Folger Shakespeare Library exhibit features ECU connections

Irish mantle 1, resized

A replica of an Irish mantle, or cloak, created by East Carolina University School of Art and Design students in Robin Haller’s textile and design course is part of the exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Photo courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

By Alexa DeCarr, ECU News Services

An exhibit on display at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is showcasing the achievements of Dr. Thomas Herron, an associate professor of English at East Carolina University, students in ECU’s School of Art and Design and the University Multimedia Center.

The exhibit, which opened in January and runs through May 19, is named “Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland” and focuses on the Irish upper class during the 16th to mid-17th century and its cultural exchanges with England. It investigates the political struggles of the period while acknowledging the ways in which English and Irish cultures influenced each other through achievements in literature, architecture and the arts.

“It goes beyond the black and white view of the interactions between the English and the Irish,” Herron said of the exhibit.

Students in ECU assistant professor Robin Haller’s textile and design course recreated a replica of an Irish mantle, which Herron said is a type of outer covering or cloak worn by the Irish. The University Multimedia Center also contributed to the exhibit by creating a 3-D computerized recreation of a tower house castle from the Middle Ages that allows viewers to get a virtual tour.

Herron said that a 16th century portrait of Queen Elizabeth I “discovered” in Manteo while hanging in plain sight during a conference organized by the ECU English Department is on display at the exhibit as well.

“ECU has been so generous and has played a major role in the exhibit,” Herron said. “Different departments within the university have gone out of their way to help with the exhibit.”

While the exhibit focuses on Europe during the Renaissance, Herron said modern Americans can still appreciate it.

“Shakespeare is a powerful influence on the U.S. and our culture,” he said. “And many Americans have Irish roots.”

The exhibit, “Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland,” features portraits, manuscripts, artifacts, family records, and rare books drawn from collections in Ireland and the United States. The exhibition includes nearly 100 items from the Folger collection, as well as materials from the National Gallery of Ireland, the University of Wisconsin, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Library of Ireland, and private collections.

Brendan Kane, a historian of modern Ireland and an associate professor at the University of Connecticut, was the co-curator of the exhibit.

For more information on the exhibit, visit www.folger.edu/Ireland or contact Tom Herron at herront@ecu.edu.

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ECU student selected to present research

East Carolina University student Maggie Steinhauer was one of 30 students selected to present undergraduate scholarship at the First Annual Society of Cinema and Media Studies Undergraduate Conference, scheduled for April 12-13 at the University of Notre Dame.

Steinhauer is a senior English major and film studies minor, and a student assistant for ECU Dining Services. She was chosen to present undergraduate scholarship on any aspect of cinema and media history, criticism or theory.

Steinhauer will present “’Bowties are Cool’: Fandom in the Mainstream,” on the BBC television series “Doctor Who” and the implications of social media on the evolution of fandom.

ECU grad student debuts new online journal

East Carolina University creative writing graduate student Michael Kent Brantley has published the first issue of an online  journal entitled “What the Fiction.”  The journal is available at http://www.whatthefiction.com.

Cover art for the new journal was completed by Jim Fuess.

ECU English instructor Dean Tuck serves as associate editor for the journal.

Brantley said the work was inspired through a creative writing class taught by ECU professor Luke Whisnant, who serves as an advisory editor for the new journal. Professors Liza Wieland and Alex Albright also supported Brantley’s work.

The journal publishes fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. The first issue includes poetry from ECU graduate students Jessica Cory and Meghan Palko.

Brantley serves as a graduate assistant for Tar River Poetry (http://www.tarriverpoetry.com/) and a graduate teaching assistant in the ECU Department of English.

Poet, critic Stephen Burt to visit ECU Feb. 7

Harvard professor and poet-critic Stephen Burt will visit East Carolina University at 7 p.m. Feb. 7 in the second floor exhibit gallery at Joyner Library.

Burt’s books include “The Art of the Sonnet,” with David Mikics; “Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry,”; “Parallel Play, a book of poems”: and “Randall Jarrell and His Age.” His writings on poets and poetry appear regularly in the Nation, the London Review of Books, Boston Review, and other journals in Britain and America. His next book of poems, Belmont, will appear from Graywolf Press in 2013.

Burt wrote his second book about another poet-critic, Randall Jarrell, who  settled in North Carolina. Some of Jarrell’s books and papers have now been acquired by Joyner Library, as part of the Stuart Wright Collection, where they are now available for study. On his visit to ECU, Burt will read from his own poetry and answer questions about the creative relationship between writing poetry and writing criticism.

A recent interview with Burt by ECU English professor John Hoppenthaler, along with several of Burt’s poems, is available at http://connotationpress.com/a-poetry-congeries-with-john-hoppenthaler/1027-stephen-burt-poetry.

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Poet Featured at Greenville Gallery

North Carolina poet James Applewhite, Greenville’s City Art Gallery, and the North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR) will collaborate on the second annual exhibit of original art inspired by the poet’s work.

The show will feature the work of artists who have used paint, photography, sculpture, and ceramics to interpret selected poems.

City Art Gallery owner Torrey Stroud will host the opening from 6 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 20; Applewhite will read his poems at 7 p.m. The exhibit will run through Feb. 11.

The idea was suggested by artist Louis St. Lewis, a fan of poetry and short stories, whose work has been selected for inclusion in past issues of NCLR. “This was an invitational for a group of artists we represent,” Stroud said of last year’s event. “We consulted with Diane Rodman (NCLR’s Art Editor) to decide on the poet.”

NCLR Editor Margaret Bauer will introduce the poet and welcome him “home” to eastern North Carolina. Applewhite was born in Stantonsburg and is retired from Duke University after almost 40 years on the faculty. He is a four-time winner of the Roanoke Chowan Poetry Award, given by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association. He has received the North Carolina Award for Literature and is a 2008 inductee into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.

His next book, due out in 2013 from LSU Press, will be his 12th volume of poetry. His work has been featured in several issues of NCLR.

City Art Gallery is located at 511 Red Banks Road in Greenville. More information about the exhibit, artists, and hours of operation can be found at www.cityartgreenville.com.

The North Carolina Literary Review is published annually by ECU and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association. The first edition of NCLR Online, which will include art from last year’s Applewhite invitational exhibit, is due out in February. The print issue will be out in the summer. For more information, visit NCLR’s website at www.nclr.ecu.edu.

Peter Makuck Featured in Poetry Reading Nov. 1

Peter Makuck, distinguished professor emeritus at ECU, returns to campus Nov. 1 for a poetry reading and discussion of uses of nature in writing poetry.

Makuck

In 1978, Makuck founded Tar River Poetry, the internationally acclaimed little magazine published by ECU’s English Department and currently edited by one of Makuck’s first students at ECU, Luke Whisnant. Makuck also directed the ECU Poetry Forum for over 20 years. He retired from ECU in 2006, although he has continued to teach poetry writing in the MFA programs at N.C. State and UNC-Wilmington.

Makuck’s eighth volume of poetry, “Long Lens: New & Selected Poems,” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by its publisher, BOA Editions.  He has also published two collections of short stories.

Makuck’s awards and honors include a Fullbright professorship in France; the Monroe Spears Award for the best essay to appear in the Sewannee Review in 2010; the Charity Randall Citation for poetry; and the Zoe Kincaid Brockman Award for best book of poems by a North Carolinian in 1989. He’s also been a lecturer in the “Poets in Person” series sponsored by the National Endowment for Humanities.

Makuck and his wife, Phyllis, live in Pine Knoll Shores.

Makuck’s reading at ECU is sponsored by the English Department and is in conjunction with his visit to an English Department graduate seminar, In nature writing, which he’ll meet at 6:30 pm. The reading, which begins at 8 pm, is in C-209 in the Science & Technology Building on campus. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

For further information, including admission to the 6:30 p.m. class, contact Alex Albright, Director of Creative Writing at ECU: 252.328.4876 or albrightd@ecu.edu.

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For more on Makuck, visit http://www.makuck.com/.

Celebrating the National Day on Writing October 20 at ECU

The Tar River Writing Project at East Carolina University will host a celebration of the National Day on Writing Oct. 20 on campus and online.

The celebration will include

  • A gallery exhibit in Joyner Library showcasing past and present ECU student writing
  • Activities for writers of all ages at Joyner Library in 45-minute sessions. Writers will have the opportunity to participate in a writing marathon, speak to a panel of ECU students and published faculty member-authors about their writing, listen to ECU students and faculty read from their works, and write on a graffiti wall.
  • Tar River Writing Project Virtual Gallery hosted by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) within the National Gallery of Writing (http://www.galleryofwriting.org/)

Approximately 200 Pitt County Schools students in grades kindergarten through 12th are scheduled to participate in on campus events.

Writers who can’t make it to campus Oct. 20 can submit their writing to the Tar River Writing Project Virtual Gallery, according to gallery curators Christina Bethel and Matthew Herrmann, both ECU graduate students in the Department of English.

Writers – from students and educators to business owners and retirees – have submitted works to the National Gallery of Writing, an online gallery that showcases submissions from writers of all ages and talents. Submissions include kindergarten picture messages, YouTube videos, poems, emails, short stories, and journal entries.

While original submissions of any length or form on any topic by local writers will be accepted, the ECU group is interested in submissions relating to Eastern North Carolina, campus organizers said.

Established in 2009 by the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Day on Writing celebrates composition in all forms – from stories, poems, and letters to text messages, videos, and audio recordings – and demonstrates how writing is a vital part of our everyday lives. Thousands of writers from across the country recognize the National Day on Writing with local events, including write-ins, talks by local authors, and poetry slam celebrations.

Tips for writers, writing resources for educators, and more information on the National Day on Writing and the National Gallery of Writing, an online gallery that showcases submissions from writers of all ages and talents, can be found on the NCTE website (http://www.ncte.org/dayonwriting).

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ECU English professor co-edits collection, publishes article

A collection co-edited by Kirk St. Amant (English) and Barry Thatcher (New Mexico State University) was published by Baywood Publishing. Entitled “Teaching Intercultural Rhetoric and Technical Communication: Theories, Curriculum, Pedagogies, and Practices,” the collection includes works that examine pedagogical practices in technical communication (including program development and program assessment) in international contexts.

The collection includes St. Amant’s essay, “Thinking globally, teaching locally: Understanding the changing nature of technical communication in an age of globalization.”

ECU English professor retires after 42 years of teaching

Roger C. Schlobin

East Carolina University English professor Roger C. Schlobin has retired after a combined 42 years of teaching at ECU, The Ohio State University and Purdue University.

Schlobin is one of three founders of the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, now in its 33rd year. He is past editor and founder of “The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts,” and “The Year’s Scholarship of Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror.”

He was editor of “The Aesthetics of Fantasy Literature and Art,” as well as more than 50 volumes in the Starmont Reader’s Guides to Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, the first scholarly series to focus on individual authors. Schlobin’s bibliography, “The Literature of Fantasy,” is recognized as the definitive annotated bibliography in the field.

Schlobin has authored more than 100 essays, poems, short stories, reviews and bibliographies and composed the first original fantasy novel published online, “Fire and Fur: The Last Sorcerer Dragon.”

He donated his personal library to ECU and endowed the James H. and Virginia C. Schlobin Collection of Literature of the Fantastic, the third largest of its kind in the world.

Schlobin holds a Ph.D. from Ohio State University, a master’s degree from The University of Wisconsin and a bachelor’s from C.W. Post College.

Schlobin’s interests beyond writing and teaching include tinkering with “Princess,” a souped-up 1997 Datsun 280Z, and membership in the Emerald City Z Club, where he was founder and past president. He enjoys great food and drink, photography, computer games, collecting dragons and t-shirts, and still mourns the passing of his silver-mackerel tabby, the great Joshua Thunderpussy.

For additional details, visit http://www.wpl.lib.in.us/roger/.