Tag Archives: Lisa Romeo

Community News & Updates August 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

It’s Boston Poetry Marathon time again! This year’s Boston Poetry Marathon is Friday-Sunday, August 16, 17, and 18, and …WE HAVE REALLY EXCITING NEWS! *We will be in a NEW LOCATION this year!* We are having this year’s Marathon at The Community Church of Boston at 565 Boylston St in Copley Square. This year’s event times are Friday, August 16th, from 6:00-10:30 p.m., Saturday, August 17th, from 12:00-10:30 p.m. (with a dinner break around 5:30, starting up again at 7:00 p.m.), and Sunday, August 18th, from 12:00-6:00 p.m. As always: every reader gets eight minutes each. For the third year running, Bridget Eileen (Poetry, W’09) is an organizer of this 20+ year-old Boston-area poetry festival tradition. This year’s lineup is TBD, but past years’ Stonecoast participants include alums Florine Melnyk, Carol Berg, Christine Tierney, and Vanesa Pacheco, and faculty Richard Hoffman and D. Nurkse. Admission is free but donations are welcome and appreciated. We are collecting donations ahead of time to help us with this year’s event at the new location. Learn more here. Event details are can be found here.

FACULTY

Breena Clarke (Fiction), co-founder and co-organizer of The Hobart Festival of Women Writers, is hosting a stunning lineup of women writers for the seventh consecutive year in the small New York town of Hobart, the Book Village of The Catskills. The Festival offers three days of readings and workshops in every genre. The Festival will also present a Public Conversation that is free and open to all, “In These Times: Writing. Terror. Possibility.” Hobart Festival of Women Writers 2019 will be held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 6th, 7th, & 8th. For information and registration, click here. For Spotlights of all of the 2019 Participating Writers, go here.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) will be reading from his novel Nirvana Is Here at the annual Out Write Literary Festival in Washington, DC, Saturday, August 3rd, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. at the Reeves Center at 14th St. NW and U St. Aaron is also please to announce that the audio rights to Nirvana Is Here have just been sold.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) was an instructor at The Writers Hotel in New York City in early June and then later in the month was lead instructor at the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle. Her forthcoming novel Curious Toys was reviewed in Publishers Weekly, which called it “a phantasmagoric time trip tailor made for fans of The Devil in the White City.” Recent reviews are Kate Mosse’s The Burning Chambers for The Washington Post and Paul Tremblay’s story collection Growing Things for The Los Angeles Times. Elizabeth was profiled and interviewed by Michael Fournier in punk zine Razorcake, talking about her involvement in the nascent NYC and DC punk scenes in the 1970s.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) feature film script A Four-Sided Bed, and the short film based on her novel, Four-Sided, have both been accepted at the upcoming Massachusetts Independent Film Festival in September. Elizabeth’s script is one of five finalists for Best Feature Film Script and the film Four-Sided will make its USA premiere at the festival, having screened previously in Cannes and been a Finalist at ShanghaiPRIDE festival. Elizabeth will be attending the festival with one of her feature film project producers, Amy Carpenter Scott of Creatrix Films. In other recent film news, Elizabeth’s script for A Four-Sided Bed won a Feature Film ‘Diamond’ Script prize in the International Independent Film Awards, was a Finalist in the California Women’s Film Awards, and was an Official Selection at Austin Revolution Film Festival. In July, her script was performed as a full Staged Reading at ReelHeART International Film and Script Festival in Toronto and as a Best Scenes reading at the film festival LGBT Toronto. Visit: www.afoursidedbedfilm.com 

Elizabeth and the ReelHeART Film Festival cast of A Four-Sided Bed in Toronto

Cazenovia University Professor Grazyna J. Kozaczka writes about Suzanne Strempek Shea’s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) four Polish-American-set novels in her new book, Writing the Polish American Woman in Postwar Ethnic Fiction (Ohio University Press). The book examines seven decades of writing by North American-born and immigrant authors representing the Polish-American Catholic tradition. The chapter “Suzanne Strempek Shea’s Gendered Ethnicity in the 1970s and 1980s” begins with this observation: “In constructing a female perspective, fiction writers such as the Chinese Americans Gish Jen, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Amy Tan, the Native American Louise Erdrich,the Puerto Rican Judith Ortiz Cofer, the Dominican American Julia Alvarerz and the Polish American Suzanne Strempek Shea have forced many of their characters into a process of reinventing both their gender and ethnic identities within a class-conscious environment.”

ALUMS

Emma Galvin will be voicing the audiobook for Lindsey Barlow‘s (Popular Fiction, W’19) Pivot, the first novel of the Jack Harper trilogy. Galvin has voiced an incredible number of audiobooks, which include Winter’s Bone and the Divergent series.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be appearing at Worldcon 77 in Dublin. He will be presenting his paper “Mischief in Her Heart: Women’s Empowerment in the Persian Fantastic” on Friday, August 16th, at 11:30 a.m. He will also be appearing on the following panels:

  • Writing from Non-Western Cultures (Thursday, August 15, 11:00 a.m.)
  • Fuzzy Lines: Decategorising Creative Work (Thursday, August 15, 2:00 p.m.)
  • Muslim SFF (Saturday, August 17, 1:00 p.m.)
  • Using Science in Fantasy Writing (Sunday, August 18, 4:00 p.m.)

See the Worldcon website for full details. In addition, PodCastle, the fantasy fiction podcast Peter produces, had been nominated for the British Fantasy Award for Best Audio.Ryan Brod (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) has accepted an adjunct teaching offer from University of New England’s English department, starting this fall. He has a short essay in the recently released summer issue (10.4) of The Flyfish Journal, and he continues to contribute regularly to the popular website MeatEater.

In continuing to break barriers, Debbie Smith Daughetee’s (Popular Fiction, S’06) comic book company, Kymera Press, just filled an order by the Smithsonian National Natural History Museum for the comic Ivory Ghosts, a murder mystery set against the illegal ivory trade.

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’14) is excited to announce that her debut book, The Bone Cutters, is set for publication on September 1st through Eraserhead Press. It’s a “bizarro” horror novella set in a dysfunctional psychiatric hospital. The story follows a troubled young woman named Dory who encounters a seriously strange and brutal group of psychiatric patients. Her introduction to this group of patients sets Dory on the run to save her life. The book will be available, as of right now, through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Longfellow Books. Renee is also very excited to announce that a book launch event for The Bone Cutters is being hosted by Longfellow Books in Portland, ME, on Thursday, September 5th at 7:00 p.m. at their 1 Monument Square bookstore location. Along with her reading, there will also be live music to help set the mood, performed by local guitarist Shaun Church Reehl, and the amazing Elizabeth Searle will be Renee’s Introduction Queen. Renee is also thrilled to announce that there are two great reviews out already for The Bone Cutters: one on Ginger Nuts of Horror and one on Kendall Reviews. A third review is coming out soon in Cemetery Dance, the date of which is not yet known, though it should be available before the September 1st publication of the book. Here are snippets of what reviewers are saying 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 the debut novella from Renee S. DeCamillis 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.” ~Joe X. Young, reviewer for 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.” ~Miranda Crites, reviewer for Kendall Reviews

Kendall Reviews also published a piece Renee wrote on the subject of “Why Do You Write Horror?” For those of you who are interested, here is the link. Also, on Friday, August 2nd, Ginger Nuts of Horror is releasing an interview with Renee. From their home page you can click on the “Interviews” link on the left hand side of the screen to find the interview. Here is their link.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) has published his academic essay “The Commodification of Transcendence: Absurdism and Existentialism in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch” in PKD Otaku #39 (a zine celebrating the work of Philip K. Dick), available here. Also, Jess has accepted an advancement from the University of New Hampshire and will now be attending graduate school as a candidate for a PhD in Literature.

Florence Grende‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’07) book The Butcher’s Daughter: A Memoir has been shortlisted for the Rubery Book Award (2019). Along with the Kindle Book Award NonFiction (2018), the book has garnered yearly awards since its publication in late 2016.

Clifford Royal Johns (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be giving a short presentation at HippoCamp 2019, a conference for creative nonfiction writers (August 23-25, Lancaster, PA). The presentation is derived from his third semester project and graduating presentation about reducing the number of sentences that start with “I.” This is important to avoid sounding egotistical in memoir and to reduce sentence structure repetition.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) will be speaking at the White County Creative Writers annual conference in Searcy, AR, on August 31st on “Researching Fiction.” She’ll use examples from her work: attending the citizen’s police academy for a policewoman character, spending two days at a TV station watching the news being put together for a news anchor character, going behind the bar to wash beer mugs for a bartender character, etc.

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S11) is pleased to announce that the legendary aerialist, creativity expert, and award-winning writer Philippe Petit has joined Catskill LIT Writing Retreat as Artist-in-Residence. Mr. Petit will lead a workshop in ekphrastic writing.

Cynthia Kraack (Fiction, W’10) and Joseph Tachovsky’s 40 Thieves: Saipan, the World War II story of the Sixth Marine Regiment’s Scout Sniper Platoon—precursors to Navy Seals—was sold to Regnery History for publication in spring 2020. Stories for this narrative non-fiction book were gathered through hours of interviews with surviving men, their letters, photos, and historical Marine materials.

Kristin Leonard‘s (Fiction, S’18) historical short story “El Camino Real” is the featured fiction in the open-access academic journal Postcolonial Text (Vol. 14, No. 1).

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) will be presenting at the Hobart Festival of Women Writers September 6-8, 2019, in Hobart, NY. She’ll be reading on Friday, September 6th; on Saturday she’ll teach a workshop, “In It for the Long Haul: Writing the Novel.”

Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will be teaching a workshop on Memoir at the 79th Annual Writers’ Conference at Ocean Park (Maine) on August 13th at 9:30 a.m.

On August 16th at 6:00 p.m., Dave Patterson (Fiction, W’13) discusses his novelSoon the Light Will Be Perfect, at The Briar Patch in Bangor.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction S’08) interviewed fiction writer Lisa Lenzo for The Rumpus, about Lenzo’s new short story collection, Unblinking. Romeo’s essay “Playing Along with My Dad’s Alzheimer’s Confusion,” which enlarges on a scene/idea in her memoir, Starting With Goodbye, appeared this month in Human Parts.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) essay “Buried Beneath Her Skin Like Slivers” was recently published in Under the Sun. Her flash essay “The Release” was published in the most recent issue of Pembroke MagazineHer short story “Spiraling Through the Sky” was a finalist for the 2019 New Letters Publication Award in Fiction.

Marco Wilkinson (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) has had his memoir/essay collection, Madder, taken by Coffee House Press. It will appear in 2021.

 

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Community News & Updates July 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

It’s Boston Poetry Marathon time again! This year’s Boston Poetry Marathon is Friday-Sunday, August 16, 17, and 18, and …WE HAVE REALLY EXCITING NEWS! *We will be in a NEW LOCATION this year!* We are having this year’s Marathon at The Community Church of Boston at 565 Boylston St in Copley Square. This year’s event times are Friday, August 16th, from 6:00-10:30 p.m., Saturday, August 17th, from 12:00-10:30 p.m. (with a dinner break around 5:30, starting up again at 7:00 p.m.), and Sunday, August 18th, from 12:00-6:00 p.m. As always: every reader gets eight minutes each. For the third year running, Bridget Eileen (Poetry, W’09) is an organizer of this 20+ year-old Boston-area poetry festival tradition. This year’s lineup is TBD, but past years’ Stonecoast participants include alums Florine Melnyk, Carol Berg, Christine Tierney, and Vanesa Pacheco, and faculty Richard Hoffman and D. Nurkse. Admission is free but donations are welcome and appreciated. We are collecting donations ahead of time to help us with this year’s event at the new location. Learn more here. Event details are can be found here.

FACULTY

Candor Arts, in collaboration with Illinois Humanities and their #IllinoisTurns200, produced a risograph broadside of Tara Betts‘ (Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) Illinois Bicentennial poem. The broadside also features illustrations by Kiki Dupont. Betts’ poem nods at the sesquicentennial Gwendolyn Brooks wrote in ’68 to mark 150 years of statehood. Betts’ broadside will be given to the winners of the Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards (#GWBYPA19) on August 10th, 2019.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) has agreed to a two-book deal with Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. His first young-adult book, War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight between America and Hitler, was released in June. In its review, Booklist calls the book “a knockout.” School Library Journal says it “reads as smoothly as a novel” and recommends it for “all public and school libraries.” Last week, John and his writing partner (and wife), Ouisie Shapiro, discussed the book’s themes on ESPN radio; you can hear the interview here.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) was interviewed by novelist Kris Jansma for Electric Literature, which called his novel Nirvana Is Here “a pure joy to read on every page.” The Rupture also published a glowing review of Nirvana, calling it “an expertly written, bold, funny, serious novel.” DC fans, take note: on July 3rd, Aaron will be on a panel at the legendary Ask Rayceen Show doors opening at 6:00 p.m. He’ll also be teaching Publishing 101 at the Writer’s Center on July 10th, 7:00-9:00 p.m., as well as a special class on the novel Landfall by Thomas Mallon at Politics and Prose on July 14th, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) will accept the Grand Master Award, presented by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, at San Diego Comic-Con on July 19 at 2:00 p.m. in Room 32 AB. There will be an autograph session afterwards with a panel of tie-in writers in the Sails Pavilion. Here is the press release from the association:

Not many women get to play in over ten different universes, let alone create several of their own. Yet that is exactly what Nancy Holder makes look so very—and deceptively—easy to her myriad and devoted fans.

Every year, the International Association of Media Tie-In writers selects a grandmaster of tie-in writing to receive the Faust, IAMTW’s lifetime achievement award. For 2019, it is the IAMTW’s great pleasure to present the Faust to Nancy Holder. Her tie-in work runs the gamut from Firefly to Saving Grace. She’s written Angel in the Buffyverse, and Zorro in the seventeenth century. She novelized the Wonder Woman, Crimson Peak, and Ghostbusters movies, and wrote about a Feline Felon, and a pup in Wishbone. Above and beyond her media work, she’s co-created the YA series Wicked and Crusade.

Of the Bram Stoker award-winning and NYT bestselling author, IAMTW president Jonathan Maberry says, “Nancy is not only a superb writer and a smart businesswoman, but also a kind and compassionate member of the writing community.”

The IAMTW congratulates Grandmaster Nancy Holder on receiving the 2019 Faust Award.

More film news for Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting): her screenplay A Four-Sided Bed won Best Dramatic Screenplay at Hollywood Boulevard Film Festival in June, as well as Best First Time Feature Screenplay at Festivious Film Festival-LA, and was a Finalist at the Filmatic Drama Screenplay Awards. Over a dozen contests and festivals have given award recognition to Elizabeth’s script this year. The script will be featured in a full Staged Reading performance at the 15th Annual ReelHeART International Film and Screenplay Festival on July 5th in Toronto; Elizabeth will attend the film festival and do a Q/A after the staged reading. Later in July, Elizabeth’s script will be featured in a Best Scenes short read at the festival LGBT Toronto. Please see the updated website: http://www.afoursidedbedfilm.com

ALUMS

Jillian Abbott (Popular Fiction, S’04) has been invited to participate on a panel on the Ethics of Storytelling at Mix Digital, an international conference of digital writing at Bath Spa University in the UK on Monday, July 1, 2019; she also received a grant from the PSC_CUNY to attend the conference. The panel is moderated by writer Nikesh Shukladescribed by Foreign Affairs Magazine as one of the top 100 thinkers in the world and by The Bookseller as one of the 100 most influential people in publishing. Also on the panel is Digital Curator from the British Museum, Stella Wisdom, and British novelist Rosie Garland. More details can be found here.

The short-film adaptation of Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) memoir, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, has three launches in July. The film’s Australian launch is at the Revelation Perth International Film Festival July 4-17. Two New England launches follow at the Maine International Film Festival at Railroad Square (July 12-21) and then the Woods Hole Film Festival (July 27-August 3). Bailey wrote and directed the film. For more details see wildsnailfilm.org. Also, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating has just been published in Spain in both Catalan (Més Libres) and Spanish (Capitán Swing) and the Spanish edition will have distribution in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) narrated Derek Lubangakene’s story “Origami Angels” for the June 13th episode of Escape Pod. You can listen to it here.

Julie C. Day (Popular Fiction, S’12) is thrilled that her novella, The Rampant, now has both a cover and release date! The Rampant will be released by Aqueduct Press on October 1st, 2019, in both an ebook and paperback edition as part of their Conversation Pieces series.

It’s ten years since the hordes of old-world Sumerian gods arrived in Southern Indiana to kick off the end of the world, but things have not gone to plan. A principal player decided not to show. Now humanity is stuck in a seemingly never-ending apocalypse. Sixteen-year-old Emelia Bareilles and Gillian Halkey are determined to travel into the lands of the dead and force a change.

“I loved the epic journey of our two teenaged lesbian he­roes, Gillian and Emelia, through the sprawling horrors of the Sumerian afterworld. The clash of their modern feminist sensibilities with the cruel and rigid theocracy of the very oldest gods out-weirds much of the New Weird. In The Rampant, Julie Day calls us to visit a fan­tastical landscape in a voice that is hers alone.” ~James Patrick Kelly, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards

The Rampant was so much fun to read! Is that the right way to blurb a horror novel? I don’t know, but it’s the truth. Julie Day’s novel is smart, playful, sly and, yes, hor­rifying too. A short gem of a book.” ~Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling. Winner of the World Fantasy, Shirley Jackson, and British Fantasy awards.

“The girl-powered post-apocalyptic Sumerian under­world quest I didn’t know I needed.” ~Sarah Pinsker, winner of the Nebula and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award

The Rampant is one of the most original Apocalypse tales I’ve read in ages. Julie C. Day avoids cliché and gives the reader the end-times by way of Sumerian myth—except this particular end-of-the-world stalls when one of its principal players decides not to show up. What unfolds is a journey into the underworld filled with joy and hor­ror, hope and loss. It’s a wise and lovely story—exactly what I’ve come to expect from Day.” ~Nathan Ballingrud, winner of the Shirley Jackson Award; shortlisted for the World Fan­tasy, British Fantasy, and Bram Stoker Awards.

Terri Glass’s (Poetry/Creative Nonfiction, S’13) poem “Waiting for the Lazuli Bunting” was published in the Spring 2019 issue of Birdland Journal, and her poem “Spirit Bear” will be published in the upcoming Marin Poetry Center Anthology. Terri also taught a workshop on the history of haiku for the summer residency of the MFA program at Dominican University in June 2019.

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S’11) is pleased to announce Catskill Lit: Words & Music Revivala generative writing retreat.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) started his production company, Alan W. King Productions, which specializes in audio, video, literary services, marketing and content management. For authors, his services include book trailerssocial media banner designs to help promote your book, and media outreach for reviews. Alan marketed his second book, Point Blank, which was named among the “Ten Best Poetry Books for 2016” by Beltway Poetry Journal. It was also listed among “The Best Poetry Books of the New Year 2017” by Washington Independent Review of Books and was reviewed in publications such as the Washington City Paper and the Best American Poetry blog. Learn more here.

Kristin Leonard (Fiction, S’18) received the 2019 Maine Literary Award for Drama.

Jeanette Lynes‘ (Poetry/Fiction, S’05) second novel, The Small Things that End the World, won the Muslims for Peace and Justice Fiction Award at the 2019 Saskatchewan Book Awards, Canada.

John Christopher Nelson‘s (Fiction, S’15) flash-fiction piece, “A Miracle Shy of Martyrdom,” is forthcoming in Necessary Fiction. John is currently in residency as a Teaching Apprentice at Stonecoast.

Ellie O’Leary (Poetry, W’17) is organizing the first annual Fall Writerfest at the Pyramid Life Center in Paradox, NY, Sunday, September 22nd, through Friday September 27th, 2019. Fee is $300 inclusive of lodging, all meals, workshops, and seminars. Stonecoaster Clif Travers (Popular Fiction, S’17) will be teaching fiction, Ellie will be teaching a multi-genre workshop, and there will also be workshops in poetry and CNF along with seminars on publishing, Tai Chi, writing through grief, and more to be added.

Erin Roberts (Popular Fiction, W’18) is thrilled to have been recently awarded a 2019 Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council and plans to use the grant to spend more time writing. She’s also deeply proud to have her story “Sour Milk Girls,” which was previously selected to be in The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Vol. 4, also selected to be in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2019. Finally, her 2018 short story “The Grays of Cestus V,” originally in Asimov’s, is now available free to the masses through its inclusion in the short story podcast Tales from A Black Universe—links here (Spotify) and here (Apple).

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S ’08), will lead a one-day workshop, “Dialogue and Scene for Prose Writers,” with Cedar Ridge Writers Series, in Bedminster, NJ, on Saturday, July 20th. Details here.

Tamie (Harkins) Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) invites writers of all stripes who are looking for a good editor to contact her. For the last five years she has worked as a developmental editor on a number of wonderful books that have been published by the University of California Press, focusing mostly on race and gender studies. She’s also edited half a dozen creative nonfiction books, a couple YA novels, and poetry. Authors she’s worked with include Michael Kimmel, Khaled Beydoun, Deepak Singh, Julie Bettie, Barbara Owen, and Robert Wyrod. She works on a generous sliding scale, and is especially interested in working with artists who are isolated socially or geographically, and with intellectuals whose work centers on social justice. She is happy to work with clients for just an hour or two, or for a year, or on an as-needed basis. Please contact her at tamieparkersong@gmail.com.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) won a $500 Merit Scholarship to attend Tinker Mountain Writers Workshop held recently at Hollins University. The award was based on an excerpt from a novel in progress.

 

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Community News & Updates May 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

One Voice: Stonecoast’s 2nd Annual Open Mic
May 7th, 2019

Celebrate the greater Stonecoast MFA literary community at our second annual One Voice open-mic event, Tuesday, May 7th, 7:00 p.m. at Oxbow Blending and Bottling in Portland’s East End. Sign up here to share a three-minute reading of your original work. (Space is limited, so reserve your spot now!) Free and open to the public. Oxbow’s locally brewed craft beer will be available for purchase during the event, and there are a number of local dining options nearby. Bring your friends! For more info and to RSVP, click here. Contact Stonecoast MFA Community Outreach Coordinator with questions: Jenny O’Connell at jennifer.a.oconnell@maine.edu.

Call for Submissions: Climate Anthology
Deadline: May 31st
Now it is up to the artists. The scientists have warned us. They have been warning us for fifty years. But we have only 12 years to dramatically reduce our current carbon use before we cross the line into unprecedented climate catastrophe. We—Meghan Sterling and Kathleen Sullivan (Poetry, ’06)—are editing an anthology of Maine poets and essayists whose writing will, we hope, wake us, stir our imaginations both for our global future and our way of life here in Maine. We are looking for writing which helps find language for the fear, guilt, and grief of this moment, and, perhaps, for the hope. Published and unpublished work sought. Littoral Press has agreed to publish the book which we hope will be in Fall, 2019. The voices of youth most welcome. Send one essay (max 1,000 words) or up to three poems to: climateanthology@gmail.com Include a short bio. Deadline is May 31st. Kathleen notes that Stonecoast alums are encouraged to submit even if they don’t live in Maine now.

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) play Raghead will be part of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival at the Wild Project NYC, May 9th at 8:00 p.m. His new short play Bubble, Bubble will be part of the fun and fabulous Boston Theater Marathon XXI, Boston, May 19th.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) new novel Nirvana Is Here is being released on May 14th. Readings and events are planned this month in New York, DC, Detroit, Chicago, and Baltimore (and next month in Seattle; San Francisco; Portland, OR; Annapolis; and Portland, ME). Click here for the complete schedule. Be sure to get your copy at your favorite indie bookstore! Aaron’s essay on Kurt Cobain’s gay rights legacy was in The Washington Post. And his piece about “Lessons I Learned in Writing My #MeToo Story” was posted on the Submittable blog.

Elizabeth Hand (Fiction, Popular Fiction) is the subject of a feature podcast on This Is Horror, discussing music, folk horror, the English folk tradition and her award-winning novella, Wylding Hall. Her Cass Neary books were recently named as one of the top ten hipster crime novels at CrimeReads, and also among the top eight queer crime novels featuring women at Autostraddle, the world’s most popular lesbian website.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) has film script news: she won a 2019 Los Angeles Film Award in April for her screenplay A Four-Sided Bed, adapted by Elizabeth from her novel. In the past month, Elizabeth’s recently completed script has also been chosen as one of two feature film scripts to be presented at the 15th ReelHeART International Film Festival in Toronto, which Elizabeth will attend in July. In addition, the script was named an Official Selection at the Script Summit festival in Las Vegas and a Finalist at the Indie Visions Film Festival as well as in the Los Angeles Film & Script Festival. A Four-Sided Bed is being developed as a feature film by two producers, David Ball (producer on over thirty films including the recent Tag; the award-winning 96 Minutes, starring Evan Ross and Britney Snow; and Yellow) and Amy Carpenter Scott/Creatrix Films (Pitstop). More news coming soon on this film development project. In May, in addition to the Idol Talk theater event (see Tamra Wilson note below), Elizabeth has a second theatrical event in May: she will be a featured Storyteller at the fundraising event Stories I Haven’t Yet Told, an Arlington, MA, fundraiser for RIA House, which “supports women who have experience in the commercial sex trade and its associated exploitation, trafficking and prostitution,” on May 29th at the Regent Theater at 7:00 p.m. For updates, including on Idol Talk onstage, see: http://www.elizabethsearle.net

ALUMS

Jillian Abbott (Popular Fiction, S’04) had two op-eds published in The New York Daily News last month: “Sri Lanka and the Burdens of History” mentions her MFA creative thesis, and “CUNY’s Teachers Get Stiffed” talks about the MFA and life trapped as an adjunct.

Elizabeth Beechwood (Popular Fiction, S’14) is pleased to announce that her short story “Yes, Yes, Yes, We Remember” was published in Third Flatiron’s Hidden Histories Anthology. This is the second story she’s had published that’s set in her fictional world of the Vysoké Tatry—the High Tatra Mountains of Slovakia.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is excited to be a guest at StokerCon (May 9-12) where she will speak on the panel “Rise of the Pod(cast) People” about her job as Assistant Editor of PseudoPod. She’s also serving on “Writing to Prompts: Prose, Poetry, and Sources of Inspiration.” On Saturday, she’ll be the game master for four authors playing Bedlam Hall, a macabre Victorian role-playing game (think Downton Abbey for horrible people). Come watch us play! It’s guaranteed to be good times. Starting in May, Karen is also teaching a twelve-week online creative writing class for Western Technical College. She welcomes Stonecoasters who want some online teaching experience to pair up with her as mentees. Viva la Stonecoast!

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) has made a good deal for two-books at auction with Tor. Eleusis, the first of the two books, is a stand-alone sequel to her first novel Elysium (Aqueduct Press, 2014) and is due to be published in Summer 2020.

Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) is attending a two-week residency in Cove Park, Scotland. She will be working on her latest hybrid literary project inspired by cultures in along the North Atlantic Rim.

Penny Guisinger‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) latest piece ran at Solstice this month. “Borne Back Ceaselessly” explores her longtime relationship with the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald through the lens of a thing they shared: alcoholism. (Hint: he was dead at 44. Currently, Penny remains not-dead.)

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S ’11) is pleased to announce that her story “Lost Change” appears on the Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize blog. It is an excerpt from her memoir What Goes by the Name of Love. 

Jeff Kass‘ (Fiction, S’09) upcoming new poetry collection Teacher/Pizza Guy is now available for pre-order from Wayne State University Press’ Made in Michigan Series. According to the press release, the book is “a collection of autobiographical poems from the 2016–17 school year in which Kass worked as a full-time English teacher and a part-time director for a literary arts organization and still had to supplement his income by delivering pizzas a few nights a week. In the collection, Kass is unapologetically political without distracting from the poems themselves but rather adds layers and nuances to the fight for the middle class and for educators as a profession.” David Hecker, President of the AFT Michigan Teacher’s Union, adds, “I never really cared for poetry, but I truly loved Kass’s work. He speaks to all of our insecurities and vulnerabilities, giving a voice to what we want to say but rarely do. Yes, teachers are struggling to get by financially and it’s a shame that education is not being made a higher priority in our society. Thank you, Jeff, for opening the door to this conversation in a creative and enriching way.” Poet Ross Gay says, “What a beautiful and moving and funny and un-heroic and angry and tender and honest book of poems about labor, aging, love, and, as Kass says, finding ‘meaning in every ice patch on the sidewalk.’ This book’s heart is enormous. I love it.” Official release of the collection happens on August 26th. Pre-orders are available here.

Lissa Kiernan‘s (Poetry, S’11) book Glass Needles & Goose Quills: Elementary Lessons in Atomic Properties, Nuclear Families, & Radical Poetics (Haley’s) has been selected as a 2018 Gold Nautilus Award Winner in the Lyric Prose category and a 2018 Gold Independent Book Awards Winner in the Cross-Genre category. In her book, Kiernan juxtaposes nuclear plant industry reports, newspaper clippings, and texts of poetics with her own poems and prose.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) created a short video on his final reading as the Howard County Literary & Poetry Society’s 2018/19 Writer-in-Residence. You can watch it here.

Tom MacDonald (Fiction, W’09) and two other local authors held a panel about their new novels as well as their writing and publishing experiences at the Thayer Public Library in Braintree, MA, on April 27th.

Cristina Perachio (Fiction, S‘14) will have her short story “Hunters” published in the May issue of EPOCH Magazine. She is very pleased to see this story placed in Cornell’s literary magazine as it is one of the stories she originally wrote as part of her Stonecoast application, and it has been workshopped by many fellow Stonecoast students and professors.

Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) will read at The Busy Bee in Cape Elizabeth, ME, on Saturday, May 25th, at 4:00 p.m. as part of the series curated and hosted by Marcia Brown.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) is pleased to share that his essay “More than Brothers,” a look at LGBT characters in Harry Potter (hint: there’s only two, sort of), was accepted for the Academic Track at WorldCon this August in Dublin, Ireland. He has also been awarded a grant from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation to spend the month of July in Rome, Italy.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) will be the keynote speaker at the NJ Women Who Write Conference in Madison, NJ in September, and in August at the Hippocamp19 Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers in Lancaster, PA, she will lead a session on Reading as a Writer and appear on a panel about Writing While Parenting.

Nikki Sambitsky‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’18) essay “Chester Bennington is Dead” was recently selected for publication in The Manifest-Station by founder Jennifer Pastiloff and editor Angela M Giles. The essay uses anaphora as a device to help Nikki deal with the sad and untimely death of Linkin Park’s lead singer, Chester Bennington, to suicide, as well her own clinical depression and suicidal thoughts. Nikki uses unconventional and hybrid forms to help her tackle the deeply difficult and grief-filled issues in her life such as depression, family dysfunction, and her children’s autism. This is the second essay that has been published from her larger essay collection Perseverate, Linger, which has been submitted to PANK and Sarabande Books and is eagerly awaiting a decision. A link to the published essay is forthcoming.

Lisa C. Taylor‘s (Poetry, S’04) 2011 collaborative collection, The Other Side of Longing (with Irish writer Geraldine Mills), was adopted by an Irish Literature class at University of Connecticut for the 2019 spring semester. Both Lisa and Geraldine had a chance to visit the class on April 11th and discuss their summer together in Ireland in 2009. Lisa will be teaching an all-day fiction class for the School of the West in Mancos, Colorado (right near Mesa Verde National Park), on June 15th. Anyone can sign up via this link. Also, Lisa has been chosen as a reader for the Connecticut Author’s Trail; she will be reading at Chaplin Library in Chaplin, CT, on August 12th at 7 p.m.

Faculty member Elizabeth Searle and alumna Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) are heading up a special reading, Idol Talk: A Magical Memory Tour of Teen Idols, on May 10th and 11th at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, Newburyport, MA. Show time is 8:00 p.m. both nights. The reading, featuring dance numbers and readings from Idol Talk, a teen idols anthology that Searle and Wilson co-edited for McFarland Publishing in 2018. Actress Marianne Leone will emcee the fundraiser for Exit Dance Company and Firehouse PAC. Among the Stonecoasters participating are faculty member Suzanne Strempek Shea and the works of several alumnae including Lee J. Kahrs, Kate Kastelein, Michelle Soucy, and Darlene Taylor.

 

 

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Community News & Updates April 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Call for Submissions: Climate Anthology
Now it is up to the artists. The scientists have warned us. They have been warning us for fifty years. But we have only 12 years to dramatically reduce our current carbon use before we cross the line into unprecedented climate catastrophe. We—Meghan Sterling and Kathleen Sullivan (Poetry, ’06)—are editing an anthology of Maine poets and essayists whose writing will, we hope, wake us, stir our imaginations both for our global future and our way of life here in Maine. We are looking for writing which helps find language for the fear, guilt, and grief of this moment, and, perhaps, for the hope. Published and unpublished work sought. Littoral Press has agreed to publish the book which we hope will be in Fall, 2019. The voices of youth most welcome. Send one essay (max 1,000 words) or up to three poems to: climateanthology@gmail.com Include a short bio. Deadline is May 31. Kathleen notes that Stonecoast alums are encouraged to submit even if they don’t live in Maine now.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Lauren Erin O’Brien‘s (Fiction) story “Atrophy,” recipient of the 2018 Goldenberg Prize for Fiction from Bellevue Literary Review, has been nominated by the board of contributing editors for a Pushcart Prize. The story originally appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of Bellevue Literary Review and can be read online here.

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) full-length play Cry Havoc will have its European Premiere at the Park Theatre in London, March 27-April 20. His short play Kamasutra is included in The Best Ten Minute Plays of 2019 anthology (Smith & Kraus)—available now!

Audiophile named Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) Elsey Come Home an Audiofile “Earphone Award Winner,” given to truly exceptional titles that excel in narrative voice and style, characterizations, suitability to audio, and enhancement of the text:  “At once urgent and contemplative, this new work focuses on Elsey, a painter and married mother living in China who has taken to drinking instead of creating art. Urged by her husband to find help, she attends a yoga retreat and discovers many truths, not the least of which about herself.” Also, Read it Forward named Elsey Come Home one of the best novels with “Characters Who Drink Too Much”: “Elsey has to face the ghosts of her past and figure out what alcohol is keeping her from confronting.” Finally, Elsey Come Home was Maine’s WERU-FM’s Book Worm’s March Book Club Pick. The live, in-studio interview, with call-ins was March 14. In their March 17th review, The Portland Press Herald called the narrator of Susan’s new novel Elsey Come Home “a feisty blur of a woman, caught in the grip of her many demons, hellbent on pushing everyone, and everything, away. Elsey is that rare creation that evokes real life, defies predictability and disarms us at every turn. Conley has taken a jittery pile of loose ends and made a thing of beauty.”

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, “The Jackie Robinson of Pool, Cisero Murphy Hustled His Way to the Top,” was a March feature story for ESPN’s The Undefeated. His book One Nation Under Baseball: How the 1960s Collided with the National Pastime will be re-issued in paperback on April 1. His YA book, War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight Between Hitler and America, will be released by Macmillan’s Children’s Group on May 21, and just received this review from Kirkus.

More advance praise for Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) Nirvana Is Here, due out May 14th! Brando Skyhorse calls the book “A yearning, generous, coming-of-age journey… funny, painful, heartbreaking.” Louis Bayard says, “A touching, finely wrought portrait of secrets lying like buried ordinance beneath ordinary lives.” The review by Amos Lassen raves, “Every once in a while, a book comes along that blows me away and Nirvana Is Here is one such book…” and I Like To Read says, “Almost impossible for me to put this book down, which is rare for me these days… a beautiful, sad, coming-of-age story that is a heartily welcome addition to the LGBTQ literature pantheon.” Also, a couple new tour dates added, including a stop at Word Bookstore in Jersey City on May 15th and the Fall for the Book Festival at George Mason University in October. Click here for the updated schedule to see if Aaron’s coming to your hometown!

Elizabeth Hand’s recent reviews include Niklas Natt och Dag’s The Wolf and the Watchman for The Washington Post; Mallory O’Meara’s The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Millicent Patrick for The Los Angeles Times; and Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies, The Devil’s Highway by Gregory Norminton, Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss, and Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You by Scotto Moore for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) is happy to announce the Crossroad Press reissue of Witch-Light and Making Love, two books she originally co-wrote with the late Melanie Tem for the groundbreaking horror imprint, Dell Abyss. Making Love is a retelling of Frankenstein, and the book is dedicated in part to Mary Shelley.

Elizabeth Searle and alumna Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) are bringing Idol Talk to the stage! Idol Talk: A Magical Memory Tour of Teen Idols is premiering as a theatrical event produced by Firehouse Center for the Performing Arts and Exit Dance Company as a special fundraiser. The show stars actress and author Marianne Leone (The Sopranos) and will alternate short monologue-style readings from the book Idol Talk (co-edited by Elizabeth And Tammy) with dance numbers paying tribute to idols like The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Monkees, and more. The show features Stonecoast alum readers/performers Lee J. Kahrs, Kate Kastelein (whose work will be performed by Marianne Leone), Michelle Soucy, and Darlene Taylor, along with Stonecoast faculty Suzanne Strempek Shea. Performances are May 10 & 11 at 8:00 p.m. at Firehouse Center for Performing Arts in Newburyport, MA; tickets on sale soon here.

It’s almost time for our 18th Writers’ Day at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA. Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction), the university’s writer in residence, is delighted to have booked speakers Jane Yolen, author of over 350 books for children and adults, discussing Writing for Younger Readers; C Flanagan Flynn, former managing editor of Brain, Child Magazine, discussing Writing and Publishing in Literary Magazines & Journals; and author and Bay Path MFA faculty member Shahnaz Habib, speaking about Writing Home, where you’re from and who your are. The event will be held Sunday, April 14, at the Philip H. Ryan Center in East Longmeadow, MA. For more information or to register, go here.

Jane Yolen

ALUMS

The short-film adaptation of Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) memoir The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating has launched. The film next screens in April at the International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula, MT, and then will screen in late May/early June at CinemAmbiente Environmental Film Festival in Turin, Italy.

Michael Beeman (Fiction, S’09) published two short stories recently: “The Shift” in Eclectica Magazine and “The Maelstrom” in Failbetter.com.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) presented his paper “Mischief in Her Heart: Female Empowerment in the Persian Fantastic” at the 40th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. He will be presenting the paper again at Worldcon 77 in Dublin in August. Peter also sold his story “The Moon and Mahasti” to the Holy C.O.W. anthology, which will be published this summer.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) placed her poems “A Disappearing Act,” ”Snow White, Rose Red,” and “Persephone’s Promise” in the Spring issue of The Horror ‘Zine.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) has a short story coming out in Bill Adler Jr. and Sarah Doebereiner’s The Binge Watching Cure: Horror Edition anthology in October 2019—a reprint of “Cadaver Feet” which was featured in alumna Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s Art and Words show. Jose Gonzalez Lanza’s amazing artwork interpreting this piece is available for viewing at this link. This summer, Karen is teaching a 12-week online creative writing class May-August for Western Technical College—registration is now open and participants will earn transferrable college-level English credits. New or experienced poets/fiction writers world-wide are welcome in this online asynchronous class.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) sold his short story about drug-fueled time traveling, “A Second’s Labour,” to The London ReaderThis piece was workshopped during his first semester at Stonecoast with Nancy Holder. Also, he has accepted a full-tuition scholarship to the University of New Hampshire’s Masters in English Studies program, where he will begin attending this fall.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) will be speaking at the Authors’ Fair at Crowder College in Missouri on April 27. Her topic is research for fiction, and she’ll use examples from her own fiction as illustrations (spending two days at a TV station researching for a news anchor character in A Sense of Place, attending 14 Thursday nights of the Citizens’ Police Academy for a policewoman character for Here’s Your Trouble).

In March, The Last Woman in the Forest, the newest novel of Diane Les Becquets (Fiction, S’05), was released by Penguin Random House. Publishers Weekly said that the novel is “[an] elegantly written thriller…the story revs up, providing more than enough tension and suspense as Marian inches closer to the dangerous and disturbing truth. Eloquent, detailed descriptions of nature and of rescue dog training, survival techniques, and the peripatetic life of conservationists enrich the narrative.” Diane is on a book tour, including a visit to Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, NH, at 7:00 p.m. on April 11th (see below for more April dates).

Susan Lilley’s (Poetry, S’08) collection Venus in Retrograde comes out April 30 from Burrow Press. She is looking for a good excuse to come to New England and do some readings this summer. Reach her at susan.lilley@icloud.com. Check it out here: https://burrowpress.com/venus

On April 6, Alison McMahan (Popular Fiction, W’10) will be teaching a class, “The How-to of Deep Point of View,” for the Alvin Sherman Library at Nova Southeastern University, in Fort Lauderdale, FL, 2:00-3:30. Details here. Alison’s short story “King Hanuman” is now available in the the new Sisters in Crime/LA anthology Fatally Haunted (Down and Out Books, Spring 2019), edited by Rachel Howzell Hall, Sheila Lowe, and Laurie Stevens.

Ellie O’Leary (Poetry, W17) has two books accepted for publication. North County Press will publish both her memoir, Up Home Again, and her poetry manuscript, Breathe Here.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry, W’12) is in the third year of her PhD at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. She has just completed an interview with CBC’s The Sunday Edition (hosted by Michael Enright) concerning her work and, in particular, her most recent chapbook, On the Oven Sits a Maiden (Frog Hollow Press, 2018).

Lisa Panepinto‘s (Poetry, W’13) book where i come from the fish have souls was published by Spuyten Duyvil.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) short story “Ariel in LOve Summer” 1999 [sic] will appear in the summer 2019 edition of Valpariso Fiction Review; his poem “Looking” will appear in Gyroscope Review. Bruce will be reading from and signing copies of The Trash Detail, his new story collection from New Rivers Press, and Forms and Shades, his new poetry chapbook from Clare Songbirds Publishing, at The Bangor Public Library on Saturday, April 20, beginning at 2:30 p.m.; a Q&A will follow the reading, which is free and open to the public. For more information please call 207-947-8336. He will also be part of the annual Poets Speak event at the library that will take place on April 25; dozens of poets will read throughout the afternoon and early evening. On April 27, Bruce will join songwriters Cormac McCarthy, Stan Sullivan, and Jim Mercik for an evening of songs, stories, and a musical tribute to the late Bill Morrissey at The Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton, CT. For reservations and directions please see the venues website or call 860-693-0263; the show, primarily a music event, begins at 7:30 p.m.—doors open at 7:00 and tickets are $20.00. Finally, on April 30, Bruce will join Anne Britting Oleson at the Belfast Public Library, 106 High Street, Belfast, ME, for a joint reading, book signing, and Q&A. The event is free, open to all and begins at 6:30 p.m.; additional info may be had by calling 207-338-3884.

Erin Roberts (Popular Fiction W ’18) is thrilled to have two of her short stories (“Sour Milk Girls” & “Snake Season”) on the 2018 Locus Recommended Reading List, which helps to determine the winners of the annual Locus Awards. She also recently had the opportunity to chat about her work as a whole on a Signal Boost episode of the Skiffy and Fanty podcast and hopefully didn’t say anything too incriminating! Note: The Locus list is packed with amazing stories, books, and collections (including work by Jim Kelly and Dora Goss)—read and vote for your favorites (voting open to all, whether a Locus subscriber or not, and write-ins are allowed!).

Lisa Romeo‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) article “Yes, You Can Write Memoir, Even if Your Memory Isn’t Great” appears at the blog of The Open Center NYC, where she’ll be teaching a day-long workshop on the intersection of memory and memoir writing on April 13. Her essay “Forgiving the Bully in the Pulpit” appeared recently in The Moon Magazine. In August, Lisa will lead a week-long memoir workshop at the Live Free and Write Retreat in Sunapee, NH. Closer to her home in NJ, Lisa recently marked six years teaching with The Writers Circle.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular fiction, S’13) story “Every Song Must End” appeared in the latest issue of Uncanny Magazine.

Kathleen Sullivan (Poetry, ’06) has a poem coming out in next volume of Poet Lore and has had an essay accepted for publication this summer in The Stonecoast Review.

Morgan Talty’s (Fiction, W’19) short story “Safe Harbor” was published in Narrative Magazine‘s Winter 2019 issue.

Adrienne S. Wallner’s (Poetry, W ’09) poem “Hydrangea” will appear in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of The Aurorean.

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates March 2019

CURRENT STUDENTS

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.

FACULTY

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.

ALUMS

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 GilgameshThe 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 poemHere’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 Bee333 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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates February 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Iota: Short Prose Conference is now open to students and alumni of Stonecoast MFA. (Applications don’t open for everyone else until February 8!) The creation of Stonecoast graduate Penny Guisinger (Creative Nonfiction, S’13), Iota will stage on Campobello Island from August 16-19, 2019, with faculty Arielle Greenberg and Richard Blanco. Iota is also thrilled to partner with Stonecoast again this year on offering a full scholarship to one writer from rural Washington County, Maine.

FACULTY

The French edition of JJ Amaworo Wilson‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) novel Damnificados (Les Dévastés), translated by Camille Nivelle, was published in January by Les Editions de l’Observatoire. The book was reviewed the same week by Le Monde, which described it as “extraordinary … and magical.”

Tom Coash (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) recently recorded a podcast of his short play Raghead for The American Playbook library to be released later in 2019. Coash has also recently received a Johnny Mercer Foundation fellowship to work on a new musical, entitled Wild Sound, at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, February 2019.

Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) new novel Elsey Come Home (Knopf, January 2019) is an Oprah Magazine “Ten Best Winter Reads,” an Amazon Books “Best Book of the Month,” a Marie Claire Magazine “Best Women’s Fiction of 2019,” a Huffington Post “61 Books We’re Looking Forward to for 2019,” a Southern Living Magazine’s “Best New Books Coming Out Winter 2019,” Washington Independent Review of Books “Sixteen Titles We’re Watching,” a Read it Forward’s “Best Books of the first-half of 2019,” and a Fodors Travel “Best Travel Books for 2018.” The book was also recommended by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal’s “Pre-Pub Pick,” Shelf-Awareness, Book Page, Read It ForwardThe Millions, Hello Giggles, and others.

Advance praise is rolling in for Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) new novel Nirvana Is HereAuthor Elisa Albert calls the book “compulsively readable, charming, and suffused with deep humanity. The title is truth in advertising, folks: this novel is nirvana indeed.” Lesléa Newman says, “This is a drop-everything, stay-up-way-too-late, unputdownable novel… an absolutely necessary read.” And Tova Mirvis says, “Nirvana Is Here is tender, wise and deeply affecting.” Book tour dates are in the works, with stops already booked for New York; Washington, DC; Baltimore; Detroit; Annapolis; and Portland, Maine, a joint reading with Stonecoast alum Dave Patterson, who’ll be reading from his debut novel Soon the Light Will Be Perfect, at Print Bookstore, June 26. Mark your calendars! If you’re interested in having Aaron come to read at your town or Skyping with your book group, let him know directly at aaronhamburger@gmail.com

Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) has a new poem in Thalia Magazine. Check out “forgive me, but another black woman has been killed and I’m shook” along with two poems from Another Way to Say Enter, “Crossing In” and “History Repeating Repeating.”

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera returns to New York City February 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lucille Lortel Theater for a special concert event produced in a association with the Abingdon Theatre Company under Tony-Award-winning Executive Producer Jim Kierstead (Kinky Boots, Pretty Woman, Be More Chill). Media coverage for the event includes a feature article in Broadway World. Updates at http://www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com

ALUMS

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) has a poem, “O Mad Arachne: A Folle in Three Acts,” included in NonBinary Review #19: Dante’s Infernopublished by Zoetic Press in December 2018.

Ryan Brod (Creative Nonfiction/Fiction, S’17) recently won the AFFTA’s (American Fly Fishing Trade Association’s) first ever guide-only essay contest, along with a $1,000 prize. The piece (about complicated water issues facing south Florida/the Everglades region) will appear in the spring issue of The Drake magazine.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) is thrilled to announce that she is now represented by Kim-Mei Kirtland of the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. Her story “Ti-Jean’s Last Adventure, as Told to Raccoon” also appears in Lightspeed this month.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) flash piece “Stone Memories” can be found online at the Jellyfish Review. Her piece “City Magic” can be found online as part of the Cincinnati Review’s miCRo series. A few reprints have also made their way out into the world. Her story “Raising Babies” is now available on the podcast Tales to Terrify, while her story “A Pinhole of Light” was reprinted online in The Dark and in translation as part of the French anthology Ténèbres 2018. Finally, Julie’s debut collection Uncommon Miraclesreleased in October 2018, is now available in hardcover, signed limited edition, and e-edition! Here are a few recent accolades…

“In many of her stories, Day lulls readers into a false sense of familiarity with people, places and events before hitting a literary switch that snatches all certainties away…Day’s prose is spare but vivid and she has an impressive facility with a range of forms and voices.” ~Morning Star, Best of 2018: Fiction

“It’s hard to describe any one of the 18 stories collected here as characteristic of Day’s approach to fiction, since she demonstrates such an impressive range of tones and topics, but we can see here what will become a few recurring elements: a fascination with American landscapes as psychic spaces (with occasional side trips to Paris or the Azores), an almost playful manipulation of genres tropes and protocols, a fondness for subtitles that segment tales into discreet scenes, a resolute focus on characters haunted by memory and sometimes by grief, and an almost casual disinterest in linear plotting…her capacity for engaging bizarre ideas in the exploration of deeply felt and deeply damaged characters can be stunning.” ~Locus Magazine, Collection Review

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’ 14) is excited to share the release date and cover reveal for her debut book, The Bone Cutters—a bizarro horror novella about the hell of mental illness, the evil hands of drug addiction, and the horror of psych. hospitals. The book is set for publication on September 1, 2019, through Eraserhead Press. A book release event and local readings will be sure to follow. Stay tuned for those location and date announcements. Preorders for the book will be possible soon. Until then, here is the synopsis: Dory wakes up in the padded room of a psychiatric hospital with no recollection of how she wound up there. She soon finds out she’s been Blue-Papered–involuntarily committed. When she is sent to the wrong counseling group, she finds a whole new group of drug addicts that make her skin crawl. By the end of that first meeting she is running scared, afraid of being “dusted,” though the psych. hospital staff doesn’t believe a word she says; after all, she’s delusional—at least that’s what they tell her. They end up sending her to that same counseling group every day, though Dory knows that all those junkies want is what’s inside of her—she’s fresh, and she holds the most intense high. Like Girl, Interrupted and “The Yellow Wallpaper,” The Bone Cutters is one woman’s dark and surreal experience with a madness that is not necessarily her own.

March 3-5, Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S ’11) will be attending a Masters Workshop in Tucson. She is eligible for this event as a finalist in the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards Competition. Her submission for the competition was an excerpt from her memoir manuscript What Goes by the Name of Love.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has a couple articles in the 2019 Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac on newsstands now.

Little Patuxent Review honored Alan King (Poetry, W’13) with the 2018 Michael J. Clark Award, which is given annually to an outstanding work of literature published the previous year in LPR. The 2018 award, which was presented at the Winter 2019 Issue launch, was for his poem “The Journey.”  Video highlight from the reading below:

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) has been nominated for a Writers Guild Award for Videogame Writing. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is up against Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Batman: The Enemy Within, God of War, and Marvel’s Spider-Man. You can peruse the other nominees here.

Andrea Lani‘s (Fiction, W’14) short story “Confluence” appears in the collection This Side of the Divide: Stories of the American West, which comes out on February 12. Her profile of author Caitlin Shetterly appeared in the January issue of Literary Mama, and you can read her editor’s letter from that issue here.

Kristin Leonard (Fiction, S’18) is the 2019 recipient of the Meetinghouse Theatre Lab’s Maine Playwright Award. Her one-act play, Crash, is based on a quartet of ten-minute plays she wrote at Stonecoast. It received its first staged reading on January 19th.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) will be teaching two workshops on using multiple narrators in the novel at the San Miguel Writers Conference and Literary Festival February 13-17 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She will also be moderating a panel (“Better Later? Success and the Late Blooming Woman Author”) at the AWP Annual Conference on Thursday, March 28, at 4:30 p.m.

Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) is thrilled to be invited to join the North American Review’s 50th Anniversary conference lineup, which features Stonecoast faculty Debra Marquart and keynote speaker Martín Espada. Jenny’s seminar, based on her recent article in Creative Nonfiction and her third semester project at Stonecoast, uses a study of songwriting to explore vulnerability in creative writing.

Carolyn O’Doherty (Popular Fiction, W’11) is pleased to announce that her second novel, Unleashed, will be published on September 10, 2019. Unleashed continues the story that began with Rewind (April 2018) about a group of teenagers with the ability to freeze and rewind time. Both books are published by Boyds Mills Press. Rewind was recently named a 2019 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) new poetry chapbook Forms and Shades is available from Clare Songbirds Publishing with a ship date of February 1, 2019 (today!). His short-fiction collection The Trash Detail from New Rivers Press is currently at number 17 on the Small Press Distribution sales list.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) will lead a one-day workshop, “Memoir Writing and the Gift of Incomplete Memories,” at The Open Center in New York City on Saturday, April 13. She’ll also be the lunchtime speaker at the Longform Narrative Workshop (featuring Narratively memoir editor Lilly Dancyger) hosted by Cedar Ridge Writers Series, March 2, in Bedminster, New Jersey. Lisa’s recent essay publications include  “Hands off the Black Jack,” for The Inquisitive Eater (a publication of The New School), and a micro excerpt, “Upstairs,” in the anthology The Walls Between Us: Essays in Search of Truth, edited by Beth Kephart. In Winter and Spring 2019, Lisa will continue a series of memoir writing tip programs at libraries around New Jersey, as part of promoting her memoir, Starting with Goodbye.

The LeVar Burton Reads podcast featuring Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story “In the City of Martyrs” went live in January and is available for listening here.

Lisa C. Taylor’s (Poetry, S’04) latest collection of short stories, Impossibly Small Spaces, received a new review. Her collaborative collection of poetry published in 2011, The Other Side of Longing (with Irish writer Geraldine Mills), will be adopted by an Irish literature class at University of Connecticut for the spring semester. Both of them are invited to speak to the class in April.

Melanie Viets (Creative Nonfiction, W’17) had an essay featured in Narrative. “Strata” ran as the Story of the Week through February 1st. Thanks to Rick Bass and T Fleischmann for their help and encouragement, and thanks to Susan Conley for the workshop writing prompt that inspired the piece.

 

 

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Community News & Updates November 2018

ALUMS

Edible Queens, one of 85 “Edible” magazines across the US and Canada, has made Jillian Abbott’s (Fiction, S’04) popular (almost 16K followers) Instagram blog into a column. The blog explores migration, memory, and what the Welsh call Hiraeth, which means “homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past” through food. Read her column on Butterfly Cakes here.

Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) book The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is now available in Italian. Marsilio Editore is the publisher for the Italian translation, which launched in late September.

Misconceptions, a musical and part of Allen Baldwin‘s (Scriptwriting, W’17) thesis, will have a three-week run at Footlights Theatre in Falmouth from November 1st through the 17th. Here’s a description: “Penny and Vince have done everything right… so far. Faced with the challenge of infertility, they are now forced to reconsider their relationship and piece together a future that neither of them expected. Misconceptions is an emotional roller-coaster ride through modern relationships and romantic expectations. Irreverent but sincere, honest but hilarious, Misconceptions explores a relationship from the inside-out, as Penny and Vince struggle to stay together, finding their way back to the love that started it all. It’s about what we want from our partners, what we need from our lovers, and how the ugly moments of love can, somehow, bring us closer together.” Tickets available now—see www.thefootlightstheatre.com for more info.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) was interviewed as Assistant Editor with the PseudoPod team on Writing the Rapids. She has also been narrating poetry for Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. Listen to her read Ngo Binh Anh Khoa’s “The Necromancer.” Upcoming: Mary Soon Lee’s “Between Battles.” She’s also been tapped to narrate a short story for HFQ and for Escape Artist’s Cast of Wonders young adult podcast—links forthcoming in a future newsletter. She served as a judge for the Horror Writers Association’s Dark Poetry Scholarship and very much enjoyed reading new poets. All of you should apply for HWA scholarships next year when they open again. Read about them here. She continues to be grateful for Stonecoast, the best decision she ever made.

Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) will be having not one, but two, launch parties for her hybrid memoir Space Heart: A Memoir in Stages, published by Burrow Press, both featuring live “space music.” On Sunday, November 4th from 3:00-6:00 p.m., she will be at Waterfall Arts Gallery in Belfast, Maine, with electronic keyboardist Tom Luther. On Saturday, November 10th, she will be at the Lowndes Shakespeare Theater in Orlando, Florida, starting at 7:00 p.m. The program will include Orlando Poet Laureate Susan Lilley (Poetry, ’08) and Interplanetary Acoustic Team. Linda’s long poem, “Northern Run,” is in the current Maine Review, and her poem “Entering the Abandoned Grain Mill at Dusk” will be part of the anthology Balancing Act 2, the second collection of Maine women poets published by Littoral Books. A review of Space Heart will be forthcoming in Forward Review.

Brenda Cooper (Fiction, S’17) is pleased to announce the November 11th release of a collection of stories set in the science-fictional world of her award-winning series that begins with The Silver Ship and the Sea. The collection, Stories of Fremont’s Children, includes old and new stories by Brenda, and new stories by John Pitts and Danielle Ackley-McPhail. It is published through eSpec Books in collaboration with Futuriter.com.

The hardcover edition of Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) debut collection Uncommon Miracles was released by PS Publishing On October 1st: “A grieving man travels through time via car crash. A family of matriarchs collects recipes for the dead. A woman gains an unexpected child in the midst of a bunny apocalypse. An outcast finds work in a magical slaughterhouse. Julie C. Day’s debut collection is rife with dark and twisted tales made beautiful by her gorgeous prose. Melding aspects of Southern Gothic and fabulism, and utilizing the author’s own scientific background, Day’s carefully rendered settings in these eighteen stories are both delightful and unexpected. Whether set in a uniquely altered version of Florida’s Space Coast or a haunted island off the coast of Maine, each story in this collection carries its own brand of meticulous and captivating weirdness. Yet in the end, it is the desperation of the characters that drives these stories forward and their wild obsessions that carry them through to the end. It is Day’s clear-eyed compassion for the dark recesses of the human heart and her dream-like vision of the physical world that make this collection a standout.”

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’ 14) is thrilled to announce that she has signed a book deal with Eraserhead Press and is one of six in their New Bizarro Authors Series. They will be publishing her novella The Bone Cutters, with a planned release in 2019. A bizarro story about the hell of mental illness, the evil hands of drug addiction, and the horror of psych. hospitals. Are you anxious, suicidal, have some anger issues you need to work on, or maybe you have a drug addiction you need to kick? No worries. Once you’ve checked into this psychiatric hospital, you’ll never be the same. Come, have a visit; stay as long as we need you. If you’re fresh, you’re in for one Hell of a ride once you meet The Bone Cutters.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) is teaching a craft workshop on density at the Sag Harbor Creative Nonfiction Writer’s Conference this November 1st-4th and participating in a panel on publishing. He would like to thank his former mentor Theodora Goss for this workshop’s inspiration as well as everyone who worked on Stonecoast Review‘s Issue No. 9.

Melody Fuller’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) article “Harvest for the World” was published in the October/November 2019 Somm Journal. Here’s an excerpt:

When will there be a harvest for the world?

Today I speak cautiously and write carefully about what is means to be a black woman in white space.  Today I try to make sure I do not offend, demand, scare, dare or call people out for gross conduct, damaging gossip, divisive tactics and for pushing narratives that marginalize, hurt and dismiss those who look like me. I am not doing a good job carrying all of this, while being an industry pioneer who is working to build a table, set agenda and make sure I don’t get loud, pushy or rude.  Well, sometimes being labeled as one or all of those descriptors happens.  Being questioned and judged happens a lot especially when diversity discussions and women’s agendas intersect or are used interchangeably for self-serving and deflective purposes. You know what I mean.

When will there be a harvest for the world?

Clifford Royal Johns (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be on the following panels at Windycon, a Chicago area SF convention (November 9-11):

  • “Chicago SF Book Club: Discussing Shards of Honor and Barrayar by Bujold” — Saturday, November 10th, 1:00-2:00 p.m., Grand Ballroom H
  • “Streaming Services the New Movie/TV studios” — Sunday, November 11th, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Lilac C
  • “Modern Prison Break: Our Need to Escape?_ — Sunday, November 11th, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Grand Ballroom H
  • Cliff will also be moderating a section of the Windycon Writers Workshop on Saturday morning.

Jeff Kass (Fiction, S’09) has had his second full-length poetry collection Teacher/Pizza Guy accepted for publication by Wayne State University Press for their Made in Michigan Series. The poems chronicle the 2016-2017 school year, during which Jeff worked not only as a full-time high school English teacher and the Director of Literary Arts at Ann Arbor’s Teen Center The Neutral Zone, but also a third job as a pizza delivery driver 2-3 nights a week. Look for the release in August or September of 2019!

On October 17th, Alan King (Poetry, W’13) was a featured performer on WPFW 89.3’s “Live @ 5,” which was part of the stations pledge drive. Learn more.

Alan King reading on WPFW 89.3’s “Live @ 5

Orlando Poet Laureate Susan Lilley (Poetry ’08) and former Belfast Poet Laureate Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) will be reading together at the Burrow Press “Functionally Literate” event on November 10th in Orlando. Linda will be launching her new hybrid memoir from Burrow, Space Heart: A Memoir in Stages, which she started at Stonecoast. Susan’s first full-length poetry collection, The Green Hand of Venus, will be published by Burrow in 2019. They’ll be discussing Poet Laureate life and Satellite Beach, which just happens to be the title of Susan’s first poetry collection and the town where Linda grew up.

Tom MacDonald’s (Fiction, W’09) fourth crime novel, Murder in the Charlestown Bricks, was released October 1st, 2018. This is the fourth book in the Dermot Sparhawk Crime Novel Series. Private investigator Dermot Sparhawk is taking on cases no one else will touch. Born and raised in the Charlestown projects in Boston, Sparhawk fights for the underdog. He calls on his connections and physical skills to keep him from getting killed. He visits Charlestown’s waterfront gill mills and AA halls and travels the Historic Route 66 in search of the truth. And the truth almost kills him.

Catharine H. Murray’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) debut memoir Now You See the Sky will be released in November. On November 7th at 7:00 p.m., Print: A Bookstore (273 Congress Street in Portland) will host the release party. This is the launch book for Gracie Belle, Anne Hood’s imprint with Akashic Books that will focus on topics of Grief and Loss. Kirkus Reviews writes, “Murray’s lucid meditations and living-in-the-moment attitude serve as useful reminders to all of us that life is precious and fleeting and must be enjoyed to the fullest. It’s a simple message but an important one. As much a eulogy as a testament to the joy of life, the book is a heartwarming tale of dealing with life-altering loss. A tender, love-filled story of how one woman dealt with the loss of a young child.” On November 9th, Catharine will be reading with other local authors at Quiet City Books, 97 Lisbon St. in Lewiston at 6:00 p.m. And on November 15th, Murray discusses Now You See the Sky with imprint curator Ann Hood at Books on the Square, 471 Angell Street at 7:00 p.m. This is a Providence launch event for Murray’s memoir.

Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will read “The Office of the Mayor of Miessi,” her piece about living above the Arctic Circle among the wild gold miners of Finland’s Lemmenjoki National Park, on November 2nd at Longfellow Books for the SLICE Magazine Maine launch. The piece, which details part of Jenny’s solo walking journey across Finland in the footsteps of Lappish legend Petronella van der Moer, is currently out in the Fall/Winter “Flight” edition of SLICE, available here.

Lemmenjoki National Park: Pihlajamäki Cabin, the setting of “The Office of the Mayor of Miessi.”

Anne Britting Oleson (Poetry, W’05) has been invited to read her poetry at The Harrison in King’s Cross, London, as part of Elbow Room’s celebration of its final issue. The party begins at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 3rd. If any Stonecoasters are in London, come on down!

The short-story collection The Trash Detail by Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) is available for pre order. Booksellers may contact SPD, while individuals may order from their local bookstore, Amazon, or directly from New Rivers Press by sending an email to Nayt Rundquist at www.newriverspress.com. Bruce’s new chapbook Forms and Shades is due out very soon from Clare Songbird Publishing; they may be contacted at claresongbirdspub.com

They Speak Your Language: A Poetic Bestiary, by J. Stephen Rhodes (Poetry, W’11) and illustrated by Amanda Chao Benbassat, is now available at the Amazon Books website. These poems move back forth from the significant to the silly, with drawings of counter-cultural possums to aristocratic cats.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction S ’08) will be at the BookMark Shoppe in Brooklyn, NY on November 15 to read from her memoir, Starting with Goodbye, along with Lindsay Wong, author of The Woo Woo. Lisa’s guest post “Publishing with a Small (Traditional) or University Press: When it Might be Right for You and Your Book,” appears on the website of the Nonfiction Authors Association. Her teleseminar on the topic aired there in October. Recently, the writing department at New Jersey City University hosted Lisa, who read and spoke to students in memoir writing and women’s studies classes. On November 17th, Lisa will present memoir writing tips at the Holmdel, NJ, Barnes & Noble, and also in November, she will make author visits to libraries in Warren, Hillsborough, and Franklin Township, all in NJ. Event details are listed at her site.

Nikki Sambitsky‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’18) creative nonfiction lyric essay “Penny Drop” will be published in the November edition of Longridge Review. Nikki’s essay links her childhood experiences with that of her 7-year old autistic son’s as they share a swing ride on their favorite amusement park attraction, “The Yo-Yo.” “Penny Drop” is part of Nikki’s essay collection “Perseverate, Linger,” which focuses on her triumphs and trials with her husband and two autistic children.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Popular Fiction, S’13) will be interviewed at the November 12 LeVar Burton Reads Live event in Dallas, Texas, where LeVar will read her story “In the City of Martyrs.” Her novelette “The Crow Knight” just came out in Beneath Ceaseless Skies‘ anniversary issue. Her short story “Secret Keeper” has been reprinted in Paula Guran’s The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2018.

Christopher Watkins‘ (Poetry, W’08) poem “Emigrant Song” has been published by Harpur Palate and can be read in the current issue. Additionally, Christopher has just released his 11th album under his musical moniker “Preacher Boy.” The album is called The Rumble Strip and is now available from Coast Road Records. An enhanced lyric book has been published as a companion to the album, and the collection includes the book-length poem “I-80 Blues: 96 Choruses.” It is available for Kindle, or via the Preacher Boy website as a free PDF download.

FACULTY

Jeanne Marie Beaumont’s (Poetry) poem “Yet” from Letters from Limbo has been made into a short video, which is available on YouTube and can also be viewed on her website.

Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) award-winning, full-length play, Veils, will open at Macha Theatre Works in Seattle, WA, on November 30th and run through December 16th. His short play Raghead will be produced by the Black Cat Theatre Company as part of their “Millennials #Offended” festival at the Pleasance Theatre in London on December 19th.

John Florio (Fiction, Pop Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Young Adult) writes about the intersection of race, politics, and sports for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. His latest piece, “In a Year of Assassinations, an Angry Bob Gibson Pitched His Way Into the Record Books,” was an October feature story for ESPN’s The Undefeated. His YA book, War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight Between Hitler and America, will be released by Macmillan’s Children’s Group in May, 2019.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana is Here is now available for pre-order, either on Amazon or contact your local indie bookstore and tell them to reserve your copy. Release date is May 14, 2019! Also, Aaron gave a talk at the Library of Congress based on his article “Seven Layers of Heaven: How to Make a Jewish Bakery Classic at Home” from Tablet Magazine. His cake, created from his own original recipe, was served and enjoyed by all!

Aaron Hamburger’s talk at the Library of Congress on Seven Layers of Heaven.

Seven Layers of Heaven

On November 1st at 7:00 p.m., Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) reads with Dante Micheaux and L. Lamar Wilson in celebration of Stonecoast alum Quenton Baker‘s (Poetry, S’12) exhibit Ballast at the Frye Museum in Seattle, WA. Then on November 2nd at 7:00 p.m., she’ll read with Dante Micheaux, L. Lamar Wilson, Anastacia-Renee and Quenton Baker for A Writers Showcase featuring Cave Canem Poets at the Hugo House in Seattle, WA. And on November 3rd at 10:00 a.m., Amanda’s writing workshop Writing Public Tragedies will be at the Hugo House in Seattle, WA (registration required).

Ballast

Debra Marquart (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) was invited to perform a set of Bob Dylan songs at the Twin Cities Book Festival on October 13, 2018 to celebrate the publication of the anthology, Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan, edited by Thom Tammaro and Alan R. Davis (New Rivers Press, 2018). Marquart’s poem, “Dylan’s Lost Years,” is one of the 100 poems included in the anthology. Her poem, “Come November,” was published by Terrain.org: A Journal of Built + Natural Environments for the “Letter to America” series. 28 October 2018. Debra’s essay “Buried Voices,” published as a Story of the Week by Narrative Magazine on June 7, 2018, was selected by Narrative Magazine for a “Top Five Stories of 2017-2018” commendations. Stonecoast fiction writer Morgan Talty was also selected by Narrative for “Top Five Stories” honors! Her micro-essay, “Some Things About That Day,” was anthologized in Short-Form Creative Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology, edited by H.K. Hummel and Stephanie Lenox for Bloomsbury Press, 2018. Also, she delivered a plenary poetry reading entitled “True North” at the Luther College Writers Festival, September 27-28, 2018, in Decorah, Iowa.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) new CD—Tonya & Nancy: Highlights from the Rock Opera, produced and released by Broadway Records—has drawn strong reviews on Broadway World (“Tonya & Nancy Gets High Marks”) and on Broadway to Vegas, which called the CD in its review “stunningly awesome” and wrote of Elizabeth’s narrative: “The script covers a lot of territory and does so with the artistic skill of an Olympic champion.” The CD can be purchased from Grammy-winning Broadway Records. Updates and more info: http://www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com

Two readings from late Stonecoast alum Elisabeth Wilkins Lombardo’s novel The Afterlife of Kenzaburo Tsuruda will be held in New England early this month. Ann Hood, Elizabeth Searle, and Suzanne Strempek Shea, all of whom mentored Elisabeth, a member of the program’s inaugural class, will read from the book at 7:00 p.m. on November 1st at An Unlikely Story in Plainville, MA. Suzanne will join Beth’s friends, fellow alums, and fellow Maine authors Morgan Callan Rogers and Jaed Coffin in a reading at 9:00 p.m. on November 5 at LFK in Portland, ME. Here’s a recent Portland Press-Herald story on Beth and her book. Suzanne will be reading from Idol Talk:  Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations that Changed Their Lives with fellow faculty member Elizabeth Searle, and fellow Idol Talk contributors Caitlin McCarthy and Lisa Borders November 3rd at 2:00 p.m. at Worcester, MA, Public Library. Elizabeth and Stonecoast alum Tammy Wilson co-edited this major book on major crushes, which has been one of the Top Ten Bestsellers on publisher McFarland’s long list of pop culture books every month since July. There’ll be a special appearance at this event by and idol-themed tunes from Stonecoast’s personal DJ, DJJH.

Suzanne Strempek Shea, Elizabeth Searle and Jaed Coffin at the Portland Book Launch for The Afterlife of Kenzaburo Tsuruda by beloved Stonecoast alum Elisabeth Wilkins Lombardo

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The final 2018 event in the Local Writers Read series will be held on Friday, November 9th, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Quiet City Books in Lewiston, Maine. Offering multi-genre work organized around the theme of Order/Chaos, the list of readers includes four Stonecoast alumni: Nancy Brown (Fiction, S’08), Josh Gauthier (Popular Fiction, S’17), Catharine Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17), and Bill Stauffer (Fiction, W’17). Celebrating writing and community, the event is free and open to the public. Full details can be found on the Facebook event page.

Stonecoast MFA faculty member Elizabeth Hand will be the Guest of Honor at Boskone 56, New England’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention. Boskone takes place in Boston, MA, from February 15-17, 2019, at the Westin Waterfront Hotel. In addition to Liz Hand, Boskone will also feature several Stonecoast faculty members, students, and alumni on the programme, including James Patrick Kelly, Theodora Goss, Robert Redick, Julie C. Day, Erin Roberts, and Erin Underwood. There will be a Stonecoast Community gathering and programming at the con. Memberships are required to attend, and more information is available online at www.boskone.org.

 

 

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