Thursday, December 18, 2014

Lori Horvitz’s "The Girls of Usually" to Be Published

Lori Horvitz’s new collection of personal essays: The Girls of Usually, hailed as “Deeply intimate and wickedly funny," will be available February 1, 2015 from Truman State University Press.

A professor of Literature and Language at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, where she teaches courses in creative writing, literature, and women, gender and sexuality studies, Lori’s work has appeared in Epiphany, South Dakota Review, Southeast Review, Hotel Amerika, and Chattahoochee Review among others.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Adam Grossi's "Wind Through Quiet Tensions" to Be Published

Adam Grossi is a Chicago-based artist and a yoga practitioner. Having successfully melded the two disciplines, Adam produces work that is a combination of painting, drawing, writing, chanting, breath-oriented movement and contemplation. It sounds incredibly serene and fluid.

But things weren’t always that easy. At 21, Adam’s mental health imploded. Blindsided by this calamity, Adam was looking at a grim future. But he managed to navigate the subsequent decade through trial and error, and emerged healthy.  Adam’s account of his experiences, Wind Through Quiet Tensions is being published by The Chicago Perch a creative platform for social exchange in February 2015. Both hand-bound, hardcover (limited edition of 50) and a paperback version are both available for December pre-sale.  Adam is also producing a handsome limited-edition print based on the book's cover.

Wind Through Quiet Tensions is divided into two parts. Part One, entitled: Thicket focuses on Adam’s journey through mental illness, psychotherapy, and therapeutic applications of yoga and ayurveda. Part Two: Garden is a collection of musings on “what it meant for me to be sick and how I’ve been able to heal.” Photo by Paul Goyette

Margaret McCarthy Publishes Poetry Collection

Margaret McCarthy’s poetry collection Notebooks from Mystery School, a coming of age journey told through poems will be published by the prize winning Finishing Line Press on February 6, 2015.

In addition to her poetry, Margaret also writes plays and has exhibited her photographs at the Fogg Art Museum, the Overseas Press Club and The Hudson River Museum, as well as numerous galleries, universities and public exhibition spaces. Her “Divine Feminine” series is now part of the Kinsey Institute Art Collection.

Margaret’s poetry has appeared in The Pagan Muse: Poems of Ritual and Inspiration, Working Papers in Irish Studies, Gargoyle Magazine California State Poetry Society Quarterly, Poets and Peace International, Voices International, Encore, Visions of the Enchanted Spirit, Nit & Wit Literary Magazine and The New Earth Review among others. McCarthy's play, The Sacrificial King: A Play for John Lennon had staged readings at The English Speaking Union in New York City and at Duke University, N.C. before being produced by The World 3 Theatre Company. New York. 

A finalist for the New Women's Voices Award, the critically acclaimed collection is available for pre-sale through December 26.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Melody Nixon Fiction and NonFiction Works Published

Melody Nixon has had a busy fall. Her short story,You Make Me Opaque was just published in Conjunctions web magazine which described it as “lovely, strange and brilliant.” Dissolve, an associative essay appears in Issue 14 of CURA Magazine.  

I Believe New Yorkers is an essay in Amherst College's literary review, The Common that “explores the issues that so many of us grapple with — the art-work life balance, finding quiet time in a megalopolis, the self-mythologizing that's encouraged of writers in New York City.” Also in The Common, are interviews Melody conducted with fiction writers Benjamin Anastas and Justin Taylor about fiction and the writing process.

Melody and fellow VCCA Fellow Jeffrey Berg were both published in the November issue of No, Dear Magazine, Issue 14, Space.

Melody’s nonfiction piece Stay, published by Midnight Breakfast this fall, received a recommendation on the New York Times Opinion Pages (Op Talk section).

Consummate Storyteller: Christina Baker Kline

Thanks to her runaway hit Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline’s first four novels have been re-released compete with snappy new cover artwork. Sweet Water was first, followed by Bird in Hand, Desire Lines and The Way Life Should Be.

“Giving my older novels new life has been a thrill,” says Christina who writes her novels in longhand. Yet, despite all her accomplishments including selling more than 1.5 million copies of Orphan Train, and spending many weeks on the New York Times best seller list, her most famous book — about a modern foster child and an orphaned Irish immigrant — has resonated deeply with readers many of whom have experienced similar situations. Their passion for the book has accounted for the astounding 180 Orphan Train promotional events Christina has participated in.

The experience has left Christina encouraged about the state of publishing. A drastically changed industry, she feels a new energy in the novel, noting that books are being enjoyed in a variety of forms and there many exciting independent publishers such as She Writes Press, a platform for female writers. “It feels like there’s all this creative synergy around reading,” says Christina. “People are craving good books to read.”

Christina’s success, which continues to amaze her, came at a particularly important time: soon after the death of her mother and her own treatment for breast cancer.

Her next novel, an ambitious work based on Andrew Wyeth’s painting, Christina’s World, is scheduled for release in spring 2015.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

In Memoriam: Ian H. Wilson

VCCA has learned that Fellow Ian H. Wilson died on April 28, 2014 at his home in San Rafael, CA aged 90. The cause was Parkinson’s Disease which Ian had been battling for ten years.

Born in Harrow, England, Ian spent two years as a boy in Ceylon where his father’s career as an electrical engineer had taken the family. At St. John's College, Oxford, Ian read history, classics and philosophy interrupting his studies to serve in World War II. He participated in the invasion of Normandy and was subsequently wounded in France while climbing a tree to signal a message to troops. Following his military service, Ian returned to Oxford for his MA and became active in the university's theater program.

In 1951, Ian married Page Hedden, an American he met when she was studying in England. In 1954, the Wilsons moved permanently to the United States, taking up residence in Westport, CT. Ian began a 25-year career with General Electric becoming a member of the company's strategic planning staff and establishing the pioneering corporate “futures studies” group. Ian would be regarded as an internationally recognized authority on the development of long-term corporate strategic plans and near-term contingency plans. Ian produced several books on the subject including The New Rules of Corporate Conduct: Rewriting the Social Charter and The Scenario Planning Handbook.

Despite his demanding career, Ian found time for acting and directing at the Westport Community Theatre. He also served as director of the Westport Unitarian congregation's church school, president of Staples Parent-Teachers Association of Westport Schools and as chair of the Citizens' Commission on Long-Range School Goals. For years, Ian volunteered with the United Way of America, serving on its Environmental Scan and Strategic Process Task Force.

After his first marriage ended in divorce, Ian relocated to California. There he acted as a senior management consultant with SRI International from 1980-1993. Following SRI, he worked as the principal of Wolf Enterprises providing strategic planning services to corporations and other institutions. Ian also served as senior editor of Planning Review, the Journal of the Planning Forum and served on the boards of other professional journals, namely, Long Range Planning, Technological Forecasting and Social Change and On the Horizon.

In 1994, Ian married the poet and writer, Adrianne Marcus. Also a Fellow, Adrianne worked as a food columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle as well as numerous other magazines and newspapers. She also wrote several works of non-fiction including The Chocolate Bible and The Photojournalist: Mark & Leibovitz. She had more than 400 poems published in such magazines as Atlantic Monthly and The Nation, as well as a large number of smaller poetry magazines. After they married, the couple took up residence in San Rafael. Adrianne and Ian pursued their passions for travel, fine food, collecting the work of local and international artists and, in later years, for breeding and raising dogs beginning with wolf/dog hybrids and then Wind Hounds.

Ian and Adrianne had three residencies at VCCA together in the 1990s working on their respective writing projects. Their appreciation for VCCA was reflected in their generous support of the organization.

In 2009, Adrianne succumbed to cancer, as did Ian's daughter, the New York photographer Ellen Wilson, a year later. Ian is survived by his first wife, Page, his four remaining daughters: Rebecca Armstrong, Madison, CT, Dori Wilson, Norwalk, CT, Holly Luce, Denville, N.J., and Alexandra Wilson, Austin, Texas; his step-daughters, Stacey Marcus, Santa Rosa, CA, Shelby Marcus, Paris, France and Sarah Marcus, Portland, OR, 15 grandchildren and a trio of wind hounds: Misty, Mercury and Winter.

VCCA extends its condolences to Ian’s family and friends.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Marjory Bassett

In honor of our generous Fellows who have made bequests to VCCA we have decided to spotlight them periodically on the blog. Marjory Bassett was one such Fellow. A fiction writer from New York City, Marjory was in residence 14 times between 1985 - 2001. She loved VCCA.

The author of the novel Never Say Stark Naked (Welcome Rain Press, 2002), Marjory was chairman emerita of the Literary Committee of the National Arts Club in New York for many years, and she was known for her sense of style – bright bows on her patent leather shoes and colorful scarves in her hair. She had a wonderful laugh and a great sense of humor.  

Marjory's favorite studio, W4, was renovated in her honor by a number of VCCA Fellows and friends, spearheaded by Susan Jackson, Buffy Morgan, Mary Page Evans and Cora Tabb.

The generous support of these individuals and donors such as Marjory Bassett make possible the creative haven that is VCCA.