Monday, June 16, 2008

Vocke & Summer Migrant Programs

Karen Vocke is spending time this summer in Hartford, Michigan, as a consultant for the district's summer migrant program. She has worked with program director Cheryl Boothby and the district for more than three years in a research collaboration which resulted in Vocke's book, Where Do I Go From Here? Meeting the Unique Educational Needs of Migrant Students, published by Heinemann. Vocke will work with the teachers on writing pedagogy for English Language Learners. Additionally, she will coordinate evening literacy workshops for migrant parents. Vocke also works with educators in the Eau Claire summer migrant program.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

English Faculty Recognized at Luncheon for Tenure/Promotion

On Friday, June 13, WMU honored faculty who received tenure and/or promotion with a luncheon at the Bernhard Center. English Department attendees included Drs. Jon Adams and Karen Vocke (tenure and promotion to Associate Professor), Dr. Jana Schulman (promotion to Professor), and Chair Richard Utz. President Dunn congratulated our faculty after the luncheon.

Monday, June 9, 2008

New Issues Press: Two Titles Receive Recognition

ForeWord magazine announced the winners of its tenth annual Book of the Year Awards and Undid in the Land of Undone by Lee Upton was given a silver medal in the poetry category. Undid in the Land of Undone is Lee Upton’s fifth book of poetry. She is the author of four books of literary criticism, most recently Defensive Measures. A native of Michigan, she is a professor of English and the Writer in Residence at Lafayette College in Easton, PA. For a complete list of winners, visit their website

The Boys I Borrow by Heather Sellers has been named one of four finalists for the 2007 Balcones Poetry Prize. Heather Sellers is the author of two previous volumes of poetry, the short story collection Georgia Under Water, a children’s book, and a series of books on the practice of writing. She teaches at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

The 2007 Balcones Poetry Prize, awarded to an outstanding book of poetry published during the year, was given to Aimee Nezhukumatathil's At the Drive-in Volcano. The three other finalists included Bob Hicok, Laura Kasischke, and Ron Padgett. Judges for the 2007 prize were Carrie Fountain, Elizabeth McKetta, and Scott Pierce. For more information on the Balcones Poetry Prize, visit their website:

Both titles were published as part of the Inland Seas Poetry Series. Inland Seas titles are supported by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and feature work by authors with strong Michigan connections.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Walker Receives WMU Assessment Grant

Joyce Walker is the recipient of a 2008-2009 WMU Faculty Assessment Grant for her project, "Assessing Student Learning Outcomes in English 1050" (Thought & Writing).

Norton Author Don Lee Joins Department

The Department is proud to announce its most recent hire, fiction writer Don Lee. Lee received his B.A. in English Literature from University of California, Los Angeles, graduating summa cum laude, and his M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Literature from Emerson College. He most recently served as Associate Professor at Macalester College, and has also served as a Visiting Writer at Emerson College, Queens University, University of Michigan, and Bennington College.
Don is the author of three books, Yellow, a collection of short stories which won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction; Country of Origin, a novel which won the American Book Award; and his latest novel, Wrack and Ruin, which was released from W.W. Norton this spring and was recently featured on National Public Radio. His stories have received an O. Henry Award and a Pushcart Prize, and have been published in GQ, The Kenyon Review, American Short Fiction, The Gettysburg Review, and The North American Review. Don is the recipient of the fiction fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the St. Botolph Club Foundation, and was named as a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction. He is the inaugural recipient of the Fred R. Brown Literary Award for emerging novelists from the University of Pittsburgh. For full biographical information, please check:

Don also served as the editor of Ploughshares, one of best-known literary journals in the United States, reading, critiquing, and editing the work of hundreds of writers.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Seeking Adjunct Instructors

The English and Communications Department at Muskegon Community College is seeking adjunct instructors for Fall 2008, Winter 2009, and Summer 2009 semesters.

The qualified applicant will have both a Masters degree and teaching experience in English, Literature, Writing, or Communications, as well as experience in the instructional technologies. The ability to work with diverse populations representing a wide range of abilities, ages, nationalities, and cultures is also essential. On occasion, candidates with a Bachelors degree and extensive experience in the field will be considered.

If this descriptions sounds like anyone you know, please, share this announcement. All inquiries and applications may be directed to me, Jenny Klingenberg. Thank you, and have a lovely summer!

Jenny Klingenberg, Chairperson
English and Communications Department
Muskegon Community College
221 South Quarterline Road
Muskegon, Michigan 49442

Michigan Author Homecoming

WHO: Richard Ford, Jim Harrison, Tom McGuane: A Conversation.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 10, 2008. Book signing follows discussion. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.

WHERE: Pasant Theatre, Wharton Center at Michigan State University, East Lansing.

COST: Free to the public. Limited seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

(LANSING)-----On July 10, 2008, the Michigan Humanities Council will host a Michigan Author Homecoming with critically acclaimed authors Richard Ford, Jim Harrison, and Thomas McGuane at the Wharton Center at Michigan State University (MSU). The three authors, icons of contemporary American
literature, are also MSU alumni and will meet together in public for the first time. The event will be a moderated discussion among the literary giants. It will commemorate the conclusion of the 2007-08 Great Michigan Read. It is free and open to the public. The discussion will begin at 7:30 p.m., followed by a book signing. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m.

The Michigan Humanities Council, founded in 1974, is a private, non-profit organization funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Kalamazoo Book Arts Center Grand Opening

The Kalamazoo Book Arts Center is pleased to invite you to the GRAND OPENING of its new facility in the Park Trades Center, downtown Kalamazoo, on Friday, June 6, from 6–8 p.m., as part of the June Art Hop. Come and see demonstrations of the paper-making process, meet the center's instructors, and tour the new facility.

The newly remodeled 2880 sq. ft. space is at the main entrance of the Park Trades Center. The new studio provides space for all of our activities including a professional paper mill, a printing and bookbinding studio, a library and archive, and a multipurpose area that can be used as a classroom, gallery, and presentation venue.

This space has been made possible through grants from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, and the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo. Equipment and other materials have been contributed by Western Michigan University’s Frostic School of Art and Special Collections Department of Waldo Library.

Our summer schedule of classes begins on June 7, and will take place in the new studio space at the Park Trades Center. Some WMU classes, such as ART5000: Book Arts, will utilize the equipment at the KBAC.

For more information about our classes and programs please visit our website at, or contact Marianne Swierenga, KBAC Board Member and Managing Editor of New Issues Poetry & Prose.

2008 National Poetry Slam

WMU English Department Grad Students will represent Kalamazoo at 2008 National Poetry Slam Finals in Madison, WI, August 3-9 by a team of four that includes MFA candidate Karen Wurl. Karen, a playwrite whose work was part of April's Fuse I program at University Theater, is a vetran poetry slam enthusiast who has competed at three previous National Poetry Slam finals.

Kalamazoo's poetry slam scene can be found at Poets Anonymous K-Zoo (PARKZOO for short). "It is a spoken word collective specializing in poetry slam and open mic poetry events," said Todd Bannon, a WMU English Education doctoral candidate. Bannon heads the organization and host a monthly poetry slam (first Wednesday of every month, including summertime) at Dino's Coffee Lounge.

Others on the 2008 PARKZOO poetry slam team are W.M. Carpenter, Oliver Lewis (a retired boxer), and Garrick Oxley ( a high school student, who will just turn the minimum required age of 18 on August 5th, the first day of competition at the National Poetry Slam (see or for more information).

Locally, PAKZOO also host a youth poetry slam the third Wednesday of every month at Dino's (hosted by K-Central teacher Chris Bullmer), and weekly open mics and slams at Papa Pete's Coffee Bar (hosted by Todd Bannon and Steve Ashby).

Todd Bannon:
Poets Anonymous K-Zoo:

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

RACE Exhibit Speaker

The RACE Exhibit Initiative is pleased to host

Juanita Moore

Director of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit

When: Monday, June 9, 2008
Time: 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Where: hosted by: Fetzer Institute, Seasons Retreat Center (NOT on Western's Campus: 9292 W. KL Ave, Kalamazoo; on KL Ave, just South of 4th St)
What: Mrs. Moore will share with us her experience of hosting the RACE Exhibit in Detroit Summer 2007.

Her talk is open to the public, especially those interested in becoming involved.