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