Volume 40:5

November 7th, 2013

1. Announcements

For those of you dreaming of FERP-ing (and who is not, either in the near, the in-between, or the far, far  future), this year’s deadline is February 20, 2014. Details can be found at http://www.csun.edu/~facacct/forms/general/ferp-faqs.pdf.

Sigma Tau Delta has issued a CFP for its upcoming conference, isms: An Exploration into the Invisible Barriers of Classification, which will take place on Saturday, March 22, 2014, at CSUN. Sponsored in part by the CSUN English Department and the Distinguished Speaker Award, the event will feature Keynote Speaker Keynote Speaker: Dodie Bellamy: author of Academonia and The Buddhist. Both graduate and undergraduate creative and scholarly works are  invited that explore, scrutinize, dismember, as well as defend or create the isms that restrict or empower in seen and unseen ways every day. Potential topics include:  Blended and Multi-Genres: Hybridity, Liminality, Interstitiality; Slipstream, Speculative, Surrealist Narratives; Creative Non-Fiction; Poetry, Poetics, Lyric Essays; Globalization; World Literatures, Post-Colonialism, Cultural Studies; Popular Culture, Film Studies, New Media; Ecocriticism and Environmental Studies; Pedagogy, Narratology, Rhetoric and Composition; Unlikely Juxtapositions in Literature, Film, Art, etc.; New Approaches to Gender, Race, Class, and Politics; Linguistics; Identity, Identities, Identification(s).Proposals of 250-350 words should be submitted to sigmataudeltaiotachi@gmail.com by December 18th, 2013.  Abstract/proposal should include proposer’s name and contact information. This conference is always terrific, so please let your students know and mark your calendars now.

Here’s an exciting event coming up next Tuesday, November 12, at 7:00 p.m. in the Linda Nichols Joseph Reading Room, Four Alumni Poets/ Four First Books of Poetry, a reading and publication panel that is not to be missed. The event will feature four CSUN Creative Writing alumni reading from their recently published first books of poetry and answering questions about their path to book publication. The readers are Ellen Kelley, Dan Murphy, Sharon Venezio and Kim Young. All are invited to attend.

Another special evening will take place tomorrow evening when the GRS hosts its last reading of the semester, featuring three amazing readers:  Freddy Garcia (poetry)  James Bezzera (fiction), and Gina Srmabekian (poetry/fiction). The event will follow our department meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the Linda Nichols Joseph Reading Room (with just enough time for dinner between). Here’s hoping to see you there!

CSUN graduate student Melisa Malvin-Middleton will be having a scene from her dark comedy play Actor Kid showcased at the Other Space Theater (at the Actors Company) on Thursday, November 21 at 7:45 p.m. The evening, which will also feature the work of two other playwrights, promises to be an enjoyable one, so do come out if you can to 916 N. Formosa Ave. in West Hollywood, CA 90046.

Mona Houghton and Kate Haake will be reading with other What Books authors at Stories Bookstore on Saturday, November 8, at 7:30 p.m., and again, at the Last Bookstore, on Sunday, November 17 (check bookstore for time).

Even though it’s not Thanksgiving yet, now is the time to mark your calendars for the Department Holiday Party, which will take place this year on December 6. Yes, we’re still at the mid point in the term, but don’t blink. The holidays (and finals) will be upon us soon.

And after the holidays end, please consider attending the Faculty Retreat, which will be held on the CSUN campus on Monday, January 13th , and on Tuesday, January 14th, will feature an outing to visit to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. If you wish to attend, please visit the Retreat website to register (direct link to registration page: http://www.csun.edu/senate/facretreatregistratiion ).  The deadline is December 2.

2. Reminders

Now is the time to be nominating your best students for our various Department awards. And while you are at it, please help spread the word among students who may be interested in applying directly. (And do let them know that if they are receiving financial aid the receipt of an award may affect their aid.) Unless otherwise noted below, all application materials must be submitted by the applicant to the English Department office (Sierra Tower 706) by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 13, 2013. Please submit one hard copy of each required document. Application forms for individual awards (when required) are available in the English Department office (ST 706). Essays and scholarly work submitted for consideration must have been completed between December 1, 2012 and November 13, 2013.  (Don’t forget that papers completed at the very end of the fall 2012 semester will be eligible for these awards.) If you have any questions about these awards, please contact Dr. Lauren Byler, Chair of the Awards Committee (lauren.byler@csun.edu) or Dr. Jackie Stallcup, Chair of the Department of English (jackie.stallcup@csun.edu)

The Oliver W. Evans Writing Prize

To commemorate Oliver W. Evans, his colleagues and friends have established an annual prize of $400 to be awarded to the author of the best piece of prose, critical or creative, submitted in an upper-division English course during the academic year. Faculty may nominate students for this award by submitting their papers to the English Department office, and students may nominate themselves by similarly submitting their papers.  The award will be made by a committee appointed annually by the Department of English. Application Materials: one hard copy of the student’s paper

The Eva Latif Writing Prize in Children’s Literature

To commemorate Eva Latif, her colleagues and friends offer an annual prize of $400 to the author of the best piece of writing, critical or creative, by a student on the subject of children’s literature. Faculty may nominate students for this award by submitting their papers to the English Department office, and students may nominate themselves by similarly submitting their papers.  The award will be made by a committee appointed annually by the Department of English. Application Materials: one hard copy of the student’s paper

The Philip E. Love English 205 Scholarship

A prize of $500 will be given each year to the student whose achievements in the study of Business Communication are considered by the faculty as the most distinguished.  This award honors the work and business contributions of Philip E. Love, a local businessman who wishes he had completed his degree before entering the professional world.  With this scholarship, he aims to encourage academic achievement.  This award is given by his family. Application Requirements:  applicant must be a CSUN student enrolled in at least 6 units in the semester in which the award is bestowed, minimum 3.0 GPA.

Application Materials:  completed Philip E. Love Scholarship application form (available in ST 706), faculty recommendation form completed by the applicant’s English 205 professor, business writing sample completed between April 30, 2013 and November 13, 2013 (2-page maximum), personal statement describing applicant’s understanding and commitment to strong business communication skills (1-page maximum).

The Linda Nichols Joseph English Merit Scholarship

In memory of Linda Nichols Joseph, an English major who graduated from CSUN cum laude in 1981, up to four prizes of $2,000 each will be awarded every year to undergraduate English majors who have demonstrated excellence in their studies.  Particular consideration will be given to applicants who demonstrate financial need, who have taken a non-traditional path to college, or who demonstrate engagement in the discipline and/or commitment to further study in English.  However, all applicants who meet the minimum GPA criterion are encouraged to apply Application Requirement:  minimum 3.5 overall GPA Application Materials: completed application form; letter discussing the applicant’s qualifications for the award, including issues such as financial aid, and/or engagement in the discipline, and/or commitment to further study in English (1-2 pages); résumé or curriculum vitae; two letters of recommendation; Financial Aid release form (attached to application form).

The William L. Wilson Award

A scholarship of $1,600 will be given to an English major who plans to teach at the secondary level.  This scholarship has been established to honor the memory of William L. Wilson, a career Army officer who taught high school for many years upon his retirement from the U.S. Army.  He pursued his own continuing education throughout his lifetime and always taught by example the qualities of honesty, compassion, and justice.  The scholarship is intended to recognize and encourage students who work diligently to get their degrees and achieve their career potential in spite of additional obligations such as work or family. Application Requirements: Applicants must be either junior or senior English majors going for a secondary single-subject teaching credential; they must possess qualities associated with being a strong classroom teacher, and have at least a 3.0 GPA in their major. Application Materials: completed application form; personal statement describing the applicant’s path to becoming a teacher (350 word max.); one letter of recommendation (or recommendation form) from an English faculty member, who will submit this letter directly to the Awards Committee Chair, Dr. Lauren Byler.

The Peterson Morley Award

An award of $1,000 will be bestowed annually upon a student currently enrolled as an English major at CSUN in either the undergraduate or graduate program, who plans to enter the teaching profession at any level.  Applications from students who demonstrate financial need to complete their studies will be given particular attention.  This award is given in honor of Annamarie Peterson Morley, a professor at CSUN from 1965 to 1980, who taught with warmth, grace, humor, and wisdom.  She was an elegant and humane woman, a model for teachers and students. Application Requirements: For Undergraduate Students:  registered as an English major, minimum 3.0 overall GPA, registered for at least 12 units in the subsequent semester.

For Graduate Students:  registered in the English graduate program, minimum 3.25 GPA, registered for at least 6 units in the subsequent semester. Application Materials: completed application form, personal vignette of a classroom experience that has motivated the applicant’s desire to teach (3-page max.), unofficial transcript, two letters of recommendation, Financial Aid release form (attached to application form).

3. Opportunities

The Fence Books submission Portal will be OPEN for Entries November 1-30, 2013 for The Ottoline Prize, which awards publication and $5,000 to a book-length work of poetry by a woman writing in English who has previously published one or more full-length books of poetry. The submission fee is $28, and all entrants receive a complimentary subscription to Fence. The winning manuscript will be published in the Spring of 2015 by Fence Books. To submit, please go to https://fence.submittable.com/submit. And good luck to all poets.

Summer Literary Seminars has announced its 2014 Literary Contest! One of the largest contests in North America, it will be held this year in affiliation with Fence Magazine, with prizes sponsored by the Center for Fiction, St. Petersburg Review, and the esteemed Graywolf Press. Prizes include publication and free or reduced attendance any one of the 2014 SLS programs – in Vilnius, Lithuania (July 13 – 26, 2014); or Nairobi-Lamu, Kenya (December 2014). For more information, please see contest guidelines.

4. Achievements

Dorothy Barresi‘s poems, “Privacy,” “Bones” and “Skinned Aces” appear in the current issue of Pool–an online poetry journal. Her poem “Litany with Garbage Keeper and Bones” was featured last month online by the literary journal Rattle. Her long poem “Cooperation” has been accepted for publication by Spillway, which will also run a short interview with her in its forthcoming special issue featuring long and short poems. Her article “Thingness” appears in the Autumn 2013 issue of The Gettysburg Review. On September 20 she gave a poetry reading at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona, as part of their Literary Southwest series.

Kate Haake’s essay, “The Interstitial Practice of Wonder,” appears in the current issue of Interfictions Online, a Journal of Interstitial Arts (http://interfictions.com). More excitingly, an excerpt from Sean Pessin’s autoethnography, “Memory of the Process,” written in English 652, appears along with it.

Last year’s graduating senior Karlee Johnson, now an MFA student at San Francisco State, was recently selected as one of the top 25 entrants for her story “Mouth Wisdom” in Glimmer Train’s August 2013 Short Story Award for new writers. And in truth, it’s a wonderful story.

Angie Misaghi and Noreen Lace participated at the annual ECCTYC (English Council of California Two Year Colleges) Conference in Anaheim, CA on October 25. They presented a session on student engagement activities and assignments.