The Alchemy of the Word: Writers Talk About Writing, an anthology written by members of the MFA in Creative Writing Program faculty, was published by The California Institute of Arts and Letters (July, 2011) and was launched at the fall Plainfield and Port Townsend residencies. Our visiting writers and guests included acclaimed novelist Meg Wulitzer author of The Uncoupling and The Ten-Year Nap, legendary film producer Christine Vachon (Boys Don’t Cry, Far From Heaven) and award-winning poet Eileen Myles, author of Inferno and Chelsea Girls. The Playwrights Enrichment fund welcomed Todd London, director of New Dramatists and independent publisher Richard Nash spoke with Vermont MFA students about navigating the publishing industry.
The faculty, alumni and students of the Goddard College MFA in Creative Writing program are enjoying great success in the publishing, literary and theatrical worlds. Here are some of their accomplishments from 2011.
- Deborah Brevoort was a visiting guest artist this semester at the Florida School of the Arts, University of Michigan/Flint, Carroll College (Helena, Montana), Niagara University and Illinois State University in conjunction with their productions of The Women of Lockerbie. Embedded, her Edgar Allan Poe opera, written with Patrick Soluri and commissioned by the American Lyric Theatre was featured in a full orchestral concert in Opera America’s New Works Series in New York Cit.
- Rebecca Brown is participating in the The Northwest Film Forum’s “Debt Ceiling Package” installation to be on view during the 2011 Local Sightings Festival, from Sept 30 – Oct 6 in Seattle. The NWFF asked a numerous different NW artists to fill a suitcase with stuff that amounts to a ‘program’ or argument re how their art form (in Rebecca’s case, writing) has been created by cinema. Rebecca has written about how seeing Julie Andrews movies made her a writer.
- Darrah Cloud‘s new play Our Suburb was read as part of the Friday Tea series at Theatre J in Washington, DC in September. Her play What’s Buggin’ Greg? premiered at the Cincinnati Zoo on September 30th in two sold-out shows, and will then tour Ohio schools for the 2011-12 season as part of the Macy’s New Plays Series for family audiences.
- Kenny Fries will have work included in Beauty is a Verb: The New Disability Poetry to be published by Cinco Puntos Press in September. Publisher’s Weekly has named the book as one of the top ten poetry books to look for this fall. Kenny also received a grant from the Toronto Arts Council to finish work on his new book, now titled In the Province of the Gods.
- Bhanu Kapil‘s fourth book, Schizophrene (Nightboat Books) has just been published and she is a featured speaker at the &NOW Conference for Innovative Writing in October at UC San Diego. Other readings in the fall include a reading/talk at Brown University, as part of the Fiction program, on November 16th, and at Pete’s Candy Store in Brooklyn on November 18th. Also in NYC, on November 19th, she will be doing an environmental installation in Dumbo, a re-narration of the ending of Schizophrene: “boats of flowers and butter and light, set into the river there.” This past week, Bhanu was in Louisiana, giving a reading and teaching a workshop on divination/narrative at the University of Lafayette. Also, an interview with Bhanu by Katherine Sanders of the Harlem Writer’s Circle, just came out online on the blog for BOMB magazine: http://bombsite.com/articles/6073.
- Michael Klein read at the University or Rhode Island on Thursday, November 3rd, from 5-7pm as part of their visiting writers series.
- Douglas Martin was invited by poet CA Conrad to contribute to a special “Allen Ginsberg” edition of the web journal Jupiter 88 and his cross-genre work, Your Body Figured has been translated into Portuguese. The book will launch during Rio’s Contemporary International Art Fair, ArtRio.
- Nicola Morris gave two public lectures in Cortland, NY. The first talk focuses on Maurice Sendak’s Jewish identity, and the influence of his Jewishness on his work as a children’s book author and illustrator. The second talk looks at issues of civility, incivility and social justice through the complex relationships between text and image in his books.
- Richard Panek posted a version of his essay from the “The Alchemy of the Word: Writers Talk About Writing”, the just-published collection of Goddard MFAW faculty commencement and keynote addresses, at the science writers’ blog The Last Word on Nothing. The essay was adapted from his keynote address at the summer 2010 residency and can be found at: http://www.lastwordonnothing.com/2011/07/12/drawing-the-line-somewhere-part-1/; http://www.lastwordonnothing.com/2011/07/13/drawing-the-line-somewhere-part-2/. Richard also read his New York Times humor piece “My Analyst, My Neighbor” as part of: Ink on Shrinks: Writers in/on Therapy at Stony Brook Manhattan in September.
- Rachel Pollack‘s novel, Unquenchable Fire, winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, is to be re-issued as part of Gollancz Books’ highly successful series, SF Masterworks. Gollancz, a long established British publisher, is also bringing out ebooks of all Rachel’s previously published SF books, including her first novel, Golden Vanity, and the very rare collection, “Burning Sky”, as part of the ebook series, SF Gateway (www.sfgateway.com). Rachel has just returned from San Francisco, where she was a featured speaker at the Bay Area Tarot Symposium’s 20th anniversary celebration. At the Symposium, Rachel’s new book, Soulforest, was officially launched. Soulforest is a collection of twenty-four articles published monthly on the website TheMetaArts.com, several years ago. Soulforest will be published by Tarot Media (www.tarotmediacompany.com). Two other new books by Rachel, with completely new material, will be coming out in the next few months.
- Reiko Rizzuto’s book, Hiroshima in the Morning has been nominated for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, “the first and only annual U.S. literary award recognizing the power of the written word to promote peace.” In September gave a reading and talk at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks and that month she also gave a talk at the University of Connecticut: “Ground Zero and Human Rights: Past, Present and Future.”
- Paul Selig (Program Director) returned from a successful tour for his book I Am the Word, A Guide to the Consciousness of Man’s Self in a Transitioning Time (Tarcher/Penguin) He is the subject of an upcoming documentary film Paul & The Word and recently shot a pilot for a new show for the A&E Bio Channel. He has been invited to teach at the Esalen Center in Big Sure, California. He recently completed work on a new manuscript The Book of Love and Creation.
- Jane Wohl’s essay “Teaching Othello, Again” was a finalist for the Bechtel Prize sponsored by Teachers and Writers Collaborative.
Students and Alumni
- Paul Calandrino’s (G4) play Big Life is a finalist in the 2011 National Ten-Minute Play Contest at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Big Life premiered at Goddard’s Take Ten presentation at the Fall 2010 MFAW residency. Second, Trial By Fire TheatreWorks of Eugene, Ore., is staging a production called An Evening with Paul Calandrino. The show runs for two weekends in October and showcases eight of his ten-minute plays, including Sissy, which premiered at the Spring 2011 MFAW residency.
- Susana Cook’s (MFAW alumna) thesis play, The Homophones premiered in New York City at Dixon Place and ran from September 9-24, Fridays and Saturdays.
- James Ferry (G3) was interviewed in September by Greenfield Community College TV about the teaching practicum he is offering at the Greenfield, MA library. You can watch the interview at: http://gctv.org/videos/library-special-event
- Mary Alice Johnson’s (MFAW alumna) memoir, An Unquenchable Thirst: Following Mother Teresa in Search of Love, Service, and an Authentic Life is the subject of a feature article in the September issue of Poets & Writers. In the same issue is a piece entitled “The Literature of 9/11” which showcases Michael Klein‘s book then, we were still living and quotes him about writing poems which take 9/11 as subject matter.
- Jill Magi, MFAW alumna and faculty member with the Goddard BFA/IBA, was commissioned by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council to write an essay for the ten-year anniversary of the events of September 11. You can read the essay by clicking this link: http://insite.lmcc.net/projects-home/?id=7.