Department of English Newsletter April 2021

Upcoming Department Events

Publications & Acceptances

Cover of SPEAKING UP, SPEAKING OUTRachel Azima’s chapter “Practice Doesn’t Always Make Permanent: Directing a Writing Center as a Professor of Practice” was published in Speaking Up, Speaking Out: Lived Experiences of Non-Tenure-Track Faculty in Writing Studies (Utah State University Press, March 2021).

The opening chapter of Joy Castro’s novel Smoke, forthcoming in 2022, appeared in the inaugural issue of Boletin Martiano from the Center for José Martí Studies Affiliate at the University of Tampa.

Chris Harding Thornton’s novel Pickard County Atlas (MCD/FSG) was released January 5. The same month, her essay “Poison in the Ear: Why Iago Is the Ultimate Thriller Character” appeared in CrimeReads. Chris’s review of Steven Wingate’s The Leave-Takers (University of Nebraska Press) appeared March 17 in the Colorado Review.

Arden Eli Hill’s poem “Lakeview Hospital: Metairie, Louisiana” has just been accepted for publication by The Wellesley Review.

Cover of THE ONLY WONDERFUL THINGSMelissa Homestead’s book The Only Wonderful Things: The Creative Partnership of Willa Cather and Edith Lewis is out from Oxford University Press, and her essay “Writing, Editing, and Promoting The Professor’s House: New Evidence of Willa Cather at Work” just appeared in the Willa Cather Review.

Jamaica Baldwin’s poem “Naturally” is included in the current issue of The Massachusetts Review, along with an interview in their 10 Questions series.

In the last couple of months, Ilana Masad has written features for Xtra Magazine about a new documentary on poet, activist, lawyer, priest, and saint (!) Pauli Murray and about Kink, a new anthology edited by R. O. Kwon and Garth Greenwell. Masad also interviewed Te-Ping Chen about her debut short story collection, Land of Big Numbers and Jeremy Atherton Lin about his first book, Gay Bar: Why We Went Out. She also reviewed Rebecca Sacks’ debut novel City of a Thousand Gates for the LA Times.

Jason McCormick has a short story, “In Silence,” published in F(r)iction Magazine’s Legacy Issue.

Jessica Poli had her poem “Hunter’s Moon” published in The Cortland Review and two poems published in The Shore.

Cameron Steele’s essay “The Empress, Reversed” was accepted for publication in Brevity’s forthcoming May issue.

Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations

10 current and former Writing Center staff members presented at the Midwest Writing Centers Association virtual conference in February. Alexandra DeLuise, Zoe McDonald, and Maggie Rieckman presented “Perceptions, Biases, and Assumptions: What We Think We Know About Writing Centers.” Charlotte Kupsh and Simone Droge led a roundtable titled “Space in the Writing Center: A Roundtable Exploring Space, Gender, and Writers’ Engagement.” Nora Harris, Meredith Steck, Rachel Azima, Shannyn McEntee, and Rose Kottwitz also led a roundtable: “All Up In Our Feelings: The Often Invisible Emotional and Affective Dimensions of Writing Center Work.”

Promotional image from Sheldon Art Museum for the PERSON OF INTEREST exhibitionJames Brunton will discuss his graphic memoir From the Neck Up as part of the Sheldon Museum of Art’s Person of Interest symposium on Friday, April 2, from 4 to 6 p.m. The symposium features projects that explore the complexities of the simultaneous construction and performance of one’s identity. James’ illustrations are on view now through July 3. To attend this live, moderated event, please register

Joy Castro served as a (virtually) visiting writer at Vanderbilt University on March 24 and at Trinity University on March 25.

On March 14, the Virginia Festival of the Book, in partnership with the Wisconsin Book Festival and The Back Room presented a virtual panel, “Rural Noir,” featuring Chris Harding Thornton (Pickard County Atlas), alongside writers S.A. Cosby (Blacktop Wasteland), David Heska Wanbli Weiden (Winter Counts), and Heather Young (The Distant Dead). Writers Karen Dionne and Hank Phillippi Ryan hosted and moderated the event.

Julia Schleck participated in the seminar “Revisiting Orientalism” at the Shakespeare Association of America, March 31-April 2, presenting the paper “Epistemologies of Ignorance: Said and Our Continuing Imperial Legacies.”

Timothy J. Cook, Ph.D. candidate in English (Literary and Cultural Studies), delivered a paper on March 13 during the 52nd Annual and 1st Virtual Northeast Modern Language Association Convention. As a part of the panel “Tradition and Innovation in Ezra Pound’s Modernist Circle,” Cook shared his work “Ezra Pound at Hamilton College: Pre-Modernist Advances, 1903-05.” He appreciates the financial assistance for attending the conference provided through the Joy Currie fund in UNL’s English department.

Erika Luckert, Jason McCormick, and Ángel García presented at AWP along with poets Jake Skeets and Michelle Burk. Their panel was titled “Grading the Ungradable: Reimagining Assessment in the Creative Writing Classroom.”

Caterina Bernardini and Erika Luckert presented a virtual poster titled “Exercising Empathy and Social Research Practices” as part of UNL’s Teaching and Learning Symposium.

On April 1, at 6pm CST, Ilana Masad will be in virtual conversation with Priyanka Champaneri, author of The City of Good Death, which won the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, at Old Town Books. This event is free and open to the public (although you can also buy Priyanka’s incredible book when you sign up if you wish to!). On April 2, at 3pm CST, Masad—along with Nathan Ma and Courtney Tenz—will be speaking at “Surviving the Culture Industry”, a panel run by Study Hall and moderated by Evan Kleekamp. Tickets are $10, or $5 for Study Hall members. The following week, Masad will be taking part in the Little Grassy Literary Festival at two events. The first, on Monday, April 5, 5pm CST will be a kick-off event featuring Masad reading with poet Matthew Wimberley. The second, on Friday, April 9, 11am CST will be a Perspectives on Publishing Panel featuring Masad, John McCarthy, Maria Romasco Moore and Joy Priest. Both events are free and open to the public.

On March 2, Lydia Presley delivered the opening remarks on Allyship and Accomplice Work at the Professional Development Workshop called “Ally to Accomplice and Everything In Between” at the College of Business at Appalachian State University in North Carolina.

Cameron Steele will present “Teaching at the ‘End of The World:’ How Do Creative Writing Classrooms Respond to Climate Crisis?” as part of the Climate Change Lightning Round Session at the Center for Great Plains Studies’ conference, Climate Change and Culture in the Great Plains, on April 2.

Activities, Accolades, & Grants

Cover of PICKARD COUNTY ATLASChris Harding Thornton’s novel Pickard County Atlas was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and was a “New & Noteworthy” pick in The New York Times. The book was also featured in The New Yorker and received a star from Publishers Weekly. Other reviews have appeared in South Florida Sun Sentinel, Star Tribune, Seattle Times, Shelf Awareness, and, most recently, Paul Burke’s UK-based Crime Time. A recent interview with Chris appeared in Fiction Writers Review. More interviews are forthcoming or available on Chris’s website.

Jamaica Baldwin’s poem “Father Weaver” won the 2021 RHINO Poetry Editor’s First Place Prize.

Lydia Presley was awarded the annual Inclusive Excellence and Diversity Award honoring the accomplishments of a student or student group in the College of Arts and Sciences. This award honors people, organizations, or units within the college involved in innovative or exemplary activities that have an impact on campus or in the community that promotes inclusive excellence and diversity.

Have news or noteworthy happenings to share?

The Department of English encourages our faculty and current students to submit stories about their activities and publications of note by filling out the Department Newsletter Submission Form.