October 2015

Life of a Writer: New and Events

October 2015

Students

Kellie Carle’s (F) short story “Gone Fishing” was accepted for publication on the Pennyshorts website. The story is available for download at the following link: “Gone Fishing“.

Phil Cohen (F) has had a piece accepted for publication. Jewishfiction.net has accepted the first several chapters of his novel The Search for Shmulie Shimmer: A Nick Bones Mystery, for publication in its spring or fall edition.

Jessica Evans (F) is pleased to announce that her chapbook, learn to find, will be released later this year. The collection of poetry examines the life of her mother before her death.

In November, Exit 12 Dance (Connecticut and New York) will premiere a piece inspired by poems Lynn Hoffman (W4CYA/SW) wrote while her son served in Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps; following the performance, she will participate in a panel discussion. The Canadian online literary magazine Bibliosofia/Canada has translated Lynn’s anthologized poem, “The Gift,” into Italian; the poem appears in the magazine’s latest issue. In January, Lynn will conduct a month-long poetry workshop for 3rd-grade students at the Asian Studies Academy in Hartford, Connecticut, through the Bushnell Performing Arts Center’s “Partners in Arts and Education Program.” In addition to her position as academic advisor at a public arts magnet high school in Hartford, this year she is teaching a freshman creative writing workshop.

 Mark Madigan (P) has had a great year so far: His poem “Kate” appeared in the Spring 2015 edition of Raleigh Review, and “Forsythia” appeared in the Spring 2015 edition of Valparaiso Poetry Review. Two more poems, “Hot Rod” and “The Caverns at Luray,” will appear in the Novemer/December issue of The Broadkill Review. In addition, “Collarbone” is scheduled for the next issue of Midwestern Gothic.

Journey McAndrews (CNF) was recently accepted into the AWP Writer-to-Writer Mentorship Program, which gives writers the opportunity to work with widely published and respected mentors. In the Writer-to-Writer program, Journey will be working on a collection of poetry entitled Rusted Legacy with Brooklyn-based poet Michael Broder. Journey was also recently elected to serve a three-year term as a board member for the Kentucky Foundation for Women (KFW), which was endowed with $10 million in 1985 by playwright and author Sallie Bingham. KFW provides funding for individual women artists and writers and women’s-based organizations in Kentucky.

Scott O’Connor’s (F) story “Hold On” was listed as Distinguished in The Best American Short Stories 2015. His essay on pro wrestling/MMA star Brock Lesnar recently appeared in The New York Times Magazine.

Two poems by Marc Tretin (P), “The Dining Room Table” and “The Quart Sized Strainer’,” have been accepted by the literary magazine Burningword.

Faculty and Staff

Dianne Aprile taught a two-day workshop on collage writing and visual art at Kirkland Arts Center, Kirkland, Washington, the weekend of October 31, with award-winning collage artist Larry Calkins. Dianne also organized and introduced an evening of readings by former Louisvillian Sonya Lea, now of Seattle and author of the new memoir Wondering Who You Are. Eastside Writes, a community nonprofit that was co-founded by Dianne, sponsored the October 20 readings.

This past August, Susan Campbell Bartoletti celebrated the publication of her 19th book for young readers, Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story About the Deadliest Cook in America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015). The book has earned four stars (Horn Book, Booklist, School Library Journal, VOYA) and has been named a Junior Library Guild Selection. In September, she lectured on the life of a writer to a full crowd at Marywood University (Scranton, Pennsylvania). In October, she led two workshops at the Iowa Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators retreat. Meanwhile, she’s immersed in the research for her next nonfiction title and scribbling away in her journal.

On October 18, Julie Brickman hosted a literary gathering for Murzban F. Shroff, an author and friend visiting from India. Murzban’s story collection, Breathless in Bombay (St Martin’s Press, US; Picador, India), was shortlisted for Commonwealth Writer’s Prize in the debut category for Europe and South Asia, and later rated by The Guardian as one among the ten best-set books in Mumbai. His fiction has been published in more than 50 literary journals in the US and the UK. One of the first journals to recognize the quality of Shroff’s work, publishing his story “Dhobi Ghat” in the Spring 2006 issue, was The Louisville Review. Yet in India, Breathless in Bombay stirred a series of legal charges against the author and the book severe enough for International PEN to intervene on his behalf. None of this has deterred him from writing honestly about India; if anything the struggles deepened his commitment, issues he discussed in depth with the group, which included Spalding alum Deidre Woollard (F ’03). Murzban Shroff’s new book, Waiting for Jonathan Koshy, a post-modernist novel set in Mumbai, is already an award winner prior to its actual publication.

K. L. Cook was awarded an artist colony residency in July-August at Blue Mountain Center.  Two prose poems, “Penny Snatching” and “Dreaming of Roy Orbison,” were published by Elsewhere in September (Issue 9). Two short-short stories, “First Fool” and “First Fall,” were published in the Fall 2015 issue of The Pinch. An essay, “Las Vegas Transcendentalists,” appears in the 2015 issue of Alligator Juniper, and “I-Home,” another essay, is available in the September 2015 online issue of Bluestem.

Leslie Daniels’ essay “The Mixer” was published in the anthology From the Fingerlakes. “A Recipe for Smoothies” came out in Stone Canoe. Both involve love, death, and kitchen appliances.

Lauren Harr (CNF) and Malaprops Bookstore in Asheville, North Carolina, hosted Kathleen Driskell, reading from her new book of poems, Next Door to the Dead, on October 14. On October 15, Kathleen read with fellow UNCG alum James Tate Hill at the Faculty House in Greensboro, North Carolina, during UNCG’s homecoming festivities. On October 22, she read at Muhlenburg County Library’s Thistle Cottage in Greenville, Kentucky. On October 29, she read in Lexington, Kentucky, at Wild Fig Bookstore with Spalding MFA alums Savannah Sipple (P ’08), Katy Yocom (F’03), and Eddie Lueken (CNF ’11).

In an unprecedented commitment to a native son, the University Press of Kentucky is publishing Fenton Johnson’s new novel, The Man Who Loved Birds, as well as reprinting his previous novels, Crossing the River and Scissors, Paper, Rock, the latter a classic of LGBT and Southern literature.  All three books will appear in March 2016.  Johnson will be making appearances in bookstores in Kentucky and elsewhere in March and the following months and will be a featured author at the Tucson Festival of Books, the nation’s fifth-largest book festival.  Interested readers may want to visit his webpage www.fentonjohnson.com to read his April 2015 cover essay in Harper’s Magazine, “Going It Alone: The Dignity and Challenge of Solitude,” and listen to his interview on Terry Gross’s Fresh Air.

Rachel M. Harper was granted a 2015 residency at The MacDowell Colony, an artist colony in New Hampshire. Her novel This Side of Providence will be published in April 2016.

Silas House was invited to give a reading at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., in August, and in June he was the recipient of the Caritas Medal from Spalding University.  In March, he served as the inaugural Jean Ritchie Lecturer at the University of Ireland at Galway.  Over the past few months he has published pieces in The New York Times, Salon, Best Food Writing 2014, and others.  He has recently appeared as a guest on NPR’s Morning Edition and had an essay featured on CNN.com.  He has a short story forthcoming in late November from Blackbird and in October was given his second honorary doctorate in letters.

Robin Lippincott is again serving as a judge for the Drue Heinz Literature Prize this year. His new book, Blue Territory: A Meditation on the Life and Art of Joan Mitchell, will be out December 4 but available for sale at the November residency.

Lesléa Newman has recently published a personal essay in Lilith Magazine called “Always a Crossword Between Us,” which explores the role the New York Times crossword puzzle played in the relationship between her mother and herself. Her alphabet poem, “My Mother Is,” accompanies the essay. (http://lilith.org/articles/always-a-crossword-between-us/) Lesléa’s recently published picture book, My Name is Aviva, has received the 2015 Sugarman Family Children’s Book Award, given by the Washington, D.C., area Jewish Community Center.

Nancy McCabe gave a presentation from her book From Little Houses to Little Women at the International Children’s Literature Association Conference in Richmond in June. She was a featured speaker at Deep Valley Homecoming: A Celebration of the Work of Maud Hart Lovelace in Mankato, Minnesota, and at the Laura Ingalls Wilder conference, Laurapalooza, in Brookings, South Dakota, in June and July. She has work in three new or forthcoming anthologies: Every Father’s Daughter: 24 Women Writers Remember Their Fathers (McPherson, May); Oh, Baby: True Stories about Conception, Adoption, Pregnancy, Surrogacy, Labor, and Love (In Fact Books, October); and The Pink Suitcase: 22 Tales of Women’s Travel (World Traveler Press, November).

Poetry faculty member Jeanie Thompson’s fifth full-length collection, The Myth of Water: Poems from the Life of Helen Keller, will appear in the University of Alabama Press’s Spring 2016 catalogue, now in production. Jeanie plans to conduct free public workshops on writing historical persona poetry as part of her community outreach at invited reading venues. Her poem “Enrico Caruso Remembers Helen Keller” appears in the Negative Capability anthology Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems, edited by Carey Scott Wilkerson and Melissa Dickson. During the recent Alabama Writers Conclave annual meeting, Jeanie introduced keynote speaker Sena Jeter Naslund. This month, the Alabama Writers’ Forum, which Jeanie directs, will release two anthologies of incarcerated youths’ work from the Writing Our Stories Program, now in its 19th year. For a complimentary copy, contact Jeanie via the Forum.

Katy Yocom read on October 29 at the Wild Fig Books & Coffee in Lexington alongside Kathleen Driskell, Eddie Lueken (CNF ’11), and Savannah Sipple (P ’08). The Wild Fig is an independent bookstore and coffeehouse co-owned by faculty member Crystal Wilkinson. Also in October, she spoke at an information session at the University of Louisville for undergrads and master’s students considering an advanced degree in creative writing. Her poem “To the Way I Walk” is forthcoming in Circe’s Lament: An Anthology of Wild Women, edited by Bianca Spriggs and Katerina Stoykova-Klemer (P, CNF ’09) (Accents Publishing, 2015). In June, she judged the flash fiction category for the Alabama Writers Conclave writing contest.

Sam Zalutsky’s short film How to Make it to the Promised Land will play at the Boston Jewish Film Festival in the short film competition on Thursday, November 5, at 7 p.m. at the Somerville Theater.

Alumni

Priscilla Atkins (P ’08) has poems in recent issues of Antiphon (“Green and Pink Hydrangea”) and Apple Valley Review (“My Heart in Pieces”). In October, she read at Kazoo Books and Michigan News in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and was also one of the featured authors at Michigan Authors Night, for the Kentwood District Libraries in Grand Rapids.

H. Jerriod Avant’s (P ’13) poem “Missing Person” was published in Boston Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Series. His poem “Holy Stagger” was a finalist for the 2015 Mississippi Review Prize and was published in the June issue of the Mississippi Review. On May 15, he received a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from New York University. Jerriod was also awarded a 2015 Vermont Studio Center Fellowship for the month of June in Johnson, Vermont, and a 2015-2016 Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship in Provincetown, Massachusetts, from October 1 until May 1, 2016.

In September, Tay Berryhill (F ’09) attended the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Midsouth Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Her novel Blood at the Root won first place in the young adult manuscript contest. The novel also placed first in the SCBWI Southern Breeze Writing Contest, awarded in Birmingham, Alabama, at the Writing and Illustrating for Kids Conference in October.

In July, Glenny Brock (CNF ’07) performed in a program titled “Storytelling and Southern Identity” with members of The Moth at the Birmingham Museum of Art. She reprised the story “Black Like I Was” in August, sharing a bill with Big Fish author Daniel Wallace. Arc Stories, a Birmingham-based organization that presents “true stories told live,” hosted both events. Brock will soon complete her fourth offering of “Writing for the Media,” a course she teaches each fall at Birmingham-Southern College. In the spring, she will teach a CNF and journalism workshop titled “Advanced Prose.”

In the last year, David B. Carren’s (SW ’05) screenplay Lullabies for Lieutenants won first prize in the 2015 Creative Worlds Awards, Action-Adventure category. This script was also a finalist in the 2015 West Field Screenplay Awards and a semifinalist in the 2015 Cinquest and Filmmakers International screenwriting competitions. David co-wrote the screenplay with Franklin Cox, based on his memoir Lullabies for Lieutenants, which is focused on Mr. Cox’s experiences as a forward artillery observer in Vietnam in 1965. David’s work as a playwright has also gained recognition this year. His one-act The End of Infinity was a finalist in the 2015 Scribbler Theatre One Act Play Competition, and his full-length play Hunter’s Moon was a semifinalist in the 2015 Eugene O’Neill Playwright’s Conference.

Shawna Casey’s (PW/F ’12) award-winning dramatic comedy Night Becomes Day received a reading at Theatricum Botanicum in Los Angeles in September, with Ellen Geer illuminating the role of Matilda.  Her fantastical rom-com Strong Force was a semifinalist in the Playwrights Foundation BAPF competition this summer, and she just completed a first draft of her new full-length play. The teachers, mentors, and students at Spalding remain a highlight!

Ted Chiles’s (F ’14) flash creative nonfiction piece “Negative Space” was published in Lunch Ticket. His flash fiction story “Undeferred” appeared in the Vietnam issue of Masque and Spectacle.

Joan Donaldson’s (CNF/W4CYA ’08) essay “Trucks We Love” will be published on the feature page of Farm and Ranch. In July, Joan facilitated a workshop at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference and also wrote and recorded an essay about her farm for Michigan Public Radio. In late October, a small group of Michigan farmers that included Joan was invited to the Berry Center to meet and talk with Wendell Berry about organic farming and building community in Southwest Michigan.

Ann Eskridge’s (SW ’08) play Last of Ken was chosen to be a part of the Spring Playwrights Festival at Theatre Nova in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The movie version of Last of Ken was also chosen to be part of the Sundance Screenwriters Intensive in Detroit. Last of Ken was her creative thesis for her MFA and is about a man whose dead relatives hold an intervention for him because they think his life sucks.

Thea Gavin (P ’05) has two poems in a recently published anthology of Grand Canyon poetry by authors past and present: Going Down Grand: Poems from the Canyon (Lithic Press). She read “Introducing Others to the Edge” and “Fall Dispersal” (and other canyon poems) at the book launch party at the Orpheum Theater in Flagstaff, Arizona, as part of the Northern Arizona Book Festival. Other September readings took her to Prescott, Arizona, and four cities in Southern California to share more Grand Canyon words from the new poetry anthology as well as an anthology of essays published last year: On Foot: Grand Canyon Backpacking Stories (Vishnu Temple Press). She continues blogging about her shoeless adventures (including a recent barefoot 22-mile trek across the Grand Canyon) at www.theagavin.wordpress.com.

Karen George’s (F ’09) prose poem “Visitation” was accepted for the next issue of Naugatuck River Review, and a found tanka based on Emily Dickinson’s poem “#1670” was accepted for the next issue of Gingerbread House.

Bill Goodman (CNF ’13) was inducted into the Kentucky Broadcasters Hall of Fame on October 13. The award is presented to those individuals who have made outstanding personal contributions to the broadcasting profession in Kentucky. The award is the KBA’s highest honor. Goodman has been the host and managing editor of Kentucky Tonight on Kentucky Educational Television for twenty years. His book of essays, Beans, Biscuits, Family and Friends: Life Stories, will be published in November, and he will be one of the featured authors at the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort.

Joan Gumbs (F ’09) recently launched her blog “How Ya Livin’ Now” (http://howyalivinnow.org/hyln/blog/) to share her experiences of life after 40. The idea is that readers find something of interest that inspires them to be the best they can be whether in their spirituality, health, finances, communities, etc. It is mostly anecdotal with a touch of journalism

Dave Harrity’s (P ’07) new book of poems These Intricacies is now out from Cascade Books. Recently, he won the William Alexander II & Lisa Percy Fellowship from the Rivendell Colony in Sewanee, Tennessee. Another book of his poems, Our Father in the Year of the Wolf, will be available from Word Farm in early 2016.

Patty Houston’s (F ’08) story “Questions and Other Fubars from Women at the Tenth Annual Getaway” has been accepted for publication by New Madrid, a journal published by Murray State University. This story will appear in the winter 2016 issue.

Alice-Catherine Jennings (P ’14) is pleased to announce that her poems “Boreas,” “Afternoon Tea at the Four Seasons Hotel, Budapest,” and “Bare Shoulders” will be published in Issue 5 of GTK Creative.

Teddy Jones’s (F ’12) short story “Clean Getaway” received first prize in the 2015 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Competition, sponsored by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society. She received the award on October 31 at the Society’s annual Words and Music conference in New Orleans during a gala costume ball and dinner. Jones’ choice of literary character costume for the evening, Sissy Hankshaw from Tom Robbins’ Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, likely comes as no surprise to those who know her.

Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan’s (CNF ’03) book Our Perfect Wild: Ray & Barbara Bane’s Journeys and the Fate of the Wild North is being released in January 2016 by the University of Alaska Press. The biography chronicles a pioneer couple’s love for wilderness and for each other during a volatile time in Alaska’s history. Noted journalist Keith Epstein writes “For anyone who dreams but does not dare, who truly believes in stewardship of wild lands for future generations—not just managing national parks as amusement parks—this is a compelling must-read that just might prompt you to kidnap your congressman and head off to the Brooks Range for proof—and life.”

Darlyn Finch Kuhn (CNF/P ’09) won first place in the novella category of the 2015 Royal Palm Literary Awards for Sewing Holes.

Kris Lee (PW ’15), who goes by T.K. Lee in publication, was awarded the Peter K. Hixson Memorial Award for Creative Writing in Poetry for 2015. The award is only offered to two writers: short fiction and poetry. Kris will also be a visiting writer for the new MFA in Creative Writing Program at the Mississippi University for Women in their inaugural year, as faculty in playwriting.

Cheri (Thomas) Maxson (W4CYA ’13) hosted the annual Valley Writer’s Guild Summer Retreat on August 7-8, at Kane Manor Bed and Breakfast in Kane, Pennsylvania. The poet-in-residence was Todd Fleming Davis, author of five poetry books, who teaches creative writing, American literature, and environmental studies at Penn State University’s Altoona College. The theme of the weekend was nature writing. Maxson also has a play, Murder at the Malt Shop, being published by Pioneer Drama Service. It will be featured in their December 2015 catalog. She is also currently staging the latest play she wrote, Death at the Disco, at Portville Central School, where she currently teaches college writing and senior and freshman English.

Kelly Morris (F ’13) and Jason Hill (F ’14) will be co-leading two ninety-minute workshops in fiction at Mid-American Review’s Winter Wheat Festival of Literary Writing. Both workshops will be held on Friday during sessions A and B of the conference, November 12-14 at Bowling Green State University.

Loreen Niewenhuis (F ’07) has had a busy year touring with the final book in her trilogy about the Great Lakes: A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure. She was honored to have her first book, A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach, chosen for Van Buren County’s “One Book, One County” read. She will be a featured author at the 2016 Kerrytown BookFest in Ann Arbor next September. Visit her website at LakeTrek.com.

Sherry Palmer’s (CNF ’11) essay “How My Son With Down Syndrome Fixed a Hotel Problem I Couldn’t” was published by The Mighty in August. It was later published in September on Yahoo Parenting Network.

Linda Busby Parker (F ’03) was on a program at the Alabama Writers Conclave annual conference in Fairhope on July 19.  The panel topic was “Publishing Goals of Independent Presses in Alabama.” She continues to serve on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Writers Conclave and will co-chair the 2016 Conclave Writers’ Competition. She gave the opening remarks for the Mid-Tennessee Writers Conference at Middle Tennessee State University on September 26. The topic was “Motivation and Writing.” Find her blog on the writing life at lindabusbyparker.com; her twitter is @LBPwriter. Linda also attended the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference in Birmingham, September 16-17.

Mary Popham (F ’03) attended the Appalachian Symposium for Writers in Berea, Kentucky, on September 9-10; she also wrote a review of Next Door to the Dead, by Kathleen Driskell, for the online blog Literary Labors (and the Occasional Cheese Dip), as guest contributor on August 25.

Diana Noasconi Rhodes (CNF ’08) is working at Boeing’s in-house agency, Creative and Information Services, where she’s serving as the lead writer for Boeing’s customer-facing magazine, Aero. The final print issue of the 72-year old magazine comes out in December, after which it transitions to a multimedia digital publication. Diana is on the team working to re-imagine Aero as Boeing celebrates its centennial in 2016.

Susan Ryan (CNF/F ’15) is a guest columnist for the Herald Palladium, the newspaper for Southwest Michigan, on October 25. She asks her fellow citizens, “What is the vision for the future of South Haven?” This once Edenic beach town beside Lake Michigan is being overrun by unrestricted commercial development of oversized, party-house rentals in quiet residential neighborhoods.

 Rosanna Staffa (F ’13) has her short story “Brazil” in New Rivers Press – American Fiction Short Story Award 2015.

The second novel of Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen’s (W4CYA ’03) Shipwreck Island middle grade series, Lost, was released in July. Her latest YA novel, The Detour, was released in October, and Legendary Entertainment has optioned the movie rights.

An excerpt from Leslie Smith Townsend’s (CNF ’04) memoir Blame has been accepted for publication by In Fact Book’s anthology Show Me All Your Scars.

Vickie Weaver (F ’05) was named second-place winner in the Twisted Road Southern Gothic Revival Anthology Contest 2015 for her short story “Feeding the Dog.” Dorothy Allison judged the contest.

Colleen Wells (CNF ’10), whose memoir Dinner with Doppelgangers – A True Story of Madness & Recovery was published in April by Wordpool Press, has attended several mental health events. On September 11, she participated in Key Consumer Group’s annual fall conference in Indianapolis. Key raises awareness and education around mental illness. She had a table at an authors’ fair on September 19 at Indiana Wesleyan University in Columbus, Indiana. Her book was available at the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), Indiana’s annual convention on September 25 in Indianapolis. Wells also participated in an event at the Venue Fine Art and Gifts on September 29 for suicide awareness month, sharing her experience with suicide as part of a panel called In My Shoes. Her micro essay “What is the Lesson?” was published by the Voices Project on September 17.

Colleen recently completed a six-week course on publishing through ed2go and is half-way through ENGL 202, a creative writing class offered by Ivy Tech Community College. She is at work on a collection of short stories around the theme of work. She will take training as a Peer Recovery Specialist through ASPIN in Indianapolis and as a Certified Journal Facilitator through Kay Adams’s (MSW) online program later this fall.

Kit Willihnganz’s (W4CYA ’08) second young adult novel, Dreamfever, will be published by St. Martin’s in February 2016 under her pen name, Kit Alloway.

 

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