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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 September 2020

CURRENT STUDENTS

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

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

 

 

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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