In 2012 UMF Asst. Professor of English Kristen Case was named editor of the Concord Saunterer, the professional journal of the Thoreau Society -- the oldest and largest organization devoted to an American author. During Case's tenure as editor, the prestigious academic journal will be housed on the UMF campus, bringing the journal to Maine -- an important part of Thoreau's life and work.
UMF Assoc. Professor of Creative Writing Jeffrey Thomson was named a 2012 Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing. As the 2012 recipient of the only Fulbright Award dedicated to creative writing, he is serving a six-month residency at Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he teaches creative writing, conducts a postgraduate poetry workshop, and offers public readings of his published work and work in progress through the Seamus Heaney Centre and Queen's University School of English. In addition, he will work on a collection of poems based on his ancestors' emigration experience. In 2010, Thomson was awarded the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance Maine Literary Award for Poetry in recognition of his fourth collection of poems, Birdwatching in Wartime.
In the spring of 2012 two UMF Creative Writing faculty were away from campus on Fulbright Fellowship exchange. Professor of Creative Writing Gretchen Legler went to Bhutan; and Assoc. Professor of Creative Writing Jeffrey Thomson went to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Their places were filled by writers Jaed Coffin (A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants); Bill Roorbach (Temple Stream, etc); Carey Salerno (Shelter); and Shana Youngdahl (History, Advice and Other Half-Truths to be published in 2012).
UMF Professor of English Pat O'Donnell has a novel coming out in early 2012. Necessary Places will be published by Cadent Publishing of Blue Hill, Maine. Her story "At the Beach, After the Fact" appeared in Fogged Clarity in 2011; her essay "Translation" will appear in the anthology So Long, to be published by Telling Our Stories Press.
UMF Professor of English Michael Burke served on the Fulbright Screening Committee for Student Creative Writing awards. He has had three articles published in Down East during 2011 (February, August, and October) and another essay in the February 2012 issue. He recently participated in a presentation with author and environmentalist Bill McKibben sponsored by the Maine Humanities Council in Belfast, Maine.
UMF Assoc. Professor Composition Elizabeth Cooke recently published a book for children co-written with UMF Sociology Professor of Sociology Jon Oplinger. The Wicked Small People of Whiskey Bridge is now available from Amazon.
Professor of Creative Writing Gretchen Legler's essay, "Minding the Fence," is forthcoming in ISLE (Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment) and her essay "With the Animals" appeared in Matter Journal 14: Animal in 2011.
UMF Lecturer in English Luann Yetter recently had her book, Portland's Past: Stories from the City by the Sea, published by The History Press.
Each summer, the UMF Creative Writing program hosts the Longfellow Mountains Young Writers Workshop for high school juniors and seniors. The only week-long young writers' summer workshop in New England, the workshop provides talented high school writers with the opportunity to work closely with UMF faculty and published authors and includes small intensive workshops. Students learn the craft of writing poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction and hear first-hand from professional authors and poets, see the inside workings of a successful small poetry press, and share their work with fellow writers.
In 2011, UMF's Visiting Writers Series brought to campus 2009 National Poetry Series winner Erika Meitner. The free, on-campus readings are followed by a book-signing where students have the opportunity to meet and speak with the author. Recognized was chosen as a winner for the 2009 National Poetry Series for her second published work, Ideal Cities. Her first book, Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore, won the 2002 Anhinga Prize for Poetry and was a finalist for the 2004 Paterson Poetry Prize. Meitner has received numerous fellowships, including at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Blue Mountain Center and the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Her poems have been published in The Southern Review, Slate, Prairie Schooner, The Kenyon Review, Tin House, The New Republic and American Poetry Review.
In 2011, award-winning author Rosemary Mahoney read from her work as part of the Visiting Writers Series. Mahoney is the author of The Early Arrival of Dreams; A Year in China, a New York Times Notable Book; Whoredom in Kimmage; The World of Irish Women, a New York Times Notable Book and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist; A Likely Story: One Summer with Lillian Hellman; and Down the Nile; Alone in a Fisherman's Skiff, chosen as a best book of the year by both Publisher's Weekly and The Christian Science Monitor. Mahoney's work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post Book World, The New York Times Book Review, Elle, National Geographic Traveler, O Magazine, and the New York Times Magazine.
In 2011, the Visiting Writers Series brought to campus author Alexander Chee. Chee's first novel Edinburgh, won the Michener Copernicus Prize, the AAWW Lit Award and the Lambda Editor's Choice Prize. It was also a Publisher's Weekly Best Book of the Year and a Booksense 76 selection. Chee was considered one of Out magazine's 100 Most Influential People of the Year in 2003. His work has been published in Out, The Man I Might Become, Loss Within Loss, Men On Men 2000, His 3, Boys Like Us and on Granta.com. He received the 2003 Whiting Writers' Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in Fiction and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Ledig House, the Hermitage and Civitella Ranieri.
In 2011, a Faculty Forum Roundtable Discussion was held on the topic of Philosophy and Poetry. The free lunchtime event examined the relationship between philosophy and poetry, focusing on a poem (Wallace Stevens' "The Snow Man") and a short philosophical text (an excerpt from Martin Buber's "I and Thou"). Leading the discussion were UMF faculty panelists Kristen Case (English), Jonathan Cohen (Philosophy), Paul Gies (Mathematics), and Michael Johnson (English).
In 2010, best-selling author Andre Dubus III read from his work as part of the Visiting Writers Series. Dubus read from what was then an unpublished work, Townie, a memoir of growing up in Lowell, Mass., which came out in early 2011 -- to widesperad acclaim: Amazon Best Books of Month, Christian Science Monitor "One of five books you must read in 2011," and a very positive review in Sunday New York Times book review. Dubus also wrote House of Sand and Fog, a #1 New York Times bestseller, and an Oprah's Book Club selection. It was made into an Academy Award-nominated motion picture and has been published in twenty languages. Dubus is a member of PEN American Center and has been a panelist for the National Book Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
In 2010, a group of UMF Creative Writing and English students were selected to present their original undergraduate research projects and creative endeavors at the first-ever Northeast Undergraduate Research Conference held at the Mass. College of Liberal Arts. Sponsored by the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), the conference showcased some of the best and brightest students in the region while also providing students an opportunity to enhance their credentials for job placement and graduate school. Presenting were UMF Creative Writing majors Kate Chianese, "A Walk on the Beach With Death;" and Lauren Taylor, "Friday Night is Stripper's Night in Stratton, Maine;" and English majors Hayden Golden, "The Origins of the Cubist Cult;" and Michelle Kew, "I was a young man, I would belong to twenty clubs: The Wit of Penelope Lapham."
In 2010, author and journalist Amy Sutherland read from her work as part of the Visiting Writers Series. Formerly a writer with the Portland Press Herald, Sutherland is the author of three books including, Cookoff: Recipe Fever in America, which was a finalist for the International Association of Culinary Professionals 2004 Cookbook Awards in the literary category. It was also featured on Entertainment Weekly's Must List and included in Amazon.com's list of the best 50 books of 2003. She also wrote Kicked, Bitten and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the Premier School for Exotic Animal Trainers, and What Shamu Taught Me About Love and Marriage: Lessons for People from Animals and Their Trainers, as well as articles for Smithsonian Magazine, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe and Down East, among others.
In 2010, the Visiting Writers Series brought to campus author David Madden. Madden's novels include The Beautiful Greed; Cassandra Singing, which is being adapted as a film by Warner Brothers; and The Suicide's Wife, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and made into a CBS movie. His recent novels include Pleasure-Dome, On the Big Wind, Sharpshooter: A Novel of the Civil War and Abducted By Circumstance. Madden's stories have appeared in numerous college texts and twice in Best American Short Stories. In addition, his poems and short stories have appeared in Redbook, Playboy, The Southern Review, and Botteghe Oscure, among others.
In 2010, Creative Writing major David Bersell of Derry, N.H. was named a Michael D. Wilson Research Scholar and used his scholarship funding to conduct a self-designed research project examining his life through his experience collecting sports memorabilia. The Michael D. Wilson Research Scholars program awards funding to students to conduct undergraduate research.
In 2010, Dual major (Creative Writing and English) Kelsey Lowe of Woonsocket, R.I. used her Michael D. Wilson Research Scholar award to conduct a self-designed research project developing a solve-it-yourself version of a murder mystery.
In 2010, poet Adrian Matejka read from his work as part of the Visiting Writers Series. Matejka's first collection of poems, The Devil's Garden, won the 2002 Kinereth Gensler Award from Alice James Books -- a cooperative poetry press founded in 1973 and affiliated with UMF since 1994. His second collection, Mixology, was a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series and nominated for an NAACP Image Award. The recipient of two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and fellowships from Cave Canem and the Lannan Foundation, Matejka has had his work featured in American Poetry Review, The Best American Poetry 2010, Crab Orchard Review, and Ploughshares, among other journals and anthologies.
In 2009, UMF hosted the Poe / After Poe Forum Series, which was inspired by the 200th anniversary this year of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe. Numerous events and activities took place on campus and off from September through November. The event included an evening reading at Devaney, Doak, and Garrett Booksellers in downtown Farmington, where several people read excerpts from their favorite Poe stories. One of the highlights of the Poe / After Poe Series was the month-long tribute, "After Poe: Works of Mystery and Imagination" art exhibit at the on-campus UMF Art Gallery.
In 2009, Creative Writing major Lee Cart of Wellington, Maine received a UMF Student Research Fund grant to help cover her expenses to travel to Guadalajara, Mexico to gather information on the people, their customs and culture for the purpose of writing a series of non-fiction essays for submission to magazines in 2010.
In 2009, dual major (Creative Writing and Sociology / Anthropology) Sarah Gauvin of Hancock, Maine received a UMF Student Research Fund grant to help cover her expenses to attend a developmental studies program in Kampala, Uganda in 2010.
In 2009, the Visiting Writers Series brought to campus award-winning poet Ravi Shankar. The free, on-campus reading was followed by a book-signing where students had the opportunity to meet and speakl with the author. A poet-in-residence at Central Connecticut State University, Shankar is the founding editor of Drunken Boat, an international online journal of the arts. His first book, Instrumentality, was a finalist for the 2005 Connecticut Book Awards.
In 2009, award winning poet Terri Witek read from her work as part of the UMF Visiting Writers Series. Witek has had her work published in The New Republic, Poetry, The Threepenny Review, Shenandoah, The Ohio Review, and American Literature. The on-campus reading was followed by a book-signing where students had the opportunity to meet and speak with the author.
The UMF Writer's Guild is a student club whose members meet every week to plan events like open-mic nights and poetry slams, do fun writing exercises, share work in progress and just hang out in the Creative Writing House. The Writer's Guild also publishes the Sandy River Review, the University's literary magazine.
The UMF student Journalism Club meets regularly to publish the campus newspaper, The Farmington Flyer.
Students from the Writer's Guild and the Journalism Club have traveled to attend the national Associated Writing Programs conference, held in major cities across the U.S., providing a great learning and networking opportunity.
As a senior in Creative Writing, you'll create a professional writing portfolio, and present your work to the public at the annual Senior Reading held on campus.
Alice James Books, a nationally-known, award-winning poetry press is located right on campus. It offers internships to give you valuable real-life experience in the publishing field.
For additional information about Creative Writing at the University of Maine at Farmington, just contact the Office of Admission:
Office of Admission
University of Maine at Farmington
246 Main Street
Farmington, Maine 04938-1994
US tel 207-778-7050
Intl. tel 00-1-207-778-7050