Thursday, March 29, 2012

Meet Alison Ng Hays, English Graduate Student

English Department graduate student Tara Ng Hays completed her degree here at Belmont in 2011, majoring in Liberal Studies. She was born in the Bay Area of Califonia but moved to Nashville at the age of eighteen. Tara currently lives in Spring Hill with her husband Matt, daughter Aria, son Axle, and dog Chloe. Tara loves creative writing and is pursing the Writing Track in the graduate program. Her favorite things to write are children’s books, creative pieces, and text messages. When she completes her degree at Belmont, her dream job is “to be a travel journalist who writes about places and food.” But she’ll also be happy with “being an English teacher.” Some of her favorite books include: Game of Thrones, The Help, The Twilight saga, dystopian literature, and “all great children’s books.”

Tara chose to enroll in the English Graduate Program because she really enjoyed her experience at Belmont during her undergrad years. She wasn’t interested in a completely on-line Master’s program and needed evening classes—so Belmont was a perfect fit. So far, her favorite things about Belmont are the friends she's made as well as "Belmont's awesome professors." If you see Tara, please welcome her back to Belmont as part of the English Graduate Program.

- Profile by Misty Wellman.

English Faculty Present at Service-Learning Summit

English Department faculty members, Dr. Charmion Gustke (pictured at left) and Dr. Jason Lovvorn, recently delivered a panel presentation entitled “Transforming Voices through Service Learning: Personal Narrative, Community Partnership, and Student Citizenship” at the Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement in Higher Education, held March 21-23 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Gustke and Lovvorn discussed ways in which they and fellow faculty member Dr. Linda Holt (English) incorporate service learning and writing into their classes. Their community outreach involves partnerships with Dismas House Nashville (Gustke), Carter-Lawrence Elementary School (Holt), and Nashville Adult Literacy Council (Lovvorn).

Belmont English Club at Family Literacy Day

Members of the Belmont English Club recently participated in Family Literacy Day, an annual event that promotes reading engagement for Nashville elementary students and their families. The focus of the event involves Reading Circles hosted by various groups. This year, the English Club hosted circles with a wide variety of themes: camping & outdoors, school, animals, monsters & dinosaurs, seasons, and Dr. Seuss. Counting Belmont English majors and minors, along with their friends, the English Club engaged over forty volunteers at this year's Family Literacy Day.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Part III of Spring Lecture Series

The English Club announces its third installment of the Spring Lecture Series. Tomorrow, March 16, from 10 to 10:50 a.m. in Beaman A&B, Dr. Gary McDowell will deliver a talk titled "Exploratory Poetry: The Syntax of Disjunction and Juxtaposition" (Culture & Arts convo credit offered). Dr. McDowell will offer a poetry reading and comment upon and illustrate contemporary exploratory poetry’s leanings toward disjunction, disruption, association, and juxtaposition. Whether it’s through syntax, content, or a combination of the two, exploratory poems, as McDowell puts it, “do not aspire to be comfortable or comforting;” instead they wish to “stretch the boundaries of the sayable.”

Dr. McDowell is an Assistant Professor of English at Belmont who specializes in creative Writing and contemporary American poetics. He is a widely published poet and critic. His first full-length book of poetry, American Amen (Dream Horse Press, 2010), won the 2009 Orphic Prize for poetry, and he's the author of two previous volumes of poetry, Blueprint (Pudding House, 2005) and They Speak of Fruit (Cooper Dillon, 2009). He's also the co-editor of the best-selling anthology, The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Prose Poetry: Contemporary Poets in Discussion and Practice (Rose Metal Press, 2010).