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in residence Class news


The campaign for Vermont College of Fine Arts


Creativity: Kiss the dark

16 New MFA in Writing & Publishing/ Graduate Studies in Art & Design Education


IN AUGUST PRESIDENT TOM GREENE talked with guest Cheryl Strayed about creativity, the writing process, and having a movie made about your life. Her bestselling memoir, Wild, is now a film starring Reese Witherspoon.

postgraduate writers’ conference

:: SUMMER 2014

vermont college of fine arts IN RESIDENCE 2014 3 President’s letter 4 Reports from the programs


Festive interlopers/

The cross-program faculty exchange initiative



Kiss the dark


New MFA in Writing & Publishing / Graduate Studies in Art & Design Education


Kelley Bordeleau Lamb Director of Alumni Affairs & Development managing editor

Miciah Bay Gault Publications Manager and Hunger Mountain Editor


Life after the MFA/

Stacy Nyikos


Alex Budnitz Sametz Blackstone Associates contributing writers

Stacy Nyikos Lindsey Lane Shirley Reid

34 Class news

contributing photographers

48 Impromptu

In Residence

49 Juxtaposition

Jay Ericson Anthony Pagani

Volume 2, Number 1 Š 2 0 14

VER MONT COL L EG E OF FI NE ARTS 36 College Street Montpelier, VT 05602 E-mail:

dear friends, On a chilly evening this past October, I paused outside College Hall while a group of students entered the building together. They were talking about the exhibit inside the VCFA Gallery, the Student Pinup show that’s now a regular feature of the Graphic Design program’s residency. Their faces were bright and animated as they walked inside. Through the open door, I glimpsed colorful walls and heard a comfortable chatter. I began to feel my own sense of animation—of inspiration—as I always do when I view art at our Visual Art or Graphic Design residencies. As president of an arts college—and a novelist myself—I think often about inspiration, about the ways in which artists find the spark that leads to the next artistic creation, what Nabokov calls the “shiver” because “the seat of artistic delight is between the shoulder blades.” For me, so often I find inspiration in the art of others. And that’s one reason I love VCFA. Just walking across our beautiful green campus is an inspiration. Music spills out of the chapel as a visiting ensemble prepares to perform our Music Composition students’ pieces. Films flash from screens during the Film Program’s residency. Poets are discussing rhythm and meter in Café Anna. Their voices float out the window. These days the VCFA campus is alive with art throughout the year. And it will be more so as we welcome our first residential students in fall 2015 to the MFA in Writing & Publishing program. We’re also preparing to launch Master of Arts in Teaching and Master of Arts in Art & Design Education programs, beginning next summer.

Our college is quickly becoming the exhilarating hub for the arts we’ve long envisioned. Now we’re planning to transform our 1950s campus to reflect our mission as a national center for education in the arts. This fall we launched the public phase of our capital campaign—a fundraising effort focused on creative and necessary renovations and revised campus space, which you can read about in this issue of In Residence. The new plans for campus, the new MFA, MA, and MAT programs, and the continued excellence and innovation of our students and faculty, all work to inspire me. I hope that, as part of our artistic community, you continue to feel the spark as well. Every day, the VCFA campus invites us: take part in art, drink deep of art, eat heartily, breathe it in, let it move us, change us, thrill us. Then, as Nabokov advises, “Let us worship the spine and its tingle.”

With all good wishes— Thomas Christopher Greene President




faculty :: notes :: residency

The MFA in Film at VCFA, launched in October 2013, continues to fulfill its role as a center for emerging filmmakers and an advocate for the ongoing globalization and democratization of independent filmmaking. Our applicants are from all over the world, and current students hail from Peru, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as LA, Austin, Dallas, Chicago, Miami, New York, Denver, and rural Vermont.

October 2013 residency For our inaugural residency, we hosted actor, writer, and director John Turturro, who has performed in more than 60 films, including Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, Mo’ Better Blues, and Jungle Fever; Robert Redford’s Quiz Show; Francesco Rosi’s La Tregua; and Joel and Ethan Coen’s Miller’s Crossing, The Big Lebowski, and O Brother Where Art Thou. For his lead role in the Coen Brothers’ Barton Fink, Turturro won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival. He received Cannes’ Camera D’Or Award for his directorial debut, Mac. At the October 2013 Residency, we screened his feature Romance + Cigarettes, took part in a post-screening discussion, and enjoyed a lecture We also welcomed special guest Yael Melamede, the 2013 from Turturro. Oscar winner for Inocente, the documentary short she produced. In addition to being a tremendous film, it was the first Oscar winner to be 100% Kickstarter funded. Melamede has had a pivotal influence on documentary film since her involvement as co-producer in My Architect, an academy award nominee.

The faculty T. MARIE DUDMAN was named a Radcliffe-Harvard Film Study Center Fellow. The Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program supports 50 leading artists and scholars while they focus on individual project “while benefiting from a dynamic, multidisciplinary community at Harvard University.”

April 2014 residency In April, students and faculty celebrated a return to campus for another residency of screenings, workshops, lectures, and discussions. We also welcomed special guest Deborah Granik, the winner of four Oscars for Winter’s Bone, which she wrote and directed, and writer/director Cherien Dabis, who screened her feature film Amreeka and discussed her work on the television series The L Word. Both guests discussed their trajectories In the spring, we as women writer/directors. also introduced the first of a series of “hands on” workshops, this one in cinematography with Director of Photography Denis Maloney, CSA. The workshop offered students direct experience with lighting for creative effect.

New post-graduate opportunity In addition to the two-year MFA in Film, VCFA now offers a semester of post-graduate study for screenwriters and filmmakers. The postgraduate semester is for emerging filmmakers and screenwriters who want to explore new forms, gain creative insights, transform written work into a screenplay, or polish their scripts. Applicants must have earned a graduate degree in film or a related field and be able to present a body of work to the Admissions Committee. Learning is projectbased and focused on refining creative choices and exploring innovative story and form.


DAN SCHREKER was interviewed at (Animation World Network), the leading website for animation and visual effects news. Veteran visual effects supervisor for LOOK Effects, Dan discusses his company’s role in bringing to life the stunning graphics of Darren Aronofsky’s latest movie, Noah. Schrecker, who heads LOOK Effect’s New York office, has led the company’s work in its close relationships with directors such as Aronofsky and Wes Anderson (most recently on The Grand Budapest Hotel).


We’re happy to welcome visiting faculty member, ROBERT RAMSEY, a screenwriter living in Los Angeles. His feature film credits include Destiny Turns on the Radio (1995); Life (1999); Big Trouble (2002); Intolerable Cruelty (2003); Man of the House (2005); and Soul Men (2008). He was a Fellow at the Sundance Screenwriters Workshop in 1992. He received a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University in 1985, and has been a member of the WGA since 1988. He has taught screenwriting at USC School of Cinematic Arts since 2012.


TERRANCE NANCE was named one of 20 directors to watch by Manohla Dargis and A. O. Scott of The New York Times. The NY Times article included excerpts from an interview with Terrance and an original video called “How to Recall What I Already Knew.” A.O. Scott called Terrance’s featurelength movie An Oversimplification of Her Beauty “an impossible-to-describe blend of animation, memoir and essay film” with a voice both “arresting

and original.” He was awarded a 2014 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts category in Film and Video.



faculty :: notes :: residency

graphic design Congratulations to our 2014 graduates The MFA In Graphic Design April 2014 Residency was a huge success! Students mounted two exhibits of their design work from the semester, at the Student Pin-up in Alumni Hall and the Thesis Visiting Exhibit in the College Hall Gallery. Designers attended the residency, giving public lectures, and conducting workshops with our students. Visitors included ANNE WEST, critic from RISD, LORENA HOWARD-SHERIDAN, type designer from Austin, TX, CAROLINE OH, lead designer for TKOH and instructor at Pratt, and faculty exchange guest critic, DR. DALIDA MARIA This October, we welcomed BENFIELD. guest designers CHRIS RO and YUNIM KIM, Seoul-based designers, and EDDIE OPARA from Pentagram, the New York based design firm.

Jessica Blank

Frossene King

Huntsville, TX

Corvalis, OR

Richard Dixon

Lesia Kuziw

Edenton, NC

Hoboken, NJ

Sonja Durr

Terrill Thomas

Reno, NV

Westminster, CA

Ryan Glen James

Matt White

Upland, IN

Fort Wayne, IN


The faculty

MATTHEW MONK, VCFA dean, was a panelist at the AIGA Design Educator’s conference in Portland, OR in September. After the conference, Matt and Soo Lee joined NATALIA ILYIN at Cornish College of Art in Seattle as guest speakers. SILAS MUNRO was the recipient of a Knight Foundation Grant for a Miami-based design start-up maker’s space.

Opposite page Campbell McKeogh ’15 Right Brian Higgins ’15

Left Dick Schellens ’15

graphic design

IAN LYNAM became Graphic Design Faculty Co-Chair with SILAS MUNRO.


Faculty member NIKKI JUEN recently began the MFA in Visual Art Program here at VCFA.



faculty :: notes :: residency

music composition

In February and August our campus transforms into a Music Festival for residency week, with musical events and performances every day. Students, faculty, and community members look forward to a series of concerts as well as several recurring residency highlights. The Electronic Music Exhibition is an electrifying evening of electronic sound and multimedia when students and faculty perform new work for instruments with live electronic sound and, often, video. The Film Music Festival celebrates the marriage of music to picture, showcasing how music is film’s “secret partner in story-telling.” And for the Songwriters’ Showcase we create an on-campus pub for an evening of diverse songwriting and performance In February, by our own students and faculty. our New Music Ensemble brought together three acclaimed musicians to perform our students’ compositions. The new music trio musicians were Jennifer Choi on violin; Yves Dharamraj on cello; and Stephen Gosling on piano. Our Jazz Quintet also performed new music written by VCFA students in a “potpourri of musical style.”

Jazz Quintet musicians were Nicki Denner on piano; Andy Eulau on bass and electric bass; Steve Johns on drums; Anton Denner on alto and tenor saxophone, flute, and piccolo; and Rob Henke on trumpet, flugelhorn, and alto horn. In August, our guest ensembles helped us celebrate diverse styles and overlapping musical genres. The VCFA New Music Ensemble, a string quartet plus marimba, included Cornelius Dufallo on violin; Jennifer Choi on violin; Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin on viola; Yves Dharamraj on cello; and percussionist David Cossin on marimba. The VCFA Crossover Ensemble included Fung Chern Hwei on violin; Ken Thomson on clarinet and saxophone; John Benthal on guitar and mandolin; Gregg August on upright and electric bass; and The August Adam Gold on drums & percussion. residency also featured special guests George S. Clinton, award-winning film scoring composer and Chair of the Film Scoring Department at Berklee College of Music, and Doreen Ringer Ross, Vice President for Film/TV Relations at BMI, which serves film and television composers.

The faculty

JOHN FITZ ROGERS’ Book of Concord was performed at the 2013 Bennington Chamber Music Conference in Bennington, VT. The piece was commissioned by the Jacob Glick Fund of the Chamber Music Conference and Composer’s Forum of the East. ROGER ZAHAB’S two short comic operas, Presidential Suite and Penthouse Suite, were presented at NYU’s Voices a la Carte: Program in Vocal Performance. Also, ROGER’S compositions were performed at the Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh Summerfest in July. Happy Hour! takes you into the minds of average Pittsburghers as they contemplate, in musical fashion, a meet-up in a local bar. From first dates to break-ups, to drinks with the girls or guys’ night out, this series of “bar arias” (barias?) allows you to eavesdrop into the personal lives of the characters.

music composition

The Dinosaur Annex Music ensemble commissioned works from five composers, including VCFA faculty member JOHN MALLIA, combining chamber music with science-related film/video. Mallia’s Dangerous Passing, scored for flute, percussion, violin, cello, and electronics, incorporated early examples of slow motion film shot by Harold “Doc” Edgerton using stroboscopic light. The compositions were premiered at the MIT Museum as part of the 2013 Cambridge Science Festival. Pianist Katherine Chi premiered JOHN’S Distaff for piano and electronics at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. alongside works by Liszt, Beethoven, Bach, and Ravel. The Hua Xia chamber ensemble, a group made up of faculty members from Beijing’s China Conservatory, performed JOHN’S Nodes for dizi, bass clarinet, pipa, guzheng, Chinese percussion, erhu, violin, and cello at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. JOHN gave the premiere performance of a 30-minute work for

DIANE MOSER and Diane Moser’s Composers Big Band, performed several times at Trumpets in Montclair, NJ. They’ve recently played music by guest composer/arranger Tony Faulkner, including new arrangements of the music of Pepper Adams; featured guest Billy Newman and his arrangement of Andrew Hill’s “Black Monday”; performed music for a summer evening featuring “Cicada” by composer Mark Helias and Diane’s arrangement of the George Gershwin favorite “Summertime”; and continued an annual peace concert tradition with a tribute to two major supporters of the arts: legendary Jazz club owner Amos Kaune and Montclair Times Arts Editor Joan Finn as well as journalist and cellist Daniel Pearl. In addition, the DIANE MOSER Quintet with special guest Howard Johnson performed a suite based on Eric Dolphy’s birdsong improvisations as part of a tribute to Eric Dolphy at Montclair State University.


RAVI KRISHNASWAMI and his company COPILOT were written about in a Wall Street Journal piece for their work on Wolfenstein, a video game that takes place in post-World War II Germany in an alternate 1960s reality in which the Nazis were victorious. Ravi and his team created the soundtrack for the game—original pop songs in German—as well as a fictional record label for the songs, biographies for the fictional musicians, and a late-night TV commercial advertising the songs. RAVI also chaired a panel at South By Southwest on the ins and outs of working with music houses on original music for advertising. He also participated in a panel about music for game marketing.

solo electronics as part of Non-Event’s Experimental Music Series at Cafe Fixe in Brookline, MA. JOHN’S Vestibules for piano and electronics was performed by pianist Lisa Leong at the Firehouse Space in Brooklyn, NY and at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.


The Radius Ensemble premiered JONATHAN BAILEY HOLLAND’S The Clarity of Cold Air for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion, at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, Cambridge, MA. JONATHAN was one of four composers chosen to take part in EarShot and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s new program, the 2014 New Music Readings for African-American Composers, an opportunity for composers to develop their works with a professional orchestra and held in conjunction with the DSO’s Classical Roots celebration in Detroit.

New publication



The MFA in Visual Art program’s inaugural issue of HERE, our semi-annual ‘zine, was published in February 2014 and included contributions from our dynamic community of artists and educators, including students, faculty, alumni, and Artist-Teachers. The issue is currently on the VCFA website and the reception has been tremendous! Feel welcome to download the current issue at the following link:

faculty :: notes :: residency

visual art

The February ’14 residency hosted the program’s first symposium, a powerful interdisciplinary presentation and discussion of multiculturalism and tolerance, including how struggles for societal expression and political agency factor into the individual artistic practice. Symposium guests included Artist-in-Residence, Raul FerreraBalanquet, an interdisciplinary artist, writer, curator, and Fulbright scholar originally from Havana, Cuba and currently a PhD Candidate at the Romance Studies Department, Duke University; Silvia Federici, a long time activist, teacher, and writer as well as Emerita Professor of Political Philosophy and International Studies at Hofstra University; and Jolene Rickard, a visual historian, artist, and curator interested in the issues of Indigeneity within a global context and who is the Director for the American Indian Program at Cornell University and an associate professor in the History of Art We and Visual Studies and Art Departments. welcomed Viêt Lê as our Artist-in-Residence to the August 2014 residency. Lê is an artist, writer, and independent curator. He has exhibited his work in Europe, Asia and North America. Lê is an Assistant Professor in the Visual Studies Program, Visual & Critical Studies Graduate Program at California College of the Arts. He is a reviews co-editor (with Laura Kina) of Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas (Brill).


Branches by Eamon Ore Giron, Artist-Teacher

FAITH WILDING had her first retrospective exhibition Fearful Symmetries at Threewalls Gallery in Chicago, Jan-Feb 2014. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Feminist Art and Education from the Women’s Caucus for Art at the 2014 CAA conference in Chicago, where she also gave a reading from her memoir-in-process. Wilding is preparing a new performance/installation with her collective subRosa, for the International Art Exhibition Steirischer Herbst in Graz, Austria, in October/November. Faith will be installing her Crocheted Environment (Womb Room) in an exhibition of a History of Textile Art at the ICA in Boston, opening in late September-December, 2014. Fearful Symmetries traveled to Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee in September, 2014.

Below Douglas Brull ’14 Right

Crocheted Environment by Faith Wilding, courtesy of the Artist and the ICA, Boston

visual art

SOWON KWON received a 2014 travel/research grant from the Asian Cultural Council as well as a 2014 commission from Triple Canopy.


The program welcomes DALIDA MARÍA BENFIELD as a core faculty member. Benfield is a media artist and researcher who produces video, installations, archives, artists’ books, workshops, and other pedagogical and communicative actions, across online and offline platforms and often, collectively. Alongside her teaching in the VCFA Visual Art program, she is a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, where her research is on the politics and poetics of online video.


The faculty

writing 12


faculty :: notes :: residency

Lucky us! We welcomed five fantastic new faculty members to the 2014 winter and summer residencies: Danielle Cadena Deulen, LeAnne Howe, Bret Lott, Jamaal May, and Martha Southgate. In January, Julianna Baggott and Julia Alvarez were two notable additions to our winter residency. In July, we enjoyed the annual poets versus prose writers softball game, the 4th of July barbecue, the student and faculty talent show, and a terrific lineup of visiting writers, including Ron Padgett, the author of more than twenty collections of poetry; Barbara Hurd, Distinguished Visiting Creative Nonfiction Faculty; Alex Myers, Visiting Alumni Fiction Writer; and Emily Raboteau, Visiting Fiction and Creative Nonfiction writer.

Visiting alumni fiction writer ALEX MYERS, Visiting Alumni Fiction Writer for Summer 2014, was born and raised a girl, and came out as transgender while a student at Phillips Exeter Academy. At Exeter and Harvard, he campaigned for transgender rights. After earning a master’s in religion from Brown University, Alex taught high school English and began writing fiction, eventually earning an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He currently lives in DC with his wife and two cats, where he is an associate at the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown University. His first novel, Revolutionary, was published by Simon & Schuster in January 2014 and tells the story of his ancestor Deborah Samson, who disguised herself as a man and fought in the American Revolution for over a year and a half.

upstreet Scholarship awarded to new and returning students VCFA has named the first recipients of the newly-established upstreet Scholarship, created by MFA alumna Vivian Dorsel (’06), founder and editor of upstreet Magazine, “to help meritorious and deserving writers attend VCFA.” The $2500 scholarships are awarded each year for the summer/fall term. Recipients for 2014 are incoming

student Kelly Beard, a creative nonfiction student from Marietta, Georgia and third semester student Nicole Troxell, also a creative nonfiction student, from Louisville, KY. Both were chosen by a committee of faculty members. Congratulations, Kelly and Nicole!

The faculty 13


JODY GLADDING’S new collection of poems, Translations from Bark Beetle, was published in April by Milkweed Editions. RICHARD JACKSON’S new book of epigrammatic poems, Retrievals, won the Maxine Kumin award and will appear in February 2015. A Spanish edition of his book Resonance will appear in April in Barcleona. Rick has given recent readings at AWP, Tucson Book Fest, West Georgia College, and Middle Tennessee University, in Knoxville, Barcelona, and Asheville, NC, and he delivered a lecture series on Modern Poetry at the University of Maribor, Slovenia. Richard Jackson’s winter 2011-12 VCFA lecture, “Re(in) fusing Heaven,” appeared in the September 2013 Writer’s Chronicle and his essay on Ecological Poetry appeared in October in a Festschrift in Slovenia. Three poems were published recently in Georgia Review and three in Chattahoochee Review, and others ran in Verse Daily, Brilliant Corners, Crab Orchard Review, First Light: A Festschrift for Philip Levine, and the inaugural issue of Miramar. “Five Questions, Three Facts,” an interview with DAVID JAUSS conducted by Christine Norris, appeared in Press 53 Blog. MARY RUEFLE’S new book, Trances of the Blast, came out in September 2013 from Wave Books. NATASHA SAJE’S new book is Vivarium, a collection of poems from Tupelo. She gave readings from Vivarium at the Baltimore City Lit Festival and at the Bethesda, Maryland Writer’s Center in April. Natasha also took part in a reading in June with other contributors to The Widows Handbook: Poetic Reflections on Grief and Survival (Kent State UP, 2014) at Stonehenge Studios in Portland, OR.


The Poetry Foundation recently interviewed JEN BERVIN about her new book Emily Dickinson: The Gorgeous Nothings, the first full-color publication of Emily Dickinson’s envelope writings in facsimile from her visually stunning manuscripts. The video of the interview is available at the Poetry Foundation Website. The Poetry Foundation also presented a concurrent exhibit, Forever – is composed of Nows, which explored Dickinson’s influence on Jen Bervin and other contemporary artists. Jen’s essay “Studies in Scale” and a portfolio from Emily Dickinson: The Gorgeous Nothings was in the October 2013 print issue of Poetry Magazine.

BETSY SHOLL’S new collection of poems, Otherwise Unseeable, is the winner of the Four Lakes Poetry Series, from the University of Wisconsin Press. SUE WILLIAM SILVERMAN’S new memoir, The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew, is published with the University of Nebraska Press (American Lives, series editor, Tobias Wolff). The book is structured around Sue’s three encounters with the 1960s pop-music icon turned Christian provocateur and addresses the quintessential American condition: that need to find some elusive sense of belonging. Sue was also just named to the Advisory Board of a new online journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, “a lively place for indepth conversations about the wide-ranging field of creative nonfiction,” currently looking for critical scholarship and more. DOMENIC STANSBERRY’S short story “The Prison” is featured in the anthology USA Noir, the best of the Akashic Noir Series. Also, an excerpt from his new novel, The White Devil, is featured in the spring issue of The Massachusetts Review. LESLIE ULLMAN’S fourth poetry collection, Progress on the Subject of Immensity, came out in August 2013 from University of New Mexico Press. Leslie gave a reading from the book at the University of Texas-El Paso, where she directed the Creative Writing Program for many years and is now Professor Emerita. Her essay, “A Spiral Walk Around the Golden Mean,” originally a VCFA lecture, appeared in the October issue of The Writer’s Chronicle. NANCE VAN WINCKEL’S fourth collection of linked short stories, Boneland, comprised of short-shorts and full-length stories, is just out with University of Oklahoma Press.



faculty :: notes :: residency

writing for children & young adults New faculty member

Fall events

We are pleased to announce that beginning with the Summer 2014 residency, William Alexander has joined the WCYA faculty. Alexander won the National Book Award in 2012 for his first novel, Goblin Secrets, and the Earphones Award for his narration of the audio book. He has since written two more novels for middle grade audiences: Ghoulish Song (2013), and Ambassador (2014). He studied theater and folklore at Oberlin College, English at the University of Vermont, and creative writing at the Clarion Workshop. He lives with his family in Minneapolis.

The Children’s Literature New England symposium was held at VCFA from November 14-16, 2014. The symposium included many current and former VCFA faculty and the incomparable Katherine Paterson. The full list included M. T. Anderson, Susan Cooper, Sarah Ellis, Shane Evans, Jack Gantos, Katherine Paterson, Elizabeth Partridge, Neal Porter, Leda Schubert, Barbara Scotto, Brian Selznick, Robin Smith, Suzanne Fisher Staples, and Deborah Taylor.

The faculty

In July 2014 we welcomed founding WCYA faculty member MARION DANE BAUER, as well as JULIA GREEN author of more than a dozen books, including This Northern Sky (Bloomsbury), Sylvie and Star (Oxford University Press), and Baby Blue (Penguin). We were also lucky enough to host NIKKI GRIMES, the New York Times bestselling author, and recipient of the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children and Coretta Scott King awards or honors for Words with Wings, Bronx Masquerade, and The Road to Paris. Our visiting author/illustrator for the Winter 2014 residency was MARIE-LOUISE GAY, author of the popular Stella and Sam series as well as novels for young people. The writer-in-residence for Winter 2014 was LUCY CHRISTOPHER, the award-winning author of three novels, Stolen, Flyaway, and The Killing Woods.

Bath Spa Residency The WCYA Program is thrilled to announce a summer residency abroad option for those interested in going to the UK, starting in July 2015. This residency will occur around the same dates as the residency in Vermont and will include lectures and events with faculty and students from Bath Spa University, workshops, readings, and literary excursions in the area. The Vermont contingent will include two faculty and 12-14 students, with a few spaces available for alumni, too. We were delighted to have Bath Spa University faculty member Lucy Christopher here as our Writer-in-Residence this past winter, and Bath Spa’s director, Julia Green, here at the summer residency.

Outside In, a new middle grade novel by SARAH ELLIS from Groundwood Books tells the story of two girls who live in the same city but might as well live on separate planets. When a random accident throws them together, they form an unlikely friendship. RITA WILLIAMS-GARCIA won the 2014 Coretta Scott King Book Award for P.S. Be Eleven (Amistad). Last August teen bloggers and reporters took over Amnesty International’s online publication to spotlight human rights issues involving teens, and Rita gave an interview about her novel No Laughter Here (2003 HarperCollins) that raises awareness for young readers about female genital mutilation. In May, UMA KRISHNASWAMI and KATHI APPELT spoke at the Gaithersburg Book Festival in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In November 2013, Uma Krishnaswami’s chapter book Book Uncle and Me won the Crossword Award in India. JANE KURTZ’S new middle grade novel, Anna Was Here, published by Greenwillow/HarperCollins, had a long and lovely review in the New York Times recently. The reviewer called it “sweetly funny” and a “moving day classic” about a girl who is the founding member of the Safety Club, “which prepares for potential disasters like wildfires, floods and getting sealed inside Egyptian pyramids.” Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning by ELIZABETH PARTRIDGE was published as the companion book to the PBS American Masters episode that aired in August.

writing for children & young adults

Visiting writers

BONNIE CHRISTENSEN’S picture book A Single Pebble was published by Roaring Brook Press in October 2013. Her nonfiction picture book I, Galileo received a Parent’s Choice Gold Award in the picture book category in spring of 2013. Both books were written and illustrated by Bonnie Christensen.


KATHI APPELT’S The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp was a 2013 National Book Award Finalist. Her new picture book, Mogie: The Heart of the House, came out with Atheneum Books for Young Readers in June.


Caitlyn Dlouhy at Atheneum acquired a middle grade and a young adult novel by AN NA. The YA novel, The Middle Place, an existential exploration of the link between genetics and madness, is scheduled for 2015. The middle grade novel, still untitled, follows nine-year-old Mirae, who travels back to South Korea with her adoptive mother in search of her birth mother, and is projected for 2017.

new programs 16


new programs

Writing & Publishing at VCFA The MFA in Our first residential program, the MFA in Writing & Publishing, which began as the Master of Professional Writing at the University of Southern California and moved to our campus in 2014, will welcome its first students next fall. Directed by Trinie Dalton, the MFA in Writing & Publishing is a two-year residential degree program characterized by artistic innovation, industry-facing pedagogy, crossdiscipline and cross-genre opportunities, and a diverse and renowned faculty with multi-genre publishing experience. What makes this MFA program stand out? In addition to Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction specializations, we include New Media and Stage + Screen. In addition to these specializations, the program offers cross and hybrid-genre thesis options and courses organized thematically or by craft issue. Workshops are designed with diversity in mind, to deliver a wider variety of tastes and aesthetics: a poet’s eye on a story is invaluable, as is a fiction writer’s eye on memoir.

MFAWP classes combine the best of workshop and studio-art traditions, with modular scheduling, where several faculty members collaborate to teach one course in short, intense blocks of time. The MFAWP also works to equip students with tools to live as authors after graduation. Students gain hands-on work and writing practice in a Publishing & Fieldwork course and through independent Directed Study opportunities. Students make a publication, study the history of independent publishing, and establish a network of relationships in the arts. The idea is that aspiring writers will develop the tools to write books, and to survive in their cultural scene long after graduation. Faculty

Jen Bervin Bernard Cooper Trinie Dalton Matthew Dickman Janet Fitch Tim Kirkman MG Lord Jamaal May Richard Rayner Mary Ruefle Martha Southgate David Ulin



VCFA continues to expand in exciting directions. Our newest department houses the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and Master of Arts in Art & Design Education (MAADE) degrees, as well as Professional Development programs for practicing educators and administrators. Our MAT/MAADE students are artists and designers who want to teach PK-12 students, or they are PK-12 art and design teachers interested in advancing their practice. The MAT in Art & Design Education is a two-year Master of Arts in Teaching degree program that leads to teaching licensure. The MA is a one-year Master of Arts degree program for licensed arts educators. Both programs offer month-long summer residencies on campus that include coursework, workshops, symposia, and research opportunities. After the summer semester, students return home to observe education sites, and engage in curriculum development, field research, independent thesis work, and student teaching. The low-residency model allows students to build community and professional relationships in the city or region where they want to teach, or where they are already teaching.

Above Farah Rizvi-Doyle ’15 GD

new programs

Graduate Studies in Art & Design Education at VCFA

Festive 18


faculty exchange initiative

Jonathan Bailey Holland MFA in Music Composition faculty lecturing at the MFA in Writing residency, January 2014

Interlopers: The Cross-

“All six of our programs are outstanding. And it has been a goal of the college for quite some time to find ways to increase the interaction between programs. This is one very concrete way to address that. Every program will send a faculty member to another residency and every program will host a guest from another program.” Matt Monk, Academic Dean

My senior year of college, we all decided we were going to write one-act operas. I didn’t want to write an opera about tragedy and I didn’t want to write a love story, so I started searching through lots of different literature for inspiration—in particular one-act plays. I came across Christopher Durang. If you don’t know Durang’s work it’s sort of the same style as David Sedaris—outrageous, absurd humor—you’re laughing, but you feel self-conscious laughing about the things you’re laughing about. Naomi in the living room is Durang’s one-act play about a fierce, pathetic, and possibly psychotic

Program Faculty Exchange Initiative

mother, entertaining her son and his wife one afternoon. I knew immediately it would make a perfect one-act opera. Getting permission to use the text of something is a huge deterrent to composers, who often end up choosing texts that are in the public domain. Otherwise you are at the mercy of the publisher, who has to a.) actually respond to your request and b.) not ask you for millions of dollars to set the text to music that you’re not going to make any money from at any point. Durang was happy to let me use Naomi in the Living Room—as long as I made sure it still was a comedy.


vermont college of fine arts

poem, or I write a piece of music, or somebody paints a picture. Or is the way you interpret things different from me at the beginning? I’ve wondered that for years…it’s one reason I think it’s so important to get all of your senses involved in the art.


In terms of choosing a text, there are texts that either don’t speak to me directly or are so amazing on their own that setting them to music might actually take more away than it adds. One example is Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? I read it and thought, wow, this would be an amazing opera, but then I realized if it were set to music it would change everything. You see it’s perfect the way it is. In terms of respecting the text, I try to always envision the poet who wrote this and finished it. I’m taking a finished work of art and refinishing it, reinterpreting it, changing it. The poem still exists by itself but now it also exists as the lyrics to a song. You have to respect the text in both forms. :: Music is my language. Poets and playwrights, on the other hand, communicate through words on a page. I’m really interested in what’s going through an artist’s mind before the art takes its final form. I wonder if we all think about things in the same way until you write a

Yoon Soo Lee Graphic Design faculty lecturing at the Writing for Children & Young Adults residency, January 2014 In October of 2012, I decided to study Korea: my curiosity, the long lost memories, the Korean sentiment, how I am Korean, and how I am not Korean. I started a journal where I wrote exclusively in Korean. New connections were made, and what I thought was going to happen did not happen. Deep-seated experiences of gender and race floated to the top. And the content was negotiated through the study of the Korean language and Korean typography.



faculty exchange initiative

My Korea is my South Korea, is my Seoul, is my Mother, is not my Mother, is my Grandmother. My Korea is about rejection, about pain, about surviving, about being ugly, about being stupid, about being a slave, about being a victim, about being a perpetrator. My Korea is about tears, about longing, about never being loved, about being hated as a woman, and never-not-quite a girl. In Korea, I am too tough, too severe, too loud, too opinionated, too fat. I am unlovable in Korea. So I reject you.

In Korea, we celebrate the birth of the baby 100 days after they are born. This celebration is called 백일 (Baek-il: literally meaning 100 days). As my son Eli’s Baek-il was approaching, I started to think about the traditional rice cake you get for the baby. Up until this point in my life, my understanding of tradition was “a handy little tool to oppress and control people.” So I was not going to have any cake at this gathering. Except that I could not stop thinking about it. I thought about it all day and all night. I dreamt about it. I tried to shame myself into rejecting the cake. Until I couldn’t any longer. So I got the cake. And my relationship with Korea and its traditions began to change. ::

I started designing a Korean typeface. Even though there are only 28 characters, due to how they combine to create syllables, when a type designer designs a Korean typeface, they must design, at the minimum, over 2000 letterform combinations. And that is just one weight. If you throw in an italic and bold, the numbers begin to multiply. This is a long term task, usually not fit for a one- person project. Not knowing anything about anything, I jumped in only to be faced with reality. There is a Korean saying: 하룻강아지 범 무서운줄 모른다. It speaks of the naiveté of the baby puppy not afraid of the tiger. That was me. :: Now, I’m looking at creating picture books with the multi-race children of South Korea as well as the United States as the primary audience. I want to create an experience for these children, help them be acknowledged by main stream media in the form of a published book. I am writing short stories about the simple lives of children regarding everyday things such as the first rain storm or the first lost tooth. This story book will not be about legacy burdens, but of everyday experiences.

It was super fun to be in another program’s residency. It’s kind of like being in a parallel universe! The place is the same but all the faces are different! I felt like a festive interloper... Dalida Maria Benfield, Visual Art Faculty visiting Graphic Design

Rooms I’d seen only as lecture halls or workshop spaces— even the gym— became white-walled galleries filled

Sharon Darrow, WCYA Faculty visiting Visual Art

Clint McCown MFA in Writing faculty speaking at the MFA in Film residency, May 2014 In the hierarchy of literary art forms, screenwriting falls somewhere near the bottom. The reason for that has little to do with its difficulty, or even the fact that screenwriting is more a business than the other forms, with an actual writers’ union protecting every facet of the financial dealings. No, screenwriting’s lowly place has more to do with the fact that it is not the dominant element of its own medium. Fine actors can save a mediocre script; so can a fine director; so can a fine cinematographer.

vermont college of fine arts

pieces of art.


and provocative

Though a project often starts with a script, new writers are routinely called in to retool the original writer’s work. Screenwriters are not a particularly hot commodity in Hollywood except in television, so no one should go into it with a heavy ego investment. Very few scripts ever make it onto the screen, and it’s even possible to make a living as a union screenwriter writing projects that never get made. If seeing your finished project on the silver screen is what matters to you, you should be mindful of playwright Lillian Hellman’s warning to us all: “Hollywood,” she said, “is the only place a writer can die of encouragement.” Imagine eating a wonderful meal at a fancy restaurant. The screenwriter is not the serving person who brought you the food. The screenwriter isn’t the cook who prepared the dish. The screenwriter certainly isn’t the owner of the restaurant, not even the delivery truck driver who brought in all the meats and vegetables. The screenwriter is the farmer who raised the cattle and grew the vegetables. The restaurant couldn’t function without the farmer, because there would be no materials to work with. But don’t ever expect the patrons of the restaurant to send compliments to the farmer. They’ll probably never even know who that person is. And that’s okay. No serious artist goes into art driven by a desire to be famous. The desire, first and foremost, has to be toward the art itself. For the screenwriter, that means a good story well told. Create that, and you’re liable to find yourself happy. And happiness always beats fame and fortune—though if you write a truly great script, fortune might be one of the byproducts. But here’s the point I’d like to make for those who feel that being true to one’s vision is all that matters. Film is a collaborative art form, and compromise is almost always inevitable. Which is fine. In spite of what many beginners may believe, art is not primarily about self-expression, it’s about communication. Expressing your vision is useless if no one understands what you’re driving at or it fails to hold interest. The challenge is in finding a way to package your vision so that others may have access to it. Mastering form means taking control of a delivery system—and that’s where craft comes in. We learn the elements of the craft so we can more effectively communicate our art without loss of vision. Once we grasp the value of craft, of structure, we can choose more wisely when to conform to a basic principle, and when to deviate creatively from it.


with fascinating

This book will embody people of mixedbackgrounds and multiple races, who will finally find themselves, in a very small way, visually represented as part of their community and country. This study is about hope and the willingness to be hopeful about the future. This study is about small seeds that get planted, not knowing if they will take root. This study is about running away from home, only to realize that it is not too different from where you currently choose to live. It’s never about them. It’s about us.



the campaign for vermont college of fine arts

the campaign for vermont college of fine arts

WHAT IS THE CAMPAIGN FOR VCFA? The Campaign for VCFA is a major fundraising effort that will help us transform our vibrant community of artists and writers into a national center for graduate arts education. As the college has grown, so has its reputation. VCFA is fast becoming a leading 21st century graduate arts college. Our campus should reflect VCFA’s role as a national center for the arts. Our immediate priorities are twofold: to convert the former gymnasium into a multi-purpose arts exhibition space, and to create The Louise Crowley Center for Faculty and Alumni. JOIN US! An extraordinary transformation is taking place for all of us at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Join our capital campaign and help us create a singular place where the arts can thrive. Together, we are building our community of artists—one piece at a time.




vermont college of fine arts

the campaign for vermont college of fine arts



the campaign for vermont college of fine arts


THE LOUISE CROWLEY CENTER FOR FACULTY AND ALUMNI The new faculty and alumni center will honor our own Louise Crowley, the longtime director of the MFA in Writing program, who is the heart and soul of VCFA for many students. The center will offer creative solace to the very people who make this institution vibrant and strong: you! CREATIVE ALCHEMY Our students say that VCFA is like the Brigadoon of MFA programs—a place of unsurpassed creative magic that materializes for each biannual residency. VCFA means more than an MFA to many of you. It represents creative confidence, supportive community, an artistic home away from home. As one VCFA alum put it in his graduation speech, “I’m always trying to find my way back to Vermont.”

The Louise Crowley Center for Alumni and Faculty will be a state-of-the-art complex—three buildings on the corner of College Street and Kemp Street that will allow our faculty and alumni to return to VCFA again and again. With simple modern sleeping quarters, a sun-filled kitchen with seating for up to thirty people, and indoor and outdoor meeting areas, we’ll be proud to offer housing and conference space built for inspiration, artistic rejuvenation, and always—always—the deep sense of community that is Vermont College of Fine Arts. The Louise Crowley Center for Faculty and Alumni will ensure our faculty and graduates can find their way back to Vermont. We’ll be awaiting your return.



vermont college of fine arts

the campaign for vermont college of fine arts



the campaign for vermont college of fine arts




vermont college of fine arts

EXHIBITON AND PERFORMANCE CENTER Our artists deserve an exhibition space as inspiring as their art. Our new exhibition and performance center will preserve the charm of a historic building while offering a creative paradigm of modern lines and light. BEACON FOR THE ARTS For years the old gymnasium at the top of East State Street has been dormant. With a few bold strokes we’ll transform the building from inactive gymnasium to dynamic, multi-purpose facility—clean, crisp exhibition space for our students, faculty, and visiting artists. Graceful glass-front panels will invite the community inside. Light, warmth, and emanating creative vitality will draw people to campus. What we do at VCFA will be visible to a much wider world, the lectures, musical performances, poetry readings, and art exhibitions. What we offer will come to light: inspiration, creative stamina, creative magic.



Thoughts on post mfa-life

life after the mfa

by Stacy Nyikos ’11 WCYA

Despite being a (closeted trekkie) children’s writer, I’m not a huge fan of alternative endings. If a gal walks into a graduate program in writing for kids, I want her to walk out to “…sell millions and live happily ever after.” I’m not sure what set that linear idea of success in my head. It’s the rare protagonist who takes a direct route anywhere. That’s the appeal of good story. You don’t see the ending coming. I didn’t see mine. It wasn’t until college that I discovered the allure of the written word. And even then, I took the detour so well-traveled by closeted writers. I got a Ph.D. and embarked on a life in the ivory tower of teaching.


I had my first child and caught sight of an even more appealing tower in an even more enticing realm—children’s literature. I began writing poetry for children, which segued into picture books. My first, Squirt, was published in 2005. True to form, I took the alternate route to publication. I became an “artisanal publisher” of my own books. I opened an LLC, contracted with an illustrator, a printer in China, and marketed to a distinct niche, aquariums. Three books later, and my work was featured in aquariums from Maui to the Mystic, the Shedd to Florida. It also made money. But it was a lot of work. So I sold my first children’s novel, Dragon Wishes, to an up-and-coming small press. I applied to VCFA’s MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults to hone my skills. I graduated with a degree, a book contract with Kane Miller, and an agent. Cue: happy ending. Only, I didn’t sell millions or walk happily ever after down the path of Children’s Lit. No, I got sidetracked…again. It was a VCFA lecture on tape that led me astray. The speaker, a writer/playwright, strongly encouraged students to write plays. He argued that it would improve their skills as novelists. Now, I’m no Ibsen or Wilde, and I didn’t really want to write a play, but the idea of trying a different genre took root. I began looking for a new type of tower that I could sublet for a while. Film glittered. I have a high school buddy who’s a script editor, and JB and I had been getting together for years to talk shop. At our next meeting, I pitched the idea of collaborating on a script. He said yes. Maybe he had a secret desire to try a new tower, too. It took about six months to start, revise, and finish our first script. It’s now being shopped by my agent. I was knee-deep into a second script when JB pitched a new detour— let’s make a film. Sidestep for . I didn’t know the first thing about making a movie, but there is one thing the detours in my life have taught me—when opportunity knocks, open the door. Open it! Worry about how you’re going to get through later. In March 2013, I became one of three director/producer/writers on a documentary— working title: Tough Guy—about a convicted murderer who had served 25 years and was

anxiety attack


So do I go from HERE? Wherever story takes me. Resistance is futile. However, I’ve got one eye open to what I can learn and one to how I can use what I’ve learned to advance my story in new ways. Maybe that will lead to “she sold millions and lived happily ever after.” Or maybe somewhere even better.

vermont college of fine arts

meanders in some days. Others it leaves me hanging. I curse and struggle through. It’s the differences between scripts and novels that have taught me how to be a better writer. For instance, in a novel I can reveal what my characters are thinking through internal dialogue. Not so easy with scripts. It’s all talktalk-talk, act-act-act. I must write dialogue that counts, which, ultimately, has improved my novel dialogue. Novel-writing tends to be more singlecharacter driven. Not always, of course, but often so in children’s literature. This helps me with plotting and revising in scripts. Is this scene integral to my main character’s trajectory? No? Cut that little darling. Cut it!


now part of Homeboy Industries, a program in LA that helps former gang members start new lives. We had five weeks to bang out a script, get funding, and figure out what we were going to film. Nothing went as planned, which was oddly reassuring. I was on familiar ground. But after many more detours and sidesteps, we got funding and footage, and we’re now in post-production. So whatever happened to “and she sold millions and lived happily ever after”? Hell if I know. Hell if I care. Okay, that’s not entirely true—I’d gladly sell millions of anything. But if that had happened before I veered off to write a script, or make a documentary, I’m not sure I ever would have veered off. And if I hadn’t, my writing would be the weaker for it. Don’t get me wrong. Scripts and novels share a lot of similarities. Both start with good story. Both require the message be revealed subtly. No banging over the head. Both require good sentence-level writing. And, both require consistency. I get up every day, five days a week, and sit down to write by 8:30 a.m. Inspiration


I didn’t know the first thing about making a movie, but there is one thing the detours in my life have taught me— when opportunity knocks, open the door. Open it! Worry about how you’re going to get through later.

Stacy Nyikos is the author of numerous books for children. She has two new releases this year, Toby (Stonehorse, July 2014), which is about the adventures of a curious little sea turtle as he follows his heartsong from egg to ocean, and Waggers (Sky Pony Press, November 2014), which is about a new puppy who tries to be good—he tries really hard!— but his tail gets in the way. For more about Stacy and her writing projects, visit:




Where did the idea for your Dress of Watches come from? Kiss the Dark (Dress of Watches) was created for Chronos / Eclat International Magazine. Bert Kalisher, the Executive Director of the American Watch Guild attended an exhibition of mine that incorporated a dress made out of spools of thread. Soon after, he invited me to create a dress out of his collection of watches. Does having a commission like this help or hinder your creative process? Working on commission is inspiring in its own way. For me the parameters of the project aid my creativity rather than hinder it. I loved the idea of making a dress out of watches. There is so much mystery in time. You have to embrace it and accept the unknown. The watches in the dress are all set to different times, which makes the usual structure of the timepieces become erratic.

The more I engage Kiss in my the work, the more Dark I’m aware of the ineffable magic of existence. an interview with

L. Mylott Manning ’09 VA about creativity, process, and the artistic unknown



vermont college of fine arts

You knew you were creating Kiss the Dark (Dress of Watches) to be worn. Did that change the creative process for you? Did you imagine the wearer/model being part of the art you were creating? My sculptural garments have a universal fit and can be worn by participants/models in performances, fashion and video shoots. Often I wear them in process-based performances and site-specific shoots. I grew up in the 1980’s and so my vision for the dress of watches photo shoot went directly to the movie Coming to America. I pictured an alley, a woman wearing a tan raincoat, which she opens to flash watches. I thought it would be fun to play with that reference a little bit, while also including a sense of luxury and wealth. What about the title of the piece? I knew immediately I wanted to title it Kiss the Dark after hearing an ancient Irish poem at a reading in SoHo. For me, Kiss the Dark is a mantra. Repeating it gives me courage as an artist to take steps into the unknown, leave comfort zones behind, and have faith in my own ultimate success. Talk more about your process. I work pretty quickly; my process is actionbased, repetitive, and very intuitive. My sculptural garments usually involve multiples. I’ve made wearable art out of pieces of chalk shaped like rabbits, solar power bobble head dolls, and clothespins. The dress of clothespins was created for my VCFA thesis project, and was photographed and featured by the Associated Press and included in newspapers nationwide. My works on canvas are also created quickly and re-worked to add texture. I apply layers of paint and tape to the canvas, then remove the tape so the composition reveals itself. Then I stitch thread into the canvas with an industrial hand needle to accentuate the different colors of the paint. Do you create your work in silence? If not, what’s your soundtrack? Do you prefer to work in solitude? In the studio, atmospheric music can get me in a creative zone. Usually I have the New York station WFUV playing, or NPR. I create my Paint & Thread canvas series in my studio alone. It’s good to get out, too, and that’s why I enjoy doing interactive sculptures and performances. Do you have an artistic community? Do they help you stay creative? Having an artistic community is really important as well. Studio work can be isolating, so it’s necessary to engage in dialogue and share opportunities with other artists.

Do you ever get stuck when creating your art? How do you unstick yourself? My studio is near the Chelsea galleries. If I need a break I take a walk and check out a few exhibitions. Just entering a quiet gallery space can clear my mind. Movement is key for me too. I love to exercise and do yoga; it is a way for me to process my thoughts. And making artwork is a ritual for me. It’s like meditating. How do you stay creative in general? How do you keep your ideas fresh? I live and work in New York City; every time I walk out the door I feel tapped into a great source of energy I can hardly put into words. Each art piece I make is an attempt to capture that metaphysical substance and gain a deeper knowledge of it. The more I engage in my work, the more I’m aware of the ineffable magic of existence. How did your VCFA experience contribute to your artistic journey? Attending VCFA was great for my artistic life. I felt intellectual and creative doors opening up as soon as I got to campus. The structure of the program was a nice complement to my undergrad degree from Rhode Island School of Design. My advisers at Vermont College of Fine Arts included Mario Ontiveros, Michael Minnelli, and Andrea Ray. They challenged me to explore myself as a person through my work in order to gain a strong sense of self-identity. The readings expanded my intellectual scope and pushed my art into new realms, such as performance and activism.

Laura Mylott Manning is an ’09 graduate of the MFA in Visual Art program, and her artwork is a cross-disciplinary practice incorporating aspects of sculpture, fibers, high fashion and performance. Upcoming, Laura has a couple of pieces included in a group exhibition at the United Nations. Please contact Laura at studio@ with any inquiries or commissions.

YVES DHARAMRAJ, CELLO, AND LEV “LJOVA” ZHURBIN, VIOLIN, rehearse Breathe by Beth Bradfish ’15, written for string quartet, crystal glasses, and electronics.

music composition


class news 34



Patricia Spears Jones W announces the publication of her book Living in the Love Economy (Overpass Books).

Jennifer Gostin W published her novel Wonderstrand Tales in 2013.


class news

1983 Dale Kushner W gave readings and panel discussions this year at the Southern Festival of Books and at the Washington Island Literary Festival, Door County, Wisconsin. Dale also offered a reading and talk with former VCFA faculty member Gladys Swan at Stephens College. Susan Pope W Her chapbook of poems Feathers was published by Finishing Line Press in July 2013.

1984 Phyllis Barber W announces the publication of her book To the Mountain: One Mormon Woman’s Search for Spirit with Quest Books. The book is about her twenty-year hiatus from Mormonism and her experiences with a variety of spiritual persuasions/practices, and it celebrates the vast diversity of those seeking to understand the Great Perhaps. David Jauss, Gladys Swan, and Leslie Ullman were manuscript consultants.

1986 Rustin Larson W had poems this year in The New Yorker and The Best of Pirene’s Fountain Anthology. His new book Bum Cantos, Winter Jazz, & The Collected Discography of Morning won the 2013 Blue Light Book Award (Blue Light Press, San Francisco). Mary Ann Sullivan W read from her book Hermit Day at the West Chester University Poetry Conference. Hermit Day, a new collection of poems written with the permission of her abbess and novice mistress during her time as a postulant and novice in a Cistercian abbey, is published by Finishing Line Press.

Suzanne Rhodenbaugh W spoke on a panel chaired by English actor/ director Ralph Fiennes on Coriolanus. The panel was part of the literature and power seminar of the Moscow School of Political Studies, held in Russia in April 2013.

1988 Wendell Mayo W won the Subito Press Award for Innovative Fiction for his new story collection The Cucumber King of Kedainiai. The prize is sponsored by the University of Colorado Boulder. Published in October 2013, the book is a cycle of stories set in contemporary Lithuania. Sarah Van Arsdale W launched a Sunday afternoon reading series in NYC last fall: three readers, followed by a discussion on a theme. The inaugural reading in September was on the theme of audience and pigeonholing, with Meg Kearney, Peter Cameron, and Lola Koundakjian.

Sara Kay Rupnik W led the Around the Block in Dublin Writing Workshop in March. She describes the workshop as a “whirlwind of writing, touring, and sociability in Ireland’s vibrant historic and literary capital.”

1992 Susan Aizenberg W has a new fulllength collection of poems forthcoming from BkMk Press in early 2015. Three of Susan’s poems appeared recently in Blackbird; another was in the anthology The Untidy Season; three poems were in the journals Burnt District and Spillway, and poems published in 2012 were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. A new poem will appear in the anthology Ley Lines, edited by H. L. Hix. Dick Bentley W exhibited work in a Graphic Poetry Show in November 2013. Moira Linehan W Her second collection, Incarnate Grace, will be out in early spring 2015 with Southern Illinois University Press, which also published her first book, If No Moon.



Dianna Henning W Her YA novel Seasoning the Blade is out with A Lucky Bat Publication. Set in Nova Scotia in the 1800s, this book is about a young woman’s search for identity in a male-dominated society bound by religious doctrine.

Matthew Crain W published a new book, Reading Dubliners, an obsessively detailed study of Joyce’s stories.

1990 Barbara Siegel Carlson W gave a reading at Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia in December to celebrate her debut poetry collection Fire Road, published by Dream Horse Press.

1991 Mona Houghton W won a Gold Book of the Year Award from ForeWord Reviews for her book Frottage & Even As We Speak: Two Novellas.

Amy Dryansky W celebrated the US release of her second collection of poetry, Grass Whistle, published by Salmon Poetry, Ireland. The book was named a “must-read” by the Massachusetts Center for the Book and was one of six finalists for the MA Book Award in Poetry. She was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize, has a poem in the latest Alaska Quarterly Review, and was interviewed on Out of Our Minds and The Writer’s Voice radio programs. Kate Kingston W Her book of poems History of Grey was published by Main Street Rag Publishing.

Ellen Cassedy W won the 2013 Grub Street National Book Prize for We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust (University of Nebraska Press). She read from her book along with other Grub Street prizewinners at the AWP conference in Seattle and appeared at The Whole Megillah Conference on Jewish Story, organized by VCFA alum Barbara Krasner (’06 WCYA) and co-sponsored by the Association of Jewish Libraries. Ellen Hersh W Her chapbook Uncapping the Chimney was published by Finishing Line Press.

Riki Moss VA was selected as an “author” at the Burlington Book Festival. The theme of the festival was the relationship between visual imagery and the written word. Riki’s installation at Arts Riot Gallery of 30 small mixed media sculptures was meant to provoke narrative.

Hunger Mountain Fellowship Announced We are excited to announce a new fellowship for a writing student in the MFA in Writing, MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults, or MFA in Writing & Publishing degree programs at Vermont College of Fine Arts. The Hunger Mountain fellowship is open to a student in any semester/year of study. The HM Fellowship offers a $15,000 annual stipend for 20 hours of work per week in the HM office, and is awarded to the most qualified applicant.

1999 Emily Bilman W has several poems in the Canadian Anthology The Inspired Heart, the proceeds of which will go to the Better the Youth Program in Detroit. Four of Emily’s poems were also published in Poetry Salzburg Review, and her book of poems A Woman by a Well: A Self-Portrait was published by Melinda Cochrane International based in Montreal, a city Emily visited while attending residencies at VCFA.

Michele Leavitt W won the 2013 Michael Macklin First Book Award competition from Moon Pie Press and Maine Poetry Central for her manuscript “Back East.” The prize is named for VCFA alum Macklin ‘05 W, who passed away unexpectedly in 2012.

1996 Mark Maxwell W His story “The Sweetwater Stranger” appeared in the spring 2014 issue of Santa Monica Review. Angela Patten W Wind Ridge Books of Vermont has published High Tea at a Low Table: Stories from an Irish Childhood, Angela’s memoir about growing up in horse-and-cart Dublin of the 1950s and 60s amid the clamor of family and clergy and the lure of an unruly and American future.

1997 Terry Ann Thaxton W announces the publication of her book Creative Writing in the Community: A Guide. This book connects classroom experiences to community-based projects; it prepares creative writing students for teaching in schools, homeless centers, youth clubs, and care homes.

Penny Blubaugh WCYA Her first novel, Serendipity Market, was chosen for Illinois READS 2014 for the grades 9-12 list. Naama Goldstein W was a 2013 Jean Drahmann writer-in-residence at Saint Louis University, where she presented a reading of a novel-inprogress and a craft talk in October. Lynn Imperatore VA announces the HATCH (international) drawing research project’s first Drawing Research Symposium, attended by drawing & research practitioners, including Pattie Belle Hastings ’00 VA . Lynn recently presented at the Drawing Research Network (DRN) conference Interweavings: Pedagogy, Methodology and Research. Her paper titled “Seeing More or Less: Drawing as Disposition of Perception” covered key areas of her current practice-led PhD research around drawing. Joan Leegant W is visiting assistant professor of creative writing at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Her short story “The Basement” was a runner-up for the Schiff Prose Prize and appeared in The Cincinnati Review in its Spring/ Summer 2014 issue. Her story “The Baghdadi,” originally published in The Normal School, received a Special Mention in the 2014 Pushcart Prize XXXVII: Best of the Small Presses.

vermont college of fine arts

1994 Peg (Nemeth) Bresnahan W published her second book of poems, In a Country None of Us Called Home, with Press 53.

Leatha Kendrick W won the 2013 Sallie Bingham Award given by the Kentucky Foundation for Women, which recognizes Kentucky artists and activists who are leaders in changing the lives of women and girls across the state by engaging in and promoting feminist expression in the arts. “And Luckier,” the title poem of her fifth collection of poems, received honorable mention in the Pat Schneider poetry contest in 2013 and was published in Peregrine. Her poem “Sleep in Summer,” which appeared recently in The Baltimore Review, is part of an Almanac of the Invisible which will be published by Larkspur Press in 2014.

1995 Brad Davis W was a featured reader in Yale University’s Literature & Spirituality Series, co-sponsored by the Yale Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music. The invitation followed publication of his Opening King David: Poems in Conversation with the Psalms (Wipf & Stock, 2011). Brad’s work appeared in Sunken Garden Poetry 1992-2011 (Wesleyan University Press, 2012). His book of poems Still Working It Out is in the Poiema Poetry Series.


Joy Spontak VA curated an art exhibit for Art Walk Montpelier with the double theme: What Does Domestic Violence Look Like? What does the End of Domestic Violence Look Like? Fifteen visual artists, musicians, poets, and singers, and a ballerina exhibited/performed.

Norbert Hirschhorn W shares the publication of To Sing Away the Darkest Days, poems reimagined from Yiddish folksongs, with Holland Park Press. The collection is the culmination of a five-year project in which Norbert sourced more than one thousand Yiddish songs. Norbert also published “Was it Epilepsy? Misdiagnosing Emily Dickinson (18301886)” in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. The essay refutes the diagnosis of epilepsy proposed by Lyndall Gordon’s biography Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family Feuds on medical and genetic grounds.


Meg Brown Payson VA had a solo show at the McCoy Gallery at Merrimack College in December 2013. Chiasm: New Work by Meg Brown Payson, a multimedia project, “addressed the landscape as an exchange between the encultured mind and the wild world.” The exhibition featured six new pieces, including tapestry and video, both new mediums for Meg, alongside her multi-panel paintings and large-scale drawing on silk.

class news 2002



class news

Patricia Lee Lewis W has led recent Creative Writing and Yoga retreats in the Guatemalan highlands and in Puerto Rico. Her retreats offer the “enchantment of Guatemala” and “inspiration on the beautiful white sands of the Caribbean” with daily workshops, yoga, and manuscript critiques. Patricia also led a creative writing and yoga retreat in October at Stump Sprouts, a rustic, multi-season resort in Western Massachusetts.

Solana DeLamant W Her book of poems Places at the Edge of Silence was published by Finishing Line Press. Jane Waggoner Deschner VA is profiled in “Informed Source,” an article about her work and process in the Winter 2014 issue of Surface Design Journal. Also, a large exhibition of her work It Must Be True: Work with Found Photographs was shown at Churchill Arts, Oats Park Arts Center, in Fallon, Nevada.

2000 Jeanne Cook W Her book of poems Stunned by Illumination was published by Antrim House in August 2013.

1999 Gretchen Woelfle WCYA Her picture book Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence (Carolrhoda Books) was recently reviewed in the New York Times Sunday Book Review and in the Huffington Post.

Dawn Davies W won the 2013 Betty Gabehart Prize from the University of Kentucky Women Writers Conference. Karin Gottshall W won the 2014 OSU Press/The Journal Wheeler Prize for Poetry for her second book of poems, The River Won’t Hold You. The book will be published by Ohio State University Press. Poems from The River Won’t Hold You have appeared in Crazyhorse, FIELD, The Gettysburg Review, and many other journals. Harry Groome W His novel Thirty Below is now available in paperback. Harry also wanted to mention that his “Stieg Larsson spoof, The Girl Who Fished With A Worm, is still waiting to hook you in either paperback or ebook.”

2001 Charles Accardi VA was one of twenty artists invited to participate in the Topanga Gallery Studio Artist Tour last summer. His work was featured in the local arts newspaper The Messenger. Sabrina Fadial VA exhibited her artwork at the Mason Green Gallery at Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. The show, Marginal Sanctuaries, featured the work of Sabrina Fadial and Phillip Robertson.

Maggie Kast W Her essay “Ghost Alive” was published in Defunct Magazine’s October issue. This flash nonfiction piece was prompted by a lecture-plus-writing prompt by Sue William Silverman during the VCFA post-grad conference a few years ago. Stephen Longfellow W His first collection of poetry, Disappearing Act, was released by FutureCycle Press in January. Bobbi Miller WCYA Her second novel, Girls of Gettysburg, was released from Holiday House in Fall 2014. Her first middle grade novel, Big River’s Daughter (Holiday House, 2013), was recommended by the International Reading Association and nominated for the Amelia Bloomer Project (Feminist Literature for Birth through 18). The book is listed on A Mighty Girl’s Top 2013 Mighty Girl Books for Tweens and Teens. Her picture book Miss Sally Ann and the Panther (Holiday House, 2012) was selected for the Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2013 list. Her picture books Davy Crockett Gets Hitched (Holiday House, 2009) and One Fine Trade (Holiday House, 2009) were listed on the Bank Street College of Education Best Books of 2010 list.

Bill Rasmovicz W His book Gross Ardor was published by 42 Miles Press in September 2013, and Idiopaths was published by Brooklyn Arts Press in February 2014. Joyce Ray WCYA announces the publication of Feathers and Trumpets: A Story of Hildegard of Bingen, a YA novel set against the rich tapestry of the Middle Ages, in which Hildegard emerges as the most dynamic 12th century female voice. Joyce’s book Women of the Pine Tree State: 25 Maine Women You Should Know is also out with Apprentice Shop Books. Joyce also recently participated in the Cape Authors Fest to celebrate literacy at Cape Elizabeth High School in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Nancy Hewitt W has published a chapbook of poems, Heard, with Finishing Line Press. Kieran Murphy VA won the 2012 Schachterle Essay Prize for best new essay in literature and science published by a non-tenured scholar, awarded by The Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. The essay, “Electromagnetic Thought in Balzac, Villiers de l’Isle-Adam and Joseph Breuer,” will appear in SubStance (University of Wisconsin Press). Wendy Townsend WCYA Her book Blue Iguana is out now, from namelos. Two good reviews are in, one from PW, the other from Shelf Awareness.


2004 Kelly Bingham WCYA had a new picture book out in September: Circle, Square, Moose, a sequel to Z Is for Moose, from Greenwillow.

Elizabeth Bisbing VA exhibited her recent work in painted paper collage and stop-motion animation at a oneperson show, More Life Than Still, at the Soho20 Gallery Chelsea. Tony Van Witsen W announces two short story publications: “Our Delight” appeared in the fall 2013 issue of Ray’s Road Review and “Everybody Sang but Hattie” was just published in issue 99 of Crack The Spine.

2003 Kim Aubrey W Her short story collection What We Hold in Our Hands was published by Demeter Press this year. Her CNF piece “Fall and Spring” appeared in the anthology How To Expect What You’re Not Expecting: Stories of Pregnancy, Parenthood and Loss, published by TouchWood Editions in the fall. Kim sends “many thanks to Sue Silverman, Laurie Alberts and Abby Frucht for their help, advice, and encouragement in writing about my life.”

Carolyn Walker W was named a 2013 Kresge Artist Fellow in the Literary and Visual Arts. The Kresge Foundation is devoted to bettering communities and the arts. Debra Zaslow W announces the publication of Bringing Bubbe Home, A Memoir of Letting Go Through Love and Death with White Cloud Press. It’s the story of bringing Debra’s 103-year-old grandma home to live and die with her family.

2005 DJ Dolack W announces the publication of Whittling a New Face in the Dark, a book of poems published by Black Ocean Press in August 2013. Bethany Hegedus WCYA Her picture book Grandfather Gandhi was released this spring from Atheneum/Simon & Schuster. The book is illustrated by Evan Turk and was written with Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi, and earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus.

Gabriella Klein W was awarded the Nightboat Poetry Prize for her book-length collection of poems. Publication is forthcoming from Nightboat Books in 2015. Margarite Landry W won first prize in the 2012 Wordstock Short Fiction Competition, judged by Steve Almond. Her winning story, “The Blanket Plucker,” was published in the Wordstock 10 Anthology. Her story “Fisher of Men,” a finalist for the Jack Dyer Fiction Prize, appeared in Crab Orchard Review. And her story “Out of Egypt” appeared in The Baltimore Review.

2006 Susan Arthur VA is exhibiting three 12’-20’ long nests knit from caution tape as part of an exhibition about shifting climate change called Acclimatized: Heaven and Earth 5 at the Center on Contemporary Art. The title of Susan’s piece is Urban Squirrel Nests.

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Barbara Strasko W published her first full length collection of poetry, Graffiti in Braille, in October 2012. Strasko is also a River of Words Teacher of the Year, and her poem “Bricks and Mortar” will be engraved in granite and bronze in the main square of her city, Lancaster, PA.


Toni De Palma WCYA has three books out: Jeremy Owl (Aerodale Press, 2010), The Devil’s Triangle (Crescent Moon Press, 2013), and The Devil’s Temptation (Second Book in the Devil Series, Crescent Moon Press, March 2014).

Laurette Folk W is editor of The Compassion Project: An Anthology (forthcoming) which seeks to raise the collective consciousness on compassion. Selections from the collection will be displayed at www. and used in readings and presentations to stir the consciousness of others.


Janie Baskin WCYA announces the publication of her first YA novel, Paint Me A Monster, with Enslow Publishers.

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Brendan Constantine W Nashville based filmmaker Sarah Jensen has adapted his poem “The Translation” from the book Birthday Girl With Possum. Brendan says, “I am hugely grateful and wouldn’t have reached this point in a professional career without VCFA. Thanks.” The work will be available on YouTube. Nathalie Dupree W Her latest book, Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking, won the prestigious James Beard Award for American Cooking. She was elected Grande Dame of Les Dames d’ Escoffier, and Woman of the Year by the Academy of Master Chefs of France USA. “All of which means I’m getting old and they think I will knock off soon, I guess,” Nathalie says. We don’t think so, Nathalie! Harrison Candelaria Fletcher W won the 2013 Colorado Book Award in Creative Nonfiction for his memoir Descanso For My Father: Fragments of a Life. Janet Filomeno VA Her painting Delaware Series no. 11, 2007 has been added to the James A. Michener Museum’s permanent collection. Barbara Krasner WCYA hosted a seminar on Jewish Story which focused on the best contemporary Jewish literature from editors and writers at Temple Emanu-El in New York City in May, 2014. Catherine Linka WCYA announces her debut YA novel from St. Martin’s Press, A Girl Called Fearless, which Kirkus calls “a deftly plotted portrait of the evolution of a teenage girl into a dystopian heroine.” JC MacQueen VA published 1917: The Perfect Game, a book about “baseball, America in turmoil, Jim Thorpe, World War I, racism, Einstein, Longchenpa, liquor, music, and reefer, President Wilson, Sigmund Freud, wisdom, and romance,” all set in 1917 Chicago as the Chicago Cubs host the Cincinnati Reds.

2007 Todd Becraft VA His piece Immigration Law Library was accepted into the 2013 Los Angeles Juried Biennial Exhibition at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.

Robin Oliveira W Her new novel, I Always Loved You, was released in February 2014 by Viking. Her book tour took Robin to San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Miami, and Dallas. Chivas Sandage W announces that Hidden Drive (Antrim House, 2012) was a finalist for the 2012 ForeWord Book of the Year Awards in Poetry.

2007 Stephanie Cassatly W Her essay “Camera Obscura” won first place in the Memoir/Personal Essay category of Writer’s Digest’s annual competition. Diane Lawson Martinez W Her novel A Tightly Raveled Mind was published by Cinco Puntos Press in August, 2014. Marcus Smith W has been living in London. He was a finalist for The Live Canon Poetry First Collection Poetry Competition for SEZ/everything speaks. In addition, Visiting My Country and The Great-Great Grandchildren of Edward DarleyBoit were finalists for The Cinnamon Press Debut Poetry Competition. His work has recently appeared in Barrow Street, Recours au Poème, Stand, The Rialto, has been featured in The Poetry Shed and shortlisted twice for The Bridgeport Prize.

Tamara Ellis Smith WCYA sold her debut middle grade novel, Marble Boys, to Ann Kelley at Schwartz & Wade in a two-book deal at auction. The novel tells the story of two boys who have experienced great loss—one dealing with the death of his best friend near their home in the mountains of Vermont, and one losing his home in Hurricane Katrina—and the ways the world pushes them together to find healing. Publication is scheduled to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, in August 2015. Janice Wilson Stridick W has completed a decade-long project of cataloging and presenting the legacy of painter Alice Steer Wilson in Alice Steer Wilson: Light, Particularly published by Southbound Press. With seven essays, five poems, and more than 200 color plates, the book illuminates the artist’s oeuvre, and the interaction of her art with her place and time.

Hunger Mountain Launches New Website Hunger Mountain has launched a new website with themed online issues. The “Firsts” issue is available now. The new site includes fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, children’s lit, interviews, book reviews, visual art, editorial illustrations, and other special features.


Vanessa Blakeslee W Her debut story collection, Train Shots, published by Burrow Press in March 2014, was longlisted for the 2014 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Vanessa developed many of the stories while at VCFA. Christine Starr Davis W was awarded the 2014 Great Plains Emerging Writer Prize based on a selection of her poems, which explore the subtle rhythms, bounded-ness to the land, and dramatic disorder of living on the Plains. As part of her receipt of the Prize, Oakwood published a feature of several of her poems and an interview about her process. Jewel Beth Davis W Her stories “The Bullfrog’s Vision” and “A Small Miracle” were published in Bewildering Stories. Lisa Doan WCYA has sold The Berenson Schemes, a humorous, adventure-driven middle grade threebook series to Lerner. The first book, The Castaway, released in April, was written while at VCFA.

Maria Driscoll McMahon VA was part of The Body as Landscape at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in the spring. She also performed in Utica for the Stanley Theater Anniversary show and at Saunders Farm in Garrison, NY. And she was part of Double Consciousness with her collective, 2x2, at the Art Center of the Capital Region in Troy, NY. Trent Reedy WCYA His third novel, Divided We Fall, the first in a YA trilogy, was released in January 2014 from Arthur A. Levine Books of Scholastic.

Nicolas Gadbois VA His mural The Future Starts Today was honored with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the University of New Mexico in Los Alamos. The mural is 8’ x 18’ and made of GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete) and glass. Frances Lee Hall WCYA sold her chapter book to Regina Griffin at Egmont. Fried Wonton is an illustrated chapter book in which “comfort food takes on a new meaning for Lily Lo as she struggles to deal with Gung Gung’s funny, old-fashioned ways.” Publication is scheduled for spring 2015; Marietta Zacker of Nancy Gallt Literary Agency brokered the deal for worldwide English rights. Robin Herrera WCYA Her debut middle grade novel, Hope Is a Ferris Wheel, came out in March 2014 from Amulet Books. The novel is a revised version of Robin’s Creative Thesis from VCFA.

2009 Steven Axelrod W Poisoned Pen Press kicked off his Henry Kennis Nantucket mystery series in January with Nantucket Sawbuck. The second installment, Nantucket Five-Spot, is scheduled for 2015. Steven is also publishing his noir thriller Heat of the Moment next year with Gutter Books. Two excerpts from that novel have appeared in recent issues of BigPulp and PulpModern magazines. His work can be also be found online at TheGoodmenProject and Salon. com and Numero Cinq, where he recently ascended to the masthead.

Martin Balgach W is celebrating the publication of his chapbook Too Much Breath from Main Street Rag. Kelly Bennett WCYA Her picture book One Day I Went Rambling, published by Bright Sky Press, has been named the 2013 Writer’s League of Texas Best Picture Book. The award was presented at the Texas Book Festival in Austin. Rebecca Cook W Her first poetry collection, I Will Not Give Over, was published by Aldrich Books in November, 2013 Ginny Lowe Connors W was appointed the Poet Laureate of West Hartford, CT, a two-year honorary position. Her poem “The Murderer’s Mother Wonders” received the top award, the Founders Award, in the recent National Federation of State Poetry Societies)poetry contest Another poem, “Tangle,” received an honorable mention in the Fish Poetry Prize and appeared in the annual Fish Anthology, published in July 2013. She was invited to read in the West Cork Literary Festival in Ireland as a result. Varian Johnson WCYA His new book for middle grade readers, The Great Greene Heist, was released in May (Levine/Scholastic). The Great Greene Heist was chosen as a Publisher’s Weekly Best Summer Books 2014, and received a starred review from Kirkus Review.


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Julie Berry WCYA is among the 2014 CILIP Carnegie Medal nominees for her novel All the Truth That’s In Me. This novel was chosen as a Kirkus Best Read for 2013, a 2013 Horn Book Fanfare title, a Junior Library Guild selection, a Boston Globe Top YA title for 2013, and has received five-star reviews from a number of esteemed publications.

Rebecca Martin W lived and taught in Saudi Arabia for a year. Her essay “Muslim Women: No Home Anywhere” is published on LA Progressive and on New Clear Vision.


Nancy Bo Flood WCYA has won several honors for her picture book Cowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo. The book has been named a California Reading Association “Eureka” nonfiction honor book. It won the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award in Juvenile Literature. It is a Library Guild Selection, a NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) Notable Poetry Book for 2014, and a Notable Book for a Global Society (NBGS) for 2014.


Debra L. Arter VA was awarded the Esther K. Gayner Memorial Award for Printmaking for her collagraph The Original House of Music. The cash award from The National Association of Women Artists was presented at the 124th annual juried exhibition at the Sylvia Wald & Po Kim Gallery in Manhattan, New York. The purpose of the National Association of Women Artists is to foster public awareness of and interest in visual art created by women in the United States.

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Taylor Davis-Van Atta W is founding editor-in-chief of Music & Literature Magazine, and has just released the fourth issue of his internationally acclaimed journal, which includes a 100-page portfolio of new work devoted to Mary Ruefle’s entire published career to date. Denise Karabinus VA received a Gram International Artist Residency in Community Projects Award. The Gram (Village) Art Residency aims to promote cross-cultural exchanges by providing a meeting point for artists in diverse fields to work side by side with artisans, children, and residents in rural India with the purpose of creating small lasting changes in the community. Denise worked with local broom makers to improve upon their traditional designs, taught workshops in printmaking, and spoke on organic farming at community meeting. Laura Mylott Manning VA created Kiss the Dark (Dress of Watches) for the American Watch Guild’s Chronos/Eclat International Magazine. Kiss the Dark (Dress of Watches) is made from more than 100 vintage and contemporary watches. In addition, Fibers and Threads, Laura’s 12’ x 8’ wall installation, sponsored by Coats & Clark, The Caravan Stylist Studio was displayed at The Carlton Hotel in New York City. Four pieces from Laura’s Fibers and Threads series were included in a group exhibition, Art Inside, at Baur au Lac, Zurich, Switzerland, in October 2013. Laura was also part of Push It curated by Melissa McCaig-Welles at ArtNow NY. Annemarie O’Brien WCYA Her novel Lara’s Gift, which was released by Alfred A. Knopf (August, 2013), received starred reviews from Kirkus Review and School Library Journal and was nominated for the ALA Amelia Bloomer Project for literary excellence and a strong female protagonist. The book came out in paperback in July with Yearling, and the sub-rights to Lara’s Gift were bought by Scholastic where it will be sold through their School Fairs and Book Clubs.

Adam Tavel W won the First Annual Permafrost Book Prize in Poetry. His collection Into the Primitive will be published in early 2015 by the University of Alaska Press.

2010 Q Lindsey Barrett W won Honorable Mention in the Bevel Summers Prize for her story “Aphrodite Carries Condoms,” which was subsequently published in Shenandoah. In addition, she has been publishing blog posts regularly at the Missouri Review in a series called Writing Beyond Good, which offers advice about increasing your chance of lit journal publication. Q Lindsey Barrett also taught five workshops at the 30th Anniversary SDSU Writer’s Conference in January. Dorothy Bendel W placed third in the Brattleboro Literary Festival Flash Fiction Contest. Her piece, “When I Was an Astronaut,” appeared in the fall print issue of Green Mountains Review. Amber Braden W Her poem “An Airplane Ride with Robert Vivian” was published this past April in ellipsis... Literature and Art. Amber was hired as a full-time Assistant Professor of English at Ivy Tech Community College in Evansville, Indiana in August 2013. Kathy Couch VA took part in the exhibition Performance Archiving Performance at The New Museum of Contemporary Art. The archive component of a recent collaborative project The People To Come, a canary torsi, was one of four archives on exhibit. When in performance, the archive served as an active space for audience submissions that were then used by five performers to create original solo dances during the course of the four-hour performance installation. The archive now holds all material created by the project participants.

2010 Todd Baldwin VA His work appears in The Sketchbook Project 2014, a worldwide creative experience in which thousands of people from around the world contribute to a traveling library of handmade books. Todd’s Sketchbook can be seen online at any time ( library/15420), or as part of the city-to-city mobile library tour taking place across America and Canada from March to October of 2014. After the tour, Todd’s Sketchbook will be on permanent display at the Brooklyn Art Library. Todd also exhibited work at Second Story Art Gallery in New Jersey. In 75% Recycled, a series of wall-hanging assemblages of found and hand-constructed objects pushes discarded materials out of context and into functioning as art materials. Renee Couture VA had a solo show, to the rumored garden, at The Nightingale Gallery at Eastern Oregon University in LaGrande, OR. Renee’s work examines the complex relationships between capitalism, community, and the environment, primarily in the form of sculpture, photography, and installation.

Kim Darling VA had a show, Press On - Illyrian Print, at Gatto Nero Gallery in St. Johnsbury, VT. This show was the result of a collaboration that began in the summer of 2013, when Luren Osman, Shuki Neziri, and Bill and Kim Darling lived and made art together in the mountains in Macedonia, forming the beginnings of the Sharr Mountain Artist Colony. Kim Darling also exhibited copper plates and prints in Copper & Gold, a NYC show which reached back to the historical roots of intaglio printmaking as a method of recording the incised marks into metal made by goldsmiths, armor makers, and other fine metal artisans.

Lauren Markham W was awarded the 11th Hour Fellowship in Food & Farming Journalism at UC Berkeley, which supported her to report a long-form nonfiction piece about unaccompanied teenage immigrant farm workers in the California Central Valley, which appeared in Vice Magazine in April. Another essay on unaccompanied minors appeared last year in VQR, and her most recent fiction story, “Just A Cupful”, was published by the American Literary Review.

Blair Vaughn-Gruler VA exhibited eighteen new paintings along with the paintings and sculpture of her husband, Ernst Gruler. The exhibition, Side by Each, contrasted and compared the art of partners who have worked side by side for over twenty years, with parallel and sometimes overlapping trajectories in their work. Barry Wightman W The Pepperland “world tour” rattles on! Barry had readings for Pepperland (a novel) in Arlington, Brooklyn, and Minneapolis. Most recently, Barry and Robin Oliveira ’06 W participated in a joint reading at Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Island, WA.

2011 Winifred Conkling WCYA has sold world rights for Forever Free, a nonfiction title for middle-graders to Elise Howard at Algonquin. It chronicles Emily Edmonson’s journey out of slavery as part of the largest slave escape in U.S. history. Publication is planned for spring 2015. Sarah Davies at the Greenhouse Literary Agency made the deal.

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Robin MacArthur W Her short story “The Long Road Turns to Joy” appeared in a recent issue of Alaska Quarterly. Robin sends “many thanks to all at VCFA who blessed this story with their ears and eyes.”

Linden McNeilly WCYA has just released her first book, Map Art Lab: 52 Exciting Art Explorations in Mapmaking, Imagination, and Travel, co-authored with her sister, Jill K. Berry, and published by Quarry Books.


Lindsey Lane WCYA Her YA Debut, Evidence of Things Not Seen, is now out with Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The book explores themes of loneliness, connectedness, and the role we play in creating our own realities. Any other VCFA people involved in this news? Lindsey says, “Every advisor and classmate at VCFA-WCYA.”

Mark McCaig W Kattywompus Press published his chapbook of prose poems Lifelist. This sequence began in a VCFA graduate lecture. 41

Emily Lanctot VA took part in an exhibit and artist’s talk at the Julian Scott Memorial Gallery at Johnson State College in September 2013. The exhibit featured the work of two artists, Karen Guth and Emily Lanctot, whose work documented everyday scenes that “illustrate some of Detroit’s pain.”

Molly Heron VA took part in “Bacteria in Art and Science,” a conversation around the common ground of creative practice and scientific discovery. Molly also showed work at Proteus Gowanus, an interdisciplinary Gallery and Reading Room as part of the Break/Unbreak exhibit, and her piece ipodium was in the Un/Natural Occurrences exhibit at Central Booking Gallery NY. Her work will also be part of Circumstances at the Kentler Gallery in Brooklyn, which features art selected from the Kentler Flatfiles using a chance-based process inspired by John Cage’s seminal employment of the I Ching, or Book of Changes, an ancient Chinese oracular text. The result of this process is a fascinating exhibition of 43 drawings, prints, and artist’s books by 32 artists.

A Novel Experience: The MFA in Writing Program Hosts First Novel Writing Retreat In May 2014, 27 writers met in Vermont for The MFA in Writing Program’s first ever Novel Retreat, led by VCFA faculty Connie May Fowler and Robin Hemley, and special visiting faculty Sigrid Nunez, with manuscript critiques by VCFA’s Laurie Alberts. Participants were comprised of alums and non-alums alike. In fact, “it was wonderful to see how the retreat expanded the VCFA community,” said Connie May Fowler, our retreat director. Participants enjoyed writing time in private studios; readings by participants and faculty; presentations and group discussions about process, creativity, and craft; prompt writing sessions; and manuscript critiques. One unexpected highlight: an evening of ghost stories led by Robin Hemley. And each morning at breakfast, faculty and participants had informal discussions about “books we love and why we love them.” The faculty was also “in retreat.” They spent mornings writing, too, which added a wonderful element of immediacy and camaraderie to this dedicated group of writers.

Allison Kaufman W started a new job at the Windward School in Los Angeles. The job involves editing website content, creating print publications, and teaching publication and journalism courses at the high school level. She is excited to get back to her writing roots and share a passion for nonfiction with students. Gary Lawrence W His story sequence “Trinity” was published in the inaugural issue of the new Phoenix community literary magazine, Four Chambers. “Trinity” is also part of Gary’s short story collection Baffled and Other Stories, which was published in September as part of Short Story America’s Second Annual Festival and Conference, in Beaufort, SC. His story “Garage Sale” was published in September in Short Story America’s Volume III print anthology.

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Stacy Nyikos WCYA announces the release of two picture books, Toby and Waggers. She was on Tour de Toby Turtle blog tour in June, and Wagging the Dog blog tour in October. “A wonderful host of VCFA faculty and alums have gotten involved,” Stacy says, “interviewing me on everything from my messy writing process to the most fun, obscure facts about sea turtles!” Jean-Marie Saporito W has had three short stories published this year: “Lucky/Unlucky” in Ilanot Review, “How to Bear Bad News” in Helix Literary Magazine, and “Last Call” in Bellevue Literary Review. Sumru Tekin VA showed Memory Device in a show, Al- Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, which assembled artists’ responses to the 2007 bombing that resulted in the destruction of Al- Mutanabbi Street, a cultural and intellectual hub in Baghdad. The Center for Book Arts organized the multi-venue presentation of 250 artists’ books and 50 broadsides in collaboration with Alwan for the Arts, Columbia University Libraries, International Print Center New York, and Poets House. In addition, VCFA recently hosted Systematic Paradox, an exhibition featuring the works of national and international artists curated by Vermont high school students participating in the Young Curators of Vermont program. YCVT was co-founded by Sumru Tekin and artist/teachers Kate Donnelly and Elise Whittemore.

Susan Levi Wallach W won first place in fiction in the 2013 Porter Fleming Literary Competition with her short story “Another Day for the Monkeys.” Her poem “Epsilon” received an honorable mention and also was shortlisted in the 2013 FaulknerWisdom Creative Writing Competition. She recently had a poem published in The Moth, a short story in American Athenaeum, and two flash-fiction pieces on the RiverLit website. Her poem “In Taiwan” will appear in the Best of Black Heart anthology. A.B. Westrick WCYA Her debut novel, Brotherhood, has been named a 2014 Jane Addams Honor Book for older children. The civil war-era novel has also been named an ALA/YALSA 2014 Best Book for Young Adults, a Junior Library Guild selection, and is the winner of the 2014 National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Book Award.

2012 Michelle Pilar Hamill W Her story “Crush” and companion essay appear in the Spring 2014 issue of Fourth Genre. Cordelia Jensen WCYA Her YA verse novel Skyscraping is forthcoming from Philomel (Penguin) in 2015. It was her creative thesis at VCFA.

Renee Lauzon VA took part in the statewide Vermont group show Of Land and Local through BCA Center in Burlington. Her sound installation Stripping (Retrieval) was installed outside at Shelburne Farms Coach Barn in Shelburne, VT. This non-linear narrative sound piece of a long walk in the Vermont woods was made over the course of five months, through several seasons—a journey through time compressed into 18 minutes. Giovanna Marcus W has recently completed a 60-hour business planning course for her company, Ruby Scribe Writing, a copywriting business started in 2010. Giovanna loves being creative in her daily work using skills learned during her VCFA education. Tonia Martin W accepted an adjunct faculty position in the English Department at William Jessup University to teach Creative Writing. Known as Tonia Triebwasser while at VCFA, Tonia recently celebrated her one-year wedding anniversary. Sandra Nickel WCYA is now represented by Victoria Wells Arms of Wells Arms Literary. Terrilynn Quick VA The Uterus Flag Project, Terrilynn’s installation, was exhibited at California State University, San Marcos and is the result of a collaborative social-practice art project, empowering participants to work with fiber arts to alter consciousness about women’s health concerns.

Sarah Seltzer W Her short story “Ironing” can be found in a recent issue of Lilith Magazine as one of the 2013 fiction prize winners. Lilith Magazine, “independent, Jewish and frankly feminist” like Sarah, is available in major and indie bookstore chains (Sarah’s mom checked.) WIPs Journal has published an excerpt, “After the Bar-Mitzvah,” of Sarah’s novel-in-stories and a Q+A with Sarah about her work, which began as her MFA thesis at VCFA. Mahtem Shiferraw W has received multiple requests from VCFA students to compile a list of modern African writers. She now presents the Modern African Literature Bibliography, formatted “a la VCFA style.” The list will be updated periodically at modern-african-literature-ongoingbibliography/. “Please share so people can read these wonderful authors,” Mahtem asks. Brendan Todt W has a poem in Best American Non-Required Reading 2013. “At the Particle Accelerator at Krasnoyarsk,” written at VCFA while working with Matthew Dickman, was originally published by Ninth Letter in 2012.

2012 Skila Brown WCYA announces the publication of Caminar (originally Skila’s creative thesis) with Candlewick Press. Set in 1981 Guatemala, this novel in verse tells the tale of a boy who must decide what it means to be a man during a time of war.


Nicole Valentine WCYA is on Book Business Magazine’s Futurist Panel, where industry experts discuss the future of books, the publishing industry, and storytelling. This live monthly event takes on a different topic each show, inviting questions from Twitter under the hashtag #futurethink14.


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Mary Ann Fuller Young WCYA has published a book Plainly and Simply, A Memoir of Alzheimer’s.

2013 Adam Arvidson W read in the monthly Midstream Reading Series in November. His essay “Time Line,” which was part of his graduate reading, is included in South Dakota Review’s 50th Anniversary issue. Kerri Augenstein GD Shortly after leaving VCFA (“literally, one hand holding the diploma, the other the steering wheel of the car”), Kerri trekked to sunny California where she accepted a position at Stanford University as a web designer for the Graduate School of Business, Information Technology Department. Brian Bednarski GD accepted a position as a Mobile Product Designer for Major League Baseball in New York, NY. Stephen Bramucci WCYA His book Ronald Zupan and the Pirates of Borneo! and its yet unnamed sequel will be published by Bloomsbury, September 2016 and September 2017. Melissa Cronin W Her essay “Invisible Bruise” was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Recovering from Brain Injuries.

2013 Chris Faust VA was selected by Julia Hechtman, a Boston-based artist and curator (and his final Artist-Teacher at VCFA) to exhibit in Boston Does Boston 7, at Proof gallery in South Boston. Chris, in turn, invited Todd Bartel, another VCFA Artist-Teacher and visiting “critter” at the Visual Arts residency, to exhibit as well.

Mathieu Cailler W His story “Over the Bridge” won the 2012 Short Story America Short Fiction award and was published in the SSA Anthology Volume III and online at Short Story America. Short Story America Press will publish Loss Angeles, Mathieu’s debut short-story collection, in November 2014. Louise Dierker MC Her most recent work, Prism, A Fantasy for Pipe Organ, was included in a recital by organist Lynnette Combs in celebration of the sesquicentennial of the E. & G. G. Hook organ of the First Baptist Church of Burlington. Melanie Fishbane WCYA has sold her young adult novel based on the life of one of Canada’s literary titans, Lucy Maud Montgomery, to Razorbill, a Canadian imprint of Penguin.

Tavia Gilbert W took part in a live performance of Wally Lamb’s latest novel, We Are Water, read by cast members of the audiobook. The event, at BookCourt in Brooklyn, was hosted by Wally Lamb’84 W. Just one of the acclaimed cast of actors, including George Guidall, Edoardo Ballerini, and Cynthia Darlow, Tavia played Marissa Oh, and read a selection from her chapter. The audiobook won a prestigious Earphones Award for excellence in production. Tavia also recently contributed narration to the audiobook edition of VCFA president Thomas Christopher Greene’s new novel, The Headmaster’s Wife, produced and published by Audible.

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Jane Poirier Hart W is a 2014 Fellow in Poetry at the Writers’ Room of Boston, a 25-year-old organization in the heart of downtown Boston that offers safe and secure writing space to four writing fellows each year.

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Rachael Hatley GD gave the keynote address at the Impact Arts & Culture Conference in York PA about her MFA thesis The Litter Letter Project. Troy Patterson ’13 GD, Cultural Alliance of York County, York College, and community partners all made “Litter Letters” as a community to display the week of the conference. Pennsylvania is the 4th state to replicate Rachael’s project outside of Louisiana. Leah Kaminsky W Her novel The Waiting Room will be published by Vintage Knopf AU in 2016. The manuscript was also shortlisted for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. She completed the manuscript while at VCFA, working with Clint McCown, Abby Frucht, and Joshilyn Jackson.

Thais Mather VA was interviewed in July by Cecile Lipworth, founder of One Billion Rising, a campaign addressing violence against women. The interview, part of the Collected Words radio show, discussed art, activism, and feminism. Jason Malli MC His composition, “The Gathering of Sects,” was one of five compositions selected to be performed by Boston Musica Viva at the Boston Conservatory, with Richard Pittman, Music Director, conducting the Emerging Composers Concert. Also, his piece “Tunnel Vision,” originally performed and recorded live on synthesizer with electronics at VCFA’s Electronic Music Concert last August, will be included in the SEAMUS 2014 National Conference’s group show of sound works, Rock’s Role (After Ryoanji). Finally, “consubstantial,” is a fixed media electroacoustic composition that was realized in a 16-channel spatialization lab during the week-long New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival at Abrons Arts Center in New York City.

WCYA Alumni-Mini Residency Unveils New Schedule The 8th annual Alumni Mini Residency, a three-day conference for WCYA alumni focusing on both the craft and the business of writing, will take place from June 19-21, 2015. Why the calendar change? Simply put, it’s due to our growth and success! As both programs enjoy expanded offerings, space, time and digital media logistics have prevented us from fully supporting both events. With the new dates, alumni, students, and faculty have more time and latitude to fully engage in their work and explore new opportunities, and VCFA staff can fully devote time to each event, providing the personal attention we are proud to deliver. We look forward to expanding the AMR to better suit the needs of the WCYA alumni while continuing to provide excellent awardwinning content. The alumni and program offices are committed to bringing faculty to the AMR, and the new dates allow for plenty of on-campus alumni housing and even early arrivals for personal retreat time. Most of all, we look forward to hearing your ideas and dreams for this special weekend. To kick off the new schedule, we have a stellar line-up for AMR 2015: Cynthia Leitich Smith - Master Class & Workshop Facilitator Katherine Paterson - Lecturer & Panelist M.T. Anderson - Lecturer & Panelist Sharon Darrow - Lecturer & Workshop Facilitator Shelley Tanaka - Lecturer & Workshop Facilitator

Jennifer Reed WCYA Her third book, A Listen to World Music, published by Rourke Educational Media, was released in January 2014. It explores the dynamic styles of music found in countries around the world for the youngest of readers (kindergarten through first grade). Mary Rickert W “After years of trying to write a novel by myself I decided to go to where the teachers are—Vermont College of Fine Arts. My MFA thesis, now titled The Memory Garden was published in May, 2014 by Sourcebooks.” The novel received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, and was their “pick of the week.” Mary also announces the digital publication of her novella The Mothers of Voorhisville with Kelley Rossier W was a finalist for the Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant. She submitted her lyric essays, which she wrote during her time at VCFA, and the Grant Committee responded in a personal email that they “were impressed by how Kelley took a story of unimaginable grief and turned it into art.” Ellen Sprague W won the 2014 Linda Julian Essay Award for “the most outstanding creative nonfiction essay” for “Braking for Buntings,” which was published in Emrys Journal. The essay was part of her creative thesis, and was workshopped in Slovenia in 2012.

Ingrid Sundberg WCYA has sold her debut YA novel All We Left Behind to Sara Sargent at Simon Pulse. Publication is scheduled for spring 2016. Christine Valerio GD is working as a designer at Success Academy Charter Schools in Harlem, New York. She is responsible for both internal and external creative for the network of twenty-two public charter schools, whose mission is to redefine public education and give each child a chance at success. Emily Vizzo W Her essay “The Perfect Fail” recently appeared at North American Review. Elizabeth White WCYA was recently hired to teach the first Writing for Children and Young Adults workshop at Inprint, Houston’s oldest and most esteemed literary arts organization.


Heather Demetrios WCYA Her debut YA novel, Something Real, came out this year with Henry Holt. It’s about “a girl who’s on a reality TV show with her family and she’s dying to get off... because there’s nothing real about reality TV.”

Jason Howard W has been appointed editor of the literary quarterly Appalachian Heritage at Berea College.

Naomi Elena Ramirez VA inspired Beaver, an exhibition, performance, and panel discussion featuring artists whose work explores female sexual self-expression, pornography, and gender performance at The Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn. Beaver was also exhibited at The New School. VCFA colleagues Damali Abrams ’08, Jenna Kelly ’14, and Lisa Beerle ’13 were also involved.

2015 Evan Beigel MC Killer Tracks, a division of Universal Music Publishing has just released Evan Beigel’s latest commissioned music projects “Indie Landscapes” and “Chiptunes.” “Indie Landscapes” exhibits “a little bit of good old DIY Indie Rock with a twist of slick and modern production while ‘Chip Tunes’ combines catching pop sensibilities with the golden age of 8 bit gaming sounds.”

Ann Huang W participated in a book signing and poetry reading for her book Love Rhythms (Finishing Line Press) at AWP in Seattle.

TaDa! – VCFA’s Graphic Designers host show in Easthampton, MA 25 conceptual graphic designers from Vermont College of Fine Arts’ graduate program visualize the concept of “TaDa!” as graphic design using varied media, sizes, dimensionality, and styles. In this exhibition, graphic designers work on the screen, in print, and multi-dimensionally, with light and sound and intangibles and make incursions into territory traditionally occupied by other arts. The media of the works in this show range from embroidered pillowcases, to video, to painted wooden shapes, to upcycled car parts, to trash. The designers intend variously to heal, to challenge, and to create social change, as well as to explore traditional design barriers and create communicative form.

vermont college of fine arts

Gwendolyn Heasley WCYA announces the publication of her book The Art of Goodbye, a digital novella published by HarperTeen Impluse, and sequel to her first novel Where I Belong. Gwendolyn was also recently on BookTalk Nation, discussing her forthcoming Don’t Call Me Baby, and had an article in WSJ Speakeasy about babies, Facebook, and her upcoming book.

Robin McLaurin VA The group of ex-military spouses, Ex-Pose, invited Robin to hang a series, Prize Purses, at their national conference at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Robin was also shortlisted for an Artpace Artist-in-Residence position for the Summer 2015.

Sophfronia Scott W Her short story “Murder Will Not Be Tolerated” was published in Issue 9 of the Saranac Review, and another short story “Sometimes God Wears Orange Cowboy Boots” appeared in Paddle Shots: A River Pretty Anthology, edited by VCFA grads Lee Busby ’11 and Rich Farrell ’11. She wrote both pieces during her first semester at VCFA, working with Clint McCown.


Rachel Groves W Her short story “Halfway House” was published in Beloit Fiction Journal.

Joe McGee WCYA sold his picture book Peanut Butter and Brains (forthcoming 2015) to Tamar Brazis at Abrams Publishing.


Katie Crawford W is now a newspaper columnist, writing a parenting/outdoor/general life column appearing every Thursday in The Greenville News (South Carolina).

Pam Galvani GD presented new work at Shift Gallery. ConTEXT is an exhibit focused on lettering and markmaking. Her prints and drawings explore the roles of placement, legibility, and relationship in revealing meaning.

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2014 Stephen Maine VA 490 Atlantic Gallery in Brooklyn presented an exhibition of new work by Stephen Maine. The exhibition included paintings from Maine’s Halftone Paintings series, as well as several handmade books.

Partridge Boswell W read at the Burlington Book Festival with poets Cleopatra Mathis, Major Jackson, Tina Chang, Neil Shepard, and Yusef Komunyakaa. Poems from his new book Some Far Country were featured, along with newer work, with musical accompaniment by Whit Van Meter (’13 MC). Partridge also took part in the New England Review Vermont Reading Series alongside Michael Collier, Cleopatra Mathis, and Angela Palm. Lori Grinker VA was featured in The Flag, a CNN documentary, in which Lori was interviewed about her photographs of firefighters raising the flag on September 11, 2001. Directed by Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, The Flag follows the mysterious journey of the American flag featured in one of the most iconic photographs taken at the World Trade Center.

Dana Rau WCYA Her early reader Robot, Go Bot!, part of Random House’s Step into Reading series, has been listed on Bank Street’s 2014 list of the Best Books of the Year. It has also earned other accolades since its release in the summer of 2013, including its listing as an ALSC 2014 Notable Children’s Book, and Kirkus’s Best Children’s Books of 2013.

Feeling social? Join VCFA online on our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Soundcloud and Instagram communities. Go to and click on social.

Want more In Residence? Check out the In Residence webpage for additional content and for the digital version of the magazine. alumni_magazine

the two percent solution by Lindsey Lane, ‘08 WCYA

It’s no secret that I love Vermont College of Fine Arts. I spent most of my first residency (Summer 2008) puddled up with gratitude. From Tom Greene’s welcome speech to Louise Hawes’ talk about the “desire line” to Alan Cumyn’s debut lecture about perseverance in the writing game, I was finally in my element. I came to think of VCFA as a writer’s Brigadoon, a magical place we returned to every six months where I found more than lessons about craft; VCFA gave me inspiration, confidence, and a wonderful community of like-minded artists. Sometime after I graduated in July 2010, I made a commitment to myself: as soon as I received my first book contract, I would give a percentage of my earnings back to VCFA. Last year, I sold my Young Adult novel Evidence of Things Not Seen to Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Among so many emotions, I felt a resurgence of the gratitude I’d felt when I first arrived at VCFA. After the advance came, I immediately sent two percent to VCFA. It was one small way to say thank you.

If you feel that your next book contract or commission is in any way a result of receiving your MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts, consider writing the first check of that advance to VFCA. Consider two percent. It will make a difference.

F  or multimedia responses from Maureen Alsop ’06 W and Louise Dierker ’13 MC, full versions of the excerpted poems as well as all alumni submissions, please visit




our cue, your response

Warrior by Jerzy Gregorek ’98 W (excerpt) You think you have the right to pass through heart’s time closing your eyes when the pen writes your name and another new bridge only leads you farther into the fog.

Relegate by Holter Graham ’99 W (excerpt) And now, like vinyl albums bead-strung together as kitschy room dividers in hipster apartments, like ashtrays made from 8-tracks, like a cassette of Joan Jett loaded into a 1980 Panasonic one-speaker, the screech louder than how much she loves rock and roll, like tape hiss between songs, a pause you don’t hear any more, reels adorn an exposed brick wall, headphones dangle unemployed from pegs in the corner of a room doing something else.

A Circle of How Things Were by Shelley Saposnik ’14 WCYA (excerpt)

no words none not one word breathing liquid telling of the way things were

For each issue, alumni are provided with a prompt to react to in writing, design, art, music or any way they see fit. For this issue, the prompt was this photo taken at the Savoy Theatre in Montpelier during the MFA in Film residency:

Fake on Film by Brian Michels ’99 W (excerpt)

Bad Invisible Movies by Rustin Larson ’86 W (excerpt)

Mugs of coffee milked carefully from the teats Of an air bison; the empty lawn chairs Always watching the northeast for bats; The chemical randomness of your thoughts On your birthday wrapped in ugly Green paper from 1979; stale sunflower Seeds from the Benjamin Franklin store in Winterset. There are even headphones so you Can listen to the soundtrack without Disturbing others: the parakeet buried Under the lilac with a tin cup; the chainSmoking cop watering his lawn.

Roll it up, scrap the patchwork, the edits, the retakes, something different lurks in the dark it’s deep in your seat at the back of the theatre a life, no need for dreams or fabrications, celluloid, timeline conversations, or a soundtrack of pride and triumph. Stick it somewhere, put it out of the way leave a light on it.

Linda King Ferguson ’12 VA

Treasurer, Vermont College Alumni Association, Inc.




bottom queen

Editor’s note: In October 2013, the Vermont College Alumni Association (VCAA), which represented the historic alumni of Montpelier Seminary, Vermont Junior College, and Vermont College decided to dissolve their incorporation and become full-fledged members of the Vermont College of Fine Arts alumni community. VCFA has made a commitment to welcome the historic alumni and include them in alumni activities. This issue of In Residence represents the first VCFA alumni magazine that will be mailed to the historic alumni.

The VCAA Inc. Board of Directors has determined our historic alumni should proceed to function as full members of the very welcoming Vermont College of Fine Arts alumni community. The dissolution of VCAA, Inc. has been completed and the Board agrees it is in keeping with our founding principles of fostering lifelong alumni relationships, of providing for exchange among and between all alumni constituencies, and of supporting the Vermont College campus for us to use our assets to honor those principles through affiliation with the VCFA alumni community. As leaders we wanted to stay faithful to the past while keeping in step with the present and future, we wanted to keep the promise to the collective generations of our remarkable campus that represents almost 200 years of Vermont history and education at Montpelier Seminary, Vermont Junior College, Vermont College, and Vermont College of Fine Arts, and we wanted to honor the legacy this campus gives to all alumni. We believe we can best support all alumni and the campus by providing financial support to the VCFA Alumni Office for publishing the Self Guided Historical Walking Tour of the Campus and have given the balance of the Association’s funds to the VCFA Archive Fund to assist with the restoration and preservation of all of the College documents, memorabilia, and archives.

classic and the contemporary

by Shirley Reid ’47 Vermont Junior College

:: the

Staying Faithful to the Past




36 College Street Montpelier, v t 05602

Picture us grateful. Photo credit: Nina Nelson ’14 WCYA

There is no better place than VCFA! I continue to feel blessed to be part of the VCFA family. Jessica Dils ’10 wcya

Thank you to everyone who supported the Fund for VCFA last year.

in residence // 2014 VCFA Alumni Magazine  

The annual Alumni Magazine publication by Vermont College of Fine Arts #VCFAalumni

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