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Le Moyne College Establishes Writer-in-Residence Positions

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (For Immediate Release) … Linda Tomol Pennisi and Patrick Lawler have been named writers-in-residence within Le Moyne College’s creative writing program. This position – a fixture of universities and colleges with vibrant writing programs – is typically a post held by writers with extensive teaching experience, significant publications and connections with publishing venues and fine arts graduate programs.

A Le Moyne College alumna (1992) with a Master of Fine Arts degree in writing (poetry emphasis) from Vermont College, Linda Pennisi has taught at Le Moyne as an adjunct professor of English since 1996. During 2005-2008 she served as visiting assistant professor and director of the creative writing program. She is the author of two poetry collections, “Suddenly, Fruit” (Carolina Wren Press, 2006) and “Seamless” (Perugia Press, 2003) and has published in numerous literary journals, including Cimarron Review, Indiana Review, Prairie Schooner, and The Spoon River Poetry Review.

Among Pennisi’s numerous awards are the 2002 Perugia Press Intro Prize, the 2005 Carolina Wren Press Prize, and a Saltonstall Individual Artist Grant. In 2007 she received Le Moyne College’s Part-time Teacher of the Year Award. Pennisi teaches the creative writing workshops, advanced poetry workshops and a service-learning course, titled “Writing into the World,” where students work with senior citizens. She has mentored students undertaking honors theses in creative writing and the integral honors program. She brings to the writer-in-residence position 14 years of experience teaching creative writing.

A Le Moyne College alumnus (1976) with a master’s degree in creative writing from Syracuse University, Patrick Lawler has taught at the College as an adjunct professor of English since 1976. A Central New York native, Lawler retired last year from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, where he was associate professor and director of the writing program.

A prolific author in diverse genres, Lawler has five books published or forthcoming: “A Drowning Man is Never Tall Enough” (University of Georgia Press, 1990); “(reading a burning book)” (Basfal Books, 1994); “Feeding The Fear Of The Earth” (Many Mountains Moving Press, 2006); “Under Ground” (Many Mountains Moving Press, 2011); and “The Meaning of If” (forthcoming from Four Way Books, 2014). His poetry and fiction appears in numerous literary journals, including The Bitter Oleander, DoubleTake, Harpur Palate, and The Minnesota Review. His plays and performance pieces have been produced at various venues. Among his many awards are two New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowships and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. At Le Moyne, Lawler has taught Literature of Nature, Literature and Gender, Creative Writing, Introduction to Playwriting, Writing the One-Act Play, Creative Writing and Performance, and Scriptwriting. He brings to the writer-in-residence position 34 years of experience teaching English and creative writing courses.

Besides teaching four courses each year, the new writers-in-residence will supervise students undertaking honors degrees in creative writing, advise students who are applying to graduate programs, mentor students on publishing opportunities, collaborate with the director of the creative writing program on program development and outcomes assessment, recruit and advise students, administer honors degree exams and evaluations, organize readings at the College, and advance English department initiatives, such as community outreach programs and a creative writing learning community.

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posted on: 2/29/2012