Life of a Writer: May 2022



EXCITING NEWS & UPDATES FROM THE NASLUND-MANN GRADUATE SCHOOL

OF WRITING STUDENTS, ALUMNI, FACULTY & STAFF


STUDENTS

Charla Booth’s (PW) play that she worked on in residency, This Bitter Cup, streamed from Butler University Arts & Events Center during Black History Month. Her book, Your Needs are Special Too: A Salutary for Siblings of Special Needs Kids, is now available at Wal-Mart. The illustrated children’s version was released on April 2, World Autism Day.


Theresa Anne Carey’s (SW) creative thesis screenplay, MESTENGO, is a Top-Tier Finalist in the Richmond International Film Festival and a Semifinalist in the Atlanta Film Festival.


He Called Me Sister, a memoir by Suzanne Craig Robertson (F), will be published in Spring 2023 from Morehouse Press. The story follows 15 years of her family’s relationship with a man on Tennessee’s death row and the aftermath of his execution as she began to piece together his story, too late. The book intersperses Cecil Johnson’s own memoir and poetry, with letters, conversations, and—using her experience as a legal magazine editor and writer—newspaper accounts, court documents, and interviews. Connect with her on Twitter @SuzanneCRobert2.

ALUMNI

Poet Therese (“Gwen”) Broderick (P ’06) was profiled in a feature article for National Poetry Month, published April 27in the Times Union (Albany, New York) newspaper.  Photo: Paul Grondahl / Special to the Times Union




Karen George (F ’09) won the 2022 Slippery Elm Poetry Contest. She had a found poem published in Heron Tree, created from “The Dragon’s Teeth,” a story in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Tanglewood Tales; ekphrastic poems published in West Trestle Review, Halfway Down the Stairs, MacQueen’s Quinterly & MacQueen’s Quinterly 2; and an ekphrastic nonfiction piece published in an e-book anthology of The Ekphrastic Review. She was a featured reader at UncloisteredOnline Reading Series, at Bloomington Spoken Word Series, and Louisville Literary Arts’ InKY Reading Series, and she visited a Zoom class at Thomas More University to talk about writing ekphrastic poetry and having a collaborative chapbook of poetry published.

Laura Johnsrude’s (MAW, PrWr ’21) essay “Honesty and Bravery in Creative Nonfiction Workshop Commentary” was published on Brevity’s nonfiction blog. Laura serves as Assistant Book Review editor for Good River Review, where she has produced three book reviews, most recently her piece on Dear Damage, by Ashley Marie Farmer. Other creative nonfiction essay publications are forthcoming in Under the Gum Tree and Drunk Monkeys. Find her on Instagram @Laura.Johnsrude and Twitter @LauraJohnsrude. Noelle Nori (F ’20) had an excerpt from her thesis novel, Indigo Lace, longlisted for The Master’s Review 2021 Novel Excerpt Contest. The longlist represents the top 1 percent of all submissions received.


Marilyn Moss Rockefeller’s (CNF ’09) essay, “My Grandmother’s Kitchen,” will be published in the anthology Breaking Bread (May 2022). She will be reading her piece at the Camden, Maine, Public Library on June 7.




In February, Bob Sachs’s (F ’09) forty-seventh publication since graduating, “The First Day,” appeared in The Sledgehammer Literary Journal. In June, his forty-eighth publication, “The Teller,” will appear in the Rivanna Review.Learn more at his website, www.roberthsachs.com. Julie Ann Stewart’s (F ’10) debut collection, Water and Blood, was published by Dzanc Books on April 26 and is now available for sale. It was selected as winner of the Dzanc Books Short Story Collection Prize. Julie will read from Water and Blood at the Alumni Celebration of Recently Published Books at Homecoming, May 25 at the Brown Hotel. Jamey Temple’s (F ’07) micro essay, “Uprooted,” recently appeared in River Teeth’s Beautiful Things. A hybrid piece titled “No one will hear this, I say, to make it true” is in the current edition of Bending Genres, and a flash essay titled “We Didn’t” will appear in Ocotillo Review’s July edition. Find her at jameytemple.com.

FACULTY & STAFF

W4CYA faculty member Beth Ann Bauman is teaching Writing the Young-Adult Novel online at UCLA this quarter. Privately, she’s been teaching generative classes in fiction on Zoom.


Wiley Cash’s (F) novel When Ghosts Come Home (William Morrow 2021) won the Southern Book Prize from the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.



Kathleen Driskell’s chapbook of poems The Vine Temple will be published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in February 2023. She has poems forthcoming in Birmingham Poetry Review and Symposeum Magazine. In April, she gave a keynote address and was visiting writer at Owensboro Community and Technical College, which selected Next Door to the Dead as its spring common read for 2022. At the #AWP22 Conference, in addition to her leadership duties as Chair of AWP, which included presiding over several program director plenaries, at the last moment she jumped in as a substitute for the panel “Controlled Chaos and June Swoons: Life as a Low-Residency MFA Director.” You can follow Kathleen on Twitter @kathdriskell.  Lynnell Edwards (Associate Director, P) has been busy this spring doing readings from her “pandemicked” collection of poetry, This Great Green Valley, with readings for the Filson Historical Society, the Paul Sawyier Public Library in Frankfort, Kentucky, and Carmichael’s Bookstore in Louisville.

Rachel Harper’s (F) new novel, The Other Mother, a thrilling generational saga about a young man’s search for a parent he never knew, and a moving portrait of motherhood, identity, and the truths we hide in the name of family, was published by Counterpoint Press on May 3. The audiobook, narrated by January LaVoy and William DeMeritt, was published by Recorded Books and available the same day. So far, it’s been reviewed by Publishers Weekly and has been featured in BookRiot, Oprah Daily, andEssence. Harper can be followed on Goodreads, where you can add The Other Mother to your To Read bookshelf and enter the giveaway for a free copy. For virtual tour dates and more, please visit her website www.rachelmharper.com.  Silas House’s (F) new novel, Lark Ascending, recently had its exclusive cover reveal at LitHub. The book will be released on September 27. House’s long feature on singer-songwriter S.G. Goodman was recently published in the print and online editions of The Bitter Southerner. His podcast, “On the Porch,” where he interviews artists and activists, releases a new episode every month. 

Angela Jackson-Brown (F) is excited to announce she will begin teaching as a tenure track Associate Professor in Creative Writing this fall at Indiana University in Bloomington. On April 4 and 6, she was a speaker at the (virtual) Little Grassy Literary Festival hosted by Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. On April 7, she spoke to the Nashville Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association (virtual). On April 23 she was the keynote speaker and a workshop leader at the Gathering of Writers for the Indiana Writers Center in Indianapolis. An article that Angela co-wrote with a Ball State colleague, Dr. Kiesha Gordon-Warren, titled, “Critical Co-Constructed Autoethnography: Reflections of a Collaborative Teaching Experience of Two Black Women in Higher Education,” was recently published by the Journal of Black Studies. Erin Keane (CNF, PrWr) recently judged the VanderMey Nonfiction Prize for Ruminate (congratulations to winner Marianne Erhardt on her winning essay, “The Body Is Loyal”) and taught a workshop on the braided essay for the Young Women Writers Project at the Carnegie Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Her debut memoir, Runaway: Notes on the Myths That Made Me (Belt Publishing, out September 27), is available now for pre-order from the publisher or wherever you buy your books.  Karen Mann, Administrative Director, recently took a class on dialogue with alum Carolyn Flynn (F/CNF ’12) through her online Uncommon Hours Master Classes. Karen’s science fiction manuscript, One Hundred Ships Appear on Earth, is in the capable hands of writing coach Charlotte Rains Dixon (F ’03), and she hopes to begin the next revision soon! Karen Salyer McElmurray (CNF/F) is a new faculty member in the Spalding MFA program. Her novel, Wanting Radiance, came out in November from University Press of Kentucky, and her essay collection, Voice Lessons, is new from Iris Books. A lyric essay, “In Varanassi,” just won the Charlotte Lit/South Award. She has been Visiting Writer at University of South Dakota this spring. 


Lesléa Newman (W4CYA) was recently profiled in Judaica in the Spotlight. Her new bilingual children’s book, Alicia and the Hurricane: A Story of Puerto Rico/Alicia y el huracán: Un cuento de Puerto Rico has just been published by Lee and Low Books and has been chosen as a Junior Library Guild selection. Learn more at LesleaKids.com.


Jeremy Paden (T) has recently published five poems in issue 50.1 of the Appalachian Review. In the summer of 2021, Antonym Mag published several Spanish-to-English translations and a conversation between Paden and the Chilean poet Mario Meléndez Muñoz about poetry and translation. World Literature Today published two of Paden’s translations of the Spanish poet Juan Carlos Mestre. This past December, Santa Rabia Poetry Reviewpublished one of his Spanish language poems. His essay, “Translating Vocation,” on the importance of translation and world literature within the context of self and vocational exploration, was recently published in a volume of essays from the Edinburgh University Press, titled Cultivating Vocation in Literary Studies. And his translation of Árbol familiar, an award-winning collection of poems by the Chilean poet Tomás Bravo, will be published in the summer of 2022. Charlie Schulman (PW, SW) received a faculty development grant from New York University to workshop his new play,Sibling Rivalry, with Cincinnati Lab Theater. It’s a full-length, three-character play written for the same cast and set of his previous collaboration with LAB, Married Life. The plays are intended to be produced in repertory as The Relationship Plays. His 20-minute multimedia, one-person show Man Versus Musk, commissioned by and co-written with safety rights activitist Jordan Skopp, will be presented on social media and in-person venues. Charlie has been hired by Skopp to commission projects in the consumer safety space. Charlie facilitated the commission of a new play by Maggie Lou Rader, It Plays in Pretoria, that included a funded workshop with Cincinnati LAB Theater. He has facilitated commissions and consulting work for several Naslund-Mann alums and a guest faculty member. He is developing a for-profit new play incubator (raising private money) operating out of The Marjorie S Deane Little Theater at 5 West 63rd Street in New York. On May 17, he presents a reading of a new play by Father Edward Beck (CNN religion correspondent), Ungodly Pursuit, starring Vanessa Williams and Lou Diamond Phillips. On May 19, he presents the 5 Borough Plays, by Joy Behar, starring Suzie Essman and Steven Weber. These readings are “industry only,” but if you are interested in attending please contact Charlie. He is developing a half-hour comedy television pilot, “Crisis U,” for a former top executive at ABC. He is thrilled that the MFA program islaunching a new initiative in which fourth-semester playwrights are matched with professional theater companies to workshop and develop their thesis plays. Please join “Spalding Dramatists” private Facebook page to keep up with the Naslund-Mann dramatic writing community.  Jeanie Thompson (P) co-edited The Language of Objects: A Creative Writing Handbook, published by the Alabama Writers Forum. This is the second edition of the Forum’s award-winning creative writing curriculum developed in the Alabama Department of Youth Services school district. On April 19 Jeanie presented online for the Alabama Department of Archives / Alabama Women in History series about Helen Keller’s lifetime of activism for causes such as women’ssuffrage, labor, and disability rights. Poems in The Myth of Water: Poems from the Life of Helen Keller accessed Keller’s activism. Jeanie’s latest project is a memoir about creative aging, to be included in an anthology of women poets, writers, and visual artists published by NewSouth Books (Montgomery, Alabama). Later this summer, Jeanie will be a guest scholar in the Alabama SUPER teacher workshop, “All Y’all Really from Alabama: Examining the poetry of Ashley M. Jones, Alabama Poet Laureate.” Rebecca Walker’s (CNF) new book, Women Talk Money: Breaking the Taboo, is a collection of personal essays exploring the many ways money affects the lives, identities, and psychological health of women. Published by Simon and Schuster, it features essays from Spalding faculty including Rachel M. Harper, Nancy McCabe, and Neela Vaswani. Check out more about the book on Instagram @iamrebeccawalker, catch a virtual or live event, or listen to a podcast with the author. The audiobook is also available. A tenth anniversary edition of Rebecca’s seminal collection, Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness, was also just released by Soft Skull.

Katy Yocom, Associate Director, learned recently that her debut novel, Three Ways to Disappear, was chosen as Book of the Month by Honest Dog Books in Bayfield, Wisconsin. Book-of-the-Month club members will receive a copy of the novel, which was also included in Honest Dog’s “Biblio Mom” Mother’s Day package. Katy visited Honest Dog during a writing retreat with Pam Houston, which was held on the frozen shore of Lake Superior in February at the Wild Rice Retreat Center in Bayfield.