Winter lights in Old Town Fort Collins, image by Jill Salahub

Winter lights in Old Town Fort Collins, image by Jill Salahub

  • John Calderazzo has accepted an invitation to join the Fort Collins Climate Action Plan communication team.  The City’s plan is widely regarded as among the strongest in the nation.This week, John conducted a story-telling workshop for CSU’s External Relations Team.  He also moderated part of a panel at the Foothills Unitarian Church on The Moral Imperative for Climate Action.
  • Tobi Jacobi’s essay, “‘A Tangle of Circumstance’: Life in the Early Years of the NYS Training School for Girls in Hudson,’ appears in the Fall 2015 issue of the Columbia County History & Heritage Magazine.
  • Barbara Sebek attended a conference on Appropriation in an Age of Global Shakespeare in Athens, Georgia.  She presented a paper, “Blurring Binaries in Frank McGuinness’s Mutabilitie (1997).”
  • A review of Dan Robinson’s novel, Death of a Century, in the Manhattan Book Review concluded with this admonition: “This is a book not to be missed.”
  • Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri’s story, “The Next Step” (1721 words) has accepted for publication in the upcoming issue of Gravel Magazine.
  • Adam Mackie, English Education graduate and former composition instructor at Colorado State University, promised he’d stay in touch with the English Department at CSU. Adam recently has accepted a full-time English language arts position in his hometown of Anchorage, Alaska. Starting in January 2016, Adam will teach classic mythology and American literature at West Anchorage High School. Adam also published a set of poems with BlazeVOX in Western New York that he’d like to share with everyone:


TONIGHT: Grand Opening – Wolverine Farm Publishing – come celebrate the new Letterpress & Publick House on from 8-11pm. Listen to the beautiful words of  Poet Laureate (and CSU alumna) Aby Kaupang and the fabulous sounds of Souvenir Thread.


Reminder: Deadline for Greyrock Review submissions is December 9th. Visit to submit.


December 1st: Scholarship online application opens.  The application for all scholarships in the English department is online at Sign in using your eID and select the CSU Scholarship Application link.


Spring 2016 Internships Available!

Unless otherwise noted, the internships listed below are open to qualifying undergraduate and graduate students. Please note that the list is likely to grow with more opportunities, so stay tuned!



  • Publishing/Editorial Internships:
    • Editorial Interns, Bloomsbury Review (Denver, CO)
    • Publishing Assistant Internship (2 positions), Bailiwick Press (Ft. Collins)
    • Publication Assistant, Wolverine Farm Publishing Co. & Bookstore (Ft. Collins)
    • Writing/Editorial Internships (several positions), The Borgen Project (remote)


  • Educational Internships:
    • Grading Assistant, NCTE@CSU with Poudre High School (Ft. Collins)
    • Writing Coach and Grader, NCTE@CSU, Fort Collins High School (Ft. Collins)
    • Adult ESL Teacher, Global Refugee Center (Greeley, CO)


  • Non-Profit/Communications Internships:
    • Social Media and Communications Intern, Poudre River Library District (Ft. Collins)
    • Communications Intern (paid), Otter Products (Ft. Collins, CO)


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

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Wednesday night, I went to a spoken word Poetry Slam by Carlos Andrés Gómez.  It was rather last minute, but I’m a fan of slam poetry and I figured anything poetry related could be covered for the blog. Why not?

Under the calming blue and purple lights of the LSC Theater, Carlos was friendly and genuine and so very present. He complemented the theater and the audience and told us we were all gorgeous. He described the energy and life of a club in Philly as he salsa danced with a woman in a wheelchair. He told us about failing an astrophysics final, distracted by a first love. While I wasn’t used to such long preambles for poems, it all felt congruent, his spoken words and his dialogue with the crowd and his poems about beauty and nostalgia and how love can turn you into a child again.


Carlos Andrés Gómez


And then he said something that sent a jolt through me. “Can someone tell me why it’s #BlackLivesMatter and not #AllLivesMatter? Can someone break that down for me?”

Oh no, I thought. Was he for or against the #BlackLivesMatter movement? Was this going to get heated? What’s going to happen?

And someone stood up and gave such a wonderful answer that perfectly articulated the movement. Carlos agreed, and invited other people in the crowd to share their experiences with racism.

From there, he shared poems that solicited claps and snaps and small, powerful acknowledgements of shared recognition. He shared a poem of a girl who asked him, “Carlos Andrés Gómez? That’s your stage name, right?” He talked about masculinity, and about how boys are taught to “man up” into that “cartoon drawing” caricature that encourages shallow emotions and violence against women. But his last poem, about poverty, education, profanity, self-harm, and discrimination, addressed a heartbreaking question from one of his former students: “What’s genocide?” (see him read this poem on Def Jam Poetry).


In one of my classes, we’re reading a book called Amazing Grace that discusses destitute poverty and the AIDS epidemic in the Bronx during the nineties. There’s an interview with a Puerto Rican poet who translated Milton’s Paradise Lost into Spanish. He talks about how there are no other translations that capture the richness of the story. What part does an epic poem play in a modern world ravaged by poverty and violence and disease?

Carlos’ poetry made me aware and uncomfortable and upset about my own privilege and ignorance, and at the same time fostered a shared space encompassing both acceptance and intense cultural criticism.

Poetry and spoken word and literature provide a space so sorely needed for discussion, but it’s more than that. It provides a space where discussion can be lyrical and heartfelt and thought provoking and civil all at the same time.

The world feels like such a dark, terrible place at the moment, with all of its tragedies. Coming home from Carlos’ slam poetry, I talked, thought, and tried to address the tension his poetry created in my mind. Authors and performers like Carlos Andrés Gómez create hope that artistic, sensitive people can address these problems in a way that transcends, in a way that uses the power of poetry to create important discussions between us all.

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~by English Department Communications Intern Ashley Alfirevic

Approaching the entrance to department chair Louann Reid’s house, I felt a sense of ease and confidence after noticing the door had been changed from screen to glass for the winter. I could handle this. No door fiascos this time around.

Aside from how to properly open a door, the last colloquium taught me that a 7:00 p.m. start time meant more of an open house style arrival and fashionably late appearances, and I entered into a room already abuzz with warm conversation.



Compared to the last colloquium, this one had considerably more wires. Before we all settled into our chairs, a few people fussed with the laptop and the projector and the HDMI cords. This time around, the projects our English faculty carried on outside the classroom centered on the world wide web, with new tools and new strategies that either enhance in-person conversations or help bring new forms of knowledge to anyone with an internet connection.

Zach Hutchins presented first, showing us his online database for early American religious sermons. He explained that previously, people interested in religious studies or colonial histories simply had to work with published sermons, which had specific political motivations in order to make their way to print. The real sermons that impacted day-to-day life for Americans, the non-published pulpits from Sunday services, were inaccessible, even if people knew they should be studying them.


Zach Hutchins, between slides

Enter TEAMS – the searchable online archive of hundreds of early American sermons. Zach is working with faculty members and graduate students all over the country to help transcribe these writings and bring them to the light of a computer screen. Each entry contains a name, religion, transcription, and PDF of the original text (which, once you see the old-timey handwriting, makes you truly appreciative of the actual transcription). Zach showed us the “end is nigh” homily of Catholic priest Ignatius Matthews, who later retracted that homily and admitted that parishioners had more time than he originally thought.

Next Jaime Jordan presented her analytics conducted with different online word tools. She tracks frequently used words and character relationships for class discussions on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The facts and figures don’t answer questions as much they as they raise them. For example, Horatio has the second most character interactions throughout the play, only just behind Hamlet. For a minor player we very rarely study, he certainly affects the play’s dynamics. Setting up such queries by using charts, word clouds, and character webs help students come up with fresh and compelling theories for their essays and class discussions.


Jaime Jordan

One tool Jaime makes frequent use of – Ngrams from Google – allows you to see how many times a word comes up in books through the centuries. As long as the books are catalogued into Google’s corpus, the program can detect the frequency it appears. Combined with catalogues from roving libraries, Jaime hopes to conduct further research regarding Victorian literature and reading patterns.

Finally, Tim Amidon explained how to use digital visualization tools to plot out data, making such information easier to understand and more visually appealing for students. Different websites can plot the particulars of statistical input, making easy-to-understand graphics out of the most complex of charts. One such demonstration used diamond-like arrangements to plot relationships between actors and directors, reminding me of a graphic designer’s ultimate visualization of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Tim Amidon

Tim Amidon

The tools are useful for far more than parlor games, however. Tim explained how these charts can be used to give sociological perspectives to word usage. For example, firefighters use joking a lot in their work culture, so words relating to such jocular activities would be more prominent in whatever visual was constructed, cluing the viewer into an intimate aspect of workplace relations and improving cultural literacy. These glimpses into word preferences and cultural tendencies extend into the classroom for both professors and students.

Impressed as always by our faculties’ outreach, this colloquium showed that CSU is able to extend its research beyond our campus and beyond the limits of the Fort. The globalized age means we can both access and produce contributions from all over the interwebs. Our interactions are beyond person to person; they’re screen to screen with anyone who’s curious about the world around them.

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Congratulations to this year’s winners of the Undergraduate Creative Writing and Performing Arts Scholarship Contest!

In the category of Poetry:

Joelle Hamilton, 1st prize
Davis Webster, 2nd prize
Caleb McFadden, 3rd prize
Rich Sanchez, Honorable Mention
David Grivette, Honorable Mention
Kelsey Easton, Honorable Mention

In the category of Fiction:

Alyssa Meier, 1st prize for her story “Blood Thicker than Water”
Lindsey Whittington, 2nd prize (3-way tie) for her story “A World of Turnips”
Scott E. Miller, 2nd prize (3-way tie) for his story “The Least We Can Do for Each Other Is Nothing”
Gabriel Martinez, 2nd prize (3-way tie) for his story “Rescued”

In the category of Creative Nonfiction:

Davis Webster, 1st prize for his essay “A Playlist for Steven’s Wake (Annotated)”
Noah Kaplan, 2nd prize for his essay “Ramah”
Courtney Ellison, 3rd prize (tie) for her essay “Luke 8:17”
Geneva McCarthy, 3rd prize (tie) for her essay “BBQ Ribs”


Congratulations to those who participated and won prizes in the Graduate Student Showcase!

Participants/Project Title:

Alhassane Ali Drouhamane: “Going Beyond Concordance Lines in ESP Instruction Using Corpora Exploration.”
Paul Binkley: “Science Fiction and the STEM Fields.”
Cedar Brant: “A Life Chart: Border Inventories.”
Lindsay Brookshier: “Medieval Women Writers: Unknown Authorship as Female.”
Leslie Davis: “Corpora and Semantic Change of French Loanwords in English.”
Darcy Gabriel: “Multimodal Literacy for Multiple Literacies: Monsignor Oscar Romero’s Successful Rhetoric.”
Kathleen Hamel: “Students Strategies for Dealing with Misunderstandings in the Classroom.”
Kelsey Hatley: “The Reading and Writing Transition from High School to College.”
Melissa Hohl: “The Other in Mother: A Poetics of Excavation.”
Abby Kerstetter: “The Part of the Blood that Troubles.”
Samantha Killmeyer: “Growing out of the Rust Belt.”
Kaitlyn Mainhart: “Fostering International Mindedness and Education in the International Baccalaureate Program.”
John McDonough: ” Good Friday: The Outsider in a Contemporary Urban Landscape.”
Kristen Mullen: “Intertextuality and Modern Chinese Science Fiction.”
Kathleen Naughton: “Poetry by Katie Naughton.”
Courtney Pollard: “Playing with Pastoral: Socio-Economic and Geographic Relations in Herrick’s Hesperides.”
Sarahbeth Stoneburner: “Confessions of a Jew-ish Skeptic.”
John Whalen: “Which Reporting Verbs Characterize Successful Academic Writing? A Teacher’s Tool.”
Michelle Wilk: “They Talk to Others About Us: APA Discourse and Agency.”
Meaghan Wilson: “Mere Imagination: Mind and Material.”


Melissa Hohl, MFA: College of Liberal Arts Award
Abby Kerstetter, MFA: Distinction in Creativity Award
John Whalen, TEFL/TESL: Great Minds in Research

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“Darn it. I forgot the pickles.” I muttered at a stoplight. “And it’s too late to turn back now.” The Writer’s Harvest Festival was about to start, and my non-perishable food item sat at home on my coffee table.

Though I felt empty-handed upon entrance, the crowded Art Museum of the UCA allowed me to filter in among the crowd and mask my guilt. Stupid pickles.

Since the usual introducer, Camille Dungy, had her own reading, Dan Beachy-Quick quieted us down from the chatter that filled the Museum. Now, in the quiet, I realized how crowded the room had become, with little to no chairs remaining and people standing eagerly in the back. “It’s nice hearing people talk. It could be it’s own reading by itself,” Dan said. After welcoming the readers and thanking sponsors, he made the usual warnings not to touch the art, emphasizing that, “As much as we would like to take one of these off the walls, we must admire these as the other things we admire most: from an awkward distance.”

As Andrew Altschul, the English Department’s newest faculty member and author of Lady Lazarus, began his introduction, a baby cried softly in the background. “Go ahead, just cry,” he laughed. He dissipated the mild amusement and slight shock at this comment with, “That’s mine. This is the only time a baby can cry during one of my readings and I won’t be mad.”


Andrew Altschul reads

He began reading his short story, “The Future’s Not Ours to Seek,” about a man with the initial F. “It’s just F. That’s all there is. It doesn’t stand for anything,” Andrew joked. After F. moves into a new townhome with his wife, his new, state-of-the-art home phone will not stop ringing, giving out an odd, piercing tone whenever he answers. As F. gradually drives from customer service representative to customer service representative to gradual insanity, the air of the room felt stale and trapped with him among the wires, blinking boxes, and the limitless but useless information of the phone company. I felt my face crack with a slight smirk at a sly joke or irony, which only made me realize how it had previously been frigid with expectancy. By the end, the clapping felt like a sudden jolt, an interruption to the constant ringing I couldn’t get out of my own ears. The story had the fear and anxiety of any scary story around a childhood campfire, combined with the terrifying realities of adult life in modern America.


Julie Carr reads

“That’s a great story – exactly like my life,” Julie Carr joked as she stepped up to the podium. The was the first time this year the Creative Writing and Reading Series was split between two authors, but the tone and flow of the fiction writer and the poet came together effortlessly. Her collection of seven poems, “Equivocal,” held a similar arresting beauty to Andrew’s story. A tension between promise and decay, phrases like “line your favorite jacket with bees wings and pockets with big bladders” brought me into a world festering both rot and beauty. Poems from her book 100 Notes on Violence carried the same types of gorgeous contradictions as lyrical responses to confrontations with brutality.  Her final set of poems, excerpts from a future book titled Real Life: An Installation, seemed to manifest these oppositions wholeheartedly, with each poem depicted as an art installation in a museum showcasing glass shards and beautifully filmed pornography, layered visions of the visitors’ own organs, milk flowing from nipples in a room lined with nails. Her final poem, dedicated to Donald Trump, contemplated how interesting it is to “love something that doesn’t exist, except in the future.” Julie’s poems left me both disturbed and totally enraptured, her language combining visions of decay, deviance, and violence with renewal, purity, and compassion.

And then, after all that, came the prizes. The raffle prizes, that is. Those who had actually remembered to bring their non-perishable food items instead of leaving them hopefully on their coffee tables received tickets for a variety of wonderful hardbound books or paperbacks, even a basket of Whole Foods delectables. I left prize-less, but enjoyed watching people win and knowing the food would go to a good cause.


Dan Beachy-Quick gives away prizes


When I returned home, the solitary jar of green dills suddenly seemed to contain an amazing capacity for poetry. Until the phone rang.



Andrew Altschul and MFA Fiction student Andrew Mangan


Julie Carr and MFA student Melissa Hohl


Next CSU Creative Writing Reading Series: Thursday, December 3rd
Sarah Hansen & Abby Kerstetter (MFA Thesis Reading)

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Changing Climates was founded and is directed by SueEllen Campbell and John Calderazzo, both writers and professors in the CSU English Department. Concerned about the potential impacts of climate change and the lack of knowledge among the public, the initiative began as a project to help those members of the CSU community who are interested in climate change meet each other, learn more about related research and teaching on campus, and share their knowledge. In the past eight years, they’ve conducted multiple lecture series, helped create courses, and most recently hosted a showing of the Emmy Award-winning Showtime video series “Years of Living Dangerously.” We asked SueEllen and John to tell us a bit more about this project, and here’s what they said.

For most of the past decade, we have immersed ourselves in climate change education and outreach. Calling our initiative Changing Climates @ Colorado State, and working with a widespread, informal team of faculty and researchers across campus, we began by organizing talks for the campus and the community—about 120 of them, with speakers from 28 departments and all 8 CSU colleges, for a total audience headcount of over 6,000. Since then, with support from an NSF-funded research center (CMMAP) headquartered in CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Science, we have focused on two related initiatives: helping scientists be more comfortable and effective when they speak to non-specialists and running a website—100 Views of Climate Change—that offers (to interested adults, college-age and up) accessible, high-quality, information about many key aspects of climate change. Our recent efforts include workshops in storytelling and including climate change in English courses.

We both thrive on this work, which we find to be challenging (it’s not what we were trained to do) and immensely rewarding. We love putting our reading, teaching, and writing skills and interests to work on a problem that matters to everyone on our planet.

SueEllen and John, image from

SueEllen and John, image from

Also of interest: “Teaching aliens to talk: How global warming made me change my life,” an article published in High Country News in which John Calderazzo explains the shift that’s taken place in his work and the beginnings of the Climate Change @ CSU project. In the essay he muses, “We could drown in despair or become paralyzed. Or, we could try to do something.”

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PCMI Student Peter Garrison in Ethiopia

PCMI Student Peter Garrison in Ethiopia

Grad School or Peace Corps? Why not do both?

A student may combine a degree in any one of our five M.A. programs — Creative Nonfiction, English Education, Literature, Rhetoric and Composition, or TEFL/TESL — with the Peace Corps Masters International (PCMI) degree at Colorado State University. Colorado State University is one of the few English Departments in the country to offer this unique program.

At a recent presentation, Professor Ellen Brinks, Peace Corps Master’s International program liaison for the English department, and Aaron Carlile, an MA Literature student who just returned from his Peace Corp assignment in China, talked about the PCMI program at CSU to a group of interested students. Students who attended the session had various reasons for coming: being super excited that such a program existed, wanting to do both the Peace Corp and complete a Master’s degree at the same time, interest in being part of the human community, desire to do meaningful work, and even coming because their advisor had recommended it.


Professor Ellen Brinks and PCMI (MA Literature) student Aaron Carlile

Professor Brinks summarized some of the benefits of the program this way:

  • You get to be in the Peace Corps while also doing academic work and completing an MA, melding the two together
  • Various financial perks — such as round trip travel, a stipend, medical and dental, transition funds, deferral of student loans,
  • Learning a new language, cultural immersion
  • Access to federal jobs upon return and help with job searches, which opens up a range of careers that might not be possible without this particular experience

Professor Brinks summed it up by saying that that while it’s inherently rewarding to be in the Peace Corps all by itself, there’s a wonderful compatibility between academic work and Peace Corps work. Through the PCMI students experience “a fusion of scholarly and service work … deeply rooted in community.”

Aaron Carlile echoed Ellen’s summary, explaining that PCMI students take the abstracts of learning and apply them in a way that’s meaningful and personally gratifying, while also taking part in international development and cultural exchange. His first three months he lived with a host family, went through language and cultural immersion, and learned to speak Chinese before starting his assignment. He then taught English at a college, and also started a literary club. He talked about how his initial plan was to go to Eastern Europe, that there was a particular literary movement he wanted to study and write about, but when he was placed in China it shifted his whole perspective, in the best possible way.

Aaron shared some slides about where in the world Peace Corps volunteers work and what sorts of assignments they receive.



volunteers work in

Aaron summed up his own experience with the PCMI this way: He was initially completely out of his element, but had a lot of support and found his way. He landed on his feet and gained a lot of confidence from the experience.

To learn more, check out our PCMI page, where you can find out more about the specific of the program and what other students have to say about their experiences with it.

Update: Sadly, in 2016 the Peace Corps made the difficult decision to phase out the Master’s International program and focus on other strategic partnership opportunities. Read more here:

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Image by Colorado State University

Image by Colorado State University

  • There’s a review of Dan Beachy-Quick’s book of poems, gentlessness, up at Rain Taxi:
  • Antero Garcia reflected on Teacher Professional Development and Loss, Trauma, and Empathy for DMLcentral. You can read his post here:
  • Antero Garcia wrote a blog post for the Compose Our World research project funded by Lucas Educational Research. You can read his George Clinton-quoting post here:
  • Stephanie G’Schwind presented on a panel, “The View from the Slush Pile,” at the NonfictioNow conference in Flagstaff, Arizona, last month.
  • Cindy O’Donnell-Allen and Antero Garcia were featured guests on the NWP Radio program to discuss their new book, Pose, Wobble, Flow: A Culturally Proactive Approach to Literacy Instruction. The archived broadcast is available here:
  • Debby Thompson’s essay “The Four Stages of Cancer,” published in Upstreet, was listed as a “notable” in Best American Essays 2015.
  • Airica Parker’s poem “Form” will appear in the Winter 2015 issue of The Nature of the West: Camas.
  • Beth Stoneburner has an essay up at on rape and justice. Link is:
  • MA and MFA students showed out in full force at the Graduate Student Showcase on Wednesday, November 11th. Their posters and presentations revealed the diversity and depth of the creativity and scholarship in this department. They even garnered prizes to boot. We want to call attention and thank all the participants in the Showcase from English, and give a special shout-out to those who won awards for their work. The participants were, in alphabetical order, Alhassane Ali Drouhamane, Paul Binkley, Cedar Brant, Lindsay Brookshier, Leslie Davis, Annette Gabriel, Kathleen Hamel, Kelsey Hatley, Melissa Hohl, Abby Kerstetter, Samantha Killmeyer, Kaitlyn Mainhart, John McDonough, Kristen Mullen, Kathleen Naughton, Courtney Pollard, Sarahbeth Stoneburner, John Whalen, Michelle Wilk, and Meagan Wilson. The prizewinners were: Melissa Hohl (College of Liberal Arts Award), Abby Kerstetter (Distinction in Creativity Award) and John Whalen (Great Minds in Research Award).
  • Melissa Hohl was awarded Highest Achievement in Performing Arts from the College of Liberal Arts at the Graduate Student Showcase.
  • Abby Kerstetter was awarded 2nd Place in the category of Distinction in Creativity at the Graduate Student Showcase.
  • John Whalen was awarded 2nd place in “Great Minds in Research” for his project entitled “Which Reporting Verbs Characterize Successful Academic Writing?” at the Graduate Student Showcase.


    John Whalen at the Graduate Student Showcase

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~From English Department Communications Intern Ashley Afirevic

While we pride ourselves on being part of a global community, Fort Collins is also wonderfully self-contained in a way. We have an abundance of art and culture right in our own city, including our own little bundle of literary journals. Whether you’re an undergrad looking to make your foray into publishing, a grad student looking to put that first reputable journal on your cover letter, or a local looking to share, Fort Collins has a literary journal that fits your needs. Check out our four picks:

1. Greyrock Review: CSU’s Undergraduate Literary Journal has a team of talented student interns* ready to read and edit pieces of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and art. After accepting admissions October through December, they publish an annual volume during the Spring semester with pieces from undergrads across the university. CSU students have the opportunity to promote their literary talents and interns become familiar with the publishing processes. Their release party usually involves fun readings at one of Fort Collins’ local food or beer joints, so you can enjoy yourself while picking up your newly published work!

*Okay – maybe I’m a tad biased as a former Nonfiction editor.




2. Journal of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Excellence: Another undergraduate-run publication, this journal publishes creative writing side-by-side with scholarly essays of all disciplines. A true testament to the “scholarly power of undergraduate students,” journalism, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and prose sit pretty right next to science-y articles. Though it’s published through CSU’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Artistry, JUR accepts pieces from undergraduate institutions all across the world. If you think it would be hard for editors to work with such a breadth of subjects, have no fear; the team works with faculty, specialists, professionals, and legal council to ensure all of the work is up to standards, and accepts works in English as well as Spanish.




3. Matter Journal: Right out of Wolverine Farm Publishing inside Old Town’s Bean Cycle, Matter publishes themed journals, accepting submissions that take interesting and inspiring perspectives on the publication’s chosen topic. Some of them revolve around FoCo’s favorites: “art, agriculture, bicycles, wilderness, environmental concerns.” Combining journalism, literature, and art, Matter accepts interviews, essays, fiction, and poetry for a cohesive literary experience. They publish one issue annually, and submissions just closed for the next issue: Nomad. Submitting to Matter is a great way to share your artistic talents with the Fort Collins community and support a local publishing house.




P.S. Wolverine Farm Publishing is officially unveiling and celebrating their new Letterpress & Publick House on Friday, November 20th from 8-11 pm. Join them as they:

  • Sip libations that can only be found in Fort Collins.
  • Gander letterpress art, prints, and ephemera.
  • Ponder a speech of triumph, woe, and most importantly, glorious beginnings!
  • Listen to the beautiful words of Fort Collins Poet Laureate Aby Kaupang, and then the fabulous sounds of Souvenir Thread.
  • Last but not least, dance dance dance!

Tickets go on sale Saturday, November 14th at 5pm at the Letterpress & Publick House, 316 Willow St, FoCo.  Tickets are $15, include one free drink, and are good indefinitely. For more information please call the Publick House during normal business hours at 970-682-2590.


4. Colorado Review:  The pride and joy of the CSU English Department, the Colorado Review is a world renowned literary journal that has published the likes of E. E. Cummings, William Carlos Williams, and Langston Hughes in its fifty-nine year history. Found in universities, libraries, and independent bookstores all across the country, the journal provides a wonderful sampling of current poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and book reviews. Open to burgeoning writers whose stuff is ready for the big leagues and established writers adding to their repertoires of credible journals, the Colorado Review provides a window to the modern literary community and a sensibility of what’s happening in contemporary publishing.

Colorado Review Spring 2015 issue, cover design by Abby Kerstetter

Colorado Review Spring 2015 issue, cover design by Abby Kerstetter





Go, submit! What are you waiting for?

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The CSU Community Literacy Center (CLC) helps create alternative literacy opportunities that work to educate and empower underserved populations, and foment university-community literacy collaboration.  Through the SpeakOut! writing workshops, the CLC confronts stereotypes of at-risk youth and incarcerated women and men, circulating the stories and creative work of community writers through print and multi-media publications, believing that these dynamic literacy activities are key to individual success, cultural awareness and a more socially just world.

Tenth Anniversary of SpeakOut!

For ten years, the Speak Out! Writing workshops have allowed writers to explore who and where they are in their lives through creative expression. The primary philosophy of this program is that every person has a story to tell; each has words that are valuable and necessary.

SpeakOut! Writing Workshops for adults take place at the Larimer County Detention Center with separate programs for men and women, and Community Corrections and Work Release for women transitioning back.  At-risk youth participate in programs from Turning Point, Matthews House and Remington House. SpeakOut! won the “Program of the Year” award at the recent Larimer County Jail volunteer awards banquet.


In weekly workshop sessions, facilitators seek to present a range of approaches and techniques for engaging in writing. Each session involves the presentation of contemporary writing techniques and tools, giving participants the opportunity to apply the concepts discussed to their own lives through guided writing exercises. Writers respond to prompts on issues central to their lives, including confinement, freedom, family, pain, anger, beauty, love, life, place, and home. Participants are then invited to read their work aloud and give/receive feedback.

The writing that results from the workshop is compiled in a bi-annual journal, which is circulated at no charge. Public readings are held at the end of each semester, where community members can hear, in their own voices, the issues prisoners and at-risk youth face, providing an opportunity to counter negative stereotypes regarding incarcerated people and individuals in treatment programs, and hopefully create a society less hostile to prisoner re-entry.


Writing is… in the voice of SpeakOut! writers

Writing is hard, confounding, helpful, hopeful, hideous.
Writing is my mind doing jumping jacks while my heart takes pulse.
Writing is a way to free your mind. Writing is my world when I am so confined.
Writing is a way of expressing one’s self, showing emotions, making people laugh…making people understand.
Writing is a never easy process until you’ve learned at SpeakOut!
Writing is bearing witness to those whose voices have been silenced.
Writing is the voices of those that I have been and those that I am.
Writing is alive.  It is a universe where the pen is exploration and exploration is endless.
Writing is diving into the soul while breathing out the cosmos.
Writing is a way to get feelings, ideas, songs, and poems expressed.  Then, we can share them or not!  But at least they’re not burning idly inside of us.
Writing is a way to thing about and reflect back on past experiences—good or bad.  Writing can help channel emotions you thought couldn’t be tamed.
Writing is freedom, joy, and happiness.

What’s Happening Now

This year SpeakOut! is ten years old. Look for a ten-year retrospective of the community voices that have collected in their volumes over the past ten years, and special events to mark the beginning of their next decade.

The CLC has a record number of workshops and volunteers excited to work at the Larimer County Detention Center, Community Corrections and Work Release for adult women and men, and Turning Point, Matthews House, and Remington House residential treatment centers for youth.

Through the interns who have chosen to work with this program (graduate students in the English and Sociology Departments this year), the CLC continues to develop new ideas for workshops, support research in the field by co-authoring academic papers and create new ideas for grant funding.

CLC Intern Lily Alpers

CLC Intern Lily Alpers

CLC Intern Kate Miller

CLC Intern Kate Miller

CLC Intern Cara Ramsay

CLC Intern Cara Ramsay

CLC Intern Sarah Rossi

CLC Intern Sarah Rossi

CLC Intern Larissa Willkomm

CLC Intern Larissa Willkomm

On the CLC blog you can get to know CLC facilitators and read their reflections on their work within the community through their blogs.

The CLC is back in Eddy Hall, in a newly refurbished space.


The CLC has a new Associate Director, Mary Ellen Sanger. Learn more about her in this recently published profile on the blog.


CLC Associate Director Mary Ellen Sanger

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