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Community News & Updates June 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Public Events for the Summer 2019 Stonecoast Residency

You are invited to join the Stonecoast MFA community for a week of inspiring readings and discussions with Stonecoast’s award-winning faculty and guest writers, June 24-26 and June 28-July 1, at the historic Harraseeket Inn in downtown Freeport, Maine. See the full list of events HERE.

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) play Veils will be at the Daylesford Theatre in Hamilton, Bermuda, May 30-June 8, 2019.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana Is Here is here! Aaron’s currently on book tour, and so excited to see Stonecoasters at every stop along the way. (Thanks for all the support!) Check out his full tour schedule for June, when he’ll be hitting Seattle; San Francisco; Portland, OR; Washington, DC; the St. John’s Writing Intensive in Annapolis; and of course Portland, ME—where he’ll be teaming up with alum Dave Patterson at Print Bookstore on June 26th at 7:00 p.m. Be there or be square! Nirvana received a rave review from Foreword Reviews, which featured it as their book of the day. In non-Nirvana news, Aaron published a viral memoir essay in Tablet (“Day School Bullies”) as well as a new short story (“Kimono Story”) in The Maine Review.

Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) has two events in June:

  • June 2 at 7:30 p.m. — Amanda will read at A Womb of One’s Own, a literary rally and fundraiser in support of reproduction rights at Spider House Ballroom in Austin, TX.
  • June 15 at 6:30 p.m. — The Center for African American Poetry and Poetics presents Won’t You Celebrate with Me: Poetry and Prose from the Director’s ChairJoin award-winning poets and writers Dawn Lundy Martin (Center for African American Poetry and Poetics Director), Nicole Sealey (Cave Canem Executive Director), Salamishah Tillet (Founding Director at New Arts Justice Initiative at Express Newark), and Mahogany L. Browne (Artistic Director at Urban Word NYC), who will share their work and engage in a discussion moderated by Amanda Johnston (Executive Director at Torch Literary Arts). Presented in partnership with the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh, PA.

The Governor of the State of Iowa appointed Debra Marquart (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) Iowa’s Poet Laureate in May of 2019.  Marquart was interviewed about the honor on Iowa Public Radio on May 23. Debra delivered a paper, “Looking for Dylan,” on the invited panel “Poets & Professors: Poets Talking Back to Bob” at the 2019 World of Bob Dylan Symposium held by Tulsa University’s Institute for Bob Dylan Studies (30 May–2 June 2019). On May 11th, she taught a Creative Jumpstart Workshop at the Elbow Lake Arts Council in Elbow Lake, MN. During the North American Review 50th Anniversary Conference at the University of Northern Iowa, 19-21 April 2019, Debra read her poem “Kablooey is the Sound You’ll Hear” at the Bullets into Bells Anthology Reading. She also participated in an invited panel, “What We Write About When We Write About Environment.” And on April 5th, Debra performed with her performance poetry band, The Bone People, for Coffeehouse Night at Lowe Park, Marion Arts Council, Marion, IA.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) has film news. Four-Sided, a short film based on Elizabeth’s novel and feature film script, premiered May 17th in Cannes, France. Four-Sided screened as an Official Selection at the 2019 That Film Festival-Cannes. This competition—funded by several major film companies and running concurrently with the Cannes Film Festival—screens short films with potential to be Feature Films. Four-Sided was also an official selection at Independent Shorts competition where it won three prizes: Gold Awards as Best Romance and Best Experimental short and a Silver Award as Best LGBT short. It is a Semi-Finalist at the 2019 Shanghai PRIDE film festival. Attached as star and co-producer to the potential feature film, and starring in the short film, is actress and activist in the Transgender community Rain Valdez (Transparent; Lopez; Razor Tongue). Four-Sided was produced by David Ball (producer on over thirty films) and Amy Carpenter Scott/CreatrixFilms as part of their ongoing development of A Four-Sided Bed as a feature film. Elizabeth’s feature script of A Four-Sided Bed has been selected for two full staged readings at the 15th annual ReelHeART Film and Screenplay Festival in Toronto in July, starring Rain Valdez. Elizabeth’s feature script was also selected for a ‘Best Scene’ reading in mid-July at the festival LGBT TORONTO. And the script is an official selection at the Top Indie Films Festival, among eight recent festivals recognizing the script. Visit the new website for both the short film and the feature film project.

ALUMS

The book trailer for Lindsey Barlow’s (Popular Fiction, W’19) first novel, Pivot, is available. Pivot will be published in October of this year.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) narrated Vajra Chandrasekera’s story “When Leopard’s-Bane Came to the Door of Third Heaven” for the May 28th episode of PodCastle. You can listen to it here.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) piece “Flight Aids Minus the Wings and Fuselage” can be found in the web journal Necessary FictionShort, visceral, and experimental, it doubles as an unofficial advisory from the US Department of Internal Disarmament.

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’14) is thrilled to announce that she is now a part of the Crystal Lake Publishing team, working as an editorial intern. She is also excited to announce her book launch event for her debut book The Bone Cutters. This event is scheduled for Thursday, September 5th at 7:00 p.m. at Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine. Not only will Renee do a reading from her horror novella, but there will also be original artwork inspired by her book—art created by Emily Strickland and Jasin Chapman, artists and owner of Leviathan Tattoo in Scarborough, Maine—on display and for sale, as well as on some free giveaways. Live music will help set the mood, performed by the extremely talented local guitarist Shaun Reehl. Stonecoast’s own Elizabeth Searle will also take part in the event as Renee’s MC/Introduction Queen. The release date for Renee’s debut book, The Bone Cutters, a bizarro horror novella published through Eraserhead Press, is September 1, 2019, though pre-orders have begun at Barnes & Noble and on Amazon. And for those interested, you can check out the first book review by Miranda Crites on Kendall Reviews. Here is the synopsis for The Bone Cutters:

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 Blued-Papered—involuntarily committed. When she is sent to the wrong counseling group, she discovers a whole new world of drug addicts she’d never known existed. When she learns that those grotesque scars they all have are from cutting into their own bodies, it makes her skin itch. Why do they do it?—They get high off bone dust.  They carve down to the bone, then chisel and scrape until they get that free drug. When they realize Dory’s never been “dusted”, she becomes their target. After all, dust from a “Freshie” is the most intense high, and pain free—for the carver.

By the end of that first meeting Dory is running scared, afraid of being “dusted”, though the psych. hospital staff doesn’t believe a word she says.  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 junkie cutters want is what’s inside of her, and they won’t give up until they get what they’re after.

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.

Elizabeth Garber (Creative Nonfiction, W’10) placed in the Eric Hoffer Awards, which honor the memory of the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting salient writing, as well as the independent spirit of small publishers. Her memoir Implosion: A Memoir of an Architect’s Daughter has been named a Finalist in the 2019 Eric Hoffer Book Awards.

Cindy Williams Gutiérrez’s (Poetry, W’08) second poetry collection, Inlay with Nacre: The Names of Forgotten Women, was released by Aquarius Press/Willow Books on April 1st. The collection was awarded the 2018 Willow Books Editor’s Choice Poetry Selection and the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship for Writers of Color. Cindy’s new verse play, In the Name of Forgotten Women (based on her new collection), was performed at Wellspring, a ceremonial gathering space in Twisp, WA, to sold-out audiences in Washington’s Methow Valley on May 15th and 16th.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has sold an essay about her first time sailing on their used boat Wrinkle in Time to Good Old Boat, a magazine for hands-on sailboat owners.

Michael L. Joy’s (Popular Fiction, S’13) short story “Nick Break” is available now at Tough Crime.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) created a short video on how he marketed his manuscript without an agent and without book contests. You can watch it here.

Linda Lambert (Creative Nonfiction, W’16) features Aaron Hamburger‘s visit to Seattle’s Third Place Books where he will be talking about his new novel Nirvana Is Here.

Kristin Leonard (Fiction, S’18) has been named Lit Fest’s 2019 Dramatic Writing Fellow for Emerging Writers. She is also presenting her research “First-Person Fictional Storytellers & Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style” at the Pennsylvania College English Association at Bloomsburg University.

Adam Mills (Popular Fiction, W’12) has accepted the position of Visiting Assistant Professor in English at Brevard College in Brevard, NC, started in Fall 2019. Mills’s full position is Coordinator of First-Year Writing and Writing Services and he will also serve as Coordinator of the Common Read. Mills also recently graduated from the University of Kansas with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in English (Spring 2019).

Julia McKenzie Munemo (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) is thrilled to announce the publication of The Book Keeper: A Memoir of Race, Love, and Legacy, available now for pre-order. The book chronicles a time decades after Julia’s father committed suicide, when she learned about his secret career during the pulp fiction boom of the ’60s and ’70s as a writer of interracial pornographic novels. After hiding that stack of old paperbacks from her Zimbabwean husband, their mixed-race children, and herself for years, she realized her obligation to face them if she was ever going to understand her legacy, her country’s treasonous history, and her whiteness.

Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) is a finalist for a 2019 Maine Literary Award (short works, nonfiction) from Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Her debut flash nonfiction piece,“How to Sleep in an Airport,” was published last month in Hippocampus Magazine.

Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’14) is pleased to announce the inclusion of her essay “Things I (Shouldn’t) Have to Tell My Daughters” in the new anthology Feminine Rising: Voices of Power & Invisibility, edited by Andrea Fekete and Lara Lillibridge. The anthology brings together women of all races, nationalities, and sexual orientations to reflect on the unique experience of womanhood. Feminine Rising was released by Cynren Press in May 2019 and is available at Cynren Press, Amazon, and select independent booksellers.

On June 26th, Dave Patterson (Fiction, W’13) and Aaron Hamburger are doing an event together at Print in Portland to celebrate the release of their new novels.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poem “The First Cold Rain Since Spring” will appear in the next issue of The Connecticut River Review, and his short story “Ariel in LOve Summer 1999” has just been published by Valparaiso Fiction Review.

Shannon Ratliff (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) is celebrating her first anniversary as Director of Editorial and Growth at Wide Open Media Group in Austin, TX. She’s used her Stonecoast skills, from analyzing creative work to building educational seminars, to develop a team of 20+ writers and editors, growing readership from 8M to 23M monthly readers.

Morgan Talty’s (Fiction, W’19) short-short story “In a Jar” was published in Narrative Magazine as a Story of the Week.

Christopher Watkins (Poetry, W’08) has accepted the role of Senior Creative Writer for Silicon Valley-based artificial intelligence company DataVisor. The company focuses on the application of advanced AI and machine learning capabilities to the challenges of modern digital fraud and crime. Watkins’ move follows a nearly four-year tenure as Senior Writer and Chief Words Officer for online learning company Udacity.

Faculty member Elizabeth Searle and alumna Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) are pleased that the teen idols anthology they co-edited is a finalist for the 2019 Eric Hoffer Book Award for Short Story/Anthology. Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations that Changed Their Lives was published last year by McFarland & Company. Hoffer Awards honor freethinking writers and independent books of exceptional merit. On May 10-11, several Idol Talk contributors converged in Newburyport, MA for a dance-enhanced reading at the Firehouse Center for the Arts. “Idol Talk: A Magical Memory Tour of Teen Idols” was emceed by writer/actress Marianne Leone. The two-night collaboration featured Exit Dance Company performers as well as readings of work by Stonecoast faculty member Suzanne Strempek Shea and alumnae Lee J. Kahrs, Kate Kastelein, Michelle Soucy, Darlene Taylor and Tamra Wilson. Joining them were New England authors B. A. Shapiro, Mary Granfield, Caitlyn McCarthy, and Mary Sullivan.

Stonecoast “Idol Talkers” (from left): Lee J. Kahrs, Michelle Soucy, Tamra Wilson, Elizabeth Searle, Darlene Taylor, and Suzanne Strempek Shea

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates January 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Task Before Us: Writing Truth to Power
Stonecoast MFA invites you to join Pulitzer Prize finalist Martín Espada (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) and award-winning writer Cheryl Clarke for an interactive discussion interrogating the intersection of creative writing and participatory democracy. Join us at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 18th, at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport, Maine, to listen, question, and reconsider where you stand.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Nina Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction) is excited to be a new writing coach for the Young Writers and Leaders program at The Telling Room in Portland, ME, where she is also an editor of their “Stories” on-line publication. The Telling Room is a non-profit whose mission is to help young writers ages 6-18 to find their voices and share them with the world. She also is grateful to have completed her first round as a first reader for the Stonecoast Review: A Literary Arts Journal, an experience she found to be enlightening, since there’s nothing like seeing how it works on the other side of the submit/publish process. While in Norway this fall (writing away for her workshop submissions!) she published an essay in Klassekampen (Norway’s largest liberal/cultural newspaper)—in Norwegian—about the importance of meeting “the other” in the battle against racism and antisemitism. The non-profit organization Narrative 4, founded by Colum McCann, has asked for it to be translated, because in her essay she sheds light on their ground-braking work using storytelling as a tool for breaking down prejudice and building what they call “radical empathy.”

Lauren Erin O’Brien’s (Fiction) short story “No Horns, Just Sharp Bones” was named a Finalist for Glimmer Train‘s Short Story Award for New Writers.

FACULTY

Tom Coash (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) has received an HBMG Foundation playwriting fellowship to attend the National Winter Playwriting Retreat 2019 in beautiful Creede, Colorado, where he will be working on his play Cry Havoc.

Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) new novel Elsey Come Home will be published on January 15th with Knopf. The book received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly and is an Oprah Magazine “Ten Books to Read” for February, a Marie Claire Magazine “Best Fiction for 2019” pick, a Southern Living “Best New Books Coming Out Winter 2019” pick, a Fodor’s “2018 Holiday Books” pick, and a Library Journal “Pre-Pub Pick for January.” A book launch event will take place on January 17th at Mechanics Hall in Portland (6:00-9:00 p.m.), to which the Stonecoast Community is heartily invited.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) recently reviewed N.K. Jemisin’s How Long ‘til Black Future Month?: Stories for The Los Angeles Times and Lili Anolik’s Hollywood’s Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A. for The Washington Post.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) has been selected as a judge for the World Fantasy Awards. The World Fantasy Convention will be held in Los Angeles from October 21-November 4. The other judges are Stephen Graham Jones, Kathleen Jennings, Garry Douglas Kilworth, and Tod McCoy.

Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) was recently interviewed by Cindy Huyser as part of her feature at the Bookwoman 2nd Thursday Reading Series. Read the interview here.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) one-act play Stolen Girl Song will be produced at the Act One: One Act play festival “off off Broadway” in Long Island City, New York, on January 2nd, 5th, and 10th at The Secret Theatre.  The play, most recently performed in September at The Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writers, stars Broadway actress Heidi Friese (Matilda).

ALUMS

Elizabeth Beechwood (Popular Fiction, S’14) is pleased to announce that her short story “The Painted Ponies of Wiley Creek” was included in Not a Pipe Publishing’s anthology, Strongly Worded Women. Many thanks to everyone at the Ireland Howth residency (Winter ’17) for their input, especially Ted Deppe, as well as Stonecoasters Sarah Flynn ParkeGenevieve Williams, and Andrea Adams.

Katie Bickham’s (Poetry, S’13) second book of poetry, Mouths Open to Name Her, was selected by Louisiana Poet Laureate Ava Leavell Haymon for inclusion in her Barataria Poetry Series. It will be published by LSU Press in February 2019.

Brenda Cooper (Fiction, S’17) is pleased to announce the publication date for A Year Without a Winter from Columbia University Press. She worked as a fiction editor for the book alongside Arizona State University editors Joey Eschrich and Cynthia Selin through the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination. The four fiction stories in this mix of fiction and essays about climate change include work by Tobias Buckell (now a faculty member at Stonecoast), Nnedi Okorafor, Nancy Kress, and Vandana Singh.

The Butcher’s Daughter: A Memoir by Florence Grende (Creative Nonfiction, S’08), has won the 2018 Kindle Book Award for Non-Fiction. The memoir had previously won the Reader’s Digest 2017 Book Award and received Honorable Mention in the Eric Hoffer 2017 awards.

Penny Guisinger’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) piece “The Five C’s” received a Pushcart nomination. The piece appeared as part of the Voices of Addiction feature at The Rumpus in September 2018.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) recently published a review of Nicole Walker’s Sustainability: A Love Story on the Brevity blog. Her essay “Rose” is forthcoming in Diagram magazine. She’s enjoying a new behind-the-scenes experience as a nonfiction reader for Carve Magazine.

Gail Hovey (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) read “Lost Change,” an except from her memoir What Goes by the Name of Love, at the Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival Nonfiction Award Event on December 21, 2018, in Brooklyn Heights. She was a finalist for the award and is seeking an agent for her memoir, begun at Stonecoast.

Two Stonecoasters are involved in Sleuthfest (Boca Raton, FL, March 14-17), the conference for mystery writers organized by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. GOH is T. Jefferson Parker. Other guests include Alexia Gordon, Alex Segura, Tom Straw, and Elaine Viets. There will be half-a-dozen editors and agents taking pitches. Michael L. Joy (Popular Fiction, S’13) is Conference Co-Chair. Alison McMahan (Popular Fiction, W’10) will teach a workshop “Practice Your Pitch” Thursday, March 14, 2019, at 10:45 am. She will also appear on the panel “Back to School: Writing for Middle Grades & Young Adults” Saturday, March 16, 2019, at 10:30 am.

Catharine H. Murray’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) television interview with Portland’s Rob Caldwell of 207 will air the first week of January on WCSH. Her recent radio interview with Bill Radke of KUOW in Seattle can be heard in the third part of this show. Catharine will be reading from her memoir Now You See the Sky in Camden at the Public Library on Sunday, January 13th, at 2:00 p.m. Local memoirist and USM writing professor Liz Peavey will join Catharine in conversation about Now You See the Sky and memoir writing at the Portland Public Library Lunch and Learn on Wednesday, January 30th, from 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) short-story collection The Trash Detail from New Rivers Press is now available in stores and online. His poetry chapbook Forms and Shades is due mid-January from Clare Songbirds Publishing. Schoodic Arts for All will present some of his one-act plays as part of their summer program in Winter Harbor, Maine, during the first two weeks of August 2019. And Bruce’s short story “Eastern Bluebird” is in the newest edition of Portland Monthly Magazine.

“Maximum Security,” a poem by Steve Rhodes (Poetry, W’11), appears in the current issue of Hospitality, published by the Open Door Community of Baltimore—“A Prophetic Discipleship Community Honoring the Black Jesus, Dorothy Day, and Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Erin Roberts (Popular Fiction, W ’18) ended 2018 with something a little different—the release of her first game. “Thanks for the Memories” is a short work of interactive fiction available online at Sub-Q MagazineBonus story notes can be found on her website, as can her summary of all her published work in 2018. Happy new year to all!

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates June 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Poetic Voices of Social Justice: A Reading with Martín Espada and Lauren Schmidt
Thursday July 12th, 7:00 pm
SPACE Gallery, Portland Maine

Please join Stonecoast MFA for a reading and discussion with poetry faculty Martín Espada, recent winner of the prestigious Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and award-winning poet Lauren Schmidt. There will be live music, and a chance to share thoughts and inspiration as a community. The $10-20 suggested donation will directly benefit the Stonecoast MFA Writing for Social Justice Scholarship Fund.

 

Pitch 2018

Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance (MWPA) Pitch 2018 offers writers the chance to pitch their manuscripts or book proposals to agents from leading NYC-based literary agencies and editors from some of Maine’s largest publishers. Pitch 2018 provides the rare opportunity to make a literary pitch face-to-face in Maine, to make connections with agents, editors, and other writers, and to gain insider knowledge on the publishing industry. MWPA is proud to offer a three-pitch scholarship to a writer who is from an underrepresented community currently living in Maine and who can demonstrate financial need, sponsored by participating agent Saba Sulaiman. Applications are due in the MWPA office on July 2nd at 9:00 a.m. MORE INFORMATION → Pitch will be held Saturday, September 29th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Glickman Library on the University of Southern Maine campus in Portland. Registration opens on June 12th. More information is here.

ALUMS

Patricia Barletta (Popular Fiction, W’12) is excited to announce that her paranormal historical romance Moon Shadow, Book #2 (The Auriano Curse Series) won the Readers’ Choice Award. Part of the manuscript was workshopped at Stonecoast and mentored by the fabulous and inimitable Mike Kimball. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in making this book a winner.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) narrated the May 3rd episode of Escape Pod, featuring the story “Fire Rode The Cold Wind” by Aimee Ogden. You can listen to it here.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) published her mermaid-inspired story “The Landscape of Lacrimation” in the second issue of the online literary magazine The Hunger. She also has recently placed her poem “C8: A Tessellation of Faces, Wings, and other Obscure Things,” which will be featured in forthcoming issue of the NonBinary Review Issue 17: A Wrinkle in Time.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) was happy to learn her LGBTQ+ historical romance novel Swift for the Sun was selected as a finalist for the Eric Hoffer award.

After ten years of work, Elizabeth Garber‘s (Creative Nonfiction, ‘10) book, Implosion: A Memoir of an Architect’s Daughter, will be released June 12th from She Writes Press. Her memoir focuses on how her family was caught in a collision between modern architecture, radical social change, and madness in the turbulent 1960s and 1970s in Cincinnati. Her book tour takes her from New York City, Boston, Maine, Cincinnati, and Vermont. The book has received a starred Kirkus review (“poetic and incisive”) and Library Journal calls it “an extraordinary debut memoir.” Implosion has a contract to be released by a large-print press as well. For more details and dates to join her for a reading/presentation, go to www.elizabethgarber.com

Terri Glass’s (Poetry/Creative Nonfiction, S’13)  poem “Wind Turbines of Altamont Pass” will be published in the anthology Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California. Her poem “Puma” was accepted for publication in The Marin Poetry Center Anthology 2018. Her poem, “Where Did it Go?” and four animal haiku were printed in Poem in Your Pocket Day by Berkeley Public Library.

Penny Guisinger‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) essay “Looking for Luke Skywalker,” first published in Hippocampus, is a finalist for a Maine Literary Award in the short works category. This would be her second MLA. Winners will be announced at an event on June 14th, so cross some fingers for her!

Michael L. Joy (Popular Fiction, S’13) was offered a full-time Professorship in the English Department at Florida SouthWestern State College starting this Fall.

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S’11), is happy to announce Poetry Barn’s Peak Color Retreat, October 6-9​, an inspiring weekend of poetry steeped in the vibrance of fall in the Catskills. Judith Vollmer (MFA faculty, Drew University) will offer a master workshop titled: The Living Object: Image & Movement. Visit the website for full details.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) posted a new blog post, “No Country for Old Books…Or So It Seems,” which explores the challenges of marketing a book over a year old. The post highlights advantages that “older” books have over “newly-released” ones. Read it here.

Sean Robinson (Popular Fiction, W’14) recently completed a writing retreat at the University of Washington’s Whiteley Center on San Juan Island, Washington. He has had two recent non-fiction publications: his essay “Parable of the Cascade” was published by About Place Journal (as Ryan Patrick Gannon) as well as an article called “Open and Closed: The Class That Sank” in the Open Pedagogy Notebook. He presented an essay “She Has Always Been Here: Mystique, Destiny, and Female LGBT Representation in Marvel Comics” at the Dartmouth College conference on Illustration, Comics, and Animation. Later this month, he will be heading back to Ireland to participate in NUI-Galway’s Summer School program on Teaching in Ireland, where he will also hopefully complete that book of poems he started during the SCI 2017 residency in Howth.

Ruthie Rohde’s (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) essay “Wild Abandon” was recently published in The Palgrave International Handbook of Women and Outdoor Learning, edited by Tonia Gray and Denise Mitten (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Ruthie and Stonecoast alumnus Anthony D’Aries (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) presented together with Dr. Ann Murphy on a panel at the Western Connecticut Trauma Conference at Western Connecticut State University. The panel was titled: “Write Where you Are: Building and Fostering Writing Workshops in Prisons, Homeless Shelters, Hospitals and Other Medical and Community Settings.”

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) is pleased to note that her new book, Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss, published May 1st, has been reviewed at Brevity and in Publishers Weekly, where she’s also been featured in a Spotlight interview. Lisa is also interviewed on the Shelf Awareness “Reading with…” series; contributed to the LargeHearted Boy’s “Playlist;” and appears on the Creative Nonfiction podcast . Her craft article and excerpts, on adding humor to a grief memoir, appears on The Memoir Project, and an essay in Books by Women, “If You Give a Writer a Book Contract, She’s Going to Want…Everything,” takes a look at author envy. Lisa appeared with Suzanne Strempek Shea at Amherst Books (MA) recently, and is interested in partnering with other Stonecoast folks who have new(ish) books out, for bookstore appearances, conference panels, reading, and/or other events. Contact her here. In June, she’s making many book tour stops in New Jersey and in July, in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) has managed to publish creative work while continuing her full-time job as a science writer for the University of Maine: a lyric essay, “The New Diving Duck Blues,” is in the Spring issue of Cold Mountain Review. She also co-authored the cover story about coastal storms in the spring issue of UMaine Today, wrote an article about alewives in lakes in the May issue of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Magazine, and published a short reflection on “Communicating about rare and common species” in The Plainspoken Scientist.

Marco Wilkinson (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) has been awarded an Individual Excellence Award and a $5000 grant for his writing by the Ohio Arts Council.

FACULTY

On May 31st, Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) spoke at the Lewiston Public Library about her forthcoming novel, Curious Toys, and the work and influences of noted outsider artist Henry Darger, the book’s inspiration.  On June 2nd she will one of the featured writers at the Maine Crime Wave Festival in Portland. On Tuesday, June 5th, she’ll be part of a panel honoring the legacy of writer Thomas M. Disch at Brooklyn Common, in Brooklyn, NY.  On Wednesday, June 6th, she’ll be reading at the Kinokuniya Bookstore in New York City as part of the group faculty reading for the Writer’s Hotel Writers Conference, where she’s an instructor June 6-11. On June 21-22, she’ll be guest instructor at the Odyssey Writers Workshop in Manchester, NH. Forthcoming book reviews include A True History of the Vampire Uprising for The Washington Post.

Jim Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) new existential starship novelette, “Grace’s Family,” was published last month on Tor.com.  Also in May, Jim had the honor of introducing his friend and longtime editor, Sheila Williams, at the Science Fiction Writers of America’s Nebula Awards Ceremony. Sheila won the Solstice Award, which acknowledges “individuals who have had a significant impact on the science fiction landscape.” In reprint news, not only did Jim write the introduction and the afterword to the just published anthology A Fistful of Dinosaurs, but he contributed the oft-reprinted “Think Like A Dinosaur” to the table of contents. His novelette “Men Are Trouble” will appear in the forthcoming aliens-on-Earth anthology Not One Of Us from Prime Books. His Hugo-Award-winning “Ten to the Sixteenth to One” will appear soon in the international digital magazine The Short Story Project based in Israel. His story “The Promise of Space” will be published in China by Guangzhou Blue Ocean Press in an as-yet unnamed anthology aimed at the high school and university market.

Jim Kelly and Sheila Williams at the Nebula Awards ceremony.

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Community News & Updates June 2017

UPCOMING READINGS

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S’11), founding director, Poetry Barn, is pleased to announce a reading of Stonecoast faculty and alumni Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, Cait Johnson, and Elizabeth Searle, on August 18th at the Woodstock Public Library, Woodstock, NY.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14), co-editor of the Literary Reflections department at Literary Mama, seeks essays by mother writers, both established and emerging, about the intersection of motherhood and literature. We’re looking for first-person reflections with an intellectual as well as personal focus. Potential topics include: how motherhood influences the creative process and vice versa; a close reading of a piece of literature through the motherhood lens; how reading with children builds connections; how literature can provide answers or solace during difficult times. Please see our submissions page for complete guidelines, as well as our recent “Tips from the Editors” blog post, which rounds up several of our favorite essays.

ALUMS

AJ Bauers’ (Popular Fiction, W’17) flash-fiction story “The Wrong One” can be found in the most recent issue of Chantwood Magazine. “The Wrong One” examines the grief of a self-editing protagonist as she walks her path toward closure. For AJ’s more lighthearted fiction, check out her weekly webcomic.

Michael Beeman (Fiction, S’09) was thrilled to publish his short story “A Unified Drone Theory” in the summer issue of The Indiana Review.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) had a fabulous time at the ConQuesT 48 Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City presenting on “Dark Fantasy vs. Horror,” “From Fan to Pro: Writing as a Career,” “Horror Fiction and Xenophobia,” “Where Do We Go from Here: Current Developments in Writing Speculative Fiction,” and “Why Write Short Stories” over Memorial Day Weekend. Her flash “Like a Soul” will be reprinted this month in Darkhouse Books’ Descansos anthology. Stonecoasters have supported her throughout the hardest challenges of her life and she is forever grateful! Viva Stonecoast!

Michael L. Joy (Popular Fiction, S’13) has been named the Co-Chair of SleuthFest, the annual educational mystery writers’ conference put on by the Florida chapter of the MWA.

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S’11) is pleased to announce that her book-length braided essay, Glass Needles & Goose Quills: Elementary Lessons in Atomic Properties, Nuclear Families, and Radical Poetics, is now available for pre-order. Also, Lissa, as founding director of Poetry Barn, is pleased to announce Poetry Barn’s 2017 programming celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) was thrilled that her humorous and hot short story, “Toy Story,” about a mom who finds herself in a sex-toy shop, found a home in the anthology If Mom’s Happy: Stories of Erotic Mothers, which was released by Cwtch Press on May 1.

Matthew Quinn Martin (Popular Fiction, S’10) is thrilled to report the feature-film script he co-wrote, Being, is now in pre-production. Directed by Doug C. Williams, it stars Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Near Dark, Millennium) and Robert John Burke (Stephen King’s Thinner, Law & Order: SVU), with more casting announcements forthcoming. The practical effects-heavy, science-fiction movie is slated to begin principal photography in mid-August.

Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’14) is pleased to share that her essay “Things Seen in the Dark: A Triptych” will appear in the June 2017 issue of Hippocampus Magazine. Special thanks to Suzanne Strempek Shea, Melanie Brooks, and Penny Guisinger for their moral support with this publication.

Shannon Ratliff‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) essay “The Collected Cathedrals of Mary Magdalene” appears in the Spring 2017 issue of Seneca Review, currently out. Her essay “The Man on the Moon” will appear in the new issue of Gulf Coast this month.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S ’08) announces with great pleasure that the University of Nevada Press will publish her memoir, tentatively titled Every Loss Story is a Love Story: The Father Daughter Reunion, in June 2018.

Catherine Schmitt (Creative Nonfiction, W’12) was a finalist for the 2017 Iowa Review Awards. Her article on land-locked salmon and Arctic char, two native Maine fishes, is in Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Magazine. Catherine has also been elected to a second term as a member of the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance Board of Directors. Later this month she will be attending the Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents as part of a project with Mount Desert Island Historical Society.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) first published short story, “They Come In Through the Walls,” got its first audio version at Tales to Terrify. Her story “Secret Keeper,” a Phantom of the Opera retelling set in a high-school theater where the phantom is an outcast teenage girl, will be out from Nightmare in early June.

Lisa C. Taylor (Poetry, ‘04) has her first piece of nonfiction up on Gravel Literary Magazine’s web site. A short story, “Second Lives,” is forthcoming in Quail Bell.

Ashley Warren‘s (Fiction, S’12) poems “Alice and the Snake”, “Neighborhood”, and “To Those Who Meet Me After” appear in the current issue of Typehouse Literary Magazine.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Graduating student Brenda Cooper‘s (Fiction) next novel, Wilders, will be released by Prometheus Books on June 13th, 2017. Ramez Naam, award-winning author of the Nexus series, call it “A vivid picture of a world rebuilding from the edge of ecological ruin and the seeming conflicts between civilization and the nature it depends on.”

FACULTY

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) will be reading along with National Book Award Finalist/Bestseller Jayne Anne Phillips at Earfull, presented by the Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA, on Tuesday, June 6th. The readings will be accompanied by the music of Jen Trynin and Aaron Perrino. If you’re near Boston please consider coming out! Tickets available here.

Aaron Hamburger (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) has been combining writing with activism this month. His piece “My Grandmother, the Undocumented Immigrant” appeared in Tablet Magazine. Also, he recently taught a sold-out course called “Writing as an Act of Resistance” at Politics & Prose Bookstore. The class was so successful that it’s going to be offered again this fall. Details will be posted on the store website.

Wonder Woman: The Official Movie Novelization, written by Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction), comes out on June 6th, to coincide with the worldwide release of the film starring Gal Gadot.

Stonecoast alumna Alexis Paige (Creative Nonfiction, S’14) will be among the featured authors at Bay Path University’s annual Booklovers event, June 4th, 2:00-4:00 p.m., in the dining commons at 588 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow, MA. The author of Not a Place on Any Map, Alexis will be joined by Kate Clifford Larson (Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter), Ed Orzechowski (You’ll Like it Here), and Sophfronia Scott (A Child of Faith: Raising a Spiritual Being in a Secular World). Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction), Bay Path’s writer-in-residence and director of writing programs, will welcome the audience. The event is open to the public free of charge, and both book clubs and individual readers are welcome. Books will be sold and refreshments will be served.

A few winters back, faculty members Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) and Suzanne Strempek Shea met in Elizabeth’s Harraseeket Inn room during lunch at January residency to press “send” on their proposal for a collection of essays on soap operas by writers and poets who have some fixation with the classic television and radio form of storytelling. The result, Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and Soap Insiders on Why We’ll Tune in Tomorrow as the World Turns Restlessly by the Guiding Light of Our Lives, was launched April 30th at Newtonville Books in Newton Center, MA. The co-editors and seven of their 33 contributors enjoyed a standing-room-only crowd at the bookstore owned by Stonecoast alumna Mary Cotton and her husband, author Jamie Clarke. Among the readers was Stonecoast alumna Brenda Sparks Prescott, who read from her essay “The Doctors and William Beaumont General Hospi-tale.” Other Stonecoast connections among the 35 contributors: student Erin Roberts; alums Marie Hannan-Mandel, Tigh Rickman, and Susan Lilley; faculty members Ted Deppe, Aaron Hamburger, and Nancy Holder; former faculty members Jamie Cat Callan, Ann Hood, Lesléa Newman, and Shara McCallum; and Nuala Ni Chonchuir, who’s read and lectured at Stonecoast Ireland. The book is dedicated to the late Elisabeth Wilkins Lombardo, an award-winning fiction writer who was a member of Stonecoast’s inaugural graduating class and who was to have contributed an essay on how soap operas helped her learn the culture of Japan when she moved there for what turned out to be ten years of work in radio and television broadcasting. Elizabeth and Suzanne send many thanks to Stonecoast students including Shellie Leger, who made the trip to help celebrate the book. Suzanne and Elizabeth continue to celebrate—most recently over the fact that, at a grocery or pharmacy checkout very near you, from coast to coast, readers can find CBS Soaps in Depth magazine and its two-page spread on Soap Opera Confidential. The May 29th issue dedicated two pages to the story “Fan Nonfiction: Soap Opera Confidential Examines Why We Always Have—and Always Will—Tune in Tomorrow.” The piece included photos of The Bold and the Beautiful star Thorsten Kaye, who contributed a poem to Soap Opera Confidential and is shown holding a book. Is it Soap Opera Confidential? Tune in tomorrow to find out… Soap Opera Confidential also is featured in a story by G. Michael Dobbs of The Reminder in East Longmeadow, MA. Join Elizabeth Searle and Suzanne as they celebrate Soap Opera Confidential June 7th, 7:00 p.m. at Broadside Bookshop, 247 Main St., Northampton, MA. The night will feature readings by contributors Lesléa Newman, Tommy Shea, and Sebastian Stuart.

Alumna Brenda Sparks Prescott reads from her essay “The Doctors and William Beaumont General Hospi-tale” at the April 30th launch of Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and soap Insiders on Why We’ll Tune in Tomorrow as the World Turns Restlessly by the Guiding Light of Our Lives at Newtonville Books.

Elizabeth Searle with Newtonville Books owner and Stonecoast alumna Mary Cotton.

Soap Opera Confidential featured in the national magazine Soap Opera Insider.

Yes, at a shop counter near you: Soap Opera Insider and its two-page feature on Soap Opera Confidential.

Contributors and co-editors at Newtonville Books’ launch of Soap Opera Confidential: Writers and Soap Insiders on Why We’ll Tune in Tomorrow as the World Turns Restlessly by the Guiding Light of Our Lives: (from left) alumna Brenda Sparks Prescott, Sebastian Stuart, Emily Franklin, Elizabeth Searle, Allan Hunter, Lisa Borders, Marianne Leone, Suzanne Strempek Shea, and Leigh Montville.

Soap Opera Confidential co-editors Suzanne Strempek Shea and Elizabeth Searle at the Newtonville Books launch.

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates January 2017

Stonecoast Rocks Manhattan….

Calling all Stonecoasters past and present in the New York City area—please join us on Wednesday, January 4th, 2017, for a special Stonecoast Night at the KGB Bar in Manhattan, 85 E. 4th St. from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Featured faculty readers will be Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Elizabeth Searle, and Breena Clarke. Joining in with flash readings will be students and alums Daniel Ball, Peter Behravesh, Anthony D’Aries, Jessica de Koninck, Gro Flatebo, Lissa Kiernan, Erin Roberts, and Alex Sherman. Please come to cheer and toast the New Year. We hope to see many of you there!

ALUMS

Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) received a 2016 Jane Morrison Film Fund grant and a 2017 Fellowship in Literature from the Maine Arts Commission.

boundaries-withoutKaren Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is thrilled her story “What the Dollhouse Said” is scheduled to air on the Pseudopod Podcast on January 13, 2017. Her zombie masters vs robot apocalypse flash fiction “We Are Still Feeling,” originally published in alumni Cynthia Kraack’s Boundaries Without: The Calumet Editions 2017 Anthology of Speculative Fiction on October 29, 2016, will be reprinted in Sockdolager magazine’s Women of War Special Issue, Winter 2017. MK Gibson’s interview Karen Bovenmyer – Drop and Give me 20! 20 Hard Questions for Hard Authors was published on November 30, 2016, revealing Karen’s biggest failure, greatest shame and what Frankenstein, a bunch of grapes, and a broken closet door have to do with it. She also goes on and on about how wonderful you all are in the Stonecoast program. Another interview promoting her forthcoming fantasy novella “The Beaded Slipper” in Crimson Edge Press’s Maidens and Magic anthology went live on December 11. In her role as nonfiction editor for Mothership Zeta Magazine, Karen is assisting alumna Mur Lafferty in preparing the January issue (#6), which will include an awesome story from alumna Jennifer Castello and a Story Doctor article from faculty member James Patrick Kelly.

Amy Burroughs (Creative Nonfiction, W’16) received a Pushcart Prize nomination for her essay “Two Strangers on a Train,” published in Jabberwock Review.

Michael L Joy (Popular Fiction, S’13) has been voted to the board of the Florida chapter of the Mystery Writers of America for 2017.

Alan King’s (Poetry, W’13) book Point Blank was named among the “Ten Best Poetry Books of 2016” by Beltway Poetry. He also just finished a new trailer for the book, which you can watch here.kinship-of-clover

Joe M. McDermott‘s (Popular Fiction, S’11) new novel, The Fortress at the End of Time, about clones on a military listening station in deep space, comes out on January 17 from Tor.com.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W ’06) is delighted to share the cover of her third novel, Kinship Of Clover. She will be signing copies at the Red Hen Press booth at AWP and reading at Politics & Prose on February 10, 6:00 p.m.

midsummer-magickHarlequin has picked up all three books in The Magick Trilogy by Laura Navarre (Popular Fiction, W’11) for its paranormal romance DTC program. Midsummer Magick, a sexy Tudor fallen angel romance about the son of Lucifer and a secret Tudor princess, is a January 2017 release.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) full length play The King of France has won this year’s Meetinghouse Theatre Lab’s play competition and will receive a staged reading in Winter Harbor on January 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Hammond Hall, 427 Main Street, Winter Harbor, ME 04693. The event is free and open to the public and will feature a talk back with the playwright and actors following the performance. The play set in the fictional town of Hopton Maine in Aroostock County examines both the deep pull of that region on its inhabitants and its serious limitations for young people, as well as the devastating effects of isolation and abuse. For information please call 207-963-2569 or contact Schoodic Arts for All at info@schoodicartsforall.org.

cold_heart_coverKaren Pullen‘s (Popular Fiction, S’08) second mystery novel, Cold Heart, will be released by Five Star Cengage on January 18. The series features an undercover drug agent who is pulled into a homicide investigation. In November, her story “No Falling Ribbons” was included in an anthology, Stuck in the Middle (Main Street Rag).

STUDENTS

Brenda Cooper‘s (Fiction) novel, Edge of Dark , won the 2016 Endeavour Award, which was presented ay Orycon in November, 2016.  The Endeavour award is “…for a edge-of-darkdistinguished Science Fiction or Fantasy Book written by a Pacific Northwest author or authors and published in the previous year.” Edge of Dark, edited by Rene Sears, was published by Prometheus Books in 2015. The award includes a $1,000 cash award and a glass trophy.

FACULTY

Jim Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) story “One Sister, Two Sisters, Three” published in October in Clarkesworld (read and/or listen to it online here).  has been selected for The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Fourth Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois. This will be Jim’s sixteenth appearance in this anthology series.

we-got-himIn addition to the January 4th KGB reading in New York City, Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) will read from her new novel We Got Him at the Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA, on Jan. 23rd at 7:00 p.m. Elizabeth’s show Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera completed its six-week run in Chicago, fully produced by Underscore Theater. The show was listed as one of the Top Five Musicals of 2016 by New City, which had written in its review: “The play radiates like strobe light hitting a disco ball.  Tonya and Nancy’ relates a cautionary tale of ambition, manipulation, competition and the appalling way men and women treat girls.”  For quotes, pictures, and film clips from Chicago, see: www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com

 

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Community News & Updates June 2014

ALUMNI NEWS

Sheila Boneham (Creative Nonfiction / Cross Genre, S’13) has signed a contract for two more novels in her Animals in Focus series from Midnight Ink. The first book, Drop Dead on Recall (2012), was named Best Fiction Book of the year by the Dog Writers Association of America. Book two, The Money Bird, came out last fall, and the third, Catwalk, will be released this coming October. Also, Sheila has had a poem accepted for publication in Written River: A Journal of Eco-Poetics; “Spin” will appear in the July issue.

FloridaRWA_-_finalMichael L. Joy‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story of geriatric adventure and intrigue, “Portrait Conspiracy,”  will appear in an anthology from Melange Press called From Florida with Love, which comes out as an ebook on June 5th and in print at a later date (and will be available on Amazon). All proceeds support the South West Florida Romance Writers.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) is under contract with Obsidian Entertainment to write the Collector’s Edition book for their much-anticipated game Pillars of Eternity. You can read more about it here.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) had two essays published in May: “The Mother as She Writes” in Literary Mama and “Memento Mori: On Collecting Baby Teeth” in Mutha Magazine.

17247288Will Ludwigsen‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) collection In Search Of and Others has been nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award for “outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.”

Jeanette Lynes (Poetry/Fiction, ’05) presented a talk on poetic responses to the poet John Clare at the “John Clare in Space” conference held at Oxford-Brookes University in England on May 30th. Jeanette’s poetry collection, School of Flowers: The John Clare Poems, will be published by Wolsak and Wynn in 2016.

Lightspeed_49_June_2014J.M. McDermott‘s (Popular Fiction, S’11) much anticipated final Dogsland novel, We Leave Together, comes out in June from WordHorde.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) essay “Stepping through a Portal” is out in Lightspeed: Women Destroy Science Fiction! today. Her story “Sleepers” is in the most recent issue of Interzone.

FACULTY NEWS

Jeanne Marie Beaumont (Poetry) has two poems in the new issue of Gulf Coast, one of which, “Lotto,” is also posted on their website.

Boman Desais (Fiction) flash fiction, “The Boy from Chicago,” won first prize in the Writer’s Billboard competition for the month of April and will be posted at this link until July 1st.

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) has a couple of events before the July residency. At the Squam Arts Workshops (June 4th-8th) he’ll be leading a series of workshops called “Story in a Day,” and he’ll be teaching at Mary Robinette Kowal’s Writing the Other Workshop and Retreat (June 9th-15th).

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Popular Fiction) essay “A ‘Shortcut to Europe’ in D.C.? Not Quite” appeared in The Washington Post.

Elizabeth Hand‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) reviews of Emma Donoghue’s Frog Music, Stacey D’Erasmo’s Wonderland, and Lauren Owen’s The Quick all recently appeared in The Los Angeles Times. In June, Hand will be writer-in-residence at the Norton Island Residency, and later that month she’ll be a guest instructor at the Odyssey Writing Workshop.

Debra Marquart (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry) co-edited a special “Sense of Place” issue of On Second Thought for the North Dakota Humanities Council. Marquart’s essay “Carte Blanche,” with some of her thoughts on the oil boom, was included in the issue.

Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) sends many thanks to all of the Portland-area Stonecoasters and staff who attended her reading at Harmon’s and Barton’s in the city May 22. The event was set up by the also-much-appreciated Barbara Kelly of “Kelly’s Books to Go,” which that night sold copies of Suzanne’s new book, This Is Paradise: An Irish Mother’s Grief, an African Village’s Plight an the Medical Clinic that Brought Fresh Hope to Both. Suzanne will continue on the book promotion trail this month, at events including

  • June 5 – 7:oo p.m. – Workshop 13 Cultural Arts & Learning Center, 13 Church Street, Ware, MA.
  • June 8 – 2:00 p.m. – Bay Path College, 588 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA
  • June 11 – 6:30 p.m. – East Longmeadow Public Library, 60 Center Square, East Longmeadow, MA
  • June 14 – 4:00 p.m. – Poetry Center, Wright HallSmith College, Northampton, MA
  • June 16 – 7:00 p.m. – Fiske Free Library, 108 Broad Street, Claremont, NH
  • June 21 – 2:00 p.m. – Booklovers’ Gourmet, 55 East Main Street, Webster, MA
  • June 22 – 1:00 p.m. – Write Your Mind, 21 Westminster Terrace, Cape Elizabeth, ME (with Helen Peppe and Richard Hoffman)
  • June 28 – 12:00 p.m. – Hampden Public Library, 625 Main Street, Hampden, MA

Suzanne sends no thanks to the Montreal Canadiens, who recently dashed the Boston Bruins’ Stanley Cup hopes. She does thank Elizabeth Searle and Celebrities in Disgrace for posting an essay by Suzanne on her childhood fixation with the Bruins and a certain defenseman. Finally, she thanks all who’ve registered for Iota: The Conference of Short Prose, which will run August 14-17 on Campobello Island, New Brunswick. Suzanne will lead a fiction workshop while Barbara Hurd works with nonfiction writers and Charles Coe with poets. For full information, including how to register for any of the workshops, visit the website.

10435988_10152768137620166_5532781654350973656_n

Stonecoast grads and current students chat (and display their souvenir Suzanne’s mother’s bookmarks) after Suzanne’s recent reading in Portland. From left: Amanda Pleau, Teal Gardella, Melanie Brooks, and Emily Young.

WORKSHOPS

Suzanne Van Dam (Fiction, S’09) is offering a weekend writing retreat July 19-20 in Copper Harbor, MI. The theme this year is “The Wandering Word.” Suzanne will be leading a prose workshop on “Travel & Life Writing” and will be teaming up with poet Laura Smyth (MFA Columbia University), who will be leading a workshop on “Poetry & Transformation.” The retreat provides additional activities designed to support the writer and the writing life—meditation, yoga, songwriting, and nature activities. Join us for two days of creative writing on the beautiful Keweenaw Penninsula. Check us out!

 

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Community News & Updates December 2013

ALUMNI

Sheila Boneham (Creative Nonfiction/Cross Genre, S’13) answered author Sherman Alexie’s challenge to fellow writers to support local bookstores by playing “bookseller for a day.” She spent Small Business Saturday (the independent business response to Black Friday) by volunteering at Pomegranate Books in Wilmington, NC. Sheila recommends the experience highly—you don’t have to wait until November! Here‘s Sherman’s letter to us book nerds.

Kathy Briccetti (Creative Nonfiction, W’07) has accepted an adjunct instructor position teaching a Transitional English class (e.g. English 95) at The Art Institute of California in San Francisco. Before launching into each day’s discussions, grammar practice, and writing instruction, she reads a poem and offers a five-minute free-writing period. The students now know that poems do not have to rhyme or declare romantic love. Visit her website here.

Jennifer Marie Brissett‘s (Popular Fiction, S’11) story “Secrets of the Sea” is a finalist for the 2013 storySouth Million Writers Award.

397Nancy Brown‘s (Fiction, S’08) short story “Hay Day” appears in Summer Stories, published in November. The book features a series of paintings by Maine artist Leslie Anderson along with a dozen short stories by ten Maine writers. The stories, which were inspired by the paintings, were selected by Maine author Ron Currie, Jr., as part of a contest sponsored by Shanti Arts Publishing and the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance.

Michael L. Joy (Popular Fiction, S’13) will reprise his graduate presentation “Applying a Romantic Subplot for Non-Romance Writers” at the Estero Library as part of the 2014 Southwest Florida Reading Festival on Thursday, March 20th.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) villanelle “According to a Spokesman” has been selected for the upcoming anthology Veils, Halos and Shackles: International Poetry on the Abuse and Oppression of Women. His short story “Marble” will appear in the December issue of Solstice.

“Make Me Beautiful,” a short story by Karen Pullen (Popular Fiction, S’08), was published in the December 2013 issue of bosque (the magazine).

Patricia Smith (Poetry, S’08, and former Stonecoast faculty) was awarded the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize ($25,000) from the Academy of American Poets for Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, chosen as the most outstanding book of poetry published in United States last year.

1167719_650164738326974_193626512_nBonnie Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) poem “Strange Monster” appeared in the most recent issue of Mythic Delirium. Her short story “Mrs. Stiltskin” appeared in the first issue of Lakeside Circus. She is also thrilled to have taken part in the successful Kickstarter campaign for the anthology Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters, which should be released in the next couple of months.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) captured first place in the 10th annual literary competition sponsored by Arts Council of York County, SC. The winning piece, “The Crazy House,” was an excerpt from her Stonecoast creative thesis.

STUDENTS

Alexis Paige‘s (Creative Nonfiction) latest essay, “Arrivals, an Autobiography,” appears in the November issue of Pithead Chapel. She also won the New Millennium Nonfiction prize for her essay “The Geography of Consolation,” which “examines the unique challenges of a writer’s life, the long fallout of an emotional affair, and the inevitable realization that no matter how far or how often we roam, the internal journal still lies before us.” She’ll receive $1,000, and the essay will be published online and in print in the 2104 issue.

FACULTY

Jeanne Marie Beaumont‘s (Poetry) ekphrastic persona poem “In Preparation,” which she read at the summer residency flash reading, is featured on the American Arts Quarterly site along with the Gustav Courbet painting that inspired it.

Aaron Hamburger (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Popular Fiction) sold his short story “Honeymoon for One” to Subtropics magazine; it will appear early next year. (Thanks to Suzanne Strempek Shea for editorial guidance and moral support!)

Jim Kelly‘s (Popular Fiction) story “The Promise of Space” from the September issue of Clarkesworld has been selected for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Eight, edited by Jonathan Strahan (Solaris Books). His 2000 Hugo Award-winning novelette “10^16 to 1” will be reprinted in an upcoming issue of Clarkesworld. His novelette “The Chimp of the Popes,” first sold in 2009 (!), is finally scheduled for publication in The Book of Silverberg, edited by Gardner Dozois (Subterranean Press) in the summer of 2014.

safewaycoverAlexandra Oliver‘s (Poetry, ’12) Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway is the first poetry book in Biblioasis’ history to have received a full review from critic Michael Lista in The National Post (one of Canada’s two national papers). You can read the review here.

On December 4th, Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) reads from the new anthology Knitting Yarns (which is out from Norton and which includes Suzanne Strempek Shea) in Pawtucket, RI, at Slater Mill. Knitting Yarns received a four-star review in People and was a recommended book in Vanity Fair. Elizabeth is also reading on December 9th at 4:30 p.m. at the New England Institute of Art bookstore in Brookline, MA, along with fellow Iowa Short Fiction Prize winner Kate Milliken. Elizabeth will read from her own Iowa Prize collection My Body to You, which was re-released in a new paperback version in 2011. On December 20th, at the Armory Center for the Arts in Somerville, MA, a Stonecoast event will be presented by alum Richard Cambridge as part of his series Poet’s Theater. A Night at the Theater will combine theater and performance-style readings. Elizabeth’s short play Stolen Girl Song, which premiered at the Northern Writes New Play Festival in Maine in 2012, will be performed by actress Norah Bird and directed by Bruce Pratt. The event will also feature readings/performances by Bruce, Richard, and Stonecoasters Alexis Paige, Enza Vescera, Barbara Greenbaum, Anthony D’Aries, Amy M. Alvarez, and Mikhu Paul.

Knitting Yarns contributors Marianne Leone, Elizabeth Searle, and Suzanne Strempek Shea at the Knitting Yarns book launch at Newtonville Books on Nov. 9th; photo by Stonecoast alum, Helen Peppe

Knitting Yarns contributors Marianne Leone, Elizabeth Searle, and Suzanne Strempek Shea at the Knitting Yarns book launch at Newtonville Books on Nov. 9th; photo by Stonecoast alum Helen Peppe

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