HAPPY NEW YEAR!
News from Stonecoast
Join the Stonecoast MFA community for a week of inspiring readings and discussions with Stonecoast’s award-winning faculty and guest writers, January 10-13th and 15-18th at the historic Harraseeket Inn in downtown Freeport, Maine.
The weeklong series includes flash faculty and guest readings, a conversation on the possibilities and perils of adapting one’s work for the stage, and a discussion of the inaugural WISE common text. The residency concludes with the Winter 2020 graduation ceremony.
A detailed schedule of the week’s events and readers can be found here.
In November, Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction) was invited to Ottawa, Canada, to give a book talk on the occasion of the International Memorial Day for Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands. It was in connection with the recent publication of her translation from French to English of the novel For the Love of the Father by French-Tunisian-Jewish writer Chochana Boukhobza. Nina is also happy to share that her essay “Ink Stains and Blood Stains: The Spring of My Becoming” has been accepted for publication in the forthcoming Hippocampus anthology tentatively titled “INK” due out in 2020.
Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) play Raghead will be produced in North Hollywood by Actors Workout Studio, as part of their terrific TABOO Festival January 10 – February 8, 2020.
Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana Is Here is now available as an audio book!
Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) sold a stand-alone psychological thriller, Baby Go Bang, to Mulholland Books/Little, Brown. Her novel Generation Loss has been optioned by British production company Fremantle.
Broadway icon Andrea McArdle (the original Annie) will star in a new 2020 production of Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera. The production is being fully produced by longstanding Equity theater TheaterZone and is opening on February 6, 2020; it was featured in two recent articles in Broadway World. Further productions and a possible tour are in the works for 2020/2021; see the website for updates.
Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) film short adaptation of her memoir The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating heads next to the Wild & Scenic Film Festival (CA), Victoria Film Festival (BC), and Kinofilm 16th Manchester International Short Film Fest (UK). The film also received a Jury’s Choice Award from the Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival, which tours throughout 2020.
Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is a finalist for the NESFA Short Story Contest. The story she submitted was one of the first pieces workshopped at Stonecoast with David Anthony Durham. The winners will be announced at BOSKONE 57 in February.
Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) has had her essay “Alibi Bar, 1968” published in Atticus Review‘s “Super Unknown. Stories About Songs” series. Two of her poems have appeared in The Comstock Review, one in the Spring/Summer issue and one in the Fall/Winter. She has been awarded a writing residency in May at NES in Skagastrond, Iceland, to work on her current project—a literary journey across the North Atlantic. From there, she will go on to the Hebrides. She and Elizabeth Garber (Creative Nonfiction, ‘10) were on a panel at the WORD Conference in Blue Hill, Maine, with Jaed Coffin discussing the ethics of memoir.
Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) piece “Flyover Country” can be found in the January/February issue of Interzone. First lines: “Lovers are like flash floods, car collisions, aneurysms: always a possibility but never exactly expected. A small-plane pilot for AeroFix Corp, Sam arrived in my bed via a tray of purple pansies and a convoy of trucks intent on invading the Verona Municipal Airport.” Richard Wagner created the amazing illustration. This will be Julie’s 7th story with Interzone and her 8th with TTA Press.
Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) was thrilled to see her essay “Rose” up on Diagram this past year. She wishes all Stonecoasters the very best for 2020.
Mike Langworthy (Creative Nonfiction, W’11) is co-writing dialogue and lyrics for Take The High Road, a musical produced in Denver during 2020. The show will combine repurposed melodies from musical theater and popular music with an original story of a real estate developer who locks horns with, and falls for, a community activist fighting his attempts to build a resort in her idyllic mountain town. The show is being produced by Magic Moments, a company that for over thirty-five years has created large-cast, high-quality musical productions that give performers with a broad range of special needs, both physical and developmental, opportunities to work alongside seasoned professionals. Rehearsals begin in January for performances in late March 2020.
The Thomas Memorial Library in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, will host Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) on January 11th from 1:00-3:00 p.m. for Writing the Stories of Your Life, a free workshop on writing memoir. Catharine will then offer a Six-Week Series for Women at the Good Medicine Collective from January 13th to February 17th; Writing to Heal will incorporate small group support, instruction and practice for using writing as a way to move through loss. On January 26th from 9:00 a.m. to noon, Catharine will join with Deb Cook to offer Winter’s Deep Peace Practice: Yoga Nidra and Writing, a morning of deep rest and integration. Participants will move from Yoga Nidra into a quiet hour of meditative journaling supported by prompts and guidance.
Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’14) is pleased to share that her long-form essay, “Plume: An Investigation,” will be published in the January 2020 issue of True Story. The essay was started during her time at Stonecoast and has been modified from her Stonecoast thesis.
Jenny O’Connell’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) flash nonfiction piece “How to Sleep in an Airport,” published last spring in Hippocampus, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize! This November, she spoke about positive risk-taking and her 2014 solo trek across Finland to a packed Camden Opera House at Midcoast Pecha Kucha night. You can watch her speech here.
Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) has poetry in or forthcoming from The Cafe Review, Coal City Review, and Connecticut River Review and anthologies from Main Street Rag and Flying Ketchup Press. On January 25, Bruce will be offering a seminar entitled “Creating Your Novel in Ninety Minutes” at the Blue Hill Library; this is open to the public but limited to twelve participants. Contact Hannah Cyrus at the library for more information. Bruce will also be teaching a seminar for Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance at the Cobscook Community Learning Center in Trescott on February 29 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on learning to inhabit your fictional characters. Contact Hannah Perry at MWPA for details.
Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W‘14) doesn’t have much on the writing front, but just completed a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership and is now certifiable (exactly) as a school principal. He was also recently accepted into the Harvard Principal’s Center for a Certificate in School Management and Leadership. He has also, also, been accepted to a residency at the University of Washington’s Olympic Natural Resources Center this April. While he’s delighted, it all sounds way fancier than it is, he promises.
Patricia Smith, former faculty member and member of the Stonecoast 2008 class in poetry, has been named a Distinguished Professor for the City University of New York, the highest rank in the state’s university system.
Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story “Where You Linger” will appear in the January/February issue of Uncanny Magazine.
Morgan Talty‘s (Fiction, W ’19) short story “The Blessing Tobacco” will be published this January in TriQuarterly. The story will also be excerpted in Literary Hub: The Best of the Literary Internet.
Darlene Taylor (Fiction, W’17) received an award for a fellowship grant as an individual artist in literary arts from the DC Commission on Arts and the Humanities. She is completing research and writing that expands her short story “Piper’s March” into a novel (“Piper’s March” was published in Kweli Journal in 2018). In other news, Darlene will moderate a panel during the 2020 AWP Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The panel also features Breena Clarke of Stonecoast and authors Rion Amilcar Scott, Jacinda Townsend, and Crystal Wilkerson. The authors will discuss how fiction writers use historical imagination to create characters from little-known histories. “They Must Have Felt: Imagining Emotional Landscape and Place” is scheduled for Friday, March 6, 2020, from 12:10-1:25 p.m. in Room 205, Henry B. González Convention Center, Meeting Room Level.
Lisa C. Taylor (Poetry, S’04) was honored to be a part of a holiday reading in Orleans, MA, on December 27th with Tom Daley, Christine Jones, and J. Barrett Wolf, music by Jordan Renzi, sponsored by Voices of Poetry. Lisa has officially named her workshop offerings Whitewater Writing. She will offer an all-day writing retreat with a catered lunch on January 4th in Connecticut—snow date: January 11. This retreat is nearly full but contact Lisa if you are interested. Lisa is a fiction editor and interviewer for Wordpeace, an online magazine created by Lori Desrosier (the founder of Naugatuck Review). In the upcoming issue, Lisa interviewed Maida McKenna, founder of Word Scientists, a literacy organization in Nepal; and Kevin Brodie, an award-winning playwright who is currently working on a play about American Indian Schools directly related to time spent on a Shoshone reservation with his grandfather. This issue should be out in late February or early March. Lisa also writes book reviews; her latest review was on Look Look Look by Calista Buchen (Black Lawrence Press) and appeared in the Mom Egg Review in December. Western Stonecoasters: Lisa and her husband Russ will be moving to Colorado (near Durango) in late summer 2020. She would love to organize some readings and make contact with writers who live in that area. Finally, Lisa will be at AWP in San Antonio March 4-8 and would also like to meet up with Stonecoasters.
Melanie Viets (Creative Nonfiction, W’17) is pleased to share some of her efforts guest editing “Root Mapping” at The Learned Pig. Published features include new work from Rick Bass (Faculty: Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Writing for Social Change) and in January, a new essay by Catharine Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17). Submissions are welcome as the journal series continues in 2020.