Widener English

The English Department at Widener University



Ken Pobo Reads Loplop in a Red City

We are delighted to link out to the blog at The Blue Route, Widener’s national undergraduate literary magazine, to share a post about Ken Pobo’s recent reading from his new book Loplop in a Red City.  The reading from Dr. Pobo’s collection of ekphrastic poems inspired by surrealist painting was performed to a standing-room-only crowd at the Widener University Art Gallery.

As author Nicole Gray so eloquently put it, “When one person has such a passion for art, it can become contagious and that is what happened that day at the reading.”  Read the rest of the post here!

And while we’re at it…congratulations to Dr. Pobo for being recognized this fall for thirty years of teaching at Widener!

Ken Pobo honored at the September meeting of the Arts & Sciences faculty for 30 years of service

Job and Internship Roundup!


Turk’s Head Review and the Chester Writers’ House are still looking for interns.  Not sure if you should apply?  Read this post by guest blogger Kirbee Veroneau, a student at Millersville University.  She did an internship with Turk’s Head Review and was kind enough to share her thoughts:


No matter what your major is, chances are you’ll probably want to have an internship under your belt before you graduate college. For English and Creative Writing majors especially, I can tell you first-hand how vital it is to have that experience.

At Millersville University, I’m an English Education major with a concentration in Writing Studies. While my internship is basically planned for me (student teaching), it was still up to me to meet the requirement for a “co-op experience” for my Writing Studies concentration. When I first saw that I had to not only complete an internship, but go out and find one on my own with barely any help, I was a little overwhelmed and, admittedly, a little annoyed. Completing an internship was not something I felt I had the time or energy to do, especially with schoolwork and the various organizations I’m a part of taking up all my time.

After a couple months of looking around, I was able to find an internship opportunity with James Esch’s Spruce Alley Press. I immediately was so excited. Writing and publishing were two things that I really wanted to do. Yes, I want to teach, but publishing had always been something that intrigued me and I was so excited to finally have the opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes of how that works and be able to write outside of the school’s constraints of mainly formal essays.

For me, personally, I had an extremely positive experience with my internship. It helped me in ways I never even thought it could. For example, I’ve become much better at time management. That’s a skill you need for the rest of your life, not just until your required “however-many-hours” comes to an end. I’ve learned about the kind of writer I am and had the opportunity to develop my written voice and become much more comfortable with that voice.

Experience, whether it be positive or negative (yep, negative experiences are helpful in the learning process too) is something you’ll want. If you’re sitting there rolling your eyes, I don’t blame you. A few months ago, that’s how I felt too. Yes, you can gain experience on your own from writing for yourself and developing your own stories and voices through blogging or writing poetry or whatever; however, there is so much to be learned from working with people who are experienced in your field. For English and Creative Writing majors, getting someone to look over your work and provide constructive criticism is an extremely beneficial experience. Not only do you learn how to become a better writer, but you learn to become a deeper thinker and become much more knowledgeable about your craft through the process of working with others. Not to mention, when applying for jobs, they’re going to be looking at the experience you’ve had just as much as the credits you’ve completed.

That’s why, even though you may want to run away and hide at the idea of finding and completing an internship, it’s an experience you’ll be so thankful you had. So, good luck and keep writing!


Read more about our internships at Turk’s Head Review and Chester Writers’ House, and get in touch with Dr. Utell if you want to apply.  Plus:  we’ve had a few job opportunities come our way over the last few days.  Check them out:

Assistant Editor at Springer Science and Business Media

Online Content Editor at

Welcome Back!

We’d like to wish all our English and Creative Writing majors and minors a happy new semester!  Good luck this fall — and make sure you keep in touch with all the cool stuff that’s going on by following the blog and joining the English Club on Campus Cruiser.

There are already a few great opportunities to be aware of: take note!

  • We’ll be holding our first-ever opening meeting for English and Creative Writing majors on Sept. 9 at noon in KLC 118.  There will be pizza — come learn about internships, theater, the literary magazines, as well as need-to-know info about the program.
  • Check out the new season of Lone Brick Theater!
  • Don’t miss Professor Annalisa Castaldo’s Fall Faculty Lecture Marlowe’s Spectacular Deaths — Sept. 23 at 4pm in UC Room G.

And finally:  JOBS and INTERNSHIPS!

Professor Jayne Thompson is looking for interns to work in the Chester Writers’ House:  get in touch for details.

Here are two ideal job opportunities for English/Creative Writing majors:  Drinker/Biddle is looking for a writer/editor, and AVI Digital is looking for a copywriter.

Career Advice from Widener English Alums

“Be flexible.  Be versatile.”

“Just say yes.”

“Get involved.”

“Know that there are lots of different paths:  ask yourself, where do I see myself?”

These pieces of advice, and so much more, were on offer from two Widener English alums:  Ashley Babcock, Director of the Writing Center at Montgomery College, and Emma Ricciardi, a final-year grad student in Library Science at Rutgers and a former intern at the Library Company of Philadelphia.  Ashley and Emma took time from their busy schedules to visit campus last week and share stories about and strategies for building a career with an English major.

What skills from that English major did these successful alums highlight?  They include:

  • editing
  • critical thinking and analytical skills
  • independent thinking
  • managing information
  • being able to read people and situations
  • writing
  • being able to defend ideas
  • listening well to others

Ashley began by tracing her path from English and Creative Writing major to full-time faculty member at the Art Institute in Washington, DC, to a doctorate in Higher Education Leadership, to a position combining faculty work and administration.  A major theme that emerged from her story was the importance of saying yes to opportunities that allow for the demonstration of flexibility, initiative, and drive.  She also highlighted the need to balance setting clear goals with being willing to change course and follow the unexpected.  Her current work in qualitative education research allows her to draw on her background as an English major especially in the use of narrative inquiry, and she is envisioning developing a new phase of her career publishing that research and teaching courses in higher ed leadership.

Emma described knowing from early on what she wanted to do:  develop a career as an archivist by gathering up as much different experience in the field as possible.  Key ideas from Emma’s story included being versatile, and seeking out experiences and opportunities that let you develop that versatility.  She suggests using every chance you can to train yourself to do and make new things, to show that you are both trainable and that you don’t need to be trained.  Emma made the excellent point that employers don’t want you to be able to do just one thing, and being able to learn new things quickly is the best quality a new member of the career force can have.

Both women highlighted the necessity of knowing all kinds of technology and tools:  social media, blogging, Excel (ESPECIALLY Excel!).  Both women stressed the importance of extracurricular involvement, even in interests outside the major:  these activities provide the chance to develop “soft skills” and expose you to a wide range of other enriching experiences that make you interesting and can lead to unforeseen opportunities.  They also give you a chance to be a leader.

And both women said majoring in English was invaluable for finding a job:  it is basically the universal sign to any employer that you can write, read, and think.  All in all, it was wonderful to see the success these alums have found after graduation, and we were grateful to them for sharing their wisdom.

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