Department of English Newsletter October 2020

Upcoming Department Events

Publications & Acceptances

Cover of new issue of ISLE
Cover of ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment
Cover of Whitman in Washington by Ken Price

A group of six poems by Steve Behrendt leads off the just-published new issue of ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. These poems are part of a new project that Steve is developing.

Ken Price reports that Whitman in Washington: Becoming the National Poet in the Federal City has been published by Oxford University Press.

Pascha Sotolongo Stevenson’s short story “Chicory” has been accepted for publication in The Normal School and was also named a finalist in the Ploughshares Emerging Writers Contest.

Over the summer and fall, Hope Wabuke published two pieces in The Los Angeles Review of Books: one on race and gender in Westworld, and one on Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism, and the Language of Black Specualtive Literature. She published five pieces for National Public Radio: one on Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, one on Natasha Trethewey’s Memorial Drive, one on Meredith Talusan’s Fairest, one on Porochrista Khakpour’s Brown Album, and one on Natalie Diaz’s Postcolonial Love Poem. She also published the essay “The Pain of the KKK Joke” in The Paris Review Daily, and the poem “Ode to Kale” in World Literature Today.

Erika Luckert had two poems published in Epiphany. She also had a brief article, “The Landscape of Desire,” published in the University of Alberta’s fall issue of New Trail.

Katie Marya’s translation of Nicole Cecilia Delgado’s poem “9 sueños” appeared in the latest online issue of Guernica. Marya’s own poem “The Crisis Is Not Knowing” was also recently accepted by Fence.

Ilana Masad recently interviewed author, playwright, and incoming PEN America president Ayad Akhtar for Shondaland about his new novel, Homeland Elegies. As part of Brevity’s September 2020 Experiences of Disability issue, Masad contributed a blog post on writing and chronic pain.

Conferences, Readings, Workshops & Presentations

Hope Wabuke was recently named Poetry Editor of Ruminate Literary Journal and spoke about it here along with her co-editor Michael Mlekoday. She also moderated a conversation between novelists Ishmeal Beah and Maaza Mengiste for the Library of Congress’s National Book Festival, moderated a panel on women and fiction for Triangle House’s monthly reading series in August, and was a featured reader at the Babylon Salon Reading Series earlier in September.

Ilana Masad will be participating in this year’s Virtual Brooklyn Book Festival and joining critic and editor M.J. Franklin and authors Sigrid Nunez and Joyce Carol Oates for a live webinar titled “Transcending Grief” on October 4 at 11am Central.

Activities, Accolades, & Grants

Kay Walter of the University Libraries and Ken Price were pleased to hear that the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities will receive the 2020 Geske Award from the Nebraska Center for the Book. Pat Leach, the library director of the Lincoln City Libraries, nominated the Center. She remarked: “This award recognizes ‘an organization, business, library, school, association, or other group that has made an exceptional contribution to literacy, books, reading, libraries, or Nebraska literature.’”

Illustrations of James Baldwin, Emily Dickinson, and Margaret Atwood with literary quotes and candy wrapper facemasks

October is Creative Writing Month in the UNL English Department, and we're celebrating with the launch of >Pulcinella: the literary facemask project. We're asking for poetry and prose that will fit on a facemask—especially creative work that is thematically or structurally relevant to masks, pandemics, physical space, distance, etc. The contest is open to all students, grad and undergrad, and winners will be announced around Halloween. Write it NOW and send it in!

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.