~from Michaela Hayes

Rekindle the Classics Flyer

Recently, representatives from the CSU English department and the Poudre Valley Public library gathered to lead a discussion on Toni Morrison’s acclaimed novel Beloved. The discussion was the first of the season for the Fort Collins book club appropriately named “Rekindle the Classics.”

Rekindle the Classics was started several years ago by CSU English professor Ellen Brinks. As stated by Lynn Shutters, also a professor of English at CSU, “The basic idea behind the program is that a lot of people are curious about ‘classic’ literature, but might be a little intimidated by it, or might want someone with whom they can talk about it, or might just want to have a regular monthly meeting to encourage them to actually read that book. Rekindle the Classics is a program for those people.” Rekindle now meets once a month during the academic year, always at the Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House, to discuss a new (or old!) book.

Copy of Beloved the book and cup of coffee

Each discussion is led by a different member of the CSU English department, faculty and students alike. This particular discussion was led by Kelly Weber, an MFA student in the poetry program. After the meeting, Weber spoke to her love for the novel and how it has inspired her transformation as a poet: “It was the first book that really got to me. I think it’s the book that introduced me to real poetry before I liked poems.” As Weber led the discussion, her enthusiasm for the novel radiated from her in waves.

Lynn Shutters and Kelly Weber (top left) discuss Beloved with a group of interested readers

Lynn Shutters and Kelly Weber (top left) discuss Beloved with a group of interested readers

As a fellow English student, I understand this enthusiasm fully. There’s a very specific and very beautiful light that only a person talking about their favorite book can emit. We English majors live for it.

Rekindle the Classics will be meeting again in October, but with a different discussion leader and book. Next month, they will be discussing The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft. Anyone in the community who would like to come is welcome; the more diverse the group, the more lively the discussion. As put by Lynn Shutters, “ Everyone has something to bring to the table. Discussions are lively and fun, smart but highly accessible. I encourage anyone who’s interested to show up for a session and check it out.” This English major agrees.

 

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Amanda in her Creative Writing class in Eddy Hall

Amanda Micek
Freshman
English Major: Literature

What inspired me to be an English major? I actually switched from a biology major to English because with biology there was no passion for me. English gives me the opportunity to express myself in ways no other subject was ever able to.

As an English major I want to be a journalist for the New York Times. The New York Times is very highly ranked, and it is my dream to write for such an amazing news company. Being able to speak what you believe and have your opinion matter to the lives of others who want to know what you write is the highest honor any English major could strive to achieve.

The CSU English department is very open and inviting, as is the liberal arts college in general. Students who decide to be a part of the English department will find people around them who care and want to help you succeed, along with cheerful and like-minded people who have an understanding of your passions.

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~from Intern Katie Haggstrom

Mackenzie (Mack)
English Education Major with Spanish Minor

I notice that you brought some veggies into the Writing Center today. 
My parents have an urban farm down in Denver for the joy of gardening. It has exploded with so much produce they could stock our local King Soopers. They make pizza sauce and other canned goods but still had too many vegetables. That’s when I stepped in and was able to bring baskets and coolers full of vegetables for the Writing Center and other community members in Eddy.

How do you spend most of your time in Eddy Hall? 
I spend my time in Eddy as a Writing center consultant, a student and an advisee. I have had several classes in Eddy and also have a wonderful academic advisor named Joanna Doxey. I’m most excited to spend my time in Eddy as a consultant for the Writing center because writing is a very fluid process and everyone can use support to make their dreams realities.

It’s only the third week of classes, but what has been your favorite moment in the Writing Center so far? Or favorite moment in Eddy? 
The staff in the Writing Center is so warm and welcoming that it’s hard to not want to spend an afternoon with any of them. I myself had a presentation coming up and didn’t know where to start so I created an appointment with one of my co-workers to brainstorm ideas. It was so helpful that I have no idea why I didn’t use the Writing Center for every paper I ever had while attending CSU.

What’s your favorite book, poem, quote, lyric? Or favorite writer? 
Currently my favorite book is “Life of Pi” but if you ask me in a week the same question my answer might change.

Can you describe Eddy in just one word? 
Ready.  Ready to help and support anyone with all their needs.

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Fall Along the Poudre River, image by Jill Salahub

  • Matthew Cooperman’s hybrid work “Difference Essay” is out in the latest issue of Seattle Review. This summer spacecraftprojects featured poems from his “Precarity” series for its summer solstice launch. https://spacecraftproject.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/poems-from-the-precarity-series-by-matthew-cooperman1.pdf
  • Camille Dungy will read from her essay collection, Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History, and from her newest book of poems, Trophic Cascade, at various venues this fall.  She’ll read at Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City on September 7 and will give the Keynote address and read at the Kentucky Women Writers Conference at the University of Kentucky in Lexington on September 15.
  • Bill Tremblay served as poetry judge for the Wyoming Arts Council annual 2017 Creative Writing Fellowship program.  There were twenty-two [22] entries and well over 200 poems to evaluate. It was great fun and truly interesting.

 

TEFL/TESL Student Association Pot Luck

Friday, September 8th 5:00pm at City Park, join the TEFL/TESL student association for our fall potluck! Open to undergraduate and graduate students, our organization aims to promote linguistic and cultural diversity though awareness, to network with professionals locally and internationally, and to provide leaning and literacy outreach to the greater Fort Collins community. We will sponsor a variety of social and academic events throughout the academic year, starting with our potluck. Check us out on Ram Link to see our other events! Contact csu.tefl.tesl@gmail.com for more information or questions.

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From Jill Salahub, English Department Communications Coordinator: I am so happy to introduce the English Department’s Communications Interns for Fall 2017 —  Michaela Hayes and Katie Haggstrom, (who was also with us last semester and over the summer, and is so great we asked her to stay on). Just like the position description states, they are creative and enthusiastic CSU students with good communication and writing skills who are super excited to help us tell the story of the English Department. We’ve had our first official meeting, and there’s lots of good stuff coming your way! If you have any ideas of what they should be writing about, events they should be attending, people they should profile, etc., please send those suggestions my way.

 

 

 

From Michaela Hayes: 

Hi! I’m Michaela and I’m beyond excited to be an intern for the English department this semester. I’m a transfer student from the University of Kansas and one of the main selling points of CSU for me was the English department. One step in Eddy and I was in love. Feel free to chat with me at any time about books and such- I’m always up for new recommendations. Some of my favorite authors are Daphne du Maurier, Tim O’Brien, James Baldwin, Jeffrey Eugenides, Joy Fielding, and I could talk about about Sylvia Plath for days. I’m looking forward to going to English department events and readings this semester and adding to my list of favorites.

 

 

 

 

 

From Katie Haggstrom:

My name is Katie and this will be my second year interning for the English department! I’m constantly amazed by how much our students, faculty and staff do, both during the summer and the school year. I’m starting my second year in the MA English, Literature program, and I also work in the Writing Center as a consultant. I spend most of my time running around Eddy, so if you see me please say hi (and you might become the next feature for our Humans of Eddy). Outside the English department, I work with ASCSU as the graduate senator, helping to bridge the gap between grad and undergrad students. I’m excited to get started and hope to see some of you around Eddy!

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The Composition Program and First Year Composition leadership is proud to announce the winners of the FOOD Writing Contest. Students of CO150 in 2016-17, who finished the course in good standing, were invited to submit their final researched essay or visual essay for the writing contest sponsored by Fountainhead Press.  Many essays were submitted, all of which demonstrated the superb instruction of the students’ instructors and the strong writing skills being developed in our CO150 students. A committee of reviewers selected 1st, 2nd and 3rd place essays, and those essays will appear in the Fall 2018 Food-Energy-Water (FEW) Reader. Winners also received cash prizes.

Raven Pinto: 1st Place 

Raven’s essay seeks to compel state policy-makers to adopt organic food waste bans. Raven says it best when she concludes, “the United States will reap the advantages of state-required food waste bans by way of increased food donations to hunger relief organizations; reducing the United States hunger rate as well as the waste rate. Additionally, environments will thrive in the increasing absence of the methane that is produced when large amounts of organic compost are dumped in landfills. Research and analytical observation has also concluded that food waste policies can lead to successful waste-diversion industries, increasing job availability for the American people.” Raven’s well-organized essay effectively discusses all of the above pieces of evidence with consistent sophisticated and professional voice.

Savanah Cheatham: 2nd Place

Savanah’s essay seeks to convince those who have considered adopting a plant-based diet to finally take the plunge. In her essay, she appeals to those readers who may be on the fence about plant-based diets by highlighting several ways in which a plant-based diet has been statistically tested and proven effective.. Savanah closes by saying that a plant-based diet will be “a huge step in contributing to a happier and healthier version of yourself.” Although using second person appeals and personal experience can be incredibly risky in our writing, Savanah is able to effectively use these strategies to communicate her purpose.

Jacob Brueckman: 3rd Place

Jacob tackles the “Havoc of High Sugar Diets” in his essay, focusing, especially, on the damage a high-sugar diet can have on America’s children. With this focus, he appeals directly to parents, seeking to convince them of not only the necessity to help kids today stay away from sugar, but also to seek education on food labeling in order to become more educated on how refined sugar is “hiding in not so obvious products.” Jacob addresses the exigency of the issue by synthesizing sources focused on childhood obesity before turning his attention to the importance of reading food labels in order to keep our future generations, America’s children, healthy and thriving. Jacob’s essay handles multiple layers of an issue, which is, itself, risky, but he does so effectively by keeping focused on his overall purpose.

 

 

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Welcoming new English majors

  • Leslee Becker was named the 3rd-Place Winner of the Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction, sponsored by Rosemont College/Philadelphia Stories & PS Books (“the POWER of Small”) for her short story, “The Grotto.”
  • The Community Literacy Center is happy to welcome six new interns for Fall 2017-Spring 2018. Interns who will develop research and outreach projects with the CLC while facilitating SpeakOut! workshops for youth and incarcerated adults are: Zoe Albrecht (Creative Writing/Fiction with minor in Sociology), Emmy Earsom (Psychology with minor in Spanish), Laney Flanagan (English), Kelly Kuhn (Criminal Psychopathology), Kelly Martin (graduate student, English Rhetoric/Composition), Shelby Spies (Human Development and Family Studies with minor in Business and English).
  • SpeakOut! is still seeking a few serious volunteers for this engaging work! Trainings on August 30 and September 1. Please contact clc@colostate.edu immediately with your application found here: https://csuclc.wordpress.com/intern-resources/
  • A book launch party to celebrate the release of Todd Mitchell’s The Last Panther (Delacorte Press) took place August 25th at Everyday Joe’s Coffee House.
  • Emma Hyche’s poem “Field Trip to the Dead President’s House” was published in the Tampa Review over the summer!
  • This summer, Kelly Weber presented poetry in Detroit at the Twelfth ASLE Biennial Conference Rust/Resistance: Works of Recovery. She read as part of a panel considering rusting language/languaging rust, as well as participating in conversations around environmental crisis and recovery. https://www.asle.org/conference/biennial-conference/

 

Hope Behind Bars 

“Hope Behind Bars” is a musical presentation at Old Town Square on Saturday, August 26 from 4pm to 8pm, which highlights Blues music and other, from groups in the Larimer County Jail (LCJ). The Community Literacy Center and SpeakOut! will be present to represent the writing that comes from its programs in the LCJ. Stop by and send your friends to connect with these programs that do important creative work in our community.

Rekindle the Classics 

The next Rekindle the Classics discussion will be on Wednesday, September 13, 6:30-8:30 pm at Wolverine Farms Publick House. MFA student Kelly Weber will lead a discussion of Morrison’s Beloved. Rekindle the Classics brings together CSU English faculty and graduate students and lovers of literature in the Fort Collins community.

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august

A powerful tale. ~Kirkus

Told in vivid, heartbreaking detail and filled with strong, developed characters, this novel tackles an important theme in a compelling way. In Kiri, young readers will find a protagonist who, although at times afraid, finds the courage to do what she believes to be right. ~Booklist

Earnest, heartfelt, and passionate, this book will likely inspire new environmentalists.  ~Bulletin

The Last Panther, Assistant Professor Todd Mitchell’s latest book, was officially released this week. A book launch party is being held tomorrow, Friday the 25th, at Everyday Joe’s Coffee House, 5-6:30 pm, (find out all the details here). Even though it’s a busy week for him, Todd was kind enough to take the time to answer a few of our questions about the book, his process, and his advice for aspiring writers.

Where did the idea for this book come from?
For years, I was looking for a book that could be used to discuss, with young people, our connection to the greater ecology, and the ways we can act to address some of the biggest environmental problems we currently face. I wasn’t able to find the sort of book I was looking for, though. Most novels that addressed issues like climate change, resource depletion, and species extinction were for older audiences. And the books I did find that addressed such issues were often apocalyptic and depressing. Then, one day, it hit me: Why not write the book I’m looking for? Why not create a story where I could explore, from all angles, the issues I care most deeply about?

It’s funny how long it took me to come to that conclusion. I think I spent a long time avoiding writing about the issues closest to my heart because I feared it would be too difficult to explore such issues in an entertaining way. I wanted others to shoulder the burden of figuring out how to tell such a story. However, writing this book wasn’t a burden at all. Once I gave myself permission to tell the story I wanted to tell, it became the best writing experience of my life.

You mentioned that you wrote this book with your daughter. How was that process different from writing your other books?
This is what made writing this book so much fun: I knew exactly who I was writing for. My daughter, Addison, was ten at the time I developed the first draft. Every night, I’d read a chapter to her and get her feedback on what she liked, what confused her, and what other ideas she had for the story. Then I’d revise that chapter, keeping her feedback in mind, and how she reacted to the story as I read it.

The book’s “co-author” Addison on the left.

I think having a clear audience in mind is vital for any writing project. This was the first time, though, that I was able to read to that audience on a nightly basis and get her feedback. I’m grateful for all that Addison added to the book (the pet rat was her idea, BTW. And she’s the one who named him Snowflake).

Is there an ongoing theme (or themes) in your books? Is there a common thread or message in the stories you tell?
I usually write books to explore questions that interest and trouble me. So if there’s a common theme among my books, it’s that every book began with a question I couldn’t stop asking myself. With The Last Panther, that question was “What is a species worth?” How far would you go to keep a species, like the Florida panther, from extinction? How far should we go as a society to do this? And how do we value other parts of creation? Each of the main characters is brought to a point in the story where he or she must decide what they value most. And each comes up with a different answer (sometimes this answer surprises them). Writing this book helped me to understand the deep, often unstated values that underly many of our current conflicts.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Write the story you’re most afraid to tell. The difficulty here is that sometimes, you don’t even know what you’re afraid to talk about until you discover that something’s holding you back. I think it’s important to give yourself permission to speak and write about the things you care most deeply about, even if you sound ridiculous doing it. This is a hard thing to do, because we’re afraid to be criticized for what we care about, or because we’re afraid to explore what’s difficult, or because we’re afraid to put ourselves at risk this way. But as the poet, Lee Upton, put it, “Our risk is our cure.” This is how you find the stories that mean the most to you. And if you can do that, you’ll probably find stories that mean something to others, too.

 

Join us in congratulating Todd on his new book, and for the release party!

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English instructor Sean Waters viewing the eclipse

  • Dan Beachy-Quick has poems accepted at Poetry, New England Review, and Cincinnati Review.
  • Harrison Candelaria Fletcher had a couple of lyric essays published during the summer break – “Family Cookbook” in Florida Review and “Flight” in Somos en escrito. He also and taught a few hybrid image and found text workshops at the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing Program and the VCFA Post Graduate Writing Conference. He’s glad to be back.
  • Camille Dungy’s new book of poems, Trophic Cascade, received a favorable reading in Harvard Review. http://harvardreview.org/?q=features/book-review/trophic-cascade
  • Sarah Louise Pieplow has six ghazals published in the most recent edition of the Denver Quarterly, under her publishing name ‘slp.’
  • In May Leif Sorensen gave a talk on his book in progress titled Worlds of Difference: Race, Ethnicity and Science Fiction at the invitation of the Sogang Institute of American Studies and the American Culture Program at Sogang University in Seoul, Republic of Korea. He also facilitated a special symposium for the American Cultural Studies Graduate Program at Sogang titled “Revisiting Octavia Butler’s Kindred in 2017″ that focused on Butler’s 1979 novel and Damian Duffy’s 2017 graphic adaptation of the novel.In August Leif presented a talk, “Vanishing Races and Endangered Species” that focuses on representations of endangered species in Native American fiction from the 1920s and 1930s at the Modernist Studies Association Conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.His 2016 essay “Region and Ethnicity on the Air,” published in the Summer 2016 issue of MELUS won an honorable mention for the Don D. Walker Prize sponsored by the Western Literature Association to honor the best essay published on western American literary studies.
  • Catie Young’s chapbook, What is Revealed When I Reveal it to You, will be published by dancing girl press in early 2018. During the summer, poems from Language Object and Stopgap appeared in Gramma and Ghost Proposal.
  • The Center for Literary Publishing, which produces Colorado Review and other publications, is featured in SOURCE, CSU’s news website.  CR editor Stephanie G’Schwind is assisted by English Department student interns, among them Chelsea Hansen and Kristen Macintyre, who are featured in a special story at http://source.colostate.edu/center-serves-hands-publishing-laboratory-students/.

 

English Department Office Hours 

The English Office hours are 7:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. (closed during lunch, 12:00-1:00 p.m.).

 

Eddy 300 Computer Lab

Monday – Thursday 7:30 am – 7 pm
Friday – 7:30 am – 5 pm
Saturday 10 am – 2 pm
Sunday 10 am – 2pm

Writing Center Hours

Starting August 28

Eddy Hall, Room 23
Mon-Thurs: 10 am – 4 pm

Morgan Library, Room 171
Sun-Thurs: 6 pm – 8 pm

 

Fall 2017 Internships Available!

 Unless otherwise noted, the internships listed below are open to qualifying undergraduate and graduate students.

Please contact Cassandra Eddington, English Department Internship Coordinator, at Cassie.Eddington@colostate.edu for more information on these internships and how to apply.

 

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~From intern Katie Haggstrom

august

The beginning of August means that fall classes start in less than three weeks. But there are still plenty of literary events happening around Fort Collins, both before and after school starts. From Fort Collins own Comic Con to a release party for English Professor Todd Mitchell’s new book, there are plenty of things to do between classes. Let us know if you’re going to a literary event not on our list! 

August 3 – Book Talk with Peter Maeck. Stop by Old Firehouse Books in downtown Fort Collins at 6pm. Visit the event page for more information. 

August 7 – Old Firehouse Books will host a book talk with Danya Kukafka. Kukafka, a Fort Collins native, will be discussing her new book Girl in Snow. The event starts at 6pm, visit the Facebook event page for more information.

August 17 – Summer Bike-In Cinema Series: “Get Out.” Bring your friends out to New Belgium Brewing from 6-10pm for a screening of the horror film “Get Out.” Tickets are $2 per person with proceeds going to Wolverine Farm Publishing. More information is listed on their event page

August 24 – FoCo Drink & Draw at the Wolverine Farm Letterpress from 5-7pm. The event invites people to “drink a few beers and draw a few pictures.” While some of you many see yourself only as writers, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your inner artist. Visit their event for more details. 

august

August 25 – Our own English Professor Todd Mitchell will have a release party for his new book The Last Panther. Come help him celebrate at Everyday Joe’s Coffee House in downtown Fort Collins, starting at 5pm. The Facebook event page has more information. Read our Faculty/Alumni profile to learn more about Mitchell and his works.

August 26-27 – Fort Collins Comic Con. All tickets proceeds go toward the Poudre River Public Library District. Spend the weekend celebrating your favorite book fandoms. Visit the Comic Con website for ticket and event information. Visit their Facebook page to get a sneak peak of who’s attending. 

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