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Spring 2012 EMW Internship

Seanna Wilhelm, Terence Elliott

Creative Commons - BY -- 2012

Dedication

This is dedicated to all of the wonderful people who helped and supported me this, and to the English Department for making it possible–you’re amazing.

Table of Contents

Guest Bloggers 2

Guest Columnist 2

Guest Blogging Tips 2

My Internship with the English Department 3

Minutes 5

Is Standard Grammar Important? 6

Dear English for Secondary Teachers majors: 9

English 412: Theory and Practice of Rhetoric 12

Meet Dr. Elizabeth Alsop 14

Celebrating the Work of Robert Penn Warren—a Kentucky-born Literary Giant

15

Sigma Tau Delta Report 18

News and Things 20

National Poetry Month 20

First Patch of Alumni Updates and Advice 21

Second Batch of Alumni Updates and Advice 23

Third Bt h

f Al mni Ud t

nd Ad i

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aes a

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Fourth Batch of Alumni Updates and Advice

25

Final Batch of Alumni Updates and Advice 26

Our Library 28

The Ashen Egg

29

Bowling Green, KY Internship Opp 29

Are you continuing your studies after you get your undergrad degree?

29

Hodge-Podge-ing-ness 30

Readings 30

Sarah Gorham 30

Eric Goodman Reading

33

Goldenrod Poetry Festival 2012 37

Writing Contest 43

Writing Contests & Opportunities 43

EMW Writing Contest 46

Details on EMW Writing Contest 48

First Batch of Sample Twitter Shorts 49

Second Batch of Sample Twitter Shorts 50

Third Batch of Sample Twitter Shorts 50

Final Batch of Sample Twitter Shorts 51

EMW Writing Contest Winners

52

Meet the EMW Writing Contest Winners 53

The EMW and I 54

About 54

My SRC Experience 56

English Majors' Toolbox 57

The End

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52 Meet the EMW Writing Contest Winners 53 The EMW and I 54 About 54 My

Guest Bloggers

Guest Columnist

Guest Bloggers

Guest Columnist

The English Majors’ Weblog is accepting guest bloggers. Our audience is looking for information that includes ‘English’ happenings both inside and outside of WKU—events and experiences both off and on campus. What’s happening in the world of English majors, their personal experiences, words of encouragement, tips—whatever helps give our readers insights into an English major’s life.

Please read the guidelines and checklist below before submitting.

Submissions should be sent to wku.emw@gmail.com with the subject line “Guest Blogger”. Pieces should be saved in .doc or .docx format.

  • 1. We reserve the right to edit submissions before publication to

ensure that they are appropriate for the English Majors’ Weblog. If needed, posts may be edited for grammar and spelling. The piece will then be returned to the author for rewrite until both parties are satisfied.

language, keep in mind that you are not writing a scholarly paper. Please maintain your own voice (minus profanity).

  • 3. Media (images, videos, audio, etc) are accepted where reasonably

placed. They MUST have attribution.

  • 4. Links are also accepted, and encouraged. Show our readers

where you got your information or where they can read further on the

topic. You may also link back to the English Majors’ Weblog. (There may be times when we add these ourselves.)

  • 5. You are not required to reply to comments made on your post, but

are welcome do so.

  • 6. At the beginning of the post, we will provide a brief introduction of

the author and topic. This will occur on the first time that you guest blog with us; we can link back to that original post if you join us again.

Guest Blogging Tips

1.) Did you read the guidelines?

2.) Did you use spellcheck and/or review your work?

3.) Word count?

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language, keep in mind that you are not writing a scholarly paper. Please maintain your own

Guest Bloggers

Guest Blogging Tips

4.) Did you use any links?

5.) Did you include any sort of media? If so, did you use attribution?

6.) Also in regards to attribution–if you quoted anybody else’s work,

did you give them attribution? The EMW uses MLA as that is what our discipline uses.

7.) Is your piece “appropriate”? Keep in mind that you’re representing the English Majors’ Weblog.

8.) Did you include a photo and information about yourself for your initial post?

9.) Did you make sure to select what categories your post falls

under? There is a list of these on the right hand side. Feel free to use more than one category.

10.) Did you give your piece a title? Scroll through the EMW and see what sorts of titles that we use. Make sure that it is somethin

that fits Don’t tell our readers about whether ou

y prefer marker boards over the old chalk ones and title your piece

g

.

“Grape Jelly”.

My Internship with the English Department

The following is a guest post written by WKU undergraduate Amy Lindsey about her internship experience.

My name is Amy Lindsey. I’m majoring in English for Secondary teachers and Biological Anthropology. I also have two minors:

Criminology and Creative Writing.

I plan to teach English to high school students and, hopefully, I can do something with my Anthropology degree as well. I’m a senior, but I still have about 4 semesters left. I am married and have a 6-year-old daughter.

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y prefer marker boards over the old chalk ones and title your piece g . “Grape

Guest Bloggers

My Internship with the English Department

During the Fall 2011 semester, I had an internship through the English department here at WKU. I was one of the two teaching assistants (TA) for English 299, with Dr. Ted Hovet as my advisor. In addition to this being a great and exciting experience, it also counts as a 3 credit hour course (English 369), which is taught by Dr. Angela Jones. Since I am an English for Secondary Education major, being a TA in an undergraduate classroom was an excellent opportunity for me. You do not have to major in English education to be a TA.

The other TA for the second section of English 299 was a literature major. There are different teachers for English 299, so you may not end up with Dr. Hovet if you choose this kind of internship.

During the course of my internship, I acted as second in command to Dr. Hovet. There were even two opportunities where I was able to take over the class. One of which, Dr. Hovet had to go to a conference, so I was on my own. The students were work-shopping papers that day, so I just made sure they stayed on track and gave them advice when they needed it. The second time, Dr. Hovet was resent but I was in char e of teachin the class I decided to teach

p

. them some Robert Frost poems. Dr. Hovet acted as my teaching

,

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assistant that day.

 

The workload of a teaching assistant includes:

helping create the syllabus

 

reading the books that will be used in the class

creating handouts and quizzes

 

revising and adding to writing assignments

grading quizzes and commenting on student papers

advising students

inviting and scheduling guest speakers

disciplining off-task or sleeping students by emailing them to let them know how it will affect their grade

helping the teacher come to a final decision on student participation grades It seems like an exhausting workload, but that isn’t everything the internship entails. English 369 is a separate class from the internship, which has its own workload and requirements. I would not recommend taking more than two English classes or other classes with huge workloads while doing an internship. I had a total of 17 hours with 3 English classes and a foreign language class, so I often felt overwhelmed and completely stressed out. Even though I felt like I was going insane, I somehow managed to keep my grades up, but I would suggest taking a light course load with few writing or literature courses.

Over the course of this internship, I was unable to manage my time. I barely got any sleep and my family time was extremely diminished. My work for other classes was also affected, but I did manage to keep my grades up. I suggest that future interns learn time management skills before attempting an internship and a lighter course load would help with this as well.

This experience proved to be very helpful and motivational to my future career plans, and it looks good on a resume. Learning through experience is definitely the best way to learn. It helped me realize that I have made 3

Guest Bloggers My Internship with the English Department the right decision to become a teacher. I

Guest Bloggers

My Internship with the English Department

the right decision to become a teacher. I learned more about teaching from my internship than from any of my education classes. It took a while before I became comfortable acting as teacher instead of student; it also took a while to revert being a student for my other classes, especially if some of my students were in that class as well.

The most helpful experiences were my days that I controlled the class and when I had to “discipline” the students who were sleeping in class. It isn’t like I was able to send them to the principal’s office, so I had to let them know, through email, that there grades would be affected by this. It would not only affect participation grades, but their other grades as well, since they could not learn if they did not pay attention. I also suggested different ways they could help themselves stay awake, like coffee or standing. It worked and these students did not sleep in class again. This related to my future career plans because students will fall asleep in high school classrooms as well.

One of the most important things I learned was how to be more helpful when commenting on student papers and creating a mixture of easy and difficult questions for quizzes. I learned from my evaluation at the end of the internship, that I was sometimes too mean with my comments on papers. I wish I had learned this earlier in my internship as it would have helped me to evaluate what I said and to give better advice.

The thing that surprised me most in my internship was my inability to get over my anxiety. I was so nervous that I was unable to be as active in classroom activities as I had wanted. I wish I had been more helpful in leading class discussions and answering student questions. At times it felt as if I were observing the class instead of helping to teach it. I will definitely need to work out these issues before I get my own classroom.

In addition to teaching assistant internships, there are other opportunities available. Dr. Jones has even sent one student to New York to work with a talk show host. The possibilities are endless.

To learn more about internships with the English Department, visit

their website or talk to Dr. Jones in Cherry Hall, room 115 for an application.

Minutes

At our last meeting, some of our members went through a few writing prompts in an effort to get a jump start on the annual Goldenrod Poetry Competition. All submissions will be due this Friday. If you’re interested, there are fliers all over Cherry Hall advertising the event. The reading will be on the 9th of March in Cherry Hall 125. There will be a dinner for the English Club before the reading with the guest judge Stacia Fleegal, although the location of this dinner has not yet been settled upon. At our next meeting, we’ll settle on a place to eat for the 23rd and we’ll go through all the poetry submissions to narrow down the top ten.

Just as a reminder, 20/20, the PCAL event, will be in Cherry Hall next weekend from 8pm-11pm. In the grand tradition of 20/20 parties, you can dress in something from either 20 years ago, or 20 years in the 4

their website or talk to Dr. Jones in Cherry Hall, room 115 for an application. Minutes

Guest Bloggers

Minutes

future. There will be dancing, coffee, and other planned events. For those who have poetry they’re just popping to read, there will be a signup sheet for an open mic.

This year is the 15th annual Gender and Women’s Studies writing competition. They are accepting poetry, fiction, and nonfiction submissions that relate to gender and feminist issues. Your writing can relate to gender either directly or indirectly. The deadline is the 6th of April.

See you next week on Monday at 4:45 in 124!

Michael Miller

Is Standard Grammar Important?

The following is a post from one of our own professors, Dr. Elizabeth Winkler.

I grew up in southeastern Ohio, accounting for my “special” English. In college I traveled to Mexico to take care of my language requirement and fell in love with the people and the language. After college, I joined the Peace Corps and served three plus years on the Dominican-Haitian border. I mostly worked in rural development in a small village. I organized reforestation and agro-forestry projects as well as serving as the co-director of a center for malnourished children. In one village, we built a local food cooperative.

After Peace Corps, I returned to the States to get a Master’s degree in Linguistics, and then left the country to teach at a university in Mexico for three and one-half years. While there, I discovered caving and since then have spent most of my free weekends and vacations bouncing pits or exploring and map making in Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave. I even met my husband in Mammoth Cave. After getting my doctorate in Linguistics, I lived in Georgia and taught linguistics at Columbus State University. Next we moved to Tucson, Arizona where I taught at the University of Arizona for several years. In 2006, I became a professor at Western, finally living above the world’s largest cave and teaching at a great school.

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5 Guest Bloggers Is Standard Grammar Important? I teach ENG 304, a survey of English grammar.

Guest Bloggers

Is Standard Grammar Important?

I teach ENG 304, a survey of English grammar. Despite what many think, an understanding of grammar is of practical use. For example, an analytical understanding of grammar is crucial to the acquisition of a second language. I struggled with language classes precisely because I did not understand the grammatical terms used. In addition, if you are going to be a teacher, either of native or nonnative speakers, you need to be conversant with grammar terms and understand why it is so difficult to learn. Many people incorrectly assume that because they write well, they can teach grammar.

People spend their lives communicating. They vary their language depending upon the context of a conversation. Language is an act of identity. For example, I use my “proper voice” at work (though not always, as grammar mavens point out to me!). In my personal life, I

use the dialect that is most real for me, a variety of Appalachian English. I can’t imagine talking to my friends the way I talk to colleagues. I’d be shunned at best. I use my professional voice because I may be discriminated against if I do not.

Grammar mavens are compelled to FIX “bad” grammar. Although they may have the best of intentions, they generally end up making people dislike grammar. (“We have met the enemy, and he is us ,” Pogo comic) Many students have told me they correct friends and family, as well as strangers, in casual conversations.

Why? What is more normal to ask a friend: “With whom did you go to the party?” or “Who did you go to the party with?” Although the latter breaks two rules—use of who/whom and ending a sentence in a preposition—it is the sentence that most people say.

English does not have only one form. Great literature is full of sentences that would be unacceptable in an ENG 100 paper. Shakespeare regularly used double negatives, split infinitives and ended sentences in prepositions. More recent authors do the same. To limit the spirit and creativity of writers to classroom English is an appalling idea. The overly regulated language that is part of academia and a few other limited social contexts has its place. To insist on it everywhere is inappropriate.

People obsessed with “correct English” are often ignorant of what it is. They have ideas about what constitutes proper grammar that are not from grammar books that have been written by authorities. On the Internet there are answers to many grammar question; however, most sites are simply someone’s opinion.

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use the dialect that is most real for me, a variety of Appalachian English. I can’t

Guest Bloggers

Is Standard Grammar Important?

How do you decide whether or not that opinion is authoritative?

When I ask students to list grammar rules, most are quite common:

Don’t end a sentence in a preposition. No double negatives. However, they come up with rules that most have never heard of including myself. This semester one discussion concerned the use of done and finished. According to four people, these words are not interchangeable. I have a grammar book with over 650 pages that does not even mention the debate, though I have found comments on the Internet that are not attributed to any academic source. When I queried the English faculty, none thought this was a rule. Here are a couple of their comments:

“I’ve heard this “rule,” and it’s received some bemused attention on the Internet. But as far as I’m concerned it’s just grammatical folklore–a prejudice someone dreamed up and passed on as gospel to some unlucky but retentive students.”

“Rule-following for the sake of rule-following is pointless. Someone who understands the basic functions of the language can choose appropriately when to follow a prescriptive rule or ignore it.” It is simply impossible to know all of the rules. In fact, there is no one place where all of the rules of English are listed. At best, those of us who are schooled in grammar learn a percentage of these rules, which we do not always put to use. I have collected examples of “bad grammar” uttered by US Presidents, network news announcers, university professors (including myself) and a broad selection of people who “should have known better”.

There are some broad truths about language. None of us use perfect grammar all the time. Second, what grammar is appropriate depends on the context of the utterance. Being an effective writer or speaker means understanding your audience. Why pick on your friend’s grammar during a debate about the Grammy’s?

It’s not a paper or a job interview. I also find completely baffling the

need to correct personal text messages you receive. The whole point of texting is to take advantage of the very short format. The more shortcuts, the more information you can pack into a message.

People who obsess about grammar run the risk of alienating friends and family. If they become teachers, they may turn students off to writing through excessive criticism. Unfortunately, because we often teach grammar and literature in the same classes in public schools, we may be turning students off to literature. Nevertheless, 7

need to correct personal text messages you receive. The whole point of texting is to take

Guest Bloggers

Is Standard Grammar Important?

teachers should help students improve their language skills. What should you teach so students do not become victims of linguistic discrimination?

Linguists have performed grammaticality judgment tests that show the grammar errors people are most likely to notice or to react to negatively. The results are not surprising. People notice double negatives and incorrect verb forms (He had went there). They are much less likely to notice split infinitives, lack of whom, and preposition stranding. Teachers need to pick their battles. Start with

items that will get the most notice and later teach more subtle things. f

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o criticize. It is obvious that students need access to a standard dialect if they are going to leave their local areas or apply for certain jobs. However, our attitude needs to be additive, not subtractive. People do not have to give up their local variety to use a more standard variety of English. Most of the world is at least bilingual; there is no reason we can’t be bi-dialectal as well.

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Dear English for Secondary Teachers majors:

My name is Bethany Riggs, and I’m an English for Secondary Teachers (EST) major at WKU. I am currently student teaching at Warren Central High School, and will be leaving in less than a month to complete this internship in Derbyshire, England. I am very excited, and I’ll be back just in time for graduation!

I was very honored to receive the EST major of the year award recently, as a senior graduating in May. I am a proud member of the Honors College, and I recently defended my thesis so I will soon be a graduate from the Honors College as well. I am currently employed at The Writing Center through the Department of English, where I get to tutor students in any and all aspects of writing. I love my job, I love campus, and I will be very sad to graduate. Hopefully, though, I will be moving on to another job that I will love just as 8

o criticize. It is obvious that students need access to a standard dialect if they are

Guest Bloggers

Dear English for Secondary Teachers majors:

much! Any questions, feel free to contact me:

bethany.riggs398@topper.wku.edu When your student teaching semester arrives, you are probably going to be excited, nervous, anxious, and constantly wondering what to expect. These are all normal emotions. If you dread it, have nightmares about it, hate the prospect of teaching, or hate kids…why are you even in this major? You should probably reconsider a new career, ASAP. Although, if you have made it this far, hopefully there is something driving you to teach, besides your parents or your love of money. (Ha—A little

teacher humor for you).

Even if you feel extremely prepared for your internship semester, I have some bad news for you.

Unfortunately, you will be constantly caught off guard by unexpected items on your agenda—things that no one lets you know, things that you have to figure out for yourself, and things that you are going to desperately wish someone would have told you ahead of time. Luckily, I am going to try to give you a few tips and hopefully some helpful advice that will relieve just a little bit of that stress that will hit you during the semester. This will be the first of my useful posts. The next one will probably be “The Top 10 Things I Learned While Student Teaching.” I’m sure you are already counting down the days to read this.

Today’s post is about the process that happens before student teaching. If you haven’t attended a teacher admissions orientation yet, or you are just out of the loop, this may be the first time you’ve heard this.

First, and this should be especially useful for the underclassmen majors, the process that happens before student teaching is something like this:

1) You will first submit your application to student teach. Look for fliers posted about this in Gary Ransdell Hall, or call the Office of Teacher Services to find out the due date. They are usually due within the first few weeks of the semester before you student teach. They are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. This being said, you should get your application in as soon as you possibly can, especially if you are planning on staying in Warren County. Most student teachers stay here, so if there are not enough spots, you will be 9

teacher humor for you). Even if you feel extremely prepared for your internship semester, I have

Guest Bloggers

Dear English for Secondary Teachers majors:

placed in another county. I have had friends in the past who have had to commute over an hour total on a daily basis. That would not be fun.

Important Note: You will not be able to file an application or student teach at all whatsoever if your student admissions file is not complete. No one is going to tell you this; call, email, or visit the Office of Teacher Services (GRH 2052) to find out what you are missing and what needs to be completed. Don’t be that person that has to stay an extra semester because you find out too late that your file is incomplete. That would not be fun, either.

2) You will find out your student teaching placement in a few months after you submit your application. This is a very exciting day. They will not tell you over phone or in person; you will receive your very own letter.

It’s basically like finding out you’re going to Hogwarts—only the letter isn’t delivered by an owl and you aren’t really a wizard, so on second thought, that probably isn’t the best comparison. Nonetheless, it is a pretty big moment. I lucked out and was placed with an absolutely wonderful teacher and at a very close school. The first thing I did was stalk my teacher’s website to find out what his classes were. All teachers in Warren County, and actually most teachers in other districts in the state, should have their own websites. We were told not to contact our teachers until we completed student teaching orientation, so I did not send an email until we were instructed to do so. Orientation usually takes place during the middle of finals week, though, and they recommend you sit in on one of your cooperating teacher’s classes before the semester you are there. This does not leave much time. Therefore, if you are dying to know more about your teacher and what you will be teaching in the upcoming semester, you can probably get permission to contact them through the Office of Teacher Services.

In some cases, your teacher will contact you before you have a

chance to contact them; this was the case for some of my friends. However, for most people, at student teaching orientation, they will give you a list of what to include in that first email to your teacher. The reply from your teacher will hold the key, or the

“golden ticket,” as ol’ Charlie would say, to your next semester. You will find out what texts you’ll be teaching, what grade levels you have, your new daily schedule, and (drum roll)…where to park during the semester. As unimportant as that last detail seems, it is something you will absolutely need to know before your first day. Don’t be that embarrassing person driving around in circles looking for an open spot, not having a clue where to go, or park somewhere only to have to go move your car. It is very important to be 10

chance to contact them; this was the case for some of my friends. However, for most

Guest Bloggers

Dear English for Secondary Teachers majors:

professional in everything you do, so make sure you make a good first impression!

I hope this provides a little bit of insight about the semester before student teaching. Next time, I’ll talk about the real deal. Get excited.

P.S. While I’m at it, I will give a pitch for the Student Teach Abroad program. You’ll get a chance to indicate interest for this on your application for student teaching. There are a few interest meetings and a selection process, but, of course, I’m going to encourage you to do it I’m leavin for Derb shire En land in just a few weeks You’ll

g hear more about this soon, as well.

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-Bethany

English 412: Theory and Practice of Rhetoric

Dr. Jeffrey Rice provides us with some information about a class he’ll be taking over next semester.

A native to the gray midlands of Ohio, I came to Western in the fall of 2011 as the newest Professional Writing faculty member. For the past three years, I served as the First-Year Writing Coordinator at the University of Florida, where I taught writing classes, trained graduate teaching assistants in composition pedagogy, performed program assessment, and developed a symposium on rhetoric and pedagogy.

During my brief time at WKU, I have found some interesting, driven, and incredibly inspiring students. Their writing has made me laugh out loud, given me pause, and haunted my thoughts for days on end. More importantly, they have challenged my pedagogical philosophy and given me the courage to teach writing in radically different ways. In many ways, I consider my students my colleagues, and they influence my research 11

g hear more about this soon, as well. . g y , , . -Bethany English

Guest Bloggers

English 412: Theory and Practice of Rhetoric

accordingly. To that end, I am currently working on a few projects, including a new business writing textbook and an article that rethinks what the rhetorical concept of logos means in contemporary digital writing environments.

On a more personal note, I am somewhat of a “foodie,” and love to travel to new places and partake in new gastronomic adventures. These interests culminated this past summer when I spent time in the Florida Keys snorkeling, diving, and eating all kinds of new food (Don’t worry, Hemingway’s multi-toed cats were not harmed in any of these pursuits). Unfortunately, these hobbies can also have repercussions. After I told another Ohioan that I thought “Skyline Chili was overrated,” I was promptly

asked to never return to the state. Similarly, strangers in metropolitan airports often mistake me for “that guy on Mythbusters.” My apologies to those who have tried to sell my autograph on eBay.

ENG 412: Theory and Practice of Rhetoric

Fall 2012

MWF 9:10 am-10:05 am

Dr. Jeffrey (J. A.) Rice

Rhetoric, or the systematic study of persuasion, is really about the myriad of relationships we have with language. Accordingly, we’ll spend half of our time in ENG 412 reading theories of rhetoric and determining how our relationships to language shape–and are shaped by–politics, love, religion, technology, industry, and cultural convention, to name a few. We’ll spend the remainder of our time applying these theories to our writing, and specifically to developing desktop publishing practices. In this applied section of the course, we’ll learn how to write persuasive documents (essays, pamphlets, newsletters, manuals, primers, etc.) for a variety of purposes and audiences by frequently workshopping, peer-reviewing, and presenting on our work.

Required Texts (available through WKU bookstore or Amazon.com): Aristotle, The Art of Rhetoric

Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, Rhythm Science Joseph M. Williams, Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace

Recommended Texts (available through Amazon.com):

Cedric Gemy, Scribus 1.3.5: Beginner’s Guide

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asked to never return to the state. Similarly, strangers in metropolitan airports often mistake me for
Guest Bloggers English 412: Theory and Practice of Rhetoric Meet Dr. Elizabeth Alsop I’m arriving at

Guest Bloggers

English 412: Theory and Practice of Rhetoric

Meet Dr. Elizabeth Alsop

I’m arriving at Western after a ten-year stint in New York, which I’ve spent working in book and magazine publishing, and more recently, completing my Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center. Before that, I lived in Providence, RI, where I received a B.A. from Brown University, and before that, in Washington, DC, where I grew up about ten blocks from the Capitol.

I could not be more excited to be joining the English department at WKU, and in particular, to begin teaching. I had the chance to sit in on two courses during my visit to campus in February, and I left feeling so energized by what I saw and heard in Dr. Langdon’s and Dr. Hovet’s classrooms. As a teacher, one of my primary goals is to engage my students in active and ongoing dialogue – with me, with each other, and with the texts, artifacts, and authors that we encounter. Because my dissertation research explores the function of dialogue in modernist fiction, I am particularly interested in the diverse ways conversation unfolds, both in 13

Guest Bloggers English 412: Theory and Practice of Rhetoric Meet Dr. Elizabeth Alsop I’m arriving at

Guest Bloggers

Meet Dr. Elizabeth Alsop

the classroom and beyond it – in online spaces and blogs, just like this one.

Within the department, I’ll be teaching courses in Film, World Literature, and British Literature – including English 457 next Fall. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to teach in both the English and Film major.

During my visit to Dr. Hovet’s Film 201 class, students asked me to name my favorite movie. This is still an impossible question, but now

at least I can provide a longer answer! Here are a few, in no particular order: Paisà, Pather Panchali, Jeanne Dielman, A Woman under the Influence, Mulholland Drive, The Lady Eve, Spirited Away, Kiss Me Deadly, Scenes from a Marriage, and Amarcord.

If I’m not reading, writing, or watching something, I’m often cooking. I smiled when I saw Dr. Rice’s comment below – because I’m something of a “foodie,” too. After college, I worked as an assistant to a food critic, a job whose highlights included a trip to Italy to research mozzarella, and a story on fried chicken, which required me to fry – and taste – at least three batches a day for two weeks. (You can read about that

grueling experience here.) I’m hopeful that in Bowling Green, I may finally have the chance to develop my currently nonexistent skills as a hiker, camper, and gardener. I also look forward to more outdoor cooking, and to living in an apartment larger than a very ample closet.

ENG 457: British Literature since 1900

Fall 2012

MWF 1:50-2:45

Prof. Elizabeth Alsop

This course will survey British literature from 1900 to the present day. We’ll cover the major literary movements, from modernism to postmodernism, with particular attention to the shifting notions of personal and national identity that emerge within our chosen texts. We will read work by some of the century’s major writers, including fiction by Joseph Conrad, E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, James

Joyce, Jean Rhys, and Zadie Smith; poetry by W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, and Philip Larkin; and plays by Samuel Beckett and Brian Friel. Our goal throughout the semester will be to combine close textual analysis with equally close study of cultural and historical contexts. To this end, we will consider additional critical readings by Freud, Lukács, and Said, among others, and screen selected films. Students will be asked to contribute regularly to

discussions in class and on our course blog; to write several essays, including an essay-based final exam; and

to make at least one oral presentation.

Required Texts (additional readings will be posted online or distributed in class):

• Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1902)

• E.M. Forster, Howards End (1910)

• Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (1925)

• Samuel Beckett, Endgame (1957)

• Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966)

• Zadie Smith, White Teeth (2000)

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Joyce, Jean Rhys, and Zadie Smith; poetry by W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, and Philip Larkin; and

Guest Bloggers

Celebrating the Work of Robert Penn Warren—a Kentucky-born Literary Giant Celebrating the Work of Robert Penn Warren—a Kentucky-born Literary Giant Dr. Wes Berry, Coordinator of theRobertPennWarrenCenterat WKU, gives us details about the Robert Penn Warren room.

Wes Berry teaches American literature, specializing in Southern studies, Kentucky literature, and environmental humanities. In spring 2012 he finished researching and writing a comprehensive book about Kentucky barbecue while eating at over 140 barbecue places in the Commonwealth and interviewing the pitmasters and patrons met during his travels. The book, “Sweet Dreams of Kentucky Barbecue,” will be published in spring 2013 by the University Press of Kentucky. This year he’ll settle into a new role as Graduate Advisor in English at WKU.

On April 19-21, 2012, the Robert Penn Warren Circle—a group of scholars devoted to studying the literary legacy of this famous writer born and raised in Todd Co., Kentucky—once again made the pilgrimage to cave country for a weekend of celebration and book discussions. They came fromTexas, Massachusetts, Washington,D.C., and elsewhere as they’ve done every April since 1991 when the first Robert Penn Warren Circle meeting was held at Western Kentucky University.

It’s a good time for a symposium in south centralKentucky. T. S. Eliot called April “the cruelest month” in his famous modernist poem “The Waste Land.” Perhaps Eliot would have changed his tune if he’d been dwelling in the land of redbud and dogwood, when baby bluebirds and robins are hatching and the colors burst from the hillsides, everything waking up after the long nap. Of course Eliot, scribbling his melodic verse, could have even made Derby Day—full of loud hats, roses, and mint juleps–sound depressing.

The theme for this year’s symposium was “Robert Penn Warren and Politics, History, and the Politics of History.” Much of Warren’s prodigious literary output dwells on historical events, and his most famous work, All the King’s Men (1946), still ranks as a 20th century masterpiece and one of our best political novels.

Scholars at the symposium discussed Warren’s book-length poem Brother to Dragons (structured as a dialogue between the poet and Thomas Jefferson); Warren’s literary portrayals of Abraham Lincoln; the long 15

Guest Bloggers Celebrating the Work of Robert Penn Warren—a Kentucky-born Literary Giant poem Chief Joseph of

Guest Bloggers

Celebrating the Work of Robert Penn Warren—a Kentucky-born Literary Giant poem Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce (a critical treatment of the U. S. government’s violent campaign against the Nez Perce Indians); and the novels The Cave (grotesque psychological fiction centered around a man who gets trapped in a cave in a small Tennessee hillbilly town) and A Place to Come To (Warren’s last novel, dealing with a man from Alabama who leaves his homeland for an academic life in the Midwest, who tries to escape his past but can never quite shake it).

And speaking of shaking it, this last novel begins with the narrator, Jed Tewksbury, telling the story of his father who died while taking a leak off a wagon pulled by a team of mules. Drunken, the father pitched forth from the wagon and the mules pulled the wagon right over his neck. When Jed’s father is later found stiffened by rigor mortis, he’s still holding on to his, ahem, dong (Jed’s words). That’s quite a past to shake off, as you can see.

One thing I’ve enjoyed aboutWarren’s work over the years: the man has a massive intellect and philosophical vision, as evidenced by his obsessive ponderings on Time and death, the puny brevity of human life, but he mixes these serious subjects with comic exaggeration and a folksy voice. I like that clash of style and subject, using the grotesque to explore the serious.

After a Friday of book talks, symposium participants met in the r

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o the winner of the 2011 Warren-Brooks Award for Outstanding Literary Criticism. One of our rare “People of Letters,” Warren published in multiple genres, including poetry, the novel, short fiction, drama, biography, and literary criticism. Each year the Advisory Group of the Robert Penn Warren Center offers the Robert Penn Warren-Cleanth Brooks Award to an outstanding work of literary scholarship or criticism published in that year that exemplifies in the broadest sense the spirit, scope, and standards represented by the critical tradition established by Warren and Cleanth Brooks, another Kentucky-bred scholar who collaborated with Warren on important textbooks useful to students of American literature. In particular, the award is intended to recognize and honor work that employs in a significant way the methods associated with “close reading” of the texts.

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o the winner of the 2011 Warren-Brooks Award for Outstanding Literary Criticism. One of our rare

Guest Bloggers

Celebrating the Work of Robert Penn Warren—a Kentucky-born Literary Giant On the Friday afternoon of the April symposium weekend, the winner of award usually presents a lecture, but unfortunately this year’s winner, Professor Richard Strier of the Universityof Chicagofor his book The Unrepentant Renaissance:

From Petrarch to Shakespeare to Milton, had prior obligations. We celebrated anyway, toasting Robert Penn Warren’s legacy and nibbling on delicious cheeses crafted by Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese in neighboring Barren County (home stomping ground of another famous Kentuckian, Wes Berry, and also the birthplace of journalist Diane Sawyer).

What? Who said that? Okay, okay. Not famous yet. But maybe by spring 2013, when my book Sweet Dreams of Kentucky Barbecue is published, I’ll be famous in my own household, which is something. (You can get an appetizer of said barbecue book on a little-known social media site called “Facebook” started by

another famous Kentuckian named Zuckerberg–Wes Berry’s

Kentucky Barbecue Adventures.) The Center for Robert Penn Warren Studies–host of the annual symposium and sponsor of the book award–exists to honor the achievements ofAmerica’s first poet laureate the only person awarded Pulitzer Prizes for both poetry and

, fiction. The Center wishes to preserveWarren’s regional heritage while promoting his considerable international reputation. The Center houses some personal items of Robert Penn Warren; the most valuable of these and 2,400 books from Warren’s personal library are in the Warren Collection located in the Kentucky Museum Building on the Western Kentucky University Campus. Jonathan Jeffrey, Director of Special Collections, is in charge of this collection.

The Warren Center coordinates the Warren Library, collects Warren interviews, and catalogues popular culture treatments of the author’s works, such as film and television productions. The Center also collects materials focused onWarrencountry, including family memorabilia, private letters, local reminiscences, and cultural or historical material associated with the region. The items are available for public viewing during library hours. The Warren Library is an excellent resource for students wishing to pursue in-depth study ofWarren’s work. A huge amount of bibliographic material is available, and fans of Warrencan peruse rare family photographs.

Sigma Tau Delta Report

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, fiction. The Center wishes to preserveWarren’s regional heritage while promoting his considerable international reputation. The

Guest Bloggers

Sigma Tau Delta Report

I really appreciate the funding from the PCAL dean’s

office the En lish de artment and the Honors Colle e that enabled

, our students to attend the International

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English Honor Society Convention in New Orleans last month. Our group of five–Shawna Felkins, Madelyn

Gates, Audrey Gearhart, Amanda Mitchell, and Rosemarie O’Connor–successfully presented papers in three different genres:

original drama, literary criticism, and original fiction. Additionally, some of the students also gained experience from chairing sessions. For the majority, this was their first acquaintance with a scholarly meeting…and surely not the last.

The convention itself was huge, with around a thousand participants from approximately 200 colleges and

universities worldwide. The featured speakers this year were poet Naomi Shihab Nye, fiction writer Anthony

Doerr, and Pulitzer-Prize-winner Natasha Trethewey, whom we particularly enjoyed, for her book entitled Bellocq’s Ophelia was this year’s Common Reader. Also making a presentation was songwriter

Tom Kimmel, who has written compositions that have been recorded by Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash, Joe

Cocker, Randy Travis, and a host of others.

Outside the convention, we had the obligatory late-night coffee and beignets at the famed Cafe du Monde, squeezed in a self-guided tour of the French Quarter early one morning, took pictures of the place in Pirates’ Alley where Faulkner lived in 1925, rode the St. Charles streetcar to the Garden District, and even walked about that area until we located Anne Rice’s former house.

The tourist areas–meaning Jackson Square, the French Quarter, and much of Canal Street–were splendid.

But on our way back to Bowling Green, we drove by the Ninth Ward in order to comprehend the otherNew Orleans, the area devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The devastation is still very much in evidence with houses boarded up, buildings abandoned, and neighborhoods vacant. It was not a pretty picture, but we all felt that it was important to observe as a corrective and alternative to the Marriott world. Both worlds exist side by side inNew Orleans, don’t they?

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18 Guest Bloggers Sigma Tau Delta Report Cordially, Walker Rutledge News and Things Nti l P
Guest Bloggers Sigma Tau Delta Report Cordially, Walker Rutledge News and Things Nti l P t
Guest Bloggers
Sigma Tau Delta Report
Cordially,
Walker Rutledge
News and Things
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Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? Well, it is! This year is the 16th celebration of National Poetry Month.

Thursday, April 26 is Poem in Your Pocket Day. Be sure to have your favorite poem in your pocket all day, 19

a ona oe ry on Did you know that April is National Poetry Month ? Well,

News and Things

National Poetry Month

either from your favorite poet or one of your own rendering. Tweet the title and writer of your poem with the hash-tags #pocketpoem and #EmwWku to share with us and the National Writing Project.

The 10th Annual Poetry and The Creative Mind Gala will be on Thursday, April 5. You can purchase tickets by following this link.

Something that’s going to be occurring all month long is 30 Poets, 30 Days. Every day of the month, a different poet will Tweet her or his thoughts for the full 24 hours. Check out this page for the schedule of

poets, and follow Poets.org on Twitter.

Something else that will last the entire month is Poem-A-Day, which I

just signed up for. If you subscribe, you will receive a poem every day in your inbox during April.

Poetry.org also has a FREE Poem Flow App for iPhones.

Here’s the link to Kentucky’s contribution to the world of poetry. And the map of the US if you’re interested

in any other state’s happenings.

The EMW would like to celebrate as well. I want to start off my stating that this is not a competition. This is a call for poems. In honor of National Poetry Month, send one original poem to wku.emw@gmail.com, we’ll be publishing these submissions throughout the month. This is open to all WKU students, faculty, and staff.

First Patch of Alumni Updates and Advice

Holly Edwards

Since graduating from WKU in 2002, I moved to South Korea to teach English in December of that year. I was there intermittently for six years where I taught English as a second language to students between the ages of 5 to 65. In 2004, I returned to Bowling Green and taught at WKU’s ESLI before returning to Seoul in 2005. Near the end of my career in Seoul, I taught mostly adults and found that this was my passion.

When I returned permanently (or at least for the time being) to the United States in 2009, I moved to San Diego, without a job or a place to live with my fingers crossed that my future might be as bright as I had heard the California sunshine would be. Because I had seven years’ experience under my belt, it was easy for me to start subbing at various ESL schools until I finally got a job at Intrax (fka Intrax International Institute).

I’ve been working there since September 2009–two years as a teacher–and I was recently promoted to Academic Supervisor. As Academic Supervisor, I help students with their classes and oversee a teaching staff of just under 20.

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Holly Edwards Since graduating from WKU in 2002, I moved to South Korea to teach English

News and Things

First Patch of Alumni Updates and Advice

If you had asked me when I graduated what I would be doing with my English degree, I wouldn’t have been able to answer you. If a recent English grad can’t answer the same question, explore by teaching English as a second language in another country. Even if you think you don’t want to be a teacher (and trust me, I never did), it’s a great way to explore the world until you find what you want to do.

Frank Muller

I am very happy with my current work. I am a Registration Specialist at the US Copyright Office, which is part of the Library of Congress. My job involves using my English major all day, every day — I am an examiner in the Literary Division of the Office (other divisions include

Performing Arts (working with music, motion pictures, etc.) and Visual Arts (working with sculpture, jewelry design, paintings, etc.)). I examine copyright applications by determining whether works are copyrightable and whether the legal and formal requirements of the copyright law have been met. I am in constant contact with authors, agents of authors, attorneys, and publishing industry representatives to resolve registration issues. I also make selection decisions, determining which books the Library will keep in its collections (the Copyright Office was incorporated into the Library of Congress as a way of bolstering its collections).

The Literary Division reviews a wide variety of “nondramatic literary works,” including not only novels, stories, and poems, but also computer programs, databases, websites, blogs. The challenges we face are making the registration system work with these less traditional literary works. The law has always moved much slower than technology, but this is especially the case now in the “digital age.” I am involved with drafting a revision of Copyright Office registration practices that tries to wrangle with these more difficult types of works. These types of problems, though difficult, are extremely satisfying to work with. The aim of the Office, as directed by the Constitution, is to “promote the progress of science and the useful arts,” and it is very rewarding to work toward increasing creativity by being an advocate for authors and authors’ rights.

Working at the Library of Congress has been wonderful — Library staff are allowed to borrow books from the collections, so I have access to nearly every book ever published in the US (and in the world, to some extent). That’s been extremely nice. (Though last summer when I took out a copy of Ulysses around Bloomsday they gave me the 1934 US First Edition, which is a $500-$1000 book. I gave it back and got a newer edition. The collections are accessible only by a few “searchers” who send the books to various locations throughout the Library on an elaborate conveyor belt system, so you never know what you’re going to get. It’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-esque). Also, there are always lectures, concerts, film screenings, and other interesting things happening every day here (e.g. there’s a Langston Hughes birthday celebration and reading today at noon). It’s been very good for my brain.

WKU’s English program gave me an understanding of tone, form, and style and that I use every day in my current job. I have to write to a wide variety of applicants daily — I have to adjust my tone and style according to my audience. For instance, my letters to copyright attorneys adopt a formal tone that assumes a fairly high level of

knowledge of the copyright law. My letters to authors assume a lesser level of knowledge, and provide more explanation of both the law and the rationale behind the law’s requirements.

WKU English professors’ guidance gave me a sense of control over my writing that has served me extremely 21

knowledge of the copyright law. My letters to authors assume a lesser level of knowledge, and

News and Things

First Patch of Alumni Updates and Advice

well.

Second Batch of Alumni Updates and Advice

Marci (Kacsir) Babula

I’m currently an Editorial Project Manager at Hammock, Inc. in Nashville. We are a custom publishing company that produces several newsletters, magazines, etc. It’s custom content marketing, rather than advertising, so we actually write and produce quality content instead of just advertisements (which is what I used to do).

My role is equal parts writing/editing, project management, and customer service. I’m in charge of a monthly newsletter that gets produced in a national version and then is customized by 56 participating hospitals. So there are 57 different versions of the newsletter to edit and keep track of. The writing and editing I was well prepared for from my education, both because of the English/poetry degrees and the journalism major.

Project management, on the other hand, is sort of a by-product I picked up from my experience teaching in grad school. It helped me prepare for organizing, planning, tracking, and reporting on several project types. I do that now, just with a different end goal. You could also say that learning how to write a term paper helped me with this, too – so much of project management is having a plan to begin with. I think learning how to write a strong thesis statement helps people learn how to plan properly and outline a road map.

The last component of my job is one I can’t really say I learned from my English courses themselves, but I learned customer service skills from a lot of places Teaching selling shoes and working retail

, networking when I was unemployed, and probably because I’m a naturally talkative person. However, I will say that a large part of customer service is listening well and paying attention. I’ve always been nosy – I think a lot of writers are – but English and journalism courses taught me how to pay closer and better attention to details.

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,

P.S. Also! The ability to take quality, well-organized notes is NOT to be sneezed at. This is a skill I honed in my English courses and

carried over to the rest of my life. I am now a compulsive note-taker.

  • I don’t know how many times I ended up being in charge of a

particular project or initiative simply because I was the one taking notes. I didn’t ask for the role, but I was the one who paid the most attention, so I was often asked to delegate and follow-up on things. It seems small, but apparently most people never make the effort to learn how to do it right. Oddly enough, just the ability to take notes said to other people that I was serious, responsible, and worthy of being a leader. Who knew?

Sam Ford

  • I graduated from the English Department with an emphasis in writing

in May 2005. From there, I went straight into a Master’s program in

Comparative Media Studies at MIT. While there, I helped launch a

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, networking when I was unemployed, and probably because I’m a naturally talkative person. However, I

News and Things

Second Batch of Alumni Updates and Advice

research group called the Convergence Culture Consortium, which saw grad students and academics studying the media and pop culture sharing work and collaborating with major media companies and brands from Viacom and Turner Broadcasting to Fidelity Investments and Petrobras. After graduating from MIT, I stayed on to manage the Consortium project.

In 2008, I went to work for Peppercom Strategic Communications, where I am their Director of Digital Strategy. I also co-edited the book Survival of Soap Opera, which came out in 2011, and am co- author of Spreadable Media, which is coming out in Fall 2012.

Today, I work from home here in Bowling Green; teach on occasion

with the Popular Culture Studies Program; write regularly for Fast Company; and continue both academic writing and consulting with companies about how they use digital communication to reach their audiences. My time with the English Department provided the key foundation for where my career has headed, and I am happy and proud to continue to stay connected to WKU and the English Department today.

Third Batch of Alumni Updates and Advice

Amanda Ford

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English (literature) from WKU, I went to work in university administration. I first worked for the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then for the Program in Comparative Media Studies at MIT.

Today, I live inBowling Greenand work from home as an administrative assistant to Dr. Henry Jenkins through theAnnenbergSchoolfor Communication and Journalism at theUniversityofSouthern California.

Henry writes regularly about digital culture and pop culture, media and entertainment and is a pioneering scholar in the field of fan studies. I rely heavily on my degree and time at WKU to help Henry prepare for presentations, proofread manuscripts, prepare letters of recommendation and prepare materials for his classes, as well as communicate with scholars and fellow colleagues across the globe.

Gretchen Light

I just finished an internship in counseling back in August, and I am working a couple of jobs, waitressing and categorizing a sexologist’s book collection a couple days a week while I am looking for a new clinic placement. Both jobs, I would argue, use my skills as an English major.

Waiting tables in Portland(a total foodie city) requires a flair for description, and makes selling the food much more enjoyable.

As someone connected to the sex therapy field in town, I picked up an extra job with a sexologist colleague 23

with the Popular Culture Studies Program; write regularly for Fast Company; and continue both academic writing

News and Things

Third Batch of Alumni Updates and Advice

who needed help filing her extensive book collection and entering them in the Goodreads database, which is a wonderful program every English major would love to know about if they don’t already (goodreads.com).

Every room in her house has shelves and shelves of books, and I am systematically going through to place them in appropriate categories, and enter all their information if it does not already exist in the database.

Knowing my way around a citation has been crucial for doing a good job.

Not quite as recently, I was also picking up editing work for doctoral dissertations that required consistent formatting and regular citations, which Chris [Lively, her husband and another WKU English alum] and I worked on together. This was also possible for us due to our background as English majors. Math majors just don’t pick up that kind of side work often. Counseling also uses my skills as an English major. Just chatting with clients uses them regularly, as I have to be able to tailor my words to the appropriate audience, so to speak. Writing charts and notes is sticky business, as clients have a right to their session notes and one may need to defend a client diagnosis to insurance companies. Knowing how best to be clear without offending a client while also making sure it is strong enough to defend a diagnosis is a skill that requires total command of one’s words. I feel I am especially equipped to rise to these occasions as an English major.

Fourth Batch of Alumni Updates and Advice

Emmett Barton

I’m a user experience designer at a digital creative agency inAustin,TX. What this means is that I design the interactions and overall experience a person or group of people have with a website, a piece of software, or an app. User Experience Design, Interaction Design, or IxD as it’s called by those in the know, is a discipline that came out of a collusion of efforts from practitioners in human- computer interaction, human sciences, and visual design. It’s the most “academic” of design professions in digital. I’d say half of my work

involves good, old-fashioned research: interviewing the people who will use the thing I’m designing, documenting their experiences, and conducting critical heuristic analysis of existing material.

Analyzing a digital product is really similar to analyzing a text; in fact, I think my education in Film Studies and English really give me an advantage in design because it’s taught me about narrative, audience, and context–all things absolutely crucial when designing anything, especially a digital product someone’s trying to use to make their life easier. The other half of my job involved making stuff. It’s always a group effort, starting with design sessions with the client and my colleagues, sketching out ideas on a whiteboard, and then moving to sketches on paper, and the finally taking the ideas into Adobe Illustrator or some other program and bringing them to life. The closest analog to my job is that of an architect; I literally draw the blueprints of a digital product.

How does English really help with this? The way I was taught to read texts, synthesize my thoughts into a structured critique and express them to a group and defend my ideas has given me a kind of superpower when it comes to design. The study of literature encourages you to look at ideas from many different 24

involves good, old-fashioned research: interviewing the people who will use the thing I’m designing, documenting their

News and Things

Fourth Batch of Alumni Updates and Advice

perspectives and reconcile them with society in context; it forces you to communicate your thoughts in a rational way, backed up with secondary research from great minds; and writing papers teaches you to defend your ideas. I do this every day as a designer.

Melissa Messer

Since leaving WKU in 2007, I’ve interned at a literary agency in NYC, been a barista at Starbucks inSan Antonio, taught English inJapanand become a copywriter at an advertising agency inAustin. I have some free advice: Try everything and anything. New careers are being invented all the time. Nothing is irrelevant to an English education. I started writing for advertising then went back to school for a Master’s in Art Direction at theUniversityofTexasand have during this time been a creative lead and art director.

I

still use the critical thinking skills I learned in Cherry Hall perhaps

more than I use my Master’s in Advertising. Here’s what you’re learning: to make ideas from the connections you see. You read a text and have the ability to pull from it social context, history, politics, artistic influences, parallels and arguments, and you can know what work that text went on to influence later. You’re a cultural detective, and in a service economy of technological connections and rapid conversation changing, this education gives you the means to be not simply the mental colleague of your contemporary heroes but a culture maker yourself.

Final Batch of Alumni Updates and Advice

Bobby Deignan

It was never about accumulating data, memorizing formulas, or learning the routine of a mere vocation. We got into English for the roving insight not particular to one discipline or a single calling. We are students of aesthetics, history, rhetoric, and philosophy. We read the likes of Joyce, Faulkner, and Yeats because only writers of that caliber can penetrate to the marrow of our minds. Had we but world and time enough to take in every typeset page, and what would be the worth of study if it didn’t, as Emerson said of the American scholar, lead to action?

  • I found possibility in a graduate-level study of Literature, which took

me to the southeastern coast where the interstate narrows to a highway, the highway a road, and the road a gravel lot at the battery for loading and unloading fishing boats–in short, the furthest I could go. Realizing this was symbolic of my formal education, I finished my degree and lit out for a job market that had no niche for a poetry ponderer. Until then, I saw the worth of my study reflected in a graduate school acceptance letter, a successful first day of teaching college writing, and an exciting thesis defense; however, my break with academics and foray into a job market revealed one of the greatest benefits of my education–versatility. We have all the fruits of a decisive major–analysis, introspection, structured argument–with none of the impediments, as when a former zoology student struggles to explain the relevance of their work to a hiring manager of a law firm.

News and Things

Final Batch of Alumni Updates and Advice

My perspective is this: you are poised for study and for life, and whether you choose inveterate scholarship or spontaneous defection (I use the word humorously as an apostate myself), you can and will flourish. After all, at one time Melville was a customs inspector and Eliot worked in the basement of a bank.

Josh Riddle

I’ve been pretty busy since graduation, but not entirely in the English vein. My degree was a B.A. in English/Secondary Education with a minor in creative writing. After graduation I continued to work as an instructor at the Sylvan Learning center in Bowling Green, where I have since taken the Director of Education position. I love teaching on a small scale where I can have a huge impact on individual students, but my true passion is in my music.

I have been playing with a band called The Lost River Cavemen since

2006

<http://lostrivercavemen.com/>. In the last year and a half we have toured from the Gulf of Mexico to New York City and played in almost every state east of the Mississippi. We are currently working on our third studio album, and we are touring to California in April. I mainly play drums in the band, but I also get to use my ninja-like English skills in the business side of things: emails, promotion, design, sales.

We pride ourselves on being a true D.I.Y. band; we don’t rely on a manager, booking agent, promoter, or any of the other staples of the music industry. We’ve been lucky enough to play with some pretty big names like Ghostland Observatory, Keller Williams, and Fleet Foxes, and we’re working on setting up some shows with The Farewell Drifters. And, of course, our good friends in Cage the Elephant have been very supportive of us and the wholeBowling Green music scene. I don’t really think we will ever become famous, but I do think we will be able to play music on a scale that allows us to live comfortably while we do what we love.

Molly Koeneman

I graduated from WKU in May 2011 with degrees in English Literature and International Business, and I moved toChicagoin October. Currently, I earn salary as the E-Marketing Specialist at Media Tec Publishing while repping iWish events at night and teaching creative writing camps in the suburbs.

The story on how I got here started with an uncomfortable conversation with my daddy my sophomore year.

It began with, “What can you do with an English degree?” I don’t like saying, “I don’t know.” I would rather lie. So even though I really didn’t know, I rattled off various occupations I could be interested in —paralegal, personal assistant, marketer, journalist. The conversation ended with me exclaiming that I was also going to get a business degree.

To complete a business degree, one must have an internship. The semester before my senior year, I was freaking out, and I was applying to every internship the business school and the English department sent my way. One such application came from a small stationery store in a wealthyChicagosuburb. Theresa Patton, owner of TT Patton, gave the application to her husband’s best friend who works for theUniversityofKentucky, and the application made the short, viral journey to my WKU inbox by some 26

I graduated from WKU in May 2011 with degrees in English Literature and International Business, and

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Final Batch of Alumni Updates and Advice

means or another.

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In Barrngton, I desgned and started up a summer creatve wrtng program for middle schoolers. Theresa and I became very close, and I visited her and her husband several time over the next year. She and her stationery store even hosted a book signing when my short story, “The Age of Maturity,” was published in Dr. Bell’s and Dr. McCaffrey’s 2010 Commutability. After graduation, with no other job prospects, Theresa invited me back to run the summer writing camps. This second summer in the area I was determined to meet more people, so I took a sketching class at a local community college.

In class I met Tad Waddington, author of Last Contribution. He and I struck up a friendship. So when former colleges of his, Jerry Prochazka and Stacy Boyle, needed a research temp, Tad gave them my information.

The 20-hour-a-week job at Media Tec Publishing was just what I needed to forget my reservations about moving toChicago permanently. I picked up shifts at Theresa’s store and started working for the event company iWish to supplement my income. Money was very tight for a few months, but when the position of E- Marketing Specialist opened up at Media Tec Publishing, I was right there, eager for the opportunity.

My story is unconventional and contains a bit more struggle than I’ve set to this page, and it would certainly be a great feat to recreate. From my six months of post-graduation, I have this advice: 1. Do your best work at every job, even the unglamorous ones like my research job pushing around information in Excel, because you never know who is watching.

2. Be versatile with your skills and experiences.And always argue when someone condescendingly asks you what can be done with an English degree.

Our Library

How many of you have actually been to our library? And I don’t

mean running in for a coffee from Java City, socializing in said cafe, or playing on the computers.

Personally, I’ve been in the library only a handful of times to actually utilize the books it holds.

News and Things Our Library Considering the fact that I am an English major, you’d think

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Our Library

Considering the fact that I am an English major, you’d think that I’d be in there fairly often for research papers, but our university is unique.

As you probably already know, we have this amazing database

system where we can access numerous journals, many of them in full text.

Also, our library offers something called Interlibrary Loan. If you’re doing a research project and WKU

doesn’t have a particular book you’re looking for, they can loan it from another library in the United States.

Something you can be sure of finding in the library itself is a person who is an expert in your field of study, maybe even on your research project–a library liaison. They can help you with your research.

Besides all this, books are amazing, so go read something.

The Ashen Egg

Submissions for our undergraduate journal, The Ashen Egg, are due by the end of finals week. The following is taken directly from the submission form, these can be found in the English office.

Submission guidelines: Any current WKU undergraduate student may be nominated by an English Department faculty member to submit scholarly work to The Ashen Egg. The nominating faculty member confirms the submission as a piece produced for one of the faculty member’s courses and endorses it as worthy for publication. The Ashen Egg is an annual journal publishing critical essays on literature, rhetoric, linguistics, film, and popular culture. Manuscripts may range from 750 to 3000 words, though exceptions may be made for submissions of stellar quality. Essays must follow the Modern Language Association style guidelines as defined in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (latest edition). All submissions must be in Times or Times New Roman 12-point font,

double-spaced, with one-inch margins on all sides, and be free of typographical and grammatical errors.

Bowling Green, KY Internship Opp

Flair Magazine of our own Bowling Green, KY has an internship opportunity. In an email to Dr. Jones, Sarah

McCullum, who is currently the intern of Flair Magazine, says that “Each year they bring in an English or journalism student to write several feature stories per issue for them. The student would be responsible for brainstorming story ideas, arranging and conducting interviews, and of course writing her assigned stories.” If you’re interested, contact Belinda Saltzman at belinda@countrypeddlerbg.com 28

double-spaced, with one-inch margins on all sides, and be free of typographical and grammatical errors. Bowling

News and Things

Are you continuing your studies after you get your undergrad degree?

Are you continuing your studies after you get your undergrad degree?

Next Wednesday, April 25, from 3:00-4:00 pm in Cherry Hall 121 there will be round-table and Q and A discussions about graduate school. Professors Alison Langdon, Wes Berry, Jane Fife, Tom Hunley, and Jeff Rice will be leading discussion.

Hodge-Podge-ing-ness

Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors: Do You Know the Two Ingredients in a Perfect

Ending?

A Picture of Language – NYTimes.com

The Politics and Poems of Adrienne Rich – NYTimes.com

BBC News – London 2012 Festival: ‘Visceral’ Crow puppet show unveiled

About Us – Kentucky Shakespeare

Literary Style: 15 Writers’ Bedrooms | Apartment Therapy

Four Ways To Organize Your Writing (Or Not) Before You Sit Down To Write – Writer’s Relief,

Inc.

How to reorganise your bookshelf using the honesty system | Books | guardian.co.uk

Foods For Creative Writers: Eat To Nourish The Mind!

What To Include In Your Query Letter To Literary Agents

Readings

Sarah Gorham

Remember the reading that I told you about last week? Well, my camera and I were in attendance last night,

and for those of you who didn’t come (shame on you!), here’s a bit of a recap.

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Literary Style: 15 Writers’ Bedrooms | Apartment Therapy Four Ways To Organize Your Writing (Or Not)

Readings

Sarah Gorham

The reading took place in Cherry Hall 125, where, unless I’m mistaken, all of our readings take place. I always get to places super early, but especially to events like these. Dr. Cherry on the left looks wonky because I’m not a photographer; I’ll try again at the next reading. I managed to sit up front with Brittany Cheak (co-president of the English Club), Michael Miller (secretary of the English Club and a weekly guest here), and Andrew Bergman (WKU alum).

Note: Always try to arrive early at these readings early because they fill up super fast and you want to be able to get a seat where you can best see the reader.

Ms. Gorham shared about 10 of her poems and one lyric essay with us. The poems came from her latest book Bad Daughters.

I can’t explain what a lyric essay is quite the way that she did, but I took it to be an essay which uses language more in a poetic sense. Here is Purdue OWL’s definition.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Ms. Gorham is the founder of Sarabande Books? She founded it in March 1994.

The following is a bit of a photo montage of the evening.

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Readings Sarah Gorham The reading took place in Cherry Hall 125, where, unless I’m mistaken, all

Readings

Sarah Gorham

After some technical difficulties were resolved (somehow the box whose power source our microphone depends on was locked for the first time in Cherry Hall history), Dr. Dale Rigby introduced Ms. Gorham to us. He also made some English Department announcements. Dr. Rigby reminded us about Zephyrus deadlines and made sure that we knew about the Research Conference’s inclusion of the arts this year.

This is Ms. Gorham reading poetry from her book, Bad Daughters. I only took two pictures of her, and this one is my favorite. I’d planned on taking more, but then a voice in the back of my head said “wouldn’t you be distracted with a camera flash in your eyes?” Ms. Gorham had a wonderful speaking voice and an obvious passion for her work.

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Readings Sarah Gorham After some technical difficulties were resolved (somehow the box whose power source our
Readings Sarah Gorham I bought one of her books, which she gave those of us at

Readings

Sarah Gorham

I bought one of her books, which she gave those of us at her reading a discount on. Be sure to check out the

book trailer for it, in which the character on the cover is brought to life.

Ms. Gorham signed my book after Dr. McCaffrey introduced me to her. We talked for a few moments, I bugged a couple of our English department professors, and then I made my way home.

It was a lovely evening.

Eric Goodman Reading

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Readings Sarah Gorham I bought one of her books, which she gave those of us at

Readings

Eric Goodman Reading

Wednesday night, Eric Goodman visited Cherry Hall and read from his book Twelfth & Race. I’m going to give you a brief photo-based recap like I did for our last reading.

First of all (thanks to daylight savings time) it was actually light out when I arrived at Cherry Hall, so I did a better job of capturing Dr. Cherry on camera. What do you think?

The reading was in CH 125 again, and as last time, I sat with Brittany Cheak and Andrew Bergman. This time, we didn’t have any technological issues–that I know of.

Professor Goodman teaches English at Miami University and is the director of their creative writing program.

The novel that he shared with us is his fifth. Visit his website to learn more about his works and the man himself.

He shared two different sections from Twelfth and Race with us and ended with an informative question and answer session.

Fun fact: Did you know that Dr. Goodman is a rock lyricist?

Now, onto the photo montage.

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Readings Eric Goodman Reading Wednesday night, Eric Goodman visited Cherry Hall and read from his book

Readings

Eric Goodman Reading

Dr. David Bell introduced us to Professor Eric Goodman after Dr. Dale Rigby reminded us of the Goldenrod, Gender and Women’s Studies Writing Contest, and EMW Writing Contest’s due dates.

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Readings Eric Goodman Reading Dr. David Bell introduced us to Professor Eric Goodman after Dr. Dale

Readings

Eric Goodman Reading

Here is Professor Goodman himself, sporting his Twelfth and Race T-shirt and tow of our English Department buttons. As he read from his novel, he made the characters come to life and his audience regret that they couldn’t hear more about them.

I bought the book that he was reading from and can’t wait to see what happens.

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Readings Eric Goodman Reading Here is Professor Goodman himself, sporting his Twelfth and Race T-shirt and

Readings

Eric Goodman Reading

He was kind enough to sign said book for me.

I also bought one of his T-shirts; aren’t I good at self-portraits?

It was a wonderful evening.

Goldenrod Poetry Festival 2012

Goldenrod Video 2012

So, for the last two readings I attended as intern, I created a picture post for you of the event. Well,

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Readings Eric Goodman Reading He was kind enough to sign said book for me. I also

Readings

Goldenrod Poetry Festival 2012

Monday’s reading was the English Club’s annual Goldenrod Poetry Festival. I wound up taking about 20

pictures, which would be torturous in a single blog post, so I decided to create a video with Windows Movie Maker. WordPress imbedes things in strange ways sometimes, so click the link above to watch the video; I’m sorry you can’t simply watch it on this post.

Anyways, Goldenrod is different from our other readings

because it is the culmination of the English Club’s poetry contest. The English Club selects 10 finalists who get to have a workshop with the year’s guest poet–Stacia M. Fleegal this year.

After the workshop, they all went out to dinner before returning to Cherry Hall. At 7:00 pm, the festival began.

All 10 finalists read the poems that they were selected for, and they did a beautiful job. I’m so proud of each of them.

After the students read, Fleegal picked her three winners: Krystol Stinson in third, Maddey Gates in second, and Isiah Fish in first place. Congratulations!

Then, Fleegal shared a number of her poems with us followed by a Q and A and book signing. She was wonderful, so, yes, I bought a book again. It was magnificent evening, and I’m glad that I had a chance to meet Fleegal and support friends. Here are Isiah, Maddey, and Krystol’s poems. Stanza breaks will be denoted with a / until I can figure out how to make WordPress cooperate.

Here is Isiah Fish’s poem “Catch Up”:

If I see you in a grocery store ten years from now

I’ll duck behind a bin of fresh tomatoes to avoid you,

and stay there until the store closes to guarantee not getting caught is a status I once read on a social networking site

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I’ll duck behind a bin of fresh tomatoes to avoid you, and stay there until the

Readings

Goldenrod Poetry Festival 2012

which made me think about what I would do if I saw

you at a grocery store ten years from now.

Maybe I would ask you to dinner, a catch-up dinner

where we would fill in the holes we created

when we decided to go our separate ways last decade.

You’re married? Oh, that’s so great

I’ll lie, silently thanking you for not asking if I want to meet your husband.

Me? I’m committed, lie.

But how can I tell you I’m steadfastly single, you’ve got kids on the way you say, You’re going to adopt a beautiful Korean baby, and to think I bit the head off one of those Korean dolls just last Thursday.

Did I tell you I joined the circus for a few years?

  • I was recruited for my unusual talent of dissecting

cadavers to further understand how people love.

  • I fell in and out of love with a Yugoslavian trapeze artist

and one time I shared a bunk with a lion named Ted Bundy.

You touch my hand as we laugh, as we allow our third glasses

of wine to slip us back in time briefly, and then propel us forward all in the seconds it takes to flutter eyelashes.

Hey do you want to grab lunch tomorrow? I’m in town for another day.

At lunch you ask if I want some ketchup for my fries,

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of wine to slip us back in time briefly, and then propel us forward all in

Readings

Goldenrod Poetry Festival 2012

but I don’t eat ketchup on anything I say,

because ketchup reminds me of blood,

and fries are like slender humans.

You laugh, but seriously,

look down at your plate, look at all those people

You just murdered.

Maddey Gates’ poem “Get me a Six Pack of Sestina and a Fifth of Cherry Burnett’s” The streets were slick with snow and broken glass.

We spilled across the hill, our clothes dark in case

anyone was looking. February wind poured one last drink

between my chapped lips. I curled my legs around Kevin’s back “I can walk” while Calvin fixed the back of my dress, put a cap

on my words, on the night like I was the last drained bottle.

/

In a house in the belly-curve ofPark Streetwe shared a bottle

of Jim Beam and I told you I could smell home from the rim of my glass.

Suddenly rooms full of strangers poured in around us. I dropped the cap, said fuck, and you smiled while I cried my weathered case

for feeling dizzy and why all my small-talk was hiding in a can of warm Bud Light. You stashed the bourbon in a cabinet, found me a softer drink.

/

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Suddenly rooms full of strangers poured in around us. I dropped the cap, said fuck, and

Readings

Goldenrod Poetry Festival 2012

In your bedroom the night we pressed together, began to drink

the breath from one another as we shared spiced rum from your red water bottle, I felt myself stand above us shaking my head while our bodies cried: “yes we can!” and for a moment my churning mind was an hourglass

frozen on a slant, before the metaphor shattered and the case

against us did too—the past was just a tooth-bent bottle cap.

/

Onto the vodka-swamped garage floor I dropped someone’s baseball cap while you helped me onto the washing machine. I tried to drink

from the musty air a draught of memory strong enough to last in case you had to carry me home. My mother prays over her bottle

of organic soymilk every morning that I stay away from the bath of broken glass, daddy keeps a bottle-cap cross over the mantle and smiles to the angel in his beer can.

/

One night we walked around the city to remind ourselves we can

slip through the night, skipping cracks in the sidewalks and cap off semesters with thoughtless flights into each others arms. The sky was glass, fogged with storms from rising breaths. Sometimes the drink

goes down smoother from the truth. You walked in a shadow while our last bottle of unspoken words hit the pavement without cracking. I asked my brother to buy us another case.

/

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slip through the night, skipping cracks in the sidewalks and cap off semesters with thoughtless flights

Readings

Goldenrod Poetry Festival 2012

You gave me twenty dollars for a cheap case

of Highlife to share and said keep the change. I said “you can

have anything you want tonight,” opening my jeans like the first chilled bottle.

Last winter the cold had wicked hands—snow forced me under my cap and into so many arms, none of them yours. I made up my mind to drink the past away through a bendy straw. In August I found you grinning on the rim of my glass.

/

In any case like ours someone is bound to find the missing cap

under the table, or one that can do the job—keep the last drink from going loose, or empty bottle from turning roadside glass.

and Krystol Stinson’s poem “The Valiant”

In the front seat of our while Valiant, we left theMethodistChurch, turned right onEast Maintowards the only stoplight in town,

the family Bible was between us—always between us

just as the impact of our car hitting the preacher’s becomes larger and more severe in the memory grown from a little girl.

/

The spidered windshield tracked from my hairline,

mangled glasses hung from one ear; blood left warm tracks

as it pooled on my upper lip then leapt onto the ruffles

of my Easter dress. My mama cried, not for me, but for the Bible—

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/ The spidered windshield tracked from my hairline, mangled glasses hung from one ear; blood left

Readings

Goldenrod Poetry Festival 2012

still between us held in place by a hand I could not find.

/

There I was, looking through the glass,

wanting so badly to insert the Bible between us

deep into the red veins of my mother, wanting to heal,

to feel what it was like to be inside of her belief. I

wanted to take her hand, but the Bible sat between us.

Writing Contest

Writing Contests & Opportunities

The

English Majors’ Weblog will be having its own

writing contest once a semester, but we’re still working out the nitty- gritty details for it. They will arrive here as soon as we know them.

This page will be devoted to writing contests and opportunities both on and off campus.

Zephyrus

Submission Deadline: February 20, 2012

Pick up a cover sheet and guidelines in Cherry Hall 135

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Writing Contest Writing Contests & Opportunities The English Majors’ Weblog will be having its own writing

Writing Contest

Writing Contests & Opportunities

About

Past Publications

Goldenrod Poetry Festival and Contest

The festival will be on April 9 at 7:00 pm this year. It will take place

in Cherry Hall 125.

Submission Deadline: March 23

Pick up a cover sheet in CH 135, or print this pdf

About

The East India Press Short Story Contest

Submission Deadline: March 1, 2012

About

Cash prize and publication

Request for Stories

Lynwood Montell is looking for stories from nurses about their experience, other nurses’, or patients for a book he’s writing on. If you’re interested, contact him at 270-796-1907 orLLMontell@insightbb.com

Kentucky Arts Council

Check out this part of their website for writing opportunities.

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in Cherry Hall 125. Submission Deadline: March 23 Pick up a cover sheet in CH 135,

Writing Contest

Writing Contests & Opportunities

Tarcher Writing Contest

Tarcher-Penguin is having a National Creativity Competition to celebrate Julia Cameron’s The Prosperous

Heart .

Fiction or non-fiction 10 page piece

Cash prize and work reviewed by editor

Deadline: March 2, 2012

Make sure that you check out their official rules.

WKU Henry Fiction Award

Deadline: Wednesday, February 29, 2012

For guidelines and details see this post

Cash prize

WKU Student Research Conference

Deadline for abstract submissions: Friday February 24, 2012

The conference this year will be Saturday March 24, 2012

Information

Flo Gault Student Poetry Competition

Entries Accepted: October 1-December 1, 2012

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Writing Contest Writing Contests & Opportunities Tarcher Writing Contest Tarcher-Penguin is having a National Creativity Competition

Writing Contest

Writing Contests & Opportunities

Cash prizes, publication for first place

Details and submission guidelines

The EMW Twitter Shorts Writing Contest

Information here

15th Annual Gender and Women’s Studies Creative Writing Contest Deadline: 4:00 pm Friday, April 6

Cash award

Submit to Dr. Dale Rigby via email or in Cherry Hall 110A

Details and submission guidelines

The Ashen Egg

Deadline: the end of finals week, which is May 7-11

Submission forms can be picked up in CH 135

EMW Writing Contest

The English Majors’ Weblog would like to introduce a new writing contest to our campus. This intern hopes that it will be carried out by the next, and will occur as an every semester contest.

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Writing Contests & Opportunities Cash prizes, publication for first place Details and submission guidelines The EMW

Writing Contest

EMW Writing Contest

The reason we’re doing a Twitter creative works contest is that it’s something different. And it’s an intellectual challenge. You have exactly 140 characters. which includes spaces, punctuation, and numbers, to write a short story, poem, piece of non-fiction, or drama. (If you can do the later, I just may hunt you down in order to give you a cookie).

Submissions limited to one piece

Send them to wku.emw@gmail.com

Every work will be published on the EMW while the top 3 will be published on our Facebook and Twitter accounts as well

Deadline: Tuesday, April 3

Winners will be announced Tuesday, April 17

Submissions will be accepted from any current Western Kentucky University student; both undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged

Titles are not required, but if you feel your work wants one, it will count when we add up the characters of your Twitter short

If you decide to submit a poem, you should denote line breaks with slash marks I like cheese/it is good food/except when it stinks

This poem is 54 characters, if I counted right, to give you an idea of what you’re working with Do not use my cheese poem please and thank you

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46 Writing Contest EMW Writing Contest Feel free to ignore the conventional rules of grammar and

Writing Contest

EMW Writing Contest

Feel free to ignore the conventional rules of grammar and punctuation. U won’t be penalized if u write w/

text or note taking language as long as we can understand u. If we can’t interpret your creative work, we will contact you for clarification.

Within reason, anything goes. “Within reason” meaning that we won’t publish something inappropriate on the EMW. Yes, “appropriate” is

a loose term defined by those using it; in this case it will be defined by the EMW’s standards.

Because this isn’t exactly a well known art, we’ll be providing you with sample works up until the deadline.

Details on EMW Writing Contest

Last week, we gave you an idea of what we were planning on. Today, I’m going to give you

the definite plan.

The reason we’re doing a Twitter creative works contest is that it’s something different. And it’s an intellectual challenge. You have exactly 140 characters. which includes spaces, punctuation, and numbers, to write a short story, poem, piece of non-fiction, or drama. (If you can do the later, I just may hunt you down in order to give you a cookie).

Submissions limited to one piece

Send them to wku.emw@gmail.com

Every work will be published on the EMW while the top 3 will be published on our Facebook and Twitter accounts as well

47

a loose term defined by those using it; in this case it will be defined by

Writing Contest

Details on EMW Writing Contest

Deadline: Tuesday, March 27

Winners will be announced Tuesday, April 3

Submissions will be accepted from any current Western Kentucky University student; both undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged

Titles are not required, but if you feel your work wants one, it will count when we add up the characters of your Twitter short

If you decide to submit a poem, you should denote line breaks with slash marks I like cheese/it is good food/except when it stinks

This poem is 54 characters, if I counted right, to give you an idea of what you’re working with Do not use my cheese poem please and thank you

Feel free to ignore the conventional rules of grammar and punctuation. U won’t be penalized if u write w/

text or note taking language as long as we can understand u. If we can’t interpret your creative work, we will contact you for clarification.

Within reason, anything goes. ”Within reason” meaning that we won’t publish something inappropriate on the EMW. Yes, “appropriate” is a loose term defined by those using it; in this case it will be defined by the EMW’s standards.

You have roughly a month to submit, so during this time we will be sharing samples of Twitter shorts. Good luck and happy writing!

First Batch of Sample Twitter Shorts

Yesterday, I mentioned that we’d be providing examples of what Twitter shorts are. Here’s the first batch.

“In retrospect, the cat’s warning should’ve alerted me. He normally doesn’t speak English. But I thought he

was joking about the giant mouse.” ~shortfiction

“I made fun of Kim’s wooden shoes but during the party she fell off the boat and they floated to the surface.

They were all I had left of her” ~VeryShortStory

“Back on shore, where her screams no longer pained my ears w/ their urgency. If she truly loved the ocean, 48

If you decide to submit a poem, you should denote line breaks with slash marks I

Writing Contest

First Batch of Sample Twitter Shorts

she’d love its bottom too.” ~shortfic

Second Batch of Sample Twitter Shorts

This first one is the EMW’s own Mr. Terry Elliott: Thinking about you. Googling you. Oh. You have a blog. Oh, you have a baby. Oh…no.

This one is from Ben White, who uses a Twitter account to write short fiction: Years after the surgery he still wasn’t used to hearing the sound of his own voice.

DeadEndFiction: My kitchen kept my sins and virtues. Demons in the fridge with cake and cans of beer. Angels in the oven, on full heat, burned to a cinder.

Short Fiction:

Six minutes too late. Six minutes sooner, and he’d still have a son.

Six Word Stories, Tasha is the author: Wax wings, High hopes. Long fall.

And I’ll leave you with my creation:

“Call me Ladybug.” & I did, not knowing she’d get eaten by a lizard when she changed. Rule #1 to relationships: never date a werebug.

  • 14 days left to submit an original Twitter short.

Third Batch of Sample Twitter Shorts

This is from William Brazill: He had the staring look of a man who lived on another plane. Unfortunately, her plane was parallel, not intersecting.

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she’d love its bottom too.” ~ shortfic Second Batch of Sample Twitter Shorts This first one

Writing Contest

Third Batch of Sample Twitter Shorts

Flashfictions:

Garden gnomes raided his fridge again. Somehow they evaded his dog, avoided his traps and still had time to write swear words in the butter.

Seven By Twenty this is a tanka written by Kala Ramesh:

the multitude / of facial expressions / shoulder to shoulder / our waiting / at the zebra crossing

Marc Orbito:

He’d miniaturize them with gamma rays and place them meticulously in jars on a shelf. “I’ve got friends in all the right places,” he said.

Rebekah Webb:

“You’re the first person to smile at me,” she said to the stranger tied up in her garage. “That’s why I had to bring you home.”

There is a book of Twitter Shorts too!

7 days left to submit an original Twitter short.

Final Batch of Sample Twitter Shorts

The deadline is midnight tonight; this means that (if this published at 4:00am as I scheduled it, and if I’ve done my math correctly) you have 20 hours to write and submit an original Twitter short to us.

This first short is from our own Dr. Molly McCaffrey:

MISSIONARY WORK: Married 5 years. 3 kids. Affair w/

missionary. Prayed hard 4 forgiveness. Saved by Jesus. Yeah, right.

http://www.mainstreetrag.com/MMcCaffery.html

This next one is from our own Dr. Tom Hunley:

At the used book store: / women I’d like to talk to, / books I’ve never read.

And this one is from Dr. David Bell:

When Mom died, I read the will. I found out I have a sister I didn’t know about. I can’t talk to Mom. I just 50

Writing Contest

Final Batch of Sample Twitter Shorts

have to live with it. Forever.

Short Stories:

Students partying late into the night. Some were peeing in front garden. Disgruntled neighbor bombards them with her baby’s dirty diaper.

WhatsWriting:

She rushed to the dance floor, and looked for a suitable partner. Just when she was about to ask someone, a deep voice surprised her.

Madeline:

When midnight came,she reversed the day and watched the seconds tick back.59 58 57.Back and back, until before she was born. She pressed stop

EMW Writing Contest Winners

The day has finally arrived. It is time to announce the three victors of our 140 word challenge! Thank you to

all of the beautiful people who participated. Everyone’s Twitter short can be seen on this page LINK. You will also be able to find our top three on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Creating a cohesive and well written creative work in 140 characters is a daunting task, but 19 people were able to write masterpieces. This being said, it was difficult to name just three of them as our winners.

Especially hard because this intern knows a number of the friendly faces and minds that wrote these pieces.

But we set up a system that enabled us to judge these fine pieces without knowing their respective creators.

Either it’s called blind judging, or I’m making the phrase up in my head…

digress (I’m rather good at that for some reason). Here are this semester’s three winners: In First Place is Timothy Phelps

I

spent a year hiding in the closet. You can’t cross stitch, she said. It’s gay. So she slept, & I got high sewing platitudes on pillows.

I

In Second Place is Abbey Piersma

Alpen glow turned to snow/glacier ice, castle lights/cheap wine, mountain climb/italian view, swiss 51

 
spent a year hiding in the closet. You can’t cross stitch, she said. It’s gay. So

Writing Contest

EMW Writing Contest Winners

fondue/more cheese, no plane ride please

In Third Place is Rachel Grindstaff

“I could just see her tipping her head back to take the last gulp of beer and you smiling in the low light.

When did she become your everything?”

Congratulations!

Thank you again to those of you who submitted to the EMW Writing Contest! And thank you to Mr. Terry Elliott, Dr. Molly McCaffrey, Dr. Tom Hunley, and Dr. David Bell for sharing sample Twitter shorts.

Happy writing, everyone! Don’t forget to challenge yourself in your writing.

Meet the EMW Writing Contest Winners

Remember our Twitter short contest that ended last month? You can read all of the submissions, including our three winners, on this page.

Timothy Phelps, in first place, shares that

I

keep a file on my computer called “What If.” Whenever an idea

comes to me, whether it be a fully-formed concept or just a single

interesting line I overheard, I put it in my What If file. It s where I go if I need some inspiration to get my creativity working. I learned about the EMW contest and looked through my file for something I could turn into a miniature story.

  • I got the idea for my Twitter story from a real event. My mom had

taught me how to cross-stitch, but I hadn’t done it since I was seven or eight. Last Christmas, my eleven-year-old daughter was trying to find something to give her friend. We found a little cross-stitch set in the craft store, and when I started to help her with it, I discovered it was kind of fun. I jokingly told my wife how I was going to take up the craft, and she told me in return how completely unsexy that would be.

So, while I didn’t return to the needle and thread, I did get a good idea for a character. I imagined a man who wanted to cross-stitch so badly that he was willing to hide it from his disapproving wife. And what better place to keep your secrets than in the closet? It was an easy choice from the “What If” file for the contest.

My time as an English Major at WKU has been incredible. I enjoy every aspect of English, writing and reading, so I feel blessed to have the supportive family and opportunity to pursue my goals. I look forward to completing my degree in a couple semesters, but I also know how much I’ll miss coming to school and being 52

interesting line I overheard, I put it in my What If file. It s where I

Writing Contest

Meet the EMW Writing Contest Winners

in that environment every day. Maybe I’ll cross-stitch a giant picture of Cherry Hall for my home to remind me of it.

Abbey Piersma, in second place, tells us that

My piece is a summary of my study abroad in Switzerland last summer. By being limited to 140 characters that was what I was able to come up with to summarize my time over there. I was fortunate enough to be able to study abroad with Dr. Davies last summer and study Swiss Literature. It’s something that I will never forget.

pleasure of being co-president of English Club this 2011-2012 school year. I also served as an editor of Zephyrus for 2 years. Working in the English Department has allowed me to become very involved with the department and build relationships with professors outside of the classroom. Though I’m ready to graduate, I will hate to say goodbye when the time comes.

The EMW and I

About

Image not found

Our goal is to provide a place for information and community for and with English majors. Here you’ll find a variety of English major type things (internship and job opportunities, writing contests, English club updates, etc.). We also are seeking to hear from you.

We need a few like-minded students willing to explore what it means to be an English major at Western Kentucky University. This vanguard of the “blog”-etariat will lead an online community of practice along with a few permanent English majors (real teachers and students). They will, as civil rights activist Miles Horton once said, make this road by walking it.

We hope that this will become a conversation that opens here, spills out into the lively hallways of Cherry Hall, joins the world work and ideas, and perhaps wend its way back here on a regular basis. Or not. We are not certain about where this will lead. Let’s find out.

If you are interested in sharing this writing space and in being a part of this experiment, let us know by registering or by contacting Terry Elliott or Seanna Wilhelm.

For guest blogger guidelines visit this page.

What Do You Want From Us?

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pleasure of being co-president of English Club this 2011-2012 school year. I also served as an

The EMW and I

About

Hello, Lovely English People,

I’ve been working as the EMW’s intern for about two months now, and I’d like to take this time to reflect.

But, before you decide to stop reading and pull up your latest Facebook addiction (mine is currently Triple Town), know that this post isn’t going to be focused on me.

This post is about the blog itself, and most importantly, you, Reader.

My experience with the EMW actually isn’t the first time that I’ve worked on a blog; it’s the fourth if you count abandoned blogs that have been left to the oblivion of the internet. I thought that blogging sounded like fun, so I decided to get my own. But I didn’t really know what I was taking until I took Dr. Jeffrey Rice’s writing and technology class, which you should take, by the way. The blog that was birthed from this class, I

Breathe Words, became one of my favorite things to do.

I’ve had to put this on hold this semester, but the EMW has become my current favorite, so I’m good with that. Anyways, the point of that detour is that I’ve never done a blog like this. I am, in a way, representing the English Department, and it’s a scary thought.

One of the main parts of blogging is knowing your audience and purpose. This is something that I tried to start working on immediately. But I soon discovered that this is a ongoing process.

My audience right now, though I don’t think this will change unless it grows, is WKU English students

Undergraduates

Graduates

WKU English department faculty and staff

WKU English Alumni

My purpose right now, which is where you come in, is to

share information about English-y events I find

internship opportunities

writing contests

job opportunities

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writing contests job opportunities 54 The EMW and I About make connections with guest bloggers and

The EMW and I

About

make connections

with guest bloggers

and projects like the Alumni updates and advice one starting next Wednesday provide a challenging writing contest, deadline April 3

What I want to know is whether or not I’ve been accomplishing this. Have I made this a place that you find useful? Is there anything that I can add to my purpose or audience? If you feel that you have more to say than would fit well in a comment, please email me at wku.emw@gmail.com This blog is made for you, so you should get a say in what I do.

My SRC Experience

On Saturday, REACH week culminated in the 42nd Annual WKU Student Research Conference. It was an all day affair lasting from 7:30am till 6:30pm that evening. Hundreds of students participated in this event.

The Research

Conference took place at Gary Ransdell Hall, which

is truly beautiful. I wish that I’d taken the time to capture my own photos, but I had a rare moment of socialbleness. (And, yes, I did just make up that word).

I think that my favorite part was the staircases that you see as soon as you walk in.

I arrived at about 8:30 am so that I could see Brittany Cheak present her paper “One Size Fits All: Media Portrayal of Women and the Movement for Change”. Upon entering the building, I discovered a line of people for registration. I wasn’t sure if I needed to register so I got in line; they couldn’t find my name. But they cheerfully gave me a schedule anyways! After the papers were done in that session (at about 9:30am), we spent time on some couches with her boyfriend, Andrew Bergman, reading and playing on Brittany’s computer.

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The Research Conference took place at Gary Ransdell Hall, which is truly beautiful. I wish that

The EMW and I

My SRC Experience

We had lunch when they uncovered the buffet at about 11:45 or so. The fact that we were on the second floor near the food meant that we avoided the massive crowd attacking the food.

Something new this year was the student spotlight that occurred after lunch. President Gary Ransdell introduced all of us one by one after telling us about the conference itself. Before the spotlight started, I got the chance to actually meet our president.

The event started off with Lusie Cuskey and Vicky Siegrist performed short one-act plays, which they wrote and staged themselves. Lusie performed ”Finding the Words”, and Vicky performed “The Ties That Bind”.

This was followed by four creative writers: Brittany Cheak with her poems “Cord Stretched Tight” and

“Daddy’s Answer to Everything” Samantha Starr with her short

, fiction piece “Listen Closely”, myself with my poems “Claustrophobia” and “Fade Away”, and Tracy Jo Ingram with her short non-fiction piece “How to Manage at Your First Pretentious Poetry Award Ceremony”.

If you know me personally, you know that I hate public speaking and have been avoiding that general education class like the plague. An hour before the reading, my hands became ice and I started sweating.

When it was my turn to read, I leaned against the table behind me and it clutched with my left hand while the right held my poems on the music stand in front of me. I literally zoned out while reading, but was told I did well and looked calm.

It wouldn’t have been as easy if it wasn’t for the friendly faces in the room.

Besides my fellow readers and friends, my mom and boyfriend were also able to make it, along with a number of my professors. And I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them. Thank you to Dr. Tom Hunley for selecting me for this honor, for being my faculty mentor; to Professors David Bell, Tom Hunley, and Molly McCaffrey for helping me fine-tune my poems and figure out how to read without panicking; along with the three above, to Professors Ann Ferrell, Alison Langdon, Mary Ellen Miller, and Dale Rigby for being there to support us; to Dr. David Lee, Dean of Potter College for shaking my hand and telling me

“good job”; and to Dr. Molly McCaffrey for not telling me about all of the people who were present before I read so that I didn’t faint.

I’m so blessed to know so many different wonderful people and to have been a part of this spotlight. Don’t hesitate to submit abstracts to next year’s research conference; it’s an amazing experience.

English Majors' Toolbox

There are certain tools that every English major needs to help her/him through their life, both in and beyond their studies at WKU. We’re making a toolbox, here, of what we feel every English Major needs.This is going to be a continuous work in progress. Contributions are accepted and encouraged. Tell us what you would like to see here by either commenting or emailing us at wku.emw@gmail.com.

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56 The EMW and I English Majors' Toolbox Connections with fellow English majors, faculty members, and

The EMW and I

English Majors' Toolbox

Connections with fellow English majors, faculty members, and people/companies that work in your field.

1.

2.

Books are, naturally, important for English majors. It’s a good

idea to keep a hold of books that you find useful and/or interesting to

you from the classes you take in your major.

3.

Writing Skills should be easily picked up from your English

classes. Finding young people that know how to appropriately format a Memo, or even a formal email, isn’t exactly an easy thing to do anymore.

Most people allow their text speech to carry over into all of their writing. Know that your writing abilities will be something employers will look at.

4.

Websites

Western Places

Western Kentucky University’s English Department

WKU’s Writing Center

Western Kentucky University

Topper Mail

Blackboard

WKU Sports

English-y Places

Kentucky Literary News

Grammarly

oc a

aces

Facebook

Twitter

WordPress

Blogger

Research-y Places

WKU Library

Jstor

Google (Get More Out of Google)

Ask

Dogpile

Wikipedia

Diigo

Just Plain Good-ly Places

I Will Not Diet

  • 5. Knowledge is why you’re in college in the first place. This is your

chosen area of study and it will affect 57

oc a aces Facebook Twitter WordPress Blogger Research-y Places WKU Library Jstor Google (Get More Out

The EMW and I

English Majors' Toolbox

your future career and life; pay attention to what your teachers tell you!

  • 6. Innovative Ideas are important, and not just to creative writers.

You need to have something that sets you apart from all the other

people in your major.

The End

Hello, Darling Readers,

It’s that time of the semester again—finals week. I hope that all is going well for you. Students, I hope that your papers are all done on time with minimal stress and that your exams are not nearly as hard as you thought. Teachers, I hope that your students’ papers are well written, easy to read, wonderful things and that your grading goes well for you.

Good luck to you all!

This internship has been one of the best experiences of my life, all twenty and a half years of it. I’ve been able to connect with so many wonderful people and discover new ways to flex my writing muscles. My current career goal that I’m contemplating is becoming a professional blogger. Yes, there is such a thing.

I strongly suggest that you take an internship at some point during your college career, no matter what your discipline or dream career is.

There was so much that I wanted to do… Much of it was accomplished, but much of it remained fantasies of my brain. I’m sorry for what I didn’t get done, and for anything I may have failed to do for you.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend thanks to

My supervisor: Mr. Terry Elliott

The people who helped create this internship: Doctors Angela Jones and Jeffery Rice Our weekly English Club guest blogger: Michael Miller, secretary of the English Club The people who provided us with new insight by giving us guest posts: Dr. Elizabeth Winkler, Bethany Riggs, Dr. Jeffrey Rice, Dr. Wes Berry, Dr. David Lenoir, Amy Lindsey, Dr. Molly McCaffrey Those who participated in our first ever writing contest; the entries were stunning Our Facebook and Twitter followers

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Hello, Darling Readers, It’s that time of the semester again—finals week. I hope that all is

The End

Mr. Eric Wolfe for being so helpful in building some of the technological aspects of the blog The faculty, staff, and students of the English Department, along with my family, friends, and boyfriend for supporting me through this

My readers; you’re awe inspiring, never forget that

Farewell,

Seanna Lyn Wilhelm

Spring 2012 EMW Intern

P.S. I’m still blogging…find me at I Breathe Words and Lyn’s Notebook.

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