Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm Sure It Is Golconda.....

The Tenants are very pleased to announce that doctoral student Beth Staley is this year's recipient of the Emily Dickinson International Society Graduate Student Fellowship, which provides a stipend to defray some of the research expenses involved in writing a dissertation. Beth will be happy to sign autographs as long as you keep in mind that they'll be scrawled on the back of a piece of paper and kept in a trunk in the attic for awhile so that there may be some processing delays.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The World Before Glee

Because the Tenants' purpose in life is instruction of the young, we don't want any of our readers under the age of 30 to have the impression that all muscial numbers in movies back in the day were as cheezy as the clip from Fame that we just posted.

Here, by way of illustration (and as something of a palate cleanser), is the opening sequence of Hair, released the previous year, which has better direction, substantially better cinematography, actual choreography (by Twyla Tharp), and even better costumes (although these were already retro at this point). Plus, Beverly D'Angelo before she married Clark Griswold.

The Tenants will leave for another day their excursus on the difference in worldview between the lyrics to "Aquarius" (1967) and the lyrics to "Fame" (1980) in relation to postindustrial capitalism, commodity culture, and the rise of the neo-liberal state. For the moment, let's just say that it's the difference between "you" and "me!".

BTW, if you need Danish subtitles, we've got you covered.

How English Professors See The World

Transcription of an actual conversation about the lyrics to "Fame":

Professor 1: "'People will see me and die.' That never made any sense to me."

Professor 2: "I know. It hardly seems desirable. Maybe this is what happened to Irene Cara's career. She doesn't have any fans left."

Professor 1: "Of course, tautologically speaking, it would be true."

Professor 2: "Doesn't that mean that it's also true of us?"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Absolutely Hilarious

Some of the Tenants are old enough that they can remember when their mothers, in those dark days before the Internet, would send them dozens of newspaper clippings about things that, at best, were only remotely related to anything that the Tenant might be interested in ("The Seven Best Seafood Restaurants in Toledo," "FAA Refueling Regulations"). As a result, the Tenants are always wary of sharing internet links to "absolutely hilarious" pictures, webpages, and videos. However, every now and then, a bottle washes up on the beach outside Colson Hall whose contents really do deserve to be shared.

Such is the case with David Thorne's latest piece. The shorter, redacted version from Jezebel is here. This is relevant to your life because:

1. It's either creative writing or performance art (the Tenants are never too sure with David Thorne). [MFA connection]

2. Jezebel's editing suggests that even the Internet could use Maxwell Perkins. The original version at Thorne's website, 27bslash6, while longer, is not necessarily better. (Also, cat-lovers should know, it's a bit more graphic in the "comic violence against felines" mode.) [MA-PWE connection]

3. It's absolutely hilarious. [Everyone]

What Is Wrong With This Picture?

(Click to enlarge.)

This is the map of visits to TCH since its inception a little over a year ago, with the varying number of pageviews from each state indicated by almost exactly identical shades of green. As you'll see, we've had visitors from every state but one. If the Tenants recall properly from Miss Armbruster's 3rd grade class, this is either Wyoming, Montana, or Denver.

If someone would please go there and log on to TCH just one time, the Tenants would be most grateful.

(Oh, and take one of the babies with you so it can get some air.)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

West Virginia Writers' Workshop

Contact: Mark Brazaitis, 304-293-9707

Pancake to Headline West Virginia Writers' Workshop

Award-winning author Ann Pancake will participate in the 14th West Virginia Writers' Workshop, to be held in Colson Hall on the downtown campus of West Virginia University July 15-18. In addition to Pancake, a West Virginia native and graduate of West Virginia University, the Workshop faculty includes writers who between them have won the Pen/Revson Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Whiting Award, Weatherford Award, Iowa Short Fiction Award, Pushcart Prize, and other prestigious national and international prizes.

The writers will conduct workshops, present lectures, and give readings during the four-day event. Readings are free and open to the public.

"We're fortunate that Ann Pancake is coming back to Morgantown to share her work and her wisdom," said Mark Brazaitis, director of the Workshop. "She’s a terrific writer. She’s also a wonderful teacher. She’ll be both inspirational and helpful to participants, as will the rest of our all-star lineup."

The Workshop will kick off on July 15 at noon with a lunch and an impromptu writing exercise, followed by an impromptu reading.

"We want to involve workshop participants even more this year than we have in years past," said Brazaitis, who also direct WVU’s Creative Writing Program. "We will be giving them opportunities to write and share what they’ve written at every turn."

On July 15 at 8 p.m., poet Peter Makuck, the author of five books of poetry, including His Long Lens: New & Selected Poems, and fiction writer Nancy Reisman, the author of the New York Times notable book The First Desire and the Iowa Short Fiction Award winning House Fires, will read.

On July 16, at 1:30 p.m., fiction writer and poet Brazaitis, the author of The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala and The Other Language: Poems, and ReneƩ Nicholson, whose stories, poems, and essays have appeared in prestigious literary journals such as the Gettysburg Review, will read.

On July 16 at 8 p.m., Pancake, the author of the novel Strange as This Weather Has Been and the short-story collection Given Ground will read with poet James Harms, the Pushcart-Prize-winning author of five books of poetry, including After West.

The Workshop's last reading will be held at 8 p.m. on July 17 with Workshop participants sharing their work in an open mike format.

The conference’s last event will be a panel discussion on publishing, featuring all the Workshop faculty, July 18 at 9:45 a.m.

The West Virginia Writers' Workshop draws writers from all over the country to Morgantown and the campus of WVU for four days of workshops, lectures, readings, and conversation about writing. For more information, see:

Freelance Writing Opportunity

This just in from Morgantown Magazine:


We are looking for talented writers who can produce engaging original articles that are relevant, educational, and of interest to readers, customers, and members of the greater Morgantown community. As one of our writers you will be expected to have excellent writing and grammatical skills as well as being able to work with editorial feedback. Our company operates an electronic magazine for the greater Morgantown area. Opinion writers need not apply. We want writers we can rely on to deliver a consistent stream of articles, typically 1-3 each month. Previous writing or reporting experience is not necessary. However, interested persons are asked to submit a publishable sample story that demonstrates their writing and editing abilities. If you have been published, you do not need to do a sample story. Just send us a copy of one of your published stories. Interns are welcome.

This is very IMPORTANT: If you do not live in the greater Morgantown area, please do not apply. We're only interested in Morgantown-area candidates. Writers are paid per article based on size and experience. Payment is on the 15th and 30th of each month.

If you are a talented writer looking for a reliable source of freelance work, we would like to hear from you. We need writers who are very comfortable with, and can research and write knowledgeably about, any or all of the following topics: general interest, health, sports, fashion, social media, culinary, and many others. Email story submission and contact info to The Morgantown Magazine at

Medievalist Position at Ohio University

The Department of English at Ohio University invites applications for an assistant professor of Medieval Literature. Ph.D. in hand by September 1, 2010, required. The successful candidate is expected to teach; pursue, direct, and publish research; and participate in departmental/university governance. Must be qualified to teach History of the English Language. Position available September 2010.

Send letter of application, C.V., and three current letters of recommendation to the following address:

Marsha Dutton, Chair
ATTN: Medieval Literature Search
Department of English
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701

Deadline for applications: July11, 2010. Women and other minorities are encouraged to apply. Ohio University is an EEO/AA employer. Ohio University is a Research-Extensive institution, enrolling 19,500 students on the Athens campus and more than 8,000 students on five regional campuses. The College of Arts and Sciences includes 340 tenured and tenure-track faculty and contains 19 departments, 7 of which offer the doctoral degree. Further information may be found at the University's web site:

To apply:

[Ed. Note: The latter link no longer works since, although TCH just got this announcement today, the application deadline was this past Sunday. We've posted this anyway because, depending on the size of their pool, they may accept late applications. If you're interested, you should ask them about this asap.]

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Baby Orientation on August 2nd

Given the spate of recent arrivals to the department, there will be a New Baby Orientation on August 2nd from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM in the new nursery wing of Colson Hall (formerly the graduate student offices on the ground floor).

Morning sessions for the babies will include a roundtable discussion entitled "Living with Academic Parents," moderated by former babies Collin and Lilah Claycomb. After naptime, there will be presentations on a variety of topics of interest: "No More Kafka: How To Get Them to Read the Bedtime Story You Want"; "What To Do When They're Writing"; and "When Sabbaticals Happen."

For the parents, there will be a special presentation, "Your Baby Can Grade," by the folks from Your Baby Can, LLC.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Whoops....Missed One.

As far as the title of Youngest Tenant is concerned, little Otis Pascal is sort of like Lady Jane Grey: although he held the title for four days, the news was not announced until after Finn Stupp had taken over. Nonetheless, TCH is rewriting its will to include him.

Molly's announcement is so charming that it deserves to be quoted in its entirety:

"Otis X Pascal arrived after a fast and furious labor ('Run that red light!') at 1:38 pm on June 29.

Otis was 19.5 inches at birth, weighing in at 6 lbs, 12 oz. He is home with Molly and Matthew Pascal and his 18 month old big sister Indie, who wants to know when 'O-2' will be returned to where-ever he came from.

The name OTIS was inspired by Otis Redding. The middle name, X (not an initial), is in honor of Molly's maternal grandfather, Saul X Kramer, who added the letter X to his name before enlisting with the US and departing for the French front during World War II. He thought his name was common and hoped that the middle initial would prevent any potential confusion for his wife when she read the MIA and KIA lists in the newspaper. Saul survived the war and gave each of his subsequent three children the middle name X (and they gave their children the same middle name, and so on)."

Baby Boom

A little more than two weeks after Liam Joseph Novosat-Clark became The Youngest Tenant, the title has now passed (as of 9:02 on Friday morning) to Finnegan Goodrich Deschler Stupp, son of Brittany Deschler and Jason Stupp.

The Tenants welcome Finn, who, at 7 pounds, 1 ounce and 19 1/2 inches, is slightly smaller than Hart Watson but makes up for it by having more names.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Celebrating Independent Presses on Independence Day

Just when you thought no one was paying attention, here's a nice piece about "15 feisty small presses," including New Issues, which I---ahem---happen to like quite a bit.

So there's hope, which is a good thing on any day, don't you think?

Happy 4th of July, tenants.

Alumni News

June seems to have been a good month for our former graduate students, with lots of news to report:

To begin with, as of mid-June, Heather Zias (Ph.D. 2009) is officially an Assistant Professor of English at Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, PA, a permanent, fulltime position. She and Anthony (Ph.D. 2008) will move to Bel Air, MD, so that she can commute to Lancaster and he can commute to Coppin State in Baltimore. Anthony reports that their new townhouse is very comfortable. If you're spending the summer following your favorite singer around the country, they might let you camp in their parking lot while you're attending "Josh Groban: Live at Lancaster" if you ask nicely.

There is also news from Kelly and Joe Moffett.

Kelly ( MA 2001, MFA 2004) is now a new Assistant Professor of English at Northern Kentucky University. I'll give you the details in Kelly's own words:

"After four years part-time and two full-time, tenure-track years at Kentucky Wesleyan College, I decided to go on the job market. My first choice was Northern Kentucky University, since my work with Kentucky women writers and the Kentucky Foundation for Women has given me a desire to remain in Kentucky and to be called a Kentucky writer. After an intense interview process, I was offered a position to teach graduate and undergraduate creative writing classes and serve on the MA committee at NKU! I already love my new colleagues and I am going from a small school of 800 students to 17000 and from a total of 40 faculty members to 35 colleagues only in English. And what's more: George Clooney attended NKU! What more could I want?? : )"

I also asked Kelly about her publications to date and what she's currently working on. She has a book out from Cinnamon Press, Waiting for a Warm Body to Fill It, and she is currently finishing her "second collection of poetry, mostly written while on retreat at either St. Meinrad or Gethsemani monasteries, that is tentatively titled Reliquary."

Joe (Ph.D. 2004) just got tenure at Kentucky Wesleyan, but, as Kelly put it, he's "leaving tenure to be with his wife." He'll teach a couple of classes at Northern Kentucky next year and continue to work on his research. Kelly also gave an update on that:


Understanding Charles Wright (University of South Carolina Press, 2008)
Search for Origins in the 20th Century Long Poem (WVU Press, 2007)

Current Projects:

Co-editor for a special issue of Genre on Genre Poaching in Contemporary Fiction (in press--an issue in which Anthony has an essay coming out, by the way)
Editing a collection of essays on "The Wasteland" for Rodopi
Writing a book on spirituality and the long poem
Just published an essay on Charles Wright in Southern Literary Journal

In case you were wondering, NKU is just outside of Cincinnati if you're planning on attending "Josh Groban: The Cincinnati Sessions."

Needless to say, the Tenants are very pleased that everyone is doing so well.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Nancy Drew Update

As TCH readers will recall, Professor Dennis Allen and I are co-presidents of the Nancy Drew Fan Club, and we’re pretty much solving mysteries every day. Or, getting ready to. Right now, for instance, I’m re-reading The Hidden Window Mystery (#34, in case you want to fetch your copy), and Dennis and I are discussing the important skills we’ll need to hone if we’re ever going to be as clever as Nancy.

We’re also going over a few plot points we seemed to have missed back in the day. (Approximate actual email exchange: Mary Ann: Nancy had a dog? Dennis: Is this a revision?)

This mystery involves a missing stained glass window, a peacock, a lost letter that may or may not contain $100, and a trip to Charlottesville, Virginia, which is why I’m reading this particular book—I’ve lived in C’ville, as it’s known, and I’ve been to Monticello a time or two. And yes, Nancy does go sightseeing. You’d think she’d not have the time—or, quite frankly, the mental capacity to take it all in after being knocked unconscious (page 51)—but Nancy is visiting her cousin, and a good guest goes along to all historical attractions. Indeed, when Nancy and her chums head to Ash Lawn, we’re all pleased to learn that “James Madison, the fifth president of the United States, had built it here to be near his friend Thomas Jefferson.” The home is “more simple, but the gardens have the most beautiful boxwood you’ve ever seen.” And what pre-teen girl reader isn’t interested in horticulture? The book is a page-turner.

But I haven’t turned so many pages that I’m able to spoil the ending for you. Not that I would, of course! So far the point of the book seems to be that just because Nancy is on a case doesn’t mean she misses an opportunity to appreciate America. Which is a good lesson on this Fourth of July weekend, don’t you think? And while you’re busy being all patriotic and law-abiding and everything, don’t do something stupid like send cash in the mail. It’s illegal, says Nancy. And Togo, that’s her dog, isn’t going to help you find it. He’s, like, trained at such things, but he’s also, um, fictional, just so you know.