Lighting the Fuse


At the beginning of ever year a very long fuse is lit.

The sparks fly as the fuse curves around piles of books, continuing to smolder through vacation, and then onward to the end of the year. What happens at the end of the fuse, when the sparks reach the payload, is up to you. For some, the explosion could be a prismatic nova emblematic of a year’s worth of impressive accomplishments.

Editors Needed

Threshold, DePaul University’s award-winning all student journal of literature and art is looking for editors for their 2014 issue.  This is a wonderful opportunity to be part of a journal the Department of English publishes with pride.  To learn more about Threshold, drop by the Department of English on the second floor and take some time to read through the 2013 issue.

Candidates should write a 1-2 page application letter describing relevant experience, their commitment, as well as vision for the magazine, and email it, as an attachment, to Professor Borich at her campus address by Noon on Monday, October 7th.

Grand Opening of the Richardson Library Information Commons

The library is excited to announce the Grand Opening of the Richardson Library Information Commons on Sept 24th!  As part of this, from 4:30-5:30 that day, the library will host a gathering for Graduate Students in the Scholar’s Lab.  Head on over to learn about interlibrary loans, citation management, Via Sapientiae, advanced research, as well as a demonstration of the library’s plotter printer for professional wide format color printing.

Michael Paterniti Comes to Arts and Letters

paternitiMichael Paterniti comes to Arts and Letters Hall on Tuesday, September 24th. Paterniti is a New York Times bestselling author of The Telling Room and Driving Mr. Albert: A trip Across America with Einstein’s Brain.  His work has appeared in many different publications including The New York Times, National Geographic, Harper’s, Outside, Esquire, and GQ. He has been nominated eight times for the National Magazine Award and is the recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts grant and two MacDowell fellowships.

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet a well-traveled writer and entrepreneur who constantly seeks out new stories and ways to promote literature. Paterniti will be presenting in ALH 103.

Department of English Kick Off

Last Friday, the Department of English came together for some drinks, a bit of food, and good times. The faculty buzzed with excitement over both the upcoming year and the deli platters.

Professor Spotlight

Professor Barrie Jean Borich has had an engaging interview published by Brevity on her new book Body Geographic. Prof. Borich’s book is a memoir that “turns personal history into an inspired reflection on the points where place and person intersect, where running away meets running toward, and where dislocation means finding oneself.”

Brevity interviews Prof. Borich about her writing process during the construction of the piece as well as taking creative writing risks.  Readers who are interested in unique forms of narrative and essay construction should pick up Body Geographic.

Read the interview here and then head over to Amazon to check out the book. It is available in paperback and Kindle.

The EGSA Needs You

The English Graduate Student Association is celebrating the new school year with cocktails and beer at John Barleycorn on September 27th. Come revel in the great literary tradition of Dylan Thomas, Dos Passos, and Hemingway while meeting like minded graduate students looking to bring renewed passion to the EGSA. The event will kick off at 6:30 pm, and all are invited to attend.EGSADePaulFlyer1


Three Fast Approaching Deadlines

Today’s news flits by in three tight paragraphs packed to the brim with important dates. Don’t let the deadlines sneak by without marking your calendar.

MAE Capstone and Thesis Information Session

Students in the MAE program who will be presenting a capstone or thesis must attend an information session on September 21st from 10:00 to 12:00 pm. The session will be hosted in the SAC in room 240. After two short hours you’ll be prepared with the information you need to successfully pursue your thesis or capstone project.

Degree Conferral

Students preparing to graduate must have their applications in for degree conferral by October 1st. Remember to apply online through the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Follow this link to review the seven quick steps to degree conferral.  Be sure to check with Jan Hickey before applying to make sure you meet all of the requirements.

Visiting Writer

Michael Paterniti comes to campus on Tuesday, September 24th. Paterniti is a New York Times bestselling author of The Telling Room and Driving Mr. Albert: A trip Across America with Einstein’s Brain.  His work has appeared in many different publications including The New York Times, National Geographic, Harper’s, Outside, Esquire, and GQ. He has been nominated eight times for the National Magazine Award and is the recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts grant and Two MacDowell fellowships.

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet a well-traveled writer and entrepreneur who constantly seeks out new stories and ways to promote literature. Look to Ex Libris in the coming days as there has been a room change. We’ll be sure to let you know where Michael Paterniti will be once we have a location.


September Opens with New Opportunities

Fall’s cool weather unceremoniously swept onto campus today, bringing with it the first tantalizing scents of the season.

It’s the kind of sensual blend your cup of coffee never manages to encapsulate. However, that’s okay: Starbucks has nothing on autumn’s crisp mornings.

New Faculty

Ex Libris is happy to welcome new faculty to the English department. Joining us at DePaul is Megan Heffernan, Sarah Fay, and David Gardiner. Sarah will be teaching Writing Chicago’s Neighborhoods, a section of Introduction to Creative Writing, and another of Discover Chicago. David Gardiner will be teaching sections of ENG245 The British Novel and ENG381 Literary Theory.

Approaching Deadlines

Though the quarter kicked off this week, there are already deadlines that you should be aware of. Grab that red pen, a marker, and your calendar. It’s time to fill in some dates.

September 27: This is the deadline for panel proposals for the 8th Annual Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science. The colloquium is hosted by DePaul (LPC) from December 5th through the 7th. For more information, visit .

October 3: Public Voices Op Ed Project applications due.  Check the August 30th email from Academic Affairs for more information.

Upcoming Events

Gather a bunch of writers in a room and you’re bound to leave with a story. Be sure to visit these events around the city and on campus.

September 25: Mike Paterniti, author of the Telling Room, will be on DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus. Room TBA.

September 30: How does the concept of “nothingness” show itself in various academic disciplines across the humanities and the sciences? Join Professors Prof. Lynn Narasimhan, Prof. Thomas, Prof. Jesús Pand  the DePaul Humanities Center’s first event in its fall 2013 “Radical Interdisciplinarity” programming series.

Student Opportunities

Students looking to improve or begin their freelance writing career should check out Content Connections. This Chicago based event bridges the gap between talented writers and companies that need compelling content for their digital outlets. The conference will be held on November 7 and 8 at Columbia College.

Whether you’re a student who is new to freelancing or you’re an experienced veteran, this conference will help you connect with new clients.  You’ll learn the latest digital strategies and gain the insight needed to get new business.

There will be presentations from Ron Smith, assistant managing editor for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who will discuss the evolution of Pulitzer-winning story Platforms, from print to tablet; and Dan Davenport, content director for Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM), who will share the underlying business model of digital content.

Content Connections takes place on November 7 and 8 at Columbia College in Chicago. It is sponsored by the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), Authors Educational Foundation and the Columbia College Department of Journalism. To learn more or to register, visit

September’s Freshly Pressed News

Professors in the Department of English have been busy this summer.

They’ve been writing, publishing, attending conferences, and of course, relaxing.  Now the school year is upon us, and the work of summer falls like leaves into the hands of new readers, students, and peers.

Published Work

hannahpittardCongratulations are in order for Professors Hannah Pittard and Steven Ramirez.  Professor Pittard is the author of the acclaimed novel, The Fates Will Find Their Way.  She is also the recipient of a 2012 MacDowell Colony Fellowship. Her new novel , Reunion, was accepted for publication by Grand Central/ Hatchette. Be sure to look for it on shelves and online in October 2014.

Steven Ramirez had a very productive summer. In one season he published his most recent piece “Bullet to the Brain” in Puerto del Sol 48.1, as well as “este pendejo death video free” in LUMINA XII. Don’t miss his story, “Pendejo Theory” in the upcoming Pank No. 10. All of the pieces will be included in his upcoming collection.

Upcoming Events

frida_CLR_letterThe Center for Latino Research

The Center for Latino Research is hosting two workshops: one on September 16th, the other on October 1st. These workshops are great opportunity for actors, writers, playwrights, and novelists

September 16th Workshop

The September 16th workshop is a theater workshop that follows the play, Frida, by Teatro Milagro.  The play begins at 1 PM with the workshop to follow after. The workshop will seek to answer the question, “How does theater teach us about ourselves?”

October 1st Workshop

Writers and playwrights should check out the October 1st workshop. Noted Chicano writer Denise Chavez, will teach attendees how to create plays based on local communities and families. The workshop is from 2:30 to 4:30 PM on Tuesday.

Both workshops will be held at the John T Richardson Library in the Dorothy Day Room (400) on 2450 North Kenmore Ave. For more information, connect with the Center for Latino Research via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

DePaul Art Museum

The DePaul Art Museum in conjunction with the Chicago Photography Working Group (CHIPWG) will host a one day symposium entitled, “Histories/Photographies”. The symposium is part of the CHIPWG’s inaugural event.  All are invited to attend the symposium on October 18th from 9:00 to 5:30 PM.  Scholars, practitioners, and curators will come together for a vibrant discussion on photography and history in Chicago. The day will include a panel of scholarly papers, featuring a keynote address by Blake Stimson, a set of conversations pairing artists and scholars, and a concluding group discussion of the day’s themes.

To register, please email by October 11 and indicate your name, if you will be attending the symposium and the opening reception, and whether you would like to be added to the CHIPWG mailing list. These events are organized by the DePaul Art Museum and CHIPWG in collaboration with the Departments of Art, Media & Design; English; History; History of Art & Architecture; and the Dean’s Office of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at DePaul University.

Ex Libris News

Two small, but exciting changes have occurred at Ex Libris. First, we have a new, easy URL for getting to our site: Don’t worry, the original URL will still bring you to Ex Libris. Second, Ex Libris has a Twitter account.  Follow us at @Depaul_ExLibris to stay up to date on department news, events, and deadlines.

Faculty News & Newcity’s Summer Guide

In Faculty News: Please join the English Department in congratulating Kathleen Rooney for being named 2013 winner of the Eric Hoffer Award for Poetry for her novel-in-poems Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press, 2012).

A review in Booklist noted the following of Robinson Alone: “Rooney’s syncopated wordplay, supple musicality, and cinematic descriptions subtly embody… Robinson’s sardonic grace under pressure. An intricate, psychologically luminous homage, tale of American loneliness, and enthralling testament to poetry’s resonance.” Congrats, Prof. Rooney!


Curbside Splendor Publishing is holding their second monthly Salon Splendor event tomorrow, Thursday, May 16th, at 7:30 p.m., and one of the evening’s featured readers is DePaul’s own Christine Sneed. The show will take place at Madame Zuzu’s, 582 Roger Williams Ave. in Highland Park.

The theme this month, Passages, will be taken on by authors Christine Sneed, Jac Jemc, and Scott Garson. The night will end with live music by house band Good Evening.

The series is confirmed through October, on the third Thursday of each month. Space is limited and reservations are strongly recommended. RSVP at


Next week, Newcity, Chicago’s free weekly alternative newspaper, is publishing their annual Summer Guide, and they’re looking for submissions. According to head editor Brian Hieggleke, “It’s one of the most free-wheeling issues we publish all year, on one of our favorite subjects, summer in (and around) the city.”

Newcity is looking for a wide range of meditations on the season, from the trenchant essay to the wistful memoir, from the dream state to the concrete. While they are not actively soliciting poetry, they’re not ruling it out, either.

They are also looking for learned and practical insights into summer (how to pack a proper picnic for Pritzker Pavilion, how to make the perfect summer cocktail, how to bbq on the lakefront), regional travel service pieces (what’s shakin’ at the House on the Rock? Is Detroit really the Chicago of the future?), and even itsy bitsy bon mots about a few of your favorite things about summer in Chicago. Please be specific in your pitch letter.

See for an archive of previous summer issues and see their guidelines page for more information. The deadline for copy for the Summer Guide is Saturday, May 18th, but sooner is better.

Student News, a Student Reading, an Essay Contest, & More

Today in Student News: Congratulations to MAWP student Bethanie Hestermann, who just signed her first book contract with Chicago Review Press! Bethanie will be co-authoring a children’s book (ages 9+) tentatively called Zoology for Kids, along with her husband, Josh Hestermann.  Their book will be part of Chicago Review Press’ fall 2014 list. As Bethanie describes it, “The book will introduce young minds to the basic principles of animal life through hands-on activities, while providing a behind-the-scenes look at zookeeping, veterinary medicine, wildlife research, and conservation efforts.”

If you’d like to receive a heads up when the book is available to order, please email Bethanie at


In Faculty News: Make sure to check out Prof. Kathleen Rooney‘s piece in the New York Times magazine about teaching contemporary poetry and comedian Jack Handley, titled, “And Now, Deep Thoughts about ‘Deep Thoughts.'”

Prof. Rooney will also be reading her poetry at Curbside Splendor Publishing’s “Salon Splendor” event, a night of intimate readings, literary SalonSplendordiscussion, warm music, and world-class tea at Madame ZuZu’s Tea House. The topic of the night is “origins,” and reading along with Rooney will be Okla Elliot and James Tadd Adcox. There will be live music by Good Evening and the event will be hosted by Curbside Splendor’s Senior Editor, Jacob S. Knabb.

The event will take place from 8:00-10:00 p.m. on Friday, April 19th. Space is limited so reservations are strongly recommended. RSVP by email at


The University Center for Writing-based Learning would like to invite everyone to their next Aloud! Student Reading this Tuesday, April 16th, from 4:30-6:00 p.m. in the Student Center.


Featured readers include current MAWP students Maria Hlohowskyj, David Mathews, Jillian Merrifield, and Raul Palma, MAE alum Matthew Fledderjohann, undergraduates Elizabeth Kerper, Richard Rodriguez, Annie Baldwin, and more!


There’s just a few days left to enter the Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Essay Contest sponsored by DePaul’s Department of International Studies, Department of Geography, the African and Black Diaspora Studies Program, and the Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies Program.


In “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence” (1967), Martin Luther King calls for an anti-racist and internationalist response to oppression in its various guises. Taking King’s Vietnam speech as a starting point, this essay contest asks students to consider what such a speech might look like today.

The contest is open to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at DePaul University during the 2012-2013 academic year. Graduate students should submit an essay of 3000-3500 words, and there will be a $500 prize for the best graduate student essay.

See for important submission and formatting guidelines. The deadline for submission is April 15th, 2013.

Faculty News: Ted Anton’s Nonfiction Book Release

In Faculty News, we are excited to announce the upcoming release of Professor Ted Anton‘s new book, The Longevity Seekers: Science, Business and the Fountain of Youth, which will be released by the University of Chicago Press on May 1st, 2013.

In addition to The Longevity Seekers, Anton has written two other books, Bold Science: Seven Scientists Who Are Changing Our World (2001) and, Eros, Magic and the Murder of Professor Culianu (1996), and co-edited a collection called The New Science Journalist.

The Longevity Seekers is a nonfiction account of the scientific search for a longevity gene. From the press release:

longevityseekersPeople have searched for the fountain of youth everywhere from Bimini to St. Augustine. But for a steadfast group of scientists, the secret to a long life lies elsewhere: in the lowly lab worm. By changing the expression of just a few key genes, these scientists were able to lengthen worms’ lifespans up to ten-fold, while also controlling the onset of many of the physical problems that beset old age. As the global population ages, the potential impact of this discovery on society is vast—as is the potential for profit.

With The Longevity Seekers, science writer Ted Anton takes readers inside this tale that began with worms and branched out to snare innovative minds from California to Crete, investments from big biotech, and endorsements from TV personalities like Oprah and Dr. Oz. Some of the research was remarkable, such as the discovery of an enzyme in humans that stops cells from aging. And some, like an oft-cited study touting the compound resveratrol, found in red wine—proved highly controversial, igniting a science war over truth, credit, and potential profit. As the pace of discovery accelerated, so too did powerful personal rivalries and public fascination, driven by the hope that a longer, healthier life was right around the corner. Anton has spent years interviewing and working with the scientists at the frontier of longevity science, and this book offers a behind-the-scenes look at the state-of-the-art research and the impact it might have on global public health, society, and even our friends and family.

With spectacular science and an unforgettable cast of characters, The Longevity Seekers has all the elements of a great story and sheds light on discoveries that could fundamentally reshape human life.

“If live to be 150 — and thanks to Ted Anton I now know how – I doubt I will ever read a book about the
science of aging as enthralling as The Longevity Seekers. John Seabrook, New Yorker

“Research, money, and ego are the basic ingredients in the modern day quest to live longer—or forever. Ted Anton takes us into the laboratories and boardrooms in the worldwide competition for longevity, and with expertise and wit tells a wondrous story of contemporary science.”   Daniel S. Greenberg, author of Science for Sale

Although The Longevity Seekers doesn’t hit the shelves until May 1st, the DePaul community has a special chance to hear Anton read from the book TONIGHT. Please join Prof. Anton and the Visiting Writers Program on Monday, April 8th at 6:00 pm in the Richardson Library room 115 for this event, which is free and open to the public. You can see the details and the event flyer in this previous post.

Anton will be doing another reading event for The Longevity Seekers in May at DePaul’s Loop campus. Please check back with Ex Libris to find out when the date, time, and location of this reading are announced.