~from Jill Salahub

Tomorrow the English department will be holding a very special celebration. Bruce Ronda is retiring this year, and as sad as we are to see him go, we are sending him off with our best wishes at this upcoming event. To honor him here on the blog, I’ve been collecting memories and well wishes from a few people who studied and worked with him over the years.

I myself had the honor of learning from Bruce as a graduate student, taking one of my very first classes with him, and have enjoyed his company and his leadership as I stayed on to work in the department. At one point, he guided and supported me through a very difficult time, an experience that had the potential to end my career at CSU. With Bruce’s help it instead allowed a space uniquely suited for me where I could thrive, matching what I was good at with what the department needed, and I am forever grateful to him for that.

I will miss Bruce’s dedication, trustworthiness, wisdom, and kindness, and wish for him only the best of things as he moves on. What follows, in no particular order, are more memories and good wishes.

Bruce Ronda talks with faculty and staff at the first walk through of the Eddy Hall remodel

From Professor Matthew Cooperman: I was the first TT [tenure track] hire, under Bruce’s tenure as Chair. I will always be deeply honored by the trust he showed in me, and have thought of him as a paragon of integrity. He’s been there for me, and for my family, during my time at CSU. And he’s a helluva banjo player.

Bruce Ronda and Leslee Becker at an awards ceremony in 2015. Leslee says of Bruce, “I’ve been in his house!”

From Associate Professor Pam Coke: The poet Arthur O’Shaughnessy wrote, “We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”  Dr. Bruce Ronda will always have a special place in my heart.  He is a dreamer of dreams, and he helped make my dreams come true.

It was Christmas Eve, 2001, an era where few people had cell phones.  Suffice it to say I did not have a cell phone.  Bruce called me at my parents’ house, in Dubuque, IA, on Christmas Eve, to offer me a job as an Assistant Professor of English Education.  It was the best Christmas present ever.

I have never regretted accepting Bruce’s offer.  It has been an honor to work with a man as intelligent, as principled, and as caring as Bruce.

I have been reminded of this many times over the past fifteen years.

It was September, 2003.  I had requested to meet with Bruce to discuss “a situation.”  I was not sure how he would react to my news, but when I told Bruce that Ken and I were pregnant, he smiled and told me that I had just made his week.  In that moment, I felt less afraid, less unsure.  It had been a while since any women in the department had had a baby, let alone an untenured faculty member.  I was uncertain what that would mean, but with a warm smile and a gentle hug, Bruce let me know that everything would be okay.

That is one of his many gifts.  Bruce is an active listener and a compassionate leader.  He is ethical and humane.  He is wise and wonderful.

Bruce, you have been a mentor, a colleague, and a friend to me.  Thank you for all of your advice and support over the years.  I will always remember having a cup of coffee with you when you stepped down as English department chair.  When I thanked you for hiring me, you said, “It was one of the best decisions I made as chair.”  I will treasure these words for the rest of my career, as I will treasure you, Bruce.  I wish you every happiness in the years ahead.  Enjoy retirement.

Three department chairs: Louann Reid, Bruce Ronda, and Pattie Cowell

From Assistant Professor Todd Mitchell: Thank you for all your years of service, leadership, and inquiry. You’re a true scholar, and an inspiration to many. May you continue to inspire others to be their better selves in the next chapter in your life. Best wishes.

From Associate Professor Dan Beachy-Quick: One of the things I’ve realized about Bruce, trying to write an anecdote about him, is how the man himself feels immune to anecdote. That is, something about Bruce refuses—for me at least—to fall into a short moment remembered that captures some essence of the man. Instead, when I ponder the gifts Bruce has given me, they seem in their largeness and constancy to escape the confines of the form, and so it only feels apt, at this pivot in career and life, to thank him largely for large generosities. When I was hired at CSU Bruce was chair. Coming from an art school, I realized I had no idea about how academic life actually worked. I think Bruce sensed this, and in the kindest of ways, and in the subtlest of ways, became for me a mentor—and in that mentoring, showed me the importance of long vision and patient listening, of not making a show of oneself but helping others be more seen. On lucky occasions when we could both make time, we’d coffee or a beer, and simply talk—about what each of us working on, of course, but talked in a way beyond research agendas and publishing hopes. Instead, it was (and is) a conversation in which you get a glimpse of the intellect not as a resource but as a life. That’s a mentoring, too—to see what it looks like to be involved in one’s work outside of any other motive than to do the work. It’s a vision of happiness, or so it felt to me, and feels to me still. And I owe Bruce a large debt for the vision.

Bruce at John Calderazzo and Sue Ellen Campbell’s retirement ceremony one year ago

From Graduate Programs Assistant Marnie Leonard: Bruce Ronda is an exemplary scholar, a supportive leader, and a pleasure to work with.  These descriptions are deceptively simple, yet each encapsulates a wealth of experience and insight and each engenders confidence and trust. Bruce’s contributions to the Department of English and to the College of Liberal Arts have helped make our part of CSU the best place to be.

From Professor Barb Sebek: Bruce has been a supportive colleague and good friend since I first came to CSU in 1995.  At several crucial moments in my career, he provided much needed professional insight and encouragement.  I admire his commitment to producing fine literary and cultural scholarship while also fulfilling the many duties of department chair and associate dean in the CLA.  In addition to serving together on various MA projects, faculty searches, and departmental and college committees, I’ve borrowed from his syllabus and assignments for the graduate literary research methods course and benefited from his teaching advice on countless occasions.  It’s hard to trace the influence of a colleague that has been so pervasive and so reliable.  Beyond department life, Bruce has provided many happy occasions over the years for making music together—from Purcell, Mozart, and Puccini to Gershwin, Woody Guthrie, and Hank Williams.  Bruce’s great talent on piano and strings is matched by his knack for organization to keep his fellow musicians on task—binders and folders with song lists and lyrics, and, on some occasions, exquisite martinis to ensure a warmed up and appreciative audience.  I will really miss Bruce at CSU, but look forward to more musical adventures ahead!

Bruce in front of the fully remodeled Eddy Hall

From Instructor (Senior Teaching Appointment) James Roller: Professor Ronda was inspiring to me during my graduate studies in a spectrum of ways. His depth and breadth of knowledge in American Studies, his gentle guidance and academic patience, his enthusiasm for the growth of his students, and his continuing curiosity for his subject were at once mystifying and encouraging. He impressed upon his advisees that a world of fascination awaited discovery in every text and every new anecdote that lay beneath the leaves of literature and history. My favorite memory of Bruce Ronda spoke of his unparalleled work ethic. As I was finishing my master’s thesis, I recall sending Bruce a draft of some 120 pages of written research, only to be amazed when he returned it to me the very next day with comments on nearly every page! He is a model academic who teaches by example and shows us all what is possible with a lifetime of dedicated service to the academy.

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Poudre River, image by Jill Salahub

Click image for larger view

 

We’re Hiring!

 

CLC is looking for interns!

Internship with the Community Literacy Center (CLC)

Job Description:  The intern (junior, senior or grad student) will work with the Community Literacy Center faculty to design a set of literacy research and outreach projects.  Projects might include one or more of the following:

  • working with a faculty mentor to pilot community literacy programming such as creative writing mini-classes, workplace writing mentorships, or literacy tutoring experiences;
  • investigating current policy on a national and regional level in order to understand the politics of funding public education;
  • developing training materials for community-based literacy partnerships;
  • researching and writing grant proposals;
  • working directly with a community partner in order to understand a research question (e.g. what is the relationship between socio-economics and an extracurricular book club?);
  • researching and building the CLC webpage;
  • planning and facilitating a local literacy event (readings, workshops, etc.);

developing assessment tools in order to measure how literacy skills are advanced by a particular classroom approach or set of materials;

  • working with a mentor in the CLC office to gain experience with literacy program administration;
  • designing a research study and collecting primary data on existing literacy outreach programs; or
  • an alternative project designed by you.

Interns manage one community literacy workshop (weekly, 1.5 hours) and are responsible for transcribing writing, encouraging writers with written feedback, and managing a small team of volunteers.

Credit:  Interns can earn up to 6 credits for their work.

The application for an internship is online at https://csuclc.wordpress.com/intern-resources/.  Please apply by May 5.

All independent internships must be approved by the English Department’s Internship Coordinator, Cassie.Eddington@colostate.edu.

Additional opportunity:  If you are interested in volunteer work with the CLC, go to https://csuclc.wordpress.com/intern-resources/ for more information.

 

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We’re coming to the end of National Poetry Month. It has been a challenge to limit ourselves to just a month’s worth of influential poets and poetic forms, while including space for CSU’s own poets. We’ve barely brushed the surface. If we’ve learned anything this month, it would be that poetry is a powerful magic, a potent medicine, and poets are the ones we look to when “she cannot find the words/for the nothing in her center.”

One of our favorite poets, Camille Dungy, reading some of her poetry.

One of our favorite poets, Camille Dungy, reading some of her poetry.

To end our spotlight this month, we are featuring the fourth of our CSU English faculty poets, Camille Dungy. We remain excited about the recent release of her new collection of poetry, Trophic Cascade, (March 2017). “Dungy writes about the world in which we must all survive in a time of massive environmental degradation, violence, and abuse of power.” Earlier this week, Poetry Daily featured her title poem, Trophic Cascade, a powerful piece that compares the change that happened to the ecosystem in Yellowstone after the reintroduction of the gray wolf to the personal transformation that took place for the poet once she became a mother, “After which, nothing was ever the same.” This single poem does what the rest of the collection does so well — telling beautiful and sometimes brutal stories of life, embodying both the personal and the natural world in a single unified narrative.

We recently featured Dungy on the blog during Women’s History Month. There’s also a profile we did when she first arrived at CSU. Rather than repeat ourselves, we decided this time to ask the poet herself to speak for herself about poetry and this new collection.

Can you tell us just a little about Trophic Cascade and your inspiration for this collection of poetry?

It’s often hard to summarize a book of poetry. Here’s what we say about the book on the book: “In this fourth book in a series of award-winning survival narratives, Dungy writes positioned at a fulcrum, bringing a new life into the world even as her elders are passing on. In a time of massive environmental degradation, violence and abuse of power, a world in which we all must survive, these poems resonate within and beyond the scope of the human realms, delicately balancing between conflicting loci of attention. Dwelling between vibrancy and its opposite, Dungy writes in a single poem about a mother, a daughter, Smokin’ Joe Frazier, brittle stars, giant boulders, and a dead blue whale. These poems are written in the face of despair to hold an impossible love and a commitment to hope.”

In terms of the inspiration for writing the book, I was beginning to write new poems in a moment when I was bringing a new life into this world. But I also happened to be losing loved ones, to old age and illness, but also (if I think more proudly about what and who I love) to environmental degradation, domestic and global violence, and more. Thinking about regeneration (oh joy!) in the midst of peril (oh no!) moved my writing in a particular direction, and eventually I produced the poems you’ll read in this book.

Since it’s National Poetry month, what is your favorite poetry collection? Or favorite poem?

I always have a hard time answering this question. I’m a poet and a professor of poetry. This means I read for a living and I read for pleasure. There is just no way I can narrow things down to one favorite. Because I know that this question is meant to help readers discover poetry they might love, I can give a list of five books I find myself returning to again and again.

The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton (1965-2000). Boa Editions.
The Apple Trees at Olema, Robert Hass. (Ecco)
Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, Ross Gay (Pittshburg UP)
Citizen, Claudia Rankine (Graywolf Press)
The Verging Cities, Natalie Scenters-Zapico (Center for Literary Publishing)

Why do you think poetry is so important?

The great poet Audre Lorde says, in her essay “Poetry is Not a Luxury”: “Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought.” I agree. Poetry is a path toward empathy. Poetry is a path toward a deep brand of knowledge. Poetry is a means toward inscribing beauty on a broken world. Poetry is a register of life. I could go on…

In one sentence, what advice would you give a student who is an aspiring poet?

Read more poetry.

 

And that seems like the perfect thing to leave you with at the end of this month of celebration. Consider this your charge for not just the next month but for the next 365 days: Read more poetry. (And if you need any recommendations, just ask us).

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What brought you to CSU?

When my kids were little, I worked online through Johns Hopkins University, but then at a certain point, I wanted to get back into the face-to-face classroom, so I worked at Front Range Community College a couple of years until a spot opened up at CSU – and I was hired!

What made you want to stay?

I love the CSU community, I love the variety of courses I teach, and I appreciate the camaraderie and support of my department.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I love working one-on-one with students, so I conference with them a lot about their papers.  I get to know them as individuals that way.

Why are the Humanities important?

So many reasons!! Honing critical thinking skills, putting current life/events in the context of history and other cultures, learning to communicate well in both speech and writing…I could go on and on.

What inspired you to pursue a degree in English, the Humanities?

I’ve loved reading and creative writing since I was little – two things we do a lot of in this area of study!

What special project are you working on right now?

I am going to writing conference in Montana this summer, and I am working on putting some pieces together for that.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

Pretty sure I thought I would be the female John Denver.  I had glasses like his and liked to sing.

What moment in the classroom stands out to you as most memorable?

My favorite moments are those when I reach students who never thought they could write or make it through the course – and they do, and they do well.  It’s very rewarding.

What is your favorite thing to teach? Or your favorite thing about teaching?

Same as above – working one-on-one and the underdogs.

What advice would you give to a student taking a class in the English department?

Don’t let yourself get too far behind, and go in to see your professors earlier rather than later.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

It’s okay to let go.

What’s your favorite word?

“Blossom” and “blessing”– as in the James Wright poem “A Blessing”: “Suddenly I realize/that if I stepped out of my body I would break/into blossom.”

What are you currently reading?

The Book of Joy (conversations with Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama); The Excellent Lombards (Jane Hamilton).

What don’t your colleagues know about you?

How much I enjoy watching competitive cycling.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Receiving my MFA in poetry and reading from my thesis in front of a much larger than expected crowd at the Spokane City Council Chambers – and my knees didn’t buckle!

When you’re not working, what do you do?

Write, run, read, walk my dog, hike, xc ski, laugh with my kids, visit with friends, bake.

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As National Poetry Month comes to a close, we’ll spend the final days focusing close to home, on our very own English department poets — Matthew Cooperman, Sasha Steensen, Dan Beachy-Quick, and Camille Dungy.

Professor Sasha Steensen has published numerous chapbooks and full-length poetry collections, including correspondence (a collaborative work she completed with Gordon Hadfield in 2004), A Magic Book (2004), The Future of an Illusion (2008), The Method (2008), A History of the Human Family (2010), Waters: A Lenten Poem (2012), and most recently, House of Deer (2014). She has also written and published a number of essays and reviews.

April 2014: “My mother is on the cover. I was about 2 years old when the photo was taken. She is in our garden in Ohio, where we were back-to-the-landers. The book is about that experiment, as well as the larger experiment of family, so it seemed fitting to feature her on the cover.”

A Magic Book received the Alberta duPont Bonsal Prize.

In addition to teaching poetry and literature courses at CSU, Steensen also serves as co-poetry editor for the Colorado Review.

This Steensen poem from 2008, “Parchment, Please,” originally appeared in The Method: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/55599

Check out Steensen’s faculty profile for more.

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English Department Communications Internship
Number of positions: TBD
Internship term: Fall 2017 Semester, 15 weeks, August 21 – December 8, 2017
Total credits: 2 (optional)
Hours: 80 hours (40 per credit hour), approximately 5 per week
Stipend: $500
Application Deadline: Monday May 8 by 5:00 p.m.

 

The English Department is looking for engaged, self-motivated, responsible, creative, and enthusiastic CSU students, undergraduate or graduate, with good communication and writing skills to help tell the story of the English Department. The interns in this position will help facilitate communication and community with students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the English Department.

Interns will spend most of their time researching, interviewing, attending events, writing, and developing content — both for print and online.  A major responsibility of this internship will be creating content for the department’s blog, http://english.colostate.edu/blog/. Interns will work directly with the English department’s Communications Coordinator to meet departmental communication needs and complete various content development projects as assigned, including but not limited to creating profiles of people (alumni, faculty & staff, students), programs and projects; conducting interviews; providing event coverage (which would include attendance and photos, along with other modes of recording where relevant); and reporting departmental news and upcoming events.

For these internship positions, some prior reporting or blogging experience and/or education is preferred, as well as an understanding of principles for writing for the web and strong communication skills, both in person and in text. We also prefer applicants who are familiar with the English Department, its programs, people, and events – and who are willing to learn more. Content will be developed in various modes, and therefore skill with technologies such as sound recording and photography, as well as image and sound editing experience is preferred. We are also looking for interns with good people skills, the ability to participate in effective verbal and written exchanges, understanding that as they attend events and conduct interviews and such, they are acting as a “goodwill ambassador” for the department.

Applicants should email or hand deliver to the English Department main office the following: a cover letter, résumé, contact information for three references (phone and email), and three writing samples (plus multimedia samples, if applicable) by the application deadline to:

English Department
c/o Jill Salahub: Communications Coordinator
Jill.Salahub@colostate.edu
359 Willard O. Eddy Hall
1773 Campus Delivery
Ft. Collins, CO 80523-1773

As National Poetry Month comes to a close, we’ll spend the final days focusing close to home, on our very own English department poets — Matthew Cooperman, Sasha Steensen, Dan Beachy-Quick, and Camille Dungy.

Poet, professor and essayist Dan Beachy-Quick is next up for our local poets. He is an Associate Professor from CSU’s own English department.

Born in Chicago, he was raised in both Colorado and upstate New York. After graduating with a BA in English from the University of Denver, Beachy-Quick received his MFA from the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop in 2000.

Since graduating, Beachy-Quick has both written his own poetry and taught others about the craft. Before teaching at CSU, he taught at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The Poetry Foundation explains that his poetry “draws its material from a wide range of sources” and “is often united by a focused engagement with the fabric of sound and the pattern of echoes.”

He has published five books of poetry, including Circle’s Apprentice (2011), North True South Bright (2003), Spell (2004), Mulberry (2006), and This Nest, Swift Passerine (2009).

This Nest, Swift Passerine was a finalist for three awards in 2010: the Colorado Book Award in Poetry, the William Carlos Williams Award, and the PEN USA Literary Award in poetry. The collection Circle’s Apprentice won the 2011 Colorado Prize in Poetry and it was named Notable Book of 2011 by the Academy of American Poets.

Publisher’s Weekly described Beachy-Quick as “a supple and well-read poet with a fine ear” and explains that he has “long studied–some might even say he has been obsessed with–Moby Dick.” It’s not surprising that this essay collection in 2008 titled A Whaler’s Dictionary builds off the journeys of Melville’s Ahab and Ishmael.

Beachy-Quick’s reach extends beyond the CSU English department. This year, he was awarded a Research Fellow from the Global Environmental Sustainability at CSU. He is the principal investigator for the Crisis and Creativity Global Challenges Research Team here at CSU. Beachy-Quick’s research team “represents a unique, trans-disciplinary collaboration between the natural sciences and the humanities that will address the increasing threat that specific loss poses to global environmental sustainability.” Read SOURCE’s article to learn more about his team and the other fellows.

Video: Dan Beachy-Quick, Live Your Passion at Colorado State University College of Liberal Arts

 

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As National Poetry Month comes to a close, we’d like to spend the final days focusing close to home, on our very own English department poets — Matthew Cooperman, Sasha Steensen, Dan Beachy-Quick, and Camille Dungy.

CSU professor Matthew Cooperman is the author of four chapbooks and five full-length books of poetry, including A Sacrificial Zinc (2001), DaZE (2006), Still: Of the Earth as the Ark which Does Not Move (2011), Imago for the Fallen World (2013), and his most recent, Spool (2015), which won the New Measure Prize.

Professor Cooperman did his undergraduate work at Colgate University in New York. He then went on to receive a master’s degree from the University of Colorado and a Ph.D. from Ohio University.

His work has received the Jovanovich Prize from the University of Colorado, the Utah Wilderness Society Prize, an Academy of American Poets INTRO Award, the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize, the O. Marvin Lewis Award, and the Pavement Saw Chapbook Prize, among other honors.

In addition to teaching literature and poetry courses at Colorado State University, Cooperman is a founding editor of the literary journal Quarter After Eight and a co-poetry editor for the Colorado Review.

You can check out some of Matthew Cooperman’s poetry on his website. You also might want to read his recent faculty profile.

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The English department and friends recently gathered to celebrate and honor our amazing students. These students hold a total of 169 University and departmental scholarships and 6 literary awards for the 2016-2017 academic year. In addition, the English Department selected 13 winners of the Creative and Performing Arts Awards.

English graduate students who earned distinction on their Final Project, Portfolio or Thesis, presented by Debby Thompson.

  • For Distinction in Rhetoric & Composition on the Final Project: Laura Price Hall (Summer 2016) (unable to attend)
  • For Distinction on Thesis – Poetry: Kylan Rice
  • For Distinction on Thesis- Creative Nonfiction: Susan Harness (unable to attend) and Morgan Riedl 
  • For Distinction in TESL/TEFL Final Project: Jennifer Stetson- Strange

Left to right: Morgan Riedl, Jennifer Stetson-Strange, and Debby Thompson

Zambia Community Education and Health Scholarship, presented by Cindy O’Donnell-Allen to Veronica Sawyer.

This scholarship helps lessen the financial burden for a CSU English student accepted into the Zambia Education Abroad Program. Students in this service-learning program spend part of their summer in Livingstone, Zambia focus on Community Education and Public Health projects; they teach subjects like English, Math and Science or work supporting public health project in clinics & neighborhoods in the surrounding communities.

This award is given to a full or part-time, sophomore, junior or senior undergraduate in the College of Liberal Arts majoring in English accepted into the Zambia Education Abroad Program with an overall 2.5 GPA and a 3.0 GPA in their major.

Cindy O’Donnell-Allen and Veronica Sawyer

Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society certificates, presented by Dan Beachy-Quick. Members must be English majors with an overall GPA of 3.0 as well as a 3.0 in English courses. They must have completed at least 3 semesters of college coursework and at least 2 – 300 level English courses. Membership includes access to numerous scholarships, fellowships, publications, and job opportunities, in addition to university involvement.  Membership was awarded to Alex Keenan, Geneva McCarthy, Scott Miller, Krissa Nixson, Natalie Pace, and Emma Vola.

Left to right: Dan Beachy-Quick, Geneve McCarthy, and Scott Miller

Undergraduate Awards for the Creative & Performing Arts Scholarship Awards in Creative Writing, presented by Dan Beachy-Quick. 

  • FICTIONAlyssa Meier, 1st place for her story “Canary in the Mine,” Philip Wiley 2nd place for his story “The Narrator,” and Lauren Hallstrom – 3rd Place for her story “Snapshots During a Power Outage.”
  • CREATIVE NONFICTION – 1st Tier Anna LaForge, for her story “Butterfly,” Scott Miller, for his story “The Marmot on the Rocks, or Deep Time”
  • CREATIVE NONFICTION – 2nd Tier Hilary Elizabeth Pearce, for her story “My Bathroom is Full of Dead Spiders,” Geneva McCarthy, for her story “Distance to the Sun”
  • POETRY – 1st Tier: Angela Natrasevschi:  “Luna Agate,” “Transient,” “Suspended Landing,” “Provenance of Natrasevschi,” “Solarium” (unable to attend), and Rachel Telljohn: “Comeback Machine,” “Can’t Get Back,” “Snow in Therapist’s Office,” “Cochise County, Gardens of Rest,” and Geneva McCarthy:  “Poem in Air,” “Under Glass,” “Charting,” “Worms Do Work Inside,” “Elegy”
  • POETRY – 2nd  Tier Hannah Armfield: “Our Emily Dickinson,” “edge,” “The Laundry’s Mistress,” “fragmentation,” “passing dearborn, mi” (unable to attend), Anonymous: “and the prophet dripped…,” “Van Gogh’s Lover,, “New York Girl,” “the sluggish vitreous…,” Seth Bodine: “Divinity is a New Pair of Shoes,” “Galaxies,” “Airports,” “Funeral Speak,” “Mind Closet”

Left to right: Dan Beachy-Quick, Lauren Hallstrom, Alyssa Meier, Anna LaForge, Scott Miller, Hilary Elizabeth Pearce, Geneva McCarthy, Rachel Telljohn, Seth Bodine

MFA Awards – AWP Intro Journals Project for Fiction, Poetry and Nonfiction, presented by Dan Beachy-Quick.

  • Poetry nominees: Cole Konopka, David Mucklow & Kelly Weber
  • Fiction nominee:  Ben Greenlee
  • Creative Nonfiction nominee: Dana Chellman won for her essay “How to Get to Heaven from Colorado” and will be published in Iron Horse Literary Review.

Left to right: Kelly Weber, Dan Beachy-Quick, and David Mucklow

Academy of American Poets Prize, presented by Dan Beachy-Quick.

  • 1st Place: Cedar Brant
  • Honorable Mention: Sam Killmeyer

Cedar Brant and Dan Beachy-Quick

Next we recognized the 18 students winning department awards in 14 categories for the 2017-2018 academic year. Recipients of department awards received a certificate, inscription on the departmental perpetual plaque, and scholarship or fellowship funding.

The Tremblay-Crow Creative Writing Fellowships alternate between MFA students in fiction and poetry, presented by Dan Beachy-Quick.

  • The poetry recipient for Fall 2016 is Kristin Macintyre.
  • The fiction recipient for Fall 2017 will receive their award in Spring 2018. 

Kristin Macintyre and Dan Beachy-Quick

The Sarah Sandra Collins Creative Writing Memorial Scholarship, presented by Dan Beachy-Quick, given to Rachel Telljohn.

Sarah Sandra Collins attended Colorado State University in 1970 and 1971. She discontinued her studies in Psychology and English to become a CSU police officer, due to lack of funds and a desire to help people.  Sarah was a profoundly honest and courageous person with great loyalty and generosity towards those she loved. Undaunted by difficult decisions in her work or personal life, she sometimes found herself enmeshed in controversy…an African American poetry writing police sergeant who converted to Orthodox Judaism in her thirties. She wrote poetry and short stories, serious and whimsical, throughout her life. The purpose of this Scholarship is to provide financial assistance for a CSU full-time undergraduate student and encouragement for the lifelong pursuit of creative writing.

Criteria: 1) Junior or Senior  full-time undergraduate student 2) In financial need 3) Enrolled in any major and previously or currently, in a creative writing course 3) A role model of character, integrity, courage, self and social responsibility, appreciation and respect for diverse people, ideas, talents, abilities, and cultures as evident from the writing samples and personal statement submitted with the scholarship application; and 4) An exceptionally talented writer in the genre of poetry, drama, fiction, or nonfiction essay as demonstrated in the written materials submitted with the scholarship application.

Dan Beachy-Quick and Rachel Telljohn

The Community Engagement Scholarship is awarded to full-time undergraduate or graduate students who are majoring in English with a demonstrated interest in Community Service Activities. It was established by Pattie Cowell, former chair of the English department and of the Women’s Studies Interdisciplinary Program, and her partner Sheryl Pomering, whose career included education and counseling for children and women in Fort Collins and Larimer County. There are two recipients of this scholarship.

Aparna Gollapudi presented the first award to Lauren Hallstrom.

Aparna Gollapudi and Lauren Hallstrom

Airica Parker presented the second award to last year’s recipient Jarion Hamm, Jr.

Airica Parker and Jarion Hamm, Jr.

The Karyn L. Evans Scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students in memory of Karyn L. Evans and created through a gift from her estate. Three of the four recipients were at the ceremony. Tara Tolar-Payne was unable to attend.

Kristina Quynn introduced the first two recipients, Emma Kerr and Aleah Harris.

Kristina Quynn and Emma Kerr

Kristina Quynn and Aleah Harris

Cedar Brant introduced the third recipient, Hannah Heath.

Cedar Brant and Hannah Heath

Diane Keating Woodcox and Larry G. Woodcox Scholarship. Endowed by an alumna of the English department, this scholarship is awarded to a full-time junior or senior undergraduate major with an overall minimum 2.5 GPA. The student must have held gainful employment or have participated in a paid or unpaid internship and exhibit exceptional focus and determination as a student. Preference is given to a graduate of a Colorado high school.   

Aparna Gollapudi presented the award to Natalie Choules.

Aparna Gollapudi and Natalie Choules

English Faculty/Staff Graduate Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to an outstanding graduate student enrolled in any program in English with a good academic standing and with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 and demonstrated financial need.

Jenny Levin presented the award to Kathryn Haggstrom.

Jenny Levin and Katie Haggstrom

The Donna Weyrick Memorial Scholarship honors the memory of Donna Weyrick, a 1962 graduate of the Department of English.  These endowed scholarships for undergraduates are made possible by contributions from the Weyrick family and friends.

Sharon Grindle presented the award to Hilary Pearce.

Sharon Grindle and Hilary Pearce

The Judith A. Dean Memorial Scholarship was created in memory of Judith A. Dean, a graduate in the master’s program in the Department of English, and prominent professional in the English teaching field and the organizations that support it.  Judith Dean earned an MAT at Colorado State in 1978 and taught at high schools in Colorado, Idaho, and New Mexico.  She served two terms as President of the Colorado Language Arts Society, and several years on the Society’s executive committee—strong measures of her prominence in public education in Colorado.

Aparna Gollapudi presented the award to Sara Graydon.

Aparna Gollapudi and Sara Graydon

The Smith-Schamberger Literature Fellowship is given to a new or returning full or part-time graduate student in the MA literature program.

Paul Trembath presented the award to James Rankin.

Paul Trembath and James Rankin

The TESL/TEFL Scholarship is funded by the INTO CSU English Language Program. It is awarded to an outstanding student in the TESL/TEFL graduate program.  

Nancy presented the award to Alireza Poordastmalchi, who also recieved the Ann Osborn Zimdahl Memorial Scholarship, awarded in memory of Ann Osborn Zimdahl, a 1981 graduate of the CSU M.A. TESL/TEFL program. Ann taught in the Intensive English Program and contributed to the international community of the University and Fort Collins. Her career also extended overseas where she held several different teaching appointments. Ann was strongly committed to cross-cultural understanding and enthusiastically shared her love of new cultures with her students both here and abroad. There were two recipients.

Nancy presented the award to first recipient Alireza Poordastmalchi. This particular award is given to an outstanding graduate student in the TESL/TEFL program who is committed to international education and language teaching, in support of the second year of study.

Nancy Berry and Alireza Poordastmalchi, who was the recipient of two scholarships

Sasha Steensen introduced the second recipient of the award, this time for an outstanding graduate student in any program in English, Kelly Weber.

Kelly Weber and Sasha Steensen

Cross-Cultural Understanding Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding graduate student who has demonstrated a commitment to international/cross-cultural issues and education.

Gerry Delahunty presented the award to Tiffany Akers.

Gerry Delahunty and Tiffany Akers

Tiffany Akers also received the the James J. Garvey Graduate English Language Scholarship, given in memory of Professor James Garvey, is presented annually to a graduate student who is enrolled in the second semester or beyond of the TESL/TEFL graduate program or is a student in the Rhetoric and Composition or English Education graduate programs, and who has shown a strong interest in advanced language study.  Recipients of this award may be first-generation students.

Again, Gerry Delahunty presented the award to Tiffany Akers.

Gerry Delahunty and Tiffany Akers

The James J. Garvey Undergraduate English Language Scholarship, also given in memory of Professor James Garvey, is presented annually to an undergraduate student who has a documented interest and coursework in the study of the English language. Recipients of this award also demonstrate a commitment to diversity in education, and may be first-generation students.

Gerry Delahunty presented the award to Anna LaForge.

Gerry Delahunty and Anna LaForge

The last set of awards were for outstanding writing in two categories at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Debby Thompson presented The Outstanding Literary Essays Awards to six students, 3 each at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Graduate

  • 1st Place:  James Rankin, “Beyond the Anthropocentric: An Ethological Approach to the Tusk That Did the Damage”
  •  2nd Place: Cedar Brant “’The landscape crossed out with a pen, reappears here’: A comparative look at the excavation and recreation of histories in the poetry of Derek Walcott and Ocean Vuong”
  • 3rd Place: Cherie Nelson, “Possessing the Scales: Complications of Sin and Justice in Measure for Measure”

Left to right: Debby Thompson, Cheri Nelson, Cedar Brant, and James Rankin

Undergraduate

  • 1st Place: Charlotte Conway “Erotic Violence and Female Subjectivity in the Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale and Fifty Shades of Grey”  
  • 2nd Place: Danny Bishop, Talking in Circles: The Catatonic Hero in Infinite Jest and the Postironic Novel”
  • 3rd place: Brianna Johnson, “Hamlet and Modern Ear: The Importance of Understanding Classical References”

Left to right: Debby Thompson, Brianna Johnson, Danny Bishop, and Charlotte Conway

Outstanding Writing Award in Composition, Rhetoric, and Literacy recognizes outstanding writing and research in composition, rhetoric, and/or literacy studiesThis award is intended to recognize innovative ideas, critical thinking, and stellar communication in the broad area of writing studies. Multimodal and print submissions are welcomed. Awards of $100 for first place and $50 for second place are given at both the graduate and undergraduate level.

Doug Cloud presented these awards to the recipients.

  • 1st Place: Undergraduate: Sydnie Louderback, Title: “Rams Bleed Emerald and Gold”
  • 2nd Place: Undergraduate: Nicole Miller, Title: “How to Create A Viral Political Picture Meme”

Sydnie Louderback

  • 1st Place: Graduate: Kelly Martin, Title: “Twactivism: An Investigations of Activism on Twitter”
  • 2nd Place: Graduate: Kira Marshall-McKelvey, Title: “Girl Talk: Gender Performance and Online Identity on YouTube

Doug Cloud, Kira Marshall-McKelvey, and Kelly Martin

Department Chair Louann Reid closed the ceremony saying, “Thank you to all participants, faculty, scholarship committee, donors, and office staff. I want to recognize especially three people: Sheila Dargon who supported the scholarship committee and arranged this reception, Jill Salahub for taking pictures, and Marnie Leonard for the creative centerpieces!” and inviting attendees to stick around, chat and eat more food.

Some of the crowd

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Maybe we are biased, but we have some of the best alumni. They are a diverse group of amazing humans doing interesting and important work in the world. We miss them after they are gone, and love nothing more than to brag about them, to share with you all the good stuff they are doing. When thinking about poetry, there are two alumna in particular that come immediately to mind: Chloe’ Leisure (MFA Creative Writing: Poetry, Spring 2006), and Felicia Zamora (MFA Creative Writing: Poetry, 2012).

Chloe’ Leisure was born and raised in Marquette, Michigan. She teaches community and elementary enrichment creative writing classes in Fort Collins, Colorado. She is the author of the chapbook, The End of the World Again (2015), and her poetry has appeared in publications including Fort Collins Courier, Matter, PANK, Paterson Literary Review, A Poetic Inventory of Rocky Mountain National Park, and Permafrost. She received her MFA from CSU and was the 2014 Fort Collins Poet Laureate.

 

A few more interesting things about and from Chloe’:

 

Felicia Zamora’s bio on her website says, “Felicia Zamora’s books include Of Form & Gather, winner of the 2016 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize (University of Notre Dame Press 2017), & in Open, Marvel (Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press), and Instrument of Gaps (Slope Editions). She won the 2015 Tomaž Šalamun Prize from Verse, and authored the chapbooks Imbibe {et alia} here (2016) and Moby-Dick Made Me Do It (2010). Of Form & Gather was listed as one of the “9 Outstanding Latino Books Recently Published by Independent and University Presses” by NBC News… She is an associate poetry editor for the Colorado Review and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Colorado State University. She lives in Colorado with her partner, Chris, and their three dogs, Howser, Lorca, and Sherlock.”

A recent update from Felicia shared that her manuscript Galaxy Inside Your Inadequately Small Heart was selected as a finalist in the 2017 Alice James Award and the 2017 Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for Poetry. Her poem “In all the pretty roam” was featured on Zòcalo Public Square on Friday, March 17 and her poem “Virgule” was selected by The Georgia Review for publication. Zamora read her poetry for the AKO Collective’s Day Without A Woman recognition event on March 8.

A few more interesting things about and from Felicia:

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