Monthly Email to the RC Alumni Writing Community

These emails to the RC writing community are slightly edited. To subscribe, send Dan an email:

Oct 23, 2003

Peter Anderson (RC 1972) has a cycle of poems, “Four Horses,” put to music by composer Jennifer Butler for voice, flute and electric guitar, which will be performed as part of an album release at Music on Main’s “Modulus Festival” on November 4 in Vancouver. Later in the month the UBC Players Club will be performing “Head Over Heels” — Peter’s reimagined adaptation of “Twelfth Night”— November 21-25.

Barry Garelick (RC 1971) has a story, “Stories,” published in Café Lit:

Allison Epstein (RC 2016) will be in conversation with Genevieve Gornichec at Literati in Ann Arbor on Wednesday, October 25 at 6:30 pm, as part of Allison’s book tour in support of Let the Dead Bury the Dead. Allison will also give a reading and Q&A In the Benz, Thursday, October 26th at 7 PM. (The Quad is usually locked up after 5, so some stealth, serendipity, or super-power may be required).

Caitlin Cowan 
(RC 2008) has two poems,”Self-Portrait as Maillard Reaction” and “What Stillness Is,” in the latest issue of Doubleback Review. The poems are from her forthcoming book, Happy Everything, due in February.

In the Neighborhood

Two of the twenty authors in The Best American Short Stories 2023 have Michigan connections: Cherline Bazille is a U-M Zell MFA grad, and Tom Bissell is from Escanaba.

More Alumni Bios of folks who have written and published (but have so far somehow resisted or never heard of the alumni journal):

Judith Ezekiel (RC 1977) is professor emerita in Women’s Studies and African American Studies at Wright State in Dayton OH and was associate professor of American Studies at l’Universite de Toulouse-le-Mirail. She is the author of Feminism in the Heartland (Ohio State U Press, 2002), and has also published on the U.S. and French women’s movements, Franco-American misrepresentations, and intersectionality of race and gender in numerous journals around the world. She co-founded the French, European, and International Women’s Studies Associations, the first French women of color research group, and was a founding member of the Conseil Répresentatif des Associations Noires. A recent interview with Judith (Veteran Feminists of America, Inc., July 2022):

Jerry W. Perrine (RC 1985) has performed piano music for more than 40 years, while also telling stories of ragtime, early jazz, blues, and boogie-woogie. He became interested as a teenager with Scott Joplin’s ragtime piano, taught himself how to play, and then studied the music and its history. Jerry has played in the Michigan Jazz Festival, at Henry Ford Museum, and at local venues, including Ann Arbor’s North Star Lounge last November. Jerry worked at the City of Ann Arbor’s Signs and Signals Division, and is now retired. He attended Ann Arbor’s Huron High. He is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Pamela K. Gossiaux (RC 1989) is a humorist, inspirational speaker, and author. Recent books include The Things We Know in Part (2022) and Finding Hope (2020), which is part of her Horses and Hearts Inspirational Romance series. She self-published Six Steps to Successful Publication. Pamela teaches writing workshops and has edited books in a wide range of genres, including best-sellers. Her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur, and locally in the Ann Arbor News and Ypsilanti Press. Among her awards: “40 Under 40” in Crain’s and “30 in Their Thirties” in dBusiness. She and her husband have two sons and three cats. More about Pamela at

Francis Lam (RC 1997) is the host of American Public Media’s “The Splendid Table,” and has been a regular contributor and frequent guest since 2010. He is vice-president and editor-in-chief at Clarkson Potter (Penguin Random House), was the Eat columnist for the New York Times Magazine, and was a regular judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” His writing has appeared in Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, among other publications, and has won several James Beard Foundation and International Association of Culinary Professionals awards. After U-M, he worked as a grant writer in New York before attending the Culinary Institute of America (2003).

Joy Roye (RC 2000) is records and information manager at First Nations Summit Society in Vancouver, and was management archivist and information officer at Simon Fraser U. She has been a guest lecturer for individual archival classes at U British Columbia. Joy has an MPhil from U Cape Town (2003) and an MA in archival studies from U British Columbia. She presented a paper at the Western Regional Conference of ARMA Canada in October 2022. (ARMA was originally an acronym for Association of Records Managers and Administrators).

Oct 1

Carmen Bugan (RC 1996) is now Visiting Assistant Professor in Literature and Creative Writing at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Barry Garelick (RC 1971) has a new story at CafeLit called “The Strong Faith of Others”:

Jon Michael Darga (RC 2014), now a literary agent, will be in conversation with author Patti Lin about her new memoir End Credits. The event is on Oct 3rd, 6:30 PM, at Literati in Ann Arbor.

Kathy Kozachenko (RC 1974) will be commemorated with a statue, as part of Ann Arbor’s bicentennial celebration. Kathy was the first openly gay or lesbian American to be elected to public office when she was elected to the Ann Arbor City Council in 1974, a candidate for the Human Rights Party. A brief note in the Ann Arbor Observer’s weekly email (September 7) notes that Kathy now lives in Pittsburg and has been a wife, mother, and health-industry sales rep. Kathy was a creative writing grad and published several poems in RC student publications, back in the ‘70s.

If any of you remember Anne Brennan, who was an RC administrator in and around 2007 (succeeding Sarah Wilder, and preceding Patti Kardia and Carl Abrego), she is still in town, living on the west side, and her daughter Sigi Krushelnick is currently an RC sophomore!

In the Neighborhood

The 2023 edition of the new Best Mystery Stories of the Year has a story by Doug Allyn (U-M 1970s), who studied creative writing (and criminal psychology) at U-M (as well as playing guitar in the group Devil’s Triangle).

The 2023 Best American Poetry collection has a poem by U-M alum Victoria Chang (who was born in Detroit), and contributions from guest editor Elaine Equi, from Oak Park, IL who earned an MA in creative writing from Chicago’s Columbia College. Contributors include Diane Seuss, who was raised and still lives in rural southwest Michigan, Marianne Chan, who grew up in Lansing and has a BA from MSU, and Herbert Gold, who at 99 is older than many of us! Gold is from Cleveland.

The Write Michigan Short Story Contest is open for submission from Michigan residents, through November 30. There are three categories; adult (18+), teen (12-17), and youth (11-). Adults pay a $10 fee. There are awards of $500 and $250, plus publication in anthology by Schuler Books’ Chapbook Press. More info at

More Alumni Bios of folks who have written and published (but have so far somehow resisted or never heard of the alumni journal):

Christine Gloss (RC 1974) is the owner and “creative force” behind Feel Good Crosswords LLC – Fun for the Senior Mind and Heart, which she started in 2008. She has worked as a video writer and producer, instructional designer and media producer/coordinator, as well as a manager at Henry Ford and Crittendon Hospitals and General Motors. In 1995 she started On Beyond Zebra, a training program. She has an MA in Speech and Television Production. 

Bonnie J. Emanuel (RC 1983) is president of Bonnie Emanuel Design Inc., in Scarsdale NY. Her first full-length poetry collection is forthcoming from Cornerstone Press. Poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Great Lakes Review, and Mid-American Review, among others. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from The City College of New York (2020). More about Bonnie at

Matthew Krichbaum (RC 1990) is a principal of Soble Rowe Krichbaum LLP in Ann Arbor. He earned his JD (U-M, 1992) and practiced law with the Chicago firm Katten, Muchin and Zavis before joining Soble Rowe Krichbaum in 1998. He is currently a member of the board of directors of Nice Work Public Media, and served on various other boards between 2009 and 2017. From 2008 through 2012, Matthew served as Vice President of the board of the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Matthew is a contributor to the Institute of Legal Education’s Introducing Evidence at Trial, 3rd Edition (2007) and the 2014 Update. From 2016 through 2020, Matthew was selected by his peers as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of commercial litigation.

Courtney H. Loveman (RC 1992) is an “industry mentor” (notes the ATLAS Institute at U Colorado, Boulder), self-employed as a Brand Strategy advisor, and former vice president and chief strategy officer at Crispin Porter + Bogusky (a product/brand invention group). Courtney was also founder and designer at Bad Baby, Inc. from 1996-2001 an Ann Arbor-based children’s apparel line. She earned an MBA in Marketing (U-M 2003) and an MFA in Fiction (Columbia, 1994) and so is “fluent in both business and design.” She created new products for L’oreal, designed clothing for Ralph Lauren, led marketing and creative at Seventh Generation, and designed, built and sold her own line of children’s clothing. The ATLAS Institute bio notes that “on nights and weekends, she is also currently working with her husband to build the city’s first shipping container home. She occasionally gets confused about whether her life is “better defined as a labor of love or a love of labor.” At U-M she taught writing for the Michigan Department of Corrections and is a Hopwood winner.

Krista Lanphier (RC 2006?) is a financial customer associate at Fidelity Investments (since Nov 2022) and a self-employed Ayurveda practitioner (since Feb 2020). She has worked as a customer service representative at We Energies (Milwaukee), an online instructor, editor, and Ayurveda practitioner at Narayana Ayurveda Academy, and editor, associate editor, and copy editor at DCI Marketing (Wisconsin), the United Ways of Southeastern Michigan and Racine (WI), and Trusted Media Brands, Inc. (Wisconsin). Krista has an Associates degree in occupational studies and culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America (2000), and is the author of The Ultimate Taste of Home Chicken Cookbook and Taste of Home Best of Quick Cooking, both 2009.

Speaking of the Alumni Journal, a link to a PDF of the 7th issue is posted on the RC Writers site ( under the “journals” tab. Contributors to the seventh issue include Peter Anderson, Carmen Bugan, Bailey Burke, Caitlin Cowan, Fez Fessenden, Cameron Finch, Barry Garelick, Jacqueline Giessler, John Hagen, Michael Koenigsknecht, Dan Madaj, Paul Meyer, Kathryn Orwig, Theo Poling, Martin Sherman, and Andrea Wong. There is an interview with Carmen Bugan, and articles about the RC directors, the Halfway Inn, and the Benzinger behind Benzinger Library.

Sep 1

This autumn, Theo Poling (RC 2022) began work on a Master’s Degree at Stanford.

RC News and Other Things

Carl Cohen died on August 26, age 92. Carl was professor of philosophy and U-M, and retired in 2017 after 62 years at U-M. He was one of the planners and founding members of the RC. He published ten books and many essays. He liked to travel (he took a train through the Canadian Rockies and a boat down the Danube River when 91), and was a lifelong member of the US Chess Federation. He loved dogs (alums may remember Hamish, who came to class with him for 16 years), and his obituary notes that “three faithful friends” are today mourning his passing.

The U-M Press offers free access to U-M alums to hundreds of titles from its scholarly publishing department:

Hannah Ensor’s poem “Agnes, a sleep” was the “poet of the day” on’s “Poem-a-day” page for August 22. Hannah is a lecturer in creative writing at the RC and in English, and among other things was manager of the Hopwood Program.

Ann Patchett’s new novel Tom Lake takes place in northwestern Michigan, a direct result of a “wayward reading” scheduled by her publisher, a few years ago, at the McLean and Eakin bookstore in Petoskey. It’s a fabulous bookstore, and Patchett enjoyed her visit, made friends, and decided to set her next novel in the area . . . .

U-M alum Saba Keramati (BA) was one of four poets to win the 91NY 2023 Discovery Poetry Contest. She is poetry editor of Sundog Lit. She lives in Detroit. Jacinda Townsend won the 2022 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence for her novel, Mother Country. She taught at U-M and was recently president of the Ann Arbor School Board. Alison Powell won the Poetic Justice Institute Editor’s Prize (Fordham University) for Boats in the Attic. She recently taught at Oakland U. Jassmine Parks won an Emerging Voices Fellowship from PEN America. She is a spoken word poet and slam champion from Detroit. She is the lead teaching artist of InsideOut Literary Arts, and co-producer, editor and content strategist of Black Her Stories, a podcast.

The Ann Arbor Community Bookfest (formerly the Kerrytown Bookfest) will be held September 10 from 10-5 at the downtown Ann Arbor library. Events include talks by authors Sonali Dev, Stephen Mack Jones, and J. Ryan Stradel, a poetry reading, and this year’s release of books by the library’s Fifth Avenue Press. Jones grew up in Lansing and now lives in Bloomfield Hills, and is the recipient of a Kresge Arts in Detroit literary fellowship.

More Alumni Bios of folks who have written and published (but have so far somehow resisted or never heard of the alumni journal):

Scott T. Cummings (RC 1974) is Professor of Playwriting and Dramatic Literature at Boston College. He has a MFA in Playwriting from Carnegie Mellon (1977). Scott is the author of Maria Irene Fornes; Routledge Modern and Contemporary Dramatics (Routledge, 2012), among other books. Scott performed in several RC musical and theatrical productions in the early ‘70s. Star Trek fans will appreciate that “Kirk and Scotty” both worked in the RC office for a while (that’s a reference to Thelma Kirk). There’s a Youtube video of Scott giving the Maria Irene Fornés lecture at Emerson College in February 2014:

Martha E. Topol (RC 1981) is Youth and Family Services Coordinator at Suttons Bay Bingham District Library in Suttons Bay MI. She is from Mamaroneck NY. Martha and her husband, David Kirby, are bison herders in the Traverse City area. Martha met David at U-M in 1979; they were married in 1985. Their two children are both U-M grads (Maple, 2012; Cooper, 2020). David is a retired high school physics teacher. An article about the bison farm:

Nicholas Petrie (RC 1990) is the bestselling author of the award-winning Peter Ash series. The eighth book, The Price You Pay, is due out February 4. Nick lives in Milwaukee and has worked as a roofer, carpenter, remodeling contractor, and freelance building inspector. Nick was an editor and contributor to Tales around the bend, an RC student journal. He was RC writer-in-residence in January 2016, and read from the first Peter Ash book at a reading at Nicola’s. More about Nick at

Jill B. Robbins (RC 1991) works part-time at WGBH’s Media Access Group (Boston), writing descriptive audio for programs such as Masterpiece, American Experience, and NOVA.  She previously worked as a transcriber at National Braille Press, where she wrote picture descriptions for the “Great Expectations” children’s book series. She worked as a teacher of students with visual impairments at the Carroll Center for the Blind and the Tennessee School for the Blind. She also has served as a describer for Arts Emerson and at the Boston Opera House, and as a secondary describer at the Huntington Theatre Company. Jill has a degree in special education/visual disabilities from Vanderbilt and is a graduate of the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training.  She was recently featured in the “A Sense of Texas Podcast – “Jill Robbins-Silver: Audio Description for Theater” at

Olga Semenova (RC 2008) is supervisor of healthcare navigation at Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit. She has a MPH in Health Behavior and Health Education from U-M (2010). She has been a teen programs counsel member and director of the Agree Outpost camp at Tamarack Camps, a summer camp in Bloomfield Hills MI.

Aug 1

Marvel will release the Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game on August 2, written and designed by Matt Forbeck (RC 1989) with help from his son Marty.

Allison Epstein (RC 2014) will publish her third novel, Our Rotten Hearts, an historical reimagining of Oliver Twist, in February 2025. Her second novel, Let the Dead Bury the Dead, is due out October 17. All three of her novels are published by Doubleday.

John Hagen (RC 1972) has been asked to speak about software use for creative writing at a writing symposium for the Eastern Upper Peninsula being planned for June 22, 2024 at the Hessel School House in Hessel, MI. John gave a similar talk at the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association (UPPAA) conference last year (and published an article about using writing software in last year’s alumni journal).

Nick Petrie (RC 1990) will publish the eighth book in his Peter Ash series, The Price You Pay, on February 5, 2024. All the books are published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

More Alumni Bios of folks who have written and published (but have so far somehow resisted or never heard of the alumni journal):

Richard Leyfeldt (RC 1972) is an attorney-adviser at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and has 30 years experience in the energy sector. He has an MPP in Public Policy and a J.D. (cum laude) from Harvard. Richard starred in a summer 1973 production of “Marat/Sade,” held in the RC Theater. An article in the Ann Arbor Sun, December 1974, said that Richard was “particularly stunning on clavinet and keyboards” during a Radio King and His Court of Rhythm concert.

Nancy Gildart (RC 1980) was assistant director of Career Education, Career and Professional Experience (CAPX) at the School of Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, for 20 years. She now works freelance as a trustee for the Homewood Public Library (Homewood IL) and as a board member at Terrain Exhibitions in Oak Park IL. She has a BFA and MFA from the School of Art at the Institute of Chicago (1998, 2000), and an MA in Library Science from the University of Chicago. She published “Torn and Mended: Textile Actions at Ground Zero and Beyond” in Object of Labor: Art, Cloth and Cultural Production (MIT Press, 2007).

 Kimberly A. Owczarski (RC 1997) has been assistant professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media at Texas Christian U since 2010. Her research focuses on the contemporary media industries, and she has published in the Journal of Film and Video, Spectator, the Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and several anthologies. A recent publication: “’A Guaranteed Seat’: Fandango and Changing Business Practices in Movie Exhibition,” Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 39:1, 2022. She has an MA and PhD (2001, 2008) from U Texas at Austin.

Emily C. Haan (RC 2007) is an Associate at Littler (Employment and Labor Law Solutions Worldwide) in New York City, and was previously an attorney at Transgender Legal Defense and Education. Her legal publications include  “Anybody’s Daughter? How Racial Stereotypes Prevent Domestic Child Prostitutes of Color from Being Perceived as Victims,” in 30 Children’s Legal Rights Journal (Loyola, 2011). She earned her JD from UCLA in 2010.

Rachel Leah Gerson (RC 2015) is a “metaphysical practitioner and psychic educator.” She created Doorway to Self, where she offers sessions to integrate counseling with psychic education and tools. She is also a clinical counselor at Brighter Hope Counseling in Ann Arbor. She has a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy from Western Michigan (2020). More about Rachel and Doorway to Self at her podcast:

Jul 2

Irena Barbara Nagler (RC 1977) published “Field of the Five Horses” in the current (summer) issue of Ann Arbor’s Crazy Wisdom Journal  Among other things, Irena talks about her times in East Quad and her friendship with one-time RCer Nisi Shawl, author of Everfair and other books.

Barry Garelick (RC 1971) published “How Has 1973 Been for You?” in CafeLit on June 28:  Barry also published “Every Immigrant Boy’s Dream” in The Globe Review:

Carmen Bugan (RC 1996) recorded a Centre for Resistance Studies conversation in June on Soundcloud: She also recorded a conversation on Poetry, Translation and Oppression with Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, in June, viewable on Youtube:

Peter Anderson (RC 1972) has three prose poems (“Wheelbarrow,” “Rushmore,” and “Sale”) appearing in the September 2023 issue of SORTES.

John Hagen (RC 1972) notes that the Library of Michigan maintains a “Michigan Materials” collection and any author living in Michigan is invited to submit two copies of their work for the collection. There is no restriction re subject matter. Submission details and the “gift policy” form are on the Library of Michigan website ( John notes to be sure to fill out the form completely and make sure Mindy is clearly listed as the addressee on the shipment. John adds that “for self-published authors, this might be the only chance to get your work listed on, which digests the “card catalogs” of all significant libraries large and small around the world.”

RC Things

Logan Corey (RC 2013) recently began a new position as Senior Recruiting Coordinator at the U-M Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Logan had worked at the RC for over 9 years, and as its Director of Admissions, Recruitment, and MLC Administration since July 2016.

In the Neighborhood

Gemini, the Ann Arbor folk duo of brothers San and Laz Slomovits, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. I was reading that they recorded their first record in the East Quad theater, back on September 14, 1979.

Sena Moon, a Zell MFA grad and current Ann Arbor resident, won the recent Carve, Prose and Poetry Contest for “Slow and Then Fast.”

Jeff Kass, who teaches 10th grade English and creative writing at Ann Arbor’s Pioneer High School, was awarded one of several Jack Hazard Fellowships for Creative Writers Teaching High School.

Kashona Notah-Stevens won the 12th annual Alice Hoffman Prize for fiction for “Bettie Page and Jimmie Free Bird.” Notah-Stevens works in the LSA Dean’s Office, has an Zell MFA from U-M, and lives in Ann Arbor.

Ryler Dustin won 2023 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, via U Pittsburgh Press, for Trailer Park Psalms. Dustin is Adjunct Professor at Albion College (MI), since 2018.

In the Works

We are in the early stages of developing an RC Writers Bookclub. Perhaps quarterly we’ll read a book by an RC alum, then gather via Zoom to discuss, and perhaps watch a brief reading by the book’s author, who might also respond to questions submitted earlier!

I’m also thinking about starting an RC Writers’ Lending Library . . . .

More Alumni Bios of folks who have written and published (but have so far somehow resisted or never heard of the alumni journal):

David Greene (RC 1972) says that his creative life while at the RC “evolved from film to photography to writing.”  While at the RC he wrote and directed a feature length film, Pamela and Ian, starring RC students Ian Stulberg, Pam Seamon, Douglas Lichterman, Katie Reifman, and Ruthie Rankin. After college, a collection of photographs, called Shameless, was exhibited in Berkeley, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Zurich. Since 2010 David has published several books, including Unmentionables, which was awarded the bronze medal for gay fiction at the Book of the Year awards at the American Library Association conference in New Orleans in 2011. More about David at

Tony J. Hoffman (RC 1980) is a senior analyst at Ziff Davis Media in New York and a technology writer, analyst, writer and editor at (formerly PC Magazine). Tony is also an amateur astronomer and an astrophotographer. He belongs to the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York as well as the Custer Institute and Observatory. He writes poetry, and is a ham radio operator (callsign AA2TH). Tony is listed as co-author on numerous publications (“primarily in recognition of my service as a site moderator”), including “Planet Hunters TESS IV: a massive, compact hierarchical triple star system TIC 470710327” (March 2022).

Holly Jo Sparks (RC 1997) works as a cooperative, community and housing development consultant. She is executive director of the Spartan Housing Cooperative in East Lansing and managing principal consultant at the Collective Seeds Consulting Cooperative, which she co-founded. She has a professional degree in nonprofit financial management from UC Santa Barbara (2002), a PhD in City and Regional Planning from North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an MCP in City Planning from MIT (2010). She has been president of the Oryana natural food co-op in Traverse City since 2014. Publications include a contribution to “Hospitals Building Healthier Communities: Embracing the Anchor Mission” (The Democracy Collaborative, 2013).

Roy J. Harnish (RC 2001) has been a software developer at Curia since 2017. Previously he was an image processing programmer at the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at UCSF. Roy has an MS in Physics from SF State. His contributions to scientific articles include “Automatic Labeling of Special Diagnostic Mammography View from Images and DICOM Headers,” in the Journal of Digital Imaging, 2018.

Elise Kristine Aikman (RC 2012) is a licensed massage therapist (LMT) in private practice in Ann Arbor. She earned a certificate in therapeutic massage from the Ann Arbor Institute of Massage Therapy in 2015. Elise wrote a viewpoint published in the Michigan Daily, and won the J. Eldersveld Writing Contest in 2010 (named after a former Ann Arbor mayor, the father of RC writing alum Lucy Murphy). She was a contributing writer at The Michigan Journal of International Affairs in 2012.

Erratum: We published an incomplete link to Barry’s Story “The Invisible.” Here’s a working link:

Jun 1

Barry Garelick (RC 1971) has a story, “Survival,” in Café Lit He also published “The Invisible” in Fiction on the Web  Barry, and co-author JR Wilson, were interviewed by Anna Stokke on her podcast, talking about their book Traditional Math: An Effective Strategy that Teachers Feel Guilty Using (You can read the transcript here:

Peter Anderson (RC 1972) has three prose poems forthcoming in Frigg Literary Review. Peter and his wife Melody attended the Caravan Farm Theatre National Playwrights Retreat, May 19-28 at the Caravan farm in Armstrong BC. Two of 10 artists “looking for time and place to focus on conceiving and/or writing an upcoming project,” both Peter and Melody have worked on many Caravan productions over the years, including at least a dozen of Peter’s plays.

Carmen Bugan (RC 1996) published a poem, “Holy Communion” in the 15.3 issue of Literary Matters, and a poem, “Wedding Ring,” in the March 4th issue of The Irish Times She will have a conversation with Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, organized by the Trinity Centre for Resistance Studies in Ireland, on June 13. More info:

RC Things

Long-time RC teacher Zelda Gamson is publishing an ebook, Don’t Play Like A Girl: A Midcentury Woman Leaps into Life. More information forthcoming! After 17 years at U-M, Zee moved to U Mass in Boston, where she founded the Higher Education Doctoral Program and was the founding director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Ed. She retired in 1999.

In the Neighborhood

We mentioned Michigan Radio’s Michigan Reads program, featuring books with Michigan connections. The next discussion (of Chevy in the Hole by Kelsey Ronan) is Wednesday, June 7, 7 pm (Comma Bookstore in Flint, and Zoom) and the host is Beenish Ahmed (RC 2009), WUOM’s criminal justice reporter. More info at To register:

Santi Elijah Holley will read at Literati from his new book, An Amerikan Family: The Shakura and the Nation They Created, on Saturday, June 17, 6:30 pm. A native Ann Arborite, Santi’s mother is Susan Finley, who was an RC student in the early ‘70s.

Terry Bohnhorst Blackhawk and Derek Pollard will read poems on Wednesday, June 28, 7-9 pm as part of the Crazy Wisdom Poetry Series via Zoom (email for link). Blackhawk founded and directed (for 20 years) the InsideOut Literary Arts Project for Detroit students. Pollard is editor of the Poets on Poetry Series at U-M Press.

More Alumni Bios of folks who have written and published (but have so far somehow resisted or never heard of the alumni journal):

Pamela Seamon Guest (RC 1972) is an actress and casting director best known for Blue Velvet (1986). She has appeared in many movies, from The Last Tycoon (1976) to Turning Point (2022). She directed a performance of Marat/Sade in the RC Theater in the summer of 1973. Pam is married to actor Nicholas Guest, brother of actor and writer Christopher Guest. Pam has two children: the actress Elizabeth Guest and the producer-executive Will Rack.

Eric Weltman (RC 1989) is a writer, organizer, and educator. For over 12 years he has been senior organizer at Food & Water Watch in Brooklyn. His publications include articles in MetroWest Daily News, In These Times, and He had a stint as senior lecturer at Suffolk U in Boston, where he developed and taught courses in urban politics. He has an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts (1997). Eric is featured in a post on the RC’s website:

Damian Rogers (RC 1993) teaches creative writing at Toronto Metropolitan U and is the founding creative director of Poetry In Voice. She has published two books of poetry (Paper Radio and Dear Leader) and a memoir, An Alphabet for Joanna: A Portrait of My Mother in 26 Fragments (KnopfCanada, 2020). Damian has a MFA in poetry from Bennington College and has worked as an editor at the Poetry Foundation and at The Walrus, and has been co-host and literary curator of The Basement Revue. She also practices, writes about, and teaches Tarot. A recent interview (October 2022) with Damian is at More about Damian at

Mariah Cherem (RC 2001) works as a production librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library, spending a day or two doing “on-desk/reference” and the rest of her work time on projects and events, including A2 Synth Expo, Record Store Day, and in the summer working on the library’s annual Summer Game. She has an MA in Arts Administration and an MSI (2012) from U-M’s School of Information. She says she thought she was going to “do health informatics or work on online communities,” but enjoyed her conversations with library students and saw how her arts administration background could fit with “forward-thinking libraries.”

Jeremy Stoll (RC 2005) is Department Head of Science and Social Science, Assistant Professor, and Director of Liberal Arts, Comics and Narrative Practice, Science and Social Science at Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus OH.  He has a PhD in Folklore from Indiana U. Jeremy’s most recent book is The Comics World: Comics, Graphic Novels, and Their Publics (edited with Benjamin Woo), and the blogpost/presentation Re-Worldling Comics: A Call for Reflexive Scholars (as part of the 2021 International Comic Arts Forum). Articles have appeared in the International Journal of Comic Art; Marg, A Magazine of the Arts; Cultures of Comics Work; andthe Routledge Companion to Comics, and other pieces have appeared in Rainbow Reflections: Body Image Comics by Queer Men, The Columbus Scribbler, Blocked: Stories from the World of Online Dating, and DOGS! An Anthology (co-edited with Vidyun Sabhaney). 

May 4

 Clare Higgins (RC 2017) has written the fifth episode of the third season of The Witcher, due out June 29th on Netflix. Clare wrote an episode of the second season, and worked as script coordinator on Devil in Ohio, a 2022 tv mini series on Netflix. She previously served as writers’ assistant and writer’s production assistant on Bridgerton, Charmed, and The Umbrella Academy.

Cameron Finch (RC 2016) orchestrated Ann Arbor’s inaugural PoetTreeTown event last month, as part of April Poetry Month. Select local poems were displayed on local downtown business windows, including several by RC alums. We mentioned Kathryn Orwig, Robin Lily Goldberg, Haley Winkle, Theo Poling, and Cameron. Additionally, we found poems by Ian Ross Singleton (a translation of a Ukrainian poem), Claire Denson, and Bailey Burke. Articles about PoetTreeTown and Cameron appeared in the May Ann Arbor Observer and in Ann Arbor’s Groundcover News in April.

RC Things

The RC’s Kate Mendeloff has died, aged 69. Kate moved to Ann Arbor in 1990 and taught drama in the RC. Experimentation with plays in unique places (like the RC courtyard) led to “Shakespeare in the Arb,” starting in 2000.

Nandi Comer (RC 2001) has been named Michigan’s Poet Laureate, only the second poet laureate in the state’s history! Nandi is the author of American Family: A Syndrome (Finishing Line Press) and Tapping Out (Triquarterly). She directs the Allied Media Project Seeds Program and is the co-director of Detroit Lit.

Isaac Wingfield
 is Photography and Visual Arts Program head at the RC and has an exhibition of collaborative photography at the Detroit Historical Museum, through May 21.

An article in the April 10th University Record highlighted RC Islamic Arts and Culture lecturer Sascha Crasnow, who has taught her 2-year-old beagle mix, Parker, to “speak,” using buttons Parker can press. If Sascha was in RC Creative Writing, maybe she’d have Parker writing stories or poetry! It might be the start of a stand-alone Arf-C Creative Writing Program!

Over 60 folks filled Benzinger Library on April 14 for the annual RC Creative Writing Program Honors Thesis Reading. Some of the readers (now alums!) may have material in the forthcoming alumni journal.

In the Neighborhood

Michigan Radio (WUOM) has a Michigan Reads program, featuring books with Michigan connections, followed by discussion events (in-person as well as virtual). The current book is Chevy in the Hole by Kelsey Ronan.  Kelsey lives in Detroit and teaches for InsideOut Literary Arts. More info at or on Goodreads or Facebook.

As part of a celebration of Independent Bookstore Day, MI Book Hop invites Michiganders to play a form of bingo (through May 14) by filling in spaces by visiting stores and completing other bookish activities. Three regions are available (southeast, southwest, and mid Michigan). More info at

U-M history professor Scott Ellsworth won the 2022 Housatonic Book Award from Western Connecticut State U in nonfiction for his book, The Ground BreakingAndrew Steiner, of Holland MI, won a second-place award from Narrative for his novel-excerpt from Blake Haveman.


We continue to present brief bios of RC alums who have written and published (but have so far somehow resisted or never heard of the alumni journal):

Richard B. Sale III (RC 1974) was a poet and actor. He appeared in the film Blue Danube, and in the tv shows “All My Children,” “Another World,” and “The Dickens World.” He won a Hopwood at U-M and published poems in several RC student publications. He died August 29, 1985. He starred in a student production of “Marat Sade” in the RC’s theater in summer 1972.

Larry Dean (RC 1984) is an English instructor at Northeastern Illinois U and an adjunct instructor at the College of Lake County  (IL). Larry has also been an instructor at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake IL, at Indiana U Northwest, and at Joliet Junior College. Since 2003 he has been poet-in-residence in the Chicago public schools through the Chicago Poetry Center. Larry has an MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry from Murray State (2009), and an MA in English from Northeastern Illinois (2020). His numerous books include Frequently Asked Questions (forthcoming), Muse, Um (2022), and Activities of Daily Living (2017). His latest solo album is Good Grief (2015); Product Placement, the sophomore album from his band, The Injured Parties, was released August 2019. For more info, go to

Jennifer McKee (RC 1993) is a journalist and essayist. Jenn spent more than a decade working as a staff arts reporter at The Ann Arbor News. Most recently, Jenn’s work has appeared in the Ann Arbor District Library’s online magazine Pulp ( and in Scary Mommy, American Theatre, Communication Arts, Michigan Alumnus, The Detroit Free Press, and Metro Parent. Her story “Under the Influence” was included in Best New American Voices 2003. Jenn earned an MFA in creative writing from Penn State (where she also taught undergraduate courses in rhetoric, business writing, and creative writing) and an MA in English from U Georgia. At U-M she played trombone in the Michigan Marching Band and wrote her first theater reviews, for The Michigan Daily). She published an Ann Arbor News column in September 2013 called “Visiting the new East Quad (and the old me)”: More about Jenn at

Haley Pierson-Cox 
(RC 2005) spends her days “making stuff, writing about making stuff, and getting hired by other people to write about making stuff.” She is the “creative” behind Red-Handled Scissors in Brattleboro VT, and is a knitter, sewer, and cross-stitcher, among other things. Her books include Cross Stitch the Golden Girls (2019) and Improper Cross-Stitch (2018). More about Haley at

Erin A. Kirkland (RC 2014) is a photographer and writer. She learned to be a photojournalist at the Michigan Daily. She has worked for the Flint Journal, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, and Rolling Stone. She is a coach at the Detroit Writing Room. More about Erin at

Errata. Barry Garelick graduated in 1971, not 1972. We were thinking of Mark Cooperrider, not Michael.

Forgotta. Last month I meant to include the link to March’s alumni journal reading:  I also meant to include time “stamps” for the readers: 3:05 Haley Winkle, 7:12 Kathryn Orwig, 19:10 Carolyn Lusch, 29:09 John Hagen, 37:50 Cameron Finch, 45:21 Ellen Dreyer, 56:21 Claire Denson, 59:40 Peter Anderson

PS: Last month we mused about the common theme among various bird-ish named RC alums, but I particularly liked the suggestion that the commonality was “wistfulness and grace”! Someone asked if he could tweet his answer. I was thinking the results might be reported on Flocks News . . . .

Apr 8

Caitlin Cowan (RC 2008) was chosen for Poets & Writers’ inaugural poetry cohort, “Get the Word Out,” a publicity incubator for debut authors. Caitlin’s book, Happy Everything, is forthcoming from Cornerstone Press in 2024.

Allison Epstein (RC 2014) will publish her second novel, Let the Dead Bury the Dead, October 17 via Doubleday. Her debut novel, A Tip for the Hangman, was issued by Doubleday in February 2021 and in paper by Anchor in January 2022.

Cameron Finch (RC 2016) was interviewed in Tiny 

Cameron is orchestrating Ann Arbor’s inaugural PoetTreeTown event this month, as part of April Poetry Month. Local poems are being displayed on local downtown business windows, including poems by RC alums: Kathryn Orwig (Dawntreader Books), Robin Lily Goldberg (AATA Blake Transit Station), Haley Winkle (Bon Bon Bon), Theo Poling (FOUND), and Cameron Winkle (Downtown Home and Garden). The PoetTreeTown “walking map” is viewable:

Peter Anderson (RC 1972) will publish a prose poem, “Wrist,” in issue #12 of the Last Stanza Poetry Journal. Three other prose poems, “Melting,” “Broken Doorbell,” and “Lost,” will be published in the spring issue of Frigg.

John Hagen (RC 1972) published a story, “Two Bells,” in U. P. Reader #7, an annual anthology of the best writing from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Barry Garelick (RC 1972) published “Forgiveness” in The Globe Review, a new online lit journal:

RC Things

Several RC students (and LSA students taking RC courses) won Winter 2023 Hopwoods. American cartoonist Alison Bechdel will give a reading, followed by a Q&A, in the Rackham Amphitheatre on Tuesday, April 11, 5:30 pm. Bechdel books will be available for purchase and signing after the reading.

There will be an RC Creative Writing Honors Thesis reading in Benzinger Library on Friday, April 14, from 5-7 pm. Among the readers: RC students Bailey Burke, Gabriella Dias, Olivia Evans, Anna Fifelski, Thomas Griffith, Franklin Lassen, Jasmin Lee, Chelsea Padilla, and Andrea Wong. Note that public entry into East Quad is only  via the left-most door at the northern East U entrance (nearest to Willard).

A release party (and open mic) for the 2023 RC Reader is scheduled for Monday, April 17, from 7-9 pm in Greene Lounge. Several authors in the journal will read. Please note that there is no public access into East Quad after 5 pm weekdays, so stealth and cunning may be required.

RC creative writing lecturer Darcy Brandel was featured in the University Record’s “Faculty Spotlight” on April 3. The article mainly focused on Darcy’s work as a “death doula,” helping families facilitate the passing of a loved one.


We continue to present brief bios of RC alums who have written and published (but have so far somehow resisted or never heard of the alumni journal):

J. Max Robins (RC 1976) is a veteran journalist, media analyst and producer. Before joining the Center for Communication in 2014, Max was the Vice President/Executive Director of the Paley Center for Media and the editor-in-chief of “TV Industry Bible” at Broadcasting & Cable. Max was also senior editor and columnist at TV Guide, and TV editor and columnist at Variety. Max’s work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and New York magazine. He has commented on media-related issues for many major news outlets, including NBC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, MSNBC and NPR.

Karen Ruelle (RC 1979) is an author, illustrator, and artist. She also teaches ESL to immigrants at a non-profit. She makes paintings of animals, some of which have been exhibited around NYC. She says she studied languages at U-M because she wanted to become a spy, but notes that she wouldn’t be a very good spy if she told whether or not she became one, would she? Her most recent book is Surprising Spies: Unexpected Heroes of World War II (Holiday House, 2020; paperback 2022). Middle grade, easy reader, and picture books include: Hidden on the Mountain: Stories of Children Sheltered from the Nazis in Le Chambon (with Deborah Durland DeSaix), Easy as Apple Pie (written and illustrated by Karen), and Peter’s War: A Boy’s True Story of Survival in World War II Europe, with Deborah Durland DeSaix, illustrated by DeSaix. Karen has a Master’s in Library Science from U-M (1980). More at

David Zinn (RC 1990) is a native Ann Arborite, and a third-generation U-M alum. He noted (in an article in the Daily, last March) that he started drawing with chalk on a “flimsy chalkboard” hanging on his 4th floor East Quad dorm room door. He is perhaps most famous for his sidewalk chalk art, and has published several books on the subject, most recently Chance Encounters: Temporary Street Art (2022). He also produces calendars, prints, and postcards, and has done professional commissions (from theatrical posters to bar coasters). His most frequent characters are Sluggo (a bright green monster with stalk eyes) and Philomena (a phlegmatic flying pig). More about David at

Megan Rubiner Zinn (RC 1999) is a freelance writer and copy editor. She says that her broad experience makes her “versatile and great at cocktail parties.” She cites her MA in American Studies (U Minnesota) as well as being a “folk music publicist, Smithsonian intern, university advisor and instructor, social media maven, history geek, word nerd, pie maker.” A recent article, “Maize, Blue, and a Destiny for Two,” was published in Michigan Today in December 2021: Her book Our Precious Pooper was published by Knock Knock in 2016. More about Megan at her website:

Staci Perryman-Clark (RC 2004) is Director of Intercultural and Anthropological Studies and Associate Professor of English at Western Michigan. She has an MA in English from Eastern Michigan (2006) and a PhD in Rhetoric and Writing from Michigan State (2010). She has published a book, Afrocentric Teacher-Research: Rethinking Appropriateness and Inclusion (Peter Lang Publishing, 2013) and has received national honors from Michigan State, the Ford Foundation and the Conference on College Composition and Communication. She won a 2018 College of Arts and Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Award.


If we had a special issue of the journal with works from the following alums, can you guess the issue’s theme? We’d include: Deborah Jay, Cameron Finch, Holly Wren Spaulding, Robin Goldberg, Kristin Herron, and Michaels Cooperrider and Cooperstock, with perhaps a special feature on former director Herb Eagle.

Mar 9:

But first, a reminder of the second annual RC Alumni Journal Reading on Tuesday, March 14, at 7 pm (ET) on Zoom. Hosted by Laura Thomas, the event will feature brief readings by 10 writers from the Fall 2022 journal. Please register (and have friends register) at (Note that the capital M is necessary, and that the URL ends with a 5 and not an S).

Peter Anderson (RC 1972) was short-listed and placed third in the 2023 Raven Chapbooks Contest for his manuscript “Mutter and Other Prose Poems”:

Barry Garelick (RC 1971) published a story, “Pretty Girls Who Never Wear Lipstick,” in

Carmen Bugan (RC 1996) published a poem, “Wedding Ring,” in the March 4th issue of the Irish Times

In the Neighborhood:

Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, currently a U-M Knight-Wallace Fellow, received a creative nonfiction grant from the Whiting Foundation. Abrahamian is an independent journalist, writer, and former editor at The Nation and Al Jazeera America.

Last month I mentioned Julie Buntin’s debut novel, Marlena. It takes place near Silver Lake in northwest Michigan. Buntin teaches creative writing at U-M English and is married to Gabe Habash, who is currently U-M Zell Visiting Professor of Creative Writing. He is the author of Stephen Florida.

Tarik Dobbs of Dearborn and Tariq Luthun of Detroit and Dearborn were two of five “tweeners” (ages 21-31) to receive recent poetry fellowships from the Poetry Foundation. Dobbs has a 2019 BFA from U-M Stamps School of Art and Design. A clip of Luthun reading at Ann Arbor’s One Pause Poetry in 2020 is on Youtube:

UM grad, Hopwood winner, and Michigan native Aimee Carter will introduce her new book, Royal Blood, in conversation with Andrea Hannah on March 9 (that’s today!) at 7 pm at Shuler’s Books (formerly Nicola’s) in Ann Arbor. And on March 14 at 7 pm MSU English and creative writing grad Molly Greeley will read at Shuler’s from her new book Marvelous.

Brief Bios:

We continue to present brief bios of RC alums who have written and published (but have so far somehow resisted the alumni journal):

Emily Barrett Tennyson (RC 1978) is a freelance editor and writer. She has worked at the Detroit Medical Center since 1996, at UD-Mercy since 2004, and at Midwest Living since 2000. She also does college essay consulting for high-school seniors through the US. Her husband, Christopher Tennyson, was longtime owner of Tennyson Chevrolet in Livonia (now Feldman Chevrolet). He died in 2020.

Phillip B. Harper (RC 1981) is program director for higher learning at the Mellon Foundation, and was Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at NYU. He has sat on many advisory and editorial boards, including PMLA, Profession, American Literature, Camera Obscura, GQ, Postmodern Culture, and Social Text. He received his MFA, MA, and PhD from Cornell (1985, 1986, 1988). His most recent book is Abstractionist Aesthetics (NYU Press, 2015). He published a recent article, “Studying Humanities Can Prepare the Next Generation of Social Justice Leaders”:

Sara M. Haimowitz (RC 1990) is director of development and communications at the Center for Health and Learning in Brattleboro VT. Previously she was development consultant at Pride Youth Theater Alliance in Boston, development director at Coalition for a Prosperous America Education Fund in Sheffield MA, and grant writer and development director at LEAD (Leadership, Education, Adventure, Direction) in Eugene, OR. She has an MSW from San Jose State (1993).

Erik S. Anderson (RC 2000) joined the faculty of Franklin and Marshall College (Lancaster PA) in 2012, and from 2014-2019 directed its annual Emerging Writers Festival. He has an MFA from Naropa University, and a PhD from U Denver. He’s been published in The American Scholar, The Kenyon Review, The Los Angeles Review of Books, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Witness. He has published four books, the most recent being Bird (Bloomsbury/Object Lessons, 2020). An interview about Bird was published in the blog FourThreeThree:

Kyle K. Norris (RC 1997) teaches audio storytelling at KUOW’s “RadioActive” youth media program in Seattle and was co-instructor for U Washington’s graduate course, “Audio Storytelling.” Kyle spent 10 years as host and reporter with Michigan Radio before working as host and producer at KNKX (Seattle) and KUOW. His stories have appeared on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace, Here and Now, The Splendid Table, The Environment Report, and World Vision Report. A recent story for NPR was a remembrance of Betty White:

Feb 10:

Matt Forbeck (RC 1989) has a new novel coming out in March: Minecraft Legends: Return of the Piglins (Penguin Random House). Matt is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author and game designer. 

Peter Anderson (RC 1972) has had three short prose poems accepted by Frigg: A Magazine for Fiction and Poetry.

Carmen Bugan (RC 1996) has a review of her recent book of essays in The Manhattan

Ian Ross Singleton (RC 2005) was interviewed on the Haight Ashbury Literary Review podcast:

Cydney K. Seigerman (RC 2013) gave the annual Robertson Lecture in East Quad’s Keene Theater yesterday. Cydney studied chemistry and Spanish at U-M, then relocated to Madrid and worked as a Fulbright English teaching assistant, studied acting at La Lavanderia, and ran competitively. Cydney is an NSF graduate research fellow and research scholar in Brazil, and is a PhD candidate in the Integrative Conservation and Anthropology program at U Georgia. 

In the Neighborhood:

UM English MFA student (and Rackham Merit Scholar) Brian Gyamfi has two poems in the February issue of Poetry.

Nishanth Injam is a graduate of U-M English Zell (2021). An article, “Come with Me,” is in BestAmerican Magazine Writing 2022, and his short story “Math of Living” won a PEN/Dau Prize and was in The Best Debut Short Stories 2021The Best Possible Experience, a collection of stories, is forthcoming from Pantheon in July.

Haymarket House in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood is the “physical emobidment” of Haymarket Books. Haymarket Books publishes books “that contribute to struggles for social and economic justice.” More info at

Ann Arbor’s District Library hosts monthly meet-ups and workshops for local emerging writers (usually at its Westgate branch), including a meet-up scheduled for Monday, February 20 at 6:30 pm (at Westgate). These are hosted by Bethany Neal and Alex Kourvo. Kourvo lives in Ann Arbor and works as a freelance editor. Her most recent book is No Hero Wants to Save the World: How to Raise the Stakes in Your Fiction (Lovely Day Books, 2022). Neal lives near Ann Arbor and graduated from Bowling Green U and writes young adult fiction. Her debut novel is My Last Kiss (Square Fish, 2015). More info at

Brief Bios:

As work continues on the Fall 2023 alumni journal, we try to expand our reach: after all, in over 50 years of RC creative writing, there are over 600 writing alums, which does not include other RC alums who have written and published. One source is LinkedIn’s RC group. As we reach out to those alums. we thought you might be interested in some things learned along the way:

Jeff Scott (RC 1983) has won many music awards, and was nominated for a Detroit Music Award for Outstanding Americana Song in 2022. CDs include Nola to New York, The Long Way Home, and Begin Again. A recent song, “The Comeback Kid,” is viewable on Youtube: Jeff will perform at Ann Arbor’s Black Crystal Café (near Jewel Heart) on March 31, and will open for Bill Edwards at the Ark on October 18. More about Jeff at

Martin Sweeney (RC 1991) wrote, directed, and produced 37 episodes of “Behind the Music That Sucks,” which won a 2000 Wobbly Award. A preview of “CI: A TEDD Talkumentary,” which Martin wrote and directed, is available at More about the talkumentary at  More about Martin at

Elizabeth Inglehart (RC 1987) is a clinical associate professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in Chicago. She developed and teaches an intensive writing course in revising articles for publication, and is editor in chief of Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute. She has published several legal treatises in Criminal Law Advocacy, and in other books.

Emily Linn (RC 2000) and Andy Linn (RC 2006) own and operate City Bird, 460 W. Canfield (and Nest next door) in Detroit, which feature Michigan-themed cards, jewelry, and things. They are also the editors (with Rob Linn) of Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An Insider’s Guide to Detroit (2012).

David Bell (RC 1976) died in 2016. David earned an MFA in creative writing from Brown (1979), and worked at Chicago Youth Centers for over 26 years.

Caitlin Brown (RC 2006) is the founder of Mindful Detroit, which provides individualized yoga therapy. A Detroit native, Caitlin also has an MSW from Wayne State, where she is an adjunct social work faculty member.

Alumni Journal Reading!

Laura Thomas will host the second annual RC Alumni Journal reading on Tuesday, March 14, 7 pm EST. Brief readings by several authors in the current issue will be featured, including Peter Anderson, Carmen Bugan, Claire Denson, Ellen Dreyer, Cameron Finch, John Hagen, Carolyn Lusch, Kathryn Orwig, Theo Poling, and Haley Winkle. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required:

 Jan 19, 2023

Caitlin Cowan (RC 2008) has three poems in Softblow, an online journal. It has been “a home for contemporary poetry from all over the world since Sep. 2004.”

Ian Ross Singleton (RC 2005) reviewed Bojan Lewis’ Sinking Bell  in “Who Gets the Bones? On Bojan Louis’s Sinking Bell” in The Los Angeles Review of Books:

Jeanette Bradley (RC 1994) has a nonfiction picture book poetry anthology {No World Too Big: Young People Fighting Global Climate Change) coming out from Charlesbridge on March 14. Jeanette co-edited and illustrated the book as well as authoring a poem included in the anthology. 

Barry Garelick (RC 1971)  has published a story in Adelaide Literary Magazine:

Cameron Finch (RC 2016) is organizing the inaugural Ann Arbor PoetTreeTown event for April Poetry Month. PoetTreeTown is a community-centered “poetry in public” celebration of Washtenaw-based poets. Select poems will be printed and displayed in local downtown business windows during April. All Washtenaw-based folks are invited to submit an original poem for consideration. Submissions are open through February 15:


The Ann Arbor District Library is hosting its 31st annual state-wide teen writing contest, “It’s All Write!” in three categories: Grades 6-8, 9-19, and 11-12,  Submissions accepted through March 5 (Michigan residents only). Kids in grades 3-5 can also enter AADL’s “Write On!” short story contest, which accepts entries through February 6. More info at or email

A Rally of Writers ( will hold its annual writers’ conference in Lansing on April 15. 

The Bear River Writing Conference at Walloon Lake is August 31-September 4, with online registration opening in April. More info at

In the Neighborhood

Beth Nguyen, who has a U-M MFA and is from Grand Rapids (via Vietnam), published an essay in the 2021 Best American Essays. Her book, Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, was a “Great Michigan Read” in 2018. She’s a professor of creative writing at Wisconsin-Madison.

Alums in or near Chicago may be interested in Story Studio Chicago, a charitable nonprofit with a mission to “build communities of storytellers trained to question, explore, celebrate, and change their worlds using the power of story.” The studio is at 4043 N. Ravenswood in Chicago. More info at

Ann Arbor District Library’s Fifth Avenue Press published five books this month, all by folks with Ann Arbor connections. More info at Also at Pulp is an interview with Dur e Aziz Amna, a U-M Zell grad, who recently published American Fever. She was interviewed by Julie Buntin, who teaches creative writing at U-M English and grew up in northern Michigan. Buntin is an editor at Catapult, is the author ofMarlena (2017), and won the Ellen Levine Fund for Writers award for her novel-in-progress.

Catherine Kim, U-M internist, and Megan Valley, from Flushing near Flint and now a reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat in Illinois, won Emerging Writer awards from Ploughshares.

The Detroit Writing Author Series begins its 2023 series with a book talk and signing by Dr. M. Roy Wilson at the historic Detroit Whitney mansion, January 25 from 7-8:30. Wilson is president of Wayne State (since 2013), and published a memoir, The Plum Tree Blossoms Even in Winter, in 2022 (WSU Press). For tickets and more information, contact

Dunes Review, the bi-annual journal of the Michigan Writers group ( has five pieces in the 2023 Pushcart Prize publication.

A friend shared a personal memoir from Storyworth ( She responded to weekly prompts, which were gathered into a book. One can imagine generating personalized prompts . . . . This concept might be useful for memoir (and memory) work at nursing homes and senior centers, and could also be used to consider what departed parents or grandparents might have said . . . .

Alumni Journal Reading!

Laura Thomas will host the second annual RC Alumni Journal reading on Tuesday, March 14, 7 pm EST. Brief readings by authors in the current issue will be featured. More information next time!

Dec 20

News follows about forthcoming readings and publications by RC alums, among other things.

Ian Ross Singleton (RC 2005) was interviewed by Kristina Gorcheva Newberry in the journal Punctured Lines, and then returned the favor:  Ian talked about his recent book, Two Big Differences.

Barry Garelick (RC 1971) published a story, “Elizabeth“ in CafeLit’s November issue. Barry notes that the authors were asked include the name of a coffee or other drink to go with the story, so that’s why you’ll see “ristresso macchiato” in the title line:

Caitlin Cowan (RC 2008) has three poems in Softblow, an online journal. It has been “a home for contemporary poetry from all over the world since Sep. 2004” :

In April 2023 Cognella will publish Fixing Broken Meetings (by John Tropman with Daniel Madaj and Carolyn Gier). The book provides synopses of over 40 articles and book excerpts, ranging from the humorous to the corrective. Dan Madaj (RC 1973/82) has been working on this project, on and off, with U-M Social Work emeritus professor John Tropman for over 40 years!

In the neighborhood: Since November 7, Ann Arbor’s Tracy Bennett (U-M 1989) has been curating Wordle for the New York Times. An article on M-Live notes that Bennett is using a list of 2700 words “automatically generated” by Wordle creator Josh Wardle, and that the list might last until 2027.

Happy holidays to everyone! Safe travels! See you next year!

Nov 10:

News follows about forthcoming readings and publications by RC alums, among other things.

Cameron Finch (RC 2016) has published “Sublingua,” as well a piece of original art, in Gender Queer Literature, a “free online and living resource for contemporary genderqueer perspectives”:

Cameron also notes that in addition to her day job as the Book Publicity Director at Atmosphere Press, she recently joined the editorial masthead (volunteer position) of the literary journal Tiny Molecules (, which recently published her “Greening” and “Where the Face Becomes a Plant” pieces.The journal is always open for submissions, and Cameron says she’d love to read RC alum flash fiction or nonfiction. Submission guidelines are on the website.

John Hagen (RC 1972) recently received a Gold Medal from the Florida Writers Association’s Royal Palm Literary Awards for his novelette “Runtley Goes Rogue.” The story is part of his Sea Stacks anthology (available via Amazon, B&N, Rakuten Kobo, or Apple Books). Also, John’s poem “Northwest of the Skillagalee” was recognized as one of the top three submissions to Thrills and Chills: Florida Writers Association Collection 14 (available via Amazon).

Jillian Lukas Rodriguez (RC 2012) presented an “alum connection” via Zoom at the LSA Opportunity Hub on October 26, “Breaking into the Gig Economy and Living the Freelance Life.” The event blurb noted that Jillian’s day job is as a senior copywriter for Maestro, a learning innovation company “that inspires change in learners at Fortune 500 companies” such as Target and Royal Caribbean Cruises. Jillian studied creative writing and sociology at U-M, graduated with highest honors, and earned an RC Robbie for high achievement in creative arts.

Caitlin Cowan (RC 2008) has published “Smoke,” a nonfiction piece, in the fall issue of The Account: A Journal of Poetry, Prose, and Thought:

Haley Winkle (RC 2018), an editorial associate at U-M Press, reports that the Press has announced a new event series, “On Words & Onward,” in honor of National Writing Month. Panelists and special guests will aim to answer questions about authors that have made a lasting impression in the literary world and what we can learn from them. Panelists include U-M Press series editors Jay Parini (Writers on Writing series), Derek Pollard (Poets on Poetry), and Georgia Popoff (Under Discussion). The kickoff event is November 15th, 7 pm ET via Zoom. To register:

During November and December, all books in the three U-M Press book series above are discounted by 40 percent:  Use discount code UMONWORDS at checkout.

Haley also notes regarding our mention of the Press in the previous e-blast: the Yeats series is not active. She suggests looking at the Under Discussion series, which used to be handled by the same editors as Poets on Poetry.

An October article on the Ann Arbor District Library website ( lists four staff picks for “writing in Washtenaw County,” including Eden Springs by Laura Kasischke (RC 1984) and A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself by Peter Ho Davis (;professor at U-M English). Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins, her debut novel, was published while she was assistant prof at U-M Zell, and The Wrong Way to Save Your Life by Megan Stielstra, a collection of essays, contains familiar Washtenaw places. Stielstra grew up in Washtenaw County.

We have mentioned in the past that Beenish Ahmed (RC 2009) is a reporter on Michigan Radio (WUOM). RC junior and creative writing (and communications) major Emily Blumberg is currently an intern at the station, one of two U-M students of six interns (there are additionally two MSU students, and two non-students).

Oct 19

News follows about forthcoming readings and publications by RC alums, among other things.

Laura Kasischke (RC 1984) and Matthew Rohrer (RC 1992) have poems in The Best American Poetry 2022. Laura’s poem, “When lightning falls in love,” appeared in The Georgia Review and also appears in Lightning Falls in Love (Copper Canyon Press, 2021). Matthew’s poem, “Follow Them,” was published in The New American Review. He notes that the poem was written “before the Michigan Wolverines beat the hated Ohio State Buckeyes after a drought of ten years.”

The 2022 edition of the new Best Mystery Stories of the Year has a story by Doug Allyn (U-M 1970s), who studied creative writing (and criminal psychology) at U-M (as well as playing guitar in the group, Devil’s Triangle).

Most of the other “best of” collections are released in early November, so perhaps there will be more RC and U-M news next month!

Ann Arbor’s Huron High School publishes Full Circle, an annual collection of winners of the school’s River Rat Writing Prize. Ann Arbor’s Skyline High’s literary magazine, Teen Spirit, usually celebrates its May release with a reading at Literati Bookstore, downtown. Spirit publishes winners of the school’s annual Writing Prize. Ann Arbor’s Pioneer High also has a Literary Arts Awards program.

(“River Rats” is one of the more interesting Michigan school names. It does make one wish for . . . the Lansing Boils, Mesick Hypochondriacs, Galesburg Blowhards, Howell Criers, Flint Stones, Eaton Rapids Antacids, Dexter Southpaws . . . .)

The Detroit (and New York) Writing Rooms, and Coaching Detroit Forward, offer a “virtual” launch party for Perspectives Magazine, November 15thfrom 7-8 pm. The magazine includes stories and photos from high school students from Detroit and across the country that were produced during summer journalism and photography camps. There is a minimum $10 donation. A print copy of the magazine will be available for $15. Register at (perspectives-magazine-launch-party-tickets). 

Continuing our rambling discussion of U-M writing opportunities for students and others, the Wallace House Center for Journalists sponsors occasional “conversations” as well as providing fellowships for journalists.  (David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker and host of the New Yorker Radio Hour, is a past fellow).

The Michigan Daily’s The Statement magazine (RC student Grace Tucker is Managing Student Editor) is a “long-form magazine that intertwines news, opinion, and creative nonfiction.” It publishes an annual fiction edition, too.

The University of Michigan Press publishes over 150 books a year “in humanities and social science,” some of these in ongoing series, including Poets on Poetry (Donald Hall was series editor, back in the 1970s and ‘80s), Writers on Writing, and Yeats: An Annual Journal of Critical and Textual Studies. Its Michigan and the Great Lakes series recently published Sing to the Colors by Jim Tobin (RC 1978).

Sep 22

News follows about forthcoming readings and publications by RC alums, among other things.

Caitlin Cowan (RC 2008) has her debut full-length collection of poetry, Happy Everything, forthcoming from Cornerstone Press (February 2024).

Ian Ross Singleton (RC 2005) is the new nonfiction editor of Asymptote Journal of Translation.

Barry Garelick (RC 1971) has a new book, Traditional Math: An Effective Strategy That Teachers Feel Guilty Using, due in late October or November from John Catt Educational. The book is available for pre-order via Amazon.

Jacob Wheeler (RC 2000) has a new book out, Angel of the Garbage Dump: How Hanley Denning Changed the World, One Child at a Time. To learn more about the book, and read Jacob’s blog posts and missives, visit

Jeanette Bradley (RC 1994) has a new author/illustrated picture book, Something Great, due out from Levine Querido on October 11. 

Beenish Ahmed (RC 2009) was awarded first place (and $10,000) in the 31st Annual James Jones First Novel Fellowship for her novel, Every Song an Elegy. This Sunday (Sep 25), 2-4 pm, Beenish will be part of a Michigan Radio enterprise event, “Jail’s True Cost,” showcasing the financial and personal toil of pre-trial incarceration. More info at www.michiganradio.orgin its community calendar.

Continuing our discussion of Michigan and regional resources, the Poetry Society of Michigan holds an annual poetry competition (10 categories) and publishes a poetry collection called Michigan Reads. The current issue of Reads contains poems from the previous five years and is available via Amazon for $10. More info at

The Michigan Poet ( features a different Michigan poet each month, along with an archive of previous featurings. The most recent book collection is The Michigan Poet: Collected Poems 2010-2015. More info at the website.

Ann Arbor’s District Library publishes Pulp, an online journal, with frequent contributions by Martha Stuit (RC 2011), including several interviews with Carmen Bugan (RC 1996). More at The library sponsors an annual writing contest, and its Fifth Avenue Press recently published Bring Your Words: A Writers’ Community Anthology, which included words by Kaleb Brown (RC 2021), Kathryn Orwig (RC 2017), and Abby O’Meara (RC 2022).

The Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lakes (near Muskegon) focuses on the “fine arts” but does include drama.

Three Fold Press is an independent quarterly based in Detroit ( One of its issues contains an essay by former RC creative writing lecturer Lolita Hernandez (

In the neighborhood: U-M Zell alum and Hopwood winner Celeste Ng is profiled in The Sept 26/Oct 3 issue of Time Magazine, which among other things profiles her newest novel, Missing Hearts

‘Pemi Aguda, a U-M Zell graduate, has a story in the 2022 O. Henry collection, The Best Short Stories 2022. She says her story, “Breastmilk,” was  inspired by a talk she heard at U-M by Ruth Behar in 2018. Behar is professor of Anthropology at U-M.


Aug 20

News follows about forthcoming readings and publications by RC alums, among other things.

Cameron Finch (RC 2016) was recently interviewed for the Writers Lounge on blogtalkradio. Cam is Book Publicity Director at Atmosphere Press, and she discussed how the book business works:

Monica Dollive (RC  2017) wrote an episode of the Netflix Polly Pocket show, “Mermaid Kingdom Part 2.” Monica studied film and writing with a minor in environmental studies at U-M, and worked in live-action development at Code Entertainment and interned at Dark Horse Entertainment and Captive Entertainment, before joining the animation team at Cartel in 2019 (all in or. near LA).

Continuing our discussion of Michigan and regional resources, the Detroit Writers Room was recently created, providing writing coaches but also virtual workshops and author talks: Writers Room folk with U-M connections include Stephanie Steinberg, Jake Serwer, Kendra Charboneau, Phil Dean, and Erin Kirkland. Folks with U-M connections in the New York office: Anna Medaris, John Papanek.

TheGreat Lakes College Association (which works on behalf of thirteen Great Lakes colleges, including Albion College, Kalamazoo College, and Hope College in Holland) holds an annual contest for new writer’s awards in poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. The 2022 award reading was held on March 8 at Hope College. The poetry winner was Sumita Chakraborty, who was a visiting professor at U-M Zell last year. GLCA is headquartered in Ann Arbor (in the old Argus Camera building on the west side). More info:

The annual Bear River Writers’ Conference is part of U-M LSA, and directed by Cody Walker, who directs undergrad creative writing at U-M English. Program manager and review editor Monica Rico is a Hopwood winner and Zell grad. The annual conference is held at U-M’s Camp Michigania on Walloon Lake, and the Bear River Review collects conference writings. More info at

Other U-M journals include Cafe Shapiro (collecting undergraduate writing), andMichigan Quarterly Review, “the flagship literary journal” at U-M. MQR staff include U-M faculty, English PhD students, and student and recent grad interns. U-M and other state universities have presses, and the Wayne State press has a Made in Michigan Writers Series. Haley Winkle (RC 2018) is an editorial associate at U-M Press.

In the neighborhood: U-M alum and Michigan native Lisa Rose‘s10th book, The Singer and The Scientist, is recently out. It’s about the friendship between Albert Einstein and the singer Marian Anderson.

For your amusement: At least two RC writing alums have parents who were Ann Arbor mayors: Lucy Eldersveld-Murphy (RC 1975), whose dad, Sam Eldersveld, was mayor from 1957-59, and Conan Smith (RC 1996), whose dad, Al Wheeler, was mayor from 1975-78.


July 24

News follows about forthcoming readings and publications by RC alums, among other things.

Carmen Bugan (RC 1997) has a poem in Busy Griefs, Raw Towns: A Poetic Response to the Brutality of War in Ukraine. Edited by GF Gorreck, the book is published by Schuler Books in Grand Rapids. Proceeds will be forwarded to the International Rescue Committee to support continuing Ukraine relief efforts. The book launch will take place on Wednesday, July 27 at 7:00 pm at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids. For more info on the reading and book project, contact GF Korreck at

Peter Anderson (RC 1972) has a prose poem, “Wobble,”  in Best Microfiction 2022, out now from Pelekinesis. (Who knew there were so many stories about microwave ovens?). The book is $18 on Amazon.  A list of the 80 stories and their authors is on the Bestmicrofiction website: 

The Michigan Writes group ( reports a new Detroit-based online magazine featuring poetry and short fiction, Detroit Lit Maghttps://detroitlitmag.wordpress.comEditor Robert Hunter is accepting no-fee submissions via

The 10th annual issue of Write Michigan: 2022 Anthologywas recently published by WriteMichigan.orgvia Schuler Books in Grand Rapids. The anthology collects winners of the annual Write Michigan Short Story Contest, which has four categories: 11 and under, 12-17, 18 and older, and Spanish language, with three cash prizes awarded in each category. Schuler Books publishes the anthology through its Chapbook Press, in partnership with Meijer and several Michigan libraries (Kent, Traverse City, Hancock, and Canton). The book can be ordered through Schuler Books ($14.95 plus postage):

The Traverse City-based Michigan Writers group ( publishes an annual collection, Dunes Review, and the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association ( publishes the annual U.P. Reader. The U-M Library publishes Café Shapiro, an annual collection of a U-M student writing ( (The Hopwood Program published a 75th anniversary collection, but it’ll be about another 63 years until the next one). Of course, there is ye old RC Alumni Journal. Is anyone aware of others in Michigan or in the Great Lakes region?

You probably have heard that U-M has picked a new president: Santa Ono. Perhaps the most interesting thing about his contract is that he loses his tenured faculty position if fired by the regents. Then again, there are the unlimited funds to transport and house his cellos . . . . A recent Michigan Daily article (July 12) about Ono was co-written by RC creative writing student Anna Fifelski, Daily News Editor. Another RC student, Grace Tucker, serves as the Daily’s managing “Statement” editor. The article:

Speaking of university leaders, Anne Curzan, current LSA Dean, is a professor of English and former director of English’s writing program. Her PhD in English language and literature is from U-M.

The June 20 issue of The University Recordreports that A. Van Johnson, who teaches writing at the RC (and English), has been appointed Robert Hayden Professor of English Language and Literature, Sept 1, 2022 through August 31, 2023. TheRecordalso reported that Peter Ho Davieshas been appointed Charles Baxter Collegiate Professor of English Language and Literature for the same period.

Many of the year’s “best of” series will be out soon, and I’ve been trying to catch up on last year’s. Many of these collections present the stories in alphabetical order by author, which seems to me to take away some of the editor’s influence. On the other hand, I sometimes begin with a favorite author and then work my work fore and aft from there. Once in a while I actually start at the back and work my way to the front, which my left-hander’s brain likes, if you know what I mean. I tell myself it’s easier than reading the book upside down!

June 21, 2022

Happy summer solstice! News follows about forthcoming readings and publications by RC alums, among other things.

Peter Anderson (RC 1972) has two pieces (“Bind” and “City”) in the inaugural issue of Duality, an annual journal of art and literature. More about the journal at Peter’s prose poem “Wobble” will appear inBest Microfictions 2022, available July 10. 

John Hagen (RC 1972) has a poem (“Northwest of the Skillagalee”) selected for Thrills and Chills, a themed collection published annually by the Florida Writers Association.  The contest judge singled out John’s poem as one her top ten picks. John also gave a presentation on using writing software in Marquette, Michigan on June 5th. He plans to include an article about writing apps and/or self-publishing for the forthcoming alumni journal.

Ian Ross Singleton (RC 2004) published a review of Words of War, an anthology of Ukrainian poetry in Asymptote Journal (“the premier site for world literature in translation”):

Cameron Finch (RC 2016) has an interview with Erin Stalcup, author of KEEN, in Heavy Feather Review: 

Booksweet Bookstore in Ann Arbor (it replaced Bookbound, last August) is hosting a belated birthday party on Friday, June 24, 6-9 pm, featuring 16 Washtenaw County poets (all members of the Michigan Writers association), including Keith Taylor, former U-M English undergraduate writing teacher. The event is free and will be held outdoors (weather permitting); please register:

While the Wikipedia page “List of Michigan Writers” does not (yet!) include any of the luminaries featured in the alumni journal, the page is still interesting. The list of children’s writers includes Chris Van Alsburg (from East Grand Rapids), Robert Sabuda (Pinckney), and Jon Scieszka (Flint). Fiction writers include Nelson Algren (Detroit), Jeffrey Eugenides (Detroit), Alioce Fulton (she lived in Ypsilanti), Jim Harrison (Grayling), Elmore Leonard (Detroit), and Joyce Carol Oates (she lived in Detroit). Journalists and non-fiction writers include Tom Stanton (Warren) and Michael Moore (Flint). Playwrights and screenwriters include: Francis Ford Coppola (Detroit) and Lawrence Kasdan (he attended U-M). Poets include Stuart Dybek (he lives in Kalamazoo), Carolyn Forche (Detroit), Robert Frost (he lived in Ann Arbor and taught at U-M), Jane Kenyon (Ann Arbor), Marge Piercy (Detroit), and Nancy Willard (Ann Arbor, BA and PhD from U-M, and five-time Hopwood winner).

This list also includes Heather Ann Thompson (Detroit), who has a BA and MA in History from U-M and is College Professor of History and African American Studies at the RC (as well as Afro-American Studies, and History). Her 2016 book, The Attica Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy (Pantheon) won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in History.

On a personal note:  In my daily Wordle work, I grew tired of starting with “adieu” (four vowels, no repeats) and began using the first five-letter word that came to mind each morning. This being summer in Ann Arbor, those words have included “moist,” “humid,” and “buggy.” It’s probably my imagination, but Wordle seems to be criticizing me in some daily selections: “obese,” “large,” “blimp.” My retorts have included: “crude,” “nasty,” “petty,” “wrong,” “blind” . . . .

May 19, 2022

News follows about forthcoming readings and publications by RC alums. 

Peter Anderson (RC 1972) published “Bud,” a prose poem in the Last Stanza Poetry Journal (issue #8):

Katherine Towler (RC 1978) has a short story, “Eulogy,” in the Spring 1922 issue of Ploughshares. Here’s a link to the issue: 

Laura Thomas (RC 1988 ) was one of four U-M lecturers named 2021-2022 Collegiate Lecturers for “outstanding contributions to instruction,” per an article in the April 18th issue of The University Record. The section on Laura notes she has taught for over 20 years at U-M, is a writer-in-residence for the Kerrytown Bookfest and a board member and workshop leader with the Chelsea Writer’s Workshop. The article notes that Laura received the Individual Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education and was nominated for the Golden Apple Award in 2015 (for teaching).

An interview with Carmen Bugan (RC 1996) appears in Pulp, the Ann Arbor District Library’s on-line publication, discussing her new book of poems, Time Being: Carmen is interviewed by U-M librarian Martha Stuit (RC.2011). This is Martha’s third interview with Carmen.

Kaleb Brown (RC 2021) began work on May 9th as a staff writer for USA Today’s (, which is described as “a team of product experts (geeks, in truth) that put in the hard work of testing products so you don’t have to.” From Detroit, Kaleb worked as a news intern in the summer of 2020 at the Detroit Free Press, and has published articles in Medium, “usually about pop culture.” He has published poetry and fiction in the U-M Library’s annual Cafe Shapiro collection, and published an article about Pinball Pete’s in the March 2018 Ann Arbor Observer: With Andrew Warrick, Kaleb received the RC’s Emerging Writer Award in Spring 2021.

Kaleb is also featured in Bring Your Words: A Writers’ Community Anthology, which features essays, poems, and short stories by ten U-M writers, including Kathryn Orwig (RC 2017) and Abby O’Meara (RC 2022). It’s published by the Ann Arbor District Library’s Fifth Avenue Press and is available for purchase. The library plans a book event on Sunday, May 22nd in the downtown library’s first floor lobby, 1-3 pm, celebrating Bring Your Words and other new Fifth Avenue titles.

U-M student Brenna Goss profiled five RC seniors (now 2022 grads!) in a May 4th article in The Michigan Daily, “U-M’s 2022 creative writing thesis writers: the novelists”:Marlan Rajan, Vivian Chiao, Elizabeth Shriner, Theo Poling, andMaya Simonte. There are links to their theses in the story:
Some of Theo’s work will be in the forthcoming alumni journal. 

Two current RC writing students, Jacqueline Giessler and Charlie Garza, received funding for otherwise unpaid summer 2022 internships through the David and Sylvia Nelson Award at U-M. Jacqueline will intern as a media and outreach coordinator with The Poetics Lab in Alpena (Michigan) (, and Charlie will intern with local nonprofit publisher Dzanc Books (

April 18, 2022

News follows about forthcoming readings and publications by RC alums. Plus a few odds and ends.

(I used to “compress” one of the longer URLs).

Beenish Ahmed (RC 2009) is Michigan Radio’s criminal justice reporter. In February, she filed a series of stories about delays to due process in Wayne County prisons:

Susan Rosegrant (RC 1976) plans to retire at the end of the Winter 2022 semester. She has taught narrative journalism, creative nonfiction, and creative writing at the RC since 2008. 

Carmen Bugan (RC 1996) will give an online workshop on Friday, May 27 on “The Language of Memory” as part of the Geneva Writers Group. For more info:

Carmen’s new collection of poems, Time Being (Shearsman Books) is now available in the U.S.  You can download a sample PDF from the book at Carmen’s Shearsman page:, and also read about several other of Carmen’s Shearsman books.

Ian Singleton (RC 2004) is donating proceeds from the sale of his book, Two Big Differences (M-Graphics Publishing, 2021) to Razom, a non-profit Ukrainian-American human rights organization, or to another good organization. If you wish to order through Ian, his email is

Ian’s translation of Irina Ivanchenko’s “Life’s More Enduring Than War” appeared in the April 2 issue of Asymptote (“the premier site for world literature in translation”):

A memoir by John Hagen (RC 1972), “The Most Remarkable Thing: Starring Norwegious Ida G,” about his grandmother, appears in U.P. Reader #6. John says he asked his grandmother “what is the most remarkable thing she has witnessed in her ninety years. Her answer gobsmacks me. (Hint: it’s not two World Wars or the Great Depression.)” The U.P. Reader is an annual anthology of the works of more than 40 writers and poets from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Available from and Barnes & Noble in several formats. For more about UPPAA (Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association), the Reader‘s publisher:
The 2022 Hopwood Awards ceremony, lecture, and reception were held on April 6 in the Rackham Auditorium. As usual, the RC was well represented. (A list of RC and RC-ish winners is posted on the RC Writers site: You might be surprised to see how the program has grown over the years:

In the neighborhood. Sara Abou Rashad is in the U-M Zell MFA program and has a poem, “In Arabic the Word For ‘War” is Similar to ‘Love’” in the April issue of Poetry.

Of possible interest. I recently finished Laura Lippman’s latest book, Dream Girl. It has an unusual theme: a writer, disabled by injury, struggles with his grasp of reality while reflecting on his years of writing and of teaching creative writing students. Lippman pays tribute to Stephen King’s Misery, Philip Roth’s Zuckerman Unbound, and Margaret Mitchell Dukore’s A Novel Called Heritage, and says she considers this her “first work of horror”!
Now I’m starting to worry that playing Wordle will eventually cause an over-use of five letter words. (It used to bug me that the name, Wordle, has six and not five letters, but then my son pointed out the name is a play on the last name of the game’s creator, Josh Wardle). 

Erratum: The quick brown fox may have jumped, but we need to say the fox “jumps” if we want to capture all the letters of the alphabet! Thanks, Barry.

March 19, 2022

News follows about forthcoming readings and publications by RC alums. Plus a few odds and ends.

RC lecturer Sarah Messer (U-M 1990) will host a Q&A for students with poet Honoree Fanonne Jeffers this Monday, March 21, from 1-2 pm in Benzinger Library, before a lecture at the Robertson Auditorium at the Ross School, 4-5:30. To register for the lecture whether “live” or via Zoom: Questions for Sarah can be sent to her via email:

John Hagen (RC 1972) will publish “The Most Remarkable Thing: Starring Norwegious Ida G,” a memoir about his grandmother, in the U.P. Reader, Vol. 6, this April. The Reader is published by the UPPAA (Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association): John’s poem, “Elegy for Ashes,” has been accepted for the Great Lakes Broadside Gallery during April in conjunction with the Great Lakes Poetry Festival in Marquette.

Holly Wren Spaulding (RC 1997) published ”Estuary Walk,” a poem, in the recent issue of Dunes Review (25:2), the journal of Michigan Writers: That issue also includes a poem by Keith Taylor. The February 21 issue of The University Record noted Keith’s retirement. Many of us know Keith from his poetry, from his time at Border’s, and then as the coordinator of the English creative writing sub-concentration, but he also was a creative writing lecturer at the RC from 1998-2000.

Laura Thomas (RC 1988) published “Women Aren’t Funny,” a (fictional) response to folks who claim women aren’t as funny as men, in the 18th issue of The Temz Review

Peter Anderson (RC 1972) will publish “Switch,” a prose poem, in the Spring 2022 issue of Flora Fiction Literary Magazine.

Hannah Ensor (RC 2009) and Laura Wetherington have a poem, “Feel Fragments” in the March 2022 issue of Poetry. Hannah is a lecturer in creative writing at the RC and in English, and among other things was manager of the Hopwood Program.

Julia Wolfe (RC 1980), a MacArthur Fellow, began her Carnegie Hall Residency in February with “Oxygen,” a “rapid fire” composition written during the pandemic.
You may be interested to know that there is funding (a minimum $2500 stipend) for unpaid summer internships for creative writing undergrads at U-M, through the David and Sylvia Nelson Award. Students submit proposals to Laura Thomas.

Third Mind Books, an “antiquarian bookselling source of paramount legitimacy to enthusiasts, collectors, and scholars,” plans to open a brick-and-mortar store in Ann Arbor this May, down the street from Literati Bookstore. More info at And hopefully Crazy Wisdom can find a way to continue as a “New Age” bookstore, after the store closed in February, on its 40th anniversary.

Completely extraneous but perhaps of interest: Many of us learned to type by pecking out the “imperfect” pangram “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy yellow dog.” (It’s imperfect because it uses some letters more than once). I bumped into other pangrams: “Sixty zippers were quickly picked from the woven jute bag” and “Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.” Speaking of typing, if you are at a keyboard (or can imagine one!), your fingers will quickly tell you why these words are special: monopoly, reverberated, puppy, stewardesses, ambient, prodigy. I also bumped into the “royal order of adjectives:” determiner, observation, physical description (size, shape, age, color), origin, material, and qualifier before the ending noun. For example, it’s “a little red Italian sports car” and not “a red sports little Italian car” . . . .

Feb 22, 2022:

News follows about forthcoming readings and publications by RC alums. Plus a few odds and ends.

Claire Denson (RC 2018) has two poems in Booth 16

Jeanette Bradley (RC 1994, Social Science) has a picture book titled Something Great coming out this Fall from Levine Querido. Jeanette’s words and pictures tell the story of Quinn, a nonbinary maker kid who uses their creativity and some recyclable materials to craft a versatile invention that can do all sorts of things – including making a friend. 

Peter Anderson (RC 1972) has a prose poem, “Wobble,” chosen to be included in the anthology Best Microfiction 2022, due this summer.

Carmen Bugan (RC 1996) will be featured (along with Duncan Wu) in a Zoom presentation on March 14 at 6 pm, sponsored by Literary Excursions. March 14, 6pm:  Carmen will read from her fifth book of poetry, Time Being, forthcoming from Shearsman Books.

Anna Clark (RC 2003) is now a reporter at ProPublica. Her bio there notes that her book, The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy (2018) won the Hillman Prize for Book Journalism and the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award. She is also a nonfiction faculty member in Alma College’s MFA Program in Creative Writing.

Barry Garelick (RC 1971, Mathematics) has published his “No Leaders” story (which was in the 5th alumni journal) in Fiction On The Web

Last time, we mentioned that Katie Gass (RC 2013, Arts & Ideas, Psychology) is the RC’s new Marketing and Communications Specialist, but we could also have mentioned that her photographs appeared in the 4th issue of the alumni journal.

The February 11, 2021 online issue of Michigan Today includes an essay by U-M alum Jim Tobin (1978, 1986), “This Michigan of Ours,” which is partly drawn from his recent book, Sing To The Colors, mentioned in our last email. We said that Jim lived in East Quad but it now appears he was also in the RC, since his essay refers to Carl Cohen and “Logic and Language”:

In the Neighborhood:

Jesmyn Ward earned her MFA at U-M, and is now associate professor of English at Tulane; she is editor of Best American Short Stories 2021 and has an essay, “Witness and Repair,” in Best American Essays 2021. • Claire Vaye Watkins was an assistant professor in the U-M Zell Program in the mid-2010s; she has a new book out: I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness. • U-M alums (and brothers) Jim Allyn and Doug Allyn (1970s) have stories in the new Best Mystery Stories of the Year collection. Allyn earned an MA in Journalism, won a Hopwood, and also won an award for his work with the Michigan Daily. His brother Doug studied creative writing at Michigan (as well as playing guitar in the group, Devil’s Triangle).


Jan 20, 2022:

Happy New Year! This is the monthly email message for January, announcing forthcoming readings and publications by RCers. Plus a few odds and ends.

RC Creative Writing head Laura Thomas (RC 1988) has assigned the most recent three issues of the Alumni Journal to her upper level seminar students, asking them to focus on a word and then contact the writer of the piece the word occurs in. Be prepared! Be nice!

John Hagen (RC 1972)’s “Ida” memoir has been accepted for inclusion in the U.P. Reader, an annual anthology published in the spring by the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association (UPPAA). 

Cameron Finch (RC 2016) published an interview with Sequoia Nagamatsu in The Rumpus in January:

Barry Garelick (RC 1971) published “The Great Invisible” in Adelaide Literary Magazine (issue no. 52):

Sofia Spencer (RC 2021) will publish a flash fiction piece in Coastal Shelf, a quarterly literary magazine. Sofia says she wrote the piece while in Laura Thomas’s Narration class. Sofia was recently published (December 2020) in Exeter Publishing’s From the Soil: A Hometown Anthology (“Michigan: A Hateful Love Letter”), and is working on a collection of short stories. Sofia is currently in the Royal Holloway graduate program at the University of London. While at U-M, Sofia won a Hopwood Award, in 2019, for “Bombshells and Blood: Three Stories.”

Peter Anderson (RC 1972) published “Wobble,” a prose poem, in the Winter issue of MoonPark Review. It has been nominated for Best Microfictions 2022:  His short fiction piece “Virgin” has been published online at The Thieving Magpie “Mutter” was published in the January 2022 issue of The American Journal of Poetry  Peter’s wife, Melody Anderson, an award-winning theater artist who designed masks for several of Peter’s plays (dating back to “Coyote,” in 1978), has shared her techniques, with instructions, in Making Masks (available on Blurb and Amazon).

RC Director Catherine Badgley was featured in an article in the January Ann Arbor Observer: (If you recall our discussion of RC cooking and writing last month, you may be intrigued to know that Catherine baked and sold bread in Cambridge, MA before coming to Ann Arbor in 1982).

RC junior Grace Tucker will oversee The Statement,  the Michigan Daily’s longform magazine that publishes every Wednesday. Gracer previously worked as a Statement columnist and a senior arts editor. She said a main goal is to tell more diverse stories and expand Statement perspectives. 

Katie Gass (RC 2013, Arts & Ideas, Psychology) has returned to the RC as its Marketing and Communications Specialist, replacing Robby Griswold, who is now Assistant Director of Alum Engagement at the LSA Opportunity Hub.

In the Neighborhood. My neighbor James Tobin (U-M BA, 1978, PhD, History, 1986), has written the marvelous Sing to the Colors: A Writer Explores Two Centuries at the University of Michigan (U-M Press, 2021). A copy is available at the Ann Arbor District Library (once I return it). Jim was co-editor of the Daily while an undergrad, and worked 12 years at the Detroit News as a reporter. He now teaches creative non-fiction at Miami U in Oxford, Ohio. His parents, wife, and two daughters are all U-M alums. Jim and eldest daughter Laura started college in East Quad. Youngest daughter Claire was marketing coordinator and sidelines buyer at Literati, and is now a publicist at Farrar, Straus and Giroux in New York. • U-M English “disability activist and  community performance artist” Petra Kuppers published “Crip Ecologies: Changing Orientation” in the January Poetry. Her most recent book of poetry is Gut Biology (Wayne State U Press, 2020). Eco Soma: Pain and Joy in Speculative Performance Encounters is forthcoming (U of Minnesota Press).

Slightly edited versions of these monthly emails (typos removed!) are now available at the RC Writers site ( under the Alumni tab. Now that it’s 2022, I have less excuse to procrastinate about this Fall’s Alumni Journal, so give some thought to a possible submission. I’ll be following up, er, later.
– Dan

Dec 20, 2021:

Laura Thomas (RC 1988) and Lily Buday (RC 2018) have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. Laura is nominated for “Stay Home, Stay Safe,” which appeared in Fallbetter’s September issue:

Lily is nominated for “Saint Ophelia’s School for Drowned Girls,” which appeared in The Chautauqua Journal. “Saint Ophelia” was first written for Laura’s Advanced Narration class; it also won a Hopwood, one of three for Lily. Lily is an MFA student at the University of Arkansas, where she is also publicity and outreach director at The Arkansas International.

Clare Higgins (RC 2017) wrote “What Is Lost” (and co-wrote the teleplay), the third episode of the second season of The Witcher, out now on Netflix.

Food has been part of the RC since before its beginning (Charles Benzinger was treasurer of the East Quad Council that in 1952 called for basement rooms for a library, snack bar, and rooms for U-M’s new student radio station, WCBN). The “snack bar” became the Halfway Inn, in 1970. . . . Speaking of the dear, departed Halfway, several RC and RC-ish writers work or have worked in the food and restaurant industry: chef, author, and editor Ruth Reichl (UM 1970) was not in the RC but worked as a waitress in former RC director John Mersereau’s short-lived French restaurant on Main Street, La Seine. Chef and author Sara Moulton (RC 1974/81) worked at Ann Arbor’s Del Rio restaurant. Peter Anderson (RC 1972), famous for his Anderson Omelet, worked briefly as a salad chef and clown waiter at the Phoenix Cafe in Arcata, California. Sommelier, vintner, clown, and sage Marty Sherman (RC 1974) worked at the Del Rio.  Nadia Todoroff (RC 2016) worked at Juicy Kitchen, her parents’ Ann Arbor restaurant. And Martha Stewart, famous (and infamous) for several things, is the author of the cookbook Entertaining . . . . Oh, no, wait a minute, I’m confusing her with Martha Stuit (RC 2011), currently a librarian at UC Santa Cruz . . . .

Actually, Martha’s last name is pronounced “Stite,” not “Stu-it,” but mediocre comedians never let facts get in the way. (I will not make a political comment, I will not, I won’t). Martha has also written profiles of authors (including a recent one of Carmen Bugan (RC 1996)) for the Ann Arbor District Library’s Pulp pages (Arts Around Ann Arbor):

In the Neighborhood:  Brit Bennett, a U-M Zell MFA graduate, recently published her second novel, The Vanishing Half, a New York Times best book of 2020. An HBO limited series is in the works. Peter Ho Davis (U-M English and Zell MFA Program), published A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself in 2021, listed in the top 20 fiction books of the year by Book Page magazine. Suzi Garcia, guest editor of the December issue of Poetry, is journal advisor at U-M Lloyd Hall Scholars program, and executive editor at Noemi Press. Bryan Birdsong has a poem in the issue; he has a Zell MFA and is now a PhD student in Creative Writing and Lit at USC.

Nov 31, 2021:

 “Paths to Publication: Building a Career in Journalism” will be a-zoom on Tuesday, November 9, at 7 pm ET, moderated by the RC’s Susan Rosegrant (RC 1976) and featuring Beenish Ahmed (RC 2009), currently reporting for WUOM, Michigan Public Radio, and Paige Pfleger (RC 2015), currently reporting for WPLN, Nashville Public Radio. Register at

Not only is A Tip For A Hangman by Allison Epstein (RC 2014) out in paper this January, but her second book, a folklore-inspired historical novel set in 19th-century Russia called Let the Dead Bury the Dead is forthcoming from Doubleday in 2023. • “The Vine,” a poem by Laura Kasischke (RC 1984) from her new collection, Lightning Falls in Love (2021), was featured on The Slowdown (American Public Media) on October 27. “The Skill,” a story of Laura’s, will be featured in a forthcoming animated horror film, “Uncanny Stories.” (It is currently in “pre-production.”) * “Stay Safe, Stay Home,” a story by Laura Hulthen Thomas (RC 1988) was published in failbetter in September. • “Hatchet,” a prose poem by Peter Anderson (RC 1972) appears in the Winter issue of Rat’s Ass Review. Other recently published poems are in Unbroken and Sublunary Review. • Caitlin Cowan (RC 2008) has a poem, “Miscarry,” forthcoming in Best New Poets 2021. Caitlin writes weekly at PopPoetry (poppoetry.substack,com), a newsletter and blog about the intersection of poetry and popular culture.

Two books are forthcoming from RC Writing (and English) professor Aisha Sabatini SloanBorealis, a book-length essay, and Capturing the Archives, a father-daughter collaboration. Aisha’s father, Lester Sloan, was staff photographer at Newsweek for 25 years. There is also a Kickstarter campaign to help digitize photos damaged in a flood.

Cameron Finch (RC 2016), Claire Denson (RC 2018), and Hayla Alawi (RC 2020) work in book publicity at Atmosphere Press (, which is “an author-friendly publisher” that aims to “put the power not in the hands of the press, but in the hands of the writer.” Keep this press in mind for potential publishing opportunities!
Several RC staff have moved on: Esha Biswas (RC 2016), the RC’s student affairs coordinator, is finishing her MS in Environment and Sustainability at U-M. Robby Griswold (RC 2007), the RC’s communication and outreach specialist, is now LSA’s assistant director for alumni engagement. • The October 25 issue of The University Record noted three RC faculty retirements: Helen Fox (she started in the RC in 1993), Jennifer Myers (RC since 1998), and Martin Walsh (RC since 1977).
Send news about yourself and others! I’ll post again at the end of November.

Oct 22, 2021:

Carmen Bugan (RC 1996) suggested a monthly email message to announce forthcoming readings and publications by RCers. I plan to create a group and to put you all into it; let me know if you want to be removed, but also feel free to invite others to be added. I’ll invite folks who participated in earlier journals, new folks who will likely appear in next Fall’s journal, and perhaps some who have been invited but have heretofore resisted the pull of the journal’s gravity.

The monthly email would announce things like Carmen Bugan’s reading next Wednesday, 7 pm ET, from her recent book of essays, Poetry and the Language of Oppression. Carmen says there will be an opportunity to talk about writing in difficult times after the reading. She says it would be great to share ideas, and lovely to see RC people there. “No need for a library card number to register,”  but you will have to put something into that field (123456 worked for me).

Carmen also notes there’s a monthly poetry series on Long Island which she founded and runs, and “if anyone would like to give a reading, please get in touch.” Her email is She adds, “Literary Excursions runs Second Monday of each month, 6 pm ET, and I have reading slots available in April, May, and June. The series started with local poets at a beautiful stately home but we moved things online and now it’s international, so reading times adjust a bit depending on time zones.”

That monthly email would mention a recent RC Writers post about Jon Michael Darga (RC 2014), who was one of 21 literary agents profiled in Writer’s Digest‘s annual “Literary Agent Roundup,” in the Sept-Oct 2021 issue. Jon works for Aevitas Creative Management in New York, and details his fiction and non-fiction interests, as an agent, talks about recent sales, and gives submission guidelines and tips for writers. 

Ian Ross Singleton (RC 2004)’s novel Two Big Differences is out (October 19) in paperback from M-Graphics Publishing. • Tips For A Hangman by Allison Epstein (RC 2014) is out in paper this coming January. You also might enjoy Allison’s newsletter, Dirtbags Through The Ages:  • Bob Clifford (RC 1979)was featured on “Sundays with Michael O’Brien” on Sonoma Public Radio on October 17th. • The seventh book in the Peter Ash series by Nick Petrie (RC 1990) is due in January. It is wonderfully surreal to see an RC alum’s book among the handful of books at a local grocery (Kroger) and hardware store (Menard’s)! • I believe we will see a Clare Higgins (RC 2017) byline on one of The Witcher’s season two episodes . . . .

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