Geese hanging out on the Ingersoll Hall lawn.

Geese hanging out on the Ingersoll Hall lawn.

  • The Boston Review, during National Poetry month, will be featuring an essay on their website earlier presented by Dan Beachy-Quick at University of Louisville for the Wittreich Lecture: “Poetic Geometries: Moby-Dick as Primer to Creative Crisis.”
  • Antero Garcia recently co-authored an article in Teachers College Record titled, “‘So We Have to Teach Them or What?’: Introducing Preservice Teachers to the Figured Worlds of Urban Youth Through Digital Conversation.” (available here: Antero did a video interview describing the research that can be viewed here:
  • Antero Garcia also co-authored another recent publication in Reading & Writing Quarterly titled “The Council of Youth Research: Critical Literacy and Civic Agency in the Digital Age.” (available here:
  • Antero Garcia is featured in the latest Deloitte Review issue on “Digital Education 2.0” (available here:
  • Mandi Casolo’s “The Promise of Too Much Happiness: Alice Munro’s Undertaking of Contemporary Feminist Concerns in Literary Narrative” has been accepted by the North American Review Bicentennial Creative Writing & Literature Conference taking place on June 11th-13th in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and will feature keynote speakers Steven Schwartz, Patricia Hampl, and Martín Espada.
  • Samantha Tucker Iocovetto, 2014 graduate of the MA program in Creative Nonfiction, has a new essay, “Kitchen Remodel,” posted on Guernica. It can be viewed here:

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From Jill Salahub, English Department Communications Coordinator: “I am so happy to introduce the English Department’s Communications Interns for Spring 2015, Marina Miller and Kara Nosal. Just like the position description stated, these two are creative and enthusiastic CSU students with good communication and writing skills who are going to help us tell the story of the English Department. Some of the projects they are currently working on: profiles of faculty and students and alumni, a department history, articles about this semester’s reading and speaker series, and continuing our Humans of Eddy project (even as those Humans are temporarily out of Eddy). I can’t wait to see what this dynamic duo creates.”

From intern Marina Miller: “My name is Marina Miller, I am 22 years old and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Since junior year of high school I wanted to be a lawyer, so every decision I have made since then, including becoming an English major has been in pursuit of that goal. However, since starting my own blog and taking as many writing courses as I have, I realized that writing is truly what gets me through the day and has helped me discover who I am. When I write I put my heart on the paper and hope that I inspire someone out there to do the same.

In my spare time I enjoy baking, shopping and attempting DIY projects. I have a white cat named Ninja and an absolute love for shoes, pink and glitter. I am very excited to begin work for the CSU English department blog.”

From intern Kara Nosal: “Kara Nosal is a Senior at CSU, majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Outside of class, you may find her tending to her houseplant collection, cooking, or dancing. Her favorite keyboard symbol (aside from the ever-popular ampersand) is the exclamation point. Yeah!”

Welcome, Marina and Kara!

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Scholarships Available

Apply: December 1, 2014 — March 1, 2015

For Undergraduate Students

  • Community Engagement Scholarship*
  • Donna Weyrick Memorial Scholarship*
  • Alfred R. Westfall Memorial Scholarship
  • Hixon Family Scholarship*
  • James J. Garvey Undergraduate English Language Scholarship*
  • John and Pat Venable CSUWA Scholarship
  • Judith A. Dean Memorial English Scholarship
  • Karyn L. Evans Memorial Scholarship
  • Page Jones Richards Palmquist Families Scholarship


For Graduate Students

  • Ann O. Zimdahl Memorial Scholarship
  • Cross-Cultural Understanding Scholarship
  • English Faculty/Staff Graduate Scholarship
  • James J. Garvey Graduate English Language Scholarship*
  • Page Jones Richards Palmquist Families Scholarship
  • Smith-Schamberger Literature Fellowship
  • TESL/TEFL Scholarship
  • Tremblay-Crow Creative Writing Fellowship


*Please note that these scholarships have supplemental questions which require additional information beyond the general scholarship application.

Apply Online

The application for all scholarships in the English department is online at Sign in using your eID and select the CSU Scholarship Application link.

March 1 Deadline

Students may start the application process beginning December 1, 2014. All application materials are due by 11 p.m. on March 1, 2015.

Learn More

Visit to learn more about the application process. Be sure to check the main CLA Dean’s Office Scholarships list as well as the English department scholarships list for all available scholarships. E-mail questions to Sheila Dargon at Sheila.Dargon@Colostate.Edu.


Construction progress on the main entrance of Eddy Hall

Construction progress on the main entrance of Eddy Hall

  • John Calderazzo did a talk/workshop on January 14 to the staff and field workers of the National Wildlife Research Center on using story-telling to communicate science to the public.
  • Doug Cloud’s journal article, “The Social Consequences of Dissociation: Lessons from the Same-Sex Marriage Debate” is now out in ‘Argumentation and Advocacy,’ a publication of the American Forensic Association.
  • Camille Dungy has been named as one of 10 young American poets changing the face of poetry, On a side note, one of the others on the list visited Camille’s class via Skype last semester.
  • Over winter break, Todd Mitchell performed readings and presented sessions on creative writing at Antioch University in Los Angeles and at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts on Whidbey Island, Washington.
  • Kristin George Bagdanov’s poem “Resurrection Body” was accepted for publication in The Cincinnati Review.
  • A review Meagan Wilson wrote of Emily Skillings’s book of poems, Backchannel, was just published in Heavy Feather Review. It’s in the Reviews section of
  • Mandy Rose has a creative nonfiction piece, titled Five,  published in Alyss. The essay can be found here:

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Steven Church
MFA, Creative Writing, 2002

image by Jocelyn Mettler

image by Jocelyn Mettler

You were recently named the Hallowell Professor of Creative Writing, effective fall 2014 to spring 2016. Could you tell us a bit more about that?

The Hallowell Professorship is funded by the generous contributions of a local family here in Fresno and designated to retain and support accomplished faculty in creative writing. It provides me with a course release each semester, which gives me some much-needed time to write.


Your latest book, a collection of essays entitled Ultrasonic, was released December 2014. How would you describe the book to potential readers?

That’s always such a hard question for me to answer. Here’s something I wrote about it before:

Ultrasonic is a collection of linked essays that explore how sound can be used to search for deeper meaning beneath the surface of everyday life. Delving into questions of identity, family, fear, loss, and the politics of space, the book becomes an idiosyncratic exploration of identity amidst the cultural noise of contemporary life in America. Each chapter operates both as an independent essay and as an echo chamber for larger ideas, and it gazes at our human predicament through such varied lenses as trapped miners, stethoscopes, racquetball, language, loitering, violence, Elvis, and the music of torture. Weaving narrative and thematic threads into a richly layered collage-like tapestry, Ultrasonic functions as a sound map of my consciousness and as a lyrical memoir of fatherhood.


How would you describe your writing process? Any particular rituals or magic involved?

No magic or wizards or superstitions, and the process has been slightly different with each book. The common denominators are waking up early, usually by 6 or 6:30 every day, if not earlier, and spending time in front of the page or computer screen. Some people spend 8 hours a day being an accountant or a used car salesman because that’s their job. Writing is one of my jobs, one that pays very little and is full of a lot of rejection and alone-time and bad clothes. But I also love it, which means it never feels like work even if it is a lot of hard work most of the time. I also always have several projects going at once—often three or four essays and at least one or two books—all of which are at different stages of completion, allowing me to bounce between the generative rush of new material and the hard slog of line-editing or the existential crisis of wholesale revision.


What are you currently writing? Reading?

I’m currently working on a couple of other nonfiction projects. The first, a memoir or “very long essay,” will be released next year by Dzanc Books and is focused on the line between human and animal, between civilized and savage, and how those lines are blurred when humans have intimate and violent encounters with apex predators. More specifically it uses the story of David Villalobos, who jumped into a tiger cage at the Bronx zoo in 2012, as a touchstone for exploring the personal, cultural, and historical legacy of people who “jump into the cage” with predators, including human predators. Another project focuses on the human and natural history of Parkfield, California, population 18, the Earthquake Capital of the World. This tiny town in the Cholame Valley is surrounded by more seismic sensing equipment than anywhere else in the country and is a kind of living laboratory for USGS efforts at “capturing” a big quake because this stretch of the San Andreas experiences more frequent large earthquakes that any other stretch of the famous fault-line. It’s also home to a number artists, eccentrics, and entrepreneurs.


You co-founded the acclaimed literary magazine The Normal School (!) and currently serve as a Nonfiction editor for them. What inspired you to do such a thing and how did you make that happen? What advice would you have for anyone wanting to do the same?

The Normal School, which is starting our 8th year of publication, began in Fort Collins, as an offshoot of the post-graduate writing group, The Minions. The founding members of the magazine were all part of the writing group, which was started as way to provide a forum for writer-driven feedback and discussion on work-in-progress, but which evolved into something more, a kind of collective and collaborative creative effort that resulted in “themed” public readings, a collaboration with artists, and even a chapbook publication. When I moved first to Rhode Island and then to Fresno to teach in the MFA program, Matt Roberts moved to Arizona, and Sophie Beck was still living in Denver, so the core of the group scattered. The magazine was a way to continue working together and collaborating creatively. We’d all found great support and inspiration in the collective experience and we didn’t want it to die. We also found a lot of literary magazines didn’t pay a lot of attention to nonfiction and, the three of us having turned to writing primarily essays and reportage-based pieces or criticism, wanted to create a magazine that we’d like to read. The goal from the beginning has always been to create a kind of ongoing conversation about form, genre, style, and the other “norms” of literary publishing. As far as advice goes, I’d suggest learning all you can from Stephanie G’Schwind and then teaming up with Sophie Beck. Honestly, it’s that simple. You can’t find a better teacher of literary publishing than Stephanie. Sophie is equally amazing and The Normal School would not exist, much less be as cool and fun and original, if not for her hard work and dedication. I guess I would also suggest doing a LOT of research first and figuring out how you’re going to get your magazine into the hands of readers BEFORE you decided to print your first issue. It’s also vitally important that you trust your partners and team-members, that you can argue and disagree and still be friends and colleagues; and I believe the most successful and interesting magazines are the product of a guild of artists, designers, editors, managers, and writers. I remember John Calderazzo telling our class once that we should look around the room at our classmates. “These aren’t just your classmates, these are your future colleagues,” and I can tell you, some twelve years later, that is absolutely true.


As an editor of a literary magazine, what advice do you have for writers submitting their work?

I think my advice follows the old cliché: read the magazine first before submitting. Understand how your work fits into their aesthetic. Submit only to magazines you respect and that you would want to read. Aim high and collect your rejections with pride, but don’t ever let them make you quit. Pretty much everything I’ve ever published has been rejected at least once. Also don’t be afraid to talk to editors at AWP or other places, and be nice to those editors. The writing world is frighteningly small sometimes and a little kindness and respect goes a long way. And it bears repeating, make sure your pieces are free of mechanical errors; also the old adage, “less is more” definitely applies to cover letters.


How does being a writer influence the way you teach writing?

I guess that’s a hard question to answer because it’s difficult for me to separate the two sometimes. I’m not an English literature scholar. I was a philosophy major and I got my MFA in fiction. I’m barely a scholar of nonfiction. All I really care about and what I teach my students about is the craft of writing. I’m not terribly motivated by macro-level considerations of subject matter or theory, but very much interested in the micro-level choices of craft that a writer makes on the page, and then how those choices impact meaning-making in an essay; and of course many of these considerations come directly from own successes and failures in writing. Sometimes lesson plans are really just ways for me to work out some issues I’m having in my own work, but more often I find that I get very excited about the careful, micro-level dissection of craft choices that my students make and I will spend a great deal of time and energy exploring the various possibilities and choices available at any given moment in one of their essays.


How does being a writer influence the way you live?

I don’t know for sure. I mean, I can’t really imagine living and not being a writer. It’s just how I process the world. Writing, in addition to being how I think about and make sense of the world, is also a source of a great many meaningful relationships, and has provided me with all kinds of opportunities I might never have otherwise had—whether it’s teaching in Spain, Mexico, and Scotland or interviewing geophysicists, seismologists, and eccentrics who live in Parkfield, California, the Earthquake Capital of the World, writing gives me license and motivation to explore, research, read, and talk to people. It allows me to indulge my curiosity and obsessive nature, and sometimes it gives me a good excuse to travel.


How did your time at CSU prepare you for the job, the life you have now?

I learned so much at CSU about the craft of writing, lessons I still use today in my own writing and teaching, it would be difficult to enumerate them all. But I also learned how to develop the habit and discipline of writing. I ended up being a pretty awful fiction writer, but I wouldn’t trade those lessons I learned from Steven [Schwartz] and Leslee [Becker] for anything. I know it greatly influenced my nonfiction writing in many positive ways. And I was glad I had the opportunity to take two workshops almost every semester in both fiction and nonfiction, where John [Calderazzo] introduced me to a whole new world of writing and to books (like Bernard Cooper’s Maps to Anywhere) that changed my life and I still teach today in my own classes.


What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments (both personally and professionally)? How did your experience in the English Department help you with these achievements?

These questions are hard . . . I mean, I don’t know that I’ve achieved my greatest accomplishment yet and I guess I try not to think that way. It sounds like I’m writing my own obituary. I’m very proud of all my books and I’m especially fond of the most recent one, but I’m not done writing books and I think, as a writer, you kind of always have to think your next one is going to be your best one. I’m proud of my students and like to think I have a positive influence on their writing. My kids are amazing and I’d like to think their accomplishments reflect well on me in some way, but they’re also these incredibly bright and talented individuals who often excel and succeed independent of my influence.

Here’s something: not long ago, I fixed our broken clothes dryer without cursing or throwing things and that felt like a pretty great accomplishment. I’m not sure my experience in the English Department helped me fix my dryer or raise my kids, but it certainly greatly influenced my writing and teaching in very positive ways.


What did you like about the English program? Why did you choose to study here?

I loved my time at CSU and still consider it “home” in many ways. The MFA program was nothing but supportive of me and my stubborn insistence on combining the study of fiction and nonfiction into one MFA degree. I loved and respected the faculty and I found that my fellow students were incredibly smart, driven, and deeply influential in my own work. The atmosphere when I was there was competitive but supportive and I needed that. I loved the opportunities I had to be involved with OGSW and The Colorado Review and other elements of the writing community.


Do you have a favorite or funny story from your time with the English Department?

Too many to list . . .


Was there a specific class, professor, advisor, or fellow student who made an impression on you, helped you, or inspired you when you were at CSU in the English Department?

All of them . . . Ok, sorry. But that’s like asking me to single out my favorite family members. I’m still friends and colleagues with a great many of my former professors and fellow students. Obviously, given my commitment to nonfiction writing and teaching, my classes in nonfiction there were extremely influential and inspirational; but I can say the same of just about every class I took. I’ve taken a little bit from all of my teachers (both professors and fellow students) and tried to incorporate it into my own teaching and writing process.

What would you like to tell prospective or current CSU English Department students?

Go to all the readings and workshops and craft talks by visiting writers. Get involved in the writing community. Work on the Colorado Review. But always make writing your first priority. Set goals and create a schedule around your writing, NOT your teaching or whatever else you have impinging on your time. You will NEVER again have the time and focus you have in graduate school. One faculty member (who shall remain nameless here) told me once, “You’re here to write. If that means you have to be a bad teacher sometimes, so be it.” . . . this is coming, of course, from an award-winning professor, but it has stayed with me to this day and something I tell my own students. You only get three years there. Use them wisely. And be a good literary citizen. It’s OK to be jealous of your classmate’s success . . . for like a second . . . then you need to turn that into respect and support.


What are your hobbies or special interests, what do you enjoy doing with your free time? What do you love? What are you obsessed with?

I’m lucky in that writing allows me to indulge a great many of special interests and obsessions. I get to write about the apocalypse and ethical theory, 80’s pop culture and the history of stethoscopes, Elvis Presley and racquetball . . . and, I suppose like any writer, I love reading. I read constantly, in a variety of forms, consuming all kinds of news and culture and literature. I like good food, good beer, good bookstores, and traveling to places that have those things. I like rummage sales and thrift stores and doing arts and crafts with my kids. I love dioramas. And I get really into sports sometimes, often as a way to disengage from email and Facebook and teaching; mostly I’m obsessed with college basketball and the University of Kansas. I read the KU basketball website every single morning. But recently I’ve also found myself briefly obsessed with Wimbeldon, the World Cup, and the World Series. Oh, and I love naps. I really think more people in this country should embrace the daily nap, or the siesta, as a much more sane way of existing. I think if more people napped regularly there would be a lot less pain and suffering in the world.


If you had to give up writing, teaching, and editing, but could be anything and do anything you wanted, what would that be?

Well, I would never give up writing . . . I’m not sure I’d ever want to be anything other than a writer. It would be fun to learn how to cook better, maybe take some sculpture classes. If I could do anything, I guess it would be to write all the time, without worry of money, maybe in France or somewhere different every year where I didn’t own a car and could find really good cheese. Or I’d own a bookstore/bar that served craft beer and was filled with a curated collection of good new and used books and literary magazines and locally made beef jerky; and we’d feature readings by writers from around the world and, in the mornings maybe after I’d gotten in a few hours of my own work, we’d put together the next edition of The Normal School magazine, that other thing I was supposed to give up for this question . . .

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Mackenzie Fogelson
Founder & CEO of Mack Web
MA English, Communication Development 2002

mack-searchlove copy

What is your current job position/career?

I am currently the CEO of Mack Web (a brand and community building company). CEO is a fancy word for doing everything that needs to be done so that the company runs smoothly and our clients get what they need. Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of growing a team of crazy-dedicated, talented, and clever people who work extremely hard to help our clients reach their goals. We also treat Mack Web as a client and we all work tirelessly to grow this company into something remarkable.

The more our team grows and the more I empower them as leaders in their own way, the more I get to focus on doing the things that I love (like leading vision, speaking, and blogging), and less of the stuff that I’m not overly passionate about (like managing the day-to-day). Although my job is extremely demanding, it’s incredibly rewarding and I feel very fortunate that we have had some success and that I get to continue doing this for a living.


How did your major prepare you for the job, the life you have now?

My graduate studies at CSU in the English Department (in Communication Development) helped me to set some very important capabilities in place. Lucky for me, I had the mentorship of Mike Palmquist who was very technical and encouraged me to learn some integral skills like html and CSS. Although I’ve moved beyond personally using a lot of those skills in my job today, learning how to code, design, and write for the web were what got me started on the path I’ve been following for the last 11 years.

But more than just a primer on technical skills, grad school taught me a lot about being a strong communicator. The experiences of teaching Freshman Composition, working collaboratively with my peers, and being challenged to be a better writer by mentors and professors have all contributed to the success I’m having in my role as a CEO today. Whether that’s doing something as simple as writing emails, blogging for industry publications, speaking on a stage, or leading my team, those communication skills have helped me to have the confidence to build relationships and genuinely foster connections with people which is really what has been the biggest contributor to our success.


What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments (both personally and professionally)?

On the professional side, even though it seems like we have so far to go as a company, I am extremely proud of how far Mack Web has come. And when I look back to where it started 11 years ago, I’m amazed at what has transpired.

When I got out of grad school in 2002, Colorado was experiencing a huge tech recession. I couldn’t get a job and I applied for everything from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs. Finally, after months of unemployment, a friend asked me to build a website for their business. Slowly, by partnering with more advanced programmers, I was able to build a pretty lucrative freelance business.

When I started to have kids, I wanted more freedom, so I started building a team to continue in the web design and development phase. But then in 2012, I attended a search marketing conference in Boston and my brain caught fire with a whole new idea of marketing. Rather than following the Google rankings craze, I started thinking differently about how to help companies build better businesses.

In the last few years, our testing and innovation on this approach has taken the company I started in my home office to stages in Boston, San Diego, New York, and London. It’s been hard work and it took a while to start seeing the rewards, but it’s been a tremendous accomplishment. I’m incredibly proud of our team and what we’ve built.

And on the personal side, I am also incredibly proud of the two beautiful children my husband and I are raising. We have a 6 year old daughter Ryan (who is a little CEO in the making) and a 4 year old son Easton (who wants to give Peyton Manning a run for his money) who are becoming these amazing little humans.

It’s certainly not easy to be a mom, a wife, and build a business all at the same time (and some days are better than others), but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It doesn’t hurt that my husband Jon is unconditionally supportive and no matter what comes up, he’s my biggest fan. We still laugh about how thought he was marrying a teacher.


What did you like about the English program?

Looking back, one of the best parts of the program was not only the classes you could choose from inside of the English department, but the requirements to take classes outside department. Had I not complemented my studies with web design classes, I’m not sure my path would have been the same, so I really value that flexibility and exposure outside of the English curriculum.


Why did you choose to study here?

I had been teaching eighth and ninth grade English at Lincoln Junior High School for the two years prior to starting my Master’s Degree. I was looking for a new career and thought going back to school would be a great first step. I’m happy I made the leap and I’m really lucky that there was such a good program so close to home.


Was there a specific class, professor, advisor, or fellow student who made an impression on you, helped you, or inspired you when you were at CSU in the English Department?

Obviously Mike Palmquist was a big catalyst in my career. I also have very fond memories of Kate Keifer and Sarah Sloane and learned a lot from them as well.


Do you still keep in contact with your classmates or professors?

Yes. I still maintain friendships with many of the classmates I met during grad school and enjoy watching their lives progress and their families grow.


What would you like to tell prospective CSU English Department students?

The CSU English Department is a wonderfully vibrant, innovative, and supportive space full of kind, creative, and smart people who you will learn a great deal from.


What advice do you have for current CSU English Department students?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether that’s for a paper you’re writing, a weakness you’d like to overcome, or need a connection to find a job. Work hard, face challenges head-on, and lean on the people you’ve built relationships with as you need their support along the way.


What was the last piece of writing you read or wrote? OR, What are you currently reading, writing? OR, You have an hour to spend in a bookstore. What section do you make a beeline to?

I just recently wrote 4 Ways to Build Trust and Humanize Your Brand with a colleague of mine, Mathew Sweezey. The post communicates the importance of the human connection when building relationships in businesses. I’m really passionate about companies building authentic businesses that have something at their core that goes beyond making money. This post provides a ton of examples about the importance of being human in business and the impact it can have.

I just finished reading Make Your Mark: The Creative’s Guide to Building a Business with Impact and I couldn’t put it down. It’s a curation of advice from leading entrepreneurs about what really makes businesses succeed and how thinking about your customers and leading from purpose and values (vs. money) are some of the most integral components to success.


What are your hobbies or special interests, what do you enjoy doing with your free time?

I love yoga (Corepower is my favorite) and having time to myself (which is a rare occurence). I also love to be outside, read, and spend time with my husband and kids doing things that make them happy.

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image by Jill Salahub

image by Jill Salahub

It’s not too late to add an internship to your SP15 schedule. Below are the current opportunities, though stay tuned for changes and additions to the list.

Unless otherwise noted, the internships listed below are open to qualifying undergraduate and graduate students. Please see English Department Internships Program webpage for more information on qualifying criteria:

Editorial and Publishing Internships

  • Editorial Interns, Bloomsbury Review (Denver, CO)
  • Publishing Assistant Interns (2 positions), Bailiwick Press (Ft. Collins)
  • Publishing Assistant Intern, Waldron Enterprises (Ft. Collins) ***NEW***

Education Internships

  • Grading Assistant, NCTE@CSU with Poudre High School (Ft. Collins)
  • Writing Coach and Grader, NCTE@CSU, Fort Collins High School (Ft. Collins)

Non-Profit/Communications/Other Internships

  •  Production Assistant: KRFC 88.9 (radio) Poetry Show (Ft. Collins)


Please contact Mary Hickey, English Department Internship Coordinator, at for more information on these internships and how to apply.