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Community News & Updates September 2019

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates October 2018

ALUMS

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) narrated Y. M. Pang’s story “Subtle Ways Each Time” for the September 20 episode of Escape Pod. You can listen to it here.

Shawna Borman (Popular Fiction, W’15) is pleased to announce that her short story “Lying Eyes” has been chosen to appear in Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers, Vol. 3, edited by E.R. Bills, alongside a number of talented Texas writers.  Just in time for Halloween, this anthology is sure to deliver a dose of Texas-sized fright to anyone’s season of thrills and chills.

Ryan Brod‘s (Creative Nonfiction/Fiction, S’17) essay, “November Light,” a revision from his thesis, will appear this October in the fall issue of River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative. Order a copy here.

Penny Guisinger (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) has three successes to share. Her piece “The Five C’s” was published at The Rumpus in September and was then selected for Memoir Monday, a weekly round up of online creative nonfiction. Her essayistic review of CNF chapbooks has been accepted for an upcoming issue of River Teeth. Lastly, Iota: Short Prose Conference was staged for the sixth summer this August and was led by Sven Birkerts and Beth Ann Fennelly. Iota now offers online courses as well, many taught by Stonecoast alumni.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) is the 2018/19 writer-in-residence for HoCoPoLitSo (The Howard County Poetry and Literature Society). Learn more here.

On October 2nd at 7:00 p.m., friends and loved ones of writer Elisabeth Wilkins Lombardo (Fiction, S’04) will gather at Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME, to celebrate the publication of her first novel, The Afterlife of Kenzaburo Tsuruda (She Writes Press). Lombardo, who won the PEN/New England Discovery Award for an early draft of Kenzaburo Tsuruda, died in 2015. She was unable to find a home for her novel before being diagnosed with cancer in 2014, and the launch party at Print will mark the end of a long effort on the part of Lombardo’s husband and several of her closest friends to bring her work out into the world. Read more in Shelf Awareness here.

Elisabeth Lombardo

Gregory Martin (Popular Fiction, W’17) is pleased to announce his story “Endangered Species of the Animal Kingdom” will be published in the upcoming anthology The Binge-Watching Cure (Horror Edition). Greg would like to thank Nancy Holder for shepherding this story through several drafts while he was at Stonecoast, and providing suggestions that improved the story immensely.

Catharine H. Murray‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) memoir Now You See the Sky has been published by Akashic BooksNow You See the Sky will launch Ann Hood’s new imprint (Gracie Belle) that will cover the topics of grief and loss. The book has been described as “an essential recommendation for those living with loss” (Suzanne Strempek Shea, author of This is Paradise). And Rick Bass wrote, “There are images in here, gestures of love, and its hard conversations, that a reader will remember forever.” The release party will be at Print Bookstore in Portland on November 7th at 7:00 p.m. The audio book is narrated by the author and will be distributed by Tantor Media, a division of Recorded Books.

Jenny O’Connell‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) piece “The Office of the Mayor of Miessi” appears in the Fall/Winter “Flight” issue of SLICE Magazine. It tells the story of time spent living among the wild men and women of the Lemmenjoki gold fields in Northern Finland during Jenny’s solo trek across Finland in the footsteps of Lappish legend Petronella van der Moer—the journey that formed Jenny’s thesis at Stonecoast. Jenny’s craft article, “Sing it Loud: A Creative Nonfiction Writer Looks to Music for Lessons on Embracing Vulnerability on the Page,” based on her third semester study of vulnerability at Stonecoast, comes out in Creative Nonfiction‘s “Risk” edition this fall. This October, Jenny begins a six-month writing residency awarded by the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation in Rockland, ME, where she hopes to finish the first draft of her book project, Finding Petronella.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poems “Dusk: For John Stanizzi” and “Four Woodpeckers” will appear in the upcoming issue of Coal City Review. His new chapbook, Forms and Shades, will be published this month by Clare Songbirds Publishing. Bruce’s short-story collection, The Trash Detail, will be available November 1st from New Rivers Press.

An essay by Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) has been listed in the Notables section of Best American Essays 2018. Her cited piece, “An Attractive Portal to Uncertainty,” was published in the print literary journal Harpur Palate (vol. 16, # 1). Lisa’s work was also listed in BAE 2016. Lisa was recently interviewed at Writers in the Trenches, and her article, “Writing About Family and Friends in Memoir: Nine Key Questions,” appeared in LitChat. On October 13th, Lisa will be on a submission panel and part of the lit-mag-editor pitch sessions at Push to Publish Conference in Philadelphia, and on October 14th she will speak at Writers Day at Bay Path University in East Longmeadow, MA, on writing short pieces on the way to a book. She’s also leading a one-day workshop,  Submissions Smarts, with Cedar Ridge Writers Series, in central New Jersey, on October 20th. On November 1st, Lisa will teach a memoir workshop and appear on an author panel at IDEABoston, “an Italian-inspired festival of books, authors, and culture.”

CURRENT STUDENTS

Colleen Hennessy‘s (Creative Nonfiction) essay about the experience of women in Ireland with Catholicism will be published in Visions and Vocations edited by the Catholic Women Speak. The book, published by Paulist Press, will be launched on October 1st in Rome and aims to elevate the voices of excluded Catholic women for the Synod of Bishops. Colleen Hennessy’s contribution appears alongside Mary McAleese, the former president of Ireland. More information on the book can be found here.

FACULTY

The film adaptation of Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) short play Raghead, directed by award-winning Vermont filmmaker Nora Jacobson, will be shown at two different film festivals during October. The short film, under the title The R Word, will be shown October 14th as part of the Kansas International Film Festival (well known for their “social justice” themes). Then again under the original title, Raghead, on October 18th at the Vermont International Film Festival in Burlington, VT.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) ode to the beauty of commas is in the October issue of O, the Oprah Magazine. Aaron is also giving a talk this month at the Library of Congress inspired by his article “Seven Layers of Heaven” in Tablet Magazine on the history of the seven-layer cake, with an original recipe.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) will be in Washington, D.C., on October 29th to moderate the Pen/Faulkner Foundation’s conversation on literary horror with Dan Chaon, Mark Z. Danielewski, and Brian Evenson. She was a judge for the Salam Award for Imagination Fiction, a tribute to the Pakistani theoretical physicist Dr. Abdus Salam and an effort to promote speculative fiction writing in Pakistan. Her article on Sarah Weinstein’s The Real Lolita, about the crime that inspired Nabokov’s novel, recently appeared in The Los Angeles Times. NPR named Hand’s novel Wylding Hall one of the 100 best horror novels and stories; the same week, Signature named her novel Generation Loss one of the 100 best thrillers of all time.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) has three new publications out: (1) An adaptation of “Man-size in Marble” by Edith Nesbit for the comic book series Mary Shelley Presents. Nancy is the series writer. (2) “Domino Lady versus the Mummy” in the Return of the Monsters comic book series from Moonstone Books. (3) The short story “Nyarlathotep Came Down to Georgia” in What October Brings, from Celaneo Press.

Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) was recently featured on Koop Radio 91.7 FM Austin for People United, originally recorded in April 2018 at Resistencia Bookstore, Austin, TX. Listen here. On October 6th, at Babes Bar in Bethel, VT, she will read with Stonecoast alumna Alexis Paige from their collections Another Way to Say Enter and Not a Place on Any Map (respectively). At NYU Lillian Vernon House in New York City on October 12th, Amanda reads with Marcus Jackson and Dustin Pearson for the Cave Canem New Works Series. Then, on October 27th, at the Texas Book Festival in Austin, TX, she moderates the panel discussion Experimental Poetics with Shayla Lawson, Anastacia-Renee, and Erica Dawson. That same day, at Lit Crawl in Austin, she’ll facilitate a Black Poets Speak Out poetic demonstration at the North Door. Finally, on October 28th, Amanda hosts the TORCH Wildfire Reading Series at Bookwoman Bookstore in Austin, TX.

Elizabeth onstage at 54Below

A concert CD of Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) rock opera was released on Sept. 28th from the Grammy-award winning Broadway Records. The CD—Tonya & Nancy: Highlights from the Rock Opera—was recorded at a sold-out concert at 54Below in New York City and featured Broadway stars Ashley Spencer (Grease) and Tony-nominees Lauren Worsham (Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) and Nancy Opel (Urinetown) as well as Tony LePage (School of Rock), directed by Grammy winner Michael J. Moritz. A CD Launch concert event will take place in NYC this Fall, details TBA. Buy the CD at Broadway Records. Updates: www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com

The front and back covers of the CD

Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) has chronicled her teen crush on Bobby Orr in an essay included in Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations That Changed Their Livesjust out from McFarland and co-edited by faculty member Elizabeth Searle and Stonecoast alum Tamra Wilson, and featuring an introduction by teen idol Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits. Suzanne also is booking talks she’ll do in late October and early November with Mags Riordan, subject of her book This Is Paradise: An Irish Mother’s Grief, an African Village’s Plight and the Medical Clinic That Brought Fresh Hope to Both. Any organization interested in hosting the two for a program detailing the latest work by the Billy Riordan Memorial Clinic in Malawi, which Riordan founded 14 years ago in memory of her late son in an area that previously had one doctor for 800,000 people, should contact Suzanne at sess7@comcast.net. Suzanne’s literary events in the next few months:

  • October 2nd, 7:00 p.m — Celebrating Elisabeth Wilkins Lombardo of Stonecoast’s inaugural class and the launch of her novelThe Afterlife of Kenzaburo Tsuruda,at Print: A Bookstore, in Portland, ME.
  • October 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th — Leading Four Thursdays of Writing, nights of writing and discussions aimed at starting or restoring a solid writing habit, at Bay Path University, Longmeadow, MA.
  • October 14th — Emceeing Bay Path University’s Writers’ Day, at the university’s Ryan Center in East Longmeadow, MA. Speakers will be Jonathan Green, Karol Jackowski, Lisa Romeo, Sophfronia Scott, and Suzanne.
  • October 16th, 6:30 p.m. — Introducing SexMoneyMurder author Jonathan Green for his talk at Bay Path University’s Hatch Library in Longmeadow, MA.
  • November 3rd, 2:00 p.m. — Speaking at Worcester (MA) Public Library
  • November 15th — Reading with Elizabeth Searle, co-editor, and other contributors to Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations That Changed Their Lives, at Women’s Lunch Place, Boston

REQUESTS for ACTION

“Surely this time is unprecedented in U.S. history,” writes Rick Bass. “Sometimes we don’t realize when we are living in history—which is always—but for it to be so obvious to us now that we are, it’s hard not to imagine what people will think, looking back at this time. And what an amazing opportunity to be taking our education in Maine, working in Maine, living in Maine, part or all of the year. If you haven’t yet taken the opportunity to contact Senator Susan Collins yet with regard to Trump’s Supreme Court nomination, and to express outrage to all Republican Senators who seem to be falling over themselves to ‘plow through’ with the Kavanaugh nomination before any more assault and misconduct and scandal is uncovered, please do. Senator Collins’ contact info is: https://www.collins.senate.gov/contact/  Your letters—as citizens/residents/employees of Maine—are priceless, in these circumstances. This is one of the last tattered threads of democracy that remains, for now, wherein your letter to Sen. Collins will have disproportionate power. Please use it while you can.”

Bass is also fighting a local battle in Montana, for the protection of public lands—another of the trappings of democracy, like free speech—and asks those correspondents who contact Senator Collins to also consider putting in a word for his beloved Yaak Valley, where an international thru-hiker trail threatens the most endangered population of grizzly bears in Montana. “Send a copy please to Sen. Collins, Senator Jon Tester of Montana, and a copy to the Yaak Valley Forest Council as well.” Bass’s struggles to fight the international thru-trail—“a human highway through the bears’ last designated core habitat”—was recently profiled in a New Yorker podcast by Scott Carrier. Other information about the movement to re-route the trail in order to protect grizzlies (and hikers) can be found on the website. “Your letter doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated,” he says. “Just carry the message that any trail re-route needs to avoid all designated core grizzly habitat. THANK YOU!” He says he is even willing to waive the adverb rule in a special dispensation of gratitude. That’s how desperate it is.

 

 

 

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