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Spring Edition: Life of a Writer



Theresa Anne Carey’s (SW) creative thesis, MESTENGO, a feature screenplay written under the tutelage of mentor Sam Zalutsky and polished under mentor Larry Brenner with help from her workshop mates, is a Semi-Finalist in the Utah Film Festival.

Elana Gartner (PW) founded Four Walls Theater during the pandemic coronavirus crisis as a way to provide socially responsible theater online to those audiences no longer able to go to the theater. Current PW student Gina Dropp joined Elana as the Director of Development and Patron Services. The two have been working to bring together a national team of theater makers. The first production, “Ageless”, is going up on May 1st.  It is by PW alum Bridgette Dutta Portman, directed by current PW student Andra Hunter. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Tickets and information about our first show, benefiting Meals on Wheels America, can be found at   For further inquiries about Four Walls Theater, please email us

Jasmine Lomax’s (P) poem “Sagittarius” was accepted in the Spring 2020 volume of Peach Velvet Mag. In addition, Jasmine has launched her first blog, The Sterile Slut, a sex positive blog that centers “misfits like her,” non-conforming individuals who practice different ways of being in the world but still enjoy a good romp in the sheets. Visit her Ello to keep up with some of her latest, or yet-to-be-published work.

Heidi Taylor (P) managed to talk Keith the Editor at Leo Weekly into running some of her poetry on April 13. “No One Ever Really Means ‘Ducking’ but A Shout Out Is In Order to Autocorrect for Its Accuracy on This One Particular Occasion” was the product of a generative session from the Spring 2019 residency field trip to Cave Hill Cemetery. In response to the whole event, Heidi said “Jasmine [Lomax] took a video of me running from the ducks and it was absolutely worth it,” and wishes she had included a Polaroid picture of the ducks she took that day in her submission.

Huntress Thompson recently covered the subject of the homeless in Louisville during Coronarama, “Mayor Fischer, Where Did the Homeless Go?”, in Leo Weekly because, as she put it, “No one was shaking me down for loose change in the Thorntons parking lot and I started to get a little worried about them.”


K.B. Carle’s (F ‘16) most recent essay “What It’s Like Working At A Grocery Store During Covid-19“, has been published in Shondaland. It depicts her daily life as a grocery store cashier, transforming from everyday employee to an essential worker during COVID-19. 

Amy M. Clark (P ‘04) is happy to announce the publication of her second book of poems, Roundabout, by Press 53. You can read a poem from the book, “Your Husband,” in The Cape Rock.

Karen George (F ‘09) had poems published in Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing,  South Broadway Ghost Society, and Gyroscope Review.

Lennie Hay (P ‘19) has won second prize in the Joy Bale Boone Poetry Contest. The contest drew some 700 submissions from across the country. Her winning poem “At the Green Easel” will be published in the spring issue of The Heartland Review.

Alice Jennings (P ‘14) is pleased to announce that her chapbook “Quilling Will,” composed of sonnets inspired by lines from Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, has been accepted for publication by Assure Press. 

Troy (T. E.) Wilderson’s (F ‘17) short story, The Little Prince, was published by F(r)iction in the Spring 2020 issue. A 2019 McKnight Writing Fellow, Troy will include that story in her work-in-progress short story collection Telling Stories. Her full credits can be viewed on her website: She is @MizGolightly on Twitter and @tewilderson on Facebook.


Julie Brickman (fiction faculty) recently had Two Deserts, her collection of short stories, published as an audiobook, and she is delighted with the outcome. Of the experience of listening to the audiobook, Julie says, “It is blissEvery story sizzles, thanks to talented actors directed by Spalding MFA graduate, the omni-talented Paul Ruben (F ‘15), head of JMM Studios, a multimedia audio company. There is something about hearing a story read as if it were being fully lived that reaches deep inside you. You become the American woman uneasily trying on an abayah in an Arabian souk; the mother horrified to discover her son is a jihadist; the celebrated academic losing his rich sensual imagination; the anguished priest who has fallen in love with a parishioner.” She adds that listening to the audiobook made her feel that she hadn’t written the words. The audiobook is available from Amazon at Two Deserts: Stories and Audible at Two Deserts.

Three new books by fiction faculty member K. L. Cook have recently been published: Marrying Kind (stories), Lost Soliloquies (poems), and The Art of Disobedience: Essays on Form, Fiction, and Influence. Most of the essays in The Art of Disobedience are based on Cook’s Spalding lectures, including his 2017 keynote SenaFest lecture on Sena Jeter Naslund’s work and his essay on Hamlet for the 2016 “Will in the ‘Ville” Celebration.  

Leslie Daniels (fiction faculty) participated in the three-minute film, “Separated. Together.”, by the filmmaker, Tatia Pilieva, who holds the option on Leslie’s novel, Cleaning Nabokov’s House. Mary Daniels (known to some of you as Leslie’s mother) appears centrally in the film.

Pete Duval’s (fiction faculty) short story collection, The Deposition, is the recipient of the 2020 Juniper Prize for Fiction. His first collection, Rear View (Houghton Mifflin), won the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Bakeless Literary Publication Prize, the Connecticut Book Award, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times’ Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. Duval’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Ascent, The Massachusetts Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Witness, Chelsea, Exquisite Corpse, and Appalachian Heritage, among other venues. A street and landscape photographer, he is based in Philadelphia.

Lynnell Edwards (Associate Program Director and poetry faculty) is pleased to announce the release of her latest collection, This Great Green Valley (Broadstone Books, May 2020). The chapbook chronicles the early, often violent, pioneer settlement of Kentucky in historical and persona poems paired with lyric work about her own childhood on the Kentucky River. About the collection, poet Kiki Petrosino writes, “By weaving folklore with archive, and pastoral landscape with personal lyric, Lynnell Edwards reckons with the seeming contradictions of history.” More information and pre-orders at a special price at Broadstone Books

Reading Series Portrait

Fenton Johnson’s (fiction and CNF faculty) most recent book, At the Center of All Beauty: Solitude and the Creative Life, was issued by W.W. Norton in March, just as enforced solitude became a reality for most Americans. The New York Times reviewer wrote “. . . lyrical yet finely argued . . . the more fully we can learn to exist without the ‘social fiction’ of coupled togetherness, the more likely we are to be able to live most fully, and usefully, in the world, whether as librettist or librarian, wife or friend.” Booklist called it “ . . . a congenial and companionable guide . . . Johnson writes with grace, insight, and humility. . . great appeal for those who may not fashion themselves as solitaries but who crave more contemplation and self-awareness.” 

Fenton notes that Carmichael’s, Louisville’s local independent bookseller, is offering free delivery in Jefferson County, curbside pickup, and free media mail shipping for online orders.

Elaine Neil Orr was interviewed for the Charlotte Readers Podcast and read from her novel, Swimming Between Worlds. Additionally, her recent essay, “Living and Writing and Faith: Dispatch from Self-Isolation – Day 30“, appeared in Women Writers, Women(‘s) Books.

Keith S. Wilson (poetry and professional writing faculty) is currently at the James Merrill House at an extended residency, where he is working on his second book (visual poetry) and a photography project. Additionally, Keith was recently awarded an Elizabeth George Foundation grant to fund camera gear and travel expenses to travel the American South in order to research slave insurrection for a long-form poetry project. Finally, Keith was awarded a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. Occasional visual poems and many photos can be found on his Instagram.

Katy Yocom (associate director and alum, F ‘03) enjoyed a few last book tour events in March before the pandemic brought the world to a halt. She gave presentations at Iowa State University at the invitation of fiction faculty K.L. Cook and at University of Northern Iowa as a guest of the North American Review. Her final event (though she didn’t know it at the time) was on March 12 at her hometown library in Atchison, Kansas, where the audience included her mom, sisters, and dear old high school biology teacher. In other news, she didn’t make the shortlist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, but she still feels slightly star-struck at being included in the longlist with Ocean Vuong, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Julia Phillips, Kylie Reid and others. She was recently a guest on the literary matchmaking podcast What Should I Read Next with “Modern Mrs. Darcy” Anne Bogel, Episode 231: “Lush Literary Novels with Page-Turning Appeal.”



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