Introduction to the Stonecoast Faculty
The Stonecoast community thrives on the interaction between students and faculty during residencies, in individual mentorships, and at gatherings formal and informal around the country and beyond.
Stonecoast faculty are valued and renowned not only for their talent and success as writers but also because they are approachable and encouraging teachers who create a nurturing, adventurous, and inspiring atmosphere for literary creativity. Stonecoast faculty serve on panels with students, socialize with them, and mentor them outside of the workshop, maintaining high literary standards and challenging students with a model of the joyful discipline of the writing life.
Stonecoast faculty have earned so many major literary awards that only a small sample can be listed here. They include the Pulitzer Prize, a Lannan Foundation Grant, the Latino Heritage Award in Literature, the American Book Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, Guggenheim Fellowships, the Astraea Award from the Lesbian Action Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and the Whiting Writer's Award. Faculty have also won the Hugo Award from the World Science Fiction Society, made national Best-Seller lists and been selected by the Book-of-the-Month Club. Our faculty's books have found both critical acclaim and a wide general readership.
If the Stone House is the soul of the Stonecoast program, our faculty and affiliated faculty are its mind and its heart. Please click on the highlighted names for more detailed information and teaching philosophies.
For recent commentary from our faculty on a variety of writing-related topics, please visit the Stonecoast Faculty Blog, which is updated regularly.
To read sample descriptions from Faculty and Guest Faculty Presentations given during Stonecoast residencies click here.
Rick Bass (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Writing for Social Change) is the author of over twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including Winter, The Deer Pasture, Wild to the Heart, and The Book of Yaak. His first short story collection, The Watch, set in Texas, won the PEN/Nelson Algren Award, and his 2002 collection, The Hermit’s Story, was a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. Bass’s stories have also been awarded the Pushcart Prize and the O. Henry Award and have been collected in The Best American Short Stories. He was a finalist for the Story Prize in 2007 for his short story collection The Lives of Rocks and for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award in autobiography for Why I Came West (2008). He lives in the Yaak Valley in Montana, where he serves on the board of the Yaak Valley Forest Council and Round River Conservation Studies. Rick Bass
Jeanne Marie Beaumont (Poetry) won the National Poetry Series for her first book, Placebo Effects, selected by William Matthews and published by W.W. Norton in 1997. Her other collections of poems are Curious Conduct and Burning of the Three Fires, both from BOA Editions. With Claudia Carlson, she co-edited the anthology The Poets’ Grimm: Twentieth Century Poems from Grimm Fairy Tales (Story Line Press, 2003). She has been awarded the Dana Award for Poetry and the Greensboro Review Prize, and from 1992 to 2000, she coedited the literary magazine American Letters & Commentary. Jeannie earned an MFA from Columbia University and has taught at Rutgers University and at The Frost Place, where she served as director of the Frost Place Seminar from 2007-2010. She also teaches at The Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Jeanne Marie Beaumont
Sarah Braunstein (Fiction, Writing for Social Change)is the author of The Sweet Relief of Missing Children (W.W. Norton), winner of the 2012 Maine Book Award for Fiction. The novel was a finalist for the 2011 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction and an Oprah Magazine Top Ten Pick of the Month. In 2010 Sarah was named one of “5 Under 35” fiction writers by the National Book Foundation, and she received a 2007 Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, AGNI, Ploughshares, FiveChapters, Post Road, The Sun, Nylon Magazine, Maine Magazine, and on NPR’s All Things Considered. She co-wrote a play, String Theory: Three Greek Myths Woven Together, which was produced in New York City in 2009 and at Vassar College in 2010. Sarah has taught at Harvard University Extension and Summer Schools, at the Stanford University Online Writer’s Studio, and at Colby College. She is currently the Coastal Studies Scholar at Bowdoin College, where she teaches in the Gender & Women’s Studies Department. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and an MSW from Smith College School for Social Work. Sarah Braunstein
Breena Clarke (Fiction)is the author of two historical novels set in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Her debut novel, River, Cross My Heart (1999) was an October 1999 Oprah Book Club selection. Clarke’s critically reviewed second novel, Stand the Storm, is set in mid-19th century Washington, D.C. and was chosen by the Washington Post Book Review as one of 100 best for 2008. She is a graduate (B.F.A.) of Howard University. Breena Clarke is co-author with Glenda Dickerson of the play Remembering Aunt Jemina: A Menstrual Show, anthologized in Contemporary Plays by Women of Color and Colored Contradictions, An Anthology of Contemporary African-American Plays. Her short fiction is included in Black Silk, A Collection of African American Erotica, and Street Lights: Illuminating Tales of the Urban Black Experience. Breena Clarke is an advisor to the board of A Room of Her Own Foundation and has offered writing workshops at AROHO retreats at Ghost Ranch in 2003, 2005 and 2011. She has recently completed a novel that is set in a mixed-race community in 19th century New Jersey.
Jaed Muncharoen Coffin (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Writing for Social Change) is the author of the memoir A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants (Da Capo Press/ Perseus 08) which chronicles the time he spent as a Buddhist monk in his mother's native village in Thailand. Reviewed in The Los Angeles Times and in a cover story in the Boston Globe, A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants is now taught in the multicultural curriculum at several colleges and universities including Brown, St. Michael's, Middlebury, and University of Maine, Farmington. Jaed was recently honored as a resident fellow at The Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska, where he researched his forthcoming novel, Roughhouse Friday (based on his career as the middleweight champion of an Alaskan barroom boxing circuit). A recipient of a Maine Literary Award, a Ron Brown Fellowship, and a Meyer Grant, Jaed has recently accepted fellowships at The Breadloaf School of English and Franklin & Marshall’s 2009 Emerging Writers Festival. A native of Brunswick, Jaed holds a BA in Philosophy from Middlebury College and an MFA in Fiction from Stonecoast. He now lives in Portland, Maine. Jaed Muncharoen Coffin
Susan Conley’s (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Writing for Social Change) novel, Paris Was the Place (Knopf 2013) is an Indie Next Pick, an Amazon Fall Big Books Fiction Selection and an Elle Magazine Readers Prize Selection. People Magazine called it a satisfying cassoulet of questions about home, comfort and love, served with a fresh perspective on a dazzling city. Her memoir, The Foremost Good Fortune (Knopf 2011), won the Maine Literary Award for Memoir, was excerpted in the New York Times Magazine and was an Oprah Magazine Top Ten Pick of the Month. Other work of hers has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Huffington Post, Ploughshares, The Harvard Review and elsewhere. She's received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Breadloaf Writers Conference, and the Massachusetts Arts Council. A former faculty member at Emerson College, she also teaches at Colby College and is a contributing writing to Maine Magazine. In addition, shes the co-founder of The Telling Room, a nonprofit creative writing lab in Portland, Maine, where she lives with her husband and two boys. Susan Conley
Ted Deppe (Poetry, Coordinator of Stonecoast in Ireland) was born in Duluth, Minnesota, and presently lives in County Galway, Ireland. He is the author of four books of poetry: Children of the Air (Alice James Books, 1990), The Wanderer King (Alice James, 1996), Cape Clear: New and Selected Poems (Salmon Books, Ireland, 2002), and Orpheus on the Red Line (Tupelo Press, 2009). His poetry has been published widely on both sides of the Atlantic, and his work has been recognized by a Pushcart Prize, two NEA grants, and fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Commission and the Connecticut Council on the Arts. He has been writer in residence at the James Merrill House in Stonington, CT, the Poets’ House in Donegal, Ireland, and Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Ted is the coordinator of the Stonecoast in Ireland program. Theodore Deppe
David Anthony Durham (Fiction, Popular Fiction)is the author of six novels: The Sacred Band, The Other Lands, Acacia (John W Campbell Award Winner, Finalist for the Prix Imaginales), Pride of Carthage (Finalist for 2006 Legacy Award), Walk Through Darkness (NY Times Notable Book) and Gabriel’s Story (NY Times Notable Book, 2002 Legacy Award Winner). His novels have been published in the UK and in French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. Three of his novels have been optioned for development as feature films. His recent short fiction appears in Fort Freak, It’s All Love, and Intimacy: Erotic Stories of Love, Lust, and Marriage by Black Men. He has reviewed for The Washington Post, The Raleigh News & Observer, and has served as a judge for the Pen/Faulkner Awards. David received his M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Maryland. David Anthony Durham
Martín Espada (Poetry, Writing for Social Change) Called“the Latino poet of his generation” and “the Pablo Neruda of North American authors,” Martín Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957. He has published more than fifteen books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His new collection of poems is called The Trouble Ball (Norton, 2011). The Republic of Poetry, a collection published by Norton in 2006, received the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. An earlier book of poems, Imagine the Angels of Bread (Norton, 1996), won an American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, the USA Simon Fellowship and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Espada is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
T Clutch Fleischmann (Creative Nonfiction) is the author of Syzygy, Beauty: An Essay, available from Sarabande Books. After growing up in the Midwest, they received an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Iowa and went on to publish work in Fourth Genre, The Brooklyn Rail, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Indiana Review, Pleiades, Gulf Coast, and other publications. A Nonfiction Editor at DIAGRAM and book reviewer, they currently live in rural Tennessee.
Theodora Goss (Popular Fiction) was born in Hungary and spent her childhood in various European countries before her family moved to the United States. Although she grew up on the classics of English literature, her writing has been influenced by an Eastern European literary tradition in which the boundaries between realism and the fantastic are often ambiguous. Her publications include the short story collection In the Forest of Forgetting (2006); Interfictions (2007), a short story anthology coedited with Delia Sherman; Voices from Fairyland (2008), a poetry anthology with critical essays and a selection of her own poems; and The Thorn and the Blossom (2012), a novella in a two-sided accordion format. She has been a finalist for the Nebula, Crawford, Locus, and Mythopoeic Awards, and on the Tiptree Award Honor List. She has won the World Fantasy Award.
Aaron Hamburger (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Creative Nonfiction) was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his short story collection The View from Stalin's Head (Random House, 2004), also nominated for a Violet Quill Award. His next book, a novel titled Faith for Beginners (Random House, 2005), was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in Poets and Writers, Tin House, Details, Boulevard,The Forward, and The Village Voice. He has received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy, as well as residencies from The Corporation of Yaddo and the Djerassi Artists Program. Currently he teaches writing at Columbia University, NYU, and Stonecoast.Aaron Hamburger
Elizabeth Hand (Popular Fiction, Fiction) is the author of fourteen cross-genre novels and four collections of short fiction. Her work has received the World Fantasy Award (four times), the Nebula Award (twice), the Shirley Jackson Award (twice), and the James M. Tiptree Jr. and Mythopoeic Society Awards. With Paul Witcover, she created Anima, the 1990s series which featured DC' Comic’s first openly gay character, and she has written novelizations for several films, including Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys, as well as a popular series of Star Wars books for middle-grade readers. She’s been a resident at the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Norton Island Residency Program, and is the recipient of an Individual Artist’s Fellowship from the Maine Arts Commission/NEA. She's also a longtime critic and contributor of essays for the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Salon, and the Village Voice, among others. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in cultual anthropology from Catholic University, with a minor in playwriting. She divides her time between the Maine coast and North London, the setting for Hard Light, the third noir novel featuring Cass Neary, forthcoming in 2015. Elizabeth Hand
Nancy Holder (Popular Fiction) is the New York Times bestselling co-author of the young adult dark fantasy series, Wicked, which has been picked up by DreamWorks. She writes young adult horror for Razorbill, and paranormal romance, adult horror, science fiction and fantasy, women's action, short mystery fiction, literary fiction and comic books. She has written novels, short stories, novellas, and episode guidebooks for "universes" that include Hellboy, Smallville, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Saving Grace, Kolchak: the Night Stalker, Zorro, The Spider, The Domino Lady, Nancy Drew, and Sherlock Holmes. She has edited two anthologies, one of which was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award. She has received four Bram Stoker Awards, and her work has appeared on bestseller lists that include USA Today, LOCUS, Borders, Mysterious Galaxy, Dark Delicacies, and others. In addition, she writes essays and articles for popular culture publishers such as BenBella Books (Finding Serenity and others) and I.B. Taurus (Cult TV.) She is also a columnist for the Science Fiction Writers of America Bulletin. Nancy Holder
James Patrick Kelly (Popular Fiction) has written novels, short stories, essays, reviews, poetry, audioplays, and planetarium shows. His books include Burn (2005), Strange But Not A Stranger (2002), Think Like A Dinosaur and Other Stories (1997), Wildlife (1994), Heroines (1990), Look Into The Sun (1989), Freedom Beach (in collaboration with John Kessel, 1986) and Planet of Whispers (1984). Although he is primarily known for his science fiction, his work also includes mainstream, fantasy, and horror. His audioplays have been produced by Scifi.com's Seeing Ear Theater and he writes a regular Internet column for Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. His planetarium show, "Destiny or Discovery," premiered at the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium in 1992. His books have been reprinted in France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Finland, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Japan, Brazil, Thailand, Croatia, Israel, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic. His short stories have appeared in numerous "Best of the Year" collections over the past twenty-six years, and he has won the World Science Fiction Society's Hugo award twice and has been a finalist for both the Hugo and Nebula. James Patrick Kelly
Michael Kimball (Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) is a novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. He is the recipient of the 2014 John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award (New England Theatre Conference) for his play Duck and Cover, which was also named BEST PLAY in the Northern Writes Festival (Bangor, Maine) and BEST PLAY in the 2014 Dezart Performs Festival of New Plays (Palm Springs,CA). His play Ghosts of Ocean House was nominated for the 2007 Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America, and his novel Undone received the Fresh Talent Award in the U.K. and was a London Times' bestseller in 1996. Michael has sold original screenplays and adaptations to movie companies and written episodes for the TV series Monsters. Michael Kimball
Debra Marquart (Creative Nonfiction, Poetry) is a professor of English in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University. In addition, her books include two poetry collections, From Sweetness (Pearl Editions, 2002) and Everything’s a Verb (New Rivers Press, 1995), and a short story collection, The Hunger Bone: Rock & Roll Stories (New Rivers Press, 2001) which draws on her experiences as a road musician. Marquart is a member of The Bone People, a jazz-poetry, rhythm & blues project, with whom she has released two CDs: Orange Parade and A Regular Dervish. Marquart’s memoir, The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere (Counterpoint Books, 2006) was awarded the 2007 PEN USA Creative Nonfiction Award. Deb's work has also received a Pushcart Prize, the Shelby Foote Nonfiction Prize from the Faulkner Society, the Headwaters Prize, the Minnesota Voices Award from New Rivers Press, the Elle Lettres Award from Elle Magazine, the Mid-American Review Nonfiction Award, the John Guyon Nonfiction Award from Crab Orchard Review, and a National Endowment for the Arts Prose Fellowship. Deb is at work on two books: a novel, set in Greece, titled Among the Ruins; and a roots/travel memoir about her grandparents’ flight from Russia, titled Somewhere Else This Time Tomorrow Debra Marquart
David Mura (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) is a creative nonfiction writer, poet, fiction writer, critic, playwright and performance artist. Mura has written two memoirs: Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei (Grove-Atlantic), which won a 1991 Josephine Miles Book Award from the Oakland PEN and was listed in the New York Times Notable Books of Year, and Where the Body Meets Memory: An Odyssey of Race, Sexuality and Identity (Anchor). His three books of poetry are Angels for the Burning (Boa), The Colors of Desire (Anchor, Carl Sandburg Literary Award), and, After We Lost Our Way (Carnegie Mellon), which won the 1989 National Poetry Series Contest. His book of critical essays is Song for Uncle Tom, Tonto & Mr. Moto: Poetry & Identity (U. of Michigan Press). His novel, Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire, a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, the John Gardner Fiction Prize and Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell First Novelist Award, was published in Sept. 2008 from Coffee House Press. Mura's essays on race and multiculturalism have appeared in Mother Jones and The New York Times. His plays include Secret Colors (with novelist Alexs Pate), The Winged Seed, adapted from Li-Young Lee's memoir, and After Hours (with actor Kelvin Han Yee and pianist Jon Jang). David Mura
Alexs Pate (Fiction, Poetry, Writing for Social Change) is the author of five novels including the New York Times Bestseller Amistad, commissioned by Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks/SKG and based on the screenplay by David Franzoni. Other novels include Losing Absalom, Finding Makeba, The Multicultiboho Sideshow and West of Rehoboth, which was selected as “Honor Fiction Book” for 2002 by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Alexs’s first book of nonfiction, In The Heart of the Beat: The Poetry of Rap was published by Scarecrow Press January 2010. His memoir, The Past is Perfect: Memoir of a Father/Son Reunion will be published next year by Coffee House Press. An excerpt of the memoir appears in the Fall 2007 edition of Black Renaissance Noire. Alexs’s poetry collection, Innocent, was published in 1998. Alexs is an Assistant Professor in African American and African Studies at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches courses in writing and black literature, including a course on “The Poetry of Rap.” He is currently at work on two novels, The Slide and a story about a black pirate captain, Adventures of the Black Arrow: Search for Libertalia. Alexs Pate
Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Fiction) is the author of Wench: A Novel, published by Amistad/HarperCollins in 2010. USA Today called the book “deeply moving” and “beautifully written.” People called it “a devastatingly beautiful account of a cruel past.” O, The Oprah Magazine chose it as a Top Ten Pick of the Month, and NPR named it a top 5 book club pick of 2010. Dolen's fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, StoryQuarterly, StorySouth, and elsewhere. In 2011, she was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction. She was also awarded the First Novelist Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. A graduate of Harvard and a former University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA, Dolen lives in Washington, DC with her family. Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Eléna Rivera (Poetry, Translation)was born in Mexico City and spent her childhood in Paris. She is the author of The Perforated Map (Shearsman Books, 2011), Remembrance of Things Plastic (LRL e-editions 2010), Mistakes, Accidents and the Want of Liberty (Barque Press, 2006), and Suggestions at Every Turn (Seeing Eye Books, 2005). Her poems have appeared in The Nation, Drunken Boat, H_NGM_N, Zoland Poetry, Esopus, Aufgabe, Tarpaulin Sky, among others. Her chapbook On the Nature of Position and Tone is now available from Fields Press (2012). Eléna won the 2010 Robert Fagles prize in translation for her translation of The Rest of the Voyage by Bernard Noël, published by Graywolf Press in November 2011. She was also awarded a 2010 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Translation, and a 2009 Fundacíon Valparaíso Poetry Residency in Mojácar, Spain. She was the recipient of the 2007 Witter Bynner Poetry Translator Residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute, and received a poetry fellowship from the MacDowell Colony. She teaches in the McGhee Division at New York University, at Bard College, for Poets & Writers, and recently taught a workshop on “Memory, Image and the Poem” at Poets House. Eléna Rivera
Elizabeth Searle (Fiction, Popular Fiction, Scriptwriting) is the author of four books of fiction, most recently Girl Held in Home, and the librettist of Tonya & Nancy: the Rock Opera, a show that has drawn national media attention. Her previous books are Celebrities in Disgrace, produced as a short film; A Four-Sided Bed, a novel nominated for an ALA Book Award and in development as a feature film with Elizabeth's prize-winning script, and My Body to You, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Prize. Elizabeth's theater works have been featured on Good Morning America, CBS, CNN, NPR, the AP and more. Her rock opera was produced in Boston in 2011, and showcased in NYC in 2013. Elizabeth's one-act play, Stolen Girl Song, premiered in 2013. Elizabeth has published over 30 stories in Ploughshares, Redbook and more and in many anthologies including one forthcoming from Norton (2013). She has an MFA from Brown. Elizabeth has taught at Stonecoast MFA for over 10 years. Elizabeth Searle
Timothy Seibles (Poetry) is the author of five books of poetry: Body Moves, Hurdy-Gurdy, Kerosene, Ten Miles an Hour, and Hammerlock. His work has been featured in Red Brick Review, New Letters, Dark Eros, Ploughshares, New England Review, The Artful Dodge and the anthology In Search of Color Everywhere, and he is the recipient of a fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Born in Philadelphia, he earned a BA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and an M.F.A. from Vermont College. He taught high school English for ten years and worked as Writing Coordinator of the Fine Arts Work Center. He has taught at Cave Canem and is Associate Professor of English at Old Dominion University. Timothy Seibles
Suzanne Strempek Shea (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction) is the author of five novels: Selling the Lite of Heaven, Hoopi Shoopi Donna, Lily of the Valley, Around Again, and Becoming Finola, published by Washington Square Press. She has also written three memoirs: Songs From a Lead-lined Room: Notes - High and Low - From My Journey Through Breast Cancer and Radiation, and Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama and Other Page-Turning Adventures From a Year in a Bookstore, published by Beacon Press; and Sundays in America, for which she spent a year attending services at Protestant churches nationwide. Winner of the 2000 New England Book Award, which recognizes a literary body of works’ contribution to the region, Suzanne began writing while working as reporter for the Springfield (Massachusetts) Newspapers and the Providence Journal (Rhode Island). Her freelance work has appeared in Yankee magazine, The Bark Magazine, The Boston Globe Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Organic Style, and ESPN the Magazine. Suzanne Strempek Shea