Tag Archives: The Broken Plate

The Inside Scoop on Ball State's Literary Magazine: The Broken Plate

We sat down with Professor Mark Neely, faculty supervisor of The Broken Plate, and Jackson Eflin, a former Broken Plate staff member who has also had his work published in the literary magazine. 

What is The neelyBroken Plate?

The Broken Plate is a literary magazine that publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art, and photography (among other things) by writers and artists from around the world. Each issue is edited by an interdisciplinary group of Ball State undergraduate students and released at our annual In Print Festival of First Books.

You’ve been the editor of the magazine for several years now. How have things changed over time?

When I took over as faculty adviser for the magazine, it was a small operation run by a few student volunteers. They only published the work of Ball State students, mostly that of a small group of friends.

I wanted to make it a more valuable experience for both the editors and for the Ball State writing community, so I used our existing course in Literary Editing and Publishing as a way to professionalize the magazine, and to spread the word more effectively about our submissions process. Eventually, we opened up submissions to all writers, which increased our pool of pieces to choose from, and I think it makes for a more rewarding experience for students.

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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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Creative Types: "The Broken Plate," Ball State's national literary magazine, needs you!

Broken plate hybrid poster

  • The Broken Plate needs passionate, detail-oriented students to promote quality literature this fall. If you’re interested, you must e-mail Professor Silas Hansen (schansen@bsu.edu) before adding the class to your schedule.

  • Taking ENG 489 means getting a chance to work with your fellow classmates on a poetry, short story, or flash fiction team.

  • Over the course of the semester, you can review/edit submissions, organize the magazine, and even pick a photo for the cover.

  • By creating an issue of The Broken Plate, you’ll gain design, editing, and social media skills you can use in other immersive learning courses and which will strengthen your resumé.

  • You can get more information, and a free copy of this year’s issue, at In-Print X (2015) on March 17th and 18th!

In Print Festival of First Books IX on March 18th and 19th

Click below to read more about this year’s In Print Festival and bios on the visiting authors.

LandscapeReduced 2014 In Print Poster_gradient_color 3

March will mark the ninth annual In Print Festival of First Books. This year, the literary event brings novelist Mario Alberto Zambrano, nonfiction author T Fleischmann, and poet Natalie Shapero to Ball State University for two days of readings, discussions, and classroom visits.

Please join us at 7:30 p.m. in the Alumni Center Assembly Hall on Tuesday March 18th for a reading and Wednesday March 19th for a panel discussion about writing and publishing where the authors will be joined by editor, author, and creative writing administrator Jodee Stanley. The In Print Festival is free and open to the public. Attendees will receive a free copy of the 2014 issue of Ball State’s national literary magazine, The Broken Plate.

Fiction

Mario Alberto Zambrano was a contemporary ballet dancer before dedicating his time to writing fiction. He has lived in Israel, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, and Japan, and has danced for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Nederlands Dans Theater, Ballett Frankfurt, and Batsheva Dance Company. He graduated from The New School as a Riggio Honors Fellow and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop as an Iowa Arts Fellow, where he also received a John C. Schupes Fellowship for Excellence in Fiction. His work has appeared in Five Chapters and GuernicaLotería is his first novel.

Creative Nonfiction

T Fleischmann lived by the Great Lakes until attending the University of Iowa and completing an MFA in Nonfiction Writing. Their essays have appeared in Fourth Genre, Pleiades, Indiana Review, Gulf Coast, and The Pinch, as well as in the feminist magazine make/shift, and have been Notable Essays in The Best American Essays, 2009 and 2010. A Nonfiction Editor at DIAGRAM, T has settled in rural Tennessee after traveling for several years across the United States.

Poetry

Natalie Shapero is the author of No Object (Saturnalia, 2013), and her poems have appeared in The Believer, FENCE, The New Republic, Poetry, and elsewhere. The recipient of a Kenyon Review Fellowship, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and a Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award, Natalie lives in Gambier, OH.

Editor

Jodee Stanley is Director of the Creative Writing Program and Editor of Ninth Letter at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has worked in literary publishing for twenty years, and has been a speaker and panelist at various conferences and festivals, including Bread Loaf, AWP, MLA, and the Kenyon Review Literary Festival. Her fiction, essays, and book reviews have appeared in journals including Mississippi Review, Crab Orchard Review, 580 Split, Cincinnati Review, Future Fire, BkMk Quarterly, The Smoking Poet, Sycamore Review, Sou’wester, and Electric Velocipede, and have received special mention in the 2004 Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and the 2001 Pushcart Prize.

In Print Interview: Elena Passarello, Nonfiction Writer

Elena Passarello is this year’s nonfiction author for the In Print Festival of First Books, which will be held on March 19 and 20 this yearHer debut collection of personal essays, Let Me Clear My Throat, was published last year by Sarabande Books. Below, Passarello discusses her book, inspirations, and writing experiences among other topics in an interview conducted by Veronica Sipe. Also, be sure to check out an interview with In Print Festival’s fiction author Eugene Cross, and don’t forget to join us on March 19 and 20 at 7:30 PM in the Student Center Ballroom for the 8th annual In Print Festival of First Books!

*Photo provided by Elena Passarello

*Photo provided by Elena Passarello

Elena Passarello is the author of Let Me Clear My Throat (Sarabande 2012). Her writing on music, performance, pop culture, and the natural world has appeared in Slate, Creative Nonfiction, the Normal School, Ninth Letter, the Iowa Review, and the 2012 music writing anthology Pop When the World Falls Apart. For a decade, Elena worked as an actor and voice-over performer throughout the East Coast and in the Midwest. She is an Assistant Professor at Oregon State University.

The following interview was conducted by Broken Plate 2013 student faculty member Veronica Sipe.

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Interview with Tina May Hall, this year’s fiction writer for the In Print Festival of First Books

The annual In Print Festival of First Books at Ball State University includes readings, discussions, and classroom visits with authors who have recently published their first books. The two-day event typically includes three emerging authors and an editor or publisher. This year, the authors are Tina May Hall (fiction), Debra Gwartney (nonfiction), and Paul Killebrew (poetry). Fulfilling this year’s editor/publisher portion are the editors of Artifice Magazine, a nonprofit literary magazine.

In Print also marks the release of The Broken Plate. This year, the editors of The Broken Plate asked the visiting authors to contribute an interview to the issue. TBP’s editors would like to note that they are grateful to Tina May Hall, Deborah Gwartney, and Paul Killebrew for the opportunity to share their ideas about writing with the readers of TBP. In the weeks leading up to In Print, we will be excerpting these author interviews here on the BSU English Department blog.

Tina May Hall

Our first interview is with Tina May Hall. Hall won the 2010 Drue Heinz Literary Prize for her short story collection The Physics of Imaginary Objects. She teaches at Hamilton College and lives in the snowy Northeast with her husband and son in a house with a ghost in the radiator. Some days, she spends with her ear pressed to the wall. Some days, she snowshoes with her son to the wolf-ring in the woods where they drink hot chocolate and howl until the crows chase them home. Here is our excerpt of her interview:

The characters in The Physics of Imaginary Objects are so fleshed-out and distinct. How do your characters come to you? How do you find their voices?

I usually begin stories with a line or image, so the character often evolves in surprising ways. I am a painfully slow writer, mostly because I love revising, and it is in the revisions (which generally span a couple of years at least) that the character begins to emerge.

In this book, the reader will find a pregnant woman who craves meat, a woman who keeps her own cut-off digit, a grandmother’s ghost, a museum full of body parts, etc. Is there something you are trying to say or explore with this reoccurring darkness?

What is odd is that many of these things don’t seem particularly dark to me. Which maybe is more revealing of my own worldview than the impetus behind the collection. Many of these things seem rather humorous or hopeful to me, even if a bit macabre. As you note, many of the tensions center around the body, and I think the body is a kind of mysterious, funny, sometimes shockingly strange thing. Then again, my mother is the only one who consistently finds humor in my writing, so maybe the lightness I see there isn’t translating well.

You have a unique ability to explore the absurd and the mystical. Who has helped influence and shape your distinctive style?

I’ve had lots of influences, writers I’ve read at various points in my life who have opened my eyes to what fiction can accomplish. The first was Jane Austen when I was very young, and after that, Gabriel García Márquez, Charlotte Brontë, Italo Calvino, Jayne Anne Phillips, Angela Carter, and many others.

*(Interviewed by Alysha Hoffa)

We are very much looking forward to this year’s In Print. Remember to pick up a copy of TBP for the full interview, and have a safe and fun spring break, BSU!