Tag Archives: Writing

New Books by 3 MAPH Poets

Poet Shaindel Beers (MAPH 00) has signed a two-book deal for poetry collections with Salt Publishing in London. Her first collection, A Brief History of Time, will be released in February at the annual conference of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs in Chicago. She also hosts a weekly radio show, Translated By, focusing on poetry in translation. Her show can be found at blogtalkradio.com.

Fort Red Border, a debut collection of poetry by Kiki Petrosino (04) is due out in August 2009 from Sarabande Books.

Gregory Lawless (04) will have his first book, I Thought I Was New Here, published in 2009 by BlazeVOX.

How I Sold My Thesis

Our alum Anna Jarzab, AM ’07, has just sold her thesis to a publisher, and she has graciously taken the time to share a little bit of that adventure with us.


Even though I knew I wanted to write a creative thesis for MAPH, I never intended to write the project I ended up writing. I wanted to write a series of short stories based on my grandparents’ experiences in World War II, but it soon became clear to me that I wasn’t a mature enough writer yet to handle such dense, weighty material, and I didn’t have enough time to do the research that would be necessary.
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Keeping us in the Light

MAPH Alum Joel Witmer (’07) is up and at ’em again with his newest blog The Dark Room, a blog that discusses and reviews movies and television shows. You may remember Joel’s past fame with his Ohio sports based blog, The Disappointment Zone, and its famed appearance in the Wall Street Journal Online.

This time around, Joel has taken his other love, that of the audio visual world, and transformed it into insightful commentary, opinions, riffs, and reviews of movies and TV shows of all genres. He also lists movies he’s seen this year (alphabetically and hierarchically, of course) as well as his current NetFlix queue, just so you can keep abreast of his movie watching, note his credibility as a movie goer, as well as strike up an online conversation with him.

As with his sports blog, Joel’s commentary is well thought out and carefully presented with just the right amount of film elitism and average movie watcher humor, making it enjoyable to read often difficult to disagree with him*.

*author’s note: no matter how elegant his prose or how convincing his analysis is, I shall never agree with Joel about Ohio State.

MAPH Alum Shaindel Beers published on NPR web site

MAPH Alum Shaindel Beers (’00) has recently had her poem, “First Love” published on A Prairie Home Companion Web site, an online version of Garrison Keller’s National Public Radio show.

Documenting this great accomplishment and publishing a copy of “First Love,” Beers was interviewed in the Eastern Oregonian in which she talks about getting her poem published as well as her life as a teacher and poet.

Congratulations Shaindel!

The AfterMAPH Literati

Eleven MAPH Alums have contributed to the latest issue of Contrary, an online literary magazine founded and run by MAPH Alums.

In the latest addition there’s fiction by B.E. Hopkins, aka Brandon Hopkins (MAPH ’03), who’s been living as an expatriate in Paris and writing stories like “The Halcyon Days of War.” Brandon appears alongside some other amazing and accomplished writers, including Laurence Davies, a Welshman who edited the Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad, Mark Spencer, a novelist and the dean of Humanities at the University of Arkansas, and Robert Gibbons, who edits Janus Head and regularly writes for Alexander Cockburn’s Counterpunch. (Some of you read that commie broadside, I know.) Also check out poetry by UofC undergrad Kristiana Col√≥n. Oh, and poetry by Contrary regular Amy Groshek, whose first book is coming out in February.

And there are book reviews by Shaindel Beers (Maph ’00), Jeff McMahon (’02), Leigh Knittle (’05), Mike Frechette (’05), Thea Brown (’05), Laura M. Browning (’06), David M. Smith (’07), Michael Andrews (’07), Linda Smith (’07), Shevi Berlinger (’07).

Check out this and previous editions at www.contrarymagazine.com

Mind Your Manners: the key to better living

Often find yourself in an awkward situation? Having a party but you’re not sure of the correct way to keep away uninvited guests? Have you recently had an interaction with someone and you don’t know the proper way to respond? You’re in luck. Former MAPHer Jim Steichen (2007), in addition to his other life activities and pursuits, has created “Human(e) Behavior, a blog dedicated to reclaiming the practices of etiquette. His blog invites readers’ questions about daily awkward living situations and he deftly gives advice on how to navigate these tricky occurrences in a more thoughtful manner.
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Book Reviews. Book Reviews?

There are seven book reviews in the new issue of Contrary magazine, and five are written by former maphers:

Contrary Reviews

Would you like to join them? If so, please send the editor, Yours Truly, a note to get the details: chicago[at]contrarymagazine[dot]com.

Contrary‘s readership seemed to peak with just over 210,000 page views over three months for the Spring 2007 issue. In its first week, the Autumn issue, in which the reviews section debuted, has had 154,250 page views. So something’s up. We may not have riches, but we do have readers.

Also: fiction, poetry, and odd commentary are welcome through the online submissions form:




New Poems by a Mapher

Shaindel Beers (’00) has two new poems in the latest issue of Thieves Jargon, and like all of Shaindel’s work, they’re terrific:


Shaindel is a professor of English at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon.

Please send me news of your publications, or post them here. Eventually I’d like to compile them in an interactive bibliography of publications by aftermaphers, with links to work available online. jmcmahon[at]uchicago[dot]edu