On Extended Wings: Newsletter of the Master of Fine Arts in Writing program at Spalding University.

Vol. 14 No. 2
September 2008

Barcelona Dates

Rare Opportunity

Screenwriting Opp

New Packet Lengths

Handbook Changes Highlights

Because You Asked

Life of a Writer


Faculty and Staff


Faculty Advisory Committee for Spring 2008

Pre-reading for Fall 2008


Reminders and Notes

Spalding Home

MFA Home

Previous Newsletters

See other issues of On Extended Wings


Close Window

Barcelona Residency Dates Set: July 8-20, 2009
Dates have been set for the MFA Summer 2009 residency in Barcelona. Participants depart the U.S. on July 8, arriving in Barcelona July 9. The residency ends July 20, when participants fly back to the States.

Just as residencies in Louisville, the summer abroad residency features Workshops as the backbone of the curriculum, augmented by plenary and craft lectures and panel discussions. Instead of an overall book in common, the summer abroad residencies feature books-in-common for the various areas of concentration related to the country we visit and authored by writers from that culture.

Participants in the sumer residency will stay in a cluster of small hotels in the heart of Barcelona.The hotels, all situated between the Plaça de la Universitat and the Plaça Catalunya in Barcelona’s Old City, are within two blocks of each other. Classes will be held in the hotels’ conference rooms. The city’s famous Ramblas walking boulevard lies two blocks away. Also nearby are the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA); the famed Boqueria market, where lunch can be had for a few euros; and elegant shopping on the Passeig de Gracia.

Days will begin and end later than usual in order to accommodate the Spanish rhythm of life, which includes a late dinner hour, typically beginning at 9 p.m. Several extra-long lunch breaks are planned so students can take advantage of daytime hours to visit museums or do other independent sightseeing.

Cultural events are still in the planning stages but will likely include a tapas night, a flamenco performance, and a walking tour of Barcelona’s famous Modernista architecture, featuring the colorful, dreamlike buildings of Antoni Gaudí. A visit to the Picasso Museum is also in the works. (top)

On her scouting trip, Program Associate Katy Yocom discovered that Catalunyans combat the summer heat by eating a great deal of gelato, which can be found for sale on nearly every block. She also discovered a terrific jazz/dance club in the Barri Gótic; café culture on the Plaça de George Orwell; and what she was told was the best paella in the city at an open-air restaurant overlooking the beach.
For a photo guide to Barcelona, including some useful sightseeing tips, see http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/albums-en.

Opportunity for MFA Students to View Remant Trust Documents
During our November MFA Residency, Spalding University in partnership with the Remnant Trust is displaying more than fifty important historic documents and literary texts in the Spalding Library. We encourage our students and faculty to stop by the library to hold and examine articles of the Remnant Trust collection. (top)

MFA students and faculty may be particularly interested in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Henry David Thoreau’s A Yankee in Canada, Frederick Douglas’s “My Bondage and My Freedom,” and essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson, which include “Self-Reliance.” The trust collection at Spalding also includes historic texts by Aristotle, Marx, Rosseau, Toqueville, Lewis and Clark, Paine, and Hume.

MFA students and faculty who wish to view these documents may go the librarian’s front desk at the Spalding Library during its regularly open hours and ask to see the historic texts. The librarians will be happy to unlock the display cases and provide students and faculty with gloves in order to handle the documents. (top)

Film Production Seminar Offered for SW/PW Students
At the fall residency, the MFA Program will debut a film production seminar as an optional enhancement to the scriptwriting experience for screenwriters and playwrights. Participants will convert two pages of a script into a short movie. 

The seminar comprises three sessions to take place during the mid-day break, with lunch provided for participants. The first session introduces moving script to film. Acting and crew roles will be assigned to class members. Filming takes place in the second session and editing in the third session.

The Film Production Seminar is led by Ron Schildknecht, who has had experience writing and producing his own work—from documentaries to art films—and teaching filmmaking classes at the University of Louisville and other places. 

The Film Production Seminar does not replace any of the regular features of residency but is instead an enrichment experience. The Film Production Seminar for the fall residency is full; in future residencies, priority will be given to screenwriting students who wish to participate. (top)

New Minimum Packet Lengths for Some Areas of Concentration
Students in three areas of the MFA Program should note changes to the minimum length of packets submitted during the at-home portion of the semester.
Screenwriters and playwrights are now required to submit 35-45 pages of original creative writing. Writers for children and young adults submit text for 3-4 picture books, or 35-45 pages for middle grade readers, or 35-45 pages for young adult readers.

In most cases, the original creative writing consists of some new material and some revisions. Packet lengths for fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction students remain unchanged.

Note that these length requirements refer only to the part of the packet dedicated to original creative writing. For a detailed explanation of all items to be included in each packet, see page 37 of the MFA Student Handbook, Fall 2008. (top)

Other Changes to the MFA Student Handbook
The Fall 2008 edition of the MFA Student Handbook contains numerous small updates and several major ones. Aside from new minimum packet lengths (discussed above), new policies include the following:

• The midsemester phone call between student and mentor is now required in all cases (p. 38).

• Policies for student participation in, and faculty leadership of, cross-genre workshops have been more precisely defined (p. 25).

• New requirements have been established for developing and preparing to deliver the graduation lecture (p. 57). Among the changes: With the fourth packet, ENG640 students are now required to submit an audio recording of the 30-minute lecture to the mentor, who responds with suggestions. (top)

Because You Asked
Q. Why do we have larger workshops in the fall?
A. The regular fall Workshops led by two faculty members provide an important opportunity for workshop participants to receive critiques from a greater number of students while also hearing two expert opinions from experienced, published workshop leaders. The MFA directors and faculty believe that in the fall students not only benefit from the many disparate critiques they receive but also are helped by hearing two points of view on the same text from co-leaders, who often have different perspectives on what distinguishes or weakens the student work. The combination of larger and smaller workshop formats (with the smaller spring Workshop providing a second hour of “class” instruction by one faculty member) provides a rich overall workshop experience that is unique to Spalding’s MFA Program. (top)

Life of a Writer

Students, faculty, and alumni: Please email writing news to mfanewsletter@spalding.edu


Lisa Groen Braner’s lyric essay “Soundtrack” was recently selected for the fifth edition of the anthology, The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction, a student textbook edited by Robert Root and Michael Steinberg.

Becky Browder is a double finalist in the 2008 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Writing Competition. Her finalist works are “Billie and Me” (short story) and Growing Watermelons (novel-in-progress) in the competition, which is sponsored by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society of New Orleans.

Diana Cohn has a new picture story book, Namaste! (which was workshopped at Spalding), forthcoming in spring 2009 from Bell Bond Books. Diana’s webpage is www.dreamcarver.org and the publisher’s website is www.bellpondbooks.com. (top)

Kristin Doherty’s short story “Dixie” has been chosen as the “Hot Opener” at Potomac Review: www.montgomerycollege.edu/potomacreview.

Karen George, co-winner of The Janice Holt Giles Fiction Award, was a featured reader Saturday, September 13, at the Giles House in Knifely, Kentucky. She read her short story “Restraints,” originally titled “Saving Grace,” as part of an annual event called Kentuckians Reading Kentuckians.

This year for the first time Joan Gumbs wrote and sent out for publication a short story. In June, she received her first rejection letter from the University of Iowa. In August she received notice that she was a finalist for the 2008 Red Hen Press Short Fiction Award. (top)
Colleen S. Harris reports that her poem “Reclaiming Poverty” will appear in the next issue of the online lit journal Blood Orange Review, available at http://bloodorangereview.com. In addition, her poem “Things I Learned When You Left,” workshopped at Spalding, appears in the January 2009 issue of Birmingham Arts Journal. She will be highlighted as the Featured Poet of the fall 2008 issue of Bellowing Ark, which will publish her poems “God in my Throat,” “Original Sin,” “Retrieval,” “The Book,” “Occupying the Children,” “I Will Not Lie Below,” “Temptation,” and “It Would Not Have Been Well,” which have all been polished with the aid of mentor Greg Pape. Bellowing Ark Press has also solicited her full-length manuscript, God in My Throat. Her “Unwanted” is scheduled to appear in the fall 2008 issue of the online journal Paradigm (http://www.paradigmjournal.com/). Her poems “A Visit with My Mother after the Divorce,” “Recovery” and “The Labor of Birthing and Burying my Sorrow”—all pieces she polished during her first MFA semester with Jeanie Thompson—are scheduled to appear in the next issue of Gentle Strength Quarterly. Colleen’s chapbook, Warsongs, came in as a semifinalist in the fall 2007 Black Lawrence Press Black River Chapbook Competition, where she previously came in as a spring 2007 semifinalist with her manuscript The House that Falls Down. Finally, her poem “Drawing Board” is scheduled to appear in the spring 2009 issue of Concho River Review.

Amy Hanridge has had three editorial essays on dog training and behavior published in the February, August and October 2008 issues of the magazine Clean Run. (top)

Angela Jackson-Brown was recently hired as a contract faculty member in the English Department at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. On September 23, she was featured poet at the University of Louisville’s Take Back the Night Rally and March. In December 2008, her poem, “Hush” appears in 94 Creations.

Leesteffy Jenkins has a story, Flight, accepted to Marginalia for the December 2008 print edition.

Holly Jensen’s one-act play, Lizzy Izzy, was selected for the 14th Annual International Women’s Playwriting Festival at Perishable Theater in Providence, Rhode Island. The play will have twelve fully-staged productions from early October thru early November. For more information, visit: http://perishable.org/. (top)

Amina McIntyre’s play, Doin’ the Work, was one of thirteen plays selected to have a cold reading at the Indiana Theater Association’s IT Works Conference September 12-14 at the University of Indianapolis.

Joe Peacock’s poem “Five Miles Past Hana” has been accepted for publication by the journal 94 Creations for the December issue.

Angie J. Richart has accepted a full-time English faculty position at Vincennes University in Indiana. She teaches English Composition, Writing Techniques, Business Communication, and Creative Writing, as well as sponsors the literary arts magazine. Angie also attended the Mayborn Literary Conference in Grapevine, Texas, this summer, where her essay “Dead Wife Walking” was a finalist in the personal essay category. (top)

Rosemary Royston’s poem “Short Story” has been published in the spring/summer 2008 issue of The Comstock Review, http://www.comstockreview.org/. Earlier this year, Rosemary taught poetry through the Institute of Continuing Learning at Young Harris College. The experience was both challenging and rewarding, and she came away not only with a few new poems of her own, but with invaluable experience in teaching. (top)

Katerina Stoykova-Klemer’s poem “Reluctance” was accepted for publication in The Louisville Review. Her poems “Visiting Western North Carolina,” “Donor,” and “Slow Dancing with My Demons” appeared in Word Catalyst in May. Best Poem poetry journal featured Katerina’s poem “The Most” in June. Glass: A Journal of Poetry published her poem “Stones” in Issue Two. Additionally, Katerina’s poem “My Boyfriend Reports at the Drafting Location” appears in Free Inquiry. “Worry Dolls” appears in the fall issue of Mississippi Crow, and “My Mother Was Going to War” was accepted by 94 Creations. Katerina’s poem “The First Time I Tried to Leave Home” has received a “Best of the Net” nomination by Anderbo. Her translation from Bulgarian to English of Georgi Borissov’s poem “Jonah” appeared in the “Silence and Song” issue of the University of Iowa’s Exchanges. Her translation from English to Bulgarian of Philip F. Deaver’s poem “The Worrier’s Guild” was published in Public Republic—a multimedia journal for literature and art. Additionally, Public Republic published two of her own poems written in English and translated by herself to Bulgarian—“Sus-toss” and “Other Immigrants.” The poem “Sus-toss” was performed by a professional actor during the “Public Republic Art Evening” in Sofia, Bulgaria, on August 15. Katerina read the same poem on Bulgarian National Radio on August 17. In July, she was a featured reader in the Holler Poet Series in Lexington, Kentucky, and she was invited for a featured reading in “Goddess Reunion Tour: A Glam Equinox Celebration of the Divine in Us All” to be held in Lexington in late September.

Anna West teaches poetry weekly to third-, fourth- and fifth-grade inner-city students in the InsideOut Detroit Literary Arts Project for the 08-09 school year.

Charles White’s novella Septemberville was accepted by Electric Ocean Press and should be appearing in a paperback original sometime in early 2009. He also had a short critical essay about Graham Greene’s The Quiet American accepted by The Explicator. The essay was written under the direction of Robin Lippincott. (top)

Faculty & Staff

Dianne Aprile has been named the first Writer in Residence for the Spalding University BFA in Writing program and, as such, will lecture, give readings, and lead workshops on campus during the week of October 27. The week of September 22, Dianne spent a two-day writer’s residency at the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts in southern Indiana. On September 30, Dianne gave a reading and guest lecture at Bellarmine University to a class taught by Erin Keane (Spring 2004).

Susan Campbell Bartoletti frees up one gig of brain space when she hands in her nonfiction book, tentatively titled They Called Themselves the Ku Klux Klan, to be published by Houghton Mifflin in fall 2009. Her novel The Boy Who Dared (Scholastic 2008) has earned two starred reviews (Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist) and was selected as a Junior Library Guild Selection. Random House will release the novel as an audio book in January 2009. She also sold a picture book, Naamah at Night, to Candlewick. In October, she speaks at the Illinois Youth Literature Festival, the Virginia Council of English teachers Conference, and the Festival of Books for Young readers in Oklahoma. In November, she speaks in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and then at NCTE in Texas. You can read about her in a featured interview in Book Links (July 2008) and online as part of a featured PENpals correspondence with Markus Zusak, author of the acclaimed Book Thief. Check it out at www.pen.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/2430/prmID/1609 (top)

Julie Brickman’s review, “Only Connect,”  of Marilynne Robinson’s Home, the follow up to her Pulitzer-prize winning Gilead, appeared as the lead review in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Sunday August 31. “A Voice of her Own,” Julie’s review of Ursula K. Le Guin’s novel Lavinia appeared on Sunday April 20, also as the lead review in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Ellie Bryant’s new book, While in Darkness There Is Light, has been released. In August, she led a two-day inservice to 2008 Essex High School teachers on reading strategies and later met up with Elaine Orr to attend a lecture given by Luis Alberto Urrea at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. In September she participated in the Mt. Abraham High School Career Day and presentinged While in Darkness There Is Light at the Burlington Book Festival. In September and October she is reading from the book at bookstores and libraries in Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, New York, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Virginia and North Carolina. In November she will be part of the Kentucky Book Fair and will read at Middletown Library and Books-a-Million, as well as at the Spalding University Celebration of Recently Published Books. For details about her appearances, check her website: www.louellabryant.com. (top)

Sheila Callaghan was featured on the cover of the October issue of American Theatre. Her play Crawl, Fade to White was performed with her theatre company 13P in October at the Ideal Glass Gallery in NYC. Also in October, her play Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake) was performed in Germany at the Theatre Bielefeld in German translation. She had a small excerpt of her new multimedia piece Water (Or, The Secret Life of Objects) at Prelude ’08 in September. And finally, she is teaching a special playwrights’ projects course at Columbia University this fall.

K. L. Cook’s essay, “Blind,” appears in the September 2008 issue of Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction (http://www.creativenonfiction.org/brevity). On September 12-13, he gave a reading and craft lecture for the MFA program at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. (top)

Debra Kang Dean was on the faculty of August Occasion, a writers’ retreat held at the Gell Center in Naples, New York, from August15-17. (The retreat was sponsored by Writers and Books in Rochester and Arts Branch of the YMCA in Syracuse.) She also served as guest poetry editor for the forthcoming issue of The Louisville Review. On 12 July, “Back to Back,” a poem from News of Home was featured on “The Writer’s Almanac.” Her essay, “In the Valley of Its Saying,” from which she read an excerpt during the spring residency, is forthcoming in an expanded edition of The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World (Milkweed, 2009).  She has poems forthcoming in Florida Review.

An interview with Kathleen Driskell was featured in the September issue of Today’s Woman. She recently attended the Kentucky Women Writers Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, where she heard Natasha Tretheway read from Native Guard, her Pulitzer Prize winning collection of poems. Later, Kathleen attended a reception that honored Joyce Carol Oates. Kathleen also attended the Idea Festival’s Kentucky Film Lab Workshop in Louisville where she heard Jack Epps, the screenwriter of Top Gun, speak on the craft of screenwriting. On October 6 at Indiana University Southeast, Kathleen sits on a panel with Erin Keane and Nickole Brown. All three will discuss poetry and the publishing business in the Ogle Center Building at 9:30 a.m. (top)

On Sunday, September. 28, Robert Finch gave a talk and a reading as part of “Connecting Communities, Preserving Ports,” the 2008 Working Waterfront Festival in New Bedford, Massachusetts. On Tuesday, October 2, he will give a talk and a reading at Bryant College in Smithfield, Rhode Island. On Thursday, October 5, he will be honored as one of the Association for the Preservation of Cape Cod’s 40th Anniversary Environmental Champions in Hyannis, Massachusetts. And on Wednesday, November 5, he delivers the 2008 Lowell Lecture at the Cape Cod Community College.

Richard Goodman’s essay, “My Beautiful Ann,” appears in the fall issue of Conclave. His essay, “It Sounds So Much Better When You Say Mal de Mer,” appears in Fishing’s Greatest Misadventures, an anthology from Casagrande Press, due out in November. Goodman’s essay, “Staying Out of the Clutches of the Goddess: Heeding the Wisdom of Tennessee Williams,” appears in First Draft in October.

Robin Lippincott’s novel In the Meantime is out in paperback, with a new cover and with the blurbs that should have been on the hardcover. (top)

Jody Lisberger gave readings this past summer from her story collection Remember Love at the Portland (Maine) Public Library Brown Bag Series and at Books ETC. in Falmouth, Maine (with Sena Jeter Naslund). Also she gave readings at Books on the Square (Providence, Rhode Island) and at the Ocean State Writers Conference (Rhode Island). She read her Vietnam women’s war story in Toronto in October at the Mothering, Violence, Militarism, War and Social Justice Conference and has other readings scheduled for this year and next. In July, her “This I Believe” essay on reading and writing was selected and aired by the Rhode Island NPR affiliate, WRNI.FM. Her readings of others’ poems, including those of Spalding faculty, are also being broadcast during the year on the Poetry Program at the NPR affiliate in Illinois, WGLT.FM. The Boston Globe very favorably reviewed her story collection on June 29. Her essay, “DES and Diflucan: Pharmaceutical Marketing Choices—Why Women Should Take Heed” is forthcoming in (Re)Interpretations: The Shapes of Justice in Women’s Experience. At the Ocean State Writers Conference (Rhode Island, June), she participated in two cross-genre panels—“My Truth, Your Truth, The Truth” and “Taking Place (and Time)”—and lead the introductory creative nonfiction workshop. (top)

Nancy McCabe’s essay “Still Dancing” is forthcoming in the next issue of Gulf Coast.

Sena Jeter Naslund’s novel Ahab’s Wife; or, The Star-gazer has been selected by HaperPerennial for its “Modern Classics” series, along with To Kill a Mockingbird, Native Son, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto (the Fall 2008 Book in Common). Ahab’s Wife was a national bestseller, NY Times Notable Book of the Year, and Time magazine selection for the five best novels of 1999. Recently Sena gave presentations in Portland and Falmouth, Maine, with Jody Lisberger and in Montevallo, Alabama. (top)

Greg Pape and visual artist Bonnie Peterson collaborated on a work for the Poetic Dialogue Project entitled “For the Traveling Tree from the Bitterroot.” The project pairs poets and visual artists, and the works will begin an exhibition tour at the Chicago Cultural Center on February 14. Greg served on an interdisciplinary panel, led a poetry workshop, and gave the keynote address, entitled “The Slow Poetry Movement: Poetry as Sustenance,” at The Gathering, Keystone College, La Plume, Pennsylvania. He has poems in the new issue of Great River Review and State of the Arts, the Montana Arts Council magazine.  An interview with Greg appeared in the Clark Fork Journal, and he will be one of the featured poets in a new documentary film entitled “Under the Big Tent of American Poetry.”

Molly Peacock’s sixth book of poems, The Second Blush, has been published by W. W. Norton and Company and is available online and in bookstores now. She has also begun her fellowship at the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Peacock won the fellowship to continue her book on the 18th century septuagenarian inventor of the botanical collage, Mrs. Delany. (top)

Playwright and faculty member Eric Schmiedl’s adaptation of Kent Haruf’s acclaimed novel Plainsong was recently produced by the Denver Center Theatre Company where it received the 2008 Westword Best Dramatization of a Novel Award. In his review for Variety, Bob Bows stated, “‘Plainsong’ expresses its reverence for everyday joys and trials in a steady, unrushed manner. It is a paean to the strength of a place and the people who live there, in this case Holt, Colo.” Eric also recently received a commission from the Idaho Shakespeare Festival to adapt the classic Kenneth Grahame novel, The Wind in the Willows. (top)

In spring 2009, River City Publishing will bring out Jeanie Thompson’s fourth poetry collection, The Seasons Bear Us. Thompson’s account of the Alabama Experience, a two week-arts exchange in Pietrasanta, Italy, will be published in the Fall 2008 issue of First Draft (www.writersforum.org). While there, she delivered a presentation about Alabama literature and also participated in the symposium with photographer Wayne Sides on images of immigration in Europe, using photographs that Sides shot while in Italy.  She and Sides are compiling a photography and poetry exhibition using photographs and poems relating to the historic Italian landscape in the Pietrasanta and Carrara region. Thompson also gave a poetry reading at the College of Life Long Learning at the University of Alabama in September.

Neela Vaswani is the Visiting-Writer-in-Residence at SIDH, India, for the month of October where she will teach fiction workshops and collaborating on an ESL textbook. In November, she will speak at the University of Wyoming, and from January-May 2009, she will be the Visiting-Writer-in-Residence at Knox College. She currently heads a literacy project for Adult Literacy and ESL students at the New York Public Library and has essays forthcoming in 94 Creations and MOTIF: Writing by Ear. (top)


Jennifer Anthony (Spring 2005) read angst-written teenage letters in San Francisco’s Mortified show on September 5 and 6. The readings can also be found in Mortified: Love is a Battlefield (Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2008), a cringe-worthy “excavation of adolescent writing.” Anthony has been having fun writing a Webserial loosely based on Sex and the City. She is also a regular contributor to Not for Tourists for San Francisco, and continues to write pieces about random adventures and trips for InTravel Magazine and Tango Diva.

Priscilla Atkins (Fall 2008) has a poem, “Un Sucrier for Marcel Proust,” in the Summer 2008 issue of Southern Humanities Review (264-265). In early September, Atkins introduced a Hope College fiction writing class to the wonderful world of literary magazines as well as sharing other library sources that can help them get new ideas for their own writing. (top)

Deborah Begel (Spring 2006) is promoting and distributing her new radio series, Calling America: Give Us Your Stories, Poems and Essays, to public radio stations around the country. All modules, each two to four minutes, will be available for online listening at www.RadioCallingAmerica.com in October. Contri-butions from Spalding people in this round include a poem by Therese (Gwen) Broderick (Fall 2006) and a guitar solo by Luke Wallin. Work from other graduates will be held for possible use in future broadcasts. Deborah is now producing news stories and short features part time for KUNM-FM in Albuquerque. Her documentary, Yes We Can Can(Lower Eastside Girls Club), can be heard at:  www.girlsclubworldwide.org/wp/uploads/Yes%20We%20Can%20Can.mp3

Glenny Brock (Spring 2007) was a featured reader during the 2008 Artwalk celebration in Birmingham, Alabama. The two-day festival included readings by a dozen writers and exhibition of work by 125 visual artists. In February 2009, Glenny and two of her colleagues from Birmingham Weekly are scheduled to lead a presentation titled “Where There’s a Quill, There’s a Way: Writing on a Weekly Deadline” at a Books-A-Million in Birmingham. The panel discussion is part of the Writing Today Open Forum, a lecture series for writers hosted by Writing Today, the annual writing conference held in March on the campus of Birmingham-Southern College. (In connection with that event, Glenny recently enjoyed a vivid encounter with spellcheck: When her bio was posted on www.writingtoday.org, the sentence “Glenny Brock earned her B.A. at Birmingham-Southern College and her MFA in creative writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Ky.” was changed to “Glenny Brock earned her B.A. at Birmingham-Southern College and harmful in creative writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Ky.”) (top)

Mark Russell Brown (Fall 2006) spent his summer at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, studying Fashion Journalism and Design. He is an editor for the fashion department’s new magazine, One Eighty, which premiered in September during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. Also his poem “While at Frisch’s for a Tuna Melt” is forthcoming in the fall issue of New Southerner.

David Bennett Carren (Fall 2005) successfully completed production of The Red Queen, a feature film he wrote and directed this summer in Edinburg, Texas. A co-production between the University of Texas Pan American and Green Queen Productions, the project was shot with a student crew and starred Valente Rodriquez (The George Lopez Show,) Harley Jane Kozak (Parenthood) and Estephania LeBaron (The Alamo). Post production should be completed in time for Christmas premier. The Red Queen is an action/suspense thriller that focuses on a young woman’s search for the truth about the mother that died giving birth to her.

Glimmer Train named “Subletting Off Haight” by John Caperton (Spring 2006) a top 25 finalist in their June 2008 Fiction Open contest. The website follows: http://www.glimmertrainpress.com/writer/html/index2.asp?action=finalists.

Amy Watkins Copeland (Spring 2006) is teaching composition part-time at Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences this fall and has just accepted a position in publications advertising with AAA. She plans to write all marketing materials in iambic pentameter. Her poem “Late Bloomer” is included in the Spalding-alum-edited anthology Women. Period. Other of her poems are in the current issues of Apalachee Review and Conclave: A Journal of Character. (top)

Linda Cruise (Spring 2008) recently attended the League of Vermont Writers’ conference, “Writers-Meet-Agents,” held at Champlain College, in Burlington, Vermont, and was a guest at the latest meeting of PEN-New England (Vermont Chapter).  In mid-September, she will be volunteering as well, on behalf of the LVW, at the Burlington Book Festival, which features Linda’s first Spalding faculty mentor, Ellie Bryant, reading from her latest book, While in Darkness There Is Light.  

Albert DeGenova (Spring 2005) recently celebrated the publication of his second collection of poetry, The Blueing Hours, now available from Virtual Artists Collective, www.vacpoetry.org. Al continues to publish the literary journal After Hours, and hosts the monthly second-Monday reading series at Molly Malone’s in Forest Park, Illinois.

Dave DeGolyer (Fall 2006) has been accepted to the 2008 RUCCL One-on-One Plus Conference for an excerpt from his YA novel-in-verse A Boy Called Mo (written under the pseudonym, Lafayette Wattles). On Sunday, September 14, Lafayette read poems from A Boy Called Mo on Kettering University’s WKUF 94.3 FM’s Lunch Poems with Gigi Humming. Lafayette held the first in a series of readings related to his 2008 Crossroads Grant at New York Sport & Fitness. The readings have to be held in nontradional venues, and NYSF proved to be ideal. Lafayette’s photo “Trio” appears in the Journal of Truth and Consequence (August 2008); the photos “Barn,” “Fountain,” and “Bulls” will appear in Siren (forthcoming 2008); the poem “Dear Billy Collins” will appear in 13th Warrior Review (September 2008); and the poem “I Couldn’t Tell Which Were the Thoughts and Which Were the Trees” has recently been named winner of the Boxcar Poetry Review Peer Award for best poem of the July issue. (top)

Daniel DiStasio’s (Fall 2006) short-short story “The Graduation Party” was accepted for publication by Opium Magazine. His short story “Halong Bay” will be included in Wanderings, an anthology and online journal. Dan was just hired as an adjunct professor to teach for Keiser University. He is also chairing a competition for young writers in South Florida for the Key West Writers Guild.

Sandra Evans Falconer’s (Spring 2005) poem “Sewing Patterns” won second prize in the Annual Poetry Contest for The Baltimore Review. The poem is from a collection she wrote while at Spalding titled “The Six o’clock Siren.”

Thea Gavin (Spring 2005) recently had a poem, “Cottonwood Blues,” accepted for publication in RATTLE’s upcoming Cowboy/Western poetry issue. Her poems and photographs have also appeared in two anthologies published by Fishtrap, Inc., a nonprofit organization in Wallowa County, Oregon, dedicated to “clear thinking and good writing about the West.” The Zumwalt: Writings from the Prairie (2008) contained five photos and two poems: “The Zumwalt Prairie in July,” “Big Dan Goertzen of the Zumwalt Country.” The Fishtrap Anthology 2006: Becoming Native to Place (2007) included nine photos, including the cover, and one poem: “Chainsaw Seer.”

Tara Goldstein’s (Fall 2006) play Zero Tolerance was performed as a rehearsed reading at the Safe Schools Conference at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education of the University of Toronto on September 27. The research-informed play includes excerpts from and responses to The Road to Health, a report on school safety commissioned by the Toronto District School Board in June 2007.  The goal of the report was to analyze the events leading up to the tragic death of student Jordan Manners at C.W. Jefferys CI in May 2007 and to provide a set of recommendations of how to work towards safer schools.

Jeanne Haggard (Fall 2006) has been admitted to the doctoral program in fine arts at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. She will begin her studies in playwriting and arts administration in January 2009.  The Texas Tech doctoral program in arts administration was featured in the August 2008 issue of Stage Directions as one of the top three programs in the United States, along with Columbia University and Florida State University. (top)

Brian Hampton’s (Spring 2006) play The Jungle Fun Room was selected for the Penobscot Theatre’s Northern Writes New Play Festival, where it won the Audience Favorite Award and will receive a full production in their 2008-2009 season as a part of their newest program Penobscot Theatre’s Underground Series. The play also received a special presentation at the Creative Center at the Manhattan Theatre Club this summer. To see an article about it, go to http://www.playbill.com/news/article/119484.html. You can catch Carter Calvert’s (Broadway’s Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues) rendition of “Happy Birthday” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1p28Hz9wWek.

David Harrity (Fall 2007) is currently working as a high school English teacher at Lexington Catholic High School.  He has poems forthcoming from Ruminate Magazine, Membra Disjecta, and Public Republic.  His manuscript, American Psalter, is currently under consideration with several publishers.  He’ll be teaching at the Carnegie Center in November.  He also recently found out that he and his wife are pregnant with their second child.

Parneshia Jones (Spring 2006), Michele Ruby (Spring 2005), Elizabeth Slade (Spring 2005) and Julia Watts (Fall  2005) are the coeditors of the anthology Women. Period., published by Spinsters Ink in September.  Many Spalding students and alumni are represented in this collection of poems, stories, essays, and theatre pieces by women writing about menstruation.  The book will be launched with a reading and a reception at Smith College on September 25.  (top)

Cyn Kitchen (Spring 2005) is currently serving as Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Her flash fiction, “Breathless” was published by Opium Magazine in August (www.opiummagazine.com). “Nothing Could Prepare Me,” a work of nonfiction, will appear in the Fall 2008 issue of The Louisville Review. She continues to follow her son’s deployment in Iraq on her blog: www.cynkitchen.blogs.com and is hard at work completing her book-length manuscript, Disaster Preparedness, based on the same.

Nana Lampton (Spring 2004), author of The Moon with the Sun in Her Eye, a book of poems, appeared at “A Gathering of Authors: A Centennial Celebration” at the Paul Sawyier Public Library on Saturday, August 2. Nana has been invited to read from her book at the October 7 meeting of the Bodacious Book Club, hosted by Mary Nancy Todd. (top)

Jill Koren (Spring 2008) and Matt Vetter (Spring 2008) recently tossed their hats into the blogosphere with a brand-new poetry blog, Two Poets, at www.2poets.blogspot.com. They promise to post every Monday, so you can take the rest of the week to read and think and respond at leisure. By virtue of its co-authored nature, Two Poets is meant to be a dialogue, so please log on and join in. You can even subscribe if you’d like (click on the link below the last post to do so). Jill is also teaching a mixed-genre creative writing workshop for adults in her community starting September 17. And she has five poems forthcoming in Public Republic, an online magazine for literature, photography and art, published in Bulgarian. The address of the site is http://www.public-republic.net. Her poems will be featured in the soon-to-be-launched English version of the site.

Drew Lackovic (Spring 2008) finally got to give Verizon the boot and accepted a full course load as an adjunct professor at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.  He’s teaching two sections of Rhetoric and Composition and two sections of Basic Writing. 

Beth Newberry (Fall 2007) attended the Kentucky Women Writers’ Conference in Lexington in mid-September where she participated in a creative nonfiction workshop “Place and Prose” with Ginger Strand, author of Inventing Niagra: Beauty, Truth, Lies. She also had an individual manuscript critique with Jennifer Sahn, editor of Orion Magazine. Beth has had her essay, “A Saturday Night at Air Devil’s Inn,” accepted for publication in an anthology about music called MOTIF: Writing by Ear, which will be published by MOTES Books in late 2008. (top)

Loreen Niewenhuis’s (Spring 2007) short story “Anti-Gravity Belts” will appear in the next issue of Barbaric Yawp.

Diana M. Raab (Fall 2003) just celebrated the release of her second poetry collection, Dear Anaïs: My Life in Poems for You (Plain View Press). She will be giving readings and conducting journaling workshops this fall at the Bank of Books, Ventura, California (September 15), The Santa Barbara Book Festival, Santa Barbara, California (September 28), The West Hollywood Book Festival, West Hollywood, CA  (September 29), The Wellness and Writing Connection Conference in Atlanta (October 11), and The Amazon Bookstore in Minneapolis (November 22).

Jennifer Spillane (Fall 2006) is teaching a basic writing class at Bucks County Community College, Pennsylvania, this fall. This basic writing class helps students tackle grammar and the writing process to prepare them for other college classes. It is Jennifer’s first teaching job. (top)

John Steele (Spring 2006) was hired by Western State College to teach a handful of writing classes in the fall and spring semesters.  John is thrilled to be back in the world of academia and loves teaching so far.  Of course, he hasn’t had to grade any papers yet!
Kathleen Thompson (Fall 2003) has just sold the reprint rights for her essay, “The Conspiracy,” to The Writers Institute to be included in their annual teaching anthology, Voices, along with about seventy other pieces. It is scheduled for publication in early 2009 and will have a print run of 13,000 copies.
Kim Stinson-Hawn (Fall 2007) received second place for her one-act play, “OxyNanny,” and third place for her ten-minute play, “Soapbox,” in the 2008 Josefina Niggli Award for Playwriting contest from the Appalachian Writers’ Association.

Leslie Smith Townsend’s (Spring 2004) essay, “Coming Home,” was published in the spring issue of New Southerner edited by MFA graduate Bobbi Buchanan (Fall 2005). Leslie and Bobbi co-authored “Creative Ways to Beat High Food Prices” in the same issue. Look for these and forthcoming essays at www.newsoutherner.com(top)

Jonathan Weinert (Fall 2005) has had his poem, “Brief Life History as an Unknown Bosch,” accepted for publication in the Fall 2008 issue of Ploughshares. His book, In the Mode of Disappearance (Nightboat Books, 2008), was #7 on the Small Press Distribution Poetry Bestsellers list for the month of May.

Remember the MFA Alumni have a website http://www.spaldingmfaalum.com.


Our heartfelt sympathy to Dianne Aprile and husband Ken Shapero on the death of Ken’s mother, Lucy Byck Shapero, on September 24.

Our heartfelt sympathy to Nana Lampton (Spring 2004) on the death of her father, Dinwiddie Lampton, Jr., on September 25. (top)

Books/Scripts in Common for Fall 2008
All students and faculty read the Book in Common, Ann Patchett's Bel Canto, in preparation for a book discussion led by Sena Jeter Naslund on the first night of residency. (Bring the book to this session.)

Fall 2008 Faculty Books/Scripts in Common
Students read the Faculty Book/Script in Common in the area of concentration they are to study in the Fall 2008 semester in preparation for a discussion with authors at the Fall 2008 residency. (Bring the book to the residency session.)

During the spring semester, students also write a 2-4 page short critical essay on the Faculty Book in Common. In one of their packets, students submit the essay to their mentors as one of the 8-10 critical essays required during ENG610 and ENG620. ENG 630 and ENG640 students should add this requirement to their semester plan and send it to the mentor during the semester. All MFA students add the book/script to their cumulative bibliographies.

Students attending the Spring residency may purchase Fall faculty books in common at the Spalding bookstore. (top)

  • Fiction: Jody Lisbergerís Remember Love (See Spalding Bookstore or call or email the MFA Office, x2777 or louisvillereview@spalding.edu, to order from Fleur-de-Lis Press)
  • Poetry: Jane Gentry (Vance)ís Portrait of an Artist as a White Pig (Louisiana State University Press, 2006, ISBN-10: 0807131709)
  • Creative Nonfiction: Roy Hoffmanís Back Home: Journeys through Mobile (available in paperback)
  • Writing for Children: Luke Wallinís In the Shadow of the Wind
  • Playwriting: Juergen K. Tossmanís Assisted Living (posted on Blackboard)
  • Screenwriting: Charles Gainesís A Fool for God (posted on Blackboard) (top)

    Students should check Blackboard for a complete list of pre-reading assignments. (top)

    Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) for Spring 2008
    FAC members are announced by the MFA Office at the beginning of each semester. The Program Director consults with the FAC about recommendations for admissions and about programmatic and administrative development and changes. Both faculty and students are invited to make suggestions to the FAC for exploration by the Program Director and larger faculty. However, students and faculty should directly and immediately consult the Associate Program Director about any issues concerning specific individuals’ performance in the program.

  • Robin Lippincott, fiction
  • Greg Pape, poetry
  • Dianne Aprile, creative nonfiction
  • Luke Wallin, writing for children
  • Sam Zalutsky, playwriting/screenwriting (top)


    Bob Shayne (Spring 2007), longtime writer-producer (winner of Gotham IFP screenplay competition, two Emmys, two Edgars, a Grammy, and nomination for Best TV Movie of the Year from the Writers Guild of America), adjunct professor of screenwriting and TV writing at the Chapman University, consults on screen and TV plays. Twenty percent discount for Spalding students, faculty and alumni. He provides detailed critique on all aspects of the script, what works, what doesn’t, why, and how to fix it. His editing comments often run 10-15 pages. You can reach Shayne at bobshayne@att.net or 310-477-6018.

    Katerina Stoykova-Klemer would like to invite all Spalding students, faculty and alumni to visit the newly-created international online journal Public Republic (http://www.public-republic.net/), for which she is the English-language editor, and to submit works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, interviews, news articles, opinions and photographs. Public Republic has been publishing online in Bulgarian since 2006 and has recently expanded to reach a global audience with separate English and German language journals. (top)

    Kathleen Thompson (Fall 2003) and her son, Stephen, have launched a business to help writers with editing. Information on Word for Word for Word: Editing & Writing Services can be found at www.wordforwordforword.com. You know how to write: you’ve learned that at Spalding. Even the experienced writer, however, can benefit from a good editor. Look us over at the web site (still somewhat under construction) and see if what we do matches what you need. We handle your words with the same dignity and care as if they were our own. You have our word.

    Cristina Trapani-Scott has teamed up with Linda Cruise (Spring 2008), Meg Heiman (Spring 2008), and Jill Kelly Koren (Spring 2008) in forming a primarily web-based business, Writing Consultants Network (http://writingconsultantsnetwork.webs.com), which offers the public a wide range of writing/editing/instruction/graphics/web design/research services.  There profile is also listed at www.guru.com. (top)

    Submissions of writing-related advertisements, such as calls for submission, services for writers, etc. may be made to mfanewsletter@spalding.edu. (top)

    Reminders and Notes

    Financial Aid: The MFA Program offers scholarships to students entering their first semester in the program. Returning students who desire financial assistance should apply for graduate assistantships. (The deadline for Spring 2009 assistantship applications is February 19, 2009.) Applications for scholarships and assistantships should be directed to the MFA Office. For deadlines and application information, check Blackboard under SEMESTER and in the appropriate semester folder, look for the Documents General Interest folder.

    Federal student loans are available to all eligible graduate students and are available for the fall, spring, or summer semesters. Federal student loans, which are handled through Spalding's financial aid office and not through the MFA program, are available to all eligible graduate students..

    Students need to re-file the FAFSA for each new school year (the school year is summer/fall/spring). Students enrolling in courses in fall 2008 need to fill out the FAFSA for financial aid year 08-09 with their 2007 tax return information. (top)

    For help with financial aid questions, call Vicki Montgomery at 800-896-8941 ext. 2731 or 502-585-9911, ext. 2731 or email vmontgomery@spalding.edu Students may enter or update their FAFSA information online at www.fafsa.ed.gov (top)

    Deferment Form. For students who receive notice their loans have gone into repayment while still enrolled in school. Fill out deferment form (available on Blackboard under your semester in the file called Documents: General Interest and fax to Jennifer Gohmann at 502-992-2424. Include the address and/or fax number of where the deferment form should go to in Section 7 (on the 2nd page). For multiple loans, fill out one deferment form per loan company. On the fax cover sheet, state that you are an MFA student. If you have questions, Jennifer's email is jgohmann@spalding.edu

    MFA Scholarship Fund: Donations to the MFA in Writing Scholarship Fund may be made “in honor of” or “in memory of” a friend or loved one or organization. To make a donation, contact (800) 896-8941, ext. 2257 or (502) 585-9911, ext. 2257.

    Online information: MFA in Writing forms, deadlines, and other student and faculty information are available online on Blackboard. Newsletters are at http://www.spalding.edu/mfanewsletter The web address is case sensitive. (top)

    Life of a Writer is an important newsletter column that reports on experiences around the writing life of our students, faculty, and alums. Email submissions to mfanewsletter@spalding.edu

    Life of a Writer pieces should be written as a paragraph in third person. It is helpful for alums to include their graduation semester, such as Jake Doe (Fall 2003). Spell out month and state names. Include name of work, publisher, date of publication, and Website addresses, when appropriate. (top)

    Below is a list of some of the kinds of activities that might be included in the Life of a Writer column.

  • Published a book, essay, poem, book review, play, etc.
  • Given a public reading
  • Visited a classroom to talk about writing
  • Judged a writing competition
  • Attended a writing conference
  • Served on a panel about writing
  • Volunteered in a project about writing or literacy

    On Extended Wings archives: To see previous issues of the newsletter, click here.

    Sena Jeter Naslund, Program Director
    Karen Mann, Administrative Director
    Kathleen Driskell, Associate Program Director
    Katy Yocom, Program Associate
    Gayle Hanratty, Administrative Assistant

    Email Life of a Writer information to Cristina Trapani-Scott at mfanewsletter@spalding.edu