News Details

April 18, 2016

MFA Alumnus Vince Trimboli Publishes First Chapbook

Vince Trimboli, a native of Elkins, WV and a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Low-Residency Master in Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing Program, releases his debut poetry chapbook Condominium Morte on April 19, 2016 with Ghost City Press of Syracuse, NY. Trimboli lives in Elkins and is an Adjunct Instructor of English at Davis & Elkins College, serves as Appalachian Art Editor for HeartWood Literary Magazine, and has published work in Still: The Journal, Connotation Press, and Clemson University's Upstart Journal. 

The title of the chapbook, a small paperback booklet that usually features poetry or works of fiction, gains inspiration from the recent trend of suicides of male adult film performers. “For about six months,” says Trimboli, “I could not look through queer news magazines without seeing another story on the subject. It made me think of how loss, not unlike the life of these men, is both exposed and very personal. It made me question what part of loss can be shared and what part must remain our own personal experience.” 

The chapbook’s arresting cover image, “Back Beach” (2008), is a drawing by Carol Pelletier with whom Trimboli took painting classes as an undergraduate at Wesleyan. “I was familiar with the drawing for many years and revisited it often while writing the poems for the chapbook,” says Trimboli. “I was so connected to the image and felt very blessed that the artist allowed me to use the piece and that my publisher allowed me the freedom to be a part of the book design.” 

In describing the finished chapbook’s relationship to his MFA thesis manuscript, Trimboli says, “The thesis was a helpful starting point to jump from to reach the manuscript. My writing has evolved a great deal since my final semester, so most of the poems in the collection are new, but the skills of editing and ordering work that I learned during the thesis process served me in such a wonderful way. The thesis also taught me how to look at a body of my own work through a scrupulous lens, to learn to detach from the emotional connection to the work and find what is truly successful.” 

Trimboli cites poets Maureen N. McLane and Monica Youn as influential on this project, as well as poet Lucie Brock-Broido. Trimboli says he owes of debt of gratitude to Brock-Broido. 

“I became obsessed with the way she uses language to create points of entry, then everything else becomes an invisible bridge,” he said. “The way she allows the reader to make the connections is such a gift. I hope to allow my readers to do the same.” 

Trimboli is a member of the very first cohort to graduate from Wesleyan’s MFA program. Very proud of Trimboli’s debut, MFA Director Jessie van Eerden said, “When our first group of seven students graduated in Summer 2013, it felt like we had launched something big and all we had to do was wait and see the wonderful work that would take shape. Vince’s work will be followed by more—more of his own work and more publications from this choir of voices.”

The MFA program will host Trimboli in the program’s public reading series during the summer residency on July 5 at 3:15 p.m. in the Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library on Wesleyan’s campus. 

Wesleyan’s low-residency MFA in Creative Writing offers an apprenticeship model that enables students to earn a graduate degree without having to uproot their lives. Students are on campus for an intense residency period of nine to ten days each summer and winter, and complete their semester course work through correspondence with a mentor. Launched by Irene McKinney, who served as WV’s Poet Laureate until her death in February 2012, the program continues to honor her vision: the dynamic faculty is committed to fostering the creation of fine literature, particularly literature that explores place and identity. This program is the only one of its kind in the state. 

For more information about Ghost City Press, or to order Condiminium Morte, visit For more information about Trimboli’s public reading, or about Wesleyan’s writing program, contact MFA Director van Eerden at, 304.473.8329, or visit the MFA website:




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