Graduate Programs

MFA in Creative Writing Summer Residency Announces Visiting Writers and Guest Speakers

Summer residency set to take place June 16-26 in downtown Alma.

ALMA — The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing program at Alma College will offer public readings by three guests at its 2022 summer residency.

Deborah Copaken, S. Kirk Walsh, and Matthew Dickman will perform readings of their work that are open to the public at Ballyhoo Books, 111 W. Superior St. The summer residency is scheduled for June 16-26 at the Wright-Leppien Opera House in downtown Alma.

Copaken is an author and a photojournalist who will give a public reading at 7 p.m. June 17. Copaken is the author of several books, including Shutterbabe, The Red Book, Between Here and April, and Ladyparts. Her photojournalism work has appeared in Time, Newsweek and The New York Times. She also produces and writes her own popular Substack, Ladyparts.

Walsh is a novelist, an editor, and a teacher, who will give a public reading at 7:30 p.m. June 19 at Ballyhoo Books. Walsh’s debut novel, The Elephant of Belfast, was inspired by true events that took place in Belfast, Northern Ireland, during World War II. Now in its fourth printing, the novel has generated praise from The New Yorker, The Christian Science Monitor, and others, as well as being selected for several top reading lists. She is now working on a second novel inspired by events that took place in Detroit during the 1930s and ’40s.

Dickman is a poet who will give a public reading at 7 p.m. June 24 at Ballyhoo Books. Dickman is the author of All-American Poem, Mayakovsky’s Revolver, Wonderland and Husbandry. He is a recipient of the May Sarton Prize for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His work has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, London Review of Books, and Esquire, among others.

In addition to the three visiting writers, faculty members within the MFA program are hosting guest reading events throughout the second half of June at Ballyhoo Books:

  • 7 p.m. June 16: Robert Vivian
  • 7 p.m. June 18: Anna Clark
  • 7 p.m. June 19: Matthew Gavin Frank
  • 7 p.m. June 21: Karen E. Bender
  • 7 p.m. June 22: Jim Daniels and Leslie Contreras-Schwartz
  • 7 p.m. June 25: Benjamin Garcia

Finally, at 7:45 p.m. June 18, students in the MFA program will have their own reading session, which is also free and open to the public. The reading will take place at Highland Blush, 118 E. Superior St., in Alma.

To find out more information about the public readings or the MFA program at Alma College, contact program director Sophfronia Scott at or (989) 463-7394.

Story published on June 06, 2022