Great Expectations

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

Archive for April, 2007

The Pen and the Sword: Summit on Creative Writing and Violence

Posted by bgsuenglish on April 26, 2007

Given the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech, concerns have surfaced about Sueng-Hui Cho’s work in his creative writing classes, and the function of the creative writer and the creative writing community. What effect will this tragedy have on written creativity, where should lines be drawn, if at all, and what influence do other forms of art have on these questions?

Join members of the Department’s creative writing community as they consider the following questions and issues:

*Workshop Privacy: When is it OK to share a fellow workshoppers work with others? And which others — mental health professionals, the media, law enforcement?

*Red Flags in the Workshop: Should disturbing content be treated as a red flag by a teacher or by workshop members? If so, when?

*Beginning Writers and Their Purviews: Beginning writers often resort to shock value to gain interest from their audiences, from confessional sex poems to violent movie-type plots in stories. When do we need to be concerned about this type of content? Is it normal?

*Creative Writing in the Media: How are creative writers portrayed in the media? What parts of of our image are justifiable, and what parts are inaccurate? Specifically, how has media coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings treated creative writers?

* An Editor’s Perspective: Editors of literary magazines get hundreds of disturbing submissions each year, many as equally disturbing as those penned by the VT gunman. Some feel that creative writing teachers are supposed to be good citizens and intervene in the classroom for the good of the larger community. Where does an editor fit in? What is an editor’s role when disturbing work crosses the threshold?

*Censorship: Is self-censorship dangerous? Is it dangerous for schools and campuses to censor art in the wake of the VT tragedy? What should our response be as creative writers? Where is the line between free expression and public safety?

Our discussion will take place on Tuesday, May 1st at 1:00PM in Room 207, in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Refreshments will be provided by Mid-American Review.

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Last Black Swamp Literary Society meeting of the semester

Posted by bgsuenglish on April 23, 2007

The Black Swamp Literary Society will be having its last meeting of the semester tonight, at 9:00PM in Olscamp 119. Samantha Meyers of the BSLS Executive Board writes that “we will be watching Wonder Boys and there will be pizza, pop and other snacks. Hope to see everyone there!”

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Mid-American Review welcomes Alexis Levitin

Posted by bgsuenglish on April 23, 2007


Mid-American Review is welcoming translator and SUNY Plattsburgh professor Alexis Levitin to BGSU. He will deliver his presentation “Translating the Music of Poetry,” and also offer a short reading.

Levitin is the translator of hundreds of works of Portuguese poetry and fiction, as well as several English works into Portuguese. He has had his work published both in the form of whole collections and individually in over 200 magazines and journals, including Kenyon Review, New England Review, Partisan Review, Prairie Schooner, New Letters, and, of course, our own Mid-American Review. Levitin tells Miriam N. Kotzin of Per Contra magazine in their Spring 2007 issue:

I have always been a para-literary person, surrounded by writers all my life, yet never writing myself. Translation gave me the joy of a deep engagement with language, an anchor to cling to (the original text), and the rewards of literary activity, without that overwhelming and terrifying leap into space that primary creative writing requires. In a word, I never had to face a blank page alone.

Please come and enjoy this special free event, this Wednesday, April 25th, from 4:30-6 pm in Room 207 of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

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"Who Owns Experience?" – Final Spring Colloquium

Posted by bgsuenglish on April 23, 2007


The final installment of our Spring Colloquia series will take place tomorrow, April 24. Dr. Lance Massey, Assistant Professor in Rhetoric and Writing will give a talk entitled “Who Owns Experience?: The Disciplinary Politics of Politicizing the Personal in Composition Research.” Lance’s talk runs from 11-12:15 p.m. and will take place in East Hall 206.

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A Party for Shirley and Tom!

Posted by bgsuenglish on April 19, 2007


The Department will be hosting a retirement party tomorrow evening for Dr. Shirley Ostler (Lingusitics) and Dr. Tom Wymer (Literature) who will sadly be leaving us at the end of the semester. The party will be held at Stone Ridge Golf Club, 1553 Muirfield Drive, BG, and begins at 5:30 PM.

Shirley and Tom have contributed many years of service, teaching, and collegiality to the Department, and will be sorely missed. Join us all in wishing them both a very happy (and relaxing!) retirement.

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Writing Is a Strange Adventure

Posted by bgsuenglish on April 19, 2007

Lecturer Theresa Williams writes: “This semester, I made a movie about the creative life, starring my Imaginative Writing Students at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. The original movie is just over 50 minutes long. I am uploading small clips of the movie to so that my students can access the clips.

This is part one of several clips I plan to upload. These clips are also for anyone interested in the creative life and in exploring the imagination as a concept. The purpose of the original movie was to show the students that the writing life is exciting, frightening, frustrating, joyful, and always full of adventure. To their great credit, the students allowed themselves to be vulnerable on film, something that wasn’t easy for them. I hope they will transfer that willingness to feel vulnerable to their future writing projects.

Let it be said that my students have all of my admiration, respect, and love. These video clips are our poem to the creative life. “

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