This Week in English | Feb. 2 – 9
We are all bundling up for what may be the coldest days on record in the Bangor area this weekend. Meanwhile, there are still events to catch and people to help. Please read on for details.
STORIED has its first open mic night of the semester on Saturday. The event will be at 5 PM in the Writer’s Block on the third of Neville Hall.
All are welcome, and reading is optional. It’s totally fine to come just to listen. If you do choose to read, your selection should be no longer than 5-7 minutes. Feel free to read your own work or the work of another writer.
If you’d like to reserve your spot on the reading list, please fill out this form:
ENG alumnae Shania Soler and Nola Prevost are launching a new publication, called Wayward Literary Magazine. They say: “We’re putting together the final touches on our first issue, due to come out February 6. We’ll also be opening for submissions again shortly thereafter.
The theme of Issue 1 is “Voice.”
Here’s a summary of their philosophy: “It’s our belief that, much like the definition of ‘wayward,’ literature does not follow one set rule or path. It doesn’t always travel in one direction. Wayward Literature magazine means to symbolize the journey that inevitably comes with the writing process. We aim to cover what pushes the boundaries of writing and to showcase works that go beyond just the written word. We founded this magazine and website in pursuit of various forms of literature. Through the power of a community, we aim to bring forward and connect people through different written and art forms. No matter what genre, form, or style you’re submitting, we want it.”
Alumna Shelby Hartin recently reached out with a call for new volunteers at Literacy Volunteers of Bangor (LVB). Literacy Volunteers offers a comprehensive training before pairing tutors with adult students who are learning English as another language or have basic literacy needs. This would be a great opportunity for English students to make a difference in the wider community.
We are also sharing an urgent call for help for the unhoused: This weekend is going to be life-threateningly cold and our unhoused neighbors are at risk of not surviving. Needlepoint Sanctuary (NPS) is an organization that conducts drug use harm reduction outreach and education in the Bangor and broader southern Maine region. NPS is operating a pop-up warming shelter at the Unitarian church in Bangor from Thursday (Feb 2) through Sunday (Feb 5). Many UMaine graduate students are volunteering at the church, either to help distribute food and supplies, or to donate them. Cold-weather supplies, hot meals, and money are desperately needed. If you are able to volunteer any of your time or supplies you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org directly or sign up on the attached sheet. If you are able to donate any money (no donation is too small) please visit the GoFundMe link below.
This weekend several of our graduate Students are presenting research and original writing at The Master’s in English Regional Conference: New England (MERC), a conference for graduate-level students or recent degree-recipients to present their research and writing. It is sponsored by Bridgewater State University and Salem State University.
For creative writing, Michelle Hoeckel-Neal reads “Slipping (into something more comfortable)”;
Cora Saddler reads “A House Full of Flies” and “A Single Drop of Life”,
Research-wise, Gabriella Fryer presents “‘To hew hit in two thay hyghes’: Feasting and Self-Worth in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”,
and Jade Hichborn, “The Timeless Issue of Mental Health: An Interpretation of Christopher Smart’s ‘A Song to David’ and a Misunderstanding of Religious Fervor”.
We wish them safe travels and the best of luck in their presentations.
Finally, we are gearing up for awards season: please consider submitting work for our many adjudicated prizes. 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. Guidelines are available here and queries can be sent to the Director of Creative Writing Greg Howard. We are aiming for a deadline for submission of March 1.
Please send on any news you’d like to see included in this bulletin.