Archive | March 2012

More Questions for Antonya Nelson

Sara Slaughter (poetry ’11) recently interviewed Warren Wilson faculty member Antonya Nelson for Room 220, “a virtual clearing house for news about New Orleans books and literature.”

Antonya Nelson is always the first to admit that she’s not good with plot. Her latest novel, Bound, begins with a car crash, and centers around characters who live in the same time and place as the serial killer known as BTK (Bind, Torture, and Kill). The action slowly escalates, but never quite reaches a climax. The drama in Bound stems from Nelson’s subtle exploration of what we believe we know about our loved ones, our friends, ourselves, and the world around us. She asks readers to interrogate our notions of love, friendship, fidelity, and family as forces capable of creating bonds between individuals...[Keep Reading]…

A. Van Jordan at Poetry Daily

Warren Wilson alumni and faculty member A. Van Jordan’s new poem “Do the Right Thing” is online at Poetry Daily:

Do the Right Thing

    (Spike Lee, 1989)

The days were a skillet on a red-hot eye of a stove.
The men on the corner, the couple in their apartment,
the kids playing under a fire hydrant’s relief
were all sitting, loving, or playing in a skillet.

Heat rose off the assonance of summer language.
Some called it music; others called it fire.
The days were a skillet but the nights were a match
lighting the gas. No moon appeared, only steam

rising off the sidewalks from the day. Feet
danced on the skillet, and smoke alarms sounded...[Keep Reading]…

Jordan’s newest collection Quantum Lyrics (2009, W.W. Norton) explores cultural identity by moving among historical, fictional, and autobiographical figures.  “Do the Right Thing” originally appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of Michigan Quarterly.

You can also hear Jordan reading “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” from the same collection, at Poetry Out Loud.

A Poem by Maurice Manning

Warren Wilson faculty member Maurice Manning’s poem, “A Blasphemy” is now available on the Poetry Foundation’s website:

A Blasphemy
By Maurice Manning

You wouldn’t have believed it, how
the man, a little touched perhaps,

set his hands together and prayed
for happiness, yet not his own;

he meant his people, by which he meant
not people really, but trees and cows,

the dirty horses, dogs, the fox
who lived at the back of his place with her kits...[Keep Reading]…

Maurice is the author of the poetry collections, Bucolics (2008, Mariner Books) and The Common Man (2010, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).  “A Blasphemy” was originally published in the May 2007 issue of Poetry.

Warren Wilson Announces 2012 Joan Beebe Fellow

Warren Wilson College is delighted to announce the selection of Matthew Olzmann (MFA Poetry, 2009) as the 2012-13 recipient of the Joan Beebe Graduate Teaching Fellowship.  Established in 1997, and named for a former Warren Wilson dean, the post-graduate fellowship allows our alumni the opportunity to teach for a year in the College’s undergraduate creative writing program.  Watch for an upcoming feature story about Matt on the main Friends of Writers website.  We’ll post a link here when that story goes up.

Matthew Olzmann’s first book of poems, Mezzanines, was selected for the 2011 Kundiman Prize and will be published by Alice James Books in April, 2013.  His poems have appeared in Kenyon Review, New England Review, Poetry Northwest, Gulf Coast, The Southern Review and elsewhere.  He’s received fellowships and scholarships from the Kresge Arts Foundation, The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop.  This past fall, he was the Poet-in-residence for the University of Michigan’s Lloyd Hall Scholars Program.

Matthew Olzmann


Alumni Updates

Neil Fischer (fiction, ’12): Neil’s story “Wiles” was among the top 25 finalists in Glimmer Train’s recent “Very Short Fiction Award” contest.

Neil’s work has been published in Poetry, Ploughshares, Seneca Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal, among others.



Alumni Updates

Christine Fadden (fiction, ’09):  Christine’s short story “Little Rubber Houses” appears in the February issue of PANK.

I didn’t mean to make a habit out of sitting naked on lemon meringue pies—or split watermelons.  I’d watched this soft-core sex show called “Fetishes of the British” and thought food foreplay would make my husband laugh, relieve the four-year itch.

I’m on my way to London now, non-fetish business. Lana is meeting me at our bar in La Guardia, where we fill my layover hours with talk we can have only in person. Lana is my sex girlfriend: we don’t discuss politics, love, or art… [Keep Reading]…

Her story “Downcutting” will appear in Sou’wester‘s Spring 2012 issue.  Her story “Sleeping In” will appear in Corium Magazine in April.

Alumni Updates

Shannon Cain (fiction, 2005):  Shannon’s short story collection The Necessity of Certain Behaviors (2011, University of Pittsburgh Press) has been nominated for the Lamda Literary Award for Lesbian General Fiction.  The awards, now in their twenty-fourth year, celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) writing.

You can catch Shannon reading Thursday, April 12 at Why There Are Words in Sausalito, CA, Saturday, April 14 at UC Irvine, and Tuesday, April 19 at UC Davis.

Alumni Updates

Erin Stalcup (fiction, 2004):  Erin’s short story “Why Things Fall” appears in the latest issue of PANK Magazine.

Priscilla led Isaac by the hand outside, walked him to a tree, placed his back against the trunk. She pulled an apple from between her breasts and placed it on his head. She told him to stand perfectly still. Priscilla strode twenty paces away, turned, notched an arrow into her bow, pulled it back with muscular yet trim arms—at that point Isaac fell in love—and let it fly: the apple impaled, the arrow quivering in the bark. Isaac stepped from underneath, left the apple thrumming above. They both could imagine a crowd roaring…

The complete story, as well as an audio recording, is available at

Erin is currently a PhD candidate at the University of North Texas, where she’s finishing her first collection, Gravity & Other Stories, and starting a novel.

The New Yorker Interviews Fiction Writer Antonya Nelson

Deborah Treisman, fiction editor at The New Yorker, recently spoke with Warren Wilson faculty member Antonya Nelson about her new short story, “Chapter Two,” which appears in the March 26 issue of the magazine:

Do you think that A.A.—and other groups like it—are rich territory for fictional narrative?

My siblings, who are psychologists, are treated every day to a rich variety of “true stories.” The charge of sitting before a group of people—or a single person, as in the shrink’s office—and fashioning a narrative that both entertains and conforms to a manageable time frame seems like exactly the kind of thing that makes a short story possible.

Read the complete interview at


Alumni Updates

Edward Porter (fiction, 2007):  Edward’s new story “Howard Garfield, Balladeer” is online at Booth Journal:

My troubles began when I was ten and my parents spent the summer traveling in Italy, leaving me with my great-aunt Ethel Patch, in her decrepit gray Prairie School castle, way out past the fairgrounds. This disconcertingly spry octogenarian had a large collection of vinyl records, and out of desperate boredom one rainy afternoon, I took one at random, impaled it on the nub of her old Garrard SP25 and dropped the needle. When Glenn Yarbrough’s honeyed voice came pouring out of the speakers, crooning about a lumberjack drowned while freeing a logjam, I was lost. …[Keep Reading]…

Edward was a fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007-2008, and is currently working on a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston, as well as a collection of short stories.