Jabari Asim - Special Guest, Summer 2017 Residency

 © by Shef Reynolds II

Jabari Asim is an associate professor at Emerson College, where he directs the graduate program in writing, literature and publishing. He is also the Executive Editor of The Crisis magazine, a preeminent journal of politics, ideas, and culture published by the NAACP and founded by W.E.B. Du Bois in 1910. He is the author of 13 books, including Preaching To The Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis and Fifty Cents And A Dream: Young Booker T. Washington. His reviews, essays, and cultural criticism have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and The Los Angeles Times among others. Jabari has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, the Carter G. Woodson Award from the National Council for the Social Studies, a Jefferson Cup Honor from the Virginia Library Association, and two NAACP Image Award nominations.


Richard Garcia - Special Guest, Summer 2017 Residency

 © by Dinah Berland

Richard Garcia won the 2016 Press 53 award for his book of prose poems, Porridge, published in March of 2016. His book, The Other Odyssey, from Dream Horse Press, won the American Poetry Journal Book Award for 2014; and The Chair, from BOA, published in 2015, was chosen as the best poetry book of 2015 by Poetry Magazine. Richard’s poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina and is on the staff of the Antioch Low-Residency MFA in Los Angeles.



Joel Christian Gill - Special Guest, Summer 2017 Residency

 © by self

Author, educator, historian, advocate, activist and cartoonist Joel Christian Gill crisscrosses the country speaking about Black History and Black History Month. Using #28daysarenotenough, he focuses on the way that we teach Black History as separate from American History; they are not only intertwined, they are in fact the same. Joel uses stories of everyday black people to explain that America is so much more than a collection of disparate interest groups; we share a common story. He believes that it is our stories that connect us. His comics series Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History and Tales of The Talented Tenth use historical events and dynamic illustration to illuminate why it’s important to share our stories to rebuild a community based on empathy. The New York Times says: “At a moment when racial inequities have ignited this nation, Mr. Gill offers direction for the road ahead from the road behind.”


Stephanie Elizondo Griest - Special Guest, Summer 2017 Residency

 © by Alexander Devora

Stephanie Elizondo Griest is a globetrotting author from South Texas. Her books include the travel memoirs Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana (Villard/Random House, 2004) and Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines (Washington Square Press/Simon & Schuster, 2008); the best-selling guidebook 100 Places Every Woman Should Go (Travelers’ Tales, 2007); and the forthcoming All the Agents & Saints: Dispatches from the U.S. Borderlands (UNC Press, 2017). She has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, VQR, The Believer, and the Oxford American, and was editor of the anthology Best Women’s Travel Writing 2010. An Assistant Professor of Creative Nonfiction at UNC-Chapel Hill, Stephanie has lectured across the globe, including as a U.S. State Department Literary Ambassador to Venezuela. She is Assistant Professor of Creative Nonfiction at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her awards include a Henry Luce Scholarship to China, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton, and a Margolis Award for Social Justice Reporting. Visit her website at StephanieElizondoGriest.com.


Laban Carrick Hill - Special Guest, Summer 2017 Residency

 ©Courtesy of the author

Laban Carrick Hill is the author of more than 40 books, including the Texas Bluebonnet Award Winner When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop, Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award winner Dave the Potter: Artist Slave Poet, and the National Book Award Finalist Harlem Stomp!: A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance. Laban has also taught writing at the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College, Columbia University, Baruch College, St. Michael’s College in Vermont, and the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. He is co-founder and still co-directs the Writers Project of Ghana, which promotes literacy and literary culture and publishes literary books in Ghana. In 2010, Laban went to the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka to teach writing on a Fulbright Fellowship. The U.S. State Department has also brought him to Egypt, the Philippines, and Indonesia to lecture on American culture, African American history, hip-hop, and writing.


Donika Kelly - Special Guest, Summer 2017 Residency

 © by John Jackson

Donika Kelly’s debut collection, Bestiary (Graywolf Press 2016), was selected by Nikky Finney for the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. She holds an MFA in Writing from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin; and in 2013, she received a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University. Donika is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and a 2004 June Fellow of the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in West Branch, Indiana Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and others. Donika is an Assistant Professor at St. Bonaventure University, where she teaches creative writing.


Brendan Kiely - Special Guest, Summer 2017 Residency

 © by Joseph Cohen

Brendan Kiely is The New York Times bestselling author of All American Boys (with Jason Reynolds), The Last True Love Story, and The Gospel of Winter. His work has been published in ten languages, received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, the Walter Dean Myers Award, the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award, was twice awarded Best Fiction for Young Adults (2015, 2017) by the American Library Association, and was a Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014. Originally from the Boston area, he now lives with his wife in New York City.



Dennis Lehane - Special Guest, Summer 2017 Residency

 © Diana Lucas Leavengood

Solstice founding faculty member and writer-in-residence Dennis Lehane is the author of myriad short stories and novels, including Mystic River, winner of the Anthony Award for Best Novel, the Barry Award for Best Novel, and the Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction. Mystic River was also a finalist for the PEN/Winship Award, and was released as an Academy Award-winning film directed by Clint Eastwood. Dennis’s books Gone Baby Gone, Shutter Island, and Live by Night have also been made into acclaimed films. A Massachusetts native, Dennis is the author of the Patrick Kenzie series of Boston detective novels. His short story “Until Gwen” was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2005, The Best American Mystery Short Stories 2005, and New Stories from the South 2005, and is the basis of his play “Coronado,” which premiered in New York City in December 2005. Writer-in-Residence at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, Dennis is the co-director of the Writers in Paradise Conference and was a staff writer for HBO’s The Wire. He has taught fiction and literature at the Harvard Extension School, the Stonecoast MFA Program, and Tufts University. His newest novel is Since We Fell (May, 2017). The Cleveland Plain Dealer called Dennis Lehane “one of the best writers of his generation, period.”  Visit www.dennislehanebooks.com.


Eric May - Special Guest, Summer 2017 Residency

 © by Susan Lanier

Eric Charles May is the author of the novel Bedrock Faith, which was named a Notable African-American Title by Publishers Weekly and a Top Ten Debut Novel for 2014 by Booklist Magazine. A 2015 recipient of the Chicago Public Library Foundation’s 21st Century Award, Eric is a former reporter for The Washington Post. His fiction has appeared in Fish Stories, Solstice, Hypertext, Flyleaf Journal, F, and Criminal Class magazines, and the multi-genre anthology We Speak Chicagoease. His nonfiction has also appeared in Sport Literate, Chicago Tribune, and the personal essay anthology Briefly Knocked Unconscious By A Low-Flying Duck. He has taught at the Chicago Writers, Stonecoast, and Northwestern University writers’ conferences. In Chicago, he has read personal essays with the “2nd Story” and the “That’s All She Wrote” series.


Peter Nelson - Special Guest, Summer 2017 Residency

 © courtesy of author

Peter Nelson has published both fiction and nonfiction in a variety of national magazines, including Harpers, Playboy, Esquire, MS, Outside, The Iowa Review, National Wildlife, Glamour and Redbook. He was a columnist for Mademoiselle, a staff writer for LIVE Magazine, and a contributing editor for Wondertime magazine. His WWII history, Left for Dead (Random House, 2002) won the 2003 Christopher Award and was named to the American Library Association’s 2003 top ten list. His other nonfiction titles include That Others May Live (Crown, 2000), A More Unbending Battle’ The Harlem Hellfighters’ Struggle for Democracy in WWI and Equality at Home (Basic Civitas, 2004), and Finding Riley; Saving Myself (Skyhorse, 2013) which was a 2014 finalist in the International Book Awards, memoirs category. His novel, I Thought You Were Dead (Algonquin, April 2010), was named an Indie Next #1 Choice and reached the NEIBA Bestsellers List. Over all, he has published 150+ articles, 25+ works of short fiction and 30+ books.


Monika Prince - Special Guest, Summer 2017 Residency

 © courtesy of the author

Monica Prince received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing with a focus in poetry and choreopoems from Georgia College & State University, and her Bachelors of Arts degree in English Creative Writing with a minor in the Pedagogy of Poetry from Knox College. She has been a teaching artist in Georgia, Texas, and now Colorado since 2012. Her work has been featured in MadCap Review, The Santa Fe Writers Project Quarterly, The Sula Collective, and The Rain, Party & Disaster Society. Her choreopoem, Testify, was produced by the Cutout Theater in Brooklyn, New York, in December 2015. Currently, she teaches English Composition at Metropolitan State University of Denver, tutors writing at the Community College of Aurora, teaches creative writing at Fairview High School in Boulder, and writes and edits for Aquarius Press/Willow Books. This spring, she spoke at Practical Magic Live in San Antonio, Texas, and performed at the 10th Annual Lalo Delgado Poetry Festival in Denver. When not running around the Denver metro area, she enjoys poetry readings, excessive games of solitaire, and dancing to 90’s R&B in her living room.


Bianca Stone - Special Guest, Summer 2017 Residency

 © by Hillary Stone

Bianca Stone is a poet and visual artist. She is the author of Someone Else’s Wedding Vows, Poetry Comics From the Book of Hours, and artist/collaborator on a special illustrated edition of Anne Carson's Antigonick. Bianca runs the Ruth Stone Foundation & Monk Books with her husband, the poet Ben Pease in Vermont and Brooklyn.



Tanya Whiton - Special Guest, Summer 2017 Residency

 © by Charles Tucker

Tanya Whiton’s fiction has been published in Solstice: a Magazine of Diverse Voices, North Dakota Quarterly, Western Humanities Review, Northwest Review and Crazyhorse 63, among others. Her short story “Giving Her Away” was included in the anthology The Way Life Should Be: A Collection of Stories by Contemporary Maine Writers. She collaborated on the adaptation of her first Maine-based noir piece, “The Deal,” for an eponymous short film, which won a Special Jury Prize at the U.S. National Short Film Competition. She has twice been the recipient of the Martin Dibner Memorial Fellowship for Maine writers, and has received two New England Press Association Awards for her nonfiction work. Her book Two for the Road: Adventures in Maine, a collection of travel essays created in collaboration with photographer Heidi Killion, was published in 2014. Tanya has taught creative writing for the Lesley Seminars, Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, the Stonecoast Writers’ Conference, and the University of Southern Maine; she also teaches professional development skills for writers, on topics ranging from basic oral interpretation skills to marketing to navigating the indie publishing process. From January 2007 through August 2016, she served as the Associate Director of the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program. www.tanyawhiton.com