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Chair: Kent Baxter
Notes compiled by: Kate Haake



You did it! We did it! Another fine year is almost done, with little but finals, grading, and term-end festivities remaining before it’s officially summer break. Graduation is bright and early Monday, May 21, at 8:00 a. m. on the Oviatt Lawn, but we’re getting a head start on things by celebrating even earlier. Festivities begin with our End of the Year Celebration and Awards on Friday, May 18, at 10:30 a.m. in the Orange Grove Bistro. And our English MA hooding will follow, from 2:00 p. to 3:30 p.m. at the Little Theatre in Nordhoff Hall. Here’s hoping you can all turn out to help honor our graduates and award winners. They’ve worked hard, and so have you–kudos all around. Also, it will be August again before you know it, so do join in the fun while you can. (And don’t blink.)

Speaking of awards, the winner of the Academy of American Poets prize is Jesse Clemens for his poem “Psalm of the Son,” selected by our national judge Brenda Hillman.  She also selected two honorable mentions:  Sophia Apodaca for her poem “1992” and Alex Trinidad for her poem “Rice Paddy Revolutionary.” Hillman is a Puschcart prize-winner and the author of ten full-length collections from Wesleyan University Press, the most recent of which are Extra Hidden Life (2018) and Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire (2013), which received the International Griffin Poetry Prize for 2014. With Patricia Dienstfrey, she edited The Grand Permission: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood (Wesleyan, 2003), and has co-translated Poems from Above the Hill by Ashur Etwebi and Instances by Jeongrye Choi. Hillman teaches at St. Mary’s College where she is the Olivia C. Filippi Professor of Poetry; she is an activist for social and environmental justice.

And speaking of August, the Composition Orientation will take place on Thursday, August 23, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

But, well before then, the Northridge Playwrights’ Workshop will present staged readings of new student plays, scenes, and even some stand-up. The event, featuring work from both 310 and 512, will take place this Friday, May 11th (tomorrow), at 6:30 p.m., in CSUN’s Little Theatre. Admission is free!


Joseph Galasso‘s textbook Minimum of English Grammar, Volume I has been adopted by the English/Linguistics faculty at Hofstra University, New York.

And, to celebrate the end of another fine year, here’s an exciting update on our graduate students, brought to us by Graduate Director, Danielle Spratt:

Ashley Aminian will–next week–begin attending USC’s Single Subject in English Credential Program. Congratulations and good luck, Ashley!

Jade Arvizu will attend the 18th Biennial Conference of the Rhetoric Society of America in Minneapolis, MN at the end of May, where she will present her paper, “Women’s Rights are Human Rights: Social Media, (Dis)Identification, Donald Trump and the Women’s March on Washington” for the panel “Protest in the Age of Trump.”

Ross Brummet will attend UC Davis’s PhD Program in English to study 18th-19th century literature and Marxist/Postcolonial Theory. He is a 2017-18 Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Fellow, and this summer, he received a  Pre-Doc internship to work with Dr. Helen Deutsch at UCLA.

Karen Casady‘s play, Fresh Meat, was accepted as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival and will be performed on the following dates: June 3, 10, 13, 17, and 23. Learn more here: http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/5097

Hannah Jorgenson (MA, 2014), a current PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities English Department, received a 2018-19 Huntington Library-Florida Atlantic University Libraries Joint Fellowship, to support archival research on her dissertation, “Models of Consent: Exploring Early Modern Fiction by Women, from Cavendish to Austen,” which explores literary and legal representations of consent as they relate to constructions of gender between the English Civil War and the French Revolution.

Naz Keynejad (MA, 2016), a Ph.D. student in UC Santa Barbara’s Comparative Literature Department, will work as a research assistant to support Dr. Alan Liu, co-founder of the WE1S project, as they begin the newest phase of the project. They will be collaborating with Dr. Scott Kleinman and Dr. Mauro Carassai, and a team of CSUN students, who are at the helm for WE1S at CSUN.

Krishna Narayanamurti will be the Dana and David Dornsife Fellow in the joint Phd Program in Creative Writing and Literature at USC.

Cesar Osuna, Modje Taavon, and Katie Wolf presented versions of their most recent research on translation and literary archives at UC Santa Barbara’s “Borderlines” Graduate Student Conference.

Maya Richards will attend UC San Diego’s English PhD Program, where she will study Asian American literature and media and postcolonial theory.

Rolando Rubalcava (MA, 2014) will attend The Ohio State University’s English PhD Program to study graphic novels, narrative and medical narrative theory, and disability studies. There he will join former BA student, Danielle Orozco–way to represent CSUN in the midwest, Rolando and Danielle!

Allie Turner has accepted a position as a faculty member in the English Department at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks. Your future students are lucky to have you, Allie!

Jessica Takakjian was accepted to and will attend UCLA’s MLIS Program, where she will join CSUN alums Stephanie Harper and (Cornelius) Way.

Zuleima Ugalde, a 2017-18 Sally Cassanova Pre-Doctoral Fellow, received a  Pre-Doc internship with Dr. Keri Walsh at Fordham University, where she will work to recover and digitize an archive of early modern and modern Irish women writers

And from creative writing, with thanks to Martin Pousson, more good news:

Brian “The Dude” Andrade (BA CW Major Poetry Spring 2017) was accepted into the MFA Creative Writing programs in Poetry at The New School, Emerson College, and San Francisco State University, University of San Francisco, and Columbia College Chicago–as well as at Sarah Lawrence College where he enrolled in Fall 2017. His poem, “Marvin,” was accepted for publication in the next issue of Oakland Arts 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)

Sophia Apodaca (BA CW Major Poetry 2016, MA CW Major Poetry Spring 2018) was accepted into the MFA writing program at University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, and San Jose State University, where she will enroll in Fall 2018. While at CSUN, she served first as Vice President then President of the Northridge Creative Writing Circle, and she won the Academy of American Poets Prize, the Roar Shack Live Write Contest, and she was a finalist for Sibling Rivalry Press Foundation’s Undocupoets Fellowship for 2018.

Juan “Moncho” Alvarado (BA CW Major Poetry Spring 2016) completed his MFA in Creative Writing at Sarah Lawrence College, where he won the Poets House Emerging Writers Fellowship and the national Poets.org Award.

James Bezerra (BA CW Major Fiction 2011, MA CW Major Fiction 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.

Richard Cajka (BA CW Major Fiction Fall 2017) was accepted not the MA program for English Literature at San Diego State University and was hired to teach in the after-school elementary program in the San Diego Unified School District and was hired by PEP as Educational Event Coordinator.

Alvaro Castillo (BA CW Major Fiction Spring 2016, MA CW Major Fiction Spring 2018) was named one of three nationwide winners of the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institutions (AHSIE) for their Seed to Tree Student Scholarship for AY 2017-18. He served as Peer Tutor in the DREAM Center, traveled to the National Hispanic Serving Institutions Conference as Associated Students Senator with President Harrison, presented in the first and second annual Undocuconference at University of California San Diego in 2017 & 2018, and was hired in the Equal Opportunity Office on campus at CSUN.

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

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

Arthur Karagezian (BA CW Major Fiction Spring 2017) was accepted into the JD law program at Whittier College, Western State College, and University of La Verne, in addition to his previous acceptance at Southwestern University. He enrolled in Southwestern University in Fall 2017.

Kelly Guerrero (BA CW Major Fiction Spring 2017) was accepted into the MA program in Applied Linguistics at San Diego State University and enrolled in Fall 2017.

Joshua Khabushani (BA PHIL Major/CW Minor Creative Nonfiction Spring 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.

Justin La Torre (BA CW Fiction Major Spring 2014) has published poetry in Magee Park Poets Anthology and was hired as a contributing writer for The Gamer, where he also published an article on the use of characterization in Final Fantasy.

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

Tyler Pugeda (BA CW Minor Fiction Spring 2018) was accepted into the Johns Hopkins Pre-Med
program for Fall 2018 with full funding.

August Samie (BA CW/Honors Double Major Fiction Spring ’11, Dean’s Scholar, Wolfson Scholar) was recently hired as lecturer in Eurasian History and English Composition at University of Chicago, where he is ABD and at work on his PhD dissertation in Middle Eastern Studies. He also founded Lights: the MESSA Quarterly with a focus on literatures from the Middle East.

Leo Sanchez (BA CW Major Fiction Spring 2013) was hired as Upward Bound Tutor then promoted to Administrative and Parent Coordinator and then promoted again to Program Manager at Occidental College.

Olvard Smith (BA CW Fiction Spring 2014) completed his MFA in Creative Writing at Rutgers University in Newark and has published fiction in Cream City Review, Red Fox, and Cobalt Review.

Lukas Torres (ongoing BA, CW Major Fiction) was hired as Upward Bound Tutor at Occidental College.

Leticia Valente (BA CW Fiction Spring 2014, MA CW Fiction 2nd Year) has been appointed as Administrative Support Assistant for Student Hiring on campus at CSUN.

Charlie Ruiz Vasquez (CW Major Fiction Spring 2018) will be published for the first time in the next issue of Oakland Arts Review with their gender-fluid story, “Cactuses.” Charlie also co-founded Mi Estoria, a citywide literary event featuring visual and written art focused on Boyle Heights, East LA, gentrification, as well as Chicanx & Queer identities.

Nick Webb (ART Major/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 CW Major Fiction Spring 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 and at University of Texas Dallas. While at CSUN, she was President of the Northridge Creative Writing Circle, AS Senator, and Outstanding Graduating Senior.

Josh Yakes (MA CW Fiction Major Spring 2017) was accepted with full funding in the MBA program at the USC Marshall School of Business, where he enrolled in Fall 2017.

And that’s, more or less, a wrap. Happy summer all!