Monthly Archives: April 2015

Meet Your New Faculty Members!

Come fall, there will be new faces in the halls of Robert Bell. Here are three of them!

Poetry: Dr. Katy Didden

DiddenKaty Didden grew up in Washington D.C., and has lived in many cities across the U.S., including Seattle, Chicago, St. Louis, and Eugene.  She holds degrees from Washington University, the University of Maryland, and the University of Missouri, and she has taught courses in creative writing, composition, literature, and film.

Her first book, The Glacier’s Wake, won the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize from Pleiades Press and is available for purchase here or here or here. Her poems and reviews appear in journals such as Ecotone, Bat City ReviewThe Kenyon Review, Image, The Missouri Review, Smartish Pace, Poetry, and the Best New Poets Anthology (2009).  She won the Beulah Rose prize from Smartish Pace, three Dorothy Sargent Awards, and an Academy of American Poets Prize, and her work has been featured on Verse Daily and Poetry Daily.

She has received scholarships and residencies from The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Vermont Studio Center, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Ragdale Foundation, the Hambidge Center, and the MacDowell Colony.

Continue reading

Jeff Owens: What I Learned from Writers' Community

Since we’re approaching the end of Spring semester, it’s time to hear what the English public relations interns have to say! Today, Jeff tells us about his experiences in the Writers’ Community — from freshman year to junior year.

If you’re interested in attending Writers’ Community, it takes place during the Fall and Spring. Meetings are from 8:00 – 9:00 PM on Wednesdays in Robert Bell’s Writing Center (RB 291).


Looking back, I guess I’d describe the majority of my freshman year as “comfortable.” After acclimating to college life, I was meeting new people, spending more time outside my dorm than inside, and writing more often.

When my second semester rolled around, I felt confident enough to attend a Writers’ Community meeting. And why wouldn’t I? In high school, I was head tutor of the writing lab, I edited too many narrative essays to count, and people voted me “Most Likely to Write a Novel.”

Writers’ Community would be old hat, or at least that’s what I told myself. But I didn’t make a single contribution to the writing workshop that night. Making proper small talk proved impossible. I spent more time wiping the sweat from my hands than looking people in the eye. Continue reading

Taylor Wicker: I'm the Girl Behind the Desk

Since we’re approaching the end of the Spring semester, it’s time to hear what the English public relations interns have to say! Today, Taylor tells us about her experiences as an English student — both inside and outside the classroom. 


I got my job as an English department secretary a few weeks before I started my freshman year of college. The office was inviting, my co-workers and bosses were friendly, and every day that I worked behind the front desk, I found myself meeting people, students, staff, and professors — all intimidatingly smarter than I was in every aspect of life.

I spent my first year hiding behind that front desk, watching clubs organize events I refused to go to, hearing about readings in local coffee shops I’d most certainly miss, and poetry competitions I would never dream of competing in. I got into the habit of staying behind the scenes, of appreciating my department at a distance. The more time I spent behind the desk, avoiding these opportunities, the more I craved to be involved in them.

I was writing, sure, but I wasn’t showing it to anyone. I was reading, definitely, but I didn’t want to talk about my experiences with anyone outside of my painfully disinterested friend group.

Continue reading

If You're an English Major, You Can Find a Career in L.A.!

Andrewkmiec

Photo provided by Andrew Kmiec.

Andrew Kmiec was born and raised in Northwest Indiana and graduated from Ball State in 2009 with a degree in creative writing. In 2010, he moved to Los Angeles, determined to fulfill his childhood dreams of storytelling and filmmaking.

Since moving to L.A., Andrew has worked with some of the industry’s most influential storytellers in both commercials and feature films. In 2014, Andrew quit his day job so he could put his stories to paper. He has another job in marketing now, but he had to live off ramen and cheap coffee before writing several screenplays that caught Hollywood’s attention.

We recently got to talk with Andrew about his journey to L.A. We hope English majors draw inspiration from reading about his experiences, and will attend his presentation in Bracken 104 on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 (4:30 PM).

If you’ve ever dreamed of writing stories for television or film, you should go. We hope to see lots of English and TCOM majors there.


How did your degree in English lead to your job? What skills did you learn that helped you in a professional setting?

I knew very early on that I wanted to be a storyteller in film. This gave me a little bit of a leg-up on the kids who were moving to California to “figure it all out.”

Continue reading

Nikole Darnell and Professor Angela Jackson-Brown Reflect on Maya Angelou's Legacy

On February 16th, Ball State held a tribute to author Maya Angelou, who died this past June.  English department faculty Prof. Mark Neely and Prof. Angela Jackson-Brown were both involved in planning the event, and Prof. Jackson-Brown spoke at the tribute.  The English Department asked sophomore English major Nikole Darnell to interview Prof. Jackson-Brown and to reflect on the event.


Prof. Angela Jackson-Brown speaking at the Maya Angelou Tribute. Photo courtesy of Jeff Owens.

Prof. Angela Jackson-Brown speaking at the Maya Angelou Tribute. Photo courtesy of Jeff Owens.

Almost every chair in Ball State’s Student Center Ballroom was full as people from all around packed in, eager to see the tribute to Dr. Maya Angelou that was sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity on Monday February 16, 2015.

While there were numerous Ball State students and faculty in attendance, the program also attracted several outside visitors. For instance, the gentleman sitting next to me said his group traveled from Ivy Tech to see the program.

It is an understatement to say that the tribute was spectacular—it was also beautiful, thought provoking, and, at times, moved me to tears.

Professor Angela Jackson-Brown of the Ball State English Department, one of the speakers at the tribute, graciously made time to speak with me about the event and her love for Dr. Angelou’s work. Professor Brown remembers becoming interested in poetry as a child when her father gave her a book of poems. It was then that she discovered Maya Angelou’s work and “all of these amazing black poets” and “that it was okay for [her] to write and explore [her] feelings through the written word.” It was obvious by the end of the night that Professor Brown was not the only one inspired by Dr. Angelou’s work.

Continue reading

Release your inner academic at the 2015 DLR Launch Gala!

What is it?

The Digital Literature Review is Ball State’s academic journal.

full gala posterEvery year, those involved in the journal share their hard work at the DLR launch gala. We want you to be there for the release of the DLR‘s second issue: Slavery Now.

Why should I attend?

If you attend, you not only get the opportunity to learn about different forms of modern slavery, but you can also learn about next year’s session of the project and get a free copy of the journal.

During the gala, students will also present their research in individual question-and-answer sessions.

Where is it?

You can find presentations and refreshments in Schwartz Digital Complex, which is located in Bracken Library.

Okay, but when is it?

The event takes place on April 20th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.

Is there anything else I should know?

  • If you’re interested in contributing to next year’s issue of the journal (Freak Shows and Human Zoos), you can e-mail Joyce Huff (jlhuff@bsu.edu) about becoming a staff member.
  • You can also submit your writing for the 2016 issue of DLR here. And don’t forget about the Digital Literature Review’s blog, which is Freak shows and human zoosaccepting submissions year-round.
  • Last but not least, if you want to be an even better literary citizen, make sure you follow DLR on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Is it time for you to face depression?

[polldaddy poll=8783174]

Adam Kuban, a journalism professor at Ball State, is working with students in the Ingelhart Scholars Program to create a book about facing depression in East Central Indiana.

By teaming up with The Facing Project (founded by Kelsey Timmerman and #bsuenglish alum J.R. Jamison), Adam and his students hope to provide a platform for the voices of depression sufferers, while also considering the stories of psychologists, mentally healthy family members, and others who interact with depression in indirect ways.

Today, we asked Adam some questions about Facing Depression’s launch event, which is taking place on April 23rd (7:00 PM) at the Muncie Civic Theater.


So who came up with the idea of focusing on depression? Have Ball State students expressed a need for a program like this in the past?

Continue reading