Puget Sound English Department

April 29, 2010

National Poetry Month: Final Days

Filed under: Literature,Uncategorized — ATH @ 1:42 pm
Tags: ,

From Professor Lydia Fisher, on leave with her newborn, comes another e.e. cummings selection (what can we say? there’s just something about cummings, and spring, and April, and love, and babies….)

Professor Fisher says of her selection: “I never get tired of reading this poem. Its nursery rhyme rhythm and diction make it infinitely interesting in its layered meanings, and instinctively appealing to me.
And it’s about true love that outlasts death, glowing brilliantly in the hearts of two undervalued individuals, while the mindless masses go on with the productive, spiritless life of the crowd in a terrifyingly ‘pretty’ town.
It’s both cynical and shamelessly romantic. What more could you ask for?”

“anyone lived in a pretty how town” by e. e. cummings

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn’t he danced his did

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone’s any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain


April 28, 2010

Crosscurrents Release Event: Thursday 4/29

It’s time for the release of another outstanding issue of Crosscurrents, Puget Sound’s outstanding literary magazine. The release party will take place this Thursday, April 29, at 6 p.m. in the Piano Lounge area of the SUB (behind Diversions). Editor Greta Lindquist writes,

The Spring 2010 edition of Crosscurrents is here! Come and pick up your copy and hear our published authors read their pieces from the book!
Hang out afterwards for an open mic with the Campus Music Network!

You don’t want to miss the last Crosscurrents of the year!

April 27, 2010

Current Students: Writing Internship Info Session TODAY

Don’t forget to stop by Trimble Forum, today, from 6-7 to find out about internship options and the valuable role they can play in career preparation. Professor Mita Mahato and current members of English 497 (the internship course) discuss the process, placements, and rewards of this important component of our program.

And yes, of course there are refreshments!

April 26, 2010

Once a Logger…

Filed under: Activities off Campus,Alumni News — ATH @ 9:06 am

Houston Dougharty writes to update us on his recent doings:

As a loyal Puget Sound English alumnus (and Esther Wagner advisee), I am proud to tout my fine undergrad training – as one who also earned graduate degrees at Western Washington and UC Santa Barbara. I am now vice-president for student affairs at another fine liberal arts school, Grinnell College.

Many of you will remember Houston not only as a student but as a vital professional presence in Student Affairs here on campus serving those who came after him. Thanks for the update, Houston, and congratulations–

Also, our sources provide further information on what Danni Simon (’09) will be up to this fall:

Danni Simon be attending the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) at the University of Chicago. MAPH is an innovative graduate program designed to provide a flexible, focused year of advanced study in traditional and interdisciplinary fields. Danni’s studies will include cross-disciplinary graduate courses in musicology and English literature, culminating in an interdisciplinary thesis.

We hope to hear from many more of you about your latest adventures; email them to ajtracy@pugetsound.edu

April 24, 2010

Alumni Notes

Filed under: Activities off Campus,Alumni News — ATH @ 11:16 am

A small sampling of the many achievements of our talented alums:

Danni Simon (’09) will be pursuing an MA in a special literature and music program at the University of Chicago.

Emma Montgomery (’09) will attend Syracuse University for her Master of Science in Library and Information Science.

Alum April Tomlinson (’07) and graduating senior Dana Raike (’10) are both enrolled in the MAT Program at Puget Sound.

Emily Gordon (’09) is currently teaching preschool at the International School of Trieste, and will be moving to Palo Alto in June to pursue a Masters in Elementary Education at Stanford University.

Josh Epstein (’03) received his Ph.D. in 2008 from Vanderbilt University, where he has since served as a lecturer and academic advisor. In Fall 2010 he is headed to UC Santa Barbara on an ACLS postdoctoral fellowship, where he hopes to complete his first book, on modernist literature, music, and noise.

Congratulations! We love to hear about your academic, professional, and personal adventures. Please send updates for inclusion here and on our departmental alumni page to ajtracy@pugetsound.edu

April 23, 2010

Writing Internship Info Session

Filed under: courses,Employment,Events on Campus,Uncategorized — MM @ 9:24 am

Life after graduation can be a scary thing. And as students who study English, we’re often confronted with the daunting question, “What do you DO with a degree in English??” The answer is: PLENTY! The Writing Internship course (ENGL 497), which requires students to obtain and complete a writing-related internship off-campus (for credit!), helps to answer and deal with this question and more.

The next session of ENGL 497 will be offered Spring 2011, but it’s not too soon to start thinking about the course now!

Please join current students of ENGL 497 to hear about their experiences interning and ask questions about becoming an intern, taking an internship for credit, the value of the course, how to make the transition from college to the world “out there,” etc. Professor Mita Mahato (who will be teaching the course next year) and Leah Vance (from Career and Employment Services) will be on hand to help field questions.

Tuesday, April 27th
Trimble Forum
6-7 pm

April 15, 2010

Colonial America in the Cultural Imagination

There’s word that a middle-school English and social studies teacher at Antietam Academy has designed and produced a board game version of King Philip’s War, a bloody series of devastatingly lethal skirmishes between the British settlers and the Wampanoags, led by the Sachem Metacom (Philip). The War, which occurred in 1675-76, ravaged New England colonial settlements and laid waste to large tracts of land. Illness and warfare had far worse effects on the Wamapanoag and Narragansett Indians, for whom it marked a point of no return on their road from autonomy to near eradication.

“Metacom’s War,” as it is also known, has become the target of renewed interest, in part because it serves as the backdrop for Mary White Rowlandson’s Narrative of her captivity among the Natives and her eventual restoration to her husband. Another roughly contemporary source is Thomas Church’s version of his Grandfather’s exploits, Entertaining Passages Relating to King Philip’s War. That Grandfather, Col. Benjamin Church (1639-1718) led the colonial troops into the battle in which Philip was killed, and was also instrumental in the horrific massacre known as the “Great Swamp FIght,” in which Church’s forces staged a surprise raid on the winter quarters of the Narragansetts, trapping many of them (largely women and children) in their burning encampment and causing tremendous casualties.

Harvard historian Jill Lepore has written a fascinating account of the function of this colonial conflict in American national identity, The Name of War (1999).

Several different Native organizations are protesting the game, on the grounds that it trivializes suffering and misrepresents the realities of the conflict. Others have reportedly offered to contribute in hopes of making the game more responsive to their concerns.

There’s Still Time to Enter…

The Norman Mailer Writers Colony and the National Council of Teachers of English are pleased to invite submissions for the 2010 Norman Mailer College Writing Awards for Creative Nonfiction.

A cash prize of $10,000 will be awarded to the national winner. The winner will also receive a scholarship to the Norman Mailer Writers Colony during the summer of 2011 and travel and lodging to attend the Colony’s National Award Ceremony. Four finalists will be awarded trophies. Sixteen semifinalists will be awarded certificates.

Submission Guidelines
Norman Mailer produced extraordinary works in many genres, including the category of this year’s award: Creative Nonfiction. Students may submit work in any of the subgenres of creative nonfiction: memoir or autobiography, essay, literary journalism, profiles of people or places, and so on. Whatever its type, the best work will be true material presented with compelling literary merit.

The Four-Year College Competition is open to current full-time students. Entries will be accepted online only and may include one or more pieces of writing. Maximum 15 single-spaced pages. Although there are page limits for these pieces, quality is far more important than quantity. Entries accepted from March 22 through April 29, 2010, Noon CDT. No late entries will be accepted.

For complete submission guidelines and judging criteria, or to submit an entry, visit the NCTE website.

April 14, 2010

National Poetry Month: “The God Who Loves You”

Filed under: Creative Writing,Literature — ATH @ 10:49 pm
Tags: ,

For those of you just tuning in, in honor of National Poetry Month, we’ve asked members of our department community–faculty, students, alums, and others–to share with us a favorite poem. If you’d like to help us celebrate the role of poetry in our lives, please send an email to ajtracy@pugetsound.edu with the following information: 1) Author; 2) Title; 3) A short excerpt; 4) A brief (1-2 sentences) comment on why you find this poem meaningful and/or worthy of our attention.

Professor Priti Joshi writes of Carl Dennis’s “The God Who Loves You”: “I relish this poem for its “what if” stance, its mocking tenderness, and its gentle insistence on authorizing one’s life. I love the poem’s humor, but more its compassion about human frailty.”

The God Who Loves You

by Carl Dennis

It must be troubling for the god who loves you

To ponder how much happier you’d be today

Had you been able to glimpse your many futures.

It must be painful for him to watch you on Friday evenings

Driving home from the office, content with your week-

Three fine houses sold to deserving families-

Knowing as he does exactly what would have happened

Had you gone to your second choice for college,

Knowing the roommate you’d have been allotted

Whose ardent opinions on painting and music

Would have kindled in you a lifelong passion.

A life thirty points above the life you’re living

On any scale of satisfaction. And every point

A thorn in the side of the god who loves you.

You don’t want that, a large-souled man like you

Who tries to withhold from your wife the day’s disappointments

So she can save her empathy for the children.

And would you want this god to compare your wife

With the woman you were destined to meet on the other campus?

It hurts you to think of him ranking the conversation

You’d have enjoyed over there higher in insight

Than the conversation you’re used to.

And think how this loving god would feel

Knowing that the man next in line for your wife

Would have pleased her more than you ever will

Even on your best days, when you really try.

Can you sleep at night believing a god like that

Is pacing his cloudy bedroom, harassed by alternatives

You’re spared by ignorance? The difference between what is

And what could have been will remain alive for him

Even after you cease existing, after you catch a chill

Running out in the snow for the morning paper,

Losing eleven years that the god who loves you

Will feel compelled to imagine scene by scene

Unless you come to the rescue by imagining him

No wiser than you are, no god at all, only a friend

No closer than the actual friend you made at college,

The one you haven’t written in months. Sit down tonight

And write him about the life you can talk about

With a claim to authority, the life you’ve witnessed,

Which for all you know is the life you’ve chosen.


National Poetry Month: Something Completely Different

Filed under: Creative Writing,Literature — ATH @ 4:21 pm
Tags: ,

Ordinarily, spring is associated with images of joy, rebirth, and celebration. Professor and author Bev Conner, however, has chosen a powerful reminder that beauty can be found in unexpected ways and places. I think I need to own a copy of this one.

Bev says of her selection: “A few years ago, I heard Alberto Rios read from his volume of poetry The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body (Copper Canyon Press, 2002), poems set in a town that straddles the American/Mexican border. Among the poems that have stayed with me ever since, for good or for ill, is his unsparingly unsentimental “Rabbits and Fire.” As writers we’re constantly reminded to show more than we tell, that facts—specific and vivid—make the case, as Rios does here, reminding us that there is much of nature we would rather not face, like the animals every year that are caught in wildfires.”

Everything’s been said
But one last thing about the desert,
And it’s awful: During brush fires in the Sonoran desert . . .
Jackrabbits can get caught in the flames,
No matter how fast and big and strong and sleek they are . . .
And their fur catches fire.
Of course, they run away from the flame,
Finding movement even when there is none to be found,
Jumping big and high over the wave of fire, or backing
Even harder through the impenetrable
Tangle of hardened saguaro
And prickly pear and cholla and barrel . . .
They don’t know they’re on fire at first,
Running so fast . . .
But then the rabbits tire
And the fire catches up,
Stuck onto them like the needles of the cactus,
Which at first must be what they think they feel on their skins . . .
And of course, they ignite the brush and dried weeds
All over again, making more fire, all around them.
I’m sorry for the rabbits.
And I’m sorry for us
To know this.

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