Tag Archives: Suzanne Strempek Shea

Community News & Updates August 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

It’s Boston Poetry Marathon time again! This year’s Boston Poetry Marathon is Friday-Sunday, August 16, 17, and 18, and …WE HAVE REALLY EXCITING NEWS! *We will be in a NEW LOCATION this year!* We are having this year’s Marathon at The Community Church of Boston at 565 Boylston St in Copley Square. This year’s event times are Friday, August 16th, from 6:00-10:30 p.m., Saturday, August 17th, from 12:00-10:30 p.m. (with a dinner break around 5:30, starting up again at 7:00 p.m.), and Sunday, August 18th, from 12:00-6:00 p.m. As always: every reader gets eight minutes each. For the third year running, Bridget Eileen (Poetry, W’09) is an organizer of this 20+ year-old Boston-area poetry festival tradition. This year’s lineup is TBD, but past years’ Stonecoast participants include alums Florine Melnyk, Carol Berg, Christine Tierney, and Vanesa Pacheco, and faculty Richard Hoffman and D. Nurkse. Admission is free but donations are welcome and appreciated. We are collecting donations ahead of time to help us with this year’s event at the new location. Learn more here. Event details are can be found here.

FACULTY

Breena Clarke (Fiction), co-founder and co-organizer of The Hobart Festival of Women Writers, is hosting a stunning lineup of women writers for the seventh consecutive year in the small New York town of Hobart, the Book Village of The Catskills. The Festival offers three days of readings and workshops in every genre. The Festival will also present a Public Conversation that is free and open to all, “In These Times: Writing. Terror. Possibility.” Hobart Festival of Women Writers 2019 will be held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 6th, 7th, & 8th. For information and registration, click here. For Spotlights of all of the 2019 Participating Writers, go here.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) will be reading from his novel Nirvana Is Here at the annual Out Write Literary Festival in Washington, DC, Saturday, August 3rd, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. at the Reeves Center at 14th St. NW and U St. Aaron is also please to announce that the audio rights to Nirvana Is Here have just been sold.

Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) was an instructor at The Writers Hotel in New York City in early June and then later in the month was lead instructor at the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle. Her forthcoming novel Curious Toys was reviewed in Publishers Weekly, which called it “a phantasmagoric time trip tailor made for fans of The Devil in the White City.” Recent reviews are Kate Mosse’s The Burning Chambers for The Washington Post and Paul Tremblay’s story collection Growing Things for The Los Angeles Times. Elizabeth was profiled and interviewed by Michael Fournier in punk zine Razorcake, talking about her involvement in the nascent NYC and DC punk scenes in the 1970s.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) feature film script A Four-Sided Bed, and the short film based on her novel, Four-Sided, have both been accepted at the upcoming Massachusetts Independent Film Festival in September. Elizabeth’s script is one of five finalists for Best Feature Film Script and the film Four-Sided will make its USA premiere at the festival, having screened previously in Cannes and been a Finalist at ShanghaiPRIDE festival. Elizabeth will be attending the festival with one of her feature film project producers, Amy Carpenter Scott of Creatrix Films. In other recent film news, Elizabeth’s script for A Four-Sided Bed won a Feature Film ‘Diamond’ Script prize in the International Independent Film Awards, was a Finalist in the California Women’s Film Awards, and was an Official Selection at Austin Revolution Film Festival. In July, her script was performed as a full Staged Reading at ReelHeART International Film and Script Festival in Toronto and as a Best Scenes reading at the film festival LGBT Toronto. Visit: www.afoursidedbedfilm.com 

Elizabeth and the ReelHeART Film Festival cast of A Four-Sided Bed in Toronto

Cazenovia University Professor Grazyna J. Kozaczka writes about Suzanne Strempek Shea’s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) four Polish-American-set novels in her new book, Writing the Polish American Woman in Postwar Ethnic Fiction (Ohio University Press). The book examines seven decades of writing by North American-born and immigrant authors representing the Polish-American Catholic tradition. The chapter “Suzanne Strempek Shea’s Gendered Ethnicity in the 1970s and 1980s” begins with this observation: “In constructing a female perspective, fiction writers such as the Chinese Americans Gish Jen, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Amy Tan, the Native American Louise Erdrich,the Puerto Rican Judith Ortiz Cofer, the Dominican American Julia Alvarerz and the Polish American Suzanne Strempek Shea have forced many of their characters into a process of reinventing both their gender and ethnic identities within a class-conscious environment.”

ALUMS

Emma Galvin will be voicing the audiobook for Lindsey Barlow‘s (Popular Fiction, W’19) Pivot, the first novel of the Jack Harper trilogy. Galvin has voiced an incredible number of audiobooks, which include Winter’s Bone and the Divergent series.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be appearing at Worldcon 77 in Dublin. He will be presenting his paper “Mischief in Her Heart: Women’s Empowerment in the Persian Fantastic” on Friday, August 16th, at 11:30 a.m. He will also be appearing on the following panels:

  • Writing from Non-Western Cultures (Thursday, August 15, 11:00 a.m.)
  • Fuzzy Lines: Decategorising Creative Work (Thursday, August 15, 2:00 p.m.)
  • Muslim SFF (Saturday, August 17, 1:00 p.m.)
  • Using Science in Fantasy Writing (Sunday, August 18, 4:00 p.m.)

See the Worldcon website for full details. In addition, PodCastle, the fantasy fiction podcast Peter produces, had been nominated for the British Fantasy Award for Best Audio.Ryan Brod (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) has accepted an adjunct teaching offer from University of New England’s English department, starting this fall. He has a short essay in the recently released summer issue (10.4) of The Flyfish Journal, and he continues to contribute regularly to the popular website MeatEater.

In continuing to break barriers, Debbie Smith Daughetee’s (Popular Fiction, S’06) comic book company, Kymera Press, just filled an order by the Smithsonian National Natural History Museum for the comic Ivory Ghosts, a murder mystery set against the illegal ivory trade.

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’14) is excited to announce that her debut book, The Bone Cutters, is set for publication on September 1st through Eraserhead Press. It’s a “bizarro” horror novella set in a dysfunctional psychiatric hospital. The story follows a troubled young woman named Dory who encounters a seriously strange and brutal group of psychiatric patients. Her introduction to this group of patients sets Dory on the run to save her life. The book will be available, as of right now, through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Longfellow Books. Renee is also very excited to announce that a book launch event for The Bone Cutters is being hosted by Longfellow Books in Portland, ME, on Thursday, September 5th at 7:00 p.m. at their 1 Monument Square bookstore location. Along with her reading, there will also be live music to help set the mood, performed by local guitarist Shaun Church Reehl, and the amazing Elizabeth Searle will be Renee’s Introduction Queen. Renee is also thrilled to announce that there are two great reviews out already for The Bone Cutters: one on Ginger Nuts of Horror and one on Kendall Reviews. A third review is coming out soon in Cemetery Dance, the date of which is not yet known, though it should be available before the September 1st publication of the book. Here are snippets of what reviewers are saying about The Bone Cutters:

“It’s actually refreshing to be able to enjoy a book so much that you were miffed when it was over. … As the debut novella from Renee S. DeCamillis it’s a fantastic beginning to what could prove to be a career to watch. … I’m giving this a solid 4 out of 5 [stars]. … Considering that I’ve never read anything which rated a 5 I think The Bone Cutters is doing just fine.” ~Joe X. Young, reviewer for Ginger Nuts of Horror.

“I immediately fell in love with Dory, the writing style, the story… This is a terribly heart-wrenching story with a bit of a haunted house/ghost vibe where you’re also being chased by a bunch of crazy people who want to devour your bones. I didn’t want to put this book down.” ~Miranda Crites, reviewer for Kendall Reviews

Kendall Reviews also published a piece Renee wrote on the subject of “Why Do You Write Horror?” For those of you who are interested, here is the link. Also, on Friday, August 2nd, Ginger Nuts of Horror is releasing an interview with Renee. From their home page you can click on the “Interviews” link on the left hand side of the screen to find the interview. Here is their link.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) has published his academic essay “The Commodification of Transcendence: Absurdism and Existentialism in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch” in PKD Otaku #39 (a zine celebrating the work of Philip K. Dick), available here. Also, Jess has accepted an advancement from the University of New Hampshire and will now be attending graduate school as a candidate for a PhD in Literature.

Florence Grende‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’07) book The Butcher’s Daughter: A Memoir has been shortlisted for the Rubery Book Award (2019). Along with the Kindle Book Award NonFiction (2018), the book has garnered yearly awards since its publication in late 2016.

Clifford Royal Johns (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be giving a short presentation at HippoCamp 2019, a conference for creative nonfiction writers (August 23-25, Lancaster, PA). The presentation is derived from his third semester project and graduating presentation about reducing the number of sentences that start with “I.” This is important to avoid sounding egotistical in memoir and to reduce sentence structure repetition.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) will be speaking at the White County Creative Writers annual conference in Searcy, AR, on August 31st on “Researching Fiction.” She’ll use examples from her work: attending the citizen’s police academy for a policewoman character, spending two days at a TV station watching the news being put together for a news anchor character, going behind the bar to wash beer mugs for a bartender character, etc.

Lissa Kiernan (Poetry, S11) is pleased to announce that the legendary aerialist, creativity expert, and award-winning writer Philippe Petit has joined Catskill LIT Writing Retreat as Artist-in-Residence. Mr. Petit will lead a workshop in ekphrastic writing.

Cynthia Kraack (Fiction, W’10) and Joseph Tachovsky’s 40 Thieves: Saipan, the World War II story of the Sixth Marine Regiment’s Scout Sniper Platoon—precursors to Navy Seals—was sold to Regnery History for publication in spring 2020. Stories for this narrative non-fiction book were gathered through hours of interviews with surviving men, their letters, photos, and historical Marine materials.

Kristin Leonard‘s (Fiction, S’18) historical short story “El Camino Real” is the featured fiction in the open-access academic journal Postcolonial Text (Vol. 14, No. 1).

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) will be presenting at the Hobart Festival of Women Writers September 6-8, 2019, in Hobart, NY. She’ll be reading on Friday, September 6th; on Saturday she’ll teach a workshop, “In It for the Long Haul: Writing the Novel.”

Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will be teaching a workshop on Memoir at the 79th Annual Writers’ Conference at Ocean Park (Maine) on August 13th at 9:30 a.m.

On August 16th at 6:00 p.m., Dave Patterson (Fiction, W’13) discusses his novelSoon the Light Will Be Perfect, at The Briar Patch in Bangor.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction S’08) interviewed fiction writer Lisa Lenzo for The Rumpus, about Lenzo’s new short story collection, Unblinking. Romeo’s essay “Playing Along with My Dad’s Alzheimer’s Confusion,” which enlarges on a scene/idea in her memoir, Starting With Goodbye, appeared this month in Human Parts.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) essay “Buried Beneath Her Skin Like Slivers” was recently published in Under the Sun. Her flash essay “The Release” was published in the most recent issue of Pembroke MagazineHer short story “Spiraling Through the Sky” was a finalist for the 2019 New Letters Publication Award in Fiction.

Marco Wilkinson (Creative Nonfiction, S’13) has had his memoir/essay collection, Madder, taken by Coffee House Press. It will appear in 2021.

 

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Community News & Updates June 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Public Events for the Summer 2019 Stonecoast Residency

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

Dory wakes up in the padded room of a psychiatric hospital with no recollection of how she wound up there. She soon finds out she’s been Blued-Papered—involuntarily committed. When she is sent to the wrong counseling group, she discovers a whole new world of drug addicts she’d never known existed. When she learns that those grotesque scars they all have are from cutting into their own bodies, it makes her skin itch. Why do they do it?—They get high off bone dust.  They carve down to the bone, then chisel and scrape until they get that free drug. When they realize Dory’s never been “dusted”, she becomes their target. After all, dust from a “Freshie” is the most intense high, and pain free—for the carver.

By the end of that first meeting Dory is running scared, afraid of being “dusted”, though the psych. hospital staff doesn’t believe a word she says.  She’s delusional—at least that’s what they tell her.  They end up sending her to that same counseling group every day, though Dory knows that all those junkie cutters want is what’s inside of her, and they won’t give up until they get what they’re after.

Like Girl Interrupted and “The Yellow Wallpaper,” The Bone Cutters is one woman’s dark and surreal experience with a madness that is not necessarily her own.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates 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 April 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Call for Submissions: Climate Anthology
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 31. Kathleen notes that Stonecoast alums are encouraged to submit even if they don’t live in Maine now.

CURRENT STUDENTS

Lauren Erin O’Brien‘s (Fiction) story “Atrophy,” recipient of the 2018 Goldenberg Prize for Fiction from Bellevue Literary Review, has been nominated by the board of contributing editors for a Pushcart Prize. The story originally appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of Bellevue Literary Review and can be read online here.

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) full-length play Cry Havoc will have its European Premiere at the Park Theatre in London, March 27-April 20. His short play Kamasutra is included in The Best Ten Minute Plays of 2019 anthology (Smith & Kraus)—available now!

Audiophile named Susan Conley’s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Writing for Social Change) Elsey Come Home an Audiofile “Earphone Award Winner,” given to truly exceptional titles that excel in narrative voice and style, characterizations, suitability to audio, and enhancement of the text:  “At once urgent and contemplative, this new work focuses on Elsey, a painter and married mother living in China who has taken to drinking instead of creating art. Urged by her husband to find help, she attends a yoga retreat and discovers many truths, not the least of which about herself.” Also, Read it Forward named Elsey Come Home one of the best novels with “Characters Who Drink Too Much”: “Elsey has to face the ghosts of her past and figure out what alcohol is keeping her from confronting.” Finally, Elsey Come Home was Maine’s WERU-FM’s Book Worm’s March Book Club Pick. The live, in-studio interview, with call-ins was March 14. In their March 17th review, The Portland Press Herald called the narrator of Susan’s new novel Elsey Come Home “a feisty blur of a woman, caught in the grip of her many demons, hellbent on pushing everyone, and everything, away. Elsey is that rare creation that evokes real life, defies predictability and disarms us at every turn. Conley has taken a jittery pile of loose ends and made a thing of beauty.”

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) writes about the intersection of race, politics, and sports for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. His latest piece, “The Jackie Robinson of Pool, Cisero Murphy Hustled His Way to the Top,” was a March feature story for ESPN’s The Undefeated. His book One Nation Under Baseball: How the 1960s Collided with the National Pastime will be re-issued in paperback on April 1. His YA book, War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight Between Hitler and America, will be released by Macmillan’s Children’s Group on May 21, and just received this review from Kirkus.

More advance praise for Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) Nirvana Is Here, due out May 14th! Brando Skyhorse calls the book “A yearning, generous, coming-of-age journey… funny, painful, heartbreaking.” Louis Bayard says, “A touching, finely wrought portrait of secrets lying like buried ordinance beneath ordinary lives.” The review by Amos Lassen raves, “Every once in a while, a book comes along that blows me away and Nirvana Is Here is one such book…” and I Like To Read says, “Almost impossible for me to put this book down, which is rare for me these days… a beautiful, sad, coming-of-age story that is a heartily welcome addition to the LGBTQ literature pantheon.” Also, a couple new tour dates added, including a stop at Word Bookstore in Jersey City on May 15th and the Fall for the Book Festival at George Mason University in October. Click here for the updated schedule to see if Aaron’s coming to your hometown!

Elizabeth Hand’s recent reviews include Niklas Natt och Dag’s The Wolf and the Watchman for The Washington Post; Mallory O’Meara’s The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Millicent Patrick for The Los Angeles Times; and Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies, The Devil’s Highway by Gregory Norminton, Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss, and Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You by Scotto Moore for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) is happy to announce the Crossroad Press reissue of Witch-Light and Making Love, two books she originally co-wrote with the late Melanie Tem for the groundbreaking horror imprint, Dell Abyss. Making Love is a retelling of Frankenstein, and the book is dedicated in part to Mary Shelley.

Elizabeth Searle and alumna Tamra Wilson (Fiction, S’11) are bringing Idol Talk to the stage! Idol Talk: A Magical Memory Tour of Teen Idols is premiering as a theatrical event produced by Firehouse Center for the Performing Arts and Exit Dance Company as a special fundraiser. The show stars actress and author Marianne Leone (The Sopranos) and will alternate short monologue-style readings from the book Idol Talk (co-edited by Elizabeth And Tammy) with dance numbers paying tribute to idols like The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Monkees, and more. The show features Stonecoast alum readers/performers Lee J. Kahrs, Kate Kastelein (whose work will be performed by Marianne Leone), Michelle Soucy, and Darlene Taylor, along with Stonecoast faculty Suzanne Strempek Shea. Performances are May 10 & 11 at 8:00 p.m. at Firehouse Center for Performing Arts in Newburyport, MA; tickets on sale soon here.

It’s almost time for our 18th Writers’ Day at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA. Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction), the university’s writer in residence, is delighted to have booked speakers Jane Yolen, author of over 350 books for children and adults, discussing Writing for Younger Readers; C Flanagan Flynn, former managing editor of Brain, Child Magazine, discussing Writing and Publishing in Literary Magazines & Journals; and author and Bay Path MFA faculty member Shahnaz Habib, speaking about Writing Home, where you’re from and who your are. The event will be held Sunday, April 14, at the Philip H. Ryan Center in East Longmeadow, MA. For more information or to register, go here.

Jane Yolen

ALUMS

The short-film adaptation of Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) memoir The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating has launched. The film next screens in April at the International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula, MT, and then will screen in late May/early June at CinemAmbiente Environmental Film Festival in Turin, Italy.

Michael Beeman (Fiction, S’09) published two short stories recently: “The Shift” in Eclectica Magazine and “The Maelstrom” in Failbetter.com.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) presented his paper “Mischief in Her Heart: Female Empowerment in the Persian Fantastic” at the 40th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. He will be presenting the paper again at Worldcon 77 in Dublin in August. Peter also sold his story “The Moon and Mahasti” to the Holy C.O.W. anthology, which will be published this summer.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) placed her poems “A Disappearing Act,” ”Snow White, Rose Red,” and “Persephone’s Promise” in the Spring issue of The Horror ‘Zine.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) has a short story coming out in Bill Adler Jr. and Sarah Doebereiner’s The Binge Watching Cure: Horror Edition anthology in October 2019—a reprint of “Cadaver Feet” which was featured in alumna Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s Art and Words show. Jose Gonzalez Lanza’s amazing artwork interpreting this piece is available for viewing at this link. This summer, Karen is teaching a 12-week online creative writing class May-August for Western Technical College—registration is now open and participants will earn transferrable college-level English credits. New or experienced poets/fiction writers world-wide are welcome in this online asynchronous class.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) sold his short story about drug-fueled time traveling, “A Second’s Labour,” to The London ReaderThis piece was workshopped during his first semester at Stonecoast with Nancy Holder. Also, he has accepted a full-tuition scholarship to the University of New Hampshire’s Masters in English Studies program, where he will begin attending this fall.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) will be speaking at the Authors’ Fair at Crowder College in Missouri on April 27. Her topic is research for fiction, and she’ll use examples from her own fiction as illustrations (spending two days at a TV station researching for a news anchor character in A Sense of Place, attending 14 Thursday nights of the Citizens’ Police Academy for a policewoman character for Here’s Your Trouble).

In March, The Last Woman in the Forest, the newest novel of Diane Les Becquets (Fiction, S’05), was released by Penguin Random House. Publishers Weekly said that the novel is “[an] elegantly written thriller…the story revs up, providing more than enough tension and suspense as Marian inches closer to the dangerous and disturbing truth. Eloquent, detailed descriptions of nature and of rescue dog training, survival techniques, and the peripatetic life of conservationists enrich the narrative.” Diane is on a book tour, including a visit to Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, NH, at 7:00 p.m. on April 11th (see below for more April dates).

Susan Lilley’s (Poetry, S’08) collection Venus in Retrograde comes out April 30 from Burrow Press. She is looking for a good excuse to come to New England and do some readings this summer. Reach her at susan.lilley@icloud.com. Check it out here: https://burrowpress.com/venus

On April 6, Alison McMahan (Popular Fiction, W’10) will be teaching a class, “The How-to of Deep Point of View,” for the Alvin Sherman Library at Nova Southeastern University, in Fort Lauderdale, FL, 2:00-3:30. Details here. Alison’s short story “King Hanuman” is now available in the the new Sisters in Crime/LA anthology Fatally Haunted (Down and Out Books, Spring 2019), edited by Rachel Howzell Hall, Sheila Lowe, and Laurie Stevens.

Ellie O’Leary (Poetry, W17) has two books accepted for publication. North County Press will publish both her memoir, Up Home Again, and her poetry manuscript, Breathe Here.

Alexandra Oliver (Poetry, W’12) is in the third year of her PhD at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. She has just completed an interview with CBC’s The Sunday Edition (hosted by Michael Enright) concerning her work and, in particular, her most recent chapbook, On the Oven Sits a Maiden (Frog Hollow Press, 2018).

Lisa Panepinto‘s (Poetry, W’13) book where i come from the fish have souls was published by Spuyten Duyvil.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) short story “Ariel in LOve Summer” 1999 [sic] will appear in the summer 2019 edition of Valpariso Fiction Review; his poem “Looking” will appear in Gyroscope Review. Bruce will be reading from and signing copies of The Trash Detail, his new story collection from New Rivers Press, and Forms and Shades, his new poetry chapbook from Clare Songbirds Publishing, at The Bangor Public Library on Saturday, April 20, beginning at 2:30 p.m.; a Q&A will follow the reading, which is free and open to the public. For more information please call 207-947-8336. He will also be part of the annual Poets Speak event at the library that will take place on April 25; dozens of poets will read throughout the afternoon and early evening. On April 27, Bruce will join songwriters Cormac McCarthy, Stan Sullivan, and Jim Mercik for an evening of songs, stories, and a musical tribute to the late Bill Morrissey at The Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton, CT. For reservations and directions please see the venues website or call 860-693-0263; the show, primarily a music event, begins at 7:30 p.m.—doors open at 7:00 and tickets are $20.00. Finally, on April 30, Bruce will join Anne Britting Oleson at the Belfast Public Library, 106 High Street, Belfast, ME, for a joint reading, book signing, and Q&A. The event is free, open to all and begins at 6:30 p.m.; additional info may be had by calling 207-338-3884.

Erin Roberts (Popular Fiction W ’18) is thrilled to have two of her short stories (“Sour Milk Girls” & “Snake Season”) on the 2018 Locus Recommended Reading List, which helps to determine the winners of the annual Locus Awards. She also recently had the opportunity to chat about her work as a whole on a Signal Boost episode of the Skiffy and Fanty podcast and hopefully didn’t say anything too incriminating! Note: The Locus list is packed with amazing stories, books, and collections (including work by Jim Kelly and Dora Goss)—read and vote for your favorites (voting open to all, whether a Locus subscriber or not, and write-ins are allowed!).

Lisa Romeo‘s (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) article “Yes, You Can Write Memoir, Even if Your Memory Isn’t Great” appears at the blog of The Open Center NYC, where she’ll be teaching a day-long workshop on the intersection of memory and memoir writing on April 13. Her essay “Forgiving the Bully in the Pulpit” appeared recently in The Moon Magazine. In August, Lisa will lead a week-long memoir workshop at the Live Free and Write Retreat in Sunapee, NH. Closer to her home in NJ, Lisa recently marked six years teaching with The Writers Circle.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam‘s (Popular fiction, S’13) story “Every Song Must End” appeared in the latest issue of Uncanny Magazine.

Kathleen Sullivan (Poetry, ’06) has a poem coming out in next volume of Poet Lore and has had an essay accepted for publication this summer in The Stonecoast Review.

Morgan Talty’s (Fiction, W’19) short story “Safe Harbor” was published in Narrative Magazine‘s Winter 2019 issue.

Adrienne S. Wallner’s (Poetry, W ’09) poem “Hydrangea” will appear in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of The Aurorean.

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates March 2019

CURRENT STUDENTS

After some winter residency prepping growing pains (read trauma), and mixed-genre “Extreme Workshop” epiphany, Nina B. Lichtenstein (Creative Nonfiction) wrote about the importance of reading outside our genre instead of doing her qualitative residency response. Happily for her, Brevity picked it up for their blog on the craft of writing.

FACULTY

The film version of Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) short play Raghead, directed by award-winning Vermont filmmaker Nora Jacobson, will be shown at the Bermuda International Film Festival in March 2019. Coash founded the popular Famous For 15 Minutes New Play Festival in Bermuda and continues to be an active part of the Bermuda Arts community.

Ted Deppe‘s (Poetry, Coordinator of Stonecoast in Ireland) seventh book of poems, Riverlight, has just appeared from Arlen House in Ireland. It will take six months or so before Syracuse University Press assumes distribution rights in the US. Until then, anyone wanting a copy can send $20 to Ted and receive a signed copy. Mailing address until 1 May 2019 is Ted Deppe, PO Box 914, Trinidad, CA 95570.

David Anthony Durham’s (Fiction, Popular Fiction) Roman vampire story, “Kneeling Before Jupiter,” is included in the anthology Unfettered III: New Tales from Masters of Fantasy, from Grim Oak Press, edited by Shawn Speakman (March 19). David appears in the anthology beside authors such as Terry Brooks, Lev Grossman, Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson, Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson, Robin Hobb, Mark Lawrence, Seanan McGuire, Naomi Novik, Robert V.S. Redick, Carrie Vaughn, and Tad Williams.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) has two books due out. War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight Between America and Hitler will be released by Macmillan Children’s Group on May 1, 2019. One Nation Under Baseball: How the 1960s Collided with the National Pastime will be re-released in paperback on April 1, 2019. Also, his essay on the first African-American world billiards champion, Cisero Murphy, will be published by ESPN on its website The Undefeated on March 6, 2019.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana Is Here has received a glowing review in Foreward Reviews: “A nostalgic, wrenching depiction of a youth in crisis whose sensitive, unsparing movements spark with realism… A tender self-reckoning, Nirvana Is Here brings the past full circle. Hamburger deftly reveals how incidents recede—even if they leave their mark—to bring new hopes into focus.” Check out the full schedule of his 10-city book tour here. Also, on Saturday, June 8, Aaron will be teaching a workshop on “Going to Extremes: How to Handle Scenes of Sex, Violence, Drugs, Ecstasy, and Other Intense Experiences” at the Fifth Annual Spring Writing Intensive at St. John’s in Annapolis.

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) will be a guest at two Australian Supanova comic conventions in April: Melbourne from April 5-7 and Gold Coast from April 12-14. She will be representing the new Sherlock Holmes anthology Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Was Not with her editor Christopher Sequeira, as well as other authors, for IFWG Publishing. The link is here.

Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) was recently elected to serve as interim president of the Cave Canem Foundation Board of Directors effective March 31, 2019. A 501-c-3 non-profit literary service organization with administrative and programming headquarters in Brooklyn, NY, Cave Canem has grown from a gathering of 26 poets to become an influential movement with a renowned faculty, high-achieving national fellowship of over 400 and a workshop community of 900. Read the full announcement here. On March 2, 2019, Amanda will facilitate her workshop Empathy in Craft as part of the Sunstar Festival in Pittsburgh, PA, at Kelly Strayhorn Theatre. Amanda will be at the following panels and readings during the 2019 AWP Conference in Portland, OR:

  • March 28 – 6:30 p.m.: Women Writers in Bloom Reading with Amanda Johnston, Naa Akua, Lauren K. Alleyne, Keisha-Gaye Anderson, Wendy Angulo, Nívea Castro, JP Howard, Anastacia Renee, Kimberly Reyes, Alberta Abbey, 126 NE Alberta St, Portland, Oregon 97211
  • March 28 – 7:00 p.m.: Affrilachians at the Heathman with Amanda Johnston, Frank X Walker, Ellen Hagan, Shayla Lawson, Randall Horton, Crystal Good, and Mitchell L. H. Douglas, Heathman Hotel, 1001 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205
  • March 29 – 6:30 p.m.: The Resistance is Femme (AF) Reading with Amanda Johnston, Patricia Smith, Ada Limón, Denice Frohman, and Anastacia Renée, Powell’s Books, Inc. (Powell’s City of Books) 1005 W Burnside ST, Portland, Oregon 97209
  • March 30 – 6:00 p.m.: Argus House Press Reading with Amanda Johnston, Teneice Durrant, Anastacia Renée, JR Toriseva, Angst Gallery, 1015 Main Street, Vancouver, WA 98663
  • March 30 – 3:00 p.m.: Panel: 21st Century Innovations in Poetic Form with Amanda Johnston, Jaimee Hills, Dora Malech, Kimberly Ann Southwick, Jaimie Gusman, E146, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera was performed in concert version to a full house at the Lucille Lortel Theater in New York City on February 4, produced in association with Abingdon Theatre Company, drawing coverage in three features in Broadway World, including a “Photo Flash” feature of the show, as well in a feature plus a photo slideshow of the performance in Playbill.

Elizabeth and Tonya & Nancy composer Michael Teoli

Becca Kotte as ‘Tonya’ and Sara Jean Ford as ‘Nancy’ onstage at the Lortel Theater in NYC

Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) is delighted to have booked Stonecoast alum Melanie Brooks for “Four Wednesdays of Writing” at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA. The four weekly sessions (March 20, 27, April 3 and 10 from 6:00 to 9:15 p.m.) will focus on Melanie’s essential book, Writing Hard Stories, and will provide a compassionate and supportive space for participants to engage in reading and writing exercises that begin peeling back the layers of their experiences and will help them uncover the powerful stories they have to tell. To register, click here. Also, Suzanne was honored to have her literary fairy godmother, Elinor Lipman, author of the newly released novel Good Riddance, include Suzanne’s first novel, Selling the Lite of Heaven, in this piece on books with happy endings.

Robert V.S. Redick’s (Popular Fiction) new story, “Thasha’s Cure for Cabin Fever,” will be published March 19, 2019, in the anthology Unfettered III from Grim Oak Press. The story is a return (for the first time in seven years) to the world of Robert’s Chathrand Voyage Quartet epic fantasy series.

ALUMS

On March 16, Lew Andrada (Popular Fiction, W’17) will present his academic paper “Nick Joaquín and the Tropical Gothic: How Magical Realism Explores Philippine Family Politics and Legacies” at the 40th Annual International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA) in Orlando. He’s looking forward to hanging out with fellow Stonecoasters at the conference!

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be presenting his paper “Mischief in Her Heart: Female Empowerment in the Persian Fantastic” at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, at the 40th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. He will also be chairing an academic panel, “Global Canons and Mythologies,” at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 14.

Anthony D’Aries (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) was invited to present two seminars on memoir and dialogue at the 2019 Cape Cod Writers Conference, August 1-4. Anthony will also meet with participants in one-on-one manuscript consultations.

Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) story “Bluebeard’s Surrender” can be found in the anthology Gorgon: Stories of Emergence alongside fellow Stonecoaster Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) and many other other fantastic writers. “Bluebeard’s Surrender” is about snakes, disastrous friendships, and the dreams of teenage girls.  Looking toward the future, in a exciting turn of events, Julie’s standalone novella, The Rampant, will be released this fall as a paperback and ebook by Aqueduct Press:

The Rampant is a queer-girls-in-love, coming-of-age short novel that involves a Sumerian Rapture in Southern Indiana. It’s also an intense narrative ride that is, by turns, harrowing, heartbreaking, and darkly funny.

Christianity it turns out got a whole lot of things wrong. It’s ten years since the hordes of old-world Sumerian gods, the Anunna and Anunnaki, arrived to kick off the end of the world. Massive tornadoes, tsunamis, government collapse: it all started out so strong, but the Rampant, the final herald of the apocalypse, failed to show. Both people and gods have had to adjust.

Sixteen-year-old friends Emelia Bareilles and Gillian Halkey have spent most of their childhood in a world filled with the echoes of lost friends, eviscerated family members, and dwindling hope. The world is an ugly broken place. Their only option is to travel to the Netherworld, collect the Rampant, and finally kick off the Rapture.

Riffing on fragments of historical text, including the Epic of GilgameshThe Rampant uses and refutes the known details and rules of the Sumerian underworld. As they travel through the lands of the dead, Emelia and Gillian meet loved ones and strangers trapped in a system they didn’t create. Each step makes them more determined to help create a better, godless world. In the end this is a story about the inequities of power, human self-determination, and the various ways in which we love each other.

Terri Glass (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’13) will be reading with others at a reception for the anthology Fire and Rain: EcoPoetry of California at AWP in Portland, OR, on Friday, March 29, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Morrison Room, Level 1, Portland DoubleTree Hotel. She would love to see any faculty or fellow alum there.

C-SPAN’s BookTV featured the Black Author Breakfast Party on its channel. Alan King (Poetry, W’13) was among those who presented at the event on February 1. This event kicked off the African-American Read In series for Black History Month. Here’s a clip of Alan reading his poemHere’s the full video.

Ellen Meeropol (Fiction, W’06) is pleased to announce that she has sold her fourth novel, tentatively titled Her Sister’s Tattoo, and expects publication in spring 2020. She will be moderating a panel at AWP in Portland titled “Better Later? Success and the Late Blooming Woman Author.”

On March 22, Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will speak at the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville. In their workshop “Lives in Upheaval,” she and author Judy Goldman (Together) will discuss lives overturned by illness, mishap, grief, and how one survives and continues to live and love. In February, Catharine’s memoir, Now You See the Sky, was at the top the Portland Press Herald’s Best-seller list for Nonfiction.

You are invited to join Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) as she reads from Book One of Finding Petronella, her nonfiction book about walking across Finland in the footsteps of Lappish legend Petronella van der Moer, on March 29 at Lincoln Street Center in Rockland, ME. The reading marks the culmination of Jenny’s six-month artist residency with the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation, and will be featured alongside the art and performances of three fellow artists. Free and open to the public! Details here.

Anne Britting Oleson (Poetry, W ’05) will have her third novel, Tapiser, published on March 1 by B Ink Publishing. B Ink also published The Book of the Mandolin Player in 2016 and Dovecote in 2017. Tapiser is also dedicated in part to Rebecca Bearden Welsh (Creative Nonfiction, W ’05).

Kelsey Olesen (Popular Fiction, W’17) will present her academic paper, titled “Demon Husbands and Magic Kings: Controlling Relationships in Uprooted and Spinning Silver,” on Saturday, March 16, at 2:00 p.m. as part of the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Orlando, Florida. Her paper will examine authorial responsibility and analyze the romantic relationships in both novels through a feminist lens.

Much news from Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04):

  • On Saturday, April 20, at 2:00 p.m. at The Bangor Public Library, Bruce will be reading from and signing copies of his new short story collection The Trash Detail and new poetry chapbook Forms and Shades. This event is free and open to the public—no reservations are necessary.
  • On Thursday, April 25, he will be part of the afternoon and evening-long Poet/Speak at The Bangor Public Library. This yearly gathering of dozens of poets and many more dozens of fans is also free and open to the public. Curated with care by Kathleen Ellis, this event includes established poets, emerging poets, student poets and, when available, the local Poetry Out Loud winners. Light refreshments, too. Always a fun and friendly gathering. Contact the library for exact times and details.
  • On Saturday, April 27, Bruce will join friends and fellow songwriters Cormac McCarthy, Stan Sullivan, and Jim Mercik for a very special reunion concert and tribute at The Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton CT. In addition to playing their own songs and reading from books and manuscripts, each will perform a song by their late friend and fellow musician Bill Morrissey. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and reservations may be made by calling 860.693.0263 during regular business hours. Expect surprise musical guests and perhaps a writer and a poet or two.
  • On May 25, Bruce returns to The Busy Bee333 Ocean House Road in Cape Elizabeth, for the wonderful series managed by former Portland Poet Laureate Marcia Brown (Poetry, S’04), where he will read from The Trash Detail. The program begins at 4:00 p.m. and will also feature a poet. Great place to grab some food and a beverage to enhance the experience.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) developed a new course, “Reading as a Writer,” she’s now teaching for Bay Path University’s MFA program, where she’s been Thesis Director for several years. Lisa will present a workshop on revision during the Montclair (NJ) Literary Festival on March 24. Her essay “How to Keep Loving Your Spouse: 30 Years of Small Gestures and Good Sex” was published on Valentine’s Day in Together Magazine.

Nikki Sambitsky (Creative Nonfiction, W’18) is back teaching again at the amazing Storyteller’s Cottage in Simsbury, CT! This time, she will be teaching writers how to be fearless in their writing. The workshop will go over some beautiful, strong, powerful essays by Genevieve Hudson, Mary Ruefle, Marcos Santiago Gonsalez, Julia A. Cohen, Michele Filgate, and others, and discuss what makes both the essays and the writers fearless, ways in which these writers approached difficult subjects, how they wrote about the topics they did, as well as literary devices, forms, and structures that enabled the writers to gain emotional depth and power in their writing. During the second half of the workshop, students will use what they’ve learned from studying these essays to craft fearless work of their own. This workshop is recommended for any writer who has been having trouble getting to the heart of an issue and is finding that they’ve been writing around a difficult situation. “Unapologetically Fearless” will run on Saturday, March 16, from 12:00-4:00 p.m. For more information, click this link.

Gina Troisi‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) memoir The Angle of Flickering Light was a finalist for the 2018 Autumn House Press Full-Length Contest in Nonfiction. Her flash nonfiction piece, “Suicide Note,” was published in Iron Horse Literary Review‘s NewsFlash Series. Her essay “Nowhere Else But Here” recently received an Honorable Mention for American Literary Review‘s 2018 Nonfiction Contest.

Tamra Wilson (Fiction S’11) has a short story, “Church Camp,” accepted for the Spring 2020 issue of Trajectory, a Kentucky-based journal. On March 8 in Raleigh, she is keynote speaker at the NC State Conference of Colonial Dames XVII Century, sharing excerpts from Idol Talk: Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations That Changed Their Lives, an anthology that she co-edited with Elizabeth Searle in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates December 2018

CURRENT STUDENTS

S.M. Mack (Popular Fiction) has published her award-winning short story “The Carrying Beam” and Dan McMinn (Popular Fiction) has published his short story “Public Awareness” alongside original stories and poems by the rest of the Clarion class of 2012 in their fifth collection. Titled The Blue Volume, this collection will help support The Clarion Foundation’s essential work. In The Blue Volume, a Nepalese witch tempts her daughter to black magic, sinister (but cute) robots hound a homeless squatter, one man fights reconciliation to the end of the world and another reaches reconciliation with The Thing, a medieval barber bleeds female patients to feed his monstrous creation, and a princess emerges scarred from the test of the pea. The Blue Volume is available on a PAY-WHAT-YOU-WANT basis. Pay nothing. Pay everything. It’s up to you. All proceeds, after hosting fees, will benefit The Clarion Foundation.

FACULTY

David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction) has a new story in the Wild Cards collaborative novel Texas Hold ‘Em, edited by George RR Martin. He’s also very pleased that his yearlong stint as a World Fantasy Award judge concluded last month with the announcement of the winners at the World Fantasy Convention in Baltimore.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) will be teaching a class on Andre Aciman’s novel Call Me By Your Name at Politics & Prose bookstore, January 7th, 6:00-8:00 pm. We’ll do a deep read of this contemporary classic and compare it to the film version.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) and Tamra Wilson‘s (Fiction, S’11) Idol Talk anthology has events forthcoming in NC, including on December 1st when Idol Talk readers perform in High Point, NC, and then attend a concert by Peter Noone (Herman of Herman’s Hermits), the iconic rock star who wrote the introduction to Idol Talk. In February, Elizabeth and Boston area Idol Talk readers including Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) will perform at a reading-and-music fundraiser for Women’s Lunch Place, a Boston day shelter for homeless women. Also in February, a new performance of the concert version of Elizabeth’s Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera will take place in New York City. For details and updates, see http://www.elizabethsearle.net.

Elizabeth Searle, Caitlin McCarthy, Lisa Borders, and Suzanne Strempek Shea read from Idol Talk at Worcester Public Library in Worcester, MA, on November 3rd.

ALUMS

Michael Beeman (Fiction, S’09) published his short story “The Dream” in the fall issue of Cornell University’s EPOCH Magazine.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) appeared on the November 20th episode of PodCastle as Fixer, in Natalia Theodoridou’s story, “Fixer, Worker, Singer” (available here). In addition, his paper “Mischief in Their Hearts: Female Empowerment in the Persian Fantastic” was accepted for presentation at the 40th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in March 2019.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) is pleased to announce that her essay “Mapping the Collective Body of Frankenstein’s Brides” was included in the collection Birthing Monsters: Frankenstein’s Cabinet of Curiosities and Cruelties. This essay came out of her third semester project, which she worked on under the direction of Cate Marvin. Parts of this paper were originally presented at the 2018 International Conference for the Fantastic Arts, and it was also recently accepted for presentation at StokerCon in May 2019!

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) narrated “Prerogative of the Gods” by Nathaniel Green and “Between Battles” by Mary Soon Lee for Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #38. She enjoys narrating and has found opportunities to do so many different ways—she’s happy to chat with you if you’d like to learn more about narrating. Also, Karen is thrilled to have been included in a Speculative Poetry Reading at University of Northern Iowa on November 12th. The reading celebrated Speculative Poetry Month (November) and featured the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association president Bryan Thao Worra’s amazing poems. You will enjoy his hilarious quotes in this article about the event. Also, Karen’s voice can be heard narrating Corey Mallonee’s Oz-inspired story “Radio Free Heartland” on the Cast of Wonders young adult podcast. Viva Stonecoast!

Karen at the Speculative Poetry Reading at University of Northern Iowa on November 12th.

Debbie Lynn Smith’s (Popular Fiction, S’08) graphic novel Gates of Midnight: Warrior of the Gate was awarded Best Graphic Novel by the Book Publicists of Southern California.

Terri Glass’s (Poetry & Creative Nonfiction, S’13) essay “Tiger Lilies” will be published in issue 9 of Young Raven’s Literary Review and a haiku has been published in 50 Haikus, Issue 14. She will also read at Book Passage in Corte Madera, CA, January 27th, 2019, from the anthology Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has sold a short story to weekly magazine Woman’s World. Her story will be in the issue to hit newsstands the first week of January.

Rebecca Kightlinger‘s (Fiction, W’14) debut novel, Megge of Bury Down, published by Zumaya in paperback and ebook versions, is now available as an audiobook on Audible.com.

Paul Kirsch (Popular Fiction, W’11) co-wrote The Forgotten Sanctum, which releases on December 13th; this is the last planned major DLC for Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire: “When a violent tremor shatters the islands of the Deadfire, the greatest wizards in Eora seek out the aid of the Watcher. The archmage Maura has vanished into the depths of a newly opened dungeon located in the Black Isles and threatens to awaken what lies forgotten there. Follow Maura’s trail and determine the fate of one of the Deadfire Archipelago’s most closely-held secrets.” You can read more about The Forgotten Sanctum here.

Andrea Lani (Fiction, W’14) was thrilled to be nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her essay “The Sparrow’s Song,” which appeared in The Sunlight Press in July. She has another essay, “Memento Vivere,” slated for publication on December 1st in the Winter 2018 issue of Still Point Arts Quarterly.

Danielle Letourneau (Popular Fiction, S’15) is thrilled to announce that her paper “Pejorative and Polarizing Perceptions: The Fight for the Abolition of Genre Prejudice” has been accepted for presentation at the 2019 conference of the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts. The paper was her third-semester project, worked on with the wonderful Liz Hand.

More than a hundred people attended the book launching of Tom MacDonald‘s (Fiction, W’09) fourth crime novel Murder in the Charlestown Bricks. The event took place at the Navy Yard Bistro in Charlestown, kickstarting the publication. Tom’s December appearances are listed below. The books are $15.

Saturday, December 1
Nahant Golf Club
1 Willow Road
Nahant, MA
12:00- 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, December 11
John Curtis Free Library
534 Hanover Street
Hanover, MA
7:00 p.m.

Monday, December 17
Adams Street Library
690 Adams Street
Dorchester, MA
6:30 p.m.

This month Catharine H. Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will be joining poet Elizabeth Austen at Elliott Bay Books in Seattle on December 5th at 7:00 p.m. for a reading and discussion of her new memoir Now You See the Sky. On December 6th at 8:00 a.m., she will lecture at Seattle Children’s Hospital for the doctors and staff at Grand Rounds on using writing as a tool for healing.

R.M. Romero‘s (Popular Fiction, S’15) novel, The Dollmaker of Kraków, has been nominated for the Carnegie Award in the United Kingdom.

Robert E. Stutts (Popular Fiction, S’10) has a story in the October issue of See the Elephant, “The Unreal World Too Strangely Near” (one of his thesis stories, with thanks to Nancy Holder and Jim Kelly for their mentorship)—and, yes, he forgot to include his own news in the November post!

Lisa C. Taylor‘s (Poetry, S’04) short story “Consorts” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by The New Southern Fugitives. This story was included in her recent collection, Impossibly Small Spaces, published in early November 2018. Lisa will be reading at libraries and venues in New England. For information, visit www.lisactaylor.com.

Adrienne S. Wallner’s (Poetry, W ’09) poem “Ticket Stub” has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Stoneboat Literary Journal.

 

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Community News & Updates November 2018

ALUMS

Edible Queens, one of 85 “Edible” magazines across the US and Canada, has made Jillian Abbott’s (Fiction, S’04) popular (almost 16K followers) Instagram blog into a column. The blog explores migration, memory, and what the Welsh call Hiraeth, which means “homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past” through food. Read her column on Butterfly Cakes here.

Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) book The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is now available in Italian. Marsilio Editore is the publisher for the Italian translation, which launched in late September.

Misconceptions, a musical and part of Allen Baldwin‘s (Scriptwriting, W’17) thesis, will have a three-week run at Footlights Theatre in Falmouth from November 1st through the 17th. Here’s a description: “Penny and Vince have done everything right… so far. Faced with the challenge of infertility, they are now forced to reconsider their relationship and piece together a future that neither of them expected. Misconceptions is an emotional roller-coaster ride through modern relationships and romantic expectations. Irreverent but sincere, honest but hilarious, Misconceptions explores a relationship from the inside-out, as Penny and Vince struggle to stay together, finding their way back to the love that started it all. It’s about what we want from our partners, what we need from our lovers, and how the ugly moments of love can, somehow, bring us closer together.” Tickets available now—see www.thefootlightstheatre.com for more info.

Karen Bovenmyer (Popular Fiction, S’13) was interviewed as Assistant Editor with the PseudoPod team on Writing the Rapids. She has also been narrating poetry for Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. Listen to her read Ngo Binh Anh Khoa’s “The Necromancer.” Upcoming: Mary Soon Lee’s “Between Battles.” She’s also been tapped to narrate a short story for HFQ and for Escape Artist’s Cast of Wonders young adult podcast—links forthcoming in a future newsletter. She served as a judge for the Horror Writers Association’s Dark Poetry Scholarship and very much enjoyed reading new poets. All of you should apply for HWA scholarships next year when they open again. Read about them here. She continues to be grateful for Stonecoast, the best decision she ever made.

Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) will be having not one, but two, launch parties for her hybrid memoir Space Heart: A Memoir in Stages, published by Burrow Press, both featuring live “space music.” On Sunday, November 4th from 3:00-6:00 p.m., she will be at Waterfall Arts Gallery in Belfast, Maine, with electronic keyboardist Tom Luther. On Saturday, November 10th, she will be at the Lowndes Shakespeare Theater in Orlando, Florida, starting at 7:00 p.m. The program will include Orlando Poet Laureate Susan Lilley (Poetry, ’08) and Interplanetary Acoustic Team. Linda’s long poem, “Northern Run,” is in the current Maine Review, and her poem “Entering the Abandoned Grain Mill at Dusk” will be part of the anthology Balancing Act 2, the second collection of Maine women poets published by Littoral Books. A review of Space Heart will be forthcoming in Forward Review.

Brenda Cooper (Fiction, S’17) is pleased to announce the November 11th release of a collection of stories set in the science-fictional world of her award-winning series that begins with The Silver Ship and the Sea. The collection, Stories of Fremont’s Children, includes old and new stories by Brenda, and new stories by John Pitts and Danielle Ackley-McPhail. It is published through eSpec Books in collaboration with Futuriter.com.

The hardcover edition of Julie C. Day‘s (Popular Fiction, S’12) debut collection Uncommon Miracles was released by PS Publishing On October 1st: “A grieving man travels through time via car crash. A family of matriarchs collects recipes for the dead. A woman gains an unexpected child in the midst of a bunny apocalypse. An outcast finds work in a magical slaughterhouse. Julie C. Day’s debut collection is rife with dark and twisted tales made beautiful by her gorgeous prose. Melding aspects of Southern Gothic and fabulism, and utilizing the author’s own scientific background, Day’s carefully rendered settings in these eighteen stories are both delightful and unexpected. Whether set in a uniquely altered version of Florida’s Space Coast or a haunted island off the coast of Maine, each story in this collection carries its own brand of meticulous and captivating weirdness. Yet in the end, it is the desperation of the characters that drives these stories forward and their wild obsessions that carry them through to the end. It is Day’s clear-eyed compassion for the dark recesses of the human heart and her dream-like vision of the physical world that make this collection a standout.”

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’ 14) is thrilled to announce that she has signed a book deal with Eraserhead Press and is one of six in their New Bizarro Authors Series. They will be publishing her novella The Bone Cutters, with a planned release in 2019. A bizarro story about the hell of mental illness, the evil hands of drug addiction, and the horror of psych. hospitals. Are you anxious, suicidal, have some anger issues you need to work on, or maybe you have a drug addiction you need to kick? No worries. Once you’ve checked into this psychiatric hospital, you’ll never be the same. Come, have a visit; stay as long as we need you. If you’re fresh, you’re in for one Hell of a ride once you meet The Bone Cutters.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) is teaching a craft workshop on density at the Sag Harbor Creative Nonfiction Writer’s Conference this November 1st-4th and participating in a panel on publishing. He would like to thank his former mentor Theodora Goss for this workshop’s inspiration as well as everyone who worked on Stonecoast Review‘s Issue No. 9.

Melody Fuller’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’12) article “Harvest for the World” was published in the October/November 2019 Somm Journal. Here’s an excerpt:

When will there be a harvest for the world?

Today I speak cautiously and write carefully about what is means to be a black woman in white space.  Today I try to make sure I do not offend, demand, scare, dare or call people out for gross conduct, damaging gossip, divisive tactics and for pushing narratives that marginalize, hurt and dismiss those who look like me. I am not doing a good job carrying all of this, while being an industry pioneer who is working to build a table, set agenda and make sure I don’t get loud, pushy or rude.  Well, sometimes being labeled as one or all of those descriptors happens.  Being questioned and judged happens a lot especially when diversity discussions and women’s agendas intersect or are used interchangeably for self-serving and deflective purposes. You know what I mean.

When will there be a harvest for the world?

Clifford Royal Johns (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be on the following panels at Windycon, a Chicago area SF convention (November 9-11):

  • “Chicago SF Book Club: Discussing Shards of Honor and Barrayar by Bujold” — Saturday, November 10th, 1:00-2:00 p.m., Grand Ballroom H
  • “Streaming Services the New Movie/TV studios” — Sunday, November 11th, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Lilac C
  • “Modern Prison Break: Our Need to Escape?_ — Sunday, November 11th, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Grand Ballroom H
  • Cliff will also be moderating a section of the Windycon Writers Workshop on Saturday morning.

Jeff Kass (Fiction, S’09) has had his second full-length poetry collection Teacher/Pizza Guy accepted for publication by Wayne State University Press for their Made in Michigan Series. The poems chronicle the 2016-2017 school year, during which Jeff worked not only as a full-time high school English teacher and the Director of Literary Arts at Ann Arbor’s Teen Center The Neutral Zone, but also a third job as a pizza delivery driver 2-3 nights a week. Look for the release in August or September of 2019!

On October 17th, Alan King (Poetry, W’13) was a featured performer on WPFW 89.3’s “Live @ 5,” which was part of the stations pledge drive. Learn more.

Alan King reading on WPFW 89.3’s “Live @ 5

Orlando Poet Laureate Susan Lilley (Poetry ’08) and former Belfast Poet Laureate Linda Buckmaster (Creative Nonfiction, S’11) will be reading together at the Burrow Press “Functionally Literate” event on November 10th in Orlando. Linda will be launching her new hybrid memoir from Burrow, Space Heart: A Memoir in Stages, which she started at Stonecoast. Susan’s first full-length poetry collection, The Green Hand of Venus, will be published by Burrow in 2019. They’ll be discussing Poet Laureate life and Satellite Beach, which just happens to be the title of Susan’s first poetry collection and the town where Linda grew up.

Tom MacDonald’s (Fiction, W’09) fourth crime novel, Murder in the Charlestown Bricks, was released October 1st, 2018. This is the fourth book in the Dermot Sparhawk Crime Novel Series. Private investigator Dermot Sparhawk is taking on cases no one else will touch. Born and raised in the Charlestown projects in Boston, Sparhawk fights for the underdog. He calls on his connections and physical skills to keep him from getting killed. He visits Charlestown’s waterfront gill mills and AA halls and travels the Historic Route 66 in search of the truth. And the truth almost kills him.

Catharine H. Murray’s (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) debut memoir Now You See the Sky will be released in November. On November 7th at 7:00 p.m., Print: A Bookstore (273 Congress Street in Portland) will host the release party. This is the launch book for Gracie Belle, Anne Hood’s imprint with Akashic Books that will focus on topics of Grief and Loss. Kirkus Reviews writes, “Murray’s lucid meditations and living-in-the-moment attitude serve as useful reminders to all of us that life is precious and fleeting and must be enjoyed to the fullest. It’s a simple message but an important one. As much a eulogy as a testament to the joy of life, the book is a heartwarming tale of dealing with life-altering loss. A tender, love-filled story of how one woman dealt with the loss of a young child.” On November 9th, Catharine will be reading with other local authors at Quiet City Books, 97 Lisbon St. in Lewiston at 6:00 p.m. And on November 15th, Murray discusses Now You See the Sky with imprint curator Ann Hood at Books on the Square, 471 Angell Street at 7:00 p.m. This is a Providence launch event for Murray’s memoir.

Jenny O’Connell (Creative Nonfiction, S’17) will read “The Office of the Mayor of Miessi,” her piece about living above the Arctic Circle among the wild gold miners of Finland’s Lemmenjoki National Park, on November 2nd at Longfellow Books for the SLICE Magazine Maine launch. The piece, which details part of Jenny’s solo walking journey across Finland in the footsteps of Lappish legend Petronella van der Moer, is currently out in the Fall/Winter “Flight” edition of SLICE, available here.

Lemmenjoki National Park: Pihlajamäki Cabin, the setting of “The Office of the Mayor of Miessi.”

Anne Britting Oleson (Poetry, W’05) has been invited to read her poetry at The Harrison in King’s Cross, London, as part of Elbow Room’s celebration of its final issue. The party begins at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 3rd. If any Stonecoasters are in London, come on down!

The short-story collection The Trash Detail by Bruce Pratt (Fiction, S’04) is available for pre order. Booksellers may contact SPD, while individuals may order from their local bookstore, Amazon, or directly from New Rivers Press by sending an email to Nayt Rundquist at www.newriverspress.com. Bruce’s new chapbook Forms and Shades is due out very soon from Clare Songbird Publishing; they may be contacted at claresongbirdspub.com

They Speak Your Language: A Poetic Bestiary, by J. Stephen Rhodes (Poetry, W’11) and illustrated by Amanda Chao Benbassat, is now available at the Amazon Books website. These poems move back forth from the significant to the silly, with drawings of counter-cultural possums to aristocratic cats.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction S ’08) will be at the BookMark Shoppe in Brooklyn, NY on November 15 to read from her memoir, Starting with Goodbye, along with Lindsay Wong, author of The Woo Woo. Lisa’s guest post “Publishing with a Small (Traditional) or University Press: When it Might be Right for You and Your Book,” appears on the website of the Nonfiction Authors Association. Her teleseminar on the topic aired there in October. Recently, the writing department at New Jersey City University hosted Lisa, who read and spoke to students in memoir writing and women’s studies classes. On November 17th, Lisa will present memoir writing tips at the Holmdel, NJ, Barnes & Noble, and also in November, she will make author visits to libraries in Warren, Hillsborough, and Franklin Township, all in NJ. Event details are listed at her site.

Nikki Sambitsky‘s (Creative Nonfiction, W’18) creative nonfiction lyric essay “Penny Drop” will be published in the November edition of Longridge Review. Nikki’s essay links her childhood experiences with that of her 7-year old autistic son’s as they share a swing ride on their favorite amusement park attraction, “The Yo-Yo.” “Penny Drop” is part of Nikki’s essay collection “Perseverate, Linger,” which focuses on her triumphs and trials with her husband and two autistic children.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Popular Fiction, S’13) will be interviewed at the November 12 LeVar Burton Reads Live event in Dallas, Texas, where LeVar will read her story “In the City of Martyrs.” Her novelette “The Crow Knight” just came out in Beneath Ceaseless Skies‘ anniversary issue. Her short story “Secret Keeper” has been reprinted in Paula Guran’s The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2018.

Christopher Watkins‘ (Poetry, W’08) poem “Emigrant Song” has been published by Harpur Palate and can be read in the current issue. Additionally, Christopher has just released his 11th album under his musical moniker “Preacher Boy.” The album is called The Rumble Strip and is now available from Coast Road Records. An enhanced lyric book has been published as a companion to the album, and the collection includes the book-length poem “I-80 Blues: 96 Choruses.” It is available for Kindle, or via the Preacher Boy website as a free PDF download.

FACULTY

Jeanne Marie Beaumont’s (Poetry) poem “Yet” from Letters from Limbo has been made into a short video, which is available on YouTube and can also be viewed on her website.

Tom Coash‘s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) award-winning, full-length play, Veils, will open at Macha Theatre Works in Seattle, WA, on November 30th and run through December 16th. His short play Raghead will be produced by the Black Cat Theatre Company as part of their “Millennials #Offended” festival at the Pleasance Theatre in London on December 19th.

John Florio (Fiction, Pop Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Young Adult) writes about the intersection of race, politics, and sports for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. His latest piece, “In a Year of Assassinations, an Angry Bob Gibson Pitched His Way Into the Record Books,” was an October feature story for ESPN’s The Undefeated. His YA book, War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight Between Hitler and America, will be released by Macmillan’s Children’s Group in May, 2019.

Aaron Hamburger‘s (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) novel Nirvana is Here is now available for pre-order, either on Amazon or contact your local indie bookstore and tell them to reserve your copy. Release date is May 14, 2019! Also, Aaron gave a talk at the Library of Congress based on his article “Seven Layers of Heaven: How to Make a Jewish Bakery Classic at Home” from Tablet Magazine. His cake, created from his own original recipe, was served and enjoyed by all!

Aaron Hamburger’s talk at the Library of Congress on Seven Layers of Heaven.

Seven Layers of Heaven

On November 1st at 7:00 p.m., Amanda Johnston (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) reads with Dante Micheaux and L. Lamar Wilson in celebration of Stonecoast alum Quenton Baker‘s (Poetry, S’12) exhibit Ballast at the Frye Museum in Seattle, WA. Then on November 2nd at 7:00 p.m., she’ll read with Dante Micheaux, L. Lamar Wilson, Anastacia-Renee and Quenton Baker for A Writers Showcase featuring Cave Canem Poets at the Hugo House in Seattle, WA. And on November 3rd at 10:00 a.m., Amanda’s writing workshop Writing Public Tragedies will be at the Hugo House in Seattle, WA (registration required).

Ballast

Debra Marquart (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) was invited to perform a set of Bob Dylan songs at the Twin Cities Book Festival on October 13, 2018 to celebrate the publication of the anthology, Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan, edited by Thom Tammaro and Alan R. Davis (New Rivers Press, 2018). Marquart’s poem, “Dylan’s Lost Years,” is one of the 100 poems included in the anthology. Her poem, “Come November,” was published by Terrain.org: A Journal of Built + Natural Environments for the “Letter to America” series. 28 October 2018. Debra’s essay “Buried Voices,” published as a Story of the Week by Narrative Magazine on June 7, 2018, was selected by Narrative Magazine for a “Top Five Stories of 2017-2018” commendations. Stonecoast fiction writer Morgan Talty was also selected by Narrative for “Top Five Stories” honors! Her micro-essay, “Some Things About That Day,” was anthologized in Short-Form Creative Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology, edited by H.K. Hummel and Stephanie Lenox for Bloomsbury Press, 2018. Also, she delivered a plenary poetry reading entitled “True North” at the Luther College Writers Festival, September 27-28, 2018, in Decorah, Iowa.

Elizabeth Searle’s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) new CD—Tonya & Nancy: Highlights from the Rock Opera, produced and released by Broadway Records—has drawn strong reviews on Broadway World (“Tonya & Nancy Gets High Marks”) and on Broadway to Vegas, which called the CD in its review “stunningly awesome” and wrote of Elizabeth’s narrative: “The script covers a lot of territory and does so with the artistic skill of an Olympic champion.” The CD can be purchased from Grammy-winning Broadway Records. Updates and more info: http://www.tonyaandnancytherockopera.com

Two readings from late Stonecoast alum Elisabeth Wilkins Lombardo’s novel The Afterlife of Kenzaburo Tsuruda will be held in New England early this month. Ann Hood, Elizabeth Searle, and Suzanne Strempek Shea, all of whom mentored Elisabeth, a member of the program’s inaugural class, will read from the book at 7:00 p.m. on November 1st at An Unlikely Story in Plainville, MA. Suzanne will join Beth’s friends, fellow alums, and fellow Maine authors Morgan Callan Rogers and Jaed Coffin in a reading at 9:00 p.m. on November 5 at LFK in Portland, ME. Here’s a recent Portland Press-Herald story on Beth and her book. Suzanne will be reading from Idol Talk:  Women Writers on the Teenage Infatuations that Changed Their Lives with fellow faculty member Elizabeth Searle, and fellow Idol Talk contributors Caitlin McCarthy and Lisa Borders November 3rd at 2:00 p.m. at Worcester, MA, Public Library. Elizabeth and Stonecoast alum Tammy Wilson co-edited this major book on major crushes, which has been one of the Top Ten Bestsellers on publisher McFarland’s long list of pop culture books every month since July. There’ll be a special appearance at this event by and idol-themed tunes from Stonecoast’s personal DJ, DJJH.

Suzanne Strempek Shea, Elizabeth Searle and Jaed Coffin at the Portland Book Launch for The Afterlife of Kenzaburo Tsuruda by beloved Stonecoast alum Elisabeth Wilkins Lombardo

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The final 2018 event in the Local Writers Read series will be held on Friday, November 9th, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Quiet City Books in Lewiston, Maine. Offering multi-genre work organized around the theme of Order/Chaos, the list of readers includes four Stonecoast alumni: Nancy Brown (Fiction, S’08), Josh Gauthier (Popular Fiction, S’17), Catharine Murray (Creative Nonfiction, S’17), and Bill Stauffer (Fiction, W’17). Celebrating writing and community, the event is free and open to the public. Full details can be found on the Facebook event page.

Stonecoast MFA faculty member Elizabeth Hand will be the Guest of Honor at Boskone 56, New England’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention. Boskone takes place in Boston, MA, from February 15-17, 2019, at the Westin Waterfront Hotel. In addition to Liz Hand, Boskone will also feature several Stonecoast faculty members, students, and alumni on the programme, including James Patrick Kelly, Theodora Goss, Robert Redick, Julie C. Day, Erin Roberts, and Erin Underwood. There will be a Stonecoast Community gathering and programming at the con. Memberships are required to attend, and more information is available online at www.boskone.org.

 

 

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