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Miscellany, The Department News

Department of English


31 January 2019


The Provost has approved the following English faculty to receive Development Leave for 2019-20, pending approval by the Board of Regents in February: Allan Chavkin (Awarded Leave for the full year academic year, one of only ten faculty from across campus to receive Leave plus the President’s and Provost’s supplement. Allan is the third faculty member in English to receive the full-year supplement, following Cyrus Cassells and Doug Dorst, since the program’s inception), Cyrus Cassells (Fall 2019), Kitty Ledbetter (Fall 2019), Dan Lochman (Spring 2020), Scott Mogull (Fall 2019), and Octavio Pimentel (Spring 2020).

Leah Schwebel’s “What’s in Criseyde’s Book,” appears in the latest issue of The Chaucer Review

Octavio Pimentel will present “Pinche Racism! Will it Ever be OK to be Brown/Black?” at the 2019 Southwest Conference on Latin American Studies, to be held in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. At the same conference, MA Literature student Victoria Kuykendall will present "Zootopia: A Positive Critical Discourse Analysis on Tackling Sexism and Racism.”

Steve Wilson's fifth collection of poetry, The Reaches, will be published later this year by Finishing Line Press. 

Debra Monroe will judge the Associated Writing Program’s 2019 book competition and publication prize in the category of creative nonfiction. The AWP Creative Nonfiction Book Award is $2,500 and publication with the University of Georgia Press.

Kitty Ledbetter has been offered a contract from Edinburgh University Press for her book project, Gossip, Celebrity, and Gendered Spaces: Edmund Yates and Victorian Periodicals.

Kathleen Peirce is a finalist for Texas Poet Laureate.

Cyrus Cassells recently was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism by The Washington Spectator for his 2018 reviews appearing in the publication. Last year he reviewed American Crime (Season 2), Call Me By Your Name, Disobedience, A Fantastic Woman, Fences, Get Out, The Handmaid's Tale (Season 2), and Moonlight. His January review of A Star is Born is in print and will be available to read online the first week of February; reviews of Roma and If Beale Street Could Talk are slated for the spring. Due to several pre-orders ahead of its March 28 publication date, Cyrus’ new book of translations, Still Life with Children, has been named the #1 New Release in Spanish Poetry on Amazon.

Last December, Lecturer Vanessa Couto Johnson's first full-length book of poetry, pungent dins concentric, was published by Tolsun Books. The book has been favorably reviewed in RHINO Reviews and Publishers Weekly, with the Chicago Tribune also praising the book as one of the best poetry collections of 2018: “A title like ‘pungent dins concentric’ conjures minor Language poetry circa 1986, but Vanessa Couto Johnson’s debut couldn’t be less desiccated.” You can read the reviews here: ; ; The book is available through , Amazon, and other book retailers.

Assistant Professor Cecily Parks appears on the most recent episode of the Nocturne podcast ("Quiet Transmission"), talking the role of the night in her own poems, and in writing by Emily Dickinson and Henry David Thoreau. She reads excerpts from an essay on night poetics that is forthcoming in Conjunctions this summer. Her poem "Luna Moth" has been set to music by Assistant Professor of Composition Michael Ippolito (School of Music, Texas State University) and will be included in a performance by soprano Joélle Harvey and pianist Allen Perriello on February 13, 2019 at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Joe Falocco is currently playing Capulet in the Florida Shakespeare Theatre production of "Romeo and Juliet." The show has performed in Pinecrest, Coconut Grove, and Boca Raton, and will finish its run in Hollywood (Florida) this coming weekend. A review will soon be published in the peer-reviewed publication Reviewing Shakespeare.

Rob Tally will be the keynote speaker at the Charles F. Fraker Graduate Conference, to be held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, February 15-16, 2019. The conference is organized by the graduate students in the Romance Languages and Literatures Program there. In addition to his keynote address, titled "The Politics of Geocriticism," he will also be conducting a workshop on spatial criticism and theory, using his 2018 essay "In the Deserts of Cartography: Building, Dwelling, Mapping."

Texas State senior English major Chisom Ogoke's paper "Sekoia and the Books of the Galápagos: Narrating Biological Anthropology through Magical Realism" was selected for presentation at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research at Kennesaw State University, Georgia, in April. Selectors noted that her abstract was chosen from more than 4,000 submissions for demonstrating a unique contribution to her field of study.

Department of English


14 January 2019


MARC graduate Casie Moreland recently completed her PhD at Arizona State University.  She was featured in a story published by ASU Now:

Flore Chevaillier's "Experiment with Textual Materiality: Page, Author, and Medium in the Works of Steve Tomasula, Michael Martone, and Eduardo Kac" appears in the Winter 2018 issue of College Literature

Katie Kapurch has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to research African Americans' musical conversations with the Beatles.

Steve Wilson’s poem “The Aardwolf” appears in the new poetry anthology Enchantment of the Ordinary, out this month from Mutabilis Press.

Congratulations to the following Senior Lecturers / Lecturers, whom the Faculty Senate has approved for Nontenure Line Faculty Workload Releases: Graeme Mullen, Amanda North, Danny Peters, and Sean Rose.

In December, Susan Morrison gave a talk entitled “Slow Ecopoetics: A Pilgrimage through Waste” at the Rice University symposium, “Waste: Histories and Futures.” She also taught 12th graders at Austin’s Liberal Arts and Science Academy about Chaucer’s “The Miller’s Tale” and fecopoetics.

Nancy Wilson received thanks for her ongoing service to General Education Council from Assistant Vice President for Academic Services Mary Ellen Cavitt, who writes, “Thank you for all you have done to ensure that course audits and holistic assessments of components and competencies were completed” during calendar year 2018. Your work as a member of the GEC is precisely the type of institutional service that supports the interests of our undergraduate students, your faculty colleagues, and the administration.” 

Vicki Smith also received thanks from Dr. Cavitt for her service as Vice Chair of the Honor Code Council. In this position, Assistant Vice President for Academic Services Cavitt writes, Dr. Smith “assumed many additional responsibilities and put forth countless hours to ensure a fair and valuable academic environment be provided to all faculty and students.”

The Honors College offered thanks to the following faculty who supported students completing contract work in English courses for Honors credit: Laura Ellis-Lai, Eric Leake, Chad Hammett, Kate McClancy, and Chris Margrave (2 students). The College also thanked the following faculty for supervising Honors theses: John Blair, Rene LeBlanc, Teya Rosenberg, Elizabeth Skerpan-Wheeler, Rob Tally, and Anne Winchell; and for serving as second readers on Honors theses: Stephanie Noll and Cecily Parks.

Logan Fry has been chosen as the winner of Omnidawn's 1st/2nd Poetry Book Prize for 2018, judged by Srikanth Reddy. Omnidawn will be publishing his book, Harpo Before the Opus, in the fall of 2019.

Ross Feeler won the Key West Literary Seminar's 2019 Marianne Russo Award for a novel-in-progress.