Reading, contest results, and such.

It’s getting very busy around here, and I apologize for not posting this in advance but I just attended the very last MFA reading of the year at the Newark Art Kitchen.  This was a special treat for me, because somehow I managed not to be in a class with any of the readers that presented tonight.  Kiira Mancasola (introduced by Mariann VanDevere) started off the evening with a grim but captivating story about a homicide/shooting in semi-rural Northern California.    Ephen Glenn gave a beautiful and humorous introduction to Paula Neves, who read a variety of poems that dealt with life, love and loss, many set in New Jersey (and let’s face it, New Jersey could always use another poem), and others dealing with Portuguese culture.  Our very own blogger Maria Luna introduced Nancy Toomey, who wrote a very convincing child’s perspective on politics and gender amongst young children.

However, that’s not the only reading the MFA program is having this week.  There are actually two more!  On Thursday, the MFA program will be hosting the Newark High School Writing Contest reception.  This contest, sponsored and judged by the MFA program, will feature the voices of talented student writers from different Newark schools.  Then on Saturday, there is the last Rutgers-Newark KGB reading, which will feature Nick Ripatrizone, Sara Grossman, Christa Parravani, and Dickson Lam.

Finally, I recently received word from Dawn Ryan, MFA ’09, has won the American Short Fiction Short Story contest.  This honor sets her up with publication and 1000 dollars.  Rick Moody judged the contest, and he writes that her story is “brutal, strange, funny, unpredictable, and new.”  The piece will be forthcoming in the summer issue.

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