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Faculty & Student News

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Our faculty and students are a group of vibrant,
active participants. Please use the linked headlines below to read full stories farther down this page.


John Koloski presents at John Gardner Conference

John Koloski presented a research paper on April 22 at The Ninth Annual John Gardner Conference at Genesee Community College in Batavia, NY. The Gardner of Eden: Mourning, Meaning and Memory advanced the possibility that a childhood accident caused Gardner to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Psychological diagnostics were completed using anecdotal evidence and biographical and autobiographical writings. These diagnostics, coupled with literary analyses of recurring fratricide themes in Gardner’s works, were included in the supporting arguments.


A copy of the paper and presentation are being sent for inclusion in the John Gardner Archives at the University of Rochester LibraryFor those interested in The John Gardner Appreciation Page click here.

Norman Mailer Wins Lifetime Achievement Award
NEWYORK (Reuters) - Norman Mailer, one of America's most renowned andcontroversial authors, will be awarded a medal of honor for life time achievement by the National Book Foundation, the organization said on Tuesday.

"Mailer has long been considered a major figure inpostwar American literature whose innovative works of fiction and nonfiction have changed the landscape of American writing," said the foundation, which presents the National Book Awards.

It will present the 2005 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to Mailer on November 16 when the National Book Awards are presented. Finalists for the annual awards will be announced on October 12.

Known for his biting prose and as an antagonist of thefeminist movement, Mailer won Pulitzer Prizes in 1969 and 1980, and a National Book Award in 1969 for "The Armies of the Night," about the anti-Vietnam War march on the Pentagon.

Born in 1923 in NewJersey, he has written dozens of books as well as plays, poems,screenplays and essays. He was co-founder of The Village Voice alternative newspaper in New York.

His first major success,the novel "The Naked and the Dead," was a fictionalized account based on his experiences in the Army in World War II.

Norman Mailer is a member of the MA in Creative Writing Advisory Board.


Brian Berkenstock to conduct a screenwriting session at the MWA Conference

Wilkes MA in Creative Writing student Brian Berkenstock will be conducting a screenwriting session at the annual Maryland Writers' Association Conference (May 6th 2006) .  Brian's session  is called Fiction into Film – Adaptation:  Adapting a novel into a screenplay (or a short story into a short script) requires an alchemist’s touch, as you change thought into action.  The conference will be held at The Chesepeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park Maryland.

Craig Czury featured by Pocono Arts Council

The Pocono Arts Council and the ARTSPACE Gallery areproud to announce their Annual Poets & Artists Fine Art Exhibit on Saturday, April 1st, 2006 from 6 to 9 pm at Stroudsburg's ARTSPACE
Gallery in the heart of the beautiful Pocono Mountains.  Join local poets (including Wilkes University MA student Craig Czury) & the area's premier fine artists as they coordinate their writing and painting skills in a distinctive program that celebrates the written word and the artists' spirit.  The exhibit celebrates National Poetry Month and shows that poetry & art are alive in the Pocono Mountains.

As always, admission to the gallery is absolutely free.
For further information, as well as directions to the ARTSPACE Gallery, call (570) 476-5880 during gallery business hours.

John Koloski student production in New York film festival
CODA, a fifty-nine minute film created by MA in Creative Writing student/Montrose Area teacher John Koloski's high school film club, has been selected to be shown at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. With co-advisors Ed Lueck and David Wood, Koloski and The Out of Focus Film Club have been making student films in the Montrose Area Schools for the last three years.“Coda” was entered in June in the NewYork International Independent Film and Video Festival.“Coda” was accepted for showing in Theater 6 on Monday, November14, 2005.CODA will be shown at 4:10 pm at the Village East Cinema in NYC. Tickets are on sale via the website for $11.00.

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Heather Harlen to do reviews for ALLENTOWN TIMES
Heather Harlen, Wilkes University MA in Creative Writing Student, has been named as the new Book and Theatre reviewer for THE ALLENTOWN TIMES -- a Pennsylvania newspaper.
(Reported: 9/6/05)

Graduate Students and Faculty Appearing at Various Conferences and Readings Nationwide
Several student and faculty members of the MA in Creative Writing family have been very active in the national conference and reading circuit. Program Director and Co-Founder Bonnie Culver was one of a handful of showcase presentations at Impact 2005: WebCT's 7th Annual User Conference in San Francisco. Her presentation centered around the development of the Low Residency MA in Creative Writing Program here at Wilkes. Over 6,000 people attended this three day conference.

Graduate Assistant Donora Hillard has been invited to present her poetry at Writing By Degrees, a nationwide writing retreat and conference created by and featuring the work of graduate creative writers. She will read from Parapherna, her first collection, with a panel discussion to follow. WBD will be held September 22 to September 24 in Binghamton, New York, and is free and open to the public.

MA in Creative Writing Students Dan Burda, Jennifer Diskin, Jim Warner, and Nicole DePolo will join MA in Creative Writing professors Jan Quackenbush and Bonnie Culver in presenting this November at The 2005 Norman Mailer Society Conference. The three-day conference will take place in Mailer's hometown of Provincetown Massachusetts. Joining the MA contingent will be Wilkes undergraduates (and current MANUSCRIPT editors) Drew Amoroso and Chris Hordorowski. The group will be presenting a reader's theatre presentation featuring excerpts of DEER PARK and THE NAKED AND THE DEAD. Norman Mailer is a member of the MA in Creative Writing Advisory Board.

MA students Marlon James and Jim Warner are also doing readings to support various publications. Warner is currently doing readings in New York and Pennsylvania to promote IN THE ARMS OF WORDS: A BENEFIT FOR DISASTER RELIEF. This national anthology is being released by FootHills/Sherman Asher Press and features the work of over eighty poets including Warner, Diane de Prima, Nick Carbo, Marge Piercy, and Bob Holman.

Proceeds from the events go to AmeriCares and will provide aid to the survivors of the tsunami of December '04 as well as the survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

Marlon James recently celebrated a successful book launch of his first novel JOHN CROW'S DEVIL at McNally Robinson in New York City. He is currently on a 40-date national book tour. For more information, his tour dates are listed below. Wilkes University has also issued a press release on Marlon James.
(Reported: 9/9/05)

New Collection of Norman Mailer Work Edited by J. Michael Lennon
Advisory Board member J. Michael Lennon has just edited a new selection of Norman Mailer's writings about Provincetown, Massachusetts, the art colony at the tip of Cape Cod where Mailer has made his permanent home for the past 20 years. Titled "Norman Mailer's Provincetown: the Wild West of the East," the booklet was published on August 15th by the Provincetown Arts Press. It contains five evocations of P-Town, as the natives call it, from various Mailer books published from 1959 to 1984, including an excerpt from TOUGH GUYS DON'T DANCE, Mailer's 1984 murder mystery set on Cape Cod. The booklet also contains an introduction by Lennon. To purchase the booklet, which sells for $10 (plus $4 for S&H), contact Stephen Borkowski at Stephenborkowski@aol.com.

Lennon has served as Mailer's archivist for many years and assisted in the preliminary cataloging of his papers, which in April were sold for $2.5 million to the Harry Ransom Humanities Center, University of Texas at Austin. He is now at work on an edition of Mailer's letters.
(Reported: 8/12/05)

Canada Broadcasting Website features poem by Jim Warner
"Lawn and Garden Department: Closing Time" was chosen by the editorial staff of ZeD (the Canadian Broadcasting Channel's independent arts show and website) to be a featured poem in their Site Unseen: Editor's Guide Section. The poem, from Warner's upcoming chapbook PAPERHEARTS MADE EASY, is a recorded performance.
(Reported: 8/12/05)

Donora Hillard in the latest issue of DOUBLY MAD
Donora Hillard has four poems in the current issue of DOUBLY MAD, an independent publication based in Utica, New York. Copies of Doubly Mad may be requested by contacting the editors, Kim and Orin Domenico: kodomencio@usadatanet.net. Hillard's work has appeared in over twenty publications to date, including HazMat Review, The Pedestal Magazine, and Tryst. Donora is a Graduate Assistant in the MA in Creative Writing Program.
(Reported: 8/12/05)

James' Novel Set for August Release.
English MA student Marlon James' first novel JOHN CROW'S DEVIL is slated for a late-August/early September release from Akashic Books. The novel, set in a Jamaican village in 1957, has already been met with praise from the literary world. Akashic Books have just released dates for Marlon James' book tour:

Mon., Aug. 29, 7pm
Olsson's Books--Dupont Circle
1307 19th St., NW
Washington, D.C.
Also reading: Joe Meno and Billups Allen

Tues., Aug. 30, 7pm BOOK LAUNCH
McNally Robinson
52 Prince St.
New York, NY
Also reading: Joe Meno.
Evening will be hosted by David Rees, author of GET YOUR WAR ON

Wed., Aug. 31, 7pm
Mac's Backs Books on Coventry
1820 Coventry Rd.
Cleveland, OH
Also reading: Joe Meno and Todd Dills (contributor to CHICAGO NOIR)

Fri., Sept. 2, 7pm
1854 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL
Also reading: Joe Meno and Neal Pollack

Sat., Sept. 3, time TBA
Indie Coffee
1225 Regent St.
Madison, WI
Also reading: Joe Meno and Todd Dills

Sat., Sept. 24, 4-7pm
Danny Simmons's Corridor Gallery
334 Grand Ave.
Brooklyn, NY

Sun., Oct. 2 time TBA
West Hollywood Book Fair
First Novel Panel
West Hollywood, CA

Wed., Oct. 5, 7pm
Eso Won Books
3655 South La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA

Sat., Oct. 8, 7pm
Modern Times Bookstore
888 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA
*Also reading: Trinie Dalton
& Martha Kinney

Mon., Oct. 10, 7pm
Details TBA
Ashland, OR

Tues., Oct. 11, 7pm
Reading Frenzy
921 Southwest Oak St.
Portland, OR
*Also reading: Trinie Dalton

Thurs., Oct. 13, 7pm
University Bookstore Downtown
1225 4th Ave.
Seattle, WA
*Also reading: Trinie Dalton

Fri., Oct. 14, 6:30pm
Third Place Books
17171 Bothell Way, NE
Lake Forest Park, WA
*Also reading: Trinie Dalton

Wed., Nov. 9, 7pm
Barnes and Noble
106 Court St.
Brooklyn, NY
*Also reading: Trinie Dalton

Thurs., Nov. 10, 7pm
Barnes and Noble
4 Astor Place
New York, NY
Also reading: Trinie Dalton and Kaylie Jones (Wilkes University MA in Creative Writing Professor, author of SPEAK NOW)

Fri., Nov. 11, time TBA
Montauk Club
25 8th Ave.
Brooklyn, NY
Also reading: Trinie Dalton

Marlon is also the first recipient of the Norris Church Mailer Fellowship at Wilkes University. The Fellowship, established by Mr. Norman Mailer, husband of the novelist Norris Church Mailer; other friends; and a gift from the estate of the late Gordon Smith, is awarded annually to a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program who has artistic promise. Currently James is a graduate assistant, working with faculty member Chris Busa on PROVINCETOWN ARTS Magazine.
(Reported July 26, 2005--updated Sept. 19, 2005)

Christine Gelineau wins Synder Prize
Poetry professor Christine Gelineau won the 2004 Richard Synder Memorial Prize from Ashland University Press. The book REMORSELESS LOYALTY is scheduled for publication in December of 2005. This award honors the memory of Richard Snyder (1925-1986), poet, fiction writer, playwright, and longtime professor of English at Ashland University. He served for fifteen years as English department chair and was co-founder (in 1969) and co-editor of the Ashland Poetry Press. The winner of the Snyder Prize receives a cash award as well as publication of a paperback edition of 1,000 copies.
(Reported July 15 2005)

PROVINCETOWN ARTS Celebrates its 20th Anniversary!
PROVINCETOWN ARTS Magazine, an annual magazine detailing the artists, performers, writers, and culture who inhabit or visit the nation's oldest continuous art colony, recently published its 20th Anniversary issue. The 2005 edition, features a cover story on Michael Cunningham (author of THE HOURS and SPECIMEN DAYS) as well as articles on Norman Mailer (written by Program Co-founder Dr. J. Michael Lennon), a retrospective on the Provincetown Art Colony, and an excerpt from THE TRAP, the 2004 James Jones First Novel Fellowship winner, by MA in Creative Writing faculty member John Smelcer. PROVINCETOWN ARTS Magazine is available at nationwide outlets (such as Barnes and Noble) and on sale now.
(Reported: July 15, 2005)

Bonnie Culver's play SNIPER featured in National Play Reading Series.
Bonnie Culver's play SNIPER was included in the National Richard and Betty Burdick Playwrights Festival at Florida Studio Theatres, Sarasota, Florida in May, 2005. This series brings playwrights and new plays together with FST audiences for a workshop production and "talk back," an interactive session with the actors, playwrights, director and audience. The festival is dedicated to bringing the "best of American contemporary American theatre" to the stage annually. This year's series included three playwrights and their respective plays.

Warner Picked Up by Foothills Publishing.
Former Graduate Assistant and current Office Assistant to the MA in Creative Writing Program Jim Warner's first chapbook of poems, PAPERHEARTS MADE EASY, has been accepted by Foothills Publishing to be published in early 2006. Jim's work has appeared in several anthologies and magazines including MANUSCRIPT, GOT VERSE?, and most recently IN THE ARMS OF WORDS a tsunami relief anthology published by Sherman/Asher Press. Jim is working on his thesis in poetry. He is short but has great sideburns.
(Reported: July 15, 2005)

Heinemann releases BLACK VIRGIN MOUNTAIN to national acclaim.
Wilkes MA in Creative Writing Advisory Board member Larry Heinemann's latest book BLACK VIRGIN MOUNTAIN has been the subject of national press and critical praise. The novel, released in April by DoubleDay Press, is based upon a railway journey Larry Heinemann took in 1992 from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City as the guest of the Vietnam Writers Association, culminating with a climb up the sacred mountain that provides the title's namesake. BOOKLIST, THE BOSTON GLOBE, AND PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY are among the national publications reviewing Heinemann's new work. BLACK VIRGIN MOUNTAIN is available now from DoubleDay Press.
(Reported July 7, 2005)

McCann's EVERYTHING IN THIS COUNTRY MUST nominated for Academy Award.
The film adaptation of Wilkes MA in Creative Writing Advisory Board member Colum McCann's EVERYTHING IN THIS COUNTRY MUST received an Oscar Nomination for Best Short Film (Live Action) at the 77th Annual Academy Awards. In the short, a young British soldier in Northern Ireland is involved in an accident that kills a mother and her child. Later, that same soldier helps a farmer and his daughter save their drowning horse. View a clip from the short film. The 77th Annual Academy Awards took place on February 27, 2005.
(Reported February 2005)




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