Wilkes University

Revise This - October 2014

Revise This - October 2014

Revise This!   |   October 2014

Revise This Archives

Cecilia Galante’s Work Is All Grown Up | All the World's a Stage for Jean Klein & Wilkes Playwrights
Mailer On and Off Campus | Hail to the Chief
Wilkes Takes over The Brooklyn Book Festival! | No B.A.? That’s Okay! Czury’s Story | Family Matters: From the Kitchen to the Courtroom | A History of At the Inkwell

Cecilia Galante’s Work Is All Grown Up

Cecilia GallanteThough Cecilia Galante has made a name for herself in the YA genre, her novels aimed at young adult and middle-level readers are anything but child’s play.  Her first book, The Patron Saint of Butterflies (2008), deals with teenage best friends growing up on a religious commune, and the violence the girls experience at the hands of the group’s leader.  Galante’s Hershey Herself (2008) features a teenage protagonist spending time in a shelter for battered women.  The Sweetness of Salt (2011) introduces readers to a high-school valedictorian who veers off her chosen path after discovering a family secret.

During the next year, Galante will venture into another section of the bookstore with the publication of The Invisibles, her first novel aimed at the adult market.  The Invisibles tells the story of four high school best friends who’ve gone their separate ways.  The women reunite in their thirties following a suicide attempt by Grace, who tries to hang herself. The friends take a road trip that causes them to delve into the past, reopen old wounds, and alter their lives forever.  “Secrets come out that shatter the image they have of each other,” says Galante.

While The Invisibles may be aimed at a different target audience, Galante’s approach to the work was the same.  “The difference between young adult and adult is very, very slim,” Galante explains.  “I never set out to write a YA novel or an adult novel.  I really set out to write the best novel that I can.  You have to write three-dimensional characters who are going to take you on the ride of your life.  That’s the bottom line.”

Galante expects a summer 2015 release for The Invisibles.  In addition, she’s hoping to see the story on screen with talks of a film adaptation underway.  “All I can say is, it’s in the works.”

Still, Galante’s not ready to abandon her teenage roots.  Random House is set to release her next YA book, Be Not Afraid, this coming spring.  This tale may have readers sleeping with the lights on as it crosses the threshold into the supernatural via young heroine, Marin, and her unusual perceptive abilities.  “It’s like The Exorcist for YA readers,” says Galante.

Even with two novels slated to hit the shelves and a potential film shoot in the near future, Galante isn’t ready to sit back and relax.  “I’m in the throws of working on another novel,” she says. “It’s something I haven’t been able to let go of.”  And though her storylines often take a dark turn, Galante has a bright outlook when it comes to her writing career’s hectic pace.  “It will be kind of crazy having back-to-back releases, but it will be fun, too.”

All the World’s a Stage for Jean Klein & Wilkes Playwrights

Jean KleinJean Klein is not playing around, but she sure is having a good time.  Though playwriting tends to have fewer students than other genres in the Wilkes M.A./M.F.A. programs, what Klein’s students and alums lack in quantity, they’ve been making up in quality, as well as staged readings and full productions.  “I’m kind of proud,” Klein says. "We don’t have big numbers of people who take playwriting.” 

Here are just a few Wilkes playwrights who’ve recently produced: 

Cindy Dlugolecki’s ten-minute comedies  At The End Of Her Rope, Real Housewives Of The Bible, Here Comes The Bride’s Mother, All Hands on Deck, and Royal Tea have all spent time in the spotlight on Pennsylvania stages, as has her full-length drama SNAP!

Rachel Strayer’s full-length play, her M.A. capstone Drowning Ophelia, received its world premiere production at the Mojo Theatre Space by Repurposed Theatre in San Francisco. A staged reading is planned for New York City’s Ensemble Atria, with a potential full production in the future.  Strayer has also seen productions of her shorter works including A Clean Bathroom and Empathy, the monologue Tooth Fairy From Hell, and the one-minute play Balconies. 

Lori Myers’s plays 91366, which she started in CW 505, Magnificent Healing, Cinderella and the Lone Prince, Glee-ful Rapunzel, Sight Unseen, Miss Information, No Way, The Serpent's Egg, Rock Around the Castle, Eleanor and the Christmas Carol, Mirror, Mirror, and Talk, the Musical have all hit the stage.

Alum Dania Ramos’s play Hielo, developed through the New Jersey Emerging Women’s Playwrights Project, was selected as a finalist in Repertorio Español’s 2013 MetLife Nuestras Voces National Playwriting Competition and the 2013 Liberty Live Playwriting Contest through Premiere Stages at Kean University. Ramos also co-wrote Mi Casa Tu Casa and reworked the script for an educational touring version. 

In addition, several other alums from the playwriting program have seen their work come to life on stage. Alum Michael Soloway had his play, I Love You, Lynn Swann! produced by The Pittsburgh New Works Festival in the Summer of 2013. Meanwhile, alum Adrienne Pender is making inroads with her thesis play Somewhere In Between, which was scheduled for a reading by WordSmyth Theater in Houston, Texas and for a main stage production at Theatre in the Park in Raleigh in September 2014. Alum James Craig has had two of his short plays from CW 505 produced as readings at Theater of the Seven Sisters. Alum Laura Moran’s Last Words was produced as a staged reading at NACL Theatre in Highand Lake, New York. Moreover, former M.A. student, Laurie Elizabeth Powers had her short script, “The Importance of Sex Education” selected as the overall winner for the 2014 Sidewrite competition.

With all of this student success, Klein could easily play the role of diva, but instead she credits the Wilkes Creative Writing program with encouraging students to get their work in front of an audience. She lauds the program for teaching students that their work is not simply an academic assignment, but an artistic product that’s meant for public consumption. “I don’t know of another program that stresses, ‘Get your stuff out there!’” 

Klein also acknowledges her students’ tenacity when it comes to getting their plays from page to stage.  “I’ve been given students who have a measurable amount of talent, but even more so, persistence,” she says. “I really think it’s diligence first, then talent.  In my mind, diligence produces talented playwrights.” 

While Klein is thrilled to oversee all this student success, she still has plenty of her own work to attend to.  She’s in the process of revising two old scripts, and she has three new ones in progress.  In addition, Klein oversees HaveSCRIPTS, a small dramatic publishing company.

This abundance of activity makes it quite clear to Klein that the live theatre’s demise has been greatly exaggerated.  “All kinds of theatres are popping up around the country in terms of opportunities for new plays and new playwrights.  Theatre is not dead, it’s just looking different,” she explains. “When I was a graduate student, there was only New York and California.  The regional theatre system did not exist.  There’s a whole huge, fertile field out there for people who want to take advantage of it.”

Mailer On and Off Campus

Though Pulitzer Prize winner Norman Mailer passed away in 2007, the founding advisory board member’s literary presence is never far from the Wilkes Creative Writing Program.  This year, the vibe is particularly strong, with four Wilkes writers offering summer workshops at the Norman Mailer Center and the University bringing the Norman Mailer Society Conference to campus.

According to their web site, the Norman Mailer Center “encourages and supports writers who take on the issues of their day with the same fearless honesty and dedication to craft that Mailer himself did for over six decades; writers who seek artful ways to explore and present the complexities of historical and contemporary reality.”  Wilkes Creative Writing faculty members Kaylie Jones, J. Michael Lennon, and Beverly Donofrio, supported the Center’s mission by spending a week, sharing their talents with workshop students in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Kevin Oderman, another Wilkes faculty member, facilitated the month-long fellowship session in July for the creative nonfiction fellows.

So why the mass migration to the Beehive State?  “We’ve always been involved with the Center,” Culver says.  “They [the faculty] teach things Norman would have appreciated.  It’s a combination of an understanding of who Norman was, and what our program teachers and creative writers offer in their own right.” 

In the fall, the Wilkes campus paid tribute to the late novelist by hosting the annual Norman Mailer Society Conference.  The weekend-long conference provided an opportunity to introduce a new generation of students to Mailer’s work through presentations, workshops, and a marathon reading of the author’s 1965 novel An American Dream.

In 1996, Mailer received an honorary doctorate from Wilkes.  He was the Max Rosen lecturer on campus in 2000 and also spoke at the opening of the Mailer Room in the library.  So it seems only fitting that the University plays host to this celebration of Mailer’s talent and legacy.  “It seemed to be a good opportunity,” Culver says.  “Norman’s always had a connection to Wilkes.  He had a special affection for this place and this program.” 

Reading of An American DreamPart of the group of Wilkes faculty, students and alums, who participated in the reading of An American Dream. This section was led by John Buffalo Mailer (center) reading Rojack. Photo taken by Matt Hinton. 

Hail to the Chief

Bonnie CulverIn the entertainment business, a hyphen can be a sign of a multi-faceted career.  Actor-director.  Singer-songwriter.  Socialite-spokeswoman-fashion designer.  If the same holds true for writers, Bonnie Culver has facets to spare.  Culver, director and co-founder of the Wilkes Creative Writing program, is a playwright-screenwriter-professor-director, and now, the title of chair can be added to the list.  Culver was recently named Chair of the board of trustees of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP). 

AWP is a non-profit organization founded in 1967 by 15 writers from 13 different writing programs.  In 40 years, AWP has grown to provide support for more than 500 college and university writing programs, over 100 writing conferences, and thousands of individual writers.  The organization’s mission is to “foster literary achievement, advance the art of writing as essential to a good education, and serve the makers, teachers, students, and readers of contemporary writing.”

Wilkes has been a member of AWP since 2005.  Culver has served on the Board on the executive committee for three years, as vice-president and treasurer and now chair.  She’ll serve at least one year in that position, possibly more.  “It’s a great opportunity,” Culver says of her appointment.  During her term, AWP will be reorganizing their governance structure and revising the by-laws.  As chair, Culver will be responsible for working closely with the executive director, on all aspects of the organization. She says, “It’s pretty all-encompassing.  It’s quite a challenge.” 

Culver expects her duties to add 25 hours a week to her already jam-packed schedule.  Still, she didn’t hesitate to accept the nod and is ready to work with the executive team.  “This is not a job to do alone.  It’s a tremendously talented and responsible board of trustees.  They’re all folks at the top of their games.” 

While it’s clear that Culver believes in the AWP support system, she also believes in the organization’s value to the writing community.  “I think that the work AWP does is important for writers and especially writing programs.  It’s the only organization dealing with writers and academics,” she says.

Wilkes Takes Over the Brooklyn Book Festival!

Brooklyn Book FestivalWilkes goes to New York! This year several members of the Wilkes Creative Writing Community played important roles at The Brooklyn Book Festival. Faculty member Rashidah Ismaili Abubakr was featured on the panel "Politics, War, Love and Streetlife,” and she discussed the social issues of the Lower East Side before the Vietnam War in 1950.  On the panel “Catch a Fire: Social Collapse in Multiple Voices,” Marlon James discussed his book A Brief History of Seven Killingswhich features a variety of voices that witness the violence of Jamaica in the 1970s. He then related his work to how both internal and external forces can cause society to crumble. Another alum, Morowa Yejide, spoke on the panel “Autism Portraits” explaining the role that autism played her novel Time of the Locust. In addition, Barb Taylor talked about her new novel, Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night on the panel “Where I'm Writing From: Hometown Fiction” A part from the panels, Johnny Temple moderated a special event held by Brooklyn Historical Society Library for librarians that discussed the writing life, education, and inspiration of the authors Jonathan Lethem and Carmen Fariña.

No B.A.? That’s Okay!  Czury’s Story

Craig Czury“Becoming a poet and wanting to be a poet are antithetical quantums. Being language obsessed...thought=words, communication=words, dreams=words,” says Wilkes M.F.A. alum Craig Czury, an internationally recognized poet.  Czury talks about how he became fascinated with his craft saying, “it was the torment of language, rather than a love, that led me to my first shrieks.”

Prior to attending Wilkes, Czury had traveled internationally for a good 6-7 years with books translated into Spanish, Russian, Italian, Lithuanian, and Albanian. Czury was also a poet-in-the-schools for 25 years through various state and regional arts councils before he found himself with no work. Penn State offered him a full scholarship along with an apartment and teaching assignments until they realized he did not have a B.A.  Likewise, the University of New Orleans initially arranged for an M.F.A. program in Spain, but they backed out for the same reason. Fortunately, friends affiliated with the Wilkes M.F.A. knew of the struggles he was facing and recommended he apply to the program. Norman Mailer, one of the founding fathers of the program, wanted Wilkes to be unique by letting writers without bachelor’s degrees into the program when they can demonstrate a storied publishing record, as Craig did. Moreover, Wilkes’s Creative Writing Program is one of the few in the country that does not require a GRE.

Czury says that his acceptance was empowering, since he had little to no success in all other academic programs since eighth grade.  He not only enjoyed the curriculum at Wilkes, but the low-residency format allowed him to continue traveling to places like Rome. When asked about his cohort he reminisces saying, “We had great camaraderie, hilarity, and brilliance together.” In the program, he studied creative non-fiction with Chris Busa as well as with Juanita Rockwell, a Buddhist playwright. He graduated with a cross-genre thesis defended as creative non-poetry. Since graduating he has continued to work with John Koloski and Jan Quackenbush while conducting interviews in the “fracking” region.

As a writer, Czury says that his biggest success thus far was being invited as a featured poet to international poetry festivals in Colombia, Argentina, Lithuania, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Ireland. Moreover, he is honored to have been named Poet Laureate of the International Albanian Festival in Macedonia. When asked about future project Cruzy explained, “I’ve just returned from Chile, where I helped launch an anthology of poets from Tarapacá (Chile’s northern desert region) and poets from Pennsylvania, for which I had chosen. More importantly, I wrote a future book while there, poetic journal prose with photographs.”

Czury is also known for creating poetry performance spaces not only in schools and community centers but also in shelters, prisons and mental hospitals. When asked why he explained, “my mother and I have a running argument (even though she’s been dead for decades) about the amount of times I ran away from home when I was a kid vs. the amount of times she threw me out. I spent 15 years hitchhiking North America. My sister spent a year in the state hospital in Danville after a suicide attempt. Spending a few nights in jail comes with the road, homeless shelters, soup kitchens… I just naturally gravitated toward the places and the people I was familiar with the hope I could get the right words written from them I never got when I was there.”

Finally, when asked about his writing process, Czury proceeded to send the image of a blank page, but recommended that all writers change their name and run away from home.

Family Matters: From the Kitchen to the Courtroom

Patricia Florio“My writing world reaches a great range these days,” says Patricia Florio, a Wilkes M.F.A . alumna. Florio has just returned from the Norman Mailer workshop in Utah where Wilkes instructor Kaylie Jones impressed upon her the importance of structure and encouraged the other attendees to keep an open dialogue through email. However, Florio is familiar with the topic of structure and studied it while “weaving” a series of family short stories, which eventually became her book, My Two Mothers.  Later, she returned to the idea of family stories and added family recipes, family history, Sicilian and Neapolitan traditions, and other stories, which then became Cucina Amelia, her second novel. 

Recently, however, she has been reflecting on the 17 years she spent as a court reporter. In this project, she talks about the individual cases as well as the loss of her father. Unlike her first two, this book is “structured in flashbacks and present day cases in the courtroom.” She adds, “I found this technique to work best for this book.” 

Florio says she is blessed to be part of The Jersey Shore Writers at the Jersey Shore Arts Center.  Once called Tri-Muse, this group was co-founded by Carol MacAllister (another Wilkes alumna), Gayle Aanensen and Florio in 2001. Florio explains, “We have grown into a strong cohesive group of published writers taking on readings, workshopping, critiquing, and having our own writings workshopped as well. I urge new writers to join a community of writers locally or via Facebook. The encouragement keeps us writing on a daily basis.” 

A History of At the Inkwell

At the InkwellMonique Antonette Lewis initially created At the Inkwell in January, 2013, because she missed writing human-interest articles. Lewis began her writing career as a financial news reporter in Manhattan and at the time, she used to be a newspaper reporter covering everything from festivals to local housing issues.  

However, she decided to focus on interviewing authors after completing her M.F.A. in creative writing at Wilkes University because she missed her writing community and hoped to recreate it.  The project became an outlet for her to write the kinds of articles she loved while helping authors promote their books. Thus, At the Inkwell became a promotional service for published authors to market their writing through feature articles, book reviews and public readings. Lewis and her mother developed the name. Her mother was the one who added “At” in the name, which made it unique. She says, “The greatest struggle was designing my website. I created it by myself in one weekend on very little sleep. It was a lot of trial and error.”

Lewis then asked the owner of Manhattan-based KGB Bar if she could host readings on an ongoing basis. She had a pre-existing relationship with the bar since she hosted one-off readings in the summers (2011-2012) under the name The Writer’s Corner, while studying at Wilkes. KGB accepted her proposal for At the Inkwell’s reading series and gave her a trial period. Then came her second challenge--finding authors who could read well and pull in a good crowd. She began reaching out to authors she knew and word-of-mouth alone launched her into business.

Her first hosted reading was Romance Night on March 8, 2013, and there was standing room only.  The owner was impressed with turnouts, but she still had not earned a permanent spot, which meant readings were irregular. At the Inkwell finally became the 13th permanent reading series at KGB Bar in October, 2013, and it has since been held every 2nd Wednesday of the month.

Lewis says that one of the biggest lessons she learned was how to curate the series. Initially, she used to mix genres, giving readers a taste of poetry, fiction and non-fiction all in one night. However, this turned off readers who might not be interested in one of the genres, and it didn’t help attract the right crowd for each author equally. Lewis says, “I quickly learned that I needed to stick to a theme for each event, which ensured that each reader was going to read to an audience that was interested in their genre.”

Thus far, At the Inkwell has helped 106 individual writers either through feature articles, book reviews and readings, or a combination of all. Lewis says, “Other than having a chance to sell your books at the reading, the networking opportunity alone is beneficial. You never know who will be in the audience, a publisher, editor or agent.”

Alums and current students could help ensure the success of At the Inkwell by recommending writers to feature on their site as well as books that are no less than a year old to review, and by spreading the word about their readings. You can also share At the Inkwell on your Twitter and Facebook feeds or join the mailing list to stay updated on the readings. Subscribe via the website or email attheinkwell@gmail.com

Lewis’s long term goal is to create monthly At the Inkwell readings in other cities. She’d like to begin with Philadelphia followed by Boston and D.C.  She adds, “My biggest project is to take At the Inkwell on the road and host readings at various cities including an open mic session. I’d like to do a livestream of the readings as well as video documentary of my trip on the road meeting writers.” Currently, she is seeking a videographer and a video editor to continue to develop At the Inkwell. She envisions it to be a two-week deal ending in Phoenix or San Francisco, and anyone who is interested may contact her at attheinkwell@gmail.com.


Upcoming Readings

At The Inkwell

  • 85 E. 4th St., 2nd Fl, NYC (between Bowery and 2nd Ave.)
  • Oct. 8, 2014 (Poetry Mixer night): Featuring Wilkes Alum, Amye Barrese Archer
  • Dec. 10, 2014 (Anthology night): Featuring Wilkes Faculty Member, Gregory Fletcher 
  • Jan. 14, 2015 (Fiction night): Featuring Wilkes Alum, Lori May
  • March 11, 2015 (Poetry night): Featuring Wilkes Faculty Member, Neil Shepard
  • April 8, 2015 (National Poetry Month): Featuring Wilkes Alums, Kait Burrier, Stanton Hancock and     Andrea Talarico
  • June 10, 2015 (Memoir night):  Featuring Bonnie Friedman, a new Etruscan author

Etruscan News

Several Wilkes creative writing students have joined Etruscan press for the June-November 2014 semester. M.F.A. student April Line is completing her publishing internship with Etruscan. She has been instrumental in researching and developing community outreach and grant opportunities. M.A. student Johanna James is developing a comprehensive marketing plan for a memoir to be published by Etruscan in the Fall of 2015. M.A. graduate assistant Hillary Transue is working on various promotional campaigns for the press, while M.F.A. graduate assistant Nathan Summerlin is working on numerous production aspects for Etruscan. He has also designed a quarterly e-newsletter.

Internships of Current M.F.A. Students

Mike Avishai will launch a free online screenwriting foundations workshop.

Maxwell Bauman is interning for Kaylie Jones Books. He has researched material to locally promote KJB authors including but not limited to bookstores, libraries, newspapers, TV news, radio programs and book clubs. He is also in the process of researching possible demographics for one author, and looking up contests and finding writing contests where their authors can submit.

Mckenzie Cassidy is interning for Kaylie Jones Books and reading manuscripts while performing other administrative duties.

Paul Jackson is teaching a remedial English class as well as Composition 101 and 10 at Miller-Motte Technical College.

Sheree Lewis is interning as a tutor at the Kumon Learning Center. She is also a private tutor for high school students.

Andrea Ruiz is interning with Etruscan Press and is working on an anthology about writing and tailoring children's books to match the common core standards.

Faculty/Staff Notes

Faculty member Gregory Fletcher’s short play Robert Mapplethorpe's Flowers has been published in Wilde Magazine, Erotica Issue 1, Summer 2014. His other short play The Moon Alone was read was included in Playwrights' Night at KGB Bar's At The Inkwell, July 2014.

Faculty member Jean Klein’s Refraction of Light, a full-length play, received a staged reading at The American Theater in Hampton, Virginia on September 7 as part of a Lighthouse Reading Series, a combined effort between the theater and the Virginia Playwrights Forum. Snapshots, her one-act play which was a winner in the Kernodle one-act competition, was produced as one of three short plays on the main stage of the American Theater, August 8 and 9.

Staff member Dawn Leas’s review of Maria Terrone’s Eye to Eye is included in the fall issue of Poets’ Quarterly. She is also now a contributing editor at TheThePoetry and a poetry editor at CityLitRag, an online literary journal co-founded by alumna Monique Lewis.

Faculty member Michael Lennon’s edition of Selected Letters of Norman Mailer will be published by Random House on December 2, 2014. The paperback edition of his biography, Norman Mailer: A Double Life, will be released on October 28, 2014. Lennon also edited and wrote the introduction for both the Taschen edition of Mailer's essay on John F. Kennedy, Superman Comes to the Supermarket, which will be published in September and The Fight, Mailer's account of the 1974 championship match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, which will be published in November of this year.

Faculty member David Poyer’s novel The Cruiser: A Dan Lenson Novel received a praising review from Publisher’s Weekly.

Faculty member Juanita Rockwell's site-specific audio play, The Circle, was directed by Carmen Wong and produced by banished? productions as part of the 2014 Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, DC.

Faculty member Neil Shepard was a fellow at the MacDowell Arts Colony in April and at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in May; he will be in-residence at the Center for the Arts in Mornay, France, in October. New poems are appearing in The Cimarron Review, The Common (Amherst College), and The Louisville Review. His new book, Hominid Up, is due out in January 2015 from Salmon Poetry Press of Ireland.

Student/Alum Notes

M.F.A. alum J. C. Alonso Jr.'s  poem "Yoga Music" was published by Poetry Quarterly in the Summer 2014 issue. 

M.F.A. alum Amye Archer’s  full-length poetry collection, Bangs, was recently released by Big Table Publishing.

M.A. alum Catherine Arne's  feature-length sci-fi script, THE DECIMATION (working title), was optioned by Voyage Media, where she has also begun assignment work as an independent contractor, doing script treatments, action plans, and book-to-screen projects. She has also acquired a literary manager for her master's thesis, Animals, Inc. He will be representing both the novel and script.

M.A. alum Cheryl Bazzoui  will have her chapter “A Writer's Marketing Recommendations” published in the anthology Writing After Retirement under her penname, Ann McCauley.

M.F.A. alum Kim Loomis Bennett  had her poem, “The Talker,”  accepted for publication in Fall 2014 of issue seven of The Floating Bridge Review: Help Wanted: The Poetry of Work.

M.F.A. alum Randee Bretherick  recently signed with BookEnds, LLC of Gillette, NJ. She also had a short story, "Plum Creek: A Pilgrimage to the Little House on the Prairie," published in the April edition of Red Fez.

M.F.A. alum Tom Borthwick  will have his short story, Welcome to the Singularity, anthologized in Altered States.

M.A. alum Rennee Butts  published her novel Siren Slave through Wild Rose Publishing.

M.F.A. alum Tara Caimi's  essay and memoir excerpt "Kayenta” was published, and her essay "Lucky Teeth" is forthcoming in Oh Comely magazine. On September 9, she moderated an online book club discussion of Near to the Wild Heart for Oh Comely magazine. Tara's memoir, Mush: from sled dogs to celiac, the scenic detour of my life, which she drafted as part of her M.A. thesis requirements, is forthcoming with Plain View Press.

M.A. alum Chris Campion  is now a guest columnist for Giuporshutup.com.

M.F.A. alum Craig Czury  received a faculty development grant from Albright College to go to Iquique, Chile in June to speak and read poems at the launch of SO FAR... SO CLOSE, anthology of Contemporary Writers of Tarapacá and Pennsylvania, for which he selected PA poets. Craig's chapbook of poems, BECAUSE ALTHOUGH DESPITE, from his Marcellus shale hitchhiking project, was published in August by FootHills Publishing. In September, Craig was a featured poet at the international Södermalms Poesifestival in Sweden.

M.F.A. alum Brian Fanelli's  poem, "Trying to Catch the Culprits," received an Honorable Mention for the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize. The poem will also appear in a future issue of Paterson Literary Review, along with his other poem, "For Jimmy, Who Bruised My Ribs and Busted My Nose." In addition, his essay, "He Too Sings America: Jazz, Laughter, and Sound as Protest in Langston Hughes's Harlem," was published in August by TheThePoetry. Brian also read for the New York Quarterly reading series in August at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City, and two of his poems are forthcoming in the journal.

M.A. alum Salena Fehnel's  novel, Nesting Dolls, was published through Northampton House Press with a release date of July 1, 2014. Nesting Dolls was nominated for the America Library Association's Stonewall Book Award and for the 2014 GLCA New Writers Award.

M.A. alum Donna Ferrara’s  screenplay Arvin Lindemeyer Takes Canarsie was a top Finalist in the ASU screenplay competition. She alsohad her short story, “Whirlpool,” accepted for publication in Crossing Lines, an anthology by Main Street Rag that will be published in Spring of 2015. She also had her short stories “Then and Now,” “Scrap” and “Payback is a Lady” accepted for publication in The Law Studies Forum.

M.F.A. alum Wendy C. Garfinkle's  debut novel, Serpent on a Cross, was released in print and re-released in ebook format by Booktrope in August. This edition contains new material. (SOAC was originally released as ebook only in 2012 by Northampton House Press.)

M.F.A. alum Kasian Klute’s  The Ambush, the First Novel in the Series Entitled Walter's War for Kasian Klute,  has been published through Amazon and is now available on Kindle as well.

M.F.A. student April Line  is teaching two literature courses at Misericordia and was offered two more for next semester. She is a part-time  proofreader for a marketing firm, and a #CNFtweet  she wrote appeared in issue #53 of Creative Nonfiction.

M.F.A. alum Ginger Marcinkowski  published The Button Legacy: E Miley's Inheritance through Vox Dei, the Christian imprint of Booktrope Publishing. She is also a columnist for Book Fun Magazine, with a readership of 400,000. In addition, she spoke at the Hampton Roads Writers Conference in Virginia Beach, VA, September 18-20, and is a finalist judge for The Carol Awards for the American Christian Fiction Writers this year.

M.A. student Corinne Nulton  had her play, 14 Symptoms, premiere at the The Brick Theater as part of The Game Play Festival. Her short story “Signed” also was published in Cactus Heart.

M.A. alum Christoph Paul published his short story, “Gay Zombie Sluts of Key West” on ThatLitSite.com

M.F.A. alum Adrienne Pender’s  thesis play, Somewhere In Between is having a premiere at Theatre in the Park in Raleigh. 

M.A. alum Josh Penzone  had his short story “The Whitings” published by ELJ Publications as part of their "Afternoon Shorts" series.  The story will be available as a paperback and as an ebook this coming January.   

M.F.A. alum Danielle Poupore  has been hired for the role of Communications & Marketing Specialist for Student Affairs at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. Danielle also had a flash fiction piece, "Touch," published by SweatpantsAndCoffee.com in May under the pseudonym Danielle E. Curtis.

M.A. alum Art Posocco  has had three essays published at The Artifice: "Apollonian and Dionysian Artistic Impulses in The Lego Movie," "In Defense of Hannibal and Its Use of Gore," and "Station to Station: Reflections on Manakamana."

M.F.A. alum Laurie Elizabeth Powers  had her "The Importance of Sex Education" place in the top six finalist in the DC Shorts Screenplay Competition. In addition, both "The Importance of Sex Education" and her feature length screenplay entitled "Related" have just been announced as quarter-finalists in the Screencraft Comedy Screenplay Competition.

M.A. alum Dania Ramos  had two plays, Reason and Cars, staged at Passage Theatre for the 2014 New Jersey 1-Minute Play Festival. Reason was also featured in Luna Stage's 2014 Short Play Festival. Her co-creation Mi Casa Tu Casa received a workshop production as part of New Jersey Theatre Alliance's 2014 Stages Festival.

M.F.A. alum Dane Rooney  wrote an essay that was featured on Howard Sherman’s website.

M.F.A. alum Nisha Sharma  sold her M.A. thesis project My So-Called Bollywood Life and one additional untitled YA romance in a pre-empt deal to Crown Books for limited world rights. My So-Called Bollywood Life is slated for publication in Spring 2016. Her thesis project My So-Called Bollywood Life has been optioned by Producer Susan Cartsonis for filmmakers Gurinder Chadha and Paul Mayeda-Berges to adapt. Cartsonis, Chadha and Mayeda-Berges will produce together through their companies Storefront Pictures and Bend it Films.

M.F.A. alum Rachel Luann Strayer  has accepted a full-time position as Assistant Professor in the Communication Arts and Humanities department at Keystone College.

M.F.A. alum Donna Talarico  had a featured editor interview in The Review Review in August, and another interview with The Triangle, (http://thetrianglepa.com/2014/09/16/interview-with-donna-talarico/), a lit organization in Lancaster, PA. She also works with Hippocampus Magazine, planning a creative nonfiction conference for August 2015. In addition she completed her M.B.A. from Elizabethtown College in May as part of the 2014 Core Class of Leadership Lancaster, and she was the class graduation speaker.

M.F.A. alum Heather Ann Taylor has  been named an Assistant Professor in English at Bethany College in Bethany, WV.

M.A. student Hillary Transue  published three articles this past summer. One of which, “Confessions of a Former Prankster” was posted to the Kids for Cash movie’s blog. “(Former) Judge Mark Ciavarella” was published by Vitamin W. Her Op-Ed article “Children Deserve our Honesty and Compassion” was published by the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. Because of her involvement with the movie Kids for Cash, produced by SenArt films, she has appeared on myriad television shows and news programs across the country such as The Katie Couric Show and Politics Nation with Reverend Al Sharpton.

M.A. alum Autumn Whiltshire  placed first in the sci-fi feature category of the Indie Gathering for her screenplay “Gaia.”