MFA BLAST: Spring 2016 News

The Wesleyan MFA family has been busy this winter--see what we've been up to below!

New work by students, alumni & faculty on the shelves and online: Read prose faculty Karen Salyer McElmurray’s essay “Driven” in the newly-released collection, From Curlers to Chainsaws: Women and Their Machines, and the essay “Darkening Gray” by Susan Krakoff (Nonfiction 2015) in the print anthology Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It. Read prose faculty Richard Schmitt’s essay “Not Knowing: The Rock & Roll of Drinking” in the current Arts & Letters and Marie Manilla’s “Laser Beam,” a chapter of her novel-in-progress, in F(r)iction. Eric Waggoner’s “Dr. Dog ‘Dog-Eared Soul’” ran as the cover story in Magnet #129—read the exclusive online excerpt. You can find Eric’s academic essay “Witness & Testimony,” a study of contemporary global art and literature of witness and trauma, in the brand new collection Protest Cultures, and his creative nonfiction essay “All Be Changed” now live in the Winter 2016 edition of Still: The Journal. You can also read the short story “Dead of Winter” by Larry Thacker (Poetry 2017) in Still’s winter issue. Poetry faculty Devon McNamara’s poem “Vale of the White Horse,” from her series on walking the Ridgeway in Wiltshire, England, is published in Even the Daybreak, 35 Years of Salmon Poetry, edited by Jessie Lendennie, co-founder and managing director of Salmon Publishing, Co. Clare, Ireland, which was launched at AWP in Los Angeles. Devon participated in the Irish launch of the anthology in early March in Doolin, Co. Clare. Her collection, Driving, is due out from Salmon later this year. Poetry faculty Mark DeFoe has poems recently published or forthcoming in Atlanta Review, Steam Ticket, Front Range, Quarried: Three Decades of Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel, Two-Lane Livin’—West Virginia’s Largest Grassroots Publication, owned and edited by Lisa Hayes-Minney (Nonfiction 2017)—and Anthology of Appalachian Writers.

More forthcoming work: You can now pre-order Condominium Morte, Vince Trimboli’s (Poetry 2013) chapbook releasing April 19 with Ghost City Press of Syracuse, NY. Look for a poem by Mary Imo Stike (Poetry 2015) forthcoming in riverSedge and three poems in Issue 4 of Young Ravens Review; an essay by Elizabeth Gaucher (Nonfiction 2015), “Allons, Enfants: A Young Appalachian in Paris,” appearing later this year in Still: The Journal; Jessica Spruill’s (Poetry 2015) poem “The Girl from Spall Lick Road” in the Fall 2016 issue of Still; and the poem “Unpacking” by Larry Thacker forthcoming in Rappahannock Review. The short story “Parasite” by Amanda Jo Runyon (Fiction 2017) will come out in the spring issue of Kudzu Literary Journal, to be released at a reading in Hazard, KY on April 28. The Pikeville Review, co-edited by Amanda Jo, will feature Chris Chapman’s (Fiction 2015) “Note from the Underground” in its new online edition this summer, and the Spring 2016 issue will feature work from: Richard Schmitt, poetry faculty Ellen Hagan, Jessica Spruill, Rebecca Roth (Poetry 2013), Jeremy Bryant (Nonfiction 2017).

Gigs & Accolades: Cleaver Magazine nominated Marie Manilla’s “Belle Fleur” for Best American Short Stories 2016Amanda Jo Runyon joins the staff this summer at Hindman Settlement School’s Appalachian Writers’ Workshop; she will be hosting the afternoon participant readings. New WVWC summer fiction faculty Jacinda Townsend will also be teaching workshops at Hindman, along with Karen Salyer McElmurray. Karen has also just returned from a week as Writer in Residence at Old Dominion University and has a new author interview in a recent issue of The Rumpus. Marilyn Stearns (Poetry 2015) gave a poetry talk to her local Chorale in Winchester, VA which is performing nine poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay set to music by Alice Parker. Congrats to Lara Lillibridge (Nonfiction 2016) who was one of five finalists in the 2016 Disquiet Literary Contest; her manuscript, “Essay Notes on Attachment Disorder,” was singled out by the judge as outstanding. And, finally, a big congrats to the editors of HeartWood on the inaugural issue now live! Onward!

Local MFA Events in April:

FRI, APR 15, 5:30-8 PM: Fiction faculty Marie Manilla & others read at Kestrel’s inaugural fundraiser, Fairmont State University’s Falcon Center third floor conference rooms

WED, APR 20, 6:30 PM: Program Director Jessie van Eerden reads from her newly-released novel My Radio Radio with fellow WVU Press author Jonathan Corcoran at Monongalia Art Center in Morgantown, WV

THURS, APR 21, 7-9 PM: Crystal Good (Poetry 2016) and nonfiction faculty Eric Waggoner read in “Words & Water / Land & Song” at 123 Pleasant Street in Morgantown, WV, an event organized by activist poet Susan Sauter

THURS, APR 21, 7 PM: Jessie reads with Jonathan at LASCAUX Micro-Theater in Buckhannon, WV (33 E Main St)

FRI, APR 22, 7 PM: Jessie reads with Jonathan at Old Brick Playhouse in Elkins, WV (329 Davis Ave #4)

TUES, APR 26, 6 PM: Marie Manilla reads at Empire Books in Huntington, WV (30 Pullman Square) with WVU Press authors Jonathan Corcoran and Art Stringer

For more information on Wesleyan's MFA program, click here.