It’s that time of year again: we’ll be adding updates to the Alumni Bibliography (which currently lists 600+ alum publications!), so please email me about any of your recent book publications.

Include, in this order please:

your full name,

the genre and year in which you graduated,

the name of your book,

the name of your publisher,

year of publication,

information about any awards the book received, and

specify genre: poems, novel, short fiction, nonfiction, essays, translations, etc. You may also include books such as anthologies that you have edited or co-edited.

Please send updates to me at [email protected], and put ALUMNI BIBLIOGRAPHY in the subject line. If you know of publications by alumni who are not on the list, please encourage them to get in touch with me, or send me what information you have.

The alumni bibliography (currently updated twice a year) is accessible from a link on the WWC MFA website:

If you are unsure whether your new publication is already included in the bibliography, please check it before sending me the information. If your book is “forthcoming” in more than six months, I’ll ask you to hold the info until the book is out—I solicit requests twice a year.

Thanking you in advance,

Patrick Donnelly

Poetry ‘03

On January 7, the third in a series of remarkable Friends of Writers benefit readings by Boston-area Warren Wilson alumni took place in Cambridge, MA. Helen Fremont, Jen Kelly , Geoff Kronik , Jackie Malone, and Mary Medlin read their work.  The previous two events have featured Jayne Benjulian, Laura Cherry, Lisa Van Orman Hadley, and Stan Yarbro; also Patrick Donnelly, Cammy Thomas, Lenore Myka, Rosalind Vas Dias  and Susan Sterling. As always, there was a social hour beforehand.

Helen Fremont and Mary Medlin at Boston alumni readingThe reading series was created by alums Helen Fremont and Tracy Winn. According to Tracy, “our goal was two-fold: to raise money for Friends of Writers scholarship programs, while creating a community of Warren Wilson MFA alums. Readers are also asked to be listeners: they commit to attending as an audience member at least one other time in the academic year. We have raised over $1,500 so far, and we encourage alums in other cities to hold their own events. Everyone is finding the series to be a source of community and inspiration—and anyone wanting a blueprint for how to start and maintain a series like this, please contact me at [email protected]

The next Boston area reading is March 18, and if you are a Warren Wilson MFA alum who is interested in creating similar readings in your own city, please do accept Tracy’s offer and contact her at the email address above.

1421683935-2Friends of Writers is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2014 Larry Levis Post-Graduate Stipend is Jenny Johnson for IN FULL VELVET. She received $4000. Congratulations to Jenny and many thanks to those who applied.  In 2015 there will be two awards, one in poetry and one in fiction. Submission guidelines will be available and the amount of the 2015 awards announced as of August 1, 2015.  Submissions for the 2015 award will be accepted via Submitable from September 1 through November 15, 2015.

You can read Jenny Johnson’s poem “There Are New Worlds” at Twelfth House.

A couple of alums from Boston have started a new initiative to bring WWC MFA graduates from the New England area together in community while raising money for MFA program scholarships. Tracy Winn and Helen Fremont are launching a pilot program of readings given by alums for alums, (and family and friends) in the style of the post-grad conference after-dinner readings. Winn and Fremont are requesting generous donations at the door and expecting readers to also attend as listeners. Four or five readers will present their recent work at each of five gatherings planned for this academic year. The readings will be held at the Cambridge Boat House, 2 Gerry’s Landing Road, Cambridge, MA 02138 starting next Wednesday, September 17th. (Doors open at 6 PM.) So far, twenty-eight writers have signed up to participate in the pilot. They will be coming from Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine and Massachusetts. Those coming to Cambridge from far away are planning carpools. The organizers, with the help of Stan Yarbro and Lenore Myka, are trying to make contact with all alums who live in the area and might be interested in participating. Please contact Tracy Winn ([email protected]) if you would like to be part of the endeavor. Wally-style refreshments will be served. Dancing may ensue.
Alums in other parts of the country who would like to plan similar gatherings in their regions should contact FOW for more information.  

Laurie Baker (fiction, ’00) has been awarded the 2014 Larry Levis Post-Graduate Stipend to complete a collection of short stories, How We Entertain Ourselves in Isolation.   The Levis Stipend is given to support a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College who is completing his/her first book and alternates between poetry and for fiction.

The judge, Eric Puchner, said of the winning manuscript, “There’s an intelligence, emotional insight, and moral complexity to the stories that really impressed me. The ending of each story stayed with me.  And the narrator is honest and funny and humane.”

Laurie Baker contributed to the short story collection, She Is Quick and Curious and Playful and Strong, curated by designer Kate Spade. Her story “Mother of Hope” was chosen as “Story-of-the-Week” for Narrative Magazine in June, 2013.

Of the award, Laurie writes, “I am absolutely thrilled (and astonished) to have won the Larry Levis Post-Graduate Stipend this year. I hope to express, above all, my thanks for its financial and literary support towards the completion of my fiction manuscript, a collection of interrelated stories entitled How We Entertain Ourselves in Isolation – a collection I have unfortunately ignored for the last several months.

These stories, told chronologically over the course of two years, depict the experiences of a white American girl teaching in a missionary-run boarding school in South Africa during the tumultuous years of 1992 to 1994, when the country transitioned, often violently, from white, minority rule to Nelson Mandela’s presidency. The stories for the most part function at the point at which the personal and political intersect: much of the nature of the narrator’s own conflict, so starkly inadequate in the face of those crises experienced by her African students as well as the larger, national one, exists as a result of her aspirations to achieve an ideal version of herself, not simply through altruistic efforts but through her own transformation through suffering.

I am hugely grateful to the fellowship for its annual dedication to a writer who has a singularly optimistic devotion to a manuscript-in-progress; without these kinds of stipends, as well as the emotional lift they provide, such writers would often find themselves giving up once and for all. At least, I have found this to be the case with me. The Larry Levis stipend offers me a wholly practical solution, enabling me to decrease, if not eliminate, my part-time working hours and to use the time for writing instead. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to invest more deeply in the revision process and hope soon to find these stories a home, both individually and as a collection.”

Larry Levis (1946-1996) was the author of six books of poetry. His last collection, Elegy, was published posthumously and a volume of Selected Poems was published in 2000. Levis was a much beloved member of the faculty at the MFA Program for Writers, cherished as much for his incisive mind as for the care and attention he gave to his students. The Darkening Trapeze: The Uncollected Poems of Larry Levis is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2015.

The Levis Stipend is a project of Friends of Writers, a not-for profit 501(c)(3) organization that enriches American poetry and fiction by cultivating new and vital literary voices.  It achieves these goals by supporting the students, alumni and faculty of the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.  If you would like to support this work, visit