This Week in English | December 17 – 23, 2018

End of Semester Projects

Students in Sarah Harlan-Haughey’s graduate seminar on Middle English Literature wrap up their semester with a conference-style set of presentations at the University Club this afternoon. The event features panels on “Beauty and the Gurlesque,” “The Natural Supernatural,” and “Otherworld Exchange” (flyer attached).  

Harlan-Haughey’s large lecture class, The Nature of Story (Eng 131), is finishing up with an assignment that uses the Storycorps app to encourage students to interview loved ones and acquaintances. They then write a personal reflection on the stories they heard. “So far, the reflections I’ve read and the interviews I’ve listened to are diverse and idiosyncratic, and often quite moving,” Harlan-Haughey reports. The full syllabus for Eng 131 is online here.

More on McGillicuddy Humanities Fellows

Shortly after last week’s bulletin circulated, the McGillicuddy Humanities Center released their formal announcement about their inaugural cohort of undergraduate Humanities Fellows. The announcement provides more detail on the work that Kim Crowley and Nick Rotter-Well, both English majors, plan to do while supported by the fellowships.

Kim Crowley is an English major concentrating in Professional and Technical Writing with a minor in Marketing. She is from Newport, Oregon, but has lived in Maine since 2014. Her humanities project is her honors thesis “The personal is poetic: a case for poetry therapy” which is about poetry writing as a therapeutic process. She is interested in pursuing a career in nonprofit administration with a focus in communications and fundraising, hopefully for an arts-focused or environmental nonprofit. She also hopes to continue publishing her poetry, aiming for a collected volume of her works. Kim anticipates that the fellowship will allow her time to deepen the work on her thesis topic, and to engage others in the campus writing community in exploring how poetry writing can act as self-help.

Nick Rotter-Weller is an English major with a focus in analytical writing and a minor in Political Science. Nick is from Los Angeles County, where he attended Los Angeles Harbor College for three years; he transferred to UMaine to finish his BA and to experience a new region of the country. His project is his capstone, an interpretation of Arthur Miller’s play A View From the Bridge that seeks to escape the 20th-century ideological binary of capitalism vs. communism. He has applied to the MA in English at UMaine and hopes to pursue a career in teaching English at the college level. Nick is eager to do more independent research on his topic, and to create panel opportunities involving his fellow students for presentation to campus audiences.

The Center invites applications in January for two additional spring fellowships. Full details at can be found here.

New Book by Bruce Pratt

Congratulations to Bruce Pratt, whose new book Trash Detail was recently published by New Rivers Press. Here’s the blurb:  

Bruce Pratt’s The Trash Detail collects a series of short stories that feature unique characters, each on a quest to discover their place in the greater world: a concerned wife waiting for her husband, an aging couple’s struggle with intimacy, and one man wed to conjoined twins, among many others.

Pratt was born in Bronxville, New York, and grew up in Connecticut. He graduated from Vermont Academy in 1969, Franklin and Marshall College with a BA in Religious Studies in 1973, The University of Maine with a Masters Degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing in 2001, and The University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA with a degree in creative writing with a focus on short fiction, and a concentration in Critical Theory in 2004. Pratt edits the annual American Fiction anthologies for New Rivers and can frequently be heard talking about sports and literature on Downtown with Rich Kimball. He and his wife, Janet, live in Eddington Maine.

Writer’s Night Event Report

Co-organizer Tori Hood writes in with this report about the Writer’s Night event on December 6:

The second installment of Writer’s Night at Bangor Beer Co. was a success! Although there were fewer people in attendance than at the first one, it allowed for a more intimate atmosphere where the writer could answer questions from their colleagues after reading. Readers included Master’s candidates Cassidy Marsh, Kat Dubois, Victoria Hood and Zack Posey, as well as UMaine undergraduates Brieanna Welch and Tony Olea. The next Writer’s Night will take place in early February (hopefully) and may include work shopping prompts before reading. Happy end of the semester from us at Writer’s Night!


Warm best wishes for a successful conclusion to the fall semester, everyone. This Week in English will be on hiatus until classes resume on January 22, but we’re here in the office to help with any questions you might have between now and then.

Top of the season to you all,



This Week in English 43 was sent to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Monday, December 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.

If you would like to support the mission of the English Department, please consider a donation to the Annual Fund through this secure online portal.