Volume 40:15

May 1st, 2014

1. Announcements

Our amazing students and alumni have done it again, and we begin this issue of Thursday’s Notes with some happy news about where some of them are headed and will be doing next:

Megan Barlog (BA ’14, English, Creative Writing) has been accepted into the New York University Summer Publishing Institute Program for Summer 2014.

Alissa Binder (BA ’13, English, Creative Writing) has been accepted into the California Institute for the Arts MFA program in Creative Writing (Fiction).

Amy Cameron (BA, ’13, English, Literature) will be starting her MA in library science at UCLA this fall.

Abe Fitzpatrick (BA ’14, English, Creative Writing) has been accepted into the Wichita State University MFA program in Creative Writing (Fiction) with a full fellowship and a position as Graduate Teaching Assistant

Jon Goodnick (BA ’13, English, Creative Writing) has been accepted into the California Institute for the Arts MFA program in Creative Writing (Fiction) with a fellowship.

Colin Herrera (BA ’13, English, Creative Writing) has been accepted into the Rutgers University MFA program in Creative Writing (Fiction) with a Chancellor’s Award with a tuition remission fellowship. There, he’ll work with the Visiting Writers Series and as a mentor for high school writing programs affiliated with Rutgers University.

Mostafa Jalal (M.A. 2014) was accepted to the Ph.D. program in Creative Writing Poetry at George State University.

Rebecca Johnson (BA ’14, English, Creative Writing) has been accepted into the Chapman University MFA program in Creative Writing.

Hannah Jorgensen (BA, ’10, English, Honors; MA ’13, English, Literature) will begin the Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota with six years of full funding. Six years of full funding equals a lot.

Arthur Kayzaykian (MA 2013) will be starting his MFA in poetry in the fall at San Diego State University.

Rene Solivan (BA ’08, English, Creative Writing) will be starting the the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ International MFA Program in the fall with three years of full funding.

Stephan Topf will be starting  Virginia Tech’s Rhetoric and Writing PhD program, with a full scholarship, a Graduate Teaching Assistant position, and a position as an editorial assistant for the Minnesota Review, which is not, apparently, in Minnesota (has it ever been?).

Kristin Way (formerly Cornelius) (MA 2012 and currently a Lecturer in our Department) will begin a PhD in Information Studies at UCLA. She was awarded the Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship, which provides an $88,000 stipend, plus tuition and fees, for the first four years of her program.

And if I have missed or overlooked any exciting student future news, please let me know at kate.haake@csun.edu. There’s still one more issue of TN, Volume 40, so still time to spread good news.

CSUN English faculty are also on a roll! Charles Hatfield has  received the 2014 Preeminent Scholarly Publication and Martin Pousson has received the 2014 Exceptional Creative Accomplishments Award. Hatfield and Pousson join last year’s winners, Michael Bryson (2013 Preeminent Scholarly Publication recipient) and Rick Mitchell (2013 Exceptional Creative Accomplishments recipient). Our faculty rock! And to help celebrate, please plan to attend the Honored Faculty Reception on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. in the Grand Salon of the University Student Union.  Please RSVP to Heidi Wolfbauer at heidiw@csun.edu.

And here’s some more good news: most of the graduation ticket issues previously announced have now been resolved. Graduation services is working hard to ensure that students and their families who want to attend their graduations are accommodated. And for those few students who still haven’t heard that graduation this year will be a ticketed event, there may still be time. According to the Daily Sundial, students who have yet to contact the office with their concerns, can still do so this week.

It’s official!  Jennifer Lee and Santosh Khadka are soon to be the newest members of our department. Both of them specialize in Developmental Composition, but will bring different areas of focus and different kinds of strengths to our department. And in related news, Sandra Jackson has graciously agreed to continue on as Stretch Coordinator while Jennifer and Santosh spend their first year learning the Stretch program and getting their bearings. Things are looking good for our Composition program and, most importantly, its students, who numbers are legion.

Speaking of new, or newer, faculty, a pre-tenure retention workshop will be held on Tuesday, May 6th from 11:30 p.m to 1:30 p.m. in the USU Thousand Oaks Room. The workshop will feature: a Q & A with Provost Hellenbrand; a presentation of key issues critical to new faculty; an opportunity for new faculty members to share their experiences, in a ‘peer-group’ environment; a brainstorming session to develop strategies for pre-tenured faculty and gather recommendations to improve job satisfaction for new faculty; and — refreshments! If interested, please RSVP to dianah.wynter@csun.edu.

On Friday, May 2 (tomorrow), Rick Mitchell’s artist’s residency at Hamilton High School will come to fruition with the Hamilton New Play Festival, which will feature new work written and performed by Hamilton High School students and include some short plays written by CSUN students specifically for the Festival. The shows will take place at 3:30 p.m., and then again at 6:00 p.m. Mitchell has been ably assisted by CSUN service-learning students, and the residency was supported in part by the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as by the UCLA After-School Program and CSUN’s Office of Community Engagement. Hamilton is located at 2955 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034; performances will take place in the teacher’s cafeteria.

On Saturday, May 3, the Northridge Playwrights Workshop will present staged readings of plays by students from English 310 in CSUN’s Little Theatre at 6:15 p.m.

Desert Performance Lab, a new student organization that’s based  in the English Department and dedicated to the development and performance of original plays, will present new work on Saturday, May 3rd, at 9:00 p.m. in CSUN’s Little Theatre.

On Thursday, May 8, at 7:15 p.m., in the LNJ Reading Room, JR 319, the creative writing students of 698D will present LAST SNAPSHOT: The MA Capstone Reading.

On Thursday, May 15, at 5:45 p.m., in JR-319, the Northridge Playwrights Workshop will present staged readings of original work by the students of Writing for Performance.

Martin Pousson will be the closing reader for the Griffith Park Storytelling Series. He will read “The Skinwalker,” a new short story just published in the Spring issue of Epoch. The event will be held outdoors in Griffith Park, in the Bronson Caves (AKA the “Batcaves”) on Sunday, May 4 at 5:00 PM. The series is organized by editors from Black Clock literary journal and is free and open to all.

In April, Sigma Tau Delta Iota Chi hosted their first-ever Poetry contest judged by Patty Seyburn, the award winning poet of such works as Hilarity (2009), Mechanical Cluster (2002), and Perfecta (2014), forthcoming from What Books Press. From among the many notable submissions, Seyburn selected Trista Payte‘s poem, “Our Lady of Perpetual Deferral,” as the winning poem, Honorable Mentions were also awarded to Eric Barnhart, for “I made you with these two;” Cody Deitz, for “Ritual,” and Justin La Torre, for “Unrequited Canyons.” All selected poems will be acknowledged in the Fall 2014 edition of The Northridge Review, and all four writers will be offered the opportunity to read with Patty Seyburn at a Sigma Tau Delta event scheduled for next semester, tentatively scheduled for October 2014, to celebrate the launch of Seyburn’s new book.

On Friday, May 9, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the GRS will hold its final reading of the year in the LNJ Reading Room, JR 319. All are welcome at what will surely be an entertaining and emotional night as we bid farewell to three pivotal members of our Creative Writing Community — Raja Visweswaran, George Fekaris, and Trista Payte — and welcome in the new GRS coordinators — Lusine Makarosyan, Gina Srmabekian, and Freddy Garcia. Refreshments and good company will be provided. The evening promises to be a truly special one and you will be sad if you miss it.

With the Spring semester drawing to close, the editors of Wings, Cody Deitz and Vana Derohanessian, would like to remind all Stretch teachers to urge their 113B, 114B, and 115 students to submit their work to the 21st edition of Wings. A wide variety of submissions are welcome and encouraged, ranging from argument-driven essays to web-based writing and blogs to Project assignments. Copies of the submission forms will be available in the English Department mailroom, and the deadline for submissions is May 12. All submissions can be placed in the Wings bin, which will also be located in the mailroom. Questions can be directed to wingscsun@gmail.com.

Even as we count down to the end of the year and a possible new contract, the CFA — our stalwart union — is holding a faculty Picnic was yesterday….appreciation picnic to eat great BBQ and celebrate all our hard work this year. Please plan to show up on the Bayramian Lawn in Wednesday, April 30, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. For your free Smokin Willie’s BBQ ticket (vegetarian and vegan options will also be available), please RSVP to 818-677-5919 or Cfa_no@calfac.org. Tickets will be delivered to your faculty mailboxes by Monday, April 28.

2. Reminders

The All College Meeting, with Provost Harry Hellenbrand and Dean Elizabeth A. Say, is fast approaching. The event will take place on Monday, May 12, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Whitsett Room, Sierra Hall 451. Please plan to be there to hear Provost Hellenbrand speak about the future of CSUN and to share your own questions/concerns/observations regarding the same. Light refreshments will be served.

All faculty interested in applying for the 2015 National Endowments for the Humanities Summer Stipends must have their completed applications in the Dean’s office NO LATER THAN  5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 16th in order that proposals may be reviewed and forwarded to the ORSP by the stated deadline. Please review all guidelines carefully.

3. Opportunities

Two assistant VP positions, one for research and one for graduate studies, have been approved for the Office of Research & Graduate Studies and Graduate Dean. This represents a significant investment by the campus in setting the stage for the anticipated growth in sponsored projects over the next few years, and signals It signals the campus’s deep and sustained commitment to growing research, grants, and contracts and in supporting the graduate school at CSUN. If you are interested or have any questions about the positions, please contact Crist Khachikian, Associate VP for Research & Graduate Studies and Graduate Dean, at crist.khachikian@csun.edu.

4. Achievements

On April 2, Dorothy Barresi gave a poetry reading in Compton for 150 high school teachers and staff of YouthBuild Charter School. Following the reading she met with English teachers and gave a workshop on teaching poetry writing, “Beyond End Rhyme.”  In other exciting news, her poems “Some Questions We Might Ask,” and “Surfing as Meditation” are discussed in the “Exteriors: Signs of the Endtime” chapter of the new book Poetry Los Angeles: Reading the Essential Poems of the City, by Laurence Goldstein, published by the University of Michigan Press. And she has been asked to write a Forward for the manuscript she has chosen as the winner of the Patricia Bibby First Book Prize.

MA student, James Bezerra, has recently published  stories in Cease, Cows; Blackheart Magazine, and the Bicycle Review.

Recent CSUN alum, Nancy Caroll (M.A. 2009) has published a chapbook, Night Walks with Yak Press, an independent press founded in 2010 by teacher-authors — among them, Anne Yale, another recent CSUN alum — and devoted to making art via the medium of words.

Ranita Chatterjee‘s article,“Our Bodies, Our Catastrophes: Biopolitics in Mary Shelley’s The Last Man,” is now published in  European Romantic Review 25.1 (January 2014). This article argues that Shelley’s third novel, The Last Man, published in 1826, presents a remarkably modern understanding of the function of individual life for the state that anticipates Giorgio Agamben’s theory of the “state of exception” that produces political life as an inclusive but also fundamentally exclusive non-relation of the state with what lies outside of its law.

On Friday, April 25, Irene Clark gave a presentation at a conference at Woodbury University: Navigating the Writing Highway: Critical transitions from Community College to University. Her presentation was titled “What Community College Students Need to Know about Reading and Writing at the University.”

A chapter written by Irene Clark and David Russell, titled, “US First Year Composition and Writing in the Disciplines,” has just been published in The Routledge Companion to English Studies, edited by Constant Leung and Brian Street.

MA student, Cody Deitz, published a poem in Ellipsis and a book review of Matthew Dickman’s Mayakovsky’s Revolver in Poetry City, USA, Vol. 4.

Recent alum, Brandon Krause (BA ’14, English, Creative Writing), won the Cargoes national contest in the Poetry category.

Recent alum, Justin La Torre (BA ’13, English, Creative Writing) has a short story, “Pilgrim,” due out in the next issue of Westwind, the literary journal for UCLA.

MA student, Susana Marcelo, has won an Associated Retired Faculty Scholarships for her ongoing research project, “Terra Nullius: Towards an Interstitial Identity.” On May 10, she will present her project at the annual Memorial Awards Luncheon where she will receive the $2,000 award.

Stephanie Satie recently performed her solo play, Silent Witnesses, at The United Solo Festival in NYC and has been invited back for 2014. Late January, she gave four performances as a fundraiser for River City Repertory Theatre in Shreveport, Louisiana and last Fall, she had a six week run at The Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. Stephanie and her director, Anita Khanzadian, received a 2013 Collaboration Award from Women in the Arts and Media Coalition (WAM) in NYC. Stephanie will again be performance of Silent Witnesses on Saturday, May 10th at the Odyssey Theatre, so here is your chance if you haven’t seen it yet. The performance begins at 8:00 p.m.

Beth Wightman presented “Our Own Islands: Virginia Woolf,Halford Mackinder, and the Island Vernacular” at the Society for Narrative Studies conference on Land and the Novel at the University of Utah in April. She judged the poster presentations at the Western Regional Honors Conference at Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado a week later. She is now resting comfortably at low altitude.

On Saturday, April 26, in celebration of National Poetry, Kim Young read at Beyond Baroque. Martin Pousson also read at the same event, so CSUN was well represented.