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VERMONT COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS Cycles of Success Summer 2011

VCFA Mission Vermont College of Fine Arts is a national center for education in the arts, fostering the excellence of emerging and established artists and advancing the arts to create a more humane world.



Vermont College of Fine Arts

This is the Summer 2011

(VCFA) is a place where the creative expression of individuals is nurtured and a sense of community flourishes; a place where national and international leaders in the arts gather, teach, learn, and show and perform their work. From our hilltop campus in Montpelier, Vermont, we seek to help shape the future of the arts worldwide by fostering the excellence of emerging and established artists. We recognize that the arts are central to the development of a creative and healthy society. We encourage our members to reach for the highest artistic standards as individuals and to share their talents with humanity. Awarding Master of Fine Arts degrees (MFAs) in a variety of fields of practice, VCFA offers student-centered graduate programs. Yet we have a singular mission: to provide a world-class graduate education in the fine arts. All our efforts are turned in this direction. Our commitment is reflected in the quality of our programs and the successes of our students.

issue of the official newsletter of Vermont College of Fine Arts. The VCFA Newsletter is a biannual publication whose mission is to engage, inform, and inspire a readership including alumni/ae, faculty, staff, students, and other friends; to strengthen the bonds within the VCFA community through personal, honest, and timely information; and to reflect VCFA’s dedication to advancing the arts and supporting the artistic lives of its constituents. Published by VCFA Editor: Peter Nielsen, Executive Director of Marketing & Enrollment Features Editor: Debbie New Design Direction: ©2011, Serena Fox Design Company Contributors: Mckenzie Brown, Ann Cardinal, Susannah Noel, Kate Youngdahl Cover: Hanging in the Balance, Susan Spencer Crowe

table of contents Letter from the President . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Profile: Kate Hosford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Cycles of Success . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Class Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Profile: Rick Baitz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Faculty Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Profile: Rafael Attais/Nicole Juen . . . . . . 8

Summer/Fall Residencies . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Profile: Joan Grubin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

VCFA News Bites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Profile: Robin Oliveira. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

VCFA Board of Trustees. . . . . . . . . . . . . 45




newsletter summer 2011

letter from the president Last week I had the chance to spend several days in Washington, DC, and was able to catch up with many old VCFA friends from the capital area. I also traveled with my wife and daughter and spent some time as a tourist, going through the museums and the monuments on the national mall. I was struck, as you cannot help but be, by how much architecture—and art—conveys both meaning and history. Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Monument and looking out toward the Washington Monument and the Capital building, the grandeur is extraordinary, but looking down to the spot where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I have a Dream Speech,” and knowing that some forty-odd years later the first African American President is in the White House, the feeling is one of humility, pride, and also sadness that we have come so far, but still have so far to go as people. But the image that stayed with me the most from the trip was standing in front of the Vietnam War Memorial. Designed by Maya Lin when she was only twenty-one years old, I found myself overcome by the scale, the number of names, the human beings who lost their lives in a war that never should have happened. And the sheer beauty of what she created is such that as you stand there looking at the names, in the granite you see the staggering scope of the lives lost, but you see something else as well: you see yourself. It is as if the monument itself is reflecting our own humanity and asking us the question, what does this mean for you? And that for me is what is at the heart of artistic endeavor: the fundamental idea that when we create and express ourselves, we are somehow reflecting our own humanity for the world to see. Most of us will never have the opportunity to reach the audience that Maya Lin did with her magnificent elegy to those who were killed half a world away. But that it is not the point. It is the trying that matters, and in these pages you will read profiles of members of our community who are doing just that. Whether our medium is music, design, literature or visual art, when we create I believe we are, in ways both big and small, making a difference.

Thomas Christopher Greene President, VCFA



newsletter summer 2011


cycles of success getting better all the time The creative process is traditionally described as a linear progression of four steps: preparation, incubation, illumination, and implementation. Yet contemporary theorists view creativity more as a continuous, cyclical process of observing, reflecting, and making. As artists, we take a leap every time we initiate this cycle. Often we fly a bit, while other times we hit the pavement. Either way, it is our nature to leap again. As we create, we learn from the experience, developing our skills and honing our awareness. If we stick with it, we begin to succeed more than we fail. With our successes, we become more comfortable with the risks. So we leap again—farther. New challenges lift us over our previous boundaries and limitations. We become more creative. At VCFA, we are deeply concerned with the creative process. Not only because we teach creative practices, but as a growing and evolving institution we rely on creativity to build a college that reflects the spirit of our educational programs. The energy that inspires our students of writing, music, graphic design and visual art is the same energy that we tap into to build VCFA. As you read this newsletter, you’ll meet a group of creative people equally focused on individual artistic pursuits and on the development of a community. You’ll read stories of persistence, transformation, and success. Some of these stories focus on our students, alumni, or faculty. Some describe the leaps VCFA is making as an educational institution. Yet they are all one story. It is not only the story of observing, reflecting, and making, but also a testament to the rewards of taking risks, leaping forward, and continuing the creative process at VCFA.




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Detail from skinďŹ zz/swim Meg Brown Payson, MFA 1993 VCFA


newsletter summer 2011


RickBait B AC K I N THE 8 0 s , Rick Baitz composed the

dent at Columbia University, he composed scores

score for a kooky indie film about drug dealers

for his brother’s theatrical and television produc-

in Britain, including a samba for, of all things, a

tions. Drawing on his roots in ethnic music, he

string quartet and harp. The harp played tradi-

infused his compositions with primal, elemental

tional patterns of the berimbau—a one-bowed

motifs from traditional dance and spirituality.

instrument native to northeastern Brazil—while

But his career as a film composer didn’t

the strings featured abstract rhythms and har-

take off until he learned how to run a

monics. “Like everything I was doing in my

recording studio as arranger and producer

twenties, it was very creative,” he explains. “I

of African folk songs for an educational CD

loved it because it allowed me to access dif-

project. With the credential he needed to dive

ferent parts of myself. But it took years for

into the business, he was rolling. He wrote music

me to put words to what I was doing.”

for all kinds of productions, including The Vagina

Rick grew up between Los Angeles,

Monologues (HBO, 2002), Body & Soul: Diana &

Brazil, and South Africa, where he soaked up

Kathy (PBS, 2009), and eight National Geographic

indigenous music traditions. While a doctoral stu-

documentaries. For each, he wove elements of




newsletter summer 2011

z Brazilian, African, or Indian music into more formal,

and structure of the film,” he notes. “Concert

Western structures. Rick immediately took to the

music, on the other hand, allows the artist to make

challenge of making film music that works as music

his own statement musically, rather than support

but also supports the action, helps the story move

someone else’s idea.”

forward, and embodies the inner life of the charac-

Now Rick strikes a balance between con-

ters. Eventually, he realized what he loved about it:

cert music and scoring for film. “Finally,” Rick

“When I compose for film, I work instinctively and

observes, “the false dichotomies between

intuitively. Some people think the music in a film

stylistic fifedoms are breaking down.” He

isn’t supposed to be heard. I don’t agree. But I

welcomes the fusion of rock and jazz, tonal and

believe it has to act on the unconscious mind in

atonal music, music for film and concert music,

ways that the viewer doesn’t perceive.”

and so on. “I’m so happy to be alive in 2011, and

Despite his success in film, Rick felt the

in New York City, especially. Most of my friends

urge to return to concert music, to once

are doing film music and concert music and jazz

again be the driving force behind a musical

—and everybody celebrates the possibilities. It’s all

work. “Film music is controlled by the elements

music, and it’s all creativity.”

By Susannah Noel

Africa, Brazil, and the Unconscious VCFA


newsletter summer 2011


Marriage by Design The Surfer and the Yogi

by Kate Youngdahl

Anyone can catch a wave in July. February is the test of true dedication. VCFA Graphic Design faculty member Rafael Attias says deciding to brave winter’s icy waters to surf the Rhode Island coast is always “an internal struggle.” But the effort inevitably pays off. “To take the time, paddle through the waves, and catch a good one, it’s so simple and so beautiful to do that.” Pushing the edges of the comfort zone is a way of life for Attias and his wife, fellow VCFA faculty member Nicole Juen. The two balance teaching at VCFA and Rhode Island School of Design with their flourishing design studio, their personal art projects, and a family. Far from overwhelming them, the juggling act seems to energize Attias and Juen. “Flexibility happens in all kinds of incarnations,” says Juen. “We find ways through really splitting up the responsibilities, conquering and dividing. It’s very rich.” It helps that the couple is temperamentally matched like Jack Spratt and his wife. If the action packed and often dangerous world of surfing is Attias’ release, Juen embraces yoga and eastern philosophy. An accomplished electronic musician and video painter, Attias strides comfortably through the digital realm. Juen is strictly old school, a self described print and “typography geek.” Attias grew up in Venezuela; Juen’s family is Austrian. The result, according to Attias, is a marriage of “earth and ether.” The friendly clash of cultures reaps big rewards for clients of Matter, the couple’s design studio. “We definitely don’t see eye-to-eye on everything. And we’re talking twenty years of a relationship,” says Juen. “We couldn’t always have worked together, but I think now we really see each other’s strengths and abilities.” Their collaborative approach extends to the client as well, notes Attias. “We educate people about the design process. They know what they like, but they don’t know what it takes to get to a good solution. Together, we whittle down the options that best suit them. It’s an exercise in non-ego.” The philosophy spills over into the couples’ classrooms as well. “I am very interested in leading the students to understand themselves completely, deeply, honestly,” says Juen. “I want them to know how they produce and process work, what they are actually capable of.” Attias believes one way to do that is by taking students “out of their comfort zone, not necessarily where they get to show their technical prowess, but their creative output.” Once there, he encourages them to shake off preconceived notions about process. “Solve your intention the best possible way. If it’s by welding, then go weld —even in my digital class!” Art thrives on connections—not barriers—between disciplines. “You have to be broad —intake, inhale and digest everything,” says Juen. “As I get older, I start to see less separation in everything.” Maybe that’s one clue to the couple’s success. For whether it is born inside the curl of a wave or a salute to the sun, inspiration must be nurtured. Turns out, that is a dance that a surfer and a yogi do very well together




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“Flexibility happens in all kinds of incarnations. It’s very rich.”



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“We understand the transformative power of these programs and the imperative to retain what’s critically important to them.”


Joan Grubin Visualizes our Future By Susannah Noel F O R J O A N G R U B I N (MFA ‘03), VCFA is both a safe haven and a place of challenge and risk. Her satisfaction and accomplishments as an artist stem from the questions she was encouraged to explore as a student here. Now, in her role as trustee, she relies on these experiences to guide the College as it increases its ability to enrich the lives of artists and art education. “Current art education is struggling with its relationship to the marketplace, Grubin explains. “Art schools are asking, ‘Is our purpose to teach students how to succeed within the art world? Or should we encourage students to question the increase of art as a commodity and offer them a refuge from that marketplace?‘” She contributes to the Board her first-hand knowledge of the Visual Art program—and VCFA as a whole—as a place where students are free to explore new avenues, find their voice, and take artistic risks. Yet Grubin is certain that her work has evolved as a direct result of the challenges offered by the faculty and environment of the MFA program. “There’s no way I’d be doing what I’m doing now if I hadn’t subjected myself to the challenging nature of that program,” she says. Arriving at VCFA as a painter, she quickly responded to the mandate to abandon her comfort zone, and pushed her painting into territory dealing with issues of sculpture and installation. Now she describes her work as “a hybrid combining painting, sculpture, and installation that uses color and light to explore the act of seeing itself.” The unexpected foray she’s taken into art that doesn’t fit a particular genre surprises and amuses her. “My work now asks more questions than it answers,” she admits, while clearly enjoying the results. Her installations have appeared in numerous New York galleries, as well as at colleges and universities, such as her recent shows at the University of Maine at Orono, and Union County College in Cranford, NJ. Eager to repay VCFA’s contribution to her evolution as an artist, Grubin was honored to join the Board of Trustees at its inception in 2007. Over time, her participation on the Board has become a passion in itself. She now chairs the Academic Affairs Committee, which focuses on how the College’s various curricula carry out its mission. Grubin is proud to be one of several alumni on the Board. “We have personal experience with this model of education,” she explains, noting how they are uniquely suited to keeping the project of the College in line with its core values. “It would be easy to devolve into a trade school —a ‘how-to’ of art,” she continues. “But we know it’s much more than that. We’ve lived it . We understand the transformative power of these programs and the imperative to retain what’s critically important to them.”



newsletter summer 2011


Robin Oliveira Makes a Name for Herself By Kate Youngdahl


Robin Oliveira insists,

is key to her success.


yet, there came a time while writing her riveting first novel, My Name Is Mary Sutter, when just pushing through wasn’t enough. “I was so stuck. Every third day, I thought I’d quit and become a barrista.” Her stumbling block: the story’s emotional turning point, when the heroine must overcome crippling doubts or give up her dream. With Oliveira’s own dream hanging in the balance, she called an old mentor, a professor from VCFA, and explained her struggle with her main character. “He asked me one very simple question: ‘What does her soul want?’” That gentle nudge broke Oliveira’s creative logjam, and in a very real sense, a star was born. In the last year, My Name Is Mary Sutter has garnered dazzling reviews and a spot on the coveted independent book dealers’ Indie Next list. Oliveira’s deeply researched historical novel provides a remarkable window on the American Civil War and nineteenth century medicine. Set in Albany, NY, and Washington, DC, the story revolves around Mary Sutter, a strong-willed young midwife whose desire to become a surgeon conflicts with hidebound societal norms. “Mary’s pursuit is for knowledge,” says Oliveira, a pursuit the author can relate to. “That’s me. All my life I’ve asked, why shouldn’t I be able to speak Russian. Why shouldn’t I be a nurse? Why shouldn’t I write a novel?” Good questions all, but not a single one yielded a quick answer. Oliveira’s circuitous route to Mary Sutter began with a lifelong obsession with reading. It was the one constant through the youthful years of studying Russian, a much loved career in nursing, and raising a family in Seattle. All along, the inner writer bided her time as Oliveira’s life unfolded. And then, in her forties, the itch became irresistible. She produced “some bad short stories and one bad novel left in a drawer.” She also came to a realization. “There has to be something that I don’t know yet.” In 2003, Oliveira enrolled at VCFA hoping to unlock the secrets of her craft. She left with much more, a validation that her gift was real and her dream attainable. “They believed that I wanted what I wanted. The people at VCFA took my intelligence and intentions seriously.” If the instructors gave her skills and confidence, fellow students provided a sense of community. “During the residencies, you have intense bonding experiences. In their real lives they could be doctors, lawyers, housewives, but here we are all writers. You think, I’m not alone.” Though Oliveira wrote most of Mary Sutter after leaving VCFA, she says the program played a critical role in the novel’s fruition. She marvels at her ongoing relationship with her mentors, especially one who picked up the phone and gave Mary—and her creator—the strength to go on when all else failed. “That generous moment happened two years after graduating,” Oliveira says. “That’s the gift of Vermont College. It’s like you never graduate.” Or as if you never have to be alone. 12



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Kate Hosford

Big Hair

on a Mission By Mckenzie Brown K A T E H O S F O R D once read through a fire alarm. Enthralled, she noticed neither her elementary school emptying out nor the piercing noise. “I always read,” she remembers, “always.” A recent graduate of VCFA’s MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults, Kate comes from a family of readers. Even her mother had to be restricted to only one night a week of reading during dinner. Kate came to writing after reading her way through a B.A. in English and Philosophy, after starting a family, working in adoption and foster care, and teaching elementary school in San Francisco, Hong Kong, and New York. Though she trained and worked as an illustrator, feeling she didn’t have the skill to draw all the wonderful things in her imagination, Kate turned to words as her true medium. Learning about VCFA’s MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from friend and alum Tamara Smith, Kate was intrigued, but worried about formal studies taking over her personal writing. She soon found the sustenance she needed in the detailed, relevant work as well as the nurturing climate of the program. “Writing can be so lonely, and to have that community is so important. The moral support and feedback from fellow students and professors was vital.” In VCFA’s environment of both challenge and support, Kate’s writing flourished. “I was able to revise with more confidence. Now I don’t worry about having to discard multiple drafts. If I hadn’t gone to VCFA, I don’t know what I would have been like when it came to scrapping a draft and starting over. I learned that’s just part of the process.” Kate’s first children’s book, Big Bouffant, was published in the spring of 2011, just before her graduating residency. For the release, she wanted a good hook, one worthy of her story of creativity and courage. “The main character believes in herself and dares to be different,” she explains. Her publisher, Lerner Publishing Group, agreed to a major promotional campaign that would celebrate individuality and self-esteem, but be as whimsical as the book’s colorful illustrations. Fittingly, the idea for the innovative and highly successful launch of Big Bouffant came from a little girl. The daughter of former MFA-WC&YA Program Director Katie Gustafson gave the book two thumbs up, but wanted to know how to make a bouffant. “It dawned on me,” Kate says, “that the author of Big Bouffant should be able to teach children how to make one.” Now wherever she goes, bouffants and other wild hairstyles appear on boys and girls alike, inspired by both Annabelle, the book’s protagonist, and Kate herself. While every book-signing is a party for Kate, she is also carrying out the social mission of the Writing for Children & Young Adults program. “I hope the book emboldens children to take risks, whether that means turning their hair into works of art or making a different statement about themselves,” says Kate. “Hair itself isn’t important, but it can be a means of self-expression.”



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Class Notes Project Space at NY Studio Gallery from March 17 – April 9, 2011. (MFA-V) Kate Reuther (2008) and Eric Anderson (2008) participated in a project for, writing 300 – 400 words a day for the month of November. It’s a weird project – part diary, part diatribe, almost impossible to explain – and then to make it even more bizarre, all 30 entries have been published as individual books; 30 authors, each with 30 individual two-page books. (MFA-W) Karin Huxman, Patty Lyman Schremmer and Joyce Ray – all three are alumnae from 2001 – are contributing authors of Women of the Empire State: 25 New York Women You Should Know, a newly released title in the America’s Notable Women series from Apprentice Shop Books. (MFA-WCYA)

Current Students

Group Work from Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Visual Arts alumni Scott Cantrell, Leah Grimaldi (both 2011 grads) and current VCFA student Linda King Ferguson was chosen to be part of the North American Graduate Art Survey annual exhibition. Their work was selected from 700 pieces and was on display at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery in the Regis Center for Art at the University of Minnesota this past February. (MFA-V) Suzanne Fellows (2009) and Jane S. Noel (2006) had a joint show in April titled, Moving on. The exhibition was at the Schmidt Gallery of the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in Reading, PA, and ran from April 1 – April 18, 2011. (MFA-V) Deidra Krieger (2008) curated a new exhibition titled Let’s Play




Nice at SINErgy Project Space + Gallery in Philadelphia. The show also includes work by VCFA Alumni Abby Sadauckas (2007), Amanda Dillingham (2008), Jacob Galle (2005), Kat Schnek (2008) and Denise Karabinus Telang (2009). The works investigate play and invite viewer participation while offering critiques of topics as varied as identity, the wedding industry, the art world, and early rave culture. It ran through April 16, 2011. (MFA-V) Robert O’Connor (2006) had an exhibition of new work titled Facing Laramie, featuring sound by fellow alumnus Matt Page (2006). This new work was a reflection on a recent trip O’Connor made to Laramie, WY, made notorious in 1998 by the brutal murder of a gay University of Wyoming student, Matthew Shepard. It was at the LZ

newsletter summer 2011

Molly Heron was part of a group exhibition at Gallery Joe in Philadelphia titled New Talent 2010. It was an exhibition of drawings featuring four artists, all new to the gallery. It opened on November 20 and ran through December 18, 2010. (MFA-V) Laura Jensen’s Master of Arts thesis was judged and awarded the UNK College of Fine Arts & Humanities best creative thesis award for the 2009 – 2010 academic year. (MFA-WCYA) Lyn Miller-Lachmann’s young adult novel Gringolandia was on the 2010 ALA Best Books for Young Adults list and the 2010 Bank Street College Best Children’s Books list. In addition, it received an IPPY Gold Medal and an Américas Award Honorable Mention from the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs. First published by Curbstone Press, the novel is now distributed by Northwestern University Press as a crossover title. (MFA-WCYA) Meg Wiviott’s book Benno and the Night of Broken Glass made the

This program was exactly what I needed as a writer and as an individual.

While my abilities as a writer existed before this program, they were rough and unpolished. They needed honing and refinement – something that could only happen among a nurturing, yet frank environment, like the one at VCFA. I will be forever grateful. —Laurie Goodman, current student

School Library Journal Best Picture Books of 2010 list. (MFA-WCYA) 2011 Merry Gangemi’s long poem, “Invitation,” has been accepted for Sinister Wisdom’s spring 2010 issue. In addition, she will co-edit Sinister Wisdom’s fall 2011 issue with Julie R. Enszer (U MD). (MFA-W) Diana Gonsalves will be part of a group show at the Flynn in Burlington, VT. She launched her new artist’s website at and was a visiting artist at Lamoille Union High School in the Image Making class. She is working on two new series, starting with going back into the darkroom. (MFA-V) Leah Grimaldi has a new show opening in Boston this June. The show, titled INN3R, includes


SCBWI picture text competition. (MFA-WCYA) Melinda Thomsen’s poetry chapbook, Field Rations, has been accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press for release in July 2011. In addition, her VCFA graduation lecture that she gave on New Year’s Day, 2011, “William Matthews: A Well Spoken, Worldly, and Ironic Gentleman,” will appear in the spring 2011 issue of the online journal, Big City Lit. (MFA-W)

installation and paintings by Leah Grimaldi and Chris Spuglio, and is at the Atlantic Works Gallery in East Boston. It opens on June 10 and runs through July 9, 2011. (MFA-V) Kate Hosford held a launch party to mark the release of her first picture book, Big Bouffant, at Books of Wonder in New York City on March 4, 2011. A team of moms made bouffants for the girls and many different hairstyles for the boys. A picture of the party was featured as the Picture of the Day in Publisher’s Weekly a few days later. Kate has been doing school visits in New York and book signings/hair parties at bookstores in Northern California. (MFA-WCYA) Sarah Blake Johnson received special recognition in the national

2010 Q Lindsey Barrett’s story “Toronado” won Honorable Mention in the Bacopa Fiction Award and will be published in the 2011 issue of Bacopa. Her flash fiction “Warrior Blues” was published in Night


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Class Notes Train’s Firebox Fiction. In addition, Drunken Boat has slated her story “Fissures” for a special Contemporary Women’s Writing folio, and “Racking the Slide” was selected for Night Train’s spring issue. Her review of Solares’ Yankee Invasion appears in the spring 2011 issue of Los Angeles Review. (MFA-W) Luc Demers’ recent show, titled Darkened Rooms, at the Coleman Burke Gallery in New York was reviewed in The New Yorker. The review talked of the show’s “handsome photographs” that evoke comparisons to “Rothko, Barnett Newman, and Ad Reinhardt.” (MFA-V) Sara Desmond was a finalist for the Rick DeMarinis Short Story Award through Cutthroat, A Journal for the Arts. (MFA-W) Collette Fournier exhibited photography at the Upstream Gallery for their show Photography Takes Over 2010, in Dobbs Ferry and at the Calumet Gallery in New York City for Kamoinge: In the Moment. Collette was also nominated for the NAACP award and was honored for





her service to the NAACP ACT-SO Program at the Nyack NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner. (MFA-V) Janet Fox’s debut young adult novel, Faithful (Speak/Penguin, 2010), is on the 2011 Amelia Bloomer List of the ALA; her second and companion novel, Forgiven comes out in June 2011 and is a 2011 Junior Library Guild Selection. (MFA-WCYA) David French was part of a group exhibition in Asbury Park, NJ, this spring. The event, titled Compositions in Music and Art ran March 19 – May 8, 2011. He also had a solo exhibit of new paintings at Simon Gallery in Morristown. NJ, and he was part of another exhibit in Aspen, CO, where he exhibited works on paper and “found/ready-made paintings.” (MFA-V) Susan Holt is teaching an Art History class on Venice and will be taking the students to the Biennale this summer. (MFA-V) Timothy Kercher’s manuscript Nobody’s Odyssey was selected as a finalist for the 2010 John Ciardi

newsletter summer 2011

Prize for Poetry. Eighty poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of recent literary publications, including Crazyhorse, Versal, Quiddity, The Dirty Goat, Poetry International Journal, upstreet, The Minnesota Review, Guernica, Los Angeles Review and many others. Most importantly, his wife Allison gave birth to twin daughters, Ani and Ketevan. (MFA-W) Kevin Knopp had a solo exhibition titled Meter of Thought, a retrospective of his work this past fall at the Tomorrow River Gallery in Amherst, WI. (MFA-V) Michelle (Mikki) Knudsen has a new picture book, Argus, illustrated by Andréa Wesson and published by Candlewick Press. It was released February 22, 2011. (MFA-WCYA) Emily Lanctot had a show at The DeVos Art Museum at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. The show, titled UP FOCUS: Ryan Brayak and Emily Lanctot, ran through April 3, 2011. (MFA-V) Mark McCaig received an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council for 2011. (MFA-W) Celeste Provencher’s essay, “The Pleasures of Food in Poetry,” was recently published on Poetrybay. com. (MFA-W) Susa Silvermarie was selected by the A Room of Her Own Retreat Fellowship Committee as the recipient of the Wise Woman Fellowship. This fellowship is “granted to a woman writer over 60 in recognition that many women are at the height of their creative abilities in later decades.” Susa is currently teaching English to sixth graders as a volunteer at in Yelapa, Mexico. (MFA-WCYA) Holly Simonsen had two poems in the April edition of Hayden’s Ferry Review titled “two resting blackbirds” and “Shed.” She also has one poem forthcoming from ellipsis, “Salt Flat, Winter Solstice.” (MFA-W) Lisa Ulik had an artist lecture at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse in October 2010, as part of their colloquium series, The Nature of Identity. She also had a drawing, Feminine Goddess-type Woman

The MFA program at VCFA has made a significant difference

in my writing. Each semester, my advisor has challenged me

with Nipples and Stomach Unclothed, Holding a Moon, published in Randy Magazine in connection with Ulrike Müller’s Herstory Inventory. Recent exhibitions include, EFFJAY Projekts Inaugural Group Exhibition in Sheboygan, WI, 2011, and On Deck, Skate Deck Exhibition & Art Auction at in Missoula, MT. (MFA-V) Blair Vaughn-Gruler and her husband have opened GVG Contemporary in Santa Fe. Blair and Ernst show and promote their own work as well as that of other artists, including Nicholas Gadbois’s (2009) show, Topography. VaughnGruler is having a one-person exhibition at GVG Contemporary in July, titled Dangerous Playground: New Paintings by Blair VaughnGruler. She is also having a oneperson exhibition at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas in October. (MFA-V) Cheryl Wilder is now writing for the online web-zine Architects + Artisans, a site dedicated to honoring, as the sub-title says, “thoughtful design in a sustainable world.” (MFA-W)

to stretch. I have been able to delve deeply into my chosen genres. With the affirmation and encouragement of my advisors, I also have tried a new genre: the novel in poems. I have entered a dynamic and supportive community of children’s writers—one I will

have for a lifetime. What a privilege! Coming to VCFA is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. — Mary E. Cronin, MFA-WCYA, 2011

2009 Martin Balgach’s poem “Too Much Breath” appeared in Fogged Clarity, “Running From Highway 287” in The Dirty Napkin, “Thrill Wanting Wormhole” in The Puritan and “Giving” in Timber. His poem “Lightly Aligned with Microphones and Pitchforks” appears in the spring print issue of CaKe: A Journal of Poetry & Art. Martin recently read at the University of Colorado’s Museum of Natural History as part of the museum’s Integrating Science and Poetry program. His poem, “A Puzzle Made of Stone” is currently on exhibit in the museum beside a 33 million year old fossil. (MFA-W) Nellie Bellows’ poem “The Dixie” will appear in the spring 2011 Americana issue of The Southern Review, and has recent poems published in Gulf Coast. (MFA-W) Ginny Connors has had poems appear in Touching: Poems of Love, Longing, and Desire (Fearless Books), English Journal, Naugatuck

a humanities teacher at Boston Latin Academy in the Boston Public School system and would love to hear from folks in his graduating class. (MFA-W) Michelle Hagewood moved to New York to work at the Guggenheim Museum as an Education Associate. Group shows included Ordinary Expands at Goucher College, Baltimore, MD; Where it Takes You at Spattered Columns at Art Connects New York; and Wide Open curated by Nat Trotman at the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition. (MFA-V) Jonathan Marrs had his first solo show, When the Time is, at The Tribute Gallery in Portland, OR, and participated in a two person show, Looking Through at Pacific Northwest College of Art. In November, Jonathan’s short film With You was selected and screened at the Zero Film Festival in New York. (MFA-V)

River Review, Caduceus and on One of her poems was performed by the East Haddam Stage Company as part of their “Plays and Poetry” program, and another poem was featured in an art plus poetry exhibit produced by Open Studio in Hartford, CT. (MFA-W) Mark Dial had a screening of two short films at the Western Illinois Museum and the West Central Illinois Arts Center on April 2, 2011. The films’ titles are McDonough County and Plain Folk. (MFA-V) Nicolas Gadbois had a solo show, titled Flood, at GVG Contemporary gallery in Santa Fe, NM, in June 2011. Nicolas has been hired to teach drawing at Santa Fe Community College for 2011. (MFA-V) Myles Gordon has had poetry accepted for publication in 2011 in the journals Slipstream and RATTLE (poems written during his VCFA years). Myles is currently



newsletter summer 2011


Class Notes Richard Moore’s creative nonfiction piece “Crossing Erez,” was published in the March 15, 2011 online edition of Guernica magazine. (MFA-W) Annemarie O’Brien is teaching writing for children courses at UC Berkeley and Stanford. (MFAWCYA) Beverly Parayno interviewed Tess Gallagher on her work, and the literary legacy of Raymond Carver at the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Festival in Cork, Ireland. Her story, titled “House Cleaning,” (which she worked on with Abby Frucht) is forthcoming online in Narrative. “Wildflowers” will appear online in Southword in April. (MFA-W) Angela Small had two stories


The campus is beautiful, the students all talented, the faculty

accessible, the atmosphere stimulating and supportive. This isn’t just a place to go to learn how to write better and earn a degree.

It’s a place to find some of the challenge and sympathy you lack in the real world, and make the best of your work and yourself. —Malcolm Campbel, MFA 2008

March 2011 issue of the online magazine, InfectiveINk. (MFA-W) Adam Tavel recently won the 14th Annual Robert Frost Award. He was a finalist for the 2010 Intro Poetry Prize with Four Way Books and a semi-finalist for the 2010 Paumanok Poetry Award. His new poems appear or are forthcoming

view was Ben’s graduating Critical Thesis for VCFA. In addition, his chapbook, Sometimes Out of Turn, was one of the two runners up for the Stonewall Chapbook Competition sponsored by BrickHouse Books. Also, The Battered Suitcase Literary Journal accepted three of his poems for publication in the March/June 2011 issue. (MFA-W) 2008

accepted for publication: “A Girl’s Guide to Electricity” will be published in the next issue of the online publication Verdad, a literary and fine arts journal, and her short “21 Westwood” will appear in the




in Indiana Review, Phoebe, New South, ellipsis, At Length, Devils Lake and elsewhere. (MFA-W) Ben Westlie’s interview with the late poet Rane Arroyo was accepted by The Sewanee Review. This inter-

newsletter summer 2011

damali abrams is producing a weekly TV series on MNN called Self-Help TV, documenting each day of 2011 through videos posted online on her YouTube channel. In February, she spoke on a panel called Sonic Art and Activism, and on April 14, 2011, her short film was screened at Rush Arts Gallery in New York City. (MFA-V) Deanna Benjamin’s nonfiction micro-stories “Gilded” and “Fluorescence” will appear in upcoming issues of Fifth Wednesday Journal and The Carolina Quarterly, respectively. (MFA-W) Vanessa Blakeslee has a story forthcoming in Drunken Boat. Her poetry has recently appeared in the Superstition Review, MAYDAY magazine and Prick of the Spindle. She has recently been awarded residencies from Yaddo, the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Ragdale Foundation. (MFA-W) Pamela Calore’s multimedia work, titled The Line That Divides: NAFTA Trade Corridor, was featured in a one-person show, at the American Labor Museum, Botto House National Landmark in Haleden, NJ, this spring. In addition, Pam will exhibit a photo essay of New Bedford, MA, titled “Time Has Left its Mark” at the New Bedford Art Museum, June 8 –

September 11, 2011. (MFA-V) Jewel Beth Davis’ creative nonfiction piece, “What I Didn’t Know,” will be published in Fiction Fix in May. Her creative nonfiction story, “The Unexamined Life,” was published in Diverse Voices Quarterly and was nominated for Dzanc Book’s Best of the Web 2011. (MFA-W) Stacy K. Heiney’s poem, “The Breaking Around Us is Huge,” won the 2011 first annual Bunchgrass Poetry Prize. Her poems “Chattering Dream Cycle” and “Troubadour” appear in the fall 2010 issue of Kestrel. Her experimental poem “The Bradbury Pieces” appears in the current issue of Hunger Mountain. (MFA-W) Michael Hemery illuminates an honest working-class existence in his new nonfiction book, No Permanent Scars, published by Silenced Press. Intertwined with serious issues such as class discrimination, suicide, alcoholism, abuse, religion and immigration, is humor and love of family. (MFA-W) Ashley Seitz Kramer won the 2010 Robert and Adele Schiff Poetry Prize, judged by Don Bogen and Michael Griffith. Her winning poem, “Winter Storyboard,” will appear in the spring 2011 issue of The Cincinnati Review. (MFA-W)

Diedra Krieger had two videos in the Vox VI emerging artist exhibition, juried by William Powhida and Jennifer Dalton. Plastic Fantastic, covered in water bottles, journeyed out for Philly’s Art in the Open 2010, juried by Janet Kaplan and Lee Stoetzel. Diedra also participated in Philadelphia Underground for DesignPhiladelphia collecting subway videos that were projected as part of the event. Fellow alums Yip Chan (2009) and Olaitan Callender Scott (2009) also contributed videos. (MFA-V) At #rank, Winkleman Gallery, Seven, Miami, Diedra co-


hosted with damali abrams Building Backbones, a group reading of artists’ rejection letters. (MFA-V) Maria Driscoll McMahon has been accepted to participate in MARK’11, the competitive New York Foundation for the Arts’ professional development program for artists in New York. (MFA-V) Julie Puma was juried into a show in honor of Spike Lee in Brooklyn, and had a solo show (installation) on the campus where she teaches. In August she was hired as an Assistant Professor in foundations and recently got promoted to Chair of Online Education. She


newsletter summer 2011


Class Notes just entered a show at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art titled Pixels: The Art of iPhone Photography. (MFA-V) Trent Reedy’s novel, Words in the Dust, was chosen by Al Roker for the Today Show’s Book Club. The book was his creative thesis at VCFA. (MFA-WCYA) Linda Smith will be part of a juried group show titled Outside/ Inside at GoggleWorks Center in Reading, PA, in May. She is also organizing an exhibit of work by art museum security guards to be held at Towson ARTS Collective in Towson, MD, from late-August through mid-October. (MFA-V) Lauren Tivey is currently living in China where she teaches English Literature in the American Program. She has had poems recently appear in Message in a Bottle Poetry Magazine, Gutter Eloquence, Snakeskin and Word Salad, and has three winning travel stories on (MFA-W) 2007 Pam Ahlen has poems in Route Seven, Bloodroot Literary Magazine, Main Street Rag and Cider Press





Review. Pam organized and implemented the first literary evening at the Institute for Lifelong Education at Dartmouth, a 1500 member organization. She is currently program director for the Third Annual Bookstock Festival of Words to be held in Woodstock, VT, on July 30, 2011. (MFA-W) Kelly Bennett released a new picture book, Your Mommy Was Just Like You, in March 2011 from G.P. Putnam’s Sons. It is a companion to her earlier work, Your Daddy Was Just Like You, released in March 2010. (MFA-WCYA) Roberta W. Coffey is a freelance correspondent for The Boston Globe. (MFA-W) Christina Cook’s manuscript, Lake Effect, was a finalist for the Bull City Press First Book Prize and a semifinalist for the Crab Orchard, Zone 3 and De Novo First Book Prizes. She has poems forthcoming in ABZ and is featured in the current issues of Interpoezia and Hayden’s Ferry Review. Christina also had an essay published in the Hayden’s Ferry Review blog. (MFA-W) Clea Felien had a solo show at Carleton College this February/

newsletter summer 2011

March, and was a visiting artist and guest lecturer there in April. She was also was in a group show at NY Studio Gallery in December. She and her partner collaborate on filmmaking and are part of Moyra Davey’s film festival and will be part of the invitational film festival this summer. She was also a visiting artist at the College of Saint Benedict & St. John’s University in the fall of 2010. (MFA-V) Stephanie Greene’s newest middle grade novel, Happy Birthday, Sophie Hartley, was released from Clarion and received a starred review in The Horn Book. (MFAWCYA) Jennifer Wolf Kam was named a finalist for the 2010 Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing. (MFA-WCYA) Denise Karabinus Telang participated in two exhibitions in March: India from My Window at the Watchung Arts Center with 4 self portraits alternately titled, Self Portrait Highlighting my American Features and Self Portrait Highlighting my Indian Features, painted with extra sweet Indian chai and Let’s Play Nice, curated by Diedra Krieger at SINErgy Project Space + Gallery in Philadelphia. Telang teaches drawing and printmaking at the Visual Arts Center of NJ, Printmaking Center of NJ and at Sumei Multidisciplinary Arts Center. Telang serves on the Board of Directors for the Printmaking Center of NJ as chair of the studio committee. She is currently organizing a VCFA Alumni Print Forum to bring alumni together for two days of collaborative printing and demonstrations. (MFA-V) Patricia McInroy gave a Creative Process workshop in Salt Lake City during March 2011 for visual artists, writers and musicians. The same month, her work appeared in a juried faculty show at the Art Institute of Colorado, where she started teaching in July 2010. In the past year, her video work has screened at nine film festivals including the Carnegie Museum, Black Maria and ATA. (MFA-V) Dana Rozier announced the May 2, 2011 release of her new book, Natural Hawai’i: An Inquisitive Kid’s

Guide by Dot Dot Books. (MFA-W) Rocco Scary was in two group shows this spring: Visual Phrasing, at the Therese A. Maloney Art Gallery at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ, and Beyond the Text: Artists’ Books from the Collection of Robert J. Ruben at the Bailey/Howe Library at the University of Vermont Libraries, Burlington, VT. (MFA-V) Sherry Shahan’s latest book, a free verse young adult novel set in 1965 Los Angeles titled Purple Daze, was released March 2011 from Running Press Kids. (MFA-WCYA) Jeff Daniel Silva’s latest feature length film Ivan & Ivana had its world premiere at the prestigious Visions du Réel Festival in Nyon, Switzerland, on April 8, 2011. Shot over five years, the film reveals the trials and tribulations of a war-torn couple transplanted to San Diego, CA, in the midst of the housing bubble as they struggle to ride out a series of turbulent economic, political and personal tides. (MFA-V) Emily Wing Smith’s young adult novel, Back When You Were Easier to Love, was published by Dutton Books for Young Readers on April 28, 2011. (MFA-WCYA) Janice Wilson Stridick’s essay, “Never Mind,” is in Arts & Letters spring 2011 issue. Other current publications include the poems “Unfinished Daughter, III” in Philadelphia Stories, “The Artist’s House” in Milk Money and “The Weight of It” in Studio One. “A Portrait Journal” was included in Keeping Time: 150 Years of Journal Writ-

˘ ˘

ton Anthology of Hint Fiction. He recently founded Matter Press and its Journal of Compressed Creative Arts. (MFA-W) Tami Lewis Brown released her first children’s book, Soar, Elinor! The book features illustrations by François Roca and was released from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (MFA-WCYA) Nathalie Dupree’s eleventh book, Southern Biscuits, co-authored by Cynthia Graubart, will be released in May 2011 by Gibbs Smith Publisher. (MFA-W) Janet Filomeno had a new exhibition in New York City this spring. The two-person show (with Hollis Heichemer) was at the J. CACCIOLA GALLERY in Manhattan, and ran March 24 – April 30, 2011. (MFA-V) Harrison Candelaria Fletcher’s memoir in essays, Descanso For A Father: A Life In Fragments, has been accepted for publication by the University of Nebraska Press as part of its American Lives series. It’s

ing, published by Passager Books. She teaches at Rutgers University. (MFA-W) 2006 Irene Abraham has shown her work at the LA Municipal Art Gallery, LA Art Association, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, the La Jolla Athenaeum and in the William D. Cannon Art Gallery in Carlsbad. Her work garnered an award recently at the Ink and Clay exhibit at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She shows her work with the group ledge and FIG, a feminist group in San Diego, and leads an art class at a senior center. (MFA-V) Randall Brown has work forthcoming or appearing in Harpur Palate, Gathering of the Tribes, Main Street Rag, Redivider and Western Humanities Review, among others. Mad to Live is now available with “bonus tracks” through PS Books. His work also appears in The Nor-



newsletter summer 2011


Barbara Lidfors’recent work deals with private spaces that support the values of repose, intimacy, memories, and solitude. 24



newsletter summer 2011

scheduled for release in the spring of 2012. Harrison began the book while he was a student at VCFA. (MFA-W) Kitty Forbes was awarded a fellowship by the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She will be among

approximately 25 fellows focusing on their own creative projects at this working retreat for visual artists, writers and composers. (MFA-W) Liz Gallagher’s second young adult novel, My Not-So-Still Life, a

companion to The Opposite of Invisible, will be published in May by Wendy Lamb Books. (MFA-WCYA) Jennifer Gennari’s first book, My Mixed-Up, Berry Blue Summer, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Books in the



spring of 2012. The middle grade novel about pie and courage was her thesis at VCFA. (MFA-WCYA) Jodi Hays was part of a process group exhibition with Brooklynbased galleryELL and Spool Mfg., in Binghamton, NY. Jodi exhibited

newsletter summer 2011


Class Notes

a sculptural work, “All Together in One Place,” in which she uses landscape as a metaphor for racial separation and reconciliation. Jodi has been invited to participate in the National Parks Artist in Residence program for July 2011. (MFA-V) Shelley Spence Kiernan is a participant in the Bo Robinson Education and Training program, and coordinator of a Crossing Borders With Literature workshop at Classic Books through People & Stories/ Gente y Cuentos. Her poems appear in Issues 10/11 of Ars Interpres: An International Journal of Poetry, Translation, & Art and in Eating Her Wedding Dress: A Collection of Clothing Poems. (MFA-W) Nate Liederbach released a co-edited anthology through Lost Horse Press. Of a Monstrous Child: An Anthology of Creative Writing Relationships features contributors such as Robin Hemley, Contessa Riggs, Ryan Boudinot and Rick Moody. The focus of the collection is not on its contributors’ individual pieces, but the relationships between its authors. Currently, Nate Liederbach is a Ph.D. candidate in Creative Writing and English Literature at the University of Utah. (MFA-W) Janet Mendelsohn’s book,





Maine’s Museums: Art, Oddities & Artifacts, will be released in June from The Countryman Press, a division of WW Norton, and is the first book devoted solely to the state’s art, history, maritime, children’s and unusual museums. Along with in-depth features are interviews with the Maine Arts Commission director, State Historian, and a painter on the NEA’s National Council for the Arts. (MFA-W) Kerry Muir’s full-length play, “Cut-Ups,” recently won the Maxim Mazumdar New Play award – it had a production at the Alleyway Theatre in Buffalo, NY, this past February. (MFA-W) Randall Nelson is Adjunct Faculty of Art at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Willimantic, CT, teaching Intro to Studio Art. He had a one-person show at the QVCC main campus gallery in Danielson, CT, in January, and has a piece in the upcoming Local Artists show at Eastern CT State University. The piece is entitled “Treated to Rejection,” is in four sections and deals with the generic language of rejection letters. (MFA-V) Robin Oliveira’s novel My Name is Mary Sutter was chosen this year as an all-city read for both Roswell, GA, and Schenectady, NY. The book recently received an Honorable

newsletter summer 2011

Mention from the Langham Prize for Historical Fiction, was listed on the 2011 Amelia Bloomer List and was chosen by Amazon UK as a Rising Star and as the Costco Book Buyers Pick for April 2011. (MFA-W) Matt Page, VCFA alum and Time-Based Media Coordinator, has just released his new CD as a free download at dtes. Lost and Gone Forever, is a narrative, rock album about coal mining in Appalachia, KY, written by Dream the Electric Sleep. The download goes straight to iTunes and includes song lyrics and album art. (MFA-V) Hilary Poremski-Beitzel has been awarded a four-week writing fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT, to take place in July of this year. This is a “creative revitalization” fellowship for teacher-writers through the Learning in Art and Culture Program. She is a full-time English teacher at Rutland High School in Rutland, VT. (MFA-W) Mary Jo Wyse’s essay, “To Have and To Hold,” will be published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: New Moms, which is scheduled to hit shelves in March. It is her third essay in the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series. (MFA-W) 2005 Brad Birchett had a solo exhibition this past February of interme-

dia installations titled Earth and Time at The Myers Gallery at the University of Tulsa. His art pieces include documentation, sound, drawings, objects, multiples, bioart, collections, interventions and installations. He will also be part of two-person exhibition at Prescott College Art Gallery in Prescott, AZ, in the fall of 2011. (MFA-V) Bridget Birdsall has been awarded the Marg Chandler Memorial Fellowship for A Room of Her Own’s bi-annual retreat for women writers at the Ghost Mountain Guest Ranch in Abiquiu, NM, from August 8 – 14, 2011. She recently released a young adult novel titled Ordinary Angels, about siblings surviving the death of a sibling. Her visual art was on exhibit at the Willy Street Co-op from April 1 – May 31, 2011. (MFA-WCYA) Debby Dahl Edwardson’s first young adult novel, Blessing’s Bead (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), has been named to the ALA/ YALSA Best Books for Young Adults 2011 list. It was featured on the cover of Booklist in October 2010, and was named to Booklist’s Top 10 First Novels for Youth in 2010, IRA’s Notable Books for a Global Society and was a 2010 Junior Library Guild Selection. Her next young adult novel, My Name is Not Easy, will be released by Marshell Cavendish in October 2011. (MFA-WCYA) Gustavo Godoy had a new solo exhibition at the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University. The show, which opened on November 9 and ran through February 13, 2011, was titled Fast-formal Object: Flayed White. (MFA-V) Margarite (Howe) Landry’s short story, “Panic,” recently appeared in Nimrod. Her story “Soap” is forthcoming in Tampa Review. (MFA-W) Helen W. Mallon’s short story, “Did You Put the Cat to Bed,” is available for download to computer or e-reader from Bookstogonow. com. She reviews books for the Philadelphia Inquirer and She teaches at Cheltenham Adult School and has a private editing business. (MFA-W) Hatsy McGraw has a poem,

“Monday Lunch at Skippers,” in the 2011 issue of Bloodroot Literary Magazine. (MFA-WCYA) Matthew Propst’s books Savannah Cemeteries and Savannah Perspectives are now available. Savannah Wide is his third book of photography featuring panoramic images of Savannah, GA. (MFA-V) Sarah Sullivan’s fourth picture

exhibition and performance at the SOHO20 Gallery Chelsea in NYC. The show ran through March 26, 2011, and is titled Writ Small – an exhibition and performance series whose roots and intention are derived from painting. Bisbing constructs intimate collages with hand-painted paper. (MFA-V) Sundee Frazier’s novel, The

book, Passing the Music Down, inspired by the lives of old-time musicians Melvin Wine and Jake Krack and illustrated by Barry Root, will be published by Candlewick Press in May 2011. Sarah was a presenter at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest in Bowling Green in April 2011. (MFA-WCYA) Mary Ting will have an installation in the Sofia International Paper Art Biennial 2011, at the National Art Gallery in Sofia, Bulgaria on view May/June 2011; a video piece in the ArtStays 9 Festival of Contemporary Art, in Ptuj, Slovenia, in July/August 2011; and a print in the Sanbao International Printmaking Biennial 2011 exhibition tour in China this summer. (MFA-V)

Other Half of My Heart, was listed in Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Books 2010 and the Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s Choices 2011. It was also nominated to the Notable Books discussion list for the 2011 American Librarian Association’s mid-winter convention. Paperback and audio versions will be released in June 2011. (MFAWCYA) Alex Rheault had a solo exhibition of large drawings titled The Erotics of the Transforming Body at Art House in Maine. She also participated in the Cambridge Arts Council’s Drawing in Public, and showed a written visual work in Story Tellers at USM. Artistic. Alex is also the Director of Quimby Colony’s AIR program in Fashion Costume & Textile Arts and she curated fellow VCFA alumnae Lucinda Bliss and Susan Newbold in a fall UMA drawing exhibit. (MFA-V) Wendy Townsend’s second novel The Sundown Rule, was published by namelos. She is presently work-

2004 Darryl Benjamin’s short story, “Murphy’s Load,” won Honorable Mention in New Millennium Writings 30th competition. (MFA-W) Elizabeth Bisbing had an



newsletter summer 2011


Class Notes ing on a third novel, about the blue iguana murders that took place on Grand Cayman Island, at the Blue Iguana Recovery Program. Wendy is also on the faculty at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. (MFA-WCYA) Barbara Yontz hosted a panel at the Foundations in Art and Theory Education conference in St. Louis in early April. The panel was titled, “Solid Ground or Shifting Sands: Foundations in Art and Technology.” Her sound piece, You are There, Like my Skin, was selected by the juror for inclusion in the exhibition at MAD Art Gallery in St. Louis in conjunction with the conference. (MFA-V) Debra Gordon Zaslow’s story, “Diving for Love,” is in the 2010 anthology Cup of Comfort for Couples. An excerpt from her memoir Bringing Bubbe Home is in the 2010 edition of Drash Northwest Mosaic, a Jewish literary journal. (MFA-W) 2003 Lyssa Tall Anolik won an honorable mention in the 2010 Earth Vision Nature Writing Competition for her essay, “Breaking and Entering”. She also had three poems, “Animals,” “Clay Beads” and “Evergreen” published in Issue 5 of EarthSpeak Magazine. (MFA-W) Kim Aubrey is an editor at Red Claw Press, a small press publishing its first anthology, Crave It: Writers and Artists Do Food, in the spring of 2011. For more information and to read the online supplement with work from VCFA alumni and others, visit (MFA-W) Nickole Brown has accepted a tenure-track poetry position at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. (MFA-W) Patricia Denys had a photograph accepted in the 6th Annual Small Works Show at the 440 Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. It ran December 2, 2010 – January 9, 2011. She presented a paper at the School of Visual Arts 24th Annual National Conference on Liberal Arts and the Education of Artists in October 2010. The paper was titled, “Green Oceans, Green Caves, and Green





Nests,” and was published in the Conference Proceedings in January 2011. Her paper, “Animals and Women as Meat,” was published in The Brock Review. (MFA-V) Debra Edgerton received a research grant to study at Kansai University in Japan. She will be spending seven weeks this May and June 2011 studying visual storytelling in Osaka, Kyoto and Nara. (MFA-V) Joan Grubin had two solo exhibitions this March and April. The first, a show in Cranford, NJ, was titled Joan Grubin: Propositions in Paper, at the Tomasulo Art Gallery at Union County College and ran through April 16, 2011. The second was titled Scissor / Paper / Light: and it ran through March 18, 2011 at the University of Maine at Orono. (MFA-V) Meredith Davies Hadaway’s joined several fellow alumni for an off-site “Word Girls” reading during the AWP conference in Washington, DC. Hadaway is the recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award for 2011. In addition, her poem “Drift,” received an honorable mention award from

newsletter summer 2011

New Millennium Writings and will appear in their 2011 anthology. Also, her poem, “Waiting for You in the Lobby Bar” received a Pushcart nomination in 2010. (MFA-W) Sarah Lamstein’s picture book Big Night for Salamanders, illustrated by Carol Benioff, was named a 2010 Smithsonian Notable Book for Children. (MFA-WCYA) Dawn McDuffie’s chapbook, Bulky Pick Up Day, will be published this summer by Finishing Line Press. (MFA-W) Gabriella Mirollo was selected as Featured Photographer for March by Cameras Inc. She regularly posts words and images on her blog,, and is showing her works during the Somerville Open Studios weekend as a resident of Vernon Street Studios. (MFA-W) Micaela Myers is now the editor of Laguna Beach Magazine and Bespoke Magazine. She is also volunteering as a senior editor for, a nonprofit dedicated to helping change perceptions about pit bulls. (MFA-W) Linda Stillman had several works

from her Found series included in the exhibition, Hidden Cities, at the New Century Artists Gallery in New York City. The show was sponsored by the Women’s Caucus for Art and curated by Lisa Phillips, Director of the New Museum. It ran from February 1 – 12, 2011. (MFA-V) 2002 Monica Berlin’s essay, “Your Slow Pulse,” was published in the fall 2010 issue of Third Coast, as part of its Symposium on Writing and the Midwest. Berlin also read at the 15th Anniversary celebration of Third Coast in November at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center. Her essay, “The Eighteenth Week,” was published in the winter/spring 2010 Passages North, and another essay, “When the painter arrives the day before,” was published in a recent issue of Memoir (and). Her poem “What a year looks like: drenched...” was published in the spring 2010 Third Coast. (MFA-W) Dellana Diovisalvo had a poem published in the winter 2011 issue of Calyx: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women. She is currently working on her first novel. (MFA-W) Christine Reynolds returned to Massachusetts this past fall after spending six years on the West Coast. She is now very happily settled in Western Massachusetts and glad to be back in New England, although the past winter was a real adjustment. (MFA-V) Michael Scofield was the Visiting Poet at New Mexico Tech in Socorro in April. He read from his two books of poems, Silicon Valley Escapee (Amador Press) and Whirling Backward into the World (Sunstone Press), plus from an upcoming collection from Sunstone, Bewildered. Sunstone has published two novels in his Santa Fe Trilogy, Acting Badly and Making Crazy. (MFA-W) 2001 Charles Borges Accardi did the cover art for two recent books: Injuring Eternity (World Nouveau Press) and Woman on a Shaky Bridge (Finishing Line Press), both

Maggie Kast will have an excerpt from her novel in progress, Starting at the End, published online in the spring of 2011 in Red Claw Press’s anthology of food and drink, Crave It, edited by VCFA alum Kim Aubrey and others. She read from the novel in March as part of the Tuesday Funk reading series in Chicago. (MFA-W) Barbara Lidfors had an exhibition in Fürth, Germany, titled Public and Private Spaces. (MFA-V) Ada Jill Schneider’s poem, “Heirloom,” appears in Child of My Child: Poems and Stories for Grandparents published by GellesCole Literary Enterprises in 2010. Her poem, “Flight After Flight,” can be found in the March 2011 online issue of Persimmon Tree Magazine. (MFA-W)

volumes of poetry written by Millicent Borges Accardi. (MFA-V) Sabrina Fadial became the new Assistant Director of the Visual Art Program at VCFA this past October. In March 2011, she had an exhibit with her father, a painter, at Queens University. The Father-Daughter Show was at Queens University’s Max L. Jackson Gallery in the Watkins Building in Charlotte, NC. This spring she begins work on a commission for an outdoor piece at the Brevard Music Center in Brevard, NC. (MFA-V) Evan Fallenberg has been appointed director of fiction for the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan University of Israel, starting in the fall of 2011. He recently won an award from the Times Literary Supplement of London for his translation of Ron Leshem’s Beaufort. His new novel, When We Danced on Water, will be published by HarperCollins in May 2011. (MFA-W)


2000 Linda Aldrich had her full collection of poems, March and Mad


newsletter summer 2011


Class Notes Women, accepted for publication in August 2012 by Cherry Grove Collections (Word Tech Communications). (MFA-W) Judy O. Haselhoef continues her conceptually-based community art practice through the economic development foundation she began in Haiti in 2007. Yonn Ede Lot: One Helping Another funds projects initiated and sustained by peasant groups in rural Haiti. Summer camp will feature collaborative interactions by American and Haitian artists, educators and students. (MFA-V) LeAnne Howe is a 2010/11 Fulbright Scholar living in Amman, Jordan, through June. On January 26, 2011, she gave the Richard Hoggart Lecture for Goldsmiths University of London, UK. On March 5, 2011, she received the Tulsa Library Trust’s “American Indian Author Award,” at the Central Library in Tulsa. In June, Howe will be a presenting faculty at the 2011 Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference in Homer, AK. She is working on a





third novel and is currently a professor at the University of Illinois. (MFA-W) Lory Lockwood had a new show open at the Reynolds Ryan Art Gallery at the Isidore Newman School in New Orleans. The exhibition, titled The Art of Reflection, opened on February 10 and ran through March 3, 2011. (MFA-V) Susan Newbold had a solo show at Art Place Gallery in Fairfield, CT, titled Fragments, which included drawings, prints and paintings. It ran from March 1 – 26, 2011. (MFA-V) April Pulley Sayre’s fiction picture book, If You’re Hoppy (Greenwillow), released in February 2011, was embraced by the School Library Journal which said it was “sure to be a story time staple, with many repeat performances.” (MFAWCYA) Gretchen Woelfle announced the publication of her first novel— a middle grade book, with illustrations by Thomas Cox, set in Shakespeare’s London, All the World’s A

newsletter summer 2011

Stage: A Novel in Five Acts (Holiday House). She and fellow alumna Carolyn Marsden (2000) traveled to West Africa – Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal – to give author talks at three international schools. (MFAWCYA) 1999 Dory Adams’ creative nonfiction essay, “Viewing Stories: From Warrior’s Mark to Arlington,” was published at Connotation Press: An Online Artifact in January 2011. She would like to thank fellow VCFA writers Ann Giroux and Sue Allison for their encouragement and critique of this piece. (MFA-W) Sue Allison has a piece in the fall Harvard Review, “Dream Work,” and in the 2011 winter issue of Antioch Review, “Made To Measure.” (MFA-W) Ann Angel received the 2011 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award from the American Library Association for her biography, Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing. Her essay about capturing the teen narrative appeared on Hunger Mountain. Angel and her daughter Amanda Angel, an adoptee and birth parent, also co-edited a collection of essays addressed to birth parents: Silent Embrace, Perspectives on Birth and Adoption. (MFA-WCYA) Marcia Arrieta’s book of poetry triskelion, tiger moth, tangram, thyme was released in March 2011 from Otoliths. Her chapbook the curve against the linear appears in An Uncommon Accord (toadlily press). She continues to publish Indefinite Space, a poetry journal ( (MFA-W) Bruce Black’s debut book, Writing Yoga: A Guide to Keeping a Practice Journal was released in April 2011 from Rodmell Press. The book is part memoir, part instruction, and explores the links between yoga, writing and life. (MFA-WCYA) Lucinda Bliss’s work was part of Above and Below the Line, the title of the Maine Drawing Project Exhibit which ran from March 26 – April 29, 2011 at Fryeburg Academy in Fryeburg, ME. (MFA-V) Alexandra Broches’ photograph,

“Virginia Beach (wrapped palms),” was accepted into Photo Spiva 2011, at the Spiva Center for the Arts in MO, from March 5 – April 24, 2011. She also had three pieces in the exhibition We Talk About Architecture, Architecture Talks Back at the Knight Campus Art Gallery of the Community College of Rhode Island, from April 5 – April 27, 2011. She collaborated with the poet Lisa Starr for two pieces for Ekphrasis, Art into Poetry, Poetry into Art at Hera Gallery in Wakefield, RI. (MFA-V) Gladys Goldberg had two poems in The New Renaissance, and another forthcoming in U.S.1 Worksheets in April. Her poem “Horses” was accepted by the Bryant Literary Review. (MFA-W) Lynn Imperatore is chair of the Postgraduate Associates of the university research center Advanced Centre in Drawing. Lynn’s work is included in exhibitions: Space, Place, & Spectral Trace Exhibition (in conjunction with the PLaCE / Mapping Spectral Traces Workshop) in March 2011, and two Works-in-Progress shows with some members of her UWE/Ph.D. cohort in April and May 2011. (MFA-V) Patricia Lee Lewis is leading creative writing and yoga for women near Valencia, Spain, in the mountains and on the Mediterranean, June 13 – 20, 2011. (MFA-W) Kevin McLellan has poems forthcoming in: Badlands, Horse Less Review, inter/rupture, Poetry East, and the anthologies Like a Fat Gold Watch and Preparing the Face: Poems About Shaving. He has recent poems in Diagram and Muse & Stone. (MFA-W) Josh Wilker’s memoir Cardboard Gods was released in paperback by Algonquin Books on March 15, 2011, and the rights to the book were purchased by Michael Eisner’s

Tornante Co., to be produced into a half-hour single-camera television comedy. (MFA-W) 1998 Pete Driessen is in the process of developing a new home-based garage gallery called TuckUnder. He recently had a solo show at They Won’t Find Us Here Gallery in Minneapolis, MN. Pete’s work is in a group show Inside Out/Self Portraits at Hennes Art, also in Minneapolis. (MFA-V) Erica Fielder’s company creates interpretive panels for parks and preserves around the US and now overseas. She works with clients on themes, and then makes art and text that convey information on habitat, specific plants and animals, and how to care for a natural or cultural site. (MFA-V) Bruce Laird had a one-person show at NOHO gallery in Chelsea. It ran from March 19 – April 9, 2011. The work in the show explores the grid in a series of paintings involving his interest in shadows and negative spaces. (MFA-V) Meridith McNeal’s work was part of Italiana at St. Joseph’s College Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, in March 2011. Her work was shown in Topology of Dream Time, at the HAC Gallery in Kobe City, Japan. In addition, Meridith was awarded her third Visiting Artists residency at the American Academy in Rome in 2010, and was Artslant 1st 2011 Showcase Winner in Sculpture and Artslant 6th 2010 Showcase Winner in Drawing. Meridith was thrilled to be honored as Hooper of the Month, Artwork featured and award,, February 2011. (MFA-V) Barbara Rockman’s new collection of poems, Sting and Nest, was released from Sunstone Press.



David Wojahn says, “Barbara Rockman writes a deft sort of lyric that is compressed, compassionate and unsentimental. Her subject is the ebb and flow of domestic life, but there is nothing familiar or conventional about her approach.” (MFA-W) 1997 Bethany Bonner had an April show at Norwich Arts Council Gallery in Norwich, CT, a solar exhibit of recent prints and drawings derived from the seminal image of the spiral, exploring the essence of flight, movement and energy. (MFA-V) Daniel M. Jaffe’s novel, The Limits of Pleasure, has just been re-published by Lethe Press. Dan’s novel was a Finalist for a ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award when first published in 2001. Dan began working on the novel while studying at VCFA. (MFA-W) Verbena Pastor began a UK tour for the US edition of Lumen and has contracted with Italian publisher Sellerio, for her new book, Master of One Hundred Bones. (MFA-W) Vincent Zandri’s new thrillers, Moonlight Rises and The Concrete Pearl, are forthcoming from StoneGate Ink. A freelance foreign correspondent for RT and other global news networks, he divides his time between New York and Italy. (MFA-W) 1996 Susan Spencer Crowe moved to Kingston, NY, in 2005 after nearly 40 years of living in New York City. She has taken up making sculpture out of cardboard and covering it with brightly colored encaustic wax paint, often adding chenille stems to the mix of materials. In addition, she teaches studio art classes at Queens College. In the fall, she will

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Class Notes be teaching a new course at Queens College, entitled “Contemporary Art in a Global Society,” that was originally designed by Gregory Sholette. (MFA-V) Paula Goldman has poems forthcoming in Cream City Review, Comstock Review, Quills & Parchment and Slant. Her recent work appeared in Briar Cliff Review, Slant and ellipsis. Late Inamorato, the manuscript, was a semi-finalist for the Brittingham and Pollack Poetry Prize at University of Wisconsin, Madison. (MFA-W) Dawn Reno Langley recently received her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies/Humanities and Culture from the Union Institute and University in 2010. In addition, she was awarded the designation “Senior Specialist” in the area of Creative Leadership by the Fulbright Program. Langley traveled to Islamabad, Pakistan, for two weeks where she acted as consultant and lecturer to several Pakistani universities, as well as members of the U.S. Embassy. (MFA-W)


poems, Fargo, 1957: An Elegy, was published in December by the Institute for Regional Studies at North Dakota State University. The book chronicles the June 20, 1957 tornado that struck Fargo, ND, killing twelve people, including two of her distant relatives. The book also includes never-before published photos. (MFA-W) Spencer Smith published her novel Depth-of-Field through the CreateSpace platform on Amazon. com. It will be out by late spring in both paperback and Kindle formats. During her last semester at VCFA, she worked on stories that have been incorporated into the novel. (MFA-W) John Solaperto is currently the VCFA media coordinator for all three program residencies. In addition, he received a degree from Linda Montano in June 2010, and is now recognized as a performance saint – his most recent performance being the recessional at the February 2011 residency. (MFA-V)

they are also doing three large craft events, one in New York, an installation of 30 paper “cocoons” at Kissini Gallery in Montreal and preparing for a spread in a forthcoming book called Papercraft 2. Riki also received a development grant from VAC to video her room size “paper forest” installation. This summer she will be at the Vermont Studio Center as a writer. (MFA-V) Nick Papandreou had essays in Kenyon Review Online, Threepenny Review, the electronic version of Iowa Review and the April issue of POETRY included his translation of ten Greek rhyming couplets. In addition, he wrote the script for a movie My First Baptism, and just completed another script based on the life of Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis. Nick will be joining a workshop on the island of Lesvos in May. His most recent book is a collection of short stories in Greek, titled Love, Edited. (MFA-W)


Susan Aizenberg has a new poem, “Collaborations,” on H. L. Hix’s IN QUIRE website, and has been nominated for this year’s Pushcart Prize anthology. She read recently in the Nebraska Arts Council’s reading series devoted to past and current NAC Fellowship recipients. (MFA-W) Moira Linehan had residencies in 2010 at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Whiteley Center at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland. Recent work appeared or is forthcoming in America, The Greensboro Review, The Journal of Medical Humanities, Notre Dame Review, Poetry East, Tidal Basin Review and Wild Apples. (MFA-W) Jo-Ann Mapson’s tenth novel, Solomon’s Oak (Bloomsbury), won the 2011 American Library Association’s RUSA award in the genre of Women’s Fiction. Sold to China, Taiwan and Poland, Solomon’s Oak will be published in paperback in the UK this spring. Her next novel, Miracle of Miracles, will be published by Bloomsbury in 2012. (MFA-W) Philip Tate won first prize in the

1995 Brad Davis conducted two workshops—“9/11: Art & the Burden of History” and “Great Authors at the Manor”—at Sylvester Manor Educational Farm. Two of his poems were accepted at Image, he was invited to judge a national chapbook competition and a Connecticut institution approached him to brainstorm the launch of a new journal. He was also one of six finalists for the 2011 Frost Place summer residency. (MFA-W) Eugenie Doyle’s second novel, According to Kit, (Frontstreet/BoydsMills Press) was named a 2010 Honor Book by Society of School Librarians International. Eugenie recently completed a residency at the Vermont Studio Center. She will be the keynote speaker at the New England Young Writers’ Conference at Breadloaf in May. (MFA-W) April Ossmann’s essay, “Thinking Like an Editor: How to Order Your Poetry Manuscript,” appeared in the March/April 2011 issue of Poets & Writers. (MFA-W) Jamie Parsley’s tenth book of




Paul Calter’s steel and marble sculpture Mandala II was unveiled and dedicated on October 2, 2010, at Castleton State College in VT. Mandala II was created at the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in West Rutland during the 1991 VT Bicentennial Sculpture Symposium, and has been on exhibit at the studio. (MFA-V) Willard Cook has been publishing the biannual Epiphany for eight years. Derek Walcott, Elena Ferrante, Nell Freudenberger, Siri Husvedt, April Benard, Cynthia Zarin, David Updike, Kaylie Jones and still 60 percent comes from the slush pile. The last issue was nominated to Pushcart and BASS. (MFA-W) Nan Hass Feldman is in the middle of a commission to paint five large paintings for the new Pediatric Wing of Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, MA. (MFA-V) Riki Moss and her partner Robert Ostermeyer will have a lighting piece at the Shelburne Museum’s Paperwork in 3-D show from May 15 – October 15, 2011. In addition,

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6th Annual Black Warrior Review Fiction Contest for his short story titled “Dam.” (MFA-W) 1991 Liz Abrams-Morley’s second full-length poetry collection, Necessary Turns, was published by Word Press/Word Tech Communications in 2010, and received an Eric Hoffer Poetry Award for Excellence in Small Press Publishing. Her short story, “Mitzraim Means Tight Spaces,” was first published in the anthology, Literary Mama, and was performed by InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia. (MFA-W) Robin Greene’s historical novel Augustus: Narrative of a Slave Woman was released in April 2011. The novel deals with issues of black feminism, race-specific reactions to historical inquiry, sexuality, rape and the quest for identity. (MFA-W) Tracy Robert’s novella excerpt, “The Curse of Ambrosia,” appears in the anthology, When Last on the Mountain (Holy Cow! Press, 2010). (MFA-W) Sara Kay Rupnik and her fellow alumae, Tracy Robert (‘91) and Liz Abrams-Morley (‘91) have returned from conducting their Around the Block Writing Workshop in lovely Treasure Beach, Jamaica. Sara’s story, “A Study of Light” is in the spring issue of Persimmon Tree Magazine. (MFA-W) David-Glen Smith had a poem in the online magazine, Saltwater Quarterly, for their premiere issue this past January. Recently, he had poems published in the anthology Ganymede-Unfinished, Houston Literary Review (three issues in 2010), Lady Jane Miscellany, Slant and The Write Room. Most importantly, David and his partner Ricky welcomed a baby boy into their lives on December 3, 2010, Brendan Seda-Smith. (MFA-W) Bill Walsh recently published his fifth book, David Bottoms: Critical Essays and Interviews (McFarland). Recent and new work has appeared in The Owen Wister Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, The Flannery O’Connor Review, and elsewhere. Currently pursuing a Ph.D.

in Creative Writing at Georgia State University, he has lectures and workshops this spring at LaGrange College and at the Flannery O’Connor Conference. (MFA-W)

issue of Epiphany Magazine and a humorous novella “I Like a Little Bit of the Handsome Americans Myself ” was in WritingRaw. (MFA-W)



Diann Blakely was a nominee for Georgia Poet of the Year. She has had pieces in the Asheville Poetry Review, Gettysburg Review, Gently Read Literature, Main Street Rag and Prairie Schooner. Individual poems from her collection Rain in our Door are in the current issues of Parnassus and Southern Humanities Review. Blakely continues to toil away at a massive undertaking on Swampland, a regional website devoted to Southern culture. (MFA-W) Richard Lutman’s long narrative poem, “When I Moved the Earth,” will be published in late spring or early summer as a chapbook by The Last Automat Press. In addition, his short story “Heroes” was in a recent

Sue Cowing’s middle-grade novel, You Will Call Me Drog will be out in September 2011 from Carolrhoda Books, with a book launch on September 3, 2011 at Barnes & Noble in Honolulu. (MFA-W) Tam LIn Neville’s second book of poems, Triage, came out this past September from Cervená Barva Press. (MFA-W) Joan Seliger Sidney’s poem, “Conundrum,” appeared in Long River Run. (MFA-W, Post-Grad semester in MFA-WCYA, 2008)



1988 Nancy Lord has a new book, Early Warming: Crisis and Response in the

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Class Notes


entitled Falling Sideways, (Bloomsburg) and a collection, The Girl with Red Hair, (Serving House Books) coming out in February 2011. New essays, stories and translations appear in Ecotone, The Literary Review and Absinthe: New European Writing. He will be on a national tour to support the books this spring. (MFA-W) 1983

Climate-Changed North, published in 2011 by Counterpoint Press. (MFA-W) Sarah Van Arsdale has placed her third novel, Grand Isle, with SUNY Press, and it will be out next spring. In the past two years, despairing of ever seeing her fiction in print again, she took up making short animated films from her own watercolor drawings, one of which, Dinner Date, was shown in the Atlanta Shorts Festival in the summer of 2011. Now she’s working on another book, but is continuing to work on other short films, just in case. She also writes for Fiction Writers’ Review. (MFA-W) 1986 Mark Konkel’s novel, Disaster Park, is being published by Blue Leaf Publications. It’s a science fiction novel set 60 years in the future, and is his second novel. (MFA-W) 1985 Dennis F. Bormann’s novella, Airboat, published by Main Street Rag, will be released in June 2011. In the fall issue of their magazine, his story “Fish Hawk” was also published. Along with fellow VCFA in Writing grad, Steve Taylor (1984), he is editing a short fiction anthology based on the theme of sports, which is also forthcoming in the summer from Main Street Rag. (MFA-W) Thomas E. Kennedy has a novel coming out in March 2011




Elinor Benedict has a poem, “Early Girl,” in a new annual anthology called The New Guard, along with many well-known and new poets, and was edited by Shanna Miller McNair. (MFA-W) Deborah DeNicola’s new collection of poetry, Original Human, was released in December from WordTech Communications. She has poems in Nimrod’s Award issue where she was a finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize, and poems forthcoming in Carpe Articulum. Deborah’s work recently appeared in Up Channel, Lunarosity Online, Melusine Online and Umbrella Online. Her memoir, The Future That Brought Her Here, hit #1 in psychology on Amazon last September when it came out. (MFA-W) Nadell Fishman’s second collection of poems, At Work In The Bridal Industry, will be released this year from Plain View Press. (MFA-W) Suzanne Levine’s poetry collection titled Haberdasher’s Daughter is a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award, and the book cover art is a finalist for the da Vinci Eye. (MFA-W) Pam Lewis (formerly Pam Casey) has a new novel coming out from Simon & Schuster this summer titled, A Young Wife, inspired by the events of her grandmother’s life. (MFA-W) Valerie Wohlfeld has poems in JAMA, Cincinnati Review, The Healing Muse, Verse Wisconsin and Sugar House Review. (MFA-W) Paula Yup’s poem, “Somehow Sorrow,” will appear in a future issue of Trajectory, and another, titled “My Morning Walk,” in Poiesis. (MFA-W)

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1981 Richard Michelson’s children’s book Busing Brewster (Knopf) was named a New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Books of 2010, and one of 8 Notable Books of 2010. It was also the only book to make both New York Times year-end lists. In addition, his poetry has appeared in the Harvard Review. (MFA-W)

PHOTO CREDITS Page 16: Hari Kirin Page 17: Susan Spencer Crowe Page 18: Irene Abraham Page 19: Candlewick Press Page 20: Sabrina Fadial Page 21: Denise Karabinus Telang Page 21: Robert O’Connor Page 22: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Page 23: Dot Dot Books Page 23: Jeff Daniel Silva Page 24: Barbara Lidfors Page 26: Randall Nelson Page 26: Wendy Lamb Books Page 27: Jane S. Noel and Suzanne Fellows Page 28: Lisa Ulik Page 29: HarperCollins Page 30: Amulet Press Page 31: Lisa Ulik Page 33: Bloomsbury Page 34: Counterpoint Press Page 34: Carolrhoda Books Page 34: Word Tech Communications

Faculty Notes Graphic Design Ziddi Msangi is on sabbatical from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He will be working on a series of broadside posters titled “Liberation and Independence – Retracing the Narratives That Form Identity,” and also plans to travel abroad. Bethany Koby’s new business, Technology Will Save Us, was featured in Wired UK. She has also been invited to speak at TEDxKids@Brussels. Yoon Soo Lee’s paper, “The Effect of Prototyping and Critical Feedback on Fixation in Engineering Design” (co-authored by Katja Hölttä-Otto and Trina Kershaw), was accepted as a poster presentation at CogSci 2011 in Boston. In conjunction with a NSF grant this paper proposes to study how creativity and innovation can be taught to students of Mechanical Engineering. Lee also has a oneperson show scheduled for summer of 2011 at Farm Project Space + Gallery in Wellfleet, MA.

Music Composition Andy Jaffe’s book Something Borrowed, Something Blue: Principles of Jazz Composition, will be published by Advance Publishing later this year. Michael Early performed “glitterweeks” and “honig mond” during the ‘Tutti’ New Music Festival at Denison University in Granville, OH. He also played electric guitar with violinist Angela Early as part of the new music duo X10. Rick Baitz’s complete “Chthonic Dances” was premiered by the string quartet ETHEL at the Tribeca New Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall on May 23rd. Don DiNicola is the producer of 2 CDs for Albany Records: The Chamber Works of Paul Chihara and Chamber Works of Carl Volrath. He is Composing music for the History Channel’s Swamp People and for the Indie film, Don’t Look Away.

Visitors in Ulrike Mueller’s exhibition Fever 103, Franza, and Quilts at the Cairo Biennial in Egypt, December 2010.

of Mira Schor’s recent exhibition titled “Paintings From the Nineties to Now” will be in the art journal X-TRA. Ulrike Müller’s work combines activist concerns with a critical investigation of modernism’s formalism visual vocabularies. Müller, a New York-based artist, will present a new group of enamel paintings and three large-format quilts based on Ingeborg Bachmann’s unfinished novel, The Book of Franza, at the 12th International Cairo Biennale. She is also the coeditor of the gender queer feminist art journal LTTR. Faith Wilding is retiring with Professor Emerita status from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago in June. She has been appointed Visiting Scholar at the Pembroke Institute for Feminist Research and Teaching at Brown University, and will make the move to Providence, RI, this summer. subRosa, a cyberfeminist collective of which Faith is a member, performed their Vulva/ De/ReConstructa, and exhibited drawings in the “Everybody! Visual Resistance in Feminist Health Movements, 1969-2009” exhibition at Carleton College Art Gallery, MN. The group has been invited to create an installation for the Pittsburgh Biennial in September. Faith will be performing with Kate Davis at the Virginia Woolf Conference at the University of Glasgow in June. She will also be exhibiting the Crocheted Environment in the “Dance/Draw” exhibition, curated

Tamar Diesendruck’s TELL for four bass clarinets, and commissioned by NBCG, premiered November 6, 2010, as a solo performance with the other three parts recorded. Performed by Laura Carmichael in Kortwijk, Belgium, there were repeat performances in Istanbul and Tokyo. Still Telling for 15 players, and commissioned by the Fromm Foundation, was premiered by the Callithumpian Consort and conducted by Stephen Drury in Boston. Other Floods, for a cappella chorus, commissioned and performed by Volti, premiered March 4, 2011, in San Francisco, and was conducted by Robert Geary —repeat performances were held in Mill Valley and Berkeley, CA. She is currently on an artist residency at the VA Center for the Creative Arts working on a double-bass piece, Stroll, for a recording project by bassist Andy Kohn.

Visual Art Michael Minelli represented WPA as a panelist discussing artist-run organizations in LA as part of ART2102’s “Dispatches and Directions” project last January. The panel was moderated by artist Miles Coolidge and included Patrick Meagher of Silvershed, Sean Dockray of Telic and The Public School and Stacey Allan from East of Borneo; CalArts’ new online journal. This fall, Michael will be exhibiting new work at WPA in LA and his review



newsletter summer 2011


Faculty Notes

Mary Ruefle received the William Carlos Williams Award.

by Helen Molesworth at the ICA in Boston in October. Carlos Motta launched the web and book project “We Who Feel Differently,” a database documentary and journal that addresses critical issues of contemporary queer culture, in May at Gallery, Bergen, Norway. Marie Shurkus gave a lecture on March 24th entitled “Redefining Representation as Translation” to the Critical Studies Department of the Claremont Graduate University, CA.

Writing Mary Ruefle, is the 2011 winner of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America for Selected Poems (Wave Books, 2010). Mary is also a visiting poet at the University of Texas in Austin for 2011. Sue William Silverman’s flash nonfiction essay, “We Regret to Inform You,” is published in the current issue of the online journal Defunct, available at http:// Another flash nonfiction piece, “Cupcake Days,” is included in the Writerlicious Anthology on Food fromRed Claw Press. Patrick Madden’s essay “Where





Am I Now?” published in the Water~Stone Review, was listed as a Notable Essay in the Best American Essays 2010. His book Quotidiana has been named a finalist for ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year Awards in the Essays category. Philip Graham was featured in an interview on Philip lived in Lisbon with his family for a year and wrote The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon, a travel memoir that talks about Lisbon and parenthood. Nancy Eimers, William Olsen, Jess Row and David Wojahn, along with two alumni – Bob Hicok and Jennifer K. Sweeney – were chosen for the 2011 Pushcart Prize XXXV Best of the Small Presses. Jen Bervin is curating the Spring 2011 Center Broadside Reading Series at the Center for Book Arts in NYC, and co-curating with Robert Fitterman, “It’s for You: An Interdisciplinary Festival of Collaborative Firsts” during April. She and Christina Davis worked with Harvard students and poets from the community on an installation/textual intervention at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, titled “THIS OBJECT HAS BEEN REMOVED.” On April 15, she “tweeted” for one day for the Academy of American Poets. Mark Cox has a poem in Crazyhorse’s 50th anniversary issue, and a brief essay in Aspects of Robinson: Homage to Weldon Kees. He has recently read at Mesa State College and Suffolk University, and in January served as visiting poet at Ohio University. His reading at February’s AWP conference will be featured in AWP’s podcast series. Abby Frucht’s essay, “The Pest” is included in a new anthology, He Said What?, from Seal Press. She has a new collection of stories forthcoming from Narrative Library, and is excited to add that she will be teaching in Tel Aviv for six weeks this fall. David Jauss has been appointed a Contributing Editor of The Writer’s Chronicle. “The Real Story Behind Low-Residency MFAs,” an essay by Jauss about the many advantages of a low-residency MFA in writing

newsletter summer 2011

program, appears in the February 2011 issue of Writer’s Digest. Connie May Fowler was writerin-residence at Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL, this spring. The paperback release of her latest novel, How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly, will be released July 20th from Hachette Book Group. She had two essays recently published in anthologies: “Connie May is Going to Win the Lottery this Week” appears in Don’t Quit Your Day Job: Acclaimed Authors and the Day Jobs They Quit; and “Big Oil, Big Sin” appears in unspOILed: Writers Speak for Florida’s Coast Rigoberto Gonzalez is the recipient of the 2011 Shelley Memorial Award, awarded to a living American poet by the Poetry Society of America. Dawn Cooper taught at the Gettysburg Review Conference for Writers in June. Two chapters from her novel, HAINTS, were published in May in the online version of Hunger Mountain. Douglas Glover recently had stories published in The Brooklyn Rail and The New Quarterly Online, a short essay in the world affairs magazine Global Brief and a longer essay on Alice Munro in Canadian Notes & Queries. He has stories forthcoming in The Fiddlehead, descant, Best Canadian Stories and Short Story Magazine, and continRigoberto Gonzalez was given the Shelley Memorial Award.

Faculty Notes ues to publish his online magazine Numéro Cinq. Richard McCann was recently awarded a fellowship to the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center on Lake Como in Italy, where he’ll be working on his memoir-in-progress. He has also given talks and/ or readings at the San Francisco Zen Center, the Chicago Humanities Festival and Marymount University. This coming fall, he will be on the faculty of the Bear River Writers’ Conference, the Fine Arts Work Center Summer Program, the Amalfi Coast Music Festival and the VCFA 16th Annual Postgraduate Writers’ Conference. Ellen Lesser’s short story, “Impound,” will be featured in upstreet number seven, due out this summer. Other stories in the same linked collection in progress, about mothers and teenage daughters in crisis, have appeared recently in Antioch Review and North American Review. Ellen will be leading a short story workshop in August at the VCFA annual Postgraduate Writers’ Conference, for which she serves as director. Jess Row’s new collection of stories, Nobody Ever Gets Lost, was published by FiveChapters Books in February. His story “The Call of Blood” was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2011, edited by Geraldine Brooks. He also has stories appearing this spring/summer in Guernica, FiveChapters. com and Threepenny Review, and his essay “Playgrounds of the Real” appears in the May/June issue of Boston Review. Xu Xi’s story collection, Access: Thirteen Tales, will be released in November 2011 by Signal 8 Press. Richard Jackson has published: Last Voyage: Selected Poems of Giovanni Pascoli through Red Hen Press; edited Selected Poems by Iztok Osojnik; and wrote an introdudction and assisted in editing Ko vdre Senca/When the Shadow Breaks by Tomaz Salamun. His poems have recently appeared in Brilliant Corners, Crazyhorse, Upstreet, Atlanta Review, Cutthroat, Asheville Poetry Review, Grist, Redivider and online at Verse Daily. He appeared on two panels at the recent AWP,


participated in a workshop on Political Poetry in Slovenia in March, directed the Meacham Writers’ Workshops in Chattanooga, and gave readings at Elizabeth College, Ashland’s MFA program, Big Hunt Bookstore, Washington, DC, Virginia Commonwealth University and Georgia Tech. This summer he will also be teaching at the Iowa Summer Festival and the Prague Workshops. His essays appear in Aspects of Robinson: Homage to Weldon Kees, Publication of Slovene Writers’ Association, Asheville Poetry Review and Numéro Cinq.

Plan to Fix Everything launches May 24th with starred reviews from Kirkus Book Reviews and Publishers Weekly. Mary Quattlebaum’s picture book, Pirate vs. Pirate, was recently published by Disney Hyperion. School Library Journal gave it a “four-Arrrrr! rating.” Mary’s interview with VCFA faculty member Kathi Appelt, “Find Your Story’s Emotional Core,” ran in the May issue of The Writer. Rita Garcia Williams received the 2011 Coretta Scott King Author Award for her novel One Crazy Summer, published by Amistad. Tim Wynne-Jones and illustrator Stéphane Jorisch are Canada’s nominees for the 2012 international Hans Christian Andersen Awards. Announced every two years, the Hans Christian Andersen Awards are internationally recognized as the highest honor for children’s authors and illustrators. Tim’s thirty-first book, Blink & Caution, has just been launched with starred reviews piling up, and prepublication buzz resulted in Candlewick Press reprinting before the book even went on sale, March 8th.

Writing for Children and Young Adults Alan Cumyn has been nominated for the 2011 K.M. Hunter Award for Literature. The winner of the $8,000 prize, which is given in recognition of a substantial body of work as well as to encourage new creations, will be announced in May. Alan’s latest novel, Tilt, for young adults, will be published this fall by Groundwood Books. Cynthia Leitich Smith celebrates the release of Blessed from Candlewick in 2011, which The Horn Book calls, “A hearty meal for the thinking vampire reader.” Cynthia’s numerous spring events included speaking to librarians at Brooklyn Public Library and MFA students at The New School in NYC. She also appeared as a featured author at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival in Ft. Myers, taught a novel-writing workshop for SCBWI-Wisconsin in Madison, and was the judge for the 2011 Hunger Mountain Prize for Young Writers. She looks forward to the release of her first graphic novel, Tantalize: Kieren’s Story, illustrated by Ming Doyle, coming from Candlewick in August 2011, and the publication of her essay “Isolation” in Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories, edited by alum Carrie Jones and Megan Kelley Hall, coming from HarperTeen in August 2011. Uma Krishnaswami’s The Grand



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Summer Fall

Claudia Emerson returns this summer to the MFA-Writing Residency as Distinguished Visiting Faculty

WRITING RESIDENCY July 10-21, 2011 Di s ti n g u i s h e d V i s i ti n g F ac ult y Claudia Emerson was awarded the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her book Late Wife: Poems and is the newly appointed Poet Laureate of Virginia. Her newest collection Figure Studies: Poems was published in 2008. She is also the author of the poetry collections Pharaoh, Pharaoh and Pinion: An Elegy, all published in Dave Smith’s Southern Messenger Poets series. Recipient of a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress




newsletter winter 2011

and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts, she is Professor of English and Arrington Distinguished Chair in Poetry at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

V is it ing Fic t ion Wr it er Dan Chaon is the author of the national bestseller Await Your Reply, named one of the ten best books of the year by Publishers Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, Janet Maslin of The New York Times, and Laura Miller of The novel is also listed among the year’s best fiction by the American Library Association and

Residencies such newspapers as The Washington Post and The Chicago Tribune. He is also the author of the novel You Remind Me of Me and the short story collections Fitting Ends and Among the Missing, and is a finalist for the National Book Award. His fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. A finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, he is also a recipient of the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Al u mn i F i c ti on / C re a t iv e No n fi c ti o n Re a d e r Neela Vaswani is the author of the short story collection Where the Long Grass Bends, the memoir You Have Given Me a Country, and the forthcoming YA novel, Same Sun Here. Recipient of the O. Henry Prize, her work has been widely anthologized and published in journals such as Epoch, Shenandoah, American Literary Review, and Prairie Schooner. She has been a visiting-writer-in-residence and lecturer at more than 100 institutions, including the Whitney Museum, the Smithsonian, and Skidmore College. She has a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies and teaches at Spalding University’s brief-residency MFA in Writing program. An education activist in India and the United States, Vaswani is founder of the Storylines Project with the New York Public Library. and

translator of Taslima Nasrin’s Revenge. She has authored three collections of poems: Red Shoes, Darling, and Memoir. Her play Mourning Pictures was produced on Broadway and published in The New Women’s Theatre: Ten Plays by Contemporary American Women, which she edited. She has received awards in poetry and playwriting from the NEA, The New York State Council for the Arts, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in nonfiction.

V is it ing Tr ans lat or Patty Crane’s poetry has appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Ars Interpres, Bellevue Literary Review, Fugue, RUNES, The Comstock Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, upstreet, and West Branch, among others. Her reviews and essays have appeared in Poetry International and The Writer’s Chronicle. Awards include the Two Rivers Review Poetry Prize and Atlanta Review’s International Publication Prize. Her translation of Tomas Tranströmer’s The Sorrow Gondola will be featured in the Spring issue of Blackbird. Having graduated from VCFA in 2004, she has recently returned to her home in western Massachusetts after three years of living in Sweden.


V i s i ti n g C rea t iv e No n fi c ti o n Wr it e r

Alum ni V is it ing Wr it er

Honor Moore has authored both the memoir The Bishop’s Daughter and the biography The White Blackbird: A Life of the Painter Margarett Sargent by Her Granddaughter. The memoir was named an Editor’s Choice by The New York Times, a Favorite Book of 2008 by The Los Angeles Times, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is the editor of Library of America’s Poems from the Women’s Movement and the

Jan Spivey Gilchrist illustrated the Coretta Scott King Award winner Nathaniel Talking, the Coretta Scott King Honor Book Night on Neighborhood Street, and Me & Neesie, all written by Eloise Greenfield. She wrote and co-illustrated My America with Ashley Bryan, which was named a Parents’ Choice Recommended Award winner. An inductee into the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent, she received an MFA in

Writing for Children from Vermont College and a doctoral degree in English from Madison University.


V i s i ti n g Wri t e r Walter Dean Myers has written over 90 books for children, with his most recent work Dope Sick, published in 2009. He has won many prominent awards, including the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Literature for Young Adults, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, the Margaret A. Edwards Award for his contribution to young adult literature, two Newbery Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, four Coretta Scott King Honors, and two National Book Award Finalists.

V i s i ti n g Wri t e r Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of more than fifty books for children, noted especially for her series of picture book biographies. Shaka, King of the Zulus was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book, and Leonardo da Vinci received the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction from the National Council for Teachers of English. Recipient of The Washington Post/Children’s Book Guild Award for Nonfiction for the body of her work, she has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including The Giant and the Beanstalk and Rumpelstiltskin’s Daughter, as well as novels for older readers, such as Saving Sky, Bella at Midnight, nd The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine.

4TH ANNUAL VCFA MFA IN WRITING FOR CHILDREN & YOUNG ADULTS ALUMNI MINI-REZ July 15-17, 2011 Held on campus each July, this event combines elements of an alumni reunion, professional networking, and the traditional VCFA residency. The weekend includes the chance to rigorously workshop a piece with a professional editor and a group of writing peers as well as to gain inside information on the business of writing from established editors and agents. Also offered are faculty lectures, craft discussions, and the opportunity to participate in Special Day festivities (see info under residency description). The central feature of the weekend is a series of master classes with author and WC&YA alumna Deborah Wiles, author of two picture books as well as Love, Ruby Lavender, Each Little Bird That Sings, and The Aurora County All-Stars, all award-winning books.




newsletter summer 2011

VISITING LECTURER Rick Lowe is an artist, architect, urban designer, developer, and activist. Over the past 20 years, he has worked with art institutions, participating in exhibitions and developing community-based art projects. In 1993, Lowe founded Project Row Houses, which turned 22 “shotgun” houses in the middle of one of Houston’s poorest neighborhoods into art galleries, workshop spaces, offices, and housing for young single mothers. Now a well established public art program, it has become the model for bringing local people together to engage their own creative energies and aesthetic values to produce a “collective expression” and reinstate a community. Lowe has served as artist-in-residence at universities throughout the United States. He has participated in exhibitions and programs internationally and worked as a guest artist on numerous community projects.

VISITIN G LECTU RER Carol Armstrong of the Department of the History of Art at Yale University teaches and writes about 19th century French painting, the history of photography, the history and practice of art criticism, feminist theory, and the representation of women and gender in art and visual culture. She has published books and essays on Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Paul Cézanne, and 19th and 20th century photography, as well as having curated exhibitions at Princeton University Art Museum, the Drawing Center in New York, the Yale Center for British Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. A frequent contributor to October and Artforum magazines, she continues to be an active art critic. Current projects include a book on Cézanne, modern physics, and schizophrenia, as well as a series of essays about still life, description, and the “feminine” principle.

MUSIC COMPOSITION RESIDENCY August 9-15, 2011 The inaugural residency of the Music Composition program celebrates the musical diversity of our founding faculty and an exciting collaboration with our first visiting ensemble. The faculty represents a broad cross-section of contemporary music. Rick Baitz, Don DiNicola, and Ravi Krishnaswami will work with students who want to compose for film, video, and computer applications, as well as others hoping to branch out into the business. John Mallia’s expertise in electronic and multi-media composition will support the work of students eager to explore new technologies. Tamar Diesendruck, Jonathan Bailey Holland, John Fitz Rogers, Roger Zahab, and Michael Early will contribute a variety of approaches to contemporary composition for groups ranging from small chamber ensembles to symphony orchestras. Master teacher Andy Jaffe will bring his

The Callithumpian Consort will participate in the first MFA-Music Composition Residency.

wealth of experience playing, teaching, and writing about jazz, while Ayn Inserto will add her fresh perspective on jazz to a future residency. A centerpiece of the residency will be three days with The Callithumpian Consort, the critically-acclaimed new music ensemble. Made up of a senior band of soloists, the Consort is flexible in size and makeup, enabling the group to tackle unusual repertoire in nonstandard or larger chamber ensembles or to take part in experimental projects. Their repertoire encompasses a huge stylistic spectrum, from the classics of the last 50 years to the avant-garde, experimental jazz, and rock. Dedicated to both commissioning and recording new music, they have worked with composers John Cage, Lee Hyla, John Zorn, Michael Finnissy, Franco Donatoni, Lukas Foss, Steve Reich, Helmut Lachenmann, John Luther Adams, Frederic Rzewski, Christian Wolff, and many others.

GRAPHIC DESIGN RESIDENCY October 15-23, 2011 This first residency highlights the work of our founding faculty through presentations on Communications Theory, Typography, Book Design, Multi-Media Digital Design, Sound Design Integration, Design Theory and Criticism, Branding, and Sustainability in Design, among other topics.

Matthew Monk, Program Chair, teaches graphic design at Rhode Island School of Design. A book designer and painter who explores systems, typography, and narrative through experimental collage and mixed media projects, his interests also include communications theory and semiotics. Silas Munro serves as Design Director at Housing Works, combating the dual crises of homelessness and HIV/AIDS through design and advocacy. Ziddi Msangi, a Tanzanian raised in the United States, investigates how concepts of ethnography and narrative influence design and media. Nicole Juen approaches art and design from a process-oriented pedagogy. She teaches at RISD and directs the collaborative studio Matter Design with her husband, Rafael Attias. Attias is a native of Venezuela who explores digital media and the relationship of sound to design and motion graphics. He was recently Program Director for Pixilerations, a New Media showcase of installations, concert performances, and film and video screenings. Natalia Ilyin, a writer of design criticism and theory, is also a notable lecturer and critic at graphic design programs around the country. Author of several books, including Chasing the Perfect and Blonde Like Me, she is also an accomplished graphic designer. Bethany Koby’s professional design experiences focus on branding and sustainability. Based in London, she contributes this unique combination of design interests and skills to international projects. Yoon Soo Lee is both a professor of graphic design and a visual artist. Her primary interests probe concepts of identity and how identity is presented through media and visual culture.



newsletter summer 2011


VCFA is a hybrid of community, arts, and education. Here’s some of what’s going on: VCFA QVCFA’s

Board of Trustees welcomes Eliza Browning as its newest member. As director of Crane Digital at Crane & Co., she oversees the company’s online business and digital strategy. She has worked as a journalist in digital media for news organizations including CNN, ABC News, and the Associated Press.

the publication of Sowon Kwon’s book, donghab, first in the VCFA Talks series. Plans are underway for our alumni event in Los Angeles at the 2011 CAA conference. All ideas are welcome. QMarch

saw yet another sold-out Novel Writing Retreat on campus. This working weekend for serious writers of middlegrade and young adult books brings

vcfa news bites QCollege

Hall has received an upgrade. The third and fourth floors have been renovated to create more office and classroom space to accommodate the new programs. The architects’ sensitivity to the way light moves through the building is apparent in the use of glass and other translucent materials. EVENTS


Conference was the most productive ever for both the Writing and Writing for Children and Young Adult programs. Highlights included a special reading in celebration of the MFA-W 30th anniversary, opportunities to talk with many qualified prospective students, and a record number of VCFA attendees who reveled in the opportunity to reconnect with classmates and faculty.


College Art Association conference reception in New York was a wonderful success, with a crowd of Artist-Teachers, current and prospective students, alumni, and faculty celebrating




newsletter summer 2011

established writer/teachers as well as editors and agents together with novelists who can choose from a critical or writing track. Look for the possibility of a nonfiction element to be added next year. QVCFA

held its first Open House on April 16. Over 60 prospective students and guests joined faculty, staff, alumni, and current students to present all five programs. The day included mini-lectures, discussions, and hands-on workshops to give visitors a sense of residency activities. Evaluations of the event were overwhelmingly positive, inspiring plans for the future.


David Deitcher and Faith Wilding presented on a panel, “The Growing Popularity of Low-Residency MFA Programs and the Needs They Serve” at the TransCultural Exchange’s 2011 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts in Boston, MA.


Interdisciplinary Conference debuts this July. Designed to respond to

growing interest in cross-program experiences, the conference offers workshops, seminars, panel discussions, and other events in off-the-page writing, writing and image-based communications, book arts, graphic literature/illustration, writing across age groups, and performancebased art, among other topics. Faculty from Writing, Writing for Children and Young Adults, Visual Arts, and Graphic

See the Alumni section of the website for information. SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS QVCFA President Thomas Greene has announced five new VCFA Grants for students accepted to the inaugural class of the MFA in Music Composition program. Each scholarship is for

vcfa news bites Design join other invited guest lecturers on campus for three days of collaboration with alumni and current students. QVCFA’s

Institutional Advancement/ Alumni Affairs office is planning receptions around the country. These all-college affairs bring all five programs together as one community. The first one in Washington, DC, was a wonderful gathering at the MOCA-DC Gallery in Georgetown. Future events in New York City, Los Angeles, and Massachusetts are in the works. If you would like to host one in your area, please contact Ann Cardinal at


first VCFA Alumni Writing Workshop is also in process. Beginning July 15, VCFA will offer 12-week online workshops for alumni of the MFA in Writing program. Offering support for alumni looking to redevelop writing habits that may have lapsed since graduation, the workshops also provide opportunities to re-engage with the VCFA community.

$8,000, or $2,000 per semester for all four semesters. The new scholarships advance the program’s aim to assemble a diverse class bringing together composers in many genres. QMFA-WCYA

announces the first winner of the Norma Fox Mazer Scholarship, Miriam McNamara, for her manuscript Pirate’s Promise. This scholarship aligns with Norma’s young adult writing and recognizes both her support for the program and her prominence in the field of children’s literature. In addition to the $2,000 award, the winning piece will be read and responded to by Norma’s editor at HarperCollins.

Q Sarah Seltzer, a student in the MFA Writing Program, has received a Winter 2011 Web Marketing Fellowship. Sarah has been working to create and maintain a solid VCFA presence on social networking sites, build online relationships with the literary, art, and music world, and present a more intimate view of VCFA life for prospective students.



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student Amy Stout from Red Lodge, MT, has been awarded a Winter 2011 Visual Art Market Research Fellowship. She has prior experience as a Research and Analysis Assistant at North Idaho College.


Renko steps in as Program Director for the new MFA in Graphic Design. She has worked in the field of Art and Design Admissions, most recently at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts as the Assistant Dean of Admissions and Continuing Education.


Fellowship recipient Sheryl Scarborough has enlisted five writers to blog once a week, introducing the College to a host of new writers from top sites in the field. While the initial effort focuses on children’s writing, she plans to expand the model to other programs. STAFF


Academic Dean Gary Moore is retiring from VCFA. Following the soldout success of his play Burning in China at last year’s New York International Fringe Festival, he will now concentrate on his plays, poems, and novels. He’s chosen his 68th birthday in November as the time for his exit. The College is in the process of recruiting a new Dean with the assistance of a higher education search firm.


Library transitions from Union Institute to VCFA control on July 1, under the leadership of Jim Nolte, Library Director. Jim is a leader in blending digital and traditional library services. As an academic librarian, public librarian, and library designer and developer, he has created four electronic libraries. Jim also brings skills in the use of e-learning technology and web-based communication tools.


Timpone has recently stepped in to VCFA’s new position of IT Director. Peter brings expertise in network administration, managing complex projects, and providing strategic leadership on the information technology needs of dynamic, growing organizations. Currently pursuing an MBA, his BA includes a minor in Studio Art.


Nielsen is leaving VCFA at the end of June to launch HigherMind MediaWorks—a new business specializing in marketing for higher education. He has served as VCFA’s Executive Director of Marketing and Enrollment for the past two years. (


Beatty joins VCFA as Program Director of the new MFA in Music Composition. She has spent the past 25 years working in higher education administration for several colleges, all on the Vermont College campus.


Chamberlin joins VCFA on July 1 as Executive Director of Marketing and Communications. Previously serving in communications positions at MIT and Harvard, Lyn brings a wealth of experience in higher education, communications, and public relations to the role. As a recent graduate of the MFA in Writing program, she is also passionate about both the mission and life of the College.

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newsletter summer 2011

VCFA Board of Trustees Cornelius Hogan Chair of Trustees PlainďŹ eld, VT Susan Newbold Vice-Chair of Trustees FairďŹ eld, CT MT Anderson Cambridge, MA Bob Atwell Sarasota, Florida

Kathleen Dolan Barnard, VT

Sydney Lea Trustee Emeritus Newbury, VT

Alexandra Enders New York, NY

Katherine Paterson Barre, VT

Chris Graff Montpelier, VT

Richard H. Saudek East Montpelier, VT

Tom Greene President, VCFA Montpelier, VT

Bill Schubart Hinesburg, VT

Tami Lewis Brown Washington, DC

Harry Groome Trustee Emeritus Villanova, PA

Eliza Browning New York, NY

Joan Grubin New York, NY

Dr. Charles Bunting Shelburne, VT

Madeleine Kunin Honorary Trustee Burlington, VT

Dr. Peter Smith Paradise Valley, AZ Susan Spaulding Montpelier, VT Peter Watson Pembroke, Bermuda Elaine Witten Shaftsbury, VT

Dr. Letitia Chambers Paradise Valley, AZ



newsletter summer 2011


Vermont College of Fine Arts is defined by the successes of our students. When we see alums like Kate Hosford write stories that empower their readers and give them greater confidence, we see the power of art to create a more humane world. We see the social context that helped that student produce that work.

We see the support and encouragement that gave that individual the training and confidence to pursue their passion. When you give to Vermont College of Fine Arts, you help individuals take the next step in their artistic lives. You create the energy and set in motion the process that brings artists and writers into the world.

You are the beginning of their story.

Each year

the VCFA Fund helps augment student scholarships, academic pro-

gramming, facilities improvements, technology upgrades, and new initiatives that keep the College a vital and dynamic learning environment.

Your contribution is guaranteed to have a positive impact on the lives of our students.

Your gift leads directly to our students’ success . . .

The art of giving Please consider a donation to VCFA.




s You may

s You may send

s Call 866-934-VCFA,

make a secure

a check payable to the

extension 8599 to make

contribution online at

VCFA Fund to:

a credit card donation.

Executive Director

Further details about

of Institutional

giving options are


available at


36 College Street 46



Montpelier, VT 05602

newsletter summer 2011

Cycles of Success As a charitable non-proďŹ t 501(c)(3) organization, contributions to VCFA are fully tax deductible according to U.S. law.

Photo by Scott Achs

Stairs by Jonathan Marrs, MFA-V

36 College St. Montpelier, VT 05602

VCFA 2011 Summer Newsletter  

This is the Summer 2011 issue of the official news- letter of Vermont College of Fine Arts. The VCFA Newsletter is a biannual publication wh...

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