Next up – Gary Sullivan & Nada Gordon

The New Writing Series welcomes poets Nada Gordon and Gary Sullivan to the UMaine campus for a performance on Thursday, April 2, at 4:30pm in the Soderberg Auditorium. Like all NWS events, this one is free and open to the public. If you have a disability that may require accommodation for this event, please contact Ann Smith in the office of Disability Support Service, 121 East Annex, 581-2319 (Voice) or 581-2311 (TDD).

Nada Gordon was born on January 14, 1964 in Oakland, California. She spent a colorful, semi-nomadic childhood in Chicago, San Francisco, Mill Valley, Fairfax, and Bolinas. At thirteen, she passed a high school equivalency exam and enrolled at a junior college. She graduated from San Francisco State University’s creative writing program in 1984, and received her MA in literature from UC Berkeley in 1986. In 1988, she moved to Tokyo, Japan, where she taught English, wrote textbooks, sang in a band, studied butoh, traveled around Asia and Europe, and was a co-editor of the literary journal, Aya. She returned to the US in 1999 as a result of a protracted e-pistolary romance. She is the author of More Hungry (1985), Rodomontade (1985), Lip (1988), Koi Maneuver (1990), Anime (2000), Foriegnn Bodie (2004), V. Imp, and Folly. She lives in Brooklyn with Gary Sullivan. She blogs at Ululations.

Gary Sullivan is a poet, cartoonist, and blogger. His DIY comic, Elsewhere—which he started drawing and writing in 2005— explores biography as an artistic construct. Sullivan lives in Brooklyn with Nada Gordon. Together, they wrote the book Swoon. Sullivan’s most recent book is PPL in a Depot. He blogs at Elsewhere.

Event Reports

Event Report – Claudia Rankine

On March 25, 2009, in an event co-sponsored by the Honors College, poet, editor and anthologist Claudia Rankine read to an audience of more than 145 people in Little Hall 130. Steve Evans introduced the event, which was the fifth of the Spring 2009 New Writing Series schedule. After the nearly hour-long video-screening and reading, Rankine took questions from the audience.

Documentation For more photos, visit the NWS flikr page. The event was recorded on digital video tape by Carey Haskell.

Set List – compiled by Katie Lattari (after the jump)
Continue reading


Up Next – Claudia Rankine

Jamaican-born poet, editor, and anthologist Claudia Rankine reads in the New Writing Series on Wednesday, March 25, 2009, at 8pm in Little Hall 130 on the flagship campus of the University of Maine in Orono. The event, which is cosponsored by the Honors College in conjunction with Honors 180: A Cultural Odyssey, is free and open to the public, though seating is limited.

Whether writing about intimacy or alienation, Claudia Rankine’s voice is one of unflinching and unrelenting candor, and her poetry is some of the most innovative and thoughtful to emerge in recent years. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and educated at Williams College and Columbia University, Rankine is the author of four collections of poetry, including the award-winning Nothing in Nature is Private. In The End of the Alphabet and Plot, she welds the cerebral and the spiritual, the sensual and the grotesque. Her latest book, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely—an experimental multi-genre project that blends poetry, essays, and image—is an experimental and deeply personal exploration of the condition of fragmented selfhood in contemporary America. Of this book, poet Robert Creeley said: “Claudia Rankine here manages an extraordinary melding of means to effect the most articulate and moving testament to the bleak times we live in I’ve yet seen. It’s master work in every sense, and altogether her own.”

Rankine co-edited the anthology American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language, and her work is included in several anthologies, including Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present, Best American Poetry 2001, Giant Step: African American Writing at the Crossroads of the Century, and The Garden Thrives: Twentieth Century African-American Poetry. Her work has been published in numerous journals including Boston Review, TriQuarterly, and The Poetry Project Newsletter. She lives and teaches in California.

If you have a disability that may require accommodation for this event, please contact Ann Smith in the office of Disability Support Service, 121 East Annex, 581-2319 (Voice) or 581-2311 (TDD).

Event Reports

Event Report – Grady Awards

Event Report

On March 19, 2009, the undergraduate and graduate winners of the Steve Grady Awards for Creative Writing (full bios here) read their original works to a packed Soderberg Auditorium for the fourth event of the Spring 2009 schedule. Steve Evans introduced the poets and Dave Kress introduced the fiction writers who together read for about an hour and a half.

Set List

Amber Kapiloff – “Pieces” (undergraduate fiction: honorable mention)

Katie Lattari – “I Break Leaves in Brittle Mornings”, “Reference” (undergraduate poetry: honorable mention)

Michael Fournier – “Dramatic Persuasion” (graduate fiction: honorable mention)

Rick LaPlante – “Magic”, “Double You”, “Petrified Forest”, “Let’s Tango At Night”, “Well-Wishers” (undergraduate poetry: second place)

Katie Lattari: “Origins and Interviews” (undergraduate fiction: second place)

Meghan Dowling – “Americana”, “Men at Work”, “Gone” (graduate poetry: second place)

Shaun Irland – “Breaking Everest” (graduate fiction: second place)

Dane Bolding – “Summer Rain”, “A Scent of Smoke”, “Leaves of Clouds”, “Almost the same as eating snow.”, “Presidents Pass the Time”, “Dakota”, “Out of State”, Haiku (untitled), Haiku (untitled), “Post Office Blues #22” (undergraduate poetry: first place)

Chris Tarbell – “The True Story of Peter Danvers” (undergraduate fiction: first place)

Alison Fraser – “When Paul Marries and I am His Groom”, “A Narrow Cavity for Him”, “If I Do or Don’t”, “On Both Sides”, “What Has Happened After 1947” (graduate poetry: first place)

Meghan Dowling – “ReadMe” (graduate fiction: first place)

The event was recorded on digital video tape by Carey Haskell.


Up Next – Grady Award Winners

On Thursday, March 19, at 4:30pm in the Soderberg Auditorium, the New Writing Series will host a reading by this year’s winners of the Steve Grady Awards in Creative Writing. The event is free and open to the public (though seating is limited).

Poetry was judged by Elizabeth Willis (NWS S’05) of Wesleyan. The fiction judge was Christina Milletti (NWS F’06) of the University at Buffalo. This year’s winners are:

Dane Bolding lived for seventeen years in San Diego, California before he moved to Maine. He is currently a undergraduate at the University of Maine studying English. Aside from education, he has spent his time writing poetry, painting, recreating in the outdoors, and working on an apple orchard and farm. His poetry over the past two years has divided itself into works of haiku and free verse. Seasonality has increasing made its way into his poetry, as well has brevity. Poems of his have appeared in the University of Maine’s undergraduate magazine, The Beggar (The Maine Review), as well as two chapbooks of poetry, Not There and Green Rock Publications.

Meghan Dowling is a Boston-area native; Brandeis University graduate; daughter, sister, aunt, etc; amateur historian. Interests include, but are not limited to: reading things, writing things, looking things up. Dislikes: loud things, sharp things, hot things, writing biographies, math. Oh well.

Alison Fraser earned a BA in English from Hollins University in 2008. She is a first year graduate student in the English department and works as the Editorial Assistant for the National Poetry Foundation. She has founded a small press, Say No Press, which publishes chapbooks, and runs a remixed Poetry 180 on its blog. The poems submitted for this award were inspired by stories of alien abduction, ancient Greece, and Paul Gauguin but mostly by her 1960s dictionary.

Michael T. Fournier‘s book on the Minutemen’s 1984 album Double Nickels On The Dime was released as part of Continuum Press’s ’33 1/3’ series in April of 2007. Since he moved to Orono in August, his writing has appeared in Boston Magazine, Chunklet, Place/Time, and the Rock Bible anthology. He recently lectured in Chicago and Brooklyn (where his appearance was featured in the Village Voice). In December, he co-founded Cabildo Press, dedicated to publishing new and undiscovered writers, with his girlfriend, Rebecca Griffin. Fournier has also been learning to play drums in the basement (and now that spring is here, to the relief of his housemates, in the garage)—his rendition of the A.G’s “Hurt A Cop” gets better by the day. He hosts “The Living End,” the only all-Jandek radio program in the world, on Orono’s WMEB.

Shaun Irland originated in New York but has adapted to life in Maine just fine. He will be graduating with his Master’s in English in May 2009 and moving to Western Pennsylvania to pursue his doctoral degree and a decrease of winter. His stories have been published in The North Country Literary Journal, Loquacious Magazine, and The Stolen Island Review.

Amber Kapiloff is highly anticipating her graduation this spring with only a few, stompable feelings of nostalgia. Next she will be dawdling around Bar Harbor, enjoying the town employee benefit of free whale watching tours and trying to find free soil in which to grow some cherry tomatoes. She’ll also be working at a bakery investigating the mechanics of kneading, egg whites, and cupcakes. She hopes to use this time wisely in order to figure out her next step beyond pastries, but secretly thinks that cinnamon buns have never looked so good. Needless to say, whether it be chocolate frosting or an unpaid, sweat-the-small-stuff internship, she’ll be filling Mead pads with nearly useless ramblings and waiting for her chance to cut and run.

Richard LaPlante is a twenty-three year old native of Millinocket, Maine. He graduated from Stearns High School in 2004 and earned his Associate’s Degree in Communications in 2006 at the New England School of Communications. He entered the University of Maine as a Studio Art major in the fall of 2006, but officially changed his major to English about seven months later. His concentration in the English major is, unsurprisingly, creative writing. Rick has dabbled in poetry since he was a freshman in high school in 2000, and in 2005 started his own series of non-sequitur poetry called Poems by a Man in a Box as a response to a specific style of poetry posted on the internet. In 2008, he began to grow into a serious style, learning poetry under Ken Norris. He has released two self-published chapbooks, Trial and Error and Second Chance, and is planning a third chapbook to be released sometime this year, which has yet to be titled. He enjoys looking at all forms of poetry by a variety of poets as inspiration for things to try in his own poetry. Aside from poetry, Rick enjoys video games, role playing games of all sorts, traveling, and surfing the internet. He has been nominated President of the University of Maine Role Playing Games Society and will assume the position in the fall.

Katie Lattari is a fourth year English major with a concentration in Creative Writing. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Katie and her family moved to Maine when she was eight years old, and she has been settled here ever since. For the 2008-2009 academic year, Katie is one of three editors for the university’s undergraduate literary magazine The Maine Review, and is also a student research assistant for the New Writing Series. While eagerly anticipating graduation in May, Katie is currently in the midst of working on her Capstone/ Honors Thesis project, which will be a collection of short stories. When not spending her creative energies on fiction or poetry, Katie likes to write and record her own original songs. She currently resides in Winterport, Maine.

Christopher Tarbell has always been an avid reader and storyteller. Raised in East Machias, he came to the University of Maine originally to study Biology, quickly switching over to Creative Writing. His interests lie primarily in fiction, although he has recently tried his hand at some non fiction. He is now a senior and plans to take a year or so off before contemplating graduate school. In his spare time he likes to write, read, play music, and sleep. One of his all time greatest pleasures is reading on various forms of public transportation.Perhaps this is why he has never owned a car. Therefore, if he were on the show the Transformers, he’d be the guy who transforms into a bicycle.



The UMaine New Writing Series is sponsored by the English Department and the National Poetry Foundation with support from the Lloyd H. Elliott fund and the Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series Committee. FMI contact Steve Evans on FC or at 207-581-3818.