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Alumni Newsletter 1.1 • 26 April, 2006

Welcome Message

Welcome to the English Department’s inaugural edition of the Alumni Newsletter. The largest department in the College of Humanities, we have over 700 undergraduate and graduate majors. Each year, almost two hundred English majors graduate and go out into the community to work as teachers, editors, writers, business entrepreneurs--to name only a few vocations. This Newsletter is our way of keeping in touch with our alumni community. We will be sharing faculty and student achievements and activities in the newsletter, and we encourage alumni to send information they would like to share to our e-mail address (english@csun.edu). We would love to hear from you.

Faculty and Student Achievements

This past year has been a busy and productive year for the English Department. Below are a few of the highlights:

  • Fred Field, an expert in Contact Linguistics, was invited to be a Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.
  • Charles Hatfield ’s Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature, a groundbreaking study on graphic novels, was published by the University Press of Mississippi.
  • Brian Leung’s acclaimedshort story collection, WorldFamous Love Acts, received the 2005 Asian American Literary Award in fiction.
  • Jack Solomon’s Signs of Life in the USA, now in its fifth edition, continues to be the best-selling pop cultural composition reader in the United States. It is used in over 700 colleges.

Upcoming Events of Interest

Are you interested in the role of writing in the schools and universities? The English Department will be hosting a conference, “The Contexts of Composition II: Addressing Writing in School and Beyond,” on Saturday, April 29, 2006, from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. For more information, visit the conference web site at http://www.compositionconference.com.

Summer Reading List

Looking for a summer reading list? Here are a few books that our creative writing faculty have written, along with some books that they recommend. Have a wonderful summer!


  • Dorothy Barresi, Rouge Pulp
  • Kate Haake, that water, those rocks
  • Leilani Hall, Swimming the Witch
  • Brian Leung, World Famous Love Acts
  • Jack Lopez, In the Break
  • Rick Mitchell, Brecht in L.A .




  • Lucie Brock-Broido’s Trouble in Mind (Dorothy Barresi)
  • Richard Powers’s The Time of Our Singing (Kate Haake)
  • C.D. Wright’s Steal Away (Leilani Hall)
  • S. R. Sanders’s A Private History of Awe (Brian Leung)
  • Yann Martel’s Life of Pi (Jack Lopez)
  • John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt (Rick Mitchell)

Words From Our Alumni

  • Joe Luis Cedillo (BA, 2005) is the Literary Manager of the Alley Theatre, Houston.
  • Alumnus Michael Bryant (BA, 1999, MA, 2005) completed his MFA in Spring 2006. Below is an excerpt from his one of his poems, reminding us of what we all share: the love of words.

Word Songs


This sickness to express oneself. What is it?

   —Jean Cocteau

What is this thing with language?
This constant need to express?
A curse, at best.
The way words whistle around,
Sneaking their way into thought.

Their need to fill blank space.
Their insistence on existence.

Constantly—they make me
Paste them in places.
Pools and piles of parceled phrases.
Post-it-notes and napkins proliferate.
Visible at every turn, just in case I need to use them.
And when I have some left over,
They are saved.
Archived. Remaining dough from an unbaked pie.

I make them wait.
They simmer and fester in my subconscious.
Their urge to cut and carve their unique appearance
Is overwhelming.
I relent and consent to their power.

And I become immersed in the words and the rhythms.
Immersed in the words and the rhythms.
Immersed in the rhythms of the words.

—Michael D. Bryant