Department of English
This page contains archived department news stories.
English Department Instructor Karen Brown has published her first novel and third book, The Longings of Wayward Girls. This publication follows her two award-winning short story collections, Little Sinners and Other Stories (2012) and Pins and Needles: Stories (2007). Tampa Bay Times book editor, Colette Bankroft, reviewed Brown's novel, stating that "Brown has always been adept at writing about [her subject matter], skillfully evoking its interlocking elements of thrill and threat." Professor Brown teaches undergraduate-level creative writing and literature courses at the USF Tampa campus.
In a recent Salary.com article highlighting the "8 College Degrees That Will Earn Your Money Back," English is listed among the eight degrees. While we already knew about the many advantages of an English degree, this article supports the usefulness and earning potential of the degree. The article mentions some of the common jobs held by English majors: speech writer, communications manager, and content manager. We would add to that list numerous other jobs, which can be found on our webpage for undergraduates, Why Major in English?
Undergraduate Advisor Sarah Wray won one of only six university-wide Outstanding Undergraduate Advising Awards for 2011-12. Each year, the Provost's Office solicits nominations for USF's most excellent undergraduate teachers and advisors, and Sarah is greatly deserving of this honor. We're very lucky to have her!
Prof. Ylce Irizarry, Nancy Morriss, Yvonne Frank
Undergraduate Program Specialist Nancy Morriss was surprised Tuesday by a visit from USF Staff Senate Quiet Quality Award Chair Yvonne Frank, who came to the department to present Nancy with a Quiet Quality Award. Nancy was nominated by faculty member Ylce Irizarry. The award is given to selected university staff members for demonstrating conscientiousness, professionalism, a positive attitude, excellent work performance, and teamwork. We are proud to have Nancy as part of our staff!
USF's MFA students, alumni, and faculty, along with other local writers, are the authors of 15 Views of Tampa Bay, a new addition to Burrow Press’s 15 Views Series. Series editor Nathan Holic explains, "One author kicks off the sequence with a ~1,000 word story set somewhere in the Tampa Bay area. The next 14 authors must choose a new location to set their story, and include an image, character, plotline (or some kind of connection) to a story that came before theirs. All 15 installments will appear weekly, on Tuesdays, on the Burrow Press Review." USF professor John Henry Fleming is the Tampa Bay editor. His introduction starts off the series and can be read here. Tampa Bay Times's Book Editor, Colette Bancroft, recently published a piece about the online book. Follow the series, which covers well-known and perhaps unknown areas of Tampa Bay and includes such titles as "The End," "Phillippe's Ghost," and "Dog Hater."
Creative Writing Professor Ira Sukrungruang has been
named first winner of the Anita Claire Scharf Award
from Tampa Review. His book of poetry, In Thailand
It Is Night, will be published in Spring 2013 by the
University of Tampa Press and the poet will be invited to read on the University of
Tampa campus after the book is published next year.
The Anita Claire Scharf Award is given to support publication of a book of poetry
submitted to the annual Tampa Review Prize competition that significantly exemplifies
the interrelatedness of visual and verbal art and the interconnections of global culture.
The award is named in honor of the founding editorial assistant, and later associate and
contributing editor, of Tampa Review who helped define the aesthetic and global values
that are part of the journal’s mission.
"Boxing Shoes from Barrett Nabuurs Gym"
USF alumnus Tim Fitts (BA, 1994) recently published a book of photography, 46-45 Verandering, through the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. The publication was part of the Commmotion Project, a public art project funded by the university. The book "contains images of objects, textures, structural icons and screen-print designs from the Commotion neighborhoods," and Fitts's photographs "are informed by the history of the project area as well as the stories shared by community participants." Learn more about the project and the book by visiting the project's website.
Sipiora, second from left. Photo by Bobby Blish.
Professor Phillip Sipiora's effort to get students involved in local filmmaking is the subject of a USF News piece, reported by Barbara Melendez. The article discusses Sipiora's ties to the Gasparilla International Film Festival, his role in getting USF students involved in production, and the unique benefits of local filmmaking.
April 22, 2013 marked the first ever "Digital Day" in the USF English Department. Faculty, students, and alumni were encouraged to share links to their online writing and scholarship through the #digUSFenglish hashtag on Twitter and Facebook. The curated list of contributions has been posted on storify and includes links to short stories, websites, articles, blogs, and much more.
Thanks to all who attended the annual Blank Pages Symposium, which was held on Thursday February 14th at 10AM in the Marshall Student Center. Blank Pages is a series of panels delivered by current USF graduate students in the MFA program and readings by visiting and local writers. This year, they were pleased to host a reading by Amina Gautier, the recipient of the 2011 Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction.
(Reprinted from The Oracle Newspaper, January 24, 2013)
Award-winning author James Carlos Blake spoke Wednesday to an audience of professors and aspiring writers from the College of Arts and Sciences in the Campus View Room of the Interdisciplinary Sciences Building.
Blake, an essayist, short story writer and novelist, traveled to USF to speak on the subject of history and crime as strong subjects in much of literature.
Read the full story here
USF's English Department is proud to announce that alumnus John A. Nieves, who earned his M.A. in creative writing in 2006, has won the Elixir Press Annual Poetry Award for his collection, Curio. Since graduating from our program, John has gone on to earn his Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Missouri. His recent work has appeared in prestigious journals such as Crazyhorse, Poetry Northwest, Barrow Street, and American Poetry Journal. His poem "Cartograph" was nominated by the Cinncinati Review for a Pushcart Prize.
Alumna Jaquira Diaz (MFA, 2012) has been named 2012-2013 Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellow by the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Jaquira also was awarded a full scholarship to attend the New York State Summer Writers' Institute at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY; she will be Tennessee Williams Scholar in Fiction at the 2012 Sewanee Writers' Conference. Her story "Section 8," which appeared in the Southern Review, has been awarded a 2013 Pushcart Prize.
The English Department's Dr. Susan Mooney, a scholar of Irish writer James Joyce, was interviewed by JoEllen Schilke (program "Art in Your Ear") on Tampa's WMNF 88.5 FM Radio Active on Friday, June 15, 2012, regarding Joyce and his novel Ulysses; also discussed was the fourth annual Tampa Bloomsday event, organized by the Tampa Bay Arts and Education Network (tbae.net).
Dr. Mooney was also the keynote speaker at the Bloomsday event on June 16, 2012, at O'Brien's Pub in Brandon.
Dr. Hunt Hawkins, Chair of the English Department, also participated as a reader.
This podcast covers the radio program's whole hour. The interview with Dr. Mooney and two of the event organizers from TBAE, Lucy Griggs and Ann Goldenberg, can be found one-fifth of the way through the podcast.
Assistant Proefssor Heather Meakin has been selected as an NEH Summer Scholar from a national applicant pool to attend one of 20 seminars and institutes supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Endowment is a federal agency that, each summer, supports these enrichment opportunities at colleges, universities, and cultural institutions, so that faculty can work in collaboration and study with experts in humanities disciplines.
Meakin will participate in a seminar entitled "Tudor Books and Readers: 1485-1603." The 5-week program will convene in Antwerp, Belgium; and in London and Oxford, England, and will be co-directed by John N. King, Distinguished University Professor of English Emeritus, The Ohio State University, and Mark Rankin, Assistant Professor of English, James Madison University. Information about this program may be found at its Web page, http://www.jmu.edu/english/Tudor_Books_and_Readers/.
The approximately 419 NEH Summer Scholars who participate in these programs of study will teach over 73,000 American students the following year.
English Department professor Marty Gould has won the University's Outstanding Research Achievement Award for 2012, sponsored by the Office of Research & Innovation. According to Dr. Karen Holbrook, Senior Vice President for Research, Innovation & Global Affairs, the award "recognizes faculty who have received truly exceptional recognition of their research with preeminent awards, grants, or publications in top journals." Gould received the award in recognition of his first book, Nineteenth-Century Theatre and the Imperial Encounter (Routledge, 2011). This award comes on the heels of two other major awards: a USF Proposal Enhancement Grant he won through the Division of Sponsored Research to support research for his new book project, Dickens, Adapted--a study of nineteenth-century dramatizations of Dickens's novels, and an NEH grant to direct a Summer Seminar for High School Teachers (Great Adaptations: Teaching Dickens through Literary and Cinematic Adaptations) in July 2011. We congratulate him on these impressive achievements!
Bryant with faculty sponsor Dr. Gary Lemons
Doctoral Candidate Kendra Bryant won first place in the poetry category of the College Language Association's Creative Writing Contest. Bryant is an advanced doctoral student in the English Department's Rhetoric and Composition track, currently completing her dissertation on contemplative pedagogy. Of her first-place win, Bryant says, “Winning the CLA Creative Writing Contest feels validating. Being awarded for my writing skills during the time at which I am writing a dissertation was the energy I needed to push forward. I am grateful." We are grateful to have you in our program, Kendra!
April is National Poetry Month, and the USF Department of English in conjunction with the USF Humanities Institute has a slew of activities going on throughout the month to celebrate this time-honored written form. A schedule of events is viewable on the Humanities Institute website as well as on our Department Calendar of events (below). We hope you'll attend as many of the events as possible!
Nancy Morriss, Undergraduate Program Specialist, and Sarah Wray, Undergraduate Advisor, have both won the university's prestigious Outstanding Staff Award. From the HR website: "Each year, the University of South Florida’s Outstanding Staff Awards Program recognizes a number of exceptional employees who demonstrate a commitment to the pursuit of excellence and a level of performance that exceeds the values and standards of the university." We are honored to have these two outstanding staff members recognized for their excellent service to the department. Congratulations!
Congratulations to Prof. Dianne Donnelly for her contribution to the Huffington Post article, "Creative Writing Can Be Taught: Creative Writing Professors Answer More Important Questions."
Professor Dianne Donnelly, a graduate of our Rhetoric and Composition program and Associate Director of FYC, has now published her second book in two years: Establishing Creative Writing Studies as an Academic Discipline. Dianne also has a third book that is being published in early 2012. We commend Dianne for her remarkable publishing accomplishments! A description and reviews of the book are available on Amazon.
Professor Meredith Zoetewey received one of only fifteen university-wide Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Awards for the 2010-2011 academic year. Professor Zoetewey was made aware of the award by a surprise visit to her Visual Rhetoric and Technical Communication class. Professor Zoetewey, who has been with the department since 2007, teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in professional and technical writing, rhetoric, and new media. We congratulate Professor Zoetewey on this remarkable achievement!
The Department of English congratulates undergraduate English literature major and English Honors student Cristina Solis (on the left) and graduate doctoral student Marisa Iglesias (on the right) on receiving USF's Successful Latina/o Student Award on 6 October 2011 at a formal ceremony with President Genshaft and Dr. Zalaquett at the annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration Kick-off event. This competitive award goes to USF Latina and Latino students who are meritorious and have made excellent achievements in the areas of academic research, service, and professional development. To receive this award the student must demonstrate high levels of both professional and ethical behavior. Dr. Mooney was proud to nominate Cristina and Marisa, and remarks, "They were outstanding among the awardees in coming from the English Department and the College of Arts and Sciences. ¡Felicitaciones!"
Professor Marty Gould's first book Nineteenth Century Theatre and the Imperial Encounter has just been published by Routledge. Gould's book argues that as an active participant in the real-world drama of empire, the Victorian theatre produced popular images that reflected, interrogated, and reinforced imperial policy: through plays and spectacles the British public vicariously encountered the sights and sounds of the distant imperial periphery.
Congratulations to Karen Brown (also known as Karen Gonzalez), instructor in creative writing and USF alumna, who has been awarded the 2011 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction for her collection Little Sinners and Other Stories. This marks the second time that Karen has won a prestigious national prize in fiction for a full-length manuscript. To read the announcement, please visit the Prairie Schooner Book Prize Series page. For more information on Karen Brown, please visit her author site.
On February 9th and 10th the USF Creative Writing program held the university’s first creative writing symposium, Blank Pages. The symposium took place at the Marshall Student Center and ran in conjunction with 6X6 Reading at Felicitous Coffee and Tea.
Featured readers included the following: Lola Haskins (Still, The Mountain, and Desire Lines, New and Selected Poems), Poet Tim Seibles (Buffalo Head Solos) and author Jon Chopan (Pulled from the River). USF’s own Katherine Riegel (Castaway) and Ira Sukrungruang (Talk Thai) also read.
The symposium also featured lively panel discussions from current and past USF MFA students. Some of the panel topics included Profanity in Creative Writing, Writers in the Confessional, and Art and Comics as Literature.
The symposium's Facebook page is at http://www.facebook.com/events/353101431381900/.
The MFA Program ran their annual canned-food drive through November 10, 2011. The drive was part of Writers' Harvest, which took place this year on November 7, 7pm, at Ella's Folk Art Cafe. This year's featured readers were Erika Meitner, Michael Hettich, and our very own Karen Brown. The Harvest raised $300 for Feeding America and two overflowing boxes of canned food.
English Department professor Susan Mooney was the keynote speaker at the 2nd Annual Bloomsday Celebration by the Tampa Bay Arts and Education Network (tbae.net) on Friday, June 17. The event commemorated James Joyce and Ulysses with readings from his novel, live Irish music, and a limerick contest.
Adam Breckenridge was noted by film critic Roger Ebert for being the only known person to have viewed all of the 339 films on a list created by Ebert and dubbed "Great Movies." Breckenridge, a second-year PhD student studying Rhetoric and Composition, says that "[t]he reason you undertake something like the Great Films list is because if we don't give ourselves a compelling reason to push ourselves past our comfort zone we have a tendency to get stuck in a rut." Breckenridge's full letter to Ebert can be viewed on Ebert's Chicago Sun-Time blog, Robert Ebert's Journal.
The undergraduate literary journal thread, published by English students, was featured in USF news.
Kyle Stedman, a doctoral candidate in English with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition, recently published an audio essay that explores how music speaks to its listeners and how listeners interpret the messages of music in an urban landscape. The audio essay was recorded by Stedman with an extensive sampling of various musical tracks and contributing voice-overs. The audio essay and transcript are published in the 2011 issue of Currents in Electronic Literacy.
Photo: Theresa Woods
MFA poetry student Jared White developed the idea for a poetry garden while taking Professor Laura Runge's class, Literature of Place: Florida. The garden will display poems in a dedicated spot at USF's Botanical Gardens for one year. Theresa Woods covered the story for USF News, which is available here.
English Department professor and feminist scholar Gary Lemons talks with Barbara Melendez of USF News about his scholarship and his identity as a black male feminist. The news story is available to read here.
English Department professor and journal editor Laura Runge recently launched the first issue of the interactive journal Aphra Behn Online. USF News reported on the journal's innovative format and its significance in making "the 18th Century relevant again." View the news story here, and check out the online journal at http://www.aphrabehn.org/aphraonline/.
"As long as there are journals as smart and engaging as Saw Palm, there will be at least as many readers as writers." That’s the verdict of NewPages.com reviewer Sima Rabinowitz, reviewing issue 4 of the English Department's literary journal, Saw Palm: florida literature and art. For the complete review, click here. Saw Palm subscription forms are available online. Issue 5 is due out in March 2011!
English Department professor Marty Gould has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to direct a Summer Seminar for School Teachers. Entitled "Great Adaptations," the seminar will offer a select group of junior high and high school teachers the opportunity to explore the potential use of adaptations in the teaching of Dickens (and nineteenth-century novels more generally). Hosted by the Dickens Project at the University of California at Santa Cruz, the seminar will take place July 3rd-30th, 2011. More information about the project can be found at http://dickens.ucsc.edu/NEH/.
The English Department's Academic Services Administrator Deedra Hickman wins one of ten College of Arts and Sciences staff awards honoring outstanding administrative service. The award was presented at the College of Arts and Science's annual Staff Appreciation Event held at the USF Botanical Gardens. Congratulations to Deedra on a well-deserved award!
Professor Jay Hopler is the recipient of a Rome Fellowship in Literature from the
American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is one of only two writers named this year
to receive one of the literature world’s most prestigious honors. It provides a
one-year residency at the American Academy in Rome whose mission is to support advanced
research and independent study in the humanities and fine arts. This recognition
comes on the heels of winning the prestigious Whiting Writers'
Award last October. The full USF news clip by Barbara Melendez can be read
Prof. Ira Sukrungruang
On Friday, February 12, 2010, the MFA Program in Creative Writing, Saw Palm,
Sweet: A Literary Confection, and YellowJacket Press came together and co-hosted
Words to Help, Words to Heal: A Benefit Reading for Haiti at Dishtopia The Anytime
Tea Bar in South Tampa. The venue was packed with about eighty plus readers, writers,
and lovers of words, and along with the sweet scent of tea in the air, there was
a true feeling of camaraderie. The combined efforts raised over $500.00, which will
all go to The American Red Cross.
We are pleased to announce that Professor Pat Rogers has won a USF Outstanding Research
Achievement Award. He is the only non-scientist to have won one this year. The award
was presented October 9 at an Office of Research luncheon.
He also received his Distinguished University Professor Award (see
news clip) at an open reception hosted by President Genshaft on November
It is our distinct pleasure to announce that Jay Hopler has won a 2009 Whiting Writers'
Award. Professor Hopler teaches poetry at USF and is the author of the poetry collection
Green Squall, as well as numerous poems published extensively in renowned
literary journals and magazines. To read more about the award, please visit the
An article highligting Professor Hopler's accomplishment can be found online in
St. Petersburg Times. Congratulations, Professor Hopler, on this
We are delighted to announce that
Dr. Pat Rogers has been named USF's 2009 Distinguished University Professor
(DUP). Being selected as a DUP involves an intensive internal and external review
of the faculty member’s credentials that culminates in a selection by the Distinguished
University Professor Recommending Committee. Being nominated for DUP status is a
significant honor because it indicates that the individual has an outstanding scholarly
record and has made significant contributions to USF and to her/his profession.
We congratulate you, Dr. Rogers!
We are pleased to announce that three Graduate Teaching Assistants from the Department
of English were honored at the Provost's Award ceremony on April 13, 2009. Quentin
Vieregge, PhD candidate in Rhetoric and Composition, received the Certificate
of Recognition for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Teaching Assistant; Cameron
Hunt-Logan, PhD student in Literature, received the Provost's Commendation
for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Teaching Assistant; and Jessica McKee,
PhD student in Literature, received the Provost's Award for Outstanding Teaching
by a Graduate Teaching Assistant. Congratulations to all three TAs on this truly
Congratulations to all award recipients at this year's Department of English Honors
and Awards Ceremony. We would also like to extend a special thanks to the donors
of the awards, without whom this very special annual event would not be possible.
To view a photo montage from the ceremony, please click on the postcard.
The Mailer Review
The English department is pleased to announce that the latest edition of The Mailer
Review, commemorating Norman Mailer's life, is now available for distribution.
Contributors include Norman Mailer (three previously unpublished pieces), The Mailer
Family, Don DeLillo, E. L. Doctorow, Günter Grass, Christopher Hitchens, William
Kennedy, Sean Penn, Christopher Ricks, Philip Roth, Gay Talese, and many others.
For insight into this edition and subscription information, please visit the
Norman Mailer Society website.
Kendra Nicole Bryant
PhD student Kendra Nicole Bryant was awarded the
ZAMI Audre Lorde Scholarship, an award memorializing poet, activist, theorist,
and educator, Audre Lorde. Bryant was recognized at an award ceremony in Atlanta,
Georgia in September. Bryant is a second-year doctoral student in English with a
concentration in Rhetoric and Composition, interested in questions that address
perceptions of power and difference, particularly in race, and the implications
in writing, reading and teaching. An article covering the award ceremony can be
read in Atlanta's online publication,
Dr. Pat Rogers
Dr. Pat Rogers, DeBartolo Professor in the English Department at the University
of South Florida, has been elected to the British Academy with installation on September
22. On a par with the National Academy of Sciences in the United States, the British
Academy focuses on the Social Sciences and Humanities. It was chartered in 1902
by King Edward VII. Each year it elects up to 38 Ordinary Fellows based in the United
Kingdom and up to 10 Corresponding Fellows based elsewhere. Besides Dr. Rogers,
the other scholars elected this year based in the United States are Daniel Kahneman
of Princeton University, Martha Nussbaum of the University of Chicago, Peter Phillips
of Yale University, and Bas van Fraasen of San Francisco State University. Past
Fellows of the Academy include John Maynard Keynes, Karl Popper, Isaiah Berlin,
Louis and Mary Leakey, A. J. P. Taylor, Kenneth Clark, C. S. Lewis, and Henry Moore.
Election recognizes a scholar’s entire body of work. Dr. Rogers, a specialist in
Eighteenth-Century British Literature, has authored or edited forty-four books.
His most recent are The Cambridge Companion to Alexander Pope (Cambridge
University Press, 2007) and Edmund Curll, Bookseller (Oxford University Press,
2007). An edition of papers from the 20th DeBartolo Conference is forthcoming from
the University of Delaware Press. Rogers is currently working on a biography of
British poet Alexander Pope.
The Florida Literary Arts Coalition now has an online calendar of literary events
and readings by local and visiting writers. Please visit the
calendar page to view upcoming events and to suggest an event.
The South Atlantic Modern Language Association Job Information List is now available.
The SAMLA JIL includes announcements for faculty positions in departments of language and literature
at institutions in the South Atlantic region (Maryland to Louisiana).
We are very pleased to announce that Susan Mooney has won an Outstanding
Undergraduate Teaching Award and Jay Hopler has won an Outstanding Research
Achievement Award. These are both competitive university awards and mark our success
as a department as well the success of these individuals. Congratulations to both
We are thrilled to introduce the newest addition to our graduate degree programs,
the Master of Fine Arts. For detailed information on the program and admissions
information, visit the MFA program page.
The English Department is pleased to announce the inaugural edition of The Mailer
Review, an international journal dedicated to the life and work of Norman
Mailer. The Mailer Review publishes articles, notes, biographical essays,
digital portfolios, memoirs, book reviews, and creative works. For more information
consult the editor,
Dr. Phillip Sipiora, or the Mailer Review
We are grateful to Stacy Parker DeRaps, USF alumna and former creative writing student,
who has donated $2100 from The Brian G. DeRaps Memorial Foundation in memory
of her husband. $100 of her donation is to be used now; the remaining $2000 will
be placed in a USF Foundation account, where it will be used in years to come to
help fund our Florida-themed literary magazine, Saw Palm. Stacy challenges
anyone interested in supporting great writing in Florida to add to this donation.
Any amount helps and will be greatly appreciated!