Daphne Kalotay to read at Newtonville Books tomorrow!


Daphne Kalotay’s newest novel, Sight Reading, has won the 2014 New England Society Book Award for Fiction and has been selected as a Highly Recommended book by the Boston Authors Club.  Congratulations, Daphne!

Daphne will be reading from Sight Reading at Newtonville Books on Thursday, May 29, at 7 and at the Brookline Booksmith on Thursday June 12.

From the novel:

“The thing to keep in mind,” the man said, tapping his baton at the podium for them to stop, “is that what the music asks of us isn’t always spelled out on the page. We might need to slow down even where there’s no ritardando written, or rush forward where there’s just a crescendo mark. Tempo is about more than just speed.”  He said this casually, as if the thought had just occurred to him.

“It’s about the passage of time, really. In our lives—not just on the page. You know how sometimes everything seems to keep rushing forward, but then at other times things are peaceful and still?  How sometimes we feel stuck in time, or just plodding along day by day—and then suddenly it’s as if time’s passed us by, or we’re being hurried along, too quickly?  That’s what tempo is really about.  That’s what we’re expressing.  Not just how fast or how slowly the music moves.  It’s about how fast and slow life moves.”

Happy birthday, Adrienne Rich! and literary links


“A revolutionary poem will not tell you who or when to kill, what and when to burn, or even how to theorize. It reminds you… where and when and how you are living and might live, it is a wick of desire.”    -Adrienne Rich

Today is the birthday of Adrienne Rich!  She would have been eighty-five.  Here, she reads “Diving into the Wreck.”

And now some links for your weekend:

One of my favorite essays by Joan Didion (not that I have read that much of her work).

Come hear current MFA students and alum at Writers at the Black Box next Tuesday night!

BU alum Mimi Lipson will be reading at Newtonville Books on Wednesday.

The website for Miranda July’s collection of stories is just delightful.  The book itself is delightful too (or at least I think so).

In fact, I assigned this to my class this year.

According to Steve Almond, you should seriously read Stoner right now.

Anne Lamott tells us how to handle haters.

Make a cocktail Hemingway would be proud of.

“Live like a mighty river”: a letter from Ted Hughes to his son.

Neat idea for a notebook, ya?

Have a wonderful weekend, all!

Renee Emerson publishes debut book of poetry


Wonderful news for Renee Emerson, whose beautiful book of poems, Keeping Me Still, has just been published! You can buy a copy and read more about the book here.

From the publisher:  ”…a collection of poems like keepsakes of what is lost and gained as we move on, grow, and reach for something bigger–always with hope.”

Congratulations, Renee!

Renee Emerson is the author of Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing 2014). Her poetry has been published in 32 Poems, Christianity and Literature, Indiana Review, Literary Mama, Southern Humanities Review, storySouth, and elsewhere. Renee teaches creative writing and composition at a small Christian university in Georgia, where she lives with her husband and daughters.

Luisa Caycedo-Kimura receives Adrienne Reiner Hochstadt Fellowship

Luisa Caycedo-Kimura pic for blog copy Poet Luisa Caycedo-Kimura has been nominated for another writing residency!  She’ll spend a week in Ragsdale, a non-profit artists’ community in Lake Forest, 30 miles outside of Chicago, located on architect Howard Van Doren Shaw’s country estate. It looks like a gorgeous, quiet place to write.

Way to go, Luisa! and we hope you have a wonderful and productive time.

Luisa Caycedo-Kimura is a poet and translator. She was born in Colombia and grew up in New York City. A former attorney, she left the legal profession to pursue her passion for writing. Luisa has received various awards for her poetry and was nominated for the 2012 Pushcart Prize. Last fall Luisa travelled to Spain as a Robert Pinsky Global fellow. Most recently, Luisa was awarded the 2014 John K. Walsh Residency Fellowship. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Jelly Bucket, Connecticut Review, Louisiana Literature, PALABRA, San Pedro River Review, Crack the Spine, Sunken Garden Poetry 1992-2011, and elsewhere.

J.M. Barrie’s birthday, and literary links


Hello, all!  Today is the birthday of J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan (which was one of my favorite books growing up, as it happens) and The Little White Bird and a play called The Admiral Crichton (and many other works, but I’ll leave it at that for now).

I’ve recently started trying to write every day before I get to work, even if it’s only for an hour, and I’m realizing that I really dig daily rituals.  I’ve been writing in the same chair and ordering the same scone for the past few weeks (will soon switch up the scone though).  What writing rituals do you have?  Tell us by leaving a comment below!

And now, some literary links to start off the weekend:

Literature’s most iconic meals…in photographs.

Joe Kanon came to speak to this year’s class of MFA fiction students.  He was really funny and warm (lest that author photo make you think otherwise).

One of my students shared the Hemingway app with me.  Try it out!

Got a goal?  Give it 100.

Vincent Van Gogh on love and the creative process.

I loved the dialogue in this story by Sam Lipsyte.

Joyce Carol Oates runs AND writes in the morning.

Shouts and Murmurs about Starbucks’ new evening menu.  (Has anyone tried this out, by the way?)

Have a delightful weekend, everyone!


Emma Duffy-Comparone wins Pushcart Prize

Emma Duffy-Comparone
Fantastic news for Emma Duffy-Comparone!  Emma recently won a Pushcart Prize for her story, “The Zen Thing,”

From the story:

Each year, like a shifty circus in a truck, the family unpacks itself for a weekend on a beach and pretends to have a good time. This summer they are in Rhode Island, on Scarborough Beach. Everyone is staying at the Sea Breeze Motel down the street. Expectations are low. It is the kind of setup where doors open to a courtyard, which is carpeted. In the middle of the carpet is a pool. In the middle of the pool, submerged, are a bikini bottom and a bloated swimming noodle, which has somehow drowned like a piece of plumbing pipe.

Billy, Anita’s brother, who is thirteen and has Down syndrome, has spent the morning dipping a red bucket into the pool and watering all of the plastic plants with it: the scheffleras in the corner, and a few palms slouching under the exit signs. He wears an industrial measuring tape clipped to his bathing suit and has measured the diving board several times and the circumference of the doorknobs to their rooms. Anita adores Billy.

“He’s really into maintenance these days.” Anita’s mother sighs. “And breasts.”

Congratulations, Emma!

Emma Duffy-Comparone’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Pushcart Prize XXXIX, Ploughshares, One Story, American Scholar, Southern Review, Mississippi Review, Cincinnati Review, and The Sun. She has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She is a lecturer at Tufts University.


Poet Tara Skurtu featured on WBUR

Skurtu pic

We’re continually proud of BU poet Tara Skurtu, who, in addition to having her poems published in a slew of journals, was recently featured on Radio Boston’s ARTery segment on WBUR!  What an honor (and a treat!).  Listen to it here.

Bravo, Tara!

Tara Skurtu teaches Creative Writing at Boston University, where she received a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship and an Academy of American Poets Prize. She was named one of Lloyd Schwartz’s 6 Favorite New Poets on WBUR’s Here and Now. Recent poems have appeared in Poetry Review, Memorious, DMQ Review, The Dalhousie Review, the minnesota review, B O D Y, and The Los Angeles Review.

Lisa Hiton featured on The Casserole Reading Series, among other places

Lisa Hiton recently gave a live poetry reading on The Casserole Reading Series, hosted by west coast poet, Chelsea Kurnick!  Check it out here.


Two of Lisa’s poems appear in -Anti, and earlier this year, she published this brief and lovely poem in Cellpoems.   In addition, her poem, “Moonchild,” was published in the spring issue of The Journal.

Way to go, Lisa!

Lisa Hiton holds an MFA in poetry from Boston University and an MEd in Arts in Education from Harvard University. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in The Literary Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Linebreak, and The Cortland Review among others. She has received the Esther B. Kahn Scholarship from 24Pearl Street at the Fine Arts Work Center and a nomination for the Pushcart Prize.


Abriana Jette’s Poetry Anthology features BU poets

abeheadshotWe’re thrilled to see The Best Emerging Poets of 2013 on sale on Amazon! The book, edited by Abriana “Abe” Jette (poetry alum) features BU poets such as Caitlin Doyle, Bekah Stout, and Dariel Suarez, and is soon to be the number one poetry anthology selling on Amazon. Buy your copy today!

Congrats, Abe!

Abriana Jetté is an internationally published poet, essayist, and educator from Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in dozens of journals, including the Dr. T.J. Eckleburg Review, The Iron Horse Literary Review, The American Literary Review, 491 Magazine, and many others. She earned her M.F.A. in Poetry from Boston University, where she was a Betsey Leonard Fellow and a Robert Pinsky Global Fellow, and her M.A. in Creative Writing and English Literature from Hofstra University, where she graduated with Distinction. In the Fall, she will be pursuing a Doctorate of the Arts in English at St. John’s University. She is the editor of the anthology “Best Emerging Poets of 2013″, and teaches for St. John’s University, and the City University of New York.

Publications Galore for Dariel Suarez


It’s been an impressively productive year for Dariel Suarez, whose fiction and poetry has been published or is forthcoming in a smattering of journals and other places!

His short story, “Lemonade,” was published in Superstition Review this week. Another story, “Hope,” has been accepted for publication by Michigan Quarterly Review. It will appear this summer in print.

Three of his poems have been published in MiPOsias. The issue is available in these links:

Order the print version.

The free, iTunes version.

Hearty congrats, Dariel!

Dariel Suarez is a Cuban-born writer who came to the United States in 1997. He earned his M.F.A. in fiction at Boston University, where he was a Global Fellow. Dariel is a founding editor of Middle Gray Magazine and has taught creative writing at Boston University, the Boston Arts Academy, and Boston University’s Metropolitan College. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals and magazines, including Prairie Schooner, The Florida Review, Southern Humanities Review, Gargoyle, Superstition Review, and Baltimore Review, as well as several anthologies. He’s recently completed a story collection set in his native country, and he’s at work on a novel about a Cuban political prisoner, titled The Playwright’s House. More about Dariel can be found at www.darielsuarez.com.