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October 2014

Life of a Writer: News & Events

October 2014


Brooke Bullman (F) was recently interviewed on public radio about her 2014 Fellowship in Literature from the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA). The interview includes discussion about the Spalding University MFA program and is available as an audio recording here: . Since being selected as a fellow, Brooke has also served on two ASCA panels for awarding next year’s grants in support of the literary arts in Alabama.

Peter Field (SW) enters his third year as First Vice President and Program Coordinator of Willamette Writers, Oregon’s largest nonprofit organization in support of writers everywhere. 2015 will be WW’s 50th year providing meeting places for members to exchange ideas and information and to increase skills related to craft and succeeding in the marketplace.  Peter writes the cover article for The Willamette Writer, the organization’s monthly newsletter, and coordinates the monthly workshop and meeting series with local and visiting authors. Spalding faculty, staff, students and alums visiting Portland are invited to attend our local membership meeting, held the first Tuesday of each month. All are welcome to join:

The San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle selected the Pegasus Theatre Company’s production of Jeffrey Fischer-Smith’s (PW) short play “Reservations” as Best Ensemble, Best Script, and Best Play. Also, his director was selected as Runner Up for Best Director. “Reservations” had received a four-week run in Tapas: The Eighth Annual New Short Play Festival.

Jennifer Hunsicker’s (W4CYA) book Young Andrew Jackson in the Carolinas: A Revolutionary Boy was released by The History Press in August. This is a biography of Andrew Jackson’s childhood during the Revolutionary War in the Waxhaw region of the Carolinas. The book goes through age 21 when, as a licensed lawyer, he left the Carolinas bound for Tennessee.

Mark Madigan (P) has recently had poems accepted by three magazines: “Tornado” by Midwestern Gothic; “Christmas in Milan” by The Louisville Review; and “Doors of the KGB” by Tar River Poetry. “Doors of the KGB” was workshopped during the MFA summer residency in Prague. The poems will appear in the various magazines between Fall 2014 and Fall 2015.

Faculty and Staff

Dianne Aprile was featured reader with Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen at the Beacon Bards reading series in Seattle on October 8.

Debra Kang Dean traveled to Springfield, Missouri, at the end of September to celebrate the publication of Fugitive Blues, which won Moon City Press’s Blue Moon Poetry Chapbook Contest; while there, she also spoke with students in three poetry-writing classes.  In July, she was part of the Spalding at the Speed Reading Series. “Song of the Tastes,” a sonnet sequence for her late father, is included in the thirty-fifth anniversary issue of Hawai’i’s Bamboo Ridge. Earlier in the year, she was part of a reading panel at the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900 and also read in Bloomington’s Lemonstone Reading Series with alumna Nancy Long (P ’13). One of her poems was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and Morning’s Spell: Four Twenty-stanza Renku, a collaboration with alumnus Russ Kesler (P ’09), was released by Finishing Line Press in December 2013.

The University Press of Kentucky will publish Kathleen Driskell’s next collection of poems Next Door to the Dead in August 2015. Her poem “What the Girl Wore,” was published in the Fall 2014 issue of Shenandoah. The poem was also featured on Poetry Daily on October 22. Her poem “Living Next to the Dead Acre,” was published in a special issue of Narrow Fellow that also presented paintings based on the poems included. She and Ellyn Lichvar joined artist Deborah Hazlett on October 12, 2014 at Carmichael’s Bookstore in Louisville for the panel “Revealing the Art of Poetry: A Collaboration Between Artist and Poet,” which focused on the Narrow Fellow project. From October 2 – November 7, she taught a Master Class in Poetry at The Carnegie Center in Lexington, Kentucky. She was interviewed by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer for Accents Radio on September 19, 2014. At the beginning of this academic year, she was elected Spalding Faculty Senate President for the term 2014-15; she was also appointed Faculty Representative to the Spalding University Board of Trustees (term 2014-17).

Edie Hemingway was a guest speaker in the Children’s Literature graduate and undergrad classes at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, during the week of September 8. Her book Road to Tater Hill is used as part of the curriculum in the Education Department at the university. She also recently spent a week as writer-in-residence at Yellow Springs Elementary School in Frederick, Maryland, where she taught writing workshops to fifth-grade students.

Lesléa Newman is excited to announce her new children’s book, Here Is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays, was released by Abrams Books for Young Readers on September 2. On October 2, Lesléa traveled to Lake Mary, Florida, to accept the Florida Council of Teachers of English Joan F. Kaywell Books Saves Lives Award for October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard   On October 9, she traveled to Chicago to attend the world premiere of Trust Theatre Ensemble’s performance of October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard and lead a talkback after the performance. And finally, she is thrilled to announce that the option for the musical, A Letter to Harvey Milk, based on her short story of the same name, has been extended. Stay tuned for news about the musical’s future!

In September, Katy Yocom was the featured guest on Accents: A Radio Show for Literature, Art and Culture on WRFL, 88.1 FM, Lexington, Kentucky, hosted by alumna Katerina Stoykova-Klemer (P/CNF ’09). In October, she served as a grant reviewer for the Artist Enrichment grant for the Kentucky Foundation for Women and published a post titled “Preventative Measures Against Despair Caused by Divided Energies” on the MFA faculty blog. In not unrelated news, the day the blog post went up, she resigned her position as contributor to Food & Dining Magazine.


Javacia Harris Bowser, a Birmingham writer with strong ties to Louisville, recently wrote a profile of Glenny Brock (CNF ‘07) in the online magazine See Jane Write ( The story covered Brock’s participation in the 2014 TEDxBirmingham conference. In September, Glenny had her first meeting with next year’s featured speakers, for whom she will serve as an assistant writing and speech coach. In addition to teaching “Writing for the Media” at Birmingham-Southern College, Brock recently visited BSC’s “Intro to Media Studies” class as a guest lecturer.

The Heartland Review is accepting submissions for fiction, poetry, art, and creative nonfiction. The journal particularly needs submissions for the Creative Nonfiction section.  As the new CNF editor, Amy Fox (CNF ’09) has the mission to increase awareness and boost the CNF admissions to this biannual publication. More information and submission guidelines can be found at 

Thea Gavin (P ’05) joined ten other authors to read excerpts from their essays on October 4 in Flagstaff, Arizona, at the publication party for the anthology On Foot: Grand Canyon Backpacking Stories (Vishnu Temple Press, 2014). She continues to blog about her barefoot adventures (including a recent backpacking trip to Havasu Canyon) at Barefoot Wandering and Writing.

Barry George (P ’09) will have one of his haiku appear in a feature article on haiku in the United Kingdom’s Financial Times. His poems have been published recently in Modern Haiku (U.S.), A Hundred Gourds (Australia), and Gusts (Canada).

Lora Hilty (F ’12) has a short story titled “Thirty Years in the Hole” featured in the fall issue of BlazeVox14, an online journal of voice. Editor Geoffrey Gatza currently holds Lora’s first short story collection, How to Mend a Monster, in consideration for print publication. Lora requests good vibes, thoughts, or prayers from her Spalding family.

René R (Ketterer) Irvine (SW ’07) contributed a guest editorial entitled “Mass on the road” to the 31 August 2014 edition of The Catholic Moment, the official newspaper of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana.

Alice-Catherine Jennings’ (P ’14) calavera haiku “After the Burial” will be published in the November 2014 issue of La Voz de Esperanza. Alice-Catherine invites the Spalding MFA community to join her online literary salon where members read and discuss one book of classic literature each month. November’s selection: The Persians by Aeschylus. For more information, visit

Kelly Martineau (CNF’10) published her essay, “Notes on Machinery,” in The Louisville Review, Volume 75. This school year, she is volunteering as a writing instructor for Minds Matter, a nonprofit that provides academic and personal support to accomplished high school students from low-income families in preparation for college success.

Kelly Morris (F ’13) has four short stories coming out: “Dear Ellen” in Temenos Journal, “In the Right Hands” in Writing Tomorrow,  “The Neighbor” in Superstition Review, and “Just don’t ask us what we do all day” in the Los Angeles Review. Earlier this summer, her novel Unsung Lullabies was a finalist in the Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest.

Joel W. Nelson (P’13) has recently had work published in the Bellevue Literary Review, The Found Poetry Review, and The Louisville Review and has work forthcoming this Fall in A Narrow Fellow. He read at the 4th Street Festival in Bloomington, Indiana, and joined fellow Spalding MFA grads as a contributor to Poetry Matters (, a blog dedicated to poetry book reviews and interviews.

Loreen Niewenhuis (F ’07) held the finale of her 1000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure on Mackinac Island on October 26. Around 40 friends, family members, and followers joined her on this island and many hiked the perimeter with her to complete her latest 1000-mile exploration of the Great Lakes. Her book exploring the islands of the Great Lakes (due out next year) will be the final installment in her trilogy about the Great Lakes. She is continuing to write and revise the manuscript this fall and winter and will tour with the book and presentation about this adventure beginning in May 2015. Learn more about her and her Great Lakes Adventures at

Deanna Northrup’s (F ’06) short story “The Cutoff Bridge” is included in the fourth issue of Spry Literary Journal.

Mary Popham (F ’03) interviewed with Channel 13 Public TV in March and did a reading from her novel, Back Home in Landing Run, at the Nelson County Library in Bardstown, Kentucky. She has done other readings locally for Support Women Artists Now at PYRO Gallery; Local Speed Gallery; Spalding’s Celebration of Recently Published Books by Alumni; Colonial Trade Faire in Oldham County, Kentucky; and Sixth and Main Coffeehouse in Shelbyville, Kentucky. On April 29, she recorded her short story “While They Were Dancing” for Golden Walkman; iTunes. She wrote a book review for 2nd & Church’s spring issue and a review of David Domine’s Old Louisville: Exuberant, Elegant and Alive for their special Summer 2014 issue. Back Home in Landing Run was reviewed by David Domine in June on the blog Literary Labors (and the Occasional Cheese Dip.) On July 12, Mary conducted a workshop, “Writing Historical Fiction: Getting Started” at Jefferson Community & Tech College in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. On July 24, her short story “Letter to Mama: Christmas 1965” appeared in Christmas Greetings: An Anthology by the Cherokee Roundtable, Louisville, Kentucky.

Molly Power (P ’07) has had her poem “Acklins Island, 1980” published in the journal Thema, Autumn 2014.

Brian Russell (CNF ’10) has written a stage adaptation of Tianna Thomas’s essay, “The Newly Old Trend.” The short play, directed by Russell, was performed by three professional Chicago actors on October 5 as part of American Blues Theater’s annual RIPPED Festival. This year’s benefit performance will support the important work of Chicago’s Department of Children and Family Services.

Barbara Sabol (P ’10) had two poems included in the anthology While You Were Sleeping I Dreamt a Poem, by Katywompus Press, June 2014, and in the Ohio Poetry Association’s 2014 anthology, Everything Stops and Listens (October 2014). Barbara had poems appear in the summer issues of the journals Pentimento and Common Ground Review. She won first place in the Mary Jean Irion Poetry Prize, sponsored by the Chautauqua Institute; the poem will appear in the June 2015 issue of Chautauqua. In October, her haiku will appear in the online haiku journal, Chrysanthemum, and the journal Voices de la Luna will include her poetry. Barbara facilitated a nature poetry workshop for the Summit County Parks, titled A River Runs through It: Poetry and Ecology, and her students’ poems are currently on exhibit at the Park’s Visitor’s Center. She continues to review poetry books and interview poets for Poetry Matters, a blog staffed by Spalding poets!

Alan Samry (CNF ’12) will have two poems published in Issue 70 of Kaleidoscope Magazine. “On the Corner of Fourth and York at the Louisville Free Public Library” and “Walking Aids” will appear in the Winter 2015 online magazine. Alan had several members of Pensters, a local writing group, of which he is also a member, attend his “Starting a Blog” class. He enjoys teaching classes in addition to his other responsibilities as a reference assistant at Fairhope Public Library. In November, Alan will be posting his 50th blog entry at Stump: the Librarian, where catalogs his journey as a below-knee amputee and public librarian.

Kathleen Thompson (F/P ’03) has had three pieces of work accepted for publication: a prose poem in PMS poemmemoirstory; a poem in 2nd & Church; and a prose piece for the inaugural issue of Waypoints.


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