Skip Navigation

Upcoming Events

The New Writing Series brings contemporary writers to UMaine to read from and discuss their work. We invite all members of the community to join the conversation. Mark your calendars, tell your friends, and come help us make it new this fall!

make it new make it nws make it new make it nws

SEPTEMBER 18 ROSA ALCALÁ, poetry & translation
OCTOBER 2 RACHEL TZVIA BACK, poetry & translation
OCTOBER 23 JEFF JACKSON, fiction & drama

Readings are held at 4:30pm on Thursdays in the Allen & Sally Fernald
APPE space in [ ]104 Stewart Commons and are free & open to the public.
Please visit our [ ]website for more information about individual events.

make it new make it nws make it new make it nws

Rosa Alcalá is the author of a poetry collection Undocumentaries (Shearsman Books, 2010) and two chapbooks: Some Maritime Disasters This Century (Belladonna, 2003) and Undocumentary (Dos Press, 2008). Alcalá has also translated poetry by Cecilia Vicuña, Lourdes Vázquez, and Lila Zemborain, among others. Recent translations include Zemborain’s Guardians of the Secret (Noemi Press, 2009), and poems for The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry (2009). She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University, and a PhD in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Born and raised in Paterson, NJ, she currently resides in El Paso, Texas, where she teaches in the Department of Creative Writing and Bilingual MFA Program at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Rachel Tzvia Bach is a Professor of English Literature at Oranim College in Israel. She is the author of many collections of poems such as Azimuth: Poems, On Ruins & Return, and a Messenger Comes. Most recently she translated a collection of poems in In the Illuminated Dark: Selected Poems of Tuvia Ruebner.

Diane Cook‘s fiction has been published in Harper’s Magazine, Granta, Tin House, Zoetrope, One Story, Guernica, and elsewhere. Her nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and on This American Life, where she worked as a radio producer for six years. She earned an MFA from Columbia University, where she was a Teaching Fellow. She lives in Oakland, California.

Jeff Jackson is the author of the novel Mira Corpora, published by Two Dollar Radio. It’s a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and appeared on “Best of 2013” lists in Salon, Slate, Flavorwire, Lit-Reactor, and more. His short fiction has appeared in Guernica, Vice, and The Collagist, the anthology Userlands, and been performed in New York and Los Angeles by New River Dramatists. He edited the literary anthologies Topograph: Fiction from the Carolinas and the Landscape Beyond and The Portable Lentricchia. Five of his plays have been produced by the Obie Award-winning Collapsable Giraffe theater company in New York City, including Botanica which was selected by the New York Times as “one of 2012′s most galvanizing theater moments.” He also served as director for the NoDa Film Festival and founder of the popular jazzwebsite Destination: Out.

Christopher Merkner teaches creative writing at West Chester University. His work has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Cincinnati Review, Fairy Tale Review, GettysburgReview, New Orleans Review, and Best American Mystery Stories. His first book The Rise and Fall of the Scandamerican Domestic was published in 2014 by Coffee House Press.

Hoa Nguyen is the author of eight poetry books and chapbooks, including As Long As Trees Last (Wave), Hecate Lochia (Hot Whiskey), and Your Ancient See Through (SubPress). With her partner Dale Smith she edited ten issues of the little magazine Skanky Possum. She lives in Toronto, Ontario where she teaches poetics at Ryerson Universityand curates a reading series.

Alice Notley is the author of Culture of One and Songs and Stories of the Ghouls among many other books of poetry. She has edited The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan andThe Selected Poems of Ted Berrigan with her sons Anselm and Edmund Berrigan. She lives and writes in Paris, France. Notley read in the New Writing Series in the fall of 2001 and 2004.

Dale Smith is a writer now living in Toronto, Ontario. He spent most of his life in Texas,with brief jaunts to the Middle East, the Pacific Northwest, and Northern California. Currently he teaches rhetoric and poetics at Ryerson University. He is the author of four books of poetry and prose, published by boutique presses. His poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in Best American Poetry, Bookforum, Chicago Review, The Colorado Review, Jacket, and elsewhere. Poets Beyond the Barricade: Rhetoric, Citizenship, and Dissent after 1960 addresses the role of poetry in public discourse, and was recently published by the University of Alabama Press. His creative and scholarlywork examines the intersections of personal and public tensions in the ongoing negotiations and clarifications of contemporary life.


The UMaine New Writing Series was founded in 1999 and is sponsored by the [ ]English Department and the [ ]National Poetry Foundation with support from the Lloyd H. Elliott Fund, the Milton Ellis Memorial Fund, the [ ]Honors College, the [ ]University of Maine Humanities Center, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost, and the Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series Committee. Grateful acknowledgment is made to the [ ]IMRC, and to donors [ ]Allen and Sally Fernald, for use of the AP/PE Black Box space. For more information contact NWS Coordinator [ ]Steve Evans.


Please join our third annual

UMaine Arts & Humanities Field Trip to Boston

Saturday, October 25


The departments of Art, English and History as well as the Honors College have joined the UMaine Humanities Center to sponsor a full-day student trip to the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston. You will have plenty of time to explore this great institution on your own!

Schedule for Saturday, October 25

  • 7:30 AM     Depart from Collins Center for the Arts (CCA) parking lot on campus
  • 11:30 AM   Approximate arrival at MFA, Boston (Get lunch and early dinner on your own)
  • 5:00 PM      Depart MFA
  • 9:00 PM      Approximate return to CCA parking lot on campus

How do I sign-up for this trip?

Because space on our luxury coach is limited, students will need to reserve their seat by paying $15 in advance of the trip. Twelve seats will be reserved for students in the four co-sponsoring units until October 10.  After that date available seats will be given to anyone on the waiting lists in each unit.  Non-reserved seats will be available to any UMaine student and the general public starting on October 21.


Spring 2015 enrollment begins October 27, 2014.


Whither Utopia in the Twenty-First Century?

Community, Corporations, and Colson Whitehead

A talk by Mark A. Tabone

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

 Monday, October 27, 2:00 pm. Bumps Room (Memorial Union)

 This lecture is part of the Contemporary Discourses in Literary Theory and Scholarship Series, organized by Carla Billitteri and sponsored by the English Department of the University of Maine



 UMaine Department of English

Faculty Poetry Reading


Leonore Hildebrandt The Next Unknown

WHEN:   TUESDAY October 28, 2014 at 4:00 pm

WHERE: WRITING CENTER, 4th Floor Neville Hall

University of Maine

Orono, ME

The UMaine Department of English invites you to a fall faculty poetry reading & book party for LEONORE HILDEBRANDT‘s new collection, The Next Unknown.

Other poets reading include: Tony Brinkley, Jason Canniff, Kathleen Ellis, & Bruce Pratt.

Light refreshments.

For more information call (207) 581-3845.




UMaine English Graduate Student Association Annual Symposium

April 24, 2015 3:00 PM- 6:00 PM

April 25, 2015 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Each year the English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) hosts a symposium to showcase
the critical work being done by the University of Maine English community and peer institutions.

Friday’s inaugural events will include:

  • a keynote address
  • a literature panel
  • a fishbowl reading of creative work.

Refreshments will be provided at the end of the day.

Saturday’s events will include:

  • traditional conference panels
  • as well as informal lunchtime roundtable discussions.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Cookout to end the day, weather permitting.

Call for papers to be distributed this winter. Graduate students, faculty, and alumni are invited to submit.

EGSA Executive Board and Organizers: Chris Becker, Heather Howard, Diana Meakem, Paige Melin.