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Community News & Updates July 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Poetic Voices for Social Justice

Join us at SPACE Gallery on Thursday, July 12th, where Stonecoast MFA faculty member Martín Espada—recent winner of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, Pulitzer Prize finalist, American Book Award winner and National Book Critics Circle nominee—will give a public reading alongside Lauren Marie Schmidt, author of three collections of poetry including Psalms of The Dining Room—a sequence of poems about her volunteer experience at a soup kitchen. The reading will feature music by current Stonecoast student Julie Cira and will be followed by a community discussion of the artist’s role in the community. All proceeds of this evening will go to benefit the Stonecoast MFA Writing for Social Justice Scholarship, established to reduce financial and social barriers to higher education, and support culturally and socially engaged writers committed to creating positive change in the community. RSVP here!

BIG NEWS for Stonecoast Review—not only does our Summer 2018 Issue No. 9 feature original, never before-printed stories from the award-winning authors James Van Pelt and Rick Wilber, but we’ve received a very generous $2500 donation from USM’s president and provost in support of our future endeavors. The catch with the donation is that we need to raise an equivalent amount of money within the year. Alumni can help out by purchasing a copy of Issue No. 9 through Kelly’s Books To Go—orders should be available by the end of this Summer Residency at the latest. They can also donate to us directly through the “Make a Gift” button and selecting the “Stonecoast MFA Literary Review Fund” as their designation. We intend to use this money to begin paying our contributors semi-professional rates as soon as possible, but in order to sustain a status of even $50 a submission, we’ll need over $2000 every semester. We hope that every alumni will pick up a copy (or three!) of every issue, as the success of our literary journal will help the overall status and prestige of the program. We encourage alumni to submit for Issue No. 10 when we open again in August—our goal is publish a handful of students and alumni with every issue.

ALUMS

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) was a participant in Tina Connolly’s Young-Adult Novel Writing Workshop at the Kansas University Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction in June, funded by her Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship from the Horror Writers Association. She worked on Sleeping Boy, a novel she started while at Stonecoast. She is excited to be under contract to write RPG tie-in fiction, has been enjoying narrating for the Stoker-Award-winning Independent Legions Press Cemetery Pod podcast, and regularly discusses speculative books, comics, and movies with Alasdair Stuart on the Escape Artists Patreon feed. She will be a moderator and panelist at the GenCon Writer’s Symposium in August, presenting on “Minding your Ps and Qs: Grammar and Punctuation for Authors,” “NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month,” “How Other Creative Outlets Help Writing,” “Writing Micro and Flash Fiction,” and how to “Edit Your way Past the Slush Pile.” If any Stonecoasters will be at GenCon in August she would love to see them, so please email her at karen.bovenmyer@gmail.com to meet up.

KT Bryski (Popular Fiction, W’16) has another play opening this month! Adapted from her award-winning audio drama, Six Stories, Told at Night runs at the Toronto Fringe Festival July 5th-15th. She also looks forward to seeing friends and colleagues at Readercon!

Brenda Cooper‘s (Fiction, S’17) newest novel, Keepers, will be release by Prometheus books on July 31st, 2018. Keepers tells the story of two sisters who must support each other in a dangerous future where the cities are huge and the wild lands between empty and lawless. Keepers is the sequel to Wilders, which came out in 2017. Nancy Kress, Hugo- and Nebula award-winning author of If Tomorrow Comes, says that “Keepers shows us an earth that is the result of profound climactic and ecological changes. Nobody is better than Brenda Cooper at creating detailed and innovative futures. Keepers is a gem—a complex and plausible look at what we might face someday, and how we might respond.” The beginning of Keepers came from Brenda’s thesis, and she is grateful to James Patrick Kelley and Nancy Holder for being her first readers.

Lauren M Davis (Poetry, S’15) will be teaching courses in Creative Writing that she designed for the Indiana Institute of Technology in Fall 2018. She has also recently been given the title of Placemaking Coordinator from Big Car of Indianapolis and will work to cultivate arts, culture, outdoor activity, local food sources, and community for Fort Wayne, Indiana’s Electric Works project.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) debut collection Uncommon Miracles is now available for pre-order from PS Publishing. You can preview one of the stories here. Julie was also spotlighted on Tor.com—along with some other fabulous Stonecoasters—as part of  “150 ‘New’ Writers for Your Consideration.”  Here’s the full lowdown on Julie’s collection:

  • A grieving man travels through time via a 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.

Whether set in a uniquely altered version of Florida’s Space Coast or a haunted island off the coast of Maine, each of the eighteen stories in this collection carries its own brand of meticulous and captivating weirdness.

“Julie C. Day makes a bold debut with this genre-bending collection of stories. At times whimsical, at times heartbreaking, but always clear-eyed and honest,UNCOMMON MIRACLES proves that Day has joined the front ranks of the writers carrying American fantasy into a new golden age.” ~Nathan Ballingrud

“Julie C. Day’s new collection, Uncommon Miracles, relates stories about what happens when strangeness, dream-like and nightmarish, infiltrates the lives of everyday people. A unique new voice in short fiction—sharp writing and a wonderfully idiosyncratic imagination.” ~Jeffrey Ford

“Julie C. Day’s stories are strongly strange, whether happening in a sort of now in this country or in a weirdly altered past. These stories seem to be what the term American Gothic was meant for.” ~John Crowley

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’14) published her horror story “Sunshower Death” in the horror anthology Deadman’s Tome: The Conspiracy Issue on June 1st, 2018. She was also a guest on the Deadman’s Tome Podcast on June 20th, 2018—World Refugee Day—where she not only discusses her story but she also talks about the inspiration behind it: the death of rock icon Chris Cornell. The host of the podcast, Mr. Deadman, has plans for a second podcast to continue their discussion, but an appearance date has not yet been set. Renee also published a new blog post—“The Mysterious Death of Rock Legend Chris Cornell: The Blue Skies Murder”—on her WordPress site where she breaks down the botched death investigation of Chris Cornell. On the Other Stories Podcast episode #143, Renee was interviewed and did a reading of her short story “The Unemployed Neighbor.” This story also appears in issue #37 of Sirens Call WiHM EZine, the 6th Annual Women in Horror Month Edition.  In older news, Renee’s poem “This Is Only the Beginning” appears in the Horror Writers Association Poetry Showcase Volume IV, which was published in the fall of 2017.

Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’10) book, Alice Guy Blaché, Lost Visionary of the Cinema (Bloomsbury 2002), has been translated into Spanish by Plots Ediciones (2006); adapted as a play by La Recua Teatro in Toledo, Spain (2012); and adapted into the documentary Be Natural by Pamela Green. The documentary premiered at Cannes in May 2018. Her mystery/horror for middle grade readers, “Kamikaze Iguanas,” will appear in the MWA anthology Scream and Scream Again, edited by R. L. Stine for HarperCollins, publication date July 24th. Alison is now represented by Gina Panettieri of Talcott Notch Literary.

An excerpt from Lisa Romeo’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) new memoir, Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss, appears on the PBS site Next Avenue. Her essay, “The Unpredictability of Grief” is featured on Covey Club, a new online women’s magazine. At The Review Review, Lisa shared “How Lit Journal Publications Paved the Way to Published Memoir.” The book was recently reviewed at Literary MamaHalfway Down the Stairs, and MyCentralJersey. Lisa recently spoke at the Cedar Ridge Writers Series on “Three Big Challenges in Writing Memoir,” and addressed the New Jersey Library Association Conference on “Readers and Writers in the Library: Perfect Together.” Since her book’s publication in May, she’s also been interviewed at The Debutante BallSunlight Press, and Under the Sun. Lisa led a panel, “Memoir: It’s all Relative. The perils, pleasures, and pitfalls of writing about family,” at the Maplewood-South Orange (NJ) Book Festival; was featured on the Write The Book podcast (#508); and at The Quivering Pen, where she wrote about “My First (Disastrous) Writing Retreat.”  In July, Lisa will visit Newtonville Books (Newton, MA, July 12th); Blue Umbrella Books (Westfield, MA, July 14th), and Toadstool Bookstore (Keene, NH, July 15th). See her full list of upcoming events.

The Dollmaker of Kraków by R. M. Romero (Popular Fiction, S’15) has been shortlisted for the Young Quills Award in the U.K. and nominated for the Flemish Children’s and Youth Prize.

The Kweli Journal published “Piper’s March” written by Darlene Taylor (Fiction, W’17).

Lisa C. Taylor‘s (Poetry, S’04) short story “Consorts” will be published in The New Southern Fugitives. Her short story “Every Body of Water” will be published in Flights. Lisa’s short-story collection, Impossibly Small Spaces, will be released in Ireland in late summer by Arlen House and in the U.S. in October (Arlen House/Syracuse University Press).

Christopher Watkins‘ (Poetry, W’08) poem “Emigrant Song” has been accepted for publication by Harpur Palate and will be included in their Fall 2018 issue.

Hats off to Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11), whose short story “Midlife” was the sole fiction selection in the premiere issue of Torch, a journal of Richmond Community College, Hamlet, NC.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Cedar Valley Community College has offered Lindsey Barlow (Popular Fiction) a full-time Professor of English position, and she has accepted! The Texas state board meeting was on June 5th, and she was approved to teach full time. Lindsey is so excited and grateful. She thanks everyone who provided a letter of recommendation for her, and she thanks Cedar Valley, who allowed her to teach part time for so many years leading up to this.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction) is presenting his third semester research project on the philosophy of Philip K. Dick’s The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch at the SFRA conference in Milwaukee this month. He will also be presenting a similar paper at this year’s Worldcon in San Jose this August.

Nina Lichtenstein‘s (Creative Nonfiction) essay about growing up a latchkey kid in 1970s Oslo, Norway, was published in the Poydras Review in June. She also appeared as a teller at Brunswick’s own SoundBites with the theme “Grilled,” and told a story about being interrogated at the Ben Gurion airport in Israel, and how this made her not take her privilege for granted; you can listen to Nina share that story below. Nina has also had several submissions rejected/declined for publication, and looks forward to improve them and submit again! And again.

FACULTY

To mark Pride Month, Tin House is now running Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) essay “Sweetness Mattered” on their website. You can read it here.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) turned in Curious Toys, a novel set in 1915 Chicago, inspired by a true crime and the work of outsider artist Henry Darger, to Mullholland Books/Little Brown. Her short story “Ghost Light” appears in the new anthology Tiny Crimes, edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto. In July, she’ll be a special guest at Comic-Con in San Diego, and then teaching a weeklong workshop for young writers at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center.

This summer Cara Hoffman (Fiction, Popular Fiction) received an Edward Albee Fellowship and a Wellstone Center Fellowship and signed a two-book contract with Harper Collins.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) will appear at San Diego Comic Con International. She will be doing signings of her comic book Mary Shelley Presents in the Kymera Press Booth, #2003. She will also appear on two panels: “A Celebration of Mary Shelley” on Thursday, July 19th, at 4:30—5:30 p.m. in Room 26AB; and “Women on the Dark Side” on Thursday, July 19th, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Jim Kelly’s new short story collection, The Promise of Space and Other Stories, debuts on July 17th, just in time for the summer residency. Published by Prime Books, it includes 14 previously published stories, several of which have appeared in various Year’s Best Science Fiction anthologies, and one story, “Yukui,” which is original to the collection. At 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 31st, 2018, at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Jim will join his award-winning colleague John Chu for a reading at Speculative Boston, a new quarterly reading series featuring authors of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

Debra Marquart‘s (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) essay about submerged and sometimes forgotten female singers’ voices, entitled “Buried Voices,” was featured as a Story of the Week in Narrative Magazine.

Elizabeth Searle‘s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) novel We Got Him (New Rivers Books) is now out in Audiobook from Blunder Woman Productions, narrated by award-winning Audiobook star and Stonecoast alum Tanya Eby; it is available on Audible and more. In June, Elizabeth’s Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera had its Southwest Regional Premiere in suburban Dallas, Texas, at the Ohlook Performing Arts Center; the production was reviewed as “Perfect for late-night theater fun” here. Idol Talk—the new anthology on Teen Idols co-edited by Elizabeth with Stonecoast alum Tammy Wilson, featuring multiple Stonecoast contributors—is on Instagram ( idol_talk ) and has multiple summer readings, including:

  • St. Stephens Branch Library, Hickory, NC, on July 23rd at 6:00 p.m. (with Stonecoast alumna Tammy Wilson, appearing at NC readings)
  • Catawba Country Library in Newton, NC, on July 24th at 6:00 p.m.
  • Patrick Beaver Library in Hickory, NC, on July 31st at 6:30 p.m.
  • Toadstool Books in Peterborough, NH, on July 21st at 2:00 p.m. (with Stonecoast students Lee J. Kahrs and Kate Kastelein)
  • Newtonville Books in Newton, MA, on July 27th at 7:00 p.m. (with Stonecoast alumna Michelle Soucy)
  • NYC reading at KGB bar ion August 8th at 7:00 p.m. (with Stonecoasters Elizabeth Searle and Breena Clarke)
  • Main Street Books in Davidson, NC, on August 12th at 2:00 p.m.
  • Gaston Public Library in Gastonia, NC, on August 13th at 4:00 p.m.
  • Morrison Branch Library in Charlotte, NC, on August 21st at 7:00 p.m.
  • Harvard General Store in Harvard, MA, on August 30th at 6:00 p.m. (with Stonecoasters Lee J Kahrs, Elizabeth Searle, and Michelle Soucy)

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates April 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

On April 13th from 6:00-8:00 p.m., Quiet City Books in Lewiston, Maine, will host “Between Fear and Hope: Readings from Local Writers.” Among the readers are Stonecoast alum Josh Gauthier (Popular Fiction, S’17), and graduating students Meredith MacEachern (Popular Fiction) and Anthony Marvullo (Creative Nonfiction). The event is free and open to the public. See the Facebook event here.

Stonecoast MFA has created a new scholarship aimed at supporting writers who use their work to effect positive social change. This April, Stonecoast launches One Month, One Voice: a call to action for our community to get creative, make your voice heard, and help fund the Writing for Social Justice Scholarship. We need your help! Join the movement by hosting an event, donating to the cause, or helping us spread the word. Visit our fundraising page for more information.

RECENT CONFERENCE ROUND-UPS

Check out reports and photos from the recent AWP and ICFA conferences!

ALUMS

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) received the Walter James Miller Memorial Award for Student Scholarship in the International Fantastic at the 39th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts for his essay, “The Vault of Heaven: Science Fiction’s Perso-Arabic Origins.” He originally wrote this essay for his third semester project at Stonecoast, under the mentorship of Theodora Goss, and he will present a condensed version of it at Worldcon 76.

Peter Adrian Behravesh and Theodora Goss. Photo taken taken by AJ Bauers (Popular Fiction, W’17)

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is happy her poem “Fire Lover” is now available for reading in February’s Heroic Fantasy Quarterly (Karen’s audio narration is also available at that link). In March, she presented on panels at Stokercon (Writing Fiction vs Writing Games, Shirley Jackson, Call of Cthulhu RPG, Dark Poetry, Horror Gaming, and Edit Your Way Past the Slush Pile which she also moderated) and had a blast hanging out with other Stonecoasters. She will very soon be narrating books for the Stoker-winning Independent Legions Publishing. Her book Swift for the Sun is both an Eric Hoffer da Vinci award (best cover) finalist and an Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Benjamin Frankin Award for best LGBT title gold or silver metal finalist. Her scifi flash fiction about divorce, “From Now Until Infinity,” appeared in the first issue of Factor Four Magazine, the only story that’s a free read for that issue. She is extremely proud of being March’s guest editor on Pseudopod and hopes you check out the five awesome dark scifi and fantasy stories she selected. Two of her 2017 poems, “Syncing Minefields” (Strange Horizons) and “Save Our Souls” (Silver Blade Magazine), have been nominated for the Rhysling award by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. Last, but not least, she can be heard narrating an extremely inappropriate story titled “A Little Song, A Little Dance, A Little Apocalypse Down Your Pants” by Robert Jeschonek on StarShipSofa. It is the first time she’s ever narrated for orgasmic soup. Thanks for all your support!

Ryan Brod (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) has two features out in outdoor magazines this season. His first-person account of fly fishing smallmouth on the Androscoggin can be found in the spring issue of The Drake magazine, and the current issue of Gray’s Sporting Journal features Ryan’s article “Ten-Year Tarpon,” which was part of his thesis at Stonecoast.

Linda Buckmaster‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) essay “Security Clearance,” which first appeared in Burrow Literary Review, is included in an anthology from University of Florida Press, In Season. Stories of Discovery, Loss, Home, and Places In Between.

Anthony D’Aries (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) will lead a memoir workshop for the Cape Cod Writers Center on April 14th. More info can be found here.

Kristin LaTour (Poetry, S’07) is again doing her Poem-a-Thon fundraiser during April, National Poetry Month. Sponsors get a newly written draft poem every day in April. This year she’s raising money for Welcoming America, a non-profit that works within US communities to partner immigrants and refugees with people who are already established in those areas. More information is available about the fundraiser and Welcoming America on her fundraising page.

Joe M. McDermott (Popular Fiction, S’11) sold an excerpt of an unpublished novel to Analog Science Fiction And Fact, called “Full Metal Mother.”

Suri Parmar‘s (Popular Fiction, W’17) MFA thesis story “Anmol, Pasha, and the Ghost” has been published in Issue 21 of New Haven Review. You can read it here.

Shannon Ratliff’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’16) essay “Waller Creek” appears in the Spring ’18 issue of Hotel Amerika, currently out.

Erin Roberts (Popular Fiction, W ’18) bayou horror story “Snake Season,” which she read from in her graduate reading, is in the April issue of The Dark and available for free online here, with story notes here. If you’d like to check out her next reading, she’ll be joining fellow Stonecoaster Golden Baker for the kick-off of a new Harlem Speculative Fiction Reading Series on the evening of April 9th at local venue Silvana—more info here.

Michaela Roessner (Popular Fiction, S’08) will be a keynote speaker and presenter at the 2018 Writing the Rockies conference at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, CO, July 18 – 22. And her short story “It’s a Wonderful Life” will be included in the upcoming reprint anthology Making History: Classic Alternate History Stories, published by New Word City Publishers, Inc.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S ’08), will lead a day-long memoir workshop as part of Writing in the Pines at Stockton University in Galloway, NJ on April 14. She will be presenting on Sunday, April 15, at Bay Path University’s Writers’ Day (Longmeadow, MA) on “Publishing: the Long and Short of It.” Her micro essay, “Hope is a Voice,” will appear in the spring print issue of Tiferet Journal, and a longer essay, “Getting Something to Grow Somewhere” will show up in the next print issue of GreenPrints Magazine. Lisa was recently interviewed by Proximity, and by Cleaver Magazine (in which she quotes two of her Stonecoast mentors).

R. M. Romero‘s (Popular Fiction, S’15) debut novel, The Dollmaker of Kraków, has been awarded the Silver Medal for Older Children’s Literature in the Florida Book Awards and has been named a 2018 Sydney Taylor Notable Book.

Mary Katherine Spain‘s (Fiction, S’16) play Just Saying was selected as a Semi-Finalist in the Maine Playwrights Festival. A dramatic reading of all of the semi-finalists’ plays will be held on April 22nd at 7:00 p.m. at the Mechanics Hall in Portland. For more info, click this link.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) story “Sleeping Beauty’s Daughter” appeared in the online edition of Fairy Tale Review.

Melanie Viets (Creative Nonfiction, W’17) has an essay featured in the UK’s The Clearing—A Journal of Nature, Landscape and Place. “Shepherd’s Watch” will appear in early April.

Christopher Watkins (Poetry, W’08) has a new poem published by Typishly. “Aromatics” has additionally been selected as an Editor’s Choice Poem. The piece can be read here.

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Scriptwriting) award-winning play Veils is being published by Original Works Publishing.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) essay “Sweetness Mattered,” which he read an excerpt from at the last residency, is out in the new issue of Tin House.

Jim Kelly’s (Popular Fiction) 2016 novel, Mother Go, an audiobook narrated by January LaVoy and published by Audible, is a finalist for the Audie Award in the Best Original Work category. The Audies will be awarded by the Audio Publishers Association in May. Jim’s 2002 prehistoric fantasy “Luck” has published in Italian as “La storia di Pollice” by Delos Digital, and his 2003 cyberpunk novelette “Bernardo’s House” has been reprinted in an international science fiction showcase Future Fiction, edited by Bill Campbell and Francesco Verso.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) and Tamra Wilson’s (Fiction, S’11) anthology Idol Talk now has a pub date of June 15 (from McFarland Books) and a cover! It features, among the 44 authors writing about their ‘teen idols,’ an all-star roster of Stonecoasters, including both current and former students and faculty. Co-editor Tammy is an alum herself and author of a story collection, Dining with Robert Redford. She will be returning to Stonecoast in July. The all-star Stonecoast-connected contributors to Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations that Changed Their Lives: Breena Clarke (Fiction faculty), Emlyn Dornemann, Ann Rosenquist Fee (Fiction, S’08), Lee J. Kahrs, Kate Kastelein, Susan Lilley (Poetry, ’08), Shara McCallum, Lesléa Newman, Morgan Callan Rogers, Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction faculty), Linda Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09), Michelle Soucy (Fiction, S’10), Nancy Swan (Fiction, W’11), Darlene Taylor (W’16), and Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Fiction faculty). Check Elizabeth’s website for updates and readings: www.elizabethsearle.net

Meet and hear from Mags Riordan, founder of the Billy Riordan Memorial Clinic in Malawi and subject of Suzanne Strempek Shea’s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) book This Is Paradise as she returns to New England to update supporters on big changes including a new clinic for her region’s AIDS/HIV population. Suzanne will do a brief reading from This Is Paradise at each event, and copies of the book, and crafts from Chembe Village, be sold to benefit the clinic. Each date is open to the public free of charge, and free-will offerings gratefully will be accepted.  Dates and locations are:

Suzanne also will be speaking at Bay Path University’s 17th Writers’ Day, Sunday, April 15, at the university’s Ryan Center, 1 Denslow Road, East Longmeadow, Mass. Talks begin at 12:30 p.m., with “Immersion Starts with ‘I,'” in which Jonathan Green (Sex Money Murder: A Story of Crack, Blood and Betrayal) and Suzanne will talk about immersion journalism, their related writing, great books done via that method, and more. The other speakers on the roster are three members of Bay Path’s MFA faculty: Stonecoast alum Lisa Romeo, plus Sophfronia Scott and Karol Jackowski. Registration and fee required. For full information: https://www.baypath.edu/events-calendar/community-events/writers-day/

Among many fond memories from last month, Suzanne is pasting into her scrapbook two photos from a visit to Florida: Stonecoast alum Melanie Brooks’ AWP in Tampa panel “Writing the Pain: Memoirists on Tackling Stories of Trauma,” which included Suzanne, Andre Dubus III, moderator Melanie, Kyoko Mori, and Richard Blanco. Melanie’s four speakers were among the 18 authors she interviewed for her acclaimed 2017 book Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma.

And a photo of Susan Lilley, Stonecoast alumna and Orlando’s first poet laureate, in her element, a.k.a. her inspiring creative writing classroom at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, where Suzanne and husband Tommy Shea spoke to students during the day and gave a public reading at night.

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates March 2018

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Stonecoast administrators, alums, faculty, and students will be attending the upcoming Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference & Bookfair in Tampa, FL, which takes place March 7-10, 2018. For more information about the AWP conference, please visit their website, and to view the list of panels, readings, signing, and gatherings that feature a Stonecoast community member, please check out this post.

On Saturday, April 7th, at 7:30 p.m., a Stonecoast alumni reading will be held at the Lilypad in Cambridge, MA. Two of our featured readers will be Richard Cambridge (fiction) and Michelle Soucy (fiction and poetry.) The Lilypad is at 1353 Cambridge Street right in Inman Square (no admission fee and the venue has a café/bar). We’ll have a Q & A after the reading. All are welcome!

ALUMS

Lew Andrada (Popular Fiction. W’17) has started teaching World Literature online for the University of the People. He’s grateful to have such an enthusiastic group of students for his first class. On March 16th, Lew will be presenting his paper “The Lingering Effects of Colonialism on Modern Philippine Speculative Fiction” at the 39th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. He’s looking forward to seeing a bunch of fellow Stonecoasters at the conference!

Julie C. Days (Popular Fiction, S’12) short story “Schrödinger’s” can be found in the March/April issue of Interzone. Among other things “Schrödinger’s” involves a quantum strip club, a women’s collective, female friendships, and the possible end of the world. Julie has also been contracted by Evil Hat Productions to write a new role-playing game for their Fate series entitled Divided Lights. She’s excited to see what others will do with her story-world and expecting to learn much about the gaming community. The project itself feels like a huge adventure.

Barbara Greenbaum’s (Fiction, S’05) poetry has recently been published or is forthcoming in American Writers Review, SLAB, and Cape Rock. She has also accepted a position as Adjunct Professor in creative writing at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) has a feature story in the January issue of Taproot Magazine. “Farming, a Love Story; Or, The Inestimably High Arc of John Yanga’s Life” explores the life, loves, contributions, and longings of John Yanga, a former refugee from southern Sudan, who is now one of Maine’s most experienced immigrant farmers.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) has spent the last couple of years writing for Obsidian Entertainment’s latest game, Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire—an RPG swashbuckling adventure about chasing a massive stone god across a bustling archipelago. The game will be available to PC / Mac / Linux players in the near future and to PS4 / Xbox One / Nintendo Switch players later in the year. Among other characters Paul wrote the gunhawk navy sniper Maia Rua and the watershaping were-shark Tekēhu, companions with story arcs and relationships of their own who can accompany the player on their journey. Coinciding with the release of the game, Paul wrote Volume Two of the Guidebook for the Pillars of Eternity setting, which is available for pre-order from Dark Horse Comics. This book offers readers additional lore about the setting and deeper historical context for many of the in-game conflicts.

Bonnie Naradzay (Poetry, W’08) will have poems in the upcoming issues of The Tampa ReviewNew Letters, and The Anglican Theological Review.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry, W’12/Past Faculty) is currently in the second year of her Ph.D. in English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. In May, Walrus Magazine will be publishing her poem “The Lipstick Effect.” A limited edition chapbook entitled On the Furnace Sits a Maiden is also forthcoming from Frog Hollow Press.

Suri Parmar‘s (Popular Fiction, W’17) short animated film The Bakebook has been selected by the National Screen Institute of Canada’s online film showcase for Canadian talent, after a yearlong tour on the festival circuit.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) will be signing and giving away ARC’s of her forthcoming book, Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love after Loss, during the AWP Conference bookfair at Sweet (table 1408, Thursday, March 8th, 3:00-4:00 p.m.), Under the Gum Tree (table T1732, Friday, March 9th, 3:30-5:00 p.m.), and Tiferet Journal (table T1939, Saturday, March 10th, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.). She’d love it if some Stonecoast folks stopped by!  Later in March, Lisa is teaching a master class, “Writing from Memory,” as part of the Montcliar (NJ) Literary Festival, March 18th.

Patricia Smith (Poetry, S’08/Past Faculty) won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award from Claremont Graduate University for her book Incendiary Arts: Poems (Northwestern University Press). The prize is the largest in the world for a single book of poetry. The book has also been named a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Tamie (Harkins) Parker Song (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) has had a couple essays and poems published in recent issues of The Selkie Zine, and will have another published this month!

FACULTY

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) will be attending Norwescon (March 29 to April 1st) in Seattle. He’s got a nice slate of panels, including moderating What is Epic About Epic Fantasy? with Fonda Lee and Ken Liu. He’s pleased about that. Should be a good time. West-Coasters come on out!

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) was happy to see fellow Stonecoasters Tom Coash and alums Dan Ball and Richard Squires at her Tonya & Nancy concert event, which was performed to a packed house on February 13th at 54Below in New York City, produced by Paul Boghosian/HarborsideFilms. A live-concert CD of the event—Broadway Stars Sing Songs from Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera— is being produced by Broadway Records and will be released later in 2018. The national site Broadway.com wrote in its coverage: “Before there was the new Tonya Harding biopic I, Tonya, there was Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, an uproarious musical.” Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s chamber opera—Tonya & Nancy: The Opera; music by Abigail Al-Doory Cross—was performed by the opera group Mixed Precipitation in Minneapolis on February 21st with an additional show added on February 24th; the show was named a “Best of Classical” pick by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The February 21st performance of the opera benefited the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. For photos, clips, and more, see the MultiMedia page at www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com.

Dan Ball, Richard Squires, Elizabeth Searle, and Tom Coash at 54Below

Ashley Spencer as “Tonya”

Composer Michael Teoli, Elizabeth Searle, stars Ashley Spencer and Lauren Worsham, and producer Paul Boghosian

Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) is looking forward to encountering many from the Stonecoast community next week at AWP in Tampa, where she’ll be part of a reading and a panel. On Friday, March 9th, 10:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m., “A Reading from Flash Nonfiction Funny” will focus on the new collection Flash Funny (non) Fiction, edited by Tom Hazuka and Dinty W. Moore, and will include an essay from Suzanne’s epic experience working at the Tampax factory down the street from her childhood home. Tom, plus Wendy Brenner, Michael Martone, Sandra Gail Lambert, and Suzanne will read their pieces—and others—from the collection celebrating the short form and humor. And on Saturday, March 10th, from 1:30-2:45 p.m., Suzanne will join alum Melanie Brooks, Richard Blanco, Andre Dubus III, and Kyoko Mori on the panel “Writing the Pain: Memoirists on Tackling Stories of Trauma.” Richard, Andre, Kyoko and Suzanne are among the 18 authors Melanie interviewed for her essential Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma, which got its formal start as Melanie’s third-semester project.

Orlando’s first-ever poet laureate, Stonecoast alum Susan Lilley (Poetry, ’08), will be at AWP daily, and Suzanne looks forward to also seeing her the following week, when Suzanne and husband Tommy Shea make their third return to Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, where Susan is a beloved and impactful advanced placement literature and composition teacher. Suzanne and Tommy (co-author of Dingers: The 101 Most Memorable Home Runs in Baseball History) will speak to Trinity classes and will give a reading open to the public March 13th at 7:00 p.m. at Freitag & Falk Theater on campus. The reading is open to the public, and any Stonecoasters in the area of course will be most welcome.

 

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