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
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.


  • 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


  • 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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CSAL Roundtable Discussion 

Sue Doe wishes to announce that the Center for the Study of Academic Labor (CSAL) will host a roundtable discussion of the CSU “Proposal for Re-Envisioning Faculty Appointments” (authored by the Committee on Non Tenure-Track Faculty –CoNTTF) featuring leaders of the academic labor movement on April 27 at 3 PM. Visiting campus will be Maria Maisto of the New Faculty Majority, Joe Berry, faculty member in the Chicago Labor Education Program and  author of Reclaiming the Ivory Tower, John Curtis, former research director of the American Sociological Association, Marisa Allison, founder of the Women & Contingency Database and doctoral candidate at George Mason University’s Public and Applied Sociology Program, and Jim Walsh, University of Colorado-Denver Political Science Professor, social justice activist, and founder/director of the Denver Romero Theatre Troupe.


English Department Awards Reception TODAY!!!

Monday, 4-6pm in the LSC North Ballroom – Presentations at 4:30pm.

  • Matthew Cooperman and Aby Kaupang recently gave a reading & talk at Colgate University in New York. Matthew has an essay up on Hart Crane at At Length on “the poem that won’t leave you alone.” http://atlengthmag.com/poetry/the-poem-that-wont-leave-you-alone/
  • On Saturday, April 29, 4pm, Old Firehouse Books, Dan Beachy-Quick, Matthew Cooperman and Bill Tremblay will read from their work as part of National Independent Bookstore Day, and the closing of National Poetry Month.
  • Roze Hentschell was invited to speak at The Senior Center in Fort Collins, where she spoke on “Shakespeare and the Sonnet Tradition.”
  • Jaime Jordan invites everyone to explore how she uses the Serial podcast to tackle unconscious bias in her CO150 class. Those interested can check out the display in the northwest corner of the 3rd floor at the “lunch counter.”
  • Todd Mitchell recently conducted a full day of fiction and poetry workshops with teens at Fort Collins High School, where they have several outstanding writers (who might hopefully come here). He also conducted virtual visits (via Skype) to high school and middle school students in southern Colorado.
  • Karen Montgomery Moore presented “Affect, Anxiety, and the Abject Corpse in A Study in Scarlet” at the Popular Culture Association/American Cultural Association conference in San Diego on April 15. This paper was advised by Ellen Brinks and Debby Thompson (for her master’s final project).
  • Rebecca Snow will give a brief talk along with other local authors at the Quid Novi book fair, April 27th, 6-9 pm. She can get CSU authors table space to display/sell their books as her guest for 1/2-price ($25.00) and free registration, up until the day of the event: https://www.quidnoviinnovations.com/Spring-Innovation/
  • Mary Crow has had four poems accepted for publication: “Theory” and “But You Came anyway” by New Madrid and “Taking the Heat” and “The Necessary Existence of the Old World” by The American Journal of Poetry.
  • The Writing Center and the English Department were well-represented at the Colorado and Wyoming Writing Tutors Conference. Here is a list of presenters and presentations:
    • Kiley Miller & Wendy-Anne Hamrick
      “Is that an effective question?”: Meaningful and Interactive Grammar Feedback in Multilingual Consultations
    • Leah White & Katherine Indermaur
      Mindfulness for Tutor Resilience
    • Shirley Coenen & Leslie Davis
      Bridging the Gap Between Undergraduate and Graduate Student Writing Support
    • Jennifer Levin, Tiffany Akers, and Alina S. Lugo
      Strategies for Increasing Engagement in Tutoring Sessions
    • Sheri Anderson, Sue Doe, and Lisa Langstraat
      Student-Veterans in the Writing Center: Dispelling the Myths and Providing Genuine “Military Friendly” Support

English Department Career Event: Freelance Editing Panel

Please join us for a special panel on working in the world of freelance editing. Panelists Ann Diaz (M.A. 17) and Nathan DelaCastro (B.A. 15) will share their experiences working as freelance editors and making a living!

When: Friday, May 5, from 3:00 to 4:15pm
Where: Location TBA

More details and information are forthcoming, so stay tuned! Please contact Mary Hickey, English Department Internship Coordinator, with any questions.

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Bean Cycle, image by Tim Mahoney

“Spoken word poetry is the art of performance poetry. I tell people it involves creating poetry that doesn’t just want to sit on the paper, that something about it demands to be heard out loud or witnessed in person.” -Sarah Kay

We’ve spent this week celebrating the form of slam poetry and spoken word. We have our favorite performances, but there are also countless local opportunities to get involved with slam poetry. We’ve compiled a list of places around Fort Collins where you can hear slam poetry, and even share some of your own. Let us know if you’ve found other fun ways to get involved with poetry, we’d love to know!

Places to share and exchange poetry

  • Poetry Slam at the Bean Cycle, Fort Collins: On the first Friday of every month at 7:30pm, visit the Bean Cycle where you can listen to or share your own spoken word. For the last 12 years, the event has been hosted by Larry “Booger” Holgerson. The Rocky Mountain Collegian says “this accepting social poetry environment is a great place to meet poets and reach a larger audience.” Read the Collegian’s article for more information about these slams.
  • Slamogadro at Avogadro’s Number, Fort Collins: This slam poetry competition happens on the last Sunday each month at Avogadro’s Number. Readings start at 7pm. Follow their Facebook page for more information.
  • I AM Open Mic, Fort Collins: This open mic happens on the last Friday each month at the Bean Cycle Roasters. People are encouraged to “come and share their expressions with the Fort Collins Community.” This event is not limited to poetry, working to bring together musicians, poets, comedians, storytellers, and all creative artists. Open mic starts at 8pm.
  • Lo Co Poetry Slam, Loveland: Make the trip down to the Lo Co Artisan Coffee House on the third Saturday of each month for a local poetry slam. Visit their events calendar for more information on events at the coffee house.
  • Punch Drunk Press, Denver: This organization is located in Denver and hosts various spoken work and poetry events. If you’re interested in Denver and Boulder’s poetry scene, watch their Facebook page for upcoming events.


Places to hear poetry

  • ForkSocket Reading Series, Fort Collins: This reading series is hosted by the MFA students at CSU, taking place at the Wolverine Letterpress & Publick House. It is an “attempt at an atypical reading structure intended to inform if not challenge conventional ideologies that have been associated with the negative situation.” These events happen multiple times throughout the school year so watch their Facebook page for event information.
  • The Creative Writing Reading Series, Fort Collins: While the series ended for the school year, the CSU English Department brings in poets and writers both from within and outside the Fort Collins community. Watch the English Department Facebook page for information about next school year’s series.
  • Dead Poet’s Society, CSU Fort Collins: CSU’s own Poet’s Society meets at the Wild Boar on alternating Friday’s from 7-9pm. Visit their Facebook page for more information about this group.
  • Greyrock Literary Club, CSU Fort Collins: This purpose of this club is to “spread awareness about the literary publishing community.” To learn more about this organization, visit their page.
  • The Greyrock Review, CSU Fort Collins: The GreyRock Review is the undergraduate literary magazine at CSU. Check out what others are writing, and submit some of your own creative work! Visit their website for more information.
  • Creative Writing Club, CSU Fort Collins: As their page explains, this club is “for writers who want to improve and share their work in an encouraging and constructive environment.” For more information about meeting times, you can visit their page.

Other ways to get involved locally

  • Front Ranges Writers: This is a group created to compile different readings and events around the Fort Collins area. Visit their Facebook page for more information.
  • CSU English Calendar of Events: For events that are happening at CSU, and within Fort Collins, you can watch our calendar of events for information on upcoming events or speakers.
  • Wolverine Letterpress & Publick House: This local non-profit literary/arts organization is a great source for all things creative. From a calligraphy class to knitting session and Poetry Slams, make sure you check their calendar of events for any upcoming events.


Next week is the final week of National Poetry Month 2017. We’ll be featuring local poets, those near and dear to our hearts.

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