summer 2017 news


NEW WORK BY STUDENTS, ALUMNI & FACULTY ON THE SHELVES AND ONLINE: Nonfiction faculty Katie Fallon’s Look, See the Bird! was released in July by Hatherleigh Press; it’s for preschool to second grade, but people of any age will enjoy the beautiful hand-drawn illustrations and the story of bird migration. Unbroken Circle: Stories of Cultural Diversity in the South, an anthology edited by Julia Watts and Larry Smith and released by Bottom Dog Press in May, features an essay by Okey Napier (Nonfiction 2019). You can listen to Delaney McLemore’s (Nonfiction 2018) first podcast review, now live, and read essays from Lara Lillibridge (Nonfiction 2016): “An Atheist Talks to Her Children About Death” in Crab Fat Magazine and “Dragonflies: A Discourse on Anxiety” in AZURE. Read work by faculty Laura Long and Doug Van Gundy, along with Rachel Hicks (Poetry 2016) and Amanda Jo Slone (Fiction 2017) in the summer issue of Still: The Journal, and three poems by poetry faculty Mark DeFoe in the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of Valparaiso Poetry Review in which he’s the featured poet. Also live online: “Let Obamacare Fail,” a poem by Jeremy Bryant (Nonfiction 2017), in The New Verse News; “Coming KingdomJeremy’s essay in EOAGH: A Journal of the Arts; and two new poems by Vince Trimboli (Poetry 2013) in the San Diego Reader. On the shelves you’ll find a poem by Phill Provance (Poetry 2018), “Woman Hips, Woman Lips, Woman Spine,” translated by Khe Iem for the Spring 2017 issue of Poetry Journal in Print (it originally appeared in Noctua in 2014), and you can now order the 2017 edition of Mountain Ink—a print literary journal featuring WV writers—from publisher Lisa Hayes Minney (Nonfiction 2017).

FORTHCOMING WORK: Keep a keen eye out for In and Out of the Horse Latitudes, the debut chapbook by Mary Imo Stike (Poetry 2015), set for a March 2018 release with Finishing Line Press. And Mary’s poem “Perfect Kernel” has been selected for the forthcoming anthology WAVES: A Confluence of Women’s Voices, edited by poetry faculty Diane Gilliam for A Room of Her Own Foundation. The collection will also feature “Aura” by Ginny Rachel (Fiction 2015) and “Shushed” by Rebecca Roth (Poetry 2013). Watch for essays from prose faculty Karen Salyer McElmurray: “Now and Then,” in the anthology Unity: Voices for Troubled Times (Mountain State Press); “How We Know,” in a special issue (33.1) of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, devoted to Judith Ortiz Cofer; and “Heartwood,” in Piano in a Sycamore: Writing Lessons from the Appalachian Writer’s Workshop; and for poems from Mark DeFoe in Common Ground and Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel. Larry Thacker (Poetry 2018) has poetry and fiction forthcoming in Cowboy Jamboree Mag, Grotesque Quarterly, Ginosko Literary Journal, Poets Reading the News, Riverbabble 31, Bloodroot, Visitant, Crux Magazine, and Town Creek Poetry. And later in the fall, Program Director Jessie van Eerden’s essay collection The Long Weeping is scheduled for release with Orison Books in November and is now available for pre-order.

GIGS & ACCOLADES: A big round of applause for our community’s recent awards! Amber Milstead (Fiction 2018) won the Pearl S. Buck Writing Contest in May; David Evans (Nonfiction 2018) won second prize for “Chasing Threads” in the WV Fiction Competition, as selected by the Appalachian Heritage Writer for 2017, Wiley Cash (the piece will appear in Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Volume XLarry Thacker’s “The Work” took second in the James Still Prize at the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival. In this year’s WV Writers contests, Okey Napier’s essay “Dave” received honorable mention in nonfiction; Sheryl Browne’s (Fiction 2015) story “The Bus Driver” received honorable mention in fiction; Lisa Hayes Minney’s “Old Scars, New Wounds” took second in nonfiction. Lisa also received a letter of commendation and a bonus from the Gilmer Public Library Board of Advisors for her work curating the nonfiction collection, and her Two-Lane Livin’ Magazine celebrates a tenth anniversary this year—look for regular columns from Lara Lillibridge, Larry Thacker, and Scottie Westfall (Nonfiction 2019). Sheryl Browne’s short play “First Contact” won second place in FestivALL’s Location, Location play writing contest and was produced, along with the first-place play, June 24 at the Appalachia Power Park; and one of Sheryl’s plays from last year’s contest, “Doggone It,” was produced for the Rotary Club this spring.

Phill Provance presented the essay “Warring with Whitmania: ‘Second Wave New Formalism’ as a Theoretically and Practically Coherent Curative to Free Verse Absolutism” at the 2017 Whitman, Williams, Ginsberg Conference in June; the essay will be published in a volume of critical essays titled The Poetic Legacy of Whitman, Williams and GinsbergPhill’s poem “St. Petersburg Has Many Churches” has been selected as part of a 10 year retrospective of Asian Cha in Voice and Verse; his poem “Triangle” was shortlisted for the 4th Fortnight Prize from Eyewear Press; his poem “Why the Coyote Doesn’t Just Order Chinese” placed eighth for the 2017 Shadow Award by Molotov Cocktail; and his poem “The Stenographer’s Union” was selected by Diane Seuss as a finalist for the 2017 Crab Creek Review Poetry Prize and will appear in the fall issue of Crab Creek ReviewVince Trimboli’sConsidering That Tobosa-Grass Will Grow After A Fire” was named Entropy Magazine’s Reader Poem of the Month, and his second book other milkweed diners was selected to be a part of a summer exhibit at The 25th Annual Poets House Showcase in NYC as well as become cataloged as part of their permanent collection. Vince also read on August 21 at Empire Books & News with Andi Fekete (Fiction 2014). And Diane Gilliam has just finished a reading tour with Dreadful Wind & Rain at Annenberg Beach House, Santa Monica, CA; the Wheeling Poetry Series; and Bryant Park Reading Series, NYC.

Other gigs & events: Delaney McLemore led a workshop at Girls Rock! Rochester, a non-profit music camp for teens, titled “Where I’m From: Writing About Home,” using the work of George Ella Lyon and Diane Gilliam. Elizabeth Gaucher’s (Nonfiction 2015) online litmag Longridge Review has a call for submissions from August 20 to September 23. Mary Imo Stike will continue to organize and present the monthly literary event “More Than Words” with Cat Pleska this year. Crystal Good (Poetry 2016) will be playing Poland and the Berlin Jazz festival with Heroes Are Gang Leaders in November. In July Heroes Are Gang Leaders performed in Washington, DC at The Kennedy Center, then gave two shows at the Bowery in NYC. (Here’s Crystal at HAGL sound check). Crystal is also teaching two classes at University Of Charleston. Other teaching appointments this fall: Danielle Kelly (Fiction 2015) just began as an Instructor of English at WVU Parkersburg teaching composition and literature courses, and Lisa Hayes Minney—having recently been certified in Blackboard Learn and having completed another 9 continuing education hours offered by the Idaho Commission for Libraries—has been asked to develop an online speech class for Glenville State College.


August 25: Rebecca Elswick (Fiction 2018) will read at 6:30 pm at the Appalachian Artisan Center, 30 W Main St., Hindman, KY, in a celebration of the first edition of Voices in which her essay “Missed Spring” appears.

August 26: Jeremy Bryant will perform poetry at 7:30 pm for poet Jessica Brophy’s book signing of The Paper Girl at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Lynchburg.

September 1: Katie Fallon, hosted by Lisa Hayes Minney, will visit and present at Gilmer Public Library at 4 pm.

September 2 is the official launch of The Debutante Ball for 2017-2018 for which Lara Lillibridge has been selected—this ball (from the website) “is a group blog for authors making their debut in the literary world” now in its “eleventh season of celebrating up-and-coming authors.”

September 8-10: At HippoCamp 2017 in Lancaster, PA, Lara Lillibridge will present her Graduate Seminar, “The Genre Blender: An exploration of the Hybrid Form and How it Can Be Used to Evoke Emotional Resonance” for the Debut Author Panel, and Delaney McLemore will be tabling for the program.

September 14-15: Karen Salyer McElmurray will offer a reading/lecture at the University of South Dakota.