Wilkes University

Revise This!

Revise This!

November 2018


Check in: M.F.A. Internships Across the Board

By Danie Watson

(Left to right: Jeremiah Blue, Camika Spencer, Karley Stasko, Janine Dubik, Danie Watson)

(Left to right: Jeremiah Blue, Camika Spencer, Karley Stasko, Janine Dubik, Danie Watson)

During each Residency the 616 students introduce themselves to the best practices in both publishing and education in the hopes that they will find a perfect internship by the end of the week. Internships in education can include adjuncting a class, holding a workshop, or assessing current classroom procedures. Publishing internships can include working with any of our program partners including: Akashic Books, At the Inkwell, Etruscan Press, HaveScripts (formerly Blue Moon Plays), Hippocampus Magazine and Books, Kaylie Jones Books, Michael Mailer Films, Northampton House Press or SenArt Films on a number of projects.

This semester, M.F.A. candidates Jeremiah Blue, Janine Dubik, Camika Spencer, Karley Stasko and Danie Watson are all working in what they hope to be their future careers.

Jeremiah Blue is currently working with Donna Talarico (M.F.A. '10) at Hippocampus Magazine and Books. Jeremiah has been working on book launch support and research for Dig: A Personal Prehistoric Journey by Sam Chiarelli (M.F.A. '16) and another upcoming release for the press. Jeremiah has also been working with faculty member Phil Brady at Etruscan Press doing grant research and a review for Etruscan's outreach program. Of his experiences, Jeremiah says, "It's been a revealing, challenging, and inspirational process to assist in the final moments before a book makes its official debut to the public—in other words, being published. Especially so for a book, though in my literary genre of specialty, considerably different from my own work in topic and theme."

Janine Dubik is currently working with Phil Brady at Etruscan Press. Both Janine and Karley Stasko were copyeditors of Sixteen by Auguste Corteau, a January 2019 forthcoming title from Etruscan. Together, both Janine and Karley are now proofreading the final proof of the title. Janine said she is "amazed and proud of what our editing team has accomplished." Janine also read Phil Brady's upcoming book Phantom Signs and has created study guides for the books she read to be used for outreach and in the classroom with Etruscan books. Of her experience, Janine says, "My MFA publishing internship with Etruscan Press has given me an inside look at what happens to a writer's words on their way to becoming a book. A team of Etruscan editors and three interns helped revise a manuscript that is now quick-paced, touching, funny, and historical simultaneously. The Etruscan editors, Karley, and I are going through a final proof, and I am incredibly amazed by and proud of the shape of Sixteen, compared to that ARC in June. I plan to use my experience with Sixteen in my own writing."

Camika Spencer is creating a curriculum for a Reader's Theatre class at her school because they do not currently have an auditorium. Of her experience, Camika says, "It's refreshing, timely, and it's bringing me a great deal of joy to be the creator, author and implementer."

Karley Stasko has been working at Etruscan Press alongside Janine Dubik. As previously mentioned, Karley and Janine were part of the editing team for Sixteen by Auguste Corteau, which is a forthcoming January 2019 Etruscan title. Karley is on her third round of edits for this title. When she wasn't serving as a copywriter, Karley prepared for a conference seminar on "Revising Like a Publisher" for the Kings College Creative Writing Alumni Conference in October. Of her experiences, Karley says, "Etruscan has opened my eyes to at least a dozen new ways of reading and analyzing a work. From the proofreader's careful eye to the academic's cross-curricular perspective, I won't be able to read the same way again."

Danie Watson has been working at Lackawanna College as an adjunct professor under Department Chair Brian Fanelli (M.F.A. '10). Danie is teaching a section of Introduction to Literature, two sections of Effective Speaking and one section of College Writing, which serves as her internship. Of her experience, Danie says, "It's certainly been a challenge to move from student to professor, but I try to think of it as 'how would I best learn this lesson?' and adapt that to my student's needs. I'm having a blast. I learn just as much from my students as they learn from me and I couldn't be happier with my internship, which I hope will one day turn into my career."

While the internship duties and tasks change each semester along with the students, there's no doubt that each student leaves with valuable experience and excellent feedback.

Danie Watson (Goetz) is an adjunct professor at Lackawanna College, where she teaches writing, literature and communications classes. Danie also serves as the Marketing Coordinator for Oddities by Kaylie Jones Books and a graduate assistant for the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing. Her book review "Unmasking the Hermit" was published in Tailor Made Magazine. Danie lives in Scranton, PA with her husband Daniel.

HippoCamp 2018: More of an Honor than an Obligation

By Caitlin Downs

(Caitlin Downs (M.A. student) (left) pictured with HippoCamp Director Donna Talarico (M.F.A. ’??).

(Caitlin Downs (M.A. student) (left) pictured with HippoCamp Director Donna Talarico (M.F.A.’10).

My role at Hippocamp 2018 was to act as an emcee in one of the conference rooms at the large and somewhat labyrinthine Lancaster Convention Center that houses the annual weekend-long event series. It was more of an honor than an obligation to assist Donna Talarico in the massive undertaking that is the system of operations at a creative non-fiction conference that draws hundreds of attendees. My role was pretty small and straightforward, but both Donna and her trusted partner, Kevin Beerman, graciously made sure to extend access to the conference to me in exchange for my assistance.

I missed the 2017 conference because of a conflict but I attended this year to report on the keynote speaker, the titan of the creative non-fiction field who is Tobias Wolff. More impressive than the headliner was the community of writers in attendance, many of whom didn't recognize me from any previous events and welcomed me anyway. People in the line for book signing were so socially engaging, asking me if and what I write, talking about influential authors and events that they attended over the weekend that inspired them. It struck me that Hippocamp has a very different vibe than what I was used to from past readings and engagements. There, people became really invested in one another's stories.

Photo by Caitlin DownsMy first Hippocampus 2018 experience began once I had the pleasure of introducing my friend and fellow writer Tyler Barton to a room full of enthusiastic writers and professionals. Tyler is one half of the literary organization Fear No Lit, and he presented on organizational strategies that can help bring members of the writing community together. He outlined his team's methods for coming up with unusual fundraisers or exhibits. He and partner Erin Dorney have organized many exciting events I have attended in and around Lancaster, such as an Adult Spelling Bee, or a Page Match that offers a Mexican wrestling style take on a slam.

Athena Dixon was the next breakout session speaker I witnessed. Her presentation spoke to the unaddressed benefits of "navel gazing" and reframed it as a worthy pursuit for writers. Athena engaged her audience with personalized bingo sheets that helped attendees acknowledge the key components of their identities. She also wove a beautiful web of anecdotes and examples to help her audience rethink their roles as writers and how their stories serve the wider community.

(Photo by Caitlin Downs) 

“Navel Gazing and Other Worthwhile Pursuits” at HippoCamp18 Photo by Caitlin DownsDonna is able to pull together a lineup of presenters that offers something for everyone. Over thirty-five events and a multitude of speakers address issues of craft as well as entertain with stories told either from the stage or in the more competitive slam format. This year the keynote speaker, Abigail Thomas, spoke of a lifetime of accomplished writing, living up to the description of being an inspirational and wisdom-filled memoirist. My favorite line from Thomas's talk on crafting memoir is "if you start where you think you're going to start and end up where you plan to end up, you're doing something wrong." Similarly, if you think you know where a conference is going to start and what you're going to learn then you probably haven't been going to the right kind of conference, because
Hippocamp changes every year. The community, and new speakers bring new issues to the floor that may very well change the way attendees write in multiple ways.

Caitlin Downs teaches creative writing, literature, and communications at the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design in Lancaster, PA. She holds a Master's in English from Arcadia University and is currently pursuing an MA/MFA in Creative Writing at Wilkes University. Her poetry has appeared in such places as Cease, Cows, The University of Edinburgh Journal, and The Fiction Pool. 

“Navel Gazing and Other Worthwhile
Pursuits” at HippoCamp18
Photo by Caitlin Downs
 

 

Taylor M. Polites Recognized by Rhode Island Counsel for the Humanities

Faculty member Taylor M. Polites was awarded the Public Humanities Scholar Award by the Rhode Island Counsel for the Humanities in 2018.

From their website, "The Scholar Award recognizes outstanding public humanities work in teaching and scholarship that advances the civic and cultural life of Rhode Island. This year, the Award honors Taylor Polites for his historical fiction writing, research, teaching, and creative interpretations of Rhode Island history for public audiences. Polites expertly bridges history, art, and literature working with artists, activists, archivists, and scholars with boundless interdisciplinary imagination and energy. He partners with Ann Hood and Hester Kaplan in Goat Hill, a collaboration dedicated to bringing writers and writing professionals to Southern New England, and works with local organizations to cultivate storytelling and community. He teaches in the Newport MFA program at Salve Regina University, in the Maslow Family Creative Writing MFA program at Wilkes University, at the Rhode Island School of Design, and at Roger Williams University. Polites exemplifies an inclusive approach to scholarship and public engagement in the humanities and is a bridge through his efforts to value individual voices."

Congratulations Taylor!

Wilkes at AWP 2019: Schedule of Events

Association of Writers and Writing Programs Logo

The 2019 AWP Conference & Bookfair will be held at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon from March 27 – 30, 2018.

In Portland, swing by these sessions and support the Wilkes CW family, including program partners Akashic Books and Etruscan Press:

Etruscan Press Authors:

Kazim Ali (The Disappearance of Seth)

Reinventing the Wheel: The Tradition of Innovation in Poetry
Friday, March 29, 2019
10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Portland Ballroom 256
Oregon Convention Center
Level 2
Sidney famously writes, "And others' feet still seemed but strangers in my way" ("Astrophel and Stella"). However, one would only need to read Homer, Virgil, and Dante, the letters between Wordsworth and Coleridge or Moore and Bishop, to recognize the long tradition of poets mentoring and inspiring other poets. The poets will challenge the notion that tradition and innovation are at odds by revealing how specific poems influenced them and led them to better understand different poetic elements.

Fifty Years of FIELD: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics
Saturday, March 30, 2019
1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
B115
Oregon Convention Center
Level 1
Since 1969, FIELD Magazine has been known as one of the country's leading journals of contemporary poetry and poetics. In 2019, FIELD will publish its 100th and final issue. This panel, featuring two founding editors and three later additions, will discuss the magazine's history and values, including its annual symposium of essays on the work of a major poet, its commitment to translation, and its openness to a wide variety of voices, both established and emerging.

Patti Horvath (All the Difference)

Rewriting History: Why It's Not Okay to Fictionalize Our Memories
Friday, March 29, 2019
9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
B114
Oregon Convention Center
Level 1
Every so often, literary scandals seem to surface, particularly when it comes to memoirs. Is there an unspoken code of ethics that exists for memoirists and essayists? Or is it something deeper, something psychological that gives birth to the betrayal we feel upon discovering that a nonfiction writer has invented a character, setting, or memory? In this panel, nonfiction writers discuss the difficulty in cultivating memories while managing this genre's ethical demands and expectations.

David Lazar (Who's Afraid of Helen of Troy: An Essay on Love)

Que savent-ils?: What Classic Essays Can Teach Contemporary Essayists
Thursday, March 28, 2019
10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
B114
Oregon Convention Center
Level 1
When's the last time you sat down with an essay by Lamb? Or cracked open The Rambler? Maybe not recently enough. With so many exciting new modes of the essay being written today, it can be easy to forget those of the past, but writers like Montaigne, Rousseau, Hazlitt, and Woolf have more bearing on contemporary essayists than you might think. This diverse panel of essayists writing in a variety of sub-genres shows how the "classics" inspire them—as perhaps they will inspire you, too.

Paul Lisicky (The Burning House)

Endings for the End Times?
Thursday, March 28, 2019
4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Portland Ballroom 255
Oregon Convention Center
Level 2
As we reach the concluding lines of our own works, current ailments in the body politic may bend us toward chaos and despair. At the same time, ever-present narrative and commercial pressures may drive us toward neatly resolved, even uplifting, endings. How do we craft final notes that imply light and dark, open and closed, emotional and intellectual complexity? We discuss struggles and strategies for endings that feel satisfying for readers, and yet true to the work, the moment, and ourselves.

Am I Really Going to Do This Until I Die?
Friday, March 29, 2019
4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Portland Ballroom 256
Oregon Convention Center
Level 2
The longer a person teaches workshop, the more prone he or she is to burn out; after all, instructors tend to use the same format semester after semester, and students tend to need the same advice. How can instructors keep workshops feeling relevant and energized? Are there new models that might reinvigorate our students and ourselves? This panel, featuring undergraduate and graduate writing instructors, will address strategies to keep everyone engaged, down to the most exhausted teacher.

J. D. Schraffenberger (Saint Joe's Passion)

Impact and Empathy: Service-Learning and Creative Writing
Friday, March 29, 2019
10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
D139-140
Oregon Convention Center
Level 1
Service-learning and community engagement not only provide student writers with real-world experiences, applied skills, and opportunities for personal growth, but their empathy and perspectives are expanded in ways that transform the creative process. Teachers from various backgrounds and institutions discuss the practical challenges and unique benefits of service-learning in the creative writing classroom, including work with veterans, oceanographers, food co-ops, and refugee organizations.

Changing of the Guard: Editors on Inclusion and Diversity in Literary Journals
Saturday, March 30, 2019
3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Portland Ballroom 255
Oregon Convention Center
Level 2
The VIDA Count is an indispensable measure of gender diversity in literary journal publications. While the numbers layout disparities within this community, the question remains: how can we increase contributor and staff diversity in areas such as race, sexual identity/orientation, and disability? Where is the line between diversity and tokenism? This panel of literary journal editors will share their strides, missteps, and questions on inclusive staff and contributor practices.

Tim Seibles (Fast Animal and One Turn Around the Sun)

Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology Reading
Thursday, March 28, 2019
10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Portland Ballroom 256
Oregon Convention Center
Level 2
Eco-justice poetry embodies justice, culture, and the environment. It is poetry born of ecological and social crisis, poetry that holds memory, fed by a wealth of cultural traditions, urgent in our time. Come listen to contributing poets read from and discuss the ground-breaking Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology, as each discusses their approach to writing in these troubled times and the traditions that feed their work.

How we need another soul to cling to: Writing Love Poems in Difficult Times
Saturday, March 30, 2019
3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.
D139-140
Oregon Convention Center
Level 1
When the news feels like a daily onslaught, it's hard to believe writing a poem can matter—let alone a love poem. Here, five poets will share their own love poems and discuss how writing about love also allows them to explore everything from racism to climate change to queerness to personal grief, then offer strategies of how others might do the same. For how better to know why resistance is worth it? In this panel, we'll discuss not just what we're fighting against but what we're fighting for.

Shara McCallum (Poems and Their Making)

Boulevard 35th Anniversary & 100 Issues Reading
Saturday, March 30, 2019
4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
B116
Oregon Convention Center
Level 1
Founded in 1984, Boulevard magazine celebrates 100 issues and thirty-five years of continuously publishing the finest in contemporary voices in fiction, poetry, and definitive essays on the arts and culture. Featuring writers from across our thirty-five years, this reading reflects Boulevard's mission to present a variegated yet coherent ensemble of creative and critical writing by both emerging and established writers.

Wilkes University Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing:

Jason Carney (M.F.A. Alum)

AWP Open Mic and Old School Slam
Thursday, March 28, 2019 and Friday, March 29, 2018
B113
10:00 p.m. to 12:00 Midnight
Oregon Convention Center
Level 1
AWP welcomes students to return to the roots of Slam! Open mic special guests and then undergraduate and graduate students partake in a hardcore-break-your-heart-strut-out-the-good-stuff slam competition. Students are welcome to sign up to participate on Friday, March 29, 2019 and Thursday, March 28, 2019 at the Wilkes University/Etruscan Press booth and read original pieces (three minutes or less with no props) at the Slam later that night. Sponsors: Wilkes University and Etruscan Press.

Program Partners:

Ibrahim Ahmad (Akashic Books)

Can I Pick Your Brain? The Fine Line Between Giving Back and Getting Paid
Friday, March 29, 2018
1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
B117-119
Oregon Convention Center
Level 1
The right connections in publishing can jumpstart your career and make the journey more enjoyable. But there is a fine line when asking for a favor (or a freebie) and networking. This panel looks at how emerging writers can gracefully navigate the art of "the ask" and how established authors can balance their time and effort and meaningful connections. Five publishing insiders share secrets of effective networking without looking self-interested—and when to say no without looking unsupportive.

For the full AWP19 schedule, visit the AWP Conference Schedule.

Faculty News:

Bonnie Culver, program director, will have her play Auto-Mated performed as part of a 10-minute play festival at Caroll College in Helena, Montana.

David Poyer's Hatteras Blue audiobook debuted in October by Northampton House Press. This is their first audiobook. Marketed under NHP's Polyhymnia Books imprint, Dave Poyer's Hatteras Blue is an exciting underwater adventure narrated by Edison McDaniels (available on Audible, iTunes, and other online sellers). Other Polyhymnia audiobooks are in production, narrated by McDaniels and by Julie Yelen (M.A. '18), a program alum.

J. Michael Lennon, along with his wife Donna Pedro, published the revised, enlarged version of Norman Mailer: Works and Days on November 1. He is also doing a reading alongside authors John Winters and Barbara Burkhardt at a biographers' night on November 14th, 7-9 pm at the WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn, NY. It's in the Greenpoint neighborhood.

Alumni and Student News:

Amye Archer (M.F.A. '11) will have her book If I Don't Make It, I Love You: Survivors in the Aftermath of School Shootings released in Spring 2019 by Skyhorse Publishing. For this book, Amye and co-editor Loren Kleinman worked with over 90 survivors of school shootings and helped them to write their stories. Amye presented at PCTELA in Harrisburg on October 18th with Wilkes M.F.A. alums Dawn Zera (M.F.A. '13) and Ginny Grove (M.F.A. '12). The three presented a panel titled "I, Too, Am a Writer," which explored ways in which teachers can bring their own writing experience into the classroom.

Patrick Charsky (M.F.A. '17) finalized an agreement with The Bundy Museum to do a film series on screenwriting where most of the films are based on the M.F.A. guide from Wilkes called "The Screenwriting Biz." The dates are November 13, December 11, 2018, January 8, February 12, March 12 and April 9, 2019 at The Bundy Museum in Binghamton, NY. Charsky will curate and present a series of films and lead discussions after every screening.

Iris Ouellette (M.A. '17) is an adjunct professor at Lackawanna College teaching Introduction to Literature and Effective Speaking. Her nonfiction piece "Finding
Oscar Wilde" was published in July's issue of Parhelion Literary Magazine.

Josh Penzone's (M.A. '13) short story "A Return" appeared in the December issue of Blue Lake Review.

Ronnie K. Stephens (M.F.A. '18) recently published book reviews in Lambda Literary Review andThe Los Angeles Review. His debut novel, The Kaleidoscope Sisters, has received glowing reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and School Library Journal.

Donna Talarico (M.F.A. '10) presented for the eighth consecutive year at the annual Higher Education Web Professionals conference in Sacramento, CA. She hosted a lightning round talk called "All Work and No Play? Nonsense! — How Creativity, Curiosity, Surprise and Play Help Us Work" and a three-hour post-conference workshop called "Copy That! Creating Ad Copy Headlines and Other Content that 'Clicks' with Your Audience." Donna also was interviewed for the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) podcast; the episode aired to its members in mid-October and a recording will be made public later this fall.


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