Solstice MFA Newsletter





for summer 2018 start with the Solstice MFA Program 

The Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program is pleased to offer The Kurt Brown Fellowship for Diverse Voices for students who wish to start in summer 2018. In honor of the distinguished essayist & poet Kurt Brown, Laure-Anne Bosselaar Brown—Kurt Brown’s wife and a faculty member of the Solstice MFA Program—and Lee Hope, Editor-in-chief of Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices, underwrite an annual first-semester fellowship of $1,500 to a writer in any genre who has applied and been accepted to the Solstice MFA Program. This fellowship seeks to support individuals from backgrounds who otherwise might not be adequately represented in the program. The deadline is April 20, 2018. For more information, go to:

Solstice will continue to accept applications for students who would like to start the program in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, writing for children and young people, or comics and graphic narratives in summer 2018 until April 20, 2018. 


Solstice will host a FREE reading at The Langston Hughes House on Thursday, April 5 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. This reading will feature National Book Award Winner Jacqueline Woodson with Solstice faculty members Renée Watson and Iain Haley Pollock. The Langston Hughes House, 20 East 127th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues), New York, NY 10035




Faculty member Kathleen Aguero will read on Thursday, April 5 at 6:45 p.m. at The Emily Dickinson Homestead, 280 Main St., Amherst, MA as part of a book launch for Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse.

Faculty member Kathleen Aguero will read on Saturday, April 7 at 3:25 p.m. at the Boston Public Library as part of the Boston National Poetry Month Festival.

Graduate María Luisa Arroyo will read on Sunday, April 22 at 3:30 p.m. as part of the Tesserae, Poetry of Community – A Reading & Celebration of Immigrants & New Americans. Hosted by Amy Dryansky, Northampton Poet Laureate at The Parlor Room, 32 Masonic St., Northampton, MA.


Faculty member Anne-Marie Oomen and Linda Nemec Fosterlaunch a reading and signing tour for their new book The Lake Michigan Mermaid, April 10, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Schuler’s Books and Music, 2660 28th Street, Grand Rapids, MI, reception included. The tour will continue at the following dates and locations:

Thursday, April 19, 5:30-7:00 p.m.: Centerpointe Conference Center, top floor, Traverse City, MI. Reception included with drinks. Fundraiser for FLOW.  

Friday, April 20, 7:00 p.m., Leelanau Township Library, 119 E. Nagonaba Street, Northport, MI – reading and book signing.

Saturday, April 2111:30 AM-1:30 p.m., Leland Library, Leland, MI, reading, signing, and presentation with lunch.

Saturday, April 21, 3-5:00 p.m., Horizon Books, Traverse City, MI – reading and signing.

Tuesday, April 24,12:15-1:30 p.m., Loudit Room, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI, lecture and class. There will be a reading and signing at 7:00 p.m., Aquinas College, Women’s Study Center at the Wege Center, Grand Rapids, MI

Wednesday, April 25, 5:30-7:30 p.m., La Fontsee Galleries, 833 Lake Drive, Grand Rapids, signing with showcase of original illustrations by Meredith Ridl.

Thursday, April 26, 6:30-7:30 p.m., East Grand Rapids Library, EGR Branch of the Kent District Library, MI reading and signing.


Student Martin Smith will speak at the Bolger Heritage Center at the Ridgewood Public Library on his book Postcard History: Ridgewood on April 2, at 7:00 p.m. in Ridgewood, NJ.


Graduate Cathy Cultice Lentes will read on Saturday, April 8 at 2:00 p.m. as part of the Ohio Poetry Association/Decorative Arts Center of Ohio project, Rise Up Appalachia, at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, 145 E. Main St., Lancaster, Ohio.


Student Martin Smith will appear at the Children’s Book Festival of Johnstown from 11-4 on Sunday, April 8 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.


Faculty member Amy Hoffman will read on Wednesday, April 11, at 7:00 at Vanderbilt University, Buttrick Hall 101. The reading is sponsored by the Women’s & Gender Studies Department.


Faculty member Sandra Scofield will read at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art in Wichita Falls, Texas on Thursday, April 19, at 7:00 p.m. She will also visit classes at Midwestern State University. She owes this pleasure to Solstice graduate Lindsey Applegarth, who made the connections with English faculty at the university, and who is hosting Sandra as she visits sites from her childhood in the city.


Faculty member Kathleen Aguero’s poems, “Self-Portrait as an Empty Boat,” “Self-Portrait as a Geranium,” and “Self-Portrait as a Sunrise,” have been published by the online review Mer Vox:

Graduate María Luisa Arroyo’s poems have been accepted for publication:

  • “Sostento: Sustenance” by Mass Poetry ( as the online “Poem of the Moment” for the week of Wednesday, March 28-Wednesday, April 4, in their newsletter to 5,000+ subscribers and permanently archived on their website.
  • “creation myth 1941 ponce pr” by Solstice Literary Magazine ( for publication.
  • “homenaje a dos músicos” by the Spanish-language weekly newspaper, El Pueblo Latino, which is owned by The Republican, a Springfield, MA daily newspaper.

Faculty member Laure-Anne Bosselaar’s 17 section poem “Rooms Remembered” was published in a chapbook by Sungold Editions. It is now available from For a signed copy, kindly contact Laure-Anne at All proceeds from the sale of the chapbook will benefit the Santa Barbara Poetry Fund.

Student Quintin Collins' poems, "Granny's Absolutes," and "Over Ten Frames,” “My Father Paints the Portrait of Cool," have been accepted by Transition Magazine for publication.

Graduate Jenifer DeBellis’s poem, “Hungry,” has been accepted by Uproot Mag for publication.

Graduate Faye Rapoport DesPres will publish a creative nonfiction children's book, titled Little White: The Feral Cat Who Found a Home with New Jersey-based Writer's Coffee Bar Press. The book, which will be released on either Clear the Shelters Day or National Feral Cat Day this year, will be illustrated by artist and illustrator Laurel Petersen. Faye is currently chronicling Little White's story on a popular Facebook page that has more than 900 followers:

Graduate Hannah Goodman’s YA novel Till It Stops Beating will be published by Black Rose Writing this summer.

Director Meg Kearney’s poems “Looking for Eagles” and “Cuckoo on a Golden Anniversary” appear in the anthology Like Light: 25 Years of Poetry & Prose by Bright Hill Poets & Writers (Bright Hill Press; Bertha Rogers, editor).

Graduate Elizabeth Mercurio's poems "Nights With Teeth" and "Stay" have been accepted by The Skinny Poetry Journal for publication.

Graduate Alejandro Ramirez’s opinion piece, “How Trump got it wrong about Lawrence,” was published by The Boston Globe. Link:

Student Martin Smith’s story “Pinball” has been accepted by Erotic Review for publication.


Graduate María Luisa Arroyo will facilitate an ekphrastic poetry workshop, “Poets Look at Art” as part of the 25th Anniversary Monson Art Exhibition and Sale on Tuesday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Monson House of Art, 200 Main St., Monson, MA.

Program Director Meg Kearney will present “What a Three-Legged Dog Teaches About Poetry” (grades K-6) at the Mass Reading Association Annual Conference at the Boston Marriott Quincy, 1000 Marriott Drive, Quincy, MA. This 2-day conference runs April 9th & 10th. Meg will be at the Author Appetizer event on Monday, April 9, 5 – 6:30 p.m., and presents on Tuesday, April 10. For more info:

Program Director Meg Kearney will present at the American Adoption Conference in New Mexico on April 20. She will talk about “Taking Control of our Adoption Stories” through the use of her teen verse-novel trilogy: The Secret of Me, The Girl in the Mirror, and When You Never Said Goodbye.
For more info:

OTHER NEWS (Awards, etc.)

Graduate Jenifer DeBellis’s story “Held Together by a Safety Pin: A Broken Story," was awarded 2nd place in Oakland University's 2018 Alum, Faculty, and Staff Fiction Contest.

Graduate Jenifer DeBellis’s personal essay “New Skin," was a finalist in Oakland University's 2018 Alum, Faculty, and Staff Creative Nonfiction Contest.

Student Dustin Grinnell won Gold in the “Love Story” category in the 2018 Solas Awards for Best Travel Writing for his essay “Walkabout Love in China,” published in Perceptive Travel. He also won Bronze in the “Travel and Healing” category for his essay “Letters from Dad,” which appeared in GoMad Nomad.

Graduate Lisa Mahoney served as a judge for the Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit Short Story Writing Contest in March.

Graduate Kemal Onor’s poem, “Never (The Hospital),” has been accepted by ZPublishing House for publication.

Graduate Kemal Onor’s flash fiction piece, “Holding Your Breath,” has been accepted by The Flexible Persona for publication.

Faculty member Iain Haley Pollock has joined Solstice Literary Magazine as poetry co-editor.

Graduate Alison Stone signed a contract with NYQ Books for her sixth full-length collection, Caught in the Myth, which will be published in the fall.

Graduate Teresa Sutton's poem "Confiteor 2" was awarded second prize in the 2018 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry from Alternating Current.


Solstice Literary Magazine announces its annual CONTEST submission period is open until April 30. The judges are Ann Hood for fiction, Philip Lopate for Nonfiction and Terrance Hayes for Poetry. The poetry prize and nonfiction prizes are for $500 each, and the fiction prize is for $1000. Go here to submit:

Want to meet agents, get feedback on your work, network with other writers? 

The Agents/Editors/Writers Conference in Belgrade, ME is open for registration. Sponsored by the Solstice MFA Program, it takes place on September 22, 2018 from 9:00- 4:00. Meet with agents and get useful feedback. New this year, a one-hour course on “Voice in Your Opening Lines” by Carter Hasegawa, editor at Candlewick Press. Conference has agents for picture book, middle-grade, young adult, and adult fiction writers. The Solstice MFA Program offers two scholarships to Solstice alumni/students.


As an undergraduate institution consistently ranked among the most diverse in the country, Pine Manor College emphasizes an inclusive, community-building approach to liberal arts education. The Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program reflects the College’s overall mission by creating a supportive, welcoming environment in which writers of all backgrounds are encouraged to take creative risks. We strive to instill in our students an appreciation for the value of community-building and community service, and see engagement with the literary arts not only as a means to personal fulfillment but also as an instrument for real cultural change.