SEPTEMBER 2016 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 19, 2016 (Postmark date).



Director Meg Kearney will be delivering the keynote address at the Kentucky Association of School Librarians’ Conference at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY, on Saturday, September 4. Meg’s picture book Trouper is winner of last year’s Kentucky Bluegrass Award.


Faculty member Dzvinia Orlowsky and poet-translator Jeff Friedman are presenting a panel titled “Metaphysics and Faith in Translation: the Poetry of Mieczslaw Jastrun” at the New Hampshire Poetry Festival on Saturday, September 24 (1:30-2:45 Lowell Building, Room 201) For further information go to:


Faculty member Josh Neufeld will be attending the Brooklyn Book Festival in Brooklyn, NY, on Sunday, September 18. Josh will be co-leading a workshop on Flash Fiction inspired by comics at 3:00pm and will be moderating a panel on comics inspired by conflict zones at 5:00pm. 

Graduate Alison Stone will be celebrating the release of her newest book of poetry, Ordinary Magic, on Sunday, September 18 from 2:00-4:00, with a reading 0at the Nyack Library Refreshments available.


Dzvinia Orlowsky will be reading with poets Kelle Groom and Dan Tobin and others for Plume Literary Magazine at the Cambridge Public Library on Thursday September 22 at 6:30.

Graduate Lisa Sullivan will be a featured reader on Sunday, September 25, at 1 p.m., as part of “The Art of Words” Poetry Showcase at the Plymouth Center for the Arts, 11 North Street, Plymouth, MA.


Graduate Alison McLennan will present a paper on the "Presence and Absence of Whores as Anti-heroines in American Western Literature" on Thursday, September 22, at 11 a.m. at the Western Literature Conference in Big Sky, Montana.


Graduate Jonathan Todd plans to sell the latest issues of his Cecil mini comics at the Rhode Island Independent Comics Expo ( on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24-25, at the Providence Public Library.


Graduate Kimberly J. Kreines will be speaking on a panel about fantastical world building in Magic: the Gathering at the PAX West Convention in Seattle, Washington, on Friday, September 2nd at 12:00 PM PST. The panel can be streamed live on Twitch.


Graduate Kerry L. Beckford’s op-ed essay, “Stop Posting Videos of Black Folks Dying” was published by The Hartford Courant in their print and online editions.

Kerry L. Beckford’s essay “Driving While Me” is the inaugural essay for GrubWrites’ “My Heart is Invisible” series, personal essays about the ways people of color respond to prejudice. The title for this series comes from a line in her essay.

Graduate Faye Rapoport DesPres’ personal essay, “Fall (Barn Rising),” has been chosen as finalist in the Tiferet 2016 Writing Contest for Creative Nonfiction. (link:

Faye Rapoport DesPres’ guest blog post, “The Lost Words," appeared on the Superstition Review blog in August. (link:


Kerry L. Beckford will be teaching a continuing education course at Tunxis Community College (Farmington, CT) this fall entitled Writing Life Stories.

Graduate Joanne Carota will be on a one-year research/writing sabbatical from UMASS Lowell (Sep 2016-Aug 2017). In July she attended a generative workshop and residency at the Noepe Center for Literary Arts in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard.


Faculty members Jedediah Berry, Iain Haley Pollock, and Laura Williams McCaffrey are the 2016-2017 guest editors for Hunger Mountain 21: Masked/Unmasked. They'll be accepting submissions until September 15th. For more information, visit the Hunger Mountain website:

Graduate Joe Gannon's second novel, The Last Dawn, is a finalist for best mystery of 2016 in the International Latino Book Awards.

Faculty member Steve Huff is editing a collection of new essays on Bill Knott, titled, Knowing Knott: Essays on an American Poet, including essays by Stephen Dobyns, Star Black, Michael Waters, DeWitt Henry, Tom Lux, and others. Due out in January ’17 from Tiger Bark Press. Steve is also working on a travelogue, In Our Home Ground, journeys to the burial sites of authors in Upstate New York, such as Paul Bowles, John Gardner, Robert Lax, Louise Brooks, Rod Serling and others. Due out in June ’17. (Note: Any dead authors in Upstate New York who want to be included should contact Steve no later than September 30. Just kidding—although you never know.)

Graduate Christina Irace’s short story, “Angel,” has been published on as an e-book.

Laura Williams McCaffrey is the new Fiction Editor at YARN. Submissions reopen September 15th.

Graduate Joyce McPherson recently published a children's middle grade work of fiction, The Pandora Device. (This book was her creative thesis at Solstice.)

Faculty member Sandra Scofield’s creative nonfiction book, Mysteries of Love and Grief: Reflections of a Plainswoman’s Life ( Texas Tech Univ Press) was a finalist for the Women Writing the West 2016 WILLA Literary Award.

Graduate Kim Suhr’s short story, “Night Vision,” was a finalist in the Solstice Lit Mag's Summer Contest judged by Celeste Ng and is posted in their summer edition.

Faculty member Renée Watson has launched a nonprofit to honor the legacy of Harlem Renaissance poet, Langston Hughes. I, Too, Art Collective will lease and renovate the brownstone where Langston Hughes lived and created. The non-profit will also provide poetry and writing workshops for youth and community members. Join her in making this dream a reality by donating here: