Great Expectations

A blog of the Department of English at BGSU:A place for faculty, students and alumni to connect.

The First Four

Posted by bgsuenglish on October 17, 2013

Here’s a post from Simon Morgan-Russell, Professor in English and newly appointed Dean of the Honors College:

[T]his short film is perhaps a little tangential to English at BGSU, but it’s about the first four female faculty hired at Lehigh University and the obstacles they faced as female academics in the 1970s – interesting perspectives, certainly. Of the four, three of them (Barbara, Rosemary, and Betsy) all taught both myself and Stephannie (Gearhart).  Barbara was the chair of both our dissertations) and touched our lives in significant ways . . . as well as the lives of other BGSU students who went to Lehigh for graduate study, such as Nate Eastman, Liz Vogstberger, and Emily Shreve

Posted in Alumni, Faculty, Literature | Leave a Comment »

US Poet Laureate to speak in Bluffton

Posted by bgsuenglish on October 2, 2013

US Poet Laureate to speak in Bluffton

Posted in Creative Writing, Events | Leave a Comment »

Carolyn Forché wins Academy of American Poets Fellowship

Posted by bgsuenglish on September 25, 2013

cforche“For her steady gaze into the abyss and for her crafted house of awakened human heavens where she calls us to live, we celebrate and recognize Carolyn Forché and her heroic career: gathering word-by-word embers … to face and save lives. Before they are disappeared.”

With these words, Juan Felipe Herrera, chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, announced the award of the Academy’s prestigious Fellowship to notable BGSU Creative Writing alum Carolyn Forché (MFA ’75). You can read more at the link.

Posted in Alumni, Awards & Scholarships, Creative Writing | Leave a Comment »

21st Century Englishes

Posted by bgsuenglish on September 24, 2013

Mark your calendars! On Saturday October 19, the Midwest graduate student conference 21st Century Englishes, hosted by graduate students of the Department of English, will kick off on campus.  Conference organizers, all graduate students at BGSU, bill the event as an opportunity for  “graduate students . . . to explore Englishes through themes of diversity, difference, transition, resistance, and redefinition by exploring the new discourses and new realities of English, as well as how these are resituated in the traditional idea of ‘English.'”

Keynote speaker for the conference will be  Jason Palmeri, Assistant Professor of English and affiliate faculty in Interactive Media Studies at Miami University, who will discuss “Literacy Crises, Then and Now: The Multimodal, Multilingual Past, Present, and Future of English Studies.”

The conference is free to attend.

Posted in Events, Students | Leave a Comment »

Sigma Tau Delta Poetry Reading tonight at 6 PM

Posted by bgsuenglish on September 23, 2013

Undergrads, do you know about Sigma Tau Delta– The International English Honors Society? They accept English and Creative Writing Majors with a 3.0 or above, and like you are into all things wordy!


Tonight, they greet the Autumn temperatures with an outdoor poetry reading on the University Lawn at 6 PM. Come to listen, or bring poems to share. Original work is welcomed. Or perhaps, since it is “Banned Book Week,” you could contribute some Ginsberg or the like!

Posted in Creative Writing, Events, Literature, Students, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

BFA alum Monica McFawn wins the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction

Posted by bgsuenglish on September 6, 2013

Flannery30_Logo2013 is shaping up to be quite the banner year for the Creative Writing program. First it was Tessa Mellas, a 2005 alumna of  our MFA program, winning the prestigious Iowa Short Fiction Award. Now Monica McFawn (BFA, ’01) has  been announced as one of two recipients of the 2013 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction!

These two literary awards are among the most coveted in the country—and, for two writers with BGSU Creative Writing degrees to win them in the same year is a notable achievement, and one of which we are justifiably proud. Well done Tessa and Monica!

Posted in Alumni, Awards & Scholarships, Creative Writing | Leave a Comment »

MFA alumna Jade Ramsey makes fifty best list.

Posted by bgsuenglish on September 3, 2013

Congratulations to Jade Ramsey (MFA ’11) for her inclusion in the Best New Poets list of the fifty best new poets of 2013Best New Poets is “an annual anthology of 50 poems from emerging writers. Each year, a guest editor selects 50 poems from nominations made by literary magazines and writing programs, as well as an Open Internet Competition.”

Congrats again, Jade!

Posted in Alumni, Awards & Scholarships, Creative Writing | Leave a Comment »

Why teach or study English?

Posted by bgsuenglish on August 29, 2013

The New Yorker‘s Adam Gopnik posts an interesting round-up of recent online debates of this question in The Huffington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Atlantic, among others. His conclusion?

Even if we read books and talk about them for four years, and then do something else more obviously remunerative, it won’t be time wasted. We need the humanities not because they will produce shrewder entrepreneurs or kinder C.E.O.s but because, as that first professor said, they help us enjoy life more and endure it better. The reason we need the humanities is because we’re human. That’s enough.

Posted in The profession | Leave a Comment »

Authors! Authors!

Posted by bgsuenglish on August 26, 2013

This fall and the coming spring, be sure to check out the Authors! Authors! reading series, sponsored by the Toledo Blade and the Toledo Public Library. The series includes:

  • Sherman Alexie, author of Ten Little Indians, Reservation Blues, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, War Dance, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, and The Toughest Indian in the World (Sept. 11 at the Stranahan Theater).
  • Jimmy Santiago Baca, author of the memoir A Place to Stand (Oct. 2 at the main library in downtown Toledo).
  • Zadie Smith, author of White Teeth, On Beauty, and the recent NW (March 5, 2014 at the Stranahan Theater).
  • Henry Winkler (May 14, 2014 at the Stranahan Theater).

And there are more. The full list of authors with descriptions can be found here.

Posted in Events | Leave a Comment »

MFA alum starts Seattle-based literary journal

Posted by bgsuenglish on August 20, 2013


Randy DeVita (MFA ’07) has started a new literary journal, Isthmus, a “print journal of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry published biannually in Seattle, Washington.” The first issue is scheduled for Spring 2014 and will be on display at the 2014 AWP Conference, held in Seattle appropriately enough!

Click on the link to check it out.

Posted in Alumni, Creative Writing, Publications | Leave a Comment »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.