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Miscellany, The Department News


Department of English

May, 2018 #2


Please send future Miscellany items to your new/former Associate Chair, Steve Wilson, Thank you!

Texas State alumna Terri Leclerq has received the prestigious 2018 Golden Pen Award, a national honor that goes to an outstanding writer about law. Terri’s most recent book, Prison Grievances (2013), is a graphic novel that is to help those in prison develop effective petitions and navigate grievances. As an award winner, she joins distinguished justices, academics, and writers such as Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times. Terri is a prior recipient of the Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumni Award and a founding member of the department’s Donor and Alumni Advisory Council. She received a BS in Education (English/Journalism) at Texas State in 1968 and an MA in English in 1970.

Congratulations to Professor John Blair, who has been named by President Trauth a University Distinguished Professor, one of Texas State’s most coveted faculty honors. This follows a number of other awards for his creative work, including most recently the Iowa Poetry Prize, the Wilda Herne Prize for Fiction, and the 49th Parallel Award for Poetry. As a University Distinguished Professor, Dr. Blair will receive a one-time $5,000 cash award, a commemorative medallion, and recognition during the fall convocation. Dr. Trauth is also nominating him for consideration by The Texas State University System (TSUS) Board of Regents for the Regents’ Professor Award, and will submit his portfolio to The TSUS office.

Professor Dan Lochman’s article “Textual Memory and the Problem of Coherence in Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene” is just out in a special issue on Narrative and the Biocultural Turn (ed. Vittorio Gallese and Hannah Chapelle Wojciehowski), in Costellazioni: Rivista de lingue e letterature (Volume 2, Number 5, [2018]: 147-80). At the end of March, he read the paper “Arthur’s Memory: Spontaneity and Deliberation in The Faerie Queene” at the New Orleans meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, where he also co-organized three panels on early modern cognition and affect.

Lecturer Daniel Keltner’s first novel Into That Good Night comes out June 5th. The book launch and reading is at Book People in Austin:

Two poems by Professor Roger Jones have been published in Southern Poetry Anthology VIII: “The Bee Tree” and “Bait.”

The Graduate Programs of the Department of English are pleased to announce the recipients of 2018 Graduate College Scholarships. We are very proud of the current and incoming graduate students who were successful in a competitive field of applicants. Please congratulate these fine folks who are in your classes or working with you and be ready to welcome and congratulate the incoming students who will join us this coming summer and fall.

Three semesters of funding: One semester of funding:
Luke William (MFA incoming) Amber Avila (MAL incoming)
  Kaitlyn Burd (MFA incoming)
Two semesters of funding: Elizabeth Clausen (MFA)
Brady Brickner-Wood (MFA) Megalee Das (MATC incoming) 
Rob Madole (MFA) Robert Jorash (MARC)
  Ryan Lopez (MFA)
  Meaghan Loraas (MFA)
  Jessica Martinez (MFA incoming)
  Eddie Mathis (MFA)
  Will Pellett (MFA)
  Becky Proffer (MFA)
  Sandra Sidi (MFA)



Department of English

May, 2018


Assistant Professor Geneva Gano has been named the Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones Professor of Southwestern Studies for 2018-2021. Liberal Arts Council noted that the proposal will make significant contributions to the work of the Center for the Study of the Southwest and will bring prestige and visibility to the Center. Dr. Gano will continue to teach courses in English but will devote part of her time to activities related to the Center and her research.

Retired Professor Priscilla Leder has a new hobby as a radio personality. She has started a two-hour show titled Bookmarked on the San Marcos community radio station from 4-6 on Tuesdays. The station is only on-line now but eventually will be on the air. Priscilla co-hosts with Deborah Carter of the San Marcos Public Library, and their show includes reviews, interviews, and of course local news of interest to readers. Graeme Wend-Walker recently joined the show for a discussion about young adult literature. You can check out their Facebook page to learn more about the show.

Professor Robert T. Tally, Jr. will be a keynote speaker at an event called “Granfalloon: A Kurt Vonnegut Convergence,” sponsored by the Indiana University Arts & Humanities Council, to be held May 10-12 in Bloomington, Indiana. His talk is titled “Kurt Vonnegut, American: Granfalloonery and National Identity.” In other news, Rob’s essay "The Space of the Novel" appears in The Cambridge Companion to the Novel, edited Eric Bulson (Cambridge University Press, 2018, pp. 152–167).

Senior Lecturer Alan Schaefer presented a paper entitled “Draining Her Desire: Jess Franco's Las Vampiras” at the Pop Culture Association National Conference in Indianapolis last month as part of the Vampire in Literature, Film, and Culture subject area.

Senior Lecturer Tomás Morin has accepted a position at Drew University as an Advanced Assistant Professor of Poetry and will be the Co-Director of the Creative Writing Emphasis. The LA Review of Books recently reviewed his book Patient Zero!

Humanities Texas has awarded $1,000 to the Children’s Literature Association for their annual meeting to be held at the Sheraton Gunter in San Antonio on June 28-30. Congratulations to the conference chair, Professor Marilynn Olson.

Lecturer Ben Reed’s paper “Technologies of Instant Amnesia” will be republished as a chapter in vol. 256 of Layman Poupard's Short Story Criticism, edited by Lawrence Trudeau, which will focus on the short fiction of Kurt Vonnegut. Ben recently presented a paper on Breakfast of Champions at the annual NeMLA Convention in Pittsburgh. While there, Ben read an original short story titled “Angle & Distance,” which was inspired by the work of the Israeli writer Etgar Keret, and informed by that author’s visit to Texas State in October 2013. Finally, earlier this semester, Ben designed and led a six-week writing workshop for veterans facilitated through VSA, the State Organization on Arts and Disability, and funded by DVNF, the Disabled Veterans National Foundation. He looks forward to doing so again later this year.

Professor Pinfan Zhu presented his paper, “Well-Received Rhetorical Strategies as Demonstrated in the Speeches and Reports by Chinese Leaders” at the Annual International Conference of the International Organization of Social Science and Research on March 20. He was also recently invited to be on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Media and Communication Studies and currently serves as a member on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine by Hunan University, China.

The online journal Two Hawks Quarterly features a poem by Professor Steve Wilson, “Violently Sundered.”

MATC alumna Dr. Lonie McMichael recently founded Technodaptability, a company that trains clients to adapt to new technologies. On May 16th, Lonie will host a Society of Technical Communication (STC) webinar titled “What is Technological Adaptability?” The webinar is free to STC members at ( Her book, Technological Adaptability: Learning Technology Quickly, is forthcoming.

MATC alumna Amber Rigney accepted a position as Chief Publishing Officer at Paxen Publishing in Melbourne, Florida. Amber provides strategic direction and leadership of Paxen Publishing's library as well as the newly acquired Steck-Vaughn adult education library and SkillsTutor. She also manages content development of print and digital adult education products.

Lecturer Kamron Mehrinfar has been nominated as an Alpha Chi Favorite Professor for 2018.

Assistant Professor Cecily Parks’s poem “Girlhood” appears in the April 30 issue of The New Yorker, In other news, Professor Parks has been named one of the Alpha Chi Favorite Professors for 2018.

Susan Morrison won Sigma Tau Delta’s Outstanding Professor Award, 2017-2018. Additionally, the book she edited of her mother’s diaries, Home Front Girl: A Diary of Love, Literature, and Growing Up in Wartime America, has just been released as a paperback by Chicago Review Press.

Professor Robert Tally’s essay “The Space of the Novel” appears in The Cambridge Companion to the Novel, edited Eric Bulson (Cambridge University Press, 2018), pp. 152–167.

William Jensen’s story “All Ye Faithful” has been accepted for publication in Manzano Mountain Review.

MATC student Sarah Holdgrafer was recently promoted to Manager of the Self-Service & Content Team at ShipStation in Austin, Texas. Sarah and her team are responsible for all user-facing help documentation and internal support training.

Lecturer Autumn Hayes’s poem “On Them” has been accepted for publication in the summer issue of Storm Cellar, and her essay, “Black Panther’s Courageous Take On Basic Truths,” is now available in the April edition of The Washington Spectator.

MATC alumna Brooke Turner was recently recognized by Austin Woman magazine as a 2018 Woman's Way Business Awards Finalist for Product Innovation. She is co-founder and CMO of Kwaddle, an Austin-based company described as “an online platform that provides access to high quality, out-of-school education and enrichment programs to help children thrive and reach their fullest potential.”

Lecturer Ashton Kamburoff was awarded a writing residency through the Vermont Studio Center. Four of his poems – “The Story,” “Capablanca & My Father,” “Water & Glycol,” and “22° Halo,” are forthcoming in the September issue of Softblow.

Emeritus Professor Miles Wilson will be reading from his latest book, Westwork: New and Selected Stories of the American West, at BookPeople in Austin on Tuesday, May 1 at 7:00 p.m. and at The Twig Book Shop in San Antonio on Tuesday, May 15 at 5:00 p.m.

Professor Cyrus Cassells was Chair of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry this year. He and his co-jurors David Baker (who served on this year's Pulitzer jury) and Monica Youn (who also served as the chair of the National Book Award in Poetry) read close to a hundred books. In a ceremony at USC on Friday, Cyrus presented the 2017 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry to Patricia Smith and wrote the citation for her book Incendiary Art: “In her most powerful, impassioned, and masterly book to date, Patricia Smith bears witness to the harrowing legacy of Emmett Till and to ongoing crises of chronic bigotry and brutality with unerring craft and crusading urgency. The intrepid, at-the-ready poems of Incendiary Art address African American forbearance and sorrow with a phoenix-like prowess and grace, reaffirming Patricia Smith’s stature as one of America’s most indispensable poets.” Patricia’s book was also named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize last Monday and has also won the NAACP award and the Kingsley Tufts Award.

In other news for Professor Cassells, his manuscript, Still Life with Children: Selected Poems of Francesc Parcerisas will be published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press in a bi-lingual Catalan/English edition in the spring of 2019

As Discipline Representative for Rhetoric, Professor Elizabeth Skerpan-Wheeler organized four panels for the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in New Orleans. She was also part of the RSA Executive Council and delivered a paper titled “The Politics of Invention: Milton's Turn to Logic.” In April, Elizabeth presented a paper at the annual South Central Renaissance Conference in Atlanta, “Revision as Invention: Ramus, Milton, and ‘A Masque.’”

Senior Lecturer Chris Margrave will be presenting his paper “Time is a Necessary Illusion: Climate Change, Abstract Minimalism, and Buddhist Perspectives of Impermanence” at the Temporal Belongings Conference taking place this June in Edinburgh, Scotland.