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Life of a Writer: Autumn Edition



Jason Cooper (PW) launched his new theatre company, The Chicken Coop, on September 27th here in Louisville, Kentucky. More than just a theatre company, The Chicken Coop strives to provide a variety of entertainment offerings and to create a place for artists and audiences to come together to celebrate, be inspired and simply have a great time.

Elizabeth Felicetti (Spring 2020 class representative) wrote “On Not Becoming a Bishop” for Entropy Magazine after declining a nomination to run in a bishop election while watching the reality television program Vanderpump Rules: , containing a scene she read at one of the Spring 2019 residency student readings. Her Facebook writer page is, Twitter handle @bizfel, Web site, instagram @elizabethfelicetti.

Elana Gartner’s (PW) script, Before Lesbians, will receive a staged reading at Good Luck Macbeth Theatre in Reno, Nevada, in August 2020 with their New Works Initiative.

Carroll Grossman (CNF) has a short reflective essay, “Opal,” in the current issue of Interstice, a literary publication of South Texas College. In addition, another essay, “Ecosystem,” is scheduled for publication in the fall edition of Canary, a literary journal of the environmental crisis.

Jasmine Lomax (P) will have one of her newest poems, “Negative Space,” published in Peach Velvet Mag, a zine dedicated to the contentious twenty-something experience in the modern era. Expected publication date is set for Halloween, so be on the lookout! You can also find Jasmine’s work coming up in Spalding University’s art/poetry exhibition during Fall Residency (set for November 15-24), or you can visit her portfolio at, or her ello blog, For social media, find Jasmine on her Instagram at @sierra_j25.

Joy Neighbors’s PW) book The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide has been picked up Penguin Random House. The book takes readers on a jaunt through the cemetery describing how to locate an ancestor’s grave and where to find elusive family death records and passing on some tips and tricks to rattle those skeletons in the closet that guard family secrets. Neighbors also speaks around the country on cemetery culture and history.

Michelle Tyrene Johnson’s (PW) play she was commissioned to write for the Coterie that premieres next fall, has been one of six American plays picked by the Kennedy Center to be included in the New Visions, New Voices 2020 Festival in May.

Mervyn Seivwright (P) was recently published in two journals: Montana Mouthful Literature Journal with the poem “The Mushroom Cloud” and Prometheus Dreaming Cultural Journal with the poem “A Sunday Drive in Mutsu Mountains,” from his upcoming creative thesis. He was also selected in the same timeframe for poems in the iō Literary Journal and Toho Journal to be published in the next few months. Mervyn had previous publications, also from his creative thesis, earlier this year with five poems in Rigorous Literary Magazine and “Foreign Objects“ in University of Toronto’s The Trinity Review. Follow Mervyn on Twitter: @Deepcobra

Heidi Taylor (P) was recently hired to write a column for LEO Weekly in Louisville under the nom de plume Huntress Thompson. When asked about the play on Hunter S. Thompson’s name, she stated, “It was an Eminem level moment of brilliance when I came up with it and it was just too good not to use.”

In addition, Heidi has also been invited to read some of her recent work as part of Bending Words in Paducah, Kentucky, on November 9 (@RiverCityPoetry on Facebook). “I’m honored that Snacks Hawkins and Niaz Khadem invited me to read because their work is so much better than mine,” she said. Link to her most recent article can be found at LEO Weekly. Follow Heidi on Twitter: @HideyThePoet, and on Facebook: Heidi Taylor.


Cynthia Rausch Allar’s (P ’04) poem “Knowing This Much” was published recently in the anthology titled The Boom Project: Voices of a Generation, edited by fellow alums Kimberly Crum and Bonnie Omer Johnson. She and other contributors read at the book launch at Captain’s Quarters Riverside Grill in Prospect, Kentucky, in August. Cynthia and her wife, Frances Nicholson (P ’04), retired and moved to Louisville early in August.

Ashley Ann Alliano’s (F ’17) first publication landed in Glimmer Train, one of the most respected short-story journals in print, which has actively championed emerging writers from over thirty years.

Kellie Kristen Carle (F ’16) is “over-the-moon excited” that her story “Remnants” is one of many wonderful stories Barrelhouse nominated for Sundress Publications Best of the Net.

Nancy Chen Long’s (P ’13) second poetry collection, Wider than the Sky, is a Diode Editions Book Prize winner.

Karen George (F ’09) had three found poems published in South Dakota Review, a poem in Naugatuck River Review, and three ekphrastic poems published: one at The Ekphrastic Review, one at Gyroscope Review, and one in Juniper, A Poetry Journal. She had two poems published in the anthology edited by Spalding alums Bonnie Omer Johnson and Kimberly Crum, The Boom Project: Voices of a Generation, and one poem published in The Ohio River anthology Riparian.

Alice Jennings (P ’14) was selected to be a contributor to this year’s “Patchwork Poem” by the Federation of Writers (Scotland) on the theme of truth. 

Bonnie Omer Johnson (F ’04) and Kimberly Crum (CNF ’03) announce the publication of The Boom Project: Voices of a Generation—a collection of stories, essays, poetry and memoir by writers born between 1946 and 1964, who have lived along the Ohio River between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Cairo, Illinois.  Spalding alums featured in the anthology are Karen George (F ’09), Cynthia Rausch Allar (P ’04), Leslie Smith Townsend (CNF ’04), and Mary Lou Northern (F ’11), along with Spalding MFA student Lennie Hay (graduating in November). Faculty member Dianne Aprile is also featured. 

In addition, Johnson and Crum are pleased to have been accepted to the Kentucky Book Fair, which takes place November 16. To purchase and/or learn about the book, its contributors and upcoming events, visit the website at

Parneshia Jones (P ’06) has been named Editorial Director for Trade and Engagement at Northwestern University Press. Her role will be completely in the arena of acquiring books for the press and engaging with communities all over the world to have conversations and build platforms for the books and authors they publish.

Jessica Love Kim’s (W4CYA ’16) latest young adult novel, This Is What You Came For, will be published in Spring 2021 by Swoon Reads/Macmillan under the name Jessica Patrick. The first several chapters of a very early version of This Is What You Came For were workshopped at residency in Prague/Berlin and in Rome. Jessica’s previous novels, In Real Life and Push Girl, were published by St. Martin’s Griffin/Macmillan under the name Jessica Love. You can catch up with Jessica at

Kelly Martineau’s (CNF ’10) essays have appeared in The Florida ReviewSou’wester, and The Sycamore Review, in which her essay “Patterning” was a finalist for the Wabash Prize for Nonfiction. Her essay “Sundae School” is forthcoming in Quarter After Eight. She recently taught a workshop, “Get the Lit Out: Submitting Work for Literary Publication,” at the Snohomish library. 

Cate McGowan‘s (F ’03) soon-to-be published debut novel These Lowly Objects has a new cover. The painting on the cover is by the brilliant Gregory Eltringham. The novel is to be published by Gold Wake Press.

Marilyn Millstone‘s (PW ’16) ten-minute play Compos Mentis has just been published by Art Age Publications, based in Portland, Oregon.  The play, which has had nine productions around the world and won numerous awards, first came to life as a draft brought to Spalding’s Fall 2014 residency, where it was memorably workshopped in a group led by Charlie Schulman. 

Vivian Sanchez (P ’19) recently read from her book Borderline & Other Poems, at Liberias Gandhi, in Mexico City, Mexico. A write-up was done in Opera Mundi by Oscar Garduño Nájera. In Borderline & Other Poems Vivian “drinks directly in the erotic tradition of the classical Greco-Roman poetry of Sapfó, Catulo, Marcial or Arquíloco, but also in more recent and no less sensual sources, such as the poetry of Ritsos or Cavafis. The Hellenic universe and its imprint are a constant in the work of this young Mexican and northern poet, who is seduced and seduced by the polymorphic and southern sensuality of the Mediterranean.”

Troy (T. E.) Wilderson’s (F ’17) short story “The Little Prince” will be published by F(r)iction in its Spring Issue 15. Her full credits can be viewed on her website: She is @MizGolightly on Twitter.

Crystal Wilkinson (F ’03) won the 2019 Appalachian Heritage Award, and her second book, Water Street, was named a community read for all of West Virginia by the state’s Center for the Book. Wilkinson was also recently a finalist for the John Dos Passos Award for her third book, The Birds of Opulence.


Gabriel Jason Dean’s (Dramatic Writing Faculty) musical “Our New Town” premiered on October 10 at Wagner College on Staten Island. For more info, visit

Ellyn Lichvar (Spalding School of Writing Programs Manager) has been promoted to the position of Programs Manager. Ellyn, a poetry alum of the Spalding MFA Program, began working on staff as a graduate assistant while still a student. Since her graduation she has served in a number of administrative roles, including most recently Coordinator of Admissions and Independent Study. Ellyn will now run the day-to-day operations of the SCPW office. She continues to serve as managing editor of The Louisville Review. Ellyn was recently awarded an artist enrichment grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in DIAGRAM, BOAAT, The Journal, The Minnesota Review, Whiskey Island, Typo and others.

Jody Lisberger’s (Fiction Faculty) story “Animal Teeth” was published in Jabberwock Review, Volume 40.1 Summer 2019.

Eleanor Morse’s (Fiction Faculty) upcoming novel MARGREETE’S HARBOR will be published in April 2021.

Portland reading, Another Read Through book shop, the view from the podium. From left: Krista Humphrey, Krista’s friend, Kasia Hoover, Megan McKenzie (Katy’s best friend from sixth grade), Jeanne Haggard in the way back, Charlotte Rains Dixon, Melissa Gardea, Liz Wilks, Karen Mann, Peter Field, and bookseller Margaret.

Katy Yocom (F ’03) continues her book tour. October included stops in Portland, Oregon; Seattle; Nashville; Bowling Green, Kentucky; and Cincinnati. In Bowling Green she served as visiting writer for the Mary Ellen and Jim Wayne Miller Celebration of Writing. Nearly every stop has included an informal reunion with Spalding alumni, and Karen Mann even flew from San Jose to see her in Portland! She was interviewed on the podcast “Girlfriend We Need to Talk,” a summary of which appears at “The Girlfriend Takeaway.” An excerpt of her novel was published in under the title “Into the Forest Like a Ghost.” Her novel, Three Ways to Disappear, was included in Cincinnati Magazine‘s article “Top Five Local Books to Spend an Afternoon With” and won the Best Fiction award at Books by the Banks: Cincinnati Regional Book Festival (and Cincinnati folks, if you haven’t been, what a terrific festival!). Her novel was also reviewed in Khaas Baat, a publication for Indian Americans in Florida. Upcoming stops are a little closer to home:

  1. LEXINGTON, Ky.: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. November 16, Kentucky Book Fair, 4089 Iron Works Pkwy, Lexington, KY 40511

  2. LOUISVILLE: 5:30 p.m. November 18, Celebration of Recently Published Books, Spalding University

  3. LEXINGTON, Ky.: 7 p.m. December 5, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 161 Lexington Green Cir B, Lexington, KY 40503

  4. LOUISVILLE: 7 p.m. December 13, InKY Reading Series, The Bard’s Town, 1801 Bardstown Road.

  5. LOUISVILLE: 9:30 a.m. – noon December 14, Katy will lead an InKY Workshop, location TBA.



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