Pine Manor College, Chestnut Hill, MA   
For Release: Wednesday, June 2, 2010    
Contact: Tanya Whiton,


Registrations for “Writing for Stage & Screen,” a Solstice Seminar, open June 1, 2010. Designed to build upon and expand the concentrations of the Solstice MFA Program, the Solstice Seminars are two-day intensives that offer writers the opportunity to explore and deepen their knowledge of craft. “Writing for Stage & Screen” will take place on the Pine Manor College campus from October 29–30, 2010, and Solstice MFA students and graduates are eligible for a 5% discount on tuition.

For faculty bios, seminar descriptions, and a downloadable registration form, go to:

A select number of graduate-level creative writing courses will be open to the public for auditing during the July Residency of the Solstice MFA Program, scheduled from July 9–18, 2010. Classes are open to serious writers working at all levels; auditors are encouraged to complete the advance preparation requirements for any MFA class they wish to attend. The registration fee is $35 per course; Solstice MFA graduates receive a discounted rate of $25 per course.

For course descriptions, our audit policy, and a downloadable registration form, go to:

Our alumni guest columnist this month is poet Emily Van Duyne, who writes on the subject of online publishing, collaborative poetry, and the cultural impact of reality TV.

To read Emily’s column, click here, or scroll to the end of the page. 



Writer-in-Residence Grace Lin celebrates the launch of her new book, Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same, Saturday, June 19 at 3 p.m. at Porter Square Books, 25 White St, Cambridge, MA.

For more information, go to:

The Solstice MFA Summer Reading Series is scheduled from Friday, July 9 through Friday, July 16. All readings begin at 7:30 p.m. and are held in the Founder’s Room of Pine Manor College, located at 400 Heath Street in Chestnut Hill. Copies of the authors’ books will be available for sale after all readings, and there is plenty of free parking!

Friday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m.: Poet and creative nonfiction writer Anne-Marie Oomen (An American Map: Essays and Un-coded Woman), & multi-genre writer Jaime Manrique (Our Lives Are the Rivers and Eminent Maricones: Arenas, Lorca, Puig, & Me)

Saturday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m.: Poet Kathleen Aguero (Investigations: The Mystery of the Girl Sleuth and Daughter Of); author and illustrator Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and The Year of the Rat); & fiction and nonfiction writer Randall Kenan (Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Century and Let the Dead Bury Their Dead).

Sunday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m.: YA novelist Laura Williams McCaffrey (Alia Waking and the forthcoming Lyla’s Flight); Special guest Patrick Donnelly (The Charge and the forthcoming Nocturnes of the Brothel of Ruin); & fiction and nonfiction writer M. Evelina Galang (Her Wild American Self and One Tribe).

Tuesday, July 13 at 7:30 p.m.: Solstice Assistant Director and fiction writer Tanya Whiton (published in Crazyhorse and Northwest Review); multi-genre writer Laban Carrick Hill (America Dreaming: How Youth Changed America in the 60s and Casa Azul); & poet and fiction writer Steven Huff (A Pig In Paris and The Water We Came From).

Wednesday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m.: creative nonfiction writer Michael Steinberg (editor of Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction and author of Still Pitching); Special guest Lesléa Newman (Nobody’s Mother and The Reluctant Daughter); and poet Laure-Anne Bosselaar (A New Hunger and The Hour Between Dog & Wolf).

Thursday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m.: Special guest Kevin McLellan (Round Trip); YA writer David Yoo (Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One Before and the forthcoming The Choke Artist); & Program Director Meg Kearney (Home By Now and An Unkindness of Ravens).

Friday, July 16 at 7:30 p.m.: Novelist Sterling Watson (The Calling and Weep No More, My Brother); fiction writer Helen Elaine Lee (Water Marked and The Serpent’s Gift); & Dennis Lehane (The Given Day, Mystic River, and Shutter Island).

Directions to Pine Manor College, complete bios of our authors, and more information about the Solstice MFA Program can be found at


Program Director Meg Kearney will read as part of the Portsmouth Poetry Hoot Wednesday, June 2 at 7 p.m., Café Espresso, 738 Islington Street, Portsmouth, NH.

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Poet and nonfiction writer Kathleen Aguero’s essay “Fearless” appears in the Afterwards section of When We Were Countries: Poems and Stories by Outstanding High School Writers, published by Hanging Loose Press.

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MFA student Beth Grosart’s story “Fall” appears in the current issue of Eastown Fiction. (Ms. Grosart will join the MFA Program in July.)

For more information, go to:

Grace Lin’s new book for young readers, Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same, will be released by Little, Brown on July 1, 2010.

For more information, go to:

MFA student Jina Ortiz’ poems “Choco, Colombia after the Boyaja Massacre” and “The Question: Miss Colombia Speaks” will be included in issue 6 of PALABRA: A Magazine of Chicano & Latino Literary Art.

For more information, go to:

MFA graduate Faye Rapoport-DesPres’ essay “Up to Nothing,” has been accepted for the June issue of the online journal Hamilton Stone Review.

For more information, go to:

MFA graduate Emily Van Duyne’s poems “Not the Patches” and “13 Ways Not to Look at a Woman in Full Hijab” will appear in issue 7 of Anon.

For more information, go to:

MFA student Cindy Zelman’s essay, “The Six Month Crest Test” will appear in the June 1 issue of Gay e-magazine.
For more information, go to:




Multi-genre writer Laban Carrick Hill has led a series of fiction and poetry writing workshops with organizations in Ghana—including the Women Writers Forum of Ghana, the OIC Accra Technical School, and the University of Ghana—as part of his work for the Writers Project of Ghana, a NGO launched in 2010 to help advance literary culture in developing nations.

For more information, go to:

MFA student Erin Lawler has recently been offered a position teaching 11th grade English at Lawrence Academy in Groton, MA, following her semester-long course there on writing memoir.



Multi-genre writer Jaime Manrique’s work was recently honored as part of the city of Cartagena, Colombia’s program Leer El Caribe (To Read the Caribbean), which selects one writer’s work each year to be taught in public high schools and universities in the region. The program culminates in a festival, where students read and perform their own works inspired by the author.



Poetry blogs recommended by this month’s guest columnist, Emily Van Duyne:;;;



Project Verse Changed My Life, by Emily Van Duyne


I like deadlines.  For those who know me, this seems hard to believe. But, it’s true!  Creatively, I like to work under pressure.  When, in January 2009, I found myself with a newly minted MFA in poetry (Look! So shiny!) there were suddenly none to be had.  I felt the first icy waves of panic roll over me.

Rescue arrived in the form of my best friend and fellow Solstice graduate, Danielle DeTiberus — and the trusty Internet.  (And trash TV— but all will be revealed…) Dani had a poem taken by LimpWrist, an online journal edited by poet and queer activist, Dustin Brookshire.  In his acceptance note, he encouraged her to apply for a contest he was running that summer on his blog,   “It’s not really my bag,” she said in one of our marathon phone conversations, “but I think you’d love it.” 

A little sleuthing proved she had my number.  “Project Verse” was a summer long poetry competition based loosely on Bravo’s Project Runway — the ten finalists (among whom I eventually landed) would be given an assignment every Sunday night, due promptly the following Friday at 10 am.  Latecomers were automatically booted.  There were three weekly judges and one “celebrity” guest, each week; they decided who was “in” and who was “out.”  So, beginning in June, I voluntarily submitted to fourteen grueling weeks of competition, producing some of my best work — and some real garbage. (Please refer to Week 3’s typo fraught “metaphor” assignment, wherein I attempted an elegy for Michael Jackson, for definitive proof that red wine and versifying don’t mix.) 

That summer, I learned that Facebook could be used for things other than complaining about the rich folk that try to run me off the road each summer in my little island paradise, or pronouncing my hearty devotion to Goldfish crackers.  Each Saturday, my fellow contestants and I — who got to “know” each other pretty well via said social networking sites— linked the contest on our pages as soon as the poems were posted.  When the judges’ comments went up Sunday morning, same deal.  And, to my unending surprise and delight, people were actually reading and commenting, on both our pages and Dustin’s blog.  People not related to us by blood!  Hurrah! 

The walls of Jericho were tumbling— I swiftly became devoted to online publishing.  It wasn’t just that people were reading my work, although who among us doesn’t want that— it was the fact that I made (and kept) bonds with writers all over the world, who were hungry for the connection we’re all hungry for.  Each week, those poems started a conversation about writing that continues today. 
Project Verse changed my life.  Will Roby, my fellow contestant, became my writing partner in crime— we co-edited Dana Guthrie Martin’s remarkable online literary project,, where we wrote together on a theme for over two months.  Once more, via the ingenuity and generosity of other writers, and the instant communication of the web, I was handed assignments and deadlines; once more, I was able to produce work I was proud of, and continue to carry on conversations both in and about poems. 

I’ve wanted to be a writer my whole life.  I’ve always imagined the fateful day when I finally see it— my very own book, in print, my name emblazoned on the cover.  And that would be spectacular— I’m not saying I’ve given up that dream.  But I’ve come to see the myriad ways the game is cracking open.  If publishing is about getting people to read, then I can promise you— more people have read my work, and I in turn have been exposed to many more people’s work than I’d otherwise have been, solely because of the online poetry world.  If that’s the future, I say bring it.




The Marie Alexander Poetry Series announces open submissions for manuscripts of prose poetry during the month of July.

For more information, go to:

Poets & Writers is currently seeking applications for the 2010 Editorial Fellowship, which will begin in September. The application deadline is June 15, 2010.

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The Pop Montreal International Music Festival and Matrix Magazine announce the 2010 Matrix/Pop Montreal Litpop Awards, with a deadline of June 19, 2010.

For more information, go to: and/or announces the Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse, with a deadline of June 30, 2010.

For more information, go to:

Litchfield Literary Review is seeking work from writers currently teaching for or enrolled in an MFA Program in a New England state.

For more information, email:
Poets for Living Waters, a poetry action in response to the Gulf Oil Disaster of April 20, 2010, issues a call for submissions.

For more information, go to:

As an undergraduate institution consistently ranked among the most diverse in the country, Pine Manor College emphasizes an inclusive, community-building approach to liberal arts education. The Solstice MFA in Creative Writing reflects the College’s overall mission by creating a supportive, welcoming environment in which writers of all backgrounds are encouraged to take creative risks. We strive to instill in our students an appreciation for the value of community-building and community service, and see engagement with the literary arts not only as a means to personal fulfillment but also as an instrument for real cultural change.

For more information, visit






The Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing
of Pine Manor College

400 Heath Street, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

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