Puget Sound English Department

April 29, 2009

New Poet Laureate To Be Announced Tomorrow Night On Campus

Tacoma’s new Poet Laureate will be announced tomorrow night during a poetry reading that starts at 8:00 p.m. in Rausch Auditorium. (The reading is free an open to the public.) Readers include Professors Hans Ostrom and the current Poet Laureate, Professor William (Bill) Kupinse . . . . Also available will be copies of In Tahoma’s Shadow, and anthology of poetry from Tacoma writers that Bill edited with Tammy Robacker.  Bill’s own new book of poems, Fallow, will be available that evening, too, and rumor has it that there may be an announcement regarding the establishment of a new letter-press on campus. The Mayor of Tacoma, Bill Baarsma, will be on hand as well (Bill used to teach at Puget Sound).

The Poet Laureate position was established and is supported by Urban Grace Church in Tacoma, so here’s a special shout-out to visionary pastor Tad Monroe–also a poet.

Congratulations to Bill on his exceedingly productive, inventive year as Poet Laureate.

April 28, 2009

Harper Lee Is 83

Filed under: Activities off Campus,Literature — O. @ 4:05 pm

mockingharper-leeHarper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird, is 83 years old today.  Happy Birthday to Mrs. Lee and greetings to Scout, Jem, Tom Robinson, Boo Radley, and the rest of the community of characters living forever in one of the great American novels.

To Kill A Mockingbird was first published in 1960. It was memorably adapted to the cinema in 1962 (the image to the left is from the film), starring Gregory Peck, Brock Peters, and Mary Badham, among others.

April 27, 2009

New Anthology of Tacoma Poetry

Filed under: Creative Writing,Events on Campus,Publishing — O. @ 9:48 pm

An advance-copy of a new anthology of Tacoma poetry has found its way to the English Department.

The anthology’s general release will occur in a matter of days. Rumor has it that some copies may be available at the poetry reading on April 30 in Rausch Auditorium on campus, beginning at 8:00 p.m. and featuring poets William Kupinse, Hans Ostrom, and the new Poet Laureate of Tacoma (to be announced that evening).

The anthology, edited by William Kupinse and Tammy Robacker, is called In Tahoma’s Shadow: Poems from the City of Destiny.  It was designed by Leah Vendl, an English major at Puget Sound. (Well done, Leah).

The anthology runs to 150 pages.  It includes work by Laura Jensen, Rosalind Bell, Grace Livingston, Leah Coakley, Beverly Conner, Ann Putnam, Michelle Jones (UPS alum), Kevin Miller, Sarah Borsten (UPS alum), Mike Robinson, Elliot Trotter (UPS alum), Lynn Martin,Tad Monroe, Paul Nelson, Hans Ostrom, Connie Walle, Joanne McCarthy, and dozens of other poets.

Copies will be available at King’s Books on St. Helens.

Exquisite Disarray is the publisher, and the ISBN # is 978-0-9814854-2.

Congratulations to editors Bill Kupinse and Tammy Robacker for putting together this splendid anthology.

April 25, 2009

New Poetry Anthology For Spring

Filed under: Creative Writing,Literature — O. @ 2:32 am

David St. John and Cole Swensen have edited an anthology of new American Poetry: American Hybrid, just published by W.W. Norton in March 2009.  Check it out!


April 22, 2009

Free Tickets For Cunningham/Sinfonietta Concert

Filed under: Events on Campus,Literature,Music — O. @ 6:07 pm

Novelist Michael Cunningham begins his visit to Puget Sound today. Cunningham is the author of The Hours, on which the film of the same title is based.  Later in the week, he will perform with the Northwest Sinfonietta, and one concert is scheduled for Saturday at 7:30 in Schneebeck Hall.  Free tickets are being made available to English majors and others.  Here are the details, courtesy of Professor Keith Ward, Dean of the School of Music:

This Saturday evening, the 25th, starting at 7:30 in Schneebeck Concert Hall, the Pulitzer prize-winning author Michael Cunningham (author of The Hours and other works of fiction and non-fiction: http://www.michaelcunninghamwriter.com/) will be featured in a performance by the Northwest Sinfonietta, one of Tacoma’s professional music ensembles conducted by Puget Sound faculty member Christophe Chagnard.  The concert will feature music from Philip Glass’s film score for The Hours as well as works that have inspired Mr. Cunningham, who will be reading excerpts from his writings.

In press accounts of his public addresses, Michael Cunningham is described as a compelling speaker, especially in his nuanced readings of his works.  The performance Saturday evening should be especially memorable.

As a special offer to students in the two sponsoring academic departments (Music and English) and to Honors students, you may receive a free ticket to this event. (General student tickets cost $5 and start at $15 for the general public, faculty & staff.)

Here is what you need to do to receive your free ticket:

  1. Contact Megahn Burkard in the School of Music office (mburkard@ups.edu, 879.3700).
  2. Give Megahn your name and your program (Music, English, and/or Honors).
  3. Pick up your ticket at Will Call in the Schneebeck lobby on Saturday evening.

William Stafford Symposium In May

Filed under: Activities off Campus,Literature — O. @ 2:57 am


In May,  “Another World Instead,” a symposium on the life and work of William Stafford as well as on the topic of peace will take place in Portland. Here’s a link to more information:


Thanks to Randy Thornton for sending us this information.

April 20, 2009

Andrew Fink To Lead Writers’ Guild; Open-Microphone Wednesday

Filed under: Creative Writing,Events on Campus — O. @ 10:04 pm

Andrew Fink will be the president of the UPS Writers’ Guild next year.  Fink will succeed Brianna Richardson.  The Writers’ Guild is a completely student-run organization that features ongoing writing-groups based on genres (poetry, fiction, drama),  sponsors  visiting writers, and supports other writing-related activities on campus.  Congratulations to Andrew! For more information, visit the Guild’s web-page:


The next “open-mic” night is this Wednesday in Wheelock Student Center, with sign-ups starting at 6:30  p.m. and performances/readings beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Professor Perkins-Valdez Is Finalist For Award

“The Clipping,” a short story by Professor Dolen Perkins-Valdez, is one of ten finalists for the Robert Olen Butler Short-Fiction Prize.  The ten stories will be published in a volume this summer.  “The Clipping” originally appeared in The Kenyon Review. Congratulations to Professor Perkins-Valdez!

English 300 (Writing Beyond the Academy) Offered Fall 2009

Filed under: Employment,Publishing — O. @ 6:41 pm

English 300, Writing Beyond the Academy, will be offered again in Fall 2009.  It will be taught by Tim Lulofs, whose full-time position is as a manager in technical writing at Microsoft in Redmond, and Professor Lulofs also has a Ph.D. in English.

Following is a brief description of the course:


English 300 will give you practice in business writing and will introduce you to new publishing technologies that professionals in more and more fields are expected to be familiar with. You’ll write and polish targeted resumes and cover letters, critique websites of potential employers, and publish articles on a commercial blog space internet (that is, worldwide) exposure. You’ll come way from the course with confidence in your communications skills–and a portfolio of written work to share with prospective employers.

English 300A Fall 2009 Wednesday eves., 7-9:30 p.m.

Writer J.G. Ballard Dies

Filed under: Literature — O. @ 4:20 pm

Writer J.G. Ballard died yesterday at age 78.  Ballard was an acclaimed writer of dystopian science fiction but also well known for his semi-autobiographical novel, Empire of the Sun, which Steven Spielberg adapted to the cinema.  To read more about Ballard’s life, career, and views, please see the link to a BBC site below:


Collins Library has several books by Ballard, including Chronopolis and Others Stories (1971), The Crystal World (1966), and Concrete Island (1974).

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