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Life of a Writer: February 2024



EXCITING NEWS & UPDATES FROM SPALDING'S NASLUND-MANN SCHOOL OF WRITING STUDENTS, ALUMNI, FACULTY & STAFF



STUDENTS

 

Collen Alles’s (P) book, a young adult contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre, titled The Hound of Thornfield High, was accepted for a 2024 publication by Conquest Publishing. More information is on her website.


Mary Sophie Filicetti’s (F) short story “Losing St. Louis,” developed in a previous independent study, was published in the Fall 2023 issue of The MacGuffin, Vol 39.2. 

 


Judy Galliher’s essay about her writing group, “What Really Matters,” was recently published in Write or Die magazine. She thanks Lee Martin for helping her shape this story into something more meaningful.

 


Hilary Kretchmer’s (F/SW) story “Pony Queen” was listed as a finalist in the New Millennium Writing Awards 56. Hilary will be entering her graduation residency this year.

 

Lindsey Pharr (CNF) received first place in the nonfiction genre of the 2024 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards with her essay “Unfinished Foxes.” She’ll be reading and answering questions with other award winners at the Tucson Festival of Books on Sunday, March 10, and attending the festival’s invitation-only Masters Workshop at the University of Arizona.

 

Jo Tyler’s (P) poem “Interstitial” was published in the fall/winter 2023 issue of The Maryland Literary Review.

 

 

FACULTY & STAFF

 



Now open to the public, Louisville’s new Poetry Trail in The Parklands of Floyds Fork features Dianne Aprile’s (CNF) lyrical essay at the start of each of its trailheads. Winding in several directions among trees and flowers in The Parklands’ Beckley Creek section, the Poetry Trail features nature poems by dozens of classic and contemporary poets, including Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson, Wendell Berry, and Ada Limón. Dianne was invited by Parklands founder Dan Jones to oversee the poetry for the trail, which will have its formal launch at a ceremony this spring.

 


Larry Brenner (TVSS) had his stage play “Periphery; or the Plagiarist” produced at the Nantucket Theatre this past November. Once Upon a Disney, the podcast he cohosts with Andie Redwine, started its sixth season in January. Brenner and Redwine are currently writing a book based on the podcast that will be published in 2025 by McFarland Press.

 

Debra Kang Dean’s (P) “Postcards in the Style of Renku,” inspired by Joni Mitchell’s Hejira, appeared in The Louisville Review (93, Summer 2023), which was released this past fall. “In the Body of Etheridge Knight’s Work, a Storied Life,” a review of The Lost Etheridge: Uncollected Poems first published in Good River Review (Issue 5, Spring 2023), will be included in a forthcoming volume on Knight in the University of Michigan Press’s Under Discussion Series. She also wrote an endorsement for Greg Pape’s marvelous A Field of First Things, released in November. Since September, she has been filling in for a taiji acquaintance weekly to share what she knows about the fundamental principles of taiji movement, and in January, she was briefly reacquainted with her snow shovel.

 

Kathleen Driskell’s (Chair) new poetry collection Goat-Footed Gods will be published Winter 2025 by Carnegie Mellon University Press. She was recently in conversation with Crystal Wilkinson (F ’03) at Carmichael’s Bookstore in Louisville to discuss Crystal’s Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts. Her appearance with Katerina Stoykova (P ’09) on Accents, a radio show and podcast at WUKY 91.3, has been listened to over 6,000 times. Accents was recently highlighted as a “New and Noteworthy” podcast by NPR. Kathleen’s interview, as well as programs from other writers, can be streamed here.


Lamar Giles’s (W4CYA) middle-grade fantasy novel Epic Ellisons: Cosmos Camp was nominated for a 2024 Edgar Award in the Best Juvenile category by the Mystery Writers of America. This was his third Edgar nomination (Fake Id, 2015 and Endangered, 2016).

 


Leah Henderson (W4CYA ’11) is pleased to share the release of her latest picture book, Your Voice, Your Vote, published by HarperCollins in Winter 2023. She also had the pleasure of being a guest on Kirkus Reviews Podcast Episode 348 to discuss another of her picture books, The Courage of the Little Hummingbird, which was selected as one of Kirkus’ Best Picture Books of the Year. You can find out more about Leah and some of what she is up to at www.leahhendersonbooks.com or on Instagram @leahs_mark.

 

Roy Hoffman’s (F/CNF) novel The Promise of the Pelican, which was praised by Sena Jeter Naslund, Elaine Neil Orr, and Lee Smith, is newly available in paperback. Roy’s winter ’24 literary activities have included his leading a discussion at the Mobile Jewish Film Festival on the movie You Will Not Play Wagner and being guest speaker at Fairhope Library’s Literary Evening Series. Roy’s topic, “Where Stories Come From: Writers and Their Inspirations,” references the works, among others, of Truman Capote, E. L. Doctorow, Sena Jeter Naslund, Toni Morrison, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

 

Silas House (F ’04) served as writer, producer, and creative director for the Tyler Childers music video “In Your Love” and has received a 2024 Grammy nomination. The video became the #1 music video in the country on Apple and YouTube and was viewed more than one million times in less than a day. In December 2023, at the second inauguration of Gov. Andy Beshear, House read a poem he was asked to write for the occasion, “Those Who Carry Us.” In 2023, House won the Southern Book Prize and the Nautilus Award (Gold), was chosen for the Booklist Editor’s Choice Award, and was inducted as the Poet Laureate for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. His most recent novel, Lark Ascending, was published in Germany, Italy, and France. In 2023, House published essays, features, short stories, and poems in publications such as Time, The Arkansas International, Garden and Gun, and The Bitter Southerner.

 

Angela Jackson-Brown (F ’09) was the keynote speaker at a mini-literary conference at Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, in October. In November, she was the keynote speaker for the Mary Ellen and Jim Wayne Miller Celebration of Writing at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. In December, Katrina Kittle (F ’08) and Angela were in conversation at Morgenstern Books in Bloomington, Indiana. In February, Angela was on two panels at the annual AWP conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

 

Erin Keane (CNF/P ’04) was the featured guest at Sarabande Books’ Young Professionals Happy Hour in November and in author Sue Shapiro’s publishing class in January. You can read her interview with linguist and lexicographer Sarah Ogilvie, former Oxford English Dictionary editor and author of The Dictionary People, about the massive Victorian-era crowd-sourcing project that was the OED, at Salon.

 


Lee Martin (F/CNF) recently published stories in Superstition Review and The Lascaux Review. You can listen and/or read the stories by using the links.





Nancy McCabe’s (CNF) short comic novel The Pamela Papers: A Largely E-pistolary Story of Academic Pandemic Pandemonium was released by Outpost 19 on Feb. 6. To celebrate the book’s release, she is directing a play based on an excerpt, to be performed in March at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Her YA novel Vaulting through Time was a finalist in the American Book Fest Best Book Awards last fall, and she read at the Lit Youngstown Festival in October.



On February 20, Karen Salyer McElmurray (F/CNF) will present the Boyle Lecture at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. In addition, her new book, an essay collection called I Could Name God in Twelve Ways, will come out from University Press of Kentucky in mid-September.

 





Lesléa Newman (W4CYA) was recently featured in an article in the Bay Area Reporter, discussing her book, Always Matt: A Tribute to Matthew Shepard with young adult author Gary Eldon Peter.

 





Greg Pape (P), along with Tammy Ramsey (P ’03), served as guest poetry editor for The Louisville Review 93. Greg recently read from his new book of poems, A Field of First Things (Accents Publishing), at Carmichael’s Bookstore in Louisville and at Paul Sawyer Library in Frankfort. His next reading is February 23 at 7:00 p.m. at The Wild Goose Cafe in Owenton. You can hear an interview with Greg, conducted by Katerina Stoykova, on the Accents podcast.

 


Bruce Marshall Romans (SW ’19) is currently Co-Executive Producer/Writer for the live-action series Spider-Man: Noir, produced by Sony to air on Amazon.

 




Charlie Schulman’s (TVSS) The Relationship Play (Married Life and Sibling Rivalry) was developed by Cincinnati LAB Theater (led by Artistic Director Elizabeth Harris, PW ’15), in their New Works Festival in July and played the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. The show has attached Broadway director Scott Schwartz and is tentatively scheduled for The Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor in summer ’25. Charlie and his producing partners are planning a series of public readings this spring to raise money for a commercial New York production.

 

Jeanie Thompson (P) recently retired as director emerita of The Alabama Writers’ Forum, which she founded in 1993 with other Alabama literary citizens. Under the auspices of the Forum, Jeanie developed Writing Our Stories, a creative writing program for justice-involved youth, with the Alabama Department of Youth Services. Jeanie recently co-edited the second edition of The Language of Objects: A Creative Writing Handbook, with lessons in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Upon her retirement in November, the Forum’s board created the Jeanie Thompson Champion of the Literary Arts Award, which will be given biannually during the induction of the new members of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame to an individual and an organization in Alabama. Jeanie has published poems in The Southern Anthology: X Alabama from Texas A and M University Press (2023) and an autobiographical essay forthcoming in Old Enough: Southern Women Artists and Writers on Creativity and Aging (University of Georgia Press, 2024).

 

Neela Vaswani (F) is working on a number of writing projects—some for children, some for adults. She’s been teaching trauma-centered mindfulness meditation/writing workshops for BIPPOC Buddhist communities, doing school visits, and working with private students on book-length projects through Kweli Journal and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. She was a recent guest with the Still Waters in a Storm ESL (English as a Second Language) community.  Learn more about the students and program.

 

Katy Yocom (Associate Director, F ’03) will interview National Book Award finalist Rebecca Makkai at the Louisville Free Public Library, 7:00 p.m. Monday, February 26, about Makkai’s novel I Have Some Questions for You. Carmichael’s Bookstore co-sponsors the event. Registration is free. Katy coordinated a gathering for Spalding students, faculty, and alums at the AWP conference in Kansas City. An excerpt from her novel Three Ways to Disappear is featured in Ashland Creek Press’s Animal Literature Sampler, a downloadable PDF.

 

Sam Zalutsky (SW) is currently in Merida, Mexico, where he is developing a new horror movie, Colonial Dreams/Sueños Coloniales, and looking for both American and Mexican producers.

 


ALUMNI

 

Priscilla Atkins (P’08) has a poem “The sky just CANNOT be sad” in Hamilton Stone Review (2023) and poems “The Parsonage,” “Saturday Noodle,” and “What Dustin Begets” in Qua Literary and Fine Arts Magazine (2022). She has two pieces, “The Classmate Who Tells Me Things“ and “What I Would Stand For” in The Opiate (one a web feature, one in the 2023 magazine issue). Her hybrid piece “Who Do You Call, What Do You Say?” appears in Marrow Magazine (2022), and her story “Chasing M&M’s” is in Quail Bell (2024). Poems are forthcoming in Barrow StreetThimble Literary Magazine and The Headlight Review.

 

Catherine Berresheim’s (CNF ’13) essay “Cancer Is a Great Motivator” has been selected to be published in Middle Tennessee State University’s anthology There Are Writing Emergencies: Composing (Ourselves) in Times of Crisis (forthcoming in May).

 

In June 2023, Kristin Brace (F ’12) was featured alongside writers Emily Stoddard and Colleen Alles in “Body of Work: An Evening of Poetry” at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She read from her poetry collection Toward the Wild Abundance and enjoyed a lively conversation with her fellow poets and an engaged audience.

 


The poem “Canebrake,” by Anne Bucey (P ’22), was named a finalist for the 2023 Ron Rash Award and appears in volume 55 of Broad River Review.

 

Roy Burkhead (F ’04) earned a Post-Master’s Certificate in Writing Enrichment (poetry) in March ’23 from the Sena Jeter Naslund-Karen Mann Graduate School of Writing. He is now enrolled in a second Post-Master’s Certificate, focusing on fiction. At the Quebec City residency, he participated in a cross-genre workshop with Nancy McCabe, and he is now studying fiction with Roy Hoffman during independent study. He has accepted the position of substitute teacher with the Wilson County, Tennessee, school district. And from October 1 to December 22, he worked the graveyard shift at his local Amazon Fulfillment Center as part of research for his next novel-in-progress. Find Roy at his website.



David Carren (SW ’05) has secured a contract for a new screenwriting book for Routledge: Capturing Big Ideas for Less in Feature Film. This will be his second book for this publisher, the first being Next Level Screenwriting, co-written with David Landau. In addition, he has two screenplays under option, Until Dead for Pecan Productions and My Monster for Two Shot West.

 



Ted Chiles (F ’13) published a chapbook of short fiction, Knife & Other Love Stories, with Alien Buddha Press. The release date is set for February 18.

 




Cheré Coen (F ’23), who published Ghost Lights, her latest Viola Valentine mystery, in September, participated in a mystery author panel “Figuring It Out: Amateur Sleuths on the Case” at the Louisiana Book Festival in October. She was a featured speaker at Indie Author Day at Atlanta’s Gwinnett Library in November and at a meeting of the Atlanta Writer’s Group.

 


Suzanne Craig Robertson (F/CNF ’22) spoke at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville in October and will appear at the Rose Glen Literary Festival in Sevierville, Tennessee, in February, discussing her book He Called Me Sister: A True Story of Finding Humanity on Death Row (Morehouse Publishing, 2023). Among other talks, in March she will address the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee, connecting its mission with this memoir. Learn more about the book from these reviews: Foreword ReviewsLibrary JournalThe Christian CenturyChapter 16Baptist News Global, and the Tennessee Bar Journal.

 

Shirley Dees (F ’21) recently accepted the Publishing Assistant position with WTAW Press, working directly with the founder and director to learn the ins and outs of independent publishing. She is excited to add to the knowledge gained during her MFA residencies and see her Naslund-Mann School of Writing peers while out and about working the literary landscape.

 


For his day job promoting tourism, Dave DeGolyer (P/W4CYA ’06) was tasked with creating a fictional story inspired by local history. The story, “Legend of the Gathers: Protectors of the Light,” written under Dave’s pen name Lafayette Wattles, was inspired by a small glass company’s role in creating the first glass containers for Thomas Edison’s incandescent lamps and a mysterious shop boy who blew the first glass bubble. A picture book was published, and a multi-day event—The Days of Incandescence—evolved from the story. In October 2023, the event grew to include a themed libations crawl featuring wine and craft beverage tastings in sundry shops throughout town, with a dozen actors portraying local history, guided historic walking tours, cemetery tours, story stations, and an old-time festival featuring horse-and-wagon rides, jack-o-lantern contest, vendors, juggler, magician, live music, food truck, replica newspaper, and more. View a YouTube video of the picture book here.

 


Elizabeth Felicetti (CNF ’20) now has a cover for her second book, Irreverent Prayers: Talking to God When You’re Seriously Sick, co-authored with fellow Episcopal priest Samantha Vincent-Alexander. The book is available for pre-order and will publish July 2.

 




Peter Field (SW ’17) optioned his action thriller screenplay Corkscrew to Rush Hour Productions in Los Angeles. The project is scheduled to shoot in Gresham, Oregon, this spring. Casting is underway, with Randall Jahnson slated to direct.

 

Carolyn Dawn Flynn (F/CNF ’12) is elated to announce the publication of her becoming-of-age memoir, Boundless, this spring. When you have become no one, how do you become someone again? That’s the question at the heart of Boundless, which was longlisted for the 2012 Mslexia International Memoir Prize. www.carolynflynn.com. Flynn and MFA alum Karen Leslie (Chronister) (F ’14) will co-lead a Stories and Songs Writing Retreat in Tuscany, September 10-16. Both of them have always dreamed of returning to Spannocchia, the site of the 2011 summer residency. The retreat includes a storyteller track and a songwriter track featuring Grammy Award-winning songwriter Clay Mills. Significant scholarships offered to Spalding MFA alums and students. Sign up for a Q&A zoom on February 22 or follow us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/storiesandsongsretreat/


Amy Foos Kapoor’s (W4CYA ’19) debut picture book, Into the Blue: A Counting Adventure, will be published this Fall by BeaLu Books with illustrator Jennifer Ard. In addition, her poem “I Brake for Butterflies” was recently published by The Louisville Review, and a short film/music video that she produced with fellow Spalding alum Ron Schildknecht (SW ’12) (Director/Editor) titled “Roses” was an Official Selection for the 2023 Erie International Film Festival in December. This marked the third film festival for “Roses.”

 

Karen George (F ’09) had a poem “What We Want in the End,” published in Thimble Literary Magazine. Her debut fiction publication, How We Fracture, a collection of short stories, which won the Rosemary Daniell Fiction Prize, is available for purchase. Visit her website here and she’s on Facebook as @karenlgeo. She also had poems published in the journal MacQueens Quinterly, four poems in Glass Lyre Press’s The Aeolian Harp Anthology Vol 9, and two poems in Writing in a Woman’s Voice: “Dream Pilgrimage” and “Open your eyes, ears, heart.”

 

Holly Gleason (CNF ’15) was part of the Keynote Panel for the first Gathering of the Ghosts Conference, presented by ASJA and Gotham Ghostwriters. She and co-writer Miranda Lambert were shortlisted in the Narrative Non-Fiction/Memoir category at the ANDY Awards, created to recognize the collaboration process. Y’all Eat Yet?: Welcome to the Pretty B*tchin’ Kitchen (Harper Collins) was also the Runner-Up for Best NonFiction Book at the National Arts & Entertainment Awards in December, where Gleason took an additional five recognitions for Print Journalism, Online Columnist and more. Her Prine On Prine: Interviews & Encounters with John PrineChicago Review Press’s biggest seller of 2023, finished out the year on Best Books of 2023 at PopMatters, Best Music Book of the Year at Variety, Best Classic Bands and No Depression, and was the only book on Garden & Gun’s list of What Our Editors Want for Christmas. Kicking off in the Rare Books Room at NYC’s Strand Books with Grammy-winner and outlaw songwriter Steve Earle, Gleason’s book tour ended at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for a discussion of the late songwriter’s impact with Grammy-winner and Americana icon Lyle Lovett and Prine’s widow Fiona Whelan Prine.

 

Quincy Gray McMichael (CNF/P ’22) is grateful to be a 2024 Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) Fellow—with support from the West Virginia Department of Culture and History. Quincy’s recent publications include “The Knife Chef” in Greenbrier Valley Quarterly’s Spring 2024 issue and “Without You,” which was printed in Moonstone Arts Center’s 27th Annual Poetry Ink Anthology. Before the turn of the new year, Quincy’s poetry manuscript “Without Child” was selected for a Black Lawrence Press Manuscript Consultation with poet Michal ‘MJ’ Jones and shortlisted for the 2023 Steel Toe Books Prize in Poetry. Read her writing at https://www.quincygraymcmichael.com/| Twitter: @quincy_gray_mcm | IG: @vernal_vibe_rise


Dave Harrity (P ’07) has published new work from a recently completed manuscript in the Mid-American Review.

 




Lynn Hoffman’s (DW/W4CYA ’15) play Martha & Me was named one of three finalists in the 2023 Stanley Drama Award. Thank you to Kira Obolensky, Charlie Shulman, and all her peers who gave her feedback and encouragement along the way. Read about the award. (Lynn is mentioned at the beginning and end of the article.)


Laura Johnsrudes (MAW/PrWr ’21) essay “Beholding Something Fine” was published in the Fall 2023 Issue of Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine and received a Pushcart Prize nomination. Her piece “To Eat a Fig” was published in the Fall 2023 Issue One of SWING, the literary magazine affiliated with Nashville’s The Porch, and her essay “Smoking Guns” was published in the Fall 2023 issue of River Teeth.


Samuel Krauss (SW ’22) was honored as a member of the Jury for Slamdance 2024! Sam is under the Unstoppable banner, taking part in programming and selecting winning films. He’s most thrilled for the wonderful works created by disabled filmmakers.

 




In November, Sarah Ladd (F ’22) earned the Mental Health in Media Award from the Kentucky Psychological Association for her ‘Breaking the Stigma’ Series.


Maryann Lesert’s (F ’03) novel Land Marks will be published by SheWrites Press in April. The novel, which focuses on anti-fracking activists in Michigan, was favorably reviewed in Publisher’s Weekly.


Karen Leslie (Chronister) (F ’14), has launched a new writing retreat with Carolyn Flynn (F/CNF ’12). Coming in September, “Stories & Songs: A Writing Retreat to Italy” taps Karen’s husband, hit songwriter Clay Mills, to lead the Songwriter track, while she and Carolyn co-facilitate the Storyteller track. The retreat features cross-genre workshops, as well as a Hybrid track for writers who want to move between genres. Details: 6 days/6 nights, all-inclusive, open mics, wine on the grass terrace, Siena writer’s trip, traditional Tuscan meals in the historic medieval tenuta, and more! Since the 2011 Spannocchia residency, they’ve both dreamed of returning with other writers to this special place. *Karen and Carolyn are celebrating their return by sponsoring several $500 Naslund-Mann School of Writing Alumni scholarships, available to alumni attendees (first come, first serve). Registration is open. Spots are limited!

 

Aimee Mackovic’s (P ’05) memoir, Contains Recycled Parts, was published in December. In 2019, Aimee underwent an unexpected heart and liver transplant, and a kidney transplant in 2022. Contains Recycled Parts is about that journey. You can order it at bookshop.org or the other one.

 

Precious McKenzie (WFCYA ’20) published a picture book titled Nest, which celebrates families of many feathers and includes extensive science facts in the back matter of the book. 

 



Angie Mimms (CNF ’15) completed an Artist’s Residency awarded by the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Sisters of Loretto in October at the sisters’ motherhouse in Nerinx, Kentucky. She worked there for a week to revise My Beautiful One, Come with Me: A Book of Encouragement and Weekly Devotions for Teens and Adults with Special Needs. In December, her poem “How I Come to Rely on Your Wisdom” was published by Literary Mama.

 


Brett E. Niethamer’s (SW ’17) screenplay, A.R.S.E. - American Response Squad Elite, was selected for the Jaipur International Film Festival. https://www.jiffindia.org  

 




In September, Portia Pennington (SW ’17) was in residence at Milkwood, a retreat for children’s book writers and artists housed in a reclaimed dairy barn in the Catskills. Milkwood is owned and operated by Caldecott artist and writer Sophie Blackall and playwright Ed Schmidt. Pennington revised her middle grade novel, Sincerely, Molly B.

 



Atul N. Rao (SW ’16) had written multiple episodes and songs on a show called Ghee Happy. One of his episodes has been nominated for the 51st Annie Awards, an animation-specific award that carries prestige within the industry. Atul’s Ghee Happy: “Navagraha” is nominated for an ANNIE in the category of Best TV/Media - Preschool, alongside some amazingly brilliant shows like Batwheels, Winnie the Pooh, Storybots and The Creature Cases. This follows winning four Kidscreen awards for his Netflix show Deepa & Anoop (for which Atul is head writer), including best new series, and is currently nominated for 2024 Kidscreen award for diversity and inclusion.

 

Charles Rix (F ’23) will have his short play “Midnight Roundup” featured in the ScriptShuffle’s Short Play Festival in Los Angeles, March 21-22. Info on IG @scriptshuffle



Elizabeth Slade ('06) published a historical fiction novel Momentum: Montessori, a Life in Motion. More information is on her website. 





Katerina Stoykova (P ’09) has a new poetry book Between a Bird Cage and a Bird House (University Press of Kentucky, 2024), released in January.

 




Kathleen Thompson (F ’03) was honored with the invitation by Michelle Dowd, Hudson Strode Professor of English and Director of the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies, to speak to the Hudson Strode scholars at The University of Alabama in 2023. The late Helen Norris Bell, Thompson’s good friend, was the first Hudson Strode Scholar and the subject of Thompson’s ECE at Spalding. Thompson also gathered and organized Norris’s papers for placement in the archives at The U of A. She recently experimented with organizing a cross-genre prose chapbook. She will present a poetry program for the Birmingham chapter of the National League of American Pen Women on May 2. See her newest published work of fiction, a novella, A Tale of Three Womenfeatured on her blog. It is also available at Excalibur Press and Amazon.

 

Frank X Walker’s (P ’03) latest book is Love House, published by Accents Publishing. His picture book A Is for Affrilachia, illustrated by upfromsumdirt, was published in 2023 by the University Press of Kentucky. Frank was the grand prize winner of the 2023 Black Authors Matter Children’s Book Awards.


Colleen Wells (CNF/F ’10) had a personal essay, “Taken in on a 5150 at Almost Fifty,” published by Rockvale Review in Issue 11, November 2023. In November she was awarded a Bloomington Arts Commission Emerging Artist grant, which she hopes to put toward publishing an anthology of essays from survivors of suicide. She participated in the fall women’s writing circle through Bloomington Women Writing for (a) Change, where she joins in an outreach circle helping to facilitate poetry circles for Stonebelt, an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of those living with developmental disabilities.

 

Troy (T. E.) Wilderson (F ’17) has a short story, “Lady Luck,” published by Pithead Chapel in their January 2024 issue. A McKnight Foundation Creative Writing Fellow, T. E. has recently completed a short story collection, Tragic Fairy Tales. She is @MizGolightly on Twitter/X and @tewilderson on Instagram.

 

Nancy Luana Wilkes (CNF ’22) published her personal essay “Wildwood Drive” in the Winter/Spring 2023 edition of Appalachian Review. The essay was thirty years in the writing, and Nancy wishes to thank Jason Howard for this opportunity as well as her Spalding mentors, workshop leaders, and workshop members for their thoughtful reading of the oh-so-many previous drafts. Most especially, though, she wishes to thank Mr. Thompson for the inspiration and for his kindness fifty-two years ago, wherever he may be—and for the candy corn, of course.

 

Crystal Wilkinson (F ’03) is launching an imprint with the University Press of Kentucky, Screen Door Press, which celebrates the best in fiction and is dedicated to discovering unique, exceptional, and varied voices within Black literary traditions. Crystal is touring with her book Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts: Stories and Recipes from Five Generations of Black Country Cooks (Clarkson Potter, 2024). She was profiled in The New York Times and appeared on NPR’s 1A and The Splendid Table. She was recently named a Writing Freedom Fellow by Haymarket Books and the Mellon Foundation and is also a fellow of the Academy of American Poets.

 

Katie Williams (SW ’22) has been hired at UofL as an adjunct professor to teach Writing for TV & Film in the Communications Department.

 

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