News and Views


Olga Abella

I have a book of poems called Watching the Wind coming out in September—if all goes well. It's being published by David Axelrod at Writers Ink Press. Also, I've had several poems published or forthcoming in the following journals: The MacGuffin, poetrybay, Calyx, Kalliope, and the anthology Cloven Sphere.

Julie Campbell

This summer I mostly worked on a volume called Crossing Borders: Early Modern Women and Communities of Letters that I am co-editing with Anne Larsen, Professor of French at Hope College. It is an interdisciplinary collection of essays by historians, literary scholars, and linguists. These scholars examine early modern women and communities of letters in Italy, France, the Low Countries, England, Scotland, and colonial America. The early modern women in question engage with the political, religious, and intellectual issues that permeate their existences in a world full of shifting multilingual, transnational cultures and concerns. We took as our starting place Kate Chedgzoy's call in “The Cultural Geographies of Early Modern Women’s Writing: Journeys Across Spaces and Times,” Literature Compass 3.4 (2006) for a new "criticism concerned with the local, regional, national and transnational dimensions of women's participation in literary cultures."
I also revised an article called "Masque Scenery and the Tradition of Immobilization in The Countess of Montgomery's Urania" which is forthcoming in the journal Renaissance Studies. In it I combine narrative theory and historical documentation of court masques to consider how Lady Mary Wroth makes use of elements of court masques with which she would have been familiar to structure the narrative of her romance. My thanks go to Ruth Hoberman for reading the final version of this essay before I submitted it.
Some terrific books for review crossed my desk this summer: I reviewed Karen Britland's Drama at the Courts of Queen Henrietta Maria for H-Albion and am in the process of reviewing Sharon Cadman Seelig's Autobiography and Gender in Early Modern Literature for Seventeenth-Century News.
And that's what I did during my summer vacation.

Gerard Donovan

Some recent publications of mine:

Julius Winsome (novel), Faber and Faber: London 2007
Julius Winsome, Overlook Press: New York 2006
"Morning Swimmers" (short story), Granta  2007
"On Fairy Tales" (article), Financial Times (UK) August 2007

John Kilgore

Our eventful summer included a great trip out to California in May and the purchase of a new house in August. Below you can see me with grandkids Ethan and Norah, breaking in the pond at the new place in our $100 used rowboat. The gray tub is filled with food for pampered catfish measuring up to 30". Dollie and I are still opening boxes and putting up shelves and trying to get the old house in shape for the grimmest real estate market in two decades. You never realize how much deferred maintenance you have until you move. But we're loving it out here in the country.

A little essay, "In Praise of Inattention," appeared in The Vocabula Review in August.

Daiva Markelis

In May, my memoir, “Mongrel Tongue,” was a finalist in the yearly Arts and Letters prize, in the category of Creative Nonfiction.

I didn’t travel anywhere over the summer (does Wisconsin count?), but did take several extended spiritual journeys into the somewhat fragmented but nonetheless inviting not to mention eco-friendly territory of the self.

Letitia Moffitt

In May, my collection of short fiction, That's Nothing: Stories, was a finalist for the Livingston Press Short Fiction Prize.

In June, I visited Belize, where I spent half the time at the reef looking at sea critters and the other half on shore eating them. 

David Radavich

Anne and I had the good fortune and pleasure to attend the intense week-long Literature of War Seminar held at the Durrell School on Corfu (Greece) late last May.  Scholars and writers gathered from all over the world to discuss and consider this all-too-timely topic in its various literary manifestations.  Several veterans from the Northern Ireland conflicts were there, along with a refugee from Iraq, who gave searing testimony, and many others from Europe and America.  I gave a reading of my poems dealing with aspects of the Iraq conflict: not only scenes of battle, but also political campaigns, media reports, and reactions of civilians to a war many did not expect or even choose.

We also enjoyed a visit to southwest Germany, where we visited friends and I gave a reading at the Deutsch-Amerikanischem Institut in Heidelberg.  I was astonished to see huge yellow signs along the streets advertising my reading, so I couldn't resist "liberating" one of those to be posted on my office door, which can be read from anywhere in Coleman Hall!  (Just kidding.)  Clearly, poetry, and the arts generally, plays a more visible public role in Germany than we are used to in this country.  I read a variety of poems, including selections from my new book, America Bound: An Epic for Our Time (Plain View Press, 2007), and I also felt privileged to read a couple of poems in German, including my tribute to the late great lyric poet, Hilde Domin, who died in Heidelberg about a year and a half ago at the age of 95.

David Raybin

Susanna and I, accompanied by our son Jonathan, took a group of 22 students to Harlaxton for five weeks in June/July.  The students – 14 EIU, 8 Kent State – were wonderfully enthusiastic and diligent, and a fabulous time was enjoyed by all.  We read, read, and read some more; wrote (and graded!) constantly; nibbled cheshire and stilton; visited Bakewell and Chatsworth House; Cambridge, Lincoln, and York; Haworth and Fountains Abbey; Ludschurch (a Gawain site in the Peak District) and Haddon Hall; Dove Cottage, Rydal Mount, the Aira Force Waterfall (in full force), and Windermere in the Lake District; and the new Globe (for a splendid Merchant of Venice), Westminster Abbey, and Clarissa Dalloway’s path in London.  A few students went AWOL to see J. K. Rowling (and got her autograph), and a couple of ardent souls climbed Helvellyn (the third highest peak in England and Wordsworth’s favorite) in nasty weather.  What with the hours and hours and hours of class and other contact each day, I came to love each and every one of the students.
I returned home to hard and happy catch-up work and, at the end of August, the good news that Susanna and I were awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities to direct a Summer Seminar for School Teachers on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.  The seminar will take place June 22 – July 18, 2008 in London and Canterbury.  Eastern Illinois University is the principal recipient of the award, and Dana – many thanks! - wrote what must have been a stellar supporting letter.

Tim Taylor

My book review of Shari Stenberg’s Professing and Pedagogy: Learning the Teaching of English will be published in this December’s Teaching English in the Two-Year College.

My proposal, “Phronesis for Arguing — Arguing for Phronesis,” was accepted for the 2008 Conference on College Composition and Communication, and I will present my research at the conference in early April in New Orleans.

I was also recently selected to be part of the Editorial Board for the online, peer-reviewed Journal for Civic Commitment, an academic journal that focuses on service learning pedagogy and civic engagement initiatives.

Anne Zahlan

This past summer, David and I enjoyed our travels to Greece and Germany (as well as to Georgia and North Carolina).  On the beautiful island of Corfu, we participated in the Durrell School's symposium on the "Literature of War." Participants came from all over the world, and the week-long discussion was intense and stimulating. My paper dealt with Durrell's treatment of issues of resistance and collaboration in Nazi-occupied France; it was titled "Avignon Preserved: Conquest and Liberation in Lawrence Durrell's Constance."

In Germany, I was invited to give a lecture to the American Literature Seminar at Heidelberg University; my subject was "Exile and the Narrative Vocation in Thomas Wolfe’s Of Time and the River," and the talk included information on Wolfe's relationship with Germany and Germans. I enjoyed this experience very much, and I'm still corresponding by email with a doctoral student working on southern literature.


Alumni News

Jim Harris, '86

My second novel, A Bottle of Rain, is available in both hardback and trade paperback on the internet and for order. The official Livingston Press rollout is October. I've gotten a couple reviews so far, but the advanced reading copies just went out a while back.

John McNally's a big fan now, bless his heart. He had this to say---

Reading Jim Harris' new novel, A Bottle of Rain, is like opening up a time-capsule for the 1980s. It's all here: Ronald Reagan, giant Koss headphones, even WordPerfect. But it's much more than just a trip down memory lane. Set in America's heartland, A Bottle of Rain is a hilarious, hardboiled campus novel that is as lively and smart as it is fun — what Lucky Jim might have read like if Jim Thompson had written it.

— John McNally, author of America's Report Card and The Book of Ralph.