So what do you get when you take two Megs, Huff it up with Joy, and mix in a Yoo? You, my friend, get some of the best summer (or anytime) reading you will ever find. I am so proud to say I know each of these amazing, award-winning authors: Meg Kearney, Meg Tuite, Steven Huff, Joy Castro, and David Yoo. I don’t know how I got so lucky to get in close to these talented people, but I did. If you love to read, please keep reading this post to learn more about their books and other works available to you now or soon this summer.
Meg Tuite is one of my writing idols. You think Facebook is good for nothing? Think again. Somehow, along my cyber travels through the writing stratosphere, I bumped into Meg, who is a prolific fiction writer, and wonderful editor at two journals, the amazing Connotation Press and The Santa Fe Literary Review. Meg’s fiction has been published widely, in too many places to mention here. Her first full-length book, Domestic Apparition is a masterpiece. Her prose is a jungle safari through the English language, a wild, rare and colorful ride. I had had the pleasure of meeting Meg in person at AWP in Chicago in March. She has called the kind of creative nonfiction writing I do “warrior writing” and said she wants to do more of that herself. I felt so honored that I would be someone she might admire. Well, Meg has done a masterful job at warrior writing with this piece, “Her Mother’s Daughter,” one of her first memoir pieces, recently published on the Psychology Today Blog:
Next I highlight the the fabulous and multi-talented Meg Kearney, Director of the Solstice MFA program of Pine Manor College, one of the best low-residency creative writing programs in the country. I know, because I spent two years there earning my MFA. Meg has become a great friend and inspiration to me as a writer and as a wonderful positive spirit. Her poetry is graceful and accessible (to us regular non-poet types) and yet her poetic sensibilities are deep and edgy. Not only can she write a poem and run an MFA program, but she can create a series of YA novels written in lyrical verse and journal entries. You see, not just one random poem, but poems that narrate an entire book, two books, in fact! The first of the series, The Secret of Me, is breathtaking, and you do not need to be a young adult to love this book. The second book in the series, The Girl in the Mirror, was recently released and has received a great review in Publisher’s Weekly. Both books take you through the life of Lizzie McLane, an adopted girl who seeks to know more about her birth family. Meg’s musical poetry and narrative will mesmerize you. Read the Publisher’s Weekly review of Girl in the Mirror here:
Another writer associated with the Solstice MFA Program – Joy Castro – will be a guest lecturer and reader at the Solstice July 2012 residency. Joy’s brilliance is evident in the numerous essays and other works she has published in myriad journals. I was honored to work with her in my third semester at Solstice as she guided me through a thrilling and challenging critical thesis. She said my writing was elegant! She should know, as her own writing is gorgeous. Her first memoir, the critically acclaimed, The Truth Book, will blow you away with its honesty and beautifully crafted prose. Joy Castro is a writer to watch, and she has two books soon to be released, Island of Bones, a collection of essays, available in September 2012, and Hell or High Water: A Novel, available July 17th. Pre-order them, or begin with The Truth Book. Joy is one of those writers people will be reading and studying for centuries; her work is powerful, relentless, original, and always elegant. Here is a recent review of her collection of essays, Island of Bones, in Publisher’s Weekly:
Now for two very talented and funny men….
First, Steven Huff, author of poetry and prose, whose book of flash fiction, A Pig in Paris, helped me to survive a recent 5-hour delay at the ludicrous and horrifying Penn Station. Steve’s short fiction is a showcase for the ludicrous and horrifying – as well as the hilarious irony of our everyday lives. He is a born storyteller and his understated delivery is second to none. For those who love a good story, especially those stories where life is awkwardly and charmingly off-kilter, read A Pig in Paris. For those of you who love poetry, well, Steve has plenty of that to share, too. Check out More Daring Escapes, due out this fall.
And if you haven’t yet heard of David Yoo, you will. A writer of YA prose and creative nonfiction, David is an amazing talent. I have had the pleasure of hearing him read more than once at the Solstice MFA program where he teaches and mentors graduate level writing students. His writing is incisive, dry, witty, and often hilarious. One of the greatest moments of my own writing life came when he walked up to me after I did a short reading at Pine Manor and said, “You’re very funny.” I looked him in the eye and said, “You’re very funny,” and we went back and forth like this for quite a few minutes. Trust me, David Yoo is VERY funny. His first collection of essays, The Choke Artist: Confessions of a Chronic Underachiever, epitomizes David’s self-deprecating humor. Read the review on The Daily Beast. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/11/this-week-s-hot-reads-june-11-2012.html
Meg Kearney, Steven Huff, Joy Castro, and David Yoo will all be at the July 2012 residency of the Solstice MFA Program of Pine Manor College, so if you have the time, check the schedule to attend free and wonderful readings. To check out Meg Tuite’s reading schedule, as well as her numerous publications, please see her blog at http://megtuite.wordpress.com/ or her website, www.megtuite.com.
For me as a writer, 2012 has been a bad publishing year, with rejection after rejection coming my way. The five authors I’ve just highlighted make me want to trouper on. They are each uniquely gifted. I feel lucky to know them personally and through their writing. Thank you to each.