This Week in English | April 18-24, 2022

Open Field Launch Party Thursday at 5pm

The Open Field is the student-edited undergraduate literary journal at UMaine. This Thursday, fiction editor Paige McHatten and poetry editor Megan Ashe invite you to celebrate the 2022 issue by attending a reading by contributors in the IMRC Fernald APPE Space (Stewart Commons 104) starting at 5pm. Copies of the print edition—the first in two years!—will be available at the catered event.

English Graduate Student Symposium Friday 5-8pm

The English Graduate Student Association hosts its annual symposium this Friday evening from 5-8pm in Stodder Hall 57 (the Graduate School). Wicks Fellows Benjamin Markey and Keaton Studebaker will present in the first hour, followed by presentations by Cat Stanfield, Cheyenne Riley, Maddie Bruegger, Haleigh Morgan, and Lydia Balestra. For more information about the event, contact EGSA President Kim Bartenfelder. 

Departmental Writing Awards Close for Submission on Friday

Each year the English Department recognizes excellence in the genres of poetry, fiction, playwriting, and essay writing through the Grady, Grenfell, Hamlet, and Turner prizes. This year’s deadline for submission is this Friday, April 22. Guidelines are available here (and attached) and queries can be sent to the Director of Creative Writing Greg Howard. Submissions need to be received in the account by 11:59pm on the 22nd (no late submissions can be considered).

Recent Projects by Two King Chair Internship Fellows   

Chloe Shields and Sher Robbins, who are both current recipients of a Stephen E. King Chair Internship Fellowship, recently completed projects related to their internships.

Robbins reviews and writes about current scholarship in Technical Communication as an intern with TCCamp, a non-profit organization that seeks to connect academics and practitioners. Her article, “Medical Gaslighting,” which was recently published on TCCamp’s website, reviews recent scholarship on inequitable forms of communication in the medical field. Drawing attention to how such practices can marginalize and erase black women’s experiences, Sher makes the important call: “it’s now up to the technical communicators to meet the demand for better representation in healthcare, and ultimately change the narrative to a more patient-centered approach.”

Shields has been writing a proposal that seeks to widen the impact of her host organization, Welcome to Housing (WTH). A furniture bank, WTH provides home goods to people experiencing “furniture poverty,” whom Shields describes in her proposal as “individuals and families, including Veterans, who are unable to afford or access basic household essentials, such as beds, bedding, cookware, etc., that are pertinent to their quality of life and enable them to live securely.” If accepted by the Maine Association of Realtors, Shields’s proposal would expand the services that furniture banks can offer to people living in furniture poverty, especially in rural areas of Maine.  

Congrats to Chloe Shields and Sher Robbins! Please contact Dr. Katie Swacha to learn more about exciting internship opportunities! 

New Volume of Poetry by Professor Emeritus Ken Norris

Ken Norris’s latest collection of poetry, Vishyun, takes its title (and its spelling) from bill bissett’s ground-breaking living with th vishyun (1974). Inspired by bissett’s poetry, poetics, and visual art, Norris takes his own visionary look at the topographical and social landscapes of an ever-changing, never-changing Southeast Asia. Vishyun is a book hailing from the poet’s later days. Steeped in an atmosphere permeated by Buddhism, these poems ponder the phenomenological world, looking for the eternal and the changeless. The volume will be published later this spring by Ekstasis Editions. Look for information about a Zoom launch in a future installment of the bulletin. 

Lecture on Higher Education as Integration Policy

The University of Maine chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society is pleased to present a public lecture and roundtable discussion by PBK Visiting Scholar Marta Tienda (Princeton University). On Tuesday, April 19 at 4:30 pm in Buchanan Alumni Hall, Tienda will deliver a talk titled “Higher Education as Integration Policy.” On Wednesday, April 20 at 4:30 pm in Hill Auditorium, Tienda will be joined by UMaine faculty members for a roundtable discussion that asks “Is Demography Destiny.” For more information, contact PBK chapter president Tim Cole.

Franco American Programs Summer Internships

News of an interesting summer internship opportunity comes from our colleagues in Franco American Programs

This summer Franco American Programs will again be holding a paid internship program with our NEH-funded Franco American Digital Archives (FADA). Ideally, we’d like to have 3-4 interns. The internship runs from June 21-July 29; the students take a one-credit course (FAS400) with Susan Pinette and Jacob Albert so we can troubleshoot, give them a couple assignments asking them to reflect upon the work they are doing, and create a sense of community. They don’t need to know French. In the past we’ve spent time with our interns discussing strategies for describing objects because they didn’t speak French, and it has worked out great. 

For the past two summers we have offered the internship virtually, and the course will be virtual this year too. Each week we invite speakers from our partners at other New England institutions to present on their work with Franco-American archival materials. We might have students on campus scanning items but most will be working on creating metadata for the objects that will be imported. This year we will focus on Franco materials held at the Library of Congress.

Students who wish to learn more about this multi-state, cross-border, federally-funded project, archival processing, Digital Humanities, Franco American communities, or archives in general are encouraged to reach out to Jacob Albert or Susan Pinette via the Franco American Program’s website.

Millay Prize Reading on April 29 at 4:30pm via Zoom

In the summer of 2009, Frank and Helene Crohn generously provided the National Poetry Foundation (now the Center for Poetry and Poetics) at the University of Maine with the means to establish an Edna St. Vincent Millay Prize for Poetry. The Millay Prize seeks to reward achievement in poetry at a crucial, early stage in a writer’s development while commemorating the legacy of one of Maine’s best known and most loved poets, Edna St. Vincent Millay, who herself received the gift of an education at Vassar College in part through the generosity of Caroline B. Dow.

The external judge for the 2021 award was Rae Armantrout. The author of more than ten collections of poetry, Armantrout has also published a short memoir, True (1998). Her Collected Prose was published in 2007. Her most recent collections include Finalists (2022); Conjure (2020); Versed (2009), which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and a 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award, and was a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award; Itself (2015); Partly: New and Selected Poems (2016); Entanglements (2017); and Wobble (2018), a finalist for the National Book Award. A keynote performer in the NPF’s conference on The Poetry of the 1970s in 2010, Armantrout also read in the New Writing Series in the fall of 2009 and the spring of 2002. 

Armantrout selected the following manuscripts for the 2021 Millay Prize: 

  • First prize to Adam Ray Wagner for “Faces and Forms”
  • Second prize Christopher Thomas for “He Dreams Footnotes”

The celebration originally planned for fall of 2021 will take place on April 29, 2022 beginning at 4:30pm via Zoom (request link at 

This Week in English 126 was sent to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the department on Monday, April 18, 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 English Department Group.

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