Upcoming Reading: Linh Dinh

If you’ve been waiting with baited breath for the English Department’s reading series to begin, wait no longer! We are kicking off the semester with a visit from distinguished fiction writer, poet, translator, and photographer Linh Dinh, who will be coming to Coe’s campus for a reading next Wednesday, September 24. The reading will be held in Kesler Auditorium at 4:30pm.

 Linh Dinh on 9-4-14--Philadelphia

Linh Dinh was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States in 1975, narrowly escaping the fall of Saigon. He has two collections of short stories, five books of poetry, and a novel to his name, and his short story collection Blood and Soap was chosen by the Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. His most recent work of translation is Night, Fish and Charlie Parker, the poetry of Phan Nhien Hao. Dinh’s work walks cultural boundaries between America and Vietnam, and he often mixes grotesque imagery with sharp political commentary.

In an interview with the Pacific Rim Review of Books, Dinh talks about a major theme of his work, which is lifting the cracked facade of both American and Vietnamese society: “The two cultures I’m most familiar with, the U.S. and Vietnam, are tremendously fake, but in different ways. During the Vietnam War, the Hanoi government also called the South Vietnamese “nguy,” or “fake” (This term “nguy” is frequently translated into English as “puppet,” but it actually means “fake.”) One of my favorite lines of all time is Elias Canetti’s “She saw behind everything. Behind that, she saw nothing.” So my motto is, “You’ve got to see behind what’s behind,” you’ve got to see beyond the so-called authenticity behind the fakeness.”

Dinh’s current project is Postcards from the End of America, a blog featuring haunting photographs of America’s homeless in cities across the US. It is set to be released as a book in 2015.

At the upcoming reading, Dinh will read from his work and participate in a question and answer discussion exploring his writing, translation work, editing, and much more with Assistant Professor of English, Nick Twemlow. The reading is free and open to the public. Hope to see you there!

-Laura Mills, English Department Student Blogger

Midwest Undergraduate Conference in the Humanities

Simpson College will host the 4th Midwest Undergraduate Conference in the Humanities on November 8, 2014. We invite submissions focusing on any area of original research-based scholarship in the humanities, including creative work, from colleges and universities in the Midwest.  Presentations may take the form of 10-15 minute papers, readings, displays, or lecture-recitals. Please direct questions to J.J. Butts (jj.butts@simpson.edu). The deadline for submissions is October 1, 2014.

MUCHCFP2014

Streamlines Undergraduate Conference

On Saturday, November 15, 2014, Clarke University, Loras College and University of Dubuque will host Streamlines, an opportunity for undergraduate students at colleges and universities to share scholarship and creativity. The conference will be held at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa, and is open to all interested college students and faculty.

http://www.clarke.edu/page.aspx?id=15680

Streamlines14A_flyer 

Creative Writing Double Header and Other Upcoming Events

Please join the English Department for two upcoming events this Thursday, April 17:

 

Creative Writing Senior Reading

Thursday, April 17 at 4 p.m.

Kesler Auditorium

Featuring Mirah Bolender, MJ Eyzaguirre, Rashad Harris, Courtney Marti, Jordan Miller and Lea Mislevy

 

Sarah Lindsay Poetry Reading

Thursday, April 17

7:00 pm

Off Campus@CSPS

1103 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Book signing to follow at New Bo Books

 

Please join Sarah Lindsay, formerly of Cedar Rapids, as she reads from her new collection of poems, Debt to the Bone-Eating Snotflower, published last year by Copper Canyon. The reading will be held at CSPS, with a book signing to follow at New Bo Books. Several of Lindsay’s books will be available for purchase, and she would be happy to sign a copy and answer questions following the reading.

 

A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship, Sarah Lindsay graduated from St. Olaf College with a B.A. and a Paracollege major in English and creative writing. She holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of North Carolina–Greensboro. She has worked at Coe College as a typist, at the Cedar Rapids Gazette in the makeup department, and at Unicorn Press as a typesetter, printer, bookbinder, and floor-sweeper. As a copy editor at Pace, she has worked on such titles as Amtrak Express, Southern Bride, IGA Grocergram, the inflight magazine for Delta Airlines, and Verizon publications; nowadays she is the copy editor for Four Seasons Magazine and its website. She is also an amateur cellist. Her books of poems include Primate Behavior (finalist for the National Book Award), Grove Press, 1997; Mount Clutter, Grove Press, 2002; Twigs and Knucklebones, Copper Canyon Press, 2008; and Debt to the Bone-Eating Snotflower, Copper Canyon Press, 2013.

 

 

Other upcoming events to mark on your calendars:

“IN ACTING SHAKESPEARE” – PERFORMANCE BY JIM DeVITA
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
7:30 p.m. Dows Theatre

Accomplished actor, award-winning author and playwright Jim DeVita brings new life to Sir Ian McKellen’s play, “Acting Shakespeare.” Twenty-three years after seeing Mr. McKellen’s play, DeVita was inspired to adapt it for his own performance. It took him two years of research and revisions and 14 drafts to finally complete his rendition. While some of the original writings of McKellen are retained, DeVita’s creation emphasizes a more intimate story of one person’s journey towards meeting Shakespeare. DeVita has over 25 years of experience in American Theater, and currently writes and adapts plays for children and young adults.

 

Creative Writing Reading

Tuesday, April 22 at 4 p.m.

Kesler Auditorium

Pimone Triplett Engle Reading at Coe Thursday, April 10 at 7 p.m.

Pimone Triplett

Paul Engle Poetry Reading

 

Thursday, April 10

7:00 pm

 

Kesler Auditorium (first floor Hickok Hall)

 

Please join distinguished poet Pimone Triplett for Coe College’s annual Paul Engle Writers Series poetry reading Thursday, April 10, at 7:00 p.m. in Kesler Auditorium (first floor of Hickok Hall). Triplett, who has been described in the pages of The New Yorker as a poet “of complex surfaces and elegant ideas,” will read new work as well as from her three collections of poetry. She will also participate in a question and answer discussion exploring her poetry, the writing process, identity, editing, and much more with Assistant Professor of English, Nick Twemlow. The reading is open to the public and a reception will follow the event.

About the Paul Engle Writers Series Poetry Reading

The Coe English Department sponsors an annual poetry reading commemorating Paul Engle, a Coe graduate, past director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and co-founder with Nieh Hualing of the International Writing Program. In the spirit of Paul Engle’s mentoring of young writers, Coe brings a distinguished poet to campus each year for a reading and an informal meeting with students.

Pimone Triplett’s most recent collection of poems is Rumor. She is also the author of The Price of Light, and Ruining the Picture, as well as co-editor of the essay anthology, Poet’s Work, Poet’s Play. A recipient of the Larry Levis Poetry Prize and the Hazel Hall Poetry Prize, her poems have appeared in journals such as Poetry, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Denver Quarterly, Iowa Review, Canary and many others. Noted in The New Yorker as a poet of “of complex surfaces and elegant ideas,” her work has been widely anthologized, appearing in W.W. Norton’s Language for a New Century, Legitimate Dangers and Asian American Poetry, the Next Generation, among others.  Her MFA is from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. She teaches in the University of Washington MFA program and lives in Seattle with her husband and son.

 

Also note the following upcoming events (2 on the same day!):

Creative Writing Senior Reading

Thursday, April 17 at 4 p.m.

Kesler Auditorium

Featuring Mirah Bolender, MJ Eyzaguirre, Rashad Harris, Courtney Marti, Jordan Miller and Lea Mislevy

 

A reading featuring the award-winning poet (and Cedar Rapids native) Sarah Lindsay

Co-sponsored by the Coe College English Department and New Bo Books

Thursday, April 17 at 7 p.m. at CSPS

1103 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Book signing to follow at New Bo Books

 

Creative Writing Reading

Tuesday, April 22 at 4 p.m.

Kesler Auditorium

 

Research Presentation featuring Assistant Professor of English Amber Shaw

Join us for a research presentation featuring Assistant Professor of English Amber Shaw. Her talk, entitled “‘The Pallid Incipience of the Pulp': Herman Melville, the Lowell Mills, and Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture,” will be drawn from her current research project on the links between the transatlantic textile industry and nineteenth-century British and American literature. You can find an abstract of her talk below.

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Thursday, April 3 at 4 p.m. in Kesler Auditorium

Refreshments will be served

 

“The pallid incipience of the pulp”: Herman Melville, the Lowell Mills, and Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture

When British luminaries such as Charles Dickens and Harriet Martineau toured textile mills in Lowell, Massachusetts, they praised what they observed in newspaper articles and travelogues on both sides of the Atlantic. In “The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids” (1855) Herman Melville highlights the discrepancy between these public celebrations of the Lowell mills and the reality of factory life. These critiques, however, are not overt, for Melville’s diptych, as a piece of fiction, inherently poses the problems of eyewitness believability and supposedly factual accounts. Moreover, Melville published the story in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, a popular America periodical that often avoided controversy. Throughout the story, then, Melville at once talks about—and does not talk about—the Lowell mills; by describing cotton-rag paper instead of textiles and by filtering these observations through his largely ambivalent narrator, Melville emphasizes the real material—and transatlantic—connections between consumer and factory. 

This talk explores how Melville’s narrator’s muted reactions throughout the story are themselves a critique of both the Lowell mills and the periodical culture surrounding the mid-nineteenth-century cotton industry. While the narrator initially considers his tour a “novelty,” he becomes increasingly affected by what he sees and concludes his tour (and the story) with a not-quite-articulated critique of the factory system. In doing so, Melville underscores the relationship between actual poor working conditions and more nebulous damage from the transatlantic literary community’s idealization of the Lowell mills—and he urges his readers to come to terms with their own complicity in the global economy.

Get Involved with the Coe Review

You’ve seen them at Blindspot, and you may have attended the publication release of their Fall 2013 issue, but did you know that the Coe Review has been a staple of our literary community since it was established in 1971? What began as a publication meant to showcase the work of Coe students has expanded to accept submissions from writers all over the world. The journal is published biannually, with poetry in the fall and fiction in the spring.

The staff of the Coe Review is made up of a variety of different positions, and they are not all what you might think. One of the most important of these is the manuscript reader. This is a group of individuals who read each submission as it comes in and vote on whether or not they believe that it should be considered for publication. In addition to manuscript readers, there are positions that involve communications and blog updates, editing fiction and poetry, and coordinating the business side of running the journal. “I think a successful literary journal is a combo of strong and unique submissions along with a passionate staff,” says Hailley Fargo, the managing editor at the Coe Review, “You really can’t have one without the other. Solid submissions make a good magazine; it keeps readers and pushes them to think differently and hopefully feel something. At the same time, to get these good submissions, we need a passionate staff, a staff who is willing to read through the giant slush pile to find those gems.” Each of these components come together to form the glossy book that you hold in your hands at the end of each semester.

The Coe Review is so much more than just a publication. It is a supportive community of people who care about writing and publishing. Haleema Smith is a manuscript reader and assistant production editor at the Review, and she benefitted greatly from joining the team: “The conversations we have in meetings are both educational and interesting, and being involved in a literary magazine at Coe makes me feel like an appreciated part of an important tradition.” There is so much to gain from becoming involved in the Coe Review. Whether you submit work, become a manuscript reader, or simply read one of the issues, you are supporting a network of people who promote the joy of the written word and showcase writers whose work deserves to be seen. “One of my favorite parts of being managing editor,” says Hailley, “is standing on the mini-stage in the PUB welcoming everyone to our event and introducing our issue. I love to see people reading the issue and thinking about all that work we put into making it.”

If you would like to be involved in the Coe Review, it is as simple as attending Monday night meetings at 7pm in Hickok 302. Submissions for the Spring 2014 issue are now closed, but you can attend their publication event later in the semester to celebrate its release. Click HERE if you would like to learn more about the Coe Review, read past issues, and check out their awesome blog!

–Laura Mills, English Department student blogger

Karen Thompson Walker Reading Thursday, March 27 at 4 pm

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Please join the English Department in welcoming bestselling novelist Karen Thompson Walker to Coe for a reading this Thursday, March 27 at 4 p.m. in Kesler Auditorium.

 

Karen Thompson Walker is the author of The Age of Miracles, a widely-acclaimed first novel, and the recipient of the 2011 Sirenland Fellowship and a Bomb Magazine fiction prize. There will be a Q&A following the reading and refreshments will be served. You can also learn more about her work at http://www.theageofmiraclesbook.com.

 

Also remember our other exciting events this term:

 

A talk by Assistant Professor of English Amber Shaw

“The Pallid Incipience of the Pulp”: Herman Melville, the Lowell Mills, and Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture

Thursday, April 3 at 4 p.m. in Kesler

 

Our annual Engle poetry reading featuring Pimone Triplett

Thursday, April 10 at 7 p.m. in Kesler

 

A reading featuring the award-winning poet (and Cedar Rapids native) Sarah Lindsay

Co-sponsored by the Coe College English Department and New Bo Books

Thursday, April 17 at 7 p.m. at CSPS

1103 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Book signing to follow at New Bo Books

Revenge Play – A Comedy by Ann Struthers

Please join the English Department for a reading of Revenge Play, a wickedly funny comedy set in academia, by Coe’s own Ann Struthers. 

Thursday, March 20 at 4 p.m.

Kesler Auditorium 

The reading will feature faculty members Gordon Mennenga and Kristy Hartsgrove Mooers, former Coe faculty Carol Gorman, students Rashad Harris, Courtney Marti, Andrew Baskerville, and Kelci de Haas, and area actors Rachael Lindhart, Maggie Conroy, and Gerry Roe. Plus, there will be refreshments!

Fred Sasaki Reading Today at 5:30 pm

Fred Sasaki

Nonfiction Reading and Publishing Q&A

 

Thursday, March 13

5:30 pm

 

Kesler Auditorium (first floor Hickok Hall)

 

 

Please join Chicago writer, art director, and curator, Fred Sasaki for a reading and question and answer session Thursday, March 13, at 5:30 p.m. in Kesler Auditorium (first floor of Hickok Hall), as part of the Coe College English Department’s Creative Writing Reading Series. Sasaki will read from his manuscript of “non-consensual collaborative emails,” and will participate with Assistant Professor of English, Nick Twemlow in a conversation about the publishing industry, literary event planning, satire, funeral homes, how to get an internship in an overcrowded world, and other interesting topics and he will also entertain questions from the audience. Newcity Lit has named Sasaki one of the 50 most influential people in Chicago’s literary scene.

 

Fred Sasaki is the art director for Poetry magazine and a gallery curator for the Poetry Foundation. Recent magazine portfolios and exhibits include Joan Mitchell: At Home in Poetry, Shame Every Rose: Images of Afghanistan, and Jane Freilicher: Painter Among Poets. Ongoing magazine projects include work with children’s author Lemony Snicket; writer, editor, and actress Tavi Gevinson; and “The View From Here,” which features artists and professionals from outside the poetry world writing about poetry, like Neko Case, Lou Reed, and Lynda Barry. He is the founding organizer of The Printers Ball, an annual celebration of print culture, now in its tenth year, and co-curates Homeroom Chicago’s “101” series lecture show, which explores sub- and pop-culture in front of a drinking crowd (Juggalos 101, Godzilla 101, Barbie 101). He is also the author of a manuscript of non-consensual collaborative emails (“Real Life Emails”), parts of which can be found online at VICE, PANK, and elsewhere. With his son and late father, he is the author of Fred Sasaki’s & Fred Sasaki’s 4-Pager Guide to: How to Fix You (Now with More August Sasaki). Topics include “How to Stretch” and “Prelude to Healthy Sex.”