After some winter residency prepping growing pains (read trauma), and mixed-genre “Extreme Workshop” epiphany, Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction) wrote about the importance of reading outside our genre instead of doing her qualitative residency response. Happily for her, Brevity picked it up for their blog on the craft of writing.
The film version of Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) short play Raghead, directed by award-winning Vermont filmmaker Nora Jacobson, will be shown at the Bermuda International Film Festival in March 2019. Coash founded the popular Famous For 15 Minutes New Play Festival in Bermuda and continues to be an active part of the Bermuda Arts community.
Ted Deppe‘s (Poetry, Coordinator of Stonecoast in Ireland) seventh book of poems, Riverlight, has just appeared from Arlen House in Ireland. It will take six months or so before Syracuse University Press assumes distribution rights in the US. Until then, anyone wanting a copy can send $20 to Ted and receive a signed copy. Mailing address until 1 May 2019 is Ted Deppe, PO Box 914, Trinidad, CA 95570.
David Anthony Durham’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) Roman vampire story, “Kneeling Before Jupiter,” is included in the anthology Unfettered III: New Tales from Masters of Fantasy, from Grim Oak Press, edited by Shawn Speakman (March 19). David appears in the anthology beside authors such as Terry Brooks, Lev Grossman, Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson, Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson, Robin Hobb, Mark Lawrence, Seanan McGuire, Naomi Novik, Robert V.S. Redick, Carrie Vaughn, and Tad Williams.
John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) has two books due out. War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight Between America and Hitler will be released by Macmillan Children’s Group on May 1, 2019. One Nation Under Baseball: How the 1960s Collided with the National Pastime will be re-released in paperback on April 1, 2019. Also, his essay on the first African-American world billiards champion, Cisero Murphy, will be published by ESPN on its website The Undefeated on March 6, 2019.
Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana Is Here has received a glowing review in Foreward Reviews: “A nostalgic, wrenching depiction of a youth in crisis whose sensitive, unsparing movements spark with realism… A tender self-reckoning, Nirvana Is Here brings the past full circle. Hamburger deftly reveals how incidents recede—even if they leave their mark—to bring new hopes into focus.” Check out the full schedule of his 10-city book tour here. Also, on Saturday, June 8, Aaron will be teaching a workshop on “Going to Extremes: How to Handle Scenes of Sex, Violence, Drugs, Ecstasy, and Other Intense Experiences” at the Fifth Annual Spring Writing Intensive at St. John’s in Annapolis.
Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) will be a guest at two Australian Supanova comic conventions in April: Melbourne from April 5-7 and Gold Coast from April 12-14. She will be representing the new Sherlock Holmes anthology Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Was Not with her editor Christopher Sequeira, as well as other authors, for IFWG Publishing. The link is here.
Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) was recently elected to serve as interim president of the Cave Canem Foundation Board of Directors effective March 31, 2019. A 501-c-3 non-profit literary service organization with administrative and programming headquarters in Brooklyn, NY, Cave Canem has grown from a gathering of 26 poets to become an influential movement with a renowned faculty, high-achieving national fellowship of over 400 and a workshop community of 900. Read the full announcement here. On March 2, 2019, Amanda will facilitate her workshop Empathy in Craft as part of the Sunstar Festival in Pittsburgh, PA, at Kelly Strayhorn Theatre. Amanda will be at the following panels and readings during the 2019 AWP Conference in Portland, OR:
- March 28 – 6:30 p.m.: Women Writers in Bloom Reading with Amanda Johnston, Naa Akua, Lauren K. Alleyne, Keisha-Gaye Anderson, Wendy Angulo, Nívea Castro, JP Howard, Anastacia Renee, Kimberly Reyes, Alberta Abbey, 126 NE Alberta St, Portland, Oregon 97211
- March 28 – 7:00 p.m.: Affrilachians at the Heathman with Amanda Johnston, Frank X Walker, Ellen Hagan, Shayla Lawson, Randall Horton, Crystal Good, and Mitchell L. H. Douglas, Heathman Hotel, 1001 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205
- March 29 – 6:30 p.m.: The Resistance is Femme (AF) Reading with Amanda Johnston, Patricia Smith, Ada Limón, Denice Frohman, and Anastacia Renée, Powell’s Books, Inc. (Powell’s City of Books) 1005 W Burnside ST, Portland, Oregon 97209
- March 30 – 6:00 p.m.: Argus House Press Reading with Amanda Johnston, Teneice Durrant, Anastacia Renée, JR Toriseva, Angst Gallery, 1015 Main Street, Vancouver, WA 98663
- March 30 – 3:00 p.m.: Panel: 21st Century Innovations in Poetic Form with Amanda Johnston, Jaimee Hills, Dora Malech, Kimberly Ann Southwick, Jaimie Gusman, E146, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera was performed in concert version to a full house at the Lucille Lortel Theater in New York City on February 4, produced in association with Abingdon Theatre Company, drawing coverage in three features in Broadway World, including a “Photo Flash” feature of the show, as well in a feature plus a photo slideshow of the performance in Playbill.
Elizabeth and Tonya & Nancy composer Michael Teoli
Becca Kotte as ‘Tonya’ and Sara Jean Ford as ‘Nancy’ onstage at the Lortel Theater in NYC
Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) is delighted to have booked Stonecoast alum Melanie Brooks for “Four Wednesdays of Writing” at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA. The four weekly sessions (March 20, 27, April 3 and 10 from 6:00 to 9:15 p.m.) will focus on Melanie’s essential book, Writing Hard Stories, and will provide a compassionate and supportive space for participants to engage in reading and writing exercises that begin peeling back the layers of their experiences and will help them uncover the powerful stories they have to tell. To register, click here. Also, Suzanne was honored to have her literary fairy godmother, Elinor Lipman, author of the newly released novel Good Riddance, include Suzanne’s first novel, Selling the Lite of Heaven, in this piece on books with happy endings.
Robert V.S. Redick’s (Popular Fiction) new story, “Thasha’s Cure for Cabin Fever,” will be published March 19, 2019, in the anthology Unfettered III from Grim Oak Press. The story is a return (for the first time in seven years) to the world of Robert’s Chathrand Voyage Quartet epic fantasy series.
On March 16, Lew Andrada (Popular Fiction, W’17) will present his academic paper “Nick Joaquín and the Tropical Gothic: How Magical Realism Explores Philippine Family Politics and Legacies” at the 40th Annual International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA) in Orlando. He’s looking forward to hanging out with fellow Stonecoasters at the conference!
Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be presenting his paper “Mischief in Her Heart: Female Empowerment in the Persian Fantastic” at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, at the 40th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. He will also be chairing an academic panel, “Global Canons and Mythologies,” at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 14.
Anthony D’Aries (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) was invited to present two seminars on memoir and dialogue at the 2019 Cape Cod Writers Conference, August 1-4. Anthony will also meet with participants in one-on-one manuscript consultations.
Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) story “Bluebeard’s Surrender” can be found in the anthology Gorgon: Stories of Emergence alongside fellow Stonecoaster Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) and many other other fantastic writers. “Bluebeard’s Surrender” is about snakes, disastrous friendships, and the dreams of teenage girls. Looking toward the future, in a exciting turn of events, Julie’s standalone novella, The Rampant, will be released this fall as a paperback and ebook by Aqueduct Press:
The Rampant is a queer-girls-in-love, coming-of-age short novel that involves a Sumerian Rapture in Southern Indiana. It’s also an intense narrative ride that is, by turns, harrowing, heartbreaking, and darkly funny.
Christianity it turns out got a whole lot of things wrong. It’s ten years since the hordes of old-world Sumerian gods, the Anunna and Anunnaki, arrived to kick off the end of the world. Massive tornadoes, tsunamis, government collapse: it all started out so strong, but the Rampant, the final herald of the apocalypse, failed to show. Both people and gods have had to adjust.
Sixteen-year-old friends Emelia Bareilles and Gillian Halkey have spent most of their childhood in a world filled with the echoes of lost friends, eviscerated family members, and dwindling hope. The world is an ugly broken place. Their only option is to travel to the Netherworld, collect the Rampant, and finally kick off the Rapture.
Riffing on fragments of historical text, including the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Rampant uses and refutes the known details and rules of the Sumerian underworld. As they travel through the lands of the dead, Emelia and Gillian meet loved ones and strangers trapped in a system they didn’t create. Each step makes them more determined to help create a better, godless world. In the end this is a story about the inequities of power, human self-determination, and the various ways in which we love each other.
Terri Glass (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’13) will be reading with others at a reception for the anthology Fire and Rain: EcoPoetry of California at AWP in Portland, OR, on Friday, March 29, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Morrison Room, Level 1, Portland DoubleTree Hotel. She would love to see any faculty or fellow alum there.
C-SPAN’s BookTV featured the Black Author Breakfast Party on its channel. Alan King (Poetry, W’13) was among those who presented at the event on February 1. This event kicked off the African-American Read In series for Black History Month. Here’s a clip of Alan reading his poem. Here’s the full video.
Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) is pleased to announce that she has sold her fourth novel, tentatively titled Her Sister’s Tattoo, and expects publication in spring 2020. She will be moderating a panel at AWP in Portland titled “Better Later? Success and the Late Blooming Woman Author.”
On March 22, Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will speak at the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville. In their workshop “Lives in Upheaval,” she and author Judy Goldman (Together) will discuss lives overturned by illness, mishap, grief, and how one survives and continues to live and love. In February, Catharine’s memoir, Now You See the Sky, was at the top the Portland Press Herald’s Best-seller list for Nonfiction.
You are invited to join Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) as she reads from Book One of Finding Petronella, her nonfiction book about walking across Finland in the footsteps of Lappish legend Petronella van der Moer, on March 29 at Lincoln Street Center in Rockland, ME. The reading marks the culmination of Jenny’s six-month artist residency with the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation, and will be featured alongside the art and performances of three fellow artists. Free and open to the public! Details here.
Anne Britting Oleson (Poetry, W ’05) will have her third novel, Tapiser, published on March 1 by B Ink Publishing. B Ink also published The Book of the Mandolin Player in 2016 and Dovecote in 2017. Tapiser is also dedicated in part to Rebecca Bearden Welsh (Creative Nonfiction, W ’05).
Kelsey Olesen (Popular Fiction, W’17) will present her academic paper, titled “Demon Husbands and Magic Kings: Controlling Relationships in Uprooted and Spinning Silver,” on Saturday, March 16, at 2:00 p.m. as part of the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Orlando, Florida. Her paper will examine authorial responsibility and analyze the romantic relationships in both novels through a feminist lens.
Much news from Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04):
- On Saturday, April 20, at 2:00 p.m. at The Bangor Public Library, Bruce will be reading from and signing copies of his new short story collection The Trash Detail and new poetry chapbook Forms and Shades. This event is free and open to the public—no reservations are necessary.
- On Thursday, April 25, he will be part of the afternoon and evening-long Poet/Speak at The Bangor Public Library. This yearly gathering of dozens of poets and many more dozens of fans is also free and open to the public. Curated with care by Kathleen Ellis, this event includes established poets, emerging poets, student poets and, when available, the local Poetry Out Loud winners. Light refreshments, too. Always a fun and friendly gathering. Contact the library for exact times and details.
- On Saturday, April 27, Bruce will join friends and fellow songwriters Cormac McCarthy, Stan Sullivan, and Jim Mercik for a very special reunion concert and tribute at The Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton CT. In addition to playing their own songs and reading from books and manuscripts, each will perform a song by their late friend and fellow musician Bill Morrissey. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and reservations may be made by calling 860.693.0263 during regular business hours. Expect surprise musical guests and perhaps a writer and a poet or two.
- On May 25, Bruce returns to The Busy Bee, 333 Ocean House Road in Cape Elizabeth, for the wonderful series managed by former Portland Poet Laureate Marcia Brown (Poetry, S’04), where he will read from The Trash Detail. The program begins at 4:00 p.m. and will also feature a poet. Great place to grab some food and a beverage to enhance the experience.
Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) developed a new course, “Reading as a Writer,” she’s now teaching for Bay Path University’s MFA program, where she’s been Thesis Director for several years. Lisa will present a workshop on revision during the Montclair (NJ) Literary Festival on March 24. Her essay “How to Keep Loving Your Spouse: 30 Years of Small Gestures and Good Sex” was published on Valentine’s Day in Together Magazine.
Nikki Sambitsky (Creative Nonfiction, W’18) is back teaching again at the amazing Storyteller’s Cottage in Simsbury, CT! This time, she will be teaching writers how to be fearless in their writing. The workshop will go over some beautiful, strong, powerful essays by Genevieve Hudson, Mary Ruefle, Marcos Santiago Gonsalez, Julia A. Cohen, Michele Filgate, and others, and discuss what makes both the essays and the writers fearless, ways in which these writers approached difficult subjects, how they wrote about the topics they did, as well as literary devices, forms, and structures that enabled the writers to gain emotional depth and power in their writing. During the second half of the workshop, students will use what they’ve learned from studying these essays to craft fearless work of their own. This workshop is recommended for any writer who has been having trouble getting to the heart of an issue and is finding that they’ve been writing around a difficult situation. “Unapologetically Fearless” will run on Saturday, March 16, from 12:00-4:00 p.m. For more information, click this link.
Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) memoir The Angle of Flickering Light was a finalist for the 2018 Autumn House Press Full-Length Contest in Nonfiction. Her flash nonfiction piece, “Suicide Note,” was published in Iron Horse Literary Review‘s NewsFlash Series. Her essay “Nowhere Else But Here” recently received an Honorable Mention for American Literary Review‘s 2018 Nonfiction Contest.
Tamra Wilson (Fiction S’11) has a short story, “Church Camp,” accepted for the Spring 2020 issue of Trajectory, a Kentucky-based journal. On March 8 in Raleigh, she is keynote speaker at the NC State Conference of Colonial Dames XVII Century, sharing excerpts from Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations That Changed Their Lives, an anthology that she co-edited with Elizabeth Searle in 2018.