Dr. Debra Monroe Awarded at the 2020 Conference of Southern Graduate Schools for her Mentorship of MFA Writers

Texas State’s Professor of Creative Writing, Dr. Debra Monroe, was recently recognized with two awards for her twenty-seven successful years mentoring MFA Creative Writing students: The Graduate College Outstanding Mentor Award sponsored by Texas State, and The Conference of Southern Graduate School’s Outstanding Mentor Award.

At Texas State, Dr. Monroe was selected unanimously over other nominated mentors for her work with graduate fiction writers. She received a plaque, an honorarium, and a nomination from Dean of the Graduate College Dr. Andrea Golato for the Conference of Southern Graduate School’s Outstanding Mentor Award. In this nationwide competition between other universities’ most successful mentors, Dr. Monroe rose above other nominees to win the conference award for 2019-2020, which celebrates best practices in graduate studies. The Conference of Southern Graduate Schools reports that this award recognizes an advisor who has maintained successful mentorship of graduate students by “facilitating student learning by making complex ideas understandable and meaningful,” the “establishment and maintenance of high academic standards,” and “consistent and ongoing guidance of students regarding resources within and outside the university, conflict resolution, and advocacy for completion of the program of study in a timely manner.” On each of these standards, and many others, Dr. Monroe exceeds expectations for winning this regional award.

Dr. Golato was introduced to Dr. Monroe through the impressive record of her work and the many successes of her writing students after she was nominated for Texas State’s Graduate College Outstanding Mentor Award. “This woman never sleeps,” Dr. Golato states as she passionately relates the extensive list of Dr. Monroe’s accomplishments and contributions, which include 32 student publications of work by former students over just the past two years, and a total of 27 book publications by her graduate mentees over her tenure at Texas State. Today, many of her students attribute the success of their own writing to the mentorship and critical guidance they received from Dr. Monroe, who found success in publishing her own work after completing her Ph.D. at the University of Utah.

Dr. Monroe’s dissertation became her first fiction publication, The Source of Trouble, which was awarded The Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction in 1990. Not only does Dr. Monroe support young fiction writers as a mentor and Professor of Creative Writing, but her accomplishments as a writer allow her to bring her own notable successes and experiences with writing and publishing to the advice she offers her students. Other successful works include her nationally acclaimed memoir On the Outskirts of Normal: Forging a Family Against the Grain (2015), which details her experience as the mother in a mixed-race, single-parent family in the American South.

Admiring Dr. Monroe’s work with students beyond her work as a professor, Dr. Golato explains what is “truly special about [Dr. Monroe’s] mentorship is that she has helped students find daycare for their children … find family resources…. [She] encourage[s] students to go on when life gets tough” and return to their work if they have had to leave the program. Dr. Golato’s endorsement of Dr. Monroe continues as she describes her enduring and special impact as an advisor in the humanities. “In the sciences students publish in a team of other students, postdocs, and their professor. Student research interests are often the same as the professor’s because of this.” She explains that, since students in the humanities generally work on isolated projects with their professor’s guidance, they generally graduate with fewer publications than students in the sciences. However, Dr. Monroe’s achievement is that this general trend is not true for her students, and that “this is where Dr. Monroe breaks the mold.”

Dr. Monroe comes to know and value her students as people as well as young writers. It is this mentorship that many students cite as crucial to their successful writing careers, which contain such a long list of student publications that her nomination for the Conference of Southern Graduate School’s Outstanding Mentor Award could include only the most recent two years of student achievements. Serving as much more than a writing coach, Dr. Monroe contributes to the lives and work of her graduate students while maintaining a successful writing career herself.

– Kennedy Farrell, English Major

2019 Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement Awarded to Naomi Shihab Nye

The 2019 Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement has been awarded to Texas State Professor of Creative Writing, Naomi Shihab Nye. This prestigious honor is awarded each year by the National Book Critics’ Circle (NBCC) and is named after the NBCC’s first president. Nye joins the ranks of previous winners such as Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, and PEN America. Nye will receive the award at a ceremony in New York on March 12, 2020.

Nye’s expansive body of work comprises over thirty-five projects and spans a variety of literary modes, including poetry, young-adult fiction, essays, and novels. Many of Nye’s works reflect her upbringing as a Palestine-American splitting time between Jerusalem and the American South, allowing her to explore themes of heritage and culture in her work. A student studying fiction in the MFA Creative Writing program at Texas State, Caleb Ajinomoho, says that Nye’s poetry “workshops are ritualistic,” and feature Nye’s “genuine, warm, and accessible” presence. Although he writes fiction, Ajinomoho returns to Nye’s workshops regularly, seeking inspiration and “[encouragement] to tap deeper into what’s happening around [him],” and to achieve the same awareness and presence featured in Nye’s celebrated publications. Among these publications are her first collection of poems, titled Different Ways to Pray (1980), which describes the experience of and tensions between cultures in the American South and Mexico; and a children’s book titled Habibi (1997), for which she won the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award (1998).

A writer since her early childhood, Nye continued practicing her craft while she attended Trinity University in San Antonio, where in 1974 she earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and World Religions. Her long experience with writing and studying her craft informs the calm leadership described by current MFA poetry student Katie Kistler, who notes that Nye’s workshops “cultivate an intensely helpful workshopping group each semester.” Kistler describes Nye as the type of mentor and leader that will remind young poets to note all criticisms, including both positive and negative comments made about their work. Kistler continues, “[Nye] has taken her lifetime of writing and revising and turned around to be a mentor for us MFA students — not comparing us to writers who have practiced for decades, but showcasing the practiced empathy of someone who cares deeply about the success of her peers and poetic successors.”

Nye’s work is featured in major online and print poetry anthologies, from ThePoetryFoundation.org to Poets.org. Of her work, the Poetry Foundation states that “Nye is a fluid poet, and her poems are also full of the urgency of spoken language.” In many of Nye’s poems, she offers her observations on humanity gained during her world travels. Of her Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature (2013), World Literature Today describes how “[Nye’s] incandescent humanity and voice can change the world, or someone’s world, by taking a position not one word less beautiful than an exquisite poem.”

Named a finalist for the 2002 National Book Award for her exploration of Middle Eastern culture and heritage in 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East, Nye has two new books set for publication this year: Cast Away: Poems for Our Time (February 2020) and Everything Comes Next: New and Collected Poems (September 2020). Last year she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. A world-renowned poet and teacher, Nye uses her rich personal history and experiences to compose the perceptive and engaging works that earn her so much acclaim, and to mentor young writers at Texas State with compassion and profound insight.

 

– Kennedy Farrell, English Major

Miscellany – March 4, 2020

Whitney May’s essay, “The Technology of Anguish: (Re)Imagining Post-9/11 Trauma in the Fantasy Universes of Tamora Pierce,” has been published in the edited collection Displaced: Literature of Indigeneity, Migration, and Trauma, from Routledge. The collection is part of their “Studies in Contemporary Literature” series. Whitney recently participated as a panelist at the Common Experience event “The Truth About Urban Myths and Legends,” a roundtable discussion between Texas State students and scholars of folklore at the university.

Vanessa Couto Johnson will be a reader at the AWP 2020 Offsite joint event of Forklift, Ohio; Rinky Dink Press; and Slope Editions, held at Bar 1919 on Thursday, March 5 from 9-11 p.m. She is also scheduled for author signings at the AWP Bookfair at Slope Editions’ table (T2036) on Saturday, March 7 from 12:30-2:00 p.m.

MFA fiction student Brady Brickner-Wood published a review of Emily Nemens’ debut novel, The Cactus League, in Harvard Review. Her short story, “Shrine Room,” will appear in Bellevue Literary Review‘s spring issue.

 Katie Kapurch published “The Beatles, Fashion, and Cultural Iconography,” a chapter in Kenneth Womack’s new collection, The Beatles in Context. The book is part of Cambridge University Press’s “Composers in Context” series and explores wide-ranging aspects of the Beatles’ artistry.

Kathleen Peirce’s new poetry manuscript, Lion’s Paw, will be published by Miami University Press.

Cyrus Cassells and Naomi Shihab Nye will receive awards at this year’s meeting of the Texas Institute of Letters: Cyrus’ Still Life with Children: Selected Poems of Francesc Parcerisas will receive The Souerette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translation of a Book, and Naomi’s The Tiny Journalist will receive The Helen C. Smith Memorial Award for Best Book of Poetry.

Assistant Professor Cecily Parks has been named Sigma Tau Delta Professor of the Year. Her poem “Nasturtiums” appears in the latest issue of wildness at https://readwildness.com/21/.

Ross Feeler’s short story “Parisian Honeymoon,” was published in Electric Literature‘s Recommended Reading, with an introduction by Brandon Taylor: <https://electricliterature.com/parisian-honeymoon-ross-feeler/>

MARC student Lea Colchado’s poems “Ausencia” and “Sundays” have been accepted for publication in Boundless: The Anthology of the Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival.

Dean of the Graduate College Dr. Andrea Golato reports that Dr. Debra Monroe, faculty member in the Department of English, is the recipient of the 2019–2020 Conference of Southern Graduate Schools Outstanding Mentor Award. Since more than 200 graduate colleges belong to CSGS, the competition for this award is quite fierce and being selected is a very special honor. The Graduate College nominated Dr. Monroe, who was also the recipient of the 2019-2020 Graduate College Outstanding Mentor Award, for her outstanding work with countless Master’s students in the Creative Writing MFA program. In particular, the committee recognized her tireless efforts to work closely with both students and alumni and help them publish their creative works as award-winning books and stories in high-profile venues. Through her efforts, she has greatly enhanced the academic and professional pursuits of her students while also attracting top-quality applicants to the Creative Writing Program at Texas State. The Conference of Southern Graduate Schools Outstanding Mentor Award will be bestowed upon Dr. Monroe next Weekend at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools Annual Meeting. She will receive a monetary award and a very nice plaque.

Kitty Ledbetter’s article, “The Women’s Press,” has just been published in Volume 2 of the Edinburgh History of the British and Irish Press, a three-volume history that offers a definitive account of newspaper and periodical press activity across Britain and Ireland from 1650 to the present day.

Film Concentration for English Majors Explores Visual Texts

“I think I had [an interest in film] from the very beginning,” Texas State English professor Dr. Suparno Banerjee explains. “I started my scholarly writing with film.” Dr. Banerjee works to deepen his students’ understanding of course material by incorporating film into his classes and analyzing the themes within specific genres such as science fiction, which he often teaches. He welcomes exploring a text alongside its filmic adaptation, stating that “one major way of representing is in film” and comparisons of text and adaptation can reveal more about the issues presented in class.

To supplement the discussions of colonialism Dr. Banerjee held in several of his courses last Fall, he hosted a showing of Two Flags followed by a talk with its director, Pankaj Rishi Kumar. The documentary pertained directly to his course material in its exploration of the politics of the post-colonial town Pondicherry, India and allowed students to explore the representation of these issues on screen, as well as discuss them with the director in a Q&A session. Being able to discuss the work with other attendees, professors, and sometimes filmmakers or directors offered a unique experience for students to engage in a discussion of the issues that surface in their course texts.

Dr. Banerjee’s perspective on the value of teaching film as text and its important role in the English Studies is supported by the Film Studies emphasis offered to English majors. Requiring a subset of three Advanced English film elective courses distinguishes this degree path from the traditional English major. These classes cover such topics as Theory and Criticism in Film (ENG 3320), Writing for Film (ENG 3306), The Southwest in Film (ENG 3309), allowing students to personalize their academic investigations.  Whether students are interested in filmmaking, understanding various texts, or analyzing film alongside literature, the Film Studies emphasis prepares undergraduates to think critically about film. Integral to the development of the emphasis is Dr. Rebecca Bell-Metereau, its Coordinator, who explains that the program allows students to evaluate “film adaptation, try their hand at video editing, or explore such topics as gender, monster theory, politics, or conspiracy films.”

Senior Lecturer Jon Marc Smith recalls his own interest in film, which led him to pursue screenwriting after he completed his MFA in Fiction at Texas State. Smith explored the screenplay as a genre by reviewing academic film criticism and the history of film. This passion rewarded him, when in 2010 he co-wrote a screenplay that was made into a film, Dance with the One, featured at Austin’s SXSW Festival. That same year Smith created the Writing for Film (ENG 3306) class at Texas State, which is now one of the Advanced English electives approved for the emphasis. Smith also now teaches Writing for Film and An Introduction to the Study of Film (ENG 3307), allowing him to work with students developing the same interests he had. He believes the study of film helps students understand that “visual texts [that] are a part of modern life,” and that “learning to do filmic criticism or create visual media is directly relevant to most students,” regardless of their particular academic goals or interests.

Topics and themes explored in recent Film Studies courses include English Department Chair Dr. Victoria Smith’s Fall 2019 course Advanced Topics in Film: Mainstream Queer Cinema (ENG 3308), which evaluated Queer films as modes of representation and how they interact with their audiences, considering such elements as “filmic aspects – the mise-en-scene, cinematography, and editing.” In The Southwest in Film (ENG 3309), offered by Dr. McClancy this Spring 2020 semester, students evaluate Western film, investigating the filmic and cultural aspects of Westerns that “work to create place, ideology, and nation.”

From exploring colonialism, to queer theory, to nationhood, Film Studies courses reflect the diverse content offered in the English Department curriculum. Dr. Banerjee and Mr. Smith, like their colleagues teaching in the emphasis, see films as “visual texts,” providing an opportunity to apply the critical skills all Texas State English majors gain through their studies. Students interested in learning more about the Film Studies emphasis, its requirements, or the electives offered should visit the course catalog, speak with their academic advisor, or email Dr. Bell-Metereau (rb12@txstate.edu) directly.

 

Kennedy Farrell, English Major

Miscellany – February 17, 2020

MFA poetry student James Trask has six poems in the latest issue of Mudfish Magazine.  James was a finalist in their contest and read at their launch party in NYC on January 16.

Susan Morrison was an Invited Scholar and core participant in the multidisciplinary seminar on “Waste: Histories and Futures” at Rice University in mid-January. An interview with Susan on the joys of wandering the Texas State campus, conducted by Emily Cordo (MFA poetry student), appeared in TXST Connections: https://stories.txstate.edu/uniquely-texas-state/2019/a-wanderers-guide-to-txst.html.

“Spectrality and Spectatorship: Heterotopic Doubling in Cinematic Circuses,” by MA Literature graduate and Lecturer Whitney May, appears in The Big Top on the Big Screen: Explorations of the Circus on Film, from McFarland & Company.

MFA fiction student Clayton Bradshaw’s review of Cyrus Cassell’s The World that The Shooter Left Us appears in the latest issue of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review.

Assistant Professor Cecily Parks’ poem “The Seeds” will appear in The Best American Poetry 2020; the anthology will be published by Scribner this fall. Cecily’s poem “December” appears in the February 14 issue of The New Yorker.

Miriam Williams and her co-author Natasha Jones won the 2020 CCCC Technical and Scientific Communication Award in the category of Best Article Reporting Historical Research or Textual Studies in Technical and Scientific Communication for their article, “Technologies of Disenfranchisement: Literacy Tests and Black Voters in the US from 1890 to 1965,” which appeared in Technical Communication. They will be presented with the award at the Awards Session of the 2020 CCCC Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

MFA fiction graduate and Lecturer Jay Cruz will present “Connected Hypermasculinity in Nineties Films and Today: Fight Club, The Truman Show, and Office Space” at the Far West Popular Culture Conference, taking place in Las Vegas from Feb. 21-23.

Steve Wilson’s poem “Seasonals” appeared in the 2019 issue of The Concord Saunterer: A Journal of Thoreau Studies, produced by the Thoreau Society. On Feb. 12, Steve read from his new book, The Reaches, at an event sponsored by the San Marcos Public Library to mark the collection’s publication.

MARC student Lea Colchado will present “Chola y Sola: A Chicana’s Fight To Find Her Voz En Academia (An Autohistoria)” at the La Chola Conference 2020, taking place at Mira Costa College in Oceanside California from April 23rd-24th.

Poetry International Online has just published a special feature of Cyrus Cassells’ border crisis poems: https://poetryinternationalonline.com/cyrus-cassells-a-chapbook-of-border-crisis-poems/. Cyrus also has an interview and two more border crisis poems in the new edition of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. His first-ever chapbook, More Than Watchmen At Daybreak, is due out from Nine Mile Books on April 6. I will be reading from it on March 30 at 5:30PM at Texas State. Cyrus Cassells also has been elected to the Texas Institute of Letters.

Christian Wallace

South of Texas State’s main campus, bands play nightly at the historic Cheatham Street Warehouse in front of a floor-to-ceiling, stage-lit Texas flag. Country classics, blues, original compositions, and local favorites such as George Strait’s hits, resonate within the honky-tonk – now preserved as a piece of local San Marcos culture. This lively musical hotspot draws students from the University as some of the visitors, musicians, and artists who fill the space. One of those students, now forever changed by his experience at Cheatham Street, is Texas State Alumnus and Texas Monthly writer Christian Wallace.

During his time at Texas State, while he completed his undergraduate degree in English, Wallace frequented the local Cheatham Street honky-tonk. Surprisingly, Wallace’s trips to Cheatham Street, where he embraced what he describes as a “vibrant community of artists,” influenced the subsequent thirteen years of his education and career. Cheatham Street was a place to explore and relax while attending classes at Texas State University, but the hangout also became a scholarly and journalistic interest for Wallace when he chose to focus his Honors thesis on the history of the establishment and local country music. During Wallace’s final years at Texas State, the location was in danger of being bulldozed before two Texas State professors purchased the space to prevent the destruction of this cultural hotspot – a potential loss that propelled Wallace’s research. Wallace completed his thesis, graduated from Texas State in 2007, and went on to earn a degree in Writing from the National University of Galway in Ireland. There, he explored Ireland’s culture through music, living with a group of artists and friends he made in this home-away-from-home. He began writing poetry to supplement his prose work, receiving acclaim and publishing several of his pieces in the States and Ireland. Wallace received a Pushcart nomination for a piece titled “Drought” that appeared in the Literati Quarterly and covered his experience working in a Texas oil field.

Today, Wallace is accomplishing a long-term goal of writing full-time for Texas Monthly. Having read the magazine his whole life, Wallace notes “[he] didn’t just want to write for a magazine, [he] wanted to write for Texas Monthly.” When Wallace returned to the States after graduate school, he realized to write for Texas Monthly he needed to secure an internship that would begin his career at the magazine. These internships, he found, were primarily awarded to students in exchange for course credit, so Wallace re-enrolled at his alma mater. Finding himself a student again, Wallace participated in the English department’s internship program, led by Internship Director Dan Price. This program allowed Wallace to pursue his Texas Monthly position, meeting only once every two weeks on campus to receive credit. Eventually, and because of his work as an intern, Wallace was able to advance to assistant editor in 2016.

His recent articles, achieving the most acclaim and exposure to date for his journalistic work, cover traditional Texas honky-tonks and their influence on the people who frequent them. Last year Wallace’s “Texas’s Greatest Honky-Tonk Hits,” was the cover article for Texas Monthly’s September issue. Facing away from the camera and leaning against a jukebox, Wallace himself is pictured on the cover of the magazine, selecting a song from the many Texas classics. This piece is currently a finalist for a National Magazine Award, which Wallace describes as “the Oscars of magazine writing.” He describes this project as symbolic of coming “full circle,” and returning to his academic interest in honky-tonks that started as a hobby while he studied at Texas State.

Currently, Wallace is creating episodes of a podcast that explores the West Texas oil boom and is titled “Boomtown.” Of all his projects, he claims this has been his most challenging. Wallace explains the thoughtful intention of scripting the pre-recorded show: if something needs to be changed “[he has] to go all the way back and re-record. It’s not like writing a story where [he] can just delete a word to change it.” This project has released episodes since December as weekly installments through Texas Monthly, showcasing Wallace as writer, reporter, and host.

As a journalist, his daily work may change from “reporting on a covered wagon in Houston, Texas” to “sitting in a basement listening to recorded archives,” as he prepares for and writes stories. Reflecting on the many hats he has worn in the time since completing his degree and achieving his dream of becoming a writer for Texas Monthly, Wallace recalls the resources he had at Texas State to help him reach his goals. Access to the Wittliff Collections, internship resources coordinated by the English Department, and professors available to offer advice are among the assets he valued most, seeing him through his time as a student and beyond.

 

– Kennedy Farrell, English Major

Miscellany – January 22, 2020

The National Book Critics Circle Award announced a special lifetime achievement award to recognize Naomi Shihab Nye, The Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement, which is given to a person or institution — a writer, publisher, critic, or editor, among others — who has, over time, made significant contributions to book culture. The awards ceremony in New York is March 12.

MA Literature graduate and Lecturer Whitney Shylee May presented two papers at the recent meeting of the Modern Language Association, held in Seattle: “‘It Was Only Because I Was Radically Both’: Fin De Siècle Doppelgängers and the New British Cosmopolitanism”; and “‘Many Books, Many Poes’: Pop-Culture Authorship and the Cult of Edgar Allan Poe.”

Lecturer and MFA poetry graduate Vanessa Couto Johnson has a poem in the Dialogist, accompanied by a recording of her reading the poem: https://dialogist.org/poetry/2019-week-50-vanessa-couto-johnson She also has a poem in Everything in Aspic‘s debut issue, which can be read here: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5d5883acff86bf0001f42ae9/t/5df6f6dd460f77349dcd341d/1576466151495/Everything+in+Aspic+%231.pdf

MFA poetry student Anthony Bradley’s essay, “My Accent Makes Me Beautiful,” appears in the latest issue of Coachella Review: http://thecoachellareview.com/wordpress/archives-2/nonfiction/my-accent-makes-me-beautiful/

“associative thinking,” by MFA poetry graduate and Lecturer Melanie Robinson, was published online by The Boiler Journalhttps://theboilerjournal.com/2020/01/07/melanie-kristeen/

Rob Tally’s article “Said, Marxism, and Spatiality: Wars of Position in Oppositional Criticism” appears in ariel: A Review of International English Literature, in a special issue (belatedly) commemorating the 40th anniversary of Edward Said’s Orientalism. Rob’s interview with Professors Liyuan Zhu and Yang Lu of Fudan University in Shanghai has just been published in the Chinese journal Academic Research. His English responses were translated into Chinese by Dr. Fang Ying, who was a visiting scholar in the English Department here last year. The title, in English, is “Spatial Theory and Geographical Criticism: A Dialogue between Zhu Luyuan, Lu Yang, and Robert Tally.”

The D.H. Lawrence Society of North America awarded MFA fiction student Mary-Pat Hayton a partial Fellowship to attend the 15th D.H. Lawrence International Conference in Taos, New Mexico, July 12 -17, where she will present.

MFA poetry graduate Danielle Zaccagnino’s book of hybrid essays and experimental poems Suppose Muscle, Suppose Night, Suppose This is forthcoming from Mason Jar Press in August 2020.

Steve Wilson took part in a poetry reading at Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston on January 18, in support of the anthology Enchantment of the Ordinary, which includes Steve’s work.

Debra Monroe was interviewed about creating her teaching anthology—and about the genre itself and about pedagogical aims—in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies. https://www.assayjournal.com/debra-monroe.html?fbclid=IwAR1N9OKDUhWMhxsYQQOGmEHgacRHWZy96AiAfqA0UWQs0W_12SfJxvu4F-s

Miscellany – Jan 06, 2020

MATC student Cristian Hernandez accepted a position as Technical Writer at IBM in Austin, Texas.

MFA fiction student Clayton Bradshaw’s scholarly poster entitled “Literacy and Therapy: Creative Writing for Incarcerated Veterans” was accepted for presentation at the Military Social Work and Behavioral Health Conference, to be held April 9-10, 2020 at the University of Texas-Austin; he will present with Brooke Pillifant on their work developing creative writing and storytelling classes for veterans at the Travis County Correctional Center and the Hays County Jail. Clayton’s personal essay “The Rain Falls Like Democracy” was selected as the Publisher’s Pick in Issue 12 of Barren Magazine.  The piece may be found at https://barrenmagazine.com/the-rain-falls-like-democracy/.

MARC graduate and Lecturer Connor Wilson will present “Who’s Really Writing?: Automated Writing Analysis and the Authorial Voice” at the March 2020 meeting of the College English Association, taking place on South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island.

John Blair’s story collection This Heart and Its Flames has been named winner of the Prize Americana for Prose 2019.

Susan Morrison’s article on teaching in East Germany in the 1980s and analyzing her Stasi (secret police) file, “Teaching in East Germany in the 1980s: Collaborating with my Stasi File,” appears in the Autumn issue of FORUM: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture and the Arts. Susan was invited to contribute by MFA poetry graduate Dorothy Lawrenson, who is now pursuing a PhD at the University of Edinburgh.
http://www.forumjournal.org/article/view/4142/5844

MFA poetry graduate and Lecturer Katherine Stingley’s manuscript, “The Chorus is Ready,” was named a finalist by Texas Review Press for their 2019 X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize.

In support of Steve Wilson’s new collection of poetry, The Reaches, Small Fires Press has created a poetry broadside of “Hello” in an edition of 100 copies.

Elizabeth Skerpan-Wheeler has been named a section editor (North America) for the Routledge Encyclopedia of the World Renaissance. She is also a contributor.

English major Emily Fullenwider’s presentation “The Personal and Powerful Drawings within Kathy Acker’s Blood and Guts in High School” has been accepted for the Comics Arts Conference, to be held at the Anaheim, CA meeting of WonderCon, taking place in April. Emily wrote the essay for Steve Wilson’s Fall 2019 “Sexing the Word” course.

Cyris Cassells’ poem “Altitude” was the December 30th poem of the day at the Academy of American Poets website:  https://academyofamericanpoets.cmail20.com/t/ViewEmail/y/A5A4A4CBE4024522/D5A988C5060D7DA24AB3169DA1FD82E9.