top of page

August 2015

Life of a Writer: New and Events

August 2015


Annie Crandell (F) was awarded second place in the 2015 James Applewhite Poetry Prize for her poem “Waterfall.” The poem will appear in the 2016 issue of The North Carolina Literary Review, out next summer.

Jessica Evans (F) is pleased to announce that her chapbook, learn to find, will be released later this year. The collection of poetry examines the life of her late mother.

Jessica Love Kim (W4CYA) will be speaking on two panels at AWP’s 2016 conference in Los Angeles: Treating Your Setting like a Character and Dream On: Four Debut Authors and Their Many Paths to Publication.

 Beth Miller’s (F) short story “The Garden” was accepted for publication in the Fall 2015 edition of Avalon Literary Review.

Marilyn Millstone’s (PW) ten-minute play “Compos Mentis” was selected for production in the 2015 Chagrin Valley Little Theatre (CVLT) 10-10 Festival, which ran from July 24 to August 15. The play, Marilyn’s first 10-minute play and first comedy, was initially part of a worksheet she submitted to Charlie Schulman’s workshop at Spalding’s Fall 2014 residency. After watching a fascinating improvisation Schulman conducted with playwriting classmates Margo Buchanan, Jane Jones, and Linda Mitchell, Millstone revised the play and began submitting it to competitions. It was one of 10 selected by the CVLT Festival from a field of over 700 scripts submitted from around the world.

Hugh Moffatt (SW) is producing the second annual Pulp Friction 10-Minute Play Festival as part of the Proto-Pulp Book Fair at the Idea Hatchery in Nashville, Tennessee, on September 26. Nashville theater veteran Lane Wright will direct this year. Hugh’s short play “Leaving Home” is one of four plays selected to run in repertory in the afternoon during the book fair. Also, Hugh and illustrator Julie Sola have signed a contract with Thompson Literary Agency in New York to represent their children’s picture book series, Dissolvo Dog.

Marc Tretin’s (P) poem “1913—Anna O Speaks to All the World’s Leaders, Born, Unborn and Dead” was accepted by Ghost Town. His poem “The Wireless Phone that was Dropped Down the Stairs” was accepted into Moon City Review. He will start the Spalding MFA program this fall and will concentrate his efforts on poetry.

Faculty and Staff

Dianne Aprile was the August featured reader for the poetry series Soul Food Poetry in Redmond, Washington. Also in August, she was a first-round judge for 2015 applications to Hedgebrook Writers Residency (Whidbey Island, Washington).

Julie Brickman gave three readings from her story collection Two Deserts during June and early July. On June 23, she read at Clubhouse 3 in Laguna Woods Village. On July 1, she gave a reading at the home of alum Kathrin Seitz (F ’15) in Rockport, Maine. On July 2, she gave a reading at Split Rock Cove Artists Retreat in South Thomaston, Maine. At Split Rock Cove, she also gave a two-day master class and workshop focusing on interiority. Attending were several Spalding alums, including Alice Gorman (CNF ’05) and Lucinda Ziesing (SW’ 06).

L. Cook was granted an artist colony residency at Blue Mountain Center this summer. His essay “Las Vegas Transcendentalists” appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Alligator Juniper. Another essay, “I-Home,” is forthcoming in Bluestem, and several short-short stories will soon be published in The Pinch, Elsewhere, and Fiction Southeast.

Roy Hoffman’s essay “Harper Lee, My Daughter and Me” appeared on the op/ed page of the New York Times on Wednesday, July 9, and was one of the top 10 most emailed stories of the Times over the next few days.

Lesléa Newman has two children’s books coming out this fall, and both have received favorable reviews. Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed (Candlewick Press) was named a Junior Library Guild Selection and received a starred review in Publishers Weekly. My Name is Aviva (Kar-Ben Books) received a lovely review in Publishers Weekly. Lesléa also published an essay entitled “Married Once (or Twice) and For All” in The Huffington Post.


Priscilla Atkins (P ’08) participated in the Bryant Park Word for Word Reading Room Series in New York on July 28. She has poems in recent issues of several journals: “Calm China” and “Alone,” in damfino; “Houseguest” and “Drinking the Pink” in Houseguest; and “Ménage à Deux” in Kudzu. The highlight of her writing life this year was returning to Spalding as a full participant in the May 2015 residency. She studied with wonderful current students in a fabulous workshop led by two great poet-teachers, enjoyed (and learned from) every lecture and reading she attended, and, later in the week, found magic in meeting up with other alums, especially classmate Jill Kelly Koren (P ’08), among others.

Beatrice Bowles (W4CYA ’03) researches, rewrites, tells, and records world wonder tales for children. She has recorded five collections of stories, won a 2015 World Storytelling Award, and is a Voting Member of the Grammy’s Recording Academy. Her musician/composer is Sara Buchanan MacLean of Louisville. She began her first novel, an eco-occult thriller, A Ring of Riddles, at Spalding. For more information about Beatrice, visit

Deirdre Gainor’s (F, W4CYA ’11) short story “Letting in the Light,” the title story from her 2011 Spalding MFA fiction thesis, was published in the latest issue of The Marathon Review.

Karen George (F ’09) had a prose poetry chapbook accepted by Blue Lyra Press as Volume One of the Delphi Series, a single perfect bound volume of three chapbooks by three separate authors, to be released in February 2016. Her poem “Memorypillowed Sleep,” a found poem composed from Chapter 8 of James Joyce’s Ulysses, was published in Blast Furnace. Waypoints, an online journal for which she is fiction editor, is open for submissions of journey-themed poetry, fiction, and art until October 1. Published work will be eligible for the Editor’s Choice Award of $50.

Tara Goldstein (PW ’06) staged her play Castor and Sylvie, about French feminist writer and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir (Castor) and her midlife companion Sylvie Le Bon, at the SummerWorks Festival in Toronto August 8–16. Tara worked on the script with Spalding colleagues at the May 2014 MFA Homecoming weekend. See for more details.

H. Jerriod Avant’s (P ’13) poem “Missing Person” was published in Boston Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Series, and his poem “Holy Stagger” was a finalist for the 2015 Mississippi Review Prize and was published in the June issue of Mississippi Review. On May 15, he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from New York University. Jerriod was also awarded a 2015 Vermont Studio Center Fellowship for the month of June in Johnson, Vermont, and a 2015-2016 Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship in Provincetown, Massachusetts, from October 1 until May 1, 2016.

jimi izrael (SW ’07) is in post-production on two proof-of-concept projects. The micro-series “#popcorn,” which he wrote, directed, and produced for the web, mobile devices, and tablets will be released in September; a micro-short for “The New Binky Show” (first developed while at Spalding University) is also in post and will be available to the public in December. The full-length screen adaptation he wrote for his 2010 memoir, The Denzel Principle (St. Martin’s Press), is in development by a Hollywood producer. There is another book—not as sexy, unDenzel-related—in the works. izrael has turned MurderMouse: Mutant/Student/Killer-For-Hire (his 2007 MFA creative thesis) into a comic book that should be available in February 2016. One of his screenplays is currently an Academy Nicholl Fellowship quarter-finalist. He was formally a SAGES Presidential Fellow at Case Western Reserve University, and he has been teaching at various colleges for about seven years, including Cleveland State University, Lakeland Community College, and Cuyahoga Community College, where he is currently Artist-in-Residence. A recovering journalist, he is still a frequent public radio contributor.

Alice-Catherine Jennings (P ’14) recently had two poems, “Bengali Sweet House” and “Raj Mandir Cinema,” published in Issue 6 of Zoomoozophone Review. They were inspired by a trip to India with faculty member Helena Kriel.

Mary Knight (W4CYA ’13) has just accepted a position as a writing mentor for the inaugural year of the Carnegie Center’s Author Academy, a nine-month certificate program in Lexington, Kentucky.

Kris Lee (PW ’15) (T.K. Lee in publication) was awarded the Peter K. Hixson Memorial Award for Creative Writing in Poetry for 2015. The award is only offered to two writers: short fiction and poetry. More at Kris will also be a visiting writer for the new MFA in Creative Writing Program at the Mississippi University for Women in their inaugural year, as a faculty member in playwriting. For more information, link to

JoAnn LoVerde-Dropp (P ’10) is a lecturer of English at Kennesaw State University. She serves on the board of directors for The Georgia Writers’ Association and contributes to the Poetry Matters poetry book review and interview blog. Her upcoming interview in September is with Jenny Sadre-Orafai, author of “Paper Cotton Leather.”

Lisa McShane’s (W4CYA ’15) short story “The Ill-Fated Power of Ham” was published in the anthology Broken Worlds (A Murder of Storytellers).

Rick Neumayer’s (F ’14) short story “The Blind Man” appeared in the July-August edition of Drunk Monkeys.

Mary Popham (F ’03) appeared on a panel with other leaders of the local writing community, discussing regional writing resources and groups for a one-day conference, Exploring the Writer’s Craft, sponsored by Women Who Write, on July 18. She also published four pieces in the Summer 2015 Fiction Issue of 2nd & Church magazine: “Karen Mann, A Kentucky Homecoming”; “A Cup of Tea at the Muhammad Ali Center,” covering the Becca Stevens presentation; a book review of The Way of Tea and Justice: Rescuing the World’s Favorite Beverage from Its Violent History by Becca Stevens; and a book review of Old Louisville: Exuberant, Elegant, and Alive by David Domine.

Graham Shelby (CNF ’10) recently changed jobs and is now the full-time speechwriter for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

Lori Tucker-Sullivan’s (CNF ’11) essay “Detroit, 2015,” about her upcoming return to her hometown, will be included in the fall memoir edition of Midwestern Gothic magazine. She will be reading from the essay at the Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on October 8.

Matt Urmy’s (P ’09) first full-length collection, The Rain in the Bell, will be published by Iris Press in October. Much of this collection was refined during Matt’s time at Spalding, working with great mentors like Greg Pape, Debra Kang Dean, and Kathleen Driskell. The genesis of some of the poems in this collection dates back as early as 2001, and work forming them into a formal manuscript began during Matt’s time at Spalding. Matt’s first chapbook, Ghosts in a House, was published in 2007 by Finishing Line Press while he was attending Spalding. For more information on Matt and his work, visit


bottom of page