Keith Montesano’s (MFA, Poetry, 2007) second collection of poetry, Scoring the Silent Film, will be published by Dream Horse Press in 2013. New poems from the collection are forthcoming in Nimrod, Bellingham Review, Sonora Review, Sugar House Review, Weave Magazine, and elsewhere. His third manuscript, Sirens and Wildfire, has been a recent finalist for The National Poetry Series and The New Issues Green Rose Prize. He anticipates graduating from Binghamton University in 2013 with a PhD in English and creative writing.
Congratulations to MFAlum, Dana Crum, who won the the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Writer’s Residency at The Seven Hills School. The Coombe Fellowship provides a one-year writing and teaching residency for a person contemplating or pursuing a career as writer. The fellowship includes an academic year stipend of $12,000, housing, and breakfast and lunch when school is in session. In addition to carrying out their own literary projects, the Writer-in-Residence teaches one creative writing elective each semester in the Upper School and maintains a presence on campus that allows for informal interaction with students and members of the community. During the tenure of the Fellowship, Crum plans to complete a poetry collection.
Ron Smith has just published two poems in the anthology Kentucky: Poets of Place (April 2012, edited by Matthew Nickel). One piece is a loving parody of the work of Allen Tate, and the other is an homage to Robert Penn Warren. The latter, “A Negroni for the Master,” incorporates a memory of drinking with Warren in Vermont.
More good news from MFA alums: Unoma Azuah was recently awarded the Aidoo-Snyder Book award for 2011 for her body of works and for her latest novel Edible Bones. For more information on the award, check out the website.
Congratulations to MFA alum Marie Potoczny who is a recipient of the 2011-2012 Artists Fellowships from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Fellowships are awarded annually to artists residing in Virginia in recognition of creative excellence and to support their pursuit of artistic excellence. This year, four Virginia artists have been honored in the field of fiction. The awarded artists will each receive fellowships of $5,000. For Further Information: see Virginia Commission for the Arts.
Congratulations go out to current MFAer Audrey Walls who was recently chosen as a finalist for Shenandoah‘s Graybeal-Gowen Prize for poetry. MFA alum Anna Journey was also on the finalists list, and current student Joey Kingsley was on the list of semi-finalists.
There’s more information on the Shenandoah website, and their blog.
MFA alum Catherine MacDonald has won the 2012 Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize, a $5,000 annual award given by the University of Arkansas Press. Her collection, Rousing the Machinery, will be published by the press in the spring of 2012.
Rousing the Machinery, which is MacDonald’s debut collection, describes the “untidy geographies” of inheritance and loss, familial fracture and cohesion. Through precise and evocative imagery rooted in both the natural and domestic spheres, these poems detail the passages of an ordinary life — motherhood, a parent’s long illness, the ambiguities of marriage, a brother’s imprisonment. MacDonald poems and criticism have been published in the Crab Orchard Review, Southern Indiana Review, Blackbird, Louisville Review, and other journals. Congrats, Catherine!
MFA alumn and former Blackbird Associate Editor Tarfia Faizullah’s poem “En Route to Bangladesh, Another Crisis of Faith“ is featured on Poetry Daily for May 28, 2011.
The poem first appeared in The Massachusetts Review.
MFA alum Jeannette Drake’s recent poetry publications include “Victory Garden” in Tough Times Companion, Volume 3 published by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and “Cakewalk” and “Welcome to the New World,” in ChickenBones: A Journal.
Drake has also recently published an e-book, Promise: Inspirational Fantasies at Amazon.com. She is completing a writing residency with fourth graders at Swansboro Elementary School under a Partners in the Arts Grant sponsored by the University of Richmond School of Continuing Studies.
Congrats go out to MFA fiction alum, Michele Young-Stone, who recently landed a two-book deal with Simon and Schuster.
Michele’s first novel, The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors was published in 2010 to much acclaim.
Read Natalie Sypolt’s review of Handbook in v9n2 of Blackbird.
Randy Jones (MFA poetry, 1989) recently completed a slide show featured during Black History Month for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
The show presents text and images relating the history of a “reconstruction-era chapel, built after the Civil War in rural Rockingham County” in the community known as Old Athens and later Zenda, Virginia.
In addition to being this show’s creator, Randy is also the contact person for the Virginia Department of Historical Resources for anyone interested in collaborating with DHR on future “Historic Virginia, Site of the Month” slide shows.
More information and Randy Jones’ contact information can be found on the “Sources slide” at the end of the Longs Chapel slide show.
Our congratulations go out to MFA alum Catherine MacDonald who won the Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize, a book prize with a $5000 award.
Her manuscript is titled Leda at Work in the World, and it will be published in spring 2012, in time for AWP.
For more information, please visit
The University of Arkansas Press.
Congratulations to MFA Alum Tarfia Faizullah for being a recipient of a 2010 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize. The Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund offers a poetry contest to award prizes to young poets with unusual promise. Tarfia was awarded a $5000 grant for Poetry Recitation at St. Catherine’s School for Girls; A Few Words for the Younger Self Seated at a Piano; Anatomy Model.
MFA alum Ron Smith’s latest poetry can be read in the current issue of Shenandoah—the last paper publication of that magazine (going online).