Great Expectations

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

Archive for the ‘Creative Writing’ Category

Black Swamp Children’s Poetry Project

Posted by bgsuenglish on September 5, 2014

BSAF_POSTER2BGSU’s chapter of the national English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta, Prairie Margins, and the editors and staff of Mid-American Review are collaborating to host the first ever Black Swamp Children’s Poetry Project this Saturday and Sunday, September 6 and 7, from 11-4:00pm. This event takes place as part of Bowling Green’s annual (and well-regarded) Black Swamp Arts Festival.

Children ages 2-12 will be encouraged to explore poetry and the imagination through haiku. If you are at the Black Swamp Arts Festival you can find the Poetry Project’s tent near the Children’s Art Village by the Wood County Library.

For further information, please contact Dr. Erin Labbie, Ph.D. (, or Mid-Am editor Abby Cloud (


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Creative Writing alumna shares good news

Posted by bgsuenglish on August 22, 2014

Qiana TFormer BGSU MFA Qiana Towns, now an Assistant Professor in English and Communications at Michigan’s Davenport University, recently shared her good news:

[H]er poem “Social Regard”  [was] selected for the 2014 Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize. The prize was established by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet of the same name and is presented to an individual in recognition of excellent writing. Towns’s poem was presented at the 2014  Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature conference, and she will receive her award at the May 2015 conference. She will be honored along with Philip Levine who is a Pulitzer Prize winner and Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. Her poem will also appear in the 2014 issue of MidAmerica, a peer-reviewed annual journal.

You can read another of Qiana’s poems, “Big Blank Page for Marine Life” here. Congratulations Qiana, from everyone here in Bowling Green!

Posted in Alumni, Awards & Scholarships, Creative Writing, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

US Poet Laureate to speak in Bluffton

Posted by bgsuenglish on October 2, 2013

US Poet Laureate to speak in Bluffton

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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 | 1 Comment »

Writer alum showcased in local reading series

Posted by bgsuenglish on August 19, 2013

Carl Dietrich (MFA ’98), is the guest reader for Launch Pad Cooperative‘s Featured Lines reading series on August 20, 2013. According to Launch Pad, the “aim of this reading series is to shine the spotlight on a single writer; providing them with the platform to present a body of work and the necessary time to engage and connect with the audience.”

Carl writes both poetry and fiction and is at present working on a novel set on a crumbling space station, a story inspired by William Shakespeare, Ingmar Bergman, and Hugh Howey.

Featured Lines is free and open to the public and is located at 911 Jefferson Avenue in downtown Toledo. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and readings begin at 8:00 p.m.

Launch Pad Cooperative is an artist-run gallery whose goal is to facilitate a network for emerging visual artists and creative writers of high quality who wish to enrich the community of Toledo and beyond.

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Creative Writing alum wins Iowa Short Fiction Award

Posted by bgsuenglish on March 11, 2013

Tessa-Mellas Tessa Mellas (Creative Writing MFA, ’05), has won the prestigious Iowa Short Fiction Award.  Tessa worked for GSW as an instructor for three years and then went on to a doctoral program at the University of Cincinnati.  Her book, Lungs Full of Noise will appear in the fall of this year.

In announcing the award, the editors of the University of Iowa Press write:

In the thirteen stories of Lungs Full of Noise, Mellas explores a femininity that is magical, raw, and grotesque. Aghast at the failings of their bodies, this cast of misfit women and girls set out to remedy the misdirections of their lives in bold and reckless ways. Figure skaters screw skate blades into the bones of their feet to master elusive jumps. A divorcée steals the severed arm of her ex to reclaim the fragments of a dissolved marriage. But it is not only the characters who are in crisis; personal disasters mirror the dissolution of the natural world. The sky erupts with feathers as all the birds in a city crash into glass towers. In another story, all the color has drained from the sky and grandmothers believe the whiteness will blind everyone. Orringer says, “Mellas is a visionary, possessed of the ability to take us to worlds we’ve never imagined but that reveal our all-too-familiar hopes, fears, and vulnerabilities. Her stories are lyrical, laced with exquisite detail and image. They show their intelligence not only through their originality but also, and perhaps more importantly, through their sense of humor. Our children may baffle us, bodies may deceive us, our friends may confound us, but at least, these stories suggest, we are not alone. Tessa Mellas has made our human community richer with this deeply original and unforgettable book.”

Congratulations Tessa!

Posted in Alumni, Awards & Scholarships, Creative Writing | 1 Comment »