This Week in English | October 9, 2023

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

Please join us this Thursday, October 12, at 4:30pm for a literary reading by Kathleen Ellis and Jefferson Navicky, both of whom published new books earlier this year. The event, which will be held in the Allen and Sally Fernald APPE Space in the IMRC (Stewart 104), is part of a long standing collaboration between the UMaine New Writing Series and the Honors College’s “Cultural Odyssey” course, which is taught by Mimi Killinger.

Kathleen Ellis is a poet and longtime member of the English faculty whose most recent collection Body of Evidence won the 2022 Grayson Books Poetry Contest. As the publisher writes: “Body of Evidence is testimony to a woman’s embodied life. It speaks truth, and it speaks with the wisdom of decades of practicing the craft of language.” The novel Head of Island Beautification for the Rural Outlands is Jefferson Navicky’s fourth book. His poetry collection Antique Densities: Modern Parables & Other Experiments in Short Prose won the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance 2022 Book Award for Poetry.

King Chair Hosts 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.

Wilde-Stein Celebrates 50th Anniversary on October 13 

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilde-Stein Club, named after pioneering queer authors Oscar Wilde and Gertrude Stein, UMaine will be hosting two events on Friday October 13, 2023. At 12:30pm there will be a ribbon cutting at the exhibit on the history of the club at Fogler Library. And at 2pm an open discussion with one of the Wilde-Stein Club’s founding members and a member of the current Wilde-Stein Club will take place in person at the McIntire room in  Buchanan Alumni House. The latter event will be broadcast live over Zoom, with the ability to participate in the discussion. Both events are free and open to the public, but please reserve your spot for headcount purposes, or to receive a Zoom link for the open discussion. Please sign up to attend the celebration events here.

Swacha and Payne Talk about Lake Associations on October 16 

On Monday, October 16 from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Katie Swacha and Elizabeth Payne will present on the topic of ‘Productive Disagreement’ at the Lake: The Role of Deliberation in Lake Associations as part of the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions ongoing series of talks. 

Although the phrase “upta camp” might elicit memories of carefree fishing, swimming, hiking, and boating for many people in Maine, conserving the waterways where those activities take place can feel anything but carefree. Disagreements between waterfront property owners and other stakeholders concerning exactly what “conservation” means and how to achieve it can frustrate everyone involved. At the same time, such local-level deliberations, which often take place informally between neighbors or at lake association meetings, are exactly where important conservation work does and can occur. In this talk, Katie Swacha and Elizabeth Payne share theoretical concepts about democratic deliberation, paired with personal experience applying those concepts at a local lake association to offer strategies for productively negotiating differences, reaching agreements, and taking action. 

Katie Swacha is an assistant professor in the English Department at UMaine. Her research interests center on how to build and sustain participatory, reciprocal partnerships between academic researchers and local communities and how best to include students in that process. 

Elizabeth Payne is a lecturer in professional and technical writing at UMaine. As a practitioner and citizen activist for her local lake association, she manages grants, oversees the newsletter, and presents at meetings on environmental sustainability, biodiversity, and water quality. 

All Mitchell Center talks are free and open to the public. Talks are held virtually via Zoom and in-person at 107 Norman Smith Hall, UMaine. Refreshments will be served. Virtual attendance: Complete the registration form to receive Zoom connection information. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Ruth Hallsworth (207.581.3196).  

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

On Thursday, October 19, 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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