Mrs. Dalloway Editor Visits Widener

Posted March 20, 2015 by Janine Utell
Categories: News, Professoring, Recommended (Internet) Reading

Tags: , , , ,

Jenn Rohrbach, English ’18, wrote up a piece for The Blue & Gold covering Professor Anne Fernald’s lecture on editing Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway.  Read all about it here!

Here’s an excerpt:

If you have any experience with Virginia Woolf, you know her novels are challenging enough to read. Imagine attempting to edit them!  Dr. Fernald took those of us in attendance on her 10-year journey of editing the 1925 novel, which she began in 2001. The edition of the novel is designed for scholars to reference: a textual edition for libraries that, besides the actual content of Woolf’s novel, includes an editorial introduction and three different types of footnotes that shed light on the history of the time period, information about Woolf’s life, and allusions to other media made in the novel.

Congratulations to Sigma Tau Delta Inductees!

Posted March 17, 2015 by Janine Utell
Categories: English Club Cool Stuff, News, Ruminations

Tags: , , ,

Monday, March 16, saw the induction of new members to the Widener University chapter of Sigma Tau Delta.  Chapter President Autumn Heisler (’15) offered some remarks, which she was generous enough to share here:

I am a psychology major. Wait. Yes. I am a psychology major. I’m seventeen years old, and I’ve been told by everyone and their mothers that I need to pick my major for college so that I can plan out the rest of my life. I pick psychology, because I am

Chapter President Autumn Heisler shares her remarks; photo courtesy of Professor Mark Graybill

Chapter President Autumn Heisler shares her remarks; photo courtesy of Professor Mark Graybill

told I would be good at it. I’m seventeen years old. I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life. I do know it isn’t psychology, though, but I choose it anyways. I have no real clue what else I want.

Okay. I have a clue. Actually, I know the only clue: I want to write. And at seventeen, I don’t know how to tell people that. So I hide away my stories, each world closeted for only me to know. Until, one day, when I leave four pages, single spaced lying on my bed, and my father stumbles upon them, thinking it’s an essay. He reads them. He calls me to him, and I am mortified, (encounters like this mortify seventeen year olds), and he asks me, “Why aren’t you pursuing this?”

I’m telling everyone here this particular story, because I wouldn’t be standing in front of you if it hadn’t happened this way. Or maybe I would. I do believe in fate, and I believe that writing has always been mine. But it did happen this way, and though I’ve never told my father this, I am eternally grateful for his “snooping.”

Every time I recall this story, I always get this passionate surge of responsibility to tell people to follow their dreams. It’s a cliché, I know, but it’s one that I think is so important for people to hear. Follow your dreams. You should never have to sacrifice your own happiness, because you are afraid of what others might be saying or thinking. In the end, it’s your life; not theirs. I wish that I had had the confidence to tell my family and friends on my own, but I needed that push. I was introverted, and I carried that with me into college. Being at Widener has brought me out of my shell.

Sigma Tau Delta, for me, is a community of book nerds who love giving the gift of English to everyone they meet.

Widener has given me more opportunities than I can even count. Because of English and creative writing, I’ve gained experience in writing, critical reading, editing, and more. I’ve worked as a student editor for three years in University Relations. I’ve been on the staff of our literary journal for four years and am now editor-in-chief of Widener Ink. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to go to Seattle and soon Minneapolis to attend the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference. I was a part of the pilot team in creating the Blue&Gold, bringing news to students. I’ve been published in the numerous magazines and online. I love writing so much, I added a professional writing minor during my sophomore year in order to learn as many styles of writing as I could. I was inducted into Sigma Tau Delta last spring and have acted as president for the past school year.

Sigma Tau Delta is an organization that strives to support high standards of academic excellence by fostering learning through literature, language, and writing, both within our community and in the larger society. In continuation of this serving our community, our chapter has donated books to Chester City Hall to be used by the Youth Aid Panel and the GED training group. Widener’s chapter has also donated books in order to support children’s literacy to an English immersion elementary school on  Zamorano University’s campus in Honduras, as well as to an orphanage close to Zamorano. Sigma Tau Delta is a celebration of people who know the importance of the written word.

l-r: Dean Don Devilbiss, Ellen Madison, Emily DeFreitas, Maria Klecko, Christian Scittina, Kimberlee Roberts, Veronica Vasquez, Autumn Heisler, Dean Sharon Meagher; photo courtesy of Professor Mark Graybill

l-r: Dean Don Devilbiss, Ellen Madison, Emily DeFreitas, Maria Klecko, Christian Scittina, Kimberlee Roberts, Veronica Vasquez, Autumn Heisler, Dean Sharon Meagher; photo courtesy of Professor Mark Graybill

I want the new inductees to know that they are joining something with a very important meaning. Sigma Tau Delta, for me, is a community of book nerds who love giving the gift of English to everyone they meet. I started out scared and quiet. Now, I am a creative writing and English dual major. I am twenty-one years old. I am following my dream, and though I am a rather quiet person, I tell everyone why I am where I am today, because I’m happy here, being me.

New Poems from Professor Pobo!

Posted March 12, 2015 by Janine Utell
Categories: News, Professoring, Recommended (Internet) Reading

Tags: ,

The last couple of weeks have seen quite a few new poems from Professor Ken Pobo.  We encourage you to head over to Silver Birch Press to read “Extremely Middletown”The Lake for “Great Journey” and “Elegy for a Calamondin,” and Unbroken Journal for a really fantastic short prose piece, “Wet Cellophane”.   If you want to keep up with Professor Pobo, follow him on Twitter, @KenPobo (where you’ll also get the lowdown on the playlists for his weekly radio show, “Obscure Oldies”).

I’m partial to this one myself:

Elegy for a Calamondin

Unwatered, the leaves,

green snow in a blue pot.

Seven small fruits

hang on barren branches,


angry eyes.  Perhaps I should

apologize to it.  Instead,

I make spaghetti, watch TV.

The oranges thickened

through summer days,

even in fall.  On Halloween

I took it in, gave it a sunny sill.


My spouse gets the vacuum cleaner,

sucks up leaves.  He’s both

funeral director and gravedigger.

Carrying it out,

he says nothing.

English Club Lunchtime Flash Mic

Posted February 19, 2015 by Janine Utell
Categories: English Club Cool Stuff

Tags: , ,

Kudos to the English Club for pulling off an awesome lunchtime flash mic!  And special thanks to Kelsey Styles for the video.  Make sure to catch their next open mic during Honors Week in March!

Don’t-Miss Events This Week!

Posted February 18, 2015 by Janine Utell
Categories: English Club Cool Stuff, News

Tags: , , ,

Take a break from the pre-midterm whirl to catch these two don’t-miss events!

  • Lone Brick Theater is in the second week of running their production of Steve Yockey’s “Very Still and Hard to See” — it’s been selling out, so make sure to reserve your tickets!  Catch the show 2/19, 2/20, or 2/21 at 8pm.  More details here.

    LBT doing "Very Still and Hard to See"

    LBT doing “Very Still and Hard to See”

  • Jayne Thompson and Emily DeFreitas will be reading from Letters to My Younger Self at Big Blue Marble Books on Friday, 2/20 at 7pm.  The two will be sharing audio recordings of these men reading their work, as well as exploring the role of memoir and writing in changing lives, and guiding a conversation on the school-to-prison pipeline.

We’re also pleased to announce that Letters to My Younger Self will be the common reading for the Fall 2015 First-Year Common Experience — so if you have not yet heard Jayne read, come on out!


Professor Utell Promoted

Posted February 17, 2015 by widenerenglishadmin
Categories: News, Professoring

10384483_10152305635336527_8006364191011215425_nCongratulations to Dr. Janine Utell, chair of the English department, on her promotion from Associate Professor of English to Professor of English! Faculty are evaluated by their colleagues in three categories–teaching, professional development, and academic citizenship. To achieve promotion to Professor candidates must be found excellent in each. Moreover, the Faculty Handbook stipulates that only the exceptional candidate will be promoted in his or her first year of eligibility (after five years since promotion to associate level), and Professor Utell’s colleagues at both the Humanities Division level and the College of Arts and Sciences level unreservedly found her to be so. Dean Sharon Meagher recently presented the promotion-and-tenure committees’ findings to the Board of Trustees who agreed and approved Dr. Utell’s promotion.

The English department is particularly proud of and grateful to Professor Utell, whose excellence is an inspiration to us all and whose leadership is unparalleled!

Major Work on Wordsworth Published by Professor Robinson

Posted February 9, 2015 by Janine Utell
Categories: News, Professoring

Tags: ,

We are very pleased to announce the publication of The Oxford Handbook of William Wordsworth, co-edited by Richard Gravil and our own Daniel Robinson.  This major work of scholarship represents the culmination of several years of research, writing, and collaboration with over 40 internationally renowned Wordsworthians.  The collection joins a series that 9780199662128_450includes titles on Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Milton, and Percy Bysshe Shelley.

While the emphasis is naturally on Wordsworth’s poetry, readers will also find essays on Wordsworth and science, Wordsworth and humanism, Wordsworth and landscape, and an extended section on “The Recluse,” the poet’s great unfinished work, which includes several essays on The Prelude.  Several enlightening biographical essays are offered as well, examining Wordsworth and friendship (most famously with Coleridge) and Wordsworth as a professional author.  william-wordsworth

Professor Robinson, in addition to editing the volume, penned several essays:  “Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, 1798,” “The River Duddon and Wordsworth, Sonneteer,” and the introductory pieces in collaboration with co-editor Richard Gravil.

An invaluable resource for scholars and students alike, the collection brings together essentials of Wordsworth criticism as well as new trends in the field.  For her part, this reader looks forward to delving into “Wordsworth’s Ethical Thinking,” “Wordsworth and Twentieth-Century Poets,” and “Wordsworth in Modern Literary Criticism.”  Congratulations to Professor Robinson!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,441 other followers

%d bloggers like this: