Author Archive

Know Your Stage

October 18, 2016


By Jeremiah Blue

It is the final round of the Phoenix Slam Poetry Championship, and the winner will go on to represent the city at the Individual World Poetry Slam. Two of my poems have already gone over well with the judges, so I step to the mic with confidence. I begin reciting a poem I have memorized, and it feels perfect.

But when I look through the lights, some in the audience strain forward, while others whisper to their friends. Finally, someone hollers out, “We can’t hear you!”

I pause, look down at the mic, and notice the switch has been turned off. An entire thirty seconds of my one-minute piece has been read on a mic that wasn’t even powered on. (more…)

Lessons in Memoir from the PWC

September 20, 2016

Vicki Mayk defines truthiness.

By Aurora Bonner

The Pennsylvania Writers Conference was intimate and encouraging, with sessions that were short and intense, but not overwhelming. Facilitators made time for questions and encouraged interaction and individualized feedback.

I write creative nonfiction, so I found myself in all of the nonfiction sessions, listening to the bang-up lineup of Sam Chiarelli (M.F.A. ’16), Vicki Mayk (M.F.A. ’13), and faculty members Laurie Jean Cannady and Kaylie Jones. I already admired Cannady (Crave) and Jones (Lies My Mother Never Told Me) from other speaking engagements. Chiarelli and Mayk would soon become my newest nonfiction heroes. (more…)

Why Here? Why Now? – How I Came to the Wilkes University M.A. Program

August 1, 2016



By Ronnie K. Stephens

As with any story, I struggled to find the beginning. That isn’t to say that I don’t know where it started, but how often does one start a journey before the origin is clear?

Point of Discovery

My fascination with beginnings took root when I came across Faster Than the Speed of Light just after graduating from high school. Over the next few months, I devoured The Feynman Lectures, The Origins of the Universe, The Book of Everything, and The Book of Nothing. I was instantly (and hopelessly) stuck on the myriad conceptions of “nothing.” Cultures across continents, across history, were obsessed with 0. Did it represent balance? The absolute point between positive and negative? Was 0 an empty number? Could you have nothing without first having something? The questions swirled in my mind throughout the summer. (more…)

From PA to LA: An Adventure

June 2, 2016

55849acf-b550-4b72-a5e2-ce86acefb533By Danie Watson

One of my favorite lines is “Adventure is out there!” Yes, it’s from Up. Yes, I’m almost 22. Being an anxiety-ridden person, I don’t see too much adventure—or at least I didn’t until this April, when I boarded a plane by myself, and flew all the way from Newark, New Jersey to Los Angeles, California. I half expected myself to spend the flight breathing in and out of a paper bag—you know, the courtesy puke bags in your seat pocket—but instead I spent the time writing, and getting nervous about the next five days of my life. (more…)

Is a Ph.D. Worth It after the M.F.A.?

April 27, 2016

Fanelli_Brian - 2016

By Brian Fanelli

When I was an undergraduate student, one of my best friends predicted I would ultimately complete my Ph.D. I scoffed at the idea. At the time, I wasn’t committed to the idea of spending additional years continuing my education, especially as tuition kept rising nationwide. Besides, as a comparative literature major, I already had enough of the lit theory classes and hour-long debates with classmates over certain texts. (more…)

Finding a Creative Community: How Wilkes Helped Me Find My Muse

March 29, 2016


By Leah Vernon

Having no outlet for your creativity is like sprinting in a marathon but never, ever moving from the starting line. Being a black Muslim female, afro-futuristic/Sci-Fi writer living in Detroit with no creative platform or community was hell. Sometimes, I think back to that time, just a few years ago, when I was that tormented artist. A confused artist who had nowhere to turn with three unsuccessful full-length novels under her belt that had been rejected over a hundred times each. Although I’m still not a published novelist, I’m not so much haunted by that fact as I was prior to Wilkes University. This change of heart may seem like a small feat to some, but it’s the largest accomplishment that I’ve come by in a long while. (more…)

Door is a Jar Magazine: An Interview with Ahrend Torrey

February 22, 2016

In 2015, alums Maxwell Bauman and Ahrend Torrey came together to start a new literary magazine. The following is an interview with Ahrend, who explains the nature of Door is a Jar Magazine, and their expectations for the publication. (more…)

Nancy McKinley Threw Me Out Into the Street in 2008

February 3, 2016

James Craig Atchison with "Blue Lines Up in Arms"By James Craig Atchison

I’m armed the first day of the 501 residency with only a note pad and pen. Nancy McKinley sends me out and tells me to write everything I can about downtown Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, for two hours. This first step in me becoming a published author (under my blessed mother’s maiden name) didn’t take that long. (more…)

Passion in Provincetown

December 18, 2015

Ptown_MailerHouse_MeBy Dale Louise Mervine

When one hears the word “passion,” one usually thinks of romance, of people so in love they can’t keep their hands off each other. For me, the word took on a different meaning a few years ago when I was in the midst of a huge life change. “Passion” for me meant to be so in love with what I was doing in my life that I looked forward to waking up every morning and getting the day started. “Passion” became my personal key word. I’ve discovered that when you are surrounded by people who share a passion, you are never alone. I was able to experience this in a different way at the Norman Mailer Society Conference in Provincetown, Massachusetts the first weekend in October. (more…)

Freelance on Fleek: Copywriting for the Unglamourous

November 20, 2015

By Nichole Kanney

I heard the knock at my front door. The kids were just settled in for naptime, and I looked forward to taking advantage of the newfound calm that silenced my home. I cautiously open the door, as I’m new to the Midwest and not yet used to the concept of door-to-door sales still existing. I still have East Coast paranoia, thinking people only knock on other’s doors for nefarious reasons.

“Can I help you?” I ask. (more…)