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Chair: Kent Baxter
Notes compiled by: Kate Haake



April is National Poetry Month, so on Thursday, April 5, The Northridge Creative Writing Circle will be hosting a Poetry Month event featuring Dorothy Barresi reading from her new work, What We Did While We Made More Guns. Selected student and alumni poets will read before Dorothy, including Jesse Clemens, Emilio Sotelo, Alina Nguyen, Sean Hill, and Cyrus Sepahbodi. NCWC Poet-President Sophia Apodaca will host along with Poet-Professor Kim Young. The event will take place in the Oviatt Library Exhibit Gallery, 2nd Floor-West Wing, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., with Dorothy reading at 4:00. All are welcome. No RSVP required.

Also in honor of Poetry Month and the ever-amazing work of CSUN’s creative writing community, the staff of The Northridge Review is excited to announce the imminent appearance of its Spring 2018 issue. This exciting publication will be celebrated with a launch reading on Tuesday, April 17, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in CSUN’s Bianchi Planetarium. The evening will feature an introductory open-mic event, to begin at 6:00 p.m. (sign-up at 5:45), with the formal reading from the magazine to begin at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome to come out and read, so please encourage your students to participate. There will be good writing and fun for all. And there will be lots of good food!

And there is more. On Sunday, April 8th, at 2:00 p.m. Dorothy Barresi will be reading at the Skirball Cultural Center with Carine Topal, along with special guest John Dinsmore (of The Doors!). Dorothy also will be reading with other faculty poets for the Oviatt Library’s celebration of National Poetry Month on April 20th, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. And for those of you attending the LA Time Festival of Books, you can also hear her read on the USC campus Poetry Stage on April 22nd at 2:20 p.m.

And more! Martin Pousson, recipient of the 2018 Jerome Richfield Scholar Award, will be presenting his work for the annual Provost’s Colloquium on Wednesday, April 4th at 4:00 p.m. in the Oviatt Library Ferman Presentation Room. There, Martin will be reading from his novel-in-stories, Black Sheep Boy, just re-released as a PEN Award edition paperback. The event is free, but the Provost’s office requests a RSVP, which can be accessed at www.goo.gl/49TFrx. Before Martin‘s own reading, he will present four CSUN alumni and soon-to-be alumni writers: poet Sophia Apodaca, fiction writer Alvaro Castillo, fiction writer Olvard Smith, and memoirist Joshua Khabushani.

In yet another celebration of Poetry Month, Susana Marcelo and Sean Pessin, will be hosting a poetry-writing workshop in the Oviatt Library. The event will take place on April 12, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., in the Library’s Lab A. Please encourage all interested students to attend!

Spring is also award time, with a host of English department awards available to qualified students. Undergraduate awards are The Henry Van Slooten Scholarship in English ($500), The Linda Nichols Joseph English Merit Scholarship ($2000), The Lesley Johnstone Memorial Award $500), The Robert apRoberts English Honors Essay Prize $250), The William L. Wilson Award ($1,600), The Philip E. Love English 205 Scholarship ($500); graduate awards are The Professor Mitchell Marcus Prize in English ($4,000), The Mahlon Gaumer Award ($500), The Harry Finestone Award in English ($750)m The Irene Clark Scholarship for Rhetoric and Composition ($500), and The Angeline Olliff Memorial Scholarship. These awards recognize different achievements and honor different people of note in the history and tradition of our department, but all are very meaningful to students, so please consider nominating your best and brightest, and encourage such students to apply. For more information, see https://www.csun.edu/humanities/english/english-department-awards—spring-2018, or contact Leilani Hall, Chair, Amenities and Awards Committee.

On Saturday, April 14, Sigma Tau Delta and AGSE will be hosting its first ever unconference, “The Politics of Participation in Popular Culture. The event will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the USU and feature a keynote address by Henry Jenkins. Throughout the day, attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy not just paper panels, but also short “soapbox” talks, creative roundtables, project demos such as extemporaneous Twitter fiction, and a curated arts exhibition or creative reading. What an inspiring day this promises to be!

And while we’re on the subject of inspiring students, the Office of Marketing and Communications is putting together a list of “extraordinary students” who will be taking part in this year’s commencement ceremonies. This list includes not only outstanding scholars, but students who have overcome obstacles to obtain their degrees or have otherwise compelling stories. If you have stories of students who have overcome obstacles to graduate, please let Kent know who they are, how to contact them, and why you think they should be included in this recognition. The CoH wants this information by April 2, so do this now.

All faculty are invited to join us for this panel presentation and Q&A with five CSUN experts: “What Now? Handling  Problem Behaviors in Your Classroom.” The event will take place on Tuesday, April 10, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., in Sagebrush 100. And it will include lunch (courtesy of CFA Northridge)! For more information and to RSVP: https://www.csun.edu/undergraduate-studies/academic-first-year-experiences/events/what-now-handling-problem-behaviors.

On Monday, April 2nd, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., a number of publishers are coming to display their books (both Composition and Literature) and provide you with free copies. And there will be food!

The Writing Program Administrators Graduate Student Organization (WPA-GO) and the Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA) are pleased to offer several travel grants to current graduate students presenting at or attending the 2018 Council of Writing Program Administrators Conference, to be held July 26-29 in Sacramento, CA. For more information and to apply, go to <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__goo.gl_forms_zdW51Hv2wviPuGTK2&d=DwMFaQ&c=Oo8bPJf7k7r_cPTz1JF7vEiFxvFRfQtp-j14fFwh71U&r=fatXK79SftF4MNlJmEMUmfI0IYQVafR4Ypd_lIsRo0E&m=uAPDUtXYecJhRS5Szg9VjHsgVZGIo4DtBZDA7Wxf9bI&s=7iWgAxOLKuEInaAs6ID9IZX-3SoFU76a2mAFHBFd_Rc&e=>.

The dean’s office is soliciting nominations for the following committees, to begin in Fall 2018: Faculty Senate, 2 year term; Extended Learning Committee, 3 year term; Library Committee, 3 year term; Personnel Planning and Review Committee, 3 year term, (tenured faculty only); Research and Grants Committee, 3 year term. Please let Kent know (via direct email) by Monday morning if you are interested in running.

On Thursday, April 5, our two external reviewers (for our department self study) will be coming to campus. They are Professor Susan Carlile and Professor Patty Seyburn from CSULB. We have scheduled 12:45 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in ST 703 for consultation with full-time English faculty, and 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. for consultation with part-time English faculty. If you are able to attend please let Kent know. This should be a fairly informal meeting, so if you can only stay for part of the time that should be fine.


Book orders for next fall are due by Monday, April 16. If this seems absurdly early, bear in mind that the earlier you get your order in, the more time the bookstore will have to find deals on your title. And if the bookstore knows you’re going to use the same book again, your students will be able to sell those books back at top dollar!


Want to strut your stuff? The Academic Minute is currently seeking individual submissions for upcoming segments on any topic. Produced by WAMC Northeast Public Radio in partnership with AAC&U and hosted by AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella, the broadcast features faculty and researchers from colleges and universities around the world discussing what’s new in the academy and the ways in which academic research contributes to serving the public good. In addition to being aired widely on radio stations around the country, each segment is posted daily on Inside Higher Ed and across The Academic Minute’s and AAC&U’s social media portals. Campuses are also encouraged to submit ideas for “weekly takeovers” featuring five separate research segments from a single institution. Please send submissions to David Hopper at dhopper@wamc.org, and be sure to tune in daily to The Academic Minute.


Scott Andrews attended the Native American Literature Symposium in Minneapolis, MN, on March 22-24. He chaired a panel on Cherokee culture and for a plenary session presented “Swiping Right in the Contact Zone: Ambivalent Desire in Tommy Pico’s Nature Poem.”
On March 15th, Irene Clark participated in a panel at the Conference for College Composition and Communication held in Kansas City. The panel was titled “Identity, Writing Genres, and Transformation: Fostering Students’ Empowerment in an Age of Fake News,” and her paper was titled “Performative Transformtion, Genre, and Identity: Insights from Neuropsychological Research.”

Martin Pousson was shortlisted as a finalist for the 2nd annual Simpson Family Literary Prize, a new national prize for mid-career fiction writers, founded by University of California with a committee featuring UC Berkeley’s 2017-18 resident author Joyce Carol Oates. The five finalists currently are featured on the prize shortlist by the Simpson Family Literary Project.  https://www.simpsonliteraryproject.org/2018-prize-shortlist.

And here is a list of impressive achievements by former and current students, thoughtfully compiled by Martin Pousson. Thanks for keeping us in the loop, Martin. And please, when you hear good things about students our students, please let me know (kate.haake@csun.edu), so I can include them here.
Brian “The Dude” Andrade (BA 2017) is attending the MFA Program at Sarah Lawrence College in Poetry. His poem, “Marvin,” was accepted for publication in the next issue of Oakland Arts Literary Review. While at CSUN, he was a member of Northridge Creative Writing Circle, a multiply published poet in Northridge Review, and winner of the Academy of American Poets Prize (selected by Ocean Vuong).

Lucas Bailor (MA 2017) has been accepted into Fall the UC San Diego MFA program in Poetry. While at CSUN, Lucas‘ poems were published in several literary magazines, including The Northridge Review, he was First Runner-Up in the Academy of American Poets Prize, and he was a leader of the Graduate Reading Series.

James Bezerra (BA 2011, MA 2016) completed his MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) at Portland State University. While at CSUN, he served as Editor for the Northridge Review and co-leader of the Graduate Reading Series. He also published more than a dozen stories and won the Northridge Review Fiction Award.

Lorena Contreras (CW major, Junior) will be published for the first time in the next issue of Canyon Creek Review with her Cisneros-inspired story, “My Name.”

Jeremy Cueto (BA 2017) was hired as Peer Educator for Project D.A.T.E. in the CSUN office of University Counseling Services.

Joshua Khabushani (BA 2017) was accepted into the Columbia University MFA Program in Creative Writing with a concentration in Creative Nonfiction. While at CSUN, Joshua was an Associate Students Scholar, a CSUN One Amazing Community Service Scholar, a leader of several student organizations, and Outstanding Graduating Senior. He is currently a middle school teacher in the iLEAD Program in Pacoima.

Trevor Nelson (CW major, Junior) also will be published for the first time in the next issue of Catfish Creek Review with two poems, “Litany” and “Colors.”

Charlie Ruiz Vasquez (CW major, Junior) will be published for the first time in the next issue of Oakland Arts Review with their gender-fluid story, “Cactuses.”

Nick Webb (CW minor, Junior) will be published for the first time in the next issue of UCLA’s literary magazine, Westwind, with his metafiction Diaz-inspired story, “How to Art.”

Sunny Williams (BA 2017) is completing her MA at Queen Mary College in London and was just accepted into the MFA programs at University of San Francisco and University of Central Florida in Fiction and has been waitlisted for UC Riverside. While at CSUN, she was President of the Northridge Creative Writing Circle, AS Senator, and Outstanding Graduating Senior.