On Campus Readings with Debra Bruce & Barrie Jean Borich

Open Mic FlyerDePaul’s Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Society, is hosting a poetry open mic night with special guest Debra Bruce on Friday, May 31st from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in Arts & Letters Hall room 404. During the first hour, students are welcome to read their original works of poetry, no registration necessary. For the second half of the event, Debra Bruce will be reading from her recently published collection of poems, Survivor’s Picnic.

Debra Bruce’s fourth book of poetry, Survivors’ Picnic, is just out from Word Press/Word Tech Editions. Her previous collections include Pure Daughter and Sudden Hunger, both from the University of Arkansas Press, and What Wind Will Do, from Miami University Press. She has published widely in journals including The Atlantic, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Virginia Quarterly Review, and others.

Bruce’s writing has received the Carl Sandburg Poetry Award, as well as grants and prizes from the National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, Poetry Society of America, and Poetry magazine.  She is a professor emeritus at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.

The rich language of Debra Bruce’s Survivors’ Picnic—whether she’s meditating on cancer survival, describing the nervous colleagues of a transgendered secretary, or playfully satirizing a divorce support group—is sensual in its caress of the world, its music cascading into semi-formal free verse as well as sonnets, villanelles, and pantoums.

Survivors Picnic is full of generous poems, their rifts loaded with ore. From pithy narratives to evocative lyrics, these are poems that can take us out of ourselves, by a poet who has learned her art, who knows that poetry is song at heart. Brava, Debra Bruce!”–Annie Finch

“Debra Bruce’s poetry is a secret treasure–to be discovered and read and re-read. Every lover of language can partake of Bruce’s passionate picnic.” — Molly Peacock

Be sure to check out the event’s Facebook page, facebook.com/events/155132487992980

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The Visiting Writers Series is excited to announce that their next reading will be by DePaul’s own Barrie Jean Borich. Please join them on Thursday, May 21st, at 6:00 p.m. in the Richardson Library room 115 to hear Borich read from and discuss her newest work, Body Geographic.

Barrie Jean Borich is the author of My Lesbian Husband, winner of the American Library Association Stonewall Book Award. Her new book, Body Geographic is published in the American Lives Series of the University of Nebraska Press. She’s the recipient of the 2010 Florida Review Editor’s Prize in the Essay and the 2010 Crab Orchard Review Literary Nonfiction Prize, and her work has been named Notable in Best American Essays and Best American Non-Required Reading. She was the first nonfiction editor of the Water~Stone Review and a longtime faculty member in the Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is currently a member of the creative writing faculty of the English Department and the MA in Writing and Publishing program at Chicago’s DePaul University and splits her time between Minneapolis and Chicago.

One coordinate of Borich’s story is Chicago, the prototypical Great Lakes port city built by immigrants like her great-grandfather Big Petar, and the other is her own port of immigration, Minneapolis, the combined skylines of these two cities tattooed on Borich’s own back. Between Chicago and Minneapolis Borich maps her own Midwest, a true heartland in which she measures the distance between the dreams and realities of her own life, her family’s, and her fellow travelers’ in the endless American migration. Covering rough terrain—from the hardships of her immigrant ancestors to the travails of her often-drunk young self, longing to be madly awake in the world, from the changing demographics of midwestern cities to the personal transformations of coming out and living as a lesbian—Body Geographic is cartography of high literary order, plotting routes, real and imagined, and putting an alternate landscape on the map.

“Body Geographic is as astonishingly original as it is profoundly humane. Barrie Jean Borich writes of the body, the psyche, the land, and real life with a reach so grand and a mastery so definitive it clutches the heart. This is a beautiful, bold, blow-your-mind book.”–Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

This event is free and open to the public.

Gregory Martin on Campus, Publishing Career Panel, & A Job Posting

Martin VWThe Visiting Writers Program Welcomes author Gregory Martin to DePaul TOMORROW, Thursday, April 25th, at 6:00 p.m. in the Richardson Library room 115.

In his memoir Stories for Boys, Gregory Martin struggles to reconcile the father he thought he knew with a man who has just survived a suicide attempt; a man who had been having anonymous affairs with men throughout his thirty-nine years of marriage; and who now must begin his life as a gay man. At a tipping point in our national conversation about gender and sexuality, rights and acceptance, Stories for Boys is about a father and a son finding a way to build a new relationship with one another after years of suppression and denial are given air and light.

Martin’s memoir is quirky and compelling with its amateur photos and grab-bag social science and literary analyses. Gregory Martin explores the impact his father’s lifelong secrets have upon his life now as a husband and father of two young boys with humor and bracing candor. Stories for Boys is resonant with conflicting emotions and the complexities of family sympathy, and asks the questions: How well do we know the people that we think we know the best? And how much do we have to know in order to keep loving them?

“Stories for Boys is a magnetic meditation on what happens when a decades-long lie is brutally revealed. Moving, brave, and unforgettable, this deeply personal book pushes us all further into the light.”–Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

Gregory Martin’s work has appeared in The Sun, The Kenyon Review Online, Creative Nonfiction, Storyquarterly, The Writer, Witness, and elsewhere. Stories for Boys (Hawthorne Books) was named a Discover Great New Writers selection by Barnes & Noble for Holiday 2012. Martin’s first book, Mountain City, received a Washington State Book Award, was named a New York Times Notable Book. He is an Associate Professor of English at the University of New Mexico and serves as Director of UNM’s Combined BA/MD Degree Program.  He lives in Albuquerque with his wife and two sons.

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HowToBecomePublisher

The next English Department Career Panel is “How to Become a Publisher,” and it’s taking place on Monday, May 13th from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in Arts & Letters Hall room 109. Three Chicago publishers, Albert DeGenova, Wendy McClure, and Doug Siebold, will discuss their careers and their presses. Their presentations will be followed by a 30-minute Q&A.

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to hear from these three great industry professionals right here on campus.

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The literacy department at Open Books is looking for an intelligent, upbeat, and experienced education-aficionado to join their team as the nonprofit’s very first Teen Programs Manager.

Responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing the day-to-day operations of current teen programs
  • Assisting the literacy team in the development and implementation of new teen programs
  • Supervising a rotating group of talent, which may include a part-time Open Books Fellow and multiple Literacy Interns
  • Creating and executing ongoing strategies to recruit new school partners and scale program enrollment
  • Developing and maintaining effective relationships with schools, community groups, and other partners to further the Open Books mission

A complete list of responsibilities and requirements, as well as instructions on how to apply, is available at open-books.org/jobapps/jobapp-teenprogramsmgr.

Please apply as soon as possible and no later than May 15th, 2013.

Faculty News: Barrie Jean Borich Releases New Memoir

In today’s Faculty News, we extend our congratulations to Prof. Barrie Jean Borich. Borich joined DePaul’s creative writing faculty last fall, and this spring she is celebrating the release of her third creative nonfiction book, Body Geographic. Body Geographic is published by the University of Nebraska Press and was selected for inclusion in the American Lives Series, edited by Tobias Wolff.

From the official press release:

A memoir from the award-winning author of My Lesbian Husband, Barrie Jean Borich’s Body Geographic 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.

One coordinate of Borich’s story is Chicago, the prototypical Great Lakes port city built by immigrants like her great-grandfather Big Petar, and bodygeographicthe other is her own port of immigration, Minneapolis, the combined skylines of these two cities tattooed on Borich’s own back. Between Chicago and Minneapolis Borich maps her own Midwest, a true heartland in which she measures the distance between the dreams and realities of her own life, her family’s, and her fellow travelers’ in the endless American migration. Covering rough terrain—from the hardships of her immigrant ancestors to the travails of her often-drunk young self, longing to be madly awake in the world, from the changing demographics of Midwestern cities to the personal transformations of coming out and living as a lesbian— Body Geographic is cartography of high literary order, plotting routes, real and imagined, and putting an alternate landscape on the map.

Body Geographic is as astonishingly original as it is profoundly humane. Barrie Jean Borich writes of the body, the psyche, the land, and real life with a reach so grand and a mastery so definitive it clutches the heart. This is a beautiful, bold, blow-your-mind book.”
—Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

Body Geographic is dizzying in its inward sweep, daring in its out-flung absorption. Barrie Jean Borich tunnels through time, space, sex, and language to give us a new map projection of the North American continent, a distortion that not only clarifies and illuminates but dissolves for good the boundary between personal and public history.”
—Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home and Are You My Mother?

“Borich maps place and body, time and space, personal history and the history of the American Midwest, in prose that makes me want to follow her daring journey wherever it leads. A glorious new take on the memoir form.”
—Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic and Desire

The Chicago leg of Borich’s Body Geographic book tour starts next month and includes the following events:

Friday, April 12th,  2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Body Geographic‘s Chicago book launch
Barrie Jean Borich reading from BODY GEOGRAPHIC
Melanie Hoffert reading from PRAIRIE SILENCE
Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark St.

Thursday, May 9th,  2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Barrie Jean Borich reading from BODY GEOGRAPHIC
Rachael Hanel reading from WE’LL BE THE LAST ONES TO LET YOU DOWN
The Book Cellar Chicago, 4736-38 N Lincoln Ave.

Tuesday, May 21st,  2013 at 6:00 p.m.
DePaul University Writers’ Series
Richardson Library, Room 115

Passionate Professors Flyer

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Borich will also be one of two professors featured in Sigma Tau Delta’s “Passionate Professors” event taking place tomorrow, Tuesday, March 12th from 5-7 p.m. in Room 202 of Arts & Letters Hall.

Christine Sneed will be the other featured professor, and both will be discussing their recently released books.

See the flyer for more details.

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Finally, there’s a way to get even more involved in the Body Geographic book launch. From now until March 16th, Borich is asking everyone to create a visual response— a photo, a drawing, etc.,– to the prompt “The Map That Made Me.”

You can email your image to bodygeographic@gmail.com, post the map on the Barrie Borich WHAT IS THE MAP THAT MADE YOU_Nonfiction-Universe Facebook page, or tweet your map with some kind of identifying info @BOOKofBJB.

The goal of the project is to post as many maps as possible, as an “autogeography slide show” online as a visual community conversation about places, bodies, and memories. All invited to participate, and you do not have to be an artist.

Click to enlarge the flyer for complete details.

For more information about Borich, Body Geographic, and “The Map That Made Me,”– including a book trailer– visit barriejeanborich.com.

Invitation to a Special Steppenwolf Performance and More

How Long Will I Cry March 18 Invitation

For the past two years, creative writing students from DePaul have been traveling all over the city to interview Chicagoans about youth violence. This undertaking—part of a unique partnership between DePaul and Steppenwolf Theatre—is finally coming to fruition.

How Long Will I Cry?: Voices of Youth Violence premieres at Steppenwolf Theatre this week. The play was recently written up in Time Out Chicago magazine, and you can read the article at timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/16052251/how-long-will-i-cry-at-steppenwolf.

The English Department would like to invite you and a guest to a special performance of the play at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 18th at Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted. This event—sponsored by DePaul’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity—will honor those who made the oral-history project happen: our own creative-writing students, as well as the people from all over Chicago who welcomed them into their lives and their hearts.

Admission is free for DePaul guests—but seating is extremely limited. Reservations must be made no later than noon on Friday, March 8th. If you are certain that you will attend, follow the attached instructions and reserve your seats right away. Tickets will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis. Because supply is so limited, out of respect for other guests, please refrain from reserving seats unless you’re absolutely certain you’ll be able to attend.

Tickets can be reserved at: steppenwolf.org/Plays-Events/Calendar/RSVP.

If the March 18th event doesn’t fit into your schedule, you can attend the play at one of the other public showings, either at Steppenwolf Theatre or on tour at Chicago Public Library branches in areas affected by youth violence. Tickets for all performances are going fast, so please act quickly. You can find out more here:steppenwolf.org/Plays-Events/productions/index.aspx?id=572

Many other narratives from this project are being used in the book, also entitled How Long Will I Cry?: Voices of Youth Violence, which will be published by DePaul’s new Outreach Press this spring. Please keep an eye out for more information about that project in the coming weeks.

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Award-winning poet Debra Bruce will be reading from her latest collection, Survivor’s Picnic, at Northeastern Illinois University on Monday, March 4th, along with several NEIU alumni poets–including current MAWP student David Mathews.

David, along with Laura Jean Bailey, Larry Dean, Elisa Karbin, Lani Montreal, Valerie Pell, and Maggie Ward, will be reading with Bruce at 7:15 p.m. in the Golden Eagles Room of the NEIU Student Union, located at 5500 N. St. Louis Ave., Chicago IL 60625. This event is free and open to the public.

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Crab Orchard Review is now accepting entries to its 2013 Student Writing Awards in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry. One winner will be chosen in each category (fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry). The three category winners will each receive an award payment of $500 and be published in the 2014 Winter/Spring issue of Crab Orchard Review.

Guidelines: The award competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents currently enrolled (at the time of the submission period) full- or part-time in a U.S. college or university. All entries will be screened by published and accomplished writers and editors. Entries must be previously unpublished, original work written in English. Simultaneous submissions are considered, but an entry is ineligible to win if accepted for publication elsewhere.

All entries must be submitted online by March 18th, 2013 (entries will be accepted until 11:59:59 PM (Central Time)). All entrants will be notified of results by email.

Page Restrictions: Prose entry length: up to 4000 words for fiction or for literary nonfiction. Poetry entry length: one poem only, up to 3 pages in length. Entrants may only submit one story, one nonfiction piece, or one poem. Do not submit work in more than one genre.

Entry Fee: Beginning in 2013, there will be a small processing fee ($3.00) to pay for the cost of the online submission system. All entries must be made online.

You can find complete guidelines and submit your work at craborchardreview.submittable.com/submit.

Poetry Night, Love on the Road, and a Publishing Job

Design Cloud would like to invite the Depaul English department to join them on Thursday, February 21st for their first ever Poetry Night.

poetrynightPoetry Night will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Scheduled readings will fill the first hour and any and all interested poets are invited to read their work during an open mic portion during the second hour. Featured Readers include Matthew Corey, Susan Hogan, Paul Luikart, Jason Noah and Mylo Reyes.

There will be a $5 suggested donation.

Design Cloud describes themselves as, “an innovative space, a collective resource, a culture which allows our best work to be realized. At our core we are passionate creatives doing what we love. Our studio is also an art gallery fostering rising Chicago artists and curators. The intersection of art and design is our source of constant inspiration.”

Poetry Night is being held in conjunction with the Peculiar Poetics exhibition, February 1st – March 5th, 2013. Peculiar Poetics is an exhibition showcasing artists who reinvent the ordinary functions of objects into situations and moments of visual poetry, likewise poets use language to create visuals.  Poetry Night is an effort to show the importance of visual and verbal expression in both creative practices.

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An new literary project called Love on the Road has issued a call for submissions. Love on the Road 2013 will be an anthology of stories about making LOTR2013connections, from heartfelt ones ending in weddings to less high-minded ones ending in beds (or wherever). Half the stories will be about travelers meeting people far from home, and the other half about people meeting travelers passing through.

Writers can submit their 5,000-word stories any time before March 31st, 2013. There is a $10 reading fee. Two editors will choose the best 12 stories for publication and send them to a panel of judges, which includes writers and literary agents. They will pick the stories that will win the cash prizes of $200, $100 and $50.

You find out more about this anthology and how to submit at loveontheroad2013.com.

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And finally, a job opening: Chicago Review Press is seeking a Project Editor. This is a full-time position with benefits.

The project editor handles book production from approved manuscript to print for approximately 20 books a year. He or she coordinates with acquisition editors, authors, copy editors, proofreaders, indexers, and designers to shepherd books through the production process. The project editor is responsible for following schedules to meet publication dates and is directly supervised by the managing editor. He or she is expected to participate in meetings to evaluate proposals, titles, and covers. The ideal candidate has strong communication, organizational, and project/time management skills and is detail-oriented, fluent in Microsoft Word and Excel, and an experienced user of the Chicago Manual of Style. A minimum of one year of publishing experience is required. Interested candidates should forward a resume to Cynthia Sherry, Publisher, Chicago Review Press, 814 N. Franklin Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60610, e-mail csherry@chicagoreviewpress.com.

Jen Percy and Alastair Bonnett on Campus

PercyFlyer2

The DePaul Visiting Writers’ Series is excited to announce that nonfiction writer Jen Percy will be doing a reading at DePaul on February 20th at 6 p.m. in Richardson 115. Percy will be reading from her upcoming nonfiction novel Demon Camp, which begins with the story of a Special Ops soldier who believes his PTSD is caused by demons, but becomes about the author’s obsession with the strange and mesmerizing world she encounters. Here is the description from the Visiting Writers’ Series coordinator, Prof. Rebecca Johns-Trissler:

Rising star alert! Jen Percy spent three years with a group of Christians in rural Georgia who performs exorcisms on the traumatized. Percy was brought to them by a special Ops soldier just back from Afghanistan, the lone survivor of his unit, which was lost during Operation Redwings. He returned to Georgia and, struggling with PTSD and unable to integrate back into civilian life, considered suicide, until—as a last resort—he underwent an exorcism. After experiencing relief, he set out on a mission to bring soldiers from across America to Georgia for a similar deliverance.

In the tradition of Dennis Covington’s Salvation on Sand Mountain, Demon Camp is the strange and riveting tale of Percy’s journey into a world she is fascinated by, suspicious of, sympathetic to, and a world she becomes a part of. As she struggles to understand this soldier’s homecoming she crosses the line between journalist and participant, becoming exorcised herself.

This is a book about being haunted; about the demons in and outside of us. It is about a soldier looking for atonement in a world that is offering none; an agnostic who is obsessed with an exorcist. It is a mesmerizing account of how people reconcile faith and trauma and a brilliant and passionate work that heralds the arrival of a brave, new talent.

This event is free and open to the public.

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bonnett 02-28-13 finver feb6All students are invited to attend the next event in the DePaul Humanities Center‘s ’12-’13 series exploring Nostalgia and the Age of the Enlightenment. “The Problem of the Past in English Socialism” will be presented by Alastair Bonnett on Thursday, February 28th, at 6:00 p.m.,  McGowan South, room 104 (please note that this is an updated time and location than originally advertised).

Recent years have seen a numerous explorations of the nostalgic content of socialism and other nineteenth century radical traditions. Returning to this disputed territory through the political thinking of Thomas Spence (1750-1814)–one of the putative founders of the English socialist tradition–Bonnett will describe and discuss the invention of Spence as an anti-nostalgic working-class revolutionary hero by late Victorian radicals. This ‘invention’ is introduced as an episode in a struggle over the place of the past in socialism. It was a struggle which the modernisers won, pushing ‘conservative radicals’ like William Morris or Robert Blatchford to the edges of the debate, and ensuring that the nostalgic content found in Spence was ignored.  Bonnett will also make a case for Spence as a political actor who must be judged in his own terms. His insistence that politics is about having ‘plans’ for the future, and a yearning sense of loss for the land and old freedoms suggest he is best understood as a utopian. However, the fact that the British Parliament made gatherings of ‘Spenceans’ illegal in 1817 indicates that his ideas may have had at least some popular support.

Alastair Bonnett is Professor of Social Geography in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University (UK). He is the author of Left in the Past: Radicalism and the Politics of Nostalgia (Continuum, 2010) and The Idea of the West: Politics, Culture and History (Macmillan, 2004), and White Identities: Historical and International Perspectives (Longman, 1999). Bonnett has also written extensively on psychogeography and the geographical avant-garde, and runs a web site about Thomas Spence: thomas-spence-society.co.uk.

The Writers Guild’s Live Student Reading

The Writers Guild, part of the University Center for Writing-based Learning’s Writing Groups program, is hosting a student reading next week at the DePaul Student Center.

AloudReadingGrayWQ

The event, titled “Aloud!,” will take place on Monday, February 11th, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the Student Center atrium, and will feature poetry, fiction, and essays by undergraduate and graduate students in the DePaul English department who have been participating in the Writers Guild. Readers include Emma Cushman Wood, Maria Genovese, Elizabeth Kerper, David Mathews, Jillian Merrifield, Raul Palma, Richard Rodriguez, and Justin Staley.

All are invited to come and support them and hear their exciting new work at this free reading.