This Week in English | Feb 12 – Feb 18, 2018

New Writing Series: Spring 2018 Lineup

Founded in the fall of 1999, the New Writing Series brings innovative literature to life on the University of Maine’s flagship campus. Events are held on Thursday afternoons at 4:30 in the Allen & Sally Fernald APPE Space (Stewart Commons 104) and are free and open to the public. Here’s a preview of the spring schedule:

March 8 – Fiction Reading

Eugene Lim, hosted and introduced by Greg Howard

March 22 – Poetry Performance

Drew Gardner & Julie Patton, hosted and introduced by Steve Evans

April 5 – Fiction Reading

Christina Milletti, hosted and introduced by David Kress

April 12 – Poetry Reading

Allison Cobb, hosted and introduced by Benjamin Friedlander

April 19 – Awards Ceremony (alternate venue tba)

Grady Awards, introduced by David Kress and Jennifer Moxley

April 26 – MA Thesis Reading in Fiction

Fiction MA Theses, introduced by David Kress

Meet This Year’s Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King Memorial Scholars

Before we adjourned for the winter break, the English Department recognized eleven English majors with scholarships generously endowed by Stephen and Tabitha King in memory of Stephen’s mother, Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. The sophomore recipients were Rachel Castonguay, Anna Kulinski, and Katherine Skvorak; the junior recipients were Catherine Gottwalt, Maddy Jackson, and Christopher King; and the seniors were Sarah Allisot, Eric Arnold, Mary Manley, Amber Mondor, and Tyler O’Keefe.

These students are, each in their own distinct way, ambassadors who reflect well the values of creativity, curiosity, compassion, and courage that animate our discipline. We are happy to report that a number of them have agreed to serve on a student advisory board that will meet several times this spring.

Today we meet the three remaining members of this talented cohort:

Rachel Castonguay is a sophomore in the Honors College. Though currently majoring solely in English, she plans to apply to the college’s nursing program as a second major. From there, she hopes to use both majors in a graduate career focused on becoming a Nurse Practitioner, while continuing to write on the side. When she eventually retires from nursing, she has hopes to focus on a life filled with travel and creative writing. She hopes to be able to publish her writings and be able to retire from nursing so that she may travel and write for a living. She expects that her nursing career and travels will be inspirations for her future writings. Throughout her life, she has felt connected to works of fiction, and hopes that her own works will “create the kind of prose fiction that plants itself into reader’s imaginations.” She states that the works of Stephen King have been a great example to her, though oddly enough her first exposure to his writing was not through one of his books, but his segment in the introduction to a copy of Lord of The Flies. From there, she became fascinated by his writing style, and hopes to one day write with the same level of talent his writing exudes. 

Mary Margaret Manley is a senior with a double major in Studio Art and English, as well as a minor in French. At a crossroads with her career goals, she plans on attending graduate school in the future. Mary prefers visual art as a practice, but finds that the works of writers can be more inspiring, hence she chose to double major with a concentration in Analytical Writing. She finds poetry to be most inspiring, and enjoys both reading and writing creative works that focus on human interaction.

Amber Mondor is a senior who is double majoring in Secondary Education, with a concentration in English, and English with a concentration in Analytical Writing. She says that, much like Stephen King, she plans on teaching English while developing her own creative stories on the side. She has always been passionate about literature, and found a love for writing when she realized how much easier it was for her to express herself through writing. She finds personal narrative to be her favorite thing to write. She says that On Writing by Stephen King was extremely inspirational, and she has used some of the writing techniques in her own works, as well as used them to design lesson plans to potentially use in English classes. She has also read many of Tabitha King’s poems. 

New Book of Poems by Jennifer Moxley

Jennifer Moxley’s seventh collection of poems, Druthers, was published today by Flood Editions. Publishers Weekly ran a capsule review of the volume on January 15, and the Academy of American Poets featured a poem from it in a recent installment of their Poem-a-Day series. Moxley’s previous book with Flood, The Open Secret, was awarded the William Carlos Williams Awardby the Poetry Society of America and was a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.

Reading in Your Life Series at Fogler Library: Poetry Event Tonight

Our friends at Fogler Library asked us to pass along this invitation:

Love reading poetry and want to share your favorites? Then come to Reading in Your Life: Poetry, the first in a three-meeting series of discussions about the writings that have delighted, surprised, and inspired you. This meeting, rescheduled from last Wednesday due to inclement weather, takes place at 5pm this evening in the Fogler Library Classroom.

Bring your favorite poem or a short excerpt (no more than one single-sided page, please) to share with your fellow poetry lovers—and if you’d like some inspiration, check out the poetry cart by the first-floor elevators!

Participants are not required to attend all three meetings of the series.


Have a great week, everyone!

Steve Evans

English Department Chair


This Week in English 17 was circulated to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Monday, February 12, 2018. If you would rather not receive these weekly bulletins, please reply with <unsubscribe> in your subject line. Earlier installments are archived on our website.