Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring is upon us! And so is March 21st, and BREAKWATER!

Emerson co-curator Mimi Cook wants to see you there!
Happy First Day of Spring! We hope you are enjoying the warmer—albeit wetter, but still warmer—weather. Whether spring inspires you to frolic on the Common or kick your marathon training into high gear (or, if you're like us, take a book OUTSIDE), take a break to come listen to six supremely talented writers read at Breakwater on Friday, March 21st! 

Join us for an evening at the Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner at 7pm for our third reading of 2014, featuring superlative poetry and prose, brought to you by some of Boston's finest MFA candidates! 

Where to Find Us
On March 21st: The Brookline Booksmith
More specifically: 7pm, Coolidge Corner, 279 Harvard Street, Brookline

See you there! In the meantime, here's a sneak-peak at this month's readers.

 Eloisa Amezcua is an Arizona-native, currently completing her MFA thesis—a collection of poems—at Emerson College. She is the recipient of the 2012 University of San Diego creative writing award selected by Ilya Kaminsky, and her work can be found a few places here and there.  


Drew Arnold has nearly earned his MFA in Fiction from UMass-Boston.  He looks forward to the end of winter when he will put basil in a pot on his porch and watch it die.  Drew edits the e-journal of serialized fiction, Novella-T, and he encourages writers and readers alike to check it out at


Catherine Flora Con likes em dashes, colons, and candied yams.  She does not prefer cats.  She recently received her MFA from BU, where she teaches advanced fiction, coordinates the creative writing program, and eats avocados with a plastic spoon she found in Leslie Epstein’s desk.


Leanne Hoppe is a 2013-2014 MFA candidate in poetry at Boston University and an editorial assistant at AGNI.



 Eric Marshall is a fiction writer currently enrolled in Emerson College's MFA Fiction program. Eric has been published by The Bridge and Temper, and also teaches freshman composition courses as part of Emerson College's First-Year Writing Program. In his spare time, Eric plays the drums and makes dad-jokes on Twitter.

A student of America’s shorthand history, Derek JG Williams grew up studying comic books and the backs of baseball cards. He puts words into rows both long and short. His poems and prose are published or forthcoming in Best New Poets 2013The Cortland ReviewH_NGM_N, CutBank Literary Magazine, Bellingham Review, RHINOMain Street Rag, and Knockout Literary Journal, among others. 

* * *
The Breakwater Reading Series features Boston's student writers performing the best in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from the programs at Boston University, Emerson College, and the University of Massachusetts-Boston. Six fresh voices read in each installment of this popular series, presented by the Graduate Writing Department at UMass-Boston. Readings are held at the Brookline Booksmith at 7pm on the third Friday of every month between September and June. The event is always free and open to the public.

Friday, January 10, 2014

January 24th Reading

On our first reading of the new year we'll be featuring Jannell McConnell, David Sodi, Lynn Holmgren, Lewis Feuer, Kyle Dacuyan, & Caitlin McGill. I'll post up bios for all readers as they trickle in.

Join us at the Brookline Booksmith on January 24th at 7:00!

Kyle Dacuyan is completing his MFA in Poetry at Emerson College, where he is the assistant poetry editor for Redividerand a poetry reader for Ploughshares. Before that, he was an undergraduate studying Literary Arts at Brown University. He is working on his Frank O'Hara impression and an answer to the question "What are your poems about?"

Caitlin McGill is a nonfiction writer with a serious addiction to dancing, dogs, and all things chocolate. She's also an MFA candidate at Emerson College where she is an instructor for emersonWRITES—a college-based, creative writing workshop for Boston high school.

Lynn Holmgren is a Pisces. She is in her second year at UMass Boston and happily surrounded on all sides by water. She once read that Pisces fall asleep during sex. While she balks at such a stereotype, she is also at work on a novel-in-progress featuring a virgin protagonist on a farm.

Lewis Feuer is a second-year MFA candidate in poetry at UMass Boston. Before grad-school, Lewis co-founded Portland's 12128, an alternative gallery and workspace constructed aboard the Labrador, a retired Bering Seacrab-fishing boat. Lewis graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a BA in Studio Art, where he also received the Academy of American Poets Prize for his poem sequence I’ll Start this Way. In the spring of 2013 he was awarded a Mary Doyle Curran Scholarship from the Creative Writing Program at UMass Boston, and his work was recently featured in No Infinite: a Journal of Poetry, Art, and Protest. He currently teaches Intro to Creative Writing at UMB, and serves on the organizing committee for the Graduate Employee Organization UAW Local 1596.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

November 15th Reading

Next Friday at the Brookline Booksmith we're fortunate to have Anna Ziering, Eylsia Smith, Jennifer Murphy, Maggie Bohara, Ben Zuerlein, and Rachel Hezekiah. We hope to see you downstairs at 7:00!

A Boston-area native, Anna Ziering is currently pursuing her MFA in poetry at Boston University. She has spent the past six years in New York, where she studied poetry under Saskia Hamilton and Sean Singer at Barnard College and worked as a paralegal at the ACLU.

Maggie Bohara is a second year MFA candidate in fiction at Emerson College and a part-time ceramicist at Brookline's Feet of Clay Studio. When not writing or making pottery, she enjoys spending time with her
husband, two cats and dog.

Elysia Smith writes poems about things she doesn't understand--in an effort to understand them, of course. She's an avid people watcher who might possibly be described by fellow T passengers as creepy. However, it is this unabashed staring that has led her to some of her wildest poems and closest friends. Currently, she watches too much Frasier between helping organize the undergraduate Writer's Community at U-Mass and attending classes for her MFA. She will not buy you a beer but does apologize for making eye-contact with you while reading poems about sex.

Jennifer Murphy writes Fiction. Prior to earning her B.A. with a concentration in Creative Writing from Arizona Sate University, Murphy worked as a Camp Ranger for the AZ Girl Scout Council on Phoenix’s South Mountain Preserve for 10 years. She is an MFA candidate at the University of Massachusetts Boston and lives with her wife and two cats in a small apartment above a garage.   

Originally from Salem, MA, Rachel Hezekiah has been writing poems since she was scrawling Lady MacBeth’s soliloquy on her windows in dry-erase marker.  Now she’s working on the larger project of not writing poems about birch trees.  Her work has been published in Insanity’s Horse, Mixed ReaderEveryday Other Things, and anthologized  in Other Tongues: Mixed Race Women Speak Out.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

October Reading!

Our readers on October 18th are Leanne Hoppe, Mai Wang, Matt Socia, Dorian Fox, Ben Hurst, and Nathaniel Hunt. Additional bios will be added as they roll in. 

Dorian Fox grew up in Pittsburgh, but he has lived around the Boston area for a decade.  He was a finalist for Bellingham Review’s 2013 Annie Dillard Award in Creative Nonfiction, and his work has appeared online in Alimentum, Monkeybicycle, Prick of the Spindle, Bright Lights Film Journal, and others.  He recently earned his MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Emerson College.

Nathaniel Hunt doesn't need your sympathy. He's doing okay. He's recently become an upwardly-mobile peasant through a combination of tutoring and freelance writing. He's had poems published, as one does, but finds it difficult to care about that most days. His hobbies include hating poetry and writing poetry.

Ben Hurst is a first-year MFA student at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He grew up on a tobacco farm in south Georgia, though he hasn't come to terms with whether he's a "Southern Poet." In the past few years, he has participated in a drinking contest with a Chinese university dean (it didn't end well), seen a hysterectomy in person (it went...okay), and driven up the coast of Malibu with his beautiful wife (as fantastic as it sounds). He's currently finishing up a chapbook titled Bird Impersonations, and he can easily bore you with bird facts on a long car ride.

Matt Socia is a second year MFA candidate in creative writing at Emerson College. His fiction has been published by CutBank and is forthcoming in Epiphany. He has received a scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and a 2013 Emerging Writer Fellowship from the Writers’ Room of Boston. He is originally from Traverse City, Michigan.

Leanne Hoppe is a current MFA candidate at BU in poetry and an Editorial Assistant at AGNI magazine. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

First Reading of the Fall!

We're back at the Brookline Booksmith this Friday, September 20th. As usual, the night begins at 7:00. Our readers this month will be Peter Picetti, Grant Bonnier, Sarah Handley, Paige Towers, and Donald Vincent. You can join our Facebook event by clicking here. Read on learn more about some of the talent that'll be center stage on Friday. 

Grant Bonnier is an MFA candidate in fiction at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is currently the fiction editor at Breakwater Review and is working on a collection of short stories entitled, “All the Pretty Things We Don’t Talk About.” He hopes to live long enough to see the zombies. His favorite authors include Raymond Carver, David Sedaris, and the Apostle Paul.

Sarah Handley left the mountains of West Virginia for Barnard College, where she studied medieval saints and Adrienne Rich’s poems. She is an MFA candidate in poetry at Boston University. 

Paige Towers is completing her MFA in creative nonfiction writing at Emerson College. Her work has appeared in Spry Literary Magazine and is forthcoming in the Milo Review. She is also an instructor in the First Year Writing Program at Emerson, a reader for Ploughshares, a former ESL teacher, and a volunteer at Rosie's Place women's shelter in Roxbury, MA. Originally from Iowa City, IA, she completed her B.A. at The University of Iowa. In the past, Paige has interned at a human rights NGO in Dublin, studied abroad in London, volunteered in an orphanage and education program in Peru, taught English in South Korea, served hamburgers to cowboys in a restaurant in Colorado, and backpacked around a few continents. She and her adopted white German shepherd, Gorby, live in Roxbury, MA, where they spend their days writing, editing, reading and running.

Donald Vincent is from Washington, DC. His love for poetry transported him to Boston where he earned his MFA from Emerson College. When he's not saving the world as an Emergency Management Program Specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency serving the New England States or teaching Freshman Composition courses, he can most likely be found hosting his monthly poetry reading series titled: Mr. Hip Presents. Like himself, his series promotes poetry from some big names, spoken word from some awesome locals, and jazz and blues music features. His work can be found in a few places. He's not one for list so just ask.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013 at 7pm

Due to the lockdown in Boston on Friday, April 19th, April's reading has been rescheduled to take place this Friday, June 21st! Thanks so much to the Brookline Booksmith for opening their doors to us yet again, and for this final reading of the 2012-13 academic year. As always, we have a stellar lineup of writers ready to bring a little literary to your early summer's eve.

Please join us on Friday, June 21st, from 7 to 8:30pm, at the Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner (279 Harvard Street, Brookline).

Our readers will be:

Aaron Devine recently completed his MFA in fiction at UMass Boston, where he also teaches creative writing. His novella-in-progress Dakota Falls explores the aftermath of a kidnapping in a central Minnesota town. Aaron works as Writer in Residence at Boston Children's Hospital and co-founded the Write on the DOT reading series in Dorchester, where he lives. He loves to dance and wishes he did more of it.

Charlotte Seley recently completed her MFA in poetry at Emerson College where she served as the editor-in-chief of Redivider after having served as its poetry editor, and is a poetry reader for Ploughshares. Her work can be found in some journals, both online and in print, and in the pit of your heart, where all poetry comes from. Charlotte is originally from New York.

Theadora Siranian is an MFA Poetry candidate at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She has poetry published or forthcoming in elimae, DIAGRAM, Mason's Road, and Banango Street, among others. In 2007 she received the Academy of American Poets Prize from Emerson College, and in 2012 she was selected for inclusion in the Best New Poets anthology series.

Tara Skurtu is a Teaching Fellow and MFA candidate at Boston University. She's a Robert Pinsky Global Fellow and a recipient of the Academy of American Poets Harold F. Taylor Prize. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Poetry Review, The Dalhousie Review, minnesota review, Hanging Loose, Poet Lore, The Los Angeles Review, The Southeast Review, and elsewhere.

Abby Travis is an MFA candidate in nonfiction at Emerson College, where she teaches creative writing to high school students through emersonWRITES. By day, she works as an editorial assistant and senior reader at Ploughshares; by night she is at work on a nonfiction book project about how life hinges on the ways we communicate and miscommunicate, which focuses on training competitive sport horses. Regardless of where she is, Abby can usually be overheard making arguments for how everything—including Minnesota weather, Gilligan's Island, the Itsy-Bitsy Spider—can be related back to why Sisyphus is decidedly happy. "They Say," the essay Abby will be reading from, was recently named 1st runner up in Emerson's Graduate Writing Award in Nonfiction.

Are you on Facebook? Join the event here.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Friday, May 17, 7 PM

We are thrilled with the lineup we've got for the May edition of the Breakwater Reading Series, and we think you will be too! Join us this Friday, May 17th, 7 PM, at the Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner (279 Harvard Street, Brookline).

The readers will be:

Paula Simone Campbell is from Miami, Florida. She has written for the Miami Herald, and has been an editorial assistant to The Florida Review and AGNI. She worked at Broward College in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where she was a tutor to students learning English as a second language, and an adjunct professor, teaching Developmental Writing. She now teaches creative writing at the Boston Arts Academy. She is currently a Fiction MFA student at Boston University.

A Vermonter and Coloradan at heart, Liza Cochran now lives in Providence, RI, where she teaches eighth-grade English and leads free writing workshops for the greater Providence community. During the summers, she returns to the west to teach for the National Outdoor Leadership School and the Colorado Rocky Mountain School. She recently graduated from Emerson’s MFA program and was the recipient of the graduate fiction award. Next year, she will teach fiction to Emerson undergrads.

Patrick Connolly is in the poetry MFA program at Boston University. He is from Medford, Mass. He likes basketball and gardening.

When she was a little girl, Mariya Deykute liked to pretend she could escape to another world. Anything could be a doorway: the space between two trees, the edge of the garage roof, a mirror in the dark hallway. As time went on, writing seemed like the only way to stop the restlessness. But instead, she found those doorways between letters, right here. Words make terrific lovers, and maddening travel companions, because everything, in every world, is important, terrifying and hilarious — not necessarily in that order.

Amy Fant is an MFA student at Emerson College, where she also teaches in the First-Year Writing Program. You can find her work in a few journals if you look hard enough. She is originally from South Carolina.

Karen Locascio is a part-time temp, part-time tutor, and full-time MFA candidate in poetry at UMass Boston, where she also serves as a poetry editor for Breakwater Review. She is a reader for Salamander and once attended that writing conference spoofed by the Simpsons. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Amethyst Arsenic, Rufous City Review, The Holiday Cafe, and Spry. Karen loves New Jersey, coffee, and the number 3. She is currently in a co-dependent relationship with Jack Daniel; he finds her draining but enjoys being her muse.