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Community News & Updates September 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Registration Open for September 11 Virtual Writers’ Conference of Northern Appalachia

Writers are invited to attend the 2021 Virtual Writers’ Conference of Northern Appalachia (WCoNA) on Saturday, September 11, founded by Stonecoast grad PJ Piccirillo (Fiction, S’04). Workshops and readings will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with an evening session of attendees’ readings from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The cost is $35 per person and attendees will be treated to an all-day conference of panel discussions, readings, Q & A, and teaching on the art and craft of writing about and for Northern Appalachia.

Workshops include topics such as writing for anthologies, how to use storytelling elements in fiction and memoir, writing conflict in story, the writing life, writing in community, and how poetry tools invigorate your prose. Readings will focus on Cherokee History and poems about central Pennsylvania. A lunch discussion will focus on how to define Northern Appalachia’s identity. You are welcome to read a short passage from your own work during the evening session.

WCoNA brings together writers and others interested in the region’s literature to honor our distinct body of work and to enhance the craft of our authors. WCoNA is a catalyst to inspire more novels, poetry, essays, history, memoir, drama, and other modes of literary writing that represent, in some way, northern Appalachia, and so create and promote a canon of writers and writing of northern Appalachia.

Learn more at www.wcona.com/sept-virtual-event, or register here.

ALUMS 

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is excited to announce the Japanese translation of her story “An Embrace of Poisonous Intent.” This piece was originally published by Egaeus Press in Bitter Distillations: An Anthology of Poisonous Tales (2020). The theme of Night Land Quarterly vol. 25 is “Memento Mori.” This is Bissett’s second appearance in the magazine.

Beyond Queer Words profiled J Brooke (Poetry, S’19) as a contributor to their forthcoming anthology to be released in December.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) is pleased to announce that her story “The Bone-Stag Walks” is a finalist for the Eugie Foster Memorial Award. She will attend the Eugie Award Virtual Symposium at GA Tech on September 23. As well, she is pleased to announce that the ephemera reading series—the monthly speculative fiction reading series she co-chairs—has received another year’s funding from the Ontario Arts Council.

Anthony D’Aries‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) piece “James Caan: A Guided Sleep Meditation” was recently published in McSweeney’s. Anthony also had two short stories accepted for publication: “No Hurries, No Worries” in Blue Earth Review and “Cross on the Highway” in Five South

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) will be chairing a panel on Joanna Russ and feminist science fiction at NeMLA, the Northeast Modern Language Association, this coming spring. Abstracts are due September 30th; current students and alumni are encouraged to submit a proposal before then.

Elizabeth Garber (Creative Nonfiction, W’10) had two essays included in Brevity Blog this summer: “My 92-Year-Old Mom Reads Proust and Other Instagram Flash Stories” in August and “Falling in Love with Books” in June.

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) is pleased to report that her memoir, She Said God Blessed Us, has been added to the NSVRC Library (view the catalog entry here) and reviewed by Dr. Shelley Armitage, Roderick Professor Emerita, University of Texas at El Paso, American Studies. Dr. Armitage provides a full review of She Said God Blessed Us. She also places Hovey’s work within a larger discussion of memoir as a genre, pointing out the particular strengths of this example. View the review here.

Alan King‘s (Poetry, W’13) new chapbook, Crooked Smiling Light, is now out from Plan B Press. The collection received praise from Maryland Poet Laureate Grace Cavalieri and John Murillo, author of Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry (winner of the 2021 Kingsley Tuft Poetry Award). Murillow writes: “In this latest collection, King riffs on such varied themes as fatherhood and family, poetry and ambition, sex and sacrifice, with the same insight and style, the same blue candor, longtime readers have come to expect.” Order your copy from Plan B PressWatch the book trailer, inspired by his poem “The Island of Smiles.” 

Under the name S.M. Mack, Sarah Mack‘s (Popular Fiction, S’19) third semester Stonecoast paper, “Wolves and Werewolves: How Our Beliefs About One Influence the Other,” was published in the SFRA Review, volume 51, issue 3, as part of a selection of papers presented at the 2021 International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA). It is available to be read here. 

Nadja Maril’s (Fiction, W’20) creative-nonfiction essay “Bareback Rider” was published in the June issue of Thin Air and “The Land Holds My Memory” will be published in the fall issue of Invisible City Literary Journal. (This essay was inspired by the online workshop “Where Social and Environmental Justice Meet” 9/20/20 led by Debra Marquart.) “The Nature of Basil,” creative-nonfiction flash, appeared in the August issue 05 of Miniskirt Magazine and another piece of creative-nonfiction flash, “Tomato Harvest Management,” will be published in the September 30th issue of The Birdseed. In literary fiction, Nadja’s short story “The Perfect Picture” appeared in the August 17th issue of Potato Soup Journal and “Red Roses” (a hybrid short story prose poem) has been accepted for publication in the winter issue of Thimble Literary Magazine.

Roxanne Ocasio’s (Popular Fiction, W’15) short story “The Chupacabra Next Door” appears in Speculative Fiction for Dreamers: A Latinx Anthology, which will be available for sale on September 8th, 2021, from Ohio State University Press. The story will be reprinted in Dark Cheer: Cryptids Emerging sometime in 2022 under her married name, Roxanne Ocasio-Levine.

Ellie O’Leary (Poetry, W’17) has recently had three poems accepted for publication. “Bumps in the Road” and “At Least” will appear in the next issue of Muddy River Poetry Review and “Never, Often” will be in the next issue of Molecule. 

Cristina Perachio‘s (Fiction, S’14) short story “How To Be a Nanny” will appear in the Fall issue of ZYZZYVA which publishes this August. ZYZZYVA is available in most bookstores and for purchase on their website. 

Cristina Perachio

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) short story “Breaking and Entering” appears in the new anthology between the covers: an adult romance anthology from Red Penguin Books.

Shannon Ratliff‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) essay “The Vigil” appears in the Summer ’21 issue of Seneca Reviewcurrently available here.

Kevin St. Jarre (Popular Fiction, S’10) spent a week writing at the Hewnoaks Artist Colony in Lowell, ME, completing the first draft of his new novel “The Book of Emmaus.” For more information on Hewnoaks, go to http://hewnoaks.org 

The poem “Oceana,” by Olive L. Sullivan (Fiction/Poetry, S’15), has been included as part of a project called Spoken Sonatas, a collaboration between the music faculty at Emporia State University (Kansas) and several Kansas poets. The completed album is available here. The website includes notes on all the contributors and information about the project itself. Olive’s essay “Souvenirs for my Father,” about her father’s struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease and her own reaction to this ongoing grief, will appear in an anthology, 105: Meadowlark Reader, to be published by Meadowlark Books. Since she originally wrote the essay, which features a road trip with her husband, Steve Harmon, both Steve and her father, Victor Sullivan, have died, Steve of Covid in December of 2020 and her father on August 1 of this year.

Melanie Viets (Creative Nonfiction, Winter 17) wrote “Headwaters: A Writing Workshop with Rick Bass for Big Sky Journal’s current Arts issue. Melanie also continues to serve as an editor at The Learned Pig, an online environmental arts magazine based in Edinburgh. Her Root Mapping section has reopened for submissions.

Adrienne S. Wallner (Poetry, W’09), Gina Troisi (Creative Nonfiction, W’09), and Christine Tierney (Poetry, W’09) will present “Poetry and Prose – A Reading and Conversation” hosted by A Novel Idea on Passynuk on Thursday, September 9, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. EST. Online registration is required for this virtual event; to register, visit https://anovelideaphilly.com/events/. Adrienne will also give the following readings during September featuring her book To the 4 a.m. Light:  

  • Saturday, September 11, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. CST – Mind Chimes Bookshop, Three Lakes, WI.
  • Tuesday, September 14, 6:00-7:00 p.m. EST – The Well Read Raccoon Books and Curiosities, Houghton, MI. 
  • Thursday, September 16, 6:30-8:00 p.m. CST – La De Da Books & Beans, Manitowoc, WI.
  • Saturday, September 18, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. CST – Poetry Trio Reading with Marlene Broemer and J.K. Roche at the LOLA Art Harvest, Land O Lakes, WI
  • Saturday, September 25, 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.  CST – Central Wisconsin Book Festival Wisconsin Authors Book Fair, Whitewater Music Hall, Wausau, WI.
  • Saturday, September 25, 2:00-3:30 p.m. CST – Typewriter Tarot Book Coven: Poetry Fed by Nature & Spirit with poet Tamiko Beyer. Online registration is required for this virtual event.
  • Sunday, September 26, 7:00-8:00 p.m.  CST – Stonehouse Readers’ Series with authors Gina Troisi and Anthony D’Aries

FACULTY  

Faith Adiele’s (Creative Nonfiction) review of Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu’s new installation at the San Francisco Legion of Honor, I Am Speaking, Are You Listening?, appeared in Hyperallergic. She was also interviewed about pandemic travel in the Toronto Star and appeared as the inaugural guest on the podcast series, Black Girl Back Talk™: Stories of Racial Bias from Girlhood to Womanhood, hosted by LaVerne Baker Hotep.

JJ Amaworo Wilson‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) new novel Nazaré is out. This work of magical realism is described by the Poet Laureate Emeritus of the United States, Juan Felipe Herrera, as “a rare, ground-shaking novel.” It tells the tale of a peasants’ revolt against a dictator, and was inspired by the Arab Spring and other struggles against tyranny.

Tom Coash‘s (Scriptwriting) short musical Stepping Into Fire will be featured on the Latest Draft Podcast. Free! Goes live Friday, September 24th. Book by Tom Coash, Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Brielle, starring Jane Bruce. A tightrope walker faces her moment of truth as she tries to regain her balance on the wire after a tragic accident.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) short story “Simple Past Present Perfect” has been accepted by the Massachusetts Review (and a highly enlightened fiction editor there by the name of Morgan Talty!). Aaron will be teaching a special class on Philip Roth: The Complicated Legacy of an American Master, via Politics & Prose Bookstore online, so you can Zoom in from anywhere! 

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) was an artist-in-residence at the Eastern Frontier Foundation this past July. In June, she was part of the virtual Shirley Jackson Day celebrations in Bennington, Vermont. Recent book reviews include Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Velvet was the Night for The Washington Post.

I’ll Show You Mine—the feature film that Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) co-wrote, which is forthcoming from Duplass Brothers Productions—has been drawing widespread media coverage, including articles in CinemaExpress, Variety, Women and Hollywood, Insider Voice, CelebReelz, First Post, Olli Mag and overseas in India Times, Daily Excelsior, The Hindu, Shenematic, Knowledia, and Diario De Latinos. The film is currently in post-production. Watch Elizabeth’s website for updates: www.elizabethsearle.net

Coverage in CinemaExpress for Elizabeth’s upcoming film I’ll Show You Mine

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Community News & Updates August 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Boston Poetry Marathon is back again for 2021, though remaining online for another year. The 3-day summertime poetry reading festival takes place from August 5-7, on Thursday and Friday night starting at 6:00 p.m. and all day Saturday starting at noon. 

Bridget Eileen (Poetry, W’09) returns as artistic director for the 5th year in a row. Many other former Stonecoasters are participating, as well: Vanesa Pacheco, Jessica de Koninck, Christine Tierney, and Florine Melnyk for alums, and Dennis Nurkse and Richard Hoffman for faculty. 

Over 100 poets will be participating, including Eileen Myles, January Gill, Lloyd Schwartz, Amy King, Stephanie Burt, and UMaine’s Ben Friedlander, among many other notable participants. 

All those who wish to watch the Boston Poetry Marathon can do so over one of three of the BPM social media channels: YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter/Periscope. “Admission” is free and open to the public, with a suggested donation of $10+ to the fundraiser for local social justice organizations: the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, SISTA Fire RI, and the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center. 

Full details at https://bostonpoetrymarathon.com/.

ALUMS 

Jillian Abbott (Popular Fiction, S’04) was profiled in article on the York College website.

Kirkus Reviews featured L.C. Barlow‘s (Popular Fiction, W’19) first novel of her Jack Harper Trilogy, Pivot, in its July 1st, 2021 issue. You can access the issue here

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) is a finalist for the British Fantasy Award for Best Audio for his work as the audio producer of the fantasy fiction podcast PodCastle, alongside co-editors C.L. Clark and Jen R. Albert, assistant editor/host Summer Fletcher, and all of PodCastle‘s fabulous associate editors. PodCastle was previously nominated for the BFA in 2019 and won in 2020, and is currently also nominated for the Hugo, Ignyte, and Aurora Awards.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) is honoured to have her story “Tiger’s Feast” included in The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2021; it was originally published in Nightmare Magazine. In addition to being selected as a BASFF Notable Story, her story “The Bone-Stag Walks” is a finalist for the Eugie Foster Memorial Award.

Anthony D’Aries (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) recently had a piece published in McSweeney’s, “Assistant Professor Travis Bickle’s Final Email to His Intro to Fiction Students.” Anthony’s short story “Burning Boxes” will appear in the next issue of Bridge Eight.

Lauren M. Davis (Poetry, S’15) will be teaching poetry workshops at Redemption House and The Garden in August and September. 

Natalie Harris-Spencer (Fiction, S’21) is flabbergasted, honored, and overwhelmed to announce that she has been picked as the winner of Pulp Literature‘s 2021 Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize. Her winning story, “The Art of Ironing,” will be published in the Winter issue. She was also chosen as a semi-finalist in Ember Chasm Review‘s Flash Fiction Contest.

David A. Hewitt (Popular Fiction, S’09) is series translator for the simulcast anime The Detective Is Already Dead, Season One, now streaming on Funimation with one new episode being released weekly. 

In the recently published essay “Make Your Own Gravlaks,” Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) finally shared her gravlaks recipe with the world in Tablet Magazine, where she also tells the story of her fishy childhood in Norway. 

Alison McMahan (Popular Fiction, W’10) will teach a workshop on “Telling and Time” for the Broward County Public Library on August 21, 2021. Free, registration required. Alison will also teach her popular workshop on POV for the Florida Author’s Academy, September 11, 2021. $25. Course descriptions are here (scroll down)

This September, Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) is guiding a 7-day writing and backpacking adventure in the 100 Mile Wilderness for writers looking to find new depths and adventurers looking to take their backcountry skills to the next level. There are still a few spots left—join the expedition, or sign up with a partner to get 10% off. Jenny’s recent magazine pieces include “The Click That Says Yes,” a profile on the grit and intuition of Rockland artist Kathleen Florance in Decor Maine, and “Telling What Matters” (Maine Magazine), a look at the youth poetry anthology A New Land and the world these poets seek to build with their words. The Telling Room is a literary arts organization co-founded by faculty mentor Susan Conley, where Jenny teaches alongside Stonecoast alum Meghan Vigeant (Creative Nonfiction, S’20)—and they’re hiring!

Ellie O’Leary (Poetry, W’17) will be in Poetic License, an exhibition of the Arts Society of Kingston, NY, done in collaboration with The Poetry Barn. One of the artists selected her poem “That One Apple” to interpret visually. The exhibition will run at the gallery of the Arts Society August 7-29, 2021.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) short story “Breaking and Entering” will appear in between the covers: An Adult Romance Anthology from Red Penguin Books.

The poem, “Dear Night” by J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes (Poetry, W’11), will appear in a forthcoming issue of Evening Street Review. The poem begins, “Dear Night, I hear you’re somewhere / over El Paso moving fast / toward Phoenix. They say / your tilt-a-whirl broke down / near Austin, a lever gone bad.”  

Erin Roberts (Popular Fiction, W’18) is joining the University of Texas at Austin’s English Department as a Provost’s Early Career Fellow, one of a cohort of 26 fellows in departments across the university receiving multi-year funding, support, and mentorship to advance their careers.

This coming fall, Kathleen Saville‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) article “Flash Archiving the Writing Center: Perspectives from Lebanon and Egypt,”which was co-authored with Emma Moughabghab and Ira Allen, will be published by the peer-reviewed publication Writing Center JournalWCJ is considered one of the top publications in the field of writing center studies. Emma, Ira, and Kathleen began their collaboration between their universities, American University in Cairo and American University in Beirut, way back in 2016. It’s exciting to see their work that has survived the ongoing political machinations in both countries and this past year’s C19 pandemic finally being published!

Tamie (Harkins) Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, S‘12) has been emailing weekly dispatches for almost a year now. Each dispatch is a mini essay, written on whatever springs to mind that week. If you would like to be added to her email list let her know at tamieparkersong@gmail.com

Kevin St. Jarre‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) essay about ployes and his late mother, Cecile (Thibodeau) St. Jarre, will appear in Breaking Bread: Maine Writers on Food, Cravings, and Life, an anthology conceived of and edited by Debra Spark and Deborah Joy Corey. Beacon Press has scheduled the hardcover release for late May 2022, and in paperback the following year. The book will benefit Blue Angel of Castine, committed to ending hunger in their community. It features a long list of Maine writers including Jenny Boylan, Sarah Braunstein, Susan Conley, Ron Currie, Richard Ford, Reza Jalali, Lily King, Lewis Robinson, Richard Russo, Phuc Tran, and others.

The folks at VoyageLA Magazine interviewed Jacob Strunk (Fiction, W’06) early this year for their new Shoutout series, ostensibly about balancing life and work in the arts. But 2020 was quite a year, and the piece became something of a meditation on mentorship, inspiration, the nature of creative identity, and nurturing all that without being a complete asshat. Listen, he’s trying. Read the recently dropped interview (with myriad Stonecoast nods) at ShoutoutLA here. 

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) short story “Where He Still Lives” was recently published in Eclectica Magazine.

Erin Underwood (Popular Fiction S’09) is happy to announce that her short screenplay The Funeral has won 1st place in this year’s screenplay contest held by Women in Film & Video, New England. 

Adrienne S. Wallner (Poetry, W’ 09) will be one of several Stonecoast alumni being featured as guest writers at the Western Connecticut State University MFA in Creative and Professional Writing Summer Residency, July 31-August 5. Other Stonecoast alumni include Gina Troisi (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) and Matthew Quinn Martin (Popular Fiction, S’10); Stonecoast faculty, Baron Wormser. Anthony D’Aries (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) is the director of the program. Adrienne will also participate in a dual author reading with Michigan fiction author Stephanie Carpenter on August 19, 2021, at the Copper Country Community Arts Center in Hancock, MI. Adrienne & Stephanie designed and printed letterpress posters in the art center’s letterpress studio to advertise their event. The authors will be signing a select number of posters and offering them to anyone who purchases a book at the event.

FACULTY

It was a busy July for Faith Adiele (Creative Nonfiction), who spent the entire month as the artist-in-residence at Surel’s Place in Boise, Idaho. As part of her residency, she taught her first in-person workshop in 16 months, was featured in two public events, and was interviewed on two radio shows, The Lovely Afro on Radio Boise and Morning Edition – NPR Idaho. Her profile on hotelier Damon Lawrence and his hospitality brand focused on Black culture and history, Stay Homage, was published in Here Magazine. And finally, A World of Calm, the HBO series that she wrote two stories for, was recently nominated for (though did not win) a Critic’s Choice Real TV Award 2021 in the Best Structured Series category.

JJ Amaworo Wilson‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) short play The Guitar received its premiere in Gaza, Palestine, on July 30. The performance was organized by The Hands Up Project. 

Tom Coash (Scriptwriting) will be teaching his popular workshop “From Blank Page to Stage,” focusing on writing and producing short plays and screenplays, in-person at the beautiful Pyramid Lake Fall Writerfest, September 12-16, 2021, organized by Stonecoast alumna Ellie O’Leary (Poetry, W’17). Registration open now. Very reasonable price! Come join us!

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Community News & Updates July 2021

ALUMS 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

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

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Community News & Updates May 2021

CURRENT STUDENTS

Shannon Bowring‘s (Fiction, Third Semester) flash story “Avian Elegies” has been selected for publication in Best Small Fictions 2021. The story originally appeared in Waterwheel Review in December 2020.

FACULTY  

JJ Amaworo Wilson‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) new novel, Nazaré, will be published on September 14, 2021, by PM Press. The novel, inspired by the Arab Spring, is a magical realist fable about an uprising against a dictator.

Expanding on her research for her recent novel Landslide (Knopf, February 2021), Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) feature story on Maine’s teetering commercial fishing industry appeared in the May issues of Downeast Magazine. Entitled “Catching Fish is the Easy Part,” the feature will go from the print edition to online in later May. Susan’s interview about testing new novel ideas for leaks and writing the rough draft of her novel Landslide in a fever-dream is entitled “Fever-Dream First Drafts,” and it appeared in the most recent Stonecoast MFA newsletter. 

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction) wrote a feature for ESPN’s The Undefeated: John Wright Had the Talent, but Couldn’t Follow Jackie Robinson to the Dodgers. He’s also at work on a young-adult book about Frank Serpico, the New York City cop who famously exposed systemic corruption in the NYPD.

On May 10th and May 17th, Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) is teaching an online class via the legendary Politics & Prose Bookstore: Plot: The Four Letter Word that Strikes Fear in Most Writers. Join in the fun as we explore plot, one of the most slippery and angst-inducing idioms for writers of fiction, popular fiction, and non-fiction.

Robert V.S. Redick’s (Popular Fiction) novelette “Vanishing Point” sold to Clarkesworld and will be published in May. His new novel, Sidewinders, an epic fantasy and the sequel to Master Assassins, will be published on July 6th by Talos Press.

ALUMS

Kirkus provided laudatory reviews of L.C. Barlow‘s (Popular Fiction, W’19) first and second novels of her Jack Harper Trilogy, Pivot and Perish. You can access the reviews here and here.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) is a finalist for both the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine and the Ignyte Award for Best Fiction Podcast for his work as the audio producer of the fantasy fiction podcast PodCastle, alongside co-editors C.L. Clark and Jen R. Albert, assistant editor/host Setsu Uzumé, and all of PodCastle‘s fabulous associate editors. Peter also narrated Josh Rountree’s story “Rewind” for the March 30 episode of PodCastle. You can listen to it here.

Streetlight Magazine published J Brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) review of Susan Conley’s audiobook of LandslideAudiofile Magazine published J’s review of a new audiobook production of Gabriel García Márquez’ Strange Pilgrims. And Tiny Seed Journal published J’s poem “Burlapped Bushes” in their Hibernation Issue.

Linda Buckmaster‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) hybrid piece, “Outbreak,” was published in the Maine Arts Journal Spring issue. An excerpt from her story collection, “Short Shorts,” will be appearing in the anthology North by Northeast 2 to be published by Littoral Books in June. She just finished a short stint as a poetry columnist at the local newspaper Republican Journal, and she was pleased to be part of several Zoom readings of poetry and prose this winter.

Darcy Casey‘s (Fiction, W’19) flash fiction piece “Bird Day,” was recently published in Newfound.

Lauren M. Davis’ (Poetry, S’15) poem “This Thing That God Made” will be released in Heart of Flesh Literary Journal in May 2021. 

Terri Glass‘s (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’13) will be reading from her new book of poetry, Being Animal,for Poetry Flash, Sunday, May 16th, at 3:00 p.m. PST. These poems celebrate, grieve the loss, and reflect on the wisdom of many animals from the bee to the mountain lion. Register in advance for this reading here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Clifford Royal Johns’ (Popular Fiction, W’18) new novel Velocity Blues has been reviewed in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus.

Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction, S’20) has an essay, “Collector of Passports,” out on the Sad Girls Club Literary Blog on May 10th, and the same essay will be featured on their newly launched podcast, Sad Girls Club Literary Podcast, on May 8th. Her reported piece “Adapting Untold Holocasut Stories for Young Readers” was recently published in Tablet Magazine. She also has an essay accepted by Hippocampus for their anthology Ink, coming out this year, and another essay (an excerpt from her memoir in progress) accepted for the “The Aunt Flo Project,” an upcoming anthology of poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction about all aspects of menstruation. Finally, she will be reading a piece about her conversion (to Judaism)-journey on Tablet Magazine‘s Unorthodox podcast on May 13th. 

John Christopher Nelson (Fiction, S’15) and Jordan Robson have created a new literary endeavor, con(text) quarterly, with the help of Brady Thomas Kamphenkel (Poetry, S’15). They are accepting submissions for their first issue, with the theme of “Endings,” from May 1st through August 31st at con(text) quarterly.

Carolyn O’Doherty (Popular Fiction, W’11) is happy to announce that Reckless, the final book in her YA Rewind trilogy, will be out May 15th. Reckless concludes the story of Alexandra Manning, a spinner with the ability to freeze and rewind time. Details at www.carolynodoherty.com

Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) served as researcher and editor of Volume XXII of Chebacco, the annual journal from the Mount Desert Island Historical Society, which features the logbooks of a group of student naturalists known as the Champlain Society. Their notes from summers spent wandering mountains and waters of Mount Desert Island in the 1880s also contain the origins of the idea to conserve for the public the place that became Acadia National Park. The logbooks also form the foundation for Catherine’s next book.

Linda K. Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09) has a poem appearing in Apple Valley Review and a poem forthcoming in Paterson Literary Review

Tamie Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) is thrilled to announce that she won the 2020 Terrain Editors’ Prize for Nonfiction for her essay “The Fifth Direction.” The essay, and more information about the prize, can be found here.

Kevin St. Jarre‘s (Popular Fiction, S’10) new novel Celestine will be published on May 12, 2021, by Encircle Publications. It’ll be in your favorite local bookstore and available online, and can be pre-ordered now. It comes in hardcover, paperback (ISBN 978-1645991601), and e-book/Kindle.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) debut memoir, The Angle of Flickering Light, was released on April 6th. Signed copies are available for delivery or pick up via A Freethinker’s Corner in Dover, NH. Copies are also available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local independent bookstore via Bookshop.org. Gina and fellow Stonecoaster Susan Casey (Fiction, W’10) have two events coming up on April 28th and May 4th. On April 28th, from 8:30-9:30 p.m. EST, Arlyn Miller of Poetic License Press is hosting their reading and conversation about Writing and Publishing Memoir. More information and Zoom link can be found here. On May 4th at 7:00 p.m. EST, The Bookery in Manchester, NH will be hosting a virtual Reading and Discussion between Gina and Susan. Zoom Registration link is here. They would love it if you tuned in for one or both of these events!:)

Ashley K. Warren’s (Fiction, S’12) short story “The Caretaker” was published in Issue 2 of FeverDream Magazine, a publication featuring artists from across the state of Montana.  

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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 March 2021

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

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

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

ALUMS 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Community News & Updates February 2021

CURRENT STUDENTS

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALUMS 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo credit: Andy Gagne Photography

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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Community News & Updates October 2020

FACULTY

Cara Hoffman‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) reporting on the uprising in Exarchia, “Dream of No Nation,” was recently published in The Daily Beast. Her long prose poem “Retouch/Switch,” part of Garth Greenwell’s KINK anthology, was recently translated and published in the polish magazine Femme. Her short story “DeChellis” will be published in the forthcoming issue of Bennington Review. Cara’s second novel for children, The Ballad of Tubs Marshfield, will be published in early November and is now available for pre-order.

Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) will be among the 20 authors and poets featured at Old Dominion University’s 43rd annual Literary Festival, “Grit and Grace.” The series of virtual programs is free and open to the public October 4-8. Suzanne will read, speak, and do a Q&A October 8 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. EST. More information and links to all events are here.

 

ALUMS

Lindsey Barlow‘s (Popular Fiction, W’19) second novel of the Jack Harper Trilogy—Perish—was published October 13, 2020, by California Coldblood Books, an imprint of Rare Bird Books.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) can finally reveal that he sold an interactive novel to Choice of Games, which is set in the same Persian space fantasy universe as his Stonecoast thesis. Barring any unforeseen calamities (and there have been plenty of those lately), The Astralchemist’s Apprentice will be released in 2021. Peter also narrated Aimee Ogden’s story “More Than Simple Steel” for the September 24 episode of Escape Pod. You can listen to it here.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’16) has a dinosaur robot story in the anthology Triangulation: Extinction, which was published by Parsec Ink in August. She also takes a look at giraffes as a critically endangered species in the story “An Authentic Experience,” which also came out in August in the anthology WILD: Uncivilized Tales from Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.

Ed Boyle’s (Fiction, W’09) story “The Keeper of the Marsh” was recently published in Scarlet Leaf Review.

Kathy Briccetti (Creative Nonfiction, W’07) recorded a two-minute Perspective on San Francisco’s KQED public radio about her experiences working on the 2020 Census. She is currently shopping the novel she began after graduation, a story about an American family set in the tumultuous early months of 1968, an electrifying time of riots, political upheaval, protests, sexual revolution, feminism, and rock and roll.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has a story in this quarter’s Apparition Lit: “The Gorgon’s Epitaphist” will be available to read on October 15. As well, join her on YouTube October 21 for this month’s ephemera reading series. Sarah Pinsker, Waubgeshig Rice, and Khashayar Mohammadi will read works on the theme of “Light.”

Darcy Casey (Fiction, W’19) has a new story in Yemassee‘s monthly spotlight. Her novel-in-progress, Pity-Heart, was long-listed for Retreat West’s Best Opening Page competition in September 2020.

Brenda Cooper‘s (Fiction, S’17) novel The Making War will be out from WordFire Press on October 7th. This the fourth and final book in an award-winning series that begins on a colony planet where six genetically altered children start their lives as spoils of war. Hugo and Nebula award-winning author Nancy Kress said, “The Making War is technologically inventive without ever losing sight of the human heart. A satisfying end to Cooper’s series.”

Anthony D’Aries‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) story “An Honest Pain” was accepted by Flash Fiction Magazine. Anthony also recently signed with the Philip Spitzer Literary Agency for his novel.

Lauren M. Davis (Poetry, S’15) celebrates the publication of her poem “The Flowers You Brought Back from Italy” in Wrath Bearing Tree’s Spring 2021 issue.

Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) is thrilled to announce she will be reading alongside Cadwell Turnbull on October 27th at 7:30 p.m. EST as part of the Strange Lights SFF Reading Series. Originally planned to take place at Book Moon, the reading will be a virtual event. Follow the series on Facebook for pre-registration links.

The Lady of the Cliffs, Book Two of The Bury Down Chronicles series by Rebecca Kightlinger (Fiction, W’14), will be released on November 1, 2020, by Rowan Moon.

“The Art of Honorable Grieving” by Cynthia Kraack (Fiction, W’10) ran in the September 19 Saturday Evening Post. In other news, 40 Thieves on Saipan by Joseph Tachovsky and Cynthiareleased June 2 by Regnery History, has sold out its first run.

Under the name S.M. Mack, Sarah Mack’s (Popular Fiction, S’19) essay “On Bearing Witness in Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls was published as part of the Sirens conference 2020 summer essay series. It is an examination of the necessity of sitting with painful realities and connects a book that re-centers the Iliad on Briseis, enslaved and abused by Achilles and Agamemnon, to present-day injustices and crises.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) has a new essay about art, fiction, and life, in the inaugural issue of NOW, the journal of the Hobart Festival of Women Writers. And, for those Stonecoasters interested in politically engaged fiction, Ellen will be part of a panel titled The Personal and the Political: Writing the Social Protest Novel on October 29 at 6:30 pm. The event includes Andrew Altschul, Sanderia Faye, and Tina Egnoski. Details and registration link here.

Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) took a leap into the world of libretto writing! “The Sky Where You Are,” commissioned by An Opera Theatre of Minneapolis and composed by Maria Thompson Corley, is an eleven-minute opera that sheds light on advocacy and domestic violence during quarantine. Written in collaboration with Women’s Advocates of Minnesota, the first domestic violence shelter for women in the U.S., it will premiere nationally October 23rd as part of the Decameron Opera Coalition’s “Tales from a Safe Distance.” Get your tickets here! Jenny is glad for this unexpected return to her musical roots, and excited to explore new ways to be a writer for change in the world.

Lisa Panepinto (Poetry, W’13) has two poems in the new Littoral Books anthology: Enough! Poems of Resistance and Protest.

A new essay, “Notes From the Father Field,” by Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08), appears in the August issue of Adelaide Literary Magazine (published in New York and Lisbon).

Morgan Talty‘s (Fiction, W ’19) short story “The Blessing Tobacco” has been nominated for Best of the Net 2020 by TriQuarterly. “The Blessing Tobacco” was also featured in Literary Hub: The Best of the Literary Internet. His short story “Food for the Common Cold” will be published in the Fall 2020 Issue of Narrative Magazine.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) flash fiction piece, “After the Boston Marathon Bombing,” was just published in Gemini Magazine.

Marco Wilkinson (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) began teaching as a Visiting Assistant Professor at James Madison University in Fall 2020. He will also be a guest faculty member in the Antioch MFA Program for their Winter 2020 session.

 

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Community News & Updates June 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

THE STONECOAST MFA VIRTUAL WRITING SERIES
Join us Monday, June 8th, 6:00-7:00 p.m. for “Rolled in Sugar: Food as an Entry into a Moment” with Stonecoast Director Justin Tussing. Like Proust’s madeleine, we’ll talk about food and writing and where both can take us. Link to join is here. The Stonecoast Virtual Writing Series is an effort to connect our community and continue learning together from afar. Led by a faculty member or guest instructor, sessions are held monthly.

 

CURRENT STUDENTS

Lauren Erin O’Brien‘s (Fiction, S’20) poem “After She Reads the Court Records” is forthcoming in the Fall/Winter 2020 issue of Witness.

 

FACULTY

Martín Espada‘s (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) new collection of poems, called Floaters, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton in January 2021.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) writes about sports, crime, and social issues. In May, he wrote a feature about baseball for ESPN’s The Undefeated: J.L. Wilkinson Stood Out as the Only White Owner in the First Official Negro League. His next young-adult book is due out in 2021. Doomed: The Tragic Story of Sacco & Vanzetti tells the controversial story of two Italian anarchists wrongly convicted of murder and later executed in Boston, MA.

Elizabeth Hand’s (Popular Fiction, Fiction) forthcoming Cass Neary novel, The Book of Lamps and Banners, was named one of fall’s most anticipated titles by CrimeReads/LitHub. She was interviewed by The Coode Street Podcast, discussing pandemic reading. Her recent reviews include Megan Capisi’s Sin Eater and N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became, both for The Washington Post.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) was profiled in The San Diego Union Tribune on Saturday, May 24.

Authors Ryan Craig Bradford and Nancy Holder

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) and her theater cohorts are finding ways for the Shows to Go On in these challenging times: Michael Teoli, composer and “co-conspirator” with Elizabeth on Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, performed two of his and Elizabeth’s songs from their rock opera in May on the Los Angeles-based Stealing Focus Digital Cabaret.
In a new May interview, the stars of the 2020 TheatreZone production of Tonya & Nancy—Whitney Winfield and Nikki Miller—discuss their “joyous” experience doing the rock opera in February and also the new realities of the theater world since then, on ZoomIntoTheZone.

Elizabeth and composer Michael Teoli, who did the music on Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, with book & lyrics by Elizabeth

Join Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) online June 1 at 1:00 p.m. for a conversation with Meredith O’Brien, author of the newly released Uncomfortably Numb, her memoir on the life-altering diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and on the practice of narrative medicine. The free event will include some details about Bay Path University’s upcoming Narrative Medicine Certificate. Please register for the webinar here.

 

ALUMS

Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) book, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, was mentioned in a recent New York Times essay by Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk. Macdonald’s essay on pandemic quarantine and birdwatching is available at this link.

Lindsey Barlow (Popular Fiction, W’19) was interviewed on episode 92 of a podcast called Thrill Seekers Radio with Alex Dolan to help advertise The Jack Harper Trilogy (Pivot, Perish, and Peak).

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) appeared at the 2020 SFWA Nebula Conference on the “Finishing What You Didn’t Start: Editors Making Projects Their Own” panel.

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) had a short story published in the May-June issue of Uncanny Magazine called “Through the Veil.”

J Brooke’s (Poetry, S’19) essay “Kaden has Covid” was a winner of Beyond Words Literary Magazine’s Dream Challenge and appears in the June issue online and in hard copy (essay can also be read in eir website jbrookewrites.com).

The ephemera reading series has gone virtual! Co-chaired by KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) and editor Jen R. Albert, ephemera is a monthly reading series showcasing diverse SFF. Catch the next event on June 17th, 7:00 p.m. ET, live on YouTube. ephemera was also recently nominated for an Aurora Award in the Best Fan Organizational category. It is funded by the Ontario Arts Council.

Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) is thrilled to announce the charity anthology Weird Dream Society: An Anthology of the Possible & Unsubstantiated in Support of RAICES is now available as both a paperback and ebook! This book is a culmination of a long year of work and a lot of help from some amazing creatives with Julie at the helm as Editor-in-Chief. Playful, whimsical, or dark, but always thoughtful and tinged with the inexplicably weird, the Weird Dream Society brings together twenty-three stories from the most innovative creators in speculative fiction, including Nathan Ballingrud, Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18), Gregory Norman Bossert, Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13), Christopher Brown, Emily Cataneo, Julie C. Day, Michael J Deluca, Gemma Files, A.T. Greenblatt, Nin Harris, Chip Houser, James Patrick Kelly (Popular Fiction faculty), Marianne Kirby, Kathrin Köhler, Matthew Kressel, Jordan Kurella, Premee Mohamed, Sarah Read, Sofia Samatar, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Popular Fiction, S’13), Steve Toase, and A.C. Wise. All proceeds from the anthology go to RAICES, which envisions a compassionate society where all people have the right to migrate and human rights are guaranteed.
Paperback: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | IndieBound.org
eBook: Amazon | Kobo | B&N Nook | Weightless Books
What Others Are Saying

  • “I adore it…These stories are what weird should be. Each one is a different subgenre and [yet] its own beast all together…I’m just feeling electrified by the stories in this collection…they are all connected in the places that matter. They are weird, they are genre, and they contain fantastic prose I’ll keep coming back to over and over again.” ~Paul Jessup, Vernacular Books Guest Review
  • “..the dream-like quality of the stories delivers on the promise of the title….the collection as a whole weaves in moments of profound strangeness, places where the rules of the universe seem to bend and buckle….There are ghosts of a shopping mall, and little girls with superpowers, and a man who can change skins….For fans of dark fantasy and science fiction, there’s a whole lot to like….And there are still moments of hope and clarity, tucked in among the shattered dreams the collection catalogs.” ~Charles Payseur, Quick Sip Reviews  

In addition to the anthology, Julie’s story “After the Apocalypse There Will Be Memory Poems” can now be found in the May 3rd issue of Vol.1 Brooklyn as part of their Sunday Stories series. This is a redrafted version of a piece from Julie’s thesis and a story that demanded a home. Julie’s story “Speculative Execution” is out this month in the anthology The Way of the Laser: Future Crime Stories, edited Stonecoast alums Eric M. Bosarge (Popular Fiction, W’12) and Joe M. McDermott (Popular Fiction, S’11). It’s a story about A.I.-infused glass, theft, and friendship in a networked city where no one is entirely alone.

Jessica de Koninck‘s (Poetry, S’11) poem “Virtual Seder” was a winner in the Writer’s Almanac Pandemic Poetry Contest. In an interview, Garrison Keillor discussed the poem with her as well as reading her poem “Repairs.” The full Zoom interview can be seen on the Writer’s Almanac website.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) published a flash creative nonfiction piece, “The Simplest Recipe,” in Hippocampus.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) won a Nebula Award in the category of Game Writing for his work on The Outer Worlds, a spacefaring RPG that values player agency, player choice, and tells a story as morbid as it is fun. This is Paul’s first nomination, his first award, and as of writing this he’s celebrating with his cat. He’s currently working on an expansion to the game, launch date TBD.

Nylah Carpenter Lyman (Poetry, S’10) has had a poem titled “Making a Field” selected for Poetic License, a written word and visual arts exhibition, managed in collaboration by The Poetry Barn and the Arts Society of Kingston, NY. The process first involved having her poem chosen by the editorial team at Poetic License as a finalist.  Those poems were then forwarded on to visual artists at ASK. Once there, her poem was one of those selected by a visual artist, and so it will be mounted with the artist’s interpretation in an exhibition to be held in August 2020 at ASK’s gallery. If possible, the poets will be invited to come and read at the exhibition’s opening. The poems, and the paintings that were inspired by them, will be posted in a special issue on our sister site, The Poetry Distillery. While the gallery has been closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, they plan to reopen in June.

The Next Generation Indie Book Awards picked Tom MacDonald’s (Fiction, W’09) Dermot Sparhawk crime series—The Charlestown Connection (2011), Beyond the Bridge (2103), The Revenge of Liam McGrew (2015), Murder in the Charlestown Bricks (2018)—as a finalist in the series category. Also, the crime anthology Coast to Coast: Noir will publish a Dermot Sparhawk short story called “Nashua River Floater” in its 2020 edition, due out in June.

Daily Science Fiction published Dan McMinn’s (Popular Fiction, W’20) short story “Advice for Newbies at WoodCon” on May 5th.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W‘06) is pleased to have her short story “Gridlock” in the spring 2020 issue of Solstice Magazine. It was wonderful working with Lee Hope again!

Starting Saturday, June 6th, Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will be teaching Memoir 101: Writing the Stories of Your Life, a weekly live Zoom class for five Saturdays, 10:00-11:30 a.m. EDT. For more information, click here.

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction, S’15) creative nonfiction piece, “Things You Gave Me When You Left,” is online at The Real Story. Also, John was recently interviewed for a quarantine podcast by the folks at DUM DUM Zine, where it will be featured online shortly.

The concrete poem “Tree,” by J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes (Poetry, W’11), will appear in the next issue of The Comstock Review.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story “Barking Dog Nocturnal” appeared in The Offing.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) short story “What Remains” was recently published in Volume 26 of Quarter After Eight. Her short story “Eve” was named a finalist for Iron Horse Review‘s Trifecta Award in Fiction. Her memoir, The Angle of Flickering Light, has been accepted by Vine Leaves Press and is forthcoming in April 2021.

“Church Camp,” a story by Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11), appears in the Spring 2020 issue of Trajectory, a journal based in Frankfort, KY.

 

 

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Community News & Updates March 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

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

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

Testimonials from Susan Conley‘s Winter 2020 Alumni Workshop:

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

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

CURRENT STUDENTS

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

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

 

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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