Archive by Author

Happy Birthday, Sandra Cisneros! (December 20, 1954)

20 Dec

scisnerosBOOM. 1984. Sandra Cisneros’ poetic novella House on Mango Street is published, and for the first time the literature by a U. S. Latina reaches a mass audience, ushering in the extraordinary explosion of Latina poets, playwrights, and novelists who have followed. Sandra was born in Chicago, the third child (of seven) and only daughter of a Mexican father and Chicana mother. Although she now resides in central Mexico, she lived for several years in THE purple house in San Antonio, Texas, a community that inspired many of the actual settings and characters in her stories (often getting her characters’ names from the San Antonio phone directory!).  Originally and still a feisty, courageous poet, she is best known for two poetry collections, My Wicked, Wicked Ways  (1987) and Loose Woman (1994). Her masterpiece—to date—is the majestic novel Caramelo  (2002) which spans a century of  family history: “I have invented what I do not know and exaggerated what I do to continue the family tradition of telling healthy lies.” This epic novel perfects her unique storytelling style which blends the culture and language of her familial Spanish with her English speaking homeland.  Breaking the silences in the lives of women, Cisneros embraces her spiritual and creative life “on the border,” as she observes: “I always want to explore the things we are not supposed to.” (post by Jackie Zeff)

English Majors – Here’s a great conference opportunity!

2 Dec


(just click the image for a more readable version)

Happy Birthday, Frederick Dannay! (October 20, 1905)

20 Oct

FrederickDannayIn 1928 two cousins, Frederick Dannay (“Danny”) and Manfred B. Lee, created Ellery Queen for a contest sponsored by McClure’s magazine and Stokes publishing house.  The prize for creating the best new detective novel was $7500.  The cousins won the contest, but McClure’s went bankrupt shortly afterwards, so they never collected their prize.  Between 1929 and 1971 they published 46 mystery novels using the name of the protagonist as their pseudonym. The cousins also created Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, which is still a influential contribution to the mystery genre publishing more new writers each year than any other magazine. The Mystery Writers of America honored Dannay and Lee by creating the Ellery Queen award for “an editor or publisher for distinguished support of the genre” ( (post by Cathy Akers-Jordan)

English Majors – Get Published!

16 Oct

Albion Review

Happy Birthday, Walter Lord! (October 8, 1917)

8 Oct

WalterLordWalter Lord is best known as author of A Night to Remember (1955), a narrative non-fiction book on the sinking of the Titanic. Lord interviewed more survivors than any other Titanic historian and inspired a generation of Titanic scholars. When the film A Night to Remember was released in 1958, it reminded the world of a tragedy that would never be forgotten and raised the greatest unanswered question about that night: why did the Californian, a ship sitting nearby in the ice, ignore Titanic’s emergency rockets and do nothing to help until the following morning? Many of Titanic’s survivors left Lord artifacts they carried from the ship as well as letters and personal items. Upon is death, Lord bequeathed his collection to the Greenwich Maritime Museum.  (post by Cathy Akers-Jordan)

Happy Birthday, Sherman Alexie! (October 7, 1966)

7 Oct

alexie_fs_000Sherman Alexie has been called a new, inventive voice in Native American literatures. But don’t call him a Native American, a term that he says is a product of “liberal white guilt.” Alexie is Spokane and Coeur d’Alene Indian, although he is careful to warn against reading his work as representative of other Indians’ experiences.

A prolific and now best-selling writer who has published over 20 books—including novels, poetry, short stories, young adult books, essays, and two screenplays—Alexie has transformed perceptions of what Native American literatures are and can be. His work has been celebrated as perceptive and denounced as combative by both Native and non-Native audiences.

He uses sharp-edged wit and often irreverent humor to confront misrepresentations of Indians and lay bare the hypocrisy of white paternalism and federal policies toward Native Americans. His work refuses to romanticize the daily lives of Indians and instead offers a brutally painful but ultimately honest portrayal of reservation and urban life, including negative realities of poverty, dysfunction, and alcoholism alongside camaraderie, endurance, and love.

Alexie grew up on the Spokane Reservation in Washington State, the setting for many of his novels and short stories. After leaving the Reservation in high school, Alexie earned a scholarship to Gonzaga University, and graduated from Washington State University in 1991. He now lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.

Published works by Sherman Alexie:

Blasphemy (short stories) 2012

War Dances (short stories & poems) 2009

Face (poetry) 2009

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (young adult novel) 2007

Flight (novel) 2007

Dangerous Astronomy (poetry) 2005

Il powwow della fine del mondo (poetry) 2005

Ten Little Indians (short stories) 2003

The Business of Fancydancing (screenplay) 2003

One Stick Song (poetry ) 2000

The Toughest Indian in the World (short stories) 2000

Smoke Signals (screenplay) 1998

The Man Who Loves Salmon (poetry) 1998

The Summer of Black Widows (poetry) 1996

Indian Killer (novel) 1996

Water Flowing Home (poetry) 1996

Reservation Blues (novel) 1995

Seven Mourning Songs For the Cedar Flute… (poetry) 1993

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (short stories) 1993

First Indian on the Moon (poetry) 1993

Old Shirts & New Skins (poetry) 1993

I Would Steal Horses (poetry) 1992

The Business of Fancydancing (poetry) 1991

(post by Alicia Kent)

Pre-Internship Fair Workshops from the Student Success Center

2 Oct


You’re Invited – Come Meet Emily Feuerherm!

23 Sep

 The English Department invites

The entire University Community to

 A Welcome Reception
Emily Feuerherm

Assistant Professor of Linguistics

 Wednesday, October 1

4:00-5:30 p.m.

UCEN Michigan Room D


Professor Feuerherm is on campus to design and implement a new Bridge Program for international students, providing them with credit-bearing preparation to insure their academic success.

Please come and meet Professor Feuerherm, share your thoughts about our campus, and find out more about the work she’s doing.

Brief remarks at 4:15; light refreshments.

Read more about Emily Feuerherm here!

Happy Birthday, Ray Bradbury! (August 22, 1920)

22 Aug

RayBradburyRay Bradbury was a beloved and innovative writer known for writing literally hundreds of science fiction and fantasy short stories. He is best known for books  Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. He loved life and everyone he ever met. Among his many honors are the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.

“Throughout his life, Bradbury liked to recount the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932. At the end of his performance Electrico reached out to the twelve-year-old Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded, ‘Live forever!’ Bradbury later said, ‘I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped’” (Ray (post by Cathy Akers-Jordan)

Be a Qua Contributor!

19 Aug

Did you know that Qua has a NEW submission process??  You can now upload your art and writing on a rolling basis!  To be included in their Fall 2014 publication, the deadline to submit is October 6th at midnight.  Sharpen those pencils!!  For more information and to submit your work: