top of page

April 2016

Life of a Writer

April 2016


Annie Frazier Crandell (F) was part of a team of three writers and scholars who contributed questions to an interview with the editor of North Carolina Literary Review called ”North Carolina Connections: An Interview with NCLR editor Margaret Bauer.” The piece, appearing in NCLR Online 2016, celebrates and anticipates the journal’s upcoming 25th print edition, out this summer. The interview can be read online at this link:

Jill Cox-Cordova (F) received an honorable mention in the Humor category of the National League of American Pen Women’s Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition for her short story “How to Break the Homewrecker Curse.” She wrote the story her first semester under the guidance of faculty mentor Rachel Harper. Jill and the other winners were invited to read from their work at an event in San Francisco on April 3.

Jeffrey Fischer-Smith’s (PW) short play, A Dog Dreams, was produced at SLAM Boston Diverse Voices in Theatre by the Open Theatre Project on March 22 – 23 at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. A Dog Dreams will be included in “QUEER as F*CK,” Queer F*ckery’s debut production. It is co-presented by Bindlestiff Studio, Queer Cultural Center, and the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center and will be featured in the 2016 National Queer Arts Festival and the United States of Asian America Festival from June 16 – 25 in San Francisco’s South of Market District. Fischer-Smith is also a finalist for the Playwrights’ Center Core Apprentice program. In partnership with the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, the Core Apprentice program provides student playwrights with such benefits as a year of mentorship with a professional playwright and a full workshop of a new play at the Playwrights’ Center.

Emily Vander Ark (W4CYA) is proud to announce the release of Forest for the Trees No. 1, the first volume of a literary journal for and by teenage writers. Emily is an editor for the journal, along with Anna Haynes (W4CYA ‘15). Copies of the journal will be available for purchase online on April 15. For more information, visit the journal’s webpage at

Faculty and Staff

Dianne Aprile’s prose poem, “Deconstructing a Book,” introduces, along with an essay by Pico Iyer, a newly published book of Julius Friedman’s photographs (Old Stone Press, 2016) Dianne also led a two-day writing and collage workshop on April 16-17 with visual artist Larry Calkins at the Kirkland Arts Center in Washington State.

Susan Campbell Bartoletti happily reports that her latest nonfiction book, Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)  has received the following awards and recognition: an Orbis Pictus Honor, a Carolyn Field finalist (the winner to be announced in May),  an ALA Notable Children’s Book, four starred reviews, a Washington Post Best of 2015, a Booklist Editors’ Choice for 2015, an NCSS Notable Social Studies Book, a CCBC Choice for 2016, an NSTA  Outstanding Science Trade Book, and a Junior Library Guild selection. Now in its third print run, the book was also sold to audio (Dreamscape Media) and foreign rights (Chinese and South Korean) markets. She was the keynote speaker and featured author at the University of Central Missouri’s Children’s Literature Festival, where she addressed audiences of writers, teachers, librarians, and children. Though she’s mum about the topic, she’s busy researching her next nonfiction book (under contract with Scholastic), writing poetry for the pure pleasure of it, and writing an early reader just for kicks. In the interest of full disclosure (and so that you know it happens to every writer), she also received a rejection on a picture book. It bummed her out for an hour or two, and then she sent it out again.

Robin Lippincott’s latest book, RUFUS + SYD, a novel for young adults co-written with Spalding alum Julia Watts (F ‘05), will be released on May 5. Robin and Julia conceived of the book at a time when the bullying and suicides of LGBT teens was in the news almost daily; they wrote it to give hope. RUFUS + SYD is now available for pre-order.

Jody Lisberger’s story “Hand Me Up, Hand Me Down” will be published in May 2016 by the online journal The Fem. She was also selected to read her story “Animal Teeth” at the New England MLA conference in Hartford, Connecticut, in March, for a panel called “Gimme Rescue: Creative Writing about Rescued Animals.”

Nancy McCabe’s piece “Composing the Air” appeared in the December issue of Literary Mama, at, and her piece “The Baby Room” was excerpted from the anthology Oh Baby! True Stories about Conception, Adoption, Surrogacy, Pregnancy, Labor, and Love (In Fact Books, 2015) in Littsburgh: Celebrating Literary Pittsburgh at, She continues to blog about literature, art, and travel for Ploughshares, and her most recent posts can be found at She was recently elected president of the faculty senate at the University of Pittsburgh’s Bradford campus and the coordinator of the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies program. Her novel, Following Disasters, is due out next fall from Outpost 19.


Donna M. Crow (CNF ’14) was commissioned to collect oral histories and write a community play for the River City Players, Irvine, Kentucky. The play is an ongoing project intended to evolve, build community pride, and be used as a fundraiser to reclaim The Mack movie theatre for local community arts events in Eastern Kentucky. The first rendition of the play, entitled Save the Mack, was performed on April 15.

Jessica Evans (F ’15) is pleased to announce the publication of her first novel, Hippie Mafia. The work will be released next year.

Karen George (F ’09) went live with the second issue of the online journal she co-founded, Waypoints. She picked current Spalding MFA student Elizabeth Burton (F) as co-winner of the Editor’s Choice Award for Fiction. You can read Elizabeth’s story and the rest of the issue at Karen read with other Spalding students and alums on March 25 at Wild Fig Books and was a featured reader on March 30 at the Pendleton Art Center for the Pendleton Poetry Cincinnati Reading Series. She is guest poetry editor at Blue Lyra Review for its Fall 2016 issue and served as guest poetry editor/judge for the anthology For a Better World 2016. Her ekphrastic poem “The Wait” was published in Heron Tree.

Holly Gleason (CNF ’15) was thrilled to be awarded the Center for Popular Music Studies at Case Western Reserve University/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Fellowships for research for book Emmylou Harris: Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, due in 2017 from the University of Texas imprint. Her ECE was part of the research/writing for this book project, which is nearing its final stages. She was also nominated for INSP’s Awards for Best News Feature and Best Cultural Feature for her interview with Taylor Swift titled “Oh! The impossible lightness of being Taylor Swift.” Holly’s article is one of the top ten nominees for this category. It will go through to an international editorial panel that will pick five finalists to be announced in May. The article can be found here:

CoCo Harris (F ’06) has been chosen for a Vermont Studio Residency this summer working on her visual and literary art. Essays from her memoir-in-progress, Grits, Cousin Coffee and All Things Familiar, will appear in upcoming publications including What’s in My Name” (which she read at the fall residency), which will be in the Summer/Spring issue of KINDRED’s Mason Dixon-themed issue, by Anchor and Plume Press; “Imagine” in the forthcoming Blood Lotus 10 Year Anthology; and, “Getting Closer to Cousin Coffee” in the Sun Star Review inaugural issue this summer. Her photography was recently exhibited in the Colors of Humanity Art Gallery juried show “SKIES”; and her visual art “Where Surf Meets Turf” is currently featured on The RavensPerch. She has adapted one of her collections of short memoirs, IMPACT: An Anthology of Short Memoirs (Telling Our Stories Press) into a stage play, IMPACT. She has transitioned into her new position as the Diversity Arts Consultant working primarily with the newly forming Africana Studies Department and the Griot Institute for Africana Studies at Bucknell University.

Patty Houston’s (F ’08) short story “The Sedona Method” has been accepted by Sundog Lit and will be published in summer 2016. In additions, her story F.A.T.S.O. has been accepted for publication by Santa Fe Writer’s Project.  The story will be published on June 1.

Trish Lindsey Jaggers’ (P ’08) chapbook, Holonym: a collection of poems (Finishing Line Press) just left the printer (April 2016)! She discussed the “Serious Business” of Poetry on a panel at the SOKY Book Fest on April 23 and signed books afterward. For more information about her chapbook, visit:  Link to order from Finishing Line Press:

Alice-Catherine Jennings (P ’14) is pleased to announce that her poem “Late Autumn in Far West Texas” has been selected by Dos Gatos Press to be part of the 2017 Texas Poetry Calendar.  In addition, a selection of poems from her manuscript-in-process, Notations: The Imagined Diary of Julian of Norwich was recently published by The Sigh Press, an online literary and art journal for writers of English in Tuscany. ( Her translation from Spanish to English of the poem “I remember my first encounter” by Oaxacan poet Óscar Sandoval is forthcoming in Transom.

Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan’s (CNF ’03) latest book, Our Perfect Wild: Ray & Barbara Bane’s Journeys and the Fate of the Wild North was released in February by the University of Alaska Press. She was chosen as one of four Alaska authors to participate in a pilot author exchange program, Adventure by the Book, with San Diego authors in April. She will be talking about her book throughout April at venues including the Northern Alaska Center for the Environment, Great Land Trust, Anchorage Museum of History & Art, Eagle River Nature Center, Alaska Performing Arts Center “Arctic Entries,” and Fireside Books.

Mary Knight (W4CYA ’13) has been traveling through Kentucky and Ohio presenting her new novel, Saving Wonder, to fourth- through eighth-grade audiences. A new book club called “Young at Heart”—comprised of mostly educators who enjoy reading children’s literature and sponsored by Anderson Books in Chicago—has selected Saving Wonder as their first “read.” It is also the Writing for Children & YA Faculty/Guest Book in Common for this year’s spring residency at Spalding. Mary is delighted to be “returning home” to talk about her publishing experience.

Nancy Chen Long (P ’12) is thrilled to report publication of the following poems: “Knot-box, Blood” in Bat City Review, Under the Influence” in Found Poetry Review, “Lapidary” in Superstition Review, “Electric-Yellow, We are Watermarked” in Rogue Agent, as well as these from a series of erasures she is doing: “First, My Brother” in DIAGRAM, “My Own Shepherd” in Festival Writer, “Exaltation of Separation” in Matrix Magazine, and “Count Your Blessing” and “The Flowers that never fade” in Pith. She had the honor of being featured as one of the six Indiana women poets in The Wabash Watershed, which includes publication of her poem “River is a Verb When Home is Stopgap.” Nancy continues to doggedly send out her first full-length manuscript, which, in the last half year or so, has been named as a finalist in the University of Wisconsin Press Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes, Prairie Schooner Book Prize, Autumn House Press Poetry Contest, Moon City Press Poetry Award, Pleaides Press Editor’s Prize, Trio House Press Trio Award, and a runner up in the Kore Press First Book Award.

Loreen Niewenhuis (F ’07) won thirdspace’s fiction contest with her story “Vein Cutter” ( Her upcoming speaking tour will take her to three states (Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin) where she will give her dynamic presentations about her Great Lakes Adventures. In May, she will hike Isle Royale again as part of a MooseWatch Team (she finds searching for moose bones on this wild island to be the most fun ever!). This year she will develop a presentation all about Isle Royale. She is honored to have her book, A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure, put on the long list for the Chautauqua Prize. She will be a featured author at the 2016 Kerrytown BookFest in Ann Arbor in September.

Mary Popham (F ’03) was published in Preserving Our Heritage Recipes: Collected by Maryland to Kentucky & Beyond, Inc. in April; presented a program, “Writing Your Life Story,” for the members of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Cox’s Station Chapter in Bardstown, Kentucky on March 14; read her short story “Three Secrets” with New Southerner magazine’s finalists at The Bard’s Town on January 30; and was published in the Patriot Express, Kentucky’s Daughters of America newsletter in January 2016.

Catherine Rush’s (PW ’12) play, Tall Poppies, won the Landing Theatre’s New American Voices award for the second year running. The contest, judged blind, chooses four full-length plays from their submissions to receive a play reading at the theatre’s home in Houston. Catherine was also awarded a reading with The American Actors of UK, as a recipient of their New American Voices competition. That play, Main Line, was read on London’s West End. Catherine is pleased to see she is still considered a “new voice” despite recently turning 56.

Al Waller’s (W4CYA ’05) new book, Epic Insects: The Termites, has been released for Amazon Kindle. It’s a graphic novel style nonfiction book for readers age 8-12. It stars the Ultra Galactic Gung-Ho Gurus or UG3 – a group of aliens who give their unique perspective on a newly discovered planet called Earth. In this educational comedy, the UG3 give an entertaining and enlightening report on some of the planet’s most misunderstood inhabitants – Termites.  You can find the book by going to their website and find the link under UG3 Books. Along with books, Al uses the UG3 in animated videos, eLearning products and school visits to engage students in a variety of subjects.


bottom of page