Poster for 2016 New American Writing Festival

Hartwick Faculty Headline Writers Festival

October 11, 2016

Eight members of the creative writing faculty at Hartwick College will be featured in the New American Writing Festival, to be held on Tuesday, November 15, and Wednesday, November 16, in the Celebration Room of Shineman Chapel House on the College campus. On Tuesday, poets Eva Davidson, Joshua Lewis, and Jo Mish, with fiction writer Jeff Simonds, will present their work. On Wednesday, fiction writers Alice Lichtenstein and Jake Wolff, plus poets Julia Suarez and Emily Vogel, will read. Both readings will be held at 7 p.m.; admission is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Davidson received her BA at Sarah Lawrence College, and received her MFA from the Warren Wilson College Program for Writers. She has collaborated with her sister, composer Tina Davidson, as lyricist on three operas: Billie and Zelda, Summer of the Swans, and Pearl. Their work, including song cycles and chamber pieces, has been performed at the Curtis Institute of Music, Carnegie Hall, Harvard University, and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, among others.  She has three working manuscripts of poems, including Soon It Will Be Dark and Dawn Birds.

Lewis is a graduate of Washington College and Binghamton University, where he earned a PhD in literature. An author of both poetry and fiction, his poetry has been published in literary journals, such as The Paterson Literary Review and The Edison Literary Review.

Mish has written four books of poetry, and edits two journals of writing and art for K-12 students in 25 area schools. He has taught creative writing and letterpress printing and the book arts at Hartwick College for 35 years. He is a founder of Swamp Press and is Master Printer at Serpent and Eagle Press. Mish says he “sings a bit, directs plays a bit,” and quotes an “early biographer” who noted that he still “dances with his refrigerator.”

Simonds received his MFA in creative writing from Goddard College in 2013. Since then, he has taught Composition and Creative Writing courses at Hartwick College and Holyoke Community College, and has held writing workshops from New York to Maine. His short fiction has appeared in Pif Magazine, Alexandria Quarterly, and The Amateur Masters. In 2014, he put out his first short story collection, You Are Not Allowed to Come Back After. He is currently working on a novel about love—which is good, because no one has covered that topic yet. Simonds lives in Castleton, NY, with a cat named Ruckus.

Lichtenstein is a novelist, and a graduate of Brown University and Boston University, where she earned her MA and was named the Boston University Fellow in Creative Writing. Her novels include The Genius of the World (Zoland Books) and Lost (Scribner’s). She has received a New York Foundation of the Arts Grant in Fiction and has twice been a Fellow at MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH. In addition to teaching fiction writing and spiritual autobiography at Hartwick, Lichtenstein has taught at Boston University, Wheaton College, Lesley College, and the Harvard University Summer School.

Suarez, a native of the Garden State, finds the seeds of many of her poems in her small but exuberant garden. Her work has appeared in Salmagundi, Phoebe, Women’s Voices of the 21st Century: Experiences That Shape Women, Tightrope, and others. Bright Hill Press published her chapbook, It Does Not, in 2006. She has studied at the New York State Summer Writers Institute since 1987, where she has worked with Robert Pinsky and Frank Bidart. She is coordinator of the Writing Center and Assistant Professor of English at Hartwick, where she has taught writing and literature since 1984.

Wolff holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he received the Milofsky Prize in Fiction. He also has a Ph.D. in creative writing from Florida State University, where he received the Harper Award for Outstanding Creative Writing and the Edward and Marie Kingsbury Fellowship. His stories and essays have been published widely and can be found in journals such as American Short Fiction, One Story, and Tin House. A former medical editor, Wolff uses his writing to explore the past, present, and future of medicine, and the subjects of his stories have ranged from medieval monks to 1950s potato farmers to ancient Chinese fangshi. has called him “a name to seek out.” He teaches writing as assistant professor of English at Hartwick.

Vogel is the author of five chapbooks; a full-length collection, The Philosopher’s Wife, published in 2011 by Chester River Press; a collaborative book of poetry, West of Home (Blast Press), written with her husband Joe Weil; and a recently released collection, First Words (NYQ Books). Her poetry has been most recently published in Omniverse, The Paterson Literary Review, Lips, City Lit Rag, Luna Luna, and The Comstock Review. She also teaches writing at SUNY-Oneonta.

The readings are presented under the auspices of the Department of English and the Visiting Writers Series at Hartwick College.

For more information on the event, contact Professor of English Dr. Robert Bensen at, or (607) 431-4902.