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Saint Leo Blog

Creative Writing

Hot Off the Press: 3 New Books by Saint Leo Faculty

Posted by Greg Lindberg on Jun 8, 2018 9:29:00 AM

Saint Leo University offers a unique, low-residency Master of Arts in Creative Writing program. This innovative online program with a few short summer residencies gives aspiring writers – and those who have already made some headway in the writing world– a curriculum rooted in real-world experience that is delivered by a varied mix of faculty from different writing backgrounds. The primary project involved in this graduate program is to craft a work of fiction or creative nonfiction to ultimately be published.

Several of the faculty members who teach in this master’s program are proud to have recently published books across a variety of genres. Let’s take a look at these titles and a sneak peek at what each book entails:

The cover to "Panorama" by Saint Leo creative writing professor Steve KistulentzPanorama

Author: Steve Kistulentz, Saint Leo University Creative Writing Program Director and Associate Professor of English

Publication date: March 6, 2018

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

About the Book: Panorama explores the world of tragedy and its impact on the lives of families affected by a deadly plane crash.

Richard MacMurray, a cable news talking head, is paid handsomely to pontificate on the issues of the day. On New Year's Day, he is scheduled to be a guest on a prominent Sunday-morning TV talk show. But as he awaits the broadcast, the network interrupts with news that a jet airliner has crashed in Dallas and that everyone aboard has perished. Within an hour, amateur videotape surfaces of the plane's last moments. Its repetitive broadcast transforms the crash into a living image: familiar, constant, and horrifying. That afternoon, Richard learns that his sister, Mary Beth, was aboard the doomed flight, leaving behind her six-year-old son, Gabriel. Richard is the boy's only living relative.

With kaleidoscopic sweep and controlled intensity, Panorama dramatizes the ever-widening impact of a single event over the span of one day, on the victims and their loved ones, yes, but also on others: the plane's mechanic, an airport janitor working the night shift, even the casual observers such as the teenager in a dingy motel who catches the plane's final moments on video.

"Panorama lives up to its title. This is a novel aswim in language, in drama, in character -- it has the kind of bigness we too rarely see in fiction anymore. Steve Kistulentz is a hell of a writer, and this is a hell of a hard book to put down." – Darin Strauss, National Book Critics Circle Award winner for Half a Life

The cover of "Brazen Creature" by Anne Barngrover, a Saint Leo University English professorBrazen Creature

Author: Anne Barngrover, Assistant Professor of English at Saint Leo University


Publication date: April 23, 2018

Publisher: University of Akron Press

About the Book: A book of poetry, Brazen Creature spans a young woman’s awakening. The poems’ concerns are twofold: violence against women and girls that has become rooted in the land, and verdant female desire and self-assertion in the face of entrenched oppression. In the poems’ Midwestern towns and farmlands, patriarchy is a ghost that haunts the cottonwoods, soybean fields, and creek beds. The speaker is in limbo between fear and yearning, vulnerability and transgression, drought and flood, saving a life and needing to be saved.

"Anne Barngrover writes like the house is on fire and each poem’s a drop of gas. I first read Brazen Creature in a single sitting. It’s a page-turner, like a good novel, and it’s enchanted as a black-cat spell. 'It’s hard to be both large and shy,' she feigns in 'Little Birds,' and for sure her lines, her voice, her intricate syntax all push for size . . . and then she can shut it down with devastating power: 'The sky is blank as a pie plate, yet it will not snow.' What incredible richness, buoyancy, pleasure, and range in these superb new poems of Anne Barngrover. Don’t sip. Drink deeply with her and fly. -David Baker, author of Scavenger Loop

The cover of "The Paper Life They Lead" by Saint Leo English professor Patrick CrerandThe Paper Life They Lead: Stories

Author: Patrick Crerand, Associate Professor of English at Saint Leo University

Publication date: April 17, 2018

Publisher: Arc Pair Press

About the Book: A compilation of seven stories, The Paper Life They Lead: Stories is an extravaganza of love, loss, fear, and absurdity, where the mundane leaps fervently into the realms of the fantastic.

New York Times bestselling author Caroline Leavitt says that the writing “offer[s] unexpected shots of delight in stories that are miles high in imagination and distinctly and wonderfully weird. A Pontiac car goes to school and beyond, an airplane flight zooms into outer space, and in one especially daring, loopy story, a giant 7-toed sloth inhabits an abandoned zoo. I've never read anything quite like this collection--wild, wooly, and absolutely dazzling."

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