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Life of a Writer: Summer Edition



Andra Laine Hunter’s (PW) MFA thesis play The Abbey of the Holy Lonesome was read in June as part of the Dramatists Guild Footlight Series. A Southern Gothic play with themes of superstition, abandonment, and sexual freedom, the play explores the isolated lives of three sisters coming to terms with the force of their own powers as women, creators of life, and bearers of burdens.

Tyrel Kessinger (F) recently had his short story, “Paso lo que pase” published in Washington Square Review. He also recently had his poems “The Moment I Recall Our Sun Is a Star That Will Never Let Us Go” published in Crab Creek Review and “This Is Not the End but It Is an Ending” and “Restrictions” at MORIA.


Cynthia Rausch Allar (P ’04) has had a chapbook of poetry accepted by Seven Kitchens Press. Thanks to editor Ron Mohring, Deviant has been chosen for its Editor's Series. Mohring says they are “hoping for a release by November 2021, if not before.”

Whitney Collins’s (F ’18) story “Cray” took first place in the 2021 ProForma Contest run by Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts. Her work will be published in Issue 15. Whitney is the author of Big Bad, a short story collection, which was published this spring by Sarabande and won the 2019 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction.

Tiffany Golden (W4CYA ’20) recently won the Lee & Low 2021 New Visions Award, which is for middle-grade and YA novel writers, with her manuscript Rikki and Rai: The Everyday and Sometimes Epic Adventures of the Tucker Sisters. As part of the prize, Tiffany receives a publishing contract with Lee & Low Books. Rikki and Rai is scheduled to be published in Spring 2023.

Robert X. Golphin (SW ’13) published the novella Cold Night in a Warm Season, which centers on a graduate screenwriting student’s personal and professional struggles after a devastating loss. The book is available now in paperback and eBook on,, and other retailers nationwide and abroad.

Cristina Trapani-Scott’s (F/P ’09) short story, “The Jacket,” about a lonely woman who

finds an unlikely friend at a thrift store, is forthcoming in the 2021 Northern Colorado Writers Anthology Chiaroscuro: An Anthology of Virtue & Vice. She also recently joined the leadership team for Northern Colorado Writers as the newsletter coordinator. In April, she participated in an art exhibit inspired by National Poetry Month at the Firehouse Art Center in Longmont, Colorado, that paired poets with artists. She was paired with artist Kathryn Hall, who creates expressive dolls from polymer clay and found objects. Kathryn created a doll inspired by Cristina’s poem, “Relic Behind Glass,” and Cristina wrote “Pantoum for the Invisible,” inspired by another doll. Finally, as a member of the Lyons Arts and Humanities Commission, Cristina organized a local poetry contest as part of a Poetry in Public Places art initiative.

Dana VanderLugt’s (W4CYA ’21) creative nonfiction essay, “When Dawn Breaks Us,” was

published in May in the Reformed Journal. She also recently wrote a blog post on "Falling Apart Together," for the same publication. You can find her on Twitter @danavanderlugt, Instagram @dana_vanderlugt, and

Troy (T. E.) Wilderson (F ’17) has forthcoming short stories. “Tragic Fairy Tales” will appear in the summer issue of Still: The Journal, while “Crazy Daycare” will be published by Cobalt this fall. A 2019 McKnight Writing Fellow, T. E. is working on a short story collection, God Willing, and the Creek Don’t Rise. Her full credits can be viewed on her website: She is @MizGolightly on Twitter.

Crystal Wilkinson (F ’03) is the 2021 recipient of the Thomas D.

Clark Medallion for her new collection of poetry and prose, Perfect Black. This award is given annually by the Thomas D. Clark Foundation to writers whose literary achievements highlight Kentucky history and culture. You can preorder the book, which will be released in early August. Find more information on her books and other recent good news.


Julie Brickman’s (fiction) review of Third Eye Rising, Murzban F. Shroff’s new story collection, was published in Compulsive Reader on March 10.

Kathleen Driskell’s essay Keats in Your Time of Pandemic” has been awarded the Appalachian Review 2020 Denny C. Plattner Award in Creative Nonfiction. The prize was judged by memoirist Shawna Kay Rodenberg, whose debut memoir Kin is being

published this summer by Bloomsbury. Rodenberg writes, “Reading Kathleen Driskell’s ‘Keats in Your Time of Pandemic’ is like wandering the rooms of an expansive heirloom dollhouse—each door leads to another sumptuously detailed and surprising tableau, each tableau points to yet another hidden door. Deeply intimate but sublimely devoid of egotism, Driskell grapples here with the encroaching proximity of death and unsettling interiority characteristic of quarantine for both the collective and the individual. Her extraordinary essay yanks the proverbial dusty curtains from their rods, illuminating all the dark rooms of the past year.”

In April, Kathleen was at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Manasota, Florida, where she served as the Annette Dignam Residency Fellow at State College of Florida. She continues her tenure as chair of the Board of Directors of AWP, which presented its first virtual conference in March 2021: More than 6,000 writers, writing teachers, literary activists and administrators, editors, and publishers attended the conference. She also sits on the editorial board of the University Press of Kentucky.

Robin Lippincott has written a brief remembrance of his close friend of more than 30 years, the artist Martha Harrison, who died in November. “A Door Swung Open: In Memory of Martha Harrison” was published in the Spring 2021 issue of The Louisville Review. Harrison’s painting “Mountain Village,” which is owned by TLR editor Sena Jeter Naslund, is featured on the cover.

Lesléa Newman recently had three poems from her memoir-in-verse, I Wish My Father, featured in Jewish Boston.


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