Category Archives: English

A reading by 2nd annual Hallberg Award-winning undergrad writer at ECU

Tuesday, September 27th 7:00 pm

1005 Bate Building, ECU, East Fifth Street | Greenville, NC 27858

The ECU English Department and the Creative Writing Area presents a reading with Q & A by Cameron Green, this year’s Bill Hallberg Award in Creative Writing winner. Green will read his winning story, “Why the News is Bad for You,” which was chosen this year by Garth Risk Hallberg, in Room 1005 of the Bate Building on the ECU main campus, on Tuesday evening, September 27th, at 7 pm. Garth Risk Hallberg is Bill’s son and author of the acclaimed novel, City on Fire.

The Bill Hallberg Award, open to undergraduates at colleges in NC, VA, TN, and SC, was established to honor the late ECU Creative Writing Professor and to celebrate the literary efforts of undergraduate students in our region. The winner receives $500 and is invited to read at ECU. Bill Hallberg was the author of several books and a longtime professor at East Carolina University. His novel, The Rub of the Green, concerned golf and was published by Doubleday in 1988. The New York Times Book Review called it “a story to be enjoyed by non-golfers and savored by those who love the game.” A memoir, The Soul of Golf, followed in 1997. He also edited Perfect Lies, an anthology of golf stories by John Updike, Walker Percy, and others.

A question and answer session will follow the reading. This event is free to the public and the ECU community, thanks to the ECU English Department and the Creative Writing faculty.

For further information, please contact Creative Writing Area Coordinator: John Hoppenthaler HOPPENTHALERJ@ecu.edu; tel. 252-328-5562

Prize-winning author coming to ECU

Author Jim Grimsley will meet with East Carolina University students and read from his best-selling memoir, “How I Learned to Shed My Skin,” on Sept. 22.

Grimsley will speak about his personal experiences growing up during segregation in Jones County at 3:15 p.m. in Mendenhall Student Center’s Great Rooms. At 8 p.m., he will read from his memoir at the Greenville Museum of Art, 802 Evans St. 

Grimsley

Grimsley

Grimsley also will announce the winner of the North Carolina Literary Review’s Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize at the Greenville Museum of Art. The winner will receive $250 and their essay will be published in the North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR) in 2017. The prize is named for the publication’s founding editor and funded by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

Both events are free and open to the public and are part of a series of events celebrating the 25th issue of the annual NCLR. Sponsors include ECU’s English and creative writing departments, the NCLR and Greenville Museum of Art.

Grimsley, who is white, combines the story of how Jones County schools were integrated, first by a “Freedom of Choice” desegregation plan and then by federal mandate, with his personal account of how he learned to be a racist while growing up there — and then unlearned those lessons. Black classmates brought into a whites-only school system by integration taught him how to “shed” his racism.

Since 1999, Grimsley has been senior writer in residence at Emory University in Atlanta and is one of 50 active fellows in the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He has won numerous awards and prizes for his writing, including the 2005 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest Writers Award, the Lambda Literary Award for Fiction, the Asimov Readers’ Award, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, and the Bryan Prize for Drama. He has been named Georgia Author of the Year twice.

Grimsley has been an active supporter of the eastern North Carolina literary scene as a participant in the annual literary homecomings that were hosted by ECU for a decade and as a frequent contributor to NCLR. He did most of his background research for “How I Shed My Skin” at ECU’s Joyner Library and was featured at a Greenville Museum of Art reading last December.

Grimsley’s books and the NCLR will be available for purchase at the GMA reading. For more information, contact Alex Albright at 252-328-4876 or the Greenville Museum of Art at 252-758-1946.

–Sophronia Knott

Wieland awarded 2016 Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor

ECU’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences inducted Dr. Liza Wieland as Distinguished Professor at the college’s annual convocation on August 19.

Wieland, professor of English and THCAS Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development, is the 18th member of the faculty to be honored with the title of THCAS Distinguished Professor.

Dr. Liza Wieland (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Dr. Liza Wieland (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

“I’m thrilled to have been chosen to join the ranks of this excellent group of teachers, scholars, mentors and servants to the College,” said Wieland. “From the very beginning of my time here, the University has been unwaveringly supportive of my work with grants and release time, and now this award, all of which serve to acknowledge that the arts matter at ECU.”

The THCAS Distinguished Professorship is the highest honor within the college and is conferred upon a professor whose career exemplifies a commitment to and a love for knowledge and academic life, as demonstrated by outstanding teaching and advising, research and creative productivity, and professional service.

“Dr. Wieland’s amazing record of creative activity, inspiring teaching and dedication to ECU and its mission are indeed distinguished. She exemplifies the best of ECU,” said Dr. Marianne Montgomery, chair of Harriot College’s Department of English.

Throughout Wieland’s years of academic service to ECU, she has displayed the qualities and characteristics required of a Distinguished Professor.

In her academic role, Wieland has exhibited great range, teaching courses in Beginning and Advanced Fiction Writing; Beginning Poetry Writing; Introduction to Creative Writing; Special Topics in Creative Writing: Theories of the Novel; Appreciating Literature; Interpreting Literature; and Literature from the Writer’s Perspective: Contemporary Irish Fiction. She has served on both the English undergraduate and graduate committees, as an English undergraduate advisor, on an ad hoc committee to study undergraduate English curriculum and on the ECU Honors College Advisory Board.

Wieland has taken on addition roles and initiatives in her areas of research and creative activity. In 2008, she was appointed fiction editor for the North Carolina Literary Review and in 2010 she co-founded and co-directed the ECU Contemporary Writers Series.

Over the course of her career, Wieland has authored eight novels, collections of short fiction and books of poetry. Her fiction, poems and essays have appeared in 13 anthologies and more than 40 published magazines and journals. She has participated in more than 80 lectures, conferences, workshops and public readings on topics related to her writing.

In recognition of her many professional talents, Wieland has received a Research and Creative Activity Reassignment Award, Harriot College Research Award, twice received the Department of English Research and Creative Activity Award, and in 2013, received full funding from the ECU Office of the Provost for the BRIDGES Professional Development Program for Women in Higher Education.

Letters of nomination from colleagues within and outside the ECU community laud Wieland for contributions to her field, adding to the impressive case for inducting her into the prestigious group of Thomas Harriot Distinguished Professors.

“With enthusiasm and without reservation, I urge you to select Professor Wieland for a Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professorship,” writes a colleague in a letter of support. “Administrators, faculty members and students all testify that Liza Wieland is a riveting and inspirational teacher. Her literary achievement is internationally admired. Her fiction is a national treasure that brings a great deal of positive attention to East Carolina University. Her career has been one of sustained excellence.”

Wieland received her Ph.D., M. Phil. and M.A. degrees in English and Comparative Literatures from Columbia University in 1988, ‘85 and ‘84 respectively. She received her BA degree in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard College in 1981.

–Lacey Gray

ECU faculty publish book after finding success in improving writing program

Members of East Carolina University’s English Department collaborated to publish a book they hope will help other higher education institutions harness the full potential of their writing programs.

After successfully utilizing the reaccreditation process to improve ECU’s writing program, faculty members Will Banks, Wendy Sharer, Tracy Morse and Michelle Eble co-edited, “Reclaiming Accountability: Improving Writing Programs through Accreditation and Large-Scale Assessments.” The book provides examples of how departments and writing programs have used accreditation to gain the kinds of benefits seen at ECU through similar initiatives around the country.

ECU English faculty members

ECU English faculty members (left to right) Tracy Ann Morse, William P. Banks, Wendy Sharer and Michelle F. Eble co-edited, “Reclaiming Accountability: Improving Writing Programs through Accreditation and Large-Scale Assessments.” (Contributed photo)

As part of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), required for accreditation, the authors focused their efforts on specific initiatives that would help broaden the reach of ECU’s writing program. “We saw reaccreditation as an opportunity to rethink our first-year writing program and our writing-intensive program so they worked together more effectively at helping students move from beginning college-level writing and thinking across their years at ECU,” said Banks, associate professor.

According to Sharer, director of the QEP, some of the changes seen in the program at ECU include:

  • Additional peer consultants to work with students and faculty in all disciplines in a larger, welcoming University Writing Center.
  • A revised Writing Foundations curriculum that includes a new, sophomore-level composition course designed to help students transition into writing in their major areas.
  • Writing mentors embedded in writing-intensive courses across the curriculum.
  • A website that brings together writing-related resources.

Additionally, the university provided resources to help faculty learn new information about writing and how to teach it in major courses.

As part of the updated curriculum, the class “Writing About the Disciplines” was added for second-year students to make it easier to transfer their skills to writing for their disciplines. “We are making the writing that students are doing explicitly relevant to the writing they will do in their majors or even careers,” said Eble, associate professor.

Their book brings together a series of critical cases that show how accreditation has been used in similar ways at other institutions to effect change on campus and across various academic programs. It illustrates how faculty can use accreditation to cultivate campus-wide discussions of writing to better meet local student learning needs.

–Jamie Smith

NCLR names new writing competition for founding editor

 The North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR) has named its new creative nonfiction competition for founding editor Alex Albright.

Albright

Albright

Responding to the honor of having the award named for him, Albright said, “This new competition recognizes NCLR’s continued commitment to publishing the best creative nonfiction available about topics of interest to North Carolina readers and to its ongoing openness to writers at the beginning of their careers.”

The Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize competition is open to any writer who fits the NCLR definition of a North Carolina writer: current or previous residents of North Carolina or a writer who uses North Carolina as subject matter. The first prize recipient will be awarded $250 and publication in NCLR. Finalists will also be considered for publication in the 2016 print and online issues.

Current NCLR editor Margaret Bauer noted, “It is particularly significant that the first winner of the Albright Prize will be published in NCLR’s 25th issue.”

The submission period for the Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize Competition opened on June 15, and the deadline is August 1.

Albright earned his bachelor’s degree at UNC Chapel Hill, and his Master of Fine Arts at UNC Greensboro before joining the faculty of the English department of ECU in 1981. He is the author of, most recently, “The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the Modern Navy,” as well as the author and producer of the UNC-TV “Boogie in Black and White” and the editor of “The Mule Poems” and “The North Carolina Poems” of internationally renowned eastern North Carolina poet A.R. Ammons, whom Albright named “staff poet” during his years as editor.

Albright published the premiere issue of the NCLR in 1992. He pointed out that when it launched it was “one of the very few literary magazines in the U.S. that focused primarily on creative nonfiction.”

He explained his dedication to cultivating creative nonfiction: “Because virtually every literary magazine at the time was dominated by fiction and poetry, we wanted a forum for nonfiction that was written more for smart readers than for academics. We also wanted a forum that was as open to unknown writers as it was to the big names that dominated the state’s literary scene.”

Under Albright’s editorship, NCLR earned the Best New Journal Award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) in 1994. Albright has been honored for his contribution to North Carolina literature with the R. Hunt Parker Award given by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association in 1998 and the Roberts Award for Literary Inspiration given by ECU’s Friends of Joyner Library in 2007. NCLR has earned four more CELJ awards in more than 20 years since its first issue, most recently the Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement.

Albright said he shares this honor with his original associate editors, John Patterson and the late Bertie Fearing.

Find complete submission guidelines for NCLR’s Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction competition, at http://www.nclr.ecu.edu/submissions/albright-guidelines.html.

J.H. Rose High, Tar River Writing Project awarded $20,000 grant

ECUNotes, Tar River 1

J.H. Rose High School teachers Robert Puckett, left, and Scott Wagoner, right, work with Rose students to plan the 3D printing/ prototyping fabrication lab maker space. Contributed photo.

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 communities 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 will also 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,” said Monica Jacobson, principal at J.H. Rose. “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.”

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, noted, “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.”

ECUNotes, Tar River 2

J.H. Rose High School students and teachers work in groups during a weeklong event in ECU’s Joyner Library to make a pop-up “fabric hacking” maker space. Rose High and the Tar River Writing Project earned a national grant to develop maker spaces and a corresponding curriculum. Contributed photo.

 

Eble Named President of Technical Writing Organization

Michelle Eble

Michelle Eble

Dr. Michelle F. Eble, associate professor in the Department of English at East Carolina University, was named president of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing at the organization’s annual meeting March 18 in Tampa, Florida.

Eble, who also serves as the English department’s director of graduate studies, has been a member of ATTW since 2003. In that time, she has served as both conference coordinator and vice president. Her term as president will last three years, and she also will serve as chair of the executive committee during that time.

Running on a platform of fostering more graduate student participation in ATTW, Eble wishes to diversify the membership, support partnerships with other technical communication organizations and expand the organization’s global presence—all while sustaining ATTW’s current commitments.

The Association of Teachers of Technical Writing is an active professional organization of about 500 teachers, researchers and practitioners of technical communication. Formed in 1973 to encourage dialogue among teachers of technical communication and to develop technical communication as an academic discipline, the organization boasts an international and interdisciplinary membership. ATTW produces Technical Communication Quarterly, a leading academic journal, and it collaborates with Taylor & Francis/Routledge to publish the ATTW Book Series in Technical and Professional Communication.

For additional information, contact Eble at 252-328-6412 or eblem@ecu.edu.

Sex, seduction in Donne’s poetry topic of final Voyages lecture

Williams College professor of English Dr. Illona Bell will present “Sex and Seduction in John Donne’s Poetry” at 7 p.m. March 24 in Bate 1032, East Carolina University.

Bell

Bell

The event is free and no tickets are required.

Bell is the Samuel Fessenden Clark Professor of English at Williams College, with expertise in Renaissance literature, Shakespeare, Elizabeth I, early modern women writers, lyric poetry and Virginia Woolf. She is the author of “Elizabeth I: The Voice of a Monarch,” “Elizabethan Women and the Poetry of Courtship” and numerous essays on Renaissance poetry and early modern women. She also edited “John Donne: Selected Poems.”

Bell received her Ph.D. in literature from Boston College in 1977 and her B.A. in literature from Radcliffe College in 1969. Her presentation concludes the 2014-15 Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series.

For additional information about the Voyages series and its speakers, visit www.ecu.edu/voyages. More information about Harriot College is available at www.ecu.edu/cas.

Workshops to focus on veterans, military

CWS Brian Turner

 

East Carolina University’s Contemporary Writer Series will host a three-day series of workshops for veterans, military service members and military families March 25 – 27.

All events are free and open to the public. The series will focus on expressing experiences through fiction, non-fiction or visual art. Participants may also wish to contribute to a new publication, The ECU Veterans Anthology.

Veteran poet and essayist Brian Turner will open the series at 7:30 p.m. March 25 in the East Carolina Heart Institute auditorium. Turner will read from his work and discuss his experiences as infantry team leader for the 3 rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team in Iraq from 2003-2004. He is the author of “Here Bullet” (2005), “Phantom Noise” (2010) and “My Life as a Foreign Country” (2014).

A book signing and question and answer session will immediately follow.

A poetry reading at 7 p.m. March 26 in the Greenville Museum of art will feature award-winning poet Ilyse Kusnetz and former North Carolina poet laureate Joseph Bathanti. A book signing and question and answer session will follow readings from both poets’ work.

Kusnetz teaches at Valencia College and lives in Orlando, Fla., with her husband, poet and memoirist Brian Turner. She holds a Ph.D. in feminist and postcolonial British literature from the University of Edinburgh and an M.A. in creative writing from Syracuse University. Bathanti is a professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University and the 2012 state poet laureate. His writings focus on veterans and their families. His honors include the Sam Ragan Fine Arts Award, the Carolina Novel Award and the Linda Flowers Literary Award from the N.C. Humanities Council.

A full listing of events and registration is available at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/veteran-writers-workshop-tickets-15846084064.

For additional information about the workshops, contact Jason Faulkner, teaching instructor in the Department of English, at 252-328-5177 or faulknerj@ecu.edu. For additional information about the events featuring Turner, Kusnetz or Bathanti, contact John Hoppenthaler, associate professor of English, at 252-328-5562; hoppenthalerj@ecu.edu, or Thomas Douglass, associate professor of English, at 252-328-6723; douglasst@ecu.edu.

The workshops are cosponsored by Operation Re-Entry North Carolina, Office of Student Transitions, Pirate Veterans and the Office of the Provost.

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