Matthew Salesses, MFA '10
What are you currently working on?
I am writing a column and editing fiction for the Good Men Project, and I also published a novella, The Last Repatriate (Nouvella Books), in November. I am sending a novel around, currently titled The Hundred-Year Flood, which was my thesis at Emerson. I'm also revising something new, The Murder of the Doppelganger, about a man who goes looking for his doppelganger, who he is convinced must have a better life than his. And I am ordering stories for a collection, How Tos for the Lonely Traveler.
Could you describe one person, experience, or series of events at Emerson that shifted the course of your career, and/or that illustrates one of Emerson’s core attributes of creativity, collaboration, risk taking, and excellence?
Editing Redivider, the graduate literary journal, was one of the highlights of Emerson for me. The journal has made amazing leaps since its first issues, and it was so fun and satisfying to have a hand in its progress. Getting a look at the other side of publishing was really helpful to my writing, and gave me the chance to meet some great writers and people. I still have many friends from my time working on it, and I continue to edit.
Is there an example of how a faculty member aided you with your career?
I had some helpful workshops with Rick Reiken, Mako Yoshikawa, and Kim McLarin, but my greatest debt is to Margot Livesey. Margot was my thesis adviser and I also took two workshops with her. I basically asked her to read everything I had ever written, and she responded with such warmth and generosity (and wisdom--my gosh, her wisdom!). What would I have done without her?
Are you professionally connected to other Emersonians?
Happily, I still keep in touch with several classmates. It's a relief to know there is someone out there who will give me thoughtful and incisive criticism and still be my friend after I throw a tantrum.
What’s the single most important piece of advice you’d like to give to Emerson students?
Try to make relationships that will last. Be friendly. Do favors without hoping that they will be returned. Recommend the books and stories and poems you love.
Creative Writing MFA Stephen Shane (2015) and his colleague David Knight created a short documentary on Boston busing called Desegregated, Yet Unequal, and it was recently named an Editors' Pick by The Atlantic.
Professor Steve Yarbrough has been elected to the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and, in addition, will receive the 2015 Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction this spring from the same organization.
Current MFA Jennifer Crystal recently signed a book deal with Belfort & Bastion for her memoir Et Voilà: One Traveler's Journey from Foreigner to Francophile. The publisher has a target launch date of Jan. 1.
WLP alum and writer Thomas Page McBee's memoir Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man was named on Publisher's Weekly's "Best Books of 2014."
Greg Nichols (MFA '11) released his first book, Striking Gridiron, A Town's Pride and a Team's Shot at Glory During the Biggest Strike in American History. The book was named a Junior Library Guild Fall 2014 Selection.
Lecturer Tamera Marko's writing collective with Emerson maintenance workers from Latin America and undergraduates presented a bilingual presentation: "Proyecto Carrito II: When the Student Receives an 'A' and the Worker Gets Fired: Driving our Own Narrative" at the Conference on Rhetoric and Composition.
Recent MA in Publishing & Writing alumni collaborated to launch a new literary genre journal called Strangelet. Alumni include Executive Editor Casey Brown (MA ’13), Managing Editor Leah Thompson (MA ’12), Production Editor Franco Alvarado (MA ’13), and Creative Director Chandra Asar (MA ’12).
WLP Professor Megan Marshall and the emersonWRITES program participate in the launch and unveiling of Boston as the country's first Literary Cultural District.
Michelle Bailat-Jones (MFA '05) won the inaugral Christopher Doheny award for her novel Fog Island Mountains. The award recognizes a book-lenth work exploring the experience of serious illness and includes a $10,000 prize and publication and promotion of the book.