Novelist and Dartmouth Professor of English Ernest Hebert ’69 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Hampshire Writers’ Project on Saturday, March 22, at the group’s Writers’ Day Conference.
“I was very proud to receive the lifetime achievement award for the obvious reason that, like most people, it feels good to be acknowledged for work you’ve done over many years,” Hebert said. “In this case, there was an added bonus to receiving the award from a group that I have great respect for, the New Hampshire Writers Project. It’s kind of a gathering place and support group for New Hampshire-based writers, editors, agents, and publishers. They don’t discriminate between so-called literary authors and commercial writers. The result is, as a participating member, you get to schmooze and network with all kinds of different people working in the literary arts. I think that’s healthy for literature and the people.”
And we couldn’t help asking if KSC had played a role in getting Hebert where he is today. “I’ll always be grateful to Keene State for starting me off in a career,” he explained. “Without KSC, I never would have discovered the writer in myself.”
Poet and lecturer in English Jeff Friedman’s sixth book, Pretenders, has just been published by Carnegie Mellon University Press. The book combines poems and prose pieces. His poems, mini stories, and translations have appeared in many literary magazines, including American Poetry Review, Poetry, New England Review, Poetry International, Quick Fiction, North American Review, Missouri Review, Ontario Review, Antioch Review, Agni Online, Big Bridge, 100-Word Story, Prairie Schooner, Sentence, New England Review Digital, Vestal Review, Plume, Flash Fiction Funny, The New Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish Poets, and The New Republic.
Other books by Jeff Friedman include:
Working in Flour (Carnegie-Mellon Univ Press, 2011)
Black Threads (Carnegie-Mellon Univ Press, 2007)
Taking Down the Angel (Carnegie-Mellon Univ Press, 2003)
Scattering the Ashes (Carnegie-Mellon Univ Press, 2003)
The Record Breaking Heat Wave (BkMk Press-UMKC, 1986)
Last fall, Melissa DiPalma, a lecturer who teaches a course in book and magazine design in the Graphic Design program, approached English Department Chair Kirsti Sandy and asked if Dr. Sandy’s writing students would be willing to submit pieces of short fiction or nonfiction for a journal the graphic design students were creating. Dr. Sandy enlisted the help of Associate Professors of English Kate Tirabassi and Brinda Charry, and they offered students in their upper-level fiction and nonfiction classes the opportunity to submit work. Out of many submissions, 13 were selected to appear in the journal. “Each author was paired with a graphic designer, and they worked as a team to explore the themes and content within each piece,” DiPalma explained.
“What made the collaboration particularly exciting was that most of the writers and graphic designers had a chance to meet and discuss the work and the process. In one instance, the graphic design student used the writing student’s photographs as part of the finished piece. Another used one of the graphic design student’s original watercolor paintings,” Dr. Sandy said.
The finished product, Mark My Words, is now online and open for enjoyment.
Three recent English grads—Adam Hogue ’11, Hillary Bailey ’13, andDylan Freni ’13—are out in the big world, using the skills they learned at KSC and living interesting lives.
Adam Hogue ’11
Adam Hogue is currently living and working in Providence, RI, and is a contributing writer for PolicyMic. Prior to coming back Stateside, he spent two years teaching English in Gwangju, Korea, where he got to do a lot of traveling around the East. PolicyMic recently named him “Pundit Of the Week.” If you know Adam, or would like to know him, you’ll really enjoy the article.
Hillary Bailey ’13
Hillary Bailey is working with AmeriCorps and currently working with flood victims in Colorado. When she tells people that she took a professional writing course, “I automatically become their proofreader and/or document developer,” she said. “My professional writing skills have allowed me to work as a media rep for my team.”
Dylan Freni ’13
The Clare Literary Journal recently published poet and copywriter Dylan Freni’s poem, “The Sleeping List.” Dylan will be attending the MFA program at the University of New Hampshire next year and, besides his day job writing copy for a website based in Exeter, is the poetry editor for The Squalor Review. He also writes about poetry on his blog, Diagnostic.
“The Writing program at Keene helped me to find what my strengths and weaknesses are as a writer, and also helped me to realize my potential.” Dylan explained. “Now, having a career in marketing as a writer, I am experiencing success both in my professional and creative worlds thanks to the vital skills I learned from my mentors and peers at Keene State.”
English Lecturer Alice Fogel was recently named New Hampshire’s poet laureate. She begins her five-year term in January 2014 and will serve as an ambassador for all poets in New Hampshire and work to heighten the visibility and value of poetry in the state.
Her books include Be That Empty (2008), a national poetry bestseller, and Strange Terrain (2009), on how to appreciate poetry without “getting” it. Her newest book, Interval: Poems Based upon Bach’s Goldberg Variations, won the Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature, and is forthcoming from Schaffner Press.
Fogel joins an impressive list of former New Hampshire poets laureate that includes Walter Butts, Patricia Fargnoli, Marie Harris, Donald Hall, Cynthia Huntington, Jane Kenyon and Maxine Kumin.
CoSIDA also recognized Kaufman in 2009 with a second-place award. His writing not only appears in Keene State publications and media, but is routinely picked up by a variety of local, regional, and national news organizations.
The craft of writing well eludes many students—and adults—but newly minted KSC alumnus Nathan Gray found the key to excellence when he approached writing as music. “I began to think of writing a page of prose as writing a page of sheet music,” said Nathan, also a musician and songwriter. “Each word can be a note, or each sentence can be a note. I kind of made it an art game, playing with the shorts and the longs. As in music, you choose a note and then you decide upon the most effective instrument to play that note. In the same way, you choose a concept and then you choose the best word or phrase to express that idea. As soon as I did that, my writing improved. Just as it’s not very interesting to have a bunch of quarter notes in a row, you don’t want a bunch of five-word sentences in your writing. You’ve got to come up with ways to add variety and present your ideas in interesting ways.” Continue reading Nathan Gray Wins Fred Fosher Excellence in Writing Award→
On April 20th, 2011, Maine Gov. Paul LePage installed Wesley McNair ’63 as the state’s fourth poet laureate. Recently retired from the University of Maine at Farmington, where he co-founded and directed the Creative Writing Program, McNair plans to use his new status to bring poetry back into everyday life, as it was in days gone by.
McNair grew up in Claremont, NH, attended KSC, and taught high school and at Colby-Sawyer before moving to Maine in 1986. His latest book is Lovers of the Lost: New & Selected Poems, and he has received many awards for his creative work. His work has appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition and The Writer’s Almanac, with Garrison Keillor; two editions of The Best American Poetry; and more than 50 anthologies. He has authored or edited 18 books, including poetry, nonfiction, and anthologies.
KSC senior Mary Benson, of Chester, NH, has been awarded the Eder Creative Writing Scholarship, an impressive accomplishment. So impressive, in fact, that we thought we’d introduce her through three of her poems, a Newsline first. Let us – and Mary – know what you think. If you’d like to know more about her, and the scholarship, see the news story on the KSC news page.
If you’d like to take some time off and work on your writing this summer, KSC has the program for you. Registration is now open for the Writers Conference, which will take place from July 26 to August 1.
Eight published, award-winning, nationally recognized writers in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry work one-on-one with conference attendees during the week. With four or five writers in workshops, instructors are able to focus their attention on students, both individually and in small groups.
Come back to campus to explore the craft of writing, network and share with other writers, and spend time writing.