This Week in English | October 2, 2023

Dylan Dryer Named Coeditor of Written Communication

Dylan Dryer joins his longtime friend Prof. Mya Poe of Northeastern University in guiding the international quarterly Written Communication. The journal, which is published in print and online by SAGE publishing, was established in 1984 and is the leading empirical-research journal in Writing Studies and “sponsors a broad and interdisciplinary view of what writing is, how writing gets done, and what writing does in the world.”

Dryer and Poe officially took over the editorship in January after working behind the scenes for six months with the outgoing editor-in-chief. The two issues that have appeared under their direction so far are 

Issue 40.3, which includes their inaugural editors’ note and six articles, including fascinating institutional ethnography of bureaucracy in Mexico City and an open-access fieldwork inquiry investigating the uses and circulation of the ‘pocket writing’ of US high-school students; and

Issue 40.4 which features an open-access methodological intervention by Clay Spinuzzi (of UT-Austin, whose PhD program in Rhetoric & Writing is the new home of 2023 graduate Maddie Bruegger!), and which is already trending on Altmetric. This issue also includes two experimental-designs (a longitudinal register analysis and a cross-cultural study of construals of vaccination arguments), two content-analyses (representations of creativity and topoi of small businesses) and a study of familial collaborative storybook writing in two refugee families. 

With the assistance of the editorial board, Dryer and Poe have overhauled the journal aims & scope (which offer at a glance a pretty good synopsis of many exciting lines of inquiry in contemporary Writing Studies). And they are very pleased to have Graduate Assistant Maryam Khan join the editorial team. She has already been instrumental in putting Issue 41.1 together; look for her byline in next January’s note from the Editors!

Heather Falconer Accepts New Role as Associate Publisher 

Heather Falconer has accepted the role of Associate Publisher for Design and Production within The WAC Clearinghouse. She will be working with the Clearinghouse operational leadership team to support production of the Clearinghouse books, journals, resources, and websites. Falconer has been an editor for the Perspectives on Writing book series since 2018 and will transition out of that position over the coming months. The WAC Clearinghouse is a prominent publisher in writing studies, housing fifteen book series (like Ryan Dippre’s Lifespan Writing Research), ten active scholarly journals, and a host of teaching resources and archives. All publications are open-access.

MA Alum Mark Tabone Recognized for Contribution to Utopian Studies

Mark Tabone earned his MA in English here at UMaine in 2009. He wrote recently to Professor Emerita Naomi Jacobs with news that his article “Insistent Hope as Anti-Anti-Utopian Politics in N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth Trilogy” has been selected as winner of the 2023 Eugenio Battisti Award for the year’s best essay in the Utopian Studies journal. 

One of Tabone’s early articles received the Society for Utopian Studies’ Arthur O. Lewis award for best essay by a younger/untenured scholar. He holds the rank of full-time Lecturer at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he received a teaching award not long ago.

A Glimpse into Benjamin Friedlander’s Section of ENG 222

Ben Friedlander writes in with this update about his section of ENG 222: Reading Poems:

I held revision workshops last Thursday so that students could work on their drafts for an assignment due October 3: short commentaries on four poems. For that assignment they will choose poems from the Norton Anthology of Poetry or from a class-created mini-anthology of “favorite poems.” Only one of the four can come from the work we’re discussing in class, so part of the assignment is spending time with the anthologies discovering work that appeals to them or about which they have something to say.

This week Friedlander’s students begin work on meter, focusing on hymns and poems in hymn form by Emily Dickinson.

A Glimpse into Eric Arnold’s Section of ENG 201

Eric Arnold is an alum (BA and MA) of our program. This fall he is teaching sections of ENG 101: College Composition and ENG 201: Strategies for Writing Across Contexts. He writes with this update on the latter:

Students in my ENG 201 section are producing writing for either the Bangor Homeless Shelter or Challenger Learning Center for their “Civic Capstone” projects. They have the option to produce outward-facing content and/or to write in more elaborate genres such as the op-ed to promote the organization. Options for this include highlighting mental health issues in the homeless population and explaining the merits of experiential learning in STEM for K-8 to the general public. The goal of the project is to extend rhetorical genre awareness beyond situations associated with the academic sphere.

Recent Publications by Bruce Pratt

Longtime part-time faculty member Bruce Pratt is teaching a section of ENG 205: Introduction to Creative Writing this fall. He has recently published poems and short stories in Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature, Coal City Review, Pinyon Review, Portland Magazine, and Clackamas Review. Pratt can be heard on the “Sports Lit 101” segment of Downtown with Rich Kimball, the most recent episode of which was devoted to Joseph Stanton’s book of poems Cardinal Points.

Kathleen Ellis and Jefferson Navicky to Read from New Books on October 12

Please save the date of Thursday, October 12, at 4:30pm for a poetry reading by Kathleen Ellis and Jefferson Navicky (venue to be announced), both of whom published new books earlier this year. The event is part of the longstanding collaboration between the New Writing Series and the Honors College’s “Cultural Odyssey” course, which is taught by Mimi Killinger. 

King Chair to Host Graphic Fiction Workshop on October 13

A Graphic Fiction Workshop is scheduled for Friday, October 13, 1:00pm-2:00pm in the Writing Center. Robin Furth, a long-time researcher for Stephen King and author of the Dark Tower comic series for Marvel, will be offering a workshop on how to transform a book or story into graphic fiction. Space is limited, so email Professor Caroline Bicks if you’d like to reserve a spot ( This event is free and open to all members of the UMaine community, although preference will be given to students.

Visiting Podcast Hosts Talk about Stephen King Double Feature on October 19 

Later this month English Professor Jennifer Moxley and Intermedia Artist Sean Lopez will host I Saw What You Did podcasters Danielle Henderson and Millie De Chirico for an event made possible with the support of the Stephen E. King Chair in Literature and the McGillicuddy Humanities Center. They write:

Please join us on Thursday October 19 from 3:30-5:30 at IMRC 104 – The Fernald Adaptive Presentation and Performance Environment for a public discussion of two films based on Stephen King novels—Pet Sematary (1989) and Misery (1990). Millie De Chirico and Danielle Henderson will talk us through these two classic films, with clips and commentary, followed by a discussion and Q & A.

Started in 2020, I Saw What You Did is a film podcast distributed by Exactly Right media. Millie De Chirico and Danielle Henderson have brought new voices to film commentary. As one listener puts it: “As a Queer Latina woman who has always identified as a cinephile, film podcasts and most mainstream film discussions haven’t always felt like they were meant for me; it’s always felt like a boys club with a perspective that I didn’t always agree on. Needless to say, this podcast has made that feeling disappear.”

Danielle Henderson is a TV writer (Maniac, Divorce, Dare Me, and more), a retired freelance writer, and a former editor for Rookie. A book based on her popular website, Feminist Ryan Gosling, was released by Running Press in August 2012. Her memoir, The Ugly Cry, was published by Viking in June 2021. Currently she’s a show-runner for The Other Black Girl.

Filipina-American Millie Chirico worked as a programmer for “TCM Underground” for 18 years and recently released a book she co-wrote called TCM Underground: 50 Must-See Films from the World of Classic Cult and Late-Night Cinema.

The October 19 event is free and open to the public. Students interested in connecting with De Chirico and Henderson during their campus visit should reach out to Jennifer Moxley for more information. 

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