This Week in English | April 16 – April 22, 2018

First off, let’s take a moment to observe Patriots’ Day by reading this poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

That solemn task accomplished, we’re off into the eventful twelfth week of the semester…

Accepted Student Day and Open House

On Friday, April 13, English majors Eric Arnold, Kimberly Crowley, Anna Kulinski, and Melissa Pawley generously helped me welcome about a dozen students, parents, and friends to Neville Hall for an hour long conversation about the English Department.

On Monday, April 16, another dozen or so students and parents visited an uncharacteristically quiet Wicks Room (since classes were not in session) to talk about English at UMaine with Professor Elizabeth Neiman and myself.

With luck, we’ll soon be welcoming some of our visits back to Orono as matriculated students in English. Thanks to everyone who helped out with these events!

Ryan Stovall Receives Senior Recognition Award 

On April 9, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in consultation with the English Department conferred the Departmental Senior Recognition Award for English on Ryan Stovall. He will be honored at the CLAS Outstanding Faculty and Student Awards Ceremony on Thursday, April 25, at the Buchanan Alumni House. Some or all of the following statement will be read there:

This June, English major Ryan Stovall will be starting Fairfield University’s low residency MFA program with a concentration in fiction. He plans to spend the next two years focusing on his writing and spending time with his wife and three children. Professor Caroline Bicks says of Ryan: “He is a gifted writer and close reader who recognizes the subtle literary effects that bring textured meaning to an author’s work. He is also that rare student who is able to bring his life experiences into our discussion of a text and, in doing so, enhance its meaning for the rest of us.” Professor David Kress adds: “If mature, dedicated, clever, creative, bold, kind, edgy, perspicacious, steady, acute, and brave are some of the words that define an exceptional student—and they are!—then Ryan Stovall is exceptional on all counts. A gifted writer, an insightful reader, a gracious workshopper, and an all-around warm and even-keeled guy, Ryan is very highly regarded by his fellow students, and it has been my distinct pleasure to have worked with him in both creative writing and literature courses.”

Grady Award Winners Announced

The winners of this year’s Grady Awards for Creative Writing were announced by the Director of Creative Writing, David Kress, on April 14.

In the undergraduate fiction category, Micah Valliere received first prize and Catherine Gottwalt was runner up.

In the undergraduate poetry category, Cara Morgan received first prize and Colleen Lucy was runner up.

In the graduate fiction category, Paul Eaton received first prize and Morghen Tiddwas runner up.

And in the graduate poetry category, Kristyn Gerow received first prize and Kat Dubois was runner up.

The judge for the fiction prizes was Idra Novey. The judge for poetry was Claire Donato. Both read in the New Writing Series this past fall.

Recipients of Grady Awards will read from their winning manuscripts in the New Writing Series this Thursday, April 19, at 4:30 in the Hill Auditorium (Barrows Hall). Note unusual venue.

Student Advisory Group in English Meets This Friday 

The purpose of SAGE is to ensure that students have a chance to actively participate in the improvement of their experience as majors, minors, advisees, members of the broader undergraduate community, and alums. If you’d like to join SAGE, drop me a line at <> and I’ll make sure you receive further information.

Professor Neiman and I will next be meeting with SAGE members on Friday at 3pm in the Wicks Room before heading over to hear….

Boston Globe Editor and Reporter Patricia Wen This Friday

The Stephen E. King Chair in Literature proudly presents Getting It Right: Investigative Journalism in a ‘Post-Truth’ Age this Friday afternoon in the Wells Conference CenterPatricia Wen is the featured speaker. Professor Caroline Bicks, the inaugural holder of the King Chair, will introduce her.

Patricia Wen is the editor of the Boston Globe Spotlight Team. She took over this six-member investigative unit after several decades as a reporter at the Globe, with a special emphasis on social service, legal and medical issues. Her work focused largely on investigative and long-term projects. She also had spent several years as a reporter on the Spotlight Team. She has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, once in 2004 for feature writing and also in 2013 as part of a team for national reporting. Wen has also twice individually won the Casey Medal for coverage of children and family issues, in 2004 and 2011, each in the category of a major project/series in large publications. Before joining the Globe, she worked as a reporter at The Star-Ledger in Newark, NJ and The Advocate in Stamford, CT. A Harvard College graduate with a degree in East Asian Studies, she is married with three children and lives in Brookline, Mass.

Quick Takes

Have a great week, everyone!

Steve Evans

English Department Chair

This Week in English 26 was circulated to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Tuesday, April 17, 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.