Tag Archives: Dana Masden

  • Dan Beachy-Quick has a group of essays from A Quiet Book in the new Copper Nickel.
  • On Saturday February 25th, Camille Dungy will be the Keynote Speaker at the Robinson Jeffers Society Annual Meeting at Occidental College. Her talk is titled: “The View From Hawk Tower Today: A Contemporary Environmental Poet Reflects on What Robinson Jeffers Has Meant to Her.” https://www.oxy.edu/oxy-arts/projects-exhibitions/visiting-artists
  • The opening reception for the CSU Art and Science exhibition is this coming Tuesday, Feb 21 from 4:30 to 6:30 pm at the Curfman gallery in the Lory Student Center. Beth Lechleitner’s collaborative poetry/visual art piece “Mettle” has been is included.  The show runs through March 24.
  • Dana Masden’s short story “Exercise, A Good Book, and a Cup of Tea” is published in the Fall 2016 issue of Third Coast.
  • Mary Ellen Sanger (Associate Director, Community Literacy Center) won second place in the North Street Book Prize contest for her book, “Blackbirds in the Pomegranate Tree: Stories from Ixcotel State Prison.” This account of her unjust imprisonment in Mexico centers on stories of solidarity and community with the women she met inside. https://winningwriters.com/past-winning-entries/blackbirds-in-the-pomegranate-tree
  • Alex Morrison’s short story, “Life Along the Fault Line,” is available in print in the Winter 2017 issue of The Cardiff Review. 
  • Catie Young’s poem “Hollow Bone” was recently published by Public Pool. You can read it here: http://www.publicpool.org/dope/cl-young/
  • Aby Kaupang was recently asked by the Lincoln Center and the Fort Collins Museum of Art to participate in the Speaking Volumes: Transforming Hate exhibit by writing poems and reading them at the opening reception. Her poems can be found mounted in the lobby at FoCoMoA or online through Essay Press’ Radio Radio 11.8.16.
  • Steven Schwartz’s story “The Bad Guest” has been accepted by Ploughshares and will appear in the Winter 2017/18 issue.

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~from intern Joyce Bohling

Dana Masden
English Teaching Faculty, (CO150, CO300, Intro to Lit, Beginning Creative Writing and 20th Century Fiction, as well as CO150 online)
MFA: Creative Writing (she’s also an alumna!)
dana-masden
What brought you to CSU?

I came to CSU for my MFA in 2005. Every other school I applied to was in the Midwest and I was fairly certain I would attend school in Chicago. However, I got good vibes from the CSU Creative Writing department, my sister had recently moved to Colorado, and my top Chicago schools rejected me. Since then, my parents and other family members also relocated to Colorado. At the time, I thought of CSU as a big state school in a college town. Over time, I grew to love the community of Fort Collins and now only think of CSU as a small piece of the home I love so much.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Time is really my most precious resource, so I love the flexibility and independence that this career provides. But more than this, I truly enjoy working with undergraduate students. There is something about this stage in life that is perpetually exciting and hopeful.

Why are the Humanities important?

The Humanities are where people learn to think.

What inspired you to pursue a degree in English, the Humanities?

For two years as an undergraduate, I equally pursued both pre-med and creative writing, unsure if I wanted to be a doctor or a writer. I ultimately picked the writing path because I liked my classmates and professors in those courses much better, which told me something about what the rest of my life would be like if I pursued English and higher education. And it turns out that when I did well in the Sciences, it was often a writing-related task anyway, like writing a lab report or essay.

What special project are you working on right now?

After writing two (or four?) literary novels, my latest attempt is to write a thriller. I have always struggled with plot, so writing something plot-dependent is kind of a fun challenge for me.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

A doctor or a writer—whichever had the better people.

What moment in the classroom stands out to you as most memorable?

I often return to a specific moment from early teaching when a student pointed out something incorrect and careless I said; an instance when I tried to answer a question I was unsure about. After this experience, I started paying attention to my own mentors in life and realized how willing they were to admit when they didn’t know something, how honesty was a big part of why they were good mentors to begin with, even if honesty was admitting ignorance or fault. I quickly learned that my attempt to always have an answer even when I didn’t know was obvious to my students and how important it is to pause after a question—to really think before speaking. That one student helped me to understand that teaching and mentorship is really not about being a constant authority but about modeling the thinking process, which requires both honesty and a bit of time to get right.

What is your favorite thing to teach? Favorite thing about teaching?

I teach both Composition and Creative Writing and I enjoy both of them equally—truly—for very different reasons. Composition is so useful and unlike anything I ever had as a student. I see my Composition students come out of the class better thinkers and that is inspiring. However, I am also very happy when I see someone in Creative Writing take a risk that pays off. Often the risk is to avoid some of the thrills and chills and plot stuff their peers are throwing into their work and to explore a very real but uncomfortable emotion. I feel privileged to be part of this when it happens.

What advice would you give to a student taking a class in the English department?

Go to office hours. Writers have such individual needs and I truly don’t know anyone in this department who I wouldn’t be delighted to spend twenty minutes with.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

I remember asking Steven Schwartz about publishing and he told me very bluntly that my work wasn’t ready and I shouldn’t think about that at all. He told me to work on the writing first. I know we hear it all the time, but in such a blunt package it was memorable and important.

What’s your favorite word?

Noodle. It is what my daughter calls her future sibling (we have a second baby due in March). I should add that Vera’s full name for this upcoming baby is “White Noodle,” which I thought was a pretty good image for a twenty-month old.

What are you currently reading?

I read a great deal of argument papers, annotated bibliographies, student stories. I always have a book opened and half-way read somewhere but reading for me is mostly a summer thing.

What don’t your colleagues know about you?

During the semester, I prioritize watching really crappy reality TV instead of reading. Please don’t tell them. [Sorry, Dana — your secret is NOT safe with us].

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

When I graduated from my MFA, I made a goal to publish something every year, which I believed was setting myself nicely up for failure since publishing is not really in the writer’s control. However, since then, I have accomplished my goal in one form or another, publishing sometimes even two or three stories and essays a year, if you don’t count 2012, which nobody thought was a great year anyway.

When you’re not working, what do you do?

I spend a lot of time with my family—with Joe, Vera, and Noodle, but also my extended family—my parents and siblings and niece and nephews. I can’t imagine not being close to them.

 

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  • Dan Beachy-Quick will be on Colorado Matters on the Denver NPR station on May 11.
  • Ellen Brinks has been invited to give a plenary talk at the conference “Forgotten Geographies in the Fin de Siècle, 1880-1920,” at Birkbeck College, University of London, in early July.
  • Doug Cloud’s article, “Talking Climate Change Across Difference” has been accepted for publication in a special issue of Reflections focused on “Sustainable Communities and Environmental Communication.” The issue will be out this fall.
  • Roze Hentschell will be leading a group of 10 CSU Honors Program students to study in Oxford, England. From late May through June, the students will take her 3 credit class, “Shakespeare in Oxford,” and they will take field trips to Bath, Windsor, Stratford-upon-Avon, and London. The students will also take a 3 credit independent tutorial with an Oxford professor in their field of study.
  • A short story from Colorado Review, “Midterm,” by Leslie Johnson (Spring 2015), has been selected for the 2017 Pushcart Prize anthology. You can read the story here: http://coloradoreview.colostate.edu/features/midterm/
  • The Community Literacy Center received a $5000 grant from the Bohemian Pharos Fund in support of the youth SpeakOut writing workshops.
  • Tobi Jacobi and Lara Roberts’s essay, “Developing Self-Care Strategies for Volunteers in a Prison Writing Program” appears in the new edited collection, The Volunteer Sector in Prisons: Encouraging Institutional and Personal Change (May 2016).
  • Larissa Willkomm’s research poster on a collaborative writing project on women, jail, and addiction won a 3rd place service learning prize at the recent CSU CURC competition.  Larissa completed this project as part of her CLC internship and work with SpeakOut.

    Larissa presenting her work at the recent CURC

    Larissa presenting her work at the recent CURC

  • Dana Masden’s short story “Exercise, a Good Book, and a Cup of Tea” will be published in an upcoming issue of Third Coast.
  • Kristina Quynn’s essay “My Brother, My….” is part of the just published collection of personal essays from 2Leaf Press on white privilege and whiteness in America.  The collection, What Does It Mean to Be White In America, includes an introduction by Debby White and an afterword by Tara Betts. While not light summer reading, it could be useful to those teaching about race in America.  You can find more information at: http://whiteinamerica.org
  • The following group presented a panel at the April 29 Writing on the Range Conference at the University of Denver, where Cheryl Ball was the featured speaker: Tim Amidon, Hannah Caballero, Doug Cloud, Sue Doe, Ed Lessor, Amanda Memoli, and James Roller. The group focused on examples, challenges, questions, and opportunities associated with integrating multimodality into writing. The presentation was entitled:”A Case of Wishful Thinking?  Our Plans for an Integrated and Coordinated Multimodal Curriculum.”
  • Mary Crow will take part in a public reception and reading for artworks inspired by poems May 19 in Loveland at Artworks, 6:30 p.m., 310 N. Railroad Ave. (Hwy 287 to 3rd, then R a block). She will read her poem. “Dear X,” and the artwork it inspired will be part of the exhibit.
  • “Food for Bears” by Kayann Short (BA 81; MA 88), an essay about the 2015 Front Range food collapse, appears in the latest issue of the environmental literary magazine, The Hopper.
  • Kathleen Willard’s (MFA, poetry Spring 2004) poetry chapbook Cirque & Sky won Middle Creek Publishing & Audio’s Fledge Chapbook Contest. Her book is a series of pastorals and anti-pastorals that “attunes its lyric eye to local ecological crises” (Dan Beachy-Quick)  & evokes “a periodic table of agitation over the continued plunder of Colorado and by extension the world.” (John Calderazzo). Her book is available online at Middle Creek Publishing and Audio, and Amazon.

    Kathleen Willard gave a reading with other Middle Creek Publishing & Audio poets in Pueblo, Colorado as part of the Earth Day Celebration sponsored by Colorado State University at Pueblo and the Sierra Club on April 23rd at Songbird Cellars, a local winery.

    She is also speaking at the Colorado Creative Industry Summit at Carbondale, Colorado on May 5th. In her presentation “Thinking Outside the Book”, she will share how receiving a Colorado Creative Industry Career Advancement Grant shifted her thinking about publishing poetry, how by using some basic business practices increased her poetry readership, and led her to pursue alternative spaces for her poetry, such as art galleries, community newspapers, installations, & the Denver Botanic Gardens CSA Art Share Project. While still wildly interested in the traditional modes of book publication, she would like to increase chance encounters that the public may have with poetry outside the book.

    She is also curating with Todd Simmons of Wolverine Farm and Publishing, a Food Truck Reading Series at Wolverine Farm Letterpress this summer, which is being supported by New Belgium Brewing Company.

    The Fort Collins Book Launch for Cirque & Sky will be June 21st, Midsummer’s Eve at Wolverine Letterpress.

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image by Jill Salahub

image by Jill Salahub

  • The French edition of EJ Levy’s story collection, Love, In Theory (Editions Rivages, 2015) received excellent reviews in Le Monde, Le Figaro, Elle, and Le Journal Dimanche this summer, and was the featured title in Paris Vogue in August, for which EJ was photographed by fashion photographer/ filmmaker Andrew Dosumnu. She read with novelist Celeste Ng at Ashland University in July.
  • Dana Masden’s short essay “For the Love of Groceries” will appear in the next issue of Fort Collins Magazine.
  • Todd Mitchell’s fourth novel, Species, a middle-grade book that involves giant sea turtles, climate refugees, and mystical encounters with the last living Florida panther, will be published in Winter/Spring 2017 by Delacorte Press (an imprint of Random House).
  • In an article on new books about World War I as well as a review of Dan Robinson’s novel, the Historical Novels Society wrote, “The lessons of World War I are as relevant today as they were one hundred years ago and when we read novels like Death of a Century, we are reminded poignantly of these lessons.” The full article/review can be accessed on historicalnovelsociety.org or on the board outside Dan’s office. Also, Dan will present a paper on Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time and moderate a panel on the story “Indian Camp” at the 17th Biennial International Hemingway Conference in Oak Park next July.
  • Bill Tremblay’s adaptation of Aaron A. Abeyta’s novel, RISE, DO NOT BE AFRAID [Ghost Road Press, 2003] is a finalist in the Moondance International Film Festival’s screenplay competition for feature films.
  • Kayann Short’s essay, “Soil vs Dirt: A Reverie on Getting Down to Earth,” appears in Dirt: A Love Story, edited by Barbara K Richardson and published by University Press of New England.

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Professor Roze Hentschell and family (husband, Thomas Cram, daughter Eleanor, and son Felix) pictured attending the Newly Promoted and Tenured Faculty Reception at Colorado State University on Dec. 1. Other English faculty, Professor Ellen Brinks and Associate Professor EJ Levy, were also honored.

Professor Roze Hentschell and family (husband, Thomas Cram, daughter Eleanor, and son Felix) pictured attending the Newly Promoted and Tenured Faculty Reception at Colorado State University on December 1st.

  • Several faculty members began the academic year with changes in rank or appointment. EJ Levy received tenure and promotion to associate professor and Ellen Brinks and Roze Hentschell were promoted to full professor. Sharon Grindle, Jenny Levin, and Dana Masden received Senior Teaching Appointments in recognition of their years of excellent teaching. Todd Mitchell moved to the non-tenure-track rank of Assistant Professor and was reappointed as Director of Creative Writing Pedagogy.
  • Sue Doe was awarded the Paulo Friere Educator Award for 2014 on December 6 by the Denver-based Romero Theater Troupe for “work on behalf of contingent labor in higher education.” The Romero Theater Troupe, a Denver-based group, addresses social justice issues through organic theater.  Along with several graduate students and NTTF, notably led by former grad student Vani Kannan (now at Syracuse U), Sue helped put together last year’s performance called, Contingency: A Crisis for Teaching and Learning which was performed on the campuses of CSU and Front Range Community College. The Fort Collins performances were subsequently folded into a larger production of the Romero Theater Troupe. An Adjunct at Ludlow integrated stories of adjunct faculty, undocumented workers, discarded senior workers, marginalized female workers, and embattled union workers, among others. Organic theater is participatory theater that depicts the everyday, often invisible violences that people experience, in the workplace, on the streets, at home, and elsewhere. Participant-actors write short scenes to depict their own experiences. The act of writing the play brings people together to address the social justice issues in question and the differences between actors. This work builds on Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed.
  • Tobi Jacobi and Ann Folwell Stanford (DePaul University) are pleased to announce the release of Women, Writing, and Prison: Activists, Scholars, and Writers Speak Out, an edited collection of essays and narratives on women’s experiences in prison (Rowman and Littlefield).
  • Tobi Jacobi presented a paper ((Re)writing ‘Lila: Stories from the New York Training School for Girls, 1920-1935) at the National Women’s Studies Association conference in San Juan.
  • The Community Literacy Center is pleased to announce the launch of the fall 2014 SpeakOut! Journal.  The issue, titled, “We Make Our Future,” features 68 community writers from our youth and adult programs.
  • Kristin George Bagdanov’s panel “Cultivating and Communicating Crisis in Ecopoetics” was accepted for the Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE) in Boulder this June. Also presenting on this ASLE-sponsored panel is 3rd year poet, Gracie McCarroll.
  • Kayann Short’s (English BA 1981; MA 1988) essay, “Floodables,” about the aftermath of Colorado’s 2013 flood, appears in the Winter 2014 issue of The Fort Collins Courier.
  • Chris Vanjonack has two short stories accepted for publication: “The Last Times You Saw Jenny McCreary” – Buffalo Almanack – Issue 6 – December 15th and “Last Letter Home” – New Haven Review – Issue 15 – Winter 2014.
  • Upcoming Event: SpeakOut fall journal launch. Tuesday, December 16, 6:30-8 pm at the Wild Boar Coffee Shop (lower level).  “Please join us to celebrate writing with Fort Collins poet laureate and English Department alumna, Chloe’ Leisure, and our youth writers. Refreshments will be served.”

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