Alumni Newsletter, Summer 2022 (vol. 10)

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! We are happy to share this news with you about all the successes in our alumni community.

Soon you’ll be hearing about some changes in the look and content of this newsletter, which we hope will make it easier to navigate.

Patricia Engel’s novel Infinite Country has been chosen as a 2023 NEA “Big Reads” selection. It’s about a teenage daughter who tries to make her way from Bogotá, Colombia, to the U.S., and her mother and siblings who seek safety and opportunity in New Jersey amidst fears that they will be deported like her father. All members of the family hold on to hope, their culture, each other, and the dream of a better life. (Emerging Writer Award winner 2009)
Andrea Rinard won the University of South Florida Anspaugh Award for Excellence in Fiction; the Florida Authors and Publishers Scholarship Award; and the Florida Bibliophile Society Scholarship Award.

Her recent publications include the short story “Entropy” in Rowan Glassworks (nominated for Best of the Net); “Murmurations” in Every Day Fiction; and “Delayed Combustion” in Sledgehammer. More info here. (Emerging Writer Award winner 2020/ Teacher & Librarian Scholarship 2019)

Rebecca Bruff‘s 2019 novel, Trouble the Water, based on the life of unsung hero Robert Smalls, was adapted for stage by Theatricum Botanicum in California and is premiering this July. It is directed by Gerald C. Rivers, who narrated the audio. (Kate Moses 2017)


Abby Caplin‘s recently published chapbook, A Doctor Only Pretends, garnered a
review by the poet Matthew Lippman in Tikkun Magazine. An interview in which she mentions KWLS, and her poems, are available on Flapper Press. Abby was also interviewed by Jonathan Marx at Go To Health Media about her book and her work as a physician(Billy Collins 2020)Alice Duggan‘s poem “I Stand on the X” will be published by Water-Stone Review, Hamline University, this fall. Poems that have been/ will be published include “Birthday the Eighty-Seventh” in Nassau Review, “There Will Not Be a Short Service” in Poet Lore and “Racquetball” in the Under Review. (Billy Collins 2019)Jeremy Freedman‘s chapbook, Douchebag Sonnets was published in February, and comprises thirty-five sonnets, plus drawings. (Gregory Pardlo 2018/ Rowan Ricardo Phillips 2017)Brooke Herter James‘s poetry chapbook, Bramble, is being published by Finishing Line Press in October. (Billy Collins 2020)Ellen Birkett Morris‘s latest chapbook Abide is out from Seven Kitchens Press. (Billy Collins 2010)Sharon Robino-West‘s poem “Cayo Hueso,” which celebrates Key West, is being published in the Peregrine Journal in October. (Beth Nguyen 2022)Recent work by Bruce Robinson appears or is forthcoming in Tar River Poetry, Peregrine, MantisTipton Poetry Journal, and the Loud Coffee Press Flower-Shaped Bullet anthology. The upcoming Loud Coffee Press publication has a direct connection to a prompt given in this January’s Key West workshop. (Ishion Hutchinson 2022/ Gregory Pardlo 2020 & 2019/ Billy Collins 2018)Laura Villareal‘s debut poetry book, Girl’s Guide to Leavingpublished by University of Wisconsin Press, was released in April. (Teacher & Librarian Scholarship 2018)
Abigail Cutter‘s first novel, Long Shadowswas recently published by She Writes Press. It’s the story of Tom Smiley, a ghost in his deserted home, who can’t shed his revulsion for his role in the Confederate defense of slavery and finds an unexpected ally when a contemporary couple moves in. A riveting read, rich in historic detail and moral complexity,” says Geraldine Brooks, KWLS presenter and NYT bestselling author. (Porter Shreve 2022/ Claire Messud 2020)

George Guida‘s ninth book, a novel, Posts from Suburbia, will be published by Encircle Publications in 2022. More information here. (Rowan Ricardo Phillips 2018)

Mandy Miller‘s second legal thriller Friday Night in the Glades was recently published. KWLS faculty and award winning author John Dufresne calls it “a compelling, eager, and fearless novel which will remind you of why you started reading stories in the first place.”  (Joyce Maynard 2022/ John Dufresne 2019)

Bonnie Morrissey‘s book Intimacy in Emptiness: An Evolution of Embodied Consciousness will be published by Inner Traditions in September. Co-authored with Janet Adler and Paula Sager, this collection of essays illuminates the 50-year arc of a contemporary contemplative practice, the Discipline of Authentic Movement. (Jane Hirshfield 2015)


Chase Burke‘s short story “Another Opening” was published in April by the online journal Joyland. In an unexpected coincidence, 2023 faculty and former EWA winner Dantiel W. Moniz picked up Chase’s story and worked with him on preparing it for publication. (Emerging Writer Award winner/ Claire Messud 2020)

Maija Rhee Devine’s family story was recently featured in The Smithsonian Folk Life Magazine. Jane Chu, the 11th chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts, worked with Maija to produce this story, which the Smithsonian then included in its e-blast for the Summer Folk Festival. (Gregory Pardlo 2020/ Kevin Young 2019/ Billy Collins 2017)

Pamela Gay‘s flash fiction “Going to Die” was recently published in The Bangor Literary Journal. More info on this and her memoir here. (Dani Shapiro 2017)

Michelle C. McAdams‘s short story, “Safety and Other Impossibilities” has been published in the current issue of december magazine (vol. 33.1). More info here. (Lauren Groff 2020)

A selection from Marilyn Moriarty‘s memoir, A Beautiful Mess: Paris, 1945, was published in War, Literature and the Arts. More info here. Her short story, “The Ass of Otranto,” is forthcoming in the anthology Animals Among Us 3 from Ashland Creek Press. (David Treuer 2022)

Evelyn Krieger’s essay “In the Driver’s Seat” won 2nd place in the 2022 Tucson Literary Festival Awards. (Workshop Fellowship Award/ David Treuer 2022)

Annie Klier Newcomer was recently nominated for a Pushcart award through The Writers’ Colony Publication, ECHO for Prose. She won a $200 stipend for a poem on ecology, “The Broken Plate” through the 2022 Johnson County Public Library writing competition. (Billy Collins 2020)

Steve Paul‘s biography Literary Alchemist: The Writing Life of Evan S. Connell won the Bernard J. Brommel Biography and Memoir Award (for 2021) from the Society of Midland Authors. He also recently published an essay on the poetry of William Stafford in the Friends of William Stafford Newsletter. (Gregory Pardlo 2020).

Vicki Riley’s story collection Cayo Hueso: Literary Writings and Artwork From Key West  was the 2021 Royal Palm Literary Awards First Runner up for the Published Book of the Year. It won an honorable mention in the 2022 Eric Hoffer Short Story Collection Award, and a bronze Living Now Award from IBPA. In the 2022 IPPY Next Generation Indie Book awards, it garnered a Finalist Medal-Novella, Finalist Medal-Short Story Collection, and tied for First Place in Regional Medal-Southeast Fiction. (Paulette Alden 2015/ Lee Smith 2012)

Katrin Schumann’s bestselling novel, The Forgotten Hours, was optioned for development into a limited series by Shespun Productions. Olivia Silver, writer-director of Arcadia staring John Hawkes, is writing the pilot. (KWLS Program Coordinator)

Cynthia Simmons‘s novel, Wrong Kind of Paper, described as “part thriller, part romance and part media commentary,” was nominated by her publisher for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in fiction. You can contact her at Fellowship Award/ Myung-Ok Lee 2017)

Support local and independent booksellers and KWLS alumni. Follow links to purchase books listed here from Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West. Use code KWLS22 at checkout for a 20% discount.

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