Alison Fromme's current work-in-progress is a creative nonfiction project that explores her unusual connection to 18th century wax anatomical models. The development of this project has been supported by a National Association of Science Writers Career Development Grant, a Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and a Tompkins County Community Arts Partnership Grant. (Image credit: Wellcome Library, London. A human head partially dissected and seen from the front. Drawing by R. Ennis, 2007.)
"...I came to the inlet bridge, and, unlike anything else in that park, it sparkled new with bright hardware and fresh wood. The stroller tut-tut-tutted over the wooden boards to the other side and all the way past the Fire Department’s burned-out practice building. Ahead, something blocked my path. A stick, perhaps. But no. It was a disembodied deer leg." <Purchase the 2020 issue of Stone Canoe literary journal to read "Afterbirth" > (Image credit: Corvus, cast glass and welded steel, 2018-2019, by Tiffany Hill)
"...Just as we reach a lagoon, I look up to see a twirling wisp of black, about the size of a cigarette, but lighter, like a feather. Then I see another, and another. Some different sizes, some fringed with white. They fall and rise with the wind until they land in the water and disintegrate. The air is distinctly smoky, and these black bits are ashes. Ten miles inland a wildfire burns." <Read the rest at the Last Word on Nothing> (Image credit: USFWS)
Motherhood is a Joke, a live comedy showcase, sold out at Ithaca's Kitchen Theater in March 2020 -- but was cancelled due to the pandemic. Now it's a documentary-in-the-making. Alison is a co-organizer of the program and a performer, working together with creator Yael Saar, filmmaker Shira Evergreen, comedian Kenneth McLaurin, singer SingTrece, and a dozen additional performers. This project was supported by the Tompkins County Community Arts Partnership and the New York State Council on the Arts.
Alison performed an except of her work-in-progress, "The Wax Woman," at Roc the Mic's 2018 sold out production of the Listen to Your Mother literary reading in Rochester, NY. She shared the stage with thirteen other cast members directed by Monica Gebell, Sally Bittner Bonn, and Corrie Carter.
Selected Earlier Work
In The Science Writers’ Handbook and at the accompanying blog, Alison Fromme and 34 other leading science writers shared their hard-won wisdom and illuminating stories, going beyond the basics to cover everything else needed to survive and thrive as a science writer.
At Hot Potato Press, Alison Fromme founded and led a team of writers documenting the emerging food culture in Tompkins County, NY from 2013-2018. This hyperlocal food news and networking project, launched by GreenStar Community Projects (501c3), aimed to dig deep into the issues affecting a small rural community.
"Large flightless birds are scattered across all but one of the world's southern continents. Since Darwin's era, people have wondered: How are they related?" <Read more at National Geographic>
"In June of 1972, Jane Shadel Spillman finished up some loose ends at the Corning Museum of Glass, where she was an assistant curator, and prepared to leave for a conference and archaeological tour in Mexico. She packed her bag and closed the door of her apartment, located on Center Way, just across from the Museum. At least that’s where her home was when she left..." <Read more of Picking Up The Pieces, the Mountain Home Magazine article, winner of both a Keystone Press Award and the International Regional Magazine Association's Gold Medal for Historical Feature here: picking_up_the_pieces.pdf>
"Just after sunrise on a still-cool July morning, Carla Cicero bushwhacks through a willow thicket in northern California's Lassen Volcanic National Park. A column of sleepy-looking graduate students follows her, many of them hauling packs draped with netting, aluminum poles, and canvas bags. Chirping loudly but unseen in the branches above them are the songbirds they seek. Although Cicero, a curator and researcher at UC Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, is going off-trail, she's following a track rich with history..." <Read more in Backpacker Magazine>
"'I can't let you into the country with those.' The man at the U.S. Department of Agriculture checkpoint at the Los Angeles airport was talking about the freshwater snails -- the all-important subjects of my master's thesis research -- that I was importing from New Zealand..." <Read more in Washington State Magazine>
Fuel for Debate: Examining the Natural Gas Fracking Controversy; High Voltage: Analyzing the Physics Behind an Electrifying Stunt; Sequencing the Stages: Understanding H.I.V. Infection at the Molecular Level <Read these lessons and more at The New York Times Learning Network>
"Join Jean-Michel Cousteau’s team and film gray whales… Swim with sharks and experience the threats they face, striving to stay alive… Chase trash away from Kure Atoll to protect dolphins, seals, seabirds, and more…" <Play educational video games at KQED-PBS (text by Alison Fromme)>
Photo by Alison Fromme