This Week in English | January 29-February 4, 2024

Deadline to Contribute to Spire on Thursday  

Second year MA student Cora Sadler is Editor-in-Chief of Spire: The Maine Journal of Conservation and Sustainability. She writes to remind everyone that the deadline for consideration of submissions is this Thursday, February 1. Here’s the pitch:

Looking for artwork reflecting on humanity’s intricate and embedded relationship with nature or photography that moves you through each season’s passing and the beauty that it sustains? Or perhaps you wish to reflect on an essay about the natural ebb and flow of love and loss or the poetic flight of herons across the rocky shores. 

If so, Spire: the Maine Journal of Conservation and Sustainability, would like to hear from you! Spire’s editorial team at the University of Maine invites submissions for the eighth issue of the online journal, planned for release in spring 2024.  

We seek to include voices from a diverse range of people throughout Maine and the Northeast to join our mission to galvanize action for conservation and sustainability by promoting impactful, awareness-raising dialogue.

Submissions should in some way concern the environment, conservation and/or sustainability—whether it’s current developments, ongoing issues, scientific findings, or artistic insights on environmental themes. Work that can be broadly connected to Maine is encouraged. 

Please visit our website to explore past issues for insight into the range of work included in our journal, and guidelines for submitting.

February 1, 2024 is the deadline for submissions. Submissions can be sent to,as well as any questions or interest in joining our team behind the scenes

Departmental Self-Study and External Review

As we mentioned in the previous installment of the bulletin (but toward the bottom), this spring semester the English Department will be conducting an extensive self-study in advance of hosting an external review in the fall of 2024. The self-study offers an opportunity for faculty members to engage with students and alumni of both our BA and MA programs to identify program strengths as well as areas where there is room for us to improve. We will also be consulting with our partners across campus and in the community. If you would be willing to share your perspective with us in the coming months, we’d love to hear from you in a reply to this bulletin! 

Queer Stories Tell the Truth Q&A on Thursday 

The WGS Work Series is hosting a Q&A session with Constance Carter on Thursday afternoon at 12:30pm in the Bangor Room (Memorial Union). Carter, who currently resides in Orono with her partner Ed Brazee and their very friendly chocolate lab, was on the planning team responsible for Queer Stories Tell the Truth, an exhibition that opened in several Orono venues on January 16 and closes on February 6. You are invited to learn more about the exhibit, “from what led to its creation to the behind-the-scenes work involved.” For more events sponsored by WGS, check their calendar.

Mitchell Center Event Celebrating Our Maine on February 5 

Our valued colleagues in The Mitchell Center invite you to attend an event this coming Monday between 3:00-4:00pm celebrating Our Maine: Exploring Maine’s Rich Natural Heritage, which was published by Down East Books this past August. 

The event will provide “a behind the scenes look at the process of herding academics and practitioners to produce a book for all Mainers: those who live here and those for whom Maine lives in their hearts.” It was “created by thirty scientists, photographers, and painters, many of them faculty and alums of the University of Maine.”  

English majors and minors interested in Literature and Nature (ENG 238, offered this spring with Professor Elizabeth Payne) as well as the Writers of Maine (ENG 244, last offered in the fall with Professor Jody Crouse) will find the program relevant to their studies. 


  • Aram JK Calhoun, Emeritus Professor of Wetland Ecology and Conservation, Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology, University of Maine
  • Malcolm “Mac” Hunter, Emeritus Professor, Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology, University of Maine
  • Kent H. Redford, Principal, Archipelago Consulting, Portland, Maine

Aram JK Calhoun is particularly interested in conservation of natural resources on private lands using collaborative approaches that are locally designed and implemented. She lives in rural Maine with her husband Mac and together they explore Maine from sea kayaks, white water canoes, hiking boots, skis, snowshoes, and scuba gear. Having traveled the world extensively, Aram still counts Maine as among the most beautiful places on earth.

Malcolm “Mac” Hunter’s work has covered a wide range of organisms and ecosystems, especially forest birds and amphibians. He has worked in over thirty countries and been active with many conservation organizations, most notably serving as President of the Society for Conservation Biology. Many natives like Mac think of Maine as the universe; for him it is only the center of the universe.

Kent H. Redford is Principal at Archipelago Consulting, a Portland company  designed to help individuals and organizations improve their practice of conservation. He has written extensively on the practice of conservation, protected areas, sustainability of tropical resource use and mammalian ecology. Maine remains amongst his favorite places and he and his wife, Pamela, are enjoying exploring the state.

More information available here. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Ruth Hallsworth, 207.581.3196 or

McGillicuddy Humanities Center Presents “Visions 2024: More of What Makes Us Humans” on February 8 

In 2020, the MHC presented its first “Visions” event, highlighting current work in the arts and humanities. In 2024, they are pleased to present the sequel: VIsions 2024. 

A showcase of current research and creative projects in the arts and humanities, 2024 Visions, will be held on Thursday, February 8 at 5:30 p.m. in the Collins Center for the Arts.

The event, highlighting faculty research supported by the Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center, is free and open to the public and will feature  light refreshments, poster presentations, art installations, and talks from the CCA mainstage.

We <3 Chapbooks Event on February 8 

Paige McHatten, Victoria Hood, Gabriella Fryer, Ava Bloom, and Julia Hills are all affiliated with UMaine English and have all brought out chapbooks recently. Brief bios are included below.

We <3 Chapbooks is a free reading featuring local Bottlecap Press authors that will take place at Bangor Beer Co. on Thursday, February 8th at 5pm. This event is free and open to all ages.

Julia Hills is a budding poet originally from Southern Maine. She studied poetry and poetics at the University of Maine, receiving her bachelor’s degree in the spring of 2023. Julia takes inspiration from Allen Ginsberg, Anne Sexton, and Bernadette Meyer; poets who tested the limits of poetry in content and form. Julia has one chapbook published through Bottlecap Press that covers the tiring act of having a body and interacting with it daily. 

Ava Bloom, self proclaimed charming lady, was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland and is pursuing a degree in English and Philosophy from The University of Maine.  She has published her two chapbooks, New Year’s Resolutions in March and Sweet Dreams! with Bottlecap Press and her third chapbook The Things You Pay No Attention independently. She writes about the things she knows and the things she one day hopes too.

Gabriella Fryer is a writer, wife, and mother of three. Originally from the Midwest, Gabriella is enjoying life in New England while working on her MA in English at the University of Maine. Her poetry chapbook, titled Muted Red, was published by Bottlecap Press in 2023; her poetry can also be found in Broadside Journal, Shemom, and 12 Willows Press.

Paige McHatten is a student, poet, and fiction writer at the University of Maine, where she studies English, Journalism, and Media Studies. She has edited the undergraduate literary magazine, the Open Field, for the past two years. Last spring, she completed a year-long fellowship for the McGillicuddy Humanities Center, in which she produced a collection of creative and critical writing that explores and questions the representation of womanhood in the media. She is the author of two chapbooks, WORLD PEACE AND COWBOYS (2022) and GOODNESS! (2023). In her free time, she plays guitar badly, talks either too loudly or too much, and tries not to take herself too seriously. 

Victoria Hood (she/her) is the author of a collection of short stories My Haunted Home (FC2) and chapbooks Death and Darlings and Entries of Boredom and Fear (Bottlecap Press). Her book of poetry, I Am My Mothers Disappointments, is forthcoming from Girl Noise Press (2024). She hopes to discomfort, humor and charm.

Proposals for CUGR Summer Fellowships Due by February 15 

We encourage English majors to apply for a Summer CUGR Research and Creative Activities Fellowship. These fellowships support $4,000 for an undergraduate student to conduct faculty-mentored research. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to submit a proposal. The deadline to apply is February 15, 2024, at 4:00 pm. 

Undergraduate students should apply HERE.

More information about the Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR) and these fellowships can be found on the CUGR website, or by emailing your questions to

If you’d like to brainstorm project ideas, feel free to visit faculty office hours and/or drop by the chair’s office in Neville 304.

Monson Center Summer Residency

Kristin Case is a valued colleague in English at UM Farmington. She writes with this interesting opportunity for undergraduates to pursue independent scholarly or creative projects at an artist residency this summer in Monson, Maine. Here are the details as Professor Case kindly provided them:

For the past two years, UMF has been offering a special FREE residential summer course for Pell-eligible and first-generation college students offering the opportunity to pursue an independent scholarly or creative project at an artist residency in Monson, Maine. You can read more about the program here. This year, we are opening the seminar to students from other campuses in the system, so I am writing to ask if you would be willing to a) forward the application to your students or b) have me give a short zoom presentation to your classes about the program. We’d really love to get some applications from Orono this year! The application deadline is 2/15, and we will make admissions decisions by 3/1.

A couple of notes: details about the program are included in the application, here

The program gives priority admission to Pell-eligible/first-gen students, but other students may apply, and may be accepted, depending on the applicant pool. We also prioritize students who have at least 42 credits. This program is 100% cost-free for admitted students. Dates for the 2024 Seminar are August 4-22.

Please let me know if you have questions, or if your students do—I’d be very happy to talk them through the application, or to fill in any details about the program. 

Calls for Creative Writing Submissions

We regularly receive calls for submissions to a number of undergraduate and graduate literary journals affiliated with colleges and universities across the county. They are too numerous to include in each bulletin, but if you would like to receive them as separate messages, let us know by reply to this email and we’ll add you to a recipient list. 

The Foundationalist is the most recent to be in touch. It is “the collaborative effort of undergraduate editorial boards at Bowdoin College, Yale University, and University of Iowa” and serves as a platform for outstanding undergraduate works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and essays.” They have a March 10 deadline for submission.

This Week in English 142 was sent to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the department on January 29, 2024. 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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