Puget Sound English Department

November 24, 2008

Mark Doty Wins National Book Award

Filed under: Creative Writing,General,Literature — O. @ 5:34 pm

Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, by Mark Doty, has won the 2008 National Book Award (for poetry, obviously). Here is a link to his web-page:



November 22, 2008

See Here Hear Say: Tacoma Poets and Printers Collaborate

Filed under: Events on Campus,General,Uncategorized — upsenglish @ 7:26 pm


tacoma-poetsI think this blog is great and I would like to draw your attention to a wonderful new addition to the Collins Memorial Library Collection. It is currently on display in the cases near the front of the Library:

Title: See Here Hear Say: Tacoma Poets & Printers Collaborate.

Description: City of Tacoma/ Art at Work. 2008. Limited Edition. One of 40 copies letterpress printed for “Art at Work, Tacoma Arts Month”; this is one of only twelve sets which were for sale (the majority of the sets being given to contributors, the city, etc). Seven illustrated broadsides, each printed letterpress in several colors, often employing other unconventional printing techniques for the artwork. With a title-page/sheet printed offset, listing the contents; each broadside numbered & signed by the poet & printer. Poets include: Allen Braden, (’Childhood Wish’ and ‘Clear Glass’); Crystal Hoffer, (’80 New Reasons for Writing a Memoir’); Kay Mullen, (’The Way Things Are’); Diane Toft-Knowles, (’Nine Lives’); Tim Sherry, (’Wiffle Ball Was’); and Kevin Miller, (’In the One’). Printers include Chloe Scheffe, Chris Sharp, Isaac Solverson, Ric Matthies, Beautiful Angle, Jessica Spring and David Johnston. The concept designed by Jessica Spring and largely produced at the Springtide Press in Tacoma, Washington. Housed in a black cardstock box measuring 18 x 12″ with letterpress printed color title label mounted on the top. // A wonderful and creative project combining local area poets & printers, the results of which are offered here in a limited edition set of the original letterpress printed broadsides; ultimately the broadsides are to be printed offset and placed in Tacoma area mass transit buses.

Jane Carlin – Director, Collins Memorial Library

November 20, 2008

Detainee Abuse?-Friday, Nov. 21

Filed under: Events on Campus,Writing & Rhetoric — upsenglish @ 11:03 pm

tacoma-detention-centerIn July 2008, a group of Seattle University law students published a report alleging human rights abuses at the Tacoma Detention Center.  Yes, this is the detention center in our very own downtown Tacoma.  The report was jointly sponsored by Seattle-based OneAmerica and the Seattle University International  Human Rights Clinic.  One UPS student describes the report as “fascinating.”

Please join Dolen Perkins-Valdez’ English 126 class in Wyatt 206 on Friday, November 21 at 2pm for a discussion featuring two Seattle U Law Students who worked on the report.

Here is what the Seattle Post-Intelligencer had to say about it.

November 18, 2008

SymPOEsium Webpage

Filed under: Events on Campus,General — upsenglish @ 10:04 pm

sympoesium-web1I just wanted to announce that the weeklong Edgar Allan Poe festival sponsored by the English department next February 16-20, 2009 has a new webpage! Make sure to keep checking it for the schedule, list of presenters, resources, and even a “Sympoesium” blog! Also, be sure to save the date in your calendar. We welcome all current and former students as well as anyone who is interested in all things POE!

Click here for the SymPOEsium website.

Click here for the SymPOEsium blog.

November 13, 2008

Any Interest in Studying Law?

Filed under: Employment,Events on Campus,Graduate School — O. @ 7:06 pm

“It is a truth univerally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”  Jane Austen, Pride and Predudice (1813).

Another universally acknowledged truth is that English majors sometimes proceed from college to law school. If you’re an English major (or another kind of major at UPS), and if you have some interest in studying law, November 20 is a good day to mark on your calendar, for representatives from several law school will be on campus to talk about their programs, visit with you, and answer questions.   The representatives will be ensconced in Wheelock Student Center from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.gregory-peck-to-kill-a-mockingbird-posters

New Play Debuts at UPS

Filed under: Events on Campus,Literature — O. @ 1:48 am

The Matthew Norton Clapp Professor in Residence, playwright Rosalind Bell (acclaimed author of The New Orleans Monologues), will debut a new play-in-progress with an ensemble cast of readers who are students at UPS. The readings will occur at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. on November 14 in the Norton Clapp Theater. Admission is free, but you need to pick up a ticket at the Information Booth in Wheelock. The readings are from “1620 Bank Street,” A new play about youth, integration, and change. Thanks to our colleague, Professor Geoff Proehl, for helping to arrange this event.

By the way, Professor Grace Livingston (UPS) and English Department alum Bernadette Ray acted in the production of The New Orleans Monologues last year in Tacoma.

November 11, 2008

Taking Poems Apart, and Putting Them Together

Filed under: Creative Writing,General,Graduate School,Literature — O. @ 3:13 am

If you’re a bit confused about the terminology surrounding verse (poetry written in traditional forms), you’re not alone. After all, when you encounter a term like “dactylic,” what are you supposed to think? Is a “dactyl” a species of dinosaur, as a student recently opined?  If you’re still a little shaky with regard to prosody, which the OED online defines as “the art and practice of versification,” here are some books to browse in search of everything from our old friend iambic pentameter to slant-rhymes and ottava rima and that most difficult form, the villanelle:

Paul Fussell, Poetic Meter and Poetic Form, McGraw Hill, 1976.

Alfred Corn, The Poem’s Heartbeat: A Manual of Prosody. Copper Canyon Classics, 2008.

John Hollander, Rhyme’s Reason: A Guide to English Verse. Yale, 2001.

Karl Shapiro and Robert Beum, A Prosody Handbook. Dover, 2006. Originally published in 1965, this book is a readable, informative, unpretentious classic–and now very inexpensive in paperback from Dover Books.

If you’re a poet, glance at these books but also read a lot of poetry in traditional forms–lyric poetry from Shakespeare through the 20th and into the 21st century. If you’re a student and scholar of literature, one way to understand meter and verse-forms better is to try to write some. Don’t worry about how good it is. Just write some blank verse (un-rhymed iambic pentameter).

November 10, 2008

What Can You Do With An English Major?

Filed under: Employment,General,Uncategorized — O. @ 5:30 pm
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What can you do with an English major? For some reason, this question seems like the set-up for a punch-line. Rephrased, it might read something like Once you’ve earned a B.A. in English, what vocations, professions, pursuits, and occupations await you?  Well, to get some idea of what alums of the English Department have done after graduating, you might check out “Alumni News” on the department’s website: http://www.ups.edu/x3684.xml.  Also, many alums have joined the “English Department, University of Puget Sound” facebook-group, and their profiles may give you some idea of where life-after-UPS has taken them: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=28914627032&ref=mf.

The President-Elect Reads Poetry

Filed under: General,Uncategorized — O. @ 3:29 am
Tags: , ,

Apparently, the President-elect of the U.S.A. reads poetry, including the work of Derek Walcott, at least according to an article in England’s Telegraph:


November 8, 2008

Fiction Reading: Kirsten Menger-Anderson

Filed under: Creative Writing,Events on Campus — upsenglish @ 5:41 am

kirstenThe English department is pleased to welcome Kirsten Menger-Anderson who will be visiting the Advanced Fiction Workshop (Eng 402) on Monday, November 10 via Skype. Both fiction classes taught by Professor Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Intro and Advanced Fiction Writing) are experimenting with these “virtual” writer’s visits this semester. Last week, memoirist Paul Austin (Something for the Pain, W.W. Norton 2008) visited the Intro class. On Monday, Menger-Anderson will read from and discuss her debut collection of short stories Dr. Olaf Van Schuler’s Brain (Algonquin 2008). Anyone is welcome to join the class on Monday, 12-12:50pm in Collins Library Room 020. We also encourage you to buy the book because Menger-Anderson has been gracious enough to provide this visit for free!!

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