Saturday, November 27, 2010

3rd Year Student Profile: Tracy Bowling

Tracy Bowling
Tracy Bowling is completing her MFA in Fiction at New Mexico State University, where she teaches courses in composition and creative writing and serves as a managing editor of Puerto del Sol. Tracy also works as an associate editor for Noemi Press. Tracy comes to Las Cruces from Indianapolis, Indiana, where she met her husband and fellow MFA candidate Mike Meginnis. Together they edit Uncanny Valley, a literature/entertainment blog and literary magazine focusing on innovative and cross-genre work. They are working on putting out the first print issue in 2011. 

Tracy spends her free time reading and playing video games, and has particular obsessions with The Simpsons, robots, anime, and craft projects involving beading. She loves teaching at all levels, from kindergarten to undergrad, and hopes to eventually earn a position as a graduate creative writing instructor in a university. She has also worked as a copyeditor and a coordinator of content for textbooks, and harbors nerdy dreams of writing pedagogical standards and course objectives for creative writing curricula.

Tracy has had work published online at PANK and Storyglossia. She writes frequently about outlandish ambitions and gender issues and has approached these ideas through such protagonists as obese rock stars, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and the elusive Yeti. Her thesis-in-progress is a novel about a man with psychic powers sailing to Alaska in order to inherit the greatest known psychic shop in the world. 

Tracy will have her public reading this coming Friday, December 3rd, with NMSU MFA alum Dorine Jennette.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

2010 Hunger Benefit Photos!

Check out some photographs from our 2010 Hunger Benefit, which took place on November 12th. We raised over $3,000 for Casa De Peregrinos, Las Cruces' food bank.  This was the first year for the chili-cook off competition between graduate students and faculty; graduate students took home the cumulative prize, while MFA faculty member Richard Greenfield won the overall competition with his "Tequila Chipotle Chicken Chili."

Charles Bowden was our featured reader this year. He read from his recent book about Cuidad Juarez, Murder City, as well as from his other work pertaining to the US-Mexico border. The benefit also featured live music, a mini-carnival, and a silent auction. Thanks to everyone who helped with the Hunger Benefit this year, including creative writing students, faculty members, volunteers and attendees.

All photos courtesy of fiction student Josh Bowen.

Crockpots full of chili waiting to be tasted

Students socializing before the reading

MFA students Peter Brooks and Megan Wong hard at work on the Minute Made Poetry booth, while Rob Houghton takes charge of the Trivia booth

Bobby Byrd introduces Charles Bowden

Charles Bowden, our featured reader

If you'd like to see more photographs or get more information about La Sociedad Para Las Artes and the Nelson/Boswell reading series at NMSU, visit our Facebook page.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Upcoming Reading: Dorine Jennette and Tracy Bowling on December 3rd

The next reading in the La Sociedad Para Las Artes Nelson/Boswell Reading Series will feature NMSU MFA alum Dorine Jennette, reading with graduating MFA Fiction student Tracy Bowling. The reading will take place on Friday, December 3rd, at 7:30 pm in Hardman Hall 106, NMSU campus, with a reception to follow. If you live in or around Southern NM, we hope to see you there! The reading series will begin again in January 2011.

You can purchase Dorine's first book of poetry, Urchin To Follow, here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

3rd Year Student Profile: Erin Reardon

Erin Reardon
Erin really thinks she's more Southern than not, but is met with "But you don't have an accent....?" comments often enough that she'll lay claim to both her Midwestern- and Southern-ness depending on the convenience of the situation.  Born in Ohio and raised in Georgia, Erin, when she stops to think about it, never really imagined that someday she would be in grad school, in the desert--New Mexico!--of all places.

In fact, most of her fiction writing 'career' has come about by happenstance--she liked to read, so why not be an English major in college?  She liked to write too, so let's make that a concentration in creative writing.  Wait, there's another whole degree out there where I can keep learning to be a writer?  Sign me up, she thought. 

Erin did not know what she was getting into.

The MFA has been hard, but Erin is grateful for the writers--both her instructors and fellow students--she's been privileged to work with here.  She has spent the last two and a half years teaching freshman composition and developmental English classes at Dona Ana Community College and has discovered, much to her surprise, that she is rather fond of teaching.

Erin hasn't yet been published--she keeps putting submitting off until her stories are "good enough," whatever that is (Erin is astoundingly good at procrastinating).  And she is not nervous AT ALL about her reading on February 11 with Rosa Alcala.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Friday, November 12th at 6 pm.
Charles Bowden reads
from his new book, Murder City: Ciudad Juárez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields
Tickets: $10 (all proceeds go to the Casa de Peregrinos, the food bank for Las Cruces, NM)
Beverly Hills Hall, 150 N. Hermosa, Las Cruces
Food, Cash Bar, Silent Auction, Games, Books for sale and signing

Thursday, November 4, 2010

3rd Year Student Profile: Mike Meginnis

Mike Meginnis
Mike Meginnis was born. Don't ask him where -- he consistently forgets. In Iowa if his mother was born in Illinois, in Illinois if his mother was born in Iowa. His family moved soon thereafter to Indianapolis, where they lived in his grandparents' basement, stacking laundry on filing cabinets and so on in what would later be an office. In Indiana it is legal to home-school one's children without notifying the state, satisfying any curricular requirements, or in fact schooling one's children. It is not legal, however, for a boy not to register for the draft. Mike learned the fundamentals from his mother, but quickly moved on to largely guiding his own studies, which is a good way to become strange and maladjusted. He did register for the draft. When he applied to undergraduate institutions, he worked with his mother to construct a plausible and honest transcript, though he had never received a grade in his entire life. Butler University took him anyway. Statistically speaking, this was a good bet. He eventually majored in English.

New Mexico State University has been kind enough to let him teach freshman composition and creative writing for these past 2.5 years, and he is told that next semester they will return to that well. He is in his final year as an MFA candidate in fiction. The highlight of his time here has been working on Puerto del Sol, first as a prose editor and then as a managing editor. He has learned so much there. His thesis, Fat Man and Little Boy, is a novel about the atom bombs reincarnated as people. When he is not writing, he is probably playing a video game or looking at a cat.

He has work published or forthcoming in HobartelimaeThe Lifted BrowA cappella ZooThe Sycamore ReviewDark Sky MagazinePANK MagazineMud Luscious, and others. He has also written reviews for The CollagistThe Review of Contemporary Fiction, and Puerto del Sol. He co-edits the forthcoming magazine Uncanny Valley with his wife, Tracy Bowling.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nelson/Boswell Reading Series: Daniel Black with MFA candidate Daniel Cameron

Daniel Black, author of Perfect Peace as well as two other novels, will be reading here at NMSU on Friday as part of the La Sociedad Para Las Artes Nelson/Boswell Reading Series. 

He will read with MFA fiction candidate Daniel Cameron.

Friday, November 5th, 7:30 pm, Hardman Hall 106, New Mexico State University Campus. Reception to follow.