LIU Brooklyn M.F.A. Grads Show the Write Stuff
Michael Schiavetta,Director of Editorial Services
Brooklyn. N.Y. - Willie Perdomo (M.F.A. ’12, pictured), winner of the PEN Beyond Margins Award, will publish his third book, The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon, in April, leading a group of LIU Brooklyn alumni earning distinction in the literary world.
Perdomo, a prolific writer and teacher who has been called a “necessary and insistent voice in the current American literary scene” by Publisher’s Weekly, will celebrate the launch of his book with a talk in Professor John High’s Writers on Writing class April 1 at LIU Brooklyn and a reading at Greenlight Bookstore on Fulton Street April 2.
Meanwhile, fellow alumnus and Adjunct Professor Tony Iantosca’s (M.F.A. ’12) first collection of poems, Team Burnout, was recently published by Overpass Books, an imprint founded by three other LIU Brooklyn alumni.
Perdomo and Iantosca are just two recent success stories from LIU Brooklyn’s M.F.A. in creative writing program, which is designed to help meet the needs of students as they seek to become published writers and teachers. The program gives students opportunities to work with visiting writers and poets, as well as to participate in the vibrant writing and performing arts communities of both Brooklyn and Manhattan.
“The M.F.A. program is very much a community of writers,” said novelist, poet, playwright, and performance artist Jessica Hagedorn, the Parsons Family University Professor of Creative Writing at LIU Brooklyn and director of the program. “It’s a very diverse group of students from all over the country.”
Overpass Press was founded in 2011 by LIU Brooklyn M.F.A. alumni Gulay Isik (M.F.A. ’12), Micah Savaglio (M.F.A. ’12), and Giuseppe Infante (M.F.A. ’13). Along with Iantosca’s book, the company has published the poetry of alumni Uche Nduka (M.F.A. ’12) and John Casquarelli (M.F.A. ’12), as well as a book by one of the M.F.A. program’s recent Distinguished Visiting Authors, Anselm Berrigan.
In addition, Aimee Herman (M.F.A. ’12) edited The Body Electric, an anthology of short fiction, poetry, and photography published by Ars Omnia Press in 2013. Her own book of poems, to go without blinking, was published by BlazeVOX in 2012.
Dan Owen, a teaching fellow in the M.F.A. program, has joined the editorial collective of Brooklyn’s innovative Ugly Duckling Presse. His collection of poems, Authentic Other Landscape, was published by Diez Press in November 2013.
Students are drawn to the M.F.A. in creative writing for the quality of its professors and courses, as well as for cultural environment of downtown Brooklyn, Hagedorn said.
“Brooklyn is now one of the thriving literary landscapes of the country,” she added. “So many writers of renown and young writers are here, publishing all kinds of work—novelists, graphic novelists, poets, playwrights, and non-fiction writers. In particular, Fort Greene, home of the LIU Brooklyn campus, has become a cultural mecca.”
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