Tag Archives: Bruce Pratt

Community News & Updates June 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Issue 15 of Stonecoast Review will be on sale during and after June residency. From the gorgeous covers to the angst-filled poems and stories inside, this issue holds a mirror up to the last crazy-Covid year. The SCR team did a phenomenal job putting this together and it is stunning. Copies will be available for purchase on the Stonecoast Review site and at Kelly’s Books-to-Go. All sales proceeds cover the cost of printing future issues. Stonecoast Review will hold an informational meeting during June residency for any students interested in working on issue 16, and the upcoming Editor-in-Chief, Shannon Bowring, is still looking for a poetry editor.

A few Stonecoast graduates have been working on Sandbox Adventures Volume 1, a collection of 12 Plug-and-Play Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition adventures that they’ve launched on Kickstarter. Shane Collins (Fiction, W’15) is the lead writer for the project, Frank Ard (Popular Fiction, S’14) is the lead copy editor, Ana Delcourt (Fiction, S’14), is the website designer and artistic consultant, and Joe Carro (Popular Fiction, S’14) is a contributing writer and playtester. The Kickstarter is underway and goes until June 24th.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Shannon Bowring (Fiction, 4th semester) was honored and thrilled to have her unpublished story “Romance,” from her collection-in-progress, chosen as a Finalist in this year’s MWPA Maine Literary Awards, alongside Stonecoast alum and category winner Morgan Talty. Shannon is also excited (and surprised) to have had work accepted in upcoming issues of Slush Pile Magazine and Raleigh Review.

ALUMS  

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) is a finalist for the Aurora Award for Best Related Work for his work as the audio producer of the fantasy fiction podcast PodCastle, alongside co-editors C.L. Clark and Jen R. Albert, assistant editor/host Setsu Uzumé, and all of PodCastle’s fabulous associate editors. Peter also narrated R.K. Duncan’s story “Hassan the Executioner Walks Out of Jawasar for the Last Time” for the May 20 issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies; you can listen to it here.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is pleased to announce that she accepted the Silver Hammer Award at the Bram Stoker Awards on Saturday, May 22: “The Horror Writers Association (HWA) periodically gives the Silver Hammer Award to an HWA volunteer who has done a truly massive amount of work for the organization, often unsung and behind the scenes.” Also at StokerCon, Carina shared her story “Twice in the Telling” as one of the author readings. This reimagining of a murder ballad can be found in the recently released anthology Upon a Twice Time now available from Air and Nothingness Press. In other news, Carina is busy at work reading solicited stories for the upcoming anthology Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas, scheduled for release by Hex Publishers in October 2021. As one of the editors of this project, she is excited to share a dynamite line-up of authors in a table of contents that defies genre stereotypes. In an effort to broaden the scope of diversity in this ground-breaking anthology, Hex Publishers will be holding an open submission window from June 21 to June 27, 2021. Bissett is seeking short fiction set exclusively in South America and poetry situated in the landscapes of the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America.

Jennifer Marie Brissett is happy to announce that Destroyer of Light is now available for pre-order (to be published on October 12th).

J Brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) review of Melissa Febos’ audiobook Girlhood was just published by Audiofile Magazine. J shared the original (rejected) draft of their review with fellow Stonecoast summer 2019 graduates during a recent Hydra zoom reunion; for a copy of the far more interesting, rejected review, contact J at jbrookewrites.com. Their review of Useless Miracle by Barry Schechter was published earlier in the month without incident.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) is honoured to be a finalist in two categories for the Aurora Awards, Canada’s annual awards for science fiction and fantasy. Her short story “The Bone-Stag Walks,” originally published in Lightspeed, is a finalist for Best Short Story. The ephemera reading series—the monthly reading series she co-chairs—is a finalist in Best Fan Related. 

Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) is thrilled to announce that the fourth installment of her mosaic novel Stories of Driesch, “We Girls,” was released in May. The first three chapters of the novel are also available as ebooks and online. During the course of 2021 twelve original stories in this world will be made available to read on the Vernacular Books website or to purchase as standalone ebooks. At the end of the year, the pieces will be published as a mosaic novel Stories of Driesch (ebook & print) by Vernacular Books. Julie is also at work with her co-editor Ellen Meeropol on the charity anthology Dreams for a Broken World (Reckoning Press, 2022), an invite-only anthology of the real and the fantastical to raise money for the Rosenberg Fund for Children. 

  • “Do Not Fragment: Stories of Driesch 3” — Read online: Vernacular Books website. Purchase “Do Not Fragment” eBook: Amazon

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.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) loves the spring. Her essay “Covens” came out in About Place Journal, Geographies of Justice issue. Her essay “Caithness Aurora” is forthcoming in June in Atticus Review. Her essay “Black Magic Marker” was longlisted for the CRAFT Literary Journal nonfiction prize. Her essay “Butterfly” was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award.

Gail Hovey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) memoir She Said God Blessed Us was recently reviewed by WATER—Women’s Alliance for Theology Ethics and Ritual. She is in good company. Scroll down to review number four. 

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) is thrilled and mildly terrified to announce a free public reading of her first play, Gridlock, on June 11. The opening scenes were workshopped with Tom Coash and Jeni Mahoney during the Stonecoast winter residency. Sponsored by Silverthorne Theater and LAVA, the reading will be both in person (gasp!) in Greenfield, MA, and live-streamed. Tickets and info here.

Tarver Nova‘s (Popular Fiction, S’11) short story “The Oracle and the Heist” was published in The J.J. Outré Review. He also has a short story forthcoming in Kaleidotrope.

Jenny O’Connell‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) recent story on the fierce females who paddle Maine rivers is out in Maine Magazine. This piece—which spanned many weekends and river miles—was a heart project for Jenny, a river guide herself and a passionate advocate for better representation of women in outdoor media. This September, Jenny is putting her long-time dream of merging her writing and outdoor guiding careers into action: together with Maine Guide Chloë Rowse, she’s guiding a 7-day backpacking and writing adventure through Maine’s rugged 100 Mile Wilderness. Jenny is also thrilled to be teaching a character intensive at Salt Institute of Documentary Studies at MECA in early June. Limited space is available in both—Stonecoast writers enthusiastically welcome!

Suri Parmar‘s (Popular Fiction, W’17) short fiction piece “The Changeling” appears in Issue 10 of the literary magazine The Spectacle. She conceptualized the story as a modern-day interpretation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) has short story “Om Land Security” in in the new edition of Clackamas Literary Review. He has a short humor piece forthcoming in Portland Magazine.

Two memoir poems by J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes (Poetry, W’11) will appear in the fall issue of Innisfree: “Herbie Mann at the Village Gate” and “Portrait, 1938.”

R. M. Romero‘s (Popular Fiction, S’15) magical realism novel in verse, The Ghosts of Rose Hill, will be published by Peachtree Teen in May 2022. 

Two more flash fictions for sid sibo (aka sidney woods, Fiction, W’19): “Permeable” and “Blameless” will be published in the July issue of Orca Literary Journal. Thanx to Suzanne Strempek Shea for introducing the compact story form that helps a literary self survive general distractedness.

Linda K Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09) is pleased to announce that her poem “The Second Worse Thing” won First Place in the Springfed Art Poetry Competition, judged by Kathleen McGookey. 

Starting on July 5th, Stonecoast alum and Tin House author (Night of the Living Rez, 2022) Morgan Talty (Fiction, W’19) will be teaching an online six-week introductory course to fiction through Writing Workshops DallasFor those interested, please find more information here. Morgan’s short story “The Blessing Tobacco,” which originally appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of TriQuarterly Magazine, was selected as the Winner of The Maine Literary Awards Short Fiction Contest. Read the story here.

Christopher Varlack (Creative Nonfiction/Poetry, S’10) received the 2021 Cultural Ally Award—“given to staff or faculty members for their support of and advocacy for providing a welcoming and inclusive environment in which to learn, live, and grow”—from Arcadia University. Christopher just completed his first year at Arcadia as a tenure-track assistant professor of English. Students said, “Dr. Varlack consistently encourages cultural, mental, and emotional betterment in students and faculty. His comprehensive knowledge of Black literature, literary history, and creative writing is extremely refreshing and creates an environment in class that is compelling and inspiring.”

Adrienne S. Wallner (Poetry, W’09) will be presenting stories and photos from her hiking adventures at Isle Royale National Park on June 9 at The Snowflake Arena in Land O Lakes, WI, hosted by the Land O Lakes Fish and Game Club. On June 16, Adrienne will be giving a poetry reading and book signing of her debut collection To the 4 a.m. Light at Mind Chimes Bookshop in Three Lakes, WI. Signed copies of To the 4 a.m. Light can also be ordered through Adrienne’s website. Adrienne also published a guest post on May 21 for Typewriter Tarot’s Patreon titled “Oracle Decks: A Faery Reading in the Woods” about using oracle cards to find creative clarity and insight about her writing projects. 

FACULTY 

Faith Adiele’s (Creative Nonfiction) poignant review of the audio memory archive for Black lives lost, 1-800 Happy Birthday, was published at hyperallergic.comA Joyous, Sorrowful Archive of Birthday Messages for Lives Lost to Police.  She also contributed a letter written to Biracial/Multiracial/Mixed Black girls to the recently published Dear Black Girl: Letters from Your Sisters on Stepping Into Your Power. She read her letter on Mother’s Day Weekend at a virtual event hosted by Bel Canto Books on May 8th alongside editor Tamara Winfrey-Harris, who talked about the Letters to Black Girls Project and the complicated relationship between mothers and daughters. Faith also talks bandit territory on an episode of the new travel podcast There She Goes! Travel Stories Told by the Women Who Wrote Them and is featured in a brief bonus Q & A as well. The podcast is co-hosted by the series editor of The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Lavinia Spaulding, and Kelly Chappie.

If you enjoy audiobooks, faculty member Tobias S. Buckell’s (Popular Fiction) latest novel A Stranger in the Citadel launched May 27th as an Audible Original. You can download it for free if you have an Audible subscription, without even using a credit! In Tobias’s new novel, “when a librarian arrives in Ninetha, an actual seeker and master of forbidden written knowledge, his presence unravels dark secrets at the heart of Lilith’s family’s rule over the city.”

Breena Clarke (Fiction) announces the publication of Chicken Soup for the Soul I’m Speaking Now: Black Women Share Their Truth in 101 Stories of Love, Courage and Hope. This anthology, which contains 101 compelling, honest stories and a dozen poems from over 100 Black women, is co-authored by Breena and published on June 1, 2021. 

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction) wrote his latest feature for The New York TimesShould Nurses Take a 30% Pay Cut When Their Patient Turns 23? He’s also signed to a two-book YA deal with Macmillan. Doomed: The Tragic Case of Sacco & Vanzetti will be released in Spring 2022; Serpico: An Authorized Biography of an Honest Cop is slated for Spring 2023.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) new novel Hotel Cuba was sold in a pre-empt to Harper Perennial, for publication in 2023. It’s the story of two sheltered Russian Jewish refugee sisters who find themselves trapped in hedonistic Prohibition-era 1920s Havana while trying to emigrate to America.  

Elizabeth Hand’s (Popular Fiction, Fiction) short story “The Owl Count” was a finalist for the American Society of Magazine Editors Award for fiction. Recent reviews include Billie Eilish, by Billie Eilish, for The Washington Post. Elizabeth recently spoke at the Writer’s Hotel Conference on creating memorable characters from the opening paragraph.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) won the Bram Stoker Award for Excellence in a Graphic Novel for Mary Shelley Presents Tales of the Supernatural. Debbie Daughetee, editor and publisher of the graphic novel, is a Popular Fiction alumna from the Class of 2006.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) has Screenplay News: Variety has just announced that I’ll Show You Mine, a feature film script that Elizabeth co-wrote, is forthcoming as a Duplass Brothers Production film. The feature script was co-written by Elizabeth, bestselling author David Shields, and screenwriter Tiffany Louquet. The full film was shot in LA in May and is Executive Produced by Jay and Mark Duplass (Room 104) and by Lacey Leavitt (Outside In) & co; directed by Megan Griffiths (Lucky Them, Eden) and starring Poorna Jagannathan (Never Have I Ever, The Night Of, Big Little Lies) and Casey Thomas Brown (The Kominsky Method, Justified, Shameless). ICM is handling sales. The film is in post-production; release details TBA. Variety notes, “The dramedy, a Duplass Brothers Production, centers on Priya Sura, an author who has made a career of examining her own trauma, as she sits down to interview her nephew Nic for a new book about his history as a model who challenged gender norms and embraced his pansexuality in a very public forum. Their ensuing conversation, which takes place over the course of one intense weekend, forces each of them to reveal much more than expected and confront some of their most deeply hidden secrets.” Director Megan Griffiths said, “We started with a fantastic script, and every member of our team contributed to creating an environment that was conducive to vulnerability and risky, revealing performances.” Producer Mark Duplass added, “‘Some projects check all the boxes. This is one of them.’” See more details in the Variety announcement, and the film announcement also drew coverage overseas in The India Times.

Casey Thomas Brown and Poorna Jagannathan star in I’ll Show You Mine, an upcoming Duplass Brothers Productions feature film co-written by Elizabeth

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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 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 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 January 2020

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

News from Stonecoast
Join the Stonecoast MFA community for a week of inspiring readings and discussions with Stonecoast’s award-winning faculty and guest writers, January 10-13th and 15-18th at the historic Harraseeket Inn in downtown Freeport, Maine.

The weeklong series includes flash faculty and guest readings, a conversation on the possibilities and perils of adapting one’s work for the stage, and a discussion of the inaugural WISE common text. The residency concludes with the Winter 2020 graduation ceremony.

A detailed schedule of the week’s events and readers can be found here.

CURRENT STUDENTS

In November, Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction) was invited to Ottawa, Canada, to give a book talk on the occasion of the International Memorial Day for Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands. It was in connection with the recent publication of her translation from French to English of the novel For the Love of the Father by French-Tunisian-Jewish writer Chochana Boukhobza. Nina is also happy to share that her essay “Ink Stains and Blood Stains: The Spring of My Becoming” has been accepted for publication in the forthcoming Hippocampus anthology tentatively titled “INK” due out in 2020.

FACULTY

Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) play Raghead will be produced in North Hollywood by Actors Workout Studio, as part of their terrific TABOO Festival January 10 – February 8, 2020.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana Is Here is now available as an audio book!

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) sold a stand-alone psychological thriller, Baby Go Bang, to Mulholland Books/Little, Brown. Her novel Generation Loss has been optioned by British production company Fremantle.

Cara Hoffman‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) children’s novel Bernard Pepperlin was a Kirkus Best Book of 2019 and Audiofile’s Best Audio Book of the Year.

Broadway icon Andrea McArdle (the original Annie) will star in a new 2020 production of Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera. The production is being fully produced by longstanding Equity theater TheaterZone and is opening on February 6, 2020; it was featured in two recent articles in Broadway World. Further productions and a possible tour are in the works for 2020/2021; see the website for updates.

ALUMS

Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) film short adaptation of her memoir The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating heads next to the Wild & Scenic Film Festival (CA), Victoria Film Festival (BC), and Kinofilm 16th Manchester International Short Film Fest (UK). The film also received a Jury’s Choice Award from the Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival, which tours throughout 2020.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is a finalist for the NESFA Short Story Contest. The story she submitted was one of the first pieces workshopped at Stonecoast with David Anthony Durham. The winners will be announced at BOSKONE 57 in February.

Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) has had her essay “Alibi Bar, 1968” published in Atticus Review‘s “Super Unknown. Stories About Songs” series. Two of her poems have appeared in The Comstock Review, one in the Spring/Summer issue and one in the Fall/Winter. She has been awarded a writing residency in May at NES in Skagastrond, Iceland, to work on her current project—a literary journey across the North Atlantic. From there, she will go on to the Hebrides. She and Elizabeth Garber (Creative Nonfiction, ‘10) were on a panel at the WORD Conference in Blue Hill, Maine, with Jaed Coffin discussing the ethics of memoir.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) piece “Flyover Country” can be found in the January/February issue of InterzoneFirst lines: “Lovers are like flash floods, car collisions, aneurysms: always a possibility but never exactly expected. A small-plane pilot for AeroFix Corp, Sam arrived in my bed via a tray of purple pansies and a convoy of trucks intent on invading the Verona Municipal Airport.” Richard Wagner created the amazing illustration. This will be Julie’s 7th story with Interzone and her 8th with TTA Press.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) was thrilled to see her essay “Rose” up on Diagram this past year. She wishes all Stonecoasters the very best for 2020.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S17) has an essay in the January-February issue of Good Old Boat, available at newsstands now.

Mike Langworthy (Creative Nonfiction, W’11) is co-writing dialogue and lyrics for Take The High Road, a musical produced in Denver during 2020. The show will combine repurposed melodies from musical theater and popular music with an original story of a real estate developer who locks horns with, and falls for, a community activist fighting his attempts to build a resort in her idyllic mountain town. The show is being produced by Magic Moments, a company that for over thirty-five years has created large-cast, high-quality musical productions that give performers with a broad range of special needs, both physical and developmental, opportunities to work alongside seasoned professionals. Rehearsals begin in January for performances in late March 2020.

Fiona Lehn (Popular Fiction W’15) has a new speculative novella, Lift-Off, published by Devine Destinies. Click here to read more about the project and here to view the book trailer.

Kristin Leonard‘s (Fiction, S’18) poetry was published in Maine’s Best Emerging Poets 2019 anthology. Her short story, “Jason’s Daddy,” was published in The Showbear Family Circus.

The Thomas Memorial Library in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, will host Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) on January 11th from 1:00-3:00 p.m. for Writing the Stories of Your Life, a free workshop on writing memoir. Catharine will then offer a Six-Week Series for Women at the Good Medicine Collective from January 13th to February 17th; Writing to Heal will incorporate small group support, instruction and practice for using writing as a way to move through loss. On January 26th from 9:00 a.m. to noon, Catharine will join with Deb Cook to offer Winter’s Deep Peace Practice: Yoga Nidra and Writing, a morning of deep rest and integration. Participants will move from Yoga Nidra into a quiet hour of meditative journaling supported by prompts and guidance.

Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’14) is pleased to share that her long-form essay, “Plume: An Investigation,” will be published in the January 2020 issue of True Story. The essay was started during her time at Stonecoast and has been modified from her Stonecoast thesis.

Jenny O’Connell’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) flash nonfiction piece “How to Sleep in an Airport,” published last spring in Hippocampus, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize! This November, she spoke about positive risk-taking and her 2014 solo trek across Finland to a packed Camden Opera House at Midcoast Pecha Kucha night. You can watch her speech here.

Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) has poetry in or forthcoming from The Cafe Review, Coal City Review, and Connecticut River Review and anthologies from Main Street Rag and Flying Ketchup Press. On January 25, Bruce will be offering a seminar entitled “Creating Your Novel in Ninety Minutes” at the Blue Hill Library; this is open to the public but limited to twelve participants. Contact Hannah Cyrus at the library for more information. Bruce will also be teaching a seminar for Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance at the Cobscook Community Learning Center in Trescott on February 29 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on learning to inhabit your fictional characters. Contact Hannah Perry at MWPA for details.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W‘14) doesn’t have much on the writing front, but just completed a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership and is now certifiable (exactly) as a school principal. He was also recently accepted into the Harvard Principal’s Center for a Certificate in School Management and Leadership. He has also, also, been accepted to a residency at the University of Washington’s Olympic Natural Resources Center this April. While he’s delighted, it all sounds way fancier than it is, he promises.

Patricia Smith, former faculty member and member of the Stonecoast 2008 class in poetry, has been named a Distinguished Professor for the City University of New York, the highest rank in the state’s university system.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story “Where You Linger” will appear in the January/February issue of Uncanny Magazine.

Morgan Talty‘s (Fiction, W ’19) short story “The Blessing Tobacco” will be published this January in TriQuarterly. The story will also be excerpted in Literary Hub: The Best of the Literary Internet. 

Darlene Taylor (Fiction, W’17) received an award for a fellowship grant as an individual artist in literary arts from the DC Commission on Arts and the Humanities. She is completing research and writing that expands her short story “Piper’s March” into a novel (“Piper’s March” was published in Kweli Journal in 2018). In other news, Darlene will moderate a panel during the 2020 AWP Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The panel also features Breena Clarke of Stonecoast and authors Rion Amilcar Scott, Jacinda Townsend, and Crystal Wilkerson. The authors will discuss how fiction writers use historical imagination to create characters from little-known histories. “They Must Have Felt: Imagining Emotional Landscape and Place” is scheduled for Friday, March 6, 2020, from 12:10-1:25 p.m. in Room 205, Henry B. González Convention Center, Meeting Room Level.

Lisa C. Taylor (Poetry, S’04) was honored to be a part of a holiday reading in Orleans, MA, on December 27th with Tom Daley, Christine Jones, and J. Barrett Wolf, music by Jordan Renzi, sponsored by Voices of Poetry. Lisa has officially named her workshop offerings Whitewater Writing. She will offer an all-day writing retreat with a catered lunch on January 4th in Connecticut—snow date: January 11. This retreat is nearly full but contact Lisa if you are interested. Lisa is a fiction editor and interviewer for Wordpeace, an online magazine created by Lori Desrosier (the founder of Naugatuck Review). In the upcoming issue, Lisa interviewed Maida McKenna, founder of Word Scientists, a literacy organization in Nepal; and Kevin Brodie, an award-winning playwright who is currently working on a play about American Indian Schools directly related to time spent on a Shoshone reservation with his grandfather. This issue should be out in late February or early March. Lisa also writes book reviews; her latest review was on Look Look Look by Calista Buchen (Black Lawrence Press) and appeared in the Mom Egg Review in December. Western Stonecoasters: Lisa and her husband Russ will be moving to Colorado (near Durango) in late summer 2020. She would love to organize some readings and make contact with writers who live in that area. Finally, Lisa will be at AWP in San Antonio March 4-8 and would also like to meet up with Stonecoasters.

Melanie Viets (Creative Nonfiction, W’17) is pleased to share some of her efforts guest editing “Root Mapping” at The Learned Pig. Published features include new work from Rick Bass (Faculty: Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Writing for Social Change) and in January, a new essay by Catharine Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17). Submissions are welcome as the journal series continues in 2020.

 

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Community News & Updates September 2019

FACULTY

The podcast of Tom Coash’s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) play Raghead has been added to the American Playbook Series. Raghead will also be produced in September at the Short & Sweet Festival in Auckland, New Zealand, and the Write About Now Festival in London, UK.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) writes about the intersection of race, politics, and sports for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. His latest piece was an August feature story for ESPN’s The UndefeatedToni Harris Made History by Getting a Football Scholarship. Now She Needs to Make Tackles. His YA book, War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight Between Hitler and America, was released by Macmillan’s Children’s Group in June 2019.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) will be reading from his novel Nirvana Is Here at KGB on 85 E. 4th St. in New York on Sunday, September 8 at 7:00 p.m. He’ll also be signing books at the Brooklyn Book Festival, Sunday September 22 at his publisher’s booth in the afternoon. Also, a new mini-documentary (two and a half minutes) about Aaron and the novel directed by Ender Emre is now available online here. Check out Aaron’s Nirvana events in October (including appearances at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, The Fall for the Book festival at George Mason University, the Detroit Public Library, and the National Press Club…) here.

Four-Sided, the short film based on Elizabeth Searle‘s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) novel, is now an Official Selection at two more festivals this fall: Chi-Town Multicultural Film Festival in Chicago and Reel Q: Pittsburgh LGBTQ+ Film Festival! First, the film will have its USA debut at Massachusetts Independent Film Festival. For updates see www.afoursidedbedfilm.com

ALUMS

Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) received the New England Director’s Award from the academy accredited Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival for her film short The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. She is director and screenwriter for the film, which she adapted from her CNF memoir of the same title (Algonquin Books). The film is also a double finalist for the international Jackson Wild Media Awards in the categories of Audioscape and Education. A slate of 20 festivals spring through fall included summer premiers in Italy, Australia, and Poland, with many upcoming fall screenings including premiers in Canada and Germany. For more information please see wildsnailfilm.org

Lindsey Barlow‘s (Popular Fiction, W’19) debut novel Pivot, the first of the Jack Harper trilogy, received a rave review in Publishers Weekly: “Barlow’s gorgeous writing will easily propel readers through the rest of the series.” You can read the entire review here.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) appeared at Worldcon 77 in Dublin, where he presented a paper, “Mischief in Her Heart: Women’s Empowerment in the Persian Fantastic,” and appeared on the panels “Muslim SFF” and “Using Science in Fantasy Writing.” In addition, Peter narrated Premee Mohamed’s story “Willing” for the August 20 episode of PodCastle. You can listen to it here.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) placed her poem “The Perils of Invisibility” in Nonbinary Review #21 The Works of H .G. Wells (Zoetic Press, June 2019). In other news, her short story “The Gravity of Grace” was a finalist in the first quarter of Writers of the Future, May 2019. This story was one of the first pieces she workshopped at Stonecoast.

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’14) is excited to announce that her debut book, The Bone Cutters, is set for publication on Sunday, September 1st through Eraserhead Press. It’s a bizarro horror novella set in a dysfunctional psychiatric hospital, where you’ll meet a troubled young woman named Dory who encounters a peculiar and brutal group of patients when she’s sent to the wrong counseling group over and over again. Dory’s introduction to this counseling group sets her on the run in an attempt to save her life from The Bone Cutters. Renee’s book is available on Amazon, Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, and at Longfellow Books. More stores to come soon. Two reviews for The Bone Cutters are already out, with more to come—one will soon be on the Cemetery Dance Reviews Blog. Here is what reviewers have to say about The Bone Cutters:

  • “It’s actually refreshing to be able to enjoy a book so much that you were miffed when it was over. As [her] debut novella, it’s a fantastic beginning to what could prove to be a career to watch. I’m giving this a solid 4 out of 5 [stars]…Considering that I’ve never read anything which rated a 5, I think The Bone Cutters is doing just fine.” ~Ginger Nuts of Horror
  • “I immediately fell in love with Dory, the writing style, the story…This is a terribly heart-wrenching story with a bit of a haunted house/ghost vibe where you’re also being chased by a bunch of crazy people who want to devour your bones. I didn’t want to put this book down.” ~Kendall Reviews

Renee is also thrilled to announce that Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine is hosting her book launch event on Thursday, September 5th, at 7:00 p.m. In addition to Renee’s reading and Q&A, there will also be live music to set the mood, performed by local guitarist Shaun Church Reehl. Elizabeth Searle will also be there as Renee’s MC.

September 12-14, Josh Gauthier‘s (Popular Fiction, S’17) 10-minute play “Expedition 3487-B” will be featured as part of the King of Crows play festival held at the St. Lawrence Arts Center in Portland, Maine. The festival is produced by the Crowbait Club, and you can find them on Facebook for more information.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has an essay, “Nice People,” in the summer issue of eMerge magazine.

Kristin Leonard (Fiction, S’18) has been selected to receive the Phi Kappa Phi Love of Learning Award to present at the 2019 Historic Writers of America Conference in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. She will be presenting a revised version of her third-semester presentation, “Discovery Through Multigenre Writing: How to Use Poetry and Playwriting to Develop Characterization, Conflict, & Plot in Fiction.”

Gregory Martin’s (Popular Fiction, W’17) short story “Inside” was recently published in Dark Moon Digest #36.

Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’14) received news from the editors of Narrative Magazine that her personal essay “Plume: An Investigation” was selected as a finalist in this year’s Spring Story Contest. She is currently working on a new collection that explores the complexities and ambiguities of family.

Renée Olander (Poetry, W’05) will read from her new collection, American Dangerous, at the Old Dominion University 42nd Annual Literary Festival in Norfolk, Virginia, Thursday October 10, 4:00 p.m., free and open to the public.  The entire festival schedule is available here.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poem “Dead Bodies and Declaratory Judgments” is forthcoming in Main Street Rag’s anthology Show us Your Papers, “The First Cold Rain Since Spring” will appear in the next Connecticut River Review, and “Lunar Eclipse” will be included in the special “Cosmos” edition of The Poeming Pigeon.

“Visionquest,” a prose poem by J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes (Poetry, W’11), will appear in the fall issue of Cimarron Review.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction S’08) recently judged the nonfiction entries for Tiferet Journal’s annual writing contest and her flash piece “A Grave Duty,” was published in the August issue of Flash Glass, part of Glassworks Magazine. She will be a keynote speaker at NJ Women Who Write’s one-day conference in Madison, NJ, on September 21, and on November 23, Lisa will speak on “Revising the Memoir Manuscript” at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop. A fun piece, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” is out in Chicken Soup: Angels All Around. Lisa’s editing role for Cleaver Magazine has expanded; she’s now handling craft essays on both fiction and nonfiction for their “Writer to Writer” column (pitch/submit here). In late August at the HippoCamp Conference for Creative Nonfiction, Lisa presented “Become a Writer who Reads Like a Writer” and was on a parenting/writing panel; earlier in the month, she led a week-long memoir workshop in New Hampshire for Murphy Writing.

Morgan Talty (Fiction, W’19) was included in Narrative Magazine‘s 30 Below 30 list for 2019. His short story “The Name Means Thunder” will appear in the Fall 2019 issue of The Georgia Review. 

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates June 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Public Events for the Summer 2019 Stonecoast Residency

You are invited to join the Stonecoast MFA community for a week of inspiring readings and discussions with Stonecoast’s award-winning faculty and guest writers, June 24-26 and June 28-July 1, at the historic Harraseeket Inn in downtown Freeport, Maine. See the full list of events HERE.

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) play Veils will be at the Daylesford Theatre in Hamilton, Bermuda, May 30-June 8, 2019.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana Is Here is here! Aaron’s currently on book tour, and so excited to see Stonecoasters at every stop along the way. (Thanks for all the support!) Check out his full tour schedule for June, when he’ll be hitting Seattle; San Francisco; Portland, OR; Washington, DC; the St. John’s Writing Intensive in Annapolis; and of course Portland, ME—where he’ll be teaming up with alum Dave Patterson at Print Bookstore on June 26th at 7:00 p.m. Be there or be square! Nirvana received a rave review from Foreword Reviews, which featured it as their book of the day. In non-Nirvana news, Aaron published a viral memoir essay in Tablet (“Day School Bullies”) as well as a new short story (“Kimono Story”) in The Maine Review.

Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) has two events in June:

  • June 2 at 7:30 p.m. — Amanda will read at A Womb of One’s Own, a literary rally and fundraiser in support of reproduction rights at Spider House Ballroom in Austin, TX.
  • June 15 at 6:30 p.m. — The Center for African American Poetry and Poetics presents Won’t You Celebrate with Me: Poetry and Prose from the Director’s ChairJoin award-winning poets and writers Dawn Lundy Martin (Center for African American Poetry and Poetics Director), Nicole Sealey (Cave Canem Executive Director), Salamishah Tillet (Founding Director at New Arts Justice Initiative at Express Newark), and Mahogany L. Browne (Artistic Director at Urban Word NYC), who will share their work and engage in a discussion moderated by Amanda Johnston (Executive Director at Torch Literary Arts). Presented in partnership with the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh, PA.

The Governor of the State of Iowa appointed Debra Marquart (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) Iowa’s Poet Laureate in May of 2019.  Marquart was interviewed about the honor on Iowa Public Radio on May 23. Debra delivered a paper, “Looking for Dylan,” on the invited panel “Poets & Professors: Poets Talking Back to Bob” at the 2019 World of Bob Dylan Symposium held by Tulsa University’s Institute for Bob Dylan Studies (30 May–2 June 2019). On May 11th, she taught a Creative Jumpstart Workshop at the Elbow Lake Arts Council in Elbow Lake, MN. During the North American Review 50th Anniversary Conference at the University of Northern Iowa, 19-21 April 2019, Debra read her poem “Kablooey is the Sound You’ll Hear” at the Bullets into Bells Anthology Reading. She also participated in an invited panel, “What We Write About When We Write About Environment.” And on April 5th, Debra performed with her performance poetry band, The Bone People, for Coffeehouse Night at Lowe Park, Marion Arts Council, Marion, IA.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) has film news. Four-Sided, a short film based on Elizabeth’s novel and feature film script, premiered May 17th in Cannes, France. Four-Sided screened as an Official Selection at the 2019 That Film Festival-Cannes. This competition—funded by several major film companies and running concurrently with the Cannes Film Festival—screens short films with potential to be Feature Films. Four-Sided was also an official selection at Independent Shorts competition where it won three prizes: Gold Awards as Best Romance and Best Experimental short and a Silver Award as Best LGBT short. It is a Semi-Finalist at the 2019 Shanghai PRIDE film festival. Attached as star and co-producer to the potential feature film, and starring in the short film, is actress and activist in the Transgender community Rain Valdez (Transparent; Lopez; Razor Tongue). Four-Sided was produced by David Ball (producer on over thirty films) and Amy Carpenter Scott/CreatrixFilms as part of their ongoing development of A Four-Sided Bed as a feature film. Elizabeth’s feature script of A Four-Sided Bed has been selected for two full staged readings at the 15th annual ReelHeART Film and Screenplay Festival in Toronto in July, starring Rain Valdez. Elizabeth’s feature script was also selected for a ‘Best Scene’ reading in mid-July at the festival LGBT TORONTO. And the script is an official selection at the Top Indie Films Festival, among eight recent festivals recognizing the script. Visit the new website for both the short film and the feature film project.

ALUMS

The book trailer for Lindsey Barlow’s (Popular Fiction, W’19) first novel, Pivot, is available. Pivot will be published in October of this year.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) narrated Vajra Chandrasekera’s story “When Leopard’s-Bane Came to the Door of Third Heaven” for the May 28th episode of PodCastle. You can listen to it here.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) piece “Flight Aids Minus the Wings and Fuselage” can be found in the web journal Necessary FictionShort, visceral, and experimental, it doubles as an unofficial advisory from the US Department of Internal Disarmament.

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’14) is thrilled to announce that she is now a part of the Crystal Lake Publishing team, working as an editorial intern. She is also excited to announce her book launch event for her debut book The Bone Cutters. This event is scheduled for Thursday, September 5th at 7:00 p.m. at Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine. Not only will Renee do a reading from her horror novella, but there will also be original artwork inspired by her book—art created by Emily Strickland and Jasin Chapman, artists and owner of Leviathan Tattoo in Scarborough, Maine—on display and for sale, as well as on some free giveaways. Live music will help set the mood, performed by the extremely talented local guitarist Shaun Reehl. Stonecoast’s own Elizabeth Searle will also take part in the event as Renee’s MC/Introduction Queen. The release date for Renee’s debut book, The Bone Cutters, a bizarro horror novella published through Eraserhead Press, is September 1, 2019, though pre-orders have begun at Barnes & Noble and on Amazon. And for those interested, you can check out the first book review by Miranda Crites on Kendall Reviews. Here is the synopsis for The Bone Cutters:

Dory wakes up in the padded room of a psychiatric hospital with no recollection of how she wound up there. She soon finds out she’s been Blued-Papered—involuntarily committed. When she is sent to the wrong counseling group, she discovers a whole new world of drug addicts she’d never known existed. When she learns that those grotesque scars they all have are from cutting into their own bodies, it makes her skin itch. Why do they do it?—They get high off bone dust.  They carve down to the bone, then chisel and scrape until they get that free drug. When they realize Dory’s never been “dusted”, she becomes their target. After all, dust from a “Freshie” is the most intense high, and pain free—for the carver.

By the end of that first meeting Dory is running scared, afraid of being “dusted”, though the psych. hospital staff doesn’t believe a word she says.  She’s delusional—at least that’s what they tell her.  They end up sending her to that same counseling group every day, though Dory knows that all those junkie cutters want is what’s inside of her, and they won’t give up until they get what they’re after.

Like Girl Interrupted and “The Yellow Wallpaper,” The Bone Cutters is one woman’s dark and surreal experience with a madness that is not necessarily her own.

Elizabeth Garber (Creative Nonfiction, W’10) placed in the Eric Hoffer Awards, which honor the memory of the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting salient writing, as well as the independent spirit of small publishers. Her memoir Implosion: A Memoir of an Architect’s Daughter has been named a Finalist in the 2019 Eric Hoffer Book Awards.

Cindy Williams Gutiérrez’s (Poetry, W’08) second poetry collection, Inlay with Nacre: The Names of Forgotten Women, was released by Aquarius Press/Willow Books on April 1st. The collection was awarded the 2018 Willow Books Editor’s Choice Poetry Selection and the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship for Writers of Color. Cindy’s new verse play, In the Name of Forgotten Women (based on her new collection), was performed at Wellspring, a ceremonial gathering space in Twisp, WA, to sold-out audiences in Washington’s Methow Valley on May 15th and 16th.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has sold an essay about her first time sailing on their used boat Wrinkle in Time to Good Old Boat, a magazine for hands-on sailboat owners.

Michael L. Joy’s (Popular Fiction, S’13) short story “Nick Break” is available now at Tough Crime.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) created a short video on how he marketed his manuscript without an agent and without book contests. You can watch it here.

Linda Lambert (Creative Nonfiction, W’16) features Aaron Hamburger‘s visit to Seattle’s Third Place Books where he will be talking about his new novel Nirvana Is Here.

Kristin Leonard (Fiction, S’18) has been named Lit Fest’s 2019 Dramatic Writing Fellow for Emerging Writers. She is also presenting her research “First-Person Fictional Storytellers & Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style” at the Pennsylvania College English Association at Bloomsburg University.

Adam Mills (Popular Fiction, W’12) has accepted the position of Visiting Assistant Professor in English at Brevard College in Brevard, NC, started in Fall 2019. Mills’s full position is Coordinator of First-Year Writing and Writing Services and he will also serve as Coordinator of the Common Read. Mills also recently graduated from the University of Kansas with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in English (Spring 2019).

Julia McKenzie Munemo (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) is thrilled to announce the publication of The Book Keeper: A Memoir of Race, Love, and Legacy, available now for pre-order. The book chronicles a time decades after Julia’s father committed suicide, when she learned about his secret career during the pulp fiction boom of the ’60s and ’70s as a writer of interracial pornographic novels. After hiding that stack of old paperbacks from her Zimbabwean husband, their mixed-race children, and herself for years, she realized her obligation to face them if she was ever going to understand her legacy, her country’s treasonous history, and her whiteness.

Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) is a finalist for a 2019 Maine Literary Award (short works, nonfiction) from Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Her debut flash nonfiction piece,“How to Sleep in an Airport,” was published last month in Hippocampus Magazine.

Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’14) is pleased to announce the inclusion of her essay “Things I (Shouldn’t) Have to Tell My Daughters” in the new anthology Feminine Rising: Voices of Power & Invisibility, edited by Andrea Fekete and Lara Lillibridge. The anthology brings together women of all races, nationalities, and sexual orientations to reflect on the unique experience of womanhood. Feminine Rising was released by Cynren Press in May 2019 and is available at Cynren Press, Amazon, and select independent booksellers.

On June 26th, Dave Patterson (Fiction, W’13) and Aaron Hamburger are doing an event together at Print in Portland to celebrate the release of their new novels.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poem “The First Cold Rain Since Spring” will appear in the next issue of The Connecticut River Review, and his short story “Ariel in LOve Summer 1999” has just been published by Valparaiso Fiction Review.

Shannon Ratliff (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) is celebrating her first anniversary as Director of Editorial and Growth at Wide Open Media Group in Austin, TX. She’s used her Stonecoast skills, from analyzing creative work to building educational seminars, to develop a team of 20+ writers and editors, growing readership from 8M to 23M monthly readers.

Morgan Talty’s (Fiction, W’19) short-short story “In a Jar” was published in Narrative Magazine as a Story of the Week.

Christopher Watkins (Poetry, W’08) has accepted the role of Senior Creative Writer for Silicon Valley-based artificial intelligence company DataVisor. The company focuses on the application of advanced AI and machine learning capabilities to the challenges of modern digital fraud and crime. Watkins’ move follows a nearly four-year tenure as Senior Writer and Chief Words Officer for online learning company Udacity.

Faculty member Elizabeth Searle and alumna Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) are pleased that the teen idols anthology they co-edited is a finalist for the 2019 Eric Hoffer Book Award for Short Story/Anthology. Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations that Changed Their Lives was published last year by McFarland & Company. Hoffer Awards honor freethinking writers and independent books of exceptional merit. On May 10-11, several Idol Talk contributors converged in Newburyport, MA for a dance-enhanced reading at the Firehouse Center for the Arts. “Idol Talk: A Magical Memory Tour of Teen Idols” was emceed by writer/actress Marianne Leone. The two-night collaboration featured Exit Dance Company performers as well as readings of work by Stonecoast faculty member Suzanne Strempek Shea and alumnae Lee J. Kahrs, Kate Kastelein, Michelle Soucy, Darlene Taylor and Tamra Wilson. Joining them were New England authors B. A. Shapiro, Mary Granfield, Caitlyn McCarthy, and Mary Sullivan.

Stonecoast “Idol Talkers” (from left): Lee J. Kahrs, Michelle Soucy, Tamra Wilson, Elizabeth Searle, Darlene Taylor, and Suzanne Strempek Shea

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates May 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

One Voice: Stonecoast’s 2nd Annual Open Mic
May 7th, 2019

Celebrate the greater Stonecoast MFA literary community at our second annual One Voice open-mic event, Tuesday, May 7th, 7:00 p.m. at Oxbow Blending and Bottling in Portland’s East End. Sign up here to share a three-minute reading of your original work. (Space is limited, so reserve your spot now!) Free and open to the public. Oxbow’s locally brewed craft beer will be available for purchase during the event, and there are a number of local dining options nearby. Bring your friends! For more info and to RSVP, click here. Contact Stonecoast MFA Community Outreach Coordinator with questions: Jenny O’Connell at jennifer.a.oconnell@maine.edu.

Call for Submissions: Climate Anthology
Deadline: May 31st
Now it is up to the artists. The scientists have warned us. They have been warning us for fifty years. But we have only 12 years to dramatically reduce our current carbon use before we cross the line into unprecedented climate catastrophe. We—Meghan Sterling and Kathleen Sullivan (Poetry, ’06)—are editing an anthology of Maine poets and essayists whose writing will, we hope, wake us, stir our imaginations both for our global future and our way of life here in Maine. We are looking for writing which helps find language for the fear, guilt, and grief of this moment, and, perhaps, for the hope. Published and unpublished work sought. Littoral Press has agreed to publish the book which we hope will be in Fall, 2019. The voices of youth most welcome. Send one essay (max 1,000 words) or up to three poems to: climateanthology@gmail.com Include a short bio. Deadline is May 31st. Kathleen notes that Stonecoast alums are encouraged to submit even if they don’t live in Maine now.

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) play Raghead will be part of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival at the Wild Project NYC, May 9th at 8:00 p.m. His new short play Bubble, Bubble will be part of the fun and fabulous Boston Theater Marathon XXI, Boston, May 19th.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) new novel Nirvana Is Here is being released on May 14th. Readings and events are planned this month in New York, DC, Detroit, Chicago, and Baltimore (and next month in Seattle; San Francisco; Portland, OR; Annapolis; and Portland, ME). Click here for the complete schedule. Be sure to get your copy at your favorite indie bookstore! Aaron’s essay on Kurt Cobain’s gay rights legacy was in The Washington Post. And his piece about “Lessons I Learned in Writing My #MeToo Story” was posted on the Submittable blog.

Elizabeth Hand (Fiction, Popular Fiction) is the subject of a feature podcast on This Is Horror, discussing music, folk horror, the English folk tradition and her award-winning novella, Wylding Hall. Her Cass Neary books were recently named as one of the top ten hipster crime novels at CrimeReads, and also among the top eight queer crime novels featuring women at Autostraddle, the world’s most popular lesbian website.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) has film script news: she won a 2019 Los Angeles Film Award in April for her screenplay A Four-Sided Bed, adapted by Elizabeth from her novel. In the past month, Elizabeth’s recently completed script has also been chosen as one of two feature film scripts to be presented at the 15th ReelHeART International Film Festival in Toronto, which Elizabeth will attend in July. In addition, the script was named an Official Selection at the Script Summit festival in Las Vegas and a Finalist at the Indie Visions Film Festival as well as in the Los Angeles Film & Script Festival. A Four-Sided Bed is being developed as a feature film by two producers, David Ball (producer on over thirty films including the recent Tag; the award-winning 96 Minutes, starring Evan Ross and Britney Snow; and Yellow) and Amy Carpenter Scott/Creatrix Films (Pitstop). More news coming soon on this film development project. In May, in addition to the Idol Talk theater event (see Tamra Wilson note below), Elizabeth has a second theatrical event in May: she will be a featured Storyteller at the fundraising event Stories I Haven’t Yet Told, an Arlington, MA, fundraiser for RIA House, which “supports women who have experience in the commercial sex trade and its associated exploitation, trafficking and prostitution,” on May 29th at the Regent Theater at 7:00 p.m. For updates, including on Idol Talk onstage, see: http://www.elizabethsearle.net

ALUMS

Jillian Abbott (Popular Fiction, S’04) had two op-eds published in The New York Daily News last month: “Sri Lanka and the Burdens of History” mentions her MFA creative thesis, and “CUNY’s Teachers Get Stiffed” talks about the MFA and life trapped as an adjunct.

Elizabeth Beechwood (Popular Fiction, S’14) is pleased to announce that her short story “Yes, Yes, Yes, We Remember” was published in Third Flatiron’s Hidden Histories Anthology. This is the second story she’s had published that’s set in her fictional world of the Vysoké Tatry—the High Tatra Mountains of Slovakia.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is excited to be a guest at StokerCon (May 9-12) where she will speak on the panel “Rise of the Pod(cast) People” about her job as Assistant Editor of PseudoPod. She’s also serving on “Writing to Prompts: Prose, Poetry, and Sources of Inspiration.” On Saturday, she’ll be the game master for four authors playing Bedlam Hall, a macabre Victorian role-playing game (think Downton Abbey for horrible people). Come watch us play! It’s guaranteed to be good times. Starting in May, Karen is also teaching a twelve-week online creative writing class for Western Technical College. She welcomes Stonecoasters who want some online teaching experience to pair up with her as mentees. Viva la Stonecoast!

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) has made a good deal for two-books at auction with Tor. Eleusis, the first of the two books, is a stand-alone sequel to her first novel Elysium (Aqueduct Press, 2014) and is due to be published in Summer 2020.

Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) is attending a two-week residency in Cove Park, Scotland. She will be working on her latest hybrid literary project inspired by cultures in along the North Atlantic Rim.

Penny Guisinger‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) latest piece ran at Solstice this month. “Borne Back Ceaselessly” explores her longtime relationship with the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald through the lens of a thing they shared: alcoholism. (Hint: he was dead at 44. Currently, Penny remains not-dead.)

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S ’11) is pleased to announce that her story “Lost Change” appears on the Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize blog. It is an excerpt from her memoir What Goes by the Name of Love. 

Jeff Kass‘ (Fiction, S’09) upcoming new poetry collection Teacher/Pizza Guy is now available for pre-order from Wayne State University Press’ Made in Michigan Series. According to the press release, the book is “a collection of autobiographical poems from the 2016–17 school year in which Kass worked as a full-time English teacher and a part-time director for a literary arts organization and still had to supplement his income by delivering pizzas a few nights a week. In the collection, Kass is unapologetically political without distracting from the poems themselves but rather adds layers and nuances to the fight for the middle class and for educators as a profession.” David Hecker, President of the AFT Michigan Teacher’s Union, adds, “I never really cared for poetry, but I truly loved Kass’s work. He speaks to all of our insecurities and vulnerabilities, giving a voice to what we want to say but rarely do. Yes, teachers are struggling to get by financially and it’s a shame that education is not being made a higher priority in our society. Thank you, Jeff, for opening the door to this conversation in a creative and enriching way.” Poet Ross Gay says, “What a beautiful and moving and funny and un-heroic and angry and tender and honest book of poems about labor, aging, love, and, as Kass says, finding ‘meaning in every ice patch on the sidewalk.’ This book’s heart is enormous. I love it.” Official release of the collection happens on August 26th. Pre-orders are available here.

Lissa Kiernan‘s (Poetry, S’11) book Glass Needles & Goose Quills: Elementary Lessons in Atomic Properties, Nuclear Families, & Radical Poetics (Haley’s) has been selected as a 2018 Gold Nautilus Award Winner in the Lyric Prose category and a 2018 Gold Independent Book Awards Winner in the Cross-Genre category. In her book, Kiernan juxtaposes nuclear plant industry reports, newspaper clippings, and texts of poetics with her own poems and prose.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) created a short video on his final reading as the Howard County Literary & Poetry Society’s 2018/19 Writer-in-Residence. You can watch it here.

Tom MacDonald (Fiction, W’09) and two other local authors held a panel about their new novels as well as their writing and publishing experiences at the Thayer Public Library in Braintree, MA, on April 27th.

Cristina Perachio (Fiction, S‘14) will have her short story “Hunters” published in the May issue of EPOCH Magazine. She is very pleased to see this story placed in Cornell’s literary magazine as it is one of the stories she originally wrote as part of her Stonecoast application, and it has been workshopped by many fellow Stonecoast students and professors.

Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) will read at The Busy Bee in Cape Elizabeth, ME, on Saturday, May 25th, at 4:00 p.m. as part of the series curated and hosted by Marcia Brown.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) is pleased to share that his essay “More than Brothers,” a look at LGBT characters in Harry Potter (hint: there’s only two, sort of), was accepted for the Academic Track at WorldCon this August in Dublin, Ireland. He has also been awarded a grant from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation to spend the month of July in Rome, Italy.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) will be the keynote speaker at the NJ Women Who Write Conference in Madison, NJ in September, and in August at the Hippocamp19 Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers in Lancaster, PA, she will lead a session on Reading as a Writer and appear on a panel about Writing While Parenting.

Nikki Sambitsky‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’18) essay “Chester Bennington is Dead” was recently selected for publication in The Manifest-Station by founder Jennifer Pastiloff and editor Angela M Giles. The essay uses anaphora as a device to help Nikki deal with the sad and untimely death of Linkin Park’s lead singer, Chester Bennington, to suicide, as well her own clinical depression and suicidal thoughts. Nikki uses unconventional and hybrid forms to help her tackle the deeply difficult and grief-filled issues in her life such as depression, family dysfunction, and her children’s autism. This is the second essay that has been published from her larger essay collection Perseverate, Linger, which has been submitted to PANK and Sarabande Books and is eagerly awaiting a decision. A link to the published essay is forthcoming.

Lisa C. Taylor‘s (Poetry, S’04) 2011 collaborative collection, The Other Side of Longing (with Irish writer Geraldine Mills), was adopted by an Irish Literature class at University of Connecticut for the 2019 spring semester. Both Lisa and Geraldine had a chance to visit the class on April 11th and discuss their summer together in Ireland in 2009. Lisa will be teaching an all-day fiction class for the School of the West in Mancos, Colorado (right near Mesa Verde National Park), on June 15th. Anyone can sign up via this link. Also, Lisa has been chosen as a reader for the Connecticut Author’s Trail; she will be reading at Chaplin Library in Chaplin, CT, on August 12th at 7 p.m.

Faculty member Elizabeth Searle and alumna Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) are heading up a special reading, Idol Talk: A Magical Memory Tour of Teen Idols, on May 10th and 11th at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, Newburyport, MA. Show time is 8:00 p.m. both nights. The reading, featuring dance numbers and readings from Idol Talk, a teen idols anthology that Searle and Wilson co-edited for McFarland Publishing in 2018. Actress Marianne Leone will emcee the fundraiser for Exit Dance Company and Firehouse PAC. Among the Stonecoasters participating are faculty member Suzanne Strempek Shea and the works of several alumnae including Lee J. Kahrs, Kate Kastelein, Michelle Soucy, and Darlene Taylor.

 

 

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