Texas State was represented at the annual Children’s Literature Association conference, held this year in Richmond, Virginia, by Marilynn Olson and Graeme Wend-Walker. Marilynn presented “Billy Whiskers (1902-1930): Mrs. Montgomery Defines Freedom for Young America,” and Graeme presented “The Excluded Middle in Political Criticism: How Did ‘Liberty’ and ‘Death’ Become the Only Options?”
Keith Needham’s former student teacher and English major, Jonathan Sixtos, has been named Texas Region III Teacher of the Year. He now will advance to compete at the state level.
The 2015 Iowa Poetry Prize has been awarded to John Blair’s Playful Song Called Beautiful. This year’s judge was University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop visiting professor Craig Morgan Teicher, who wrote of the book that “… rolling tercets become the unlikely medium for all manner of slippery, expansive, and emotive thinking. For Blair, poetry’s shifting, mutable meaning is ‘all the comfort you need, all/ thecomfort you get.’” Playful Song Called Beautiful is Blair’s third book of poetry. His work has appeared in literary journals such as Poetry, The New York Quarterly, The Sewanee Review, The Antioch Review, and New Letters. His poetry collection The Green Girls won the 2003 Lena-Miles WeverTodd Poetry Prize; and his short story collection American Standard was awarded the 2002 Drue-Heinz Literature Prize.
MFA Fiction graduate 2012 Evan McMurry has been working as a writer for the small, feisty, always intelligent and well-written political blog Mediaite. He’s just accepted a position as Political Editor for ABC News.
Amanda Scott’s nonfiction piece “Cherry Blossom appears in the latest issue of Word Riot: http://www.wordriot.org/archives/8229 [archived]. Amanda is graduate student (currently MATC, formerly MFA) in the English Department at Texas State.
Alan Schaefer presented “Comic Art and the Music Posters of Austin, Texas” on July 3 at the Amsterdam Comics Conference at the University of Amsterdam.
Annie Shepherd’s essay “Life Outside the Straw” appears in the North Dakota Quarterly.