Tag Archives: Penny Guisinger

Community News & Updates May 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

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

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 Published and unpublished work sought.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

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Community News & Updates February 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Community News & Updates 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 October 2018

ALUMS

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) narrated Y. M. Pang’s story “Subtle Ways Each Time” for the September 20 episode of Escape Pod. You can listen to it here.

Shawna Borman (Popular Fiction, W’15) is pleased to announce that her short story “Lying Eyes” has been chosen to appear in Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers, Vol. 3, edited by E.R. Bills, alongside a number of talented Texas writers.  Just in time for Halloween, this anthology is sure to deliver a dose of Texas-sized fright to anyone’s season of thrills and chills.

Ryan Brod‘s (Creative Nonfiction/Fiction, S’17) essay, “November Light,” a revision from his thesis, will appear this October in the fall issue of River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative. Order a copy here.

Penny Guisinger (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) has three successes to share. Her piece “The Five C’s” was published at The Rumpus in September and was then selected for Memoir Monday, a weekly round up of online creative nonfiction. Her essayistic review of CNF chapbooks has been accepted for an upcoming issue of River Teeth. Lastly, Iota: Short Prose Conference was staged for the sixth summer this August and was led by Sven Birkerts and Beth Ann Fennelly. Iota now offers online courses as well, many taught by Stonecoast alumni.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) is the 2018/19 writer-in-residence for HoCoPoLitSo (The Howard County Poetry and Literature Society). Learn more here.

On October 2nd at 7:00 p.m., friends and loved ones of writer Elisabeth Wilkins Lombardo (Fiction, S’04) will gather at Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME, to celebrate the publication of her first novel, The Afterlife of Kenzaburo Tsuruda (She Writes Press). Lombardo, who won the PEN/New England Discovery Award for an early draft of Kenzaburo Tsuruda, died in 2015. She was unable to find a home for her novel before being diagnosed with cancer in 2014, and the launch party at Print will mark the end of a long effort on the part of Lombardo’s husband and several of her closest friends to bring her work out into the world. Read more in Shelf Awareness here.

Elisabeth Lombardo

Gregory Martin (Popular Fiction, W’17) is pleased to announce his story “Endangered Species of the Animal Kingdom” will be published in the upcoming anthology The Binge-Watching Cure (Horror Edition). Greg would like to thank Nancy Holder for shepherding this story through several drafts while he was at Stonecoast, and providing suggestions that improved the story immensely.

Catharine H. Murray‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) memoir Now You See the Sky has been published by Akashic BooksNow You See the Sky will launch Ann Hood’s new imprint (Gracie Belle) that will cover the topics of grief and loss. The book has been described as “an essential recommendation for those living with loss” (Suzanne Strempek Shea, author of This is Paradise). And Rick Bass wrote, “There are images in here, gestures of love, and its hard conversations, that a reader will remember forever.” The release party will be at Print Bookstore in Portland on November 7th at 7:00 p.m. The audio book is narrated by the author and will be distributed by Tantor Media, a division of Recorded Books.

Jenny O’Connell‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) piece “The Office of the Mayor of Miessi” appears in the Fall/Winter “Flight” issue of SLICE Magazine. It tells the story of time spent living among the wild men and women of the Lemmenjoki gold fields in Northern Finland during Jenny’s solo trek across Finland in the footsteps of Lappish legend Petronella van der Moer—the journey that formed Jenny’s thesis at Stonecoast. Jenny’s craft article, “Sing it Loud: A Creative Nonfiction Writer Looks to Music for Lessons on Embracing Vulnerability on the Page,” based on her third semester study of vulnerability at Stonecoast, comes out in Creative Nonfiction‘s “Risk” edition this fall. This October, Jenny begins a six-month writing residency awarded by the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation in Rockland, ME, where she hopes to finish the first draft of her book project, Finding Petronella.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poems “Dusk: For John Stanizzi” and “Four Woodpeckers” will appear in the upcoming issue of Coal City Review. His new chapbook, Forms and Shades, will be published this month by Clare Songbirds Publishing. Bruce’s short-story collection, The Trash Detail, will be available November 1st from New Rivers Press.

An essay by Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) has been listed in the Notables section of Best American Essays 2018. Her cited piece, “An Attractive Portal to Uncertainty,” was published in the print literary journal Harpur Palate (vol. 16, # 1). Lisa’s work was also listed in BAE 2016. Lisa was recently interviewed at Writers in the Trenches, and her article, “Writing About Family and Friends in Memoir: Nine Key Questions,” appeared in LitChat. On October 13th, Lisa will be on a submission panel and part of the lit-mag-editor pitch sessions at Push to Publish Conference in Philadelphia, and on October 14th she will speak at Writers Day at Bay Path University in East Longmeadow, MA, on writing short pieces on the way to a book. She’s also leading a one-day workshop,  Submissions Smarts, with Cedar Ridge Writers Series, in central New Jersey, on October 20th. On November 1st, Lisa will teach a memoir workshop and appear on an author panel at IDEABoston, “an Italian-inspired festival of books, authors, and culture.”

CURRENT STUDENTS

Colleen Hennessy‘s (Creative Nonfiction) essay about the experience of women in Ireland with Catholicism will be published in Visions and Vocations edited by the Catholic Women Speak. The book, published by Paulist Press, will be launched on October 1st in Rome and aims to elevate the voices of excluded Catholic women for the Synod of Bishops. Colleen Hennessy’s contribution appears alongside Mary McAleese, the former president of Ireland. More information on the book can be found here.

FACULTY

The film adaptation of Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) short play Raghead, directed by award-winning Vermont filmmaker Nora Jacobson, will be shown at two different film festivals during October. The short film, under the title The R Word, will be shown October 14th as part of the Kansas International Film Festival (well known for their “social justice” themes). Then again under the original title, Raghead, on October 18th at the Vermont International Film Festival in Burlington, VT.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) ode to the beauty of commas is in the October issue of O, the Oprah Magazine. Aaron is also giving a talk this month at the Library of Congress inspired by his article “Seven Layers of Heaven” in Tablet Magazine on the history of the seven-layer cake, with an original recipe.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) will be in Washington, D.C., on October 29th to moderate the Pen/Faulkner Foundation’s conversation on literary horror with Dan Chaon, Mark Z. Danielewski, and Brian Evenson. She was a judge for the Salam Award for Imagination Fiction, a tribute to the Pakistani theoretical physicist Dr. Abdus Salam and an effort to promote speculative fiction writing in Pakistan. Her article on Sarah Weinstein’s The Real Lolita, about the crime that inspired Nabokov’s novel, recently appeared in The Los Angeles Times. NPR named Hand’s novel Wylding Hall one of the 100 best horror novels and stories; the same week, Signature named her novel Generation Loss one of the 100 best thrillers of all time.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) has three new publications out: (1) An adaptation of “Man-size in Marble” by Edith Nesbit for the comic book series Mary Shelley Presents. Nancy is the series writer. (2) “Domino Lady versus the Mummy” in the Return of the Monsters comic book series from Moonstone Books. (3) The short story “Nyarlathotep Came Down to Georgia” in What October Brings, from Celaneo Press.

Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) was recently featured on Koop Radio 91.7 FM Austin for People United, originally recorded in April 2018 at Resistencia Bookstore, Austin, TX. Listen here. On October 6th, at Babes Bar in Bethel, VT, she will read with Stonecoast alumna Alexis Paige from their collections Another Way to Say Enter and Not a Place on Any Map (respectively). At NYU Lillian Vernon House in New York City on October 12th, Amanda reads with Marcus Jackson and Dustin Pearson for the Cave Canem New Works Series. Then, on October 27th, at the Texas Book Festival in Austin, TX, she moderates the panel discussion Experimental Poetics with Shayla Lawson, Anastacia-Renee, and Erica Dawson. That same day, at Lit Crawl in Austin, she’ll facilitate a Black Poets Speak Out poetic demonstration at the North Door. Finally, on October 28th, Amanda hosts the TORCH Wildfire Reading Series at Bookwoman Bookstore in Austin, TX.

Elizabeth onstage at 54Below

A concert CD of Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) rock opera was released on Sept. 28th from the Grammy-award winning Broadway Records. The CD—Tonya & Nancy: Highlights from the Rock Opera—was recorded at a sold-out concert at 54Below in New York City and featured Broadway stars Ashley Spencer (Grease) and Tony-nominees Lauren Worsham (Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) and Nancy Opel (Urinetown) as well as Tony LePage (School of Rock), directed by Grammy winner Michael J. Moritz. A CD Launch concert event will take place in NYC this Fall, details TBA. Buy the CD at Broadway Records. Updates: www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com

The front and back covers of the CD

Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) has chronicled her teen crush on Bobby Orr in an essay included in Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations That Changed Their Livesjust out from McFarland and co-edited by faculty member Elizabeth Searle and Stonecoast alum Tamra Wilson, and featuring an introduction by teen idol Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits. Suzanne also is booking talks she’ll do in late October and early November with Mags Riordan, subject of her book This Is Paradise: An Irish Mother’s Grief, an African Village’s Plight and the Medical Clinic That Brought Fresh Hope to Both. Any organization interested in hosting the two for a program detailing the latest work by the Billy Riordan Memorial Clinic in Malawi, which Riordan founded 14 years ago in memory of her late son in an area that previously had one doctor for 800,000 people, should contact Suzanne at sess7@comcast.net. Suzanne’s literary events in the next few months:

  • October 2nd, 7:00 p.m — Celebrating Elisabeth Wilkins Lombardo of Stonecoast’s inaugural class and the launch of her novelThe Afterlife of Kenzaburo Tsuruda,at Print: A Bookstore, in Portland, ME.
  • October 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th — Leading Four Thursdays of Writing, nights of writing and discussions aimed at starting or restoring a solid writing habit, at Bay Path University, Longmeadow, MA.
  • October 14th — Emceeing Bay Path University’s Writers’ Day, at the university’s Ryan Center in East Longmeadow, MA. Speakers will be Jonathan Green, Karol Jackowski, Lisa Romeo, Sophfronia Scott, and Suzanne.
  • October 16th, 6:30 p.m. — Introducing SexMoneyMurder author Jonathan Green for his talk at Bay Path University’s Hatch Library in Longmeadow, MA.
  • November 3rd, 2:00 p.m. — Speaking at Worcester (MA) Public Library
  • November 15th — Reading with Elizabeth Searle, co-editor, and other contributors to Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations That Changed Their Lives, at Women’s Lunch Place, Boston

REQUESTS for ACTION

“Surely this time is unprecedented in U.S. history,” writes Rick Bass. “Sometimes we don’t realize when we are living in history—which is always—but for it to be so obvious to us now that we are, it’s hard not to imagine what people will think, looking back at this time. And what an amazing opportunity to be taking our education in Maine, working in Maine, living in Maine, part or all of the year. If you haven’t yet taken the opportunity to contact Senator Susan Collins yet with regard to Trump’s Supreme Court nomination, and to express outrage to all Republican Senators who seem to be falling over themselves to ‘plow through’ with the Kavanaugh nomination before any more assault and misconduct and scandal is uncovered, please do. Senator Collins’ contact info is: https://www.collins.senate.gov/contact/  Your letters—as citizens/residents/employees of Maine—are priceless, in these circumstances. This is one of the last tattered threads of democracy that remains, for now, wherein your letter to Sen. Collins will have disproportionate power. Please use it while you can.”

Bass is also fighting a local battle in Montana, for the protection of public lands—another of the trappings of democracy, like free speech—and asks those correspondents who contact Senator Collins to also consider putting in a word for his beloved Yaak Valley, where an international thru-hiker trail threatens the most endangered population of grizzly bears in Montana. “Send a copy please to Sen. Collins, Senator Jon Tester of Montana, and a copy to the Yaak Valley Forest Council as well.” Bass’s struggles to fight the international thru-trail—“a human highway through the bears’ last designated core habitat”—was recently profiled in a New Yorker podcast by Scott Carrier. Other information about the movement to re-route the trail in order to protect grizzlies (and hikers) can be found on the website. “Your letter doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated,” he says. “Just carry the message that any trail re-route needs to avoid all designated core grizzly habitat. THANK YOU!” He says he is even willing to waive the adverb rule in a special dispensation of gratitude. That’s how desperate it is.

 

 

 

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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 May 2017

STONECOAST REUNION 2017

Please mark your calendars for the Stonecoast reunion, July 14-17 in Brunswick, Maine! The planning committee has been hard at work, and we’re excited to announce the schedule of events. We’d like to thank all of you who submitted proposals for readings and seminars!

We are proud to feature readings by Julia Munemo, Tony Pisculli, Richard Squires, and Cheryl Boyce Taylor. Seminar presenters include Mihku Anderson, Melanie Brooks, Meriah Lysistrata Crawford, Alexandria Delcourt, Penny Guisinger, David Healey, Barbara Kelly, Ellen Meeropol, Suri Parmar, Lisa C. Taylor, and Erin Underwood. Reunion attendees will also have the opportunity to sign up for limited-seating faculty seminars.

To see the full events schedule and register to attend the reunion, please visit the site here. All alumni who register by May 15th will receive a beautiful Stonecoast MFA coffee mug!

ALUMS

Emma Bouthillette (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) is pleased to announce her first book, A Brief History of Biddefordis scheduled to launch June 12, 2017. In this work of nonfiction published by The History Press, Emma explores four centuries of her hometown and its evolution from fishing port to booming mill town to a city re-imagined. Visit her website www.EmmaBouthillette.com for further information about the writer, the book, and news updates for Maine reading and signing events.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) had a great time at StokerCon the last weekend of April with other Stonecoasters Alumni and Faculty. She presented as a panelist on “Power Writer: How Games Can Level Up Your Fiction” and “Beat Sheets and Novel Outlines” at StokerCon and gave a paper titled “Shirley Jackson and the Fear of Ordinary People” as part of the Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference. Karen attended her first novel-signing fair on April 8 for Swift For The Sun and people seemed to enjoy her pirate ship decorations. She was interviewed on local radio station 89.1 FM KHOI’s Community Bookshelf show on April 11. Viva la Stonecoast!

Karen Bovenmyer at StokerCon 2017, with pirate ship

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) short story “Raven Hair” can be found in the most recent issue of The Cream City Review. “Raven Hair,” among other things, is a riff on fairy tales, the seething resentment of a certain type of lover, and the inevitability of transformation. “Raven Hair” is also part of Julie’s collection, Uncommon Miracles, scheduled for release by PS Publishing later this year.

Florence Grende‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) memoir The Butcher’s Daughter has been nominated a finalist for the Eric Hoffer New Horizon Prize, which recognizes “superior work by a debut author.” Winner to be announced in May.

Lesley Heiser (Fiction, S’11) published a work of literary journalism, “Growing Season,” on The Rumpus, where it was the debut story in the new series Torch, on the refugee and immigrant experience in America. Please check the story out here.

Alison McMahan‘s (Popular Fiction, W’10) short mystery “The New Score” appeared in the Fish Out of Water anthology (Wildside Press, April 2017), and her short story “The Drive By” appeared in the Busted! Arresting Stories from the Beat anthology (LevelBest Books, April 2017). “Kamikaze Iguanas” will appear in the MWA anthology for middle grade readers entitled Scream and Scream Again, edited by R.L. Stine (HarperCollins, 2018).

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Novelist Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) has two recent essays published: “Losing Mom and Finding Flo” in The Writer Magazine, April issue, and “Fiction and the Costs of Activism” for the Powell’s Bookstore Blog. She will be reading from her new novel, Kinship of Clover, on May 16 at PRINT Bookstore in Portland.

Renée Olander (Poetry, W’05) has a poem, “Grace Sherwood, Witch of Pungo, Advanced in Age,” in the new anthology Forgotten Women (edited by Ginny Lowe Conners, Grayson Books, 2017); another poem, “Llewellyn Avenue Redevelopment,” is forthcoming in Free State Review.

L​isa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) is now represented by Joelle Delbourgo Associates Literary Agency. Lisa’s longform essay, “An Attractive Portal to Uncertainty,” appears in the new print issue of the journal Harpur Palate (Vol. 16, No. 1). In early May, Lisa is teaching a one-day workshop, “The Art of Short Nonfiction Prose,” in Bedminster, New Jersey, sponsored by Tiferet Journal. Her lyrical, second person essay, “From Boys to Men.” kicked off Motherwell ​Magazine’s Motherhood and Waiting series. ​Her ​essay​, “Why Can’t It Be Me?,” is part of a new anthology, The Book of Hope: 31 True Stories from Real People Who Didn’t Give Up (Silver Owl Publications). And something light, “March Madness with my Son: Why I Love this Crazy Month” ​was on the Grown and Flown ​website during the NCAA tournament.

Linda K. Sienkiewicz (Fiction, S’09) is super excited to announce that her debut novel, In the Context of Love, has won its FOURTH finalist award: the 2016 Sarton Women’s Book Award from Story Circle Network. Also, Linda is in the 2017 Metro Detroit cast of the nationwide live storytelling event, Listen To Your Mother. Linda will be sharing the story of how she coped with the suicide of her eldest child in 2011.

Kara Storti‘s (Fiction, S’06) YA novel, Tripping Back Blue, won a 2017 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) gold medal in the Young Adult Fiction category. The IPPY Awards, launched in 1996, are designed to bring increased recognition to the deserving but often unsung titles published by independent publishers. The contest drew approximately 5,000 entries from across the world.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular Fiction, S’13) take on Kafka’s The Metamorphosis“Needle Mouth”, appeared in Podcastle. Her collaborative triptych poem “The Santa Monica Prophecies” appeared in Mithila Review. And her flash fiction “The Ocean Indoors” appeared in Four Way Review.

Lisa C. Taylor (Poetry, ‘04) has a poem in the recent anthology Washing Windows? Irish Women Write Poetry, published by Arlen House in honor of Eavan Boland and Catherine Rose who both played a part in the beginning of this wonderful Irish literary press. Annie Deppe also has a poem in this anthology! Lisa will offer a workshop: She Did What? Surprise in Fiction on May 13 at 10:00 a.m. at the Clickspace in Northampton. This event is sponsored by Straw Dog Writers Guild and the public can register for this event; this will be a generative workshop. She will also be offering a workshop on Hybrid Writing (mixing genres) at the Stonecoast Alumni Reunion July 14-17. I hope to see some of you there!

Erin Underwood (Popular Fiction, S’09) is a nominee for the Best Fanzine Hugo Award with her co-editors of Journey Planet. Her edition of Journey Planet featured a historical look back at 54 years of Boskone, New England’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention. The Hugo Awards, presented annually since 1955, are science fiction’s most prestigious award and are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon”), which is taking place in Helsinki, Finland, this August.

FACULTY

The trade paperback version of David Anthony Durham‘s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) The Risen is now out from Anchor Books. On June 6th, David will be featured in the Mosesian Arts Center’s Earfull series in Boston . He’ll be reading along with Jayne Anne Phillips in an evening of words of and music. He’d love to see some Stonecoast faces at the event!

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) was a Guest of Honor at Stokercon, in Long Beach, along with George R.R. Martin and Stonecoast’s own Nancy Holder, the convention’s toastmaster. Hand’s novel Hard Light is a finalist for the Bran Stoker Award. She did a podcast interview for Wired.com, talking about her recent book Fire and her experiences with a government think tank, researching the future of fire management in an environmentally challenged age. Forthcoming reviews include Jeff Vandermeer’s Borne, for The Los Angeles Times.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) novel We Got Him has been chosen as one of three finalists for the 2016 Midwest Book Awards in Fiction. The awards have been running for 27 years by the Midwest Independent Publishing Association; winners will be announced in May. In April, Elizabeth was interviewed about We Got Him on Urban Update (Channel 7, NBC Boston), Woman Watch (forthcoming on WBZ-AM radio, Boston), and WATD-FM, the South Shore News show. On April 30, she and Suzanne Strempek Shea have their book launch for Soap Opera Confidential at Newtonville Books in MA, featuring star readers including Stonecoast alumna Brenda Sparks Prescott. On May 11th, Elizabeth will read from her novel We Got Him at the Kittery Library in Kittery, ME, at 6:30 p.m. Finally: in Chicago, the Jeff Awards for Theater featured two nominations—Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress—for the 2016 Chicago production of Elizabeth’s Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera.

 

 

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