VCFA 2012 Winter Newsletter

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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.

ABOUT VCFA Vermont College of Fine Arts (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 the members of our community 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 worldclass 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.

THIS PUBLICATION This is the Winter 2012 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-in-Chief: Lyn Chamberlin '10, Executive Director of Marketing & Communications Managing Editor: Suzanne Farrell Smith '10 Publication Design: Anthony Pagani Contributors: Lauren Baldwin '10, Laurie Easter '12, Jenni Eaton '10, Richard Farrell '11, Mayumi Shimose Poe '10, Cheryl Wilder '10 Cover: detail of “Free Range” by Deb Hall '98

TABLE OF CONTENTS Letter from the President . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Willard Cook Talks Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Graphic Design Inaugural Speech . . . . . . 4

A Heart Fashioned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

An International Design Friendship . . . . . . 6

Class Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Bound Homeward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Faculty Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Studio in a Suitcase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Winter/Spring Residencies . . . . . . . . . . . 46

New Voices at the Bridge . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

VCFA Board of Trustees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51




© Tia McCarthy

With another presidential election coming up next year, it’s hard not to think of the geographic and ideological boundaries that, in part, define us. The boundaries between Red State and Blue State. Republican and Democrat. Conservative, liberal, libertarian and progressive. Yet as much as these geographic and ideological boundaries define us, they also limit us. In the last decade, the lines between us have hardened, shutting down dialogue and turning up the noise. In times like these, the ability of art to cross borders, to reach the humanity central to us all, if only for a moment, can be a saving grace. To reach our campus here in Montpelier, our students cross all sorts of boundaries. They come from other regions, other states, even other countries. They cross the borders of their families, of their circles of friends and co-workers, to leave the familiar behind and strike out for a new territory that they, their classmates, and their teachers will define. Here at College Hall, we are constantly striving to push beyond the boundaries of what an arts college can be. This year, we added two new programs—Music Composition and Graphic Design—to create an educational institution unlike any other. The risks of doing this are not insubstantial, yet the rewards are great. One need look no further than our students and faculty, past and present, to realize this. Take MFA-VA alumna Denise Karabinus Telang. Adapting to a life in motion, she has learned that great art can come from constantly exploring and engaging with new communities. Well-traveled MFA-W instructor Rigoberto González defines himself as a “migrant writer.” Yet equally interesting is the boundary-crossing within his work, from poetry and fiction to creative nonfiction and fiction for young adults. The Graphic Design program began its inaugural semester in August, with a boundarycrossing exhibit of its own. Curated by faculty chair Matthew Monk and founding faculty member Silas Munro, “Swiss Poster Design: 100+ Posters from 50+ Years” brought a remarkable treasure trove of graphic art to our campus, and enabled our students to see firsthand some of the work that has influenced designers around the world. At the same time we look with pride on the writers, artists, composers, and designers who define the world of VCFA, we can also take pleasure in the way their work crosses boundaries to impact a worldwide audience. Working hard despite economic realities, MFA-W alumnus Willard Cook and his staff at Epiphany are publishing remarkable work and sharing it with a growing audience. And Keisha Slaughter, a member of VCFA’s inaugural class in Music Composition, is taking her musical skills into therapy settings to help at-risk teens. Day after day, year after year, the ability of artists and their work to cross boundaries and create positive change is benefiting humanity. As all of you join us on this human journey, I wish you the best…

Thomas Christopher Greene President, VCFA



MFA IN GRAPHIC DESIGN Inaugural Residency Convocation Speech By Matthew Monk, Faculty Chair “Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for a while.” These are the instructions to her students from a wise woman, the artist, educator, and Roman Catholic Sister Corita Kent. This place, Vermont College of Fine Arts, and this program in Graphic Design, are built on trust. Each of us lucky enough to be in this room today is here because of trust. As students, you place tremendous trust in the faculty, staff, administration, and in this remarkable and unique institution. And we are grateful for that trust. Yet trust goes much deeper here. The faculty has placed tremendous trust in me, as I have in them. Likewise, the administration has placed trust in us, and we in them. Beginning and sustaining a program like ours requires staggering heaps of mutual trust.

Trust is a beautiful and fragile commodity. It’s a force that must not only be earned, but also actively fostered. We have all found a place and a group of people we trust. Let’s take Sister Corita’s advice and really try trusting them. Let’s celebrate and nourish this powerful sense of trust we share in each other. I have always felt that in education, the important thing is what the student learns. In design education, we generate material evidence of our learning. We make posters and books and websites—we call them our portfolios, but they are all just things. It’s easy to find ourselves believing that these artifacts are the reason we are here. Certainly creating these objects helps us learn. But they are not the reason we are here. We are not here to make things. We are here to learn. The material results are simply the by-product of our learning. As an idealistic undergraduate studying graphic design, I felt very strongly

© Roger Crowley

When I was invited to take on the role of leading this program, the deciding factor for me was the overwhelming sense of trust I felt in and from the president, Tom, the

dean, Gary, and in everyone I met on my first visit to campus.



about this. One night toward the end of senior year, a small group of us, working late one night in studio, began to wax philosophical about this idea. In a heated moment, we collected a pile of our work from the semester, which, back then, was plaka paintings, Photostats, and paste-up boards. I think someone grabbed a floppy disk. In the courtyard, we doused the pile in rubber cement thinner, someone flicked their clove cigarette onto the pile, and poof! A toxic blaze of glory. It felt wonderful. Until campus police came. Illegal and unsafe as it was, we made our point, if only to ourselves. To this day I maintain a secret fantasy of a semesterend bonfire where we sacrifice the things we have made in order to fully honor what we have learned. I recently came across a poem, written by the artist Alberto Giacometti, that beautifully supports this idea. Giacometti was one of the most important and influential artists of the first part of the twentieth century. In the final year of his life, as he was crossing the Atlantic on a boat, he wrote these words: It all means little, All the painting, sculpture, drawing, Writing, or rather, literature, It all has its place and nothing more. An attempt is everything! How marvelous! When I consider how remarkable the material evidence of Giacometti’s attempts is, it staggers me to imagine what he must have learned while making it. Giacometti understood.

As we begin this program, let us remember this moment, this place, this point from which we shine forward. We’re in the presence of a fiery ember, whose flame we all shall fan. An idea that started with the president, the dean, some insightful board members, and others on campus. They stoked the embers enough to bring others in on their vision. Today, they turn it over to us. And as with any potent source of light, there are countless rays beaming forth. Each of us, each student, each member of the faculty and staff, each administrator, and before we know it, each alumnus—each one emanates from this radiant point. Convocation is always a celebration of beginnings. A calling together to anoint a new start. And today is the beginning of all beginnings for this exciting new program. I am ecstatic to be here, and I am thrilled that each of you is here as well. As we begin the very first moments of this residency for this new program, let’s foster trust as Sister Coretta instructed, let’s honor our attempts as we minimize the material evidence of what we make as Giacometti did, and most of all, let’s shine forward as brilliant rays of light from this point, this room, this moment. — delivered, College Hall Chapel, October 16, 2011

In Euclidian geometry, a ray can be defined as part of a line starting at a particular point and extending infinitely in one direction. Our program begins today, from this starting point—this place, and this moment—extending infinitely from here. The concept of the ray is often associated with light, and light is symbolically linked with knowledge and vision. Appropriate symbols for us today.



AN INTERNATIONAL DESIGN FRIENDSHIP The Swiss Poster at Vermont College of Fine Arts By Lauren Baldwin '10 VCFA’s newest fine arts program, the MFA in Graphic Design, began with an international theme. During the program’s inaugural residency in October 2011, the college hosted “Swiss Poster Design: 100+ Posters from 50+ Years,” a special exhibit celebrating the art of the Swiss poster and curated by VCFA Graphic Design faculty chair, Matthew Monk and founding faculty member, Silas Munro. Designer Thomas Strong of New Haven, Connecticut, graciously lent the posters for display from his large private collection which dates back at least fifty years. The show included works by twentieth-century masters like Armin Hofmann, Herbert Matter, Bruno Monguzzi, Josef MüllerBrockmann, Emil Ruder, and Wolfgang Weingart, as well as contemporary notables including Stefan Sagmeister, Ralph Schraivogel, and Martin Woodtli. Swiss designers are world renowned for their use of graphic design in the poster form. Swiss artists began designing and printing posters as early as 1908 to advertise Switzerland as a travel destination. The first recognized poster was entitled Matterhorn and was designed by artist Emil Cardinaux. Swiss poster design has not stopped evolving since. In the 1970s, the International Typographic Style emerged, which was popular not only in Switzerland but throughout the world. This style relied heavily on typography, as well as photography rather than illustration, and featured the clean, simple lines for which the Swiss are famous. In the 1980s, artists like Weingart, Siegfried Odermatt, and Rosemarie Tissi began exploring and experimenting with new design paths that would break away from the International Typographic Style sometimes criticized as impersonal and cold. The result of this experimentation is a twenty-first-century style informally referred to as Postmodern design which draws from various styles and celebrates bold colors and shapes, collage, playfulness, spontaneity, and even chaos.



Josef Müller-Brockmann, Weniger Larm (Noise Control), 1960

In his curatorial statement for the VCFA Swiss poster exhibit, Matthew Monk writes: “In many ways the poster is the ultimate expression of Swiss design,” and that Swiss poster design exudes “an array of qualities seen in the posters gathered here: immediacy, spontaneity, structure, expression, simplicity, wit, intricacy, subtlety and more.” According to Monk, Swiss designers are meeting a need “for clear communications, sophisticated typographic systems, graphic form that transcends language and a respect for a rich variety of viewpoints and aesthetics.” The Consulate of Switzerland, swissnex Boston, sponsored a public exhibition and reception at VCFA on October 21, attended by Deputy Consul Andreas Rufer and his wife Geovanna. In his swissnex blog, Rufer described the show as “an extraordinary exhibit.” Over 100 guests from outside the college, including several Swiss families, joined students from the

© Roger Crowley © Roger Crowley

MFA in Graphic Design program at the reception. According to Jennifer Renko, Program Director, MFA in Graphic Design, the Swiss in attendance found the exhibit delightful and proclaimed that it made them homesick for Switzerland. “Both the exhibit and the reception,” Renko says, “were a priceless celebration of topnotch design that allowed us to expose both our new students and the Vermont community to the integral role that design continues to play in global culture.”

MFA in Graphic Design faculty: Silas Munro, Yoon Soo Lee, Natalia Ilyin, Matthew Monk (Faculty Chair), Nicole Juen



BOUND HOMEWARD Rigoberto González on the Migrant Writer’s Life By Mayumi Shimose Poe '10 Borrowing a phrase from Chicana writer Sandra Cisneros, Rigoberto González describes himself as a “migrant writer.” Born in California and raised in Mexico, he has lived in many U.S. cities, following opportunities to study and teach. “This was the way of our world—to move where the jobs were,” says González, a child of migrant farm workers. “Yet home for me will always be memory, of Mexico and the American Southwest, which is where most of my work takes place.” Though he has now lived in New York for thirteen years and it has begun inhabiting his literary consciousness, he finds himself consistently drawn toward stories of immigrants and the working class—“the displaced and the sufferers of culture shock.” González’s own work is a massive and constantly updating oeuvre, spanning poetry (Black Blossoms was released in October 2011; his fourth collection will be published in 2013), fiction (he’s at work on a new novel about Mexicans in New York), CNF (a book of essays is due out in 2012; a collection of flash CNF is currently seeking a publisher; and he’s working on his second memoir), youngadult fiction (his second YA novel will be published in 2012), and book reviews (his popular book review column for the

El Paso Times now enters its tenth and final year). What unites this vast torrent of creativity is the deeply thoughtful crossing of borders, those that are placed between us and others and those that we ourselves construct: U.S.–Mexico, Chicanos–Latinos, persons of color–whites, gay–straight, men–women, and so forth. In González’s work, what you find is constant reaching across in order to connect. When he’s not writing, González teaches at Rutgers-Newark and at VCFA, where he is a participating faculty member in the new winter residency-abroad program in Puerto Rico. (VCFA has long hosted a similar summer program in Slovenia.) Why Puerto Rico? González suggests that the country offers the opportunity to engage in conversations about politics and race, “which are palpable and open in ways that give those of us who are shy or polite at home [the chance] to be vocal and engaged.” In exchange, he believes that the VCFA community “can become a group of enlightened ambassadors (and not simply tourists) who come back wanting to participate in the discussions of race that affect all of us every single day.” Gifted with many opportunities to travel abroad, González locates the value of such programs in that they grant the writer the ability to realize “universality and narrative.” Universality because “despite the different geography, language, and customs, there is still the possibility of making human connections.” And narrative because such travel presents the “challenge of making sense out of another’s history, literature, and community” and holds each of us accountable for representing that culture. Travel is instructive for artists: in losing and then gaining our footing, we must reassess our own internal compasses. “Traveling,” says González, “helps us get out of our worlds and then come right back into them with fresh knowledge and perspective.” So it is that in getting lost, we get found.





STUDIO IN A SUITCASE By Cheryl Wilder '10

“Simplicity comes from traveling,” says MFA-VA alumna Denise Karabinus Telang. It’s a motto she’s adopted since meeting her husband, a traveling software consultant, in 2006. “My studio fits into one small suitcase.” Before committing to life on the road, Karabinus Telang established herself in New Jersey where she and her husband set up “home base.” “Community is important for an artist,” she says. As a board member for the Printmaking Center of New Jersey, she flies home once a month to attend meetings and teach classes. While on the road she frequents artist talks and gallery openings, or joins the local print studio. “No matter where you are,” she says, “it’s important to get hooked into the local scene.” Foremost a printmaker, Karabinus Telang also paints, draws, and constructs installation art. Lately, she’s ventured into working with textiles. “Now I’m thinking about my work modularly,” she says. For her current project, Handbags, Karabinus Telang carries her suitcase full of fabric. In Arkansas she cuts patterns; in Maine, she sews. Only when Karabinus Telang arrives at the gallery site will she complete the fabric sculpture. She’ll purchase sand from a local source and fill the fabric hands. “I think differently about what materials to use,” she says of her piecemeal style. “I think of what I don’t have to transport, but also what I can recycle back into the community.” Simplifying projects, and how they are constructed, also allows for flexibility. “I like the surprises that come with a flexible approach to art,” Karabinus Telang says. At home in New Jersey she created a 6’ x 6’ installation piece in her large basement studio. In a Toronto efficiency apartment with twenty-foot ceilings, one slender wall inspired multiple tall, narrow drawings. Packing and carrying suitcases led to her work in textiles. “Every place I’ve been,” she says, “the space has dictated my art.” As an artist, Karabinus Telang takes more than a sketchbook when she travels. “I realize this way of making art is not for everyone,” she says of her suitcase studio. “But it fits with my adaptable personality.” Karabinus Telang is currently located in Portland, Maine, where she is artist-in-residence for Textile Arts at Quimby Colony. Next stop: Denver, Colorado.



Drawing Series by Denise Karabinus '07

Cage Installation by Denise Karabinus '07




Keisha Slaughter listens closely as her patient, a sixteen-year-old girl diagnosed with severe clinical depression, begins to sing. Slaughter takes notes, jotting down information that is both clinical and musical. She’s not just a therapist, she’s a music therapist, and she’s helping this patient rework her song in preparation for a December showcase. Recently transplanted from New Orleans to Landsdowne, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia, Slaughter has spent the last several months working in two residential treatment facilities for teenagers with troubled histories. Most of Slaughter’s patients have diagnoses of psychological and behavioral disorders. Her goal is to teach the teens skills that will help them safely return to their families and function in their communities. A member of the inaugural class in the Music Composition program, Slaughter chose VCFA because she wanted a place that would allow her to “focus on areas of composition that suited my musical interests and aligned with my personal and professional goals.” In just a few short months, Slaughter has found just that. Although her MFA work is currently focused on her own music—music that has its roots in the jazz and gospel of her legendary home town—Slaughter finds that she can’t help but bring her own musical development into her daily work as a music therapist. She marries her growing musical knowledge with professional mental health consultation, using her patients’ attraction to and innate love for music to help them process their complicated situations. Slaughter guides at-risk teens “to think critically about the circumstances that have led them to placement” in the facility. Her focus is on returning her patients to their families, but she’s finding that her work with them might lead to something more.

© Sarah Madru

Many of Slaughter’s patients continue to express their newly found musical voices once they leave the group home. Slaughter remembers one particularly shy boy: “He had a lot of developmental delays, and he never thought he could write. A month after he was discharged, he told me he was still writing and rapping. The sense of pride that music gave him was significant. It was



© Poetique Art Photography

something he took with him when he left.” Moving forward in both her MFA experience and her professional life, Slaughter wants to help her patients continue their work: “I want to think more about building a stronger bridge to allow [my patients] to continue to build their skills after they are discharged,” she says. “I want to be able to better link them to different resources in the community to allow them to continue their music.” Slaughter believes some of her former patients might even be heading toward promising and productive futures in music. She hopes to “build that bridge into the music field.” The sixteen-year-old sings the last bar of her song, and Slaughter jots the last of her notes. This bridge is still under construction, but Slaughter is hopeful and excited. For both Slaughter and her patient, the music is just the beginning of two success stories.




“Sometimes you feel terrible about rejecting a story,” says Willard Cook. A 1993 alumnus from VCFA’s MFA in Writing Program, Cook has run Epiphany, a New York City-based, biannual literary magazine, since 2002. “Just because we reject a story, a story that sometimes can break your heart, doesn’t make it less of a story to the person who wrote it.” Cook and his staff are constantly looking for new ways to adapt the evolving landscape of literary publication, reaching beyond the standard submission pool. “We are publishing a chapter from a novel by the Belarussian author Viktor Martinovich.” Martinovich is an exciting voice writing in a country where government censors still monitor the printed word. It’s this kind of dynamic, literary writing that Cook’s magazine brings to its readers. In addition to the print magazine, Epiphany has begun offering readers “Book Kits,” an inexpensive way to literally build a book. Readers purchase a published chapbook online and print the file; Epiphany then ships a limited edition, letterpress cover that can easily bind the book. “It’s a fun and exciting niche market.” Keeping a nonprofit print magazine going means overcoming many obstacles. “The trick,” says Cook, “is to be a small, quality shop.” Finding editors, interns, supporters, and subscribers is only half the battle. Managing a magazine, raising a family, and earning an income are other challenges. Furthermore, as a writer, Cook also knows that publishing a magazine takes away from his own valuable time at the writing desk. “Part of the joy of running a magazine is that you don’t have to suffer rejection letters,” Cook says with just a hint of humor. “But I miss writing.” Continuing to balance the quality of the writing with the struggle to commercialize the magazine is Cook’s primary focus for the future. “The biggest challenge is the economic side of publishing.” With a small staff and a limited budget, Epiphany survives because of the dedication of its editorial team and its patrons. With Pushcart Prize and Best American nominations, Epiphany’s innovative approach and commitment to quality writing seems to be paying off. In spite of the many challenges, Cook believes in the importance of what Epiphany produces. “People care about letters and people care about narrative,” he says. “Writing is a very demanding game. It requires patience, endurance, and it pays next to nothing. Being an editor gave me a wider perspective on both writing and writers.” Cook also credits his experience at VCFA as a source of inspiration for the magazine. “I started Epiphany in part because I missed the community of writers that I found at Vermont College. I wanted to recreate some of that feeling in our magazine.”





A HEART FASHIONED FOR LITERARY CITIZENSHIP By Laurie Easter '12 If Katherine Paterson’s heart were to be fashioned of an earthly substance, it would most certainly not be flint. Hers would be a heart of rose quartz, moonstone, or pearl. For Paterson, being a writer is more than putting words down on paper and getting them published. In her world, the act of writing contributes to a grander design: that of literary citizenship. Paterson’s accolades are far-reaching. She is a two-time Newbery Medal and National Book Award winner, the beloved author of children’s books such as Bridge to Terabithia and The Great Gilly Hopkins, and a Library of Congress “Living Legend” recipient. These prestigious achievements, however, have not made her complacent. After more than forty published books, and as many years in the field, Paterson hasn’t slowed—in activity, dedication, or enthusiasm. In addition to her multitude of writing projects, Paterson serves as an active member of the VCFA Board of Trustees, which she describes as “such an exciting group, every member feels so fortunate to be a part of it.” Paterson also serves as vice president of the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance and has spent the last two years as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a tenure that the Library of Congress states: “raises national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education, and the development and betterment of the lives of young people.” Paterson’s advocacy runs on the platform “Read for Your Life!”—an apt theme for a woman who says, “What we need is a wise citizenry, and children aren’t going to get there tweeting. Reading is crucial if democracy is going to survive.” It is this type of commitment to young people through literature that resonates in Paterson’s most recent publication. The Flint Heart, co-authored with Paterson’s husband, John, and illustrated by John Rocco, is a “freely abridged” version of Eden Phillpotts’s 1910 fantasy. The tale follows the path of a Stone-Age heart-shaped talisman, fashioned from flint, which hardens the heart of its bearer, eliciting a thirst for absolute power that corrupts even the purest of beings. The idea for the Patersons’ rendition of Phillpotts’s book began more than ten years ago. At that time, John had been reading fellow children’s author Margaret Mahy. In an interview, Mahy identified The Flint Heart as her choice of book from the twentieth century that should be “kept alive.” John ordered a copy of the out-of-print book for the hefty price of forty dollars, fell in love with the story, and endeavored to get it into print.



The process of creating The Flint Heart, from inception to final product, may have been long, but the result is a beautifully illustrated whimsical fable that Paterson says retains “as much of the voice, characters, and story of the original as possible.” This dedication to a story, whose fate was to disappear from contemporary literature, exhibits literary citizenship at its finest. By ensuring the survival of The Flint Heart’s overriding message that “total power corrupts,” Paterson exemplifies one of her core beliefs: “Language shapes thought. You get that from reading.”




Mathieu Cailler has had stories appear in recent issues of Two Hawks Quarterly (“Hit and Stay”) and Sleet Magazine (“Blowing Out the Candles”). (MFA-W)


Mae Pelster’s first book, titled Abolitionists, Copperheads and Colonizers in Hudson & the Western Reserve, was released in November 2011 from The History Press. (MFA-WCYA)


K.A. Barson’s 45 Pounds, about a girl who doesn’t fit—not into her blended family, and certainly not into Snapz! clothes— has been picked up by Viking Children’s. (MFA-WCYA) Lee Busby has five poems and an interview forthcoming shortly from Connotation Press, and his chapbook Wild Strawberries is due out this December from Finishing Line Press. Lee and Chaz Miller interviewed Ted Kooser for Moon City Review 2011. (MFA-W) Caroline Carlson’s debut middle-grade novel (and VCFA creative thesis), Magic Marks the Spot, will be published by HarperCollins in 2013, with two sequels to follow. (MFA-WCYA) Sion Dayson’s story “The Idiopath” is in a new anthology called Strangers in Paris: New Writing Inspired by the City of Light. The collection also includes work by John Berger and an interview with celebrated poet Alice Notley. (MFA-W) The latest issue of the journal Sinister Wisdom, co-edited by Merry Gangemi, was released in November with the theme of time/space. (MFA-W) Lené Gary has two poems in the upcoming anthology from The Blueline Press titled Birchsong: Poetry Centered in Vermont. (MFA-W) Diana Gonsalves is now teaching classes at Champlain College and Burlington College. (MFA-VA)



Jennifer Bowen Hicks recently placed work with Brevity, The Iowa Review, and The Rumpus. She’s also started a prison workshop in the Twin Cities. (MFA-W) Ross McMeekin’s stories have appeared recently in Connotation Press, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Monkeybicycle, and elsewhere. He is currently teaching creative writing through the Richard Hugo House and Edmonds Community College. (MFA-W) Gwen Mullins recently published short fiction based on works completed while at VCFA: “Sometimes Dying Is the Right Thing to Do” in Eclipse; “In the Morning” in The Monarch Review; and “Domestic Violence” in Pank. (MFA-W) Andrew Nurkin’s poem “I Have” won the 2011 Solstice Poetry Prize and was published online at His poem “The Noises Poetry Makes” is a finalist for the Rattle Poetry Prize and appears in the December 2011 issue of Rattle. (MFA-W) Karen Ristuben has presented performance/lectures at Cape Ann Museum, the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration, and several school venues. She is also lecturing on transdisciplinary art practices at Montserrat College of Art and at several marine science education events. (MFA-VA) Angela Sparandera has been hired as an adjunct professor for a community college, and is a steady freelancer for a local newspaper. (MFA-W) Allison Vrbova’s nonfiction narrative titled “Roughing it Smoothly” appeared in the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of Green Mountains Review. (MFA-W) Susan Levi (Zan) Wallach produced the festival “Bookin’ It On Main: A Celebration of Black Writers” in Columbia, SC. There were several VCFA alums among the featured poets. Zan had a short story accepted by The Monarch Review and her novel-in-progress was short-listed in the Faulkner-Wisdom Competition. (MFA-W)

Brian Zeigler was part of the Winooski POP-UP Gallery event in Winooski, VT. Starting at the end of June, fifty artists took over five empty buildings in downtown Winooski and worked in teams to transform them into gallery spaces. (MFA-VA)


Todd Baldwin’s work has been accepted by the White Columns Curated Artist Registry. White Columns is New York’s oldest alternative art space, and it hosts an interactive database that features the work of over 600 artists who are not affiliated with a New York City-based gallery. (MFA-VA) Q Lindsey Barrett’s novel A Cooler Than Hot Place has been shortlisted for the Mslexia Novel Competition. In addition, she was selected to participate in the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. (MFA-W) Kari Baumbach’s young adult short story titled “Lepidoptery” received an Honorable Mention in the 2011 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. (MFA-WCYA) Leigh Anne Chambers had a show at the Selden Arcade and Gallery in Norfolk, VA. The exhibition was with Marjorie Puryear and it opened on November 5, 2011. (MFA-VA) Renee Couture was one of fifteen Oregon artists to win an Oregon Opportunity Grant this granting cycle from the Oregon Arts Commission. Renee plans to use the grant money to assist with creating a multimedia installation called Shadow Effects. (MFA-VA)

Brian Zeigler ‘11

Two of Sara Reish Desmond’s stories from her VCFA creative thesis have earned some attention. “Clay Girls” was a finalist for the Copper Nickel Prize from the University of Colorado and “C3Pgirl” was published in the most recent issue (volume 10) of The Los Angeles Review. (MFA-W) Jason DeYoung’s stories have recently appeared in New Orleans Review and Marco Polo Review. He has stories forthcoming in The Fiddleback and The Los Angeles Review. (MFA-W)



CLASS NOTES >>> Richard Hartshorn won the Richard Bausch Short Story Prize in early 2011, which includes publication in Our Stories Literary Journal. (MFA-W) Kevin Knopp exhibited paintings and drawings for a two-person exhibition at the Tomorrow River Gallery in Amherst, WI. Opening reception was November 18 with a performance by the ensemble 3Clowns/No Circus. (MFA-VA) Caitlin Leffel will be presenting at the 2012 AWP Annual Conference in Chicago on a panel called “What about Blog?: How Blogging Can Propel Your Career and Polish Your Craft.” (MFA-W) Lauren Markham was awarded a Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Journalism. She will spend the year researching the plight of climate migrants in East Africa and examining the prospects of international protection for communities forced out of their homes at the hands of a changing landscape. (MFA-W) Celeste Provencher had several poems published this year in the literary journals Clapboard House and Plain Spoke. (MFA-W) Susa Silvermarie presented a workshop at the AROHO Writing Retreat at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, and published her blog post on the retreat on the MS Magazine website. She had seven poems published in the anthology In the Spirit of We’Moon. (MFA-WCYA)

Tereza Swanda is taking a yearlong art sabbatical to the Czech Republic, where she was born but hasn’t resided since she was a child. She is reconstructing a home both literally and figuratively and documenting this experience on her blog. (MFA-VA) Mima Tipper’s YA short story “A Cut-Out Face” appears in the October/November 2011 issue of Hunger Mountain online. Her story “Waiting for Alice” is forthcoming online in Sucker Literary Magazine’s first issue, Winter 2012. (MFA-WCYA) Blair Vaughn-Gruler recently had a solo exhibition titled Poetry of Geometry: Recent Paintings at the College of Southern Nevada Fine Arts Gallery. (MFA-VA)


Martin Balgach’s chapbook Too Much Breath is forthcoming from Pudding House Publications. His poems have recently appeared in Psychic Meatloaf, Spectrum Literary Magazine, and Stirring: A Literary Collection. (MFA-W) Olaitan Callender-Scott was juried into Pro Arts Juried Annual 2011 and has taught workshops at local museums. She recently curated a show at a San Francisco gallery and was nominated for a Eureka Fellowship. (MFA-VA) Ginny Lowe Connors read her poem responding to one by Donald Hall during his Hamden, CT, birthday bash/book launch. A local TV show, “Speaking of Poetry,” focused on Connors’s poetry. New work appears in Verse Wisconsin, The MacGuffin, and Spillway. (MFA-W)

Clete Smith’s debut middle-grade novel, Aliens on Vacation, was recently named to the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list for 2012–13. (MFA-WCYA)

Rebecca Cook has a creative nonfiction piece forthcoming in Southeast Review. Her first novel, Click, is forthcoming from Kitsune Books in 2013. (MFA-W)

Suzanne Farrell Smith’s essay “The Inner Identity of Immersion Memoir,” which was her critical thesis, ran in the December 2011 issue of The Writer’s Chronicle. “Bridges and Tunnels,” a chapter of her memoir, will appear in the Spring 2012 issue of The Kenyon Review. (MFA-W)

Carolyn Dille’s poem “Stillness, Near Tucson” will appear in Cave Wall, Winter 2012. (MFA-W)



Nicolas Gadbois is a professor of drawing at Santa Fe Community College in Santa Fe, NM. His paintings are represented by Santa Fe’s GVG Contemporary. (MFA-VA)

Lynda Graham-Barber’s newest picture book, Koko Cat Inside and Out, will be released in April 2012 by Gryphon Press. (MFA-WCYA) Laura Mylott Manning had a processbased performance titled Chalk, Crumble and Grind - Chalk Dress at the Dino Eli Gallery in New York City this past fall. (MFA-VA) Richard Moore’s creative nonfiction piece “A Death in the Hot Season” appeared in Wilderness House Literary Review this past spring. The piece concerns the death of a colleague’s child in India. (MFA-W)

“Large Smoke” Kevin Knopp ‘10

Angela Small’s story “The Art of Jealousy” was published by PIF Magazine in October 2011. (MFA-W) Jolanda-Pieta van Arnhem has worked as a professor and library educational technologist at the College of Charleston and the Art Institute of Charleston. She recently exhibited at the ReNude show in Charleston, SC, and had an installation at the Addlestone Library. (MFA-VA) Ben Westlie’s chapbook titled Sometimes Out of Turn was released by Finishing Line Press this year. (MFA-W)


Steven Axelrod is publishing regularly at Open Salon, and occasionally at Salon, Numéro Cinq, The Goodmen Project, and The Pothole View. He has stories coming out in Pulp Modern and Big Pulp magazines. His book Heat of the Moment is on submission. (MFA-W) Krisanne Baker’s short ecofilm “Upstream to Downstream (In Our Bloodstreams)” has, for the ninth time, been designated an official selection of a film festival—it is premiering at the Beijing International Film Festival’s “Greening the Beige.” (MFA-VA) Vanessa Blakeslee’s poems are forthcoming in The Los Angeles Review, Gargoyle, Saw Palm, and many others. Her essays, book reviews, and fiction have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Paris Review, The Florida Review, Southern Humanities Review, and others. (MFA-W)

Detail of The Sun and the Moon Nicolas Gadbois ‘09



CLASS NOTES >>> Jewel Beth Davis is a full professor at Concord Community College. Her short story “Round and Round” appeared in Entelechy International: A Journal of Contemporary Ideas, a creative nonfiction piece “The Visiting Tsatsky” was published in Spectrum Literary Magazine of UCSB, and two more pieces—“Flak” and “The Glow Boy”—appeared in Bewildering Stories. (MFA-W) Christine Starr Davis had several pieces recently published: “This Part of the Sea” by Lake Effect; “Panda Garden” by Soundings East; “Not That I Want To Be There” by The Monarch Review; and “Handloom Fabrics” by Nimrod International Journal. Her poem “Regarding the Chocolate Beet Cake” was nominated for a 2010 Pushcart Prize in Poetry. (MFA-W) Shawn Fawson won the 2010 Utah Book Award for her poetry collection titled Giving Way, published by The Bitter Oleander Press. The Utah Book Award “was established to honor exceptional achievements by Utah writers and to recognize outstanding literature written with a Utah theme or setting.” (MFA-W) Zack Kopp had two booklets published in November: The Secret Of Light and Camp Elasticity, available from Hippokampos. com. He is singing and playing guitar in a band called Smart Rats. (MFA-W) Fiona Phillips’s solo exhibition Glamorous Work was at the Coconino Center for the Arts in Flagstaff, AZ (September 25– November 2). Another solo exhibition will be held at the Mckinley Center of the Arts in Reno, NV (November 29–January 15). Her show features new paintings, art dresses, and video. (MFA-VA) Kat Schneck’s video “E/Motions” and her performance “Eiffel Tower” were part of the exhibition Letting Go in Newark, NJ, on October 22. (MFA-VA) Steven Simon enjoyed a nine-week artist residency at Bangkok University. Steven installed a site-specific sculpture,



“VOID,” built from mosquito nets. “VOID” was inspired by Steven’s travels through Thailand. At the conclusion of the exhibition, the mosquito nets were distributed to help fight malaria. (MFA-VA)


Ann Hagman Cardinal’s short story “Guadalupe of the Bowery” was included in the British anthology Women Writing the Weird, published by Dog Horn Press in October 2011. (MFA-W) Christina Cook’s poems have recently appeared in Soli/dus, Blood Orange Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Cave Wall, and Crab Orchard Review, with more forthcoming in The Midwest Quarterly, Cimarron Review, New Ohio Review, and Third Coast. Two of her poems were nominated for the 2011 Best New Poets Anthology. (MFA-W) Clea Felien was recently a visiting artist at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, at Carleton College with a solo show, at Winthrop College in South Carolina, and at the MFA program at Minneapolis College of Art & Design. She has an upcoming group show at MASS MOCA. (MFA-VA) Carrie Jones’s nonfiction picture book Sarah Emma Edmonds Was A Great Pretender received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly this past spring. This September her anthology titled Dear Bully was a People Magazine choice for kids and was featured on NPR and elsewhere. (MFA-WCYA) Jennifer Wolf Kam was named a finalist for the Katherine Paterson Prize for two of her short stories, “The White House” and “The Tall Grass.” “The White House” appears in the current print issue of Hunger Mountain. (MFA-WCYA) Jay Kauffmann’s recent work has appeared in Frostwriting, Upstairs at Duroc, upstreet (#7), and Slake: Los Angeles. He teaches fiction, nonfiction, and travel writing at The Writer House in Charlottesville, VA. (MFA-W)

Patricia McInroy was at the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts residency during October 2011 in Saratoga, WY. In August one of her videos and two of her still photos were part of the Nature Nourishes exhibit at ArtSpace Hartford, CT. (MFA-VA) Maggie Nowinski continues to teach courses in studio art and art history at colleges. In the past year she has produced and exhibited cross-media installations and is currently pursuing performative interventions in her practice. (MFA-VA) Emily Parkhurst visited New Orleans to accept a Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative reporting of stories on therapeutic restraint of public school children in Maine. (MFA-W) Rocco Scary is teaching sculpture and advanced sculpture at The College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ. He was also part of Beyond the Text at The Book Club of California in San Francisco and Remembrance of Things Past at Gallery 14 in Morristown, NJ. (MFA-VA)

Still from the video “Open” Patricia McInroy ‘07

Anindita Basu Sempere is now the Executive Director of The Writing Faculty, writing-focused one-on-one tutoring—from academic and admissions support to individualized fiction, poetry, screenwriting, journalism, and creative nonfiction—for students across age and experience levels. (MFA-WCYA) After living for two years at Earthdance, a Contact Improvisation dance community, Kristen Stake moved to the Northampton, MA, area where she is attaining her Massage Therapy license and working as a fundraiser for the local food pantry. (MFA-W) Pamela St. Clair has a chapter on Sylvia Plath’s writing process in Critical Insights: The Bell Jar (Salem Press, September 2011). (MFA-W) Denise Karabinus Telang was a 2011 artist-in-residence at Quimby Colony and completed a second version of Handbags Pile #2 in Portland, ME. (MFA-VA)



CLASS NOTES >>> Liza Gardner Walsh’s book Fairy House Handbook is coming out from Down East Books in Spring 2012. (MFA-W) Dianne White’s picture book Blue on Blue was acquired by Allyn Johnston of Beach Lane Books (S&S) and will be published in 2014. Beth Krommes, 2009 Caldecott winner for The House In The Night, is illustrating. (MFA-WCYA) An excerpt from Erica Williams’s novelin-progress appears in the latest (ninth) edition of Kansas City Voices: A Periodical of Writing and Art. (MFA-W)


Irene Abraham exhibited a solo show, Information Age, at the Hannah Bacol Busch Gallery in Houston that opened in November 2011. She participated in group shows at the La Jolla Athenaeum and the San Diego Lyceum Theatre. (MFA-VA) Anne Bauer won Pavement Saw Press’s 2011 Poetry Chapbook Award, earning a small prize and publication. (MFA-W) Harrison Candelaria Fletcher has essays in South Loop Review, The Coachella Review, and Sweet. He’ll also participate in the 2012 AWP Annual Conference in Chicago on a panel titled “Your Family Stories.” (MFA-W) Tessa Derfner is teaching theater, dance, and literacy to middle-school children with severe autism in NYC. She is also working with a co-teacher as her writing partner on a screenplay, which was a finalist for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. They are in the process of revising that script and drafting a second one this fall. (MFA-W) John Feodorov has had solo shows at MOCNA in Santa Fe and Anchor Art Space in Anacortes, WA. John also received a grant from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and was featured in Manifestations: New Native Arts Criticism (Dr. Nancy Marie Mithlo, Senior Editor). (MFA-VA) Janet Filomeno was part of the Physical Graffiti group exhibition at the James Oliver Gallery in Philadelphia, September



10–October 22. The exhibition, curated by Pam Farrell, consisted of thirteen artists who transform time and material. (MFA-VA) Dawn Haine’s essay “Wildmen” (which features former VCFA faculty member Chris Noel) is in the Fall 2011 issue of Zone 3. She had a second essay, “Life After the MFA,” appear in the August/ September 2011 issue of Poets and Writers. In it, she quotes several members of VCFA’s community. (MFA-W) Robin Oliveira won the Annual Michael Shaara Prize for Excellence in Civil War Fiction for her book My Name is Mary Sutter, a novel begun while she was a student at VCFA. (MFA-W) Patty Oliver-Smith made a presentation on October 15 at a poetry reading in honor of Carl Jung’s Red Book. Her presentation was based on a section of her memoir dealing with Carl Jung and his connection to her family. (MFA-W) Kristi Ryba is a 2011/12 South Carolina Arts Commission Alternate Fellow in Visual Arts. She also has a show titled The Art and Science of Memory opening in December 2011 at the Corrigan Gallery in Charleston, SC. (MFA-VA) Judith Gold Stitzel’s essay “Just Desserts” was published in Green Mountains Review (XXIII, No 2). An excerpt from Field Notes from Grief: The First Year will be published in an upcoming issue of GMR. (MFA-W) Zu Vincent will appear at the 2012 AWP Annual Conference in Chicago with two presentations: “Readers and Me: Connecting Teen Readers Through Narrative” and “New Children’s and Young Adult Voices: A Cross-Genre Reading.” (MFA-WCYA) Vicki Wittenstein’s book Planet Hunter: Geoff Marcy and the Search for Other Earths (Boyds Mills Press 2010) was awarded the 2011 Science Communications Award from The American Institute of Physics. The award will be presented on January 11, 2012 in Austin, TX. (MFA-WCYA)


Brad Birchett exhibited Formation, a collection of objects at Text + Texture, the SECAC National Juried Exhibition, at Gutstein Gallery in Savannah, GA. Dan Cameron, founding director of Prospect New Orleans, was the Juror. (MFA-VA) Larry Caveney’s video was selected from a wide collection of registered art works to be a part of the VIDEOHOLICA International Video Art Festival 2011. In addition, he had a one-person show at the Swift Gallery in Point Loma, CA, and was part of the 2011 Juried Biennial Exhibition at the Cannon Gallery. (MFA-VA) Jeanie Chung is now co-director of the Sunday Salon Chicago reading series. She is always looking for readers and of course audience members. (MFA-W) Charlotte Cunningham-McEachin has just published a story called “Contract to Come Home Because I Have Changed” in an anthology by ISFN Publishing. She was also published in Apathy is Easy, Gutter Eloquence Magazine, Verse Wisconsin, greatest lakes review, and Punkin House Digest. (MFA-W)

“Emergence 4” John Feodorov ‘06

Bill Duvall won Honorable Mention (out of 550+ entries) for three poems in the War Poetry Contest at Winning Writers, Honorable Mention for two poems in the Paul Laurence Dunbar Contest, and First Prize in the Penumbra Contest for a poem entitled “Typist.” (MFA-W) Mary Fillmore’s “Prayer for an Astronomer” appears in the Poetry 2011 Contest issue of Atlanta Review (Fall/ Winter 2011). She is still at work on her novel, An Address in Amsterdam, and is closer to finishing than ever. (MFA-W) Audrey Friedman’s “Cento (Mark Doty, Atlantis)” has been included in The Cento: A Collection of Collage Poems, published by Red Hen Press. In addition, her haibun “Crazy With the Freedom of the Breeze” appears in the October 2011 issue of Contemporary Haibun Online. (MFA-W)

“Significant Moments in the Life of My Mother” Kristi Ryba ‘06



The August 2011 MFA in Visual Art’s new and returning student exhibition in Alumni Hall. Using this facility as an exhibition space was a huge success, thanks largely to the work of Exhibition Coordinator (and MFA-VA alum) Robert O’Connor.





© Roger Crowley

CLASS NOTES >>> Gustavo Godoy is having a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, FL. The show will feature a twenty-six-foottall sculpture titled “Empty Altar/Empty Throne.” He also has an upcoming show at Honor Fraser Gallery in Los Angeles, opening in April 2012. (MFA-VA) Mindy Hardwick’s middle-grade novel Stained Glass Summer will be published on December 30, 2011 by Musa Publishing. Stained Glass Summer was Mindy’s thesis novel and she is thrilled to have found a home for it. (MFA-WCYA) PJ Lyons has two board books coming out in February 2012: Little Lamb’s Book of Bible Stories and Little Lion’s Book of Bible Stories. (MFA-WCYA) Hatsy McGraw’s poem “If My Aunt Had Been a Dog” will appear in the 2012 edition of Bloodroot Literary Magazine. She also has two poems appearing in the anthology Birchsong: Poetry Centered in Vermont, to be published in April 2012 by The Blueline Press. (MFAWCYA) Kerry Muir’s full-length play Cut-Ups, which won the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition, will receive its premiere production at the Alleyway Theater in Buffalo, NY, this February. She is currently working on another play as well as essays. (MFA-W) Matt Propst owns a bookstore in City Market, Savannah, GA. He’s written three books—the third is currently being printed—and is working on his fourth and fifth. He often photographs and writes about Savannah. (MFA-VA) Sarah Sullivan’s book Passing the Music Down has been nominated for a West Virginia Children’s Choice Book Award. Candlewick is going to publish her middle-grade novel. (MFA-WCYA) Mary Ting had a solo show titled Mary Ting: Installations and Drawings at the Charlotte & Philip Hanes Art Gallery at Wake Forest University in



Winston-Salem, NC, this fall. She was also in a group show: Keyed, curated by Glen Baldridge, at the Lower East Side Printshop, NYC. (MFA-VA)


Carol W. Bachofner’s fourth collection of poetry, Native Moons, Native Days, is out soon from Bowman Books. She is a featured speaker at conferences and workshops, most recently at the TEK (Traditional Ecological Knowledge) Conference at UNH. She was a finalist in the 2011 Maine Literary Awards, Short Works Poetry category. (MFA-W) Darryl Benjamin’s Short Story “Relativity” was accepted for publication by Main Street Rag Literary Journal. (MFA-W) Mari Blacker was invited by the Hispanic Studies Program of Villanova University to exhibit during the International Conference in celebration of the centennial of the birth of Peruvian writer and ethnologist Jose Maria Arguedas. (MFA-W) Patty Crane’s translation of Tomas Tranströmer’s The Sorrow Gondola was featured in the Spring 2011 issue of Virginia Commonwealth University’s online literary journal Blackbird. Crane has been awarded a MacDowell fellowship this fall to work on a new selection of Tranströmer’s poems. (MFA-W) Shedding Light, by Juliet Davis and Stephanie Tripp, is a public art project commissioned by the City of Tampa (supported by an NEA grant), which opened in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in February 2011. See (MFA-VA) Kate Fetherston has poems forthcoming in the New Ohio Review and a book, Until Nothing More Can Break, is due out in early 2012 from Antrim House. (MFA-W) Sundee Frazier’s latest book, Brendan Buckley’s Sixth-Grade Experiment, a sequel to her award-winning first novel, will be out in January 2012. Brendan has more big questions—about starting middle school, girls, and using cow poop as an alternative energy source. (MFA-WCYA)

Kathie Giorgio’s collection of short stories, Enlarged Hearts, will be released by the Main Street Rag Publishing Company on February 14, 2012. She’s also had short stories appear in Main Street Rag, the St. Petersburg Review, and Lowescroft Chronicle. (MFA-W) Josanne LaValley has a message for fellow alums: “Never, Ever, Give Up! It’s been seven years since I graduated and now I have a contract from Clarion with a publication date of spring 2013! It finally happened after I’d written four books and had a zillion rejections from editors and agents.” (MFA-WCYA) Susan McCarty has new fiction forthcoming in The Indiana Review, The Los Angeles Review, and Flyway, and her essay “Services Pending” was recently excerpted in the Utne Reader. (MFA-W) Angela Morrison’s novel Sing Me To Sleep (Razorbill 2010) was released in Brazil and Indonesia, and won in the Young Adult Fiction category of the USA “Best Books 2011” Awards, sponsored by USA Book News. Angela is collaborating with composer Harriet Bushman on a musical adaptation. (MFA-WCYA) Niya Sisk’s book of short stories, Bragging, Bantering, Bawling, is available through Barnes & Noble and Amazon as of November 2011. Many of the stories were originally written at VCFA, and the book is dedicated to faculty member Philip Graham. (MFA-W) Rick Wallenda’s biography of circus great John Jordan was published in the July/August 2011 issue of White Tops Magazine. (MFA-W) Tony Van Witsen’s story “The Moment Before The Downbeat” was published in the October issue of Serving House Journal. (MFA-W) Barbara Yontz presented a paper at SECAC entitled “Art at the End of Times: Capitalism, Marxism, and Contemporary Art.” She spoke of artists working with social issues including Laurie Palmer, Ashley Hunt, and Rick Lowe. (MFA-VA)

“Insomnia Stories” Mary Ting ‘05



CLASS NOTES >>> 2003

Hannah (Rodgers) Barnaby’s first YA novel, Wonder Show, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Spring 2012. (MFA-WCYA) Nils Karsten had two solo exhibitions in New York this past spring: Can’t Find My Way Home was at Illuminated Metropolis; and Nils Karsten was at the UBU Gallery. (MFA-VA) Dawn McDuffie’s Detroit poem, “Motor City Tirade,” was published this spring in the Garrison Keillor anthology titled Good Poems, American Places. (MFA-W) Gabriella Mirollo has a new photo book called Studies in Contrast and a new calendar titled Bikes in Black and White that features images of solitary bicycles. She is finally becoming a full-time resident of the beautiful state of Vermont this winter! (MFA-W) Sandra Novack-Gottshall’s (pen name Sandra Novack) newest book, Everyone But You, was published by Random House in September 2011. (MFA-W) Kenneth Rapoza left Brazil and the Wall Street Journal in May 2010. He’s had short stories published here and there, one in a magazine run by fellow VCFA alumnus Thomas Kennedy. (MFA-W) Linda Stillman has had work in several shows this summer, including Community of Artists at the Danforth Art Museum in Framingham, MA. Some of her “Daily Paintings” were featured in the show Just Air at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance in NY as well as in Jersey Bounce at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. (MFA-VA)


Nancy Hewitt’s entry of five prose poems won Honorable Mention in the 2011 New Letters Prize for Poetry contest. (MFA-W) Sam Howie has an essay in the Republic of Letters section of The South Carolina Review, Fall 2011. (MFA-W)



Sarah Maclay’s poem “The Contents May Have Shifted While In Flight” from Music for the Black Room was featured on Poetry Daily as the poem of the day on Saturday, October 22, 2011. (MFA-W) Monica Rabinowitz has moved back to London, England, and has been teaching with the BA (Hons) in Photography and National Diploma in Photography and Interactive Media programs. (MFA-VA)


Charles Accardi has paintings in two group shows: Barnsdall Park Art Gallery (Open Show 2011) in Hollywood, CA, and Torrance Art Museum (South Bay Focus 2011) in Torrance, CA. (MFA-VA) Xtine Burrough is the editor of Net Works: Case Studies of Web Art and Design (Routledge 2011). Artists introduce a project from formalist play to data visualization and reflect on challenges and outcomes unique to art on the web. (MFA-VA) Jane Camens, founder and director of the Asia-Pacific Writing Partnership (apwriters. com), will be in Perth, Australia, December 2–5 for “Writing Out of Asia.” The event includes writing workshops, readings, and provocations including “Teaching Creative Writing in Asia,” “Literature as a Bridge Between Cultures,” and “On Translation.” Speakers include VCFA faculty member Xu Xi. (MFA-W) Sabrina Fadial was part of an exhibition at the T.W. Wood Gallery in Montpelier, VT. The show, titled The Body Human: Off the Wall and On, opened on October 6 and ran through November 13, 2011. (MFA-VA) “Call and Response” and “Art,” two new essays by Jim McGarrah, will soon appear in Phatitude Literary Magazine and North American Review respectively. (MFA-W) Paula Sergi’s latest chapbook, Black Forest Love Songs, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. (MFA-W)


Muriel Angelil won an award for her digital print titled Arab Women in a juried

show at the Newburyport Art Association in fall 2011. (MFA-VA) Mona Brody was part of the exhibition Art of Adornment: Studio Jewelry at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, NJ, this summer and fall. (MFA-W) Two of Leisa Shannon Corbett’s drawings were published in the medical journal Blood and Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine. The journal is published by the University of Oklahoma, Tulsa School of Medicine. (MFA-VA) Virginia Stearns’s Global Warming WorryWart Diary show is now up at Partners Gallery, Fort Bragg, CA. It features collaged pages from an ongoing journal exploring the issues and local solutions. (MFA-VA)

“Marble Girl” Charles Accardi ‘01


Ann Angel’s short story “The Bracelet” appears in Sudden Flash Youth: 65 ShortShort Stories (Persea Books, December 2011). Ann will also be a guest lecturer and reader for the January Pine Manor College MFA in Writing residency in Boston on January 3. (MFA-WCYA) Emily Bilman’s poem “The Stags” was published in the November issue of The London Magazine. “The Pilgrimage” was published in the Princeton Alumni Weekly. (MFA-W)

“Me, Myself and I” Sabrina Fadial ‘01

Anna Marie Black was co-presenter for “Does It Have to Rhyme? Planning Panic-Free Workshops for Young Poets” at the Pennsylvania Library Association Conference, October 2–5, 2011, in State College, PA. (MFA-WCYA) Gladys Goldberg’s poem “We Never Saw London Again” will be in US1 Worksheets out in April 2012. In connection with the release she will read on April 1 at the Princeton Public Library. (MFA-W) Hawley Hussey’s “Blue and Lonesome (A Healing for Little Walter)” (linoleum cut, ink, and gold leaf) graced the cover of VOLT Vol 16 and appeared in Drunken Boat #14 with Poet Gillian Conoley. (MFA-VA)

“Brooch” Mona Brody ‘00



CLASS NOTES >>> Joan Leegant won the Nelligan Prize for Fiction from the Colorado Review for her story “Beautiful Souls.” Joan received $1500 and publication in the Fall 2011 issue of Colorado Review. Her novel Wherever You Go is now out in paperback from W.W. Norton. (MFA-W) Patricia Lee Lewis will be leading eightday creative writing and yoga retreats during 2012 in Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and Scotland, as well as five-day retreats in Texas and the Berkshires. (MFA-W) Marya presents yearly exhibitions at her Museum of Ethnography in Pennsylvania. This year’s exhibition, titled Emotional Landscapes, features a ten-minute film short with accompanying collage art work. Last year’s film, Not Just Eye-Candy, was accepted into the Greater Leigh Valley Filmmaker Festival. (MFA-VA) Kevin McLellan has recent poems in Borderlands, Chelsea Station, Diagram, Dogs Singing (anthology), failbetter, Fringe, Horse Less Review, inter/rupture, Kenyon Review, Ocean State Review, Prose Poem Project, Town Creek Poetry, Western Humanities Review, and Witness. (MFA-W) Spencer Smith’s novel Depth-of-Field has been released as a paperback and Kindle. (MFA-W) Barbara Sullivan received an Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Individual Artist Grant for the second time. In August she had a solo show of new drawings combined with shaped frescoes called In and Out of Perspective at Caldbeck Gallery in Rockland, ME. (MFA-VA) Neela Vaswani’s multi-genre book, You Have Given Me a Country, was named an American Book Award winner (2011). She also has a YA novel, co-written with Silas House, forthcoming with Candlewick Press in February 2012. (MFA-W) Sandy Webster’s altered book titled Exploring Australia took first place in the Sculpture and Objects category, for $10,000, in the Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize at the South Australia Museum 2011. (MFA-VA)



Josh Wilker’s paperback version of Cardboard Gods (Algonquin Press) was selected by Booklist as one of the top ten sports book of 2011. (MFA-W)


Bruno Capolongo was a finalist in the 2011 Art Renewal Center International Salon Competition. In October, he was featured in Marcia Rafelman Fine Art’s booth at Art Toronto (International Art Fair), and also had a solo show at Toronto’s J.D. Carrier Art Gallery. (MFA-VA) Deb Hall exhibited in five shows over the last few months: Habit + Habit, Faculty Exhibition, Resolution of the Arts + Sciences, 677 Prime, and currently at Riverfront Studios. She also spoke at the AGLSP Conference on “Water” in October. (MFA-VA) Janet Kawada had a show of new work called Home at Kingston Gallery in Boston in November. (MFA-VA) Pam Lewis is very pleased to report that her third novel, A Young Wife, came out from Simon & Schuster in June. (MFA-W) Melody Mansfield was honored to guest lecture for alumnus Dan Jaffe’s UCLA class last year; and her short story collection A Bug Collection will be published by Kitsune Books in early 2013. (MFA-W) Jim Glenn Thatcher has just won his fourth consecutive New Millennium Writings Award in a little more than a year, beginning with First Prize for the poem “Mystery Incarnate” and including Honorable Mentions for “Consciousness,” “Interlinear,” and “Ancestry.” His chapbook, The Ur-Word, is available from Moon Pie Press. (MFA-W)


Daniel M. Jaffe’s short story collection titled Jewish Gentle And Other Stories Of Gay-Jewish Living has just been published by White Crane Books of Lethe Press. (MFA-W) Sandra Johnson has created a number of public art and community service art projects over the years. Her bronze titled

“Symbols of Hope, Joy and Fulfillment” was installed in November at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, CA. (MFA-VA) Katy Martin presented “Stirring the Waters: Beauty, Longing, and Fear” with Linda Cummings as part of Yale University’s “Making Sense: Colloquium on Beauty, Creativity, and Healing.” (MFA-VA) Terry Thaxton’s Getaway Girl, her first collection of poems, was released by Salt Publishing in March 2011. She is working on a guidebook/anthology for teaching artists entitled Creative Writing in the Community which is under contract with Continuum International. (MFA-W)

“Exploring Australia” Sandy Webster ‘99

Vincent Zandri has signed a seven-book deal with Thomas and Mercer, Amazon’s new powerhouse crime imprint. Included in the “nice” deal are two Top Ten Overall Amazon Bestsellers, The Innocent and The Remains. (MFA-W)


Don Carroll just published Hacking Toward Consciousness: St. Issa and the Enneagram Enigma through CreateSpace. (MFA-W) Mark Maxwell was selected as one of five national finalists by the Norman Mailer Center and the National Council of Teachers of English for his story “Infinite Parable.” (MFA-W)


Walter Butts published a new book of poems, Radio Time, from Cherry Grove Collections. In October, he hosted “Poetry & Politcs: a Gathering of State Poets Laureate,” held in Concord, NH. (MFA-W) Allison Hedge Coke has been awarded a 2011 Lannan Residency Fellowship. In addition, her thirteenth volume, titled Sing: Poetry of the Indigenous Americas, was released in fall 2011 from the University of Arizona Press. Hedge Coke is the sole editor of this collection. (MFA-W) Joan Connor’s fifth book, How to Stop Loving Someone (stories), came out in October. It won the 2010 Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest for adult fiction. (MFA-W)



CLASS NOTES >>> Marina Gutierrez was awarded a 2012 Swing Space Studio Residency at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Governors Island Arts Center. Gutierrez will use the island venue to expand ongoing projects on ocean ecology and migration. (MFA-VA) Michele Leavitt has poems in forthcoming issues of Mezzo Cammin and Per Contra. (MFA-W) Rhonda Wall had a solo exhibition at New York City’s Accola Griefen Gallery. The show, titled Rhonda Wall: Delirium, Danger and Determination, opened on October 20 and ran through November 26, 2011. (MFA-VA) Yvonne Zipter’s poem “Prognostication” will appear in the December 2011 issue of Soundings. (MFA-W)

1994 Candy Barr’s solo show Equanimity with Water, consisting of seventeen paintings, will take place in October at Spotlight Gallery at the Vermont Arts Council. She is represented by Casas de Artistas in Scottsdale, Arizona as well as Vermont Fine Art in Stowe. (MFA-VA) Karen Braucher’s first satiric murder mystery, Poetic License To Kill (by K. B. Tobin), was published by Salvo Press in 2010. She just recorded poems from her books for the Oregon Poetic Voices project. (MFA-W) Norbert Hirschhorn won First Prize from the Society of Medical Writers in the UK, and was short-listed for the prestigious Bridport Prize (out of more than 8,200 entries). (MFA-W)

1993 This November, Nan Hass Feldman had a solo exhibition at the Concord Art Association titled, Places I’ve Been: Real and Imagined. Nan was just part of the historic Fenway Studios Open Studios in Boston. Nan hopes to teach in Greece through the Worcester Art Museum in June. (MFA-VA)



With Lynn C. Miller, Ph.D., Lisa LenardCook announced the first issue of bosque (the magazine), including winners and finalists of the first annual Bosque Fiction Prize. Lynn and Lisa are also writing Find Your Story: Write Your Memoir for University of Wisconsin Press. (MFA-W)

1992 Jan Groft’s second book won a 2010 ForeWord Review Book of the Year award in the Body, Mind & Spirit category. As We Grieve, which explores nine healing gifts of grace for the grieving, was also named a 2010 winner of the Living Now Book Award, recognizing books for better living. (MFA-W)

1991 Judith Chalmer’s second book of translated poems with author Michiko Oishi will be published as a limited edition print and trade book by Plowboy Press. Her poem “navigator” is in Birchsong: Poetry Centered in Vermont forthcoming from The Blueline Press. (MFA-W) Robin Greene continues to teach a women’s writing/yoga/meditation retreat called “Lifting Your Creative Voice” in Oaxaca, Mexico. (MFA-W) Michael Klein has poems forthcoming in Ploughshares and Tin House and had an essay recently published in Poets & Writers. In April 2012 he will read as part of the Sarah Lawrence Poetry Festival and is almost finished with his third book of poems. (MFA-W)

1990 Lee Hope is the editor of Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices, an online journal that accepts just five percent of submissions. (MFA-W) Nancy Jensen’s novel The Sisters was just released by St. Martin’s Press and has been selected as the #1 Indie Next Pick for December 2011. (MFA-W)

Richard Lutman’s “Photographing Jesus” and “Last of the Singing Cowboys” appeared in Writing Raw, “Don’t the Governor Write a Pretty Hand” in Deep South Magazine, and “Incident at Cedar Fork” in Petigru Review. He also had a novella on Smashwords. (MFA-W)

1989 Dianna Henning has poems in Cosumnes River Journal (Spring 2011), Blue Fifth Review 2011, and the Tule Review. She also has work forthcoming in Ginosko online and in Poetry Now. Dianna’s review of Judith Tannenbaum and Spoon Jackson’s book By Heart: Poetry, Prison, and Two Lives was published in the Montserrat Review. (MFA-W)

“Take Me to the River” Candy Barr ‘94

1985 Thomas E. Kennedy’s Getting Lucky: New & Selected Stories 1982–2012 will be released in 2012 from New American Press. (MFA-W)

1984 Phyllis Barber’s recent memoir, Raw Edges, will be reprinted in paperback by the University of Nevada Press in 2012. Also, “The Knife Handler,” an essay that appeared in AGNI 71, was cited as notable in The Best American Essays and The Best American Travel Writing. (MFA-W) Michael Carrino’s new book of poetry, Available Light, was accepted by Guernica Editions in Toronto/Montreal. He recently retired from the SUNY Plattsburgh where he was co-founder/poetry editor of the Saranac Review. He is currently reading manuscripts for the journal. (MFA-W)

1983 Valerie Wohlfeld’s poems appear in The Greensboro Review, Journal of the American Medical Association, Image, Smartish Pace, and Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics. (MFA-W)



“Wildlife Web” Deb Hall ‘98

“Speak that I may see Thee, #1” Irene Abraham '06



“Reflecting my Environment” Maggie Nowinski '07

“The Colors of Rochebaudin” Nan Hass Feldman ‘93

Mixed media piece by Olaitan Callender-Scott '09

Gustavo Godoy '05



FACULTY NOTES Graphic Design Natalia Ilyin was named Visiting Professor at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA, for 2011–12, which is a promotion from her former adjunct status with the College. Nicole Juen is currently pursuing Anusara® Yoga Certification after receiving Hatha Yoga Certification. In her yoga instruction she strives to attend to each unique individual, which informs her teaching at VCFA as well. Matter Design Studio, the design studio she and her husband, Rafael Attias, own and manage, recently completed a full identity system and website for Van Beuren Charitable Foundation, a Rhode Island-based grantmaking organization. Bethany Kobi is part of a London-based collective known as “Technology Will Save Us.” The collective has recently launched workshops in London and Budapest. “Technology Will Save Us” is the first haberdashery for technology and education space and aims to help people experience the joy of making technology work the way they want it to, enabling them to understand how to build new things for themselves and be more creative and resourceful with the technology in their lives. Yoon Soo Lee is working on securing a REESE grant from the National Science Foundation to continue her research on cognitive processes underlying creative ability in engineering design, in order to redesign engineering instruction practices to promote innovation. She is collaborating with UMass Dartmouth Professors Katja HolttaOtto (Mechanical Engineering) and Trina Kershaw (Psychology). Yoon Soo recently published “Functional Criticism: A Guide to Critiques in the Graphic Design Classroom” in Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal. The paper served as the basis for her residency lecture at VCFA in October.



In September and October, the walls of Stoltze Design in Boston, MA, were graced by an extraordinary exhibition of collage and mixed-media work by Matthew Monk, Program Chair. The closing reception took place on Thursday, October 27.

Matthew Monk, collage/mixed media on wood, nine interchangeable panels, 48 x 60” overall

Ziddi Msangi is having an exhibit of his current work on a Kanga tradition in East Africa at University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth through December. This work served as the basis for his October residency lecture and he will be holding a private viewing for the Graphic Design students and faculty at VCFA. Silas Munro and his entire design team at Housing Works in Brooklyn, NY, are the recipients of a national “Ideas that Matter” Grant award from Sappi Fine Paper. This grant was awarded in support of Housing Works’s goal to complete 500 housing units for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS by 2016. Housing Works’s mission is to end the dual crises of AIDS and homelessness.



© Roger Crowley

FACULTY NOTES >>> Music Composition Tamar Diesendruck provided sound for a video installation by visual artist Yu-Wen Wu this fall. She also composed Stroll for double bass, which was commissioned by Andrew Kohn of West Virginia University and premiered on September 19, 2011. Tamar has been awarded an artist residency at Yaddo for spring 2012. Michael Early recently won an ASCAPLUS award from ASCAP. In April 2011, he performed with the electronic group Sideband at The Open Ears Festival in Kitchener, Ontario; the group performed Early’s new piece for laptops with joysticks, “Slip,” as well as works by N. Cameron Britt, Konrad Kaczmarek, Jascha Narveson, and Dan Trueman. Michael’s string quartet 12 Strings In 5 Shorts was premiered by the JACK Quartet in Princeton’s Taplin Auditorium on May 10. In June, fuzzy from 12 Strings In 5 Shorts was performed as part of The Experience of Flight in Dreams, a dance production by choreographers Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton, with music direction by Jon Russell, at the ODC Theater in San Francisco. Early is working on two pieces to be performed in spring 2012: one for his duo X10 (Mike Early on electric guitar, Angela Early on violin) with the Denison University Orchestra, conducted by Damien Mahiet; and the other for pianist Kathy Supové with the Princeton Laptop Orchestra. Michael is also working on a piece for the San Francisco bass clarinet duo SQWONK. In November, the Ritz Chamber Players performed Jonathan Bailey Holland’s work Trio as part of their season opening concert. The ensemble commissioned the work in 2006 to celebrate the opening of FLOW, an exhibition at the Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art that featured the work of Radcliffe Bailey. On January 15, 2012, the Alabama Symphony will perform House of Dreams on their “Reflect and Rejoice: A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.” concert. This work was originally commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to celebrate the life of architect/ planner/visionary James Rouse. A recital of chamber music at Berklee College of Music, scheduled January 26, will feature works by Jonathan and fellow



composer Derek Hurst. The Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra will perform his composition Halcyon Sun on April 3. And he is currently working on a commissioned work from The Art of Elan concert series, based at the San Diego Museum of Art. The new work will merge classical performers with the local San Diego group The Tree Ring in a work that blurs stylistic boundaries. Andy Jaffe’s new jazz composition book, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, is now available on

Roger Zahab has been commissioned by the Akron Symphony Orchestra to celebrate its sixtieth anniversary. Akron Chronogram, a twenty-minute kaleidoscopic work performed with video by artist Laura Ruth Bidwell, will be premiered by the orchestra (Christopher Wilkins conducting) on April 21, 2012 in Akron’s E.J. Thomas Hall. Roger writes: “I am writing a virtuoso work that is nonetheless ‘all melody all the time’ for orchestra that I hope will capture sensations of being both inside music—as it is happening now, pulling you along—and outside—as if hearing it from various distances in time and space. It is composed of many streams of music superimposed and flowing through each other to evoke many of the peoples and musics that have lived through the Akron area, its Symphony, and in the memories of its people.”

Visual Arts Ashley Hunt—along with Andrea Geyer (artist-teacher), Sharon Hayes (former faculty), Katya Sander, and David Thorne—performed Combatant Status Review Tribunals, pp. 002954–003064: A Public Reading at the Museum of Modern Art in November. This collaboration is a reading of unedited transcripts from eighteen Combatant Status Review Tribunals held at the U.S. military prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, between July 2004 and March 2005. The artists understand the performance as a simple yet vital gesture towards making these tribunals public. The performance corresponds with the recently acquired multichannel video installation 9 Scripts from a Nation at War, which premiered at Documenta 12 in 2007 and will be shown at MoMA in the Yoshiko and Akio Morita Gallery from January 25 to July 30, 2012.

at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art through February 2012. For Performa 11, Carlos and Juliete Aranda invited a group of international contributors to reflect on New York City as a crosscultural terrain and as a public space for constant cultural translations and negotiations, in a publication/supplement titled Broken English.

Michael Minelli’s solo exhibition Black Boxes was shown at WPA in Los Angeles through December 4, 2011. He also has an upcoming solo exhibition at the CUE Art Foundation, in New York City, in January 2012.

Marie Shurkus’s essay “Witnessing Eugenia Butler’s Kitchen Table” will be published in the Winter issue of X-TRA, a quarterly journal about contemporary art. In addition, the New Museum blog listed It Happened at Pomona: Art at the Edge of Los Angeles 1969–1973, a volume Marie co-edited that also contains several of her essays, on its top ten list of titles for fall 2011.

Visiting faculty member Carlos Motta was part of a group exhibition titled The Walls That Divide Us at apexart in New York through December 22, 2011. He is also part of the exhibition The Air We Breathe

Humberto Ramirez co-curated and participated this past October in the event Poetry & Video hosted by the Center for Digital Art in Brattleboro, VT. Humberto was glad to invite VCFA alumni Robert O’Connor and Kathy Couch as well as critter Jen Morris into the show. Humberto is participating with the video installation “Waiting” for the exhibition Progress? (curated by Craig Stockwell) at Marlboro College.

Karen Hipscher receiving her MFA in

© Anthony Pagani

Visual Art diploma from her parents at the August 2011 graduation.



FACULTY NOTES >>> Four MFA in Writing faculty—Nancy Eimers, William Olsen, Jess Row, and David Wojahn—along with two alumni— Bob Hicok and Jennifer K. Sweeney— were chosen for Pushcart Prizes this year. Their work is featured in the anthology 2011 Pushcart Prize XXXV Best of the Small Presses. Bellingham Review has nominated Laurie Alberts’s essay “When We Get There” for a Pushcart Prize. Poet and visual artist Jen Bervin curated a rare selection of Emily Dickinson’s original manuscripts in the exhibition Emily Dickinson at Poets House: Manuscripts from the Donald and Patricia Oresman Collection in New York. Her own work was featured in the Gothenburg Poetry Festival in Sweden in late October, as well as in two solo exhibitions, Jen Bervin: Weaving at Gridspace in Brooklyn and The Wildest Word We Consign to Language at Poets House in New York, and in three group shows including Telefone Sem Fio: WordThings of Augusto de Campos Revisited at EFA Project Space in New York. Jen will be the Von Hess Visiting Artist at the Borowsky Center for Publication Arts at The University of the Arts in 2012. She has a new edition due out from Granary Books in February 2012, and work forthcoming in I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women (Les Figues Press) and Figuring Color (ICA Boston/ Hatje Cantz). Kurt Caswell has been investigating the newly opened hunting season on wolves in Idaho. He writes: “Wolves were reintroduced to the lower forty-eight states in 1995. Wolf populations have flourished over the past fifteen years, so that both Idaho and Montana have opened big game hunting seasons for wolves. I’ll be out with a group of hunters who are not solely hunting wolves, but certainly carrying wolf tags. One hunter hopes to film a wolf kill.”



Matthew Dickman has a new book of poem-plays called 50 American Plays, co-written with his brother Michael Dickman, coming out in April from Copper Canyon Press. Connie May Fowler’s seventh book, How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly, has just been published in paperback (Grand Central Publishing). Entertainment Weekly named it one of the top six paperbacks of the season. Connie was a keynote author this month at the St. Petersburg Times sixteenth annual Festival of Reading. Abby Frucht’s new collection of short stories, The Bell at the End of a Rope, will be out soon from Narrative Library. Jody Gladding was awarded a grant to translate Pierre Michon’s novel, Les Onze, from France’s Centre National du Livre. The 4,000-euro grant provides funding for a two-month stay in France to work on the translation. Les Onze (The Eleven) will be published by 2012 by Archipelago Books. Douglas Glover’s “A Flame, a Burst of Light” was published recently in The New Quarterly, “Uncle Boris up in a Tree” in Descant, and “The Lost Language of Ng” in Fiddlehead. His nonfiction pieces “On Magnanimity and Ruthlessness” and “On Language, Logic and Lies” appeared in Global Brief: World Affairs in the 21st Century, and “Mappa Mundi: The Structure of Western Thought” in The Brooklyn Rail.

© Ann Cardinal


Philip Graham’s “Mad to Be Modern,” an extended excerpt from his second memoir of Africa, Braided Worlds (co-authored with Alma Gottlieb and forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, summer 2012), has just been published in the anthology Being There: Learning to Live Cross-Culturally by Harvard University Press. Philip’s travel memoir about living in Lisbon, “The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon,” has been translated into Portuguese (A Lua, Vindo à Terra) and will be published in February by Editorial Presença. Graham was featured in an interview on In July 2012, Philip will serve as faculty for the Dzanc Books/CNC DISQUIET International Literary Program, which will be held in Lisbon, Portugal. Richard Jackson’s Resonance (Ashland Poetry Press) won the Eric Hoffer Award for Short Prose & Independent Books. The press release states: “Flip through this latest contribution by the accomplished Richard Jackson and you will find most of the poems appear on the page as densely woven carpets of words. Begin to read and you may feel as if you are on a wondrous magic carpet ride, mentally dipping and soaring as you follow the poet’s fluid, surprising, and engaging shifts of focus.” Rick also gave readings in Memphis at a show linking artists and writers, at the Boston Public Library for his translation of Pascoli, in Prague as part of the Prague Summer program, and at NYU as part of a series of translators and poets (his poems are being translated into Portuguese). His poems have appeared or will soon appear in Blackbird, Brilliant Corners, Southern Indiana Review, Cerise Press, Borderlands, Crazyhorse, Grist, Cutthroat, and Smartish Pace; an interview will also appear in Blackbird. Rick has essays forthcoming in journals in Paris and Slovenia, and two will soon appear in The Writer’s Chronicle (including a version of last winter’s VCFA lecture). David Jauss’s short story “Blizzards” will be published in the 2012 issue of upstreet. An essay, “Who’s Afraid of the

Big, Bad Abstraction?” will be published in The Writer’s Chronicle in spring 2012; another essay, “The Reverse Side: The Poetry of Stephen Dunn,” appears in the current issue of Shenandoah and is available online at shenandoahliterary. org. On Writing Fiction, a paperback edition of his collection of essays on the craft of fiction (originally published as Alone with All That Could Happen), was published by Writers’ Digest Books in July. A craft essay, “11 Strategies for Ending Works of Fiction,” appeared online at Hunger Mountain in June. A guest “MFA Insider” column, “The Real Story Behind Low-Residency MFA Programs,” was published in Writer’s Digest Magazine in February. In September, David was appointed a contributing editor to The Writer’s Chronicle. Patrick Madden’s recent publications include “In Media Vita” in The Iowa Review (Winter 2010–11) and “Moment, momentous, momentum” in Fourth Genre (Fall 2011). His book Quotidiana recently won the Gold Medal Independent Publisher Book of the Year Award for creative nonfiction, the bronze medal in the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards, the Association of Mormon Letters Award for the personal essay, was chosen as a Finalist PEN Center USA Literary Award in creative nonfiction, and was a finalist for the Utah Book Award in creative nonfiction. His essay “Writer Michael Martone’s Leftover Water” was listed as a “notable essay” in The Best American Essays 2011. In October, Patrick presented “In Praise of the Essay” at Welcome Table Press’s symposium at Fordham University in NYC. Jess Row’s story “Summer Song” will appear in the Summer 2012 issue of Tin House. Another story, “The Call of Blood,” appeared this fall in The Best American Short Stories 2011. Jess’s collection Nobody Ever Gets Lost was described by Library Journal as “one of the six most important works of American fiction about September 11th.”



FACULTY NOTES >>> Poetry faculty member Mary Ruefle is the 2011 winner of the William Carlos Willams Award from the Poetry Society of America. Mary has spent 2011 as a visiting poet at the University of Texas-Austin. Sue William Silverman’s British edition of Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction is forthcoming from Ebury Press (a division of Random House) in June 2012. Her essay “Prepositioning John Travolta” is forthcoming from Ninth Letter. Sue will be teaching a creative nonfiction workshop at the Ossabaw Island Writer’s Retreat, off the coast of Savannah, GA, February 12–16. For more information, please visit or Domenic Stansberry’s novel Naked Moon—the final novel in the North Beach Cycle, set in San Francisco—was named in October as finalist for the 2011 Shamus Award. It is the second book in that series to receive that distinction, along with The Ancient Rain (2009). The four-book series, published by St. Martin’s, is also available in audio from, along with Domenic’s Edgar-winning novel, The Confession. University of Arizona Poetry Center docent and 2010 MFA graduate Tony Luebbermann recently led a ShopTalk on the work of MFA in Writing faculty member David Wojahn. David is chair of the Creative Writing department at Virginia Commonwealth University, and a graduate of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Arizona. He also gave a reading for the UA Poetry Center in January. Xu Xi’s new book, Access: Thirteen Tales, was published by Signal 8 Press in November. She will appear at the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference at Arizona State University’s Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing in February 2012 and at the Shanghai Literary Festival in March, and will be a featured writer at the International Short Story Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, in June.



Writing for Children and Young Adults The MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults faculty have created a group blog: www.writeatyourownrisk. com. Treat yourself to a delightful array of voices, reflections, ideas, and, of course, brilliance. This is a place for writers of all backgrounds, and while VCFA faculty create the posts, they welcome and encourage responses from all. Franny Billingsley’s young-adult fantasy novel Chime (Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group [USA] Inc.) was a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor book and was nominated for a 2011 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. The book narrates the story of Briony Larkin, a teenage witch living in early twentiethcentury England. Alumna Debby Dahl Edwardson was nominated for a National Book Award in the same category, for My Name Is Not Easy
(Marshall Cavendish), described by author Ellen Levine as “an extraordinary tale of love, betrayal, and above all, survival, as a group of young Alaskan Natives are transplanted from their home villages to a parochial boarding school in the Alaskan wilderness.”

Coe Booth’s new book, Bronxwood, was released in September. The book is the sequel to her first novel, Tyrell. Bronxwood was chosen by Amazon as an editor’s pick for September’s Best of the Month, and as a Junior Library Guild selection. Matt de la Peña will join the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults program as a visiting faculty member this January. Matt is the author of several young adult novels including Ball Don’t Lie (2005) and I Will Save You (2010) as well as short stories for younger readers. His books have been chosen for honors such as an ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, a Junior Library Guild Selection, and an ALA-YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Ball Don’t Lie was a finalist for the 2011 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. His first picture book, A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis (Illustrated by Kadir Nelson), was released in January 2011 and was just listed as one of the NYTBR’s 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2011. Susan Fletcher’s book Shadow Spinner was recently reviewed by Bethany Dellinger, a former classmate of Leda Schubert. Dellinger writes: “Fletcher is a master at using figurative language with precise effect” and calls Shadow Spinner “One of my all-time favorite books for teens.” Dillinger’s review can be read at

Mary Quattlebaum has two new picture books out this fall, The Hungry Ghost of Rue Orleans (Random House) and Jo MacDonald Saw a Pond (Dawn). The latter just won a Gold Award from the National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA). The Princess of Borscht, written by Leda Schubert and illustrated by Bonnie Christensen, was published by Neal Porter/Roaring Brook in November, and was reviewed by the New York Times Book Review. The book received a starred review from Kirkus. Leda says the book “features beets, Ruthie, Dad, Grandma, and assorted local royalty. What more could you want?” Schubert’s picture book Reading to Peanut (Holiday House), illustrated by Amanda Haley, was also published this fall. Tim Wynne-Jones’s young-adult novel Blink & Caution won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for 2011. The novel has also been short-listed for the Governor General’s Award of Canada. Blink & Caution made the best books lists of both Publishers’ Weekly and Kirkus Reviews.

Uma Krishnaswami’s book The Grand Plan to Fix Everything, about eleven-yearold Bollyood-loving Dini’s move to a small village in India, was published in May by Atheneum. April Lurie will join the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults program as a new visiting faculty member this January. April is the author of four young-adult novels including Dancing in the Streets of Brooklyn (2002) and Brothers, Boyfriends, & Other Criminal Minds (2007). Her 2008 novel The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine was an ALA Best Books for Young Adults nominee. The Less-Dead (2010) was an ALA Rainbow List Selection and was named a Kirkus Reviews Say No to Hate: Notable Gay/Lesbian Book.



WINTER & SPRING RESIDENCIES Writing Residency December 29, 2011–January 8, 2012 Distinguished Visiting Creative Nonfiction Writer Patricia Hampl’s most recent book, The Florist’s Daughter, won numerous “best” and “year end” awards, including the New York Times “100 Notable Books of the Year” and the 2008 Minnesota Book Award for Memoir and Creative Nonfiction. Blue Arabesque: A Search for the Sublime (2006) was also a Times Notable Book. She first won recognition for A Romantic Education, her memoir about her Czech heritage, awarded a Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship. This book and subsequent works have established her as an influential figure in the rise of autobiographical writing over the past thirty years. Her fiction, poems, reviews, essays, and travel pieces have appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Paris Review, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Best American Short Stories, and Best American Essays. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Bush Foundations, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1990 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. Hampl is Regents Professor and McKnight Distinguished Professor at the University of Minnesota. She also serves on the permanent faculty of the Prague Summer Program, and gives readings, lectures, and workshops across the United States and internationally. Visiting Poet/Translator Donald Revell is the author of eleven collections of poetry, most recently The Bitter Withy and A Thief of Strings, both from Alice James Books. He has published five volumes of translations from the French, including Apollinaire’s Alcools, Rimbaud’s Illuminations and A Season in Hell, and Laforgue’s Last Verses. His critical writings include The Art of Attention and Invisible Green: Selected Prose. Winner of the PEN/USA Translation Award and two-time winner of the PEN/USA Award for Poetry, he has also won the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Prize and is a former Fellow of the Ingram Merrill and Guggenheim Foundations. Additionally, he has twice been awarded Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Former editor-in-chief of Denver Quarterly, he now serves as poetry editor of Colorado Review. Revell is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Visiting Fiction Writer Former faculty member Gladys Swan is both a writer and a visual artist. She has published two novels, Carnival for the Gods in the Vintage Contemporaries Series and Ghost Dance: A Play of Voices, nominated by LSU Press for the PEN/Faulkner and PEN/ West awards. News from the Volcano, a novella and stories, set mostly in New Mexico, was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the National Book Critics’ Circle Award. The Tiger’s Eye: New & Selected Stories is the most recent of her seven collections of short fiction. Two of her stories were included in Best of the West and have been selected for other anthologies. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in the Sewanee Review, Kenyon Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Chelsea, Ohio Review, New Letters, Southwest Review, Hunger Mountain, and others. She has taught literature and creative writing in the MFA Program at Vermont College, the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of Texas-El Paso, and Ohio University. Several of her paintings have been used for the covers of her books and those of other writers. She has been awarded residencies at Yaddo, the Wurlitzer Foundation, the Norton Island Residency, the Martha’s Vineyard Residency, the Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain, the Chateau de Lavigny in Switzerland, and the Vermont Studio Center, where she has twice been a Guest Writer. She has received a Lilly Endowment Open Fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship to Yugoslavia, as well as a Lawrence Foundation Award for fiction and a Tate Prize for poetry.



Alumni Creative Nonfiction Writer and Poet Alison Hawthorne Deming, former Director of the University of Arizona Poetry Center and currently Professor of Creative Writing at UA, is author of four poetry books: Rope, Genius Loci, The Monarchs: A Poem Sequence, and Science and Other Poems (selected by Gerald Stern for the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets). She has published three books of nonfiction, including Writing the Sacred Into the Real in Milkweed’s Credo Series, The Edges of the Civilized World, and Temporary Homelands. She has just completed a new nonfiction book titled Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit. She has an MFA from Vermont College. Her work has won many honors including a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, Fine Arts Work Center Poetry Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the Pablo Neruda Prize, and the Bayer Award in Science Writing. She co-edited with Lauret Savoy The Colors of Nature: Essays on Culture, Identity, and the Natural World, with a new expanded edition out in 2011. Her poems and prose have been widely anthologized, including in The Norton Book of Nature Writing and Best American Science and Nature Writing. She recently served as Poet-in-Residence at the Jacksonville (FL) Zoo and Gardens as part of the Language of Conservation initiative sponsored by Poets House in NYC. She lives in Tucson and Grand Manan, New Brunswick. Visiting Fiction Writer Brian Leung is the author of the novel Take Me Home, recipient of the 2011 Willa Award for Historical Fiction. He is also the author of the novel Lost Men as well as the story collection World Famous Love Acts, a recipient of the Asian American Literary Award and the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. His poetry, creative nonfiction, and short fiction have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. He is a collector of animation art and of the artist Charles Harper. He was born and raised in San Diego County, and currently lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where he is the Director of Creative Writing at the University of Louisville.

Writing Residency Abroad: Puerto Rico January 2–10, 2012 The MFA in Writing Program’s second winter residency in Puerto Rico kicks off January 2. The first four days will be spent in Old San Juan with the typical residency events, as well as cultural excursions and time with visiting writers Mayra Santos Febres and Hector Feliciano. The second half is spent in El Yunque, the only rainforest in the U.S. park system. There the work will continue with workshops, readings, and lectures, as well as hikes with generative writing opportunities. This year’s faculty members are Rigoberto González and Ellen Lesser, and several alumni will attend as well, including Ann Hagman Cardinal (’07) as alumni coordinator with Nickole Brown (’03) helping out as co-coordinator. If you would like to attend in 2013, be sure to follow the events on Ann’s blog on the VCFA website in early January.

Writing for Children and Young Adults Residency January 9–19, 2012 Visiting Writer We are delighted to welcome Libba Bray as our Writer-in-Residence for January. Bray is the author of A Great and Terrible Beauty, her first novel, which became a New York Times bestseller. Rebel Angels and The Sweet Far Thing completed this trilogy. She



won the Michael L. Printz award for excellence in young-adult literature with her novel Going Bovine. Bray’s most recent work Beauty Queens was published this past May. At residency, she will give a reading and informal talk as well as participate in small group sessions with students. Visiting Illustrator We are quite fortunate to have Marla Frazee as our author/illustrator for the winter residency. She has published more than a dozen picture books, including A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever, which received a Caldecott Honor Award and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, and the Clementine series. Frazee will work with the Picture Book semester students during two of the workshops, and will give a reading and informal talk to all.

Visual Art Residency January 27–February 5, 2012 Artist-in-Residence LaToya Ruby Frazier’s photographs and videos examine and redefine the impact of America’s industrial revolution. Frazier’s work has been written about in The New York Times, The New Yorker, ArtForum, Artnet, Art Papers, Art Info, Art in America, The Brooklyn Rail, Huffington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and The Village Voice. Her work has been shown in museums and galleries in New York City including P.S.1 MOMA Greater New York, the New Museum of Contemporary Art Younger Than Jesus, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Living and Dreaming, the Museum of the City of New York, Moveable Feast, and at the Andy Warhol Museum’s first Pittsburgh Biennial, Gertrude’s/LOT. Her first solo museum show, Mother May I, was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit in 2010. Her work has been exhibited internationally at the 54th Venice Biennale in Commercial Break, Garage Projects curated by Neville Wakefield, and the 2011 Incheon Women Artists’ Biennale in Incheon, Korea. Currently LaToya is a featured artist in the new Art 21 online documentary series New York Close Up. She is the Associate Curator for the Mason Gross Galleries in the Department for Visual Arts where she also teaches photography in the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Music Composition Residency February 12–18, 2012 Returning Ensemble-in-Residence The Callithumpian Consort will attend the first part of the residency and do readings of student music written during the first semester. The Consort will also hold a concert mid-week. New Ensemble-in-Residence The Callithumpian Consort’s string quartet and piano quartet will be in residence for the second part of the week. They will perform a concert, and students will have the opportunity to write specifically for the piano and string quartets during the semester. Visiting Jazz Ensemble The Vermont Jazz Ensemble—a seventeen-piece big band currently celebrating thirtyfive years of music including jazz, Latin, rock, and fusion—will perform work written by students, along with a selection of big-band pieces, at a concert at the end of the residency. Students will have the opportunity to participate in their rehearsal process.



Writing for Children and Young Adults Novel-Writing Retreat March 16–18, 2012 Between winter’s lion and March’s lamb comes the popular Novel-Writing Retreat on campus. Started by alumnae Sarah Aronson (’06) and Cindy Faughnan (’07), the retreat is designed as a working weekend for the serious writer of middle-grade and youngadult books. This year’s faculty includes Coe Booth and editor Alvina Ling.

Graphic Design Residency April 15–21, 2012 Our second Graphic Design residency will enroll several promising new students while celebrating the semester work of our sixteen inaugural students in the form of exhibition and critique. The October residency kicked off with fabulous highlights such as a grand Swiss Poster Exhibition, which was made possible by a generous loan from Tom Strong, a collector based in New Haven, CT. The public reception was a gala event sponsored by swissnex of Boston. Andreas Rufer, Deputy Consul, Head of Operations, and Project Manager for Art, Culture and Society, traveled from Boston with his family to speak at the reception. The exhibition was a priceless celebration of wonderful design that allowed us to expose both our new students and the Vermont community to the integral role that design continues to play in global contemporary culture. Visiting lecturers, Keetra Dean Dixon and Manuel Lima, top-notch designers from the Baltimore and New York areas, respectively, leant their expertise and advice to our new students. The program will be planning equally fantastic educational opportunities for our students to expand their design knowledge this April. We’ll bring in another outside design exhibition as well as arrange for the first exhibition of VCFA student design work. In addition, we’re very excited that Ziddi Msangi and Bethany Koby will be joining us as core teaching faculty this spring.

OPEN HOUSE VCFA OPEN HOUSE FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS ALL PROGRAMS March 31, 2012 9:30am to 3:30pm Come to campus and meet faculty, program directors, and alumni from each of our MFA programs. Join us for all or part of the day to learn about our low-residency MFA programs. Attend information sessions, panel presentations, workshops, portfolio reviews, and more. Housing is available. Contact Admissions at 1-866-934-8232 or for more information.



We’re embarking on a remarkable journey. Won’t you join us? By any standard, the past year has been one to be very proud of. We welcomed the first students to the two new MFA programs— Graphic Design and Music Composition. And our programs in Writing, Writing for Children & Young Adults, and Visual Art created dynamic academic and creative opportunities for an increasingly diverse group of learners. At the same time, the future we envision is no less remarkable. It’s a future that embraces scholarships, new academic arts programming, and the essential campus upgrades and improvements necessary to support VCFA in its quest to become a world-class center for the arts. But in order to make this happen, we need your support.

But we can’t go it alone. We need your help. Giving to VCFA means securing the future of graduate arts education for generations of writers, visual artists, designers, and composers to come. Please take the journey with us. Make your gift to the VCFA Fund today.



Detail of “Speak that I may see Thee, #1” Irene Abraham ‘06

In the pages of this newsletter, you’ll find example after example of how our students, alumni/ae, and faculty are succeeding every day, enriching not only their own communities but the world around them as well.

VCFA Board of Trustees Cornelius Hogan, Chair of Trustees Plainfield, VT Susan Newbold, Vice-Chair of Trustees Fairfield, CT M.T. Anderson Cambridge, MA Bob Atwell Sarasota, FL

Kathleen Dolan Barnard, VT Alexandra Enders New York, NY Chris Graff Montpelier, VT Tom Greene President, VCFA Montpelier, 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. Letitia Chambers Paradise Valley, AZ

Sydney Lea Trustee Emeritus Newbury, VT Katherine Paterson Barre, VT Richard H. Saudek East Montpelier, VT Bill Schubart Hinesburg, VT Dr. Peter Smith Paradise Valley, AZ Susan Spaulding Montpelier, VT Peter Watson Pembroke, Bermuda Elaine Witten Shaftsbury, VT

With our thanks!

© Roger Crowley

Gary Moore, named Dean Emeritus 2011— Academic Dean 2008–2011

100% recycled post-consumer, chlorine-free paper

“Smash Crumble and Grind” Laura Mylott Manning ‘09

36 College Street Montpelier, VT 05602

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