Alumni and Faculty News

The Institute welcomes news and updates from its alumni. Send us the latest happenings in your lives and careers and we will post them.

Before flying off to Kenya, Jeffrey Renard Allen writes that his new book of poems, Stellar Places, published by Moyer Bell, is out.

Ching-In Chen ('06) informs us that she has been very busy working with various organizations, including the New Orleans chapter of INCITE, Women of Color Against Violence. Ching-In is applying to several writing programs across the country and is attending a writing residency program at the Vermont Studio Center come January. She recently participated in a poetry reading title "Tongues Afire," sponsored by the Audre Lorde Project.

Robyn McGee ('04) writes that she is "definitely a witness" after successfully placing the non-fiction book, Hungry for More, that she workshopped at the retreat. Seal Press published it in 2005. "I did it without an agent," she reports, "but I could not have done it without the encouragement and support from all of you."

Stephanie Pruitt ('04) reports that since the Retreat, she has started an MFA program, has been traveling to give readings, workshops and presentations. And she was accepted into Cave Canem in 2005. Of her retreat experience, Stephanie writes that "In addition to the wonderful instruction, I walked away with some lasting relationships."

Robin G. White's ('05) company, Kings Crossing Publishing, recently published, in a large format collection (coffee table book), the work of photographer Charzette Torrence. Ms. Torrence's photo exhibit, Just As We Are, is a collection of 20 images capturing the lives of LGBT people that are often overlooked by the LGBT community.

Kathleen Alcala's ('05) book, which she worked on at the Retreat under Patrice Gaines, was accepted for publication by the University of Arizona Press. Kathleen writes: "Thanks for providing a safe place in which to explore the material I needed to work on."

Sybil Williams ('05) reports that "the writing exercise we began in the fiction workshop has blossomed into a full-blown play that is under consideration at New York's Rebel Theater in Harlem." Sybil adds that she has sent the script to two additional theatres and that it is also being reviewed for inclusion in an anthology of plays by black women. She tells us that "the struggle to grow, create, and learn continues."

Elizabeth Nunez, one of our past faculty and present Advisory Board member, has sent us notice that her newest novel, Prospero's Daughter, is receiving strong critical praise. Among the many favorable reviews, Booklist writes that "Nunez has crafted a beautiful, layered novel that echoes both The Tempest and Heart of Darkness." Michelle Cliff calls the novel "a stunning achievement" that "with fluid, vivid writing, guides the reader though a magical, dangerous landscape."

Contact Information

If you would like more information about the North Country Institute for Writers of Color, please contact

Center for Black Literature

Dr. Brenda M. Greene
Medgar Evers College, CUNY
1650 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11225

SUNY Plattsburgh

Dr. Jose L. Torres-Padilla
Beaumont Hall 418A
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, N.Y. 12901