English Departmet Updates

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the annual DePaul Fest Concert taking place on campus TODAY, May 24th, 2013, Public Safety will be closing Arts and Letters Hall at 5:30 p.m.  The English department offices will close at 5:30 as well.

And don’t forget, the University and English Department Offices are closed on Monday, May 27th in observance of Memorial Day. There will be no Monday classes, and the office will resume regular hours on Tuesday, May 28th.


Sigma Tau Delta’s Open Mic & Poetry Reading with Debra Bruce has been rescheduled, and will now be taking place on Friday, May 31st, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in Arts & Letters Hall, room 404. The first hour will be an open mic at which all are invited to participate. The second hour will feature a guest reading by Debra Bruce.

For more information, follow the link above to our previous post, or join the Facebook group at facebook.com/events/155132487992980/


An additional graduate-level English course has been approved for the Summer I schedule. The course, a combined 309 Topics in Writing/484 Writing Workshop: The Art of Revision, will be offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00-9:15 p.m. and will be taught by Prof. Dan Stolar.  The course is currently not listed in the registration system, but please continue to check Campus Connect as it will be added soon. You can see the course description here.

If you have any questions about the class, please contact Prof. Stolar at dstolar@depaul.edu.


Have a fun and restful Memorial Day Weekend; we’ll see you next week!


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


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.

Dinner with Alumni, Sigma Tau Delta, & More

DoD Writing  Publishing

The Office of Alumni Relations would like to invite current students to an upcoming networking opportunity, Dinner on DePaul. Dinner on DePaul is a free dinner event in which DePaul invites 3 alumni in a specific professional field to have a roundtable Q&A with 15-20 students who are interested in that industry. The upcoming Dinner on DePaul will be Thursday, January 24 at 6 p.m. in the Alumni Center and will feature alumni currently working in Writing & Publishing. The alumni attending include:

  • Jennifer Eckert (LAS MA ’06)
    Supervising Editor, National Geographic Learning
  • Dean Monti (SNL ’96)
    Author, The Sweep of the Second Hand
  • Lisa Reardon (LAS MA ’02)
    Senior Editor, Chicago Review Press

This event would be relevant for any student interested in a career in Writing & Publishing. The event is free but registration is required by at futurealumni@depaul.edu or via phone at 773-325-8941 by Tuesday, January 22 – space is limited. 


DePaul’s Gamma Psi Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, The National English Honor Society, will elect new members in Spring Quarter 2013. The deadline to apply for membership is February 18th.

English Majors and Minors, graduate and undergraduate, are eligible to apply providing they have completed one course beyond English 120 (or equivalent) and have a G.P.A. of 3.4 or better. There is a one time fee of $40 for membership. Sigma Tau Delta is nationally provides an opportunity for students to meet and organize activities around their common interest in English.

All current DePaul English students have been emailed the application form along with detailed instructions on how to apply. If you do not have a copy of this email, or have any additional questions, please contact Prof. James Murphy at jmurphy5@depaul.edu.


Call for Papers: Beyond the Margins, a graduate student conference hosted by the Media and Cinema Studies program in the College of Communication at DePaul University, invites current graduate students in any discipline to submit proposals focused on the dialectic between the mainstream and the marginal as it occurs within various media.The conference will be held on DePaul’s campus, May 17-18th, 2013.

This conference will serve as a forum to bring together graduate students with similar interests to share and discuss their work, with the general public welcome in the audience. Panelists are invited to approach the concept of marginality and the media from such critical perspectives as culture and representation, technology and distribution, history and canonization, audiences and journalism, creators and transgression, among other approaches. Each panelist will be given up to 20 minutes to present their paper. Potential topics for papers and panels include, but are not limited to:

  • The role of the academy in ‘reclaiming’ neglected media texts
  • Case studies of marginalized films, programs, texts, etc.
  • The ‘mainstreaming’ of sub-culture
  • The phenomenon of ‘cultural currency’ and media products
  • Cult audiences
  • ‘Trash’ media texts
  • The ‘cross-over’ phenomenon and media audiences
  • Social media and fandom
  • The political economy of marginal media texts
  • Advertising and niche audiences
  • Marginalization and race, gender and/or sexuality in the media
  • Journalism and the formation of ‘the popular’
  • Public relations as advocate for marginalized audiences, publics, and or stakeholders
  • Public relations as a media advocacy tool
  • Marginal media texts and personal identity

Proposals should be between 250-300 words, and should also provide a list of three to five keywords related to your subject along with a brief biography. Full panel proposals on a single theme are also welcome, and should include a 250-300 word description of the panel’s larger significance/objectives in addition to each panelist’s individual proposal. Panels must consist of exactly four panelists.

Please email your abstract, keywords and biography to Prof. Blair Davis, bdavis47@depaul.edu. The deadline for proposals is January 15th. Notification of acceptance will be given by February 1st. The subject line should contain the writer’s last name followed by “Beyond the Margins Abstract.”

Please contact Prof. Davis directly if you have any questions or concerns.

More September Literary Events

Mark your calendars! The DePaul Visiting Writer’s Series is happy to announce their Fall 2012 schedule of events, the first of which takes place next week.

The first event in the Visiting Writer’s Series is entitled “Local Authors: Chicago’s Own,” and will feature readings by Nami Mun, Aaron Baker, and Eugene Cross. The event takes place Thursday September 20th at 6 p.m. in Room 115 of Richardson Library. Refreshments will be served.

The second event features Phong Nguyen and Michael Nye and is entitled “Writer as Editor/Editor as Writer.” It will take place on Friday October 5th from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in Room 115 of the Richardson Library. Lunch will be served.

Finally, on Tuesday October 30th there will be a department-hosted reading for Kathleen Rooney to celebrate her new book, Robinson Alone. 

All Visiting Writers Series events are free and open to the public. See you there!


The DePaul Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the National English Honors Society, is hosting an on-campus event with local author and DePaul graduate Joelle Charbonneau. Charbonneau is the author of several works of children’s and young adult literature, including such books as Murder for Choir: A Glee Club Mystery and Skating on the Edge. She will be reading a portion of her books, speaking about her experience, and participating in a Q&A session.

The event is set for September 27th, at 7 p.m. in Arts & Letters Hall Room 404. Light refreshments will be served.

One Book One Chicago Kickoff, EGSA Conference Keynote Speaker Announced, and More

*REMINDER* Today, Monday April 9th, is the last day to drop a class with no penalty. After today, a “W” will appear on your transcripts if you withdraw.


The deadline for submissions to the April 12th master class with Eileen Pollack has been extended until 9 a.m. TOMORROW, TUESDAY APRIL 10th. This is an exciting opportunity for graduate students in both fiction and creative nonfiction. Pollack is the author of the new novel, Breaking and Entering, which was awarded the 2012 Grub Street National Book Prize and named a New York Times Editor’s Choice selection. She is also a gifted nonfiction author whose innovative textbook and anthology, Creative Nonfiction: A Guide to Form, Content, and Style, with Readings, was published in 2009 by Wadsworth/Cengage.

If you would like to submit work for consideration for this Master Class, please email an essay or single piece of short fiction to Miles Harvey (mharvey7@depaul.edu) by 9 a.m. tomorrow.


This year’s One Book, One Chicago programming kicks off this week, and DePaul is hosting the first One Book, One Chicago event of the season:

Gold Boy, Emerald Girl in Conversation
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
DePaul University, Lincoln Park Campus
John T. Richardson Library
Room 300 (The Rosati Room)
2350 North Kenmore Avenue

All are invited to join DePaul University Department of English professors June Chung, Jim Fairhall, Rebecca Johns-Trissler, and James H. Murphy as they offer a roundtable discussion exploring the affinities between Yiyun Li’s Gold Boy, Emerald Girl and a variety of contemporary and canonical authors, including William Trevor and Anton Chekhov.

Remember to check back with Ex Libris as well as the One Book One Chicago Tumblr site for more OBOC events at DePaul and all around the city.



Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Society, is presenting a reading and workshop by novelist Joe Meno tomorrow, April 10th, at 6pm in the Brownstone Annex on first floor of the DePaul Student Center. All students are welcome to attend. Please see the flyer for more information.







This Friday, April 13th is the 2012 EGSA Spring Conference. The day of panels presented by DePaul English graduate students will conclude with a keynote speech by writer and visiting professor Mahmoud Saeed.

EGSA is honored to present Mahmoud Saeed, who will participate in a reading and discussion of his work. He is an award-winning Iraqi writer of more than twenty short story collections and novels including Saddam City and The World Through the Eyes of Angels. The event will take place in the auditorium of Arts & Letters Hall at 7:15, immediately following the conference panels.

All EGSA Conference events, including the Keynote speech, are free and open to the public. Please see the flyer for more details.

Call for Papers, Childhood Horror Stories, Almost Alumni Fair, and More

Call for Student Papers- Conference: Popular Uprisings in Times of Crisis

The International Studies Programs at DePaul University & University of Illinois at Chicago invite graduate and undergraduate students to submit a one page research paper proposal for the 2012 annual student conference to be held on April 18th.

The theme of this year’s conference is Popular Movements in Times of Crisis. We live in a time of crisis, whether we look at global and national economies, the environment, increasingly fragile and intolerant political orders, contentious ideologies, or mounting anger at systemic inequalities. This conference aims to reignite debate over the causes of crises (perceived or actual) and popular responses to them.

Areas of Inquiry

  • The kinds of popular mobilizations that occur in response to crises, both historical and contemporary.
  • Alliances that develop between groups in national or international contexts to reconfigure power relations (including reformist, revolutionary, conservative, and counter-revolutionary movements).
  • Imagining different worlds, utopias, and histories of struggles to make possible alternative politics and social arrangements.
  • Debates over forms of governance, the causes and nature of equality and inequality, and questions of citizenship in times of crisis

See guidelines for writing a proposal on the INT website. Applicants selected to present at the April Conference will be notified by March 16th, 2012. Conference presentations will be 20 minute talks based on a developed research paper. The best conference presentations will win cash prizes and receive a certificate of recognition. Email sdirr1@depaul.edu with questions.

Email abstracts to Susan Dirr, sdirr1@depaul.edu, by 5pm on Friday March 9, 2012.


Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Society, would like to host a creative writing/English department event during the Spring quarter that they’re calling “Mortified: Horror Stories from Childhood.” The idea of the event is an open mic reading where each participant will get 5-10 minutes to either to read a piece from your childhood diary that is funny/filled with angst/etc. while adding extra narration, or to read an original creative non-fiction piece about your embarrassing childhood moments. The point is to have a little fun and be a little theatrical, giving everyone the opportunity to practice reading their creative pieces in front of a crowd– and for the audience to get a good laugh.

In order to best plan the event, Sigma Tau Delta needs a few more people who are interested in participating to express their interest. To do so, please email Reese Stanford at Sunnybabe105@hotmail.com. Reese would also like to hear what evenings most people would be available to participate in an event like this during the Spring quarter.


Grad students, are you graduating in the Spring? If you are applying to graduate this year, especially if you plan to attend your commencement ceremony in June, please plan to attend the 2012 Almost Alumni Fair on March 7th at the  Lincoln Park Campus Student Center Atrium and March 8th at the Loop Campus DePaul Center Concourse from 10am to 6pm both days.

The fair provides information about the upcoming ceremonies and you can order announcements, class rings and gifts. There will be representatives on-hand from area hotels, college offices and others. GradImages will be there and you can dress up in the same regalia you will wear on commencement day and have your picture taken and surprise your family even before the event! They will also take shots of you in business attire if you wish for your resume.

Representatives from many college offices will be there to answer questions, as will Academic Administration, Alumni Relations, Student Affairs and DePaul Central. Other activities include:

  • Get up-to-date info on Commencement Weekend 2012
  • Be photographed in cap and gown or business attire for your resume
  • Order the official DePaul University class ring
  • Shop for graduation announcements and gifts
  • Meet vendor representatives
  • Meet DePaul Alumni Relations staff
  • Financial Awareness/Planning

No registration required. See you there! If you would like a post card with this information as a reminder, they are available in the Student Resource Room on the second floor of Arts & Letters Hall.


Speaking of postcards in the Student Resource Room, there are lots of informational materials available posted on and near the front cork board for both browsing and taking home. If you have not visited the Student Resource Room recently and are interested in teaching English abroad, summer writing programs, MFA and PhD programs, law school, library school, or other summer and post-grad opportunities, stop by to browse flyers and handouts from Bennington College, Writers in the Heartland, Pine Manor College, the New School Summer Writers Colony, Indiana University, Skidmore University, NYU, the Marco Institute, Ciee, and more programs we’re constantly adding. It’s like Ex Libris in paper form!

For more information on the student resource room and how to use or reserve it, check out this post.


And finally, just a reminder that TOMORROW, February 29th, is Dagoberto Gilb’s reading at the DePaul Library at 6p.m. Don’t miss this great reading and reception for Gilb’s latest book.

Pre-Register for the AWP Conference

By now, most Ex Libris readers have probably already heard about– and started getting excited for– the 2012 Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference & Bookfair in Chicago. The conference will host more than 400 presentations, a keynote address by Margaret Atwood, and attract more than 550 publishers to the bookfair.

If you are interested in registering and have not already done so, take advantage of the pre-registration rates to save and to avoid long-lines at on-site registration. Prior to January 23rd, the student rate is just $40; after that it goes to $60. For more information, please visit the online registration site at http://www.awpwriter.org/conference/2012reg.php

If you still have questions about the AWP Conference, here are a few useful tips and links:

Hotel and Travel Information

Featured Presenters, Schedule of Events, & Off-Site Events

  • If the 550 exhibits of the bookfair, and 400-plus events at the AWP Conference are not enough for you, please consider one of the many off-site events organized by attendees, sponsors, and local institutions http://www.awpwriter.org/conference/2012offsite.php

More Conference Sessions for Chicago

The 2012 AWP Conference & Bookfair in Chicago will feature events at both the Chicago Hilton and the Palmer House Hilton hotels. This arrangement will allow the AWP to offer more events and support the participation of more writers. Increasing the number of offered events enables more writers and teachers to serve as presenters, and by extension to secure travel funding from their institutions. Beginning with the 2013 gathering in Boston, all AWP conferences will be centralized around a convention center.

DePaul’s Masters in Writing and Publishing program will have a table at the book fair, so make sure to stop in and say hello!


And a few more things going on in the English department and on Ex Libris:

Current students should check their email accounts for information about applying for Partial Tuition Scholarships. The deadline for applying for PTS awards for the 2012 Winter Quarter is Friday, January 27, and the application forms can be found on D2L.

Also sent out via email was the application for the Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society. Please contact Prof. James Murphy at Jmurphy5@depaul.edu with any questions about Sigma Tau Delta and how to apply.

Reminder: deadlines for application for Degree Conferral are coming up soon if you are planning on graduating in the Winter or Spring quarter. Visit the LA&S website for more information.

And finally, don’t forget to check the Spring 2012 class schedule on Ex Libris, as we are updating it almost daily as new class information comes in. Of course, all the information posted on this page is tentative and subject to change, but it’s a great way to get an idea of what to look forward to in the next quarter!