Category Archives: Other

Ashley Alfirevic relaxing with a book under the trees on the south side of Eddy Hall, a popular site for such things

Today is the last day of finals week, Spring 2017. As students finish tests and projects, and teachers wrap up their grading, it’s time to turn our attention to a very important question: What are you reading this summer? We asked the same of English department faculty and staff, and here are the books they are planning to read, or recommend that you read.


Department Chair Louann Reid is planning to read:

  • Unflattening by Nick Sousanis (Dissertation, Graphic Narrative)
  • A Gentleman in Moscow by by Amor Towles (Fiction)
  • The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art, collection edited by by Frances Gateward and John Jennings


Communications Coordinator Jill Salahub wants to read:

  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond (2017 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction)
  • Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance (Memoir)
  • Hunger by Roxane Gay (Memoir)
  • Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History by Camille T. Dungy (Memoir)
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) – (intern Joyce Bohling agrees, wants to read this too)
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Fiction)

She also recommends these classics, either revisiting them or reading them for the first time:

  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley


Intern Joyce Bohling wants to read


Intern Katie Haggstrom wants to read:

  • Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami (Short Stories)

She also recommends:

  • Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (Poetry)
  • Gravity by Robert Drake (Fiction)


Assistant Professor Tim Amidon is planning to read


Assistant Professor Zach Hutchins is reading

  • the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of War and Peace (Fiction)


Instructor Rebecca Snow recommends:

  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Fiction)
  • The novels of Marilynne Robinson: Housekeeping, Gilead, Home, and Lila (Fiction)


Instructor Judith Lane recommends:

  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Fiction)


Assistant Professor Todd Mitchell says that “several of my students’ favorite book from this semester, and a great summer read” is:

  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Saenz (Young Adult, Fiction)

And a book he looks forward to reading this summer:

  • Things That Are by Amy Leach (Essays)

And his wife would recommend:

  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (Fiction)


Graduate Programs Assistant Marnie Leonard says, “So many good books, not enough time to reread them, so I’m hoping to enjoy those that I can, at least once.” She recommends:

  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Nonfiction)

And she is going to read:

  • A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor (Nonfiction)
  • Blackbirds in the Pomegranate Tree by Mary Ellen Sanger (Associate Director of the Community Literacy Center in our English department), (Memoir)
  • Managed Care by David Milofsky (Professor Emeritus of our English department), (Fiction)


Some fun sites for finding recommendations:


Let us know if there’s anything you’d add to our list. What are you reading this summer?


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, 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

CSU Students (only) completing CO150 in good standing during the 2016/2017 Academic Year, in sections addressing the course topic of “food,” are eligible to participate in this essay contest, (only one entry per student).

Please submit the following to participate:

  • A researched (source-based) argumentative essay or a photo essay with accompanying Rhetorical Analysis (A4 or A5) done for CO150 on the topic of food.
  • Submit entries to, and
  • Submit all entries electronically to the above email addresses. When submitting essays, please use the email subject line: Food Contest Entry 2016/2017 so your entry will be easily identified.

With your essay, please submit:

  • A letter of transmittal that explains your audience and purpose for the text you’re submitting and your willingness to be included among contestants and willingness to be published in the next reader.
  • A letter of support from your CO150 instructor, verifying the essay’s completion in CO150 and your completion of the course in good standing (passing with a C or better).
  • Reliable contact information for you so that we may reach you after the end of the semester/school year.

All submissions, with accompanying documents, need to be submitted electronically by May 22nd, 2017. Winners will be announced in late May or early June 2017.

Awards: Winners will receive awards of $125 (1st place), $75 (2nd place) and $50 (3rd place) AND publication of your award winning essay in the next CO150 reader. Public readings during the 2017/2018 school year may also be possible.


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~from intern Haley Huffman

1. Trying to analyze Old English texts at 8:00 am.


2. Having all your final papers due during Dead week, making finals week feel like a vacation.

Dead week:


Finals week:


3. When people tell you that the degree you’re working towards is useless.


4. “Oh you’re an English major? What’s your favorite book?” But you can’t answer that question because there are too many choices.


5. How you feel when you pick up on symbolism or a metaphor that no one else noticed.


6. When the English Department has reading days and all of your friends still have to go to class, but you’re having a pajama dance party.


7. Climbing the stairs to the third floor of Eddy makes you feel really out of shape.


8. The panic you feel when you’re trying to get through the entire reading assignment in the seven minutes you have before class starts.


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Scholarships Available

Apply: December 1, 2016 — March 1, 2017

For Undergraduate Students

  • Community Engagement Scholarship*
  • Donna Weyrick Memorial Scholarship*
  • Diane Keating Woodcox & Larry G. Woodcox Scholarship
  • Dr. Alfred R. Westfall Memorial Scholarship
  • Hixon Family Scholarship*
  • James J. Garvey Undergraduate English Language Scholarship*
  • John and Pat Venable CSUWA Scholarship
  • Judith A. Dean Memorial English Scholarship
  • Karyn L. Evans Memorial Scholarship
  • Page Jones Richards Palmquist Families Scholarship
  • Zambia Community Education & Health Scholarship


For Graduate Students

  • Ann O. Zimdahl Memorial Scholarship
  • Community Engagement Scholarship*
  • Cross-Cultural Understanding Scholarship
  • English Faculty/Staff Graduate Scholarship
  • James J. Garvey Graduate English Language Scholarship*
  • Smith-Schamberger Literature Fellowship
  • TESL/TEFL Scholarship


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

Apply Online

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

March 1 Deadline

Students may start the application process beginning December 1, 2015. All application materials are due by 11 p.m. on March 1, 2016.

Learn More

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

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~from intern Joyce Bohling

Francisco Leal and Silvia Soler

Francisco Leal and Silvia Soler

Francisco Leal and Silvia Soler, both professors in CSU’s Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, are trying to do something they themselves describe as “impossible”: to translate the work of CSU poets into Spanish, including Camille Dungy, Sasha Steensen, Dan Beachy-Quick, and Professor Emeritus Mary Crow. In fact, they’re planning to publish a book of their translations in spring of 2017.

Dr. Leal, whose academic work focuses primarily on contemporary Latin American poetry and who writes his own original poetry, was inspired to start a project of this nature shortly after he came to CSU and read the work of the aforementioned CSU poets. Dr. Soler, an assistant professor with an emphasis in translation and interpretation, was invited to join the project when she came to CSU in fall of 2015.

They have also garnered help from interested undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, as well as those in other departments, such as the Department of English.

I first found out about their monumental task when I enrolled in LGEN 545: Literary Translation in Theory and Practice, for the fall semester. In the course, the students, who speak four different languages (Spanish, French, German, and Portuguese) are almost all working on translating poems by different CSU poets. Students have the option to submit their translations to be included in the upcoming publication.

Earlier this autumn, I sat down with Dr. Leal and Dr. Soler for an interview to find out more about the project: its hardships, its joys, and what faculty and students in the English department might like to know about it.

The most challenging part of the translation process, the two professors say, is transferring what Dr. Leal called “the invisible poetry” from one poem to another. “I think it’s the detail—that invisible part that’s hard to explain or identify that is moving poetry to poetry, not only word to word”: in other words, not just the literal meaning of the words themselves, but the complex web of symbolism, cultural significance, style, appearance, sound, and in some cases, strict structural constraints.

Dr. Soler was amused by the words “invisible poetry.” “That’s the poet’s explanation,” she teased. “I would never say that.”

“I would say that the most challenging part of translating Sasha and Camille’s poetry—especially Sasha’s—is that it’s very concise. She tries to convey different layers of meaning in very few words.”

Both translators also mentioned the difficulty of identifying and understanding allusions in U.S. poets’ work, both literary and cultural, as both come from other cultures: Dr. Soler from Spain and Dr. Leal from Chile.

“It’s sometimes more difficult for non-natives of this [American] culture…to identify those allusions,” said Dr. Soler. “That has been mentioned by many different writers and scholars in translation studies as one of the main difficulties in literary translation—in any text, but specifically literary translation—when you are evoking or referring to a different literary work or just some cultural or historical event, or just some connotations at the semantic level from a specific culture that we don’t find in dictionaries, of course. We have to use our background knowledge, and if we lack that background knowledge, then we are missing that layer of meaning.”

But what is a challenge, Dr. Leal said, can also be a joy. “When you see that [invisible poetry] moving into a different language, it’s extremely rewarding….I think it goes both ways; what is challenging is also a motivation.”

The two translators emphasized how rewarding it has been to get to work on this project collaboratively, with each other and with the authors of the poems they are translating. Dr. Leal is first and foremost a writer, although he dabbled in some poetry translation prior to meeting Dr. Soler and learning more about the methods, theories, and terminology used by professional translators. “How she can make a translation for me is always magic,” he said.

Dr. Soler, on the other hand, had never had the opportunity to work directly with the author of a literary work before coming to CSU.

The professors of Spanish found the poets from the English department to be quite open to having their work translated, which, Dr. Soler said, came as a bit of a surprise; she had expected more resistance. “You are a writer, an author, and you know that somebody’s going to try to interpret what you wanted to convey. I’m not an author, but I think I understand that it’s kind of difficult to not know what is going to be done with your words, feelings, emotions, ideas.” She said she finds the poets—Camille Dungy, Sasha Steensen, Dan Beachy-Quick, and Mary Crow—“amazing” in their willingness to let their work be translated.

Although Dr. Soler stressed that literary translation is not “necessary” in the same way that, for instance, translation of court documents is necessary for someone who doesn’t speak a country’s official language, it still has tremendous benefit.

“It’s just so important, I think, if we want to build healthier and better human communities. And this, to me, means that once you try to think about the world—other humans, and not just other humans but other beings—from different perspectives, and when you have access to other perspectives from which people look at the world, your mind changes. In a good way. It becomes more open and able to accept diversity, which is the basis of healthier, more respectful human communities.”

Dr. Leal agreed that translation can help us understand others from different cultures and with different perspectives, but he also emphasized that it can simultaneously remind us how much we have in common. For instance, in the course I’m currently taking, we read a number of translations of a poem by the eighth century Chinese poet Wang Wei. Because of translation, Dr. Leal said, “it’s not only that we are able to enjoy that poem, but that poem can talk to you straightforward.”

It’s “excellent proof that we all live in one big planet.”

Dr. Soler and Dr. Leal would be thrilled to have more students and faculty from the English department take a literary translation class with them, get involved with translating for their upcoming publication, or both. Collaboration between the English department and the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, they stressed, is very enriching for students and faculty in both programs.

They wished to re-assure students in the English department that one need not be fluent in a language in order to translate from or into that language. “The more you know, the better, but that doesn’t mean you have to be native-speaker level in two languages in order to do translation, necessarily,” said Dr. Leal.

Dr. Soler agreed. “It is important the bilingual competence is always there–no one can say that it’s not important—but…translation is much more than the bilingual competence or the bicultural competence….You are trained in the different methods and strategies and concepts that you need to be aware of, and that helps you start to build your competence as a translator. If you’re able to explain why you do what you are doing, and you’re also aware of the problems that you’re having with the language, the culture, or whatever, that makes you a translator.”

I certainly have gotten a lot out of the literary translation course, even though I’m not fluent in German. Although I was a German minor as an undergraduate, I certainly don’t speak, read or write at a level I would need to translate professionally. Nonetheless, I’ve been able to learn so much from the course about the nuanced differences between languages and found many resources for learning more about German beyond just a bilingual dictionary. It’s also been, as the professors pointed out, an enriching opportunity to get to know students from the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures and hear their unique thoughts and perspectives.

Although no translation classes are being offered next semester, Dr. Soler plans to continue offering courses in a variety of kinds of translation, such as film translation. She and Dr. Leal are also happy to hear from anyone in the English department interested in knowing more about their ongoing translation project.

“800-TRANSLATE is the phone number. Call collect!” joked Dr. Leal.


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You might not know this about intern Courtney Satchell, but fall is her favorite time of year, and Halloween is her favorite holiday. So when we brainstormed some ideas for posts related to the season, she was the obvious choice to put something together. Here’s her list of some Halloween reads you should check out.



Bram Stoker’s Dracula: I’m not normally one for horror (which my sister thinks is ironic because my favorite holiday is Halloween) but Dracula is definitely one of my favorite novels of all time. The struggle between Van Helsing and Dracula is beyond creepy and this Gothic Horror classic will definitely get you in the Halloween spirit.

Zombies vs Unicorns edited by Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black: Writers tend to hang out together, and just like any group of friends they’ll sometimes get into silly little arguments that can spiral way out of control. Luckily for us, it usually spawns great writing. In the case of this anthology it was suppose to settle a debate between Y.A writers Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black about which was better: zombies or unicorns. With Holly leading Team Unicorn and Justine leading Team Zombie, both convinced their fellow writers to join them and then thus the anthology was born. Personally I’m Team Unicorn, but the anthology brings quality laughs all around!

The Wife’s Story by Ursla K. Le Guin: This is a werewolf story. A. Werewolf. Story. A rare and beautiful thing, a lot like unicorns. That alone should make you want to read it. Werewolves are severely underrated. Severely. It’s a pity and a damn shame because they are awesome and they deserve more than playing second fiddle to vampires. It’s a beautifully written short story with an awesome twist. Check it out.

I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan: Okay this one is for the 90’s nostalgia I’ve been in for basically all my life. Like I said I am not one for Horror, but I loved this book and my sister was all too happy to force me to marathon the movie series after I told her I had read the book — I had nightmares for the rest of the summer. Worth it. Read the book or watch the movies, either option is a perfect way to get into your 90s feels for Halloween.


What are you reading for thrills or chills this season? Anything we should know about?

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~from Communications Coordinator Jill Salahub

I was a lucky kid. I grew up in a really small town in a rural area of Oregon, but was part of a really big family. My mom is the second oldest of 12 kids and my grandparents had a farm. We all lived near each other and spent a lot of time together. I was as close to my cousins as most people are with their siblings. I grew up with kids whose parents had been friends with my parents growing up. Except for the first few years, I lived in the same house until I moved out at 18. I joke that it was as close to growing up in Mayberry as you could get.

For being a small rural town, I had an amazing school with incredible teachers. Mrs. Simmons was one of the best. We did a lot of writing and creating in her class, took lots of fun field trips, and she was so encouraging, calling me her “little author.” There was a loft bed in the corner of the classroom painted to look like a tree. I spent many hours there reading — I was working my way through the entire library, book by book. It was that same year that I learned that being a writer was a job, one I could grow up and have. Once I knew that, I knew who I was.

I was lucky enough to run into Esther a few years ago. I was home visiting, and as my mom and I came out of the post office, there she was. My mom said hello to her and something like “do you know who this is?” as she gestured towards me and I smiled. To me she looked almost exactly the same, older sure but totally recognizable, but for her it must have been so strange, this little girl she used to know standing before her suddenly a woman in her 40s. I got to tell her that I’m a teacher and a writer, and she seemed so pleased by that. I’m so sad she’s gone (she passed away August 13, 2015), but glad I got to see her again, and hope that she knew the good she’d done, for me and all the other kids lucky enough to be her students, to be taught and loved by her.


World Teachers’ Day, observed on October 5, is an occasion to celebrate all of those who shape the minds of future generations, to show appreciation for the vital contributions that teachers make. World Teachers Day was created by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1994 to celebrate the educators of the world. The global holiday is held each year in recognition of the special intergovernmental conference convened by UNESCO in Paris that adopted the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers on that date in 1966. The recommendation declared education a fundamental human right, acknowledged the essential role of teachers to society, set international standards and defined teachers’ responsibilities.

Is there a special teacher you’d like to remember, to celebrate, to thank?

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For Bev McQuinn

A decade gone, responding to my plea for thinning,
you dug canes with vigor,
creating welcomed roominess in my raspberry forest
and seeding a small grove of your own.

Every summer since then, you have blessed me with jam.

Including this one,
after which, very shortly,
you went:
your gut filled with an unwelcomed meal of cells.

We brought you food (without small seeds, please).
But, too suddenly, you were away.

The day I learned of it,
I found, in the refrigerator at work,
this year’s ruby gift of your labor.

This is the task you left to us:
eating the small-seeded sweetness
from the jar of your absence.

–E.A. Lechleitner
August 31, 2016

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With finals approaching and papers, projects, and presentations looming for us English majors, you may also have one thing in the back of your mind that you’ve been avoiding: holiday shopping. How are you supposed to find that perfect gift for your best friend or your significant other?  When will you have the time to scope out that must have item you know they’ll love? Maybe your parents have been asking you for your own Christmas list, and you have no idea where to start.

Well, don’t fret. Ditch the generic Barnes and Noble gift cards and stop wondering whether your roommate would rather get a memoir or a sci-fi novel. We’ve gathered nine totally unique gifts for the literature lovers in your life. Order right from your couch (or your desk if you’re procrastinating on that ten page essay).


  1. Book Lovers’ Scented Soy Candle
Image from Frostbeard Etsy store

Image from Frostbeard Etsy store

The one disappointment when receiving a new book is that it just doesn’t have that old-book smell. Fill in the gap with a scented candle that will make their living room feel like a musty library. This fun Etsy shop sells handmade soy candles with a variety of scents perfect for whomever you’re shopping for. Aside from “Old Books,” you can try themes like “Winterfell” or “Trashy Romance Novel.”


  1. Miniature Classic Novels Book Earrings
Image from JanDaJewelry Etsy shop

Image from JanDaJewelry Etsy shop

Sure, you can buy earrings that remind them of their favorite book (especially when it comes to Harry Potter options), but why not buy earrings of the actual all time classic? No, they’re not too heavy. This Etsy shop hand makes tiny miniature book pendants for jewelry. Pick from old standbys like Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice or create a custom order.


  1. Audio Books


Do you have that one friend who loves reading, but never has time to crack open a book? Do they always complain about their long commutes? Try an audio book. Better yet, try an audio book read by the author! Old Firehouse Books has a handsome collection, especially if you’re a fan of David Sedaris. But don’t worry – you can order online from your favorite local bookseller, too.


  1. Library Card Mug
Image from  UncommonGoods

Image from UncommonGoods

Whether they drink their coffee black or prefer herbal teas, every English major has a favorite warm brew to sip while they’re snuggled up with a book. Give them a mug that’ll remind them of their favorite place: the library.  If you’re the Pinterest type, maybe you could try filling in that library card with their favorite novels (just make sure it’s a method that’ll stick).


  1. Literary Scarves
Image from Uncommon Goods

Image from Uncommon Goods

Give your loved one that warm, fuzzy feeling with a thick scarf and familiar words. Silkscreened and hand printed with classics like Wuthering Heights and Alice in Wonderland, these scarves are smart and sharp. They’re great for someone committed to fashion and the written word. If you know they’ll absolutely love the scarf, you can also pick up a pair of matching fingerless gloves. That way, nothing gets in the way of turning pages.


  1. Literary Cufflinks
Image from Uncommon Goods

Image from Uncommon Goods

Scarves and earrings are all well and good, but what about the man in your life who loves his literature? These cufflinks give an air of sophistication to any button down. Classic and debonair, these great gifts will make your guy look well read and well dressed. Made from discarded texts and storybooks, you can also rest easy knowing no books were harmed in the making of this present.


  1. Peeramid Bookrest
Image from Amazon

Image from Amazon

We’ve all had that problem when we’ve been wrapped up in a book all day, and there is no longer any comfortable sitting position where we can feasibly hold up said novel. Enter the Peeramid Bookrest. A triangular pillow with a built-in bookmark, just prop this puppy up and place the book in the crease. Viola! Sit in any style you choose without sacrificing comfort or maximum page turning.


  1. Litographs T-shirts
Image from Litographs

Moby Dick shirt, image from Litographs

You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, right? Then why get a present with just the front instead of the good stuff inside? These t-shirts have every word of the book printed into fun shapes and patterns. They’ve got hundreds of titles, with everything from Moby Dick to Kill Bill: Volume 1. If your friend might have a soft spot for non-conventional novels, this selection has more than just the classics.


  1. Temporary Tattoos
Image from Litographs, tattoo from Beowulf

Image from Litographs, tattoo from Beowulf

Now, hipster English majors don’t have the monopoly on cool book tattoos! If your friends are the definition of timid bookworms, give them the chance to sport a badass literature tattoo – if only for a couple of days! If you really want to be a hero, try the set of Beowulf tattoos for you and your bud.

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