Sunday, June 28, 2015
Literary Review perspective
The theme of this year’s issue of the award-winning North Carolina Literary Review is “North Carolina Literature in a Global Context.”
The print issue features cover art by Chapel Hill resident Eduardo Lapetina, a native of Argentina.
The writers and artists in this year’s issue all share a common bond: they have lived in North Carolina, but they also have called other states and countries home.
NCLR Editor Margaret Bauer writes in the issue’s introduction, “Almost two dozen years of North Carolina Literary Review content reveal what an inspiration the Old North State is to writers, whether they are born here, move here, or just pass through for a visit. Our 24th issue explores how North Carolina writers have been inspired by living and traveling beyond the state’s borders.”
The 2015 global print issue traverses the world. It includes interviews with N.C. State University professor Elaine Neil Orr, who grew up in Nigeria, and Monique Truong, born in South Vietnam, who grew up in Boiling Springs, and literary criticism by Turkish scholar Tanfer Emin Tunc and British scholar R.J. Ellis.
Laura Herbst’s Doris Betts Prize story “The Cliffs of Mobenga” is written from the perspective of a teenager from North Carolina, serving as a translator for her uncle’s missionary trip to West Africa.
Essayist and fiction writer Philip Gerard, originally from Delaware, now on the faculty of UNC Wilmington, discusses the complexities of historical novel writing, focusing on his own investigations of the Wilmington Race Riot.
The issue also contains poetry by Connecticut native Peter Makuck, New York native Marylin Hervieux, South Carolina native Janet Joyner, as well as Elizabeth Jackson’s poem, “East End, West End,” winner of the 2014 James Applewhite Poetry Prize competition and an essay by James Applewhite that compares the work of North Carolina’s Randall Jarrell with poetry by William Wordsworth.
NCLR has won numerous awards since it was first published in 1992, most recently, the 2014 Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals.
NCLR is published by East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.
For subscription information, go to www.nclr.ecu.edu.
Project wins grant
Students and teachers from J.H. Rose High School in Greenville were on ECU’s campus June 15-19 working with staff from the Tar River Writing Project developing plans to implement an idea that earned them a national grant.
The Tar River Writing Project, housed at ECU in the University Writing Program, and Rose High School were one of one of 14 groups in the nation awarded a $20,000 LRNG Innovation Challenge Grant.
During the week, 11 teachers worked with 15 Rose students designing six maker spaces that will operate during Rose’s 80-minute SMART Block period. Maker spaces, sometimes called hackspaces and fablabs, are an online community for people to create, invent, learn and share projects.
The maker spaces at Rose will focus on fashion design, robotics/programming, upcycling/repurposing objects, beat making, digital storytelling/media making, and a 3-D/prototype fabrication lab.
Students will be able to visit and explore in these maker spaces during the school’s SMART Block, which allows students to attend academic sessions with teachers or participate in extracurricular activities.
Once students find something that they are interested in, they can pick up and follow interest-driven educational pathways, said Stephanie West-Puckett, Tar River Writing Project associate director and a member of the ECU Department of English faculty.
“This grant gives us an opportunity to design innovative educational spaces together that bridge curricular and extracurricular learning,” she said.
During the weeklong event, the educators from ECU and Rose High designed a curriculum with low barriers for easy access and high ceilings for developing mastery.
Each maker space also will have a service project so that students and faculty can use the concepts and tools to benefit others in need, West-Puckett said.
“Pop-up maker stations are at the core of what SMART Block should offer students,” Monica Jacobson, principal at J.H. Rose, said.
“With the stations, Rose students will be afforded time and access to resources that connect and extend their knowledge. Students will be provided with opportunities to build relationships with their peers, teachers, and community partners that share similar interests while they explore beyond the classroom,” Jacobson said.
Educators presented the ideas on the last day of the event to school administrators, community members and parents for their feedback.
Will Banks, director of the University Writing Program and of the Tar River Writing Project, said, “It’s rare that teachers, students, and community members get to work together to find shared interests and passions — and to remember that passion, not test scores, motivates learning.”
The LRNG Innovation Challenge is a new initiative that invests in forward-looking schools and teachers to design innovative projects that take advantage of new technology to support students’ creativity. It is sponsored in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation and John Legend’s Show Me Campaign.
West-Puckett said musician John Legend wants high school students — with projects like the ones funded by the grants — to be able to pursue their interests, especially in the arts, which may not fit into a traditional curriculum approach.
Rob Puckett, a Rose printing and graphics instructor, is working to develop a 3-D printing & prototyping maker space.
“While 3-D printing trinkets and toys is neat, we want to demonstrate how these tools can make a real difference in people’s lives,” he said. “Each semester, we’ll work together on printing a custom-made prosthetic hand with free, open-source plans.”
Fellow Rose teacher Lynn Cox, who is collaborating on a maker space for robotics and computer programming, said, “It was great to have the students here with us and see how eager they are for these kinds of opportunities in school.”