In 2012 UMF Asst. Professor of English Kristen Case was named editor of the Concord Saunterer, the professional journal of the Thoreau Society -- the oldest and largest organization devoted to an American author. During Case's tenure as editor, the prestigious academic journal will be housed on the UMF campus, bringing the journal to Maine -- an important part of Thoreau's life and work.
UMF Professor of English Pat O'Donnell has a novel coming out in early 2012. Necessary Places will be published by Cadent Publishing of Blue Hill, Maine. Her story "At the Beach, After the Fact" appeared in Fogged Clarity in 2011; her essay "Translation" will appear in the anthology So Long, to be published by Telling Our Stories Press.
UMF Professor of English Michael Burke served on the Fulbright Screening Committee for Student Creative Writing awards. He has had three articles published in Down East during 2011 (February, August, and October) and another essay in the February 2012 issue. He recently participated in a presentation with author and environmentalist Bill McKibben sponsored by the Maine Humanities Council in Belfast, Maine.
UMF Assoc. Professor Composition Elizabeth Cooke recently published a book for children co-written with UMF Sociology Professor of Sociology Jon Oplinger. The Wicked Small People of Whiskey Bridge is now available from Amazon.
UMF Lecturer in English Luann Yetter recently had her book, Portland's Past: Stories from the City by the Sea, published by The History Press.
Eric Brown, UMF associate professor of English, was named the University of Maine System Trustee Professor for 2011-2012. Established in 1998 by the UMaine System Board of Trustees, the Trustee Professorship promotes excellence in academic programs by providing the opportunity and support for recipients to pursue continued in-depth scholarly work. Brown's project will take a detailed look at how author John Milton's work has appeared throughout the history of cinema and why it has proven so difficult to translate to the motion picture industry in the past. It will also treat the planned feature-length Hollywood adaptation of Milton's "Paradise Lost" that is scheduled for release in 2012 and how it may make this masterpiece accessible to a whole new generation.
In 2011, UMF's Visiting Writers Series brought to campus award-winning author Rosemary Mahoney. The free, on-campus readings are followed by a book-signing where students have the opportunity to meet and speak with the author. Mahoney is the author of The Early Arrival of Dreams; A Year in China, a New York Times Notable Book; Whoredom in Kimmage; The World of Irish Women, a New York Times Notable Book and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist; A Likely Story: One Summer with Lillian Hellman; and Down the Nile; Alone in a Fisherman's Skiff, chosen as a best book of the year by both Publisher's Weekly and The Christian Science Monitor. Mahoney's work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post Book World, The New York Times Book Review, Elle, National Geographic Traveler, O Magazine, and the New York Times Magazine.
In 2011, National Poetry Series winner Erika Meitner read from her work as part of the Visiting Writers Series. Meitner was recognized for her second published work, Ideal Cities. Her first book, Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore, won the 2002 Anhinga Prize for Poetry and was a finalist for the 2004 Paterson Poetry Prize. Meitner has received numerous fellowships, including at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Blue Mountain Center and the Sewanee Writers' Conference. Her poems have been published in The Southern Review, Slate, Prairie Schooner, The Kenyon Review, Tin House, The New Republic and American Poetry Review.
In 2011, a Faculty Forum Roundtable Discussion was held on the topic of Philosophy and Poetry. The free lunchtime event examined the relationship between philosophy and poetry, focusing on a poem (Wallace Stevens' "The Snow Man") and a short philosophical text (an excerpt from Martin Buber's "I and Thou"). Leading the discussion were UMF faculty panelists Kristen Case (English), Jonathan Cohen (Philosophy), Paul Gies (Mathematics), and Michael Johnson (English).
In 2011, the Visiting Writers Series brought to campus author Alexander Chee. Chee's first novel Edinburgh, won the Michener Copernicus Prize, the AAWW Lit Award and the Lambda Editor's Choice Prize. It was also a Publisher's Weekly Best Book of the Year and a Booksense 76 selection. Chee was considered one of Out magazine's 100 Most Influential People of the Year in 2003. His work has been published in Out, The Man I Might Become, Loss Within Loss, Men On Men 2000, His 3, Boys Like Us and on Granta.com. He received the 2003 Whiting Writers' Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in Fiction and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Ledig House, the Hermitage and Civitella Ranieri.
In 2010, best-selling author Andre Dubus III read from his work as part of the Visiting Writers Series. Dubus read from what was then an unpublished work, Townie, a memoir of growing up in Lowell, Mass., which came out in early 2011 -- to widesperad acclaim: Amazon Best Books of Month, Christian Science Monitor "One of five books you must read in 2011," and a very positive review in Sunday New York Times book review. Dubus also wrote House of Sand and Fog, a #1 New York Times bestseller, and an Oprah's Book Club selection. It was made into an Academy Award-nominated motion picture and has been published in twenty languages. Dubus is a member of PEN American Center and has been a panelist for the National Book Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
In 2010, a group of UMF English and Creative Writing students were selected to present their original undergraduate research projects and creative endeavors at the first-ever Northeast Undergraduate Research Conference held at the Mass. College of Liberal Arts. Sponsored by the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), the conference showcased some of the best and brightest students in the region while also providing students an opportunity to enhance their credentials for job placement and graduate school. Presenting were UMF English majors Hayden Golden, "The Origins of the Cubist Cult;" and Michelle Kew, "I was a young man, I would belong to twenty clubs: The Wit of Penelope Lapham;" and UMF Creative Writing majors Kate Chianese, "A Walk on the Beach With Death;" and Lauren Taylor, "Friday Night is Stripper's Night in Stratton, Maine."
In 2010, UMF's Visiting Writers Series brought to campus author David Madden. Madden's novels include The Beautiful Greed; Cassandra Singing, which is being adapted as a film by Warner Brothers; and The Suicide's Wife, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and made into a CBS movie. His recent novels include Pleasure-Dome, On the Big Wind, Sharpshooter: A Novel of the Civil War and Abducted By Circumstance. Madden's stories have appeared in numerous college texts and twice in Best American Short Stories. In addition, his poems and short stories have appeared in Redbook, Playboy, The Southern Review, and Botteghe Oscure, among others.
In 2010, the UMF English program hosted its second annual Surrealist Salon held at the on-campus UMF Art Gallery. The eclectic event featured "spontaneous, simultaneous, short, shapely drama, music, art, and edible haiku, as well as wishing, dreaming, and playing of surrealist games." Those attending were asked to make their own tickets, but not "from hazardous material or fish."
English major Ty Thurlow of Farmington, Maine was recently named a Michael D. Wilson Research Scholar which allowed him to receive scholarship funding to investigate the cultural narrative of American attitudes toward the Iraq War. The Michael D. Wilson Research Scholars program awards funding to students to conduct undergraduate research.
English major Randall Rothert of Farmington, Maine was recently named a Michael D. Wilson Research Scholar which allowed him to receive scholarship funding to study bird metaphors in the poetry of John Clare.
English major Sara Groves of Brooksville, Maine, a recent Michael D. Wilson Undergraduate Research award recipient, used her scholarship to study representations of the Algerian War in French Cinema.
Dual major (English and Creative Writing) Kelsey Lowe of Woonsocket, R.I. was named a Michael D. Wilson Research Scholar and used her scholarship funding to conduct a self-designed research project developing a solve-it-yourself version of a murder mystery.
In 2010, author and journalist Amy Sutherland read from her work as part of the Visiting Writers Series. Formerly a writer with the Portland Press Herald, Sutherland is the author of three books including, Cookoff: Recipe Fever in America, which was a finalist for the International Association of Culinary Professionals 2004 Cookbook Awards in the literary category. It was also featured on Entertainment Weekly's Must List and included in Amazon.com's list of the best 50 books of 2003. She also wrote Kicked, Bitten and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the Premier School for Exotic Animal Trainers, and What Shamu Taught Me About Love and Marriage: Lessons for People from Animals and Their Trainers as well as articles for Smithsonian Magazine, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe and Down East, among others.
In 2010, UMF's Visiting Writers Series brought to campus poet Adrian Matejka. Matejka's first collection of poems, The Devil's Garden, won the 2002 Kinereth Gensler Award from Alice James Books -- a cooperative poetry press founded in 1973 and affiliated with UMF since 1994. His second collection, Mixology, was a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series and nominated for an NAACP Image Award. The recipient of two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and fellowships from Cave Canem and the Lannan Foundation, Matejka has had his work featured in American Poetry Review, The Best American Poetry 2010, Crab Orchard Review, and Ploughshares, among other journals and anthologies.
In 2009, UMF hosted the Poe / After Poe Forum Series, which was inspired by the 200th anniversary this year of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe. Numerous events and activities took place on campus and off from September through November. The event included an evening reading at Devaney, Doak, and Garrett Booksellers in downtown Farmington, where several people read excerpts from their favorite Poe stories. One of the highlights of the Poe / After Poe Series was the month-long tribute, "After Poe: Works of Mystery and Imagination" art exhibition at the UMF Art Gallery.
In 2008 UMF's English program and the Music program collaborated on a "Joyce in Farmington Day," in which faculty and students presented readings, panel discussions, performances and lectures on the topic of music in James Joyce's Ulysses.
Each year the UMF Division of Humanities hosts an Author Day to celebrate the work of an important writer and to look at that writer's work from an interdisciplinary perspective. Recently, it focused on New England writer Mary Rowlandson whose 1682 account of her captivity among Native Americans during Metacom's War (1675-1676) was not only the first published narrative by a woman writer in the British colonies but also one of the first "best-sellers" in America. The event included presentations by UMF students from English and History classes and commented on the literary and historical value of Rowlandson's text.
In 2008, a Shakespeare class traveled to the Portland Stage Company's production of "Much Ado about Nothing" and the "Bright Common Nails" show at the Portland Museum of Art.
For additional information about English at the University of Maine at Farmington, just contact the Office of Admission:
Office of Admission
University of Maine at Farmington
246 Main Street
Farmington, Maine 04938-1994
US tel 207-778-7050
Intl. tel 00-1-207-778-7050