Michelle Belanger – the vampire’s biographer visits Northeast State

From Dracula to Lestat, vampires inspire thrills, terror, and a good deal of thought. Just ask any “Twilight” or “True Blood” fan.
Michelle Belanger (pronounced bell-lawn-zhay) is one of the key figures in the modern vampire community. An award-winning author and researcher, she is also a modern day vampire. And she’s coming to Northeast State Community College on Wednesday, Oct. 28 for two presentations at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the auditorium.

Belanger has shattered the code of secrecy that once shrouded her community in myth, sharing with the world what vampires really are and how they live their lives. The modern vampire has evolved into a seductive icon that embodies humanity’s darkest desires: undying beauty, eternal youth, sexual freedom, and immortal power. To most people vampires are myths, but to a burgeoning modern community, vampires are very, very real.

Belanger established herself as a significant voice in the modern vampire community. She published Shadowdance Magazine, a groundbreaking quarterly that explored the vampire in fiction, poetry, and art. Her members-only publication, “The Midnight Sun,” pushed the envelope even further by addressing the occult reality of modern vampires.

Head of the International Society of Vampires until 1997, Michelle then teamed up with the vampire network known as the Sanguinarium. Through the Sanguinarium, she helped establish the Black Veil, an internationally recognized code of ethics now synonymous with the modern vampire community.

Michelle has lectured on vampires and other aspects of the paranormal at colleges across the Midwest. Her work has been referenced on the SciFi Channel, CSI, the Discovery Channel, the Women's Entertainment Network, the History Channel, and A&E network.

She appears in numerous books on the vampire community, including Jeff Guinn's Something in the Blood, Christine Wicker’s Not In Kansas Anymore, and Katherine Ramsland’s The Science of Vampires.


Echoes and Images wins literary magazine award

Echoes and Images the student literary magazine of Northeast State Community College won 2nd place in the Southern division of the Community College Humanities Association’s (CCHA) National 2009 Literary Magazine Competition. 

The win marks the second consecutive year that the magazine earned the second place award for overall quality.

“We would like to kindly thank the wonderful students who contributed such amazing pieces of writing, art, and photography to this year’s edition, and made it a winner,” said Tempi Hale, instructor of English at Northeast State and one of the journal’s four faculty editors.

Published in the spring, the magazine features poems, short stories, essays, and visual art of painting and photography by currently enrolled Northeast State students.  Hale along with fellow faculty editors Tamara Baxter, Gretchen McCroskey, and Christal Hensley reviewed student entries and edited the publication. Regional artists JoAnn Asbury, Connie Jordan Green, Kenneth Murray, and Donald Seacrest judged the entries by category.

The first place visual arts winner – “Ganesh Tree” by Jacob Yelton for 2009 – served as the magazine’s cover art. The 2009 edition features a nonfiction essay about putting up a Christmas tree after a divorce; the loss of a childhood friend; poems about bemused anger of life’s daily scenes and the frustration of writing; a painting of a geisha; and a photograph of a kiss on the railroad tracks.

Echoes and Images has been consistently recognized for excellence by the CCHA. In addition to choosing the three best literary magazines, Association judges also choose the best work in each artistic category.  Last year, Association judges selected “The Picture of My Daddy,” written by former Northeast State student Thomas Mink, as the best work of nonfiction in the Southern division.

Founded in 1979, the CCHA is the only national organization for humanities faculty and administrators dedicated to preserving and strengthening the humanities in two-year colleges. The Association’s literary magazine competition awards honor community colleges in five geographical divisions throughout the United States.