Tuesday, July 28, 2009

CFP Annual Mtg of MI Linguistics Society

39th Annual Meeting of the Michigan Linguistics Society, Saturday, October 31, 2009, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Keynote Speaker: Juan Uriagereka, University of Maryland

We invite presentations of original research for general sessions in any area of linguistics. Presentations will also be considered for a special session on "Biolinguistics and Generative Grammar." Presentations will be 20 minutes in length plus 10 minutes for questions/discussion. Deadline for abstract submission: Saturday, September 12, 2009. Submit abstracts online at: http://ling.lsa.umich.edu/mls2009

When submitting abstracts, remember that:
-Abstracts are limited to 500 words (including title and examples but excluding references); indicate word count at the bottom of the abstract.
- Abstracts can be submitted as pdf, doc, or txt files.
- Include a title in your abstract file.
-Abstracts will be reviewed anonymously; remove any author information from the abstract file.
- Author(s)' name(s), affiliation(s), and email address are required on the submission website.
- Author can submit two abstracts, in which case at least one abstract must be a joint abstract.
- For joint abstracts the first author will be the contact person.
Acceptance notification will be by September 25, 2009. The final program will be announced on October 2, 2009. For additional information visit the conference website: http://ling.lsa.umich.edu/mls2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

CFP: Poetry from/about Chicagoland

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Nirala Publications (New Delhi/Kathmandu) has announced the forthcoming publication of Chicagoland Poets, the latest poetry anthology in a distinguished series that includes the poets of London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin. The 350-page anthology (including black/white and color images) will be edited by Illinois poets Robin Metz and Nina Corwin, and launched in Chicago, New York, Montréal, London, New Delhi, and Kathmandu for worldwide distribution. The series editor is Yuyutsu R.D. Sharma. Nirala Publications is a prominent South Asian publishing house featuring established and emerging authors from India, Nepal, Europe, United Kingdom, North America, and an expanding range of international writers and artists. Nirala also collaborates with several foreign publishers and institutes and publishes Pratik: A Magazine of Contemporary Writing.

Poets born or currently living in Chicago (or environs) may submit up to five poems of any length on any subject (including, especially, poems about Chicago and environs, or southeast Asia). Poets not born or currently living in Chicago may also submit up to five poems on any subject related to Chicago (or environs). While unpublished poems are preferred, previously published poems are welcomed. A statement indicating that the poet retains reprint rights should accompany each submission of previously published poems. A brief biographical statement of 100 words (indicating the poet’s ties to Chicago, if applicable) should accompany the submission.

Deadline for submissions is August 31, 2009 and should be emailed to: treehouse523@sbcglobal.net in a single .doc or .rtf file with Chicagoland Poetry in the subject line OR addressed to: Chicagoland Poetry c/o Nina Corwin 523 S Plymouth Ct, Chicago, IL 60605. Please include SASE for reply only. MSS will not be returned. Poets included in the anthology will receive a complimentary copy.

Friday, July 24, 2009

New Issues Poet Bradley Paul Wins AWP's Donald Hall Prize in Poetry

Congratulations to Bradley Paul, author of The Obvious (New Issues, 2004), on winning AWP's Donald Hall Prize in Poetry. Jean Valentine selected Paul's manuscript The Animals All Are Gathering for the award. It will be published by Pittsburgh University Press. Valentine praised the book saying, "In this original and wonderfully energetic book, Bradley Paul moves from humor to mockery to play to anger to grief, and sometimes all at once. This poetry shifts, it slams, it hammers, it thinks; it corrodes our sorrow and foolishness; it captures our national haplessness, sad and firing and still."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Former English Faculty, Ken Macrorie, Dies

From Las Cruces Sun-News "Ken Macrorie was born in the Mississippi River town of Moline, Ill., in 1918. He graduated from Oberl[l]in College in Ohio and served in the Army during WWII. He then earned a master's degree in English at the University of North Carolina where he became a civil rights activist and began his lifelong dedication to breaking down racial bigotry and bars to equality wherever he was. He taught at Michigan State University and was active in forming the teachers union. When he began work on his doctorate at Columbia University, he studied perception, concentrating on how it affected journalists and accompanying New York Times reporters on assignments. He wrote his doctoral thesis on objectivity/subjectivity in reporting. After receiving his degree, he returned to Michigan State, eventually moving to San Francisco State and then to Western Michigan University where he made the breakthroughs that led to his national leadership role in re-educating teachers trapped in unproductive teaching methods to learn how to express themselves in print and pass that knowledge on to their students." For the full obituary, visit the Las Cruces Sun News.

Johnston's Poem Wins Phi Kappa Phi Forum Competition

The invitation for poems on American pride resulted in, approximately enough, a diverse set of compositions, ranging from the fixed forms of sonnets and villanelles to expansive, neo-Whitmanic free verse to concrete poems, one even shaped as the USA.

Subjects included, among many others, immigration, Pearl Harbor, the space shuttle, and the concept of E Pluribus Unum, the Latin Motto ("out of many, one") on U.S. currency. Nearly three times as many poets entered this contest than for our inaugural spring 2009 competition on theme of origins.
The winning poem, a formal work in rhymed, iambic pentameter quatrains, "What's Underneath," by Arnold Johnston, is a powerfully subtle and evocative response to this call of American pride.
Avoiding the too-easy twin poles of jingoism and vitriol, the poet captures our collective failings as well as our shared strengths - as Americans and as human beings. Our love of country as home begins but does not end in geographic space, this "earthen bed, the pillow made of stone," the poet notes; yet we "never tire/ of raising cages, walls."
Johnston warns us against believeing in our own happy-ever-after "diversions," whether contemporary or classic. The Emerald City is not our final destination. We can't always keep the wolf at bay, and Johnston urges us to be at least vigilant of the one in ourselves as we are of the one at the door.
Ultimately, "What's Underneath" is a sober and clear-eyed engagement of the American Dream, not the dismissal of it; Johnston reminds us that our freedom is "the power of choice," and that great privilege demands great responsibility, with no consideration given to borders or walls.

Written by: Sandra Meek, poetry editor of Poetic Pause from the Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Arnie Johnston's Play is a Success

Jacques Brel's Lonesome Losers of the Night (written by Arnie Johnston) just closed a very successful run (July 8-12) at the 300-seat Theatre on the Lake in Chicago with the original cast from last fall. Each summer TotL chooses eight hit shows from the previous season for a brief run. Losers played to over 2,000 people during its week's run, and Arnie did a talk-back with the audience one evening and sang a couple of Brel songs. Losers is currently in rehearsal for an August-September production in Cincinnati, produced by Queen City Off Broadway on the campus of Cincinnati State University. And a noted cabaret singer, Debbie Boily, together with three other singers, is currently (July 10-August1) featuring his translations in a revue entitled Seasons in the Sun--A Celebration of Jacques Brel at Ovations Night Club in Houston TX.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lewis Pyenson speaks to Medievalism Class

Dr. Lewis Pyenson, Dean of the WMU Graduate College, presented a visiting lecture to the participants in Richard Utz's Graduate Seminar on Studies in Medievalism. Pyenson sketched a panoramic picture of the changing views on medieval culture from the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Modernism through Postmodernism, focusing on the history of ideas and the medievalism of several seminal modernist scholars, e.g., Henri Pirenne, Lucien Febvre, Marc Bloch, Henri de Man, and George Sarton.

Nancy Eimers & Bill Olsen at the KBAC

A large and greatly appreciative audience listened to poets Nancy Eimers and Bill Olsen reading from their work at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center on Saturday.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Nat O'Reilly Guest Edits Antipodes

The June 2009 volume of Antipodes: North American Journal of Australian Literature features a special issue on "Fear in Australian Literature and Film," guest edited by WMU alum, Dr. Nathaneal O'Reilly and by Jean-Francois Vernay. Nat, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Tyler since graduating from WMU in 2008, serves as the Vice President of the American Association of Australian Literary Studies and is author of eight scholarly articles on Australian literature and culture. Congratulations, Nat, on another fine accomplishment.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nelson wins NIMROD Pablo Neruda Prize

Doctoral student Mike Nelson has won this year's prestigious NIMROD Pablo Neruda Prize for his poem "Acacia." His poem was selected from among 784 poetry submissions and chosen by contest judge poet Marie Howe. Nelson will be awarded $2,000 and the publication of his poem in the fall issue of NIMROD. He will be brought to the Nimrod Writers Conference in Tulsa for the Awards Ceremony and will teach a poetry workshop at the conference. Nelson's poem "Light Sonnet for the Lover of a Dark," was published in THE PENGUIN BOOK OF THE SONNET.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bell's Brewery Gives to Local Arts Organizations, Including New Issues

Bell's Brewery has awarded $100,000 in grants to 18 local arts, humanities and children's organization, including a $5,000 grant to New Issues Poetry & Prose. Read the Kalamazoo Gazette article.

This grant couldn't have come at a better time. On July 13, the Gov. Granholm dissolved the Department of History, Arts, and Libraries, which is home to the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). MCACA has provided New Issues with numerous grants for their Inland Seas Poetry Series. The future of arts funding in Michigan is even more uncertain. MCACA will not be eliminated, but it will be moved to the Michigan Strategic Fund of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. ("Gov. Jennifer Granholm's executive order closes Michigan's Department of History, Arts and Libraries" Grand Rapids Press)

WMU Ph.D. Candidate's Writing Success

Ph.D. candidate Michael Fischer was a finalist for Nimrod Magazine's "Katherine Anne Porter Prize" for his story "Crybaby Lane".  Another story from the same collection, "Subhumanz," was just accepted by the Tusculum Review.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Poetry Reading - Nancy Eimers and Bill Olsen

Saturday, July 18, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Poetry Reading by Nancy Eimers and Bill Olsen
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center* 
Suite 103 A, Park Trades Center
326 W. Kalamazoo Ave  Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Poets Nancy Eimers and Bill Olsen present readings from their work on Saturday, July 18.  Two KBAC broadsides featuring a work by each poet are being created by KBAC member artists Jeff Abshear and Katie Platte.  The broadsides and 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.

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

*The Book Arts Center is just inside the main entrance to the Park Trades Center on the first floor.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kathleen Verduin conducts workshop on Medievalism

Kathleen Verduin, one of the most experienced practitioners of medievalism, Associate Editor of Studies in Medievalism from 1982 to 1998 and Professor of American Literature at Hope College, recently led a workshop on Medievalism and the American Renaissance for Richard Utz's current graduate seminar on "Studies in Medievalism." Participants were able to learn about the genesis of medievalism as an academic specialty area and discuss the views on medieval culture expressed by famous Americans from William Bradford through Walt Whitman.

July 18: Nancy Eimers and Bill Olsen to read at the KBAC

“Poets in Print” at the KBAC - Nancy Eimers & Bill Olsen - Saturday, July 18, 7 - 9 p.m.

Poets Nancy Eimers and Bill Olsen present readings from their work on Saturday, July 18. Two KBAC broadsides featuring a work by each poet are being created by KBAC member artists Jeff Abshear and Katie Platte. The broadsides and 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.

The Kalamazoo Book Arts Center sponsors “Poets in Print,” a series of readings by outstanding poets in the Midwest. Broadsides and chapbooks created by KBAC member artists featuring the poet's work are published to commemorate the events. These and other works are for sale at each event. Exhibits of different artist's work are on display in the KBAC gallery for viewing before and after each event. Readings are free and open to the public.

Nancy Eimers is the author of three collections of poetry, including A Grammar to Waking (Carnegie Mellon University Press). She has been the recipient of a Nation “Discovery” award, two National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing fellowships, and a Whiting Writers Award. She teaches at Western Michigan University.

William Olsen is the author of four books of poetry, including Avenue Of Vanishing (Triquarterly: Northwestern University Press). He has received fellowships from The Guggenheim Endowment, The National Endowment of the Arts, and Breadloaf. He teaches at Western Michigan University.

*Next "Poets in Print" reading is scheduled for September 12 with poets Wayne Miller, John Gallaher and Michael Robins.

This event is free and refreshments are served. Doors open at 6:30. KBAC studios in Suite 103A of the Park Trades Center at 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave in downtown Kalamazoo.


WMU one of the best places to work in academe

In the English Department, we have known it for a long time. Now, however, we have proof statistical from the Chronicle of Higher Education: WMU is among the best academic workplaces in the country.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

MLA Executive Council Deplores Attacks on Iranian Universities

"In the wake of the Iranian elections, government security forces have reportedly carried out attacks on universities, leading to large-scale arrests and student deaths. The chancellor of Shiraz University, one of Iran's most prestigious, has resigned in protest. Violence on other campuses has been reported.
Recognizing with alarm the implications for freedom of thought and expression and in the light of its particular responsibility for the humanities in higher education, the Modern Language Association deplores the attacks on Iranian universities, which endanger students, faculty members, and staff members. We express our hope that the government of Iran will refrain from using violence or other repressive measures in these revered centers of learning and teaching."

Executive Council, Modern Language Association of America