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!
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. Day‘s (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.
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!
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.
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.