We were really busy over the summer, writing and researching and submitting and job hunting. So we’ve got a lot of good news to share this month!

Faculty News

Prof. Michael Begnal  

  • His article “‘Bullets for Hands’: Witter Bynner, Arthur Davison Ficke, and the Spectra Poems of World War I” was published in Twentieth-Century Literature, vol. 64, no. 2 (June 2018).
  • His article “Modernist Mythologies: The Turquoise Trail Anthology and the Poets of Santa Fe” was published in Western American Literature, vol. 53, no. 2 (Summer 2018).
  • He had five poems (homages to Archie Shepp, Bill Evans, Peggy Pond Church, Leroy Carr, and Richard Realf) published in Penumbra  and another in Smithereens Literary Magazine (Ireland).
  • Additionally, he gave a presentation of poetry at the Sport Literature Association Conference on June 20, 2018, at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, titled “Baseball Poems/Baseball Images,” and was interviewed on Bangor, Maine’s AM620 WZON radio on August 8, 2018, and read some poems on the air

Prof. Brent M. Blackwell attended three conferences this year (The Benjamin v. Cohen Peace Conference at Ball State and the Mid-East Honors Association at Central Michigan), the third of which will be the National Collegiate Honors Council Annual Meeting in Boston, MA in November, where he will chair a roundtable discussion on incorporating STEM issues in honors humanities courses.  

poster of Heather Has Four MomsProf. Rani Deighe Crowe

  • Since April, Prof. Rani Deighe Crowes short film, Heather Has Four Moms, won the award for Best Short Film at Cinema Systers Film Festival in Padukah, KY, and the Audience Choice Award at Dyke Drama Film Festival in Perth, Australia. Heather Has Four Moms has been selected to screen at:
    • Out Here Now Kansas City LGBT Film Festival, June 2018
    • Female Eye Film Festival Toronto, Canada June 2018
    • Women in Film and Television Atlanta Short Film Showcase, July 2018
    • North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, August 2018
    • Chain NYC Film Festival, August 2018
    • Broad Humor Film Festival, Venice, CA, August 2018
    • Sioux City International Short Film Festival, September 2018
    • Fargo-Moorhead LGBT Film Festival, September 2018
    • Reeling: Chicago LGBTQ International Film Festival, September 2018
    • Reel Affirmations Washington, DC International LGBTQ Film Festival, October 2018
    • Film Girl Film Festival, Milwaukee, October 2018
    • Northern Wave Film Festival, Iceland, October 2018
    • Paris International Lesbian & Feminist Film Festival, Paris, Oct-Nov, 2018
    • Twin Rivers Media Festival, Asheville, NC, TBA this winter,  2018
  • Her film, Beautiful Eyes, screened with the “Best of Final Girls Women in Horror Film Festival” at Philadelphia Museum of Contemporary Art, in July, screened at Spook Show Film Festival Matoon, IL in August, and was selected by GRRRL HAUS for their fest at Alamo Draft House in Yokers, NY in October.
  • Her short film, Texting: A Love Story, will screen at the festival, Suburbinale, in the suburbs of Vienna, Austria in September, and her TV pilot script, Recess Duty, was an official selection for the Atlanta Comedy Film Festival.
  • Prof. Crowe’s short story, Church of Denial, was published this August in the inaugural edition of Delay Fiction.

Prof. Cathy Day will be presenting on two panels at the 2019 Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference in Portland, OR:“Teaching the Impossible: Teaching Novel Writing to Undergraduates,” and “PR for CW: Responding to Enrollment Challenges in Grad and Undergrad Programs.” AWP reports that 556 panel proposals were accepted out of 1710 submitted, an acceptance rate of 32%.

Prof. Kathryn S. Gardiner’s screenplay, “The Art of Yielding,” has advanced to the semi-finals of the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, the scriptwriting contest coordinated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Semifinalists represent the top 150 scripts of the over 8,000 submissions the Nicholl Fellowships receive each year.

Prof. Gui Garcia

  • Prof. Garcia recently gave a talk on Bayesian data analysis applied to linguistics, which was live streamed to graduate students and faculty members at thirteen universities in Brazil. The talk was part of an ongoing broader research project of his that examines how statistical analyses can incorporate linguistic assumptions.
  • He also presented joint work on English and Portuguese phonology at the 36th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics  (WCCFL, at UCLA), one of the three main conferences on theoretical linguistics. Another joint project, which focuses on prosodic effects on pronoun interpretation in Italian, was presented at the 2nd International Symposium on Bilingual and L2 Processing in Adults and Children (ISBPAC), held at the Technische Universität Braunschweig, in Germany.
  • Over the summer, he also had five other papers accepted for presentation in the fall.

Prof. Darolyn “Lyn” Jones

  • Her article “Unschooling Teaching Practices and Community Literacy” was accepted with revisions for publication in the Journal of Teaching Writing.
  • She edited two community anthologies, one released July 20, the seventh in the series I Remember: Indianapolis Youth Write about Their Lives with INwords Publications and the other through a Ball State Immersive Creative Writing in the Community, 409 Press project titled, #keepmuncieweird…and Whimsical!, which is available on Amazon.  President Geoffrey Mearns and his wife, Mrs. Jennifer Mearns, were featured in the Muncie anthology and participated in the book release event held at Kennedy Public Library in Muncie.
  • This fall, she’ll present at the international conference on Literacy, Culture, and Language Education held in Bloomington, Indiana on the topic of “Unschooling and Equity Teaching Practices and Community Literacy:#blacklivesmatter.”
  • And she was interviewed about diversity in children’s literature for the South Bend Tribune. “New South Bend Bookstore Promotes Diversity Inclusion Through Literature.”  

Prof. Kathryn Ludwig

  • She presented a paper at the American Literature Association 29th Annual Conference on American Literature in San Francisco in May. Her paper “Liminal spaces in Robinson’s Lila” was presented as part of a session organized by the Marilynne Robinson Society.  
  • At the same conference, Prof. Ludwig chaired a session organized by the American Religion and Literature Society (for which she is an officer), entitled: “Race, Religion and Postsecularism.”

Prof. Deborah Mix’s essay “Culture and Violence in Dutchman and the Black Arts Movement” appeared in Approaches to Teaching Baraka’s Dutchman, published by the MLA in July.

Prof. Jackie Grutsch McKinney gave the keynote address at the International Symposium of English Writing Centers in Chinese Universities at Zhejiang University in Haining, China in June.

Prof. Mark Neely has poems appearing in summer and fall issues of Gulf Coast, Slice Magazine, FIELD, and Cream City Review, and will be presenting on a panel (“Anxiety, Envy, and Other Deadly Sins”) at the AWP conference in Portland, OR, this spring.

Sophie Faught, Dan Wakefield, and Rai Peterson

Prof. Rai Peterson was Dan Wakefield’s featured guest on his new podcast, recorded on Thursday, August 30. Their subject was Indianapolis’ own, Janet Flanner (1892-1978), novelist and journalist who wrote the “Letter from Paris” column for New Yorker magazine from 1925-1975 as well as profiles of many famous artists and notorious political and military leaders. She’ll also be the “prisoner” locked in the front window of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library from September 24-29 to commemorate Banned Books Week. Prof. Peterson is the first female author to be so “detained.” She invites you to stop by the library to chat that week; prisoners love visitors!  The theme for the event is “Lonesome No More,” the subtitle of Vonnegut’s novel Slapstick, and programming will focus on mental health issues. The KVML has extensive programing surrounding this event, which is available on their website.

Prof. Emily Rutter

  • Her first book, Invisible Ball of Dreams: Literary Representations of Baseball behind the Color Line, was published by University Press of Mississippi in May 2018.
  • Her second book, The Blues Muse: Race, Gender, and Musical Celebrity in American Poetry, is now available for pre-order. The Blues Muse was also recently honored with the 2017 Elizabeth Agee Prize in American Literature, a University of Alabama Press award given to the best manuscript accepted for publication that year.
  • And in June, Prof. Rutter signed a book contract with Routledge for a co-edited collection of critical essays and poetry, entitled Revisiting the Elegy in the Black Lives Matter Era, which is forthcoming in October 2019.  

Prof. Emily Jo Scalzo’s book review for Gallery: A Collection of Pictures and Words by Howard Richard Debs, was published in Indiana Voice Journal in July.

Prof. Mary Lou Vercellotti

  • Her article “Finding Variation: Assessing the Development of Syntactic Complexity in ESL Speech” was published (early online access) in the International Journal of Applied Linguistics.
  • Shewill be leading a professional development workshop at the March 2019 TESOL International Conference. The professional development workshop for TESOL instructors will be about creating rubrics for use in language learning classrooms. It is an extension of her teaching Assessment in TESOL in the MA TESOL and English as a New Language Add-on License program offered by Ball State.

Prof. Andrea Wolfe’s article “The Narrative Power of the Black Maternal Body: Resisting and Exceeding Visual Economies of Discipline in Margaret Walker’s Jubilee” will be published in an upcoming issue of Interdisciplinary Literary Studies: A Journal of Criticism and Theory.

Student News

Audrey Bowers, a senior CW major, recently launched Brave Voices Magazine, a new quarterly literary and arts magazine that focuses on publishing poems, short stories, essays, and artwork related to the human experience. The Fall issue is expected to be released in early October. She is also beginning roles as a contributing writer for: StudyBreaks magazine, Slutmouth Magazine, and Sarah Scoop, as well as a remote social media intern for Escape The Classroom. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn.

Celebrations for Ball State’s 100th year began in April 2018. To mark the occasion, the university awarded 18 students of all different departments, majors, and backgrounds with full in-state tuition for their senior year of undergraduate study. Senior, Rachel Haywood (CW/Professional Writing), received and happily accepted one of the four Centennial Scholarships given to students in the College of Sciences and Humanities. She will continue to celebrate Ball State’s 100th birthday with other Centennial Scholars, faculty, and staff through various events and activities. September 6th 2018 marks the start of that celebration.

Graduate students Rachel Lauve , Casey Middleton, and Kyle Pratt recently released the first volume of briars lit, a bi-annual queer fairy tale literary anthology. The anthology accepts fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and hybrid work. briars lit will open again for volume two submissions in the winter. Contact information for briars lit is as follows: Twitter, email, and Patreon.

Creative Writing major and Professional Writing & Emerging Media minor, Eileen Porzuczek, worked as a Corporate/Non-Profit PR Intern with Bohlsen Group, an Independent PR Agency and the first B-Corp Certified Company in Indiana. While working with them she served as a client liaison, researcher and ran social media accounts. Projects she assisted with included:

  • Social Media for Dunkin’ Indiana, Nickel Plate Arts and The Spirit & Place Festival
  • Research liaison with CareSource Indiana
  • Keep Indianapolis Beautiful on their mannequin campaign
  • Taking Care In Business Podcast all about Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Promoting the Indy Shorts Film Festival presented by Heartland Film

In addition to her work with the Bohlsen group, Eileen also worked her second summer as an intern for the nonprofit, Indiana Writers Center, co-teaching Spoken Word and running all of the social media platforms for the summer youth Building a Rainbow public memoir program.

Nick Smith, a senior secondary English education major, received the Excellence in Summer Service Award (ESSEA) Scholarship from the Indianapolis McCoy Youth Foundation and the Summer Youth Program Fund (SYPF) for his exemplary work as an intern with the Indiana Writers Center teaching creative narrative nonfiction and poetry to students, ages 6-16 who are part of the Center’s summer youth public memoir program.  He was nominated by former Indiana poet Laureate Shari Wagner and Education Outreach Director, Dr. Darolyn “Lyn” Jones. Nick is the fourth Ball State student in the English department to win this esteemed scholarship.

Shelley Spilman (MA TESOL & Linguistics) and Ben Bishop (MA TESOL & Linguistics) received the Aspire student travel award to present at the Second Language Research Forum, in Montreal, Canada, in October, 2018. They are working on a project on compound-words with Prof. Hamada. Their project investigates questions such as, how do we interpret a word like, “avocado injury”?

Alumni News

Natali Cavanagh (B.A. in CW, 2018) has been offered a full-time position as the marketing assistant at Little, Brown for Young Readers in New York, NY. She landed a summer internship there and was featured in the Ball State Daily News.

Lauren Cross (BA in CW, 2017) has just begun her studies at the M.F.A. Program at the University of South Florida

Sarah James (BA in CW and Telecommunications, 2018) has been offered a full-time position at Ohio Northern University as the Multimedia Specialist and Social Media Manager for the Office of Communications and Marketing.

Levi Todd (BA in English Studies, 2017) has entered a year of service through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. He is serving as a Prevention Educator through Between Friends, an anti-domestic violence organization serving the Chicagoland area. With the education and prevention team, Levi will develop and teach curricula for middle and high school classrooms to discuss healthy relationships and the root causes of violence.

Angela Tomasello

Angela Tomasello (MA Linguistics, 2018) is currently teaching 5th-12th grade English in Moldova as a Peace Corps English teaching assistant. She is living with a host family that speaks only Russian and Romanian. Angela says, “Moldovans use Russian and Romanian so interchangeably that sometimes I don’t know what language I am using! The locals like to say that they speak “Moldovenesc.” They are very proud of their language but also see the necessity for English.” If anyone is interested in learning about what Angela does, feel free to contact

Hannah Partridge (BA in CW and French, 2018) has accepted a full-time position as a Content Specialist at Dealer Inspire. In this role, Hannah conducts research and uses SEO best practices to write and edit web content for automotive dealerships across the U.S.

Kayla Veal (BA in English Education, 2018) has accepted a position as a full time position in the Aldine Independent School District in Houston, Texas. She will be an 8th grade English teacher with beginner and intermediate English Learners.

Cecelia Westbrook (BA in CW and German, 2018) began her training to become an Executive Regional Manager for Credence Innovations late last month. Credence Innovations focuses on product marketing and direct sales in Fortune 500 companies such as Sam’s Club, Costco, and Meijer, with Target on the waiting list.