We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo shortlisted for the 2013 Etisalat Prize for Literature

Lagos, Nigeria; 12:00, January 22, 2014: Innovative telecommunications company in Nigeria, Etisalat, today announced the 2013 shortlist for the Etisalat Prize for Literature.

Bom Boy by Yewande Omotoso (Modjaji Publishers)
Finding Soutbek by Karen Jennings (Holland Park Press)
We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (Little, Brown and Company/Chatto & Windus UK)

In its inaugural year, the Etisalat Prize for Literature is the first Pan-African literary prize created to recognize and reward debut fiction writers in Africa. The winner will be presented with a cheque of £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück and will attend The Etisalat Fellowship at the prestigious University of East Anglia, mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of the Last King of Scotland.

The shortlist was decided after a retreat in Morocco where the judges met to discuss at length the nine longlisted books. Pumla Gqola, Chair of the Judges said ‘We discussed each of the books on the long list in quite some detail, although considerably more time was dedicated to those books that were ranked differently by the judges. We are quite pleased to have reached yet another important milestone in the young life of the Prize’.

Sarah Ladipo Manyika said “The diversity of these debut novels, both on the level of content and narrative style, makes this a very exciting shortlist. Whether it is Bulawayo’s coming of age story set in the context of contemporary global migration, or Omotoso’s cross-cultural tale with its slowly unfolding secrets and interconnected narratives of love and loneliness, or Jennings’ multilayered exploration of history and allegory, each story is uniquely compelling. These are African stories with universal resonance. All three novels traverse time and space and at their core, each addresses the basic human condition.” Billy Kahora added “The shortlist reflects what I had hoped for as a judge when I became involved with the Etisalat Prize for Literature – the recognition of the best, diverse and emerging voice(s) of contemporary African fiction today.” The winner will be announced at a grand award ceremony in Lagos on Sunday, the 23rd of February 2014

The winner of the Etisalat Prize for Literature Flash Fiction category will also be announced at the ceremony and will receive £1,000 in cash alongside the two runners up who will receive £500 each.

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Literature + Medicine: Writing Contest

Literature + Medicine explores compassion and science at the bedside. For the past three years, this annual seminar hosted at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas has offered a unique opportunity to join prominent scholars and physicians in an interactive seminar, which investigates the connection between literary understanding and medical knowledge. This year, the Literature + Medicine event has expanded to include a poetry lecture.

The committee of the Literature + Medicine Conference invites you — active physicians, professors, medical professionals, pre-med, medical students, residents and interns, hospital trustees and administrators — to submit a creative poem, short story and/or essay about your experiences in medicine annually for the Literature + Medicine Writing Contest. Cash prizes will be awarded.

The writing competition for the 2013 Literature + Medicine competition and event has opened.

Winners will be noticed prior to the 2013 event and should plan to attend the Literature + Medicine Conference to be recognized. To read winning submissions from 2012, click here.

For more information about the writing contest, contact us via email.

Fourth Annual Literature + Medicine Conference

The 2013 Literature + Medicine event will be hosted at Texas Health Dallas on Oct. 24 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Each year this event features a prominent writer as speaker at an evening seminar and this year is no different. The 2013 speaker will be New York Times best-selling author John M. Barry, who has written such works as The Great Influenza: The story of the deadliest pandemic in history and Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America.

The event also includes a writing competition open to physicians, professors, medical professionals, pre-med, medical students, residents, interns and hospital trustees and administrators. The writing competition offers cash prizes and winners are announced at the seminar each year. More information about this year’s writing contest will be posted on this website in coming months.

See photos from the 2012 event

Literature + Medicine Poetry Lecture

New this year is a Literature + Medicine Poetry Lecture, which will be hosted on Sept. 19. The speaker for this exciting lecture will be Harvard Medical School professor and National Poetry Series Award Winner Rafael Campo, who is best known for such works as The Other Man Was Me, What the Body Told and The Poetry of Healing: A Doctor’s Education in Empathy, Identity and Desire.

Details for the poetry lecture will be posted to this website in the coming months.

Literature + Medicine Committee Members

Thanks to our loyal Literature + Medicine committee members for their thoughtful ideas and dedication to developing an inspirational and informative conference for everyone interested in medicine.

  • Mark Feldman, M.D., Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
  • Dirk Frater, M.D., Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
  • Fred Griffin, M.D., UT Southwestern Medical School
  • John F. Harper, M.D., FACC, FAHA, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
  • Thomas Wm. Mayo, J.D., Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, UT Southwestern Medical School
  • Jasper Neel, Ph.D., Southern Methodist University
  • Nina Schwartz, Ph.D., Southern Methodist University
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Micah Robbins’s “Literary Libel and the Clowning of Richard Nixon” Accepted for Publication

Micah Robbins’s article, “Literary Libel and the Clowning of Richard Nixon,” has been accepted for publication in the forthcoming collection of essays Protest on the Page. The book is part of the Print Culture History in Modern America book series, which is published on behalf of the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture, a joint program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin Historical Society. Protest on the Page will be published by the University of Wisconsin Press in late 2014.

Micah Robbins is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English.

Congratulations, Micah!

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Find Meaningful Work After College

Dear English Majors and Minors,

Come hear how you can find rewarding and meaningful work after college!

On Tuesday, April 9, at 6pm in the Dedman Life Science Building, Room 131, The English Department will Sponsor a Career Panel with several former majors who will discuss their current careers and the paths that led them to these jobs.

We will have representatives from the law; media relations; IT; online marketing; business; and communications.  And we have also invited an Internship Coordinator from a local company who may be able to help you with an internship.

Come take advantage of their expertise and get a head-start on your future career.

Please RSVP on our website at:  http://englishcareerpanel.eventbrite.com/

Location: Dedman Life Science Building, Rm. 0131
 April 9, 2013 at 6pm. Reception to follow in the Dallas Hall Reading Room at 7:30pm, ground floor.


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Summer internship opportunity


Talented Team – Fast Paced – Technology Marketing

Social Media and Web Content Manager – Internship

Software company looking for enthusiastic intern to manage social media and web content.


IPceleate, a collaboration software company located in Carrollton, TX, is looking for a bright and energetic intern to assist with the execution of its social and online marketing strategy.  This paid internship will give the intern exposure to a small, fast-growing startup that is quickly growing into a cloud-based software fulfillment model.

We’re looking for someone to help us leverage the power of social media as well as manage the content of our website.  If you’re looking to stretch yourself and work with a team of talented and motivated people, let’s talk!

May through August, Flexible hours.

Web experience
Social media savvy
Strong writing skills
Good work ethic

Please send inquiries to interns@ipcelerate.com

1445 Macarthur Dr.
Suite 100
Carrollton, TX 75007


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April 9th: English Alumni Career Panel

dallashallcareer4th Annual SMU English Alumni Career Panel

Location: Dedman Life Science Building, Rm. 0131 Date: April 9, 2013 at 6pm.

Reception to follow in the Dallas Hall Reading Room at 7:30pm, ground floor.

So you’re an English major…now what? What career paths has your major prepared you for?

This career panel is designed to show you how the skills you learn as an English major can be of major benefit to you in the workforce and in your job search, expose you to a wide range of fields and industries you may not have considered, and introduce you to knowledgable alumni who will answer your questions and provide valuable networking contacts. Past English alumni panelists have come from fields as diverse as publishing/editing, finance, marketing, and medicine. Come take advantage of their expertise and get a head start on your future career!

Register for free! http://englishcareerpanel.eventbrite.com/

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What Poetry Can Tell Us about Pain, and What It Can’t – An Interdisciplinary Discussion

Speaking Pain_v2Pain is personal, yet it constantly speaks. Professor Willard Spiegelman, Hughes Distinguished Professor of English, will lecture on the ways that poets have articulated the inexpressible dimensions of pain, demonstrating the power of the poetic idiom to say what those in pain cannot. Professor Spiegelman will be joined by Thomas Mayo (Law), Robert Howell (Philosophy), and Rhonda Blair (Theater) who will place the poetic against the linguistic and performative demands of their own disciplines. How do actors, lawyers, and philosophers work with the inexpressible quality of pain? How does pain function in a court of law or on a stage?

Join us for an interdisciplinary discussion of the languages of pain.

Willard Spiegelman is the Hughes Professor of English at SMU, the longtime editor-in-chief of Southwest Review, the author or editor of ten books and hundreds of essays and reviews, and a contributor to the Leisure and Arts pages of The Wall Street Journal. He grew up in a medical family. His focus in this seminar will be on the way poets try to capture and communicate—through metaphor and indirection—the essential incommunicability of physical and mental pain.


Thursday, April 11, 2013 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Fondren Science, Room 133

Organized by the Medicine & Humanities Fellows Seminar

For more information, visit www.smu.edu/Dedman.dcii


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News and Notes

newsnotes1Kenneth Brewer, Lecturer, read a paper, “Interrogating Autobiographical Art: Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale” at the Southwest/Texas Popular and American Cultures Association Regional Meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 13-16, 2013. He also chaired the session “Biography, Autobiography, Memoir, and Personal Narrative: Critical Analysis.”

Southern Illinois UP is reissuing a revised paperback edition of Aristotle’s Voice by Professor Jasper Neel.

Assistant Professor Jayson Gonzale Sae-Saue has an article forthcoming from American Literature: “Aztlán’s Asians: Forging and Forgetting Crossracial Relations in the Chicana/o Literary Imagination.”

Associate Professor Lisa Siraganian has won the award for the best essay published in the Williams Review (issue 28, 1-2) for her essay entitled “Modern Glass: How Williams Reframed Duchamp’s Window.”

Professor Willard Spiegelman published several essays in the Yale Review and the Virginia Quarterly Review: “Has Poetry Changed: The View from the Editor’s Desk” and “Kay Ryan’s Delicate Strength” (VQR), both picked up by the on-line “Poetry Daily”; “Some Words on Silence” and a long review of Timothy Donnelly’s The Cloud Corporation (Yale Review). He writes regularly for Opera News and The Wall Street Journal, and he serves as a judge for the Christian Gauss Prize of Phi Beta Kappa. He is also on the advisory board of the Guggenheim and Bogliasco Foundations.

newsnotes2Lori Ann Stevens, Lecturer, was invited to write a libretto for a commissioned opera. After some research, she chose to recount the life of Evariste Galois, a 19th century mathematician who died in a duel at the age of twenty. The evening before his death, he revised a math proof, essentially creating group theory, which fundamentally changed the field of mathematics. Composer Helgi Ingvarrson will complete the score, and the opera will be performed in London at the Courtauld Gallery Museum later this year.

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LitFest 2013 Schedule

WordSpace Student Readings at LitFest

Wednesday, March 20th McCord Auditorium in Dallas Hall, 6:30pm

Student Writers will read their work from Greenhill School, Hockaday School, Prometheus Academy, Dallas Poetry Youth Slam, Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet, Yavneh Academy, and Texans CAN Academy.


Thursday, March 21st

Readings by Debra Spark

DeGolyer Library, 6pm

Debra Spark has authored four books of fiction, including The Pretty Girl, a collection of stories, and Good for the Jews,and the non-fiction collection Curious Attractions: Essays on Fiction Writing. She is a professor atColby College and teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Friday, March 22nd

Readings by Alix Ohlin and Alan Michael Parker

DeGolyer Library, 3pm

Alan Michael Parker has authored seven collections of poetry, including Long Division, which won the 2012 North Carolina Book Award. He teaches at Davidson College and the Queens University low-residency M.F.A. program. Alix Ohlin is the author of The Missing Person, and Babylon and Other Stories. Her latest collection, Signs and Wonders, and a novel, Inside, were published on June 5, 2012. Alix lives in Easton, Pennsylvania, teaching at Lafayette College and the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.


Friday, March 22nd

Readings by Vievee Francis

DeGolyer Library, 6pm

Honors for Tatjana Soli’s bestselling debut novel, The Lotus Eaters, include New York Times Notable Book, finalist for the LA Times Book Award, and winner of the James Tait Black Prize. Her second book, The Forgetting Tree, is a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Vievee Francis is the author of two books of poetry, Blue-Tail Fly and Horse in the Dark. Her work appears in Best American Poetry 2010, and Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. She is associate editor for Callaloo: A Journal of African Diasporic Arts & Letters.

Saturday, March 23rd

Readings by Gabrielle Calvocoressi and Natalie Serber

DeGolyer Library, 2pm

Gabrielle Calvocoressi’s The Last Time I saw Amelia Earhart won the 2006 Connecticut Book Award in Poetry and was shortlisted for the Northern California Book Award. Her second collection, Apocalyptic Swing, was a finalist for the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. An instructor at the California College of Arts and Warren Wilson College, Gabrielle also runs the Best American Poetry Blog. Natalie Serber’s work was shortlisted for Best American Short Stories. She teaches writing in Portland, Oregon, where she lives with her family. Natalie’s new book is Shout Her Lovely Name.

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Curricular Changes Aid Student Achievement

curriculumThis fall 2012, incoming first-year, first-semester students began enjoying a new curriculum designed to help them achieve the most during their time at SMU. Driven by a yearlong university-wide review by faculty and staff, the English Department’s implementation began with the First-Year Writing Program’s transformation into “Discernment and Discourse” and within the creative writing specialization.

Other changes in the specialization, according to David Haynes, director of the program, include the addition of an Introduction to Creative Writing course that devotes equal time to the theory and writing of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction, and the availability of themed courses, such as speculative fiction. Field experience that might include research, teaching, or an internship is also being offered.

All students pursuing the specialization will complete a culminating project that they may submit for consideration of “Distinction” or graduation with Honors in English. Other curricular changes include a new requirement and a new innovation: all students, regardless of incoming high school AP credit, must take at least one course in D & D and two other writing intensive courses beyond the first year; and in some instances, courses may “double count.” A course taught in the English Department might, for example, simultaneously satisfy requirements for both “Creativity and Aesthetics” and “Historical Contexts.”

“We’re keeping an open mind,” says Department Chair Nina Schwartz. “We’ll make changes if and when they are necessary. But for right now, we are pleased with the new offerings and are excited by the participation of our faculty and the response of our students.”

Charlie Lewis

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