This Week in English | April 1 – 7, 2019

The poet who called April the cruellest month was probably just playing a prank on us, right? In any case, he seems not to have weathered many Maine winters. We’ll kick off the last full month of the academic year with a student-faculty panel on poetry and therapy on Wednesday and a fiction reading by Bess Winter on Thursday. The deadline for departmental writing awards is Friday. Throughout the week students of junior standing become eligible to enroll in fall 2019 courses. A handy guide to the advising process can be found here.

The Personal Is Poetic

This Wednesday, April 3, English major Kimberly Crowley joins professors Danielle Pafunda and Jennifer Moxley for “The Personal Is Poetic: A Panel on the Therapeutic Usages of Poetry.” The event starts at 3pm in the Writing Center (Neville 402).

According to Robert Frost, “poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” For centuries, poets have espoused the therapeutic values of poetry. The discipline of poetry therapy grew from this intuitive initial awareness of the medium’s potential healing power.

“The Personal is Poetic” panel event will dive deep into the history and foundations of poetry therapy, its models, and its modern usages. Each panelist will provide their own perspectives and experiences on the idea of poetry as a therapeutic tool. Join us on Wednesday, April 3 at 3PM in the Writing Center (Neville 402) to learn more about this unique form of expressive art therapy! Cookies, tea, and coffee will be provided.

Kim Crowley is an inaugural recipient of the Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center (MHC) Undergraduate Fellowship. Danielle Pafunda, who has spent the year with us as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Poetry, recently accepted a tenure-track position at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Jennifer Moxley was the University of Richmond English Department’s Distinguished Writer in Residence in fall of 2018. On leave this spring, she returns to teaching in fall 2019.

Bess Winter in New Writing Series

On Thursday, April 4, the New Writing Series will feature the novelist Bess Winter. The reading, which will be introduced by Gregory Howard, takes place in the Allen & Sally Fernald APPE Space (Stewart Commons 104) at 4:30pm. Here’s a little about Winter from her website:

Bess Winter has written on the topics of: dolls, mummies, taxidermy, death, horse tails, stolen eggs, Victorians, primates, private school girls, daguerreotypes, gas leaks, etc. Her work appears in American Short Fiction, Alaska Quarterly Review, Ecotone, W.W. Norton’s Flash Fiction International, and elsewhere, and has been awarded a Pushcart Prize and the American Short[er] Fiction Prize. She’s received fellowships and scholarships from Yaddo and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She grew up in Toronto, Canada. She has taught creative writing to kids, teens, and adults at StoryStudio Chicago, WordPlay Cincinnati, and elsewhere. She’s on the English faculty at Eastern Illinois University, where she’s co-fiction editor of Bluestem. Think of an old lady’s life: gardening, knitting, tucking sweaters in among mothballs, gluing the arm back onto a 19th century doll. That’s what she does when she’s not writing.

Writing Prize Deadline Reminder

The deadline for submitting work for the Grenfell (poetry), Hamlet (playwriting), and Turner (essay) awards is Friday, April 5, at 1pm.  

Ophelia Author Lisa Klein on Campus April 12-13, 2019  

Stephen E. King Professor Caroline Bicks asks that you mark your calendars for this semester’s final series of King Chair Speaker events:

Friday, April 12  5:00pm-6:00pm. Neville Hall 101

Lecture: “Hamlet’s Girlfriend Gets a Life”  (free and open to all)

Lisa Klein, author of the young adult novel Ophelia, discusses her reinterpretation of Hamlet as a tale told from Ophelia’s point of view. Klein will talk about the process of transforming the heroine from Shakespeare’s stage to her page, and now to the screen in the forthcoming major movie picture based on her novel starring Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, and Clive Owen. In giving this character a new voice, Klein invites us to consider how we retell great stories to make them meaningful for our time.

Saturday, April 13th, 9:30am-12:00pm. Foster Innovation Center

Writing Workshop: Crafting the YA Novel. (Free. Requires pre-registration.)

“I have an idea for a novel but how do I even start writing?” In this 2 1/2-hour workshop, Klein will introduce you to the planning process and the use of character and conflict to generate plot. The emphasis will be on the young adult novel, but the principles apply to adult fiction as well.  Space is limited. If interested, contact the Stephen E. King Chair, Caroline Bicks.

Elaine Ford Event at Orono Public Library on April 16

On Tuesday, April 16, at Orono Public Library, two events will center on Elaine Ford’s 2018 book This Time Might Be Different: Stories of Maine.

10:30-11:45 a.m. Monthly book discussion group, led by Barbara Wicks.

Noon-1 p.m. Reading from the book and remarks about its genesis by Arthur Boatin, Elaine’s husband and a former instructor in the U of Maine English Department.

Elaine Ford taught in the UMaine English Department for 19 years, retiring as a full professor in January 2005. She was the author of seven books of fiction.


Office note: Ellen Manzo is away from her desk this week. If you are a student who needs help with advising, please start with your faculty advisor. If you’re unable to reach your advisor, let me know and we’ll arrange an alternative. Ellen will be back at her desk on Tuesday, April 9.


This Week in English 53 was sent to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Monday, April 1, 2019. 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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