Category Archives: Events

Jay Coles: Visiting YA Writer at Ball State University

By Rachel Lauve

Novelist and Ball State English Department alum Jay Coles will be visiting Ball State University to read from his work on Thursday, November 8th, 2018 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Arts and Journalism Building (AJ) 225. This event is free and open to the public.

On Thursday, November 8th, Coles will visit ENG 307 (Intro Fiction Workshop) from 2:00-3:15 p.m. in Robert Bell (RB) 361 to discuss his writing and the writing life. This visit is also free and open to the public.

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Christina Dionesotes: (Not) Lost in Translation

Christina Dionesotes graduated from Ball State with degrees in both English Studies and Spanish. She then went to New York University for her Masters in Spanish and Latin American Cultural, Literary, and Linguistic Studies. Since then, she has worked as a freelancer translator editor and proofreader, and is now the Associate Project Manager at RWS Life Sciences.

What was your first job after graduation, and how did that lead you to your current position?

After graduation, I went right into graduate school in Spain. Because I didn’t have a work visa and was in school full time, my work options were limited. I ended up nannying/teaching English to two young girls to supplement my loan money. I also started getting into freelance editing and translation. After grad school, I came home to Chicago and looking for jobs that were related to language or included Spanish. I found my current job, under “Linguistic Validation Project Manager” quickly. I had no clue what that position entailed, didn’t know anyone at the company, but managed to score an interview. I have been working here for about 2 years now and can’t believe how much I’ve learned about the translation industry through this job.

What does a typical week look like for you?

I currently work as a contractor for my full-time job which means I’m working from home full time. I tend to go to coffee shops a few days a week just to get out of the house. What I love is that my job allows for the perfect balance of collaborating with coworkers and plugging in music and being in “do not disturb mode”. I have client calls maybe once a day but spend the most of my time working with linguists, proofreading, quality checking translations, collaborating with other vendors, and working to improve internal processes.

Right now, we’re going through quite a busy period so it’s normal to work until 6 PM, take a break, and then log back on around 9 PM or so. Right now I’m working anywhere from 40-60 hours for this job. 

I also maintain my status as a freelance translator. Now that I’m living back in the US, I’m speaking Spanish much less than I want to. Although being a rather inexperienced translator does not pay very well, I still maintain that it’s important and try to pick up a gig 1-2 times a week.

What is the most fulfilling part of your job?

The most fulfilling part of my job is getting to work with languages every day. This is what I loved to study in school, so to be paid to ask about tense, aspect, and modality is pretty cool.

Even more, I work with language-minded people. All of my colleagues speak at least one other language and the majority of us have lived in different countries and have significant others from other places.

Do you have any advice for English majors who are trying to figure out their next step?

Enjoy the process of figuring it out. I was so afraid of making the “wrong” step at the time of graduation. I just wanted to be able to tell people I was doing SOMETHING. Looking back, it would have served me well to look at all the options (yes, including moving back in with my parents).

I remember looking at jobs at the career fair and almost none of them listing “English major” as a degree that qualified me for that job. Hear me loud and clear: that is bullshit. Don’t pigeonhole yourselves into certain jobs you think you have to do. You can be an English major and not teach!

What are the most valuable skills you learned as an English major? How have they helped you post graduation?

This may be a very basic answer but being an English major taught me to analyze problems and come up with creative solutions. In my job, we’re constantly having to come up with new processes as the technology and industry changes. Sometimes clients come to us with near-impossible requests and ask us to make it happen. It has been so helpful to be able to extract pieces of information, draw conclusions, and make a plan of action based on said conclusions.

In a more “real life” sense, my professors really encouraged me to question things. They taught me to question the norm, to ask why that is the norm and who benefits from that being the norm. That’s probably something I use on an everyday basis with work, relationships, etc.

 

Does this type of career sound interesting to you? Join us at Stars to Steer By on October 23rd to learn more about career opportunities involving languages.

Star Party: Find Your True North

Okay, so what’s the Star Party?

It’s like the College of Communication, Information, and Media (CCIM) Super Party. But for people who want to learn more about getting involved in the humanities at Ball State.

When and where?

Monday, Oct. 29, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM in the Stu East Multipurpose Room

Why did you call it Star Party?

Well, a star party is a “star gazing” party, getting together with friends to check out the stars. And in this case, the stars are OPPORTUNITIES.

Have you heard of “Stars to Steer By”?

What’s that?

It’s a career series targeted specifically at humanities majors, and it shows you all the things you can do AFTER college with your degree.

The Star Party, on the other hand, shows you all the things you can do RIGHT NOW.

We want to show you all the things you can do in the departments of English, Philosophy & Religious Studies, History, and Modern Languages & Classics.

Hmmm. What can you do with a major like that?

Anything!

Who is the Star Party for? 

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Dead Shakespeare Society Reading Friday

Three years ago, a small group of undergraduates banded together with me to adapt and reduce Shakespeare’s Macbeth for a performance in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death (April 23, 1616). We joined students from the Spanish Department and Professor Stephen Hesselm as it was also the 400th anniversary of Cervantes’s death. They translated a Cervantes play for their portion of the evening; my group produced a dramatic reading, complete with audience participation, to a lovely crowd at the Kennedy Public Library. The event was a success and several of my students decided this should become an annual event. We dubbed ourselves the Dead Shakespeare Society, and this week we are preparing for our third-annual dramatic reading.

The group has expanded to include undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni from various Ball State departments. Each year, a devoted crew works tirelessly to reduce our chosen Shakespeare play to an hour or less. The actors, with the exception of a few lead roles, take on multiple characters. This year, we once again join forces with the Spanish Department to present a night of Renaissance drama titled “Calderón & Shakespeare: Dreams & Nightmares.” The Spanish Department undergraduates are presenting their translation of Pedro Calderón’s La vida es sueno/Life is a dream (1635) and the Dead Shakespeare Society will be reading our reduced version of Richard III. Together we will serve up dramas that ask you to reflect on power structures, history, propaganda, fitness to rule, and fake news—the stuff of dreams and nightmares! The performances will be held from 5-7 p.m. this Friday at the Kennedy Public Library. All ages are welcome.

–Dr. Vanessa Rapatz

Kaveh Akbar shares songs of recovery and rediscovery

Akbar speaks to students during book-signing after his reading. Photo by Prof. Mark Neely.

One of the most celebrated young poets on the scene visited Ball State this week. Kaveh Akbar, a professor at Purdue University and author of the poetry collection Calling A Wolf A Wolf, read from his book and from some new work before a large, rapt crowd in a tightly-packed AJ 175 on Tuesday, April 10.

In Calling a Wolf a Wolf, published by Alice James Books in 2017, Akbar explores himself, inside and outside, the mind, and ideas of religion, recovery, and rediscovery. Akbar is open about this collection being a recovery narrative, and the poems invite readers to experience the recovery with him.

On his visit, in addition to reading from the book and from new work in progress (including a poem written Tuesday morning!), Akbar shared personal stories and lingered for more than an hour talking with students and signing books. The line for autographs and hugs stretched outside the lecture hall.

Akbar’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The New York Times, The Nation, Tin House, Best American Poetry 2018, The New Republic, The Guardian, Ploughshares, Georgia Review, PBS NewsHour, Harvard Review, American Poetry Review, Narrative, The Poetry Review, AGNI, New England Review, A Public Space, Prairie Schooner, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry International, Best New Poets 2016, Boston Review, and elsewhere. Akbar founded and edits Divedapper, a home for interviews with the most vital voices in contemporary poetry.

 

In Print Festival of First Books XIII – Itinerary of Public Events

For over a decade the BSU Creative Writing Program’s In Print Festival of First Books has brought three authors who’ve just published their first book and a literary editor/publisher to campus for a two-day event featuring a reading, classroom visits, and a panel discussion/Q&A on literary editing and publishing.

This year’s festival, to be held in the Student Center Ballroom from 8:00-10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28th and Thursday, March 29th, features poet Carolina Ebeid, fiction writer Nick White, creative nonfiction writer Jan Shoemaker, and editor/publisher Kristen Elias Rowley.

 

Here is a detailed schedule of events:

Wednesday, March 28th

 3 PM

  • Carolina Ebeid: Katy Didden’s ENG 308: Intro Poetry Workshop in RB 290
  • Jan Shoemaker: Jill Christman’s ENG 406: Advanced CNF Workshop in RB 361

8 PM

  • In Print Reading, reception and book signing (*remember to bring your books!) in the Student Center Ballroom

 

Thursday March 29th

12:30 PM

  • Carolina Ebeid: Mark Neely’s ENG 408: Advanced Poetry Workshop in RB 361

 2:00 PM

  • Jan Shoemaker: Silas Hansen’s ENG 406: Advanced Creative Nonfiction Workshop in RB 361

3:30 PM

  • Nick White: Sean Lovelace’s ENG 407: Advanced Fiction Workshop in RB 361

5:00 PM

  • Kristen Elias Rowley: Mark Neely’s ENG 489: Literary Editing in RB 361

8:00 PM

  • Panel discussion, reception and book signing in the Student Center Ballroom

In Print Author: Jan Shoemaker

This week, BSU’s creative writing program hosts its annual In Print Festival of First Books, a two-day event featuring a reading and panel discussion by writers who have just published their first books, as well as an editor from a small press or literary journal.

Today we introduce the third of our featured writers for this year’s festival: creative nonfiction writer Jan Shoemaker.

Jan’s Official Bio

Jan Shoemaker’s essay collection, Flesh and Stones: Field Notes from a Finite World, was published in 2016 by Bottom Dog Press. Her essays and poems have appeared in many journals and magazines. Having recently participated in a community reading of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” in northern Michigan, she is increasingly interested in the idea of public readings as a form of political action. She writes and teaches in Michigan, where she lives with her husband and a succession of bed-hogging but well-meaning rescue dogs.

Interviews

Selected Essays

Event Details

Jan will be joined at the 2018 In Print Festival of First Books by fiction writer Nick White, poet Carolina Ebeid, and editor Kristen Elias Rowley.

Jan Shoemaker will also be visiting Professor Jill Christman’s ENG 406 class:

  • Wednesday, 03/28, 3:00-4:15 in Robert Bell, Room 361

She will also be visiting Professor Silas Hansen’s ENG 406 class:

  • Thursday, 03/29, 2:00-3:15 in Robert Bell, Room 361

All In Print events are free and open to the public, but contact Prof. Hansen or Prof. Christman if you would like to sit in on one of their classes.

 

In Print Editor: Kristen Elias Rowley

This week, the Ball State creative writing program will host its annual In Print Festival of First Books, a two-day event featuring a reading and panel discussion by writers who have just published their first books, as well as an editor from a small press or literary journal.

In anticipation of this event, we have prepared a series of blog posts highlighting each of our featured guests at the festival. Today we introduce you to editor Kristen Elias Rowley.

Kristen’s Official Bio:

Kristen Elias Rowley completed her graduate work in literary studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is Editor-in-Chief at The Ohio State University Press, where she acquires academic monographs, in addition to nonfiction, fiction, graphic novels/memoir, and poetry for the new literary trade imprint Mad Creek Books. Her acquisitions include Phillip Lopate’s A Mother’s Tale, Lina Maria Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas’s Don’t Come Back, and Nicholas Delbanco’s Curiouser and Curiouser. She previously worked for the University of Nebraska Press, where she acquired such books as Barry Jean Borich’s Body Geographic (a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist), Ellen Cassedy’s We Are Here (a recipient of the Grub Street Prize), Joy Castro’s Island of Bones (which received an International Latino Book Award), and Nancy Miller’s What They Saved (winner of the Jewish Journal Book Prize). Other authors she has published include Lee Martin, Sue Williams Silverman, Patrick Madden, Mary Clearman Blew, Dan O’Brien, Ilan Stavans, David Lazar, Jared Carter, Catherine Taylor, and Joy Passanante.

Interviews

Titles Acquired at Mad Creek Books

Title Acquired at University of Nebraska Press

Event Details:

Kristen will be joined at the 2018 In Print Festival of First Books by poet Carolina Ebeid, nonfiction writer Jan Shoemaker, and fiction writer Nick White.

Kristen Elias Rowley will also be visiting Professor Mark Neely’s ENG 489 class:

  • Thursday, 03/29, 5:00-6:15 in Robert Bell, Room 361

All In Print events are free and open to the public. Contact Professor Neely at maneely@bsu.edu if you would like to sit in on his class.

In Print Author: Carolina Ebeid

Next week, the Ball State creative writing program will host its annual In Print Festival of First Books, a two-day event featuring a reading and panel discussion by writers who have just published their first books, as well as an editor from a small press or literary journal.

In anticipation of this event, we have prepared a series of blog posts highlighting each of the writers whose work will be presented at the festival. Today’s writer: poet Carolina Ebeid.

Carolina’s Official Bio:

Carolina Ebeid is the author of You Ask Me to Talk About the Interior (Noemi Press, 2016). She is a student in the PhD program in creative writing at the University of Denver, and holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers. She has won fellowships and prizes from CantoMundo, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, the Stadler Center for Poetry, and the NEA. Her work appears widely in journals such as The Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, Colorado Review, and more recent work appears in PEN America, Bennington Review, and jubilat.

Interviews

Poems

Many of her other poems can be found linked on her website

 Event Details:

Carolina will be joined at the 2018 In Print Festival of First Books by fiction writer Nick White, creative nonfiction writer Jan Shoemaker, and editor Kristen Elias Rowley.

  • Wednesday, 03/28: In Print Reading, 8-10 PM in the Student Center Ballroom
  • Thursday, 03/29: In Print Panel Discussion, 8-10 PM in the Student Center Ballroom
    Carolina Ebeid will also be visiting Professor Mark Neely’s ENG 408 class:
  • Thursday, 03/29, 12:30-1:45 in Robert Bell, Room 361

All In Print events are free and open to the public. Contact Prof. Neely at maneely@bsu.edu if you want to sit in on his class.

In Print Author: Nick White

At the end of this month, the Ball State creative writing program will host its annual In Print Festival of First Books, a two-day event featuring a reading and panel discussion by writers who have just published their first books, as well as an editor from a small press or literary journal.

In anticipation of this event, we have prepared a series of blog posts highlighting each of the writers whose work will be presented at the festival. This week’s subject: fiction writer Nick White.

Nick’s Official Bio

Nick White is the author of the novel How to Survive a Summer. A native of Mississippi, he teaches creative writing at Ohio State University. His fiction and essays have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Guernica, The Hopkins Review, LitHub, Poets & Writers, and elsewhere. His short story collection, Sweet and Low, will be published in the summer of 2018.

Selected Interviews

Fiction

Essays

Event Details

Nick will be joined at the 2018 In Print Festival of First Books by poet Carolina Ebeid, nonfiction writer Jan Shoemaker, and editor Kristen Elias Rowley.

Nick White will also be visiting Professor Sean Lovelace’s ENG 407 class:

  • Thursday, 03/29, 3:30-4:45 in Robert Bell, Room 361

All In Print events are free and open to the public, but contact Prof. Lovelace in advance if you want to sit in on  his class.