Miscellany – February 11, 2016


Doug Dorst and co-author J.J. Abrams were the recipients of the Bronze Medal for the 2015 Leserpreis, an annual prize voted on by German readers, for his their recent book, S. (German edition).


Susan Morrison published “Five things you might not know about medieval women – the life of St. Margaret” at Celebrate Scotlandhttps://www.celebrate-scotland.co.uk/News-and-Features/1975/Five_things_you_might_not_know_about_medieval_women__the_life_of_Saint_Margaret/


Lecturer Anne Winchell presented “Female or Male: A Not So Simple Choice” at the Southwest Popular Culture/American Culture Conference in Albuquerque, NM; along with her undergraduate student Natalie Hays, who presented “No One Expects a Female Inquisition: A Study on Gender Representation in Video Games.”


On February 14, Kitty Ledbetter will perform with her husband Alan Munde as part of Texas State’s Supple Music Series: http://www.finearts.txstate.edu/meta-calendar/encore-listing.html [archived].


Tomas Morin’s second poetry collection, Patient Zero, will be published by Copper Canyon Press in spring 2017. Also, Tomas will participate in a panel entitled “Paying It Forward: Literary Mentorship” at the Associated Writing Programs Conference next month, as well as taking part in some off-site readings.


Tom Grimes’s new novel will be excerpted in the next issue of Narrative magazine.


Sean Trolinder (MFA fiction graduate – 2012) recently had a short story, “City of Crushed Dreams,” accepted for publication in a future issue of Louisiana Literature. A draft of this story began in one of Debra Monroe’s fiction workshops.

Miscellany – January 29, 2016


Two poems by MFA poetry student Ashton Kamburoff, “Understand James Brown” and “Benching: A Note on Passing Boxcars,” will appear in Toad Literary Journal.


Rob Tally’s “Spatiality’s Mirrors: Reflections on Literary Cartography” appears in the current issue of The Journal of English Language and Literature. It is an expanded version of the keynote address Rob gave at the English Language and Literature Association of Korea’s (ELLAK) annual conference in Busan this past December.


Alan Schaefer is now a co-editor for the Journal of Texas Music History. Alan also contributed to the journal a follow-up article on HOMEGROWN: AUSTIN MUSIC POSTERS 1967 TO 1982, the exhibition I co-curated for the Wittliff Collections in 2015 and the accompanying book he edited that was published by University of Texas Press.


MFA Fiction student Graham Oliver has joined Emerson College’s Ploughshares as a contributing blogger for 2016.  He will be doing a series of interviews with translators.  The first, with London-based Korean translator Deborah Smith, can be found at this link: http://blog.pshares.org/index.php/sufficient-ambiguity-an-interview-with-deborah-smith/.


Steve Wilson has poems in New American Writing, San Pedro River Review and The Beatest State in the Union: An Anthology of Beat Texas Writers (Lamar University Press).


A Strange Object will publish Michael Noll’s book on writing, In the Beginning, Middle, and End: A Field Guide for Writing Fiction. It’s based on his craft-of-writing blog, Read to Write Stories, and will feature all-new essays and exercises built around one-page excerpts from recent and forthcoming novels and stories. The book was the focus of Michael’s Non-tenure Line Faculty Workload Release in the fall.


Kitty Ledbetter presented her essay, “Commodifying Patriotism: Textiles and the Mexican War,” at the MLA Convention in Austin, in January.


Lecturer and recent MFA in poetry graduate Vanessa Couto Johnson is the winner of Slope Editions’ Chapbook Contest for her manuscript speech rinse.


MATC student Kristen Sacky has accepted a position on the Order Management team at Google Inc., in Austin, Texas. Kristen will be responsible for helping clients implement Google software applications in business environments.


William Jensen’s newest story, “A Quiet Place to Hide,” will be in the upcoming issue of North Dakota Quarterly.  William previously read a draft of this story at the Western Literature Association conference in Reno last October.


MFA fiction graduate and current English Department Lecturer Cedric Synnestvedt’s short story “What the Birds Do” will appear in the next issue of The Sonora Review.

Miscellany – January 15, 2016


Debra Monroe’s latest book, My Unsentimental Education, which was widely reviewed, was named on three “Best Ten Books of 2015” lists: in The Dallas Morning News (a national list); The San Antonio-Express News (a national list with a regional emphasis): and the Austin Chronicle (a Texas-centric list).


Roger Jones’ chapbook Familial was published in December by Finishing Line Press. Five of his haibun poems will appear later this year in Journeys 2016, an international anthology of haibun.


The Conference on College Composition and Communication has selected Miriam Williams and Octavio Pimentel’s Communicating Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in Technical Communication as the winner of the 2016 CCCC Technical and Scientific Communication Award in the category of Best Original Collection of Essays in Technical or Scientific Communication. Octavio and Miriam will be presented with the award at the Awards Session of the 2016 CCCC Convention in Houston this coming April.


Rob Tally’s essay “Adventures in Literary Cartography: Explorations, Representations, Projections” appears in Literature and Geography: The Writing of Space throughout History (Cambridge Scholars, 2016).  His collection of essays, Ecocriticism and Geocriticism: Overlapping Territories in Environmental and Spatial Literary Studies, co-edited with Christine M. Battista, has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan.


MATC alumnus Derek Holden accepted a position as Content Administrator at Game Stop Inc.  Derek’s duties will include creating and managing web content for Game Stop’s international ThinkGeek brand.


At the 2016 Association for Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW), to be held in Houston this April, Aimee Roundtree, Deb Balzhiser, and Miriam Williams will present research in a panel discussion titled, “Social Justice on Social Media: The Impact of Digital Technology on Political and Health Communication and Advocacy.” The focus of this year’s ATTW conference is citizenship and advocacy in technical communication.


Susan Morrison’s novel, Grendel’s Mother: The Saga of the Wyrd-Wife, has been shortlisted for the 2014-2015 Sarton Literary Award for Historical Fiction: http://www.storycircle.org/SartonLiteraryAward/pressrelease_2016.shtml.

Miscellany – January 6, 2016



Becky Jackson’s book (written with Jackie Grutsch McKinney and Nicole Caswell), The Working Lives of New Writing Center Directors, will be published by Utah State University Press in Fall 2016. Utah State UP is the foremost publisher of writing center research and scholarship.


Aimee Roundtree’s “Social Health Content and Activity on Facebook: A Survey Study,” was accepted for publication in the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication.


MFA poetry graduate and current Lecturer Vanessa Couto Johnson, along with recent MFA poetry graduates John Fry and Luisa Muradyan, has work in the latest issue of Blackbirdhttp://www.blackbird.vcu.edu/v14n2/poetry.shtml.


The Personal Academic and Career Exploration Mentoring and Coaching Office (PACE-MAC) named Keith Needham its 2015 “Best Instructor as Part of a Team” for his work with an assigned peer mentor in his US 1100 classes. The award was announced after Needham assigned his students to work with their peer mentor in writing narratives in the fashion of the Tomas Rivera Common Experience text, . . . And The Earth Did Not Devour Him. Needham then taped the students’ presentations and produced a video of the best four narratives. The video is entitled Bridged Through Stories: . . . And Neither Did the Earth Devour Them. Keith’s strategies became part of the nominating process for PACE-MAC’s statewide recognition for use of classroom mentors. In December, The University of Texas at San Antonio named Texas State’s PACE-MAC team a recipient of the Outstanding Mentoring Program in Texas.


Octavio Pimentel will present “Too Mexican: Facing Racist Rhetoric,” at the Southwest Council of Latin American Studies conference, to be held February 2016 in New Orleans. Beginning next year, Octavio will serve a three-year term on the Editorial Board of College Composition and Communication, which is one of the top journals in composition.


Susan Morrison received a Research Enhancement Grant award of $6,560 for next year. She was one of 11 receiving awards in Liberal Arts this year.


The following non-tenure-line faculty in English have received a Faculty Senate Nontenure Faculty Workload Release Award for fall or spring 2016-2017: Jason Coates, Daniel Keltner, Lindy Kosmitis, and Jon Marc Smith.


MFA Fiction student Graham Oliver interviewed Debra Monroe about her new memoir and the genre of memoir at large for The Rumpushttp://therumpus.net/2015/12/the-rumpus-interview-with-debra-monroe/.

Miscellany – November 17, 2015


The following faculty were named “Favorite Professors” by Fall 2015 graduate student inductees to the Texas State chapter of Alpha Chi National Honor Society: Jennifer duBois, Nancy Grayson, Chad Hammett, Rebecca Jackson, Lindy Kosmitis, Jaime Mejia, Cecily Parks, Aimee Roundtree, Robert Tally, and Steve Wilson.

MA Literature student Matthew Hudson presented “Illuminators of the Multitude: Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Populist Critique of the French Revolution” at the 40th annual conference for Society for Utopian Studies, held recently in Pittsburgh.

Michael Noll moderated the panel, “Jogging Memories,” at the Texas Book Festival. The panel featured Jill Alexander Essbaum and Keija Parssinen. He also moderated two panels at the Austin Film Festival: “Script-to-Screen: Saving Mr. Banks” with the film’s writer, Kelly Marcel, and director, John Lee Hancock; and “A Conversation with Chris Cooper,” featuring Cooper, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Adaptation. Both AFF panels will be turned into episodes of the PBS show On Story.

Miriam Williams has accepted an invitation to serve as guest speaker during Texas Tech University’s Ph.D. in Technical Communication & Rhetoric Program’s May Seminar, to be held May 22nd through June 4th, 2015.

MATC alumnus Dr. Travis Irby serves as Instructional Designer in Texas State University’s Office of Distance and Extended Learning. His areas of emphasis include self-paced studies and course production.

Several Texas State faculty and graduate students presented at the South Central Modern Language Association conference held in Nashville this past October: MFA fiction students Michaela Hansen, Josh Lopez and Graham Oliver; and faculty members Victoria Smith, Ross Feeler and Anne Shepherd.

One of Susan Hanson’s underwater photos, taken at Jacob’s Well in Wimberley, has been selected for an exhibition at the Darkroom Gallery in Essex Junction, Vermont. Her photograph was among 54 selected from approximately 600 entries. Judge for the event was Gary Braasch, an environmental photojournalist and writer who documents nature, environment, biodiversity, and climate change around the world.

Miscellany – November 9, 2015


Mark Busby presented “My Night with Ken Kesey” at the Western Literature Association in Reno, NV on Oct. 17.  The talk is based upon Kesey’s visit to San Marcos and Wimberley in 1994.

Rob Tally’s article “An American Bakhtin: Jonathan Arac, or, the Critic in the Age of the Novel” will appear in the next issue of symplokē.

Roger Jones’ poem “Government Bridge” has been accepted by Town Creek Poetry Journal.

At the upcoming Seventh International Research Conference for Graduate Students, sponsored by Texas State’s Graduate College, the following graduate students will present their work: Danielle McEwen will present “Connecting Past to Present: Using New Media Theory in Museum Website Development”; Edward Garza, “Renovating the House on Mango Street: Expanding Latinx Literature in First-Year Composition Classes”; Amanda Scott, The Subject is the Matter: Towards a More Inclusive Understanding of Hybrid Racial Identity in Technical Communication”; and Tyler Dukes, Coleridge and the Hypnagogic State: Blending Folklore and Fairy Tale to Create the Unconscious in “Christabel.”

MATC Alumna Alex Podwalny is Communications Executive with Mercom Capital Group in Austin.  Alex writes that Mercom is a hybrid communications and research firm with clients in the clean tech space.

MFA fiction student Stanislav Rivkin’s story, “How To Survive a Non-Funeral,” will appear in the next issue of Glimmer Train.

Vanessa Couto Johnson’s chapbook manuscript rotoscoping collage in Cork City (a sequence of poems that include quotes from the film Waking Life) will be published in 2016 by dancing girl press.

Dr. Jaime Mejia and MARC students Edward Garza and Clare Murray delivered papers on the panel “Strategies for Teaching Argument and Persuasion in Relation to Latin@ Literary and Cultural Spheres” at the Third Annual Trends in Teaching College Composition conference held this past October in McKinney, TX.

Miscellany – October 29, 2015


MFA poetry student Jason Duncan’s poems “The Botany of Absence,” “The Creation of Loneliness,” “Ghazal of Burning Silk,” “Neurology,” and “Pica” have been accepted for publication in Lamar University’s New Writers Series anthology.

Stephanie Noll’s essay, “The Myth of Gender,” can be found at Graceless: http://graceless.me/the-myth-about-gender/ [archived]. On October 18, Stephanie moderated “Behind the Barrel,” a conversation with authors Elliot Ackerman (Green on Blue) and Texas State graduate Brandon Caro (Old Silk Road) at the Texas Book Festival.

Susan Morrison published a blog post on the recent Texas Medieval Association conference, held at Texas State in October: http://grendelsmotherthenovel.com/2015/10/18/whats-so-medieval-about-texas/. A number of faculty and graduate students from the English Department participated.  MFA poetry student Dorothy Lawrenson received the award for the best essay by a Graduate Student presented at the conference.

On October 22, Alan Schaefer moderated a conversation with documentary filmmaker Pawel Wysoczanski on truth in documentary cinema. Mr. Wysoczanski visited Texas for the Austin Polish Film Festival. His most recent film, JUREK, a documentary about the famous Polish alpine climber Jerzy Kukuczka, was screened at the festival.

MFA fiction graduate Sarah Rafael Garcia’s short story “Little Secrets” (“Mentirillas” in Spanish), which she wrote during a workshop class with author Cristina Garcia, was recently published in English and translated in Spanish in Contrapuntos: http://www.amazon.com/Contrapuntos-III-Live-Anthology-Spanish-ebook/dp/B0163NM0XC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1445271054&sr=1-1&keywords=contrapuntos+iii [archived].

Cecily Parks and Susan Morrison will be reading from their latest books at the Travis Heights Art Trail in Austin on Saturday and Sunday November 7th & 8th.  For more information and the schedule of their readings, please check out this website: http://travisheightsarttrail.org/calendar-of-readings/ [archived].

On Thursday, 11/5, at 3:30 p.m. in FH 230, Dr. Mark Bracher will give a public talk titled “Developing Compassionate Identities through Literary Study.” The talk is part of the Therese Kayser Lindsey Visiting Scholar Series. Dr. Bracher is a leading figure in the cognitive humanities and literary study. His most recent book is Literature and Social Justice: Protest Novels, Cognitive Politics, and Schema Criticism (Univ. of Texas Press, 2013). He is Professor of English at Kent State University.

Miscellany – October 14, 2015


MFA fiction student and MARC alumnus Graham Oliver interviewed the writer David Lipsky for The Rumpus. Lipsky’s 2010 book about David Foster Wallace, Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, was recently adapted into the film The End of the Tour, starring Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg.  You can read the interview here: http://therumpus.net/2015/09/the-rumpus-interview-with-david-lipsky/

Debra Monroe will be launching her new book, My Unsentimental Education, on Saturday, October 24 at 4 p.m. at BookPeople in Austin, on 6th & Lamar. At the event, there will be introductory remarks by Scott Blackwood, Texas State MFA program alumnus and award-winning author. Two chapters from the book have previously been cited as “Notable” in Best American Essays. Recent excerpts and essays she’s written about it include an essay in Salon; an essay titled “The Memoir of Discovery, Not Recovery” in Kirkus Reviews (widely shared on social media); an excerpt published by Longreads on Oct. 1, reposted by the Internet aggregator, Digg on Oct. 4. Enthusiastic reviews and feature stories have appeared in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; The Dallas Morning News; the Minneapolis Star Tribune; the Houston Chronicle; the San Francisco Review of Books; the Wisconsin State Journal; and Amazon’s recommended books column, Omnivoracious. The review that best captures the unconventional spirit of the book appeared in the Chicago Tribune:


One of Susan Hanson’s photos, taken at Jacob’s Well, received first place in this year’s Texas Photographic Society Members Only Show, judged by Keith Carter. It was one of 50 images selected out of 1020 submissions. The show will open Dec. 10 at the TCC Photo Gallery in Longview: http://d19cgyi5s8w5eh.cloudfront.net/eml/ZvFNIrc7RlCcaGBcgr9OHg?e=carol.serur%40gmail.com&a=H6IyvOlWRZOw5re48l-mqg&f=5f8bee0a&t=1.

MFA poetry graduate and current Lecturer James Knippen will have two poems, “Beggars” and “Lilies,” published in an upcoming issue of Gulf Coast. His poem “Kitchen,” previously published in Hayden’s Ferry Review, will be included in The Great American Wise Ass Poetry Anthology, forthcoming from Lamar University Press.

MFA poetry student Ashton Kamburoff’s poem “For the Love of a Cadillac and a Cousin” has been accepted by Rose Red Review.

The Katherine Anne Porter House hosted an interview between Texas authors Mary Helen Specht and Nan Cuba.  The interview is featured in the October issue of Texas Monthly and can be found online: http://www.texasmonthly.com/list/the-10-writers-to-watch-and-read/mary-helen-specht-and-nan-cuba/.

Miscellany – September 17, 2015


Kathleen McClancy’s “Iron Curtain Man versus Captain American Exceptionalism: World War II and Cold War Nostalgia in Marvel’s War on Super-Terror” just came out in Marvel Comics’ Civil War and the Age of Terror: Critical Essays on the Comic Saga, from McFarland. Earlier this summer, “Atomic Housewives: *Shutter Island* and the Domestication of Nuclear Holocaust” came out in the June issue of the Journal of Popular Film and Television.

“No Dancing in Waco” and “Once, and Again After Midnight,” two poems by MFA poetry student Ashton Kamburoff, have been accepted by Shadowgraph Quarterly.

Becky Jackson will participate in the panel “The Extracurriculum Within Our Walls” at the 2016 Conference on College Composition and Communication Convention. She will also co-chair (with Eric Leake) the annual meeting of the Master’s Degree Consortium of Writing Studies Specialists at the conference.

Edna Rehbein, a Lecturer in the English Department and also an Assistant Vice Presdient for Academic Affairs, has been selected for an Alumnae Achievement Award by her alma mater, know formerly as Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Virginia but now coed and is simply Randolph College. She will receive the award in Virginia on September 19th and will have an opportunity to teach a class while there. She attended Randolph-Macon in the 1970s and earned an AB degree with a double major in Spanish and Latin American Studies, graduating with Honors and Magna Cum Laude. Upon graduation she received a Danforth Fellowship for graduate students to study in doctoral programs with the purpose of becoming university professors. Randolph College has a very strong history as a liberal arts college and many of its graduates continue with graduate and professional programs.

Miriam Williams and Octavio Pimentel’s Communicating Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in Technical Communication, published in 2015 by Baywood Publishing Company, has been nominated for the 2016 Technical and Scientific Communication Awards sponsored by the Conference on College Composition & Communication.

MFA fiction graduate Sarah Rafael Garcia has been granted an artist-in-residence position at the Grand Central Arts Center in Santa Ana, California from March of 2016 through March of 2017, with which she will develop her of proposed Santana’s Fairy Tales, a collection is inspired by and including one of the feminist fairytales submitted in her MFA thesis. *Santana’s Fairy Tales* is an oral history, storytelling project that integrates community-based interviews to create contemporary fairytales and fables that represent the history and real stories of Mexican/Mexican-American residents of Santa Ana (inspired by the Grimms’ Fairy Tales). The exhibit will present a mixed media installation that will be curated in collaboration with local visual, musical, and performance artists. The exhibit will showcase a fully illustrated published book; an ‘open book’ performance with a narrator and actors; along with the band “Viento Callejero,” who will compose and play a score for a featured story out of the collection. The artist-in-residence position includes a $10,000 honorarium and an apartment in the downtown artist district (near the art center), as well as funds for the artists participating in the project and for all curating expenses. Santana’s Fairy Tales is supported in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, through a grant supporting the Artist-in-Residence initiative at Grand Central Art Center.

Miscellany – May 8, 2015


MARC graduate Cheyenne Riggs has accepted a full-time lecturer position in the Department of English at the University of Oklahoma.

Nancy Wilson’s article, “Coming in from the (Binary) Code,” will appear in the Spring 2015 issue of Writing on the Edge.

Trey Moody’s poem, “What Needs To Be Done,” is in the current issue of Puerto del Sol.

The following English faculty were name Alpha Chi Favorite Professors by students graduating Spring 2015: John Blair, Chad Hammett, Susan Hanson, Elvin Holt, Rebecca Jackson, Katie Kapurch, Lindy Kosmitis, Twister Marquiss, Stephanie Motz, Stephanie Noll, and Anne Winchell.  Alpha Chi is a National College Honor Society that recognizes “academic excellence and exemplary character” in students.

MATC student Emily Clark, this year’s Outstanding Graduate Student in English, has accepted a position at Schneider Electric as a technical writer. Emily will write documentation for tollway system software and hardware.

MFA poetry student Laura Kraay’s comic-poetry hybrid, “Notes to My Ex,” appears in the latest issue of Hobart: http://www.hobartpulp.com/web_features/notes-to-my-ex.

Our Visiting Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Komi Begedou, and a colleague currently at New York University have been awarded a $10,000 grant from NYU and D-Prize for their “Jeunes Braves” project to expand classes helping teenage girls in Togo avoid unwanted pregnancy. In late April, Komi was guest speaker at the Togo Independence Day celebration held by the Togo Association of Central Texas, in Austin.

Steve Wilson has poems forthcoming in Southwestern American Literature, Midwest Quarterly, and Beloit Poetry Journal.