NEOMFA at AWP 2017

NEOMFA: Booth 624

Cleveland State University Poetry Center: Table 616

Whiskey Island: Table 510

Wick Poetry Center / Kent State University Press: Booth 715

University of Akron Press: Table 620

Offsite Readings

Cleveland State University Poetry Center and Rescue Press Reading
Featuring Vanessa Jimenez Gabb, James Allen Hall, Douglas Kearney, Andrea Lawlor, Jane Lewty, Sheila McMullin, Hilary Plum, Adrienne Raphel, and Zach Savich. Thursday, February 9, 2017 7-9 p.m. at The Black Squirrel


Know Your Place: Great Lakes Literary Arts Organizations on the Impact of Location: featuring Karen Schubert, Kelli Jo Ford, Janine Harrison, Lee Chilcote, and David Hassler. Thursday, February 9, 2017 9:00-10:15 a.m.

Writing in a Time of Terror and Environmental Collapse: featuring Jacqueline Kolosov, Imad Rahman, Jacob Shores-Arguello, William Wenthe, and Anne Sanow. Thursday, February 9, 2017 9:00-10:15 a.m.

Don’t Stop the Presses: On the Enduring Value of the University Press: featuring Rebecca Hazelton, Claire Kirch, Ned Stuckey-French, Mary Biddinger, and Peter Berkery. Thursday, February 9, 2017 12:00-1:15 p.m.

Stars to Steer By: Rethinking Creative Writing Curriculum for the 21st Century: featuring Cathy Day, Porter Shreve, Mary Biddinger, and Terry L. Kennedy. Friday, February 10, 2017 4:30-5:45 p.m.

Lit Youngstown Community Events: February

Wednesday, February 1: First Wednesday Reading
For the month of February, Lit Youngstown’s monthly reading series will highlight student writing, featuring essays published in CROW, Compose: A Review of Writing. The reading will be hosted by Angela Messenger, CROW editor and YSU Writing Center director. The reading series is back at Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts for this event on Wed., Feb. 1, at 7:00 p.m. There will be no open mic.


Wednesday, February 1: Spring Workshops Open
On February 1, enrollment for Lit Youngtown’s Spring Workshops will open. There will be four different workshops hosted this season: Mari Alschuler on writing the journey as a metaphor; Liz Hill on writing the family story; Stacey Schneider and Lori Bodkin on editing prose; Karen Schubert on writing poetry.

The workshops will be held in various venues around the Youngstown community. Information and registration will be available on the Lit Youngstown website.

2017 NEOMFA Playwrights Festival

NEOMFA Plays 17For the sixth year, convergence-continuum continues its successful collaboration with Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Cleveland State University.

This time they will be presenting two new full-length plays by two different local MFA playwrights. Each play will be performed over the span of one weekend. The first, THE DARKNESS by Katie Wallace, Renee Schilling and Rob Daniels, will be performed Febuary 9-11. The second, SEXUAL POLITICS by Jaclyn Cifranic, will be performed February 16-18.

Tickets for Festival plays are only $10 general admission, $5 students. Further details on the plays and playwrights will be posted on convergence-continuum’s website ( and Facebook page.

These plays are the culminating work of the playwrights after undertaking three years of intensive study in the NEOMFA in Creative Writing program, a consortium of Cleveland State University, Kent State University, University of Akron and Youngstown State University.

Be part of the process. Check out what the next generation of playwrights is up to!


Nothing to Declare: Flash Fiction Sequences

Reading by and discussion from contributors to Nothing to Declare: Flash Fiction Sequences: Nin Andrews, F. Daniel Rzicznek, Kathleen McGookey, Lucas Southworth, Molly Fuller, and Christopher Citro.

Where: Kent State University, Room TBA

When: Wednesday, October 5th, 5:30 pm

Nothing to Declare: Flash Fiction Sequences (White Pine Press/Marie Alexander Series, 2016) is the first anthology of this emerging hybrid form. Part prose poetry, micro fiction, or flash fiction, and often a collage of more than one, the flash fiction sequences laces together various stand alone pieces of writing into related larger works.

This event is co-sponsored by the NEOMFA and the Wick Poetry Center.

NEOMFA Accomplishments for AY 2015-2016

Kelly Bancroft (alumna and playwright)

  • One-act play “Lovie’s Spring” was produced by Pittsburgh New Works.
  •  “Arriving at Bessie” was a Tennessee Williams One-Act Play festival honorable mention

Bill Soldan (student and short story writer)

  • Story “The Thirteenth Step” in New World Writing (it was nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize).
  • Story “Talking and Standing Still” in the Vignette Review.
  • Story “The Long Drive Home” in Thuglit.
  • Recipient of Juniper scholarships.
  • Featured reader at Brews + Prose Reading Series in Cleveland.

Emily Lundgren (student, fiction)

  • Story “Tell Her” in grimoire magazine.

Christopher Barzak (faculty and novelist)

  • Wonders of the Invisible World novel published by Knopf. Stonewall Honor Award Winner from the American Library Association.
  • Guest Editor for “Queers Destroy Fantasy” special issue of Lightspeed Magazine.
  • Short story “The Creeping Women” published in Uncanny Magazine.
  • Guest author at Books by The Banks Festival in Cincinnati.

Colleen Clayton (alumna and novelist)

  • Presentation and panelist at Ohio Education and Library Media Association Conference.
  • Novel What Happens Next was an ‘Ohio Reads’ State Library Pick for 2015-16.
  • Featured author and panelist at Ohioana Book Festival and Western Reserve Book Festival.
  • Contracted by Youngstown State University Special Education Department to teach a summer writing course for 5th grade students.

Emily Troia (student and poet)

  • Awarded the 2015 Leonard Trawick Scholarship from CSU
  • Accepted into and attended the Summer 2016 Kenyon Review Art of Text Workshop
  • Read at The Big Big Mess, May 16th, 2015
  • Read at Brews and Prose, March 1st, 2016

Jonathan Wlodarski (student and fiction writer)

  • Presented at the National Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association conference in Seattle
  • Selected to attend Juniper Conference

Varley O’Connor (faculty and novelist)

  • Moderated and presented on a panel, ‘Women Writing Fiction in a Post-Feminist Era,’ at the Los Angeles AWP convention.

Anne Garwig (student and poet)

  • Two poems published in magazine Icarus Down.

Holly Brown (student and poet)

  • 2 poems in Jellyfish
  • 1 poem forthcoming in The New Old Stock
  • 1 poem forthcoming in H_NGM_N
  • 3 poems forthcoming in Rockhurst Review

Abi Bechtel (student and poet)

  • Featured reader for The Big Big Mess Reading Series
  • Essays published on and xoJane.

Philip Brady (faculty, poet, and essayist)

  • To Banquet with the Ethiopians: A Memoir of Life Before the Alphabet, Broadstone  Books.
  • Poems & Their Making: A Conversation, Etruscan Press, 2015.

Steven Reese (faculty, poet, and essayist)

  • Article “Jeffers in Context: The Presence of Shelley” accepted for publication in Jeffers Studies.

Mary Biddinger (faculty and poet)

  • Published her fourth full-length collection of poems, Small Enterprise (Black Lawrence Press, 2015).
  • Poems “My Upper Peninsula” and “Copper Harbor” appeared in Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Michigan State University Press, 2015).
  • Poems appeared in the literary magazine Gargoyle, issue 64: “Most Unique, Mint Condition,” “Horizon-Free Living,” “A Little Action,” “Conspicuous Consumption,” and “Consolation Prize” (Paycock Press, 2016).

David Giffels (faculty and essayist)

  • Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, 2016.
  • An essay, “A Comedy of Errors,” published in Cleveland Magazine, August 2015.
  • An essay, “Shaving Needs,” accepted for publication in Other Fathers, Other Rooms, an anthology of literary essays about contemporary fatherhood.

Eric Wasserman (faculty and fiction writer)

  • Short story “Trampled Under Foot.” Insomnia & Obsession Magazine

Spring 2016 Graduate Reading

The Spring 2016 Graduate Reading will take place in the Room 310 in the Student Center at the KSU campus at 5:30pm.

This semester’s graduates include:

CSU: Lisa Langford, Logan Smith, Amber Taliancich Allen, Brett Zelman

KSU: Jack Boyle, Dawn Christine Hackett, Karly Milvet

UA: Rebecca Ligon, Jamie Thompson, Andrew Wehmann

YSU: Samuel Amazing, Anne Leigh Garwig

NEOMFA Visiting Writer Mary Ruefle Radio Segment

When Mary Ruefle came to Cleveland State University as part of the NEOMFA Visiting Writer Series, she stopped into the station of 90.3 for an interview with Dee Perry. A recording of her radio segment can be found on the ideastream website.

Spring 2015 Graduate Reading

The Spring 2015 Graduate Reading will take place in the Ohio Room in the Kilcawley Center at the YSU campus from 10am-2pm.

This semester’s graduates include:

CSU: Dan Cleary, Michael Credico, Monica Morgan, Jessica Smith, Susan Tenon

KSU: Natasha Rodriguez-Carroll

UA: Sarah Dravec, Jacob Euteneuer, Jaclyn Geir Klein, Nathan Kemp, Katie Mertz, Nick Reali,

YSU: Brigitta Albares, Sarah Burnett, Couri Johnson, Jay Newman, Tom Pugh, Carol Stowe

Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

NEOMFA at AWP 2015

NEOMFA: Booth 1002

Cleveland State University Poetry Center: Table 447

Whiskey Island: Table 1351

Wick Poetry Center / Kent State University Press: Table 1208

University of Akron Press: Table 933

Offsite Readings

Cleveland State University Poetry Center Reading: Siwar Masannat, Broc Rossell, and Lee Upton, Friday, April 10, 2015 8:00pm 9:30pm, Instinct Art Gallery 340 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis, MN, 55401

AWP Offsite Reading with Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, and Laurel Review Featuring Julie Carr, Mary Biddinger, J’Lyn Chapman, Matthew Cooperman, Aby Kaupang, Aaron McCollough, Andrew S. Nicholson, and more. Thursday, April 9th 7:30pm Republic – Calhoun Square 3001 Hennepin Ave Suite 2200, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408


Narrative Expectations in the Personal Essay; featuring Bruce Ballenger, Jennifer Sinor, Lad Tobin, and David Giffels


The Triple Reading

The Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program will host Michael Garriga, Elizabeth Kadetsky, and Brad Ricca for a triple reading on Friday, March 27th, at 7pm. The reading will take place in Main Classroom 136 at the CSU campus.

Michael Garriga is the author of The Book of Duels (Milkweed Editions, 2014).  His work has been published extensively in magazines and journals, including New Letters, the Black Warrior ReviewstorySouth, and the Southern Review. He currently teaches creative writing in the English department at Baldwin Wallace University.

Elizabeth Kadetsky is the author of a memoir with Little Brown (First There Is a Mountain) and two forthcoming books of fiction: a novella (On the Island at the Center of the Center of the World, Nouvella Books), and a story collection (The Poison that Purifies You, C&R Press). She lives in New York City’s East Village and in State College, Pennsylvania, and her works in fiction, memoir, personal and lyric essay, and long form narrative journalism have been published widely.

Brad Ricca teaches classes on writing, comics, popular culture, and narrative biography at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Art. His latest book is the first literary biography of the creators of Superman, Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster – The Creators of Superman.  He is a frequent contributor to media outlets such as NPR, the BBC, and others about comics and pop culture.