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I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine. - Emily Dickinson

English equips us with skills and knowledge to develop and refine written and oral communication and allows one to both grasp and appreciate the complexities of human nature.

English continues to engage in outreach to educational, nonprofit, and business organizations in the community and beyond. Drs. Bob McEachern, Liz Kalbfleisch, and Andrew Smyth consulted with Cheshire Academy on creating their new writing center. Several faculty made presentations at area schools, including Chuck Baraw (Reed Intermediate School, Newtown, CT), Liz Kalbfleisch (Monroe Public Schools), Jeff Mock (Cheshire High School); Brandon Hutchinson (High School in the Community in New Haven), and Tim Parrish (Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women). In addition, Joel Dodson worked with the Beinecke Library to provide students with access to first editions of Shakespeare’s First Folio (1623) and other texts from the period. Finally, the English Secondary Education program continued partnerships the Common Ground School and West Shore Middle School in Milford.

English is also participating in the university’s budding partnership with the Liverpool John Moore University initiative. Discussion have focused on faculty and student exchanges as well as programs in creative writing, American Studies/Literature, British literature, secondary education, and internships or other work experience.

Closer to home, the MFA Program sponsored “MFA Writers' Conference: A Gathering of Connecticut-Region Writers.” The conference brought together poets, fiction writers, memoirists, journalists, editors, and literary publication founders from the area for readings and panels. Participating writers included department instructor Margot Schilpp and alumnae Patricia D'Ascoli and Lisa Mangini.

English was also well-represented at the Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference. A highlight was a series of three video presentations by undergraduates justifying why someone should get a degree in English. Graduate students once again gained experience at the Graduate Student Colloquium, an annual conference sponsored by English that allows them to gain experience in presenting their ideas to other scholars. In addition to a number of Southern students presenting their work, graduate students from universities in 5 U.S. states and Canada also attended. Several students have also published this year including MFA grads Lisa Mangini, Christine Beck, Joy Mlozanowski, and Brendan Walsh, who published poetry collections, while MA graduates Wayne Harrison and Jean Copeland both published first novels. Max Bakke’s essay "Kerouac, Corso, and Ferlinghetti: The Beats Take a Swing at Baseball Poetry" won the Sports Literature Association's graduate essay contest and will be published in their journal, Aethlon.

Two recent alumni were accepted to doctoral programs: Eric Bjornson (F’12) will attend Boston University with full funding and Nicole Lowman (S’14), was admitted with full funding to SUNY Buffalo's graduate English PhD program and awarded a Presidential Fellowship.

English Department

Recent Departmental and Faculty Successes

Dr. Charles Baraw completed a chapter on Nathaniel Hawthorne for the forthcoming collection Transatlantic Author-Love: Inventing ‘English Literature’ in the Nineteenth Century. He also presented work at several venues including the American Literature Association conference and the American Historical Association annual conference.

Dr. Corinne Blackmer has two essays forthcoming in the MLA Approaches to Teaching collections on Ralph Waldo Emerson and Gertrude Stein. She also presented papers at the 46th Annual Conference of the Association for Jewish Studies, the NCTE Conference, and at a panel discussion at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Dr. Mary Brown published an article in Public Library Quarterly.

Dr. Joel Dodson has an essay forthcoming in Forms of Faith: Negotiating Confessional Conflict in Early Modern England. He also presented papers at five national and international conferences this year, including the International Spenser Society conference in Dublin.

Dr. Scott Ellis published an article in the journal Writing and Pedagogy. He also presented at the Lilly Conference on Evidenced-Based Teaching and Learning and was invited to present to faculty on improving student reading skills at Queensborough Community College in Queens, NY.

Dr. Nicole Fluhr published “Swinburne and Lady Novelists,” solicited for a forthcoming special issue of Nineteenth Century Prose.

Dr. Brandon Hutchinson has two articles forthcoming in the edited volume, Critical Insights: The Harlem Renaissance.

Dr. Liz Kalbfleisch, in addition to her work in developing the composition program, was accepted into the prestigious Dartmouth Summer Seminar in Composition to develop a research project for assessing students’ literacy abilities in freshman composition.

Dr. Steve Larocco has articles forthcoming in Integrated Psychology and Behavioral Science and Annals of Cultural Psychology. He made two presentations at the 16th Biannual Conference of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology in Coventry, UK; another at the 1st Global Conference on Empathy, Prague; and another at The Inaugural European Conference on Ethics, Religion and Philosophy, Brighton, England.

Dr. Bob McEachern was also named to the Board of Advisors of the national nonprofit advocacy organization Patients Against Lymphoma, based on his online writing about the disease.

Dr. Jeff Mock published poems in Ascent, The Georgia Review, The Cincinnati Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, The American Poetry Review, North American Review, and Shenandoah.

Dr. Vara Neverow co-edited a collection of essays titled Virginia Woolf: Twenty-First-Century Approaches, and published essays in South Carolina Review and the Bloomsbury Heritage Series. She presented at the 24th Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf, and continues to edit, manage, and publish the bi-annual journal, the Virginia Woolf Miscellany.

Dr. Tim Parrish was Keynote Speaker at the Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium at Mississippi University for Women and was awarded First Honorable Mention for the 2014 Louisiana Library Association Literary Award. He spoke and read at several venues, including the Louisiana Book Festival.

Dr. Paul Petrie signed a contract with W.W. Norton for a new (2nd) edition of W.D. Howells’ The Rise of Silas Lapham in the Norton Critical Editions series. He continues to serve as Editor of The Howellsian, the biannual newsletter of the W.D. Howells Society.

Dr. Vivian Shipley published two books of poetry, Perennial and The Poet. Among her honors and awards were the Hackney Literary Award for Poetry and a Pushcart Prize Nomination from Chiron Review. She read her poetry and conducted workshops at several venues across the United States and has several poems published or forthcoming in five anthologies and in several journals such as Chiron Review, Red Rock Review, and The Southeast Review.

Dr. Meredith Sinclair presented “Reading Complex Texts in the 21st Century” at the International Federation for the Teaching of English/Conference on English Education.

Dr. Andrew Smyth co-edited and contributed to an essay collection, Representing the Modern Animal in Culture. He published a second essay in Animals in Irish Literature and Culture and presented papers at the NCTE convention and the 16th Century Society Conference in New Orleans, and presented workshops at universities in Shenyang and Xi’an, China.

Dr. Cindy Stretch’s co-edited collection, Innocence and Loss: Representations of War and National Identity in the United States, was awarded the biennial Javier Coy award for best edited collection from the Spanish Association of American Studies. She was also recognized at the Leadership Banquet as Advisor of the Year, for which she was nominated by the Bookmarks English Club.

Dr. Melissa Talhelm published “Second City Teacher Training: Applying Improvisational Theater Techniques to the Classroom” in English Journal. She was also part of a team of education faculty working on the CEEDAR project, funded by a grant from the CT State Department of Education, aimed at improving their teacher education programs.