Robin Black (fiction, ’05): Robin’s story “The Hunt” is online at Blip Magazine.

The Hunt

by Robin Black

Her point wasn’t that she wanted to kill him.  That wasn’t at all what she was trying to say.  That wasn’t at all what she had said.  Her point wasn’t that she wanted to kill him – but rather that she was afraid she might.  And they weren’t the same thing.  They weren’t the same thing.  She said that to him twice.  She may have said it more than twice.  Her voice was growing quieter, tighter and quieter, and he was starting to lose track of what she had said.  They aren’t even close to the same thing, she said viewing him with a slightly wide-eyed look that might have been taken for pity if it hadn’t been just a little bit tough, a little more heated than pity would imply.  Do you even understand the difference? she asked.  But then she didn’t pause to breathe, didn’t pause for his response but she asked with a change he couldn’t quite hear — not word for word — but that he nonetheless distinctly felt.  An important shift. Don’t you even understand the difference? she asked.  And the boy didn’t speak.  He just looked at the floor.  He stared down at his own sneakers, each precisely filling, end to end, one square of the gray linoleum floor; and he noticed that only one of his shoelaces was tied...[Keep Reading]…

Robin is the author of the story collection, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This (2011, Random House)

Edward Porter (fiction, ’07): Edward’s story, “Tough Little Wife,” won one of AWP’s Intro Journals awards, and will be published in an upcoming issue of the Colorado Review.

Justin Bigos (poetry, ’08) recently interviewed poet Patrick Donnelly (poetry, ’03) for the American Literary Review.  Donnelly describes his latest book of poems, Nocturnes of the Brothel of Ruin(2012, Four Way Books):

The title refers to the Sufi idea of the “tavern of ruin,” a seedy dive in the red-light district that can cause one to lose reputation just from being seen going in or out. Inside is an intimate, dimly-lit space (something like the atmospheric photograph of the Cyprian bathhouse on the cover of my book) where people stay up all night singing and reading poems and telling dreams to one another, and metaphorically, if not actually, getting drunk on the wine of spiritual things. (I’ve actually done all this while spending some time with the Sufis during the 90s.) It’s a place where you may lose the useless burden of your reputation, but in return learn what it’s like to give and receive love, and gain spiritual knowledge by making mistakes, even terrible mistakes.

So the poems explore loneliness, growing older, getting sick, infecting other people with sickness, losing material things, a sense that everything is constantly changing, the ground unstable—not to preach any particular point of view about these things, but to sing about them. It’s always been my thinking that there’s nothing better than a sad song in the right circumstances...[Read the full interview]…

Congratulations to the four Warren Wilson alumni on the 2012 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award Longlist:

Shannon Cain, The Necessity of Certain Behaviors

K.L. Cook, Love Songs for the Quarantined

Krys Lee, Drifting House

Natalie Serber, Shout Her Lovely Name

Alex Pierce (poetry, ’97): Alex was recently interviewed by Open Book: Ontario about “setting up a writing colony, how living in Sable River, Nova Scotia affects her writing and her new poetry collection, Vox Humana (2011, Brick Books).”  Asked about poets who have influenced her work, she had this to say:

Writers as mentors, especially Don McKay and later Barry Dempster (at Banff) and Eleanor Wilner (in the MFA Program at Warren Wilson) influenced the way I write, though not so much the content or even the style. I met many poets who made a difference at various points along the way, among them Heather McHugh, Robyn Sarah and Jan Zwicky. It is so important to be read and taken seriously, and to be asked the pertinent questions: this attention to detail when I was beginning as a writer had a tremendous influence on me. The reverse is also true: I learned my craft by close reading –making observations and writing annotations on other poets’ work.


Nan Cuba (fiction, ’89):  Nan’s personal essay, “Love, Memory,” was published in the February issue of Connotation Press.  Her story, “Watching Alice Watch,” appeared in the March issue of storySouth:

Watching Alice Watch

by Nan Cuba

From my upstairs bedroom window, I could look across two yards, through our neighbor’s sliding glass doors into their den. Since the Waverleys watched TV and ate meals there, my private view became a running movie of their lives.

Alice had been my friend and rival since we were babies. Even though she’d tried to steal my Psalm 23 bookmark while my head was bowed during the Sunday School teacher’s prayer, and three days before Christmas, she’d showed me her presents hidden in a coat closet, she said I was lucky to have a happy family, and her advice about boys was way better than a how-to manual...[Keep Reading]…

Nan’s novel, Body and Bread, will be published by Engine Books in May 2013.

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.

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.



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.

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.