RWW Soundings




Jasminne Mendez’s (2019) second book, a collection of essays tentatively titled Origins, will be published by Arte Publico Press in spring of 2018. She was invited by the Government of Chihuahua’s Secretary of Culture to read her work and be a panelist at the 10th Annual Bravo International Festival of Writers in Juarez, Mexico, March 9–12. She was also a featured reader in Houston at the Gulf Coast Magazine/Poison Pen Reading Series on February 23. Additionally, she will be a featured reader at the Center for Mexican American Studies Conference at the University of Houston on April 1 as well as at the Lone Star Book Festival at Lone Star College, Kingwood, on April 8.

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha (2017): A launch event for Lena’s chapbook, Arab in Newsland, was held on March 11 at Open Books: A Poem Emporium, Seattle’s all-poetry bookstore owned by RWW alumna Billie Swift (2016). Arab in Newsland was the winner of the 2016 Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize, chosen by January Gill O’Neil.


Nancy Canyon (2007) was interviewed about her writing career on Whatcom Talk in February.

Chelsey Clammer (2016) was invited to be a first reader for Sarabande Books’ annual Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry contest. This summer, she will be a presenter for the Writers’ League of Texas’s annual Agents & Editors Conference in Austin, TX, June 30–July 2. Her essay “Collection” was named in Sundress Publications’ list of 2016’s 30 Most Transformative Essays and was short-listed for Hippocampus’s 2016 Remember in November Contest. As an online creative nonfiction instructor for WOW! Women on Writing, she will be teaching The Women Writers’ Book Group in May and Face Your Fears in June. She is also offering submissions consultations through WOW!. The V-Word, an anthology featuring Chelsey’s essay, “Ear Muffs for Muff Driving,” was selected for inclusion in the American Library Association’s 2017 Rainbow Book List, a yearly bibliography highlighting new books with significant GLBTQ content. Additionally, in November, Chelsey was hired as an associate editor for the international editing company Papercheck, and has started offering a free, weekly memoir writing group for adults held in the public library of her hometown, Round Rock, TX.

Bernard Grant (2016) won a 2017 GSGA Research Fellowship from the University of Cincinnati to research and revise his fiction manuscript this summer. In January, he was interviewed for The SAFTAcast, a production of Sundress Academy for the Arts. In February, he served as a guest editor for SmokeLong Quarterly as well as gave a reading as part of the EGO Reading Series. 

Jeb Harrison (2012) was interviewed by the YouTube channel IndieReview Behind the Scenes WebTV on February 4.

Ned Hayes’s (2015) novel The Eagle Tree was named a top “Kindle First” book. Science writer Steve Silberman named it one of 2016’s top five books about the autistic experience. The book was listed as a national bestseller last year, with over 80,000 copies sold.

Jill McCabe Johnson (2008) was the recipient of a three-week artist residency at PLAYA in December. She presented on the panel “Inclusive Anthologies” at AWP, with fellow RWW alumni Tina Schumann (2009) and Holly Hughes (2006), and moderated the panel “Gender and Genre: How Do Our Prejudices Affect Our Preferences?” with RWW faculty member Kevin Clark. Jill will be teaching a poetic forms workshop through Skagit Valley College in April.

Lita Kurth’s (2009) fiction piece Gardener’s Delight” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She co-curated the Spoken Word Lounge at Anne & Mark’s Art Party, where she also taught an ekphrastic workshop in September 2016. She was a featured reader in the Well-RED series on October 11, 2016, at Works/San José Gallery, and she was a participant and English-language curator for Confluence, a Hindi-English poetry performance, on March 3 in Sunnyvale. Additionally, in early March she performed in a panel on poetry and performance for San José’s Cinequest Film Festival.

Meagan Macvie’s (2014) first novel, The Ocean in My Ears, will be published by Ooligan Press in November 2017.

Carol McMahon (2016) gave a reading of her poetry on January 10, 2017, for the Genesee Reading Series at Writers & Books, Rochester, New York.

Debbie Clarke Moderow’s (2013) book Fast into the Night: A Woman, Her Dogs, and Their Journey North on the Iditarod Trail was awarded the 2016 National Outdoor Book Award for Outdoor Literature.

Julie Riddle (2009) led a workshop at the Safety Harbor Writers & Poets Conference. She also gave a reading for the Visiting Writers Forum at Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida (thanks to an invitation extended by RWW alumna Barbara Finkelstein, 2009).

Tammy Robacker’s (2016) MFA critical research paper “The Split: An Examination of the Divided Self in the Poetry of Sexual Trauma” was accepted for publication in The Journal of Poetry Therapy, Fall 2017, sponsored by the National Association of Poetry Therapy. Also, her poem “Suicide 1979” was nominated as a finalist for the 2016 Editor’s Prize at MARY: A Journal of New Writing; winners will be announced in spring 2017.

Christine Robbins (2012) was a finalist for the annual New England Review Award for Emerging Writers. Her first manuscript, Wake, was a finalist for the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize from The Waywiser Press.

Cindy Stewart-Rinier’s (2012) first book-length manuscript, The Desire for Color, for Wings, was chosen as one of two finalists for the 2016 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry book contest by Peter Everwine.


Lia Purpura’s essay “All the Fierce Tethers” (New England Review, 2016) was named in Sundress Publications’ list of 2016’s 30 Most Transformative Essays.



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