This Week in English | April 8 – 14, 2019

Betsy Rose Receives Outstanding Professional Employee Award

The Professional Employees Advisory Council (“PEAC”) seeks to raise the awareness of the campus community about the contributions that professional employees make to the quality, diversity, and overall mission of the University of Maine. This year’s award recognizes the work of Betsy Rose, publications specialist for the Center for Poetry and Poetics (formerly the National Poetry Foundation) and the University of Maine Press. Rose recently spoke about her work with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in a segment on WABI TV5. She will be among those recognized at the awards luncheon with President Ferrini-Mundy planned for April 23 between 11am – 1pm in Wells Common.

Fiction Writer Jac Jemc Reads on Thursday

Jac Jemc returns to the New Writing Series for a reading on Thursday, April 11, at 4:30pm in the Allen & Sally Fernald APPE Space (Stewart Commons 104). Jemc is the author of The Grip of It and the forthcoming collection of stories False Bingo, both with FSG Originals. Here’s how her publisher characterizes the new collection:

Fueled by paranoia and visceral suspense, and crafted with masterful restraint, these seventeen stories explore what happens when our fears cross over into the real, if only for a fleeting moment. Identities are stolen, alternate universes are revealed, and innocence is lost as the consequences of minor, seemingly harmless decisions erupt to sabotage a false sense of stability. “This is not a morality tale about the goodness of one character triumphing over the bad of another,” the sadistic narrator of “Pastoral” announces. Rather, False Bingo is a collection of realist fables exploring how conflicting moralities can coexist: the good, the bad, the indecipherable.

Jemc’s reading, which is free and open to the public, will be introduced by Gregory Howard and followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Ophelia Author Lisa Klein on Campus This Friday and Saturday

On Friday, from 1:30-3:00, YA author Lisa Klein will be available in the Wicks Room to chat with interested students. Come stop by, grab a cookie, and meet her! She will be giving her public lecture, “Hamlet’s Girlfriend Gets a Life,” at 5:00 that day in Neville 101. Also, there are still a few slots left in the writing workshop she will be running on Saturday morning. Contact King Chair, Caroline Bicks, to register:

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.  

Accepted Student Day

This Friday, April 12, UMaine will welcome a second wave of accepted students to campus. Prospective English majors will attend an opening session at the Collins Center at 9am, followed at 10am by an informal reception in the Wicks Room and a tour of Neville Hall. Several McGillicuddy Humanities Center undergraduate fellows have already volunteered to help me welcome the prospective students, but majors, minors, and faculty members are invited to stop by and say hello.  

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.

Composition Program News

Director of first-year composition Ryan Dippre reports that first-year teaching assistants Tori Hood, Kaitlyn Hanson, and Cassidy Marsh presented on “Is Twitter the Next Tool in Becoming a Reflective Practitioner?” at UConn’s annual conference on the teaching of writing. And on April 13, Kristina King will be presenting on a panel titled “Locating our Classrooms within the Bigger Picture” at UMass Boston’s Engaging Practices Conference.  

Harvard’s Woodberry Poetry Room Celebrates Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop

Next Monday, April 15, I’ll be in Boston to moderate the Woodberry Poetry Room’s “oral history initiative” event featuring the poets, publishers, and translators Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop. Rosmarie Waldrop first read in the New Writing Series in the fall of 2003. Keith Waldrop followed in the the spring of 2004, and Rosmarie returned in the spring of 2011. Both were keynotes at the National Poetry Foundation’s “Opening of the Field” conference on the poetry and poetics of the 1960s held in the summer of 2000. Wave books recently published Keeping the Window Open: Interviews, Statements, Alarms, Excursions, edited by Ben Lerner.


Do you have an item you’d like to see included in a future installment of the bulletin? Majors and minors, faculty, alums, and friends are invited to contribute updates on their studies, their works in progress, their new jobs, and other developments. Just send them my way by 3pm on Sunday afternoons for consideration for the next installment.


This Week in English 54 was sent to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Tuesday, April 9, 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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