This Week In English | December 4, 2023

This Week in English

December 4, 2023

The last week of classes got underway this morning with fresh snow underfoot and flocking the trees. It’s portfolio submission time for the 800 or so students taking ENG 101 this fall, and for the rest of us it’s the sprint to finals week, with poem recitations, project presentations, essays and revisions, staged scenes from medieval plays, “deep studies” of individual writers, and other culminating projects coming together before December 15. Warm best wishes to everyone as we wrap up a memorable fall semester! 


Celebrate Emily Dickinson this Wednesday at the Bookstore

Poet and teacher Kathleen Ellis will once host the annual Emily Dickinson Birthday Reading at the University Bookstore this Wednesday starting at 4pm. Faculty, students, staff, poets, and friends are invited to read an Emily Dickinson poem of their choosing—or an original poem of their own. If you’d like to take part, an email to Kathleen Ellis is all it takes! 


Course Evaluation Season

Online course evaluations are available through the Blue platform through the end of this week and all majors and minors are encouraged to offer their feedback on their fall courses (in English and elsewhere). An FAQ about student evaluations can be found here

Evaluations really do help us—as individual faculty members, but also as programs, departments, and colleges—identify occasions both for pride and for improvement, so please take a moment to document your experience in all of your classes this semester.


Call for Submissions to BTWN Magazine 

BTWN, a Canadian literary journal where first-year Graduate Teaching Assistant Jacqueline Knirnschild serves as the Poetry Editor, is now open for submissions! BTWN is looking for writing and visual art that is thriving between the cracks of conventional genres. Please see here for more information on how to submit to Issue 2.1, which will be published digitally. Submissions close on January 12th. Undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to submit.  


MA Students Guest Teach in ENG 222: Reading Poems

Last Thursday, November 30th, first-year MA student Jacqueline Knirnschild guest taught in Ben Friedlander‘s section of ENG 222: Reading Poems, leading students through a discussion of William Wordsworth and Mary Oliver. Her visit follows one earlier in the semester by second-year MA student Gabriella Fryer, who guided students through a reading of an essay by Adrienne Rich.


Nonfiction Residency Competition

The literary journal Another Chicago Magazine recently announced their second annual nonfiction contest. The winner will receive up to three weeks at Shannaghe in Belfast, Maine. The contest is open to all nonfiction writers and submissions are accepted from December 1 through February 19. More information is here


Looking Ahead to All-Day Workshops with Cartographer Margaret Pearce in January

This January the McGillicuddy Humanities Center will host two all-day workshops with Dr. Margaret Pearce, a Maine-based cartographer and Citizen Potawatomi tribal member.  

These all-day workshops are for students curious to explore the relationship between cartography and writing: both mapping as a form of writing, and mapping as a way of drawing out the spatial relationships in linear narrative. If the idea of mixing maps and writing sounds like fun, these workshops are for you! 

Wednesday, January  24: 9 am–4 pm for writers. Wednesday, January  31: 9 am–4 pm for cartography, GIS, and other geospatial students, including students who have taken courses in digital humanities or geovisualization. 

Workshops will take place in the Digital and Spatial History Lab, Center Stevens Suite 305. Lunch will be provided. The workshops do not involve software. We will work on paper. 

Students in both workshops are asked to bring one page of written text (poem, report, story, description) that includes a river (any kind of river). The river does not have to be the focus, but it does have to be present. The page can be taken from a longer work. 

To register for a workshop or for more information, please contact Beth Wiemann at the McGillicuddy Humanities Center. 


I’m Graduating, Now What?

Sigma Tau Delta is an international English honor society with a chapter here at UMaine. They recently published a post that may be of interest to those of you who will be graduating this year. If you are curious about joining Sigma Tau Delta before then, let us hear from you simply by replying to this bulletin. 


This Week in English 139 was sent to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the department on December 4, 2023. 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. To learn more about faculty members mentioned in this bulletin, visit our People page.


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