Open Mic Reading at Half Price Books Outlet

image001On April 17th, the English Club will be hosting an open mic reading night at Half Price Books Outlet on Campbell Lane. The event will begin at 7:00 PM. If you have been yearning to read your original poetry or short stories in front of an audience, now is your chance! Keep in mind that the works you read must be PG given that the store will still be open during the time of this event. Whether you are presenting or just being a spectator, I encourage everyone to attend this open mic reading.

Don’t Forget–Jane Olmsted!

Jane Olmsted 2Dr. Jane Olmsted, head of the WKU Diversity & Community Studies department, will read her prize-winning creative non-fiction for the Creative Writing Reading Series. The event begins at 7:00 pm tonight in Cherry Hall 125.

Want to hear a fantastic piece of non-fiction? Need to fulfill a class requirement? Could you possibly get extra credit out of this? Come hear Dr. Olmsted speak for all those reasons and more! Also, check out her classy-looking website. She has a lot of great things to say.

Terry Bisson: On Writing, Reading, and Realism

Terry Bisson Reading

The room was jammed full about five minutes after this picture was taken

On Wednesday, March 26th, Terry Bisson visited Western Kentucky University for the Creative Writing Reading Series. By 7 p.m. Cherry Hall 125 was packed full of students, professors, readers, writers, and friends of Terry Bisson to hear him read some of his award-winning science fiction.

I have to admit, it was probably the best Reading Series event I’d been to, which admittedly isn’t a lot because I’ve only been here two years. Nonetheless, the reading was excellent. Although I am partial to science fiction and fantasy, Bisson’s stories were witty, powerful, and realistic. There was something about the frankness of each tale that made me feel like I was inside of it, watching from atop the school building or inside the Whole Foods market (and if you were there, you know what I’m talking about).Terry Bisson Reading 2

 

He also visited the Fantasy Writing and Speculative Fiction courses to speak with the students about writing. Here are a list of things we all learned from Terry Bisson on how to be a science fiction/fantasy writer in Kentucky: Continue reading

Goldenrod Festival: Write On!

DSCN0002[1]As my fellow students slowly filled the Cherry Hall auditorium, I took my seat at the front to have the perfect view. That wonderful view was the back of the spikey-haired head of Matt Hart, the poet invited by the English Club to headline at the Goldenrod Poetry Festival.

(“Matt Hart is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast Publishing, 2012) and Debacle Debacle (H_NGM_N Books, 2013). A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Indusctrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati and plays in the band TRAVEL.”)

At Goldenrod, the English Club had the amazing opportunity to congratulate and give prizes to the first, second, and third place winners of the poetry contest:

Third place, Richard Heyne, reading his poem: “A Hypothesis on Purgatory When Your Family Needs Heaven to be Real”

Third place, Richard Heyne, reading his poem: “A Hypothesis on Purgatory When Your Family Needs Heaven to be Real”

1-      Ashley Coulter

2-      Kate Warren-Westbrook

3-      Richard Heyne

The English Club decided to make this tenth anniversary special by having eleven winners, instead of the usual ten. After all eleven read their top poems, Mr. Hart was granted the floor. During his reading at the Goldenrod Festival, he gave the audience some interesting facts as he went through each poem. For his opening poem (from his book Debacle Debacle) he remarked that he was fascinated with the word ‘debacle’. He looked it up one day to find out what it meant. What he discovered was that debacle has two meanings: 1- a plan gone awry and 2- a flood. So his recently published book Debacle Debacle actually has two sides to it just like the word has two meanings. Hart also told us that he used to stand in a crowded basement and listen to really loud punk rock music and his writing reflects that.

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Tom Hunley Speaks: An Email Interview and A Psalm

tom hunley creative writing seriesThe English Majors’ Weblog wanted to cast out a line to Dr. Tom Hunley before his poetry reading tonight at the Warren County Public Library. Here are his rapid fire and altogether too wise responses.  He also was very kind in allowing us to reprint his poem, “Psalm on a Theme by Dean Young and a Somewhat Similar Theme by Allen Ginsberg”.

The Interview

1. Why didn’t you call your latest collection “Duct Tape World”? Just wondering if 3M gave you any grief over ‘scotch tape’.

I thought about that, but Accents Publishing didn’t seem worried. I think poetry flies under the radar of folks who are looking to sue over copyright issues. “There’s no money in poetry, but there’s no poetry in money either.” — Robert Graves.

2. Why do poetry readings? Do they help you or your audience? How so or not?

Hearing a poem read aloud in the poet’s voice often makes a seemingly-obscure poem click in your mind. Something about the way the poet delivers a poem can make the poem come alive. Also, you don’t get the full experience of poetry from print, simply because poetry existed as an oral art long before Gutenberg.

3. Why would anyone ever become an English major?

Why would anyone major in business or law or anything “practical”? There are no jobs out there. At least have fun and stimulate your mind while you’re in college.

4. Any question you are dying to have asked so that you can answer it?

There’s no question that I’m dying. We all are. That’s why we make art. “So, you want to live forever. That is the essence of poetry.” — William Carlos Williams

Maybe Tom does requests, then perhaps you can call out this one that he graciously gave us permission to reprint. Or maybe he will do it as an encore.

The Poem

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Submissions for Goldenrod Now Being Accepted in the English Office

solidago roanensisThe 2014 Goldenrod Poetry Festival is upon us, and the deadline for the contest is sooner than you think! The top ten poets will participate in a private workshop with visiting poet, Matt Hart, who will give a reading during the Goldenrod Poetry Festival on February 18th at 7pm. This event is free and open to the public.

Be sure to get your poems ready while you’ve got time to spare, and read this message from English Club Co-president, Hilary Harlan, to learn how to submit:

Poets and other interested students,

The annual Goldenrod Poetry Festival will be held this year on February 18th with visiting poet Matt HartBeginning on January 27th, we will be accepting poem entries for the contest.  Official rules and coversheets will be available in the English office starting January 6th.
 
Because of the time constraints this semester, we will stop accepting entries on February 7th, so make sure that you are working on your poems over break so that you can turn them in when we are back for the spring semester.
 
Hope you all have a safe and happy break,
Hilary Harlan
English Club Co-President

Upcoming Event: 13th Annual Undergraduate Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture

Friday, November 22nd at 1:00 p.m.

Cherry Hall 125

Come out and support your

friends and fellow English majors!

 Click here to download the program.

Undergraduate students present to a group of their peers, professors, family, and friends

Undergraduate students present to a group of their peers, professors, family, and friends

The Undergraduate Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture is an annual event sponsored by the Western Kentucky University English Department, with generous support from the Provost’s Initiatives for Excellence.

The conference features original analytical essays written by undergraduate students. Students are invited to submit short (five page) versions of any paper they have written in a WKU English class during the year leading up to each conference. Graduate students in the English M.A. program evaluate the submissions and select up to fifteen participants.

At the conference, the selected students read their papers as a part of panels organized around similar themes. A brief question and answer period follows each panel. The conference, which is free, is attended by faculty, students, and members of the public. The students who read at the conference are especially encouraged to invite teachers, friends, and family.

The conference is a significant event for students in the English department. It is the only chance that English literature students have to share their analytical work in a public forum. It exposes them to the type of setting that they may experience in graduate school or as professionals and gives them practice in public speaking. As such, it strongly reinforces WKU’s commitment to strong communication (oral and written), critical thinking, active learning, and especially student engagement.

If you have questions, please contact ted.hovet@wku.edu or elizabeth.alsop@wku.edu

Deadline for Submissions to the 13th Annual Undergraduate Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture is Tomorrow

Cherry HallThe deadline for student submissions to the 13th Annual Undergraduate Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture is tomorrow, Friday, November 1st.

Be sure to ask for a cover sheet when you drop off your submission in the English office         (Cherry 135) by 4:30 p.m.

Length of submission should be appropriate for a 10-minute reading time.

The Undergraduate Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture is an annual event sponsored by the Western Kentucky University English Department, with generous support from the Provost’s Initiatives for Excellence.

The conference features original analytical essays written by undergraduate students. Students are invited to submit short (five page) versions of any paper they have written in a WKU English class during the year leading up to each conference. Graduate students in the English M.A. program evaluate the submissions and select up to fifteen participants.

At the conference, the selected students read their papers as a part of panels organized around similar themes. A brief question and answer period follows each panel. The conference, which is free, is attended by faculty, students, and members of the public. The students who read at the conference are especially encouraged to invite teachers, friends, and family.

The conference is a significant event for students in the English department. It is the only chance that English literature students have to share their analytical work in a public forum. It exposes them to the type of setting that they may experience in graduate school or as professionals and gives them practice in public speaking. As such, it strongly reinforces WKU’s commitment to strong communication (oral and written), critical thinking, active learning, and especially student engagement.

If you have questions, please contact ted.hovet@wku.edu or elizabeth.alsop@wku.edu