Up Next – Grady Awards

The New Writing Series will wrap up its tenth anniversary year of literary programming with a special event featuring the winners of the Steve Grady Awards in Creative Writing. The celebratory reading will take place on Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 4:30pm in the Soderberg Center Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public, though seating is limited.

Brief biographical statements by the readers are included below (in alphabetical order):

Jason DiGioia regrets skipping baseball in high school. Convinced he could have made varsity. Will be hanging his M.A. certificate on the wall soon. Loves Vietnamese food, being a pescatarian, Vermont, the TV show Cheaters. Hates writing about himself in the third person, Facebook, complete sentences. DiGioia won second prize in the graduate Fiction category.

Since arriving in Maine in August 2008, Michael T. Fournier got engaged, wrote a novel and learned to play drums. He has shared stages with Zeth Lundy, Mike Watt, and Richard Hell. Fournier won first prize in the graduate Fiction category.

Alison Fraser is a second-year graduate student with a concentration in poetry and poetics. For the past two years, she has worked as the editorial assistant for the National Poetry Foundation. She is interested in language poetry, feminist theory, and the finer points of backyard poultry farming. Fraser won second prize in the graduate Poetry category.

Amy Jirsa left the unstable world of acting for the more lucrative life of poetry. She became interested in poetry as a child after learning that her grandfather and Edna Millay were cousins and close friends. So many years later, she wonders if she hasn’t, after all, chosen too ambitious a role model. But, to her credit, she will graduate from Umaine in May with an MA in creative writing and has poetry forthcoming in the next issue of StorySouth. Jirsa won first prize in the graduate Poetry category.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Katie Lattari is a first-year graduate student in the English Department, where her concentration is creative writing. This year, Katie is on the executive board of the English Graduate Student Association, and next year she will be one of the editors of the Stolen Island Review. In her spare time, Katie likes to write fiction, poetry, and original songs. She also likes to contemplate all things robot. Katie is currently the lead singer for the English Department’s premier graduate student band, You Go To Hell. Lattari earned an honorable mention in the graduate Fiction category.

Cassandra Lueneburg won first prize in the undergraduate Poetry category.

Brooke Rose Oliver is a second year English major with a concentration in Creative Writing. She is originally from Millinocket, Maine, but now resides in the town of Veazie.  She came to the University of Maine as a Science major, and quickly changed over to English.  When she’s not at school or waiting tables at Governor’s Restaurant and Bakery, she enjoys reading,writing, baking, and her three cats. Oliver won second prize in the undergraduate Poetry category.

Thomas Russell is in his third undergraduate year of studying English and Psychology. Having moved roughly twenty times before heading off to UMaine at age eighteen, he doesn’t quite have a hometown, but his current home base is in South Berwick, Maine. He started writing stories in first grade, sharing during show-and-tells, and the New Writing Series is his first show-and-tell since. This summer, he plans to resume revision of his stubborn fantasy novel (it refuses completion), and continue exploring other forms of fiction, as well as poetry. Russell earned an honorable mention in the undergraduate Fiction category.

John Shannon is an undergraduate student with a major in English who concentrates in creative writing and minors in theatre. When not studying ferociously he writes film reviews for the Maine Campus and the weekly “ReFocus” column for His spare time is spent reading comics and books, theorizing about “Lost,” playing far too many rounds of Mario Kart, and being teased by his girlfriend for rabidly collecting a variety of film scores. He hopes to expand “To Boldly Go” into a longer narrative over the summer in between catching up on many literary classics he has yet to read. Shannon won first prize in the undergraduate Fiction category.

Emily Tupper is looking forward to graduating in December with a double degree in Biology and English. She hopes to pursue research in Biochemistry and use her degree in English to help her communicate science research to others. She is very honored to have won this award and would like to thank Professor William Yellowrobe and her parents for their input and support during the writing of this piece. Tupper won second prize in the undergraduate Fiction category.

The UMaine New Writing Series is sponsored by the English Department and the National Poetry Foundation with support from the Lloyd H. Elliott fund, the Milton Ellis Memorial Fund, the Honors College, and the Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series Committee. Grateful acknowledgment is made to the Pulp & Paper Foundation for the use of the Soderberg Center. FMI contact Steve Evans on First Class or at 207-581-3818.

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s