This Week in English 122 | March 7-13, 2022

We’re Hiring

The English Department is currently searching for an administrative specialist to assist with a wide variety of administrative and clerical duties during the academic year. The full position description, along with application instructions, can be found here. As many readers of the bulletin will already know, Ellen Manzo retired from the position early in the New Year. There can be no “replacing” her, but finding a worthy successor is our goal and we appreciate your help in spreading the word about this opportunity to join our community.

Second Storied Reading

Rachel Ouellette, Finlee LeBouef, Paige McHatten, Katie Johanson, Star Straub, Iris Elise, Lily Comeau-Waite, and Lucca Hamina were among the writers who read over the weekend in the second “open mic” event hosted by the student creative writing club Storied. For information about the club, which meets weekly on Tuesdays at 6pm in The Writers’ Block (Neville 302), email Iris LeCates.

Friedlander to Participate in Emily DIckinson Symposium at UMF on Wednesday

​​Emily Dickinson, one of the most important figures in American poetry, is the next topic featured by the UMF New Commons Project. A prolific poet during the 1800s, Dickinson was not publicly recognized during her lifetime. Though heavily influenced by the poets of seventeenth century England and her Puritanical upbringing, she challenged the definitions of poetry and the poet’s work and experimented with expression to free it from conventional restraints (view poster here). Our own Ben Friedlander will participate in two in-person events on Wednesday, March 9: 

From 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. the keynote conversation on the importance of Emily Dickinson today draws together the professorial and poetic perspectives of José Alvergue, associate professor of contemporary literature and transnationalism at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; Benjamin Friedlander, professor of English at the University of Maine; and Michelle Neely, associate professor of English at Connecticut College.

At 2:30 p.m. we will host a roundtable on select Dickinson poems, with the discussion led by faculty and invited guests: Michelle Neely, Benjamin Friedlander, José Alvergue, Kristen Case, Wes McNair and Dan Gunn. The symposium concludes with a lecture by Aaron Wyanski from 4-5 p.m. on the musical settings of Dickinson’s work. 

A Glimpse into ENG 490

Ben Friedlander also reports that students in his ENG 490: Research Seminar in Literature, which is focused this spring on the  life, career, and continued relevance of the poet Adrianne Rich, recently  

submitted abstracts for their final projects and spent the weekend writing reader reports for one other, which we’ll be discussing Tuesday. Following spring break the readings will be selected by them, each student preparing a small packet based on their research.

As Friedlander wrote in the prospectus for the course: 

Taking cues from Rich’s own writing practice, which ranged from the personal and poetic to the scholarly and polemical, students will make conscious decisions about the kinds of writing their projects will result in. What form, what method is appropriate for the project given its aims and intended audience?

Writing Center Workshops

Director Paige Mitchell reminds us that the Writing Center has a cool series of speed-reading workshops starting Tuesday at 2pm. They’re free, fun and very practical! In this three part series attendees will learn the skills of active reading and how to maximize their critical processing and retention capabilities.

Peer consultants will also be “tabling” in the Union between 10am and 2pm on Tuesday. Mitchell writes “We’ll have edible goodies, we’ll have bookmarks, we’ll offer 5-10 minute mini-editing sessions. Please tell your friends and colleagues and stop by!” 

WGS Hosts Talk on Feminism in El Salvador on Wednesday

On Wednesday at 2pm, the Woman’s, Gender, and Sexuality program will be hosting a talk by Dr. Diana Sierra Becerra on “The Making of Revolutionary Feminism in Insurgent El Salvador.” The talk is on Zoom, but WGS invites “interested audience members to gather in Hill Auditorium to watch the lecture together and share discussion, conversation, and community while watching and discussing the lecture.”

Morgan Talty Interview with Bangor Metro Picked Up by BDN

Erinne Magee recently published an interview with Morgan Talty in Bangor Metro and the Bangor Daily News picked it up yesterday. 

Asked about his impressions of “trends” in student writing, Talty replies:

[W]hat’s unique about writing today is that to most students (or younger writers), writing has become a collaborative and participatory activity. People today are writing more than ever before in humanity’s history, and with the internet and social media, that writing is highly produced (by individuals or collectives) and consumed.  

Talty also talks about the inspiration he draws from the Penobscot Nation:

I consider myself one of many artists who are trying to give voice to the Penobscot Nation [and] that our collective efforts across genres and mediums will help bring about needed change. And so when it comes to the Nation specifically, the extent is probably one of the largest sources of inspiration. Place is as important as character is. 

Talty joined the part-time faculty at UMaine in the fall and is teaching composition and creative writing this spring. His debut novel Night of the Living Rez is slated for publication this summer. 

New Poetry Chapbooks by Paige McHatten and Tori Hood

This welcome news comes to us via  Holly Adams.

Paige McHatten, a second-year English and Journalism double-major and the fiction editor of The Open Field, has just published a poetry chapbook with Bottlecap Press titled World Peace and Cowboys.

Victoria Hood, who taught Paige last year in ENG 205, shares the following about Paige and her work:

Since I first began reading Paige’s work, I was drawn to her poetry. Her use of language induces nostalgia and longing; bringing the reader in closely with precision to affect them emotionally as they read the longings of her various narrators. The use of imagery is heightened by the raw vulnerability surrounding these poems, often opening themselves up to let the blood of mind and body, or to create space inside the self of the poem for the reader to crawl into. This collection is a trip through a vintage store, uncovering memories and bits of life we didn’t know we needed but they are such a great deal we cannot pass them by. I cannot wait for everyone to be able to read Paige’s work, her chapbook World Peace and Cowboys will entangle and delight you even in the moments you don’t expect. This is just the start for Paige but I urge you: Do not miss out on her work.

Hood, who is currently teaching ENG 101, has also recently published a chapbook with Bottlecap Press, Death and Darlings. 

McGillicuddy Fellowship Deadline is March 17   

The McGillicuddy Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellows program offers juniors and seniors the opportunity to work on independent research or creative projects of their own devising in the humanities. Fellowships last two consecutive semesters (fall/spring or spring/fall) to create overlap, and Fellows receive $4000 each per semester, or $8000 in total for their research work. Applications are due March 17, 2022 for fellowships running fall 2022 through spring 2023. More information can be found here, including instructions for crafting a strong proposal, finding a faculty advisor, or learning more about what our current Fellows are researching for inspiration. 

This Week in English 122  was sent to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the department on Monday, March 7, 2022. 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’re on Facebook, please consider joining the newly formed English Department Group.

UMaine is on spring break during the week of March 14. The next bulletin will circulate early in the week of March 21.

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.

Thanks to Eddie Seeley for help in preparing this issue of the bulletin.