Tag Archives: Debra Marquart

Community News & Updates April 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Stone House Readers’ Series is a weekly regular series for alumni, faculty, staff, and current students to share their writing live on Facebook. This is a program run by Troy Myers and Amanda Pleau, class of 2015, to give members of our community a casual and consistent opportunity to connect. Readers are scheduled in advance and are asked to bring 15 minutes of material. Here is the tentative lineup this month: 

  • April 4th: Suri Parmar (Popular Fiction), Bill Stauffer (Fiction), Ellie O’Leary (Poetry)
  • April 11th: Vanesa Pacheco (Poetry) and Meredith MacEachern (Fiction)
  • April 18th: Morgan Talty (Fiction) and Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction)
  • April 25th: Troy A. Myers (Poetry) and John Christopher Nelson (Fiction)

We have space for one more person to join the 11th, 18th and 25th of April, and are currently scheduling into May.

Stonecoast Review is raising money through a Givecampus campaign to fund their publishing costs and keep the journal alive and free-to-submit.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Shannon Bowring‘s (Fiction, Third Semester) short story “If It Fits, Take It” has been accepted for the third volume of Archipelago, Volume 3: The Allegory Ridge Fiction Anthology, which will be published this summer.

FACULTY

Tom Coash (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts, Writing for Social Change) will be teaching his popular workshop “From Blank Page To Stage,” focusing on writing and producing short plays, in person at the beautiful Pyramid Lake Fall Writerfest, September 12-16, 2021, organized by Stonecoast alumna Ellie O’Leary. Registration open now. Very reasonable price! Come join us!

Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) new novel Landslide (Knopf) was recently named a New York Times Editor’s Choice and a Best Book/Most Anticipated Book by Good Morning AmericaThe New York Post, Medium, Bustle, Biblio Lifestyle, and others. Her essay on boy silence recently appeared in LitHub. Her interview on the intersection of feminism and motherhood was published in The Woolfer. And her recent essay celebrating books with vibrant boy culture is here.  

Annie Deppe (Stonecoast in Ireland) has two poems in the March 30th issue of On the Seawall. Her third book of poems, Night Collage, is due out this spring from Arlen House in Ireland.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) was a weeklong (virtual) visiting writer at the University of Nevada Reno MFA Program. Thanks to Stonecoast faculty David Anthony Durham for the invite and Stonecoast faculty Robert Redick for moderating a Q&A in his fiction workshop!

Debra Marquart’s (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) essay collection The Night We Landed on the Moon: Essays Between Exile & Belonging will be published by NDSU Press in July of 2021. Debra has published several essays in early 2021, including “The Death of a Lost Dog” (The Iowan, March 2021); “At 79, My Mother Decides to Plant Trees” (Fourth Genre, 2021); “On the Ephemerality of Things: Thoughts on the Demise of a Literary Press” (High Plains Reader, May 2020). In addition, her poem “Winter Amaranth” was published by Prairie Public Radio in March 2021. She co-curated poems for the Iowa Telepoem Booth Project, which features 180 recorded poems from 93 Iowa poets that can be listened to by dialing in to the Iowa Telepoem Booth. The physical booth, which was initially installed at the Pottawattamie Arts, Culture, and Entertainment Center, has migrated to the Council Bluffs Library. The installation will be traveling around the state of Iowa over the year. The project was funded by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Debra was interviewed by Amy Butcher—along with Jamila Osman, Alexis Wiggins, and Torrey Peters—by VIDA Women & the Literary Arts following the release of The Best of Brevity anthology.  

Cate Marvin‘s (Poetry) fourth book of poems, Event Horizon, will be published by Copper Canyon Press in the spring of 2022.

ALUMS 

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) narrated Greg van Eekhout’s story “Spaceship October” for the March 11 episode of Escape Pod. You can listen to it here.

Ryan Brod‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) flash essay, “Solo,” appears in the spring issue of Tahoma Literary Review. You can hear Ryan read his essay at TLR’s soundcloud page.

The Bangalore Review published J Brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) poem “Last Night I Dreamed My Mother Was Carl Reiner and I was Sad She Died,” and Audiofile Magazine published J’s review of A History of Scars by Laura Lee. CRAFT Literary awarded J’s essay “The Last” Honorable Mention in their 2020 CRAFT Flash Fiction Contest—the award did NOT include publication of the essay, so it is VERY available if any editors are reading this! J thanks Stonecoast Instructor Susan Conley (with whom J never worked and only knew in passing) for directing e to Audiofile Magazine as potential venue for their audiobook reviews. 

teri elam‘s (Poetry, S’19) poetry manuscript “An Observation of Beautiful Forms” was a finalist for the  2021 Perugia Press Prize

Josh Gauthier (Popular Fiction, S’17) is happy to announce the publication of his debut book Land of Outcasts, a fantasy-adventure novella featuring a gunslinger and a battle unicorn. The ebook releases April 6 and print copies will be available April 27 from most major retailers. Learn more about the book and find information about release events on Josh’s website

Rebecca Kightlinger‘s (Fiction, W’14) debut novel, Megge of Bury Down (the first draft of which was written at Stonecoast), is a finalist in the Independent Book Publishers Association‘s Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book in the category of Fiction. It is also a finalist in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards in the category of Audiobook: Fiction (Narrator: Jan Cramer). Winners will be announced in May. Thanks to all my Stonecoast workshop partners and to all the faculty members who endured all those rough, rough drafts!

Cynthia Kraack (Fiction, W’10) and co-author Joseph Tachovsky were featured on C-Span Book TV Saturday, March 6, to discuss 40 Thieves on SaipanThe Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a story about Bill Knuppel, one of the principal Marine Scout Snipers in the platoon.

Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) is excited to have won a paid fellowship for Spring 2021 at what has long been a dream pub of hers, Tablet Magazine: A New Read on Jewish Life. While there, she is mentored by her favorite editor, working on several pieces, assigned and pitched, and getting an inside look at how a cutting edge cultural magazine operates from the editors’ pov. Here’s her little Passover story cum Passover granola recipe that was just published. She’s also happy that an excerpt from her memoir-in-progress is fresh up at the lit mag Dorothy Parker’s Ashes: Brazen Words by Witty Dames. Everything True, More or Less. 

After nine books and ten years of traditional romance publishing with Harlequin, Dorchester, and other mainstream presses, Laura Navarre (Popular Fiction, W’11) has launched independent publishing company Ascendant Press. The first three books in her epic, hyper-sexy, reverse-harem space opera/sci-fi romance series will release wide starting in October 2021 with series debut Interstellar Angel, where Star Wars meets 50 Shades by way of The Hunger Games.

Forests Inside Us,” Jenny O’Connell‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) piece on natural materials artist and environmental advocate Jordan Kendall Parks, was published in Decor Maine last month. “The Sky Where You Are,” her opera libretto on domestic violence and advocacy that premiered worldwide in 2020 as part of the Decameron Opera Coalition’s production Tales from a Safe Distance was added to the Library of Congress earlier this year. Jenny is excited to be teaching Am I You? Getting to the Heart of Your Characters, a character intensive for nonfiction writers at SALT Institute for Documentary Studies at MECA June 7-11th, 6:00-8:00 p.m. EST. The course will explore interview techniques that go for depth, using dialogue and voice to enhance characterization, profiling fascinating subcultures, and leveraging background research to locate and tap into the universal stories that run through us all. She’d love to write with any of you. 

Renée Olander (Poetry, W’05) will read new work and from American Dangerous (Backlash Press 2018) at Poems for Our Living and Breathing II (A Reading & Open Mic Series); this virtual event will be April 18, 2021, 5:00-6:30 p.m., led by Virginia Poet Laureate Luisa Igloria and sponsored by The Muse Writers Center.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) is pleased to share that his essay “Hattery: The Many Roles of a First-Time Teacher” was recently published in Voices of Practice edited by Sean Michael Morris, Lucy Rai, and Karen Littleton. The book is available through PressBooks.

A lyric essay in Waterwheel Review (“The Family Dollar“) followed by a crush of December deadlines kept Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W ’12) distracted through the winter, and now spring has brought a flurry of published stories:

Mary Katherine Spain‘s (Fiction, S’16) short story “Collision” will be published in the upcoming volume of The New Guard Review

Starting in May, Stonecoast alum and Tin House author (Night of the Living Rez, 2022) Morgan Talty (Fiction, W ’19) will be teaching a three-month mentorship with Writing Workshops DallasHe will be taking on six writers. For those interested, please find more information here. 

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) short story “Then You Were Gone” was just published in the spring issue of Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices.

Sean Ulman (Fiction, ’05), who teaches writing in Seward, AK, published his debut novel Seward Soundboard with Cirque Press in November 2020. Well-known Alaskan author Nancy Lord wrote a review of the novel for The Anchorage Daily News. Here’s the novel description:

Lyrical vignettes broadcast the power of art in this novel set in the mountainous harbor town of Seward, Alaska. Like many of her fellow citizens, a woman attempting to resettle in her hometown—the Returner—turns to art and recreation when she feels overwhelmed by the rain, the wind, the dark or a “familiar chemical batch of unknown nonsense.” Citizens’ relationships with one another, the wilderness and the weather bounce to ironies, comedies and coincidences across a one-year cycle in the quirky seasonal town.

IG: @sewardsoundboard

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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 September 2020

CURRENT STUDENTS

Darcie Abbene’s (Fiction) flash fiction “Burn” was published in Capsule Stories Autumn 2020: Burning Up. The story was inspired by the Hayman Fire, Colorado’s largest wildfire.

Natalie Harris-Spencer‘s (Fiction) short story “Fish Out of Water” will be published this month in the fourth annual Issue of Oyster River Pages, under their Emerging Fiction Voices category. In addition, Natalie’s ghost story, “Open Heart Massage,” has been selected for publication in the CultureCult anthology of science fiction, “Breathe.” Publishing details to follow.

FACULTY

Tom Coash (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts, Writing for Social Change) will be teaching a Character Development workshop as part of the terrific “A Literary Season Online” assembled by the San Miguel de Allende Writers’ Conference & Literary Festival. Although the Conference won’t physically be in Mexico this time (Covid cancel), this new online format makes the Conference available to everyone everywhere! Really exciting line-up of speakers and teachers (including Margaret Atwood among many others).

In August, Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) was featured by New Rivers Press in their Writer’s Routine series. In script news: Elizabeth is one of the top 5% QuarterFinalist script writers, chosen out of over 7000 entries, for the 2020 Academy Nicholl Fellowships, which are run by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences/the Oscars. Finally, Elizabeth is “Riding for Food” via team Food Link. Elizabeth and her son are longtime volunteers at Food Link, which helps to feed those in need, and she aims to ride the entire MinuteMan bike trail by October 4th to raise much-needed FoodLink funds; please click here.

Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) invites you to join her online September 10, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., when she’ll be talking narrative medicine, writing that has carried so many individuals (including Suzanne) along and through tough times. She’ll look at some great examples of the genre, and spend some time getting attendees started on their own.

 

 

ALUMS

The short film Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) adapted from her Creative Nonfiction book, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, has been accepted by the SuperFest Disability Film Festival in San Francisco. A special film cut is being prepared to make the film fully accessible to viewers with visual and hearing impairments. Bailey has just completed the writing of a narrative script of audio descriptions, which will dovetail with the main narration. Audio descriptions tell the non-verbal action in a film along with the visual details in order to make a film accessible to those with visual limitations. Kiki Samko (Boston) has been cast as audio description narrator. Soundscape captions will also be added to the film for viewers with hearing impairments. This August marks the book’s 10th year in print, and Elisabeth will give a reading from the book for the Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association’s 2020 conference this fall.

Neptune, a film produced by Allen Baldwin (Scriptwriting, W’19), is now available on iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft, and Prime. Neptune features an all Maine cast and crew and is now being self-distributed through Baldwin’s company, The Story Board. The film is set in the late 1980s on an island off the coast of Maine; an orphan girl raised by the church becomes obsessed by the disappearance of a classmate, and her haunted dreams and visions propel her to push past her sheltered life. The film’s website is here.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) is a finalist for the Ignyte Award for Best Fiction Podcast for his work with PodCastle, alongside co-editors Jen R. Albert and Cherae Clark, assistant editor Setsu Uzumé, and former co-editor/special editions editor Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali. You can read the official announcement here and PodCastle‘s statement here. The awards are open to all members of the speculative fiction community, so please vote!

Ryan Brod (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) is excited to teach a Creative Nonfiction course at the University of New England this fall. You can check out a profile he wrote in the most recent issue of The Drake magazine.

J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) has an essay, “Hideous,” in the Embody section of The Maine Review.

Anthony D’Aries‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) essay “No Man’s Land” will appear in the 25th anniversary issue of Sport Literate

Jaq Evans‘s (Popular Fiction, S’20) weird eco-gothic short story appears in Issue 2 of Fusion Fragment, and the poem generated in Katherine Larson and Deb Marquart‘s environmental workshop appears in Issue 20 of Typehouse Literary Magazine.

Josh Gauthier (Popular Fiction, S’17) and Daien Sanchez (Popular Fiction, S’18) have started a monthly livestream series titled Writers, Readers, and the Stories We Love. Featuring a new guest each month, each conversation includes discussion of writing craft, book recommendations, and storytelling across forms and genres. Information about upcoming streams can be found on Josh’s Facebook page. Past videos are available on his YouTube channel.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) is now an associate Creative Nonfiction editor at jmww journal. She recently published a piece in the How We Are blog, which features responses to life during the pandemic and features several Stonecoasters.

Clifford Royal Johns (Popular Fiction, W’18) has placed his novel Velocity Blues with Vernacular BooksVelocity Blues was written at Stonecoast and was Cliff’s thesis work. Expect it next summer.

Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) is glad to announce that she has launched “Now You See Me”—an affordable author website building service. We all know it’s important to be “out there” in the virtual world, but not all of us are “tech-y” or willing to pay big dollars for our first site (until we sell our book for a great advance, at least.) Her rates start at $300 for a basic website, one that will shine and show off your work, personality, and esthetics. She promises personalized & prompt service. You can reach her at nblichtentein@gmail.com.

Tom MacDonald‘s (Fiction, W’09) short story “Nashua River Floater” will be published in crime anthology Coast to Coast: Noir, which is coming out on September 28; Tom was assigned the city of Nashua, New Hampshire, for his story. The anthology is edited by Paul D. Marks and Andrew McAleer. Later this fall, Tom’s 5th Dermot Sparhawk detective novel, Sleep Long, Sleep High, is due out.

John Christopher Nelson (Fiction, S’15) was featured on Episode 5 of DUM DUM Radio where he had the opportunity to chat with Julia Gibson and Taleen Kali, the fine folks behind DUM DUM Zine. You can listen to him BS and wax literary here.

A short piece by Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) is included in the new anthology Flash Nonfiction Food (Woodhall Press). She has work forthcoming in the next issue of Tiferet and in Adelaide Journal and was interviewed recently about memoir writing at A Healing Spirit. Lisa has expanded her one-on-one private teaching, coaching, and editing business, working with writers on book-length memoir, novel, short story, or essay manuscripts, or individual short pieces, proposals, query letters, and submission strategy. Details are here.

“The Fifth Direction,” an essay (and photos!) by Tamie Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) appears in the August issue of Terrain.org. It is an exploration of gender, violence, trauma, and reaching for a different way, in the context of the Alaskan wilderness.

Rhiannon J. Taylor (Popular Fiction, S’19, writing as R. J. Howell) had two short stories published in August: “A Most Professional Demon” has been published by Translunar Travelers Lounge in issue 3 (available online and in ebook) and “Oresa” has been published in Beyond the Stars: Infinite Expanse (available in ebook, print forthcoming).

Two poems by Meghan Vigeant (Creative Nonfiction, S’20), “East Troy Street” and “She Writes the Kama Sutra,” appear online in the summer issue of Hole in the Head Review.

Anne Witty (Poetry, W’10) published a feature essay in the September 2020 “Best of Maine” issue of Down East Magazine, in which she reflects on her home territory of Seguinland in mid-coast Maine. She also has a piece entitled “The Double Portrait” forthcoming in The New Guard Review X.

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates February 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

BOSKONE 2020

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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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 February 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Iota: Short Prose Conference is now open to students and alumni of Stonecoast MFA. (Applications don’t open for everyone else until February 8!) The creation of Stonecoast graduate Penny Guisinger (Creative Nonfiction, S’13), Iota will stage on Campobello Island from August 16-19, 2019, with faculty Arielle Greenberg and Richard Blanco. Iota is also thrilled to partner with Stonecoast again this year on offering a full scholarship to one writer from rural Washington County, Maine.

FACULTY

The French edition of JJ Amaworo Wilson‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) novel Damnificados (Les Dévastés), translated by Camille Nivelle, was published in January by Les Editions de l’Observatoire. The book was reviewed the same week by Le Monde, which described it as “extraordinary … and magical.”

Tom Coash (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) recently recorded a podcast of his short play Raghead for The American Playbook library to be released later in 2019. Coash has also recently received a Johnny Mercer Foundation fellowship to work on a new musical, entitled Wild Sound, at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, February 2019.

Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) new novel Elsey Come Home (Knopf, January 2019) is an Oprah Magazine “Ten Best Winter Reads,” an Amazon Books “Best Book of the Month,” a Marie Claire Magazine “Best Women’s Fiction of 2019,” a Huffington Post “61 Books We’re Looking Forward to for 2019,” a Southern Living Magazine’s “Best New Books Coming Out Winter 2019,” Washington Independent Review of Books “Sixteen Titles We’re Watching,” a Read it Forward’s “Best Books of the first-half of 2019,” and a Fodors Travel “Best Travel Books for 2018.” The book was also recommended by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal’s “Pre-Pub Pick,” Shelf-Awareness, Book Page, Read It ForwardThe Millions, Hello Giggles, and others.

Advance praise is rolling in for Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) new novel Nirvana Is HereAuthor Elisa Albert calls the book “compulsively readable, charming, and suffused with deep humanity. The title is truth in advertising, folks: this novel is nirvana indeed.” Lesléa Newman says, “This is a drop-everything, stay-up-way-too-late, unputdownable novel… an absolutely necessary read.” And Tova Mirvis says, “Nirvana Is Here is tender, wise and deeply affecting.” Book tour dates are in the works, with stops already booked for New York; Washington, DC; Baltimore; Detroit; Annapolis; and Portland, Maine, a joint reading with Stonecoast alum Dave Patterson, who’ll be reading from his debut novel Soon the Light Will Be Perfect, at Print Bookstore, June 26. Mark your calendars! If you’re interested in having Aaron come to read at your town or Skyping with your book group, let him know directly at aaronhamburger@gmail.com

Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) has a new poem in Thalia Magazine. Check out “forgive me, but another black woman has been killed and I’m shook” along with two poems from Another Way to Say Enter, “Crossing In” and “History Repeating Repeating.”

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera returns to New York City February 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lucille Lortel Theater for a special concert event produced in a association with the Abingdon Theatre Company under Tony-Award-winning Executive Producer Jim Kierstead (Kinky Boots, Pretty Woman, Be More Chill). Media coverage for the event includes a feature article in Broadway World. Updates at http://www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com

ALUMS

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) has a poem, “O Mad Arachne: A Folle in Three Acts,” included in NonBinary Review #19: Dante’s Infernopublished by Zoetic Press in December 2018.

Ryan Brod (Creative Nonfiction/Fiction, S’17) recently won the AFFTA’s (American Fly Fishing Trade Association’s) first ever guide-only essay contest, along with a $1,000 prize. The piece (about complicated water issues facing south Florida/the Everglades region) will appear in the spring issue of The Drake magazine.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) is thrilled to announce that she is now represented by Kim-Mei Kirtland of the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. Her story “Ti-Jean’s Last Adventure, as Told to Raccoon” also appears in Lightspeed this month.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) flash piece “Stone Memories” can be found online at the Jellyfish Review. Her piece “City Magic” can be found online as part of the Cincinnati Review’s miCRo series. A few reprints have also made their way out into the world. Her story “Raising Babies” is now available on the podcast Tales to Terrify, while her story “A Pinhole of Light” was reprinted online in The Dark and in translation as part of the French anthology Ténèbres 2018. Finally, Julie’s debut collection Uncommon Miraclesreleased in October 2018, is now available in hardcover, signed limited edition, and e-edition! Here are a few recent accolades…

“In many of her stories, Day lulls readers into a false sense of familiarity with people, places and events before hitting a literary switch that snatches all certainties away…Day’s prose is spare but vivid and she has an impressive facility with a range of forms and voices.” ~Morning Star, Best of 2018: Fiction

“It’s hard to describe any one of the 18 stories collected here as characteristic of Day’s approach to fiction, since she demonstrates such an impressive range of tones and topics, but we can see here what will become a few recurring elements: a fascination with American landscapes as psychic spaces (with occasional side trips to Paris or the Azores), an almost playful manipulation of genres tropes and protocols, a fondness for subtitles that segment tales into discreet scenes, a resolute focus on characters haunted by memory and sometimes by grief, and an almost casual disinterest in linear plotting…her capacity for engaging bizarre ideas in the exploration of deeply felt and deeply damaged characters can be stunning.” ~Locus Magazine, Collection Review

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’ 14) is excited to share the release date and cover reveal for her debut book, The Bone Cutters—a bizarro horror novella about the hell of mental illness, the evil hands of drug addiction, and the horror of psych. hospitals. The book is set for publication on September 1, 2019, through Eraserhead Press. A book release event and local readings will be sure to follow. Stay tuned for those location and date announcements. Preorders for the book will be possible soon. Until then, here is the synopsis: 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 Blue-Papered–involuntarily committed. When she is sent to the wrong counseling group, she finds a whole new group of drug addicts that make her skin crawl. By the end of that first meeting she is running scared, afraid of being “dusted,” though the psych. hospital staff doesn’t believe a word she says; after all, 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 junkies want is what’s inside of her—she’s fresh, and she holds the most intense high. 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.

March 3-5, Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S ’11) will be attending a Masters Workshop in Tucson. She is eligible for this event as a finalist in the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards Competition. Her submission for the competition was an excerpt from her memoir manuscript What Goes by the Name of Love.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has a couple articles in the 2019 Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac on newsstands now.

Little Patuxent Review honored Alan King (Poetry, W’13) with the 2018 Michael J. Clark Award, which is given annually to an outstanding work of literature published the previous year in LPR. The 2018 award, which was presented at the Winter 2019 Issue launch, was for his poem “The Journey.”  Video highlight from the reading below:

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) has been nominated for a Writers Guild Award for Videogame Writing. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is up against Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Batman: The Enemy Within, God of War, and Marvel’s Spider-Man. You can peruse the other nominees here.

Andrea Lani‘s (Fiction, W’14) short story “Confluence” appears in the collection This Side of the Divide: Stories of the American West, which comes out on February 12. Her profile of author Caitlin Shetterly appeared in the January issue of Literary Mama, and you can read her editor’s letter from that issue here.

Kristin Leonard (Fiction, S’18) is the 2019 recipient of the Meetinghouse Theatre Lab’s Maine Playwright Award. Her one-act play, Crash, is based on a quartet of ten-minute plays she wrote at Stonecoast. It received its first staged reading on January 19th.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) will be teaching two workshops on using multiple narrators in the novel at the San Miguel Writers Conference and Literary Festival February 13-17 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She will also be moderating a panel (“Better Later? Success and the Late Blooming Woman Author”) at the AWP Annual Conference on Thursday, March 28, at 4:30 p.m.

Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) is thrilled to be invited to join the North American Review’s 50th Anniversary conference lineup, which features Stonecoast faculty Debra Marquart and keynote speaker Martín Espada. Jenny’s seminar, based on her recent article in Creative Nonfiction and her third semester project at Stonecoast, uses a study of songwriting to explore vulnerability in creative writing.

Carolyn O’Doherty (Popular Fiction, W’11) is pleased to announce that her second novel, Unleashed, will be published on September 10, 2019. Unleashed continues the story that began with Rewind (April 2018) about a group of teenagers with the ability to freeze and rewind time. Both books are published by Boyds Mills Press. Rewind was recently named a 2019 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) new poetry chapbook Forms and Shades is available from Clare Songbirds Publishing with a ship date of February 1, 2019 (today!). His short-fiction collection The Trash Detail from New Rivers Press is currently at number 17 on the Small Press Distribution sales list.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) will lead a one-day workshop, “Memoir Writing and the Gift of Incomplete Memories,” at The Open Center in New York City on Saturday, April 13. She’ll also be the lunchtime speaker at the Longform Narrative Workshop (featuring Narratively memoir editor Lilly Dancyger) hosted by Cedar Ridge Writers Series, March 2, in Bedminster, New Jersey. Lisa’s recent essay publications include  “Hands off the Black Jack,” for The Inquisitive Eater (a publication of The New School), and a micro excerpt, “Upstairs,” in the anthology The Walls Between Us: Essays in Search of Truth, edited by Beth Kephart. In Winter and Spring 2019, Lisa will continue a series of memoir writing tip programs at libraries around New Jersey, as part of promoting her memoir, Starting with Goodbye.

The LeVar Burton Reads podcast featuring Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story “In the City of Martyrs” went live in January and is available for listening here.

Lisa C. Taylor’s (Poetry, S’04) latest collection of short stories, Impossibly Small Spaces, received a new review. Her collaborative collection of poetry published in 2011, The Other Side of Longing (with Irish writer Geraldine Mills), will be adopted by an Irish literature class at University of Connecticut for the spring semester. Both of them are invited to speak to the class in April.

Melanie Viets (Creative Nonfiction, W’17) had an essay featured in Narrative. “Strata” ran as the Story of the Week through February 1st. Thanks to Rick Bass and T Fleischmann for their help and encouragement, and thanks to Susan Conley for the workshop writing prompt that inspired the piece.

 

 

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Community News & Updates November 2018

ALUMS

Edible Queens, one of 85 “Edible” magazines across the US and Canada, has made Jillian Abbott’s (Fiction, S’04) popular (almost 16K followers) Instagram blog into a column. The blog explores migration, memory, and what the Welsh call Hiraeth, which means “homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past” through food. Read her column on Butterfly Cakes here.

Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) book The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is now available in Italian. Marsilio Editore is the publisher for the Italian translation, which launched in late September.

Misconceptions, a musical and part of Allen Baldwin‘s (Scriptwriting, W’17) thesis, will have a three-week run at Footlights Theatre in Falmouth from November 1st through the 17th. Here’s a description: “Penny and Vince have done everything right… so far. Faced with the challenge of infertility, they are now forced to reconsider their relationship and piece together a future that neither of them expected. Misconceptions is an emotional roller-coaster ride through modern relationships and romantic expectations. Irreverent but sincere, honest but hilarious, Misconceptions explores a relationship from the inside-out, as Penny and Vince struggle to stay together, finding their way back to the love that started it all. It’s about what we want from our partners, what we need from our lovers, and how the ugly moments of love can, somehow, bring us closer together.” Tickets available now—see www.thefootlightstheatre.com for more info.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) was interviewed as Assistant Editor with the PseudoPod team on Writing the Rapids. She has also been narrating poetry for Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. Listen to her read Ngo Binh Anh Khoa’s “The Necromancer.” Upcoming: Mary Soon Lee’s “Between Battles.” She’s also been tapped to narrate a short story for HFQ and for Escape Artist’s Cast of Wonders young adult podcast—links forthcoming in a future newsletter. She served as a judge for the Horror Writers Association’s Dark Poetry Scholarship and very much enjoyed reading new poets. All of you should apply for HWA scholarships next year when they open again. Read about them here. She continues to be grateful for Stonecoast, the best decision she ever made.

Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) will be having not one, but two, launch parties for her hybrid memoir Space Heart: A Memoir in Stages, published by Burrow Press, both featuring live “space music.” On Sunday, November 4th from 3:00-6:00 p.m., she will be at Waterfall Arts Gallery in Belfast, Maine, with electronic keyboardist Tom Luther. On Saturday, November 10th, she will be at the Lowndes Shakespeare Theater in Orlando, Florida, starting at 7:00 p.m. The program will include Orlando Poet Laureate Susan Lilley (Poetry, ’08) and Interplanetary Acoustic Team. Linda’s long poem, “Northern Run,” is in the current Maine Review, and her poem “Entering the Abandoned Grain Mill at Dusk” will be part of the anthology Balancing Act 2, the second collection of Maine women poets published by Littoral Books. A review of Space Heart will be forthcoming in Forward Review.

Brenda Cooper (Fiction, S’17) is pleased to announce the November 11th release of a collection of stories set in the science-fictional world of her award-winning series that begins with The Silver Ship and the Sea. The collection, Stories of Fremont’s Children, includes old and new stories by Brenda, and new stories by John Pitts and Danielle Ackley-McPhail. It is published through eSpec Books in collaboration with Futuriter.com.

The hardcover edition of Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) debut collection Uncommon Miracles was released by PS Publishing On October 1st: “A grieving man travels through time via car crash. A family of matriarchs collects recipes for the dead. A woman gains an unexpected child in the midst of a bunny apocalypse. An outcast finds work in a magical slaughterhouse. Julie C. Day’s debut collection is rife with dark and twisted tales made beautiful by her gorgeous prose. Melding aspects of Southern Gothic and fabulism, and utilizing the author’s own scientific background, Day’s carefully rendered settings in these eighteen stories are both delightful and unexpected. Whether set in a uniquely altered version of Florida’s Space Coast or a haunted island off the coast of Maine, each story in this collection carries its own brand of meticulous and captivating weirdness. Yet in the end, it is the desperation of the characters that drives these stories forward and their wild obsessions that carry them through to the end. It is Day’s clear-eyed compassion for the dark recesses of the human heart and her dream-like vision of the physical world that make this collection a standout.”

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’ 14) is thrilled to announce that she has signed a book deal with Eraserhead Press and is one of six in their New Bizarro Authors Series. They will be publishing her novella The Bone Cutters, with a planned release in 2019. A bizarro story about the hell of mental illness, the evil hands of drug addiction, and the horror of psych. hospitals. Are you anxious, suicidal, have some anger issues you need to work on, or maybe you have a drug addiction you need to kick? No worries. Once you’ve checked into this psychiatric hospital, you’ll never be the same. Come, have a visit; stay as long as we need you. If you’re fresh, you’re in for one Hell of a ride once you meet The Bone Cutters.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) is teaching a craft workshop on density at the Sag Harbor Creative Nonfiction Writer’s Conference this November 1st-4th and participating in a panel on publishing. He would like to thank his former mentor Theodora Goss for this workshop’s inspiration as well as everyone who worked on Stonecoast Review‘s Issue No. 9.

Melody Fuller’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) article “Harvest for the World” was published in the October/November 2019 Somm Journal. Here’s an excerpt:

When will there be a harvest for the world?

Today I speak cautiously and write carefully about what is means to be a black woman in white space.  Today I try to make sure I do not offend, demand, scare, dare or call people out for gross conduct, damaging gossip, divisive tactics and for pushing narratives that marginalize, hurt and dismiss those who look like me. I am not doing a good job carrying all of this, while being an industry pioneer who is working to build a table, set agenda and make sure I don’t get loud, pushy or rude.  Well, sometimes being labeled as one or all of those descriptors happens.  Being questioned and judged happens a lot especially when diversity discussions and women’s agendas intersect or are used interchangeably for self-serving and deflective purposes. You know what I mean.

When will there be a harvest for the world?

Clifford Royal Johns (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be on the following panels at Windycon, a Chicago area SF convention (November 9-11):

  • “Chicago SF Book Club: Discussing Shards of Honor and Barrayar by Bujold” — Saturday, November 10th, 1:00-2:00 p.m., Grand Ballroom H
  • “Streaming Services the New Movie/TV studios” — Sunday, November 11th, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Lilac C
  • “Modern Prison Break: Our Need to Escape?_ — Sunday, November 11th, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Grand Ballroom H
  • Cliff will also be moderating a section of the Windycon Writers Workshop on Saturday morning.

Jeff Kass (Fiction, S’09) has had his second full-length poetry collection Teacher/Pizza Guy accepted for publication by Wayne State University Press for their Made in Michigan Series. The poems chronicle the 2016-2017 school year, during which Jeff worked not only as a full-time high school English teacher and the Director of Literary Arts at Ann Arbor’s Teen Center The Neutral Zone, but also a third job as a pizza delivery driver 2-3 nights a week. Look for the release in August or September of 2019!

On October 17th, Alan King (Poetry, W’13) was a featured performer on WPFW 89.3’s “Live @ 5,” which was part of the stations pledge drive. Learn more.

Alan King reading on WPFW 89.3’s “Live @ 5

Orlando Poet Laureate Susan Lilley (Poetry ’08) and former Belfast Poet Laureate Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) will be reading together at the Burrow Press “Functionally Literate” event on November 10th in Orlando. Linda will be launching her new hybrid memoir from Burrow, Space Heart: A Memoir in Stages, which she started at Stonecoast. Susan’s first full-length poetry collection, The Green Hand of Venus, will be published by Burrow in 2019. They’ll be discussing Poet Laureate life and Satellite Beach, which just happens to be the title of Susan’s first poetry collection and the town where Linda grew up.

Tom MacDonald’s (Fiction, W’09) fourth crime novel, Murder in the Charlestown Bricks, was released October 1st, 2018. This is the fourth book in the Dermot Sparhawk Crime Novel Series. Private investigator Dermot Sparhawk is taking on cases no one else will touch. Born and raised in the Charlestown projects in Boston, Sparhawk fights for the underdog. He calls on his connections and physical skills to keep him from getting killed. He visits Charlestown’s waterfront gill mills and AA halls and travels the Historic Route 66 in search of the truth. And the truth almost kills him.

Catharine H. Murray’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) debut memoir Now You See the Sky will be released in November. On November 7th at 7:00 p.m., Print: A Bookstore (273 Congress Street in Portland) will host the release party. This is the launch book for Gracie Belle, Anne Hood’s imprint with Akashic Books that will focus on topics of Grief and Loss. Kirkus Reviews writes, “Murray’s lucid meditations and living-in-the-moment attitude serve as useful reminders to all of us that life is precious and fleeting and must be enjoyed to the fullest. It’s a simple message but an important one. As much a eulogy as a testament to the joy of life, the book is a heartwarming tale of dealing with life-altering loss. A tender, love-filled story of how one woman dealt with the loss of a young child.” On November 9th, Catharine will be reading with other local authors at Quiet City Books, 97 Lisbon St. in Lewiston at 6:00 p.m. And on November 15th, Murray discusses Now You See the Sky with imprint curator Ann Hood at Books on the Square, 471 Angell Street at 7:00 p.m. This is a Providence launch event for Murray’s memoir.

Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will read “The Office of the Mayor of Miessi,” her piece about living above the Arctic Circle among the wild gold miners of Finland’s Lemmenjoki National Park, on November 2nd at Longfellow Books for the SLICE Magazine Maine launch. The piece, which details part of Jenny’s solo walking journey across Finland in the footsteps of Lappish legend Petronella van der Moer, is currently out in the Fall/Winter “Flight” edition of SLICE, available here.

Lemmenjoki National Park: Pihlajamäki Cabin, the setting of “The Office of the Mayor of Miessi.”

Anne Britting Oleson (Poetry, W’05) has been invited to read her poetry at The Harrison in King’s Cross, London, as part of Elbow Room’s celebration of its final issue. The party begins at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 3rd. If any Stonecoasters are in London, come on down!

The short-story collection The Trash Detail by Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) is available for pre order. Booksellers may contact SPD, while individuals may order from their local bookstore, Amazon, or directly from New Rivers Press by sending an email to Nayt Rundquist at www.newriverspress.com. Bruce’s new chapbook Forms and Shades is due out very soon from Clare Songbird Publishing; they may be contacted at claresongbirdspub.com

They Speak Your Language: A Poetic Bestiary, by J. Stephen Rhodes (Poetry, W’11) and illustrated by Amanda Chao Benbassat, is now available at the Amazon Books website. These poems move back forth from the significant to the silly, with drawings of counter-cultural possums to aristocratic cats.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction S ’08) will be at the BookMark Shoppe in Brooklyn, NY on November 15 to read from her memoir, Starting with Goodbye, along with Lindsay Wong, author of The Woo Woo. Lisa’s guest post “Publishing with a Small (Traditional) or University Press: When it Might be Right for You and Your Book,” appears on the website of the Nonfiction Authors Association. Her teleseminar on the topic aired there in October. Recently, the writing department at New Jersey City University hosted Lisa, who read and spoke to students in memoir writing and women’s studies classes. On November 17th, Lisa will present memoir writing tips at the Holmdel, NJ, Barnes & Noble, and also in November, she will make author visits to libraries in Warren, Hillsborough, and Franklin Township, all in NJ. Event details are listed at her site.

Nikki Sambitsky‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’18) creative nonfiction lyric essay “Penny Drop” will be published in the November edition of Longridge Review. Nikki’s essay links her childhood experiences with that of her 7-year old autistic son’s as they share a swing ride on their favorite amusement park attraction, “The Yo-Yo.” “Penny Drop” is part of Nikki’s essay collection “Perseverate, Linger,” which focuses on her triumphs and trials with her husband and two autistic children.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Popular Fiction, S’13) will be interviewed at the November 12 LeVar Burton Reads Live event in Dallas, Texas, where LeVar will read her story “In the City of Martyrs.” Her novelette “The Crow Knight” just came out in Beneath Ceaseless Skies‘ anniversary issue. Her short story “Secret Keeper” has been reprinted in Paula Guran’s The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2018.

Christopher Watkins‘ (Poetry, W’08) poem “Emigrant Song” has been published by Harpur Palate and can be read in the current issue. Additionally, Christopher has just released his 11th album under his musical moniker “Preacher Boy.” The album is called The Rumble Strip and is now available from Coast Road Records. An enhanced lyric book has been published as a companion to the album, and the collection includes the book-length poem “I-80 Blues: 96 Choruses.” It is available for Kindle, or via the Preacher Boy website as a free PDF download.

FACULTY

Jeanne Marie Beaumont’s (Poetry) poem “Yet” from Letters from Limbo has been made into a short video, which is available on YouTube and can also be viewed on her website.

Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) award-winning, full-length play, Veils, will open at Macha Theatre Works in Seattle, WA, on November 30th and run through December 16th. His short play Raghead will be produced by the Black Cat Theatre Company as part of their “Millennials #Offended” festival at the Pleasance Theatre in London on December 19th.

John Florio (Fiction, Pop Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Young Adult) writes about the intersection of race, politics, and sports for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. His latest piece, “In a Year of Assassinations, an Angry Bob Gibson Pitched His Way Into the Record Books,” was an October feature story for ESPN’s The Undefeated. His YA book, War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight Between Hitler and America, will be released by Macmillan’s Children’s Group in May, 2019.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana is Here is now available for pre-order, either on Amazon or contact your local indie bookstore and tell them to reserve your copy. Release date is May 14, 2019! Also, Aaron gave a talk at the Library of Congress based on his article “Seven Layers of Heaven: How to Make a Jewish Bakery Classic at Home” from Tablet Magazine. His cake, created from his own original recipe, was served and enjoyed by all!

Aaron Hamburger’s talk at the Library of Congress on Seven Layers of Heaven.

Seven Layers of Heaven

On November 1st at 7:00 p.m., Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) reads with Dante Micheaux and L. Lamar Wilson in celebration of Stonecoast alum Quenton Baker‘s (Poetry, S’12) exhibit Ballast at the Frye Museum in Seattle, WA. Then on November 2nd at 7:00 p.m., she’ll read with Dante Micheaux, L. Lamar Wilson, Anastacia-Renee and Quenton Baker for A Writers Showcase featuring Cave Canem Poets at the Hugo House in Seattle, WA. And on November 3rd at 10:00 a.m., Amanda’s writing workshop Writing Public Tragedies will be at the Hugo House in Seattle, WA (registration required).

Ballast

Debra Marquart (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) was invited to perform a set of Bob Dylan songs at the Twin Cities Book Festival on October 13, 2018 to celebrate the publication of the anthology, Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan, edited by Thom Tammaro and Alan R. Davis (New Rivers Press, 2018). Marquart’s poem, “Dylan’s Lost Years,” is one of the 100 poems included in the anthology. Her poem, “Come November,” was published by Terrain.org: A Journal of Built + Natural Environments for the “Letter to America” series. 28 October 2018. Debra’s essay “Buried Voices,” published as a Story of the Week by Narrative Magazine on June 7, 2018, was selected by Narrative Magazine for a “Top Five Stories of 2017-2018” commendations. Stonecoast fiction writer Morgan Talty was also selected by Narrative for “Top Five Stories” honors! Her micro-essay, “Some Things About That Day,” was anthologized in Short-Form Creative Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology, edited by H.K. Hummel and Stephanie Lenox for Bloomsbury Press, 2018. Also, she delivered a plenary poetry reading entitled “True North” at the Luther College Writers Festival, September 27-28, 2018, in Decorah, Iowa.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) new CD—Tonya & Nancy: Highlights from the Rock Opera, produced and released by Broadway Records—has drawn strong reviews on Broadway World (“Tonya & Nancy Gets High Marks”) and on Broadway to Vegas, which called the CD in its review “stunningly awesome” and wrote of Elizabeth’s narrative: “The script covers a lot of territory and does so with the artistic skill of an Olympic champion.” The CD can be purchased from Grammy-winning Broadway Records. Updates and more info: http://www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com

Two readings from late Stonecoast alum Elisabeth Wilkins Lombardo’s novel The Afterlife of Kenzaburo Tsuruda will be held in New England early this month. Ann Hood, Elizabeth Searle, and Suzanne Strempek Shea, all of whom mentored Elisabeth, a member of the program’s inaugural class, will read from the book at 7:00 p.m. on November 1st at An Unlikely Story in Plainville, MA. Suzanne will join Beth’s friends, fellow alums, and fellow Maine authors Morgan Callan Rogers and Jaed Coffin in a reading at 9:00 p.m. on November 5 at LFK in Portland, ME. Here’s a recent Portland Press-Herald story on Beth and her book. Suzanne will be reading from Idol Talk:  Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations that Changed Their Lives with fellow faculty member Elizabeth Searle, and fellow Idol Talk contributors Caitlin McCarthy and Lisa Borders November 3rd at 2:00 p.m. at Worcester, MA, Public Library. Elizabeth and Stonecoast alum Tammy Wilson co-edited this major book on major crushes, which has been one of the Top Ten Bestsellers on publisher McFarland’s long list of pop culture books every month since July. There’ll be a special appearance at this event by and idol-themed tunes from Stonecoast’s personal DJ, DJJH.

Suzanne Strempek Shea, Elizabeth Searle and Jaed Coffin at the Portland Book Launch for The Afterlife of Kenzaburo Tsuruda by beloved Stonecoast alum Elisabeth Wilkins Lombardo

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The final 2018 event in the Local Writers Read series will be held on Friday, November 9th, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Quiet City Books in Lewiston, Maine. Offering multi-genre work organized around the theme of Order/Chaos, the list of readers includes four Stonecoast alumni: Nancy Brown (Fiction, S’08), Josh Gauthier (Popular Fiction, S’17), Catharine Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17), and Bill Stauffer (Fiction, W’17). Celebrating writing and community, the event is free and open to the public. Full details can be found on the Facebook event page.

Stonecoast MFA faculty member Elizabeth Hand will be the Guest of Honor at Boskone 56, New England’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention. Boskone takes place in Boston, MA, from February 15-17, 2019, at the Westin Waterfront Hotel. In addition to Liz Hand, Boskone will also feature several Stonecoast faculty members, students, and alumni on the programme, including James Patrick Kelly, Theodora Goss, Robert Redick, Julie C. Day, Erin Roberts, and Erin Underwood. There will be a Stonecoast Community gathering and programming at the con. Memberships are required to attend, and more information is available online at www.boskone.org.

 

 

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Community News & Updates August 2018

ALUMS

Elizabeth Beechwood (Popular Fiction, S’14) is pleased to announce that her short story “The Painted Ponies of Wiley Creek” was featured by Not a Pipe Publishing for their Year of Publishing Women’s Short Stories series. Ted Deppe and others at the January ’18 Ireland Residency might recognize it—thanks for all your suggestions and encouragement!

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be presenting his award-winning essay “The Vault of Heaven: Science Fictions’s Perso-Arabic Origins” at Worldcon 76 in San Jose as part of an academic panel titled “Lowriders and Flying Horses: Expanding SF’s Definitions.” The panel will take place on Friday, August 17th, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 211D of the San Jose Convention Center.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) placed her poem “Blood Works” in the HWA Poetry Showcase: Vol. 5. She also sold her story “Tyger, Burning Bright” for inclusion in the anthology Gorgon: Stories of Emergence, which is scheduled for publication by Pantheon Magazine this fall. “Blood Works” was written under the mentorship of Cate Marvin, and “Tyger, Burning Bright” was originally written under the mentorship of Liz Hand and was later workshopped under the direction of Cara Hoffman. Carina wants to thank all of the Stonecoasters who helped her shape these pieces for publication.

Melody Fuller (Creative Nonfiction, S’12), President and Founder of The Oakland Wine Festival, published two articles in The SOMM Journal recently: “A Call to Action” (page 80; April/May 2018) looks at the state of diversity in the multi-billion dollar wine industry and sparked an ongoing narrative about race and wine and “Fine-Wining While Black” (page 26; June/July 2018) provides an inspirational personal narrative.

Alan King‘s (Poetry, W’13) Point Blank was among the seven books briefly reviewed and recommended by The Best American Poetry blog. Here’s an excerpt: “[In] Alan King’s second collection of poetry, Point Blank…each poem [is] charged with an undeniable exuberance, willing to hold forth on the unvarnished injustice so visible in the American grain, and to compose a music from this framework as mellifluous as any Luther Vandross track and as rough and ready as Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx.” Read the full review.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) was one of the writers on Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire‘s first DLC, the Beast of Winter, which launches on August 2nd. This adventure takes the player to a frozen island populated by a doomsday cult, an ancient dragon, and gods only know what else.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) had two essays published in online journals last month: “The Sparrow’s Song” was featured on The Sunlight Press, and “The World in their Hands,” which appeared last year in The Maine Review, was reprinted at Nature Writing.

Roxanne Ocasio’s (Popular Fiction, W’15) short story “The Chupacabra Next Door” will be published in an upcoming anthology called The Latinx Archive: Speculative Fiction for Dreamers. She first workshopped this story at the Voice of Our Nation Arts Foundation Workshop for writers of color in 2014. Roxanne credits Stonecoast for introducing her to Marjorie Liu, who mentored her during her second semester and encouraged her to write characters of color.

Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) is thrilled to come full-circle as a Stonecoaster with her essay about art modeling, “Still Life,” in Issue No. 9 of the Stonecoast Review. She has a forthcoming piece about her walking journey across Finland in the upcoming “Flight” issue of Slice, as well as a craft article on vulnerability—based on her third semester project at Stonecoast—appearing in the fall “Risk” issue of Creative Nonfiction.

Suri Parmar (Popular Fiction, W’17) has joyfully accepted a visiting assistant professorship at Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts with the Faculty of Communication and Design, where she will preside over script development and film productions in the undergraduate film program, and teach screenwriting, directing, and creative leadership. Additionally, her short script Skin Deep has been adapted into a film.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) chapbook, Shades and Forms, has been accepted for fall publication by Clare Songbirds Publishing, and his short story collection The Trash Detail will also come out this fall from New Rivers Press.

Shannon Ratliff‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) essay “Perennial” appears in the Summer ’18 issue of Pleiadescurrently available here.

Erin Roberts (Popular Fiction, W ’18) is the proud co-editor (alongside World Fantasy Award winner Sheree Renée Thomas and poet & artist Rasha Abdulhadi) of a special issue of Strange Horizons featuring stories, poems, and non-fiction from writers of color from the Southeastern USA. You can read Erin’s editorial and an introduction to the six amazing stories in the issue here.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) had a short story, “Tide Child,” recently published by On Spec. It’s about the relationships between fathers and sons, and the day you realize your dad has a story of his own. Also, Selkies. It’s currently only available in print, and can be found here.  This also marks his first international publication. He also just returned from a month-long course in Ireland at NUI-Galway looking at Education in Ireland. If you’re a teacher, or interested in education, check it out here.

Lisa Romeo by David Wilson for The Boston Globe

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08), and her new memoir, Starting with Goodbye, were featured in the “Story Behind the Book Column” in The Boston Globe in early July, just ahead of appearances at several bookstores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Lisa was also featured on an episode of the podcast The Ish (Grieving-Ish, part 2). In early August, she will present a session on getting published and will read during Western Connecticut State University’s MFA residency.

Nikki Sambitsky (Creative Nonfiction, W’18) will be teaching a one-day workshop on grief and hybrid, experimental, and lyric essays this fall (Saturday, December 1st from 1:00-5:00 p.m.) at Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop! Check out the link to sign up and RSVP your spot! Another head’s up: Nikki is also teaching an Open Community Writing Session on November 16th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop. The session is free and open to the public! Come, sit, write, commune with fellow writers!

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Popular Fiction, S’13) was interviewed on her local NPR station, KERA, about Spiderweb Salon, an arts collective in Denton, Texas, that she’s involved with. Her Nebula-nominated novelette “The Orangery” appears in the Nebula Awards Showcase 2018 anthology. Paula Guran chose her Nightmare story “Secret Keeper” for Guran’s Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2018.

Lisa C. Taylor‘s (Poetry ’04) new short story collection, Impossibly Small Spaces was published by Arlen House/Syracuse University Press on July 27th in Ireland. Stonecoasters attending the launch at Merriman’s in Kinvara/County Galway included Ted and Annie Deppe and Teresa Scollon. It will come out in the US in early October (though you can obtain an early copy from Lisa). The price is $20 with $2.00 of each sale going to the ACLU. lisactaylor22@gmail.com

Adrienne S. Wallner’s (Poetry, W ’09) poem “Ticket Stub” will appear in the Fall 2018 issue of Stoneboat Literary Journal.

FACULTY

JJ Amaworo Wilson (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) launched his 2016 novel Damnificados in Caxias do Sul, Brazil, in July 2018 and had smaller events in Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, and Natal. The novel, based on a true story that took place in Caracas, Venezuela, has a distinctly Latin American flavor. Damnificados won three awards and will be translated into German and French in 2019.

JJ Amaworo Wilson Damnificados Brazil July 2018

John Florio (Fiction/Popular Fiction, S’07) writes about race, politics, and sports for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. His latest piece, When Joe Louis fought Schmeling, White America Enthusiastically Rooted for a Black Man, was a June feature story for ESPN’s The Undefeated. His upcoming YA book, War in the Ring, is also about the historic Louis-Schmeling fight; it will be released by Macmillan’s Children’s Group in Spring 2019.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Non fiction) short story “Refugees,” which he read from at the last residency, is out in the newest issue of Bennington Review.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) was a special guest at San Diego Comic-Con, where she received the prestigious Inkpot Award for her fiction. In early August, she’ll be teaching a workshop for young writers at the Fine Arts Workshop in Provincetown.

Jim Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) novella “The Wreck of the Godspeed” has been reprinted in The Final Frontier, edited by Neil Clarke from Night Shade Books. He has sold reprint rights to the original story “Yukui” from his new collection The Promise Of Space to Clarkesworld; it will appear later this year. He contributed an essay on the importance of short stories in science fiction to the blog Whatever.  Jim moderated a reading of Stonecoast alums at the Readercon science fiction and fantasy convention in Quincy on July 14.

Stonecoast alum reading at Readercon 2018

Debra Marquart’s (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) short fictions “This New Quiet” and “Dylan’s Lost Years” were included in New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, co-edited by James Thomas and Robert Scotellaro and published by WW Norton, available in August 2018. Her poem “Even on a Sunday Drive” was a finalist in the 2017 Steve Kowit Poetry Prize and was published in the San Diego Poetry Anthology in March 2018. Also, Debra’s video poetry performance, “Small Buried Things: A Poet’s Response to Extraction,” was part of the Bedrock Lecture Series, organized by Oregon State University. The eighteen-part video lecture series was submitted as evidence to the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Human Rights, Fracking, and Climate Change, an international tribunal that, in May of 2018, deliberated the global effects of fracking on human rights, the environment, and climate change.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) and Tamra Wilson’s (Fiction, S’11) anthology Idol Talk has received new media coverage and has multiple readings, including some newly added, in August:

  • Readings with Elizabeth Searle: August 8th at KGB in New York City at 7:00 p.m., including SCers Breena Clarke (Fiction) and new alum Lee J. Kahrs; (http://kgbbar.com/calendar/events/kgb_nyc_area_readers_from_idol_talk/) and August 30th at Harvard General Store 6:00-8:00 p.m. in Harvard, MA (including alum Michelle Soucy (Fiction, S’10, who created the fab. flyer).
  • On August 25th, Lee J Kahrs and Kate Kastelein will read from Idol Talk at 2:00 p.m. at Toadstool Books in Keene, NH.
  • More New England readings coming in September.
  • Readings and Talks in North Carolina with SC alum and Idol Talk co-editor Tamra Wilson: August 12th, Maine St Books in Davidson NC; August 13th Gaston County Library in Gastonia, NC; and August 21st at Morrison Branch Library in Charlotte, NC

Recent media includes Breena Clarke featuring Idol Talk on her blog,  Tammy’s radio interview in Hickory, NC, and the Boston Book Launch coverage on MetroWest Daily. Check the Idol Talk Facebook page for updates.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

YAAK VALLEY FOREST COUNCIL JOB OPENING: COMMUNITY OUTREACH/CONSERVATION ORGANIZER
Rick Bass
(Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Writing for Social Change Faculty) and the Yaak Valley Forest Council are looking for a community outreach/conservation organizer to hire for a permanent position in northwest Montana’s Yaak Valley. Pay starts at $35-40K, depending on experience, and has growth potential. Insurance and vacation included, and the new hire will be able to work from home (in the community). Artistic inspiration in northwest Montana an added perk! (How is perk spelled? From what Latin root does it derive?) Sweet country and a valiant non-profit working for ecological and social justice.

BOSTON POETRY MARATHON SET FOR AUGUST 10-12 IN CAMBRIDGE
Bridget Eileen (Poetry, W’09), along with poets Suzanne Mercury, Darren Black, and Gillian Devereux, are this year’s Boston Poetry Marathon festival organizers. They are all published poets and veteran Marathon readers from the area. The poetry festival is entirely volunteer run. The Boston Poetry Marathon will be held August 10th – 12th, at Outpost 186 in Cambridge’s Inman Square. Throughout three days, over 100 local and out-of-town poets will read and perform their poems. Several Stonecoast Community members will be reading in this year’s marathon. The Marathon presents a diverse range of poetry styles; academics, slam poets, students from local creative writing programs, and everyone in between rub elbows during approximately 20 hours of poetry programming. Each poet is given a brief time slot to share their work with the audience. Attendance is free (donations accepted), and all ages are welcome.

“The Boston Poetry Marathon is a joyful, hopeful, and strengthening event, something vital during these dire times. We have poets, the poetry community, and poems to keep us going,” said co-organizer Bridget Eileen. “ Whether we go to poetry for escape, solace, empathy, or illumination, it fortifies us. When so many people come together to celebrate poetry, that certainly fortifies us. Bringing this event to so many people who treasure it is, of course, a lot of work–but it’s also energizing. All that creativity coming together in one place is really powerful. ”

“With so much political and social uncertainty right now, we feel it’s urgent to create a welcoming space for poets to share their poems and talk with one another,” said co-organizer Suzanne Mercury. “Poetry is a life-giving force, a deep and vital source of creative empathy. The world needs much more of it, especially now. The Boston Poetry Marathon offers more poetry—a lot more! Every year I come away exhausted, inspired, and ready to write.”

Gillian Devereux outlined the festival’s goals for maintaining inclusiveness. “We’re committed to finding new voices who may not have read here in the past to add to our roster. We want to hear from poets who represent the many diverse, vibrant poetic communities in the Greater Boston area.”

“The Marathon has a great base of dedicated followers—poets who share their work year after year,” said Darren Black. “It’s encouraging to see the developmental arcs of talented writers in our city. Whether you’re an established poet who has published many books, or you have never read your work in front of people before, the audience is so supportive. You never know what you’re going to hear. Every year is fresh, and a little unpredictable. But the basic formula is simple: We listen to a bunch of poems. We hang out. We have fun. We hope you’ll join us!”

For media inquiries, please contact the organizers at: bostonpoetrymarathon2018@gmail.com.

Event Details

What:  Boston Poetry Marathon
Where: Outpost 186 – 186 ½ Hampshire Street, Cambridge MA
When:  Friday, August 10th: 6:00-10:30 p.m.; Saturday, August 11th: 12:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sunday, August 12th: 11:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Online at

bostonpoetrymarathon.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/groups/bonstonpoetrymarathon/
http://instagram.com/bostonpoetrymarathon

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates July 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Poetic Voices for Social Justice

Join us at SPACE Gallery on Thursday, July 12th, where Stonecoast MFA faculty member Martín Espada—recent winner of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, Pulitzer Prize finalist, American Book Award winner and National Book Critics Circle nominee—will give a public reading alongside Lauren Marie Schmidt, author of three collections of poetry including Psalms of The Dining Room—a sequence of poems about her volunteer experience at a soup kitchen. The reading will feature music by current Stonecoast student Julie Cira and will be followed by a community discussion of the artist’s role in the community. All proceeds of this evening will go to benefit the Stonecoast MFA Writing for Social Justice Scholarship, established to reduce financial and social barriers to higher education, and support culturally and socially engaged writers committed to creating positive change in the community. RSVP here!

BIG NEWS for Stonecoast Review—not only does our Summer 2018 Issue No. 9 feature original, never before-printed stories from the award-winning authors James Van Pelt and Rick Wilber, but we’ve received a very generous $2500 donation from USM’s president and provost in support of our future endeavors. The catch with the donation is that we need to raise an equivalent amount of money within the year. Alumni can help out by purchasing a copy of Issue No. 9 through Kelly’s Books To Go—orders should be available by the end of this Summer Residency at the latest. They can also donate to us directly through the “Make a Gift” button and selecting the “Stonecoast MFA Literary Review Fund” as their designation. We intend to use this money to begin paying our contributors semi-professional rates as soon as possible, but in order to sustain a status of even $50 a submission, we’ll need over $2000 every semester. We hope that every alumni will pick up a copy (or three!) of every issue, as the success of our literary journal will help the overall status and prestige of the program. We encourage alumni to submit for Issue No. 10 when we open again in August—our goal is publish a handful of students and alumni with every issue.

ALUMS

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) was a participant in Tina Connolly’s Young-Adult Novel Writing Workshop at the Kansas University Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction in June, funded by her Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship from the Horror Writers Association. She worked on Sleeping Boy, a novel she started while at Stonecoast. She is excited to be under contract to write RPG tie-in fiction, has been enjoying narrating for the Stoker-Award-winning Independent Legions Press Cemetery Pod podcast, and regularly discusses speculative books, comics, and movies with Alasdair Stuart on the Escape Artists Patreon feed. She will be a moderator and panelist at the GenCon Writer’s Symposium in August, presenting on “Minding your Ps and Qs: Grammar and Punctuation for Authors,” “NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month,” “How Other Creative Outlets Help Writing,” “Writing Micro and Flash Fiction,” and how to “Edit Your way Past the Slush Pile.” If any Stonecoasters will be at GenCon in August she would love to see them, so please email her at karen.bovenmyer@gmail.com to meet up.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has another play opening this month! Adapted from her award-winning audio drama, Six Stories, Told at Night runs at the Toronto Fringe Festival July 5th-15th. She also looks forward to seeing friends and colleagues at Readercon!

Brenda Cooper‘s (Fiction, S’17) newest novel, Keepers, will be release by Prometheus books on July 31st, 2018. Keepers tells the story of two sisters who must support each other in a dangerous future where the cities are huge and the wild lands between empty and lawless. Keepers is the sequel to Wilders, which came out in 2017. Nancy Kress, Hugo- and Nebula award-winning author of If Tomorrow Comes, says that “Keepers shows us an earth that is the result of profound climactic and ecological changes. Nobody is better than Brenda Cooper at creating detailed and innovative futures. Keepers is a gem—a complex and plausible look at what we might face someday, and how we might respond.” The beginning of Keepers came from Brenda’s thesis, and she is grateful to James Patrick Kelley and Nancy Holder for being her first readers.

Lauren M Davis (Poetry, S’15) will be teaching courses in Creative Writing that she designed for the Indiana Institute of Technology in Fall 2018. She has also recently been given the title of Placemaking Coordinator from Big Car of Indianapolis and will work to cultivate arts, culture, outdoor activity, local food sources, and community for Fort Wayne, Indiana’s Electric Works project.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) debut collection Uncommon Miracles is now available for pre-order from PS Publishing. You can preview one of the stories here. Julie was also spotlighted on Tor.com—along with some other fabulous Stonecoasters—as part of  “150 ‘New’ Writers for Your Consideration.”  Here’s the full lowdown on Julie’s collection:

  • A grieving man travels through time via a car crash.
  • A family of matriarchs collects recipes for the dead.
  • A woman gains an unexpected child in the midst of a bunny apocalypse.
  • An outcast finds work in a magical slaughterhouse.

Whether set in a uniquely altered version of Florida’s Space Coast or a haunted island off the coast of Maine, each of the eighteen stories in this collection carries its own brand of meticulous and captivating weirdness.

“Julie C. Day makes a bold debut with this genre-bending collection of stories. At times whimsical, at times heartbreaking, but always clear-eyed and honest,UNCOMMON MIRACLES proves that Day has joined the front ranks of the writers carrying American fantasy into a new golden age.” ~Nathan Ballingrud

“Julie C. Day’s new collection, Uncommon Miracles, relates stories about what happens when strangeness, dream-like and nightmarish, infiltrates the lives of everyday people. A unique new voice in short fiction—sharp writing and a wonderfully idiosyncratic imagination.” ~Jeffrey Ford

“Julie C. Day’s stories are strongly strange, whether happening in a sort of now in this country or in a weirdly altered past. These stories seem to be what the term American Gothic was meant for.” ~John Crowley

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’14) published her horror story “Sunshower Death” in the horror anthology Deadman’s Tome: The Conspiracy Issue on June 1st, 2018. She was also a guest on the Deadman’s Tome Podcast on June 20th, 2018—World Refugee Day—where she not only discusses her story but she also talks about the inspiration behind it: the death of rock icon Chris Cornell. The host of the podcast, Mr. Deadman, has plans for a second podcast to continue their discussion, but an appearance date has not yet been set. Renee also published a new blog post—“The Mysterious Death of Rock Legend Chris Cornell: The Blue Skies Murder”—on her WordPress site where she breaks down the botched death investigation of Chris Cornell. On the Other Stories Podcast episode #143, Renee was interviewed and did a reading of her short story “The Unemployed Neighbor.” This story also appears in issue #37 of Sirens Call WiHM EZine, the 6th Annual Women in Horror Month Edition.  In older news, Renee’s poem “This Is Only the Beginning” appears in the Horror Writers Association Poetry Showcase Volume IV, which was published in the fall of 2017.

Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’10) book, Alice Guy Blaché, Lost Visionary of the Cinema (Bloomsbury 2002), has been translated into Spanish by Plots Ediciones (2006); adapted as a play by La Recua Teatro in Toledo, Spain (2012); and adapted into the documentary Be Natural by Pamela Green. The documentary premiered at Cannes in May 2018. Her mystery/horror for middle grade readers, “Kamikaze Iguanas,” will appear in the MWA anthology Scream and Scream Again, edited by R. L. Stine for HarperCollins, publication date July 24th. Alison is now represented by Gina Panettieri of Talcott Notch Literary.

An excerpt from Lisa Romeo’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) new memoir, Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss, appears on the PBS site Next Avenue. Her essay, “The Unpredictability of Grief” is featured on Covey Club, a new online women’s magazine. At The Review Review, Lisa shared “How Lit Journal Publications Paved the Way to Published Memoir.” The book was recently reviewed at Literary MamaHalfway Down the Stairs, and MyCentralJersey. Lisa recently spoke at the Cedar Ridge Writers Series on “Three Big Challenges in Writing Memoir,” and addressed the New Jersey Library Association Conference on “Readers and Writers in the Library: Perfect Together.” Since her book’s publication in May, she’s also been interviewed at The Debutante BallSunlight Press, and Under the Sun. Lisa led a panel, “Memoir: It’s all Relative. The perils, pleasures, and pitfalls of writing about family,” at the Maplewood-South Orange (NJ) Book Festival; was featured on the Write The Book podcast (#508); and at The Quivering Pen, where she wrote about “My First (Disastrous) Writing Retreat.”  In July, Lisa will visit Newtonville Books (Newton, MA, July 12th); Blue Umbrella Books (Westfield, MA, July 14th), and Toadstool Bookstore (Keene, NH, July 15th). See her full list of upcoming events.

The Dollmaker of Kraków by R. M. Romero (Popular Fiction, S’15) has been shortlisted for the Young Quills Award in the U.K. and nominated for the Flemish Children’s and Youth Prize.

The Kweli Journal published “Piper’s March” written by Darlene Taylor (Fiction, W’17).

Lisa C. Taylor‘s (Poetry, S’04) short story “Consorts” will be published in The New Southern Fugitives. Her short story “Every Body of Water” will be published in Flights. Lisa’s short-story collection, Impossibly Small Spaces, will be released in Ireland in late summer by Arlen House and in the U.S. in October (Arlen House/Syracuse University Press).

Christopher Watkins‘ (Poetry, W’08) poem “Emigrant Song” has been accepted for publication by Harpur Palate and will be included in their Fall 2018 issue.

Hats off to Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11), whose short story “Midlife” was the sole fiction selection in the premiere issue of Torch, a journal of Richmond Community College, Hamlet, NC.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Cedar Valley Community College has offered Lindsey Barlow (Popular Fiction) a full-time Professor of English position, and she has accepted! The Texas state board meeting was on June 5th, and she was approved to teach full time. Lindsey is so excited and grateful. She thanks everyone who provided a letter of recommendation for her, and she thanks Cedar Valley, who allowed her to teach part time for so many years leading up to this.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction) is presenting his third semester research project on the philosophy of Philip K. Dick’s The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch at the SFRA conference in Milwaukee this month. He will also be presenting a similar paper at this year’s Worldcon in San Jose this August.

Nina Lichtenstein‘s (Creative Nonfiction) essay about growing up a latchkey kid in 1970s Oslo, Norway, was published in the Poydras Review in June. She also appeared as a teller at Brunswick’s own SoundBites with the theme “Grilled,” and told a story about being interrogated at the Ben Gurion airport in Israel, and how this made her not take her privilege for granted; you can listen to Nina share that story below. Nina has also had several submissions rejected/declined for publication, and looks forward to improve them and submit again! And again.

FACULTY

To mark Pride Month, Tin House is now running Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) essay “Sweetness Mattered” on their website. You can read it here.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) turned in Curious Toys, a novel set in 1915 Chicago, inspired by a true crime and the work of outsider artist Henry Darger, to Mullholland Books/Little Brown. Her short story “Ghost Light” appears in the new anthology Tiny Crimes, edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto. In July, she’ll be a special guest at Comic-Con in San Diego, and then teaching a weeklong workshop for young writers at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center.

This summer Cara Hoffman (Fiction, Popular Fiction) received an Edward Albee Fellowship and a Wellstone Center Fellowship and signed a two-book contract with Harper Collins.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) will appear at San Diego Comic Con International. She will be doing signings of her comic book Mary Shelley Presents in the Kymera Press Booth, #2003. She will also appear on two panels: “A Celebration of Mary Shelley” on Thursday, July 19th, at 4:30—5:30 p.m. in Room 26AB; and “Women on the Dark Side” on Thursday, July 19th, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Jim Kelly’s new short story collection, The Promise of Space and Other Stories, debuts on July 17th, just in time for the summer residency. Published by Prime Books, it includes 14 previously published stories, several of which have appeared in various Year’s Best Science Fiction anthologies, and one story, “Yukui,” which is original to the collection. At 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 31st, 2018, at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Jim will join his award-winning colleague John Chu for a reading at Speculative Boston, a new quarterly reading series featuring authors of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

Debra Marquart‘s (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) essay about submerged and sometimes forgotten female singers’ voices, entitled “Buried Voices,” was featured as a Story of the Week in Narrative Magazine.

Elizabeth Searle‘s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) novel We Got Him (New Rivers Books) is now out in Audiobook from Blunder Woman Productions, narrated by award-winning Audiobook star and Stonecoast alum Tanya Eby; it is available on Audible and more. In June, Elizabeth’s Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera had its Southwest Regional Premiere in suburban Dallas, Texas, at the Ohlook Performing Arts Center; the production was reviewed as “Perfect for late-night theater fun” here. Idol Talk—the new anthology on Teen Idols co-edited by Elizabeth with Stonecoast alum Tammy Wilson, featuring multiple Stonecoast contributors—is on Instagram ( idol_talk ) and has multiple summer readings, including:

  • St. Stephens Branch Library, Hickory, NC, on July 23rd at 6:00 p.m. (with Stonecoast alumna Tammy Wilson, appearing at NC readings)
  • Catawba Country Library in Newton, NC, on July 24th at 6:00 p.m.
  • Patrick Beaver Library in Hickory, NC, on July 31st at 6:30 p.m.
  • Toadstool Books in Peterborough, NH, on July 21st at 2:00 p.m. (with Stonecoast students Lee J. Kahrs and Kate Kastelein)
  • Newtonville Books in Newton, MA, on July 27th at 7:00 p.m. (with Stonecoast alumna Michelle Soucy)
  • NYC reading at KGB bar ion August 8th at 7:00 p.m. (with Stonecoasters Elizabeth Searle and Breena Clarke)
  • Main Street Books in Davidson, NC, on August 12th at 2:00 p.m.
  • Gaston Public Library in Gastonia, NC, on August 13th at 4:00 p.m.
  • Morrison Branch Library in Charlotte, NC, on August 21st at 7:00 p.m.
  • Harvard General Store in Harvard, MA, on August 30th at 6:00 p.m. (with Stonecoasters Lee J Kahrs, Elizabeth Searle, and Michelle Soucy)

 

 

 

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AWP 2018

Written by Suzanne Strempek Shea

Stonecoast was a boulder of a presence at the recent annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. Held at the Tampa Convention Center March 8 to 11, the event was attended by 12,000, and featured 2,000 presenters, and 550 readings, panels and lecture. The largest literary conference in North America saw Stonecoasters shining at the podiums and on panels, plus in the enthusiastic audiences, and there would have been more from our community there had a blizzard not swept through the North and tangled travel plans. A reception in the lobby of a nearby hotel included administration, faculty, students, alums, and at least one soon-to-be firstie. The photos below show just some of the familiar faces there. Want to be in on the next? Make plans to meet at AWP 2019, in Portland, Oregon, March 27-30!

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