Wilkes MFA graduates represented at NYC Poetry Festival

A group of up-and-coming poets, including graduates of the Wilkes University MA/MFA in Creative Writing Program, participated in the Fourth Annual NYC Poetry Festival on Governors Island from June 26-27. They read work appearing in “Everyday Escape Poems,” an anthology published by Swandive Publishing Company.


Swandive Publishing Company.

Above: Poet and Wilkes MFA graduate Kait Burrier.


Christian Reviewer Amy Drown: SING IN THE MORNING, CRY AT NIGHT is ‘expertly crafted arrow that shoots straight for the heart’


Christian writer, editor, and blogger Amy Drown reviewed Barbara J. Taylor’s SING IN THE MORNING, CRY AT NIGHT this week. As a fan of the historical fiction genre, she described her expectations of reading the novel and critiqued it based on whether it met those expectations, various elements of craft, originality, and whether it would be appropriate for fans of Christian fiction.

Drown said: “Reminiscent of classics such as How Green Was My Valley or, more recently, the Hallmark Channel’s original dramatic series When Calls the Heart, this book is a must-read for fans of character-driven, authentic historical fiction,” adding, “This is the most original story I have read in a long, long time.”

Read the complete review here



Prime Number Journal interviewed Barbara J. Taylor

Prime Number: A Journal of Distinctive Poetry and Prose in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, interviewed Barbara J. Taylor on her book SING IN THE MORNING, CRY AT NIGHT. Interviewer and author Curtis Smith (AN UNADORNED LIFE; SOUND AND NOISE and TRUTH OR SOMETHING LIKE IT) asked Taylor about the extensive research required to write her historical novel. Writing the book as a graduate student in the Wilkes University Low Residency MA/MFA in Creative Writing Program, she spent long hours at the Lackawanna Historical Society, Scranton Public Library, Anthracite Museum, and other historical venues to recreate the setting of the early 1900s. 


Graduation video from students in Wilkes University’s Creative Writing Program

Every graduating class in Wilkes University’s MA/MFA in Creative Writing Program produces their own satirical film as a way to celebrate their hard work and say goodbye to new friends. This year’s film, “The Pitch,” featured the June 2014 graduating class and nearly all of the dedicated faculty and staff. Enjoy below what has become the program’s tradition!


Author Cheryl Bazzoui reviewed Barbara J. Taylor’s SING IN THE MORNING, CRY AT NIGHT for Pennsylvania’s WPSU, a Penn State public access radio station. Bazzoui, the granddaughter of a coal miner who died of lung cancer at the age of 52, said the story helped her to reexamine her own family story by understanding what life had been like for her grandfather and other miners like him. She wrote in her review:

“I highly recommend this book. It gives a poignant look at what life might have been like for my coal-miner grandfather and shows how much daily life has changed over the last 100 years. And though the plot may sound bleak, ultimately it’s a story of hope and survival that will stay with the reader long after the book is done.”


A picture of an underground mine hospital. For other historical photographs related to the novel SING IN THE MORNING, CRY AT NIGHT, visit Barbara J. Taylor’s Facebook page.

Aviation blogger Colleen Mondor reviewed UNMENTIONABLES


Aviation journalist and author Colleen Mondor wrote a review of UNMENTIONABLES on her blog, “Chasing Ray.” Mondor enjoyed the novel and called it a “surprise,” explaining that:

I found a certain amount of “earthiness” to this novel–a perspective on life that reads very much about people most readers know and will recognize.  I think I especially liked the history here though, how Lowenstein so effectively weaves bits about milk inspection and disease and racism and education into the overall story. This is how we live, after all, with so much big and small going on around us.

A picture of the Chautauqua Assembly in Clarinda, Indiana circa 1908, courtesy of the Library of Congress, was posted with her review.

Akashic guest post about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s connection to SING IN THE MORNING, CRY AT NIGHT

Kaylie Jones Books author Barbara J. Taylor wrote a guest post for Akashic explaining what book first inspired her to be a writer and how Doc Rodham, one of the characters in her debut novel SING IN THE MORNING, CRY AT NIGHT, was the paternal great-uncle of Hillary Rodham Clinton.