English Department News Letter and Calendar


Composition Studies Through a Feminist Lens Cover

Shari Stenberg's book Composition Studies Through a Feminist Lens was recently published by Parlor Press.

Macroanalysis: Digital Methods and Literary History Cover

Matthew Jockers' Macroanalysis: Digital Methods and Literary History has been published by the University of Illinois Press.

More than 550 of Willa Cather’s letters are now accessible to readers everywhere in a new book co-edited by Andrew Jewell. The Selected Letters of Willa Cather presents the author’s letters along with historical and biographical context.

The collection, which Andy co-edited with Janis Stout, Texas A&M professor emerita, is the first of Cather’s personal correspondence ever published. Read more...

Wheeler Winston Dixon published the following articles: “La decima vittima,” Senses of Cinema 66 (March 2013), <http://sensesof cinema.com/2013/cteq/la-decima-vittima/>; “Truth in Pop Art: An Interview with Donny Miller,” Film International March 5, 2013, <http://filmint.nu/?p=7161>; “The Future Catches Up With The Past: Peter Bogdanovich’s Targets,” Film International January 17, 2013, <http://filmint.nu/?p=6778>.  He also published these reviews: “Lab Coats in Hollywood by David A. Kirby (Review), Film International March 17, 2013, <http://filmint.nu/?p=7271>; “Yasujiro Ozu – The Gangster Films (DVD Review), Film International February 21, 2013, <http://filmint.nu/?p=6998 >; and “Filmspeak: How to Understand Literary Theory by Watching Movies by Edward L. Tomarken,” (Review), Choice 50.6 (February 2013): 1034.

Kate Kostelnik's chapter, “Writing Center Theory and Pedagogy in the Creative Writing Classroom” will appear in A Guide to Creative Writing Pedagogies, edited by Tom Hunley and Alex Peary, forthcoming from Southern Illinois University Press.

Sarah Fawn Montgomery's poem, "Rachel Carson Comes to Dinner," will appear in Confrontation and her poem, "Scar" will appear in Ruminate.

Gabriel Houck's essay, "A Hurricane on my Television", will appear in the Fall 2013 issue of American Literary Review.

Hali F. Sofala's poem "Freak Show" was selected for publication in the annual print edition of Juked. The poem originally appeared in their online journal.

Laura Madeline Wiseman’s chapbooks Stranger Still (Finishing Line Press) and Men and their Whims (WK Press) are both forthcoming in 2013. Her anthology Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013) was released in February.

Casey Pycior's story "The Spoils" was accepted by Front Porch is set to appear in their next issue, Front Porch 23.

Grace Bauer’s poems “Truth” and “Café” appear in the most recent issue of Alimentum: A Journal of Food and Culture. Grace’s chapbook of poems, Café Culture, is forthcoming from Imaginary Friend Press.

Susan Martens’ creative nonfiction piece, “Dear New Orleans,” will appear in the Spring/Summer 2013 issue of Louisiana Literature in a collection inspired by the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project’s Advanced Writing Marathon in New Orleans last July.

Jaime Brunton has a poem featured in OmniVerse, Omnidawn Publishing’s web magazine. You can read her poem here: http://omniverse.us/poetry-brunton-day-hartigan-kreitler-poppick/

Bret Shepard's poem sequence "Skin Interims" has been accepted by Diagram and will be published in a forthcoming issue. His prose poem sequence "Play at Being People" is in the current issue of ILK. And his poem "Place Where Presence Was" appears in the most recent issue of PANK.

Marie Thurmer's poem, "Tennessee State Prison, 1977" was chosen as a finalist for both Mid-American Review's James Wright Poetry Award and Hunger Mountain's Ruth Stone Poetry Prize. It will be published in the Spring 2013 issue of Mid American Review.

Mary K. Stillwell's The Life and Poetry of Ted Kooser will be published by University of Nebraska Press in September:

Lindsay Mayo Fincher’s essay “’Uncleaned Corners’: Dirt and the Politics of Place in Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South” appeared in North and South: Constructing/Crossing the Cultural Geo-Political or Metaphorical Divide, an essay collection by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. She would like to thank professors Steve Behrendt and Laura White for their help with this essay. Mayo Fincher also had an essay, "'Lodestar to Isabella's Wanderings': Bird's West and her British Audience," published in Nineteenth-Century British Travelers in the New World, a collection by Ashgate Publishing. She would like to thank professor Guy Reynolds for his support and review of this essay.

Kristi Carter's poem "Final Lap" is forthcoming in the December issue of Spillway Mag.

Sarah A. Chavez's poem "Full Again" has been accepted by the journal Weber - The Contemporary West.

Kwame Dawes's eighteenth book of poems, Duppy Conqueror: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon) is now out -- stay tuned for details about an August book launch in Lincoln. His poem "A Good Woman Blues" was Narrative's "Poem of the Week" during the week of April 15-19, and five of his poems were recently accepted for publication in Passages North.

Marianne Kunkel's poem "Coretta Scott King as a Young Girl" was recently accepted for publication in Phoebe.



In March, Gwendolyn Audrey Foster delivered a paper, "Family Friendly Torture Porn," as part of the panel "Exhuming Horror: Gender, Genre and Excess" at the 43rd Annual Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference in Washington, DC.  She also presented the paper “Life with Betty White: Performing the Authentic Proto-Feminist in Pioneering Early Television,” as part of the panel, “Authenticity and Social Identities in 1950s/1960s American Television,” at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies National Conference, Chicago, IL.

Also in March, Wheeler Winston Dixon delivered a paper, "Lucio Fulci's The Beyond and The Triumph of Mortality" as part of the panel "Exhuming Horror: Gender, Genre and Excess" at the 43rd Annual Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference in Washington, DC.  He also delivered the paper “Dragnet and the Origins of the 1950s Television Detective Procedural“ at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies National Conference, in Chicago, Illinois.

Amelia Montes participated in the 1st Biennial U.S. Latina/o Literary Theory and Criticism Conference, “Haciendo Caminos: Mapping the Futures of U.S. Latina/o Literatures” in March. Her paper, “The Diabetes Mestizaje Cronica: Theory and Practice,” was part of the panel on “Food, Memory, and Colonialism’s Inscription on Latina Bodies.” Previously, Amelia Montes read from her memoir at the Modern Language Association Conference (MLA) for the panel on “Life Writing and Invention in Latina Memoir and Fiction.” Amelia Montes is also one of 10 writers for “La Bloga,” the largest international Latina/Latino blog site. At the MLA, the panel “Networked Chicanas/Chicanos” featured scholar Jennifer Lozano (University of Illinois, Urbana) whose paper focused on “La Bloga’s” writers and articles: “Convergence Cultura? Reevaluating new Media Scholarship through a Latina/Latino Literary Blog, “La Bloga.”

In March, Kate Kostelnik organized, moderated and presented the panel “Disciplinarity and Lore: Modeling Compromise and Vital Pedagogies for 21st-Century Classrooms” at AWP’s Annual Conference in Boston.  In February, she presented a creative writing pedagogy paper “Picture Prompts to Imagine the Lives of Others” at the Southwest/Texas Popular and American Culture Associations Conference in Albuquerque.

Abbey Lowe participated in a panel on "The Language and Politics of Object Oriented Ontology" at the University of Virginia graduate conference, "Subject to Change: Nature, Text, and the Limits of the Human," this March in Charlottesville. Abbey's paper was titled, "Common Wealth and Common Form: the Ethical Project of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri."

Kwakiutl Dreher presented a paper entitled “Boy? My name is Sidney Poitier” at the Collegium for African American Research (CAAR) held at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia. Her one woman show, “In a Smoke Filled Room, Color Matters” has been selected as a playlab production for the Great Plains Theater Conference to be held in Omaha in May. She also reviews films for the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center on Friday Live! At the Mill. She also facilitated the screening and Q&A for the film Glory for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UNL. This past January, she participated in a reading of the critically acclaimed play The River and the Mountain, a comedy drama which tackles the controversial interaction of religion, politics, and sexuality.

Crystal Bock Thiessen represented UNL's Programs in English as a Second Language with a presentation at the International Teachers of English as a Second Language (TESOL) Convention in Dallas, Texas, March 20-23.  Her presentation, "Teaching Multiculturalism in a Homogenous EFL Classroom," addressed the challenges English teachers face in introducing various English-speaking cultures to students who share the same cultural background and outward stereotypes, and also offered effective plans and activities based on her experiences teaching English in Japan and Ukraine.

Hali F. Sofala moderated and presented on the Fat Studies panel "Fat Communities, Fat Lives" at the Popular Culture Association's National Conference in Washington, D.C. in March. Her paper, entitled "First Comes Diet, Then Comes Marriage," and presentation focused on the rhetoric of the wedding dress in popular culture.

Matthew Jockers has recently given several invited lectures: “Around the World in 3500 Novels; or Computing Ireland’s Place in the 19th Century Novel.” Center for 21st Century Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (April 18); “The Ancient World in 19th-Century Fiction: a Macroanalysis.” Digital Classics Association Conference at the University of Buffalo, SUNY (April 5-6); “Moby Dick is God and other things my computer doesn’t know.” Columbia Center for Digital Research and Scholarship's Communicating Computational Science Conference at Columbia University (April 4); “Around the World in 3500 Novels.”  For the World Literature Program and the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies at Creighton University (March 22); “A Matter of Style.” Boston-Area Days of Digital Humanities Conference at Northeastern University (March 18 – a Keynote Address with Julia Flanders); and “Correlating Theme, Geography and Sentiment in the 19th-Century Literary Imagination.” Catapult Center for Digital Humanities and Computational Analysis of Texts at Indiana University (February 8).

As part of Bradley University's celebration of Women’s History Month, Laura Madeline Wiseman was the visiting writer and read from her letterpress books Unclose the Door and Farm Hands, both from Gold Quoin Press. Her Unclose the Door is currently on display at the Love Library in the Hearts and Hands Exhibition that runs through the end of May. She also gave a poetry workshop and was the visiting writer at the New Hampshire Institute of Art; the reading she gave at Teti Library was filmed in its entirety and is featured in In Place LIVE. To officially release the anthology Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence, she joined several WWR poets in “Shakespeare’s Sister” for Women’s Week on UNL’s campus, including Becky Faber, Grace Bauer, Sarah A. Chavez, Deborah McGinn, Lucy Adkins, Twyla Hansen, and more. She also read from the critical introduction and preface to Women Write Resistance in No Limits. The book trailer for the anthology includes several local readers in Nebraska with a voice over by Grace Bauer.

Grace Bauer recently participated in a panel on Women Writers and The Bible (with Alicia
Ostriker, Kelly Cherry, and Virginia Gilbert) at the National AWP Conference in Boston. Grace's poem “Common Law” appears in the anthology, Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence, edited by Laura Madeline Wiseman, and read at the launch reading for the anthology during Women’s Week (see above).

Wendy Oleson, Hali Sofala, Claire Harlan-Orsi and Sarah A. Chavez were the featured readers for the Rainbow Night Reading at Crescent Moon Coffee, Lincoln, on April 1, 2013.

Benjamin Vogt read from his new poetry collection, Afterimage, at the Nebraska Book Festival on April 6. In addition, his prairie garden will be on the Garden Club of Lincoln tour on June 8 -- poetry in plants, perhaps.

The English Department house band, Tupelo Springfield (with members Kelly Stage, Jack Vespa, and Steve Buhler), will appear on KXLU Radio's “Lost and Found” on Wednesday, April 24, starting at 6 p.m.  The broadcast will include interviews and performances, featuring the premiere of a new setting of Ted Kooser's poem “So This Is Nebraska.”  Tune in to 90.3 FM or listen online at krnu.unl.edu.

Abbey Lowe participated in a panel on "The Language and Politics of Object Oriented Ontology" at the University of Virginia graduate conference, "Subject to Change: Nature, Text, and the Limits of the Human," this March in Charlottesville. Abbey's paper was titled, "Common Wealth and Common Form: the Ethical Project of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri."

Daniel Nyikos has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Hungary for the 2013-14 academic year. His time will be spent working on his dissertation, a novel set in Hungary.


Daniel Nyikos has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Hungary for the 2013-14 academic year. His time will be spent working on his dissertation, a novel set in Hungary.

John Johnson has had two poems nominated for the Rhysling Award, an annual prize going to speculative poetry – the poetry equivalent of the Nebula award. About thirty poems each are nominated in the long form and short form categories. One of John's poems, "Stairs Appear in a Hole Outside of Town," from the December Rattle, was first workshopped in Grace Bauer's poetry class.

Wendy Oleson's short story, "Bodies of Water," was selected by Karen Russell for the 2013 Washington Square Award in fiction. Wendy would like to thank Judy Slater and Jonis Agee for their help and encouragement.

The oratorio composed by Paul Moravec based on Ted Kooser's Blizzard of '88 poems was performed by the New York Oratorio Society at Carnegie Hall on March 5th, and nine songs based on Ted's poems from Winter Morning Walks, with settings by Maria Schneider for the Australian Chamber Orchestra and sung by soprano Dawn Upshaw has had a successful national tour and a CD is now available, called Winter Morning Walks. Ted's long narrative poem about the Black Hawk War of 1832 has just been published as a limited edition letterpress book by Cedar Creek Press in Iowa. Ted continues to enjoy riding the coattails of illustrator Jon Klassen, who illustrated Ted's children's book, House Held up by Trees. The book was first named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and then Klassen won the Caldecott Medal for another book, which gave House Held Up By Trees a nice boost into a second printing.

Wheeler Winston Dixon was interviewed for the following articles: “Death of the Moguls: An Interview with Wheeler Winston Dixon” by Daniel Lindvall, Film International March 16, 2013, <http://filmint.nu/?p=7248>; “Participant Media Hopes More Filmgoers Will Get Its Messages” by Daniel Miller, Los Angeles Times March 13, 2013, <http://www.latimes.com/entertainment /envelope/cotown/la-fi-ct-participant-media-20130313,0,5787794.story>; and “Star Wars – A New Hope? Fans Wait Nervously for Disney's New Sequel” by Paul Harris, The Guardian, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/mar/09/star-wars-fans-nervously-new-sequel>.

Kate Kostelnik's short story manuscript was a finalist for the 2012 Flannery O’Connor Award by the University of Georgia Press; she was named a finalist for Iron Horse Magazine's Single Author Competition for her chapbook. And in November 2012, Kate had a baby girl; her name is Hazel.

Gabriel Houck's short fiction collection, "Apocrypha", was a finalist in Bayou literary journal's James Knudsen Fiction Prize.

Hali F. Sofala's paper "First Comes Diet, Then Comes Marriage" was selected as the 2013 winner of the Karen Dunning Women's and Gender Studies Award for Graduate Students.

Humanities Nebraska (formerly, the Nebraska Humanities Council) has awarded Marco Abel and Roland Végső $5,000 in support of year four of "Humanities on the Edge." This will allow the cross-disciplinary speaker series to bring in four distinguished speakers during academic year 2013/14.

Susan Martens has accepted a position, starting in August, as Assistant Professor of English Education and Director of the Prairie Lands Writing Project at Missouri Western State University in Saint Joseph, Missouri. She would like to thank Robert Brooke, Stacey Waite, Shari Stenberg, Pete Capuano, Susan Belasco, and the graduate student community for all of their excellent help and support throughout the job hunt. She would also like to thank the entire department for being such a welcoming academic home for the last five years.

The film adaptation of Timothy Schaffert's first novel is in development (under the title "Phantom Limbs"), with director/writer Michael Sladek (director of "BAM150," a recent documentary on the Brooklyn Academy of Music), producer Mark Steele ("Howl" and "Life During Wartime"), and editor Joseph Krings ("28 Hotel Rooms").

Bobbi Olson has accepted an Assistant Professor of English position at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa. She is infinitely grateful for the support and guidance of her doctoral committee and mentors Frankie Condon, Shari Stenberg, and Debbie Minter. Additionally, Bobbi would like to thank Pete Capuano and Stacey Waite for their time, encouragement, and advice on the (daunting) job market process.

We are delighted to name the recipients of The 2013 English Department Literary Awards (from Mike Page, Contest Coordinator):

Graduate Awards


Poetry:  Laura K. Dimmit

Fiction:  Christina Harding Thornton

Sandoz/Prairie Schooner Short Story

1st:  J.D. Wiley                                                

2nd: Gabriel Houck                                        

3rd:  Michelle Menting

Susan Atefat Peckham Fellowship

Sarah Chavez 

Gaffney/Academy of American Poets

1st:  Arden Eli Hill

2nd: Hali Sofala

3rd: Sarah Fawn Montgomery

Undergraduate Awards


Poetry:  Noah Glover-Ettrich                     

Fiction:  Patrick Sather

Marjorie Stover Short Story Awards

1st :  Helveron Sagulu                                   

1st:  Chance Solem-Pfeifer                          

2nd:  Caitlin Wilson

Undergraduate Poetry

1st:  Johnathon Prather                               

2nd:  Kelly Connor

3rd:  Emily Korth

Ted Kooser Award

Audrey Vist

Instructor: Aubrey Streit-Krug

Wilbur Gaffney Essay

1st:  Kelsey McIntyre

2nd:  Shannon Cooney

Laurus Awards 2013

Ian Tredway – First Place Visual Art

Kelsey McIntyre – First Place Poetry

Alie Kloefkorn – Second Place Poetry

Blake Easter – First Place Fiction

Serenity Dougherty – Second Place Fiction

We are also delighted to name the winners of the 2013 John W. Robinson Prize for best scholarly papers by UNL English graduate students (in alphabetical order by first name):

Aubrey Streit-Krug for “The Case for Plant Studies: Existing and Emerging Approaches in the Environmental Humanities”

Bret Sheperd for “Realist Philosophy in the Poetry of Wordsworth”

Eduardo Rios for “'As I have always wanted to love': The Ver(g)acity of Sexual Identity in Sirena Silena

Finally, we celebrate those colleagues who have been recognized with College of Arts and Sciences or University of Nebraska system-wide awards:

Roland Végsö – 2013 College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award.

Stephen Ramsey – 2013 College Distinguished Teaching Award and a Susan J. Rosowski Professorship.

Joy Castro – 2013 Arts and Sciences Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award and a Susan J. Rosowski Professorship.

[The Susan J. Rosowski Professorship, named for an English Department colleague renowned for her Cather scholarship, recognizes associate professors who have achieved a distinguished record of scholarship and who show exceptional promise for future excellence.]

Kenneth Price – 2013 University of Nebraska Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award (ORCA), which recognizes research or creative activity of national or international significance.



David Boocker, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and UNL English Ph.D. 1988, shares the following sad news at the request of Murray Brown, a Professor of English at Georgia State University and UNL English Ph.D. 1990.  Murray's son, Andy, tragically took his own life earlier this year in Atlanta.  This has been a terrible blow for Murray and his family.  But Murray wants people in UNL's English Department to know – especially those who may remember Andy as a cute little boy roaming Andrews Hall.  Murray has asked that as a tribute contributions be made to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivorshttps://www.taps.org/tribute/. Murray's address is 3762 Midvale Road, Tucker, GA 80084.