Greetings Fall 2013

On behalf of the graduate faculty in the Department of English, we would like to welcome the fifty students who will begin their master’s studies this warm September.

For our friends and students returning to DePaul after a summer of adventure, literature, and stories, we extend a warm greeting and a blank page. We’re very excited to read the new poems, stories, and ideas summer break has inspired.

Prof. Ted Anton

I’m delighted to fill in for Prof. Michele Morano as Acting Director of the MA program in Writing and Publishing this fall and look forward to working with all of you. This year we have a particularly robust slate of courses in both areas of our program, from fiction, poetry, nonfiction and multi-genre workshops to classes in digital publishing, literary editing, and the independent press.exlibris2 We’re also thrilled to welcome back professor and poet Chris Green as our dedicated internship coordinator. Prof. Rebecca Johns-Trissler is putting together a terrific slate of visiting writers for the year, and we’re planning a number of events to showcase the work of both graduate students and faculty members. Keep an eye on Ex Libris for campus events and meetings, and consider becoming involved in the English Graduate Students Association (EGSA). In the meantime, please stop by my office in 312-23 Arts and Letters Hall and say hello.

Prof. John Shanahan

This is an exciting time in the Master’s in English program. We are running innovative new literature seminars this year such as Prof. Marcy Dinius’ “Topics in Digital Humanities,” Prof. Rich Squibbs’ course on the relations between the country and the city in the long 18th century, and Prof. Anne Clark Bartlett’s “Topics in Medieval Literature: Women Writing, Writing About Women.” We will continue to offer more courses in literature of all periods and in teaching topics. I believe that a vibrant and rigorous Master’s degree is a vital resource in today’s economy, and a report on the Master’s degree in English issued in June 2011 by the Modern Language Association confirms that our curriculum, for which training in pedagogy is stressed as well as original research, is ahead of the curve of national practice. I intend in the coming years to do all that I can to enhance the program further and to continue to foster excellent scholars and teachers. We can look forward this year to visiting writers, student socials and readings, faculty lectures, and the Spring Conference. Please feel free to make an appointment to speak with me so we can discuss your academic plans.

ExLibrisOneJosh Fisher, a first-year student and Graduate Assistant in the Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing, is the new editor of Ex Libris. He will be in charge of keeping the online newsletter and magazine up to date. Share any information or news on yourself, programs, events, and organizations that would interest students and faculty in the MAE and MAWP programs. He is excited to announce that Ex Libris will be experiencing a facelift this year. The new design will make it easier to access resources and news from your mobile device and computer. If you have any new features or ideas that you believe would take Ex Libris to the next level or may interest students, feel free to email Josh at JFISHE33@depaul.edu

Graduate students are being called to rally behind the English Graduate Student Association. There will be exciting developments in the coming weeks and the EGSA is looking for new members. Those looking to take on a leadership role are encouraged to apply. For information about EGSA activities, check the Ex Libris blog.

Best wishes for a successful fall quarter and an exciting, rewarding academic year. Graduate study is hectic, challenging, draining, but also exhilarating, fulfilling, and all too short. Come June 2013 (2014, 2015, …) we will see you cross the stage at the commencement ceremony to receive your Master of Arts degree. With this you will commence the next stage of your life as a thinker, scholar, reader, and writer.

Very best wishes,
John Shanahan and Ted Anton

On How I Got Six Essays Published in MQR: Guest Post by Zhanna Vaynberg

Earlier this week, we received an exciting piece of Alumni News: after a long wait, MAWP graduate Zhanna Vaynberg‘s series of six short essays had finally gotten published in the Michigan Quarterly Review. We asked Zhanna how this unusual publishing contract had come about, and when she sat down to write out an answer, the story turned out to be quite long. We’re posting Zhanna’s story here as a guest post in hopes that it interests those of you looking to publish your writing in literary journals– and we would like to send Zhanna our thanks and congratulations!

On how I got six essays published in MQR’s winter 2013 issue:

Back in December of 2011, I e-mailed Michigan Quarterly Review asking if they’d had a chance to read over a short-short called “Roots” I’d sent them in the mail back in August (I was new to the whole submitting process, or I would’ve known that four months was basically one second in magazine-publishing time). Surprisingly, I got an e-mail the very next day from Jonathan Freedman, the head editor, saying that he’d just read it — I think it had gotten misplaced or they just had forgotten about it or something — and while he’d really enjoyed the essay, they just didn’t publish things that short (it was about a page long). He said, however, that he’d be happy to read something else I’d written. So I sent him two things — one of which was a short fiction piece that Bellevue Literary Review ended up publishing in fall, the other, a piece I’m still working on. His response was basically “I love your writing, but these aren’t stories that I want to publish.” Which I wasn’t offended about at all, because at that point both of them were quite old, and my writing had moved far past it. Then Jonathan presented me with a challenge. He said that the original story, ‘Roots,” which was basically about the ambivalence I’d felt towards my Ukrainian upbringing, had really stuck with him, and what if I wrote 5-6 more short pieces like it — in his words, something “world-weary in the best Russo-Jewish-American-Chicago way” — and he would publish them together?

We then went on to have a very long e-mail exchange that ranged in topics from our mutual hatred of Jerusalem (coincidentally, also a subject of one of the essays) to whatever happened to CBGB’s (it’s now an outlet store) to the best Thai food in Chicago (Thai Avenue on Broadway and Argyle). Then I didn’t really hear from him again until March or April of 2012. Meanwhile, I had just finished up the DePaul MAWP program, and after taking Michele Morano’s Travel Writing course was honestly a bit fed up with writing nonfiction and really didn’t want to do it again; and that is in no way to say I did not like Michele Morano or that class — I loved that class, and I think Michele Morano is one of the best professors out there (in fact, that I write nonfiction at all can be entirely traced back to a summer multi-genre course she taught, and four of the six essays in this bunch were originally written in classes she taught). It’s just that I don’t enjoy writing nonfiction all that much. I’ve always been a fiction person; even though much of it is intertwined with real experiences I’ve had or people I know, I like being able to play around with facts, and to hide behind that curtain of “it’s fiction!” anytime someone asks how much of a story I’d written was true. I wanted to get back to that.

However, it had been a few months already since we’d discussed the possibility of a collection of essays, and Jonathan asked me, in a very friendly way, if I had made any progress on our little project. I’d had some early drafts of two of the essays that would eventually end up in the issue, but I hadn’t really been working on it much. I’d also been published a few times by then, so I wasn’t in a big rush at this point. However, after a few weeks of relishing my post-grad-school freedom, I did slowly begin working on them again because I am an anxious person and don’t like to leave things unfinished. By July I had about half of them done and sent away to Jonathan. He wanted more — I wrote more. Then, just when I thought I had a good batch, five total, and would never have to write nonfiction again, he said “Yes, I’ll take them! But you have to write one more; something more current.” (All of the essays took place circa 2005 – 2010.) Luckily, it was nearly September, and my sister’s wedding was coming up — what better occasion to write about the authentic Russian-Jewish experience? So, even though it was very strange to write something I knew was for sure going to get published, and even though I’d drunk enough vodka to make an elephant pass out, I still managed to remember enough of the event to write a final essay about the experience. It wasn’t intended to tie together all the other essays in a neat bow or anything cheesy like that, but in a subtle way, there was a somewhat final tone to it. A little bit after that, I found a title to encompass all of them — as much as I could, away, considering each one is a separate entity to me. Then it was just a matter of waiting. First, it was supposed to go into the fall issue, but it didn’t fit — then, the winter issue, which was supposed to come out some months ago. Now, two days before May, the issue has finally been released! End of very long-winded story.

I’m actually very appreciative of the whole experience — it definitely helps to have deadlines and someone pushing you along so you don’t get too lazy, especially when you’re just out of school. Now that I’m used to being on my own, I have no problem writing on a pretty regular basis, but who knows if I’d still be at that point without having had that goal to work towards. And of course, the very patient Jonathan Freedman, who really gives magazine editors a good name.

You can order the Winter 2013 issue of Michigan Quarterly Review at michiganquarterlyreview.com/2013/04/winter-2013.

Threshold’s Extended Deadline, Alumni News, and More

Threshold, DePaul’s annual literary arts journal, is extending their deadline for submissions through March 8th, 2013, at 11:59 p.m. Guidelines are the same as before and can be found on Threshold‘s tumblr account, as well as the previous Ex Libris call for submissions. This is your last chance to send your work in to DePaul’s award-winning student-run publication!

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In Alumni News, Rita Leganski (MAWP ’09) wrote a short story for Dan Stolar’s fiction class back in 2009 and then turned it into a novel that was bonaventurearrowacquired by HarperCollins. The book, The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow, a magical realist tale in the Southern Gothic tradition, debuts on February 26th in wide release. It was selected as the March Indie Next Pick by Independent Bookstores (American Booksellers Association) and as the April Next Pick by Indigo Bookstores in Canada. It’s been named an Adult Book for Teens and is listed in Academic One File. Library Journal included it as one of the seven debuts to watch, and Doubleday acquired rights to put it out in hardcover as a Book of the Month Club selection.

Rita will be doing a reading and book-signing at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville this Wednesday, February 27th, at 7:00 p.m.  Anderson’s is located at 123 W. Jefferson Ave.

The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow has already received significant praise, including the following:

“Suffused with the mystical charm of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou, Leganski’s lyrical debut novel conjures dreams of voodoo, the power of healing, and the distinction between hearing and listening. This extraordinary, evocative novel will cast a spell over fans of magical realism.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“Magically evocative. . . . The prose is lyrically rhythmic . . . A fine novel about love, loss, revenge and forgiveness.” — Kirkus Reviews

“This mystical fairy tale set in a 1950s-era Louisiana rife with religion, superstition, and tradition draws you in from the wondrous first page. Silence has never been so boundlessly eloquent.” — Booklist

“Lyrical.” — Publishers Weekly

Congratulations, Rita!

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historyconfDePaul’s History Department has issued a call for papers for the Ninth Annual Student History Conference on April 26th, 2013. Every year the history department invites undergraduate and graduate students to submit their historical research of any kind—papers, posters, digital projects—for inclusion in the day-long conference. Work does not have to be completed in a history department course, it just has be historical in nature.

You can submit any historical work you have done in any undergraduate or graduate course at DePaul University from Spring Quarter 2012 through Winter Quarter 2013. In particular, you can send them:

  • Primary-source-based research papers
  • Historiographical papers
  • Copies of history posters or web pages

The deadline to submit your work is Friday, April 5th. Information about the conference can be found at the “Student History Conference” page under “Student Resources” on our department website.

Prizes will be awarded for the best papers and projects. In addition, a selected paper will be published in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences journal Creating Knowledge.

You can sumbit your papers here.

Alumni News and a Digication Workshop

In Alumni News: Lindsay Branca (MAWP ’12) is happy to share that she was recently hired as a Proposal Writer at GTECH, whose world headquarters is located in Providence, RI. Congratulations, Lindsay! You can read more about GTECH and what they do on their website.

If you’re an alumni or current student of DePaul’s English Graduate Programs with news to share about a job, publication, conference, or anything else related to your degree, please contact Maria at mhlohows@depaul.edu!

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-HANDS ON TRAINING FOR DIGICATION E-PORTFOLIOS-

If you’re an MAE student graduating this year, you’re probably already working on your Digication e-Portfolio. The English Department is happy to offer hands-on training on how to make your Digication e-Portfolio a work of art!

All MAE students are welcome. Whether you know the basics of Digication or not, this workshop can help you take advantage of advanced design principles.

This workshop for MAE students, led by experienced Digication designers, will teach advanced skills for portfolio creation and expansion. The workshop instructors will help you create new modules, materials, and media.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, March 9th, 2013, from 10-11:30 a.m., in SAC 240 (Computer Lab).

Alumni News & A Conference Invitation

jimkrauscatIn Alumni News: Jim Kraus (MAW 2008) is pleased to announce the publication of his 22nd book, a novel entitled The Cat That God Sent. It will be released this spring by Abingdon Press.

His previous novel with Abingdon, The Dog That Talked to God, spent two months on the CBA Best Seller list. Congratulations, Jim.

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The Department of Visual Arts at Western University in London, Ontario, is pleased to present (Re)Activating Objects: Social (Re)Activating-Objects_POSTERTheory and Material Culture, a three-day interdisciplinary graduate conference, and has extended a special invitation to all DePaul graduate students. Taking place from March 1-3, 2013, the conference will bring together presenters from across Canada and the United States to look at the fundamental and theoretical questions about the systemic structure of our socio-cultural-economic worlds.

The weekend will start off on Friday, March 1st with a keynote talk by Dr. Lane Relyea, Chair of Art Theory & Practice from Northwestern University and editor of Art Journal, on social contracts, DIY Culture, and everyday art. Following this, the McIntosh Gallery is hosting a Friday night reception, and everyone is invited to attend. Saturday and Sunday will be filled with 60 conference presentations. For more information about the conference program, check out: reactivatingobjects.wordpress.com/abstracts.

If you are interested in attending, please register online at reactivatingobjects.wordpress.com/registrationRegistration is FREE, and it includes admission to the Friday-night reception, admission to the sessions, and coffee and snacks throughout the weekend.

Student & Alumni News and More

DePaul English Graduate students had a very productive winter break– we received announcements from the following students about their recent awards and publications. Are you a student or graduate with news to share about an award, publication, job, or other accomplishment related to your degree? Email Maria at mhlohows@depaul.edu to be featured in Ex Libris’s Student & Alumni News.

Congratulations to Bethany Brownholtz (M.A.W.P. ’12) on getting a poem published in the December 2012 edition of Broad Magazine, the online publication of Loyola University Chicago’s Women’s Studies & Gender Studies department. Bethany’s poem, entitled “What it’s like to look at her legs,” can be read along with the rest of the issue here.

Congratulations as well to current M.A.W.P. student Mikki Kendall, who has had a nonfiction essay published on the web magazine xoJane. Click over to xojane.com/entertainment/on-behalf-of-willow-smith-and-girls-like-her-shut-up to read Mikki’s essay, entitled “On Behalf Of Willow Smith And Girls Like Her: Shut Up And Keep Your Concerns To Yourself.”

And finally, congratulations to Raul Palma, also a current M.A.W.P. student, who recently had one short story published and other pieces place in two writing contests. Raul’s story “Amaranthus,” which he originally wrote for Christine Sneed’s Triptych class in fall 2012, was published by 34th Parallel literary magazine. Another short story of his, “Obsolescence,” was a finalist in Cutthroat Magazine‘s 2012 Rick DeMarinis Short Story Contest, and an excerpt from Immaculate, a novella he produced in Amina Gautier’s Novella Writing class last winter, placed in Glimmer Train literary magazine’s Family Matters contest.

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Lastly, a brief reminder: Are you a current or prospective DePaul English graduate student interested in pursing a graduate assistantship for the 2013-2014 school year? If so, please note that there are only five days left to get your applications in before the deadline of January 15th, 2013.

See las.depaul.edu/english/Programs/Graduate/About/Graduate_Assistantships for complete details.

Another Publishing Internship Opportunity, Alumni News, & More

Current students, have you done your Online Teaching Evaluations? You have until midnight tonight, November 13th to (anonymously) tell the DePaul English Faculty how they’re doing. Check your email or Campus Connect for links to your evaluations.

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Wicker Park Press, a ten-year-old independent book publisher in Chicago, has an internship opportunity available for students interested in small/independent presses.  Wicker Park Press is looking for energetic self-starters who can help utilize a great website platform and put some creative campaigns and web marketing tools together to promote the company’s books.

Site to work is 363 W Erie St Suite 4W Chicago, IL 60654. Hours flexible. Contact Eric Miller at 773-391-1199 or email eric@3ibooks.com

If you are a current DePaul English graduate student interested in receiving academic credit for this or any other internship, please check your email for instructions and contact Prof. Chris Green at cgreen1@depaul.edu with any other questions or concerns.

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In Alumni News, those familiar with DePaul Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) may have noticed a familiar name on the organization’s blog today. Marcy Ferrey (M.A.W.P. 12) is a new ASK mentor and has written a piece for their blog on the value of internships.  You can read Marcy’s post, in which she shares the lessons she learned through her undergraduate and graduate internships, at bit.ly/ASKMarcyFarreyNov2012.

Marcy is in the ASK directory, available through DePaul.Experience, and students and alumni can connect with her or any of the other ASK mentors (all DePaul alumni in a variety of fields) directly for one-on-one mentoring. For more information on how to connect with an ASK mentor, please visit ask.depaul.edu/Students/MentoringandAdvice.