September 2015 News

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Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program offers four genre-based fellowships:

· The Michael Steinberg Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction
· The Dennis Lehane Fellowship for Fiction
· The Jacqueline Woodson Fellowship for a Young People’s Writer of African or Caribbean Descent
· The Sharon Olds Fellowship for Poetry

These Fellowships provide $1,000 toward first-semester tuition for four students. Applicants who want to be considered for a genre-based fellowship should submit a general application form no later than September 18, 2015 (Postmark date).

Tiger Bark Press (founded by Solstice faculty member Steve Huff) is a new press focusing on high quality poetry, with occasional forays into the realms of literary criticism and non-fiction. Tiger Bark Press seeks a marketing and publicity intern to assist with promoting existing titles and to help create marketing plans for future titles. The ideal candidate will have a working knowledge of social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, a facility for research and copy editing, and the willingness to do outreach on behalf of press authors to help set up events. Tiger Bark’s marketing and publicity intern will work in coordination with press authors to develop regional media lists, media kits, and social media campaigns, and will assist the publisher with the creation of promotional copy and outreach to prospective venues for author readings and publications that will review author titles. Interns interested in the publication process from manuscript to finished book will receive a valuable education in how books get made, and the skills needed to bring them to market and promote them effectively. Contact Steve Huff, Publisher,


Graduate Jenifer DeBellis will read on Sunday, September 20 from 2-4 p.m. as part of the Musing Series—a Poets & Writers Sponsored event—at the Hannan House in Midtown, 4750 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI.


Faculty member Kathleen Aguero will read on Thursday, September 24 at 6 p.m. at the Chatham Public Library, 564 Main St., Chatham, MA.


Graduate James Anderson's debut novelThe Never-Open Desert Diner, published last February, has been acquired by Random House/Crown for re-release next year in a new hardcover edition, plus trade and mass marketpaperback, and an audio edition.

GraduateMaría Luisa Arroyo 's poem, "Fire Escape", has been accepted for publication in the fall 2015 online issue of Label Me Latino/a.

Jenifer DeBellis’ short story, “Stubborn Silence,” has been accepted by Literary Orphans for publication and will appear in the October issue. Her poem, “Asylum,” has been accepted for publication in the fall issue of Solstice Literary Magazine.

Graduate Faye Rapoport DesPres’ short story, “Who Let the Cats Out?” originally published in Mystery Times Ten 2013 will be anthologized in a new book titled: Nine Deadly Lives, forthcoming in October 2015 from Prairie Rose Publications/Fire Star Press. Her personal essay, “Winter,” published in the “Crazy Rabbit Review” cross-genre column in Connotation Press: An Online Artifact in January 2015, was chosen as a best piece of the year for the magazine’s retrospective August 2015 issue.

Graduate Joe Gannon’s manuscript for his second novel, The Last Dawn, has been accepted by his editor at St. Martin’s Press. The novel will be out September 2016.

GraduateMarilyn Márquez’spoem, “Hamlet was a Right Whale,” has been accepted byLabel Me Latino/afor publication.

Graduate Mike Miner’s novel Hurt Hawks, will be out in September from One Eye Press. His story “Momma’s Boy,” will be featured in Thuglit 16, out in September.

Graduate Emily Van Duyne’s essay, “A Token of My Affection” was accepted for publication in the Chronicle of Higher Education.


María Luisa Arroyo was recently hired as the Assistant Director of Admissions-Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment at Springfield College in Springfield, MA.

Graduate Carol Owens Campbell attended the 2015 VQR (Virginia Quarterly Review) Writers’ Conference in Charlottesville, Virginia from 8/12-8/16, 2015 where Bret Anthony Johnston was her Fiction instructor.

Student Kat Fitzpatrick will be teaching a community education course at Hudson Valley Community College this fall entitled Creating with Word, Image, and Playfulness.

Graduate Laura Jones recently taught undergraduate and faculty courses in English language and American culture in Harbin, China as a visiting instructor for the Harbin Institute of Technology’s Honors English Summer Camp.

Graduate Lisa Mahoney was recently hired as a full-time student support specialist to assist with writing and research at Florida Keys Community College, Key West, FL. She will also be teaching Creative Writing for the college.

Graduate Jina Ortiz is co-leading a Writers’ Retreat at The HeartWell Institute in Worcester, MA on September 19 with fellow poet Emily Ferrara.

Graduate Kim Suhr will speaking on the topic, “Stoking the Fire: Getting and Staying Inspired,” at the Second Annual Mount Mary University Publishing Institute, Sept. 25–26 in Milwaukee, WI.


María Luisa Arroyo, poet laureate of Springfield MA, will continue to host “7 Minutes: A Literary Arts Spotlight” for its second season, August-December 2015. Invited poets and writers so far include Solstice graduates Cindy Zelman (August 29), Marilyn Marquez de Mercado (September 13), Towana Wright (November 15), and Associate Director Tanya Whiton (December 13).

Faculty member Venise Berry’s memoir, Driven, is now represented by Nadeen Gayle of the Serendipity Literary Agency in New York.

Faye Rapoport DesPres’ book, Message From A Blue Jay has been adopted to be taught in a course at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

Program Director Meg Kearney will participate in Writers in the Round, retreat for poets and song writers, September 10–13 in Star Island, NH.

Graduate Kimberly J. Kreines is leading the Writers Room as Magic: the Gatheringlaunches into a new era of episodic storytelling. New stories are posted every Wednesday at:

Graduate Lisa Mahoney’s short story, “Girls with Ponies,” earned an honorable mention in the 2015 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Contest.

Graduate Joyce McPherson’s poem “Blessing” was juried to the Interpretations III Show by the Columbia Art League (one of forty written works selected.)

Mike Miner’s story, “The Hurt Business,” from Thuglit 12 is listed as a Distinguished Mystery Story of 2015in the 2015 Best American Mystery Stories edited by James Patterson.

Faculty member Dzvinia Orlowsky and colleague Jeff Friedman were awarded a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Translation Fellowship for their translations of poems by Polish poet Mieczslaw Jastrun. Their translations of Jastrun’s book, Memorials: A Selection, was published by Dialogos Press in 2014.