Kelly Morse to publish chapbook in spring 2016


Kelly Morse (Poetry ’12) recently shared that her chapbook, Heavy Light, will be published by Two of Cups Press in spring 2016!

Kelly says, “Heavy Light focuses on the ambivalence nested within motherhood, the trauma and strange joy of it.”  Above is a photo of Kelly and her daughter, which we thought fitting for this great news!

Poems from Heavy Light have been published or are forthcoming in Gulf Coast, The Journal, Riverteeth, and Tinderbox.  One of the poems, “Dar la luz,” was a finalist for Mid American Review‘s Fineline Prize, and will be published in their next issue.

Warm congratulations, Kelly, and we’re looking forward to reading your poems this spring!

Kelly Morse is a poet, creative nonfiction writer, and translator. Her creative work has appeared or is forthcoming in Brevity, Alimentum, Quarter After Eight and elsewhere, while her translations have appeared in Asymptote. A graduate of Boston University’s MFA program, she has had work nominated for Best of the Net, and she is a Vermont Studio Center fellowship recipient.

Nell Stevens’ memoir to be published by Picador, among others

Nell Stevens

We’re thrilled to announce that Nell Stevens (Fiction 2013) has sold her book to Picador in the UK, Doubleday in the US, and Knopf in Canada!  The book, called Bleaker House, is part memoir, part travelogue, and part short story collection.  It documents Nell’s time in the Falklands as she desperately tries–and fails–to write a novel, navigates intense loneliness, and comes up with ridiculous  processes to keep herself sane on isolated Bleaker Island.

Nell says, “Writing Bleaker House gave me the chance to rehabilitate and laugh at an experience that felt, at times, like a disaster – its publication with Picador is a great happy ending to that adventure.”

Congratulations, Nell!  We can’t wait to read about your adventure.

Nell Stevens has a First in English and Creative Writing from Warwick, after which she went on to study Arabic and Comparative Literature at Harvard, and to receive a Marcia Trimble Fellowship and the Florence Engel Randall Graduate Fiction Award for her MFA in Fiction at Boston University. She is currently researching a PhD in Victorian literature at King’s College London. She was a finalist in the 2011 Elle magazine Writing Talent Contest, and a runner up in both the 2014 Mslexia Memoir Competition and the 2015 Mslexia Short Story Prize.

Calvin Olsen published in The Missouri Review


We are happy to share (a bit late!) that Calvin Olsen’s (Poetry 2011) poem “Territory” was featured as the Poem of the Week on The Missouri Review online.  You can also read “Territory” and another poem by Calvin called “I Wish the Moon” in our alumni journal, 236.

Calvin says, I attempted to shape the poem to allow the reader to see the owl as I do: wild, enticing, and more than a little intimidating—a lot like taking a good look at yourself.

Thanks, Calvin, and congratulations!

Calvin Olsen holds an MFA from Boston University, where he received a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship. His poetry and translations have appeared in Nashville Review, Catch & Release, Gravel, The Interpreter’s House, Salamander, and Lay Bare the Canvas: New England Poets on Art, among many others. His current projects include a book-length manuscript, a translation of the collected works of Alberto de Lacerda, and an extensive undertaking at He lives in North Carolina.

Cara Bayles wins Chautauqua Journal Editors’ Prize

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I’m excited to announce that my former classmate, Cara Bayles (Fiction 2013), won the Chautauqua Journal Editors’ Prize!  Cara first wrote the winning story, “Ostracita,” for a workshop with Leslie Epstein here at BU.  The piece will automatically be nominated for the Pushcart Prize as a condition of the contest.

Congrats, Cara! and we’ll keep our fingers crossed for the Pushcart.

Cara Bayles’ work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Threepenny Review, Meridian (University of Virginia), Chautauqua Literary Journal, Ruminate, Trop, and the anthology Watching the Cash Roll in Since 2012. She received a 2014-2015 Steinbeck Fellowship at San Jose State University to work on her novel. She is also the recipient of a Leslie Epstein Global Fellowship in Fiction, a Pushcart Prize nomination, and a Tennessee Williams scholarship to attend the 2015 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She is a graduate of Boston University’s MFA program. As an award-winning journalist, she’s spent the past six years covering the streets of Boston and the bayous of southern Louisiana.

Tara Skurtu to read at Poetry Festival in Romania

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Globetrotting poet Tara Skurtu (Poetry ’13) will be reading at Poets in Transylvania, a poetry festival in Romania!  The festival features an excellent line-up, including Tara’s former teacher Lloyd Schwartz.  (Robert Pinsky, also listed, had to pull out at the last minute.)  Tara went to Romania on a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship, and has recently returned on a Fulbright Fellowship.

Break a leg, Tara!

Book Coauthored by Stacy Mattingly Made into Movie

Captive Cover

In 2005, Stacy Mattingly (Fiction ’11) coauthored UNLIKELY ANGEL: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Hostage Hero with Ashley Smith. This Friday, September 18, Paramount Pictures will release a feature film based on the book!  CAPTIVE stars David Oyelowo (SELMA) and Kate Mara (“House of Cards”).  HarperCollins has re-released the book under the film title.


Watch the trailer below!

Hearty congratulations, Stacy!  We’re excited for you.

Stacy Mattingly is a U.S. writer and the founder of the Sarajevo Writers’ Workshop, a bilingual group of poets and prose writers in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has led the workshop since 2012. Stacy holds an MFA in fiction from Boston University, where she was a Marcia Trimble Fellow, a Leslie Epstein Global Fellow, and recipient of the Florence Engel Randall Graduate Fiction Award. She has taught creative writing at Boston University, is slated to teach for Boston’s Grub Street, and helped lead the first Narrative Witness exchange (Caracas-Sarajevo) for the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. Stacy is currently writer-in-residence at the Goat Farm Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and has just completed a first novel, set in the Balkans.

Carla Panciera wins Grace Paley Prize

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Carla Panciera’s (poetry ’87) short story collection, Bewildered, was chosen by Pam Houston to receive the Grace Paley Prize for short fiction!  The book was published by the University of Massachusetts in the fall of 2014, and was the first collection to have been written by a Massachusetts writer since UMass began publishing winning titles from this series in 1990.

“What links these stories,” Panciera said, “is what links all of us: The desire to belong, the need to heal, the fear of what happens next.”

Congratulations, Carla!

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Carla Panciera received her MA in Poetry from BU in 1987.  She has published two collections of poetry. Bewildered is her first book of fiction.

Lucy Teitler’s play premieres in Pittsfield


We’re so happy to share that Lucy Teitler’s play Engagements is receiving its world premiere at the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Massachusetts!  You can buy tickets here.

Engagements received a terrific review in the Globe, calling Lucy’s writing “whip-smart” and “filled with memorable lines.”  Jeremy D. Goodwin writes:

What helps Engagements work — and it does so splendidly, on the whole — is that it doesn’t set out to be a generational anthem. Though it’s indeed au courant, this is no “The Big Chill” for Tinder users. At center, it’s the portrait of a fascinatingly complex woman…

Congratulations, Lucy!

Lucy Teitler (Fiction 2013) is a Contributing Writer at Motherboard, the tech section of VICE Media.  She has recently published a short story in Trop. Her play Engagements was produced at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York last March. 

Nina Palisano on list of Best New Poets, 2015

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We’re thrilled to announce that Nina Palisano (Poetry 2015) has been selected as one of 2015’s Best New Poets!  The full list, compiled by Tracy K. Smith, features fifty emerging poets and the titles of their winning poems.  Nina also won this year’s Academy of American Poets Prize at BU.  You can pick up a copy of the Best New Poets 2015 anthology this November here.

Congratulations, Nina!

Antonina Palisano holds a degree in religion and creative writing from Hampshire College, and is most of the way through an MFA in poetry at Boston University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the publications listed, as well as theMassachusetts Review, Potluck Magazine, Electric Cereal, and many others. She is an Elizabeth Leonard Teaching Fellow at BU, and lives in Medford, MA.

Jessica Ullian publishes essay in BuzzFeed Books


Jessica Ulliam (fiction ’09) has recently published a moving and insightful essay about the struggles of being both a parent and a writer.  Here’s an excerpt:

I write from this place of forced calm because the alternative is not to write at all. I could accept that the free-spirited imagination I once had has been forever subsumed by parenthood. But I fear that would bring its own hazards. My writing, however stunted, still brings me the peace that comes from recognizing and feeding a part of myself. In turn, I bring that peace to parenting, able to give more of myself to my children because I am still a writer, even if only half the writer I want to be.

Read the essay here.

Congratulations, Jessica!

Jessica Ullian’s essays and short stories have appeared in Slate, Slice, and Upstreet, and won recognition from Glimmer Train and The Review Review. She lives in Boston and is completing The Relief Season, a novel about hurricane relief workers. Follow her on Twitter at @jessicau.