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News of our students, faculty, and alumni

Catherine Pierce has been awarded a Pushcart Prize for her poem “I Kept Getting Books About Birds."


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Spring term Undergraduate Writing Series -- The Writing Center will be scheduling a series of workshops for undergraduates on various elements of paper construction.
July Congratulations in incoming English major Taylar Anderson, who won the department’s first-ever Stacey Goff Endowed English Scholarship!
July Congratulations to incoming graduate student De'Aris Rhymes, who won the Dr. Richard F. Patteson Endowed Scholarship in English.
June Emeriti Professors Rich Raymond and Nancy Hargrove both had essays appear in the Summer 2018 issue of the South Atlantic Review.
June Congratulations to Katherine Flowers who was awarded a $2500 research grant from the Hoover Library & Archives at Stanford for her project, "Making the English-Only Movement: Writing, Scaling, and Resisting Language Policy.” She’ll use this grant to travel for archival research next summer.
May Congratulations to Joy Carino, Frances Crawford, and Emma Moffett, each of whom won one of the Howell and Elizabeth Gwin Scholarships for 2018-2019
May Congratulations to Anna Claire Tucker, who won the Helen W. Skelton Annual Scholarship for 2018!
May Congratulations to Dorothy Higgs and Rebecca Woods, both of whom have won the Roger LeMoyne Dabbs Memorial Scholarship for 2018-2019!
May English Grad Student Caroline Brandon has been named 2018 Eudora Welty Fellow. She will begin her thesis research at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History this summer.
May Congratulations to Gentry Burkes, who won the 2018 Gender Studies paper competition with her paper, “The Lady of the Rings: Portia as the Gift-Giver in The Merchant of Venice"!
May Congratulations to Avery Ferguson, who has won the English Department’s Dr. Cecil Hunter and Ann Pittman Andrews Memorial Endowed Scholarship for 2018
May Congratulations to filmmakers Joy Cariño (English major with Linguistics/TESOL) and Emma Denson (Theatre major/English minor), and their entire team, including Alisha Carino, Shanika Musser and Morgan Williams. Their documentary Harmony in Healing screened at the Shackouls Honors College last week. They hope to continue this work and submit a longer version to the Magnolia Independent Film Festival night of shorts next year!
April Mississippi State’s department of English presents the book launch of Michael Kardos’s brand new novel, Bluff. Kardos is the author of the novels The Three-Day Affair (an Esquire best book of the year) and Before He Finds Her, as well as the story collection One Last Good Time, which won the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Award for fiction. His short stories have appeared in The Southern ReviewCrazyhorseHarvard Review, and elsewhere, and have won a Pushcart Prize. He is an associate professor of English and co-director of the creative writing program at MSU.

Bonnie O'Neill was named winner of the College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Humanities Researcher for the year.

March Congratulations to Lily Hebert, who won the department’s Brasher-Dazey Award for the best essay in EN 3414 (Critical Writing and Research in Literary Studies), titled “Trethewey's Ophelia as a Conglomerate of Photographic Perspectives.”
March Congratulations to English major Meredith Hilliard (with a linguistics minor and TESOL certificate), who has been accepted into CUNY’s Linguistics PhD Program with a five year fellowship.
March 22 The Price Caldwell Visiting Writers Series presents Mississippi native and MSU alum (M.A. English 2009), Nick White. Nick is the author of the novel How to Survive a Summer (Blue Rider/Penguin, 2017). He is an Assistant Professor of English at The Ohio State University's MFA Program in Creative Writing. His short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in The Kenyon ReviewGuernicaThe Hopkins Review, Indiana Review, The Literary Review, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. His short story collection, Sweet & Low, will be published in June, 2018 (Blue Rider/Penguin).
February 22 The College of Arts & Scientists presented this year’s writer-in-residence, Jess Walter. A National Book Award finalist and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, Jess Walter is the author of six novels, one book of short stories and one nonfiction book. His work has been translated into 30 languages, and his essays, short fiction, criticism and journalism have been widely published, in Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Harper's, Esquire, McSweeney's, Byliner, Playboy, ESPN the Magazine, Details and many others
January 2018

I'm very pleased to announce this year's winners of the MSU Undergraduate Writing Contest; these pieces will now go on to represent MSU in the Southern Literary Festival competition. 

Fiction winner: Katie Anderton, "Left, Then Right"
Poetry winner: Katelyn Vance, "Poison the Hive"
Poetry 2nd place: Samantha McElveen, "The Summer of 1964"


Congratulations to Meredith Hilliard, who won the Peyton Williams Award for her paper “Linguistic Violence and Virility: Spanish Language Use and the Linguistic Construction of Power in Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao."

The Honorable Mention is awarded to Michael Spears for his paper “Manufactured Romance: Conflation of Heroics and Foppishness in Aphra Behn’s The Fair Jilt."


October Six of our MSU students presented papers or read critical work at theEnglish Graduate Organization conference at Western Illinois University this past weekend. Graduate students Logan Johnson, Alison Wiltshire, Hayley Hampton, and Amy LaFleur, and undergraduate students Georgeann Kenney and Lindsay Pace all presented material. Alison Wiltshire's paper on Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird won an award for being one of the best papers presented at the conference.

Dr. Wendy Herd has been chosen as the 2017 Mississippi Humanities Council Mississippi State University Teacher of the Year. She will be offering a talk this February on sociophonetics. Details will be forthcoming.

Wendy Herd
October Dr. Robert West's two-volume Complete Poems of A.R. Ammons received a glowing, starred review in Publisher’s Weekly. Robert West

Our first Price Caldwell Visiting Writers Series reader of the year was poet Maggie Smith.

Maggie Smith is the author of three books of poetry: Good Bones (Tupelo Press, September 2017); The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (Tupelo Press, 2015); and Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press, 2005). Smith is also the author of three prizewinning chapbooks. Her poems appear in Best American Poetry, the New York TimesThe Paris Review, Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, Guernica, Plume, AGNIVirginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. In 2016 her poem “Good Bones” went viral internationally and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. PRI (Public Radio International) called it “the official poem of 2016.”

Fall 2017 Shirley Hanshaw's Re-membering and Surviving:  African American Narratives of the Vietnam War, is under contract with Michigan State University Press.  A pioneering work, it provides the first book-length critical analysis of over 25 novels about the Vietnam War by African American  authors. Dr. Shirley Hanshaw
April Catherine Pierce's The Tornado is the World won the 2017 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters prize for poetry. Catherine Pierce

Dr. Shirley Hanshaw was named IHL Diversity Educator of 2016.

March 30

Fiction writer and essayist Lee Martin read from his work as part of the Price Caldwell Visiting Writer Series.

March Two Mississippi State students took prizes in this year's Southern Literary Festival Student Writing Contest: Isaac Huckaby won first place in fiction, and Lauren Case won second place in poetry. Both Isaac and Lauren will be representing MSU at the Southern Literary Festival in Ft. Smith, Arkansas March 30-April 1.
Feb. 28 Andrea Spain was awarded the College of Arts & Sciences Humanities Teaching Award. Andrea Spain
Feb. 28 Professor Emeritus Nancy Hargrove was awarded the College of Arts & Sciences Robert Wolverton Legacy Award.
February Lecturer Antoinette Hayden’s writing classroom and her “Write to the Other Side of the Fence” assignment have been featured in an article in Mississippi State's Reflector:   Antoinette Hayden
February Graduate students Allison Wiltshire, Tamara Mahadin, Craig Gentry, and Casey Baumgartner all presented work at the Mississippi Philological Association conference the weekend of the ninth.
Feb. 9 Professor Emeritus Patrick Creevy spoke at the Starkville Library Books and Authors program. Patrick spoke at 12:30 with refreshments at noon. He discussed his novel "Ryan's Woods" and his latest manuscript.
Jan. 31
Catherine Pierce read from her poetry in Fowlkes Auditorium in the Union. Catherine Pierce
February Becky Hagenston (Scavengers), Richard Lyons (Un Poco Loco) and Catherine Pierce (The Tornado is the World) have each been nominated for the annual 2017 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters awards.
January Matthew Little's book, the Origin of Kibosh as been accepted by Routledge for publication as the first in a series, Studies in Etymology. Matthew Little
January 2017 Strange Science: Investigating the Limits of Knowledge in the Victorian Age , edited by Lara Karpenko and Shalyn Claggett, is now in print from the University of Michigan Press. Strange Science
2016 English/Sociology double major and Truman Scholar Natalie Jones is one of two Mississippi State Rhodes Scholarship Finalists for this year. The other is Political Science/Criminology double major Holly Travis.
October 26 Mississippi State sponsors, including the Department of English, hosted a reading by Kendall Dunkelberg of Columbus and Alexander Weinstein of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
October 25 Mississippi State is hosted Mother Tongue, the poetry slam group that focuses on arts, activism, race and sexuality on in the Foster Ballroom.
October 22 Becky Hagenston read at the 28th Annual Eudora Welty Symposium. Becky Hagenston
October The second edition of Michael Kardos's The Art and Craft of Fiction is now in print. Michael Kardos

Oct. 4,

Richard Lyons offered a debut reading from his newest poetry offering, Un Poco Loco. See the flyer for details. Dr. Lyons is the author of three previous award winning books of poetry, most recently Washington Prize winning Fleur Carnivore.


Richard Lyons
October  Professor Tommy Anderson's book, Shakespeare's Fugitive Politics is now in print. Shakespeare's Fugitive Politics
Sept. 12 Kelly Marsh delivered her Grisham Master Teacher Lecture, Sept. 12 in the Grisham Room. Dr. Kelly Marsh

Tina Barr read from her poetry as a guest of the Price Caldwell Visiting Writer Series.

Tina Barr grew up on the north shore of Long Island, New York.  As a child she was fascinated by myth and fairy tales, an interest she brought to bear in her doctoral dissertation, entitled "The War of Myths: From Modernist Archetype to Postmodernist Cartoon."  She lives with her husband, Jazz composer and pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, in a cabin on the side of a mountain, in Black Mountain, North Carolina.   She is currently working on a third full-length collection of poems, which incorporate mythic, Biblical and folk references, and are located not only in the rural landscape where she lives, but refer to her experiences in the Middle East and in the inner landscapes the imagination creates.  Her second full-length collection, Kaleidoscope, was released in 2015 by Iris Press.

August Kelly Marsh's essay "Jane Eyre and the Pursuit of the Mother's Pleasure" was chosen to be included in the Norton Critical edition of Jane Eyre (4th. ed., 2016). Thousands of students in classes around the world will be reading Kelly's essay. Jane Eyre, 4th critical edition
Aug. 23 The Vicksburg Post included an article on Field Brown, who begins his Ph.D. studies at Harvard this week. Donald Mayfield "Field" Brown
Aug. 20 Becky Hagenston participated in the panel discussion "Short Stories" at the 2016 Mississippi Book Festival in Jackson. Becky Hagenston
July One English major participated in the Mississippi State Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium. Lily Hebert presented a paper titled, “Multifaceted Objectification in The Duchess of Malfi.” Her conference paper won First Place in the Humanities Division.

The winner of this year’s Peyton Williams Award is Kylie Dennis for her ‘Don’t laugh like that, Bertha’: Laughter and the Limits of Female Emotion in Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea.”  Kylie is the first student since 1998 to win the award twice.

Brandi Torre's “ ‘When mothers fail us’: Sisterhood in Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Lee” won this year’s Honorable Mention.