Shepard kicks off fall author series

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The Writing and Literature Department is inviting a former JSC professor, an alumnus, and a lawyer/poet for this semester’s Visiting Authors Series. All writers are award winning.

Former JSC professor Neil Shepard will be sharing his work/craft on Thursday, Sept. 24. He will read in the Stearns Performance Space beginning at 4:00 p.m. Shepard is the founder and former senior editor of the JSC–based literary journal Green Mountains Review. Before his retirement in 2009, Shepard was the director of the BFA Writing program. He also founded the Writing Program at Vermont Studio Center where he taught for 8 years.

His sixth book, poems titled “Hominid Up,” was published by Salmon Poetry Press earlier this year. says the book “turns a nightmared, insomniac eye on both urban and rural landscapes: from the brassy multitudes of Manhattan, to the lone man standing in a northern stream amidst its shush and thrum . . . At the heart of this book is a darkly political vision of post-millennial America, exploring the tensions and flashpoints of class and race that lead us toward our days of reckoning.”

Shepard currently spends his time in Vermont and New York City, where he teaches poetry workshops at The Poets House, and is a core faculty member for the low-residency MFA Writing Program at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania.

Shepard’s writing has appeared in hundreds of magazines, including Antioch Review, New England Review, North American Review, Paris Review, Shenandoah, Southern Review and TriQuarterly.

JSC alum Kevin Maloney will read in the Stearns Performance Space on Tuesday, Oct. 13 beginning at 5:00 p.m.

He is the author of “Cult of Loretta,” a novel published by Lazy Fascist Press in May 2015. He will share from his works and discuss his process as a writer.

“‘Cult of Loretta’ is a hot dose of pleasure,” writes author Brian Allen Carr. “It whistles with the wit of Brautigan, stings with the heart of badly dissolved romance. If a modern day mountain man came out of the wilderness with a story in his eye, this might be the thing he’d tell.”

Aaron Burch, author of “Backswing” calls Maloney’s novel emotional, funny, and bonkers. “It’s a little like Bukowski and Sam Lipsyte and the drug scene in ‘Beavis and Butthead Do America’ all smashed together, but also completely and totally Kevin Maloney,” writes Burch.

Maloney’s work has appeared in many literary journals including Hobart, PANK, and Monkeybicycle.

He lives in North Portland, Ore. with his girlfriend and daughter where he works as a web developer and writer.

Olena Kalytiak Davis will be visiting on Friday, Nov. 13. She is a first–generation Ukrainian–American poet who, according to, has become known for “transgressing social boundaries.” quotes Ira Sadoff, who has written about Davis’ “reinvention of the confessional tone:” “Her objective is to emphasize literature’s experiential function: to enlarge consciousness, to make literature emotionally and intellectually applicable to the self . . . The resultant poems seem entirely intimate, but also gather the concerns of the age.’”
Davis’ most recent work, “The Poems She Didn’t Write and Other Poems,” was a 2014 Lannan Literary Selection.

The New Yorker’s Dan Chaisson says it’s “a breakup book, full of the kinds of invective and taunts honed by a person who has spent, as all of us have now spent, infinite hours online . . . Its complex tones arise from the poet’s wanting equally to seduce and to repel a lover whose deepening silence only provokes rhetorical escalation.”

Davis’ accomplishments include a Pushcart Prize and the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. Her poetry has been included in multiple Best American Poetry anthologies, The Best American Erotic Poems: from 1800 to the Present, and The New Bread Loaf Anthology of New American Poets.

Davis lives with her two children in Anchorage, Alaska. She practices law and is a contributing editor to the Alaska Quarterly Review.

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