” inspired by the poems of the same names, go into Alan and his wife’s battle with lupus, Alan doing a kidney swap to help his wife, and their surgeries. “Heartbreak is Unavoidable” is inspired by Alan’s poem “This Good”; and “A Poem for My New Born and George Floyd” is inspired by Alan’s new poem “The Land of Innocence,” which he wrote for his one-month-old daughter and George Floyd. You can watch the videos here.

Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) is especially happy to have an essay, “Saying Goodbye to Seafood,” published in Tablet Magazine, where her writing has been rejected several times in the past. This reminded her to never give up and to submit, submit, submit.

Julia Munemo (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) and Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) will be hosted by World Fellowship Center for a virtual reading and conversation about Writing from a Family Legacy on Monday, July 6, 7:00-8:00 p,m. Julia will read from her debut memoir The Book Keeper and Ellen from her new novel Her Sister’s Tattoo. Details and link here.

An excerpt from Julia McKenzie Munemo‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) memoir The Book Keeper appeared on Public Seminar in June.

dg nanouk okpik’s (Poetry, W’10) poem “If Oil Is Drilled in Bristol Bay” was featured in the Poetry Foundation’s Poem of the Day email on June 5, 2020.

Ellie O’Leary (Poetry, W’17) will have her poem “That Poetry Thing” in the Summer 2020 issue of Ibbetson Street Magazine.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poem “La Ride,” written in French, will appear with his English translation in the forthcoming anthology from Flying Ketchup Press. His poem “Dead Bodies and Declaratory Judgements” is forthcoming in Main Street Rag’s anthology Show Us Your Papers. And his poem  “My Grandfather’s Sky” will appear in North Scene Poetry Press’s anthology of poetry about 9/11.

The prose poem “Mountain” by J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes (Poetry, W’11) will appear in the Fall/Winter issue of New South.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) is pleased to share that as of today he is the Assistant Principal at Hinsdale Middle High School in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. In writing news, his essay “Hattery: The Many Roles of a First-Time Teacher” was accepted into Voices of Practice to be published later in 2020.

Kevin St. Jarre‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) has signed a new book deal for his novel Celestine with Encircle Publications. It’s expected to be in bookstores in May 2021.

Genevieve Williams (Popular Fiction, S’14) has a short story titled “The Sea of Stars” in the new anthology Retellings of the Inland Seas from Candlemark and Gleam, edited by Athena Andreadis; and, an essay titled “Ghosts, Grimoires, and Dealing with Demons: Hellblazer’s Real-World Magic” in the new book From Bayou to Abyss: Examining John Constantine, Hellblazer from Sequart, edited by Lou Tambone and Rich Handley.

 

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Community News & Updates May 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

STONECOAST MFA VIRTUAL WRITING SERIES
In an effort to connect our community and continue learning together from afar, Stonecoast is launching a monthly writing session led by a faculty member or guest instructor! Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) kicked off our first session in April with a fantastic Mindfulness and Creative Writing class. We are thrilled to present Susan Conley (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) on Monday, May 18th, with “Voice Across Genre: Tone and Pitch and How to Really Say What You Are Feeling,” followed by Justin Tussing (Stonecoast Director) on Monday, June 8th, with a pre-residency generative writing session.

Information and Zoom links will be distributed to current students and faculty via email, and to the greater community via the Stonecoast Portland Meetup group and the Friends of Stonecoast MFA Facebook Group. If you are unable to access any of these platforms, email Special Projects Coordinator Jenny O’Connell (jennifer.a.oconnell@maine.edu) to be added to the list.

You can also receive weekly writing prompts from faculty on the Stonecoast Facebook Page.

 

CURRENT STUDENTS

Natalie Harris-Spencer (Fiction) has been selected by Oyster River Pages for publication under their “Emerging Fiction Voices” category, established to showcase new writers who are just beginning to submit their work to journals. Her short story “Fish Out of Water” will be published in the Fourth Annual Issue of Oyster River Pages, due Summer 2020 (publication details to follow). ORP is a literary journal that embraces the reality that the personal has become the political and actively seeks to publish those who bring balance and diversity to historical institutions of power.

Nina Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction) recently had another piece up on the Brevity blog about how the lockdown has provided her with a much welcomed focus on writing, stripped of the otherwise regular and non-essential diversions. She has also embarked on a new project and is looking for contributors: If you know someone who is a Jew by choice, the planned anthology Our Stories, Our Tribe: Personal Essays by Converts to Judaism is looking for diverse voices in essays between 1500-4000 words. Email Nina (nblichtenstein@gmail.com) if you would like a copy of the Call for Submissions to share.

 

FACULTY

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) was happy that her novel We Got Him was chosen to be featured in April on Snowflakes in a Blizzard, which highlights books by Indie press writers. As noted in this piece, We Got Him, which was published by New Rivers Press, is also out in a 2018 audiobook version—published and narrated by star Stonecoast alumna Tanya Eby and her audiobook company, Blunder Woman Productions.

 

ALUMS

The film short The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, adapted by Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) from her memoir of the same title, won a Special Jury Mention from the ÉCU—The European Independent Film Festival in Paris, and an Honorable Mention from the USA Film Festival’s International Short Film & Video Competition in Dallas, Texas.

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) made a guest post called “The Sophomore Book” about writing her next book on Fantasy Cafe for Women in SF&F Month. She also had a new poem published by The Free Library of the Internet Void called “Remember.” And AAWW Radio posted Breaking into Speculative Fiction, a panel discussion with Jenn and Malka Older, moderated by Tim O’Connell.

j brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) essay “Hybrid” was the Nonfiction Winner for Columbia Journal’s Womxn’s History Month Special Issue.

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’14) is excited to announce that she has found a means to get out and share her book The Bone Cutters during this pandemic. From May 11 to June 11, Renee is doing an online book tour, where her work will be featured on 50+ blogs. There will be a video reading, an interview, an excerpt or two, as well as free giveaways. Here is the link to find out how and where to check it all out. Stay safe, everyone!

teri elam’s (Poetry, S19) poetry manuscript was recently named a semi-finalist for the Two Sylvias Press Wilder Prize. During April, a film based on her poem “Butterflies” premiered during Visual Poetry Project’s online film celebration of National Poetry Month.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) was thrilled to have her essay “Faith in a Seed,” about motherhood and the extinction and rebirth of the American chestnut tree, published in the current issue of Spire: The Maine Journal of Conservation and Sustainability.

Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’10) short story “Harlem in Havana” was released April 7, 2020, in the anthology The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchelledited by Josh Pachter, published by Untreed Reads. Anthology authors Alison, Alan Orloff, and Elaine Viets taught a class on Writing Suspense via Zoom on April 26, 2020.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) and Robin Talbot (Stonecoast Associate Director) invite the Stonecoast community to a Virtual Book Event at PRINT Bookstore in Portland on May 13, 2020, at 7:00 pm. Co-hosted by Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance (MWPA) via Zoom, Ellen will read from her new novel, Her Sister’s Tattoo, and talk with Robin. To register, visit here or here.

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction, S’15) stories “Sola Fide” (originally featured in the summer 2016 issue of Able Muse), “Avoidance,” and “Meaning As Use” are all featured as the fiction portion of Lights, the inaugural issue of Pleasure Boat Studio‘s new zine, available as a free PDF. John also read his story “Good Friday,” originally featured in Volume VI of The New Guard, on Good Friday for West Seattle’s own Pegasus Book Exchange.

Jenny O’Connell‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) recent tribute to the late, great Ryan West—which doubles as an ode to the ultimate frisbee community—was published in Ultiworld magazine. Her essay “Valley of the Bulls” won the 2019 Appalachia Journal Humor in the Wild Contest, and is now available in print. An outdoor contributor for Maine Magazine, Jenny’s profile on camp owner and adventurer Chloë Rowse was published in March, and she has a forthcoming feature on ice climbing in Maine later this year. In April, Jenny signed with agents Jamie Chambliss and Steve Troha of Folio Literary Management, who will represent her book project, Finding Petronella

Suri Parmar (Popular Fiction, W’17) was recently awarded a media grant from the Ontario Arts Council for her experimental short You’re Smart, her first foray into non-narrative filmmaking. While production is presently on hold due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, she hopes to complete her film in the following year.

Three short pieces from sid sibo’s (Fiction, W’19) in-process collection Familiar: Stories have been awarded the Neltje Blanchan Memorial award from the Wyoming Arts Council for best writing “informed by a relationship with the natural world.” Two other stories from the collection have earned Honorable Mentions, one of which, “Bull,” will be published online in Cutthroat magazine. The pen name can be traced to Stonecoast 2019 alum sidney woods.

Patricia Smith’s (Poetry, S’08; former faculty member) poem “Now He’s an Etching” appeared in The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day email for Thursday, April 16th.; the poem can be read and heard on the poets.org website.

Jacob Strunk (Fiction, W’07) was featured in April’s Voyage LA, an online magazine celebrating the artists and eccentrics that define Los Angeles. The profile features no revelatory bombshells, but there are some fun photos.

Lisa C. Taylor (Poetry, S’04) will have upcoming poetry published in Lily Poetry Review and Soul-Lit. Her book review of Rebecca Foust’s The Unexploded Ordnance Bin was published in Mom Egg Review in April. Lisa’s short story “Lucky” was shortlisted in the 2020 Fish Short Fiction contest, judged by Colum McCann. She has been a mentor through the AWP W2W program this spring, working with a fiction writer from Georgia. And Lisa will have a new collection of poetry published by Arlen House/Syracuse University Press in the spring of 2021.

Rhiannon J. Taylor’s (Popular Fiction, S’19, writing as R. J. Howell) dark fantasy/horror story “What You Lost in the Wildermere” has been published by Arsenika in their sixth issue. Additionally, her story “Parasites” is forthcoming from Frozen Wavelets.

As reported by Locus, Erin Underwood (Popular Fiction, S’09) won the 2020 Down Under Fan Fund (DUFF), which sends a fan from North America to CoNZealand, the 78th Worldcon. Paul Weimer, the North American DUFF administrator, said, “With ConZealand being a virtual Worldcon this year and Corvid-19, Erin will not be traveling to New Zealand this year, but hopes to travel to Australasia in the DUFF tradition in 2021, health and world events permitting.” Erin will also take over from Weimer as the new North American administrator.

Marco Wilkinson (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) is now the nonfiction editor at The Los Angeles Review. He is looking for fresh, engaging essays; in particular at this moment, he’d love to read about life during COVID-19. You can submit here.

 

 

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Community News & Updates April 2020

Hope everyone is staying safe!

CURRENT STUDENTS

Natalie Harris-Spencer’s (Fiction) short story “Labor Day Weekend” will be published on April 21st in Volume 2 of Allegory Ridge‘s fiction anthology, Archipelago. Allegory Ridge is a magazine for open-minded millennials that publishes travel writing, short stories, poetry, artwork, photography, and personal essays.

FACULTY

The German edition of JJ Amaworo Wilson‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) novel Damnificados, translated by Connie Lösch, was published by Editions Nautilus on March 2nd. The book was positively reviewed in Der Spiegel, Europe’s largest weekly news magazine, the same week.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana Is Here is nominated as a 2019 Indie Book of the Year (LGBTQ fiction) from Foreward Reviews!

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) will be leading a free online workshop focused on building resilience through writing for teens, sponsored by the Clarion West Writers Workshop; Stonecoast faculty member emeritus James Patrick Kelly (Popular Fiction) and current Stonecoast faculty member Tobias Buckell (Popular Fiction) are also instructors.  Recent reviews include N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became and Megan Campisi’s Sin Eater, both for The Washington Post.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) published “Soundstage Musicals: Capturing Theater on Film” in the March 2020 issue of Imagine, the print and online magazine for the New England film community. Her article addresses the filming and streaming of musicals as one way to keep theater alive in these dark times.

ALUMS

Check out Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) current online radio and podcast interviews regarding her book, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. In addition to a lot of quirky snail science, the book relates to the pandemic experience, as it includes reflections on isolation and illness. Recent interviews include the following links: interviewed by Indira Naidoo for ABC Nightlife Radio in Sydney, Australia, and interviewed by Emily Kwong for NPR Science Podcast Short Wave.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) narrated Amit Gupta’s story “How Did It Feel to Be Eaten?” for the March 12th episode of Escape Pod. You can listen to it here. He also hosted the March 24th episode of PodCastle, featuring Sofia Samatar’s retelling of “The Tale of Mahliya and Mauhub and the White-Footed Gazelle,” available here.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) has a Snow White retelling coming out in the anthology Arterial Bloom, edited by Mercedes M. Yardley. “Rotten” was the story she submitted with her application to Stonecoast, so she’s happy that is has finally found a home at Crystal Lake Publishing.

Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) is thrilled to announce that her novella The Rampant (Aqueduct Press) is a nominated finalist for the 2019 Lambda Literary Award in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and HorrorPublishers Weekly says, “Equal parts playful and heartbreaking, this apocalyptic novella offers one-of-a-kind answers about the end of the world….This clever and surprisingly fun take on the rapture is the perfect theological horror story.” The novella is available in both paperback and as an ebook.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18), PhD candidate in Literature, has been awarded a summer research grant from the University of New Hampshire to continue his work on the erasure of women in science fiction. He is excited to write an article on feminism related to Jesuit philosophy and the universe of Warhammer 40k as his entry point into the world of academic publishing.

 

David A. Hewitt’s (Popular Fiction, S’09) novelette The Great Wall of America, published by Mithila Press, is now available in both Kindle and paperback editions, and his short story “Donald Q. Haute, Gentleman Inquisitator, and the Peril of the Pythogator” will be appearing in the April 2020 issue of Metaphorosis.

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S’11) is happy to announce that her second full-length poetry collection has been selected as a semifinalist in Tupelo Press’s 2020 Dorset Prize.

Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’10) short story “Harlem in Havana” will be released April 7, 2020, in the anthology The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell, edited by Josh Pachter, published by Untreed Reads. Alison will appear with fellow anthology authors Alan Orloff and Elaine Viets for a panel and signing on April 18th at Murder on the Beach Bookstore in Delray Beach, 6:00 p.m.

What a moment to launch a new novel! Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) is delighted that her fourth novel, Her Sister’s Tattoo, will be published on April 7th. She is working hard to convert her book tour to virtual events—live-streamed readings and Zoom book parties and curated series like A Mighty Blaze and Reading with Robin. Links to Internet events will be posted on her website as they’re set. Interesting times, no?

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction, S’15) creative nonfiction piece, “Things You Gave Me When You Left” is forthcoming in The Real Story. John will have a solo author event—barring further quarantine—at Paper Boat Booksellers in West Seattle on the evening of May 1st.

dg nanouk okpik’s (Poetry, W’10) poem “When White Hawks Come” was published in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day email on March 30, 2020 (the link also includes an audio recording of the poem).

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) is pleased to share that his short story “Soovien Hungered in the City of Spiders” is out at StarShipSofa. It’s a story about poetry-driven spider gladiatorial matches, and other stuff.

Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) had a streak of publication right before everything changed: an article on wood construction and the future of Maine forests in Northern Woodlands magazine, a “Plant Love Story” about salt marsh grass, an essay on the striped skunk for Natural Resources Council of Maine, and an update on wild Atlantic salmon for The Working Waterfront. Her book, The President’s Salmon, was featured in several new podcasts and cited by Mark Kurlansky in his new book on salmon. And a lyric essay has been accepted by Waterwheel Review.

Kevin St. Jarre (Popular Fiction, S’10) recently participated in a six-author online showcase, hosted and broadcast via Zoom by publisher Encircle Publications. His novel Aliens, Drywall, and a Unicycle is now available for pre-order here.

Eugenio Volpe (Fiction, W’05) has an essay coming out in the summer issue of Massachusetts Review entitled “Jesus Kicks His Oedipus Complex.”

“Steve’s Ashes,” a story by Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11), appears in the Summer 2020 issue of Evening Street Review, a journal of Evening Street Press of Sacramento.

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates March 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

STONECOAST AT AWP 2020
Are you attending AWP 2020? Stonecoast MFA will host a gathering from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, at The Rose Bush (2301 San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, Texas 78212). We’ll have free appetizers, a short reading in honor of our new WISE (Writing for Inclusivity and Social Equity) program, and plenty of time to socialize and reconnect. The venue is BYOB. We hope you’ll join us!

ALUMNI WORKSHOP AT THE STONECOAST 2020 SUMMER RESIDENCY
This June, Stonecoast will once again offer a personalized writing experience for our Alumni. Held in conjunction with the Stonecoast summer residency, Elizabeth Hand will lead workshops that get alums to immerse in their writing within a peer setting again. This post MFA workshop is open to fiction writers of all stripes—short stories, novels, mimetic fiction, genre fiction, autofiction, meta-fiction et al. Participants will focus on both old and new work, with an aim towards polishing the former as well generating new ideas and expanding notions of what fiction is and can be in the 2020s. The conference fee includes four 2.5-hour workshop sessions, plus full access to all presentations, seminars, readings, pop-up classes, receptions, and special events. Participants will also have the opportunity for a one-on-one meeting with a literary agent.

  • Dates: June 21-25, 2020
  • Cost: $650.00 workshop fee, plus room and board (~$750 for 4 nights) or commuter fee ($285). Includes daily lunches and afternoon tea at the Harraseeket Inn.
  • Contact Lindsey Vazquez  to reserve your spot! Only 8 slots are available, and we expect this workshop to fill quickly. Once your participation is confirmed, a non-refundable deposit will be required to confirm your place in the workshop.

Testimonials from Susan Conley‘s Winter 2020 Alumni Workshop:

  • “One year post-graduation, Susan Conley’s alumni workshop was just what I needed. The workshop gave me the opportunity to drop into an intensive working environment and hit the ground running. The benefit of working with a seasoned Stonecoast instructor and writers who share a common language of craft and critiquing was invaluable—not mention the amazing support. I will definitely do this again and highly recommend it.”  ~Lee Bodkin
  • “Being back at Stonecoast was such a gift—from the workshops to the seminars, returning to Maine to write and be with ‘my people’ was just the motivation I needed to return to my heart’s work. The writing during those mornings was some of the better writing I have done in months.” ~Heather Wilson

Martha McSweeney Brower (Creative Nonfiction, W’19) shared this information for anyone interested in submitting to Maine Seniors or Maine Women:

CURRENT STUDENTS

Natalie Harris-Spencer’s (Fiction) short story “Labor Day Weekend” is due to be published this Spring in Volume 2 of Allegory Ridge‘s fiction anthology, Archipelago, due out April 21st. Allegory Ridge is a magazine for open-minded millennials that publishes travel writing, short stories, poetry, artwork, photography, and personal essays. More details to follow.

Nina Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction), a.k.a. The Viking Jewess, recently had a food essay published in The Canadian Jewish News, which was fun, because when she had originally submitted a version of it to a Maine food pub, they asked her to remove references to her Jewish background, which made her (pissed off) pull the submission. You can read the brief food essay here.

 

FACULTY

Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts, Writing for Social Change) play Bubble, Bubble will be produced in Sydney, Australia, as part of the worldwide Short & Sweet Festival. His short musical Stepping Into Fire will be produced at the National Performing Arts Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) writes about sports, crime, and social issues. In February, he wrote a feature for ESPN’s The Undefeated: Rube Foster was the Big Man Behind the First Successful Negro Baseball League. His next young-adult book is due out in 2021; it will tell the controversial story of Sacco & Vanzetti, two Italian anarchists wrongly convicted of murder and later executed in Boston, MA.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) talks about his novel Nirvana Is Here and all things Nirvana in an interview with Rolf Potts for the podcast Deviate.

The Los Angeles Review of Books and The Boston Review recently profiled Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) and her novel Curious Toys. On February 29th, Leap Day, she and bestselling Swedish novelist Niklas Natt och Dag appeared at The English Bookshop in conversation about their fiction (and a mutual fascination with artist Henry Darger). Hand’s new story “The Owl Count” will appear in the forthcoming issue of the literary magazine Conjunctions.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) was invested into the august company of the Baker Street Irregulars, a worldwide literary society whose 300 members devote themselves to the Sacred Writings (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories of Sherlock Holmes).  Her investiture name is “Beryl Garcia,” a character in the novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. She was invested in January at the annual Baker Street Irregulars Dinner at the Yale Club in New York City. In other news, Kymera Press, Nancy’s comic-book publisher, is holding a Kickstart to create a trade paperback out of four of her comic book adaptations of short stories written by women during the long nineteenth century. Nancy also wrote the introduction for three books:

  • The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, which is the debut offering of the Horror Writers Association’s Haunted Library.
  • Across the Universe, edited by Michael A. Ventrella and Randee Dawn. This anthology collects short stories starring versions of the Beatles in alternate universes.
  • Gentlemen Prefer Domino Lady, an anthology featuring short stories about a pulp character from the 1930’s. She has also written short stories and comic books starring Domino Lady in the past, and is currently working on a commissioned DL story for Moonstone Books.

The February 2020 TheatreZone production of Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, starring Broadway’s Andrea McArdle, was reviewed as an “exemplary show…Seeing a scandal unfold never felt so good.” Elizabeth received a generous shout-out in the same review: “It all seemed bizarre beyond belief nearly 30 years ago, and someone had the brilliant idea to deliver it in a joyous theater package. We can credit playwright Elizabeth Searle for that and thank you, thank you, thank you.” Elizabeth was thrilled to work with Andrea, the original ANNIE, who earned raves in her dual role as the Mom(s). The show received media coverage in the Naples Daily News, including an interview with Elizabeth, and on the Naples ABC affiliate, Channel 7, featuring an interview with the show’s stars. New productions are in the works; for updates and pictures, see www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com.

Above: Elizabeth and Broadway great Andrea McArdle as well as Tonya & Nancy leading ladies Whitney Winfield (Nancy) and Nikki Miller (Tonya) and producer Paul Boghosian from the Feb 2020 production of Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera

 

ALUMS

Elizabeth Beechwood (Popular Fiction, S’14) is happy to announce that her story “Yes, Yes, Yes, We Remember” was selected for the Third Flatiron Best of 2019 anthology with an illustration of the Rusalka on the cover. You can listen to “Yes, Yes, Yes, We Remember” as a free podcast, too. Also, Elizabeth’s short story “Just Beyond the Shore” was included in the Stoker-nominated anthology Nox Pariedolia. This sale is especially sweet because a long-ago draft was included in Elizabeth’s submission to and workshopped at Stonecoast!

J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) has a fiction essay among the top seven finalists for the North American Review’s 2020 Kurt Vonnegut Prize.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has a story in the upcoming anthology Invisible Threads, from Apex Publications. Engaging a wide array of marginalized creators, Invisible Threads interrogates and deconstructs the social, cultural, and economic ties that hold us back. The Kickstarter runs until March 18th—see here for more information and backer rewards! She will also be assisting at the PodCastle booth at Toronto ComiCon, March 20-22. Come listen to PodCastle episodes and catch a hilarious live show!

Lauren M Davis (Poetry, S’15) is teaching courses in English writing, creative writing, and philosophy at the University of Saint Francis and Indiana Institute of Technology.

Teacher/Pizza Guy, poetry collection by Jeff Kass (Fiction, S’09), has been named a Michigan Notable Book for 2020. Here is a link to an article about it in MEA Magazine.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) created two videos for his poems “Beacon” and “Into the Light.” Both poems were inspired by his experience as an organ donor when his wife lost kidney function because of lupus.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) has been nominated for a Nebula Award for his writing on The Outer Worlds, a dark sci-fi satire about consumerism and corporate greed in space, full of fun shooty combat and opportunities for creative roleplay. His fellow nominees include Leonard Boyarsky, Kate Dollarhyde, Chris L’Etoile, Daniel McPhee, Carrie Patel, Nitai Poddar, Marc Soskin, and Megan Starks. This is the second year the Nebula has recognized video game writing.

Kristin Leonard (Fiction. S’18) published an academic article, “First-Person Adolescent Storytellers and Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style. The article is a re-constructed version of her third-semester project. It begins with the opening line: “I first discovered Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style while preparing for a fiction workshop with Breena Clarke at the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA creative writing program…”

Emily Levang’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’19) article “Can We Protect Nature by Giving It Legal Rights?” was recently published in Ensia.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W ’06) will be a featured reader at the upcoming AWP on a panel discussing novels about families torn apart by history and war. Her essay on the same subject, “When They Take the Children,” was recently published in Mom Egg Review. Her fourth novel, Her Sister’s Tattoo, will be published on April 7, 2020.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) short story “Last Rites” appears in the February March issue of Portland Monthly Magazine, on newsstands now, and two of his poems, “I Know Why a Man” and “In this year of stingy snow and illness,” appear in the most recent edition of The Maine Edge.

After the Parade, a second book of poetry by Dana Robbins (Poetry, W’13), was published by Moon Pie Press of Westbrook Maine. The book is available for purchase here.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08), has a flash list essay, “Marriage by the Numbers,” in the 10th anniversary issue of The Writers Circle Journal. She has additional essays forthcoming in Tiferet Journal and Flash Nonfiction Food. In late April, Lisa will appear on a panel presentation, “The Borderlands of Grief,” at The Calandra Italian American Institute’s Annual Conference in New York City with authors Nancy Caronia and Joanna Clapps Herman.

Morgan Talty‘s (Fiction, W’19) story “The Citizenship Question: We the People” will be published this spring in The Georgia Review‘s special issue on the 2020 U.S. Census. Talty’s two short craft essays, “Story, Speak” and “One-Edit,” will also appear in Shenandoah.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) essay “A Hunger” was recently published in Sycamore Review (Issue 31.1).

Christopher Watkins‘ (Poetry, W’08) poems “We Take Our Color From The Mines,” “The Sea Was Never A Friend To Us,” and “We Are Forced To Face One Another” have been accepted for publication by The Write Launch and will be included in the March 2020 issue. Additionally, Christopher, under his performance name “Preacher Boy,” has just released his 12th album, entitled See No Evil (Coast Road Records). The album is now available across all digital music platforms. Coast Road Records has published an Enhanced Lyric Booklet to complement the album’s release, which is now available for Kindle or as a free PDF.

 

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Community News & Updates February 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Alumnus Jacob Strunk (Fiction, W’07) has undergone heart surgery in January and some Stonecoasters are among those supporting a GoFundMe effort right now to help with expenses. If you’d like to donate, visit Jacob’s Big Dumb Heart.

BOSKONE 2020

This year’s Boskone—New England’s longest running science fiction convention—features many Stonecoast faculty and alumni on the program participant list, including: KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16), Julie C Day (Popular Fiction, S’12), David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction faculty), Theodora Goss (Popular Fiction faculty), James Patrick Kelly (Popular Fiction, Playwriting faculty), Mur Lafferty (Popular Fiction, W’14), Robert V. S. Redick (Popular Fiction faculty), Erin Roberts (Popular Fiction, W’18), and (of course!) Erin Underwood (Popular Fiction, S’09). Word is that many other Stonecoasters will be in attendance as well. Feel free to join us! Boskone – February 14th to 11th at the Westin Waterfront Hotel, Boston.

FACULTY

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) interviewed novelist Garth Greenwell about his new novel Cleanness for Electric Literature.

In 2021, New Rivers Press will publish Debra Marquart’s (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) next poetry collection, Gratitude with Dogs Under Stars: New & Collected Poems. Her poems have recently been included in three anthologies: “Come November” in Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy, edited by Elizabeth Dodd, Simmons Buntin, and Derek Sheffield (Trinity University Press, 2020); “Dylan’s Lost Years” in Stone Gathering: A Reader 1.1 (Summer 2019); and “How Bad News Comes” in Send My Roots Rain: 52 Weeks of Poetry to Heal Your Grief, edited by Kim Langley (Paraklete Press, 2019). She published an essay, “The Unhappy Hour,” in Ascent Magazine in November 2019. Debra received a small grant ($4000) from Iowa Arts Council to complete a Poet-Laureate-in-the-Schools initiative in the 2019-2020 school year, and she was interviewed by Frontier Poetry in May 2019. In addition to writing, Debra did quite a lot of speaking:

Cate Marvin (Poetry) received the 2020 Maine Artist Fellowship Award in Literature (in this case, poetry) from the Maine Arts Commission.

More recent-vintage Stonecoasters might remember the collaboration seminar Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) and painter pal Susan Tilton Pecora gave at a winter residency a few years back on a book project to benefit their neighbor, Blue Star Equiculture. The draft horse rescue will be closing in a few months due to a lack of donations and volunteers so Suzanne and Susan have turned their work into a series of notecards (each featuring painting and essay) to more quickly help pay final bills at the 11-year-old draft horse rescue. The set of ten blank notecards, priced at $25, includes five different signed images and essays from throughout the rescue’s history. Checks should be made out to Susan Tilton Pecora and sent to her at PO Box 195, Thorndike, MA, 01079; pay via PayPal at sess7@comcast.net. All donations are tax-deductible and will be acknowledged by Blue Star Equiculture, a registered nonprofit. Please note on checks or on PayPal payment how many sets of cards you’d like. The horses and their humans, including these two longtime friends and neighbors of Blue Star, thank you.

ALUMS

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) joined a full voice cast to narrate Kyle Kirrin’s story “Yo, Rapunzel!” for the January 28th episode of PodCastle. You can listen to it here.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is pleased to announce a new story, “Nightmare Spinner,” in Way of the Laser: Future Crime Stories, edited by Eric Bosarge (Popular Fiction, W’12) and Joe McDermott (Popular Fiction, S’11) (Vernacular Books) and two reprints: “Snow as White as Skin as White as Snow,” in Weird Dream Society, edited by Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18), Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12), Chip Houser, and Steve Toase (The Post-Apocalyptic Writers Society); and “Cadaver Feet,” in The Binge-Watching Cure II: An Anthology of Horror Stories, edited by Bill Adler, Jr., and Sarah Doebereiner (Claren Books, October 2019).

Sunspot Literary Journal chose the opening to one of J Brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) essays, “Before and After,” as finalist for their Inception Contest (voted one of 2019’s Best Writing Contests by Reedsy) and published eir essay in the most recent issue. Of possible interest is J worked on this piece second semester at Stonecoast and received editorial suggestions from Stonecoast Director Justin Tussing on it, which e incorporated.

Susan Casey’s (Fiction, W’10) book Rock On: Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Sibling Grief is being released on February 14, 2020. The book launch is at the Frontier Café on February 15th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Links to register here and here.

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’ 14) will be reading from her horror/psychological thriller novella The Bone Cutters on Saturday, February 22nd, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. at the Lewiston Public Library. The event is free to the public and will conclude with book sales and signing. Renee is also thrilled to announce that she has signed a comic book deal with Phi3 Comics. She has been commissioned to write the book #4 finale, “Gateway of Destruction,” for the current Spiralmind storyline of “Muses’ Rise.” Publication date is TBD.

teri elam’s (Poetry, S’19) poem “High School Dancerettes at Half-Time” was published in the Winter 2019 issue of Prairie Schooner. teri’s poem “Butterflies” (a reflection on the criminalization of school-age black girls) was chosen as part of 2020’s Visible Poetry Project and will be brought to the screen by filmmaker Christina Sloan Stoddard.

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S ’11) is delighted to announce that her memoir, worked on at Stonecoast and beyond, will be published this fall by Exposit/McFarland. The title for this story of the long reach of childhood sexual abuse by a seminary-trained woman is still being worked on, as the publisher says it’s a hard book to title. Watch this space.

Clifford Royal Johns (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be conducting a writing workshop on writing in first person on February 15th at 2:30 p.m. at the Capricon science fiction convention (February 13-16, 2020). He will also be a panelist at the convention on the following panels:

  • Detectives in the Wild – Thursday, 5:00 p.m.
  • Nonfiction for Fiction Writers – Friday, 10:00 a.m.
  • Lessons I Learned as a First-Time Novelist – Friday, 8:30 p.m.
  • How Not to Kill Yourself over a Deadline – Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Publisher – Saturday, 8:30 p.m.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) sold a mini-mystery, “Who’s That Valentine?”, to Woman’s World magazine, which is in the issue that hits your grocery/drugstore checkout lines on February 6th.

Rebecca Kightlinger (Fiction, W ’14) announces that a new, enhanced edition of Megge of Bury Down: Book One of the Bury Down Chronicles will be released by Rowan Moon on February 1, 2020, in advance of publication of Book Two of the series this summer. The book’s epigraph is from a poem by Annie Finch.

Fiona Lehn (Popular Fiction W’15) has a new speculative novel, Transformation Junkies, published by Wicked Publishing. Click here to read more about the project, and here to view the book trailer.

Joe M. McDermott (Popular Fiction, S’11) sold the short story “Wind Gets Her Own Place” to Analog Science Fiction and Fact.

Matthew Quinn Martin (Popular Fiction, S’10)’s film (co-written with director Doug C. Williams) Being is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray nationwide, exclusively at Wal-Mart (with more big box stores and streaming to follow). The film starts Ben Browder (Farscape, Stargate SG-1), Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Millennium), Ahd Kamel (Collateral), Robert Burke (BlacKkKlansman), Jason Iannacone (The Irishman), and James St. Vincent (The Price). The trailer can be viewed here.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) is pleased to be a featured presenter at AWP in San Antonio. She will read from her forthcoming novel Her Sister’s Tattoo and talk with Donna Hemans, Aimee Liu, and Kristen Young, about themes of families torn apart by history and war. Ellen’s recent New England ARC tour was featured in Shelf Awareness on January 10.

On February 22nd from 10:30 to 12:30, Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will be at the Belfast Free Library teaching Memoir 101 through the Maine Writers and Publishers’ Alliance. The workshop is free to MWPA members and $5 for non-members.

Anne Britting Oleson (Poetry, W’05) will have her fourth novel, Cow Palace, published by B Ink Publishing in March of this year. She is also gratified to have had her fourth poetry chapbook, Magic Somewhere Else, contracted by Clare Songbirds Publishing, to appear at the end of the summer.

Tamie Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) was invited to the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, for a residency in writing. There, nested in the Great Smoky Mountains, she worked on a long essay she is composing about commercial fishing in Bristol Bay, what that experience gives her to understand about gendered violence, and how we might alchemize it into something transformative and new.

Kevin St. Jarre‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) has signed a new book deal for his novel Aliens, Drywall, and a Unicycle with Encircle Publications, with a publication date of November 6, 2020.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story “Where You Linger” appears in the January/February issue of Uncanny Magazine and is available to read free online later this month.

 

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