Tag Archives: Becky Thompson

Community News & Updates July 2021

ALUMS 

Darcie Abbene (Fiction, S’21) was a finalist for the Vermont Writer’s Prize for her essay “Reverse-os.” Darcie has spent the last few months writing book reviews for Kirkus Reviews, Necessary Fiction, and Split Rock Review. Her braided essay “Brave” is forthcoming in the summer issue of Whitefish Review.

Jill Abbott (Popular Fiction, S’04) will be presenting at the international MIX 2021 Amplified Publishing digital/creative writing conference in the UK in early July. Two of her students at York College, CUNY were awarded full scholarships from Bath Spa University to attend this virtual conference and present their work in Jill’s session. Here is the Black Lives Matter Spoken Word Poem video they will be sharing.

Kirkus Reviews provided a laudatory review of L.C. Barlow‘s (Popular Fiction, W’19) third novel of her Jack Harper Trilogy, PeakPeak will be published this October 2021.

Carina Bissett’s (Popular Fiction, S’18) poem “Radiant” can be found in Nonbinary Review #24 Industrial Revolution, published by Zoetic Press. This piece is based on her research of the Radium Girls. She is also pleased that her story “A Seed Planted” has been reprinted in The Society of Misfit Stories, published by Bards & Sages. 

J Brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) poem “There Are No Baked Potato Chips in Palm Beach” was published in the 2021 Volume 14 of DASH Literary Journal which exists in superb lovely print and not otherwise. J wrote the poem in a class taught by Billy Collins in 2015, after which Collins urged e “put a stamp on it and send it out.” After zero outside interest in the poem, J added the fourth stanza during their 2019 semester at Stonecoast at the urging of thesis advisor Debra Marquart. The subject of the poem, J’s mother, died exactly one year ago, and it’s nice that both the poem and the parent can now rest in peace. 

Lauren M. Davis‘ (Poetry, S’15) poems “Dry Tree,” “Sleeping Through the Earthquake,” “Watching Them Swim,” and “What We Ourselves Have Figured Out” will be published in Apofenie Magazine, Volume 11: The Divine.

Jaq Evans‘s (Popular Fiction, S’20) short story “Flood Tide” will feature in the Malarkey Books anthology It Came from the Swamps, to be published in winter of 2021.

Penny Guisinger (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) has just been added to the stable of writers at the literary agency of Darhansoff and Verrill. Her second memoir is nearing completion, and she has begun conversations with her agent about a third book which will chronicle the brutal murder of her great-great-grandmother and explore epigenetics and a legacy of family trauma.  

Natalie Harris-Spencer (Fiction, S’21) is taking it as a serendipitous act of the universe that the day after she graduated, after months of publishing silence, she was longlisted for Pulp Literature‘s 2021 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize and had another “rather disturbing” story that she workshopped last residency accepted in The Dark City Crime & Mystery Magazine. Details to follow.

Clifford Royal Johns’ (Popular Fiction, W’18) new novel from Vernacular Books, Velocity Blues, is now available in paperback or e-book from your favorite bookstore (or Amazon). The newly released novel was written at Stonecoast and was Cliff’s thesis work. Here’s what a few people have said about it:

  • Elizabeth Hand said, “A thrilling amalgam of neo-noir and cyberpunk, Cliff Johns’s hyper-adrenalized new novel catapults readers into a near-future at once recognizable and startlingly strange. I read Velocity Blues in one sitting, and I suspect others will, too. Great stuff.”
  • David Anthony Durham said, “Velocity Blues is a frenetic, futuristic gangster caper on fast-forward, with a premise you’ll wish you thought of, and a protagonist you’ll love (and want to kick on occasion). Characterization, action, and snappy lingo propel this, but there’s also a sneaky critique of society, of youth and adulthood, exploitation and rebellion woven through the shenanigans. Enjoy the ride. And try to keep up.”
  • Publishers Weekly said, “Johns has a keen eye for worldbuilding and captures Zip’s thought processes in frenetic, almost stream-of-conscious prose that perfectly mirrors his mental state. Readers are in for a ripping, deceptively philosophical ride.”
  • Kirkus Reviews said, “A gritty thriller that puts the downside of superpowers into bracingly relatable terms.”

Tom MacDonald’s (Fiction, W’09) short story “Nashua River Floater” was named a finalist in the 2021 Shamus Awards.

Alison McMahan (Popular Fiction, W’10) will teach a class on Time and Telling via Zoom on August 21, 2021, at 2:00-4:00 p.m. for the NSU Alvin Sherman Library in South Florida. Free. 

J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes’s (Poetry, W ‘11) new poetry collection, Was That You Boss, has just been released by Wipf and Stock Publishing. The book consists of psalm-poems focusing on the mysteries of daily living in relation to an equally mysterious “Boss.” The author’s experience as a part-time farmer and amateur naturalist come into play, as does his indebtedness to Maurice Manning’s superb poetry collection, Bucolics.

Lisa C. Taylor‘s (Poetry, S’04) poem “Swept Clean in the Airiness of Death” will be published in the September edition of Naugatuck Review. Her reviews of Woman Drinking Absinthe by Katherine E. YoungAsh by Gloria Mindock, and The Pact by Jennifer Militello have been recently published in Mom Egg Review.

Rhiannon J. Taylor’s (Popular Fiction, S’19, writing as R. J. Howell) flash fiction “Parasites” was published in issue 6 of Frozen Wavelets.

Stonecoast recent alum Becky Thompson (Poetry, W’21) is in Greece this summer working with asylum-seeking activists, including Maryam Janikhuskh whose 12-year-old, Arezu Kabuli, will be joining Becky in Boston so Arezu can attend the International School of Boston (8th-12th grade). Arezu is one of the people Becky dedicated her forthcoming poetry collection to—and so a circle continues. Becky is excited about this new chapter in her life as Arezu is currently learning French to add to Farsi, Greek, Turkish and English, for the International School. Becky eagerly awaits the publication of To Speak in Salt (Ex Ophidia Press, Fall 2021) and forthcoming poems in AGNISoul Salon: A Journal of Spiritual WritingPensive: A Global Journal of Spirituality and the ArtsFeminists Talk Whiteness, and Visions-International: A World Journal of Illustrated Poetry.  

Becky Thompson and Arezu Kabuli in Greece making plans for Arezu’s study at the International School in Boston. 

Gina Troisi (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) was recently interviewed on Joe Public Podcast about her debut memoir, The Angle of Flickering Light, which was released in April. She was also interviewed by fellow author Suanne Schafer.

FACULTY

Faith Adiele (Creative Nonfiction) interprets suppressed memory through a Nigerian, specifically Igbo, philosophy in her recently-published piece entitled “Irôko” in Speculative Nonfiction, Issue #5: Hold, edited by Robin Hemley & Leila Philip.  Her memoir, Meeting Faith: The Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun, was featured in June’s travel book club meeting of The Nomadic Network on June 2, and Faith participated in the online live discussion with a global audience of readers. Faith also appeared on KQED Morning Edition, along with Washington Post reporter Natalie Compton and travel journalist Jeannette Ceja, hosted by Marisa Lagos, in “What to Consider if You’re Ready to Travel This Summer” to talk about the upcoming post-lockdown vacation boom and changes in the ways people may travel in this global COVID Era.  Finally, she was featured in Tanya Ward Goodman’s “With Airline Altercations on the Rise, A Guide to Best Practices for Bystanders,” published in The Washington Post

Annie Deppe (Stonecoast in Ireland) is delighted to announce the publication of her third book of poems, Night Collage, from Arlen House. It can be purchased from Book Depository or directly from the author (anniedeppe@hotmail.com). It won’t be available in the U.S. until autumn, when Syracuse University Press will distribute it.

Listen to a sixteen-minute podcast from the “On Being Project” about Martín Espada’s (Poetry) poem “After the Goose That Rose Like the God of Geese.” It’s a reading with reflections by Pádraig Ó Tuama.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) sold his short story “I Know Where I’m Going” (which he read an excerpt from at the June residency) to Image Journal, which will publish it next year. 

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera is now available as a Concert Film on StreamingMusicals.com as a Benefit for The Actor’s Fund. Filmed live at 54Below in New York City and recorded as a CD for Broadway Records with an all-Star Broadway cast (Tony Award nominees Lauren Warsham and Nancy Opel), the show features highlights from Michael Teoli’s and Eliabeth’s widely produced show. The CD of this concert was reviewed as “stunningly awesome.” 

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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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