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.


Upcoming Readings Featuring MAWP Students and More

In Student News: Michael Van Kerckhove (M.A.W.P.) will be part of the inaugural line-up of That’s All She Wrote, a brand new entry into the alive and well Chicago live-lit storytelling scene. Michael will be debuting a new personal story at this reading, and you can support him and enjoy the live literature of That’s All She Wrote at Swim Cafe at 1357 W. Chicago Avenue this Sunday, October 14th at 8:00 p.m. (doors open at 7:30). The event is free and food will be available. Swim Cafe is BYOB.


In honor of the National Day on Writing, The University Center for Writing-based Learning’s Writers Guild will present a public reading of original works of non-fiction, fiction, essays, and poetry by its members, and all are invited to attend. The event will take place on Thursday, October 18th, from 4:00-5:30 p.m. on the second floor of the LPC Student Center in the Performance Area.

Members of The Writers Guild including M.A.W.P. students Raul Palma, David Mathews, and Mark Brand, alum Jennifer Finstrom (M.A.W.P. ’12) and other DePaul undergraduates and faculty members will share pieces of their writing that they have been discussing and critiquing throughout the quarter. Writers Guild and Writing Groups staff members will be on-hand to share information about our work and how to get involved with the UCWbL and The Writers Guild.


In addition to this reading, the UCWbL will also be hosting a program called National Day on Writing Literacy Narratives on Wednesday, October 17th. Students, faculty, and staff who would like to share their literacy narrative in a recording session can join the UCWbL on this day from 10am-12pm in the LPC Student Center Atrium or from 1-3pm on the 11th Floor of the Loop DePaul Center to record a quick statement on why you write or to describe an impactful literacy experience. These videos will be shared via the UCWbL YouTube page as a celebration for National Day on Writing.


And finally, if you’re looking to do some literary sightseeing this weekend, the Poetry Foundation will once again take part in the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago, a free public event that offers behind-the-scenes access to more than 150 buildings across the city and suburbs. Visitors to the building on Saturday, Oct. 13th and Sunday, Oct 14th from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. both days will have an opportunity to explore the space over the weekend as well as get a rare glimpse into the making of Poetry magazine, celebrating its centennial in 2012. The Poetry Foundation is located at 61 West Superior Street, and you can find out more about them at

Banned Books Week, Student News, and More

In Student News, congratulations to Mellissa Gyimah (M.A.W.P.), who recently participated in the International Student Voice Magazine essay competition and made the top 10 out of over 700 submissions! You can read Mellissa’s essay on the International Student Voice Magazine’s website.


The Winter 2013 schedule is posted! Please note that this schedule is still subject to change and will be so for a while. Over the next two weeks, we will be adding course descriptions from the professors to the page, so keep checking back as you plan your schedule for the rest of the year.


Banned Books Week runs September 30th through October 6th. The University Center for Writing-based Learning and the DePaul University Libraries are celebrating free speech all week long with a series of banned-book centered events, and they would like extend an invitation to all readers and writers:

Panel Discussion on Free Speech and Book-banning
Thursday, October 4th, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Richardson Library, Room 115
Heather Jagman, Coordinator of Library Instruction and Lauri Dietz and Rene De los Santos of the Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse Department will sit for a panel discussion about censorship and intellectual freedom.

Banned Books Readings
Tuesday, October 2nd through Thursday, October 4th, 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Lincoln Park Student Center Atrium
During these times, the UCWbL Outreach Team will be hosting open readings of banned and challenged books, including favorites like Howl,  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and …And Tango Makes Three. All are invited to stop by and listen, or grab a book from the table and step up to the mic.

Speaking of Speech…
Wednesday, October 3rd, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Loop Student Center Atrium
Show up and engage in an open discussion about information accessibility and First Amendment rights.


And finally, an important reminder to those pursuing the Two-Year College Teaching Certificate: Applications for Two-Year College Teaching Internships for Winter/Spring 2013 are due electronically on Thursday, October 11th.

If you have previously applied, please send Dr. Carolyn Goffman ( updated CV, transcripts, and one-page letter; if you choose, you may also submit a new writing sample.

If you have not already spoken with Dr. Goffman about the internships, or if you simply want to find out more about this program, please email her to make an appointment.

To apply, please email the following materials to

  • One-page letter in which you 1) explain your interest in two-year college teaching; 2) list any other jobs or obligations that would affect your availability; and 3) answer this: Do you have a car, or will you be relying on public transportation to get to your internship?
  • Curriculum Vitae. Include names of two DePaul faculty members who know your work; you do NOT have to provide letters of recommendation
  • Writing Sample: academic or creative writing; a substantial piece that shows what you can do.
  • DePaul transcripts (these can be sent through Campus Connect)
  • Other transcripts if you are not in the MAE or MAWP program. These do not have to be official transcripts. You may scan and email those to me.

For a list of available internships, current students should check their email. If you would like to find out more about the Two-Year College Teaching Certificate, please visit the official web page, and contact Dr. Goffman with any other questions or concerns.

Meet the New GA’s (Part 2)

Happy Friday, Ex Libris readers! Today we are happy to bring you Part 2 of “Meet the New GA’s”. If you missed part one, you can read about Mark, Emily, and Ryan here. Please join me in congratulating all five new GA’s.

Jillian Merrifield

Program & year: Third quarter in the MAWP

GA Role: Writing tutor in the UCWbL, Assistant Coordinator for the Collaborative for Multilingual Writing and Research

Bio:  Jillian (or Jill, she really doesn’t care either way) graduated in 2011 with a BA in teaching English from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL.  Since then, she has balanced grad school with working as a dog handler at a daycare, and is relieved to have moved on to a much safer–although slightly less cuddly–job as a GA.  She lives in Oak Park with her boyfriend and brand new puppy, whom she can’t resist bragging about.

Favorite writers:  Vladimir Nabokov, Jhumpa Lahiri, and, on the lighter side, Christopher Moore.  I also have a growing affection for Virginia Woolf, even though the time I need to finish reading Mrs. Dalloway keeps eluding me.

Jill’s Dream Job:  Dog trainer by day, great American novelist by night.  I don’t see that happening, though, because that lifestyle requires patience and an inhuman ability to function without sleep.  Alternatively, it might be fun to teach creative writing.

Nicholas Bruno

Program & year: 1st year, Writing and Publishing

GA role: Associate Editor, Poetry East

Bio: I began college as a biology major, and bought a motorcycle on Craigslist during that first semester which turned out to be stolen property of some sort. Suddenly, I was not only bike-less but also bored with the biology lectures, and I nearly transferred to a flight school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, though before committing to becoming a pilot, I was given a Larry Levis poem and decided to study English at the University of Toledo instead.

Favorite Authors: Lee K. Abbott, Barry Hannah, Miroslav Penkov, Andrew Hudgins.

Nicholas’s Dream Job: Write the great American novel, direct and produce the million-dollar film adaptation, earn royalties until I turn 80 and simply teach part-time at some small college in southern Ohio.


That’s all for today, have a great weekend!

Meet the New GA’s (Part 1)

IMPORTANT REMINDER: TODAY, September 18th, is the last day to drop Fall quarter classes without penalty. If you wish to drop a class, do so on Campus Connect before midnight.

Also: current students, check your email for important information about Partial Tuition Scholarships! Applications for PTS awards are due on Wednesday, September 26th.


And now, it is my pleasure to introduce all of you to three of the English Department’s new Graduate Assistants. We wish them all welcome and congratulations!

Mark R. Brand

Program & year: M.A. in Writing & Publishing, graduating in May 2013.

GA Role: UCWbL Assistant Coordinator for Writing Groups

Bio: Mark is the short fiction editor of Silverthought Press, producer and host of “Breakfast With the Author,” and his books include The Damnation of Memory (2011), Life After Sleep (2011), Thank You, Death Robot (2009), and Red Ivy Afternoon (2006). He was recently highlighted in a story by CBS Chicago on five indie authors and publishers to watch, and he graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2001 with a B.A. in Biology and Sociology. He lives in Evanston with his wife and son.

Favorite Genre & Books: I have a particular love for literary speculative fiction by writers like Margaret Atwood, Gary Shteyngart, Neal Stephenson, and older crossovers like Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, and Yevgeny Zamyatin. My favorite book is one of the very earliest of these, Jack London’s brilliant and under-read The Iron Heel.

Writer who inspires Mark: I’m a big fan of Chicago writer Ben Tanzer, whose writing feels particularly “alive” to me in a way I can’t yet fully articulate. He also writes some very haltingly honest and terrific things about fatherhood that I couldn’t imagine being more timely.

Book which Mark didn’t expect to enjoy but ended up falling in love with: Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead.

Emily Todd

Program & year: First year in the M. A. in English

GA Role: GA for Undergraduate English Program, The Underground Editor

Bio: Emily graduated in 2010 from John Carroll University, with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education. From 2010-2012, Emily served as a high school counselor and English faculty (Fall ’11) at Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, IL. Also at the academy, Emily served for one year as the drama coach directing plays such as Rumors, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Our Town. While balancing her time as graduate assistant and full-time student, Emily is serving as a substitute teacher for the Archdiocese of Chicago at several local schools. In her free time, she loves visiting the Century Landmark Theatre for independent films, surfing the net for new and upcoming music artists, running to de-stress, and playing piano.

Favorite Books: Disgrace, The Great Gatsby, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Long Day’s Journey into Night

Favorite Authors: Tennessee Williams, Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney, Flannery O’Connor , Toni Morrison

Authors Emily Hasn’t Read Yet, but Wants to: William Faulkner, Vladimir Nabokov, Iris Murdoch, Carson McCullers

Ryan Burdock

Program & year: First year in the M.A. in English

GA Role: Ryan’s primary role is within the UCWbL at both the Lincoln Park and Loop Campuses, with half of his time there as a Peer Writing Tutor, and the other half comprising a Research Team Leader position.

Favorite Era and Writers to Study: I love to read and write papers on American Literature from the latter half of the 20th Century, and as a result my favorite authors are E.L. Doctorow, Thomas Pynchon and Bret Easton Ellis.


If you see Mark, Emily, and Ryan around make sure to say hello! But wait, there are two more new GA’s… so make sure you keep checking in with Ex Libris for Part 2 of  “Meet the New GA’s” as well as the usual updates on all things MAE and MAWP.

Donate Your Old Computer and Attend a Student Poetry Reading

Do you have an old computer lying around and don’t know what to do with it?  Then you should consider donating it to a local nonprofit. DePaul’s University Center for Writing-based Learning is collecting old and less-than-perfect computers on behalf of Mujeres Latinas en Accion (Latina Women in Action), a nonprofit that can put any donated computers to use in their Project Youth and Peace Program initiatives.

Donating your computer through the UCWbL is easy: just fill out this form and someone will contact you shortly. Also, feel free to share this form to others who may be interested. Please note, however, that the process will be significantly easier for people in or near Chicago who can bring their computers to one of DePaul’s two campuses.


Tonight, April 24th, DePaul Libraries and the English Department will host an undergraduate poetry reading to celebrate National Poetry Month. The event will take place at 6pm in the Richardson Library Resource Room/event space (Rm. 115, where the old art museum was). Undergrads Quintin Collins, Cassandra Gillig, Brianna Low, Jamie Perry, and Samy Sabh will read from their original poems.

Reminders, Two-Year College Teaching Internships, and Job Openings at the Writing Center

Welcome back, students and faculty, from what was hopefully a very relaxing spring break! In case you did a little too much relaxing and forgot what was posted on Ex Libris before the break, here are a few reminders of upcoming dates and deadlines.


Applications for a Fall 2012 Internship in Teaching English in the Two-Year College are due to Prof. Carolyn Goffman by Friday, April 20th at 5 p.m.

To Apply:

Please provide PAPER COPIES of the following:

  • One-page cover letter explaining your interest in the internship. Include information about your availability (scheduling restrictions, other jobs or responsibilities) and transportation (that is, do you have a car, or will you be relying on public transportation?)
  • C.V. ,including names of references (you do NOT have to provide letters of reference unless requested later)

Please send these ELECTRONICALLY:

  • Writing Sample (in Word format)
  • Transcripts (unless you prefer to send hard copies). If you are NOT in the MAE or MAWP programs, please include undergraduate transcripts. They do not have to be official versions; a photocopy is fine.

If you have any questions about the internship or the Teaching English in the  Two-Year College Certificate, please email Prof. Goffman at


The University Center for Writing-based Learning at DePaul is looking for empathetic and intellectually curious undergraduate and graduate students to work as peer writing tutors during the 2012/2013 academic year. Applications are due on April 23rd, 2012 at noon.

Please visit to learn how and why to apply for a job at the DePaul UCWbL. Any questions can be directed to UCWbL Director Dr. Lauri Dietz at