Puget Sound English Department

August 21, 2011

Back to school…and work?

UPDATED 8/27: New deadline of September 26 for applications!

We hope you’ve all had a wonderful, restful, and/or productive summer! Just in time for the beginning of classes, word of an exciting internship opportunity that several of our former students have experienced. The internship is unpaid; if you are interested in receiving course credit, please contact Professor Mahato (mmahato@pugetsound.edu) or Professor Christoph (jchristoph@pugetsound.edu).

Oh, and welcome back!

Seattle Metropolitan is seeking smart and outgoing interns for our editorial department, located in Seattle, Washington. We are now accepting applications for our fall internship program (start: September, end: February) in the following beats, or areas of concentration: Food and Drink, the Arts, Mudroom, SEO, Multimedia, and Style/Bridal.

Learn firsthand how an award-winning magazine and website are put together. Editorial interns are responsible for fact-checking; primary research and reporting for food and drink and arts blogs; editing blog posts for typos, bad links, and for optimized positioning in web searches; writing event and business listings; participating in team brainstorms; assisting editors in conceptualizing and/or executing features such as Best Doctors and multimedia projects such as slideshows, audio, and/or video content; and assisting with some administrative tasks. Editorial interns focusing on seattlemet.com are responsible for uploading magazine content to our website using our content management system and editing blogs for SEO.

Interns are expected to work closely with the respective editors of their beat and must be willing to pitch in where needed in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment. Interns who shine at the simpler tasks will have the opportunity to work on larger projects, such as contributing to features and writing departments. We want our interns to walk away with strong clips that they have earned.

The position requires a minimum of 20 hours a week in 4- to 5-hour stints between the hours of 8:30am and 5:30pm weekdays.

The ideal candidate is eager, independent, and wants to learn. Candidates should be working toward a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the liberal arts, especially journalism, English literature, publishing, or creative writing; graduates are also accepted. Successful candidates commonly have previous editorial experience at school magazines, newspapers, or journals; strong interest in magazine writing; good phone and research skills; and the ability to juggle several assignments at once. Interns must be located in the Seattle area during the internship. Experience with InDesign, Photoshop, and content management systems is helpful but not required. Digital photography and/or video experience is helpful but not required.

Unpaid; students may take the internship for college credit. And, ahem, you will learn firsthand how an award-winning magazine and website are put together.

Application deadline for internships beginning in September is Monday, August 29, 2011 now 9/26/11. We accept applications on a rolling basis for all terms (winter, spring, summer, fall).

Send a cover letter, resume, three references, three writing samples (if you don’t have clips, write an event listing or a post for one of our blogs) and any photographs or audio/video reels to:

Ariana Dawes, Managing Editor
Seattle Met magazine
1201 Western Ave, Suite 425
Seattle, WA 98101
edit_intern at seattlemet.com

If you email your application, make sure the word “Internship” appears in the subject line or your message may not reach its destination.

No phone calls, please.


February 28, 2011

Local Writing Internship

Exit133, a local blog and source for all things Tacoma, is seeking writer-interns for a new ongoing feature, Tacoma Arts in Review. If you have an affinity for the arts, an affection for our “City of Destiny,” and are a current student, you are welcome to apply. Applications are still open and accepted on a rolling basis. See link above for further information and application requirements for these positions, including specific samples of written work, and good luck!

February 7, 2011

Are you funny?

Professor Joshi forwards an announcement of a new online literary journal dedicated to humor. According to co-editor Neil Thorne, the ShimmyHoots Review is produced by a group of students from Mary Washington and Virginia Commonwealth universities, and “its focus is to feature humorous, consistently-updated web literature.” Thorne writes, “Right now we are seeking submissions of humorous prose, poetry, artwork, video, and multimedia content. We are looking for a diverse range of quality material from both published and previously unpublished writers.”

Send your previously unpublished, original work to submissions@shimmyhootsreview.com

Direct questions about the publication or submissions to

And please send your scholarly or anecdotal knowledge of the term “shimmyhoots” to your Puget Sound blogmaster, who is utterly befuddled by what is (we hope?) a regionalism from the Other Coast.

November 2, 2010

First Book Poetry Contest Winner/Book Release Event Nov. 15

Professor Kupinse forwards the following announcement regarding Exquisite Disarray Publishing, a nonprofit Tacoma press he helped to found. Note that the book release event will take place on Monday, November 15–details below. From the press release:

What Other Choice, Jeremy Halinen’s Debut Book of Poems
Named as Winner of the Exquisite Disarray 2010 First Book Poetry Contest

Tacoma, Wash. – What Other Choice, a poetry collection by Washington State writer Jeremy Halinen, has been selected by Exquisite Disarray Publishing as the winner of its 2010 First Book Poetry Contest.

Exquisite Disarray will publish What Other Choice in November 2010 and showcase Halinen’s work at a reading to be held Monday, November 15 at 7 p.m. in the Olympic Room of the Tacoma Public Library’s main branch, at 1102 Tacoma Avenue South, as part of the Tacoma’s Art at Work Month. The November 15 event, which is free and open to the public, will also recognize the runners-up in the First Book Poetry Contest and announce the winner of a separate “Best Tacoma Poem” Contest.

Describing What Other Choice as “eerily elegant” and possessed of a “beautifully tuned voice,” guest contest judge Kathleen Flenniken selected Halinen’s collection from nine manuscripts forwarded by Exquisite Disarray’s editorial board. Flenniken, herself the author of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize winner Famous and president of Floating Bridge Press, said that Halinen is “a poet who makes me see beauty where I didn’t expect it, not by overlooking ugliness or despair, but by being faithful to it.”

“Since this was the first year of our contest, we were delighted to have such a strong showing of manuscript submissions,” said William Kupinse, president of Exquisite Disarray, a local nonprofit press. The contest was open to all poets residing in Washington State who had not yet published a full-length volume of poetry.

About the poet: Jeremy Halinen was raised in Tacoma, earned an MFA in creative writing from Eastern Washington University and holds a BFA in creative writing from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, North Carolina. He now resides in Seattle, where he is coeditor and cofounder of Knockout Literary Magazine.

Two poems from Jeremy Halinen’s Debut Collection, What Other Choice

Afternoons above I-5

We used to drop acid
and sit on the overpass
to watch the dragon faces
the cars would make at us
as they raced
beneath our dangling legs.
Cars like it when you’re high enough
above them to notice
more than their surfaces.
It’s the story of their exhaust
they want you to care about,
not their paint jobs
or the treads
on their tires. They want you to lean down
and touch them.
I know what you’re thinking.
It’s dangerous,
what we used to do. But
the cars told us they’d catch us if we fell.
You say, So what if they did?
And you’re right.
There’s always a catch.

Copyright © 2010 Jeremy Halinen

A Brief History of Heavy Petting

It started in the cold, one boy
attempting to pay back another
a debt he thought he owed.

Intended only as a transfer
of heat, it listed soon
into the ark they’d been

waiting for. Deep in the cave
that night, far from the bark
of the moon, both knew it.

This was long before the dawn
of fiction, before their newfound
fortune could be called trespass

or transgression.
They are not alone.

Copyright © 2010 Jeremy Halinen

September 7, 2010

Tacoma: Destination for the Arts

Part of Tacoma’s ongoing renaissance involves a strong commitment to the arts–especially efforts to promote and attract independent artists of all kinds to this area. Tacoma’s affordable rents, vibrant youth culture, and a city government that actively endorses arts endeavors, all add up to a city increasingly noteworthy for its growing art scene. To name only a very few bright spots among many, we have the third Thursday Artwalk with free museum admission and open galleries, the recent Spaceworks exhibits, which make use of empty storefronts, TAM’s outstanding programming, and small independent art and letterpresses like Beautiful Angle and Anagram Press.

Many of our faculty are leaders in local arts culture, including Professor and former Tacoma Poet Laureate Bill Kupinse, who send us this update about his not-for-profit literary press, Exquisite Disarray Publishing, created in 2009.

Professor Kupinse writes,

Initially created to publish In Tahoma’s Shadow, an anthology of Tacoma-area poets, Exquisite Disarray is in the process of judging the entries for its first-book contest. (Sorry poets: our reading period for the contest is now closed, though we do hope to run it again next year). Supported by a grant from the Tacoma Arts Commission, the first book contest will allow a previously unpublished Washington State poet to see his or her first book in print. We’ll host a book launch Monday November 15, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the downtown branch of the Tacoma Public library, which will feature a reading and book signing by the winning poet; there will also be an award given for “best Tacoma poem” and some free book giveaways. For more details about Exquisite Disarray, check out our website (www.exquisitedisarray.org) or join our Facebook group.

We’re eager to see the results of this contest, and wish Exquisite Disarray and long and productive existence. And if we’ve inadvertently overlooked your favorite Tacoma arts organization, larger or small, feel free to email us an update for inclusion here!

August 20, 2010

More on The Atlas of Love

A Seattle Times review.

Plans are in the works for a reading/conversation on the Puget Sound campus with Professor Frankel. The tentative date is September 23, and there will be copies of her book available for purchase. More as the plans coalesce.

August 17, 2010

Assigned Reading, and a Reading

Just a reminder that today is the “official” release date for Professor Laurie Frankel’s The Atlas of Love.

The lovely and talented Professor Frankel will also read from and discuss her novel this Saturday, August 21, at the new Elliott Bay Book Company (in its new Capitol Hill location: 1521 10th Ave., Seattle 98122). The reading takes place at 4 p.m., and you can purchase your copy on site and have it signed. (My own pre-ordered copy is in transit, I am assured.) What better way to celebrate the end of summer and ease into the impending school year than by attending an event that features a faculty member as a source of reading for pleasure?

Updated to add: there’s a brief interview with Laurie Frankel about what she’s reading here. And if you can’t make it to Elliott Bay Books this Saturday, she’ll be discussing her book on the Puget Sound campus in September…more on that later.

August 10, 2010

More on what to do with an English major

Filed under: Publishing,Uncategorized — ATH @ 8:07 am
Tags: ,


A recent story on NPR offers one option: freelance copy editor. Jeff Deck and Benjamin D. Herson embarked on a cross-country quest to seek out and correct the most glaring and irksome of typos on public signage, a journey depicted in their book (The Great Typo Hunt, Crown, $23.99). Part travelogue and part light-hearted grammar lesson, the book tells their adventures with the most frequent, baffling, and egregious errors they encounter all across the nation–and of their efforts, often rewarded, occasionally thwarted, to correct them. The adventures of TEAL (Typo Eradication Advancement League) owe a certain debt, it’s true, to the comic-heroic example of Don Quixote, but as with any reflections on grammar and “correctness,” the light-hearted narrative inevitably demands, and provides, further consideration of the serious issues of educational access, literacy, and the class and social barriers policed along grammatical lines.

When good grammar and a yen for public service meet, who can stand in their way?

August 8, 2010

Sure to raise hackles…

Anis Shivani has an article at The Huffington Post on “The 15 Most Overrated Contemporary American Writers.” There’s someone on the list to offend everyone: it includes critical favorites like Jhumpa Lahiri, Junot Diaz, and Jonathan Safran Foer, as well as beloved figures like Amy Tan. (There’s an accompanying survey feature that allows you to defend your mislabeled favorites from Shivani’s acid-penned critique.)

Shivani’s specific nominees for over-ratedness aside, he makes a relevant and thought-provoking larger point: while we can blame, to some extent, the overrated authors of the past on the failings of a set of familiar villains (those closed-minded canonical white guys who appear to have run darn near everything, up until the point where they didn’t), the guilt for mistaking chaff for cream is collective. He notes the lack of compelling and authoritative critical voices on par with Malcolm Cowley or Edmund Wilson, and the tendency of today’s reviewers, many of them authors themselves, and graduates of the same MFA programs, to retreat from asking hard questions of a work in deference to their shared professional network (or, he suggests, in a kind of critical quid pro quo that serves the authors, but not their readers). Given the besieged status of literary fiction in general and book publishing more broadly, “reviews” have also become increasingly indistinguishable from marketing.

Shivani joins a larger debate over the nature and value of professionalizing and “academicizing” creative writing, claiming that such programs “embody a philosophy of neutered multiculturalism/political correctness” and somewhat inevitably tend to reproduce and reward the “easily imitable” over genuine originality. [See, e.g., here, or here, or even here for a very light sampling of the debates over the preponderance–and value–of MFA programs.]

While Shivani’s selections will no doubt offend many of us (I was a bit taken aback to find a few of my personal favorites on his hit list), he argues, quite convincingly, that many of today’s most acclaimed writers substitute stylistic tics for nuance, solipsism for vision, and topical superficiality for the larger questions–or a greater variety of answers thereto–that have inspired the best authors of yesterday and today. And in his attempt to be intellectually provocative, he risks reanimating the discredited notion that great literature is “universal” (whose universe?). He’s particularly strident, for example, in dismissing the work of Amy Tan. I can’t say I disagree with his overall assessment of her work (or with his unfavorable comparison of Tan to John Okada). But his criticism of her–“Flattened politics and history to private angst in depiction of minority assimilation. Empowered other immigrant writers to make mountains out of the molehills of their minor adjustment struggles”–suggests an underlying bias against stories of (racial, ethnic, cultural) particularity as inherently less valuable than those works that take on broader general questions–universal questions?–like “mortality.” One can certainly criticize Tan’s depictions of cultural assimilation, racial identity, and “minor adjustment struggles” without suggesting (as Shivani does) that the struggles themselves are trivial or unworthy of literary treatment.

And don’t despair; he promises to publish a list of the most underrated American writers, coming soon.

August 4, 2010

Hear Professor Frankel read her new novel

As we eagerly await the August 17 publication date of Laurie Frankel’s The Atlas of Love (St. Martin’s Press, $23.99–or order your copy in advance here), news of several local and nearby opportunities to purchase a copy, have your copy signed, or simply enjoy an author’s reading by one of our favorite and most talented faculty members:

Elliott Bay Bookstore, Seattle
Sat. Aug 21
4 pm

Village Books, Bellingham, WA
Sun. Sept. 12
4 pm

Powell’s Books, Portland, OR
Fri. Sept 24
Time TBD

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