Tag Archives: Tom Coash

Community News & Updates November 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

ALUMNI RESIDENCY WORKSHOP: A CROSS-GENRE WORKSHOP IN FICTION AND CREATIVE NONFICTION

This January, Stonecoast is offering a personalized writing experience for our Alumni.  Held in conjunction with the Stonecoast winter residency, Susan Conley will lead workshops that get alums to immerse in their writing within a peer setting again. Participants will generate new work as well as discuss old work. It is our hope that you will get to see your writing from new vantage points and that you’ll leave the residency feeling inspired. The conference fee includes four 2.5 hour workshop sessions, plus full access to all presentations, seminars, readings, pop-up classes, reception, and special events. You’ll also get a one-on-one meeting with New York agent Stephanie Koven.

  • Dates: January 10-January 14, 2020
  • Cost: $650.00 workshop fee, plus room and board (~$750 for 4 nights) or commuter fee ($285). Includes daily lunches and afternoon tea at the Harraseeket Inn.
  • Contact Jenny O’Connell to reserve your spot! There are only 8 slots available, and we expect this workshop to fill quickly.

STONECOAST AT AWP

Do you plan on attending the 2020 AWP conference (March 4-7) in San Antonio? Contact Special Programs Coordinator Jenny O’Connell to be added to the list of attending Stonecoasters! As part of the new Stonecoast WISE (Writing for Inclusion and Social Equity) Initiative, all Stonecoast students, alumni, and faculty are invited to a WISE reading and discussion in San Antonio. Time and location TBD. We hope to see you there!

FACULTY

Tom Coash’s (Scriptwriting) play Thin Air has recently been published by Brooklyn Publishers. His play Raghead will be produced in Bronx, NY, as part of the Urban Waves Festival by the Open Hydrant Theater Company, November 11-17.

John Florio (Creative Nonfiction, Popular Fiction, Writing for Social Change) writes about sports, crime, and social issues. In October, he wrote a feature for ESPN’s The Undefeated: Red Sox’s Raquel Ferreira Breaks Through Baseball’s Glass Ceiling. He also recently signed a two-book YA deal with Macmillan Children’s Group. The first will tell the controversial story of Sacco & Vanzetti, two Italian anarchists wrongly convicted of murder and later executed in Boston, MA.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) has been awarded an arts and humanities fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for 2020. The award, which supports individual artists who achieve excellence in the arts, was given on the basis of several selections from Aaron’s novel Nirvana Is Here. Also, Aaron will be presenting Nirvana Is Here at the National Press Club Book Fair on November 1st in Washington, DC.

Elizabeth Hand’s (Popular Fiction, Fiction) novel Curious Toys has received rave reviews from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Review of Books, and CrimeReads, among others, and was named one of the Ten Books You Must Read Now by Oprah Magazine.

Jim Kelly (Popular Fiction emeritus) has been active in his retirement from Stonecoast. His short story “Selfless” appears in the current issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine and is featured in the Asimov’s Spotlight podcast in which Jim reads the story in its entirety. His novelette “Grace’s Family” was published last month in The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2019 Edition. A new standalone novella, King of the Dogs, Queen of the Cats, is forthcoming in January from Subterranean Press in print  and Blackstone Publishing in audio. The novelette “The Boyfriend Experience” will be published in the Twelve Tomorrows anthology from M.I.T. Press this summer, and the story “The Man I Love” is slated for later in 2020 in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. When you read this, Jim will be in in Beijing as a guest of the Chinese government at the fourth annual China Science Fiction Conference (November 2-3), where he will give a presentation on teaching science fiction writers at Stonecoast and other programs.

Robert Levy’s (Popular Fiction) ghost story “The Vault of the Sky, the Face of the Deep” is included in Come Join Us By the Fire, a free audio anthology to celebrate the launch of Nightfire, a new horror imprint from Tor Books. More information about the anthology and the imprint can be found here.

Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) and A Four-Sided Bed, her script in development as a feature film, were featured in the October issue of Imagine Magazine, a longtime publication for the New England Film Community. In other film news: Four-Sided, the short film based on Elizabeth’s novel, won Best Experimental Short and second place as Best Narrative Short in Vegas Movie Awards, and the short film is a Semi-Finalist at Blow-Up: The International Art-House Film Fest, along with having screenings upcoming at festivals in Pittsburgh and Chicago. Elizabeth’s feature script A Four-Sided Bed won Best Dramatic Screenplay at Vegas Movie Awards and was selected for a Best Scenes short reading at the Romance Film Festival.

Imagine Magazine‘s feature article on Elizabeth and A Four-Sided Bed

 

ALUMS

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) has accepted a full-time position as an editor for Seven Seas Entertainment, the #1 independently owned manga publisher in North America. He will be at the World Fantasy Convention in L.A. from October 31st to November 3rd, where he will moderate the “Mixing Genres” panel (Friday, November 1st, at 1:00 p.m.) and appear on the “Beyond Castles, Horses and Knights: Non-Eurocentric Fantasy” panel (Saturday, November 2nd, at 12:00 p.m.).

Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction faculty) and Debbie Lynn Smith Daughetee (Popular Fiction, S’04) would like to announce that Kymera Press is launching a Kickstarter in January 2020 for their title Mary Shelley Presents. The Kickstarter is to fund the printing of a trade paperback of all four issues (Nancy is the author and Debbie is the publisher). We hope you’ll help support us bringing back the voices of Victorian women horror writers in a unique and artful way.

Jess Flarity (Popular Fiction, S’18) has been accepted to present a paper on space Jesuits at this year’s Northeast Modern Language Association conference in Boston (NeMLA). The paper is titled “Glory to the Machine God: Tech-priests as Future Jesuits in the Warhammer 40k Universe” and might be included as part of his PhD thesis on the intersection of science fiction and philosophy. Space Jesuits and Habermas! What a time to be alive.

Zachary Jernigan

Zachary Jernigan (Popular Fiction, W’11) has sold History of the Defeated, a novella, to LGBTQ+-focused publisher Lethe Press. In creative-adjacent news, he’ll also be appearing on the live taping of Nicole Byer’s (Netflix’s Nailed It!) podcast Why Won’t You Date Me? on November 14th at Tempe Improv in Tempe, AZ. Zack can be found on Twitter at @CriticalJams.

Clifford Royal Johns (Popular Fiction, W’18) will be on the schedule for Windycon, a Chicago area SF convention (November 15-17), as follows:

  • Panel: Commerce in Space Opera — Friday, November 15th, 6:00-7:00 p.m. in Mueller Grand Ballroom G
  • Panel: Ask a Scientist — Saturday, November 16th, 1:00-2:00 p.m. in Lilac C
  • Chicago-SF Book discussion: Ringworld by Larry Niven — Saturday, November 16th, 3:00-4:00 p.m. in ISFiC Suite – Room 1612
  • Writers Workshop Moderator: Sunday — Sunday, November 17th, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in ISFiC Suite – Room 1612
  • Panel: Memorable Space Opera Settings — Sunday, November 17th, 1:00-2:00 p.m. in Mueller Grand Ballroom H

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has several articles in the 2020 Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac on newsstands now. This year’s Christmas romance novella, The Christmas Parade, is now available on Amazon. Favorable reviews welcome. 🙂

Teacher/Pizza Guy, the new poetry collection by Jeff Kass (Fiction, S’09), was recently reviewed by The Ann Arbor Observer. Jeff will be reading on Wednesday, November 6th, at Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor, MI, and on Wednesday, December 5th, at The White Plains Public Library in White Plains, NY.

Alan King (Poetry, W’13) is looking for reviewers for his audiobook Drift, now available on Audible. He has promo codes for review copies (US and UK). Those interested should contact him at alanw.king@gmail.com. Please add “DRIFT Audiobook Review” in the subject line.

Tom MacDonald‘s (Fiction, W’09) short story “Nashua River Floater” will be published next June in Coast to Coast Noir, a crime anthology edited by Paul D. Marks and Andrew McAleer.

Ellie O’Leary (Poetry W’17) has a poem “We Were a Family of Five When I Coughed” in the anthology The Hands We Hold: Poetry Concerning Breast Cancer.

Suri Parmar‘s (Popular Fiction, W’17) short film Skin Deep, based on her screenplay and directed by Ryan Couldrey, recently won second prize at Port Horror Festival’s short film showcase. Her short film Rialia also premiered at the CineFAM Film Festival, and her short script Vomit Comet was featured in a live staged reading at Toronto Cold Reads.

For the second year running, Cynthia Furlong Reynolds (Fiction, ‘12) won a journalism award in the annual Writers’ Digest Writing Competition. The first was for “Ginger Takes A Stand: A Life Lived With Polio,” the second “DNA Discoveries: Home Ancestry Tests are Rewriting Family Trees.” (Despite her commitment to finishing the novels she started at Stonecoast, Cynthia still loves writing for magazines.) In addition, Cynthia has had two non-fiction books published recently: The Purple Rose of Chelsea: Jeff Daniels and His Theater and Reach!, a business manual written for meta-franchiser John Rotche.

Two poems, “are you against me Boss” and “it’s dark outside Boss by J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes (Poetry, W’11), will appear in the forthcoming issue of Christianity and Literature. These poems are part of a new series of psalm-like poems inspired by Maurice Manning’s collection, Bucolics.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction, S’08) was recently interviewed by Nonfiction Reads. She’d love to see Stonecoast folks at I AM BOOKS, in Boston, on Saturday, November 9th, at 6:00 p.m., when she’s reading along with (fellow Stonecoast alum) Anthony D’Aires (Creative Nonfiction, W’09) and New Hampshire poet/author Jennifer Militello.

Kathleen Sullivan (Poetry, ’06) has co-edited a book to be published this November by Littoral Books called A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis. The book is an anthology of essays and poems by Maine writers on the topic of the climate catastrophe we are facing and can be purchased online, after November 15th, at Littoralbooks.com. On December 8th at 2:00 p.m. at Space, we will hold a publication party, and Kathleen would like to invite the Stonecoast community. Intended both as a work of art and as a call to action, the hope of the editors is that it wakes people to the enormous potential and already arrived losses a fossil fuel dependent world promises and, in the awakening, that people will be moved by their love for this place we call home to act. Kathleen has also had a poem, “Mrs. C and the Social Worker,” published in Cafe Review‘s Fall 30th Anniversary issue.

Darlene Taylor (Fiction, W’17) received an individual artist grant from the DC Commission on Arts and the Humanities. The merit-based grant supports her work as a literary artist during Fiscal Year 2020.

The Killing Moon, a novel written by Allister Timms (Popular Fiction, ’13) during his time at Stonecoast, was published on Halloween by PS Publishing, the UK’s foremost genre publisher.

 

 

 

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Community News & Updates September 2019

FACULTY

The podcast of Tom Coash’s (Playwriting, Dramatic Arts) play Raghead has been added to the American Playbook Series. Raghead will also be produced in September at the Short & Sweet Festival in Auckland, New Zealand, and the Write About Now Festival in London, UK.

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 was an August feature story for ESPN’s The UndefeatedToni Harris Made History by Getting a Football Scholarship. Now She Needs to Make Tackles. His YA book, War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight Between Hitler and America, was released by Macmillan’s Children’s Group in June 2019.

Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) will be reading from his novel Nirvana Is Here at KGB on 85 E. 4th St. in New York on Sunday, September 8 at 7:00 p.m. He’ll also be signing books at the Brooklyn Book Festival, Sunday September 22 at his publisher’s booth in the afternoon. Also, a new mini-documentary (two and a half minutes) about Aaron and the novel directed by Ender Emre is now available online here. Check out Aaron’s Nirvana events in October (including appearances at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, The Fall for the Book festival at George Mason University, the Detroit Public Library, and the National Press Club…) here.

Four-Sided, the short film based on Elizabeth Searle‘s (Fiction, Playwriting, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) novel, is now an Official Selection at two more festivals this fall: Chi-Town Multicultural Film Festival in Chicago and Reel Q: Pittsburgh LGBTQ+ Film Festival! First, the film will have its USA debut at Massachusetts Independent Film Festival. For updates see www.afoursidedbedfilm.com

ALUMS

Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Creative Nonfiction, S’15) received the New England Director’s Award from the academy accredited Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival for her film short The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. She is director and screenwriter for the film, which she adapted from her CNF memoir of the same title (Algonquin Books). The film is also a double finalist for the international Jackson Wild Media Awards in the categories of Audioscape and Education. A slate of 20 festivals spring through fall included summer premiers in Italy, Australia, and Poland, with many upcoming fall screenings including premiers in Canada and Germany. For more information please see wildsnailfilm.org

Lindsey Barlow‘s (Popular Fiction, W’19) debut novel Pivot, the first of the Jack Harper trilogy, received a rave review in Publishers Weekly: “Barlow’s gorgeous writing will easily propel readers through the rest of the series.” You can read the entire review here.

Peter Adrian Behravesh (Popular Fiction, W’18) appeared at Worldcon 77 in Dublin, where he presented a paper, “Mischief in Her Heart: Women’s Empowerment in the Persian Fantastic,” and appeared on the panels “Muslim SFF” and “Using Science in Fantasy Writing.” In addition, Peter narrated Premee Mohamed’s story “Willing” for the August 20 episode of PodCastle. You can listen to it here.

Carina Bissett (Popular Fiction, S’18) placed her poem “The Perils of Invisibility” in Nonbinary Review #21 The Works of H .G. Wells (Zoetic Press, June 2019). In other news, her short story “The Gravity of Grace” was a finalist in the first quarter of Writers of the Future, May 2019. This story was one of the first pieces she workshopped at Stonecoast.

Renee S. DeCamillis (Popular Fiction, W’14) is excited to announce that her debut book, The Bone Cutters, is set for publication on Sunday, September 1st through Eraserhead Press. It’s a bizarro horror novella set in a dysfunctional psychiatric hospital, where you’ll meet a troubled young woman named Dory who encounters a peculiar and brutal group of patients when she’s sent to the wrong counseling group over and over again. Dory’s introduction to this counseling group sets her on the run in an attempt to save her life from The Bone Cutters. Renee’s book is available on Amazon, Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, and at Longfellow Books. More stores to come soon. Two reviews for The Bone Cutters are already out, with more to come—one will soon be on the Cemetery Dance Reviews Blog. Here is what reviewers have to say 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 [her] debut novella, 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.” ~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.” ~Kendall Reviews

Renee is also thrilled to announce that Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine is hosting her book launch event on Thursday, September 5th, at 7:00 p.m. In addition to Renee’s reading and Q&A, there will also be live music to set the mood, performed by local guitarist Shaun Church Reehl. Elizabeth Searle will also be there as Renee’s MC.

September 12-14, Josh Gauthier‘s (Popular Fiction, S’17) 10-minute play “Expedition 3487-B” will be featured as part of the King of Crows play festival held at the St. Lawrence Arts Center in Portland, Maine. The festival is produced by the Crowbait Club, and you can find them on Facebook for more information.

Veda Boyd Jones (Fiction, S’17) has an essay, “Nice People,” in the summer issue of eMerge magazine.

Kristin Leonard (Fiction, S’18) has been selected to receive the Phi Kappa Phi Love of Learning Award to present at the 2019 Historic Writers of America Conference in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. She will be presenting a revised version of her third-semester presentation, “Discovery Through Multigenre Writing: How to Use Poetry and Playwriting to Develop Characterization, Conflict, & Plot in Fiction.”

Gregory Martin’s (Popular Fiction, W’17) short story “Inside” was recently published in Dark Moon Digest #36.

Mary Heather Noble (Creative Nonfiction, W’14) received news from the editors of Narrative Magazine that her personal essay “Plume: An Investigation” was selected as a finalist in this year’s Spring Story Contest. She is currently working on a new collection that explores the complexities and ambiguities of family.

Renée Olander (Poetry, W’05) will read from her new collection, American Dangerous, at the Old Dominion University 42nd Annual Literary Festival in Norfolk, Virginia, Thursday October 10, 4:00 p.m., free and open to the public.  The entire festival schedule is available here.

Bruce Pratt‘s (Fiction, S’04) poem “Dead Bodies and Declaratory Judgments” is forthcoming in Main Street Rag’s anthology Show us Your Papers, “The First Cold Rain Since Spring” will appear in the next Connecticut River Review, and “Lunar Eclipse” will be included in the special “Cosmos” edition of The Poeming Pigeon.

“Visionquest,” a prose poem by J. Stephen (Steve) Rhodes (Poetry, W’11), will appear in the fall issue of Cimarron Review.

Lisa Romeo (Creative Nonfiction S’08) recently judged the nonfiction entries for Tiferet Journal’s annual writing contest and her flash piece “A Grave Duty,” was published in the August issue of Flash Glass, part of Glassworks Magazine. She will be a keynote speaker at NJ Women Who Write’s one-day conference in Madison, NJ, on September 21, and on November 23, Lisa will speak on “Revising the Memoir Manuscript” at the Philadelphia Writing Workshop. A fun piece, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” is out in Chicken Soup: Angels All Around. Lisa’s editing role for Cleaver Magazine has expanded; she’s now handling craft essays on both fiction and nonfiction for their “Writer to Writer” column (pitch/submit here). In late August at the HippoCamp Conference for Creative Nonfiction, Lisa presented “Become a Writer who Reads Like a Writer” and was on a parenting/writing panel; earlier in the month, she led a week-long memoir workshop in New Hampshire for Murphy Writing.

Morgan Talty (Fiction, W’19) was included in Narrative Magazine‘s 30 Below 30 list for 2019. His short story “The Name Means Thunder” will appear in the Fall 2019 issue of The Georgia Review. 

 

 

 

 

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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 February 2019

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

FACULTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALUMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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