Etruscan’s Tim Seibles a National Book Award Finalist
It’s been another busy year for Etruscan Press! The press was honored with the National Book Award Finalist nod for Fast Animal, by author Tim Seibles. The fine folks at Etruscan share their news and excitement in the following Q&A.
Q. Fast Animal already had so much positive response. What has the National Book Award Finalist nod done for the book? A. This is the strongest collection yet from an important American poet at the height of his powers. Being chosen as one of five finalists for this prestigious award focuses attention on the book, on the press, and on the poet’s body of work so far.
Q. What about for Etruscan? Has anything changed or is it just another day in publishing? A. This is a huge thrill and an important milestone for us. Etruscan seeks not only to encourage a dialogue among genres, but also to nurture a dialogue among writers at different stages of their careers. We have published work by some of America’s best known poets and writers, and we have also introduced first books by the next generation of writers. Having another National Book Award finalist is a boost for all our writers, and an encouragement of the dialogue which they conduct.
Q. How has the designation influenced any post-publication activity? A. Because of the award, we’re in the process of doing a large reprint of Fast Animal. Seibles is already a much sought-after performer and advocate for poetry; his schedule will only get busier as he promotes his latest book.
Q. Now, this isn’t the first time Etruscan has received such an honor, is it? A. This is our third National Book Award Finalist, following William Heyen’s Shoah Train in 2004 and H.L.Hix’s Chromatic in 2006. To put this in context, only one other independent press in the country has placed three NBA finalists in the last eight years; and no other press has ever had three in their first eleven years of existence.
Q. Any other comments? A. We’re delighted to share this celebration with Wilkes M.F.A. Program, whose continued support helps Etruscan thrive. The partnership with Wilkes has blossomed in many ways: this year we are publishing two books by Wilkes faculty, Kevin Oderman’s novel White Vespa and Sarah Pritchard’s short story collection, Help Wanted: Female. Two Etruscan authors, H.L. Hix and William Heyen, serve on the Wilkes Advisory Board; our co-founding Editors, Phil Brady and Bob Mooney, serve on the faculty. Our Managing Editor, Starr Troup, is a Wilkes M.F.A. alumna. Over twenty Wilkes graduates have interned for Etruscan, gaining professional experience and credential in all aspects of publishing, from editing to educational outreach to design to production to fund-raising; many more students have learned about publishing with our Literary Publishing class. With Akashic Books’ Johnny Temple, we are launching a new branch of the M.A. in Literary Publishing. Entering our seventh year, The Wilkes-Etruscan partnership is stronger than ever.
Morowa Yejidé Signs Book Contract
“When you work so hard at something and constantly dream and strategize about it and then you finally do get a YES, it’s hard to believe it,” Morowa Yejidé said. “That was my initial reaction to hearing that my novel, Time of the Locust, was going to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster. Disbelief.” The Wilkes alum said the premise of her novel had been floating around her mind for several years before she even put pen to paper. It’s the story of an autistic boy living in the universe of his mind and his supernatural relationship with his incarcerated father.
Prior to focusing on her thesis, Morowa had a few sample chapters that were published as short stories. With that early success and encouragement, she took the project further. “I decided to give a complete manuscript a serious effort through the Wilkes M.F.A. The faculty really seemed to be in the trenches as working writers—which was what attracted me to the program,” she said. “I listened to Robert Mooney read one of his powerful, visually-driven narratives and knew right away I wanted to work with him as my Faculty Mentor.”
Morowa was determined to strengthen the story, but she was also eager to have an audience. “I continued revisions along the way, working with Mooney, sending the manuscript out, sort of building the plane while I was flying it. After many rejections from various agents and publishing houses large and small, I decided to try some national competitions.” That’s when she began making headway. “Time of the Locust placed as a finalist in the 2012 PEN/Bellwether Prize and the Dana Awards.”
The Wilkes alum had already seen success in other venues. Her short stories have appeared in the Istanbul Literary Review, Ascent Aspirations Magazine, Underground Voices, the Adirondack Review, and others. One of her stories had been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, too, but she still wanted the book manuscript to strike a chord with publishers. Once she had the selling point as a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize and the Dana Awards, Morowa took another chance. “I sent out more queries. The rest is, as they say, history. Time of the Locust is forthcoming Spring 2014.” More about Morowa Yejidé can be found on her website at http://morowayejide.com.
New Michael Mailer Production Stars Alec Baldwin
Faculty member Michael Mailer has produced more than twenty features and leads Michael Mailer Films. He has been busy with a new project, starring Alec Baldwin and James Toback, and we were pleased to find out more about this unique production.
Q. Can you tell us about Seduced and Abandoned? A. Seduced and Abandoned is a non-fiction film, part mediation on film and the filmmaking process consisting of interviews of film legends such as Polanski, Bertolucci, Scorcese, Copola, and part adventure tale following the ups and downs of Alec Baldwin and James Toback as they attempt to set up a remake of Last Tango in Paris (but this one is set in Iraq called Last Tango in Tikrit) at the Cannes Film Festival.
Q. What was the reaction to the process while filming at Cannes? A. Shooting a film about the making of a film at a filmmakers festival was highly stimulating both for all of those involved but for the denizens of Cannes as well. We had great support from the head of the festival himself, Thierry Fermaux.
Q. Would you say the project was a success—either in terms of the project itself or in raising money for the ‘undisclosed future film’? A. So far yes. The film we shot turned out well. It’s compelling and will be of interest to anyone interested in film and the filmmaking process.
Q. When and where can audiences see the film? A. We’re in post production. The movie will be finished at the end of January, then hopefully viewable in theaters initially, followed by VOD, and other ancillaries.
Persistence Pays Off for Alum Tara Caimi
M.F.A alum Tara Caimi has a craft essay in the December 2012 issue of The Writer’s Chronicle (AWP). It took time and patience to see “Privileged Perspective in Memoir: Building the Bridge of Trust by Trusting the Reader” in print, but Tara was determined and persistent in her submission process.
“I think it was fourteen months after I submitted the article before I heard from The Writer’s Chronicle. By that time I assumed the article had been rejected and that the letter had somehow gotten lost in the mail,” Tara said. That’s when she received an email from the editor requesting a few verbiage adjustments. Tara sent in the edited essay and then waited another eight months to hear back from the magazine. This time, they accepted her piece but not for immediate publication. “It didn’t seem real, but the wait was not yet over. Another full year passed before the editors found a place for it in the journal. It took three years total from submission to publication. I can say now with confidence, it was well worth the wait.”
On the topic of patience, Tara says “being impatient doesn’t change most outcomes.” She considers the revision process and waiting game part of the job, acknowledging that much of the editorial side of things is out of a writer’s control. “I think we, as writers, do best to focus on the parts we can control—the writing, the submitting, the querying—and we should try not to worry about those parts of the process that depend on others. Of course, this is easier said than done.”
The Wilkes alum also believes perseverance is a necessity for writers. “We can’t know with any degree of certainty how the work will be received by others, and we get far more rejections than acceptances. Without perseverance, we would not be writers.” Tara’s professional attitude has netted positive results. The alum has also had success with placing excerpts from her memoir in literary journals.
Tara credits her Wilkes education and experience for developing her skills as a professional writer. “Being among this community of supremely talented writers with the students, alum, and faculty provides both support and inspiration and helps me to continue moving forward. Writing can be a lonely endeavor, and I’m encouraged by reading about the work that others are doing. I continue to learn from this community through reading the newsletter and following discussions on various social media platforms on a regular basis. It is part of my ‘writerly’ life and I’m happy to be able to give back by sharing my experiences as well.”
The Wilkes Creative Writing Program is thrilled to again receive a grant from the Maslow Foundation. The grant is $17,000, which helps underwrite the costs of our visiting writers and public evening readings, aptly titled, the Maslow Evening Reading Series. This is the seventh year in a row the Maslow Foundation has supported our program and we are grateful and honored for their continued support and enthusiasm for what we’re doing here at Wilkes.
The Wilkes program will again offer a one-week in-depth literary publishing seminar. The Art and Science of Literary Publishing will take place from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday, Jan. 7 through Friday, Jan 13, 2013 on the Wilkes University campus. The course includes information about the current publishing environment from large to small presses, including corporate, independent, non-profit, university, multi-media and self-publishing models. There will be discussions about editorial policies, book design, distribution, business models, marketing, sales of manuscripts, legal issues, author events, and much more. Instructors are Phil Brady (executive director of Etruscan Press) and Johnny Temple (publisher and editor of Akashic Books). The course may be taken for four graduate credits in conjunction with Wilkes’ creative writing degree programs. Those not taking the course for graduate credit will receive a certificate of completion following receipt of their final portfolio of written work. For more information, or to register, call the Wilkes University graduate creative writing program at (570) 408-4547 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you plan on attending the annual AWP Conference and Bookfair, taking place in Boston MA, March 6-9, 2013, you’ll find ample Wilkes representation. Faculty Gregory Fletcher and Jean Klein, and alum Laurie Powers are on the panel “The Ten-Minute Play: the Essential Ingredients,” Nancy McKinley is presenting on the panel “International Women’s Day Reading from Becoming: What Makes a Woman,” and Christine Gelineau will present on the panel “Second Sex, Second Shelf? Women, Writing, and the Literary Marketplace.” Jim Warner, alum and former assistant program director, will once again host the All-Collegiate Poetry Slam and Open Mic every night of the conference. Bonnie Culver, program director, is on the AWP national Board of Trustees and was a member of the Boston Conference committee. She noted, “There are more presentations this year than any other year in AWP history. It promises to be another fantastic conference.” For more information about AWP and the conference schedule, visit www.awpwriter.org. Don’t forget to stop by Wilkes/ Etruscan Press booth in the Bookfair!
Bonnie Culver’s 10-minute play GPS was recently produced at The Venue, Norfolk VA.
Cecilia Galante’s sixth book, about a girl who unknowingly gets involved with an exorcism, was recently acquired by Random House. It is scheduled to be released in fall 2013.
Christine Gelineau’s poem, “List for a Blue Day,” was published in Women’s Voices for Change.
Dawn Leas has two poems, “Hibernia” and “East West,” included in the anthology Forever Families (Mandinam Press).
Nick Mamatas has several short pieces in various recently released anthologies: the novelette “Arbeitskraft” appears in Steampunk: Revolutions (Tachyon Publications); the short story “Avant-n00b” can be found in Bloody Fabulous (Prime Books), which collects short fantasies about fashion; the suspense story “Willow Tests Well” was published in Psychos: Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen, and the Criminally Insane (Black Dog & Leventhal); and “The Big Blue Peacock” appears in Dark Faith: Invocations (Apex Publications), which collects horror stories on religious themes.
Nancy McKinley’s short story, “Sweet the Sound,” has been accepted by Blue Lake Review for publication in February 2013.
Kevin Oderman has a new novel, White Vespa, available from Etruscan Press.
David Poyer has increased his backlist. His novel Stepfather Bank is now available on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo readers.
Neil Shepard has seen a number of book reviews for his fourth collection of poetry, Travel/Untravel. These appear in the American Book Review, Colorado Review, Rain Taxi Review, Rattle, Provincetown Arts, The Journal (Ohio State U), and PANK. Shepard’s radio interview with the SUNY-Binghamton radio program, Eggshell Parade, was recorded in October. He has new poems in two online literary magazines Mead and Per Contra, as well as in an upcoming anthology of TV poems. His poetry readings in the coming months include gigs at the University of Vermont, The Vermont Studio Center, The Writers Place (Kansas City MO), The Cosmopolitan Club (NYC), and Barnes & Noble (Burlington VT). He will be teaching poetry workshops at The Writers Place in Kansas City MO and at the Ossabaw Writers’ Retreat in Savannah GA.
Richard Uhlig’s novel, Mystery at Snake River Bridge, was recently acquired by Wild Child Publishing and is set for a 2014 release.
M.A. student Kait Burrier’s short one act play, Patient/Fracture, was recently staged during the 2nd annual JMPP invitational, Dyonisia ‘12. She also wrote and directed three site-specific monologues for Scranton’s 2nd annual Bonfire at the Iron Furnaces. She continues to review arts and entertainment for NEPA’s Weekender. Kait’s poetry will appear in forthcoming issues of Ruminate Magazine, Word Fountain, and NAP lit mag’s e-chapbook, #GOODLitSwerveAutumn.
M.F.A. alum Tara Caimi has a craft essay, “Privileged Perspective in Memoir: Building the Bridge of Trust by Trusting the Reader,” in the December issue of AWP’s The Writer’s Chronicle. Her short story “Chicken Divan,” which first appeared in Fire & Knives, is forthcoming in Oh Comely magazine.
M.A. student Christopher J. Campion’s short story “That Familiar and Dissonant Tune” has been accepted for publication by Fiction365.com.
M.F.A. alum Brian Fanelli has three poems published in Foliate Oak. His poem, “After Working Hours,” has been nominated for a 2012 Pushcart Prize. The poem first appeared in the fall 2012 issue of Boston Literary Magazine.
M.F.A. alum Patricia Florio’s story “Golden Boy” will appear in the Spring 2013 edition of Newton Literary. “Golden Boy” is based on a family member who was a professional dancer in the 1940s, and the rest of the story bears a bit of truth and a lot of fiction.
M.F.A. alum Wendy Garfinkle’s debut novel, Serpent on a Cross, has been e-published by Northampton House Press, under the pseudonym Darya Asch. It’s available on Nook, Kindle and Kobo.
M.F.A. alum John Koloski has e-published his first novel, Empyres: Bloodblind. It is the first book in the Empyres trilogy, with the next two to follow in 2013 and 2014. The book is available for Kindle, Nook, and Kobo readers.
M.F.A. alum Carol MacAllister’s sci-fi e-book, Mayan Calendar Reveal, is available on Kindle and scheduled for all popular reading devices. Her short story “Blood Pine” is part of the prestigious trade collection The Call of Lovecraft, from Evil Jester Press. “Under Nighttime Rainbows,” an erotic horror story, is part of the upcoming UK collection Peep Show Vol.2.edited by Paul Fry. Several of her poems and a foreword are slated for the collection of inspirational work Light Within, from Ireland. A shared poem with Adrian Spendlow, official town bard of York England, will appear with other work in Word Fountain.
M.A. student Lori A. May has new critical essays and reviews in New Orleans Review, The Iowa Review, and Los Angeles Review. Her poem “Drinks Among Friends” was published in a special anthology by Pirene’s Fountain. Her personal essay “Out of a Suitcase and Into the Vortex” was published by Passages North. Another essay, “The Stamp,” was published by Connotation Press.
M.F.A. alum William Prystauk presented a critical paper, “Disturbing Cinema: Why We Watch,” at the EAPSU Fall Conference. He is currently filming his horror short, Too Many Predators. Also, Fantastic Horror is publishing his short story “Food” in the upcoming “Blood” issue.
M.A. alum Joseph Schwartzburt is working with Seersucker Live, a Savannah Literary group. They will be putting on a show in January featuring writers from The Georgia Review: Liza Wieland, Alice Friman, and editor Stephen Corey.
M.F.A. alum Donna Talarico was one of seventeen higher ed professionals contracted to write a chapter for the forthcoming book from mStoner, Social Works: How #HigherEd Uses #SocialMedia to Raise Money, Build Awareness, Recruit Students and Get Results. Her chapter is a case study of a shared social media campaign/contest between MIT and Cornell. She also presented “No Such Thing as TMI: How to Create a Culture of Content Sharing” at the 2012 Higher Education Web Professionals annual conference held in October in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Talarico won Best of Track for the Marketing, Content and Social Strategy track, which allowed her to give her presentation two more times during special “Red Stapler Sessions” on the final day of the conference. Talarico also gave this presentation at the eduWeb conference in July and was asked to give an abbreviated version of it in October for the higher ed software company, OmniUpdate.
M.A. alum Kevin Voglino’s second novel, Tea Time Boys, will be released by RoguePhoenix Publishing in January 2013.
M.F.A. alum Morowa Yejidé’s debut novel, Time of the Locust, which tells the story of an autistic boy who lives in a world of his own making and his supernatural relationship with his incarcerated father, will be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in spring 2014.