Tomás Q. Morín

Nov. 19th, 2019

Standing on East San Antonio Street and gazing across the lawn towards the Hays County Courthouse, an architect might realize that the building’s domes and coulomb-supported, peaked entrance are reminiscent of Thomas Jefferson’s neoclassical plantation house.A headshot of Tomàs Q Morín Walking the downtown streets, that same architect might notice the many arched windows patterned with painted brick that decorate the businesses lining the square. Poet and professor of creative writing Tomás Q. Morín, who earned his MFA in Creative Writing at Texas State and is the author of the recent collection Patient Zero, says that, through exploring the “history, style, technique, and the interaction of [these elements] in design and culture,” one uncovers stories hidden within the details. He encourages students and young authors to read as writers, “mov[ing] through a book the same way an architect moves through a city.” Moreover, he says these young writers must experiment with the forms and techniques they find in the texts they read.

Among the texts Morín admires for their enlightening takes on craft and storytelling is Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada, a nonfiction text he taught over several semesters at Texas State during his time as a Senior Lecturer. This text was originally written in German, an acquired language for its Japanese-born author. Morín appreciated the complexities of an author writing creatively in a second language, a subject the text explores. Incorporating a similar method in his own poetry, he brings his knowledge of the Spanish language and the Latinx community from which he comes to his writing. In his debut collection of poetry, A Larger Country, Morín explored “other countries, whether they be real or countries of the mind.” The manuscript was selected for the prestigious American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize from over one thousand entries, with the book being named a runner-up for the Joyce Osterweil Award from PEN America, which recognizes important literary achievement by emerging authors. In addition to his two poetry collections, he also has published a translation of Pablo Neruda’s The Heights of Macchu Picchu.

Morín today finds inspiration for his work at a window-side desk in Lubbock, Texas, where he has a view of the green foliage around him. In this space many of his recent poems have taken form, though the city he writes from has changed in the years since his time at Texas State. These poems comprise his recently published collection, Patient Zero, whose title poem was prompted by the question “if ‘Love’ were a disease, who is patient zero?” In this collection Morín explains the poems are written from a “persona” that fits the poem’s subject, rather than Morín’s own point of view. By contrast, the political, emotional, and cultural issues that impact his life and the lives of his loved ones inform his upcoming collection, Machete. Father figures, mental health, toxic masculinity, and the intersections of nonfiction and poetry are featured themes and concepts in both Machete and the memoir Morín is currently writing. Reflecting on the year so far, comprised of writing, revising, teaching, and parenting, he says the poems in Machete and the material in his memoir “may be [his] most personal yet,” featuring his investigation of his own father figures as he begins his new role as a father himself.

Now a Visiting Writer-in-Residence at Texas Tech University, where he is currently teaching undergraduate nonfiction workshops, Morín has found that his reading and research for his classes support the memoir he is completing. These nonfiction courses and writing, while not the poetry Morín is most experienced with, have allowed him to explore a new writing medium. To describe this change, he says, “poetry is focused on a much smaller canvas,” and he is enjoying making broader strokes through nonfiction.

Of his time at Texas State, he remembers the people he worked with and studied alongside most fondly. “These are the people I call on my weekend phone calls,” he says, describing his hobby of calling old friends and having long conversations over the phone. He delights that he can send them a poem to critique in a pinch “or even call them to talk about basketball,” having found true friends in his academic peers at Texas State who continue to shape his writing as much as they shape his life.

-Kennedy Farrell, English Major

Chelsea Wunneburger

March 2019

 

Where modern architecture meets ancient neighborhoods, Master of Arts in Technical Communication alumna Chelsea Wunneburger witnessed the passage of time on her tour of Beijing. Wandering the city’s streets, she passed intricately ornamented doors and buildings painted in the lively red color that for the Chinese means luck. Later, she hiked the Great Wall of China, which was so steep at times that she had no choice but to hold on to a pole to continue climbing. The Forbidden City, formerly a palace complex barred to common people that now serves as a museum, was filled with beautiful buildings and lavish gardens. Many people dream of traveling the world, but Wunneburger took her dream of traveling to heights she never imagined for herself before she graduated from Texas State. Now she continues a years-long exploration of foreign cultures as she teaches English as a Second Language abroad.

In addition to her MATC degree, Ms. Wunneburger earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas State. While in graduate school, Wunneburger took her first trip outside the U.S. with the English Department’s Texas State in Ireland study abroad program. One place that struck her as particularly beautiful in Ireland was the town of Killarney, in Kerry County: “Hiking out there, being on the beach, the fresh sea air and the Atlantic Ocean meeting you, it was just so gorgeous.” On top of the beauty of Ireland’s terrain, Wunneburger discovered the connection between literature and place as she read the works of authors like James Joyce and then saw the reflection of the texts in contemporary Ireland. Her experiences on this trip were enough to convince her that she needed to continue traveling, but a love of travel isn’t the only thing Wunneburger gained while at Texas State University.

Wunneburger’s degrees lend themselves well to the teaching of English, especially since she teaches writing in the majority of her classes and her Technical Communication classes focused mainly on different types of writing. “The main reason why I studied technical writing was because it’s like an umbrella of different types of professions.” As a student in the Technical Communication Masters program, Wunneburger had the opportunity to learn about grant writing, medical writing, technical writing in multiculturalism, and writing centers – all of which played a role in preparing her to teach writing. With the variety of writing classes she took and the different perspectives on writing that she explored, Wunneburger felt prepared to teach writing, even without any previous teaching experience. In fact, even now Wunneburger works to improve and maintain her writing skills, as she is constantly refreshing herself and furthering her own understanding of English communication to better educate her students.

In August 2014, when Wunneburger was on her flight to Spain to begin living and teaching abroad, she was terrified and filled with anticipation all at once. Like any person might be, she was worried about how well she would be able to integrate into and navigate a new culture, but she also was excited to learn. Because she didn’t have any previous experience teaching, her first classroom was co-taught with a native Spanish teacher, and she originally intended to work in Spain for only one year. She instead co-taught for two years before moving to an English classroom of her own. While teaching in Spain, Wunneburger did her best to engage students through interesting activities, like speaking games and charades, and cultural exchange. Among her cultural exchange activities was one in which students were asked to cook a simple dish of their choosing, filming and describing the process in English for a grade. Among the dishes the students produced were paella and tortillas, traditional Spanish dishes, and one of Wunneburger’s students even brought tamales wrapped in banana leaves (as opposed to the corn husk tamales Wunneburger was familiar with in Texas). The ability of students to participate in an engaging activity and share the fruits of their labors was important to Wunneburger because it connected with the students more personally than typical book-based work. She answered their efforts by sharing foods from her own culture, including the Texas staple, Dr. Pepper, as well as English slang words that brought more life to the English language for her upper-level students.

As much as Wunneburger loved her job in Spain, after four years there she realized that she was becoming too settled. “I knew that I thrived in situations where I was uncomfortable.” With this in mind, Wunneburger moved to South Korea, where she continues to share her culture with her students. To celebrate the end of the most-recent term, they brought in traditional Korean dishes to eat while they did their lessons. Cultural exchange has been an important part of Wunneburger’s experience abroad, and so she strives to make it a part of her student’s experience in her English classrooms. On top of wanting to make the language accessible to students, she always wants to help them succeed by exposing them to one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. “Living overseas constantly reminds me that I am lucky to be a native English speaker.” Wunneburger is preparing students for the global arena that she has spent so much time exploring, confident that the English skills she teaches them will serve them well in the future.

When she completes her assignment in South Korea, Wunneburger hopes to return to the U.S. to visit her family for the first time since 2016. Despite the physical distance, she and her family remain emotionally close, even closer than when she was still living in the U.S. “Because of living abroad I’m more frequently in contact with my family.” Unable to see her family whenever she wants to, she has grown to appreciate the time that they do get to spend together even more and values their time talking over WhatsApp and Skype. She and her father remain particularly close, and he occasionally contacts her across multiple different messaging platforms just to say hi or tell her that he loves her. Though Wunneburger doesn’t intend to move back to the U.S anytime soon, she looks forward to seeing her family in person again and sharing with them the many remarkable moments she has enjoyed abroad since she departed Texas State all those years ago.
– Claryssa Luera, English major

Dr. Terri Leclerq

June 2018

Texas State alumna Dr. Terri Leclerq didn’t consider herself an activist when she heard about the torture techniques being taught inside the U.S. Army School of the Americas, but she felt compelled to do something about it. In 1998, she and her daughter flew to Fort Benning, Georgia to join four hundred and sixty-four other people to peacefully protest. “We filed in two by two, walked into an open army post, and were arrested for trespassing on a military installation,” says Dr. Leclerq. Sixteen of them, not including Dr. Leclerq or her daughter, were sentenced to six months in a federal penitentiary.

Letters from those imprisoned described inhumane conditions, including denied access to medication and punishment by being fed a diet of “green loaf,” a mix of vegetables and food scraps that met the minimum dietary requirements while being nearly inedible. When Dr. Leclerq, a professor of Legal Writing at UT in Austin, read these letters, she decided to write a Law Review article to expose these injustices. She spent years studying the Prison Litigation Reform Act and trying to understand the cases that litigated it. Upon its publication, she realized that people who taught Criminal Law already knew about the issues in prison litigation. Her article wasn’t helping those who needed it most.

To reach that ignored audience, she decided to cut her forty-page legal article down to a more accessible graphic novel. “I turned it into a graphic novel to teach the inmates. They’re the ones who needed to know this stuff,” she says. However, this decision posed a new challenge: Dr. Leclerq had little idea what a graphic novel was, let alone how to create one. Fueled by her conviction that she could change the world, one she realized during her time on the Student Senate while earning her undergraduate degree at Texas State, she set out on a decade-long project to create what would eventually become Prison Grievances.

First, she had to determine what exactly a graphic novel was, and then she enlisted the help of a student at LBJ to learn how to format one like a screenplay. After it was written, there was the issue of finding and paying an artist to do the artwork, and then a letterer to write letters in the speech and thought bubbles. When all of this was done, she discovered that publishers were uninterested in buying it, and so Dr. Leclerq also had to learn about self-publishing. Her friend offered to buy a copy for every prison library in Texas, and then the Texas Board of Criminal Justices had the book banned from prison libraries. “That was the lowest point, for me,” says Dr. Leclerq. “Their own authorities had helped me with the book.”

The finished product is a graphic novel titled Prison Grievances, a handbook for prisoners to navigate the grievance process. The novel follows a no-nonsense pro-bono lawyer named Mr. Dibs—an acronym for “don’t be stupid”—as he enters prisons to teach inmates about their rights while incarcerated. It also teaches them how to file grievances, which are complaints against unjust treatment of prisoners by the prison system; and warns against filing excessive or petty grievances. By doing this, it empowers inmates to have their problems properly addressed rather than overlooked due to a litigation error.

By offering this power, the novel has impacted many prisoners who have read and used it. In Dr. Leclerq’s office, there are plastic tubs crammed full of mail from inmates, and more mail comes in every day. Some of these people write to express their gratitude, while some write to express confusion as to why their grievance got rejected by the system. Dr. Leclerq replies to them, explaining what went wrong with their grievance. “Sometimes it’s too scattered,” says Dr. Leclerq. “And sometimes it’s a perfect grievance and they just got screwed.”

For the book, Dr. Leclerq has been awarded the 2018 Golden Pen Award, which honors those who make a significant advancement in Legal Writing. She is the first activist to win the award and hopes to represent fellow activists working in her field. Although her career has included many accolades and important publications, this one holds special significance. “We all need to do something about injustice,” she says. “This book was my attempt to do something.”

Moving forward, Dr. Leclerq has been asked by the Texas Juvenile Justice System to put together a book like Prison Grievances for children in the JJS. She’s excited that people understand “they need to change their approach to educating people who need it, to find a way to reach them without letting the legalese get in the way of the message.” She encourages everyone to use their voices to rectify injustices in the world, through whatever means available, to make a positive impact.

Dr. Terri Leclerq received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Texas State University and is a founder and active member of the Donor and Alumni Advisory Council for the Department of English at Texas State. The council works to create a bond between the English Department’s faculty, students, alumna, and donors. Dr. Leclerq offers insight into the legal community’s expectations for the English Department and its students.

 

— Gloria Russell, English major

Dr. Courtney Werner

January 2018

Dr. Courtney Werner grew up in a tight-knit family in a small town in the forests of Pennsylvania. During her undergraduate program at Moravian College, she worked at the school’s writing center. From this experience of helping people with their writing, she found her life’s work. After graduating, she decided to pursue advanced studies in the field in order to improve writing centers and make them more accessible to students and faculty. Her undergraduate advisor put Werner in touch with Dr. Rebecca Jackson at Texas State University, who was accumulating students for a new Masters in Rhetoric and Composition program that dealt with writing center theory. Intrigued by the possibility of studying writing centers at a graduate level, Werner decided to make the move from Pennsylvania to Texas She didn’t want to leave her family and her home, but she knew she needed to get out of her comfort zone if she wanted to fulfill her dreams.

The dramatic change in environment made Werner feel isolated at first. Separated by half a country from her family, Werner called her mother every day that first semester. When she returned for the second semester, though, she overcame her loneliness by introducing herself to her peers and bonded with fellow graduate students. After finding fellow classmates with similar interests, her sense of isolation and dependency decreased. “I learned that I could be an independent person,” Dr. Werner says.

With more confidence, Werner also rediscovered a love for computers and digital media while taking a class called “Computers and Writing.” She realized that she could combine her love of writing, her love of digital media, and her love of writing centers. To help hone her interests and skills into a thesis, she worked closely with Dr. Jackson. The two now have a close relationship, personally as well as academically. Dr. Jackson particularly noted Werner’s ability to “work in her field with compassion and heart.”

Werner graduated from the Master’s program and went on to Kent State University in Ohio for her PhD, where she worked as the Assistant Director of Digital Composition, helping faculty to integrate technology into their classrooms. In the meantime, she wrote her dissertation on how scholars and faculty in rhetoric and composition programs discuss new media. She realized that there isn’t a precise definition of “new media,” and as she says, “while there really isn’t anything new about it, we talk about new media in ‘new’ ways.” For example, where a web designer might focus on the form or layout of a website, Dr. Werner interprets design as a form of rhetoric. Specifically, a website with only videos conveys information differently than a website with only text. So, if a person goes to a writing center’s website and sees only videos, Dr. Werner asks, “what are they trying to convey to their audience with their layout?”

After spending time in her first teaching role post-PhD, Dr. Werner decided it was time to return to the East Coast to live closer to her parents. She found an ideal opportunity at Monmouth University, where Dr. Werner is now an assistant professor, teaching entry-level composition courses to incoming freshman as well as upper-level courses in digital media. In her composition courses, she teaches students the importance of writing for an audience. She also uses the different forms of writing, such as making and labeling charts, to challenge her student’s preconceptions of what it means to write. Dr. Werner argues that to write means to convey information, not just to adhere to certain written sentence structures. Although Monmouth is a private university, the interesting student population still offers insightful perspectives into the world of digital media.

For Dr. Werner, it all began when she decided to take a chance in moving from Pennsylvania to Texas. She had a lot to lose, but her choice ultimately paid off. Now, Dr. Werner has developed her passions and will continue to do great work in developing those different perspectives to help writing centers across the country.

 

–Gloria Russell, English major

Miscellany – October 31, 2019

Dan Lochman presented “Embodied Energeia: The Physiology of ‘Forcibleness’ in Sidney’s Poetics” at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, held October 17 in St. Louis, Missouri. He organized the session at which he presented, with the participants receiving an invitation to submit papers for a special issue of the Sidney Journal on Philip Sidney and energeia.

 

“The Obituaries of James Dorner,” a short story by MFA fiction student Taylor Kirby, appears in Atticus Review.

 

Geneva Gano presented “Tony Lujan’s Taos: Modern Arts Colonialism and Native Sovereignty,” at the Modernist Studies Association’s Annual Meeting and Conference: Upheaval and Reconstruction, held in Toronto, Ontario in mid-October.

 

John Blair won the 2019 Connecticut River Review Poetry Contest, judged by Leslie McGrath, for his poem “A Certain Butterfly.” It will appear on the CRR website soon. His seventh book, The Art of Forgetting, has been accepted by Measure Press for publication in late 2020.

 

For “’Tell Me This Didn’t Happen’: Poems on Truth,” an event for the Common Experience series, Creative Writing faculty John Blair, Roger Jones, Naomi Shihab Nye, Cecily Parks, Kathleen Peirce and Steve Wilson read from their work in the Gallery of the Common Experience on Oct. 23.

 

Assistant Professor Cecily Parks performed her poem “Between the Hawthorn and Extinction” with live music accompaniment at Indiana Humanities in Indianapolis, IN on October 24. This was the world premiere of the piece, which will also appear in the album Ultrasonic: Making Music with Endangered Indiana Bats (May 2020), created by artist, musician, and field recordist Stuart Hyatt and supported by National Geographic. Parks’ poem, with the title “The Indiana Bats,” will also appear in next month’s Orion Magazine.

 

Flore Chevaillier presented “The Winterization of Writing: Weather and Erasure in Bhanu Kapil’s Schizophrene” at the meeting of The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, held in College Park, Maryland this October.

 

On November 10 Rob Tally will present the keynote address, “Sea Narratives as Nautical Charts: Literary Cartography and Oceanic Spaces,” at the International Symposium on Sea Literature and Culture, Ningbo University, Ningbo, China. While in China, he will also give invited talks on spatial literary studies and contemporary criticism at the Zhejiang University, the Zhejiang University of Technology, Shanghai Jiaotong University, and Fudan University.

Miscellany – October 21, 2019

Katie Kapurch’s research is featured in the Fall 2019 issue of Engaging Research, from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs: https://www.txstate.edu/research/resources/research-newsletter/newsletter-archives/research-newsletter-fall-2019/faculty-research-spotlight/faculty-research-spotlight-kapurch.html 

Rob Tally’s essay “Reading Adorno by the Pool; or, Critical Theory in a Postcritical Era” appears in the latest issue of symplokē. Rob’s “Spatial Literary Studies versus Literary Geography?” appears in The Journal of English Language and Literature.

MFA fiction student Clayton Bradshaw’s personal essay, “The Rain Falls Like Democracy” will be published in Barren Magazine at the end of October.

Susan Morrison presented “’[A]n exterior air of pilgrimage’: Slow Travel in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road” at the European Beat Studies Network 8th Annual Conference: Moving Geographies: Literatures of Travel and Migration, held in Nicosia, Cyprus in mid-October.

“Fixtures,” a short story by MFA fiction student Sam Downs, is forthcoming in Joyland.

Cyrus Cassells received a “Best of the Net” nomination from The Cortland Review for his poem, “You Be The Dancer.”

Kate McClancy’s chapter “Black Skin, White Faces: Dead Presidents and the African-American Vietnam Veteran” just got published in New Perspectives on the War Film, from Palgrave MacMillan.

“This is the Hour of Lead,” a poem by MFA poetry graduate and Lecturer Melanie Robinson, was published in Barren Magazinehttps://barrenmagazine.com/this-is-the-hour-of-lead/ 

Tim O’Brien’s memoir, Dad’s Maybe Book, will be published this week. Time magazine has reviewed it, and Tim has been interviewed by National Public Radio. He will appear at the Texas Book Festival on Sunday, October 27th.

MFA fiction student Rui Ma will present “Feelings We Cannot Utter: Minimalist Writing and Empathy” at the 11th Annual International Research Conference for Graduate Students, taking place this November at Texas State; as well as at the meeting of the Northeast Modern Language Association, to be held in Boston next March.

For the Texas Medieval Association (TEMA) conference held on campus October 18 and 19, Susan Morrison chaired and organized a session comprised of four Texas State undergraduates: “The Stormin’ Normans: Recontextualizing the Post-Plague Middle English Corpus,” by Langston Neuburger; “The Virgin Martyr’s Ability to Gain Agency in Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘The Physician’s Tale,’” by Allyson Godfrey; “The Merchant’s Stand-Up Morality,” by Joshua Z. Altemus; and “The Power of May: Seasonal Hierarchy and Assumption of Power in ‘The Merchant’s Tale,’” by Sarah Godfrey. Susan also chaired a session [“How to Win Students and Influence Colleagues: Innovative Teaching in the Medieval and Early Modern Classroom”] organized by MA Literature graduate Lauren “Lola” Watson. MARC graduate student Lea Christine Colchado won the Best Graduate Paper award for “Slumber of Sins and the Shadow Beast: Looking at Teresa de Cartagena’s Writings Through an Anzaldúan Lens,” an essay she wrote for Susan’s Medieval Women Writers class last fall.

Miscellany – October 3, 2019

Ana Stefanovska, a Visiting Scholar at Texas State from February to June 2018, recently defended her Ph.D. dissertation, titled “Lo spazio letterario nella narrativa del Neorealismo” (or Literary Space in Neorealist Narrative) at the University of Padua (Italy). While at Texas State, she studied spatial literary theory and criticism with Rob Tally, gave two talks at national conferences, and also completed two chapters of her dissertation. Ana is from Skopje, the Republic of Macedonia.

 

Rob Tally’s essay “Critique Unlimited” appears in the book, What’s Wrong with Antitheory?, edited by Jeffrey R. Di Leo (Bloomsbury, 2019).

 

“Kill Yr Idols,” a work of creative non-fiction by MFA fiction graduate Levis Keltner, appears in a recent issue of Anomalyhttp://anmly.org/ap29/levis-keltner/

 

Steve Wilson’s poem “Solo Road-Trip West” will appear in both the San Antonio Express-News and the Houston Chronicle.  Steve was awarded a Common Experience Event Grant to support the October 23 poetry reading, “‘Tell Me This Didn’t Happen’: Poems on Truth,” with readings by Steve, Cecily Parks, Kathleen Peirce, Naomi Shihab Nye, John Blair and Roger Jones.  A live music performance and refreshments will be provided before the event, which begins at 5:30 in the Gallery of the Common Experience (Lampasas Bldg).

 

Lecturer and MFA fiction graduate Shannon Perri recently had a short story, “Liquid Gold,” published in Texas Observerhttps://www.texasobserver.org/short-story-contest-finalist-liquid-gold/

 

Malvern Books will be hosting a reading by MFA poetry graduate Logan Fry at the launch of his new poetry collection Harpo Before the Opus on Saturday, October 19, at 7 pm: http://malvernbooks.com/event/logan-fry-book-launch/?instance_id=3104.

 

MFA poetry student Brent Green (under the pen name Casey Aimer) has had five poems published or accepted recently: “Lawrence Sullivan Ross” and “Antique Existence,” published at The Fictional Cafehttps://www.fictionalcafe.com/posing-the-tough-questions-poetry-by-casey-aimer/; “Weapons of Mass Production,” published at Whatever Keeps the Lights Onhttps://whateverkeepsthelightson.com/weapons-of-mass; “To Find if You’re Sleeping Next to a Corpse Watch the Chest,” at LampLit Underground; and “Heart Doesn’t Work Like It Used To,” to be published soon at Ars Medica.

 

MFA fiction student Caleb Ajinomoh’s essay, “Against Exclusion” will be published in the November issue of the AWP Chronicle.

 

Mark Busby read from new poems at the annual meeting of the Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers (TACWT), which took place in Houston from September 26-29. His poem, “Remembering Steven,” about his brother Steven Busby (1944-2018), appears in Writing Texas.

 

Sara Bechtol (MFA fiction student) has a story, “My Banana Milk,” forthcoming in Silk Road Review.

Miscellany – September 20, 2019

Stephanie Noll’s essay “The Sidearm of a Saguaro” can be found at Cleaning Up Glitterhttps://www.cleaningupglitter.com/the-sidearm-of-a-saguaro-stephanie-noll.

“A Great White Whale,” by MFA fiction student Caleb Ajinomoh, appears in the Summer/Fall print issue of CircleShow.

William Jensen’s story “You Can Outrun the Devil if You Try” will be included in the anthology Road Kill vol. 4: Texas Horror by Texas Writers. His Pushcart-nominated story “Camino Real” will be reprinted in the upcoming “best of the decade” issue of Stoneboat.

MARC student Lea Colchado will present “Slumber of Sins and The Shadow Beast: Looking at Teresa De Cartagena’s Writings Through an Anzaldúan Lens” at the Texas Medieval Association (TEMA) Conference, taking place at Texas State University in October.

Jennifer duBois’ article “The Un-reinvention of Jerry Springer” was just published on New York Magazine’s The Cuthttps://www.thecut.com/2019/09/i-think-about-this-a-lot-jerry-springers-un-reinvention.html?utm_campaign=nym&utm_medium=s1&utm_source=tw

Joe Falocco is currently performing in Archive Theatre’s Austin production of Cyrano. In this original translation by director Jennifer Rose Davis, Joe plays five roles, three of which involve stage combat. To the delight of his students, Dr. Falocco is killed onstage three times during the course of the evening. Here are a few recent reviews of the production. https://ctxlivetheatre.com/reviews/20190903-review-cyrano-de-bergerac-by-the-archive-/ https://www.austinchronicle.com/arts/2019-09-06/cyrano-de-bergerac/?fbclid=IwAR0_CLIxkmJrTDMFewufMlUOhl0KdhUHSaH6hhl6ddmEDzLwns_kGubav2E 

MARC student Sam Garcia will present “Writing Queerly: How Trans Perspectives Can Benefit Writing Center Sessions,” on Oct. 19 at the meeting of the International Writing Centers Association and National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing, taking place in Columbus, OH.

“Stull,” a short story by MFA fiction student Steph Grossman, was published in Joyland Magazinehttp://bit.ly/2Y7naY7.

Whitney May’s essay, “‘To Test the Limits and Break Through’: How Femslash Rejects the Straight-Coding of Queer Experiences in Disney’s Frozen,” appears in the new edited collection Representing Kink: Fringe Sexuality and Textuality in Literature, Digital Narrative, and Popular Culture, from Lexington Books.

2nd-year MFA poetry student Luke William’s fourth Songs For Children album was released over the summer and is available to stream and download at https://www.lukekwilliam.com/songsforchildren4.

In the cover story for the October 2019 Texas Monthly, “Battling Over the Past,” the Texas Historical Commission’s marker explaining the 1918 Porvenir Massacre, with text researched and written by MARC graduate and Lecturer Connor Wilson, is cited as an example of recent efforts by historians to more accurately reflect Texas history: “The Porvenir marker. . . had to overcome years of steadfast opposition from local interests. But at public events and lectures, [Professor Martinez of Brown University, who petitioned for creating the marker] has received profuse thanks from descendants of the victims of racist violence. She’s also been thanked by some descendants of Texas Rangers who have struggled to understand their ancestors’ participation in such violence. . . .”

Miscellany – September 9, 2019

This summer, Flore Chevaillier presented “Time, Body, and Narrative in Bhanu Kapil’s work” at the European Conference on Arts & Humanities in Brighton, England; and “The Scarred Body of the Text: Storytelling and Experiment in Bhanu Kapil’s work” at the Progressive Connections Conference on “Storytelling & the Body” in Verona, Italy.

MFA fiction student Ryan Lopez’s short story “Back Then” has been accepted for publication in Obra, a literary journal from the MFA of the Americas. This month, he’ll present “Castles in the Air: The Victorian Princess and the Rescuing Imagination” at the Victorian Popular Fiction Association Study Day: The Threatened Child in Nineteenth-Century Popular Fiction and Culture, taking place in Dublin this September; and “Faith Like a Child: Imagination in MacDonald, Burnett, and Montgomery” at The Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature, to be held at University of Dallas.

MARC student Sarah Piercy will present “Generation Z Speaks: Conversations with First-Year Writing Students” at CCCC in Milwaukee next March; and “Across the Generations: Studying First-Year Writing and Identity” at TYCA-SW (Two-Year College Association-Southwest), taking place in Conroe this coming October.

Miriam Williams presented the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Kickoff Keynote to the Texas A&M University Central Texas community on September 4, 2019. The QEP is a SACS accreditation requirement to help universities improve student learning outcomes. Miriam’s talk discussed her writing experiences with regulatory and environmental agencies and made recommendations for implementing the university’s writing-focused QEP.

MFA poetry student James Trask has poems forthcoming in the next issue of The Windward Review: “Clash by Moonlight” and “This Night.” James will read at the launch party for the issue, which takes place on September 19 at the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi campus.

MFA fiction student Sandra Sidi has an essay in the latest issue of The Atlantic: “The Male Gaze on Steriods”: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/10/get-a-weapon/596677/ 

Lecturer and MFA poetry graduate Vanessa Couto Johnson was in Las Vegas from September 6-7 to read from her latest poetry book Pungent dins concentric at Nevada Humanities’ Poetry Matters! reading series and to lead a poetry workshop focused on the prose poem form at the Winchester Dondero Cultural Center.

The personal essay, “Stable,” by MFA fiction student Mary-Pat Buss-Hayton was just published in the print edition of the literary magazine Inverted Syntax.

Aimee Roundtree published “A Qualitative Approach Towards Understanding HIV-Related Stress in Texas” in Texas Medicine; the study based upon quantitative research was written with several colleagues and a Texas State graduate student from the Psychology program on whose thesis committee she served: https://www.texmed.org/Aug19Journal/ 

Naomi Shihab Nye will be selecting and introducing poems for The New York Times Magazine for this year. It’s a prestigious position that rotates annually. She started in August 2019 and will be in the position until Aug 2020.

MARC graduate Faith Williams has been promoted to Assistant Professor of English at Tulsa (OK) Community College.

Miscellany – August 26, 2019

James Reeves’ book, Godless Fictions in the Eighteenth Century: A Literary History of Atheism, is now under contract with Cambridge University Press and should be released in 2020. In July, James attended the NEH Summer Seminar on “Religion, Secularism, and the Novel” at the University of Iowa, where he presented research from his book manuscript and revised an article on “Antislavery Literature and the Decline of Hell.”

Writers for Hillviews recently interviewed Katie Kapurch about her Beatles research: https://news.txstate.edu/research-and-innovation/2019/-study-of-literature-and-rhetoric-leads-professor-on-long-and-winding-road-to-the-beatles.html. Katie and Jon Marc Smith recently co-authored “A Fear So Real: Film Noir’s Fallen Man in Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town and the David Lynch Oeuvre,” published in the journal, Interdisciplinary Literary Studies (Penn State UP). The article appears in a 2019 special issue focused on Springsteen.

Kitty Ledbetter’s essay titled “Periodical Poetry” has been published in the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women’s Writing. Issue 15.2 of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, guest-edited by Kitty Ledbetter, has been published online at https://www.ncgsjournal.com/issue152/issue152. The special issue is focused on “Women and Leisure” and includes an introduction to the issue by Kitty and her essay titled “Rinkualism, Punch, and Women on Wheels.”

Jon Marc Smith is mentioned in this article from the Austin Chronicle discussing Roky Erickson, Doug Sahm, and the blueprint for punk rock: https://www.austinchronicle.com/music/2019-08-09/how-a-collaboration-between-roky-erickson-and-doug-sahm-became-part-of-the-blueprint-for-punk-rock/

Julie McCormick Weng published Science, Technology, and Irish Modernism (Syracuse University Press) with Kathryn Conrad and Coílín Parsons. She also published “A Reconsideration of Joyce’s Non-Fiction,” a review of Katherine Ebury’s and James Alexander Fraser’s Joyce’s Non-Fiction Writings: “Outside his Jurisfiction” in James Joyce Literary Supplement.

Steve Wilson new book of poetry, The Reaches, is now open for pre-publication orders at this link: https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/the-reaches-by-steve-wilson/. The book is due for release in November.

Cyrus Cassell’s poem “More Than Watchmen at Daybreak,” first published in Agni, appeared as the poem of the day on August 23 at Poetry Dailyhttps://poems.com/poem/more-than-watchmen-at-daybreak/ 

Department Chair Victoria Smith was interviewed for a Time article on the new movie about Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West: https://time.com/5655270/virginia-woolf-vita-sackville-west-relationship/?fbclid=IwAR13UqGehwAAq9WIShD3xOachSD3qkVhRg_gxa-gHMOp9mnoiRfpZR6GCKw 

In June Leah Schwebel presented ‘“Oon seyde that Omer made lyes’: Chaucer’s Intertextual Poetics” at the biennial London Chaucer Conference.” She also spent time working with manuscripts at the Oxford Bodleian Library and the British Library in London, research supported by an REP grant.

In June, Geneva Gano travelled to Shenandoah University in Virginia to deliver a paper at the Willa Cather International Seminar: “UnAmerican Activities: The Sexual Lives of Hired Girls, or, Cather’s Critique of Capitalism.” Following that, she spent a week at the University of Maryland researching Texas author Katherine Anne Porter’s connections to Mexico. She received a Research Enhancement Grant from the University to conduct this research, which will be part of her book project on the influence of the Mexican Revolution on U.S. Modernism.

Ben Reed’s panel proposal for the AWP 2020 in San Antonio has been accepted. The title is “Space Is the Place: Literary Spatialities and New Approaches to Placemaking.” He will be joined by Kelli Jo Ford, Angela Palm, Ito Romo, and Texas State MFA alumnus Ali Haider. In July he attended the MLA International Symposium in Lisbon, Portugal, where he read “Genealogy: A Dream Within a Dream,” which is an excerpt from a planned book on littoral spatialities in discourse and experience. Earlier this summer he taught his second writing workshop for veterans through VSA Texas, the state organization on arts and disability; and moderated a panel at the Writers League of Texas Agents & Editors Conference : “Discovering Your Book’s Voice, Tone, and Style,” with Christopher Brown, Mark Dery, and Charlotte Gullick.