This Week in English | April 15 – 21, 2019

This installment of the bulletin arrives midweek due to some professional travel on my part, but it’s brimming with news about our community that I think you’ll enjoy. And remember, if you use up all your TL;DRs on messages like this one, whatever will you do when it comes time to read Melville or Proust?

Announcing the 2019 Grady Awards in Creative Writing

This year’s Grady Awards were judged by Kate Colby (poetry) and Martin Riker (fiction), both recent visitors to the New Writing Series.

In the undergraduate division, Riker selected Katherine Skvorak’s manuscript for first place. Micah Valliere was runner-up. At the graduate level, Tori Hood was the winner and Morghen Tidd runner-up.

For undergraduate poetry, Colby awarded Noah Loveless first place and Brieanna Welch runner-up. The winner at the graduate level was Martin Conte. Elizabeth Northcote, no longer in the program, received honorable mention.

The winners will be celebrated in an upcoming event in the New Writing Series.

Master’s Thesis Reading on Thursday

Master’s candidates Abbe Adent, Kat Dubois, Emerson Posey, and Morghen Tidd are completing theses in creative writing this spring. They’ll read excerpts from their manuscripts at a special event in the New Writing Series on Thursday, April 18, at 4:30pm in the Allen and Sally Fernald APPE Space (Stewart Commons 104). Director of Creative Writing Greg Howard invites us “to come hear poems and stories involving interdimensional travel, aimless ghosts, dopplegangers, aimless girls, questioned clocks, sentient goo, searches for light, and the tender possibilities of being!”

EGSA Symposium on Friday

The English Graduate Student Association hosts the 2019 EGSA Symposium this Friday, April 19, from 2-7pm in 57 Stodder Hall. The Symposium will showcase creative work and critical research by English Department undergraduate and graduate students, and will feature presentations from Wicks Fellows Shelby Colburn and Paul Eaton. The room will be accessible beginning at 1:30. Light refreshments will be served, and the evening will conclude with a pasta dinner (catered by Amato’s of Bangor) from 6:30-7. Please send inquiries to This event is co-sponsored by the Stephen E. King Chair in Literature.

Connor Ferguson Named to McGillicuddy Humanities Fellowship

Earlier this spring, English major Connor Ferguson received a McGillicuddy Humanities Center Fellowship for a project that revolves around “reviving queer authors in the canon of modernist era authors.” In the profile of him that was posted to the UMaine website on April 4, Ferguson says of his teacher and mentor Laura Cowan, “she’s a superstar—she’s been so supportive. I’m a nontraditional student, working three jobs, living off campus, and she’s been so helpful in supporting my life as a student.” Ferguson joins a cohort of humanities fellows that includes English majors Kim Crowley and Nick Rotter-Weller.

Writing Center News

Writing Center director Paige Mitchell provides the following updates from the fourth floor:

For their Writing Center work as peer-tutor coordinators, Chris Hunter and Cara Morgan were both nominees for “Student Employee of the Year,” an awards ceremony for nominated student employees and supervisors. Ellen Manzo, our English Department’s Administrative Specialist, and Ryan Dippre, our Director of College Composition were also nominees for “Supervisor of the Year.”

This year Cara Morgan won the Undergraduate “Student Employee of the Year” Award at the University of Maine, and at the state level! She received a hefty gift certificate to the UMaine bookstore, and a generous scholarship for her regional award. Please congratulate Cara for her impressive hard work and recognition!

On April 18, we hosted another writing workshop, this time for Judith Rosenbaum‘s section of CMJ 203. Our tutors filtered around the room reading and discussing student work, offered composing strategies, and supported their peers.  

The Writing Center also sent five peer-tutors to present their IRB research at NEWCA: the Northeast Writing Centers Association Academic Conference. They were generously funded by CUGR travel grants. Each peer-tutor did a fantastic job; their research and presentation recordings will be on our Writing Center website soon! Cara Morgan presented “A Five-Year History of Tutor Research Initiatives at the University of Maine.” Connor Ferguson presented “Diversifying Writing Centers: The Impact of Visibility and Accessibility.” Amy Dias presented on “Nontraditional Students in the Writing Center.” Paisley Keene presented on “Engaging a Variety of Writers Through the Use of New Media: The importance of new media in the writing center tutor’s ‘multimodal toolkit.’” And William Rosenberger spoke about “Opportunities for Growth: Making Meaning in STEM.”

Poet and Fiction Writer Bruce Pratt Events in Bangor and Connecticut

On Saturday, April 20, at 2:00 PM at the Bangor Public Library, Bruce Pratt will be reading from and signing copies of his new short story collection The Trash Detail and new poetry chapbook Forms and Shades. This event is free and open to the public—no reservations are necessary.

On Saturday, April 27, he’ll be  joined by friends and fellow songwriters, Cormac McCarthy, Stan Sullivan, and Jim Mercik for a very special reunion concert and tribute at The Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton, Connecticut. In addition to playing their own songs and some from our favorite greats, they will each perform one by late friend and fellow musician Bill Morrissey. The show starts at 7:30 PM and reservations may be made by calling 860-693-0263 during regular business hours. Pratt expects to have some surprise musical guests and perhaps a writer and a poet or two.

Caer Hallundbaek at Peace & Reconciliation Studies Conference

On Friday, April 5, Caer Hallundbaek, who teaches both creative writing (Eng 205) and business and technical writing (Eng 317) at the Hutchinson Center, was one of the presenters at the Peace & Reconciliation Studies Conference at the University of Maine. The peer-reviewed conference took place at Buchanan Alumni House, and the theme was “Reclaiming a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence.” She presented findings from her doctoral dissertation: “Light, Mirror, and Rose: The Language of Mysticism as a Model of Communication Across Religious Traditions.”

Other Upcoming Events

On Thursday, April 25, the Bangor Public Library will host the annual Poets/Speak! event organized by poet and faculty member Kathleen Ellis. The program begins at 4pm and wraps up a little before 8pm and features readings by a number of English students, faculty, and alums, including Joanna Crouse, Rich Hoch, Bruce Pratt, Kim Crowley, Danielle Pafunda, Lisa Panepinto, Mark Melnicove, Kat Dubois, Kristyn Gerow, Nick Rotter-Weller, and others.

Hold the date: Our departmental recognition ceremony is planned for Friday, May 3, with refreshments at 3:30 and the ceremony itself at 4:30pm. Look for more information in future bulletins.


This Week in English 55 was sent to faculty, students, and friends of the department on Wednesday, April 17, 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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