Breakwater Reading: November Edition

11693903_710762485692633_7729945451802767057_nAnother Breakwater is here! Before you head off for Thanksgiving break,  listen to MFA students from BU, UMass Boston, and Emerson share their work.

Join us Friday, November 20, at 7pm sharp in the basement of the Brookline Booksmith.

Here are our wonderful readers:


Kayleigh Shoen is in her final year of Emerson’s MFA, but is considering chaining herself to a desk in the library so it never has to end. She teaches composition in the First Year Writing Program and Fiction in the emersonWRITES Program for Boston-area High School students.


D. Eric Parkison grew up in a town near Rochester, NY. He received his MA in English at the University of Rochester where he studied literature and poetry. His poetry has appeared in American ChordataMidwest Quarterly, and Zyzzyva. He is currently an MFA candidate and teaching fellow at Boston University.


Andy Dugan is a Creative Writing MFA candidate at Emerson College in Boston, MA.  His poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Words Apart, Stolen Island Review, Clarion, Contraposition and Clockwise Cat.  He was a high school English Teacher in New England for nine years prior to enrolling at Emerson and now teaches in the First Year Writing Program. He also works in college writing centers in the Boston area.


Kate Glavin received her Master’s in English Literature from the University of South Dakota. After teaching literature and writing for a few years, she’s now a second-year poet at UMass. 


Lisa Hanson is a second year MFA candidate in fiction at Umass Boston, where she was a recipient of the Mary Doyle Curran scholarship in creative writing, and where she currently works as a tutor for undergraduates.  


Katie Thompson was born in Minnesota and raised in Maryland. She majored in Environmental Studies and Creative Writing at Oberlin College. Thompson has worked at a data security firm, two book stores, two law firms, a toy store, a dollar store, a library, and a dog kennel. Her middle name is Scales, like fish scales.

Breakwater Reading: Fall is Here

PumpkinsFall has arrived! Join us to hear to some of the wonderful MFA students from BU, Emerson, and UMass Boston read their work!

Join us Friday, October 16, at 7pm sharp in the basement of the Brookline Booksmith.

Here are the readers!


Michael Schrimper is from southern Indiana. A third-year MFA candidate in fiction at Emerson College, he teaches in Emerson’s First Year Writing Program, and admires the college’s passionate, world-engaged students. He has recently developed an interest in the essay. Michael hopes it to make it to a corn maze before Halloween passes. He is a screener of fiction at Ploughshares.


Jason Villemez is an MFA candidate in fiction at Boston University, and co-coordinates the Black Box Reading Series at Boston Playwrights’ Theater. He has worked at the PBS NewsHour, Comcast NBCUniversal, and the Philadelphia Gay News. Before coming to BU he worked on a multimedia project on the Civil Rights Movement called His Dream, Our Stories, traveling around the country and producing interviews with Civil Rights Leaders and Participants. Jason also spent two years in Japan teaching English, traveling and talking to as many people as possible. He tries to write a short story a week and sometimes he succeeds.


D.M. Aderibigbe was born Lagos, Nigeria. He holds a B.A in History and Strategic Studies from the University of Lagos. He’s the author of In Praise of Our Absent Father, selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the APBF New Generation African Poets Chapbook Series. A recipient of 2015 honours from The Dickinson House and the Entrekin Foundation. His poems appear in Alaska Quarterly ReviewColorado Reviewcream city reviewDIAGRAM, Hawaii ReviewNormal SchoolPoet LoreRATTLE,  Spillway among others and have been featured on Verse Daily.  His essays appear in B O D Y, Blueshift Journal and Rain Taxi. He lives in Boston where he’s studying for his MFA in Creative Writing at Boston University as a BU Fellow. He knows God loves you


Regina Tavani grew up in New Hampshire, went to college in Maine, and has somehow managed to never strap on a pair of skis (except for that one time in sixth grade gym class, which she’d prefer not to talk about). Now, she lives in Somerville, safely away from major mountain ranges. She’s an MFA candidate at Emerson and an editor at Macmillan, and her work has appeared in Necessary Fiction.


Derek JG Williams puts words into rows both long and short. He’s an MFA candidate at UMass Boston, where he teaches. Brenda Shaughnessy selected his poem “Ode to Tongue” for inclusion in the Best New Poets 2013 anthology. His poems are published or forthcoming in New Ohio Review, Plume, Redivider, Prairie Schooner, Salamander, Cider Press Review, and the Cortland Review, among others.


Emily Jaeger is an MFA candidate at UMASS Boston and co-editor/co-founder of Window Cat Press. The recipient of the Mary Curran scholarship for writing, her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Four Way Review, Soundings East, and Incessant Pipe Salon among others. Her chapbook The Evolution of Parasites is forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press July 2016.

Breakwater Reading: Back to School!

1329881901_94140b09eaSchool’s back in session and so is Breakwater! Reward yourself for making it through the first full week of the semester by listening to some of the wonderful MFA students from BU, Emerson, and UMass Boston read their work!

Join us Friday, September 18, at 7pm sharp in the basement of the Brookline Booksmith.

And the readers are…

Breakwater Pic

David Braga was born in raised in Northern Virginia. His fiction has been published by Redivider, Pantheon Magazine, Typehouse, and Riding Light.


Danya Bush is a second year fiction student in the MFA program at UMass Boston. She is originally from just east of Salt Lake City, Utah. Her work most recently appeared in Goddessmode, a chapbook published by Cool Skull Press.


Liam Day has been a youth worker, teacher, coach, school administrator, public health professional, political campaign manager, and professional basketball player. His poems have appeared at Slow Trains, Apt, and Wilderness House Literary Review. His essays and op-eds have appeared in the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Annalemma, and The Good Men Project, where he has served as sports editor. His first collection, Afforded Permanence, has been nominated for the 2015 Massachusetts Book Award in poetry. He is an MFA candidate in poetry at UMass Boston.


Angela Siew is a second-year MFA candidate in Poetry at Emerson College, where she is a volunteer screener for Ploughshares and Redivider. She is originally from Princeton, NJ and has worked as an ESL instructor in Chile and Italy. Angela is a water-lover — her work highlights this, her travel, and, occasionally, sliced fruit.

Breakwater Reading: School’s Out For Summer


We did it. Seriously, summer is actually here. We hope you’ve been outside enjoying the glory of life after winter as much as we have. Join us to celebrate the heat and the launch of Breakwater Review Issue 13 with readings by the talented MFA students from BU, Emerson, and UMass Boston.

Join us Friday, June 19, at 7pm sharp in the basement of the Brookline Booksmith.

Also make sure to look out for Issue 13 of Breakwater Review at The new issue features work from from Leslee Becker, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Danielle Legros Georges, and many more.

Here’s a line-up of our readers:


Grant Bonnier is an MFA candidate in fiction at UMass Boston where he is finishing a short story collection entitled “All the Pretty Things We Don’t Talk About.” He is originally from Miami and while he appreciates your enthusiasm, he doesn’t need to be reminded that the weather here is different. He is aware.


Tobi Earnheart-Gold is currently completing an MFA in Creative Writing at Boston University. Previously, he lived in a Buddhist monastery in Southern France. He has also spent time working as a shepherd on the island of Crete.


Mafaz Al-Suwaidan was born in Oklahoma, raised in Kuwait, went to college in Canada, and now lives in the Boston Public Library. She is an MFA fiction student at Emerson College. Her work often explores the delicate moments where identity is torn between tradition and modernity.


Sally Burnette is an M.F.A. candidate at Emerson College in Poetry.  Her recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Stolen Island, Contraposition, The Great American Poetry Show, the Outrider Review, Clockwise Cat, and others.  She’s not going to make you listen to any other dumb facts.

Jason Simon-Bierenbaum

Breakwater Reading: Beat the Heat

AppleThe skies have opened to pour bright sunshine into the cracks of the sidewalks and brick walkways of Boston! It’s filling the air with warm waves that are washing over frost-stiff shoulders and relaxing away the weariness of winter. It is warm at last!

What better way to celebrate the return of the sun than by experiencing the beaming talent of MFA students from BU, Emerson, and UMass Boston?

Where to Find Us
On May 15th: The Brookline Booksmith
More specifically: 7pm, Coolidge Corner, 279 Harvard Street, Brookline

Here’s a sneak peek at our line-up of readers:


Zoe Tokushige is a fiction student at Emerson College and hails from California by way of New York. The stories for her thesis are centered around the Japanese American community during WWII, and some have even been published.


Kyle Dacuyan is a Leo/Cancer rising, denizen of JP, and very-soon-to-be recipient of an MFA in Poetry from Emerson College. He has twice been a semi-finalist for the “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize and has received scholarships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and The Davidson Institute. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, The Nashville Review, THRUSH, DIALOGIST, and RHINO, among other places.

Mimi Cook

Mimi Cook hails from the rainy wilds of the Pacific Northwest. She migrated to study writing, and on Monday she will graduate with her MFA in Fiction from Emerson College where she also worked as a Marketing Assistant for Ploughshares at Emerson College, taught fiction to Boston public high school students through the emersonWRITES program, and assisted in coordinating the Breakwater Reading Series. In her free time, Mimi practices shotokan karate, throws dinner parties, and writes an epistolary food blog with her father.


Jessica Suzanne Stokes sometimes calls herself a poet.

Breakwater Reading: Spring Training

10155648_635960509839498_883816649113319551_nSnowdrops and forsythia have begun sprouting in the mud. Maybe soon you’ll believe that winter is done. Use the extra energy and positivity provided to you by the added Vitamin D beaming down from above to attend this month’s Breakwater reading.

What better way to coax spring into the neighborhood than by experiencing the blossoming talent of MFA students from BU, Emerson, and UMass Boston?

Join us Friday, April 17, at 7pm sharp in the basement of the Brookline Booksmith.

Where to Find Us
On April 17th: The Brookline Booksmith
More specifically: 7pm, Coolidge Corner, 279 Harvard Street, Brookline

Here’s a sneak peek at our line-up of readers:

Brionne Janae
is a Southern California native currently living in the city of Boston where she is finishing her M.F.A in Poetry at Emerson College.  Brionne’s work has been published or is forthcoming in Plume, the Fjords Review, Apogee Journal, Toe Good Poetry, Redivider and others. She is also the winner of the 2014 Muriel Craft Bailey Contest at the Comstock Review. Brionne is also Cave Canem Fellow. But most importantly Brionne just turned in her thesis yesterday!! and is now feeling mighty fancy.
Todd Natti is a native of Western New York. Don’t know what Western New York is? Well, Todd’s here to teach you. He may also throw in some information about canals and bear tossing. But maybe not. It’s hard to be sure. What is sure is he’s finishing his MFA at Emerson College after seven years, complete with a switch to nonfiction right before writing his thesis, which he defends directly before Friday’s reading. While that may not the norm, doing things last second is sort of Todd’s style, much to the chagrin of others. He hopes you’re as cool with it as they are.
Danya Bush. What can be said about her? I’m a straight-shooter so here’s the facts: she’s a first-year MFA candidate at UMass Boston, studying fiction. She’s a stellar gal. Her stories are like a billion-dollar pair of sunglasses, or like a waterfall on the surface of the sun: very cool, and also, very unexpected. The stupid fabric of existence is a real snooze-fest compare to the stories she writes. Perhaps she’s “The Chosen One”…. but then again perhaps she’s not. I don’t care. Danya Bush.
Jesse De Angelis is a student in the Boston University poetry MFA program, and has recently won third prize in a contest.

Michelle Samuels is an MFA candidate in fiction at Boston University, and co-coordinates the Writers at the Black Box reading series at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. Before coming down to Massachusetts she was a contributing reporter for New Hampshire Public Radio, covering food and farming, and her fiction has appeared in Quick Brown Fox, The Underground, and the anthology Love Free or Die.

August J Smith has been called many things: an Irish cabbie; a rapscallion; Danya Bush’s parents’ favorite child; a fourteen year old boy whose interests include mega hot babes; a dad lookalike; a lizard man with a mustache; the boy of your dreams. He’s a first-year MFA candidate in poetry at UMass Boston, but let’s be real: August’s been slaying the poetry game since he busted out the womb, and y’all better be ready because he’s about to drop some hecka rad poems on your earholes.

Breakwater Reading: Opening the Floodgates

Boston recently broke the record for most snowfall in the season, and now that that’s over with, we can hopefully put it right behind us. What better way to coax spring into the neighborhood than by showcasing the blossoming talent of MFA students from BU, Emerson, and UMass Boston?

Join us today, Friday, March 20, at 7pm sharp at the Brookline Booksmith..

Where to Find Us

On March 20th: The Brookline Booksmith
More specifically: 7pm, Coolidge Corner, 279 Harvard Street, Brookline

Here’s a sneak peek at our line-up of readers:

Bob Sykora

Bob Sykora is a first year MFA candidate at UMass Boston and the poetry editor for Breakwater Review. He is originally from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, CA, but his heart still resides in Chicago, where he used to be a high school teacher.


Breauna L. Roach is a native of Detroit, MI and a recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers Association’s Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in the Detroit Institute of Art, The Huffington Post, 22 Across Young Writer’s Review and various other publications. She is a proud Alumna of Florida A&M University, and has received fellowships from Callaloo and Cave Canem. Breauna is the former Editor of CaKe: a Journal of Poetry and Art and is currently a 1st year MFA student at Emerson College.


Antonina (Nina) Palisano is an MFA candidate at Boston University. She holds a degree in religion and creative writing from Hampshire College, where she completed a poetry manuscript about tuberculosis in the 19th century imagination. Nina was recently named a finalist in the 2015 Jewish Currents’ Raynes Poetry Prize, and has been the recipient of scholarships and grants from Flying Object and the Sandol Milliken Stoddard Fund. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Massachusetts Review, Potluck Magazine, Washington Square, the Bellevue Literary Review, and other publications.


Emily Jaeger is a returned Peace Corps volunteer and backyard organic farmer who dreams in four languages. A candidate in the MFA program at UMASS Boston, she is a Lambda Literary fellow and co-editor/co-founder of the Window Cat Press, a zine for young, emerging artists. Her publication list is up on her website.


Julia Mascioli is a third-year MFA candidate in Fiction at Emerson College, currently in the final throes of completing her thesis, a collection of linked stories. When she isn’t isn’t writing or worrying about writing, she does communications and grant writing for the DC-based nonprofit Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop, which uses books and writing to empower incarcerated youth.