Category: News


UA Undergraduate, Jordan Taylor, Wins Michael Dalton Goodson Memorial Prize in Poetry

Jordan Taylor is a current senior at the University of Alabama, majoring in psychology and minoring in neuroscience and creative writing. She was a member of the Alabama Student Association for Poetry’s slam competition team that competed at the National Poetry Slam in Chicago during the summer of 2017. This past spring, she received the Department of English’s Michael D. Goodson Memorial Prize in Poetry and Slam Poetry. Her poetry explores the “gray areas of love,” loss, and her childhood […]

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On Retirement and the Work that Comes After: Michael Martone

“My job,” says Michael Martone, “is to open up spaces of wonder and delight and surprise for the audience.” This comment comes as Martone is set to retire from UA this spring, after more than four decades teaching creative writing. But the work—the writing and responding to other people’s writing—will continue, he insists. What will go is the constant ping of e-mail and the response to surveys that request just 20 more minutes of his time. But the writing will […]

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Wendy Rawlings’ Time for Bed

Wendy Rawlings’ new collection of short stories, Time for Bed, opens with a devastating story. In “Coffins for Kids!” a mother goes in search for the perfect casket after her daughter is killed in a school shooting reminiscent of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. The story ends, not with the casket, burial, or even closure for the mom or reader. Instead, we are left on the floor of the shooting range at NRA headquarters while two strangers […]

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Kwoya Fagin Maples’ Mend Gives Life to Women

Modern gynecology and obstetrics blossomed under deeply rooted racism. UA alumna Kwoya Fagin Maples captivates her readers with her new book of poetry, Mend, as she explores Black women’s unacknowledged and forgotten wounds and their links to the present. She brings to life the enslaved women whose bodies were exploited and used as experiments at the hands of Dr. James Marion Sims in his pursuit to successfully repair fistulas and eventually become “the father of modern gynecology.” The histories of […]

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Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies Symposium Focuses on “The Future of Teaching Shakespeare”

When the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies began in 1990, the University of Alabama and the discipline of literary studies were very different from what they are today. At that time, UA had a total enrollment of under twenty thousand students. Now commonplace scholarly methods like, the digital humanities, were either unheard of or just emerging. The majority of literature faculty were tenure-stream, both here and nationally. Much has changed in thirty years. UA has doubled to nearly forty […]

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Tuscaloosa Through Time: A Local Journey with Serena Blount

Serena Blount earned her bachelor’s degree from Mississippi University for Women and her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Alabama in the field of American Literature. She lives in one of Tuscaloosa’s historic districts and is currently compiling historical documents relating to the settlement of Newtown, which slightly predates the establishment of Tuscaloosa, and which was once Tuscaloosa County’s primary commercial center. She recently spoke with UA MFA graduate and instructor, Heather Wyatt. What is it about Tuscaloosa […]

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Faculty Profile: Dr. Robert Poole

Robert Poole joined the faculty at The University of Alabama in Fall 2018, but his arrival marked a homecoming, as he received both his undergraduate degree and his M.A. at Alabama. It was his journeys far from Alabama, though, that led him into applied linguistics and TESOL. After earning his undergraduate degree, Poole worked for several years in the Peace Corps in Guyana and later spent time teaching overseas in Nicaragua and South Korea. “In South Korea is where I […]

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Heather Wyatt’s New Book My Life With(out) Ranch

According to her publisher, Heather Wyatt is a “teacher and writer by day and food-TV junkie by night.” As an undergraduate, she majored in American Studies at The University of Alabama and earned her MFA from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Her poetry has been published in a number of journals including Number One, Puff Puff Prose Poetry and a Play, The Binnacle, ETA, Writers Tribe Review among others. Her first book, My Life With(out) Ranch, is a collection of […]

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Welcoming UA’s New Victorianist: A Conversation with Professor Daniel Novak

Associate Professor Daniel Novak recently joined UA’s English department after previously teaching at Tulane University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Mississippi. He received his doctorate from Princeton University in 2002, specializing in Victorian literature. He is the author of Realism, Photography, and Nineteenth-Century Fiction (Cambridge University Press, 2008), and co-editor of ‘Masculinity Lessons’: Rethinking Men’s and Women’s Studies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011).  His research interests include Victorian and visual cultures. I recently spoke with Dr. Novak about his research […]

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Public Statement to President Bell regarding Dean Riley’s resignation

Note from the Chair: On 9/23/19, the English department faculty voted unanimously to release the following statement. –David Ainsworth, Chair Dear President Bell, This letter is written on behalf of concerned faculty in the English Department in the wake of the recent departure of Dr. Jamie Riley, formerly Vice President and Dean of Students at UA. On Sept. 5, 2019, after less than a year on the job, Dr. Riley tendered his resignation. The resignation came one day after Breitbart […]

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