From selection to a prestigious jury panel to receiving a Pushcart Prize, summer was a time of significant achievement for the alumni, students, and faculty of Converse’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.
MFA Alum Selected as a Pushcart Prize Recipient
Zorina Exie Frey, Master in Fine Arts poetry and nonfiction graduate, May 2023, recently had her poem “Pee is for Prejudice,” selected for the Pushcart Prize annual prize. The poem, which originally appeared in Glassworks in fall 2022, and was written as part of her coursework in the Converse Master in Fine Arts program, will be republished in the national Pushcart Prize Anthology this fall. Rowan Today has all the details on this exciting accomplishment.
Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing Faculty & Student Featured
Following the blockbuster success of the Barbie movie this summer, both a faculty and student member of Converse’s Master in Fine Arts program have been featured in a recent article highlighting “Barbie in the poetry world.” The article, by Carolee Bennett, reignites interest in Denise Duhamel’s book of poetry, Kinky (Orchises Press). A long-time Master in Fine Arts faculty member, Duhamel was Converse’s Sara Lura Mathews Self Writer in Residence in January 2023.
Bennett writes, “Over 40 Barbies inhabit Duhamel’s dream house, offering proof of something I believe is core to poetry — its ability (its insistence?) to make meaning by translating, transposing, transforming and transcending what’s right in front of us. The something. The anything. The everything.”
Also featured in the article is current MFA poetry student Dustin Brookshire’s Never Picked First for Playtime (Harbor Editions, 2023), a book that explores Barbie’s place in the “churned-up cultural and political climate” we live in today. “We’re so lucky to have Brookshire’s voice in the Barbie poetry lineage,” says Bennett.
Don’t miss your chance to meet Dustin Brookshire and hear more about his book at our next authors reading event, October 3 at 4:00 p.m. in Zimmerli Commons. He is one of two writers reading that day.
Duhamel’s book, Kinky, was also featured in an August PopPoetry article by Caitlin Cowan. Cowan says, “Denise Duhamel’s Kinky is receiving new—and deserved—attention as Barbie movie mania continues.” The article features excerpts from the book and a recent interview with Duhamel.
Writing Workshops Begin in Mid-September
Looking to sharpen your writing skills or collaborate with other local writers? Susan Tekulve and Rick Mulkey are leading a series of free writing workshops in Greenville this fall at Truphae, a fountain pen and stationery store. The first workshop is Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at 6:00 p.m., and the Master in Fine Arts program and Truphae are co-sponsoring the programs.
“Finding the Writing Within” – Led by Rick Mulkey
Discover the writer within you in this in-store workshop designed to help you tap into images, senses, and memories so you can break through the barrier of the blank page. For writers at all levels.
ICYMI: Master in Fine Arts Graduate Selected as Judge for Pulitzer Prize Awards
Master in Fine Arts (Creative Nonfiction) graduate Cinelle Barnes ’15, was selected as one of this year’s judges for the Pulitzer Prize Awards in the category of memoir, the inaugural year of the prize. Read the full story here.