Great Expectations

A blog of the Department of English at BGSU:A place for faculty, students and alumni to connect.

Creative Writing Alumni News

Posted by bgsuenglish on July 13, 2007

Richard Behm (MFA 1973; Ph.D Literature 1976), retired Professor Emeritus from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, was one of five faculty given a University Excellence in Teaching Award for the 2005-2006 academic year. Now that he’s retired, Richard has several writing projects he’s working on, including two or three book-length collections of poetry, pulling together nearly three hundred poems he has had published in magazines large and small over the years.

Mark Berman (MFA 1976) has been appointed Technical Adviser to the ESF Legal Commission, and this is aside from his role as Technical Adviser to the Israeli Women’s Team, which is preparing for the 2007 qualifier for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Mark tells us, “I thought that I had retired!”

Mary Biddinger (MFA 1998), for her debut book of poems, Prairie Fever, just out with Steel Toe Books. She’s also received a $5,000 Individual Creativity Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council for work on her next book. Mary is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Akron. She also teaches in the Northeast Ohio MFA Program. Congratulations, Mary!

Philana Boles (BFA 1999), not only for her third novel, Little Divas, released this year with Amistad Press, but for the great news that the novel was nominated for the 2006 Annual African American Literary Awards Show (AALAS).

John Bradley (MFA 1987) for two books released last year: Terrestrial Music, Curbstone, and War on Words, BlazeVOX. He also won a Pushcart Prize and an NEA Fellowship for Poetry for 2007. He is editing an anthology of poetry in homage to Thomas McGrath, which will be published by The Backwaters Press.

Jennifer Bryan (MFA candidate) for “Wonder Twins,” in the Spring 2006 issue of Madison Review; “Super 8,” forthcoming in Flyaway; and “Frankenstein, which will appear in the Spring/Summer 2007 issue of the Santa Clara Review.

Carmen Cole (MFA 2004) for being awarded a $5,000 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Individual Artist Grant for poetry. Her most recent work appears in Smartish Pace.

Alicia Conroy (MFA 2000), who tells us her debut story collection, Lives of Mapmakers, was a finalist in the Minnesota Book Awards, administered by the Friends of the St. Paul Library. Winners will be announced in May. Good luck, Alicia!

Patrick Crerand (MFA 2002) for two recent stories in Ninth Letter and in Cimarron Review. A story of his was also named honorable mention in the AWP Intro Journal Awards this past year. Patrick is completing his Ph.D. at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.

Jim Daniels (MFA 1980) for three books of poetry and fiction forthcoming: In Line for the Exterminator (Wayne State University Press); Mr. Pleasant (stories) (Michigan State University Press); and Revolt of the Crash-Test Dummies (Eastern Washington University Press).

Randy DeVita (MFA 2006), whose story, “Riding the Doghouse,” has been selected by Stephen King for inclusion in the 2007 edition of Best American Short Stories. The story appeared last year in West Branch. Randy is currently living in Ann Arbor and pursuing a Ph.D. in Creative Writing at Western Michigan University. Congratulations, Randy!

Anthony Doerr (MFA 1999), for his work of creative nonfiction, Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World. Additionally, Doerr has been named to Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists 2, an anthology of excerpted work.

Edward Dougherty (MFA 1991), who writes, “I was in the poetry program, graduating in 1991 then my spouse and I went off to Japan to be volunteers at a peace center in Hiroshima. We lived and worked there for 2 and a half years, came back to a Quaker center outside of Philadelphia, and for the last 10 years we’ve lived in the Elmira/Corning area of New York state. It’s a really lovely region, and we both like our work at the community college in Corning. Last school year I had a sabbatical from teaching and so was able to work at the writing in a more sustained way, which was fabulous. This year, I have my fourth chapbook coming out and next will see my first full-length book, though it was originally written while in Japan. I just wanted to pass along news and say how grateful I am for my time in BG, for my chance to work on the Mid-Am with Ken Letko and John Bradley and George Looney (among many others), and to learn to be a teacher under Donna Nelson’s (now Nelson-Beene!) excellent work. I owe a great deal to BGSU and the MFA program. As for the publications: The Luminous House, a chapbook of poems, is coming out in May from Finishing Line Press; and Pilgrimage to a Gingko Tree, a full-length collection from my time in Hiroshima, is scheduled for January 2008 from WordTech Communications. Peace, Edward.” Edward also has two previous chapbooks, The Metal of My Mouth (2004, FootHills Press) and Small Galaxies (2004, winner of the New Eden Chapbook Award from Ruah: A Journal of Spiritual Poetry).

Erik Esckilsen (MFA 2006) for his third novel, The Outside Groove (Houghton Mifflin / Walter Lorraine Books, 2006).

Cathy Essinger (BA, 1970, English with creative writing emphasis), worked closely with Phil O’Connor and other creative writing faculty before the BFA was in full swing. She’s recently been to the Winter Wheat Festival. She’s author of two books, A Desk in the Elephant House, Texas Tech University Press, winner of the Walt McDonald First Book Award, 1998, and My Dog Does Not Read Plato, Main Street Rag press, published as a finalist in their annual competition, 2004. Professor Essinger is in charge of the Creative Writing program at Edison Community College in Piqua, Ohio, and a member of the Greenville Poets, a small but well-established critique group.

Jeff Fearnside (BFA 1996) was recent winner of two national writing contests: Many Mountains Moving‘s 2005 Flash Fiction Contest and the Santa Fe Writers Project’s 2005 Literary Awards Program. He was named the 2006 Bernheim Writer in Residence, a three-month fellowship at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky, 25 miles south of Louisville.

Melissa Fraterrigo (MFA 2000), for her debut story collection, The Longest Pregnancy, winner of the Tartt First Fiction Award offered by Livingston Press of the University of West Alabama. Congratulations, Melissa!

Pete Genovese (MFA 1970), for his debut novel, An Angel in the Street, with Ramble House Press.

Rajni George (MFA 2005), who started as an editor at Random House India, a subsidiary of Random House UK, in January of 2007. She says, “I had a wonderful experience in the US, thanks in no small part to the wonderful people of Bowling Green and its MFA program. This is a great opportunity, however, and I’ll be getting to recognize and promote India’s many under-recognized talents.”

Angela Hansen (BFA, 2005), for achieving a full-time internship with Anime Insider in New Jersey, where she’s writing features. Two appeared recently in Numbers 29 and 30 on Fullmetal Alchemist and Samurai 7, respectively

Al Heathcock (MFA 1998), whose story “Peacekeeper” was recently included in an issue of The Virginia Quarterly Review, a small-circulation literary journal. Al teaches writing classes at Boise State University. He says “Peacekeeper” is part of a larger work that he hopes to get published as a book. “Peacekeeper” was included in the Best American Mystery Stories 2006.

Richard Henry (MFA 1983), for debut story and poetry collections; Lucy’s Eggs: Short Stories & A Novella (Syracuse University Press) and Sidewalk Portrait: Fifty-Fourth Floor and Falling (BlazeVOX). Henry is also editor of The Blueline Anthology, with Anthony O. Tyler, Stephanie Coyne-DeGhett, Myra Gann, Alan Steinberg, and Alice Wolf Gilborn (Syracuse UP).

Ayanna Humphrey (BFA 2003) received her Master of Science degree from St. Joseph’s University in May 2007. Congratulations, Ayanna!.

Bill Jablonsky (MFA 2000), for a story in Phoenix.

Kawita Kandpal (MFA 1997), for her first full-length collection of poems, Folding a River, which appeared in spring 2007 with Marick Press. According to Kawita, “This collection seeks to explore the landscape of my East-West cultures. At present, I am nearing completion of my second collection.” Congratulations, Kawita!

Beth Kaufka (MFA candidate), for her story, “Under So Much Rain,” in the 50th-anniversary issue of Portland Review and acceptance of her paper for the AWP Pedagogy Forum, “Evaluating Creativity: Power and Difference in the Creative Writing Classroom, which will be published in the 2007 AWP Pedagogy Papers. That’s great news, Beth!

Jeannie Kidera (MFA 2005) has been accepted into the International Writers Program (summer study) at the National University of Galway (through the University of Arkansas).

Stephanie King (MFA 2006), for poems in Cream City Review and in Hotel Amerika.

Lynn Kostoff (MFA 1978) for his novel The Long Fall, which has been translated and released by Mondadori Publishers in Italy and selected venues in Europe.

Paula Lambert (MFA 1996), for winning a $5,000 Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Grant in the Creative Nonfiction category for her book manuscript Silver Girl: Story of a Suicidal Mind. Additionally, she’s currently in residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts where she was awarded a Fellowship.

Kate Lane (MFA candidate), whose story, “Red Winter,” was selected by judge Chang-rea Lee as winner of Third Coast‘s national fiction competition. Kate’s story appeared in the Spring 2007 issue of Third Coast and she received a $1,000 prize. Congratulations, Kate!

Joe Larson (MFA 2004), for a story in the Jabberwock Review and “The Golden Nugget,” with Seattle Review.

Jim Lesczynski (BFA 1988), for his novel The Walton Street Tycoons, forthcoming with East River Press.

Saikat Majumdar (MFA 2000), for his novel, tentatively titled Kin, accepted for publication by HarperCollins India. Additionally, Saikat has been awarded a writing fellowship next year at Rhodes University in South Africa by the Andrew Mellon Foundation. Saikat earned his Ph.D. at Rutgers and was recently accepted a tenure-track assistant professorship in English at Stanford University. Saikat writes, “[T]his was, I felt, clearly a place where many avenues could open up before me as a writer, an academic and a teacher. The English department is full of wonderful people who seem genuinely enthusiastic about my work, and I especially enjoyed chatting with Eavan Boland, who directs the Wallace Stegnor program there.” Congratulations, Saikat!

Doug Martin (MFA 1993), for winning a Promising Scholar Grant at Indiana State University to compile a printed anthology of the best on-line flash fiction and prose poetry published in the past 10 years. The money awarded by the grant will help Doug launch Snowvigate Press.

Matt McBride (MFA 2005). Matt McBride’s chapbook, The Shore of Night’s Ocean was winner of Kent State’s Wick Prize and was due to be published by Kent State University Press in early 2007. Matt will also be invited to give a reading on the Kent State campus. That’s great, Matt!

Rebecca Meacham (MFA 1994), who was recently informed that she was a finalist for The Gift of Freedom, a $50,000 award to a female artist from the Room of Her Own Foundation. Nearly 800 writers applied for the award, and she was one of five finalists selected. The final judges were acclaimed authors Susan Straight and Kim Ponders. Rebecca is Associate Professor, English and Humanistic Studies, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Gary McDowell (MFA candidate), for receiving a pushcart nomination for his poem “Gymnosperm” in the online magazine, No Tell Motel. Gary’s been accepted into the Ph.D. program in poetry at Western Michigan University and will begin studies this fall, 2007. Congratulations, Gary!

Teresa Milbrodt (MFA 2004), for a story, “Box,” nominated by Cream City Review for a Pushcart Prize; her story about competitive eating, “To Fill,” has just been accepted for publication in the North American Review; and “Dohyo,” a story slated for publication by Passages North.

Berwyn Moore (MFA 1985), whose poem, “After the Light,” recently won the Magliocco Prize for Poetry in the Bellevue Literary Review‘s annual contest. Rafael Campo was the judge. Berwyn $1000.00, and the poem was published in the Spring 2007 issue of BLR.

Tom Morrisey (MFA 1983), for his new novel, In High Places, released by Bethany House Publishers. Tom also tells us that Sport Diver Magazine (in Winter Park, FL) has hired him as executive editor. His job includes living in Florida, traveling, and diving in Tahiti and Fiji. That’s a nice situation, Tom!

Jason Nelson (MFA 2000), for winning the grand prize for contemporary digital art from the first annual pan-literary awards and for the hyperliterature award for poetry from UBOC in Spain. Additionally, Jason’s had his hypertext/digital artwork/digital poetics in galleries in Singapore, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), UCLA, Miami, Houston, and elsewhere.

Deborah Nicholson (MFA candidate) for “Eve,” in The Episcopalian–Thoughts in Short Prose and Verse, published by Outreach Communications LLC.

Randy Norris (MFA 1980; Ph.D. ACS 1998), for his forthcoming book, a photo essay, that he’s been working on for sixteen years with his award-winning French photographer, Jean Philippe. Highway 61–Heart of the Delta contains a foreword by Morgan Freeman, and essays by Christine Wilson, Patti Carr Black, Robin Rushing, civil rights giant David Jordan, and poet Nikki Giovanni. It also contains about thirty five vignettes, four- or five-page interviews, and about eighty of Jean-Phillippe’s pictures. Highway 61 will be published by University of Tennessee Press in either late 2007 or early 2008 as their lead selection. This is wonderful news!

Martha (Larson) O’Connor (BFA 1994), for her forthcoming novel with Putnam in 2008 or 2009, Tink, a reimagining of Tinker Bell from Peter Pan as a fierce Gaelic faerie born as a changeling to a band of 19th-century Irish gypsies, to Peternelle van Arsdale.

Anne Panning (MFA 1993), for her short story collection, Super America, which is winner of the Flannery O’Connor Prize for Fiction and will be published next year. Currently Anne is Associate Professor of English at SUNY Brockport. That’s great news!


Julie Platt (MFA candidate), for two poems forthcoming Rhino in 2007. One poem, “The Finwife is Dismissed,” was in workshop this past spring. Additionally, Julie’s pedagogy paper, “Developing the Presence of a Reader in the work of Beginning Creative Writers,” has been accepted to the 2007 AWP Pedagogy Forum and selected for Best of the AWP Pedagogy Papers 2007. Julie’s been accepted into the Ph.D. program in rherotic and composition at Michigan State University and will begin studies this fall, 2007. Congratulations, Julie!

Craig Paulenich (PhD English/Creative Emphasis 1989), for his poetry collection recently released with Nobodaddies Press, Drift of the Hunt.

Dan Raphael (MFA 1975) for his new book, Breath Test, 2007, with Nine Muses Press. Also, check out Dan’s chapbook, New and Selected, with Puddinghouse.

Brendan Regan (BFA minor, 1998) has had work appear in Newtopia Magazine; Syntax; Thunder Sandwich; Chronogram (Philip Levine, Ed.); and Bardsong. New work of his is forthcoming in Grand Lake Review. He’s recipeint of the Colorado Poetry Society’s Open Contest Award, Marija Cerjak Society’s Award for Avante-garde and Experimental Writing, and Special Mention in the Colorado Poetry Society’s Ann Woodbury Hafen Contest.

Renee Reighart (MFA 2006), for the Pushcart Nomination of her story, “Robbertrain,” in The Journal, 30.2.

Ashley Rutter (BFA candidate) has a short story forthcoming in Hayden’s Ferry Review. Congratulations, Ashley!

Patrick Ryan (MFA 1990), for a short story, “So Much for Artemis,” in Best American Short Stories 2006. The story first appreared in One Story.

F. Daniel Rzicznek (MFA 2005), for his first book manuscript, Neck of the World, winner of the 2007 May Swenson Poetry Prize. Dan’s debut collection will be published by Utah State University Press. Congratulations, Dan!

June Saraceno (MFA 1983), for her December 2006 chapbook released by Pudding House Press Mean Girl Trips. June also has a full length collection of poetry scheduled for release from Plain View Press in July 2007 titled Altars of Ordinary Light. In May 2007, June was awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award at Sierra Nevada College, Lake Tahoe where she is English Program Chair. In July, June is scheduled to present a paper at the New Directions in Humanities international conference in Paris. Congratulations on all, June!

Christof Scheele (MFA 2001) for his first chapbook of poems, Eitherland, published by Three Sheets Press. Christof has lived in Germany and in Hungary, where he taught at high schools in Ny’iregyh’aza and Szolnok. In 2003, he received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship in poetry.

Phillip Sterling (Ph.D. with Creative Dissertation, 1979), for his latest collection, Significant Others (Main Street Rag, 2005). Recently, he’s had poems in North American Review, Paris Review (featured on the website for issue 169), The Pedestal Magazine, Passages North, Artful Dodge, The Eleventh Muse, and others.

Marc Sumerak (BFA 1998), for several 2006 releases from Marvel Comics: Avengers & Power Pack Assemble! nos. 2 and 3 (of 4); Marvel Adventures Flip Magazine nos. 12 and 13; and Sentinel, vol. 3, Past Imperfect Digest. Beyond his regular comic book work, Sumerak is now co-writing a comic strip that appears monthly in the pages of Restaurant Business magazine. The strip, called My Kinda Place, follows the adventures of young entrepreneur Roy Dibble as he sets out to start his very own restaurant. The big news: This year’s Eisner Award nominations have been released, and Marc’s Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius one-shot has received a nomination in the “Best Publication for a Younger Audience” category. More big awards news: This year’s Harvey Award nominations have been released, and the Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius one-shot has received three nominations: for “Best Cartoonist,” “Best Letterer,” and “Special Award for Humor in Comics” categories. Also, Sumerak’s Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four (for which he wrote the kick-off issue) received a nomination for “Best New Series!”

Sruthi Thekkiam (MFA candidate), for a short story, “Friday Afternoons on Bus Number 51,” forthcoming in Blackbird, the literary magazine based at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Brent Van Horne (MFA candidate), for his story publication, “Omaha, Nebraska,” in Fugue Literary Magazine.

Allen Wier (MFA 1974), for his novel, Tehano, with Southern Methodist University Press in February 2006.

Dara Wier (MFA 1974), for her book, Remnants of Hannah (Wave Books). Wave describes it as “a series of lyric poems that are intricately connected in their ability to recollect and speak to one another.” Many of these poems have previously appeared in American Poetry Review, Conduit, Salt River Review, The Poetry Miscellany, canwehaveourballback, jubilat, The Melic, Boston Review, Octopus, Gulf Coast, Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. We’ev also just learned that Dara’s Reverse Rapture was been awarded The 2006 American Poetry Archives and Poetry Book Award from San Francisco State University. Dara directs the MFA program for poets and writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where, along with Lisa Olstein and Noy Holland, she founded and co-directs the Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts and Action.

Theresa Williams (MFA 1989) for winning an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award in Fiction for 2006. She won for “Blue Velvis,” a short story originally published in The Sun and nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Gary Wilson (MFA 1973) for his debut novel with Rager Media, Sing, Ronnie Blue. Congrats, Gary!

John Wylam (MFA 1998) for the 2005 publication of Darke County Poems, with Pudding House Publications. Additionally, John has been awarded a 2006 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award in poetry.

Fred Zackel (Ph.D. in English/Creative Emphasis, 1995), for the November 1, 2006 re-release of his first novel, Cocaine & Blue Eyes, with Point Blank Press. The novel, which was made into a TV-movie in the early ’80s, has received critical acclaim over the years for creating a resurgence in the American private-eye novel.


One Response to “Creative Writing Alumni News”

  1. Hey there! I’ve been following your site for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the great job!

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