Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ilse Schweitzer reviews Dinah Hazell's The Plants of Middle Earth

As its inaugural review, the new journal medievally speaking published Ilse Schweitzer's review of Dinah Hazell's The Plants of Middle Earth. READ HERE.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Utz publishes essay on Medievalism and Temporality

Richard Utz recently published "Medievalitas Fugit: Medievalism and Temporality" in volume XVIII, entitled Defining Medievalism(s), of the journal Studies in Medievalism (Cambridge: Boydell & Brewer), pp. 31-43. The essay argues for a demonstrated awareness of one's own and one's subject's correlation with temporality as an admission ticket for successful and publishable work on the reception of medieval culture in postmedieval times.

Monday, December 21, 2009

“Poets in Print” Reading Series at the KBAC

Cindy St. John and Rob Schlegel
Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010, 7:00 p.m.

Poets Cindy St. John and Rob Schlegel present readings from their work on Saturday, January 16, 2010. Broadsides featuring the poet's work will be created by KBAC artists. The broadsides and other works by the poets will be available during the event for sale and signing.

Cindy St. John, alumni of the MFA program at WMU, is the author of two chapbooks, City Poems (Effing Press 2009) and People Who Are in Love Will Read This Book Differently (Dancing Girl Press 2009). Her poems have appeared in journals such as The Southern Review, The Florida Review and Cimarron Review. She lives in Austin, TX.

Rob Schlegel was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and has lived in California, Montana, and Iowa. His first book, The Lesser Fields, was selected for the 2009 Colorado Prize for Poetry and published by the Center for Literary Publishing.

This event is free and refreshments are served. Doors open at 6:30. Reading begins at 7.

Kalamazoo Book Arts Center
Suite 103A, Park Trades Center
326 W. Kalamazoo Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Joslin's monograph elicits first review

Katherine Joslin's Edith Wharton and the Making of Fashion was recently reviewed in The Magazine Antiques.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Salisbury @ MLA

Eve Salisbury has recently been elected to the MLA’s Division on Middle English Language and Literature, Excluding Chaucer and is scheduled to preside over a session at the upcoming conference in Philadelphia. Called “Family Matters,” the session includes the following papers:

  • “Strange Bedfellows: Miscegenation and Power in Medieval Romance,” Katherine McLoone, University of California, Los Angeles
  • “Two Trojan Empires: Kinship and Community Formation in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” Randy P. Schiff, University of Buffalo, State University of New York
  • “Necessary Lies and Open Secrets: The Middle English Melusine and the Problems of Maternal Influence,” Angela Florschuetz, Trinity University
  • “Family Men: Masculinity and the Blood Feud in Malory’s Morte d’Arthur,” Laurie Anne Finke, Kenyon College; Martin B. Shichtman, Eastern Michigan University

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The Michigan College English Association's Conference is on Friday, October 15, 2010.  The theme is "Turning Points."  The MCEA conference will take place at Henry Ford Community College in the Mazara Building at 5101 Evergreen Rd., Dearborn, MI 48128.  The Michigan College English Association invites proposals for individual papers and for complete or open panels.  We welcome proposals from experienced academics as well as from young scholars and graduate students.  We encourage a variety of papers, including pedagogical and scholarly essays.  We also welcome poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction from creative writers.  We will award a prize for the best scholarly paper and for the best creative writing by a graduate student.  Proposals are due by Friday, September 24, 2010.  Early submissions are welcome.  Please submit proposals to Ed Demerly, Program Chair, via email at   Please specify your needs for audio-visual equipment and the best time of day for your presentation.

Michigan College English Association Conference

The Michigan College English Association's Conference is on Friday, October 15, 2010. The theme is "Turning Points." The MCEA conference will take place at Henry Ford Community College in the Mazara Building at 5101 Evergreen Rd., Dearborn, MI 48128. The Michigan College English Association invites proposals for individual papers and for complete or open panels. We welcome proposals from experienced academics as well as from young scholars and graduate students. We encourage a variety of papers, including pedagogical and scholarly essays. We also welcome poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction from creative writers. We will award a prize for the best scholarly paper and for the best creative writing by a graduate student. Proposals are due by Friday, September 24, 2010. Early submissions are welcome. Please submit proposals to Ed Demerly, Program Chair, via email at Please specify your needs for audio-visual equipment and the best time of day for your presentation.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Janet Heller's Poem Published

Janet Heller's poem "Two Compulsives Live Together" was just published in Home Planet News, No. 63, p. 18.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Ambassador Poetry Project

The second issue of The Ambassador Poetry Project is now available online at Visit the website to discover a variety of voices from Michigan and Ontario!

This issue includes selections from poets such as Judith A Goren, Therese Becker, Linda Leedy Schneider, Matthew Falk, and sound poetry from Penn Kemp. Also included is visual work by Grand Blanc High School student Rob Chron.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Teaching Writing: A Mini-Conference

Come join the first-year writing program teaching staff for an end-of-semester professional development event, highlighting the challenges and opportunities in teaching ENGL 1050 and 1000 at WMU. The opening presentation, "Righting Writing," will be by Dr. Thomas Kent, Dean of the WMU College of Arts and Sciences. There will be poster presentations on "Two to Too Much Grammar" Teaching Grammar in a Composition Classroom," "Special Topics a Go-Go: Composition as a Platform for Issues of Sustainability," "Completing the Circuit: Technology in Composition Instruction," Escaping the Ivory Tower: Putting Genre Studies to Use," "Finding Your Place: Bringing Place-Based Pedagogy to English 1000," and "Language ART." The event will take place on the 10th floor of Sprau Tower, from 6-7:30pm, on Tuesday, December 8.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Update: Sedgwick Conference ("Spanking and Poetry") in NYC—Deadline Extended

In Memoriam: Emerita Nancy Cutbirth Small

Dr. Nancy Cutbirth Small passed away after a long illness on Friday, 27 November 2009. Nancy joined the Department of English in 1971 and retired as Associate Professor with emerita status at the end of 1995. Her career was distinguished above all by the nurturing care that she lavished on her students, by her teaching of numerous courses in Renaissance Literature (particularly poetry), by her editing of The Anthony Powell Newsletter, and by her labors in conjunction with her future husband Tom in organizing what were then annual Shakespeare Festivals sponsored by the Department.
Following retirement Nancy pursued her passions for peace and the natural world. She was an early opponent of the war in Iraq, an early and active member of the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, and a founder of the Kalamazoo chapter of Wild Ones, an organization that advocates for natural landscapes. She lectured widely and wrote numerous letters and essays advocating for the preservation of natural spaces and all critters that live in, on, or above them. In a sense she never stopped teaching, as those who gardened with her, or received plants from her hands, or sought her advice on what to plant and where and why would testify.   T. H. Seiler

See also the Obituary in the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ostriker speaks & reads

Tomorrow, Tuesday, 12/1, Alicia Ostriker will be on campus for the final fall 2009 Scholary Speaker lecture.  The event will begin 7 p.m. and will take place in Brown 3025. The title of her lecture is "Re-deeming Scripture: Contemporary Midrash in America." She will also be giving a Frostic reading the next day--Wednesday, December 2--at 8 pm in Bernard Center 208

Family Literacy Night, Th, Dec. 3

Kalamazoo – Students from Western Michigan University will be presenting a Family Literacy Night at El Sol Elementary School on Thursday, Dec. 3.
This is the second Family Literacy Night event the WMU students have coordinated for the elementary school. It will take place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at El Sol, 604 W. Vine St., in Kalamazoo. "Literacy nights like this promote a shared awareness of the importance of reading,” said Dr. Paul Babladelis, principal at El Sol.  “These nights are family events that most often include parents,  students, and siblings. The event provides a shared experience that is reinforced later by reading in the home." El Sol Elementary is dedicated to bilingual education using a two-way immersion program: half of the school day’s instruction is in English, and the other half is in Spanish.

Students from WMU’s English course, Language and Literacy in the Multilingual Classroom, have been planning the Family Literacy Nights for El Sol. The class is led by Dr. Karen Vocke. Some of the activities planned include storytelling, mural drawing, and puppet making. The WMU students also coordinated a book drive throughout the community, and the donations will be given to families at the Literacy Night event. "Here at El Sol Elementary we are trying to develop a college-going 
culture. The partnership with WMU is important because it creates a bridge from the school and the home to the university,” Babladelis said. “Elementary students and their families interact with college 
students and learn more about what it takes to be successful in college, including the development of strong literacy skills."

For more information: Dr. Karen Vocke, 387-2601; Dr. Paul Babladelis, 337-0230

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Alicia Ostriker Reads on December 2

Alicia Ostriker, a poet and critic, has published eleven volumes of poetry, including The Volcano Sequence and No Heaven. Her most recent prose book is Dancing at the Devil’s Party: Essays on Poetry, Politics, and the Erotic. Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, Paris Review, Ontario Review, The Nation, and many other journals and anthologies. Twice a National Book Award finalist, she has also received awards from the Poetry Society of America, the San Francisco Poetry Center, and the Paterson Poetry Center, among others. Ostriker lives in Princeton, is Professor emerita of English at Rutgers University, and currently teaches in the low-residency Poetry MFA program of New England College.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

KBAC "Poets in Print" Reading Saturday

You are invited to join us for the Poets in Print Reading Series at the KBAC, Saturday, Nov. 21, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Poets Karyna McGlynn, James Shea and Nate Slawson present readings from their work on Saturday, November 21, at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center. Broadsides featuring the poet's work will be created by KBAC artists Katie Platte, Jeff Rybicki, and Vicki VanAmeyden. The broadsides and other works by the poets will be available during the event for sale and signing. Broadsides from other "Poets in Print" events and other book arts creations are also available for sale.

Karyna McGlynn earned her MFA from University of Michigan, where she received the Zell Postgraduate Fellowship in Poetry and a Hopwood Award. Her first book, I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl, won the 2008 Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry and is forthcoming from Sarabande Books. Recent chapbooks include Scorpionica (New Michigan Press, 2007) and Alabama Steve (Destructible Heart Press, 2008). Her poems have appeared in Fence, Gulf Coast, Willow Springs, Indiana Review, Denver Quarterly, Verse Daily, Octopus, CutBank, and Ninth Letter. She currently teaches at Concordia University Texas in Austin, where she lives with multimedia artist Adam Theriault.

James Shea is the author of Star in the Eye, selected for the 2008 Fence Modern Poets Series and named as a Favorite Book of 2008 by the Chicago Sun-Times. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he has published poems in various journals, including American Letters and Commentary, Boston Review, Crazyhorse, jubilat, The Canary, and Verse. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the poetry program at Columbia College Chicago.

Nate Slawson edits the online magazine dear camera and designs books for Cinematheque Press. He is the author of the chapbook a mixtape called zooey deschanel (Line4, 2009), and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Copper Nickel, H_NGM_N, diode, Typo, Forklift, Ohio, Cannibal, DIAGRAM, and other places. He lives in Chicago.

This event is free and refreshments are served. Doors open at 6:30.

Kalamazoo Book Arts Center (View Map)
Suite 103A, Park Trades Center
326 W. Kalamazoo Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ENGL 2000 Celebration Attracts Numerous Visitors

Today's Poster Presentation by our fantastic ENGL 2000 students, masterminded by Gwen Tarbox and her team coaches, attracted numerous visitors from all across campus, including President John Dunn, Provost Tim Greene, Vice Provost Eileen Evans, Director of Undergraduate Studies David Reinhold, Associate CAS Dean Alex Enyedi, English Department Distinguished Alumnus Karl Sandelin, and many faculty and students. 

Stuart Dybek Reading

Stuart Dybek is the author of numerous books, including I Sailed With Magellan, The Coast of Chicago, and Childhood and Other Neighborhoods. Among Dybek’s numerous awards are a $500,000 2007 MacArthur Fellowship, a PEN/Malamud Prize, a Lannan Award, aWhiting Writers Award, an Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters, several O.Henry Prizes, and fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is Distinguished Writer in Residence at Northwestern University and a member of the faculty for Western Michigan University’s Prague Summer Program.

He will be reading at 8PM in the Bernhard Center, Room 208, on the campus of Western Michigan University.

Gary McDowell publishes Poetry Chapbook

Cooper Dillon Books is proud to announce the publication of Gary L. McDowell's chapbook, They Speak of Fruit.  Check it out at!  Gary is also the co-editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice due out from Rose Metal Press in early 2010.  He has poems forthcoming in The Laurel Review, Indiana Review, Parthenon West Review, Gargoyle, Barn Owl Review, Cider Press Review, and others.  Gary is a third year PhD student in the English Department at WMU, studying poetry and American Literature.  He lives in Kalamazoo with his wife and young son, Auden.

Submissions for The Laureate

Carissa Ann Marks to publish in Northern Light

Carissa Ann Marks's story, "The Storm" was accepted for publication in Northern Light 2008-09, which is expected to come out in early 2010. Northern Light is a biannual publication which collects the best  work completed by SUISS (The Scottish Universities' International Summer School) Creative Writing students during their stay in Edinburgh. The forthcoming issue will contain work by students from 2008 and 2009.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vocke and Priest Present at KPL

Karen Vocke and Dan Priest (ENGL 1000 instructor) presented an in-service on technology resources for literacy instruction at the Kalamazoo Public Library on November 11th. The event, a professional development opportunity for tutors in the Kalamazoo Literacy Council, was well-attended.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Comparative Drama's Fall 2009 Issue Published

Comparative Drama's Fall 2009 issue was published earlier this month. For a complimentary copy please e-mail

Comparative Drama Volume 43 • Fall 2009 • No. 3
This volume contains the following contributions:

The Comic Ethos of Il Principe
Angus Fletcher

Fletcher, Massinger, and Roman Imperial Character
John E. Curran, Jr.

Another Play On Salem Witch Trials:” Lion Feuchtwanger, Communists, and Nazis
Waltraud Maierhofer

The Earliest Middle English Interludes
Stephanie Thompson Lundeen

Stone Tower: The Political Theatre of Arthur Miller
by Jeffrey D. Mason
Reviewed by Christopher Bigsby

Sophocles and Alcibiades: Athenian Politics in Ancient Greek Literature
by Michael Vickers
Reviewed by Rush Rehm

Reading the Jewish Woman on the Elizabethan Stage
by Michelle Ephraim
Reviewed by Michael Chemers

Shakespeare and Garrick
by Vanessa Cunningham
Reviewed by Fiona Ritchie

Blood Relations: Christian and Jew in "The Merchant of Venice"
by Janet Adelman
Reviewed by Andrew Hadfield

Stage Fright: Politics and the Performing Arts in Late Imperial Russia
by Paul du Quenoy
Reviewed by Robert Goldstein

The Influence of Tennessee Williams: Essays on Fifteen American Playwrights
edited by Philip C. Kolin
Reviewed by Michael Paller

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dressing Emily Dickinson and Edith Wharton

We have reason to celebrate: Daneen Wardrop and Katherine Joslin have recently published their monographs on Emily Dickinson and the Labor of Clothing and Edith Wharton and the Making of Fashion, respectively. Please join them on Friday, November 13, 3:30-5:30, for a reception at the Edwin and Mary Meader Rare Book Room at the Waldo Library, 3r floor. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the University Libraries. Congrats to Daneen and Katherine!

EETS conference announcement

Editing Medieval Texts from Britain in the Twenty-First Century: A Conference organised by the Early English Text Society 20-22 May 2010, St Anne's College Oxford
Registration is now open for this meeting, which features plenary lectures by Katherine O'Brien O'Keeffe, H. Leith Spencer, and Thorlac Turville-Petre. Panels include From Script to Print to HTML: Electronic Editions; Editing British Texts in Latin, Anglo-Norman, Celtic and Scots; Old English; Major Middle English Authors; In Praise of the Variant. Why Edit Critically?; Palaeography, Dialectology and the Editorial Process; Desiderata: What still needs doing?; Middle English Scientific Prose; Practices, Habits, Methodologies.   Proposals are now invited from graduate students for poster displays at the conference. Please contact For a full programme, practical details, and registration forms, go to

Edinburgh Global Master's & Homecoming Scotland Scholarships

The University of Edinburgh will be offering 30 International Master's
Scholarships for the 2010-2011 academic year.

10 of these scholarships ("Homecoming Scotland" Scholarships) have a value
of £5,000 while 20 fall under the Global Master's Scholarships Scheme and
have a value of £3,000 each.

Applicants must have been offered admission to pursue a Master’s degree program of study at the University of Edinburgh commencing in the 2010-2011 academic session on a full-time basis.

The deadline for receipt of applications for both scholarships is the 1st
April 2010 and applicants should complete an online scholarship application
in order to be considered for these awards.

All applicants to these scholarships must have already been accepted to
study at the University of Edinburgh. In order to make an application for
studying within the School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences
please visit the following website:

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the PPLS
Postgraduate Office (details below) or the Scholarships Office

Monday, November 9, 2009

On Tuesday, November 19 at 6:00 pm, author Robert Alexander will be speaking in 2028 Brown Hall. Alexander's novels include Rasputin's Daughter, The Romanov Bride, and The Kitchen Boy (from which he will be reading).
Other events schedule for Alexander's visit include a formal tea hosted by the City of Portage and the Portage District Library at noon on Friday, November 20. Alexander will also be giving the keynote presentation at the Russian Festival, which takes place on Saturday, November 21 at WMU's Fetzer Center.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Celebration of English Studies Event

The students in ENGL 2000, Introduction to English Studies, invite you to join them for a Poster Presentation Exhibit and Reception, to be held on Wednesday, November 18, 2009, from 12:30-1:50 in 2208 Dunbar Hall.

This is a great opportunity for the entire English Studies community to meet these talented undergraduates and to witness their creative approaches to key ideas in the field.

The Poster Presentation Exhibit will run from 12:30-1:30. If you are teaching during this time, feel free to bring your students over for a brief walk through of the Exhibit. Students will be standing by their posters, ready to engage in dialogue about their scholarship. With topics ranging from the history of non-fiction to the adaptation of children's books into films to the benefits of the multi-genre essay, there is sure to be a poster that will relate to the subjects you are teaching this semester.

The Reception, which is scheduled from 1:30-1:50, will provide attendees with the opportunity to ask students about their experiences in ENGL 2000 and to watch short video clips taken throughout the semester.

Comparative Drama Welcomes New Copy Editor

Comparative Drama would like to welcome Josh Boardman who has recently joined our staff as an assistant Copy Editor. Josh graduated from WMU last Spring with a B.A. in Creative Writing.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Utz reviews Vavra, Der Wald im Mittelalter

Richard Utz recently reviewed Der Wald im Mittelalter: Funktion -- Nutzung -- Deutung, ed. Elizabeth Vavra, a special thematic volume of Das Mittelalter, vol. 13/2 (2008), the journal of the Society of German-Speaking Medievalists ("Mediävistenverband"), for Perspicuitas.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Vocke Interviewed by Corpus Christi newspaper

Karen Vocke was interviewed today by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times about her work and research with migrant families. Vocke's perspective on barriers and opportunities for migrant students will be included in a forthcoming article on migrant education. The 2009 Annual Association for Migrant Educators of Texas Migrant Education Conference is being held in Corpus Christi later this week.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

sweet time for the sweeneys

Check out this article about our poet Chad Sweeney and his wife, Jennifer, and their making their home in Kalamazoo.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Speakers Series Talk by Mustafa Mirzeler

On Thursday, November 5, at 7pm, in Brown 3025, our own Mustafa Mirzeler will speak to us about his scholarship, "Memories of Rivers and the Journal of the Gray Bull Engiro," as part of the Department Speakers Series. Since Mustafa kindly gave two presentations this summer in my graduate seminar on Medievalism, I can predict a wonderful experience for the Thursday event also. Please feel free to invite your students and colleagues from other departments. For additional information on the presentation, please visit:

See you all Thursday,

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lecture: Women, Gender, and Lordship in France

“Women, Gender, and Lordship in France” Kim LoPrete NIU—Galway, Visiting Fellow
Thursday, November 12, 2009 at 5:00 p.m.
Walwood Commons, Walwood Hall, WMU East Campus (Reception to follow)
Sponsored by The Medieval Institute

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sigma Tau Delta English Studies Conference coming up Friday, November 6

The WMU chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, will host the Fall 2009 Sigma Tau Delta English Studies Conference on Friday, November 6. The conference will take place in the Humanities Resources Center in 3025 Brown Hall from noon to 5 p.m. All students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend. The event is also open to the public.

The Sigma Tau Delta English Studies Conference is held each fall and spring semester to showcase the writing of WMU students, giving them the opportunity to present their work to an audience in a professional setting. This entirely student-run conference is Sigma Tau Delta’s signature campus event. Participation is open to all WMU students; more than 30 WMU students will present their original creative, scholarly, and critical work at the Fall 2009 conference.

Alpha Nu Pi, the WMU chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, was established in March 2006 with 46 charter members and has since grown to 190 active and alumni members, including 39 new members inducted on October 25, 2009. Alpha Nu Pi has twice been recognized as an Outstanding Chapter by the national organization, which describes the WMU chapter as "one of the most active, vital chapters in the country."

Please visit the Sigma Tau Delta website for more information about the Fall 2009 English Studies Conference, including the full program of events.

Students scheduled to present at the Fall 2009 English Studies Conference:

Jill Archie
Adam Baker
Madeline Baker
Allison Billedeaux
Tori Blevins
Peter Bryan
Danielle Cavinder
Laura Citino
Jason Elkins
Brandon Flowers
Jax Gardner
Casey Grooten
Colleen Hammer
Ashley Hillard
Sally Johnson
Ema Katrovas
Kevin Klump
Brianna Krueger
Patrick Love
Carissa Marks
Dave Martin
Sarah Munchow
Patric Nuttall
Katie O’Brien
Ken Odle
Sara Olivares
Michelle Reed
Dana Ruzicka
Luke Sharrow
Staci Stutsman
Philip Taylor
Emily Wacyk

New Issues Poet Jericho Brown Wins Whiting Award

Congratulations to Jericho Brown, author of the debut poetry collection Please (New Issues, 2008), on receiving a 2009 Whiting Writers' Award, given to recognize emerging writers. "The awards, which are $50,000 each, totaling $500,000, have been given annually since 1985 to writers of exceptional talent and promise in early career." Joan Kane and Jay Hopler also received the award for poetry.

Please, winner of a 2009 American Book Award, is currently in its third printing. -- "Jericho Brown and Salvatore Scibona Among Whiting Award Winners" on the Poets & Writers website.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Utz publishes essay on History of English Studies

Richard Utz published "Englische Philologie vs. English Studies: A Foundational Conflict" in Das Potential europäischer Philologien. Geschichte, Leistung, Funktion, ed. Christoph König (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2009), pp. 34-44. He also translated, from German into English, Christoph König's "Osnabrück Declaration on the Potential of European Philologies," printed on pp. 219-22 in the same volume.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

November 6 Poetry Reading @ Kazoo Books

William Olsen and L.S. Klatt

Friday, Nov. 6. 6:30 p.m. / Reading followed by Q&A
Kazoo Books II on Parkview

William Olsen is the author of four collections of poetry, The Hand of God and a Few Bright Flowers, Vision of a Storm Cloud, Trouble Lights, and Avenue of Vanishing (TriQuarterly, 2007). He is co-editor, with Sharon Bryan, of Planet on the Table: Poets on the Reading Life (Sarabande, 2003). His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and poetry awards from Poetry Northwest and Crazyhorse. His poems and essays have appeared in The New Republic, Chicago Review, Paris Review, Southern Review,  TriQuarterly, New American Poets of the Nineties, The New Breadloaf Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, and many other magazines and anthologies. He teaches at Western Michigan University and the MFA Program at Vermont College.

L. S. Klatt graduated with a PhD from the University of Georgia in 2003 and currently teaches in the English Department at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His first book, Interloper, won the 2008 Juniper Prize and was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in April of this year. His poems have appeared in several literary magazines, including Boston Review, Colorado Review, New Orleans Review, Field, Denver Quarterly, Bellingham Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Chicago Review, Iowa Review, and Verse.

Interloper, winner of the 2008 Juniper Prize:
“. . . The book is a field guide for any mind exercising to learn unknown transfers and connecting combinations.” ­—Dara Wier

Kazoo Books II
2413 Parkview
Kalamazoo, MI 49008

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Steve Feffer Play in Chicago at the Ruckus Theatre

Steve Feffer's new play, "My Brother, the School Shooter," a short play inspired by the Pearl Jam song "Jeremy" is currently running as part of Ruckus Theatre's Tell It & Speak It & Think It & Breathe It project. Feffer's play tells the story of a young woman who confronts her North Shore Chicago parents about leaving home following her brother's attempt at shooting-up the high school they had previously attended together. The title of the play comes from the college admission's essay the girl, the school's valedictorian, grimly imagines herself writing.

The Ruckus, a new Chicago theatre company primarily composed of former WMU students who met during the first two New Play Projects, calls Tell It & Speak It & Think It & Breathe It a world premiere theatrical mixtape. Co-curated by The Ruckus Artistic Director Allison Shoemaker, Literary Manager Mitch Vermeersch and Artistic Associate Melissa Pryor (all WMU and New Play Project alums) and made up of bold new work from writers across the country, Tell It… is a collection of fourteen world premiere short plays staged by eleven directors with eighteen actors that find new and unexpected meaning in the lyrics of popular music. The company also uncovers common resonances between songs and the plays they inspire, seeking out the relationships between them sonically, lyrically and visually. Tell It… features accompanying live performances from local musicians, including Elvisbride, Louis and the Hunt and Mitch Mead, each providing their own interpretations of the songs examined. Tell It & Speak It & Think It & Breathe It is performed at The Side Project Theatre, October 25 – 28 & November 1 – 4, 2009. All performances are at 7:30pm, except November 1 at 2pm. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased online at, by e-mail at or by phone at 773.769.RCKS(7257).
A compilation of short “pl-ongs” or “s-lays” by theater artists from Chicago, New York, California and Michigan, Tell It… includes work my nine playwrights making their Chicago debuts and four playwrights making their world debuts. Over the course of the evening, audiences will experience work inspired by The Breeders, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, Elvis Costello, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Bob Dylan, The Flaming Lips, Fleet Foxes, Paris Hilton, Hot Chip, Joni Mitchell, Neutral Milk Hotel, The New Pornographers, Yoko Ono, Parliament, Peaches, Pearl Jam, John Rutter, Paul Simon, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Cat Stevens, System of a Down, The White Stripes and Thom Yorke.

Utz speaks on Temporality and Medieval Rituals

Richard Utz presented an invited conference paper, "Ritus et Artes: Temporality and the Heritage of Medieval Rituals" at the Fifth Conference on the Cultural Heritage of Medieval Rituals, at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He also participated in the annual advisory board meeting of the Brepols Publishers book series, Ritus et Artes. The trip was funded by the Danish National Research Foundation.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Prague Summer Program TAs

All graduate students interested in serving as TAs in the Prague Summer Program, please inform Professor Richard Katrovas of this interest by Tuesday, October 27.
E-mail Professor Katrovas at using the following format:
In the “subject” write your name, the degree you’re seeking, and your primary genre. For example: Joe Blow PhD fiction.
In the body of the e-mail, tell Professor Katrovas how long, approximately, you have until graduation and who will likely serve as the director of your thesis or dissertation committee. Then, in two or three sentences, tell him why you want to be a TA in the Prague Summer Program.
At least one non-creative-writing graduate student will serve as a TA for their afternoon classes. If you are applying as a scholar, in the “subject” box write your name, the degree you’re seeking, then “scholar.” In the body of the e-mail proceed as described above.
Individuals who have served as TAs in the past may re-apply, though it is Professor Katrovas' goal to have everyone who wishes to serve be offered at least one opportunity.
One or two TA positions have already been determined; they hope to fill a total of nine.

Janet Heller's Poems

Janet Heller's five poems related to teaching and learning "Spunk," "Getting My Mouth Washed Out," "Driving down Route 23 After Work in a Blizzard," "Exam Week Sketch," and "Moving In" are forthcoming in The Michigan Reading Journal in the section entitled "Teachers as Writers."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sigma Tau Delta induction Sunday at 1 p.m.

Please join the Alpha Nu Pi chapter of Sigma Tau Delta as we welcome our Fall 2009 inductees on Sunday, October 25, at 1 p.m. The induction will take place in 3025 Brown Hall with refreshments to follow.

This is a significant induction because we are celebrating our first class of inductees whose lifetime memberships are free of charge to the students. The fee to join Sigma Tau Delta is $50, but thanks to initial funding from the College of Arts and Sciences and donations from faculty and staff that have already started to come into the Sigma Tau Delta Fund at the WMU Foundation, the Fall 2009 inductees are able to accept the honor they have earned by qualifying for membership in Sigma Tau Delta, now without the financial obligation that unfortunately discouraged some deserving applicants in years past. We hope this is the beginning of a new, permanent tradition of free membership.

This induction is also significant because the Fall 2009 class of inductees is among the largest in our chapter's history, second only to the March 2006 induction of our founding members, when 46 charter members became the first WMU Sigma Tau Deltas.

Thirty-nine students, undergraduate as well as graduate, will join us this semester, bringing our total membership to 190 active and alumni members. Not bad for a chapter whose charter is not quite four years old.

Please scroll down for a list of our 39 new Fall 2009 inductees. And for those who have given to the Sigma Tau Delta Membership Fund, please accept the sincere thanks of the Alpha Nu Pi chapter. For those who would still like to give, you may visit to donate online (please designate your gift to the Department of English -- Sigma Tau Delta) or return your WMU Foundation contribution form with your donation or payroll deduction election. (Extra forms are available from Lisa Minnick.)

The Fall 2009 WMU Sigma Tau Delta Inductees:

Alicia Akins
Jill Archie
Danielle Bailey
Emily Beard

Jessica Bixel

Maike Buck

Danielle Cavinder

Takunia Collins

Ashley Crawford

Jason Elkins

Megan Emerson

Kimberly Evans

Paula Fader

Brandon Flowers

Kathleen Garbacz

Jax Gardner

Kendra Grieser

Elisa Gruss

Jennifer Henson

Sally Johnson

Amarrah Kean

Amanda Klein

Shauna Koszegi

Bethany Leyder

Carissa Marks
Shannon McConnell
Sara Olivares
Aanee Ruple
Dana Ruzicka

Louise Schreiber

Stephanie Sorenson

David Staggs

Audrey Sturrus

Staci Stutsman

Christina Triezenberg

Matthew Tootalian

Stephanie Vogie

Megan Werner

Lindsey Wiegand