Wilkes University

Revise This - September 2011

Revise This Archives

SenArt Films Partners with Wilkes Creative Writing | International Win for Advisory Board Member Colum McCann | Announcements | Faculty/Staff Notes | Student Alumni Notes | Program Notes

SenArt Films Partners with Wilkes Creative Writing

New York-based SenArt Films has found a new home in the Wilkes University Creative Writing building. The independent production company was founded by producer Robert May, who is also an advisory board member for the low-residency creative writing program

In 2004, SenArt Films received an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary for The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara. In 2003, The Station Agent won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for Best Original Screenplay.

SenArt Films is providing student internships inclusive of research and production assistance. Students in the master’s in screenwriting have immediate access to producers and SenArt’s staff, providing an enhanced academic—and practical—experience. 

“Having worked with Wilkes for several years now, I’ve been impressed with the creative writing program, and we’re excited to give qualified students the chance to get actively, creatively involved with our ongoing film projects. It’s hard work, but for students with the right attitude, we offer the opportunity to experience what the film business is all about,” said producer and founder Robert May.

“We are delighted to host SenArt Films on campus and offer our students the opportunity to work with a top shelf independent film company,” offered program director, Bonnie Culver. “This partnership underscores the Wilkes mission of real life learning.”

Other acclaimed SenArt Film projects include The War Tapes, winner of Best Documentary at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival and Best International Documentary at BritDoc 2006, and the feature film Bonneville, starring Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen.

International Win for Advisory Board Member Colum McCann

Wilkes creative writing program advisory board member Colum McCann has received international recognition for his novel, Let The Great World Spin (Random House). The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is the largest and most international prize of its kind. McCann’s was selected from a shortlist of ten nominees and brings home a literary prize worth 100,000 euro (approx $139,000 USD). More than 160 titles were nominated by 166 libraries worldwide.

Let The Great World Spin opens with a true-to-life historical event, when Philippe Petit walks a tightrope nestled between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. It is the life happening beneath the tightrope that McCann explores, using the shared experience to branch out into an homage to the city and its people within it.

In The New York Times Sunday Book Review, Jonathan Mahler credits Let The Great World Spin as “one of the most electric, profound novels” he has read in years. USA Today praised McCann’s novel, calling it “Stunning… [an] elegiac glimpse of hope…It’s a novel rooted firmly in time and place. It vividly captures New York at its worst and best. But it transcends all that. In the end, it’s a novel about families – the ones we’re born into and the ones we make for ourselves.”

McCann is a contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Paris Review. His short film Everything in This Country Must, directed by Gary McKendry, was nominated for an Oscar in 2005. McCann’s other works include the bestsellers Zoli, This Side of Brightness, and Dancer.



In January, 2012, the Wilkes University Graduate Creative Writing program hopes to launch a pilot program for a certificate in publishing. The certificate will be available as a four credit course or a non-credit course. It is designed to introduce perspective editors, agents, or publishers to the business, life, and world of publishing from the traditional to the e-world. Currently, the proposal is under consideration by Wilkes University faculty committees. Look for an announcement in October!

The M.A./M.F.A. Wilkes programs are once again major sponsors for AWP’s (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) national conference to be held in Chicago, IL February 29-March 3, 2012! That means Wilkes will have 45 FREE registrations for students and faculty wishing to attend the conference.   As in years past, Wilkes will have a booth shared with Etruscan Press in the Book Fair.   We need a handful of student volunteers to work the booth during the conference; those students attending will receive transportation, a shared room, and registration. Please call Dr. Culver to volunteer no later than October 1!

November, 9-12, 2011, the James Jones and Norman Mailer Societies will host a joint conference at the Harry Ransom Center on the University of Texas campus. A wide variety of events from paper presentations to readings to roundtable discussions are planned. Several Wilkes faculty and students will be involved—Kaylie Jones, J. Michael Lennon, Ross Klavan, Ken Vose, Laura Moran, Michael Mailer, Larry Heinemann, Matthew Wilkie, Nina Solomon, James Warner, Laurie Moyer thus far will be attending and participating in this event. To attend or to know more about either society, go to www.normanmailersociety.com or www.jamesjonesliterarysociety.org.

Faculty/Staff Notes

Bonnie Culver
's play SNIPER ran for a month at the Villagers Playhouse, Somerset NJ. The production has been nominated for 7 New Jersey Perry Awards. Thde ceremony announcing winners is September 18th in NJ.

In July, Gregory Fletcher left his job of four years as director of theatre at Niagara University and, once again, became a full time resident of NYC. In August, he directed the new musical Destinations by Dawn Eaton and RS Rodkin for the New York International Fringe Festival, and in September, he directed a staged reading of The Fairy Hoax by Tom Diggs and Jay D’Amico for WorkShop Theater Company.

Christine Gelineau has been invited to read at Oberlin College in October. She will be reading with Lee Upton.

David Poyer’s
13th Dan Lenson novel The Towers was published this August by St. Martin’s Press.

Sara Pritchard
’s story “A Forever Home” (the one with the cats named Helvetica and Times) was published in the premier issue of Spittoon. “A Forever Home” is part of Sara’s story collection Help Wanted: Female, which will be published next year by Etruscan Press. In July, Sara gave a reading at the West Virginia Wesleyan Literary Festival in Buckhannon, West Virginia, and in September she gave a reading at the Tusten-Cochecton Branch of the Western Sullivan Library in Narrowsburg, New York, as part of the First Fridays series run by MFA/Poetry candidate Laura Moran.

Neil Shepard has two new books this fall: a full book (TRAVEL/UNTRAVEL, Mid-List Press) and a chapbook (VERMONT EXIT RAMPS, Pudding House Press). New poems are due in three literary magazines, North American Review, Southern Poetry Review, and Chautauqua Literary Review, as well as in two anthologies, Nature Writing: The Wildness Beyond; and 40th Anniversary Anthology for the Virginia Center for thde Creative Arts. His commendation on John Keats’ poem “To Autumn” will appear in Poetry East, and his interview on editing Green Mountains Review for a quarter-century recently appeared in the online journal Portal del Sol.

Jeff Talarigo
has a Gaza story, “The Night Guardian of the Goat,” in the fall issue of Agni.

James Warner
’s poem “cue” was just accepted by the North American Review for an upcoming issue.

Thom Ward
’s new poetry book, Etcetera’s Mistress, has been published by Accents Publishing.

Student/Alumni Notes

M.F.A. alum Amye Archer
’s chapbook, A Shotgun Life, has been published by Big Table Publishing Company. She has also been made the Reviews Editor at PANK Magazine.

M.A. student
Randee Bretherick came in second in the Spring/Summer 2011 East Meets West, American Writers Review Contest for her personal essay, “Plum Creek.”

M.A student
Kait Burrier’s 10-minute play “The Fire” received a reading as part of Scranton’s Vintage Theater’s ‘Early Stages’ play reading series. Kait’s poem “Buzzing” was selected as a finalist in Ruminate magazine’s Janet McCabe Poetry Prize.

M.F.A. alumTara Caimi’s short story “Chicken Divan” was accepted for publication in Fire & Knives. Her craft article “Privileged Perspective in Memoir: Building the Bridge of Trust by Trusting the Reader” was accepted for publication in The Writer’s Chronicle. “My Rare Disease,” an excerpt from Tara’s memoir, was published on The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness website in honor of celiac disease awareness month in May.

M.A. alumCindy Dlugolecki had a 10-minute play, All Hands on Deck, included in Sonnet Inspirations, a Harrisburg production at Gamut Theatre that featured three other original plays, music, and dance all based on the sonnets of William Shakespeare. All Hands on Deck began as an assignment for Ross Klavan’s Screenwriting Foundation and became a play in Jean Klein’s Playwriting Foundation. Cindy had another 10-minute comedy, Here Comes the Bride’s Mother, performed at Mt. Gretna in August.

M.A. alumBrian Fanelli’s poem “How She Hides Her Age” is forthcoming in the fall issue of San Pedo River Review. He also has three other poems, “Remembering Names,” “Late Night Stop,” and “What They Forgot by Morning,” forthcoming in the October issue of Yes, Poetry.

M.F.A. alum Patricia Florio had three short stories published by Phyllis Scott Publishing: “All in the Game,” “In the Secret Service,” and “Chosen.” Her memoir-thesis, My Two Mothers, will also soon be published by Phyllis Scott Publishing.

M.A. alum Gale Martin
's opera novel will be released by Booktrope Publishing in December.

M.A. student Lori A. May
’s poem “Hindsight” will be published in the forthcoming Accents Publishing anthology of short poems. Lori will also be speaking this October at the Rochester Writers Conference hosted at Oakland University.

M.F.A. alum William D. Prystaukwas the Producer and Still Photographer for the short-film, STABLE directed by Paul Williams. His dramatic horror, Ravencraft, was the Third Place Winner in the AWS Screenwriting Contest. Crime Class Review will be publishing his short story, “Mara,” later this year. William was also interviewed by Lindsey Michelle at Screenplay Scribes for his conversion of his screenplay “Bloodletting” to a novel. His award-winning screenplay, Risen, was recently reviewed by Horrorphilia.com. PANK published his review of the novel “Pittsburgh Noir.”

M.F.A. student Joseph Schwartzburt’s poem “Climbing Tree” was published in the summer issue of the Seersucker Rag: A Quarterly Zine. He will also be reading at a Seersucker Live event in September, in front of a few hundred people because Seersucker has been asked to open for a charity jazz concert. Joseph was also recently named to the Seersucker Live board of directors.

Hippocampus Magazine, a literary journal published by M.F.A alumDonna Talarico, was featured in the September issue of Poets & Writers.

M.F.A. student Sandee Gertz Umbach
had a poem, “History of Epilepsy; 500 B.C. to the Renaissance” accepted for the summer 2012 issue of Gargoyle Magazine.  
Program Note

The Write Life blog welcomes guest posts from faculty, students, and alumni. Email lori.may1@live.wilkes.edu for details. Weekly interviews and literary news are shared online at http://wilkeswritelife.wordpress.com.