We are pleased to announce that Mike Alvarez has signed with Penumbra Literary! Mike Alvarez is a Communication PhD student and an ALANA Diversity Fellow at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University, and received his MA and MFA degrees from Goddard College.
Collectively, Mike’s research and writings seek to humanize (rather than medicalize) suicide. Mike wrote his MFA thesis on his admission to a mental hospital following an aborted suicide attempt. Prior to that, he won the Charles Flaherty Award for his Henry Rutgers thesis on suicide and phenomenal creativity. In recent years, Mike has presented his scholarly work on the deaths of Iris Chang, Kurt Cobain, and other such important figures at the Psychology & the Other Conference, and the Creativity & Madness Conferences. Meanwhile, his critical and creative writings have appeared in Mason’s Road, Connotation Press, and Pitkin Review, among others. As part of his doctoral studies, he is currently examining the representation of suicide in film, and how parents who have lost a child to suicide express grief in cyberspace.
Mike is at work on his first book entitled A Violin in the Void: The Paradox of Suicide and Creativity, a groundbreaking examination of the link between suicide and creativity, synthesized from hundreds of sources, years of research, and travel to galleries and archives nationwide. Penumbra Literary is looking forward to working with Mike on such an timely and culturally relevant topic.