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[Chestnut Hill, MA, July 2013] On Saturday, July 6, 2013, the Solstice Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program of Pine Manor College awarded the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree to seven students: Sally Stanton, Lori Calabrese, Cathy Cultice Lentes, Darby Thomas, Sabra Porter, Annette Marquis, and Jacquelyn Grant Brown.

2012-2013 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Walter Dean Myers, critically acclaimed author of over 100 books for young people, delivered a short commencement speech, followed by presentations of each graduate by MFA faculty members. A reception for graduates and their guests took place afterward.

Sally Stanton, a resident of Northport, Maine, completed her creative thesis–which included Field Notes from Mud Lake, a middle-grade novel, and an illustrated picture book, Mem-Waah! My Life from Birth to One Year–and delivered a lecture on “Postmodern Picture Books: Tools for Storytelling in the Digital Age.”

Lori Calabrese, a resident of Eastlake, Colorado, completed her creative thesis, Tanniland, a young adult novel, and delivered a lecture on “Running with Dialogue: The Necessity of Brevity with Exposition in YA Novels.” 

Class Speaker Cathy Cultice Lentes, a resident of Middleport, Ohio, completed her creative thesis, The Orange Umbrella & Other Stories and Poems–which included picture books and poetry for children–and delivered a lecture on “The Wild Thing in All of Us: An Evolutionary Look at the Power of Story.”

Darby Thomas, a resident of Grove City, Ohio, completed his creative thesis, Heart’s Oasis, a novel, and delivered a lecture on “A Look into a Mystery: Magical Realism and its Usage, Purpose and Effects in Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84.”

Sabra Porter, a resident of Allston, Massachusetts, completed her creative thesis, Loser, a novel, and delivered a lecture on “Writing to Remember: The Holocaust.”

Annette Marquis, a resident of Richmond, Virginia, completed her creative thesis, Erased: A Woman’s Quest to Find Her Story, a memoir, and delivered a lecture on “Across The Great Divide: Writing Authentically across Racial Lines.”

Jacquelyn Grant Brown, a resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, completed her creative thesis, The Perfume & The Stains, a volume of poetry, and delivered a lecture on “At the Breaking Point:  A Look at the Purposes & Powers of Poetic Line Breaks.”


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 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.







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