Monday, September 8, 2014

Celebrating Converse Students and Graduates: A List of Online Pubs

Even I am weary of the constant me-me-me of the blogging/social media life, so I thought it would be fun to help spread the word about some of the publications of the fabulous Converse low-residency MFA students and graduates. And to stave off impatience, I decided to focus on online pubs only…so you can check out their fine writing RIGHT NOW, which I urge you to do.

Presented in random order:

Sarah M. Cooper, Poetry
Graduate, 2014
“Grandma’s House”
 “…Your stairs leading down had one loose board where we would hide pebbles from the lake and bird feathers, ingredients we called them for spells….”

Philip Belcher, Poetry
Graduate, 2011
“Donnie with Baby and Cows 1999”
“…After a minute under the lamp / on my desk, the Guernsey began to glow…”

Lisa M. Hase-Johnson, Poetry
Graduating, June 2015
“…Grandmother preferred them large and a little tough, / refrigerated with a bit of salt….”

Kathleen Nalley, Poetry
Graduate, 2012
“…Baby John Doe they called you, placed / you, once the janitor blew life /
back into your lungs, in a hospital incubator…”

Travis Burnham, Fiction
Graduate, 2013
“The Bone Washer”
“On my very first day I’d been forced into the Preparation Chamber, in amongst the beetles, and the stench and the flesh, and the bones….”

Jeffrey R. Schrecongost, Fiction
Graduate, 2011
“Killing Carol”
“…Jett knew Carol was bringing ugly news. It was her voice, how her voice tottered when she called him that Saturday morning.”

 Scott Laughlin, Fiction
Graduating, Winter, 2016
“The Strange Question of Alberto de Lacerda” [essay]
“…I walked into Alberto's class, called ‘Poetry from Symbolism to Surrealism,’ in 1991, the fall of my senior year at Boston University, and here was a man with a wisp of white hair sort of floating above his balding head, his head turned in slight profile, thus displaying his most prominent feature: his nose. Two pillars disrupted the classroom, and after I sat in one of the only empty chairs, which happened to be behind one of these pillars, he exclaimed, aghast, ‘No, not there! I must see everyone!’ He instructed me to move my chair, which I did, blushing as I screeched the chair across the floor while other students cringed….”

Kyler Campbell, Fiction
 Graduate, 2012
“Caretta, Caretta”
 “…Sometimes when I think about those vacations, I think about Mom and how she’d smile at me and act like Dad didn’t exist at all. I think about how after my tenth birthday, she left us for good….”

 Cinelle Barnes, Creative Nonfiction
Graduating, 2015
“We have banana leaves and we have hands.  We eat with them, these forest-green blades and ten digits. We take the time to wrap our rice, wrap our fish, wrap our yellows, greens and reds, in steamy pockets made of folded foliage….”

Melissa Dickson, Poetry
Graduate, 2012
“A Poem in Flight: Memory and Truth” [essay]
 “…Fortunately for the poet, facts aren’t essential, and the slanted truth is often preferred to the straight. But who is immune to the alternate realities of another’s memory? Who can still the startling in his bones when a lover says, ‘No, your suit was blue and the sky was gray…’”

David Colodney, Poetry
Graduating, 2016
“Her cigarette dangles; she uses puffs for punctuation, / Musky breath floating to me, she calls for another drink…”
Gabrielle Freeman, Poetry
Graduate, 2013
“The Happily Married Woman Boards the Plane”
“…Please don’t order Maker’s Mark and ask if I’d care for one, too, and then toast to new friends and clink the little bottles and say ‘clink’ and wink at me…”
Matthew McEver, Fiction
Graduate, 2014
“Yonder Comes a Sucker”
“…Henry Lee, the darkly pomaded one, lean and muscled, well-read, fiery-eyed and yet infected with misgivings about himself and considered a nobody in a no-name town—circled his enemy, sidled left, missed with a wild swing and tottered sideways….”

Rhonda Browning White, Fiction
 Graduate, 2013
“Good Friends”
“…Doesn’t seem fair that she’s got a grown son and still has a flat belly and perky… well, you know. I don’t talk like that. No sense in mentioning body parts the Lord told us in the Good Book to keep covered….”

I am so proud of all of our fine students, published and soon-to-be published. What a smart and hard-working bunch.  I raise a glass to you!!  (I mean, of course, that after 5 I will…it’s barely 8AM right now!).


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.