CWUEnglish Department NewsEnglish Department News Faculty Honored as a CWU 2016 Distinguished Professor, 19 May 2016 14:21:46<p><img alt="" src="/english/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 300px; border-width: 3px; border-style: solid; margin: 3px; float: right;">Central Washington University has named Katharine Whitcomb and James Avey as this year’s Distinguished Professors. Whitcomb, a professor of English, is the 2016 Distinguished Teaching Professor; and Avey, an associate professor in the Department of Management, is the 2016 Distinguished Research Professor.</p><p>Whitcomb, who also serves as the associate dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, was honored for her teaching of creative writing. She has been highly involved in designing and coordinating the English department’s degree programs in writing, including the Bachelor of Arts in Professional and Creative Writing and the Online Bachelor of Arts in Professional and Creative Writing, which was nationally ranked after its first year; in addition, she is a key contributor to the department’s new Online Professional and Creative Writing M.A. program, which will begin in the Fall.</p><p>“I think it is part of my job to mentor students not only through our programs at Central, but to be there for them as they move into jobs or graduate school, and to listen to them and help them as they need advice along the way,” said Whitcomb. “I’m so proud of my former students in all of their careers—their success demonstrates what is possible with a writing degree—from writing game narratives at Microsoft to publishing books and teaching at university level. They are the inspiration for the next generations.”</p><p>An award winning author, she has written extensively, including two full-length collections of poems,&nbsp;The Daughter’s Almanac&nbsp;and&nbsp;Saints of South Dakota &amp; Other Poems. Her work has been widely published including in&nbsp;The Paris Review&nbsp;and&nbsp;The Yale Review. She received&nbsp;a Stegner Fellowship in Poetry from Stanford University and&nbsp;an AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) Fellowship in Poetry to the Prague Summer Seminars at Charles University in the Czech Republic.</p><p>She is a third generation professor and has been at CWU for 12 years, where she has also been a driving force in the establishment of the Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series as well as establishing classes that give students access to writers from diverse disciplines. Whitcomb has also created both editing and production classes for&nbsp;Manastash, CWU’s acclaimed student literary arts magazine.</p><p>Avey has served with the CWU College of Business (CB) since 2007, after receiving his bachelor’s degree in 2000 from CWU in Business Administration. His research has focused on how leadership and human strengths are generated, sustained and contribute to individual and organizational effectiveness. He has also researched and conducted presentations for organizations on returning veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.</p><p>“For 50 years we’ve tried to figure out what was wrong with people and treat them,” Avey said. “Rather than taking a broken person and try to fix them, what my research focuses on is taking average people, which are most people, and helping them to flourish.”</p><p>Avey’s work has been published in more than 45 peer reviewed journals. He has made some 30 conference presentations from Ecuador to Spain, and to a variety of Fortune 500 companies across in the United States. He has also earned 11 national and international research awards, and his work has been cited more than 7,587 times and downloaded in excess of 55,000 times by institutions in 154 countries.</p><p>His research has included name-brand organizations, including Boeing, Kellogg’s, Harley-Davidson and the United States Army. It is cutting edge work that also led to him receiving the 2009, 2010, and 2012 CB Excellence in Faculty Research Award, along with the 2009 CWU Alumni Excellence in Teaching Award.</p><p>“I think humans have special value,” said Avey. “If we’ve made a scientific discovery that can help people why shouldn’t we share it? People who are more optimistic, who are more positive live longer, have better relationships and do better in their jobs. I want to help develop that.</p><p>Whitcomb and Avey will be the guests of honor at recognition ceremony and reception on May 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Union and Recreation Center Ballroom. They each will also receive a $2,500 monetary award for receiving 2016 distinguished professor accolades.</p><p><strong>Media contact:&nbsp;</strong>Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,&nbsp;</p><p>May 18, 2016</p>CWU professor giving presentation on poetry, 22 Apr 2016 07:48:54<p><img alt="" src="/english/sites/" style="width: 220px; height: 146px; margin: 4px; float: right;">Central Washington University English professor Terry Martin is giving a presentation on poetry titled “A Quiet Place in the Swirl: Why Poetry Matters” from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Basecamp Books and Bites in Roslyn.</p><p>Martin has been teaching at Central for 38 years and has received the Distinguished Professor Teaching Award and the CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year award. Her most recent book, <em>The Light You Find</em> was published in 2014.</p><p>From the <a href="">Daily Record</a></p><p>4/22/16</p>Fred D'Aguiar to Read from Children of Paradise April 19, 12 Apr 2016 14:32:44<p><img alt="" src="/english/sites/" style="width: 187px; height: 250px; margin: 5px; float: right;">Poet, novelist and dramatist Fred D’Aguiar&nbsp;will read from his evocative and haunting&nbsp;novel, <em>Children of Paradise</em> at 7:30 p.m., April 19. in the CWU SURC Theatre. The event is part of CWU's Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series.</p><p>&nbsp;In the tradition of magical realism, <em>Children of Paradise</em> tells the story of Jonestown, where 918 people, including 304 children, died in a murder-suicide on November 18, 1978. Jonestown was a settlement in Guyana established by Jim Jones, leader of an American cult called the Peoples Temple. Methods of mind control in Jonestown included forms of incarceration and torture. D’Aguiar’s novel focuses particularly on the experiences of the children.</p><p>He will also be conducting a craft talk titled "Writing Across Genres" earlier in the day at 1:00 p.m. in Black 151. Both events are free and open to the public, with the author’s book available for sale at the evening event, courtesy of the CWU Wildcat Shop.</p><p>Fred D’Aguiar was born in London in 1960 of Guyanese parents and brought up in Guyana and London. His first novel, <em>The Longest Memory</em>--about slavery on a Virginia plantation--won the Whitbread First Novel Award and was made into a film in the United Kingdom. Another one of D’Aguiar’s novels, <em>Feeding the Ghosts</em>, was inspired by the story of the slave ship Zong whose human cargo were thrown overboard when they became ill with a disease that threatened all aboard during a trans-Atlantic crossing in 1781. His poem “Elegies for Virginia Tech,”&nbsp;is a response to a mass shooting that claimed 33 lives when he was teaching there.</p><p>D’Aguiar’s dozen books include poetry as well as fiction and essays. He has also staged and published plays. His work has appeared in <em>The New Yorker</em>, <em>Harper’s</em>, <em>The Guardian</em>, <em>Wasafiri</em>, <em>Callaloo</em>, <em>Best American Essays</em> and elsewhere. His play, <em>A Jamaican Airman Foresees His Death</em>, was produced at the Royal Court Theatre in London. His radio play, <em>Days and Nights in Bedlam</em>, was broadcast by the BBC, along with several recent short stories. <em>Continental Shelf</em>, a UK Poetry Book Society Choice, was shortlisted for the UK’s T.S. Eliot Prize in 2009.&nbsp; His latest poetry collection is The <em>Rose of Toulouse.</em> He is now head of creative writing at UCLA.<br><br>This talk is also part of the CWU Social Justice and Human Rights Series. This year’s theme, <em>Mass Incarceration and Racial Justice: Black and Brown Lives Do Matter,</em> seeks to educate Central’s community and spark discussions about race and equality.<br>For more information about Fred D’Aguiar and his works visit his website:</p><p>For more information about the Lion Rock series, visit</p><p><em>This Lion Rock series event is sponsored by CWU's College of Arts and Humanities, Inklings Club, ASCWU Club Senate, Department of English, Wildcat Shop and Karen Gookin.</em></p></br></br></br>CWU Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series Welcomes Ava Chin, 29 Mar 2016 09:54:01<p><img alt="" src="/english/sites/" style="width: 167px; height: 250px; margin: 5px; float: left;">Named by the Huffington Post as one of “9 Contemporary Authors You Should Be Reading,” Ava Chin is next in the CWU Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series on April 5. Her book Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love, and the Perfect Meal has been chosen by the Kittitas County Regional Library Board for the community to read as part of the One Book, One County program.</p><p>Chin will be reading from her memoir about foraging in New York City, her heritage, and her quest for love at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5 in the CWU SURC Theatre. Chin will also be conducting a craft talk titled "Why I Write: Tips for Aspiring Writers" earlier in the day at noon in Black 151 on the CWU campus. Both events are free and open to the public, with the author’s book available for sale at the evening event, courtesy of the CWU Wildcat Shop.</p><p>Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love, and the Perfect Meal (Simon &amp; Schuster 2014) won 1st Prize in the 2015 M.F.K. Fisher Book Awards. Kirkus called Eating Wildly “A delectable feast of the heart,” and Library Journal chose it as one of the “Best Books of 2014.” Chin's writing has appeared in The New York Times (“Urban Forager”), the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Marie Claire, Saveur, and the Village Voice, among others.</p><p>She holds a PhD from the University of Southern California, and an MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. A former slam poet, she is an associate professor of creative nonfiction at CUNY and a 2015 Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University.</p><p>For more information about Ava Chin and her works visit her website:</p><p>This Lion Rock series event is sponsored by CWU's College of Arts and Humanities, Inklings Club, ASCWU Club Senate, Department of English, Wildcat Shop and Karen Gookin. For more information about the Lion Rock series, visit</p><p>Persons of disability may make arrangements for reasonable accommodation by calling 509-963-1745 or emailing</p><p>Media contact: Lisa Norris, professor, English, 509-963-1745,<br>&nbsp;</p></br>English Alum Promoted at Norton, 18 Nov 2015 16:53:14<p>Trevor Penland (M.A. English 2013, B.A. English 2011) has been promoted to Marketing Manager for music textbooks at Norton. He will be one of only about a dozen marketing managers at Norton and will be coordinating messaging and marketing for the music textbooks. Prior to his promotion, Trevor worked as a regional sales representative, and his new position takes him to the national level. Congratulations Trevor!</p>Award-winning Poets Rock Visiting Writers Series November 10, 05 Nov 2015 11:00:52<p>Poetry aficionados will be treated to a literary doubleheader at the November Lion Rock Visiting Writer Series, which features poets Jennifer L. Knox and Xavier Cavazos.</p><p>Knox will read from her latest book, <em>Days of Shame and Failure</em>, and Cavazos will read from <em>Diamond Grove Slave State</em>, his book about the life of George Washington Carver.</p><p>The readings will take place at 7:30 p.m., November 10, in Central Washington University’s Student Union and Recreation Center Theatre. The authors’ books will be available for sale at the evening event, courtesy of the CWU Wildcat Shop. Earlier in the day, Knox will present "Zagging: Making Moves in Poetry that Surprise,” a craft talk held at noon in Black 151. The events are free and open to the public. Parking is free in CWU lots after 4:30 p.m., except in specially designated spaces (handicapped, loading) and in residence halls lots.</p><p>Knox is the author of five books of poems. Her work has appeared in the <em>Best American Poetry </em>series as well as the <em>New York Times</em>, the<em> New Yorker</em>, <em>American Poetry Review</em>, <em>McSweeney's</em>, and <em>Bomb</em>. Knox earned her BA from the University of Iowa, and her MFA in poetry writing from New York University. She has taught poetry writing at Hunter College and New York University, and currently teaches at Iowa State University.</p><p>Cavazos is the author of <em>Barbarian at the Gate</em>, part of the Poetry Society of America's New American Poets Chapbook Series and <em>Diamond Grove Slave Tree</em>, which received the inaugural Prairie Seed Poetry Prize from Ice Cube Press. Cavazos is a performance poet who won the 1995 Grand Slam Championship at the NuYoRican Poets Café in New York City. He will have poetry published in the <em>Best American Experimental Writing (BAX) 2015</em>. Cavazos teaches in the Africana and Black Studies and the Professional and Creative Writing Programs at CWU. He received his MFA from Iowa State University, where he served as poetry editor for <em>Flyway: Journal of Creative Writing and the Environment</em>.</p><p>Prior to the Lions Rock Series event, Knox will judge a free community Poetry Slam from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., November 9 at Brooklyn’s Pizza, 716 E. University Way, Ellensburg. Beginning at 5:00 p.m., all who are interested can sign up to compete in the slam, which is also a fundraiser. From 5:00 to 7:00 pm, 20 percent of all proceeds from sales will go to the Inklings Club, a creative writing club at CWU. The Poetry Slam is intended for mature audiences due to themes and language, and not appropriate for children. For more information about the poetry slam event, contact Cavazos at</p><p>For more information about the Lion Rock series, visit</p><p><br>Media Contact: Lisa Norris, professor, English, 509-963-1745,<br>Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br>CWU Lion Rock series continues, 02 Oct 2015 08:01:06<p><img alt="" src="/english/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 300px; margin-left: 6px; margin-right: 6px; float: left;">Central Washington University will bring author and death penalty investigator Rene Denfeld to Ellensburg this month as part of its annual Lion Rock Visiting Writer Series, according to a CWU news release.</p><p>There will be two opportunities to hear from Denfeld on Oct. 13. At 7:30 p.m. she will read from her latest work “The Enchanted,” which is inspired by her work with men and women facing execution, in the Wellington Event Center.</p><p>Read more of this story in the <a href="">Daily Record</a>.</p>CWU Offers One of Top Ten Online English Degree Programs, 24 Sep 2015 08:05:59<p><img alt="" src="/english/sites/" style="width: 317px; height: 200px; float: left;">Central Washington University came in seventh in a national ranking of online bachelor’s degrees in English, as selected by, a leading resource for campus and online education. CWU’s program, <a href="">the bachelor’s degree in professional and creative writing</a>, was chosen based on the quality of its program, types and range of courses provided, and faculty strength, as well as its awards, rankings, and reputation, including reputation for online degree programs. It was the only program ranked in Washington State.</p><p>“A bachelor’s degree in English, as with other liberal arts degrees, provides students with&nbsp; fundamental skills for the global marketplace,” said Stacey Robertson, dean of CWU’s College of Arts and Humanities. “Being able to communicate clearly, concisely, and persuasively is essential in any career.</p><p>“This degree can lead to a career in law, business, media, entertainment, technical communication and countless others. It is also an important launching pad for pursuing careers in editing and publishing, and significantly for graduate work in creative writing."</p><p>The online professional and creative writing degree program is designed to prepare students for success in a technology-driven environment. It combines the rigor of creative writing in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, and screenwriting with the practical elements of professional and technical writing and editing. The major’s interdisciplinary range allows each student to shape the major with courses that best suit individual interests and goals using classes offered by English, communication, and other programs.</p><p>Students in the program gain an in-depth understanding of multiple genres. In practicums and internships, they gain valuable experience writing, creating websites, and editing for companies, government offices, and organizations.&nbsp;</p><p>“The online program gives students the flexibility to complete the degree in a way that suits his or her personal circumstances,” continued Robertson.&nbsp;</p><p> is an independent organization. For more information about the online English degree programs, go to</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>&nbsp;</p></br></br>Stellar CWU Graduate to Pursue Love of Languages, 10 Jun 2015 09:09:13<p><img alt="" src="/english/sites/" style="width: 427px; height: 320px;"></p><p>“I’ve always been interested in languages,” says soon-to-be-graduate Olivia Hirschey. “My mother remembers that in preschool, I tried to help a Japanese girl learn English.”</p><p>Hirschey still likes to help people overcome language barriers. A tour guide for Central Washington University, she noticed that students with Spanish-speaking parents weren’t able to follow the English-language, self-guided tour brochure, so she took it upon herself to translate the brochure into Spanish. Later she gave the university’s first face-to-face tour in Spanish.</p><p>“Many of our applicants are first-generation college students, and need support through this new experience,” she commented. “When we [at CWU] engage the family, we can help students in the long run.”</p><p>Hirschey will be graduating this weekend <em>summa cum laude </em>with dual bachelors’ degrees in English and Spanish and a minor in linguistics. The Newcastle, Washington native is also an Arts and Humanities Honors Scholar in the Douglas Honors College. Her DHC senior thesis, “Language and Legislation: Bilingual Education in the United States, 18th century-Present,” is a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between politics and bilingual education legislation in the US school system. In 2013, she was initiated into Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society, and she was recently awarded the society’s annual fellowship to support her first year of graduate study.</p><p>Her parents encouraged her love of language from the beginning. They enrolled her in a dual-language elementary school, and for six years she was immersed in Spanish language and culture.</p><p>Last summer she was finally able to study abroad at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain—“I’ve always wanted to go, but between two jobs and two majors, it was difficult fitting it in.” After an “amazing” month of intensive language study, Hirschey did a whirlwind tour of Europe—“I saw 17 cities in six countries!”</p><p>This fall, she will enter the University of Colorado-Boulder to pursue a doctoral degree in linguistics, focusing on language acquisition and sociolinguistics.</p><p>Foreshadowing her career as an academic, Hirschey has pursued several research avenues. As lead writing tutor in the Learning Commons, she noticed students adjusting to the new format of question-based collaborative learning adopted by the faculty and staff. She conducted a research project, “Assessing the Expectations for Learning Commons Tutoring,” which she presented to students and faculty at the 2014 Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE), where it won the Brooks Library Best Presentation Award. Hirschey later presented her research at the 2015 National Conference on Undergraduate Research.</p><p>Her research acumen and interest in linguistics caught the attention of mathematics professor Dominic Klyve, who had a languishing research project involving the linguistic research of 18th-century mathematician Leonhard Euler. Working with Klyve, Hirschey analyzed the previously unpublished documents—“I had to teach myself articulatory phonetics of the 18th century”— and wrote “The Missing <em>Meditatio</em>: Leonhard Euler’s (1707–1783) Contribution to Articulatory Phonetics,” which was published in <em>Historiographia Linguistica </em>42/1 (2015). Hirschey was first author on the paper, a singular achievement for an undergraduate.</p><p>“The work wouldn’t have been done if not for Olivia,” noted Klyve, who has nothing but praise for his motivated co-author.</p><p>“Truly, I could not have asked for a better undergraduate experience,” said Hirschey, a Newport High School graduate (’11) who came to CWU because she had heard that it had a great community and really cared about its students—“which I have experienced since the first day I got here. I have received so much support and motivation from staff and faculty. They have all encouraged me to pursue projects and set high goals.<br><br>“I want to come back as an alumna and say ‘I was part of that.’ I’m proud to be part of the Wildcat family.”</p><p>Photo credit: Mphotography</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,</p></br></br></br>C. Farrell Fine Arts and Research Scholarship, 24 Oct 2014 10:10:44<p style="font-size: 11.8181819915771px; line-height: 15.27272605896px;">This scholarship is available to Sophomore, Junior, and Senior students at Central Washington University who are pursuing a fine arts project in Art, Music, Theater, or Creative Writing, or who are pursuing a research project pertaining to the History, Geology, Archeology of Kittitas Valley. This scholarship provides one year of in-state tuition, $200 book allowance, and project costs. Please see their website for more information.</p><p style="font-size: 11.8181819915771px; line-height: 15.27272605896px;"><strong><a href="" target="_blank">C. Farrell Fine Arts and Research Scholarship</a></strong></p><p style="font-size: 11.8181819915771px; line-height: 15.27272605896px;"><strong>This scholarship is not distributed by the Department of English. &nbsp;Please see the website for deadlines, requirements, and eligibility. &nbsp;</strong><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.4;"><a href=""></a></strong></p><p style="font-size: 11.8181819915771px; line-height: 15.27272605896px;">&nbsp;</p><p style="font-size: 11.8181819915771px; line-height: 15.27272605896px;"><strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.4;"><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Creaive Writing Scholarship" src="/english/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 500px;"></a></strong></p></p style="font-size: 11.8181819915771px; line-height: 15.27272605896px;"></p style="font-size: 11.8181819915771px; line-height: 15.27272605896px;"></p style="font-size: 11.8181819915771px; line-height: 15.27272605896px;"></strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.4;"></p style="font-size: 11.8181819915771px; line-height: 15.27272605896px;"></p style="font-size: 11.8181819915771px; line-height: 15.27272605896px;"></strong style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.4;">