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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 January 2018

ALUMS

Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) essay “Biophilia at my Bedside” was just published in the anthology Nature, Love, Medicine. The anthology, edited by Thomas Lowe Fleischner and published by Torrey House Press, includes essays by twenty-three writers including Robin Wall Kimmerer, Jane Hirschfield, and thich Nhat Hanh.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) is excited her story “The Scarlet Cloak” was reprinted in Like A Woman, a domestic violence benefit anthology. Her short story “Snow as White as Skin as White as Snow” was published in December’s issue of Gamut Magazine—classmates will recognize this story as inspired by her thesis novel-in-progess The Sleeping Boy. This just in: Factor Four Magazine will be publishing Karen’s science fiction short story “To Infinity and Beyond” in their inaugural issue. With this sale, Karen’s happy to announce she is applying to SFWA. She’s serving as a guest editor for Pseudopod Podcast for March 2018 and hope you all tune in to listen to the five awesome stories she selected (with the associate editing help of fellow ‘coasters Shawna Borman, Erin Roberts, and Cecelia Dockins). Her poem “Fire Lover” will appear in February’s Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, with an accompanying narration. Karen also has been narrating stories by others. Karen has created a recording of Penelope Evans’ “Wasps Make Honey” for a forthcoming episode of Escape Pod and Evan Dicken’s “The Taking Tree” for Pseudopod.

Illustration for Karen’s story “Snow as White as Skin as White as Snow”

Jennifer Marie Brissett (Popular Fiction, S’11) puts her memories of being a bookseller to use in a flash fiction story for the anthology Welcome to Dystopia edited by Gordon Van Gelder from OR Books. (Shh, most of the story I didn’t have to make up!)

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) short story “Re-stitched” can be found in the January edition of Split Lip magazine. “Re-stitched” is about two sisters, Alicia and Stephanie, their family dysfunction, and the impurity of human flesh. It’s about as creepy as you’d expect…

Terri Glass’s (Poetry/Creative Nonfiction, S’13) Terri’s poem, “Violet Green Swallows” was published in Young Raven’s Review, Issue 6. Her poem “Cow Tipping Tuesday” will be published in the 2018 San Diego Poetry Annual and her haiku in the Spring Issue of The Fourth River.

Cindy Williams Gutiérrez (Poetry, W’08) received the 2017 Oregon Book Award for Drama for her play Words That Burn. The play dramatizes the WWII experiences of conscientious-objector William Stafford, Japanese-American internee Lawson Inada, and Chicano Marine Guy Gabaldón in their own words. The play premiered at Milagro Theatre in Portland, Oregon, in September of 2014 in commemoration of the William Stafford Centennial, Hispanic Heritage Month, and the 70th anniversary of the rescindment of Executive Order 9066 (incarcerating Japanese-Americans). Words That Burn was also produced in 2017 at the Merc Playhouse in Twisp, Washington, and the Linkville Playhouse in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Alan King’s (Poetry, W’13) Point Blank was reviewed in The Washington City Paper, Auburn Avenue, and Run Tell That Magazine.

Will Ludwigsen‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) third collection of short fiction tinged with crime and the supernatural, Acres of Perhaps, will be appearing in April 2018. It is available now for preorder from Lethe Press if you would like to support the small press.

Carolyn O’Doherty‘s (Popular Fiction, W’11) debut novel, Rewind, will be released April 10, 2018. The novel, published by Boyds Mills Press, tells the story of a group of teenagers with the ability to freeze time. The sequel will be published in Spring 2019.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry, W’12) recently attended Continuum Music’s Urgent Voices multimedia performance in Toronto, featuring the debut of From the Diaries of William Lyon Mackenzie King, an operatic work for which she write the libretto. The Birmingham-based composer, Scott Wilson, was also in attendance. The Canada Council for the Arts has provided Oliver, Wilson, and Continuum director Ryan Scott with funding to develop the project.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) play Radio Silent has won the 2017 Meeting House Theatre Arts Lab’s annual new play contest and will receive a staged reading on January 20 at Schoodic Arts for All in Winterport, Maine. Pratt also won the award last year for his play The King of France. Several of his plays are among those being considered for full production next spring.

In addition to winning one of the South Carolina State Poetry Society contests, Steve Rhodes’s (Poetry, W’11) poem “Inheritance” won First Prize in Still: The Journal’s annual poetry contest.  He and his wife, Ann, moved to Charleston, South Carolina, three years ago. Steve recently completed his third poetry collection, What You Don’t See, and is looking for a publisher. He is currently working on a prose and poetry memoir. This past summer and fall he was invited to give poetry readings as part of hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park led by the singer/song-writer Doug Peters. Great fun.

Tamie (Harkins) Parker Song’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) poem “Thirteen Ways of Killing the Captain’s Son” was published in Selkie Zine, issue 5. You can find it here.

Kathleen Saville (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) has been invited as a speaker to the Match 2018 Virginia Festival of the Book to share her memoir Rowing for My Life: Two Oceans, Two Lives, One Journey, published by Skyhorse/Arcade Publishing in February 2017. Information on how to attend the Festival is here.

Olive L. Sullivan‘s (Fiction/Poetry, S’15) poetry collection Wandering Bone is now available on Amazon or directly from the publisher, Meadowlark Books. Several of the poems in this book were written as part of her second semester project with Jeanne Marie Beaumount.

Karrie Waarala (Poetry, S’11) has three poems—“Memory of Museum of Memory,” “How to Remember,” and “The Morning After”—in the current issue of Blackbird. Her poem “Death Spends Halloween at the Country Bar” was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Escape into Life, where her work was featured in July. And her short story “High Side” appeared in Five on the Fifth earlier this year; this was her first fiction publication.

Marco Wilkinson’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) essay, “Hidden Light, Wooden Ladder, Bucket of Clay, Pillar of Water,” will appear in issue four of the Bennington Review. His nonfiction manuscript, Madder, was the first runner-up in the 2017 Red Hen Press Non-Fiction Prize, judged by Mark Doty.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) was published in Vol. VI of The New Guard. “Dearest Mum” is part of The Dream Letters, an ongoing feature of the journal. Wilson’s fictional letter is excerpted from a novel-in-progress based on her great-grandmother, an orphan train.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Sarah Mack (Popular Fiction), publishing under S.M. Mack, won first place for the Katherine Patterson Prize for Young Adult Writing for her short story “The Carrying Beam.” The story was published online in Hunger Mountain, The VCFA Journal for the Arts, and is available here.

Illustration for Sarah’s story “The Carrying Beam”

FACULTY

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) just renewed the film option for Gabriel’s Story with Redwave Films, as well as the film/TV option for Pride of Carthage with Sonar Entertainment. His short story “All the Girls Love Michael Stein” will be republished in The Stonecoast Review and was recently published in translation in the Polish SFF magazine Nowa Fantastyka. He’s also signed on as one of the judges for the 2018 World Fantasy Awards. Details here via Locus.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) novel We Got Him (New Rivers Press) is forthcoming as an AudioBook in 2018, recorded by Stonecoast alum Tanya Eby and her Blunder Woman Productions. Both Elizabeth’s opera and her rock opera about Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan will be produced in early 2018, at the time of the Winter Olympics. In January, the operetta group Mixed Precipitation in Minneapolis, Minnesota, will present Tonya and Nancy: The Opera—a one-act opera with libretto by Elizabeth and music by Abigail Al-Doory Cross—on Lake Harriet for the Art Shanties. Meanwhile, in New York City at 54Below on February 13th, Broadway stars sing a concert version of Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera, a show which will be recorded as a CD from Broadway Records and which has recently received coverage from Playbill and Broadway World (you can read the Broadway World article here). For updates, see: www.elizabethsearle.net

 

 

 

 

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