Beyond antidisestablishmentarianism…

April 1, 2008

How many letters are in the longest word around? If you guess “a lot,” you’re right!

1913 words, to be exact! Find out what in the world it is (and others you can impress your friends and neighbors with here.


Rejected Marketing Slogans for National Poetry Month

March 31, 2008

Rejected Marketing
Slogans for National
Poetry Month.


– – – –

Nobody Doesn’t Like “Annabel Lee”

What Can Browning Do for You?

Get the Door: It’s “Endymion”!

With a Name Like Hicok, It’s Got to Be Good

Live in Your World. Play in Marianne Moore’s.

Bring Out “The Hollow Men” and Bring Out the Best

I’m Lovin’ It

~ from McSweeney’s

Dorothy Allison’s in town!!

March 31, 2008

Just wanted to remind everyone that the fourth event of the Spring
2008 CAROLINA NOVELISTS SERIES cosponsored by the Institute for
Southern Studies and the Friends of the Richland County Public Library
is on Monday, March 31 at 6 PM.

Our guest on Monday is DOROTHY ALLISON, the acclaimed author of TRASH,

Her accolades include, among others,  the Robert Penn Warren Award and an ALA Award for
Lesbian and Gay Writing, and she has been a finalist for the National
Book Award and the Lillian Smith Award.  BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA and
CAVEDWELLER have been made into films. 

 Allison is also a poet.

This event is free and open to the public and will take place in the
Bostick Auditorium of the Richland County Public Library.  Following
the author’s remarks, there will be a book-signing and reception.  The
Happy Bookseller will have books available for sale at the reading.


A poem a day keeps ___ away!

March 31, 2008

Dear Poetry Lover,

Ten years ago we began a Knopf tradition. To celebrate National Poetry Month, we sent a poem a day by e-mail for 30 days to anyone who asked to receive them. Now, with over 35,000 subscribers, we are proud to continue with a whole new series of daily poems. Each day during the month of April you will receive a poem from some of the best poets in the world including Mark Strand, Mary Jo Salter, Julia Hartwig, and Richard Kenney, as well as classics from Frank O’Hara, Rudyard Kipling, Kenneth Koch and more. This year, we’ll also be featuring special podcasts, gorgeous printable broadsides, and signed books.

If you know of someone who might like to join the Poem-a-Day party, they may visit to sign up.

Best Wishes,

Jason Kincade, Knopf New Media

Interested in journalism?

March 18, 2008

The USC School of Journalism’s 2008 Region 3 Spring conference is scheduled for March 28-29, 2008, at the Courtyard Marriott downtown.  

The title of this year’s conference is “Preparing for Tomorrow’s Newsrooms Today.”   If you’re interested, please call the point of contact at USC (777-3325) or come to the English Dept., where the beautiful woman behind the pretty flowers has more information you can read.

Want to learn more about Darfur?

March 18, 2008

“From the Classroom to the Streets:

 Putting My CC Degree to Work for Social Justice.”  

Columbia College alumna

Lindsey Wilkes,

Founder of the South Carolina Save Darfur Action Group and GenEd, a non-profit organization which educates the community about the issues of genocide, will offer a presentation

Date: Wednesday, March 19

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: BLC 201-202

There will be a reception immediately following the presentation.  

The convention of a lifetime: “Necessary Contradictions.”

March 18, 2008

By Helana Brigman, English Major Extraordinaire

Once Upon a Wednesday, (March 12, 2008), eleven English majors–Susie Ball, Helāna Brigman, Courtney Eason, Jessica Merten, Cathy Miller, Sara O’Lena, Leslie Roesler, Jerrie Sanders, Michelle Shirley, Tracy Skinner, and Hanna Jordan Thayer–and one professor, Dr. Christine Hait, embarked on the convention of a lifetime, “Necessary Contradictions,” the 2008 International conference for Sigma Tau Delta.

Wielding coffee in one hand, the steering wheel (and many red buttons) under the other, Dr. Hait bravely drove where no English Department faculty has driven before: Louisville, KY with a big ol’ bus. (PLEASE NOTE: this doesn’t mean that Dr. Hait drove one handed during the entire trip. She is a very responsible bus driver with an innate skill for 3-point turns J ).

After 8-10 hours of driving, many coffee/candy/pee pee stops and attempts to highlight novels on a bumpy road, everyone arrived safely at the Downtown Marriott in Louisville. Room assignments were made, the bus was parked, and Dr. Z took us on a long walk for Mexican food. Mmmmm mmmm.

When the conference began the next day, MAGIC HAPPENED: people were talking about literature everywhere we went and our Columbia College women were among the brightest, nerdiest, and shiniest of hair.

I was very lucky and presented my paper about Victorian women as witches in literature on Thursday with a group of feminists and one biologist. After we all read our papers, Dr. Nancy Tuten, our moderator, helped generate audience discussion. Dr. Z asked some very interesting questions, and I got to talk to and listen to people talk about literature, gender roles, female power, and evolution.

I am officially of the disposition that I have the best major EVER. There was also this very handsome musical man in the audience who used the words “foment” and “vectors” correctly. Dr. Z and Dr. Tuten say that he’s a keeper.

At the same time, Jerrie presented her paper “The Creativity of Women” and made us all very proud. Afterwards, Courtney presented her short story, “The Other Side of Things” and jarred some interesting discussions on the difference between “Running as fast as you can” and “Running as fast as you freaking* can” (* = censorship). Her story reminded me of a chapter from Kerouac’s On the Road. Only, the star was a Courtney-esque heroine and not an over drugged member of the Beat Generation.

The next day, Sara O’Lena presented her piece “Happy Women Without Men: It Is Possible” to a full room including members of her family. Susie presented on her piece of creative non-fiction “The Bond Between a Woman and Her Shoes.” I wasn’t able to attend the reading, but I’ve read the piece before and I hear it went over incredibly well with the audience! During this same time, Hanna presented her poem “Doormat” and Michelle presented her poem “A Brand New Day.” Both of our poets were very well received.

On Saturday, Cathy presented in TWO panels and gave everyone insight on reflective writing and the history of grammar. The reflective writing panel included work with Michelle, Dr. Hait, and Dr. Z. Tracy Skinner also presented twice in the same day as well: “A Deconstructionist Reading of Stephen Crane’s ‘The Open Boat’” and “where we are and where we might be headed” in the Grammar panel.

Jessica absorbed all of Kurt Vonnegut’s writings in one night and presented a paper on “Humor in the Great Depression” while also whipping out her Vonnegut knowledge at a second’s notice. They grow ‘em tough and literary in Wisconsin!

After a very busy and stimulating few days, our group (minus Z and Tuten) got gussied up for the big banquet (also known as the really good free meal you get at the conference). The food was awesome, the cheese cake was better, and Michelle Shirley rocked our socks off by singing a couple of songs with a very prestigious Louisville quartet! We all went to the front of the room to hear her sing (she is an amazing soprano) and before we knew it, other STD members were gathered around commenting on “how good” she was.

Michelle is now a celebrity in literary circles. Ask her for an autograph when you see her next!

The evening came to a close with an extensive awards ceremony and really good coffee. Dr. Hait was even recognized for her 10 year anniversary as our chapter’s sponsor!

The next day, Dr. Hait drove us out of a two-day snow storm and back into the warm 60s of Columbia. On the way, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel just north of Knoxville where everyone ate up delicious Southern food and listened to Joyce, our sweet waitress, talk about how they had PIE. I bought a coffee cup with udders on its bottom and we arrived safely and happy in Columbia.

For every major but Sara, this was the last STD conference we would attend as Columbia College students and I think we were sobered by the idea and ten hours on the road. It was sad to break up the group after five days of sisterly bonding, but we parted with happy thoughts about naps and loved ones.