Tag Archives: Elizabeth Dalton

Profs. Scalzo and Manery Publish Poetry Books (And More November Good News)

Prof. Emily Scalzo had four poems accepted to Scarlet Leaf Review, including “To My Father,” “If the Human Race is the Only Race, Why Does this Shit Still Happen,” “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” and “The Reason I Blocked You on Facebook.” They are due to be published in December. Also, her poetry chapbook, The Politics of Division, was accepted by Five Oaks Press for publication in 2017.

Prof. Rebecca Manery’s book of poems, View from the Hôtel de l’Étoile, is just out from Finishing Line Press. Individual poems from this collection have been published in Rhino, Bennington Review, and The Body Politic. Becca is a new faculty member at Ball State. Learn more about her here

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Elizabeth Dalton Recommends “There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales”

This year we introduced “Recommended Reads,” a new segment in which Ball State students and faculty contribute a short review of recommended piece of literature. Continue below to read our newest installment in the series, which features Elizabeth Dalton’s review of There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya.

There is nothing better than a good creep-out on a dark, snowy evening. This collection of tales, written by a famous–and somewhat notorious–Russian writer, offers a haunting selection of oddities: a father who revives his dead daughter through a terrifying dream; a jealous woman who thinks she’s killed her neighbor’s baby; and a dead monk who cures the lame. Divided into four sections—“Songs of the Eastern Slavs,” “Allegories,” “Requiems,” and “Fairy Tales”—this collection bears witness to the privation and oppression of 20th Century Russia from the street level. Particularly compelling is the allegory, “The New Robinson Crusoes: A Chronicle of the End of the Twentieth Century,” a tale about a family of refugees who move further and further into the wilderness to escape the repercussions of a collapsing society.

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Trickster: Tales of Mischief from Around the World, by Amy Higgins

Learning that I some day had to write a senior thesis was by far the scariest moment of my freshman year. Just thinking about devoting an entire semester to an academic paper was torture; I couldn’t imagine how bad writing it would be. Thankfully, the Honors College is merciful, and the senior Honors thesis can be about anything. Since I’m a creative writing major, I decided to write a story, and then left the details for future Amy to take care of.

Eventually, I decided on a collection of short stories based on folktales. Each of the stories highlights a trickster character that appears in more than one culture. For example, in Mesoamerican myth, the character Coyote is always hungry, often trying to trick others into giving him a meal, or becoming one. In Native American tales, Coyote is a culture hero who fights monsters and uses his tricks to help others. My story, “Coyote Waters the World,” combines these two personalities. Coyote only wants a quick meal, but he ends up doing a great service for humanity. The other three stories are written in the same manner, and with the hope that they will encourage readers to strike out in search of their own connections between folktales and the cultures they originate from.

I asked Professor Elizabeth Dalton to watch over me as I wrote this collection, and I absolutely must pause and heap as much praise upon her as I can. Beth has been beyond fabulous, a wonderful mix of teacher and therapist who kept me sane at some critical moments in the semester. At the same time, she encouraged me to push my boundaries by doing something like, I don’t know, suggesting that I do a reading of my work this Wednesday, February 23rd, at 4:00 p.m. in RB 361. I hope to see you there!