NEOMFA to Host George Saunders

The Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program will host acclaimed short story writer George Saunders at Cleveland State University, April 22 – April 23, 2015.

Wednesday, April 22nd

  • Workshop, 10am – 12pm, RT 901, CSU Campus, NEOMFA students only
  • WCPN (90.3 FM) interview 12:20; airs approximately 2pm on The Sound of Applause

Thursday, April 23rd

  • Workshop, 10am – 12pm, RT 901, CSU Campus, NEOMFA students only
  • Salon Session 3pm, PH 104, CSU campus, Open to students and faculty of CSU, KSU, UA, YSU
  • Reading/Book Signing 7pm, Drinko Hall, Music Building, CSU campus, Open to the public

MacArthur “Genius Grant” fellow George Saunders is the New York Times bestselling author of several collections of short stories, including Tenth of December, Pastoralia, and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, as well as a collection of essays and a book for children. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.


The 2015 NEOMFA Playwrights Festival

The 2015 NEOMFA Playwrights Festival at Convergence-continuum:

The first weekend, February 12 – 14 (Th, F, S) 8pm, will feature a double bill: Inside Out: The Fattening Room by Lisa Langford & The Walling Up of Wildflowers by Logan Smith.

The second weekend, February 19 – 21 (Th, F, S) 8pm, will feature The Lies We Hold by Monica Morgan.

Tickets are $5 for students; $10 for general admission.


Join the event on Facebook

NEOMFA to Host Karen Russell

The Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program will host acclaimed novelist and short story writer Karen Russell for a reading on November 5th, 2014, 7:30pm in Cleveland State University Student Center Room 311. The reading is free and open to the public.

In addition to the reading, Russell will participate in two salon sessions:

  • Salon session #1 (open to undergraduates and public) 2pm, Tuesday November 4th, location PH 104
  • Salon session #2 (NEOMFA students only) 4pm, Wednesday November 5th, location PH 104.

Karen Russell is the author of Swamplandia!, a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and two collections of short stories, Vampires in the Lemon Grove, a New York Times bestseller, and St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. She is the recipient of a 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, and she was named one of The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40,” The National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35,” and Granta’s “Best of Young American Novelists.” She lives in New York City.

NEOMFA to Host Shara McCallum

The Northeast Ohio Master in Fine Arts program and Wick Poetry Center will host a workshop with poet Shara McCallum Wednesday, October 29th through Friday, October 31st from 10am to 1pm at the KSU campus. The workshop will take place in the Reading Room of the May Prentice House (126 Lincoln Street).  The workshop is open to current NEOMFA students.

A salon session with McCallum will take place on October 30th at 3pm at the Prentice House.

In addition, a reading will take place Wednesday, October 29th, at 7:30pm in KSU Student Center Room 306 ABC. The reading is free and open to the public.

From Jamaica, Shara McCallum is the author of The Face of Water: New and Selected Poems, This Strange Land, finalist for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, Song of Thieves, and The Water Between Us, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize for Poetry. Recognition for her poetry includes a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship, and other awards. Her work has been published in the US, UK, Caribbean, Latin America, and Israel and been translated into Spanish, French, and Romanian. She directs the Stadler Center for Poetry and teaches at Bucknell University.

NEOMFA to Host Lynda Barry and Dan Chaon

The Northeast Ohio Master in Fine Arts program will host a workshop with artist and writer Lynda Barry and writer Dan Chaon. The workshops will be held on Thursday October 23rd and Friday October 24th from 10am to 2pm in MC 103 on the CSU campus. This workshop is open to NEOMFA students working in any genre and focuses on strategies for generating ideas and discovering scene through exploration of images. All writing will be in-class.

In addition, a reading will take place Thursday October 23rd, 7:30 pm in PH 104. It is free and open to the public.

Dan Chaon is the acclaimed author of Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and You Remind Me of Me, which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington PostChicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications. Chaon’s fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, and he was the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing.

Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher and found they are very much alike. She is the inimitable creator behind the seminal comic strip that was syndicated across North America in alternative weeklies for two decades, Ernie Pook’s Comeek featuring the incomparable Marlys and Freddy, as well as the books One! Hundred! Demons!, The! Greatest! of! Marlys!, Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel, Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies!, The Good Times are Killing Me which was adapted as an off-Broadway play and won the Washington State Governor’s Award. Her bestselling and acclaimed creative writing-how to-graphic novel for Drawn & Quarterly, What It Is, won the Eisner Award for Best Reality Based Graphic Novel and R.R. Donnelly Award for highest literary achievement by a Wisconsin author. D+Q plans to publish a multivolume collection of Ernie Pook’s Comeek, Barry’s next prose novel, and the follow up and creative drawing companion to What It Is, November 2010’s Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book.

NEOMFA to Host Jamaal May

This event has been postponed until the Spring.

The Northeast Ohio Master in Fine Arts program will host a three day workshop by poet Jamaal May from Monday, September 15th through Wednesday, September 17th.

The workshops take place 10am to 1pm daily in Student Union Meeting Room 323 on the University of Akron campus. Lunch is provided for all participants.

A salon session takes place Tuesday, September 16th, 6 pm in Student Union Room 335.

An evening reading takes place Wednesday, September 17th, 7 pm, in Student Union Room 312.

Currently enrolled NEOMFA students should submit a three-page writing sample of poetry along with a 250-word statement on why the workshop would be useful for the student’s current goals. Preference will be given to those concentrating in poetry. Applications must be emailed as a single attachment (.doc, .pdf, or .rtf) to Professor Mary Biddinger ( no later than Friday September 5th for consideration. This is a non-credit workshop limited to twelve students. All attendees must also be able to attend the Wednesday evening reading and are encouraged to attend the Tuesday salon session.

Jamaal May is a poet, editor, and educator from Detroit, MI where he taught poetry in public schools and worked as a freelance audio engineer and touring performer. He is the author of Hum (Alice James Books, Nov 2013), winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award, and two poetry chapbooks (The God Engine and The Whetting of Teeth). His poems have been published widely in journals such as POETRY, Ploughshares, The Believer, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and New England Review. Honors include the 2011-13 Stadler Fellowship from The Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University, the 2013 Indiana Review Poetry Prize, and scholarships and fellowships from Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Cave Canem and Callaloo. In addition to being a finalist at several national and international poetry slams, he is a three-time Rustbelt Regional Slam champion and has been a member of six national poetry slam teams, including five from Detroit and one NYC LouderARTS team. A graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA program for writers, Jamaal has served as Associate Editor of West Branch and is currently the series editor, graphic designer and filmmaker for the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook and Video Series. He teaches in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program.

NEOMFA New Student Orientation

Fall 2014 Orientation

Saturday August 23rd 10 a.m. – 2 p. m.

Parker Hannifin Hall 104, CSU

9:30: Continental breakfast and socializing for students & faculty

10:15: Welcome and opening remarks

10:30: New student information (All current students and alumni welcome)

• Introductions

• Handbooks

• Frequently asked questions

11:30: Informative session for all students

• Program updates

• Presentations: Juniper, NEOMFA Playwrights Festival, Guest Artists, Big Big Mess, Brews and Prose

AWP Conference in Minneapolis, April 8 – 11

• Other upcoming events

12:00-12:45: Lunch

12:45 – 1:30: Break-Out sessions by genre

1:30 – 2pm: Q & A with faculty and students


Parking – As this is a Saturday there may be free parking available along Prospect Avenue, E 22nd St and Chester Ave. (if you don’t mind a short walk). Parking is also available in the Trinity Commons lot (entrance off Prospect Ave, $5, pay for token in Trinity lobby) and in the CSU Prospect Garage (usually more expensive than Trinity lot).

NEOMFA to Host Guest Artist Simon Armitage

Poet, playwright, and novelist Simon Armitage will be read at Last Exit Books in Kent, Ohio on Wednesday, April 9th at 7pm. The event is free and open to the public.

Read three poems from Seeing Stars, shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize in 2010.

Join the event.

NEOMFA at AWP 2014

AWP Bookfair Table Locations:

AWP Offsites and Readings:

AWP Panels featuring NEOMFA Faculty:

NEOMFA to Host Guest Artist Chuck Klosterman

New York Times bestselling author Chuck Klosterman will visit the University of Akron in an event hosted by the NEOMFA.

A salon session will be held on Thursday February 20th in Quaker Square Ballroom B at 5:20 pm.

On Friday, Feb. 21, five NEOMFA students will have the opportunity for a one-on-one, 20-minute manuscript consultation with the guest artist. The selection process will be juried by faculty.

A reading will take place on Friday February 21st in the Quaker Square Ballroom at 7 pm. The event is free and open to the public. Copies of Klosterman’s books will be available for purchase, and he will be available for signing after the event.

Bio: Chuck Klosterman is the New York Times bestselling author of six books of nonfiction (including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs and I Wear the Black Hat) and two novels (Downtown Owl and The Visible Man). His debut book, Fargo Rock City, was a winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. He has written for GQ, Esquire, Spin, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Believer, andThe A.V. Club. He currently covers sports and popular culture for ESPN and serves as “The Ethicist” for the New York Times Magazine.

*Homepage photo credit: Kris Drake