This Week in English | November 26 – December 2, 2018

Amy Wicks Talks with Students about Careers

We started the week with a lunchtime conversation between current students and Amy M. Wicks, a marketing professional, content strategist, and writer who currently hosts Charged, a podcast devoted “to uncovering the stories of the relentless daily pursuit at Mass General to break boundaries and provide exceptional care.” Wicks talked about the uses to which she has put her degree in English (she graduated from St. Olaf in Minnesota), from an unexpected stint of teaching in Slovakia to working at a small tech startup, at Mass Poetry, Liberty Mutual, and now at Massachusetts General Hospital. She advocated boldness and preparation, trying new things, being open to jobs that don’t at first glance look promising, and cultivating a wide range of interests (hers include pastry). She also emphasized the importance of building an online portfolio (she likes Contently) and networking through informational interviews and other informal activities. Some more of her tips can be read here. The event was organized and hosted by Sarah Harlan-Haughey in conjunction with her large lecture course, The Nature of Story, which Wicks also visited.

Two Belfast Writers on Wednesday Afternoon

On November 28, the Maine Writers Series hosts two former Belfast poet laureates, Linda Buckmaster and Elizabeth Garber, for an event celebrating their recent memoirs. Kathleen Ellis will introduce the reading, which takes place in the Writing Center at 4pm. (Flyer attached.)

Poet Kate Colby in New Writing Series on Thursday Afternoon

Poet Kate Colby reads in the New Writing Series this Thursday at 4:30 in the Allen & Sally Fernald APPE Space (Stewart Commons 104). Colby was born in Boston and grew up in Massachusetts. She earned a BA from Wesleyan University and an MFA from California College of the Arts. She is the author of numerous books of poetry, including Fruitlands (2006), which was the winner of the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award, Unbecoming Behavior (2008), I Mean (2015), and, most recently, The Arrangements. This will be her first appearance in the New Writing Series. The reading is free & open to the public.


This Friday, November 30, Elizabeth Neiman will moderate and participate in a roundtable conversation about the question of aesthetics and aesthetic value in the creative writing and literature curriculum. Steve Evans, Gregory Howard, and Danielle Pafunda will also participate. Here is how Professor Neiman conceives of the event:

What role (if any) does ‘aesthetics’ play in our literature and creative writing courses here at UMaine? What do we mean by ‘aesthetics’ anyway or by the related question, ‘but is it any good?’ Come join Professors Steve Evans, Greg Howard, Elizabeth Neiman and Danielle Pafunda for what promises to be a lively roundtable-style discussion! Each of us approaches the question of aesthetics somewhat differently (in our scholarly/creative work and as teachers) and we are eager to converse with each other and with you about the implications of these differences for our curriculum.

The event will be held in the Writing Center at 2pm (note changed time). Snacks will be served. All are welcome.

Looking Ahead

On December 6, Joanna (Jody) Crouse, Kathleen Ellis, and Leonore Hildebrandt will read in the final event of the fall New Writing Series.

And on December 12, the UMaine Bookstore will host the 12th annual celebration of poet Emily Dickinson’s birthday in an event starting at 4pm (flyer attached).

Routine Department Business

The next department meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 6, at 2pm in the Hatlen Room (Neville 406). It will be followed by a meeting of the Peer Committee.

The Undergraduate Studies committee met on November 26, 2018 (minutes forthcoming).

The Graduate Studies Committee next meets this Thursday, November 29 at 2pm.


This Week in English 40 was sent to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Tuesday, November 27, 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.

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