Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Celebrating Dr. Sandra Hutchins

On September 20 in the Massey Boardroom, Dr. Sandra Hutchins read from her fiction to a full room of colleagues and students. Dr. Hutchins recently won the Leo Love Award for Fiction. Dr. Hutchins read three sections from her novel, ALREADY KINDLED and a new short story. She was introduced by Gregg Hubbard, one of her former students and a current adjunct in the English department. A terrific discussion about the craft of writing and the challenges fictions writers often face followed her reading. What a wonderful night of celebrating a beloved colleague and her work!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tomato Arts Haiku Festival Time Again

Lovers of haiku and tomatoes unite! BookFool.com is now accepting entries in this year's Hot Tomato Haiku Contest, hosted by the Tomato Art Fest. Five wacky categories. Great prizes. Fame forever!

Don't wait! Deadline is July 31st. Enter at BookFool.com

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Five Questions with Logan Allen

Today's graduating senior interview is with Logan Allen, who set up the Anne Rice skype interview this past January...

What were the most valuable experiences of your English major (and of course, why)?

Many people complain about the way Belmont’s general education is set up. We do have a lot of extra classes and requirements that most universities don’t have: Third Year Writing, Theories of Writing, Junior and Senior Seminar, and Senior Capstone. But looking back, those classes were a joy and got me thinking about what I want to accomplish during by time at Belmont and what I want to do after I graduate. Of course in my writing classes I’ve learned to hone my writing skills, but I feel like my experience at Belmont would be incomplete without those general education courses listed above, because they reminded me of the big picture. At Belmont I’ve had a near perfect blend of learning to better myself intellectually and professionally, and I think that’s unique in an English program.

What are your immediate post-graduation plans (including educational/professional ones)?

I want to write novels, travel memoirs, and articles for food and travel magazines. I also want to continue my education. So I’ve decided to take a year off from school, complete the novel I’m working on, and try to get my foot in the door in the magazine industry. I plan on starting small, writing for local and trade magazines to work my way up to bigger publications—this is a long-term goal. I want to be published in any way, shape, or form. The industry is changing dramatically, and that’s scary, but it’s also exciting, because it’s a revolution of sorts. My generation is the generation that will shape the industry for the future.

Have your favorite writers changed since you’ve been here? Who are they now and why?

African American writing has become one of my favorite genres. The authors James Baldwin, W.E.B Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, and Fredrick Douglas have been some of my favorites. I was reluctant to read them at first because I thought that I wouldn’t be able to relate to them. And, I admit, I thought they would make me feel guilty about being a white man. The opposite was true. I marveled at the eloquence of the literature and deeply connected with their struggles. And they reminded me of injustices that still happen today: racism, sexism, and discrimination based on sexual orientation. Their stories are the stories of outsiders, and everybody feels like an outsider at some point in their lives.

True or False: "April is the cruellest month."

April is the cruelest. But I try to remind myself that at least I’m doing something that I love. I if I was spending my time cramming for finance exams and staying up till dawn working on accounting projects, I would not be nearly as happy as I am researching and writing papers.

What would it have been valuable for you to know as you were starting your English major? Would you have done anything differently, knowing what you know now?

I really didn’t know what I was getting into when I changed my major to English. Just this week, in my senior seminar and capstone classes, I’ve been thinking about how working to improve my writing has affected so many other areas of my life. If someone had told me that writing is so much more than just a skill when I changed my major to English, I wouldn’t have believed it. Writing has made me a better thinker, a better listener, and a better observer, and my life is so much richer as a result. So I don’t feel like there is something that I would have liked to know when I started my major. I have no regrets. There were plenty of extracurricular ways to be involved on campus, and I was as involved as I wanted to be.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Erin Glass Wins Ruby Treadway Award

by Shannon Smith

Erin Glass, Senior BU English major, recently won the Ruby P. Treadway Award for her outstanding writing portfolio. Within the portfolio were pieces of poetry, literary theory, and fiction.

About her portfolio, Erin says, “The poetry section and the literary theory essays were both challenging and rewarding. The pieces of fiction seemed more like fictive narratives than fiction. They were extremely humbling--I was actually embarrassed at how nonsensical they were. I wasn't even sure if I would receive full credit for them.”

Erin composed the portfolio for Dr. Alexander’s creative writing class. Dr. Alexander gave many exercises where Erin was able to create many new works and even usea the opportunity to revise and to try different verse forms. She has been writing poetry all of her life, but she has never before attempted to write fiction or short stories. “The exercises gave me a new respect for fiction and short story writers—and a profound admiration for their method and their craft.”

Erin’s inspiration came from many different areas. Dr. Alexander was extremely encouraging to her and gave Erin a lot of confidence in her poetic voice. Her inspiration also stemmed from her family and her “immense gratitude to be first and foremost a reader and, to a lesser degree, a writer of this otherworldly thing called poetry.”

Erin was nominated for the award by Dr. Alexander and was shocked and delighted to have won. “Recently I had sent some poems to literary journals for the first time and received many rejections and a few acceptance letters. I was feeling pretty discouraged. I respect Dr. Alexander so much and hold her in the highest regard. So for me to know that she thinks my work is worthy is truly priceless. I also felt privileged to be a part of the Belmont community. It was such a lovely ceremony and such a generous award.”

After Erin graduates, she hopes to enroll in the MFA poetry program at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont. Congratulations, Erin, and good luck!

Shannon Smith is a Junior BU English Major.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Five Questions with Logan Franks

Today's graduating senior profile is with Logan Franks, managing editor of this year's outstanding Belmont Literary Journal.

What were the most valuable experiences of your English major (and of course, why)? What would it have been valuable for you to know as you were starting your English major? Would you have done anything differently, knowing what you know now?

It's hard to answer these questions. I can't think of specific instances that drastically changed my way of understanding myself as a writer - every class I have taken has helped me to realize different aspects of myself, to realize my different strengths. I don't write poetry yet that is the only thing I've ever had published, thanks to the BLJ 2009. I don't feel like a very academic-minded person but presenting in BURS (thanks to Dr. Wells' guidance, patience, and support) was one of my proudest moments in all of my education. I don't feel like a leader most of the time because all I want to do is write (surprise), but as of April 20th I will have helped lead the creation of the coolest literary journal with some of the coolest English majors on campus. I feel like I accomplished so many things in college I never could have foreseen in high school. I don't think I would do anything different. My experience at Belmont has drastically shaped who I am and I like who I have become.

What are your immediate post-graduation plans (including educational/professional ones)?

My plans are hesitant. I will write, I will find a way to write regardless of what "career" I fall into. I've considered applying for MFA programs and am definitely going to be applying for fellowships at writers colonies and workshops. I will probably get a less-than-thrilling day job post-graduation and hope to travel once I save some money. I hope to live in Spain again. I'm kind of a dreamer but only in the way that I recognize life is too short and you're only young for a very short amount of time. I realize you're not allowed to be stupid forever. I just want to take advantage of this freedom from planning, serious expectations, and too much responsibility for a little while.

Have your favorite writers changed since you’ve been here? Who are they now and why?

I adore David Sedaris and in my free time mostly read memoirs and personal essays. I like almost-real stories, real-ish stories. I really liked J.D. Salinger in high school - yes, I was one of those kids. Before and during freshman year I explored works other than Catcher in the Rye like Franny and Zooey - big fan. I also became kin to Sean Wilsey in Oh the Glory of It All before college. Sophomore year I thought I'd become a Physics major; then I realized how much I loved writing and reading Flannery O'Connor's The Complete Stories way too much to devote my time to labs and experiments. Junior year I half-obsessed over The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls in Third Year Writing. I enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love in Spain. I enjoyed The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz before my senior year. Over Christmas I fell for Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain. This semester I was truly touched by Chaim Potok's My Name is Asher Lev. I think I'm growing up. And when I say "growing up" I really mean "figuring out who I am."

True or False: "April is the cruellest month."

True and False. The closer to an end, to an undefined beginning, the more bittersweet everything becomes. But, honestly, does April really have to be this cruel??

Any shout outs on your way out?

James Wells - you'da best and I think I am your biggest cheerleader.

Andrea Stover - never change, you're an amazing teacher and person. LYLAS.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Five Questions with Chris "Chainsaw" Pliny

Today's graduating senior profile is with Chris "Chainsaw" Pliny, English Club regular and Literacy Day organizer extraordinaire.

What were the most valuable experiences of your English major (and of course, why)?

Perhaps my most valuable experience as a major was taking Dr. Wells' Shakespeare class. I had no confidence in reading the Bard beforehand, but upon finishing the course I was able to critically analyze his work. Later that year, something happened when I read As You Like It that really solidified for me what it meant to read a text. It was the first time I used critical articles to look at a text when I wasn't reading it for a class or paper. Very nerdy, but very enlightening as well. I sum up Shakespeare this way:

Reading him is like the weight that baseball players put on their bats during warm-up. Shakespeare makes reading other texts feel lighter than air.

What are your immediate post-graduation plans (including educational/professional ones)?

My immediate post graduate plans are to write for Dish Magazine, a small, online publication. I do their health section and will also be doing a sex and relationships column (hopefully). The battle of the sexes fascinates me. This job will only be part time so I will take other jobs to help make ends meet. Already have another lined up, so I should be set. I will also be working on my first book. And doing research for it.

Have your favorite writers changed since you’ve been here? Who are they now and why?

My favorite writers really haven't changed. During my junior year of high school, I was introduced to Mark Twain, Robert Frost, ee cummings and Edgar Lee Masters and I love all of them, still. Mark Twain, especially. But I have also added a considerable amount of favorites, particularly Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, Shakespeare, Tim O'Brien, Cormac McCarthy, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, David Sedaris, and Michael Crichton (though, he has been a favorite since I was a child). I would say that college really solidified my love of American literature. I thank Dr. Trout for that--and her American Lit II class.

True or False: "April is the cruellest month."

April has always been my favorite time of the year in Nashville. Call me sentimental.

Any shout outs on your way out?

I would love to give shout outs to Dr. Trout first and foremost. Thanks for everything. It was one of the greatest blessings to have you as my advisor. Thanks for harassing me, too. But I still disapprove of your reading US Weekly.

Dr. Wells: Thanks for all of your encouragement last Spring. And for your wit. Some of my favorite characters in all of literature came from your classes (Feste, Volpone).

Dr. John: What can I say? Your poetry class changed my life's course. I may be broke for the rest of it, now, but as Fiddler Jones says:

And I never started to plow in my life 20
That some one did not stop in the road
And take me away to a dance or picnic.
I ended up with forty acres;
I ended up with a broken fiddle—
And a broken laugh, and a thousand memories, 25
And not a single regret.

Bon Bons: We will always have Africa. Thanks for just being cool. And always supportive. I don't think I'll ever know you as anything else but Bon Bons.

The English Club: Thanks for thinking "Let's Get Textual" was cool. I'm the innuendo king. Call me next year for ideas.

What would it have been valuable for you to know as you were starting your English major? Would you have done anything differently, knowing what you know now?

What would have been valuable to know? That it would have turned EVERYTHING into a text. Even people. Oh, and that authors don't count. Only narrators. That has been great in dating. "Honey, that wasn't me telling her she was sexy. That was just the narrator. BIG difference."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Five Questions with Will Hoekenga

Today's graduating senior profile is of Will Hoekenga, Carl Chaney Award winner as the outstanding male BU English Major.

What were the most valuable experiences of your English major (and of course, why)?

Peer-tutoring was definitely a valuable experience because it showed me how difficult it is to teach writing. All of the lit courses I took were valuable experiences since they broadened my view of writing and literature. Senior seminar was valuable because it helped me begin to better my understanding of the role of the humanities within society and the academy.

What are your immediate post-graduation plans (including educational/professional ones)?

I'm starting a professional writing company. I have a client that I will be working pretty much exclusively for full time for the next year or so. He is the business manager for an author who is published by Thomas Nelson. I hope to use his connections to build my list of clients and grow business. Outside of work I will be devoting most of my time to my own writing.

Have your favorite writers changed since you’ve been here? Who are they now and why?

Yes. Cormac McCarthy has become one of my favorites. I admire his stylistic ability and range (compare Blood Meridian and All the Pretty Horses to No Country for Old Men and The Road...pretty incredible). I've found that, generally, American literature is what I like most. Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men is somewhere among my favorite novels. I read it twice while at Belmont and was amazed by how different it was the second time. Flannery O'Connor is incredibly powerful and her novels should be taught way more often. Kurt Vonnegut was one of my favorites prior to Belmont and I still think his books are great.

True or False: "April is the cruellest month."

So true. Especially as a senior. Thanks for the early warning, T.S.

Any shout outs on your way out?

Thanks to all the profs, particularly Stover and Trout for being awesome and challenging. Thanks to Dr. Cox for primo advising and DARS interpretation.

What would it have been valuable for you to know as you were starting your English major? Would you have done anything differently, knowing what you know now?

Yes, I would have become an English major freshman year instead of waiting until halfway through my sophomore year to switch. Jack Massey and the school of music business has a part of my soul that I will never get back.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Five Questions with Allison Berwald

Our next graduating senior profile is of Allison Berwald, co-winner of the Virginia Chaney Award for the outstanding female major.

What were the most valuable experiences of your English major (and of course, why)?

The most valuable experiences of my English major have been class discussions and working on my papers with the help of a professor. I have participated in so many class discussions in English major classes, particularly in the upper level courses and senior seminar, that have significantly changed and deepened my understanding of a text, of the people in my class, of whatever the text is addressing, and of how to read literature. All the complexities of the text and analysis of it come out in class discussion. I have also found great value in honing my writing with the help of whatever professor is teaching that class and sometimes of peers. Conferences with teachers have helped me understand more about how to engage in the writing process and how to write clearly and insightfully. I have come to love academic writing through this process, which I would never have imagined myself saying when I entered as a freshman.

What are your immediate post-graduation plans (including educational/professional ones)?

My immediate post-graduation plan is to find a job for a year or so in editing, tutoring, teaching, or anything I can as I apply for a Fulbright and to graduate schools.

Have your favorite writers changed since you’ve been here? Who are they now and why?

My favorite writers have not changed since I have been here, but I understand those writers better and love them more, and I have found many more writers to add to that list. I loved Shakespeare, Austen, Pullman, L'Engle, Rowling, Wilde, and Thoreau before coming here. Now that list has to include Donne, Chaucer, Sidney, and Marquez, among others of course. In most cases I love the depth, complexity, and insightfulness of their writing and their ability to place you in a moment and make you feel completely present in it.

True or False: "April is the cruellest month."

Usually true - however, this March was absolutely terrible.

Any shout outs on your way out?

To Dr. James Wells, who has his Ph.D. in throwing down.

What would it have been valuable for you to know as you were starting your English major? Would you have done anything differently, knowing what you know now?

I think that I found out everything I needed to know at the moment I needed to know it. I would not have done anything differently from the moment I started my English major. I wish I had been able to take more English classes as electives, though, instead of using them all for my freshman year as a music business major. However, that's what brought me to Belmont, so it was worth it.

Amaryah Armstrong wins Corinne Dale Award and Crabb Award

by Shannon Smith

Amaryah Armstrong, Senior BU English major, recently won the new Corrine Dale Award for Achievement in Writing about Gender. She took a gender studies class in the Fall 2009 semester with Dr. Caresse John where she wrote the paper as a final project for her class. Dr. John then contacted Amaryah asking her if she wanted to submit the paper for the award. Amaryah then edited her piece with the help of Dr. John and her advisor, Dr. Annette Sisson.

The paper is entitled "Community and Creation: Life and Survival in Tony Morrison’s Sula." Amaryah attempted to connect several things within the paper: how community is tied to creativity in the novel and how this community creates an alternative way of survival inside of an oppressive dominate culture.

Of course, Amaryah was delighted to have won the award. “It was really exciting. It’s funny because I took a couple classes with Dr. Dale, and she was always really challenging and she was always trying to prove to me I could handle the English major.”

Amaryah’s paper also went on to compete against papers from all departments across campus for the Alfred Leland Crabb Award which she also won! Congratulations, Amaryah!

Shannon Smith is a Junior BU English Major.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Five Questions with Carly Escue

Over the next several days, we'll profile many of the graduating seniors that comprise our biggest class ever (32 graduates!). We'll start with Carly Escue, co-winner of the Virginia Chaney Award, given annually to the outstanding female English Major.

What were the most valuable experiences of your English major (and of course, why)?

This question is a difficult one for me because I tend to think of my English major experiences as a unified whole. It's hard for me to pull out pieces that aren't somehow connected to something else. However, I can say that classroom discussions in my literature courses have been extremely valuable. Both my professors and my peers consistently offered new perspectives which always informed, if not changed my own.

What are your immediate post-graduation plans (including educational/professional ones)?

Although I haven't secured my position yet, I plan to spend the next year teaching English in Russia. I completed a Teaching English as a Second Language certification course last summer, so I'll be putting that experience to use. I took Russian here, and I really want to improve my language skills before deciding upon the if's, what's, and when's of graduate school. This summer I'll be working in Nashville, saving pennies for rubles.

Have your favorite writers changed since you’ve been here? Who are they now and why?

My favorite authors have surely changed over the past four years. I've definitely matured as a reader thanks to the brilliant people by whom I've been surrounded here at Belmont. My absolute favorite is Vladimer Nabokov, though I hadn't read any of his works before I started college. My infatuation with Nabokov was inevitable. His prose is poetry, and his insights are spot on, every time. Of course, my interest in Russian literature and culture fuels my passion for him, especially since he translated much of his own work that wasn't originally created in English. Finally, I love to love him because I can I think of him as "mine": I didn't discover him through any course or reading list.

True or False: "April is the cruellest month."

False. It is cruel in its constantly reminding me of the brevity of my time left here, but this specific April has already been full of experiences which I know I'll carry with me for the whole of my life. It's been the most beautiful April I've known.

Any shout outs on your way out?

The utter selflessness of the English faculty here is reason enough for me to shout out to all of my professors. Thank you for your time and your minds. They weren't wasted on me.

What would it have been valuable for you to know as you were starting your English major? Would you have done anything differently, knowing what you know now?

I definitely would have tried harder to complete an internship. That's the one academic regret I have.

Friday, April 16, 2010

New Bookstore Downtown: Sherlock’s Book Emporium and Curiosities

by Shelly Reed

Don’t be fooled by the name. Sherlock’s Book Emporium and Curiosities is not just a mystery bookstore. It has a little bit of everything. Owner Steve Guynn compares the store to “shopping in a Hard Rock Café, but where you can buy everything you see.”

Since opening on January 22, 2010 the store has made three times the amount it expected to. After visiting the bookstore myself, this comes as no surprise; they sell a wide selection of unique items. Book topics range from reference, travel, cooking, Christian fiction, rare first editions, signed by the author, young adult, science fiction, and horror. There are large selections of erotic horror and black interest books. The store is also considered a hobby shop, as it sells movies, cards, board games, planners, journals, scrap booking supplies and even lunch boxes.

Sherlock’s is known for its selection of classic films and Guynn suggests buying one of these films and a matching lunch box to make a “one of a kind present.” I personally came home with a small bread recipe book and a DVD birthday card for my father. The DVD shows important events and people from the year he was born.

Another special quality of the store is its dedication to finding rare and out of print books. Guynn believes he plays the role of Sherlock Holmes by searching for these books. His investigative method involves a book search that encompasses four different continents.

The downtown store is a miniature version of the giant Sherlock’s bookstore in Lebanon. The thirty-minute drive is well worth it according to Guynn, as it is the largest independent bookstore and hobby shop in America. This store includes a theater, a café, and even an outdoor racecar track.

If you are looking for rare books, unique collectables, or just a different shopping experience, check out Sherlock’s Book Emporium and Curiosities at 235 Fifth Avenue North. Open Mon-Fri 10-4 pm.

Shelly Reed is a Senior BU English Major.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

BU English Major a National Champion Debater

by Shannon Smith

English Major Kate Tully is a valuable asset to Belmont’s Speech and Debate Team. Since enrolling at Belmont this past fall, she has won numerous awards at competitions around the country. On March 5, 2010, Kate was awarded first place overall for the novice group at the National Christian College Forensics Invitational held at Cedarville University in Ohio. She competed in multiple events, including individual and group, where she was judged on all aspects of her performances.

Kate started out as a member of the team at the beginning of the school year competing only in individual events such as literature interpretation, in which she would act out monologues from literary works, and speech competition, in which she would present prepared speeches.

Kate’s talents as an individual competitor led her to be recruited to compete in group/partner events. Each debate group is composed of two people, although the entire team is allowed to prepare together since they have the same case. They are allotted fifteen minutes of preparation time and given a legal pad on which to brainstorm thoughts, ideas and main points. A fifty-minute debate process follows in which the groups break up and argue their cases.

“My favorite part is being on the team because we [have] all become so close. It’s like we’re a second family,” Kate notes.

Kate believes that she is a better speaker because of her background in writing—and vice versa. “Being on the Speech and Debate Team has helped me develop as a writer,” she says, because during some events we’re forced to speak on the spot. These events help me quickly and fluently articulate my thoughts. Writing the speeches has helped me grow because they are very structured and precise—the organization allows me to efficiently and effectively catalog information.”

Shannon Smith is a Senior BU English Major.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Advising and Course Number Changes

Hey, all you English majors. Please make appointments with your advisors for the advising period, April 12-21. Priority Registration begins April 26.

A couple of course changes for this year: Senior Seminar, formerly ENL or ENW 4900 is now listed as ENG 4900 on the "English" tab in Classfinder. Junior Seminar, formerly ENL or ENW 3000, is on the same page, listed as ENG 3000.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cheryl Glenn to Give Two Talks Next Week

(submitted by Dr. Cynthia Cox): Please join the Belmont University English Department for two talks by Dr. Cheryl Glenn, Professor of English and Women’s Studies at Penn State University.

On Monday, April 12, at 10:00 in Massey 104, Dr. Glenn will present "Rhetoric, Gender, and the Possibilities of Moving Beyond Women." In this talk, Dr. Glenn, an award-winning teacher and prominent scholar, will discuss innovations in the field of rhetoric, a millenia-old discipline that interrogates persuasion and its role in our culture. The presentation will trace the trajectory of a research agenda in rhetoric studies, one that includes "doing" rhetorical history, theory, and pedagogy (teaching).

At 5:30 on the 12th in Wheeler 102, Professor Glenn will discuss "Developing a Career in Rhetoric and Composition: Preparation and Possibilities." This talk will lay out the preparation necessary for developing a career in this field, a broad academic discipline with many different possibilities. The emphasis will be on conversation, question-and-answer, and deliberation about the future. Come for all or part of this discussion!

Cheryl Glenn is Liberal Arts Research Professor of English and Women’s Studies and co-director of the Center for Democratic Deliberation at The Pennsylvania State University. She has been Visiting Professor at University of New Mexico, University of Cape Town, and University of Alberta and has lectured widely throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa. In the summers, she teaches at the Bread Loaf Graduate School of English. In 2008, Glenn served as Chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC). Her publications include Rhetoric Retold: Regendering the Tradition from Antiquity Through the Renaissance, Unspoken: A Rhetoric of Silence, Rhetorical Education in America, The St. Martin’s Guide to Teaching Writing, The Writer’s Harbrace Handbook, Making Sense, and The Harbrace Guide for Writers. Glenn’s rhetorical scholarship has earned her National Endowment for the Humanities and Mellon fellowships, the Richard Braddock Award from College Composition and Communication, and the Outstanding Article Award from Rhetoric Review. She has received four teaching awards.

Lakota Poet Ron Colombe Reading April 7

On Wednesday, April 7 at 10:00 Ron Colombe will perform his poetry in Beaman A&B. On the back of his first book of verse, Silent Shouting, Quiet War, the Lakota poet, speaker, powwow dancer, and feather and bead artisan declares: “I was born into tragic circumstances, a child of tragic people, loved like a tragic child—what else, but a poet, could I become?” He was referring to the fact that in 1954, at the tender age of two, he was taken from his parents on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota and put into foster care in an attempt by the federal government to end Native culture by assimilating its children into mainstream American life.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Important English Club Meeting Friday at 10

(submitted by Prof. Trout): We have an English Club meeting tomorrow at 10 in Humanities 209. We will be preparing for Literacy Day. I know it has been a busy week but we really need your help. I will be forwarding the list of participants that Carly has put together so far--we need more of you to come. Last year the English Club broke records with our particpation, and we want to do even better this year. Even if you have never attended an English Club meeting you are still a member. If you cannot attend and still want to participate, let me know asap. See you in the morning!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Women's History Month Keynote Speaker Wednesday

At 10:00 Wednesday in the Massey Boardroom, Dr. Lisa Marie Hogeland, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Cincinnati, will be discussing whether young women (and men) are still resistant to feminism in what some consider to be an age of post-feminism, fifteen years after she published the article “Fear of Feminism: Why Young Women Get the Willies” in Ms. Magazine. Academic Convo will be available for this event.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ron Hansen Coming to Belmont March 24; English Club Meets Friday

(submitted by Prof. Sue Trout and Carly Escue): As many of you know, Ron Hansen will be at Belmont next Wednesday the 24th. Hansen is a highly acclaimed novelist best known for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. He writes often about the American West and is generally considered a revisionist writer. He has agreed to make special time for our English majors and minors next Wednesday afternoon--2-3:30 in the Multimedia room of the Bunch Library (2nd floor)--when he will talk with you about being a professional writer and he has agreed to answer whatever questions you might have. Please put this on your schedule for next week--really, really.

In anticipation of this event, the English Club will be meeting this Friday at 10 in WHB 107. During this hour, Dr. Cox will give a general introduction to Hansen as a writer. I will then be glad to discuss Mariette in Ecstasy if anyone has had a chance to read it.

If you have a Nashville Public Library card, you can go here: http://www.library.nashville.org/ to read Mariette in Ecstasy for free! Just search the catalog with that title. An ebook version of the novel will show up in the seach results.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

BU English Alum Shawn Knight A One-Man Show

Shawn Knight, BU English Alum and current adjunct instructor, is performing his one-man show, Gershwin in Blue, this weekend at the Belmont University Black Box Theatre.

Gershwin in Blue is a 75-minute show about George Gershwin's influential life and music. From his Russian immigrant parents to his struggles to write his beloved opera, Porgy and Bess, Gershwin in Blue details the life of this amazing composer.

So catch us up on your life since getting your B.A. at Belmont a decade or so ago.

When I graduated from Belmont, I earned my MA in English from Auburn University, then I pursued my MFA in Theatre Performance, which I earned from the University of Louisville. I did a year-long internship at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, which had just won a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Then, I returned to Nashville, where I quickly found a home with the Nashville Children's Theatre (my first role there was as Horton the Elephant in Suessical) and back here at Belmont, first working as a tutor in the Writing Center and now teaching third-year writing.

What have been some of your favorite roles/experiences as an actor?

I have managed now to play Horton the Elephant twice, and I love his kindness and perseverance. I have also enjoyed playing Mozart in Amadeus, which is one of those incredibly challenging pieces for an actor. Mozart never appears in that play at anything less than the height of some emotion--whether that be anger, lust, elation, or sorrow--and to throw oneself into that nightly is exhausting and exhilarating all at once.

Is your acting something separate from your life as a university teacher? Or how does acting inform your teaching?

I don't see acting, teaching, or writing, as being all that disparate, given that the goal of each is to communicate. Perhaps they require slightly different approaches, but they all aim to share information, and quite often emotion, with an audience. In each instance, this requires clarity and creativity. I also think the energy I bring to the stage acting is the same kind of energy that can grab the attention of students and make a course appealing that (let's face it) many students do not look forward to taking.

What is the Gershwin show about, and how did you develop it?

One semester in an acting class at the University of Louisville, our entire course consisted of one task: research, write, and perform a one-person show about a famous dead historical figure. I wanted to choose a figure who would allow me to use my singing, acting, and piano-playing skills; Gershwin seemed an ideal choice. As I researched his life, I looked for a clear character arc to explore in what would ultimately end up being 60-75 minutes of performance. U of L has one of only four African-American Theatre programs in the country, so issues of race and creative rights were always being discussed in the department. When I began to read about Gershwin's work on Porgy and Bess, and the criticism he received as a white composer writing a black opera, I knew what this play would be.

What else should we expect to see you in soon?

Starting April 13, I'll be playing Wilbur in Charlotte's Web at the Nashville Children's Theatre, and I'm hoping to have the Nashville premiere of my other one-man show (based on the life of Cole Porter) in the fall sometime. Beyond that, I have a few offers that have come my way lately for some new play readings, but I'm not sure which I'll be able to participate in.

The show runs March 19, 20, and 21 (Friday through Sunday), at 7:30 PM each evening, at the Belmont University Black Box Theatre. Tickets are $5 per person, with half the proceeds going to the Belmont University Theatre Scholarship Fund.

No reservations required. Cash only at the door.

For more information, email Shawn at knightshawn@earthlink.net.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

By Shannon Smith

On March 2, 2010, Belmont University students and faculty celebrated the 106th birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, otherwise known as Dr. Seuss, in a convo event in Massey 109. The celebration of Seuss’ life and work commenced with a group reading of his popular The Foot Book, followed by a discussion of his pleasing word choices, unusual rhyme schemes, and unique illustrations.

Dr. Rachael Flynn-Hopper, from the Department of Education, provided listeners with a wealth of little-known information about Geisel. Dr. Seuss is renowned, of course, for the 48 children’s books he published. What many don’t know is that he also wrote for publications such as Vanity Fair, devised advertising slogans, and even created the first animated training films for the soldiers in World War II. While attending college at Dartmouth, Seuss was the editor for the campus humor magazine. After publishing a piece that got him fired from the job, he adopted the name “Seuss” so he could still contribute.

Seuss classified himself as a doodler by trade and at heart; many have unsuccessfully tried to imitate his intricate drawing style. Seuss also selected colors that would be distinctive.

Dr. Seuss’ goal in writing children’s stories was to encourage kids to read. His first book was And To Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street. This work was turned down by 27 publishers before a friend agreed to do the job. One of his most popular books, Green Eggs and Ham, was written in response to a bet that challenged him to write a book using 50 or fewer words.

Our celebration slowly came to a close as we read Hooray for Diffendoofer Day and watched a clip from an animated version of The Sneetches, a Seuss story that symbolically examines the folly of racial discrimination. We parted quoting the wonderful Dr. Seuss: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

Shannon Smith is a Senior BU English Major.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Writing Tips from Margaret Atwood and Others

Dr. Curtis thinks it would be a good Spring Break idea for you aspiring writers to read this article published in The Guardian a couple of weeks ago with writing tips from this Fall's Humanities Symposium keynote speaker Margaret Atwood and many others: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one

(Dr. Curtis especially likes Elmore Leonard's contention that "[t]o use an adverb [to modify the word 'said'] (or almost any way) is a mortal sin.")


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pre-Spring Break English Club Meeting Friday

English Club President Carly Escue wants you to know that this Friday at 10:00 in WHB 107, the English Club will be meeting to brainstorm Literacy Day themes. If you were a judge for the Elementary schoolers' poetry, remember that today is the deadline for getting your second round scores to Chris Pilny.

We'll also be introducing the book we'll be reading in anticipation of Ron Hansen's visit after Spring Break.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mid-term Movie Break

Wednesday evening at 7:00 in the Beaman Student Life Center, the Program Board is showing Where the Wild Things Are. Though there's no convo, free admission and snacks have been promised. To whet your viewing appetite, check out Gia Vangieri's October review of the film.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

BU English Alum Needs Your Help

(from BU English Alum and current Instructor Kristen House): Hi Belmont! Andrew and I entered our short film, "I had weekends in Paris; I wore sparkly things" into The Doorpost Film Project. It's a multi-stage festival competition with a grand prize of $100,000! We were selected into the first round of 100 merited films (out of a pool of thousands!) and now we need your help.

To get through to the next round (of 20 films), we must survive an online vote. The process takes a little effort, and I am really nervous about the outcome. I'm recruiting you because we need that Belmont spirit behind us!

Go to http://www.facebook.com/l/a92e8;www.thedoorpost.com and register. Then you'll see a link at the top of the page that says "voting." The system will present five films to you (none are longer than 7 minutes), which you must watch in their entirety before you rank them with your vote. If you could watch a few batches for us, and vote our film UP! we would be much appreciative. It is a process - but maybe you'll have some free time over spring break that you can dedicate to independent film!

Also, this batch of entrants are interesting and beautiful. Please recruit anyone among your friends (or students!) who you think would enjoy watching some independent shorts! Thank you so much!

Dr. Curtis Named Associate Dean

Dr. David Curtis, Chair of the English Department, has been selected to be the Associate Dean for the School of Humanities starting June 1. Dr. Curtis's new position became available when Dr. Monteverde was promoted to Assistant Provost for international education last August.

The English Department will be selecting a new Chair some time later this month.

Monday, March 1, 2010

English Majors Kick Off Women's History Month

Dr. Caresse John and Dr. Sarah Bowles, faculty co-sponsors again of Women's History Month at Belmont, invite you to the first event of this year's celebration--a student panel discussing Feminism at Belmont. Panelists include BU English majors Amaryah Armstrong, Nathan Haney, Gia Vangieri, and Shawn Willis. PG convo will be offered at this event, slated for Wednesday, March 3 at 10:00 in Beaman A & B.

Stay tuned to the blog for details on further events in this series!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

BU English Major Releases EP

See this piece in the Belmont Vision about Michael Huff, multitalented English major (see his write-up of the Staunton, Virginia trip here). You can catch Michael live tonight at The Rutledge.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wells, Fallis to Speak at Homecoming Events

Dr. James Wells will deliver the Simmons Lecture on Wednesday, February 24 at 10:00 in the Massey Board Room. The title of his talk is "'And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine': Tantalizing Prospects in Shakespeare's Theatre."

On Thursday at 11:00 in the Vince Gill Room, Dr. Richard Fallis will discuss "What is the Future of the Liberal Arts?" Dr. Fallis is a former faculty member and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Belmont, is is currently Professor of English and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Mercer University.

Hope to see you all there.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Poems to Songs for BU English Alum

BU English alum Aaron Briggs just received word that two of his poems--turned into lyrics as part of a song cycle "From Nashville to Dalton" by Rachel Fogarty--will be performed by the Boston Metro Opera at the 1st Annual Contemporary AmericanaFest in May. You can find the text of the poems on Aaron's blog here.

In other Briggs family news, Aaron and fellow BU English alum Ashley (Bienvenu) Briggs welcomed baby Ansel Franklin Briggs into this world February 15. Congratulations all around!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Support "Local Literacy"

On Friday, the English Club will continue to collect money to create a basket full of goodies to be auctioned off during Homecoming to raise money for Literacy Day. The theme of the basket will be "Local Literacy," both in the sense of reading and of learning about local businesses. You are encouraged to ask the place where you work or any other local businesses you frequent to contribute gift certificates we can put in the basket.

Professor Trout will be bringing more baked goods to the Writing Center tomorrow for a second "fake bake sale," so come by and give a couple of bucks to Denise Mabry and enjoy the taste of good citizenship.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

BU English Majors in Print

Check out the February edition of Southern Inspired magazine. Managing Editor and BU English alum Claire Ploegman has left some copies on the table outside Dr. Paine's office. In this issue, you'll find articles by Claire and by current BU English majors Meagan Proctor, Sarah Shepherd, and Cory Pavlinac (who, you may remember, wrote about the Southern Festival of Books for the blog back in 2009). You can also become a fan of Southern Inspired on Facebook.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine Poetry Stand Event Friday!

(from Dr. Alexander): The Belmont Literary Journal is having a Valentine's Day publicity/sort-of-fund-raiser tomorrow in Beaman, writing and typing customized poems for all comers. The BLJ will be accepting donations (sort of a "tip jar" arrangement) for the poems. English students should drop by to say hello and order a poem--however, I should note that they may be drafted to help write poems if the demand is great! Just kidding. It is fun, though, and if anyone wants to help, you won't be turned away.

In any case, here's the more relevant thing: If everything goes well with the "tip jar" tomorrow that might bode well for future fund-raising use of the Poetry Stand. Whatever happens, the PS is available for any and all English students to make use of for whatever English-related purpose they might be able to devise, including fundraising. The PS lives in my office, just because there's nowhere else to store it, but it can be commandeered anytime. I'll show anyone wanting to use it how to break it down/set it up.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

English Club Meeting Friday!

Our first English Club meeting will be held tomorrow at 10:00 in WHB 209. There is much to discuss, including events this semester and our participation in Family Literacy Day. Everyone is welcome—bring a friend. If you have not gotten your t-shirts you ordered last semester they will be available for pick-up. And of course, there will be snacks.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Interview with Dr. James Wells

by Kindall Duke

The latest version of Henry IV Part 2, edited by BU English professor James Wells, was released in January as part of the New Kittredge Shakespeare Series. Dr. Wells is currently teaching a Special Studies in Shakespeare: Editing Shakespeare class which is involved in editing The Taming of the Shrew. Dr. Wells will be delivering the Simmons Lecture on February 24.

What led you to edit 2 Henry IV as opposed to another play?
I was asked by the series editor at the Shakespeare Association conference in 2007 if I would like to participate in this series called the New Kittredge Shakespeare that he was putting together, and a number of the plays were already taken. He asked me which of the plays I wanted to do and I said, ‘How about Coriolanus?” and he said, “How about Henry IV Part 2?” I love Henry IV Part 2, and think it is an incredible play. It is equally as accomplished as Henry IV Part 1, but it’s taught more rarely and is a bit more difficult to read. I was asked by the editor specifically to do this play, but really I’m glad I got to do it.

When editing a play, where do you start? Can you describe the process?
Where I start is reading the play again, and again, and again, and again and gaining that textual knowledge. After that there are a number of things that have to be done. There are source materials that need to be read. Shakespeare uses the history of Raphael Holinshed—his Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland—so I had to go back and look at that. That was one of the principal sources. After that, what editors have to start doing is looking at other editions of the play. There are other editions that go back all the way to the early 18th century and the editions that go back even to the 16th century. The play was originally performed around 1597 and shortly thereafter it was published in a quarto version that came out. You’re looking to see what other people have said about this play in the past in order to come to the best understanding possible, so I spent a great deal of time looking at a compilation of all the editors and changes to the play and annotations going all the way back to the 18th century. Then I looked at all the modern editions of the play as well in order to figure out the best way to relate the material to readers.

When going through all that material, what are some of the challenges you encounter, especially with an author like Shakespeare about whom so much has already been written?
I’m going to start with the end of that question. There’s a little bit of a different activity that goes on with editing than with literary criticism and that type of scholarship. In literary criticism, what you’re aiming to do is be original, to contribute something that hasn’t been said before. Now, the category I’m about to place editing in does not exclude trying to be original, but you are first trying to be helpful and allow readers to come to a better understanding of the text—to make it more available to readers. The best editions I still think are those that are generous and make the reading process more rewarding and less forbidding. I think one of the main things about reading Shakespeare is that it’s a challenge for 20th and 21st century readers, for students and even scholars who study Shakespeare but are approaching a play they have not read for a long time. What we’re trying to do is bridge those gaps between modern understanding and the meaning on the page without limiting what the meanings are.
One of the challenges that I had was a dispositional challenge. I had to break away from wanting to engage in an ongoing conversation with other editors and start thinking in terms of a collaborative effort, even though the people don’t know they’re collaborating with me. You’re not trying to one-up another editor. That being said, I also want to say it’s very humbling looking at the work other editors have done because people have already done incredible work on this play. No one is going to come to a play as an editor and change anything, so that was a dispositional challenge I faced.
The other was the challenge of figuring out what needs to be annotated and explained to students and other readers and what does not need to be explained, trying to find that appropriate level of understanding. If you don’t help people enough you end up losing them, if you help them too much it becomes tedious and they keep looking down at notes they don’t need to look down at and eventually stop reading them. Then there was the even more challenging part of wording things in a clear and lively way. There are so many times when I would have worked very hard on how to phrase an annotation only to find another editor had done it in fewer words and much more clearly than I had done it.

Was there something you learned that surprised you while you were editing?

When I consider the volume of information I learned doing the play that’s the thing that is surprising. I learned so much. I consider that I know a pretty good amount of Shakespeare and about the plays that I’m teaching; however, there is no teacher like going through every line of the play trying to figure out what needs to be explained and what doesn’t. It taught me that as a reader I take hundreds of shortcuts. It was an eye-opening experience in that way.
When I think about information about the play itself there were a number of points I thought I understood, then when I started interpreting it on a new level in order to understand what all the metaphors meant I started to see larger patterns and could just stand in awe once again of Shakespeare’s genius.

In the publishing process, what kind of restrictions were you working under?
This was taking an edition of Shakespeare which had previously been published by George Lyman Kittredge, one of the original, we might call him, Shakespeare teacher scholars. I think he was the first to offer Shakespeare as a class in literature. Toward the end of his career he came out with a complete works of Shakespeare that he had edited, and he appended a glossary to the end of it. After he finished that, when he was in his 70’s, he started editing and annotating them individually. He got to 16 of them before he died. The proprietor of Focus Publishing wanted to bring these back out, so we were dealing with someone else’s textual editing without the annotations. I was given the freedom to do anything I wanted with the text and with annotations; however, this was designated as a student edition rather than a scholar edition. The difference there is that I was trying to mainly address the issues and the problems students would encounter reading, not the issues scholars have with this play. We were also asked to write about film adaptations. I have to say I found writing about film as one of the biggest challenges of doing this series. I enjoy and appreciate Shakespeare on film, but I’ve never been an enthusiast in the same way. I was a little bit timid, but I enjoyed watching the film versions very much. Those were the only restrictions other than the restrictions that were already a part of the professional standard.

According to the back of this book you are currently working on A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Is there anything else we can look forward to or anything you would really like to do?
The work I’ve got there is enough to keep me busy for the next year, and I’m working on a book about Shakespeare. That book is on the way Shakespeare uses experiences that audiences have willy nilly when they see or read a play and the way Shakespeare takes those experiences and intensifies them through the plot and themes. There’s a pattern in his plays. He finds a way of taking what audiences already enjoy in the experience of drama and making it more intense by representing it on stage.

Is there one play you would want to work on if you ever have the time or the option?
Can I add this plug in there?
I’ve got the class that is working on The Taming of the Shrew, and I just finished an article on it that’s coming out in a collection of essays in a couple of years. It’s an amazing play. It’s an earlier work by Shakespeare that really shows what he was capable of, even at a young age. Even though it’s a play that some would call problematic now—and it really is—it’s delightful.
I don’t think I would ever want to edit Hamlet. I can tell you something I don’t want to do. But editing is a very rewarding—not financially—in terms of the appeal it has for people who want to teach. I think there is an educational component to editing because even if you’re not looking at the people you’re teaching, you’re actively involved in teaching.

Is there anything you would like to add?
I just want to add—and I hope this is clear—that there are fewer things that are more humbling than editing a work of Shakespeare. It was an honor to do this project. And you can buy it! It will be on Amazon soon for $8.95.

Kindall Duke is a Senior BU English Major.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Enjoy this poem from Ralph Waldo Emerson today, as you view these vintage images of our campus under snow. (If it goes on too much longer, you may need this one.)

Study Abroad in France Meets Today

Interested in Study Abroad in France this Summer? Meet with Dr. John Paine in WHB 209 at 10:00 Friday morning. If you can't make this meeting but are still interested, contact Dr. Paine at john.paine@belmont.edu or at 460-6244.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

English Club Meeting Moved to February 5

In anticipation of a "Nashville Weather Event" (and I think you know what that means) and wasted baking, Professor Trout is postponing the first English Club meeting until next Friday, February 5 at 10 am in WHB 209.

Meanwhile, The Show Goes on for Study Abroad!

Dr. Maggie Monteverde wants to you know that this summer Belmont is sponsoring 14 study abroad trips involving Belmont faculty on 6 of the 7 continents, in programs ranging in length from 2 to 6 weeks, studying subjects in a wide variety of majors, as well as general education offerings in Third Year Writing and Junior Cornerstone? In addition, through CCSA Belmont students can also participate in a wide range of programs in English-speaking countries for Belmont credit. It’s not too late to work this into your summer plans, but application deadlines for some programs will be coming up soon. Stop by Beaman A&B at 10:00 tomorrow--Friday, January 29--for some general information and to see what’s available. Representatives of many of these programs as well as from the office of International Education will be on hand to answer questions and provide applications. Isn’t it time you visited Argentina, Cambodia, Canada, China, Eastern Europe, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Germany, the Holy Land, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and earned college credit by studing Art, Music Business, Spanish, Theatre, Nursing, French, German, Poli Sci, Media, Philosophy, or Business?

Submit to BLJ

Dr. Danielle Alexander wants you to know that submissions for the Belmont Literary Journal are being accepted until February 12 . Along with art, song lyrics, poetry, and fiction, BLJ is especially interested in creative nonfiction, a separate category this year.

In order to submit to the BLJ:

1. Fill out a (white) "Submission Form," available outside Dr. Alexander's office, in the Writing Center, or in the Library lobby. A hard copy of this form must be submitted to Dr. Alexander.

2. You must submit your prose or poetry as an email attachment to danielle.alexander@belmont.edu. You may submit a hard copy of your work, but you don't have to.

If you would like to work as a reader for one of the selection committees, please see the Writing Center or Dr. Alexander's office door for a (lemon) "Survey of Work Interests" form. There are a limited number of spaces available for the different selection committees (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction), so fill out your form soon! We’ll be finalizing the selection committees by mid-February.

As many of you know, Dr. Curtis likes to point out that he published in the same college literary jounral as Cormac McCarthy (two pieces to one at that). Who is going to say something like that about you? Submit to BLJ, and be someone's brush with greatness!

Dr. John's New Edition

Dr. Caresse John and her husband Christian welcomed a 9 lb, 4 oz. baby girl, Elliott Elise John, to the world on January 26. Congratulations all around!

Other Faculty News

In December, Belmont University announced the promotion of Dr. Amy Hodges Hamilton to Associate Professor of English and the promotion of Dr. David Curtis to full Professor.

Sabbaticals were approved for the Fall of 2010 for Dr. James Wells and for the Spring of 2011 for Dr. Bonnie Smith. (Dr. Doug Murray is on sabbatical for the current Spring 2010 semester.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Tempest at the Troutt

The Nashville Shakespeare Festival's performance of The Tempest in the Troutt Theater runs Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 and Sunday at 2:30 through January 31.

After the evening performance of The Tempest, on Saturday, Jan. 30, a panel of scholars will give short presentations and field questions on the play and its production. The panel includes Dr. Marcia McDonald (Provost—Belmont), Dr. Leah Marcus (Edwin Mims Professor of English-Vanderbilt), Dr. James Wells (Associate Professor of English-Belmont), Claire Syler (Director, Nashville Shakespeare Festival), and Denise Hicks (Artistic Director, NSF). There will be Academic Lecture convo credit for this event.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dr. Wells to Speak at Pull-Tight Theatre

Dr. James Wells will present “The Taming of the Shrew and the Expense of Laughter” as part of the Prelude to Pull-Tight Players’ production of that play on Sunday, January 24, at 2 p.m. The Pull-Tight Theatre is located at 112 2nd Avenue South in Franklin, TN. The Prelude consists of scenes from Shakespeare’s play, the presentation by Dr. Wells, and refreshments.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Anne Rice Q&A Tonight!

(submitted by BU English Major Logan Allen) I'm doing a Skype Q&A event with Anne Rice Tomorrow (Wednesday) Jan. 13 at 7:00PM in the Massey board room, and I would really enjoy seeing some of our English majors there. Could you forward this email to everyone for me to spread the word?

For those who may not know, Anne Rice is the author of wildly popular Vampire Chronicles series and the Lives of the Mayfair Witches series. Her bestsellers include Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, The Witching Hour, and many more. She returned to Catholicism in 1998 and dedicated her work to God in 2002. Her recent bestseller, a Christian supernatural thriller, called Angel Time marks the debut of her protagonist Toby O'Dare, an assassin that achieves salvation, is enlisted to work with a league of God's angels, called Seraphs, and travels through time.

The themes for the event will be process, creativity, and the supernatural, and anyone is welcome to come and ask Ms. Rice a question, pertaining to those themes, about any of her books. This is a really great opportunity to talk with such a widely published author.