Winter 2018 news


NEW WORK BY STUDENTS, ALUMNI & FACULTY ON THE SHELVES AND ONLINE: The pre-order link is up for In and Out of the Horse Latitudes by Mary Imo Stike (Poetry 2015), so reserve your copy today for the March 2018 release! You can also get a sample of Mary’s work in the new anthology “Voices on Unity: Coming Together, Falling Apart” (Mountain State Press), featuring her poem “Water Memory.” Lots of great work to seek out this winter: read fiction faculty Mesha Maren’s interview for The Millions with former residency guest Yuri Herrera; work by Delaney McLemore (Nonfiction 2018) in The Activist History Review; the essay “The Art of Deception” by Lara Lillibridge (Nonfiction 2016) in The Sunlight Press; and poems by poetry faculty Mark DeFoe in The American Journal of Poetry, in Vol 20 of Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel, and on the 2018 Calendar of Poetry of Historic Places (WV Historic Preservation Office). Elizabeth Gaucher (Nonfiction 2015) has a new “Ask the Editor” craft feature in her literary journal Longridge Review—check out the first post—and Issue #10 will be out soon! You’ll find the essay “Old Scars, New Wounds” by Lisa Hayes Minney (Nonfiction 2017) in Entropy Literary Magazine, the essay “Destroyer” by nonfiction faculty Eric Waggoner in the Spring 2017 issue of The Pikeville Review (edited by Amanda Jo Slone, Fiction 2017), an op-ed in the The Chicago Tribune by Lin Kaatz Chary (Nonfiction 2019), and the short story “Man Enough” by Jeff Webb (Fiction 2015) in The Fiction Pool.

FORTHCOMING WORK: Mesha Maren’s debut novel Sugar Run now has a publication date with Algonquin—January 2, 2019—and Mesha’s short stories will be included in an Appalachian LGBTQ-themed anthology due out next year from WVU press and an Appalachian fiction anthology edited by Joseph Bathanti for UNC Press. Keep an eye out for Julia Kastner’s (Nonfiction 2019) essay “Self Portrait, Houston” in February’s or March’s issue of Slag Glass City, and two essay/review hybrids by Delaney McLemore forthcoming in Entropy Literary Magazine and VIDA ReviewsEric Waggoner’s critical essay “We Interrupt this Program: Narratives in Conflict in American Postmodern Literature of the 1970s” is forthcoming March 2018 in the book collection American Literature in Transition: 1970-1980 (Cambridge University Press), and Eric has been invited to contribute work to a new film website curated by director Nicolas Winding Refn, launching this spring. The essay “Chasing Threads” by David Evans (Nonfiction 2018) and poetry by Mark DeFoe have been selected for publication in the 2018 Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Wiley Cash, Volume X. And alotta Larry Thacker’s poems (Poetry 2018) coming soon from Regal House’s Opioid Abuse Anthology; Iceview Magazine; Sheila-Na-Gig; Ink & Nebula; War, Literature & the Arts; and Still: The Journal. Phill Provance (Poetry 2019) has an academic review of the critical-essay anthology Jeff Daniel Marion: Poet on the Halston forthcoming in the next issue of the Journal of Appalachian Studies (JAS), and Phill’s poem “Of Beauty & Things” was named one of three Honorable Mention Finalist entries (ahead of 17 finalists) for the 2017 Ron Rash Award by judge Bill Brown and will be published in an upcoming issue of the Broad River Review.

GIGS & ACCOLADES: Mary Imo Stike, in collaboration with Cat Pleska, has launched a second season of More Than Words with an evening of poetry, stories, and traditional music by Marc Harshman and Doug Van Gundy. Dee Sydnor (Fiction 2015) is serving as editor for Connections magazine, the fifteen-year-old magazine of the College of Southern Maryland where Dee teaches. A couple Pushcart nominations noted for our community by Still: The JournalChris Chapman (Fiction 2015) for his story “The Moth in the Stair” and fiction faculty Laura Long for her poem “From the Book of Rain.” Amanda Jo Slone received a $5000 ACA grant for class design, play-writing and production based on CrimeSong: True Crime Stories from Southern Murder Ballads by Richard H. Underwood; she and the class interviewed Underwood, and she has a Reader’s Guide forthcoming in the book’s paperback edition. And on January 25, Okey Napier (Nonfiction 2019) read with Jeff Mann and Julia Watts from the new anthology Unbroken Circle: Stories of Cultural Diversity in the South as part of the A.E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series at Marshall University.


Feb 3 at 2 pm, Faculty Devon McNamara, Doug Van Gundy, and Laura Long, along with Andi Fekete (Fiction 2014) and other contributors, will read from Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Contemporary West Virginia Fiction and Poetry (co-edited by Van Gundy and Long) at Joe-N-Throw in Fairmont, WV.

Feb 7 at 7 pm, Rachel Hicks (Poetry 2016) will be the featured reader for Wordstock Wednesday, a monthly reading series curated by Jessica Spruill (Poetry 2015). Venue TBA!

Feb 8 at 6 pm, Program Director Jessie van Eerden and prose faculty Richard Schmitt will read from their new collections at Taylor Books in Charleston, WV.

Feb 13, Crystal Good (Poetry 2016) and Delaney McLemore will read for Speaking of Appalachia, which is part of Appalachian Narratives: Notes on Identity, organized for the 2018 Birke Fine Arts Symposium at Marshall University’s College of Arts and Media.

Feb 15-16, Jessie van Eerden will give a reading at Berea College and visit Amando Jo Slone’s class at University of Pikeville.

March 2-3, Amanda Jo Slone will present her essay “The Great Unknown” at the Kentucky Philological Association Conference.

Mar 7-10, Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) 2018 Conference in Tampa, FL—WVWC MFA program will have a table in the Bookfair.

AWP, Mar 7 at 7 pm, Jessie van Eerden will read St. Leo University (AWP18 offsite event).

AWP, Mar 8, 12-1:15 pm, Prose faculty Karen Salyer McElmurray will be on the panel “Fierce Muses” with Gina Frangelo, Paul Lisicky, Carter Sickels and Eiren Caffall.

AWP, Mar 9, 2-4 pm, Jessie van Eerden will hold an author signing at the Orison Books Bookfair Table.

AWP, Mar 9, 5:30 pm, Jessie van Eerden will read for the Willow Springs Florida Review Patio Reading at Four Green Fields (AWP18 offsite event).

AWP, Mar 10, 1:30-2:45 pm, Karen Salyer McElmurray will be on the panel “Blood of My Blood” with Janice Gary, Camille Dungy, Connie May Fowler, Reyna Grande.

March 12-14, Karen Salyer McElmurray will be the Heinze Lecturer in CNF at Young Harris College, Young Harris, GA.

April 5-8, Appalachian Studies Association (ASA) 2018 Conference—WVWC MFA program will have a table in the Exhibit Hall.

ASA, Apr 6, 1:00-2:15 pm, “Profits and/or Prophets from the Mountains,” Karen Salyer McElmurray and Danielle Kelly (Fiction 2015) with Karen Spears Zacharias and Bill King.

ASA, Apr 6, 2:30 – 3:45 pm, “Inside, Outside: West Virginia Writers on Place,” Doug Van Gundy and fiction faculty Jonathan Corcoran with Natalie Sypolt, Gretchen Moran Laskas, Randi Ward, and Melissa Minske.

Apr 6, 4-5:15 pm, “Running with Whiskey: A Multimedia Performance Exploring Place, Identity, and Extractive Industry,” Marc Harshman and Doug Van Gundy.

ASA, Apr 7, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm: “Outliers: Voices of Place and Displacement,” Karen Salyer McElmurray and Jessie van Eerden with Crystal Wilkinson and Cathryn Hankla.

ASA, Apr 8, 9:45-11 am, “The Danger of a Single Story”: Ripping the Seams of Stereotypes and Piecing the People Back Together,” Danielle Kelly, Jonathan Corcoran, Mary Imo Stike, and Carter Sickels.

ASA, Apr 8, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Amanda Jo Slone will be presenting with Kim Willard and Richard Underwood about her Special Topics Appalachian Murder Ballads class: “CrimeSong in the Classroom.”

Aug 24-26, HippoCamp 2018, Lara Lillibridge will present with Amy Fish: “The Humour Makeover: How to Take Your Existing Work and Make it Funny.”

You can keep up with regular MFA news blasts on the HeartWood Blog, co-edited with great enthusiasm & love by Megan Mallory (Nonfiction 2017) & Dee Sydnor (Fiction 2015).