Tag Archives: conference

August Good News

We were really busy over the summer, writing and researching and submitting and job hunting. So we’ve got a lot of good news to share this month!

Faculty News

Prof. Michael Begnal  

  • His article “‘Bullets for Hands’: Witter Bynner, Arthur Davison Ficke, and the Spectra Poems of World War I” was published in Twentieth-Century Literature, vol. 64, no. 2 (June 2018).
  • His article “Modernist Mythologies: The Turquoise Trail Anthology and the Poets of Santa Fe” was published in Western American Literature, vol. 53, no. 2 (Summer 2018).
  • He had five poems (homages to Archie Shepp, Bill Evans, Peggy Pond Church, Leroy Carr, and Richard Realf) published in Penumbra  and another in Smithereens Literary Magazine (Ireland).
  • Additionally, he gave a presentation of poetry at the Sport Literature Association Conference on June 20, 2018, at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, titled “Baseball Poems/Baseball Images,” and was interviewed on Bangor, Maine’s AM620 WZON radio on August 8, 2018, and read some poems on the air

Prof. Brent M. Blackwell attended three conferences this year (The Benjamin v. Cohen Peace Conference at Ball State and the Mid-East Honors Association at Central Michigan), the third of which will be the National Collegiate Honors Council Annual Meeting in Boston, MA in November, where he will chair a roundtable discussion on incorporating STEM issues in honors humanities courses.  

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#bsuenglish at the AWP Conference

The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) is an annual conference, held this year from February 8 through February 11 in Washington, D.C. Eleven #bsuenglish students had the honor of attending this year, led by #bsuenglish Professor Jill Christman.

The Association of Writers & Writing Programs was held in the convention center located in downtown Washintgon, D.C. this year. Nearly 12,000 writers from all across America flocked to the event, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. Professor Jill Christman, who has served on the AWP Board of Trustees for five years now, was eager to be the chairperson of the conference committee this year.

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Professor Christman displays her crown at the AWP conference.

Long before the conference even began, Professor Christman was busy planning for the event. She is also the head of the sub committee of 20 professional writers who prepare for the annual AWP conference by reading proposals for the event and deciding who will present at the conference. This year, she estimates that the committee read approximately 1,800 proposals but were only able to accept 550 of them. Professor Christman read 600 proposals alone. “It’s not all just about wearing the crown,” she says.

One of Professor Christman’s additional duties was to help choose the keynote speaker for the conference: Iranian writer Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita In Tehran and The Republic of Imagination. Choosing her to speak at the conference was “galvanizing for a lot of people,” said Professor Christman. In addition to choosing Nafisi as the keynote speaker, Professor Christman also had the honor of hosting her and welcoming her to the conference.

The conference included a book fair where presses of all shapes and sizes, including university presses, rent tables that are all displayed in a room about the size of the football field. This year was the first year that Ball State University had a table, which helped recruit for the creative writing and graduate programs. Students had the opportunity to mingle with professional writers, such as Rita Dove, Valeria Luiselli, and former #bsuenglish student Ashley C. Ford.

Senior creative writing major Lauren Cross was very excited to be there. “Attending the AWP Conference was easily the best undergraduate experience I have had. I was able to talk with people whose essays we read every day in class and they seemed almost as interested in us as we were in them. I guess what struck me the most, though, was being able to say the authors and essayists we look up to professionally are also people we can look up to personally—they are genuinely kind, empathetic people. It’s refreshing knowing we can surround ourselves with others who only wish to be their true, authentic selves,” she said.

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Ashley C. Ford, who attended Ball State, visits the university’s table.

“The AWP conference sweeps you away in a rush of the sensorium: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, comics, and so many other genres in books, essays, stories, graphic novels, and more,” says senior creative writing major, Drew Miles, who also attended AWP this year. “There are so many colors, voices, lights, rooms, microphones, words. There are tables upon tables at the book fair representing literary journals and MFA programs. There are famous authors and managing editors casually mingling around you and panels lined up like clockwork discussing social issues, pedagogy, literary elements, and how they all connect to more developed writing. It’s like a wave of shared passion lighting you on and flowing within you. It’s nothing short of spectacular.”

Next year’s AWP Conference will be held in Tampa, Florida, in March! We hope to see you there!

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Writing Center Tutors Take on ECWCA

Ball State University was well-represented at the 2010 East Central Writing Center Association Conference in East Lansing, Michigan this April. Three undergraduate students (Tyler Gobble, Phil Call, and Neal Coleman) and two English graduate students (Emily Standridge and Dani Weber) who all work at the Writing Center presented papers at the conference.

In a panel presentation “Exploring the Writing Center’s Convergence with Social Capital,” Phil, Dani, and Emily explored the ways that social capital plays a role in writing center work. Tyler suggested in his presentation, “Creative Writers in the Writing Center,” that writing centers might pursue different paths to appeal more to creative writers. Neal presented on the effect, or lack of effect, that traditional advertising has on writing center services.

Ball State alum, Nikki Caswell (MA, Rhetoric and Composition) co-led a successful workshop on assessment at the conference. Writing Center Director Jackie Grutsch McKinney, also in attendance, was elected to Vice President of the organization.