How to Celebrate National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month began in 1996 through the Academy of American Poets. In their own words, “it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.” Here are 30 ways you can celebrate National Poetry Month here in Manhattan, KS, starting … Continue reading How to Celebrate National Poetry Month

Complicated Conversations

On Wednesday, March 14, more than 50 people gathered in Union 227 to share perspectives on recent news stories concerning the author Sherman Alexie, such as the one published with NPR on social media, such as the one by Deborah Miranda. Faculty, staff, administrators, and students from across Kansas State University, as well as local … Continue reading Complicated Conversations

Literature of Aging

“Let’s read that one first!” Frances suggested in response to my account of student squeamishness about a story by Ethan Canin, “We are Nighttime Travelers.” This story ends with a subtle depiction of an intimate moment between a long-married couple, a moment that has prompted an involuntary response from twenty year olds: “Oooh, gross!” Frances’s … Continue reading Literature of Aging

Love Letters to Mary Shelley

The Kansas State English Department celebrated Valentine's Day in the traditional way — you know, by talking about a creature with a stolen heart. In five short talks marking the bicentennial of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, K-State graduate students and faculty members expressed their love for this groundbreaking work, examined the book's ongoing cultural resonance, and … Continue reading Love Letters to Mary Shelley

Alumni Spotlight: R. Dean Johnson

There’s this troubling question I’ve been getting since my second book came out. Maybe I should have seen it coming, but my first book, which is stories and not a novel, came out with a small press and didn’t get the fanfare. There were no interviews or Q&As at reading events. So I was caught … Continue reading Alumni Spotlight: R. Dean Johnson

Happy Birthday, Dear Frankenstein

On March 11, 1818, Mary Shelley published Frankenstein, and the English Department's Graduate Track in British and American Literature decided to dedicate the 2017-18 academic year to celebrating this singular accomplishment. Often credited with inventing the genre of science fiction, Shelley’s novel is both of its time and timeless, a representative example of romantic literature … Continue reading Happy Birthday, Dear Frankenstein

Five Books to Help You Give Thanks

Here at the Kansas State English Department — Fine Purveyor of Literary Listicles for All of Your Holiday Needs — we're thankful for the holiday break next week, for our families, for our students, for our colleagues, for our friends, for those who fight for the rights of others, and for books — don't forget … Continue reading Five Books to Help You Give Thanks

Grad Student Spotlight: Grace Ure

As a grad student in English, I chose the Cultural Studies Track because I am a conservative evangelical Christian. Wait, what? On the surface, this pairing may seem contradictory since Christians have the reputation for being judgmental, homophobic, and generally narrow-minded whereas cultural studies embraces diversity of all kinds.  I believe, however, that real Christianity … Continue reading Grad Student Spotlight: Grace Ure

Shelfie Thursday: Kimball Smith

  Books may furnish a room, but it’s the shelves that provide the key to happiness. Where books give you all the intensive pleasures of reading and analysis, bookshelves offer the calmer joys of meditation and reflection. Let your eyes drift over the titles, the play of colors, the passing moments of nostalgia or recollection … Continue reading Shelfie Thursday: Kimball Smith