Author Archives: amisare1

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.

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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.”

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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?

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?

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Good News for March 2015: Grad Student Edition

Every year, so many BSU English grad students do cool stuff, like give public presentations, run media projects, and receive scholarships. We want to use the Good News post for March to honor these expectation-exceeding individuals.

To learn more about our amazing graduate programs, check out our website!


Shane Lanning

  • He attended Navigating Normativity: Queering Institutions and Challenging Inequality at the University of North Carolina. While he was there, he gave a presentation titled, “A Gay/Straight Comparison of Performed Gay Voices.”
  • He also went to a conference run by the American Association for Applied Linguistics in Toronto, Canada. His presentation was titled, “Gay Humor in American and British English: A Gricean Approach.”
  • Last but not least, he gave a group presentation with Phuong Tran, Hana Altahi, Seula Han, and Thomas McAlister at the Second Language Research Forum in South Carolina. Their presentation was called, “Acquiring Non-Lexicalized L2 Words: Strategy and Task Type.”

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Want to make the most of National Poetry Month 2015? Here's how!

In 1996, the Academy of American Poets brought National Poetry Month into prominence, making April a time for literary celebration.

To help make your literary celebration one to remember, we found some of the best ways you can send out poetic vibes, improve your writing, and practice literary citizenship.


Start the month with two events!

  • Dark Garden by Brian Andreas

    Dark Garden by Brian Andreas

    First Pulitzer-prize nominee Brian Andreas TONIGHT from 5:00 to 6:15 in the Cave Theatre. This will be an informal question and answer session. Andreas is the creator of the Storypeople universe, made up of books and artworks populated by multicolored people who speak in brief, wise, simple, sometimes poignant, often funny, always engaging storypoems on how to live the good life. (For more see Storypeople.com). This event is sponsored by the Department of Theatre and Dance.

  • Then, go the the Midwest Writers Workshop Poetry Reading at Vera Mae’s Bistro, 209 S. Walnut Street, downtown Muncie…tonight! Who’s reading?
    • MWWveraMitchell L.H. Douglas, associate professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Douglas is a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, a Cave Canem fellow, and Poetry Editor for PLUCK!: the Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. His second poetry collection, \blak\ \al-fə bet\, winner of the 2011 Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award, is available from Persea Books.
    • Shari Wagner, author of two books of poetry: The Harmonist at Nightfall: Poems of Indiana (Bottom Dog Press, 2013) and Evening Chore (Cascadia, 2005). She was co-winner of Shenandoah’s The Carter Prize for the Essay (2009) and the recipient of two Arts Council of Indianapolis Creative Renewal Fellowships, as well as grants from the Indiana Arts Commission.
      Allison Nusbaum, a *junior at Ball State University* majoring in creative writing with a minor in screenwriting. While she still hopes to become a Hollywood screenwriter, she has also recently discovered her love of poetry.
  • Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day by carrying around your favorite poem and sharing it with friends. If you want to make your friends uncomfortable, share the poem in a crowded place. Through a megaphone.

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4 Takes on the Human Body: Come to Take 4 on 4/3

April 3, 2015 (4:30 – 6:30 PM)

You can listen to Adam Beach, Debbie Mix, Joyce Huff, and Liz Whiteacre share their research and writing in Robert Bell 361!

Each presentation will be about the human body, and there are a lot of ways to do that. Some bodies are accepted as “beautiful,” while others aren’t. Some injuries can change a person’s life. Some industries see the body as a commodity.

Following their presentations, you’ll have time to ask questions, learn about other upcoming events, and mingle. The event is free and open to the public.

We hope to see lots of people there: undergraduates, graduate students, and all faculty!


A little bit about the speakers


Dr. Adam Beach Adam Beach


Deborah Mix Debbie Mix


Joyce Huff

Joyce Huff

  • She earned her Ph.D. in English at George Washington University, and she specializes in Victorian literature. Her research explores the representation of stigmatized human bodies.
  • Her poem, “The Hymn of a Fat Woman” was selected for the Library of Congress’ Poetry 180 Project.
  • She’ll be running Ball State’s academic journal next year: Digital Literature Review. The theme will be “Freak Shows and Human Zoos,” and you can e-mail (jlhuff@bsu.edu) her if you’re curious about joining the immersive learning project.

Liz Whiteacre Liz Whiteacre


We hope to see you there!

How to Live a Writing Life: An Interview with Matt Gonzales

Okay, here’s the back story

Matt Gonzales graduated from Ball State in 1997 with a B.A. in English, and then returned to Ball State in 2003 to earn a graduate degree in Digital Storytelling. He also launched his own webzine and kept busy writing music criticism for Popmatters.com.

In 2005, the Indianapolis Star hired Matt to write for INtake Weekly, where he became a columnist and a blog editor. He was soon recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists for his long-form writing.

In 2008, Matt left the Star because he realized “the newspaper business was dying a slow, grisly death,” and jumped to the advertising business.

After spending some time working as a freelancer, Matt finally began work at Well Done Marketing, a full-service ad agency in Indianapolis.

Recently, we talked to Matt Gonzales about his journey through the job market. Here’s what he had to say! Continue reading

Women's Week: "Celebrating Variety" through Sister Cis-ter

In case you didn’t already know, March is National Women’s History Month.

And during the last week of the month, Ball State’s Women’s and Gender Studies program celebrates the achievements and experiences of women through lectures, critical discussions, theatrical performances, and more!

Since this year’s theme is “Celebrating Variety,” those involved in Women’s Week hope to support all women across all intersections by addressing the inequalities suffered due to race, gender, class, sexuality, age, and ethnicity.


Speakers from the English Department


 

Cathy Day: Women in PublishingCathy Day

  • Thursday, March 26th
  • 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
  • Student Center 301
  • Are you an aspiring writer, editor, or publisher? Prof. Cathy Day (Assistant Chair of English) can tell you what to expect about the publishing world, while also offering some tips for being a good literary citizen.
  • Cathy (@daycathy) runs a blog on literary citizenship, a blog on teaching, and a blog on novel-writing. She’s also the author of two books; one of which has been adapted into a musical.

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