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.

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