August 2007 Archives

Off the Shelf—a New Book Club for Alumni

mothersbody4web.gifOff the Shelf: A Book Discussion Series with English@Minnesota invites alumni to join University of Minnesota English professors in good conversation about books. We will be reading works from visiting writers, department faculty, and playwrights who are being produced on local stages; the monthly series features books by Paul Muldoon, Patricia Hampl, Charles Baxter, and Shakespeare, among others. The play readings will include a field trip to the theatrical production. All discussions free (theater tickets purchased by individual). Advanced registration necessary: see schedule and registration information.

Michael Tisserand Featured in 5 Questions +

sugarcane4web.jpgThe Department of English announces a new website feature, 5 Questions +, in which we offer up the requisite number of queries to an alumnus or alumna of our B.A., M.A., or Ph.D. programs. Our first Q & A spotlights former New Orleans resident Michael Tisserand (B.A. 1992), who recalled some advice from English professor Michael Dennis Browne while writing his second book, Sugarcane Academy. The memoir follows Tisserand's family and friends in the post-Katrina diaspora, as they set up a one-room schoolhouse for their evacuated children. Read more.

Baxter's Movie Release

feast of love movie.gifEdelstein-Keller visiting professor Charles Baxter has earned a mention in imdb.com: his 2000 novel Feast of Love has been made into a film which opened late September. In an interview with UMNnews, Baxter calls the Robert Benton-directed film starring Morgan Freeman " a reasonably good movie."

PhD Candidate to Thailand

PhD candidate Mitchell P. Ogden is a recipient of the Harold Leonard Memorial Fellowship in Film Study for 2007-8. As part of the fellowship, he is headed to Thailand at the end of September for three weeks with Hmong American filmmaker Moua Lee on Lee's film shoot there.

MFA Releases & Publications

gard book 4 web.jpgJulie Gard (MFA 2000) has published her first book with Finishing Line Press: Obscura: The Daguerreotype Series, a collection of prose poems. . . . The documentary film Arid Lands by Josh Wallaert (MFA 2007) has just been released on DVD by Bullfrog Films. . . . Pudding House Press published the chapbook Glances Back by MFA candidate Emily Bright. . . . A long poem by Shana Youngdahl (MFA 2006) entitled Donner: A Passing has been accepted for publication as a chapbook with Finishing Line Press. Congratulations to all!

Tinsley Helps Create Dance Performance

Among the research and creative collaboration groups chosen by the Institute for Advanced Study for 2007-08 support was the Performance and Social Justice Collaborative, convened in part by English professor Omise'eke Natasha Tinsley. With choreographer Ananya Chatterjea, the group fashioned Pipaashaa, extreme thirst, an Ananya Dance Theatre performance debuting September 6-9 at the Southern Theater. Pipaashaa, extreme thirst, explores the impact of environmental degradation in the lives of communities of color across the divides of North and South.

Congratulations to Loft Mentorship Winners

MFA candidate Emily Freeman (fiction) and MFA alumna Margie Newman (nonfiction) have been selected for the 2007-2008 Loft Mentor Series. The Mentorships, presented by the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, offer advanced criticism and professional development opportunities to twelve writers a year. Three MFA alumni were finalists: Marge Barrett, Wendy Fernstrum, and Jennifer Johnson.

BA Alumni Publish

Danika Stegeman (BA 2005 summa cum laude) makes her publication debut with the poem "Here, 1,475' above the Ocean" in The Denver Quarterly (Vol. 41:4). Stegeman is currently an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at George Mason University. . . . Sam Kean (BA 2002 summa cum laude) wrote "Uncommon Reading," about common-reading programs for freshmen, for the September Writer's Chronicle. Kean also contributes to The Chronicle of Philanthropy and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Charles Baxter Reading

Charles Baxter Art of Subtext imageEdelstein-Keller Visiting Professor Charles Baxter will discuss his new book The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot (Graywolf Press) at Magers & Quinn Bookstore, Thursday, August 9, at 7:30 pm. The book inaugurates a Graywolf series on the "art of writing" which Baxter will edit.

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