In This Issue
From The Chair
From the ChairLast year at this time I wrote of the department's having survived two hurricanes and the most extensive flooding in Greenville's recorded history. From that perspective, I find this week's eight to ten inches of snow (the earliest major snowfall since 1964) a minor nuisance that affords me the opportunity to wear my son's hand-me-down boots and to compress my body into my aged winter coat, which has apparently shrunk since I last wore it.
I find weather increasingly on my mind because the department will soon be bringing in job candidates for on-campus interviews. Three technical writing faculty, indeed, are already scheduled for the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of the first week of the coming spring semester. I cringe at the thought of other major snowfalls this January and February, for with six positions to fill, the department must proceed as expeditiously as possible in conducting our on-campus interviews. If schedules are disrupted because of inclement weather, our task of recruiting new colleagues becomes even more formidable. As a department, I hope that we enter the coming new year not only singing Auld Lang Syne, but also "Don't let it snow, don't let it snow, don't let it snow!"
In PrintClick on the links (in holiday red this issue) for more information on the items below; use your browser's "back" button to return to TCR.
Rutgers University Press has just published Gay Wilentz's new book Healing Narratives: Women Writers Curing Cultural Dis-ease.
Julie Fay's "Stir Fry," an essay about the composition of her poem "Interstitial Motherhood," appeared in "Poems and Sources," a special issue of The Literary Review. Other poets in the anthology include John Updike, Caroline Kizer, and Eavan Boland.
Since our last issue, three pieces by C.W. Sullivan III have appeared in print: "Tolkien the Bard: His Tale Grew in the Telling," was published as the lead essay in J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances: Views of Middle-earth (Greenwood, 2000); "J.K. Rowling and Ursula Le Guin: Creating the Series Book Fantasy World," Sullivan's plenary address at the Children's Books Ireland conference, Dublin, May 2000, has been printed in Children's Books in Ireland, Autumn 2000; and a pedagogical article, "Fantasy Writing," appears in Chalk Talk Secondary: The Magazine for Teachers, Autumn 2000.
"Mulatto as Object of Ridicule in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and John O. Killens's The Cotillion," an article by Reginald Watson, was published in the College Language Association Journal, Vol. XLIII, Number 4, June 2000.
Laura Micciche's "When Class Equals Crass: A Working-Class Student's Ways With Words" has just appeared in Blundering for a Change: Errors and Expectations in Critical Pedagogy (Boynton/Cook 2000). Another Micciche essay, "Contrastive Rhetoric and the Possibility of Feminism," is included in Contrastive Rhetoric Theory Revisited and Redefined (Lawrence Erlbaum 2000).
Peter Makuck's review of Frederick Busch's short story collection Don't Tell Anyone appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer on October 22. Makuck's essay on guns, "The Trouble With Smitty," has been listed as a "Notable Essay of 1999" in the anthology Best American Essays of 2000. The essay originally appeared in The Hudson Review and was subsequently reprinted in The Sun.
Panels & PresentationsIn honor of A.R. Ammons's induction into the NC Literary Hall of Fame, Alex Albright (editor of A.R. Ammons: The North Carolina Poems) read four Ammons poems at the Oct. 15 ceremony in Southern Pines. About 200 people attended the event, held on the lawn at the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities.
Reginald Watson gave a presentation entitled "The Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Motherhood and Manhood in Toni Morrison's Beloved and Alice Walker's Third Life of Grange Copeland" in Baltimore, Maryland at the Middle-Atlantic Writers' Association 21st Annual Conference, Oct 18-21. Watson also served as a guest host on two broadcasts of Cable TV Seven's Minority Voices: "Minority Issues and Events at East Carolina University" (Nov 1st and 6th), and "Minority Student Leaders at East Carolina University" (Nov 8th and 13th).
At the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference in Birmingham on November 9, Margaret Bauer and former ECU faculty member Cynthia Ryan co-chaired a panel on dual-career couple retention issues. The session began with five-minute papers by the panelists to lead off discussion: Ryan read "Can I Come Out Now?: Institutional Closeting and the Dual-Career Couple"; Bauer presented "Retention of New Faculty, from the Department's Perspective: Losing Colleagues and Friends"; and Bruce Southard gave "Retention of New Faculty, from the Administrator's Perspective: Wasted Time & Money vs. Playing Favorites." Two members of the panel who were unable to attend -- C.W. Sullivan III and our erstwhile colleague Jeff Franklin -- contributed essays in absentia: "Feeling Her Pain: A Husband of a 'Trailing Spouse' Speaks Out on Guilt and Compromise" (Franklin); and "The University and Society: Responding to Cultural Change" (Sullivan).
As usual, the department was well represented at the annual American Folklore Society Conference, held last month in Columbus, Ohio. C.W. Sullivan III presented a paper, "Celtic Cultural Studies: An On-Line Journal," in a session sponsored by the Medieval Folklore Section. Jim Kirkland read "Foodways in Fred Chappell's Kirkman Tetrology," and former ECU MA student Karen Beardslee read "'Okay, Okay, Let's Eat!' Italian Food and Family Sustenance in Joe Vergara's Love and Pasta" in a session sponsored by the Folklore and Literature Section.
Laura Micciche presented "Rhetorical Grammar for Critical Citizenship" on November 18 at the NCTE Conference in Milwaukee, WI ...
... while back at ECU, Micciche has been appointed Associate Director for First-Year Writing, effective spring semester 2001.
Reginald Watson has been nominated to serve as part of the 2001-2002 North Carolina Humanities Speakers' Forum (A Speakers' Bureau of the North Carolina Humanities Council).
Resa Crane Bizzaro, Reginald Watson, and Gay Wilentz have been asked to serve as Faculty Facilitators for the Chancellor's Initiative on Race Relations (the Coffee in the Kitchen Series). Each facilitator will meet and direct discussion circles during Phase II of the Series (Spring 2001).
Alex Albright was recently elected Secretary of the NC Writers Conference (not to be confused with the NC Writers' Network). And in August, Albright was selected as official historian for the U.S. Navy B-1 Band, the first African-American sailors to serve at rank other than mess or steward. Several B-1 members played on the soundtrack of "Pitch a Boogie Woogie," the 1948 musical comedy featurette filmed here in Greenville. Albright will write their official history and try to find an archival home for their records.
Working with the ECU Grants-Outreach Network, Jan Tovey and graduate students Lynne Frye, Jennifer Karasow, and Bobby Sheppard completed a $473,000 grant to the Kresge Foundation. The grant will benefit the town of Scotland Neck's Library Expansion and Community Learning Center project.
"Egret Moon," the Fall '99 Tar River Poetry cover photo, has been awarded First Place in annual competition by the North Carolina Press Club for a feature photo in the non-newspaper category. The photo, taken by long-time TRP contributor Ric Carter, also won Honorable Mention from the National Federation of Press Women. And in other TRP news, D.C. Berry's "Hamlet Off-Stage: Laertes Cool," which appeared in the spring 2000 issue, was the featured poem on the Poetry Daily website on October 14th.
MiscellanyCongratulations and best wishes to Gwen Williams, who has recently accepted an advanced administrative position in the Department of Chemistry. Williams served the Department of English for three years as secretary for the Writing Center and for the last several months as assistant office manager, handling all scheduling, travel, and requisition matters. "Gwen will be very much missed," says Bruce Southard. "The Department wishes her the best of fortune in her new position."
Drawing on decades of barbecue expertise, Alex Albright served as judge for the state Ducks Unlimited pig-pickin' on October 22, at Rock Springs Equestrian Center.
At Greenville's Platinum Gallery on November 2nd, the Folk Arts Society presented "The Songs of Bob Dylan," a benefit concert consisting of selections from Dylan's nearly 40-year oeuvre. Performing with a dozen or so local musicians were the department's own Mike Hamer (hammer dulcimer, vocals), Bob Siegel (sax, harmonica), Luke Whisnant (guitar, vocals), and graduate student Steve Losey (guitar, vocals).
Congratulations to Angel Savage and husband Jeff on the birth of their daughter, Iyana Maxwell Savage, November 27, at Pitt County Memorial Hospital. Iyana checked in at 18 inches and 5 pounds 11 ounces.
From The EditorLast year, your Director of Departmental Publications was assigned three graduate students to help with TCR, The Museletter, and our ever-expanding departmental website. This year, for reasons unknown, he was assigned only one. This fact is mentioned not to complain, but rather to applaud: since September, grad assistant Eric Rondeau has been doing the work of three people, and doing it promptly, efficiently, and cheerfully.
Eric has worn a lot of hats this semester. He re-arranged his schedule to shoot almost all the digital photos of our new colleagues and staff members and a number of re-takes for folks who didn't like last year's photos. He created from scratch the new graduate student directory page, which features his photo of "Bullpen," the Official M.A. Mascot Fish. He has just recently created a beautiful new homepage for the Tar River Poetry website, and is developing the rest of that site as time allows. And he is the person most responsible for knocking faculty news items into some kind of shape for TCR (you didn't think we just cut and pasted from your emails, did you?). I'll miss Eric's dedication and his dry sense of humor next semester, when he will be reassigned to the classroom. If you've enjoyed this year's issues of TCR, or the new webpages, please add your thanks to mine and let Eric know.
The next issue of TCR will be published in early February; we'll have a call for copy a week or so before that. Please hold all news and notes until then. Happy Holidays!