Students, alumni, faculty, administration, and friends of the Converse College Low-Residency MFA program gathered yesterday at Ciclops Cyderie and Brewery in Spartanburg, SC, to celebrate the program’s 10th anniversary. In honor of the occasion, Ciclops General Manager Clara Jane Haller, a Converse MFA graduate in poetry, and her staff created a beer release. The beer, “Sense and Sprucability – a Writer’s Tale,” was based on a recipe created by Jane Austen who was a home brewer.
Converse President Krista Newkirk and Provost Dr. Jeffrey Barker attended the event, and President Newkirk spoke about how pleased she was with the program and the continued importance of stories in our daily lives. Program Director Richard Mulkey recounted the history and achievements of the program and thanked the many people who played a part in making it a success.
During his talk, Program Director Mulkey announced an upcoming change for our journal. After the release of the upcoming Spring / Summer 2019 issue, Debby DeRosa, who took over as Managing Editor in December 2013, will be stepping down, and Lisa Hase-Jackson will take her place.
Lisa Hase-Jackson, who has served South 85 Journal in the past as its Review Editor, brings a wealth of experience to the role of Managing Editor. She is the author of the recently published poetry collection Flint & Fire, selected by Jericho Brown for the 2019 Hilary Tham Capital Collection. Her poetry has appeared in such journals as The Midwest Quarterly, Kansas City Voices, The South Carolina Review, among others. Born in Portland, Oregon, and raised primarily in the Midwest, she has lived and taught in such cities as Seoul, Albuquerque, and Kansas City. She completed her BA at Washburn University, her MA at Kansas State University, and her MFA at Converse College. She currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina, where she edits Zingara Poetry Review, and teaches creative writing and honors courses at the College of Charleston.
“I am so excited Converse has chosen Lisa to be my successor. She is incredibly talented and qualified, and I look forward to watching what the journal will achieve under her leadership,” says DeRosa, who promises to do everything she can to make the transition smooth.
As Hase-Jackson takes over leadership, the journal will continue to accept entries for our flash fiction contest, which will award a $500 prize. Like last year, Marlin Barton will be the Presiding Judge of the contest, and the winner will be announced in October. In the meantime, look forward to reading the Spring / Summer 2019 issue, which will be released June 15.