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English: 2013-2014 Readings and Lecture Series
Louis Masson, Essayist Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 7:45 p.m., Hunt Center Recital Hall.
Masson retired in 2011 from the University of Portland as Tyson Distinguished Professor of English after teaching here for forty years. He is the author of three collections of essays--Reflections: Essays on Place and Family (1996), The Play of Light: Observations and Epiphanies in the Everyday World (2006), and his newest, Across the Quad (Corby Books, 2013). For many years, Masson regularly contributed to Portland Magazine, and he has published poetry and short stories as well as essays.
"The good Professor Masson has taught courses with arresting topics: Anger & Absurdity, Women & War, Peace & Justice, Feminism, Nature, Horror, Mystery, and Love. In this book, his classroom swells to encompass you and me, our struggles, our lives, our years, and our chance to understand what we are about at a deeper level than we have known. His is a winsome teaching, beginning with a crumb of poetry, a glance outside, a treasured recollection. Local stories grow in the hands of this gardener of ideas, until they spread leaves and open blossoms in your mind. For anyone who wants to go back to school without the falderal of grades and schedules, but to hold intimate conversation with a kind and enlivening sage, I urge you to attend to the quiet and memorable voice of this book."— Kim Stafford, author of The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer’s Craft
"With a large capacity for wonder and a keen sense of humor, the old prof reflects on thirty-plus years of personal engagement in campus life... Read this collection of warm, smart, accessible essays and grin at the academic life well lived and amusingly articulated."— Robin Cody author of Ricochet River, a novel, and of Voyage of a Summer Sun
"Pithy, eloquent, gentle, piercing and wonderfully layered. One of the fine essayists in America." — Brian Doyle, author of Cat’s Foot
"More thoughtful than nostalgia, more heartfelt than analysis, more insightful than reminiscence, these essays invite the reader to see their own life experiences as gifts ‘saved for when we are old.’ "— Nicholas Ayo, CSC, author of The Heart of Notre Dame
David James Duncan October 24, 2013, 7p.m., BC Aud.
David Duncan, perhaps best known for his Northwest novels The River Why and The Brothers K, is also the author of three collections of stories and essays: River Teeth, My Story as Told by Water, and God Laughs & Plays. He is also the author of two “fast-response activist books, The Heart of the Monster (2011, with Rick Bass) and Citizen’s Dissent (2003, with Wendell Berry). Among his many honors are three Pacific Northwest Booksellers Awards, three Pushcart Prizes, the Western States Book Award, and an honorary doctorate from University of Portland (2004, for “the power and prayer and passion of his work”). My Story… was also a finalist for the National Book Award.
Lucy Corin Tuesday October 29, 2013 7:30 p.m., BC 163.
Lucy Corin is the author of the short story collection The Entire Predicament (Tin House Books) and the novel Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls (FC2). The collection One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses was just released from McSweeney’s Books. Her stories have appeared in American Short Fiction, Conjunctions, Ploughshares, Tin House Magazine, New Stories From the South: The Year’s Best and other places. She’s been a fellow at Breadloaf and Sewanee, and a resident at Yaddo and the Radar Lab. She spent last year at the American Academy in Rome as the 2012 John Guare Fellow in Literature. She now directs the Creative Writing Program at the the University of California, Davis.
“One of the most impressive aspects of Corin's writing is her refusal to settle on a single voice or style. She is adept at delivering both punch-line jokes and genuine pathos, or landing somewhere in between. She seamlessly blends the menacing with the banal….With its absurd humor and array of unsettling themes - including grief, madness, familial strife, romantic failure and more - "One Hundred Apocalypses" is a delightful, endlessly inventive read.” --Carmela Ciuraru, San Francisco Chronicle
“With stories within stories and tiny typeface preceded by two sentence tales, this fulfilling maze, guided by a constant theme, is an eye-opening, enlightening read.” – Publisher’s Weekly
Alan Shapiro Tuesday, November 12, 7:30 p.m., Buckley Center 163.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Alan Shapiro was educated at Brandeis University. As the author of eleven collections of poetry, Shapiro has explored family, loss, domesticity, and the daily aspects of people’s lives in free verse and traditional poetic forms. Shapiro’s most recent book of poems is Night of the Republic (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. His poetry frequently appears in The New Yorker. In his memoirs The Last Happy Occasion (1997), nominated for a National Book Critics Circle award, and Vigil (1997), Shapiro has written about the death of his sister and the role that poetry has played in his life. Shapiro is also the author of a collection of essays on poetry, In Praise of the Impure: Poetry and the Ethical Imagination: Essays, 1980–1991 (1993). Alan Shapiro has won the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Los Angeles Book Prize, and a Lila Wallace–Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award. During Bill Clinton’s presidency, Shapiro was invited to read his work at the White House. Shapiro has taught at Stanford University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
“Mr. Shapiro is a shrewd and sympathetic moralist. He never trivializes his subjects with highminded flourishes or stylistic gimmicks…His seriousness is admirable…[and his] poems are not likely to be forgotten. – The New York Times
[Shapiro] seeks what lies at the deepest level of the human heart.”—Chicago Tribune
“[Shapiro holds] fast to love and joy in an often unjust, brutal world.”—Washington Post
Louise Gluck Thursday, February 13, 2014
The author of over ten books of poetry, Louise Glück explores, as Donna Seaman noted, “the turmoil of family life; the fever, bliss, and misery of lust and love; the circular battle with the self; age and death.” Glück, a former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer winner, recently released Poems 1962-2012, a collection of poems spanning her entire career.
Julie Joosten Monday, March 3, 2014, 7:30 p.m., Buckley Center 163
Julie Joosten lives in Toronto, Canada. Her first collection of poetry Light Light, will be out in September, 2013. Her poems and reviews can be read in Jacket 2, Tarpaulin Sky, the Malahat Review, and The Fiddlehead. She studied with poet Louise Glück at Williams College and holds an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a Ph.D. from Cornell University. Moving from the Enlightenment science of natural history to the contemporary science of global warming, Light Light is a provocative engagement with the technologies and languages that shape discourses of knowing. It bridges the histories of botany, empire, and mind to take up the claim of “objectivity” as the dissolution of a discrete self and thus explores the mind’s movement toward and with the world. The poems in Light Light range from the epigrammatic to the experimental, from the narrative to the lyric, consistently exploring the way language captures the undulation of a mind’s working, how that rhythm becomes the embodiment of thought, and how that embodiment forms a politics engaged with the environment and its increasing alterations.
“Light Light puts the hive back in the archive, the source in the resource. Through Joosten’s miraculous mode of attending, through this mind that “grounds sound to seed,” we are elemented – “The mind is a mood of electricity, warmth, water, and wind.” We are given a mode of attending that is precarious, is an enactment of the precariousness we are and, with consequence, institute. Each thing this attention falls upon “is a source of thought, not its object.” So everything is light once we learn to see by it. To honor the field we should “leave the field,” but this book we should never leave. – Jane Gregory
Lilah Hegnaur Monday, March 31, 7:30 p.m., Buckley Center 163
An English major graduate of University of Portland (’05), Lilah Hegnauer is the author of two books of poetry, Pantry(2014), winner of the 2013 New Southern Voices Poetry Prize, and Dark Under Kiganda Stars (2005), the manuscript of which served as her honors thesis here at UP. Hegnauer holds an M.F.A. from the University of Virginia, and teaches at James Madison University and University of Virginia and also served as Poet-in-Residence at Sweet Briar College. This year, she is the recipient of the Amy Clampitt Residency in Lenox, Massachusetts. In the past, she was awarded a residency at the Macdowell Colony. Her work has been chosen for several poetry anthologies and has appeared in many prestigious literary magazines, including Beloit Poetry Journal, The Kenyon Review, FIELD, AGNI, Ploughshares and,Prairie Schooner.
On Dark Under Kiganda Stars:
These are fascinating poems, sharply observant, richly felt, and, at their best, formally keen. -- West Branch The collection shines with wonder and ecstasy...The poems are well-crafted, but not overworked or polished until dull. --The Columbus Dispatch
The poems...tempered through experience and knowledge, will become classics, a testament that lives on through the generations. -- Newpages.com
Janine Utell Saturday, April 5, 2014. NUCL Keynote Speaker
Janine Utell is Associate Professor and Chair of English at Widener University. She specializes in 20th-century British literature and narrative theory, and is the author of James Joyce and the Revolt of Love: Marriage, Adultery, Desire (Palgrave) and the forthcoming Engagements with Narrative (Routledge). In addition to her work as a scholar and critic, she acts as an advocate for the public humanities, partnering with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and Philadelphia cultural organizations, as well as lobbying in Washington, DC on behalf of the National Humanities Alliance. She blogs about current issues in higher education, the humanities, and teaching and learning for Inside Higher Ed.
Brigid Schulte Wednesday, April 9, 2014, Reception at 6:30 p.m., Lecture at 7:30 p.m., Bauccio Commons
We welcome University of Portland alumna Brigid Schulte ’84 back to The Bluff. She currently works as a reporter for the Washington Post and is the author of Overwhelmed – Work, Love and Play When No One Has Time. Overwhelmed is a map of the stresses that have ripped our leisure to shreds, and a look at how to put the pieces back together. Schulte spoke to neuroscientists, sociologists, and hundreds of working parents throughout the world to tease out the factors contributing to our collective sense of being overwhelmed, seeking insights, answers, and inspiration. Overwhelmed is the story of her journey. Sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations.