Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Way We Learn

Published: January 29, 2010

In the four rigorously reasonable essays in “The Marketplace of Ideas,” Louis Menand takes up four questions about American higher education: “Why is it so hard to institute a general education curriculum? Why did the humanities disciplines undergo a crisis of legitimation? Why has ‘interdisciplinarity’ become a magic word? And why do professors all tend to have the same politics?”

Joe Tabacca

Louis Menand


By Louis Menand

174 pp. W. W. Norton & Company. $24.95

Menand, a professor of English at Harvard and a staff writer for The New Yorker, offers answers notable in part for what they don’t contain: namely, the complaint that it’s all been downhill since 1970 because of feminism, multiculturalism, postmodernism, deconstruction and queer theory. Yes, humanities enrollments have declined since 1970, as have enrollments in the social and natural sciences. But as Menand points out, that’s partly because departments of business administration and computer science have drawn students away from all fields in the liberal arts and sciences and partly because the decades following World War II were anomalous in the history of American higher education — a “Golden Age” of tremendous expansion, when the number of undergraduates increased fivefold and the number of graduate students ninefold. To assess the American university by starting from 1970 is to take the high- water mark as if it were the mean.

Menand’s discussion of general education starts on a wry note: “The process of designing a new general education curriculum and selling it to the faculty has been compared to a play by Samuel Beckett, but the comparison is inapt. Beckett’s plays are short.” One usually hears that general education courses are in a parlous state because hyperspecialized professors disdain teaching broad introductory courses. But the real story is more complicated.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

1946: Wimsatt and Beardsley: "The Intentional Fallacy"

The Authors:
William K. Wimsatt (see image at right)

Born in Washington, D. C. in 1907, Wimsatt graduated from Georgetown University in 1928. In 1936, he got his Ph. D. at Yale University and was appointed to the English department faculty there in 1939. He remained at Yale until his death in 1975. [After much searching, the only image I could find of the authors of “The Intentional Fallacy” is, amazingly enough, this photograph from the Yale archives showing Dr. Wimsatt in costume in a performance of “Tom Thumb”!—ed.]

Monroe C. Beardsley

Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1915, Beardsley graduated from Yale in 1936 and got his Ph.D. there three years later, in 1939. He taught Philosophy at Yale before moving to Mt. Holyoke College in 1944, but spent most of his career at Swarthmore College (22 years) and Temple University (16 years) in Pennsylvania. Beardsley died in 1985.

The Text:
“The Intentional Fallacy"
First published in the Sewanee Review, “The Intentional Fallacy” is considered by some one of “the most important position papers in the history of twentieth—century criticism” (Leitch et al., 1371).

“…the design or intention of the author is neither available nor desirable as a standard for judging the success of a work of literary art …” (1375).

“How is [a critic] supposed to find out what the poet tried to do? If the poet succeeded in doing it, then the poem itself shows what he was trying to do. And if the poet did not succeed, then the poem is not adequate evidence, and the critic must go outside the poem—for evidence of an intention that did not become effective in the poem.” (1375)

“Judging a poem is like judging a pudding or a machine. One demands that it works. . . . Poetry succeeds because all or most of what is said or implied is relevant; what is irrelevant has been excluded, like lumps from pudding and ‘bugs’ from machinery. In this respect poetry differs from practical messages, which are successful if and only if we correctly infer the intention.” (1375)

“The poem is not the critic’s own and not the author’s (it is detached from the author at birth and goes about the world beyond his power to intend about it or control it). The poem belongs to the pubic.” (1376)

In Eliot’s ‘Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,’ towards the end, occurs the line: ‘I have heard the mermaids singing each to each,’ and this bears a certain resemblance to a line in a Song by John Donne, ‘Teach me to heare Mermaides singing,’ so that the reader acquainted to a certain degree with Donne’s poetry, the critical question arises: Is Eliot’s line an allusion to Donne’s? . . . [The biographical] critic writes to Eliot and asks what he meant …Our point is that such an answer to such an inquiry would have nothing to do with the poem ‘Prufrock;’ it would not be a critical inquiry. . . .Critical inquiries are not settled by consulting the oracle.” (1386-87).

Leitch, Vincent B, et al ed. Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. New York: Norton, 2001.

Yale Professor Paul Fry

Dr. Fry: 46 minutes on Wimsatt and Beardsley's "The Intentional Fallacy," and other cool stuff.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Congratulations, Dr. Hada!

I am pleased to announce the release of my new book of poems, Spare Parts, from Mongrel Empire Press (95 pages). If interested, you may order directly from me, send a check to me at the address below. You may also order directly from the press or Amazon (see previous links). The price is $15, (plus $1/book for shipping please). I appreciate your support.

Ken Hada
English & Languages
East Central University
1100 E 14th St.
Ada, OK 74820

A civilizing passion

"The love of art is a civilizing passion. It was never the politician, the general, or the teacher who was the true nurturer of that thing we call civilization. The fostering parent of civilization is the artist. If we forget the arts, we are doomed to a very dull and deadly life. The importance of the arts lies in the transmission (translation) of ideas and the innovation that almost always comes with such a transmission, in the preservation of tradition, and in the establishing of new traditions. In the arts it is important, as it is in all education, to differentiate between what is fad and what is fabulous. What is fabulous is mythic, and myth as patterns of human existence is what we base our lives on. And poetry is the voice of myth.

Jim Barnes (see image at right), On Native Ground

Thanks for passing this along, Dr. Hada.

1946: Kenneth Burke "Kinds of Criticism"

The Author:
Kenneth Burke
Born in Pittsburgh in 1897, Burke dropped out of Columbia University in 1918. Thirteen years later, he published his first book on literature and criticism, Counter-Statement (1931). After publishing three more books of criticism and theory over the next decade, he was hired as a teacher at Bennington College in Vermont in 1943 where he stayed until 1961. During this period he published two of his best-known books, A Grammar of Motives (1945) and A Rhetoric of Motives (1950). He died in 1993.

The Text:
“Kinds of Criticism"
First published in Poetry, “Kinds of Criticism” describes seven different types of criticism (identified below), makes the case that all serve a useful purpose, and urges critics to be as explicit as possible about the particular critical method they employ (Leitch et al., 1371).


1. Genetic Criticism is concerned “with the relation between the poem and its non-poetic or extrapoetic background . . . the relations between act and scene (environmental, historical criticism) or the relations between act and agent (psychological criticism). (1273)”

2. Implicational Criticism “deals with . . . response which the poem arouses in its audience. (1273)”

3. Poetics “…deals with the poem as a member of a class. If the poem is a ballad, for instance, the critic formulates the principles of balladry, and treats of individual ballads in terms of these principles. (1274)”

4. Reviewing includes “1) summarizing the contents; (2) quoting characteristic passages; (3) using ‘conclusive’ adjectives that specify and evaluate the book’s effects. (1275)”

5. Textual Analysis “at its worst . . . is a mere reflex of the fact that, for courses in literary appreciation, the instructor is obliged by contract to fill an appointed number of hours with observations on prescribed texts. At its best, it sustains the intense contemplation of an object to the point where one begins to see not only more deeply into the object but beyond, in the direction of generalization about the kinds of art and artistic excellence, and even the principles of human thought and experience universally. (1276)”

6. Criticism of Criticism, the “ultimate kind” (see Yul Brynner in the photo above and at right) includes systematic statements involving discrimination, classification, methodology, possibility and standards of evaluation, and the like. (1276)”

7. Esthetic Criticism “rules out Didactic, Propagandistic, Moralistic motives. No matter how strongly such motives may pervade actual poems, the Esthetic rules them out, as an element alien to its mode of measurement. (1277-78)”

Thursday, January 28, 2010

So how does Yale read Salinger?

Here's 50+ minutes from Prof. Amy Hungerford on how to write an English paper on J. D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey.

J. D. Salinger (1919-2010)

Published in the New York Times: January 28, 2010

J. D. Salinger, who was thought at one time to be the most important American writer to emerge since World War II but who then turned his back on success and adulation, becoming the Garbo of letters, famous for not wanting to be famous, died on Wednesday at his home in Cornish, N.H., where he had lived in seclusion for more than 50 years. He was 91.

For more, click here and here and here.

Sigma Tau Delta Meeting Time Changed to Thursday, February 4th

The date of the next Sigma Tau Delta meeting has been changed to Thursday, February 4th.

If you’re interested in discussing books, articles, poetry, films and related ideas in a casual, unstructured environment, join Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society at 3:30 in the Tower Room on the 2nd floor of the University Center.

Future meetings are planned for the last Thursday (or Friday) of every month this semester:
February 25 (or 26)
March 25 (or 26)
April 29 (or 30).

The End of English Departments and Literacy?

On January 10th, the following article by Mary Grabar (an English instructor in Atlanta--see image at right) appeared on the "Minding the Campus" webspace, sponsored by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (which, according to our good friends at wikipedia, is "a conservative, market-oriented think tank established in New York City in 1978 by Antony Fisher and William J. Casey, with its headquarters at 52 Vanderbilt Avenue in Midtown Manhattan").

Thanks for the link, Dr. Murphy!

Death by Suicide: The End of English Departments and Literacy

By Mary Grabar

"Who are you kidding?" I wanted to get up and ask the English professor who was giving a talk at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association convention in November. He was analyzing a graphic novel, the spaces between panels, the line widths of the panels, the lettering inside the "speech bubbles."

Maybe he was trying to keep his job in a field that by job postings indicates increasing irrelevance. Students are leaving English departments in droves. "This is a profession that is losing its will to live," proclaimed William Deresiewicz, former English professor himself, in 2008 in the pages of the Nation, no less.

It's been a death by slow suicide. The reference to "spaces" coming from the podium was the same kind of self-abusive parsing, I had seen applied by deconstructionists in the 1990s when I was a graduate student. The depressed patient, failing to see any worth in his work, had leveled the greatest works to "texts." Reading between the lines of "text" has evolved into reading the gaps between panels: "Lots of stuff happens in that silent space," said the professor.

The other English professors and graduate students in the audience nodded in complicit agreement, knowing that to acknowledge his intellectual nakedness would reveal their own. Or maybe they've really convinced themselves they're clothed in real scholarship.

I've pretty much given up on obtaining a tenure-track position; the remaining traditional professors I sought out in the early nineties have since either retired or died. Writing a thesis on Paradise Lost and a dissertation on Walker Percy did not prepare me for positions that advertise specialties in analyzing nine (yes, nine) genders or "visual rhetoric." But since SAMLA had come to me in Atlanta I thought I'd see what was going on. I learned that students can now study their lessons in race, class, and gender with the assistance of pictures.

Graphic novels, those ugly things which now enjoy a special section in college libraries, are to be added to almost any syllabus in a high school or college English class, I learned.
This is how far we've come since the 1990s when bitter young men and hysterical women scrutinized "texts" and condemned them as purveyors of imperialism.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

New definitions

The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. And the winners are:

1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

6. Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent, n . An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

Thanks, Ken Hada, for passing this along, too.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Words!

Thanks to Ken Hada for passing this along:

Here is the Washington Post's Mensa Invitational which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

The winners: 1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the Person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Scissortail 2010

Mark your calendar! ECU once again hosts the largest (and many say the best) writing festival in the state and region. See the schedule below. This year we have at least 7 poets laureate, past and present, from various states. We have at least 10 state and national book award winners. You’ve read their works (or heard of them :) : Joy Harjo, Jim Barnes, Larry Thomas, James Hoggard, LeAnne Howe, Tim Tingle et al!!! Any one of a possible 25 of these authors would be a fine show for us, but all these highly acclaimed authors are just part of the ECU festival! We have 57 authors slated to read. You won’t want to miss this bonanza of creative energy! Plan to attend various sessions, your attendance is so helpful for ECU as well as appreciated by the authors. Please spread the word via your contacts and media outlets. Thank you!

Also, there will be a special gathering after the Friday evening session especially for you and students (and authors) from other universities – more about this later (under the direction of Drs. Walling, Benton and Grasso).

These authors and I look forward to sharing a great weekend with you!

Ken Hada (that's me at right)

Scissortail Creative Writing Festival
5th Annual, April 1-3, 2010
East Central University
Ada, Oklahoma

Thursday April 1

I. 9:30 - 10:45 Estep Auditorium
Phil Morgan, Blanchard, Oklahoma
The Island Poems
Jeanetta Mish, Norman, Oklahoma
The Angle of History & other poems
Patricia Goodrich, Quakertown, Pennsylvania
Red Mud & other poems

II. 11:00 - 12:15 Estep Auditorium
James Hoggard (see image at right), Midwestern State University
Triangles of Light: The Edward Hopper Poems
Marcia Preston, Edmond, Oklahoma
The Wind Comes Sweeping
Nathan Brown, University of Oklahoma
My Sideways Heart

*** Lunch ***

III. 2:00 - 3:15 North Lounge
Johnnie Catfish, Edmond, Oklahoma
Conversing Art and Love
George McCormick, Cameron University
The Empire Builder
Jane Taylor, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The Plain Spoke Poems

IV. 2:00 - 3:15 Estep Auditorium
Sarah Webb, Burnet, Texas
Black & other poems
Jim Wilson, University of Illinois
The Journeyman
Gordon Greene, Midwest City, Oklahoma
Traveling Companions & other poems

V. 3:30 - 4:45 North Lounge
Dorothy Alexander, Cheyenne, Oklahoma
Lessons from an Oklahoma Girlhood
Hardy Jones, Cameron University
Beatrice’s Thanksgiving
Ron Wallace, Durant, Oklahoma
Oklahoma Cantos

VI. 3:30 -4:45 Estep Auditorium
Jennifer Kidney, Norman Oklahoma
Before the Fall & other poems
Marcella Remund, University of South Dakota
Tarnished Saints and Desperate Prayer
Hugh Tribbey, East Central University
Googlism for “Through” & other poems

*** Dinner ***

VII. 6:30 pm. Ataloa Theater
Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center

Fisher High School Contest Winners
Featuring Joy Harjo (see image at right)

Friday April 2

VIII. 9:00 - 10:15 Estep Auditorium
Melissa Morphew, Sam Houston State University
Fathom & other poems
Al Turner
Hanging Men & other poems
Elizabeth Raby, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Ink on Snow

IX. 9:00 - 10:15 North Lounge
Maria Hooley, Lawton, Oklahoma
Hidden Realms
Jerry Brigham, East Central University
Tales of the Tundra
Bayard Godsave, Cameron University
Sudden Fiction

X. 10:30 - 11:45 North Lounge
Carol Hamilton, Midwest City, Oklahoma
Contrapuntal & other poems
J. Don Cook, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The Year My Mother was an Accessory
John Morris, Cameron University
Revisiting the Grounds & other poems

XI. 10:30 - 11:45 Estep Auditorium
Steven Schroeder, Chicago & Shenzhen Universities
A Dim Sum of the Day Before
Abigail Keegan, Oklahoma City University
Depending on the Weather & other poems
Steve Garrison, University of Central Oklahoma
from a novel in progress

XII. 1:15 – 2:45 North Lounge
Carl Sennhenn, Norman, Oklahoma
Travels through Enchanted Woods & other poems
Leah Kayajanian, University of Oklahoma
The Day They Wouldn’t Rape Me
Jim Spurr, Shawnee, Oklahoma
Open Mike Thursday Night & other poems
Tracy Haught, Lawton, Oklahoma
Beyond Bonnie’s House

XIII. 1:15 - 2:45 Estep Auditorium
Sandra Soli, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Necessary Angel & other poems
Connie Squires, University of Central Oklahoma
Along the Watchtower
Robert Ferrier, Norman, Oklahoma
Red Clay Rhythms: Oklahoma Poems
Mark Walling, East Central University
The Drop-off

XIV. 3:00 - 4:30 Estep Auditorium
Bryan Mitschell, University of Central Oklahoma
Status & other poems
Alan Berecka, Del Mar College
The Comic Flaw & other poems
Larry Thomas (see image above at right), Houston, Texas
The Skin of Light
Tim Tingle (see image at right), Canyon Lake, Texas
short fiction

*** Dinner ***

XV. 6:30 pm. Estep Auditorium

Featuring Jim Barnes (see image at left)

Saturday, April 3

XVI. 9:00 - 10:30 North Lounge
Steve Benton, East Central University
Losing My Religion on a Post-Soviet Train
Tara Hembrough, Oklahoma State University
The Marriage in the Graveyard
LeAnne Howe (see image at right), University of Illinois
Ibn Hen
Jillian Logan, University of South Dakota

XVII 9:00 - 10:30 Estep Auditorium
Chris Clark, East Central University
A Page has Turned & other poems
Philip Mackenzie, Cameron University
Solid Avoirdupois
Josh Gaines, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Poems Hiding in the Notes
Arn Henderson, University of Oklahoma
The Lost Journal of the Second Trip to Purgatorie

XVIII. 10:45 - 12:00 North Lounge
Jenny Yang Cropp, University of South Dakota
Penance & other poems
Molly Lemmons, Mustang, Oklahoma
Kind of Heart
Greg Rodgers, Warr Acres, Oklahoma
The Ghost of Mingo Creek

XIX. 10:45 - 12:00 Estep Auditorium
John Yozzo, East Central University
Mathematics of Girl & other poems
Shirley Hall, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Listen & other poems
Don Stinson, Northern Oklahoma College
Sparkling All the Way Down

Author Biographies: 2010

5th Annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival
East Central University
Ada, Oklahoma

Dorothy Alexander is a poet, publisher and storyteller from Cheyenne, Oklahoma, where she is the co-owner of Village Books Press, a two-woman publishing house. She has published four collections of poetry: The Dust Bowl Revisited, Borrowed Dust, Rough Drafts, and the latest one Lessons From an Oklahoma Girlhood, a collection of art and poetry. She also writes non-fiction stories and essays, and has edited two collections of oral history in her home community in western Oklahoma. In a previous life, she was an attorney and municipal judge.

Jim Barnes, of Choctaw and Welsh ancestry, was born and grew up in Summerfield, Oklahoma. He received his BA from what is now Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Oklahoma. He completed his Ph.D from the University of Arkansas in 1970. Jim is the founding editor of the Chariton Review Press and editor of The Chariton Review. He is also a contributing editor to the Pushcart Prize. He has published over 500 poems in more than 100 journals, including The Chicago Review, The American Scholar, Prairie Schooner and Georgia Review. His translations have also been published in journals, such as Sycamore Review and Black Moon. His community service involves membership in many organizations, including the Associated Writing Programs, the National Association for Ethnic Studies, PEN Center USA West and the Editorial Board of Thomas Jefferson University Press. He has sat on several National Endowment for the Arts committees. Jim has given readings across the globe, and he has won numerous awards for his writing, including a Senior Fulbright Fellowship to Switzerland in 1993-94. His On Native Ground won the American Book Award in 2002. Jim has published an additional ten volumes of poetry and has been anthologized multiple times for his poetry and literary criticism.

Steve Benton was born in Fort Worth and grew up in several towns and cities in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. After getting a degree in English from TCU, he spent five years teaching English as a Second Language in Madrid, Spain and then took the Trans-Siberian railroad to China, where he spent four more years teaching at Xiamen University. From China he went to the University of Chicago, where he received a master’s degree in the humanities, and then across town to the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he completed the Ph. D. in English in the spring of 2008. That same spring he became an assistant professor in the English department at East Central University.

Alan Berecka: Led by his Garmin GPS, and this year aided by a migrant buffalo, Alan Berecka who lives in the Corpus Christi area has returned to Ada for the fourth year. This year he will be fitted with a transmitting collar, so scientist can further understand his strange April migratory pattern. When not completing long treks, Berecka works as a librarian at Del Mar College. His poetry has appeared in such places as the American Literary Review, The Conch River Review, The Blue Rock Review and The Christian Century. His first full collection of poems, The Comic Flaw, was published in 2009.

Jerry Brigham is a retired Public Television and Radio General Manager and Associate Professor of film/journalism at the University of Alaska -- Fairbanks. Currently he is an adjunct in the Departments of English and Communication at ECU and consultant for University of Alaska in film studies. His Tales of the Tundra is a collection of stories and sketches dealing with adventures encountered during 18 years in the isolated wilds of the Alaskan Bush.

Nathan Brown is a poet, musician and photographer from Norman, Oklahoma. He holds an interdisciplinary PhD in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma and teaches writing there as well. He has published six books of poetry: Two Tables Over -Winner of the 2009 Oklahoma Book Award, Not Exactly Job-a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award, Ashes Over the Southwest, Suffer the Little Voices - a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award, Hobson's Choice, and My Sideways Heart. Nathan’s poems occur in regional journals such as World Literature Today, Concho River Review, Oklahoma Today, Windhover, among others. He also contributed to the Two Southwests Anthology. Nathan has also recently released a new album of music, Gypsy Moon.

Christopher W. Clark is currently studying English at East Central University. He has published several stories and poems in the university literary magazine Originals, and in 2007 won the Paul Hughes Creative Writing Award for his short story, “Homer’s Theodicy.” He is currently working on his first novel.

J. Don Cook was a photojournalist for 23 years and among his honors are three Pulitzer Prize nominations. Some of his art works can be found in public and private collections throughout the United States including those of Kodak, Inc. in Rochester, New York, Frito-Lay in Dallas, Texas, and Nicholls State University in Thibedaux, Louisiana. His special exhibits include American Visions at New York University. A book of photography, titled Shooting from the Hip, is forthcoming from Oklahoma University Press, and his memoir How the God Mercury Slit My Throat and Other Stories. is in progress. Don has served as artist in residence/photographer at Classen School for Advanced Studies in Oklahoma City. He grows organic vegetables, cooks, and is addicted to Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Jenny Yang Cropp received her MFA at Minnesota State University-Mankato and is currently pursuing a PhD in creative writing at The University of South Dakota where she also works as an editorial assistant for South Dakota Review. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Eclipse, Hayden's Ferry Review, Superstition Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, Poetry Southeast, and others.

Robert Ferrier holds a BA and MBA from the University of Oklahoma. His poetry appears in Oklahoma Today, The Mid-America Poetry Review, Crosstimbers, Blood & Thunder, and others. He has also published four novels as E-books at Dear Mr. Kapps was selected by the McQuark Review as one of the top three e-books for young adults in 2002.

Josh Gaines is a photographer and poet who plays the role of an Air Force Captain by day. Since moving to Oklahoma he has been very active in the poetry scene and currently serves as the Poetry Chair at the Independent Artists of Oklahoma. His collection is titled Cigarette Sonatas.

Dr. Steve Garrison teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Central Oklahoma. His novel Shoveling Smoke was published in 2003 by Chronicle under the name Austin Davis. He is currently working on his second novel.

Bayard Godsave’s work has appeared in the Cream City Review, Confrontation, Another Chicago Magazine, Florida Review, Bryant Literary Review, Cimarron Review and The Evansville Review, among others. One of his stories, "00:02:36:58," which originally appeared in Carolina Quarterly in 2005, was included in 2006 in Flash Fiction Forward, an anthology of short short fiction published by WW Norton, and was anthologized again this past year in a collection called Upside Down B, which is an English textbook used in secondary schools in Sweden. In 2001 Bayard received an MFA from Minnesota State University, Moorhead; in 2008 he received his PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is an Assistant Professor of English at Cameron University.

Patricia Goodrich has been featured reader at writers' conferences, including the Druskininkai International Festival, Lithuania, and the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, USA. Her work has been translated into Chinese, Lithuanian and Romanian. She is a recipient of fellowships through the Andy Warhol Foundation, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Europos Parkas (Lithuania), Inter-Art Foundation (Romania) Leeway Foundation, Makole Sculpture Symposium (Slovenia), Puffin Foundation, Santa Fe Art Institute, Vermont Studio Center, and Yaddo. Goodrich also received Pennsylvania Fellowships in Poetry/Creative Nonfiction and was nominated for Pushcart Prizes in poetry and fiction. She is Pennsylvania's 2005 Bucks County Poet Laureate. Red Mud (VAC Press 2009) is Goodrich's first book length poetry collection. Her work appears in six chapbooks, as well as numerous literary journals and anthologies. She earned degrees from Western Michigan University and the University of Northern Colorado. (

Gordon Greene has been a professional actor, a college professor, an advertising executive, a journalist and a newspaper editor. For fifteen years, he wrote and produced audio-video materials for the University of Oklahoma while hosting a radio program that was syndicated on thirty stations around the state. His work has appeared in a number of national and regional publications, and he has won awards for his short stories, articles, poetry, editorials, columns and essays, as well as his work for radio and television. Greene served two terms as president of Oklahoma City Writers, Inc. He is also a past president and honorary life member of the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation. An eclectic author of six books, including three collections of poetry, his latest book is Traveling Companions.

Carol Hamilton has recent publications in Poet Lore, Comstock Review, Atlanta Review, New York Quarterly, Connecticut River Review, Hidden Oak and others. She has been nominated five times for a Pushcart Prize. She is the former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma. Her most recent books are Shots On and Contrapuntal from Finishing Line Press. She has received the Oklahoma Book Award for poetry, a Southwest Book Award for a children's novel, the David Ray Poetry Award, a Warren Keith Poetry Award, and the Chiron Review Chapbook Award. She is a retired educator and currently translates for Variety Health Clinic.

Shirley Hall lives in Oklahoma where she is pursuing a career in writing. Her extended education includes an array of colleges and universities both in the United States and abroad. An advocate for peace, freedom, and equality Shirley challenges religious, social and political agendas through her controversial poetry and essays. She is author of ONE DAY, Life, Love and Controversy in Middle America, and, LISTEN, released November 1, 2009.

Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a member of the Mvskoke (Creek) Nation. Her seven books of poetry include She Had Some Horses, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, and How We Became Human, New and Selected Poems. Her poetry has garnered many awards including a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Award: the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas; and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She has released four award-winning CD’s of original music and performances: Letter from the End of the Twentieth Century, Native Joy for Real, and She Had Some Horses. A song from her new CD, Winding Through the Milky Way, just won a New Mexico Music Award. She has received the Eagle Spirit Achievement Award for overall contributions in the arts, from the American Indian Film Festival and a US Artists Fellowship for 2009. She performs internationally solo and with her band Joy Harjo and the Arrow Dynamics Band (for which she sings and plays saxophone and flutes), and premiered a preview of her one-woman show, Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light at the Public Theater in New York City and opened at the Wells Fargo Theater in Los Angeles March 2009. She co-wrote the signature film of the National Museum of the American Indian, A Thousand Roads. Joy is a founding board member of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. She writes a column “Comings and Goings” for her tribal newspaper, the Muscogee Nation News. See,

Tara Hembrough is a PhD candidate at Oklahoma State University where she serves as an Editorial assistant for the Cimarron Review. She holds an MFA from Texas State University, and an MA in English from Western Illinois University. In addition to her academic and poetic presentations, she is the author of the novel Cold Sunshine.

Arn Henderson, a native Oklahoman, has followed a career path of architecture, poetry and painting. He has taught architecture at the University of Illinois, Universidad Privada de Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia and the University of Oklahoma. He is a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects and has research interests in Native American shelter and the erosion of culture, historic preservation and vernacular architecture in the rural landscape of the Southern Plains. His research experiences - along with his discovery in graduate school of the work of William Carlos Williams - have, in part, influenced and informed his poetic and artistic ideals. He has authored two volumes of poetry and his work has appeared in regional journals and anthologies. He has also exhibited paintings and drawings in Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, Alabama, Oklahoma and London, England.

James Hoggard, a novelist, poet, essayist, playwright, and literary translator, is the author of nineteen books, most recently Triangles of Light: The Edward Hopper Poems (San Antonio: Wings Press, 2009) and Ashes in Love (Austin: Host Publications, 2009, translations of poems by Oscar Hahn (b. 1938, Chile). Named Poet Laureate of Texas for 2000, he is a former two-term president of the Texas Institute of Letters and recipient of an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship. He has recently had work in Harvard Review, Mantis (Stanford ), Southwest Review, Arts & Letters, The Dirty Goat, and numerous others. He teaches at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX, where he is the Perkins-Prothro Distinguished Professor of English. Among his awards are the PEN Southwest Poetry Award for 2007, The Lon Tinkle Award for Excellence Sustained Throughout a Career, the Stanley Walker Journalism Award, and the Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for literary translation, among others.

Maria Hooley’s poetry has been published in over eighty national magazines, including Kimera, Westview, and The Green Hills Literary Lantern as well as three anthologies. She has several novels in print, including Sojourner, When Angels Cry, and New Life Incorporated. In 1999, Rose Rock Press published her chapbook of poetry, A Different Song. Many of her poems also appear at She has also sold many greeting card clips to various companies including Blue Mountain Arts, Allport Editions, and Oatmeal Studios.

LeAnne Howe is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Her short fiction has appeared in Fiction International, Callaloo, Story, Yalobusha Review, Kenyon Review, Cimarron Review, and elsewhere, and has been translated in France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark. She has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ragdale Writers Residency, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Her first novel, Shell Shaker (Aunt Lute Books, 2001), received an American Book Award in 2002 from the Before Columbus Foundation. The French translation titled, Equinoxes Rouge, was the 2004 finalist for Prix Medici Estranger, one of France's top literary awards. Evidence of Red (Salt Publishing, UK, 2005) won the Oklahoma Book Award for poetry in 2006, and the Wordcraft Circle Award for 2005-2006. Howe’s second novel, Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story (Aunt Lute Books, 2007), takes place in Ada, Indian Territory in 1907, and 2006. In 2007, she appeared on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show in a news segment about sports mascots titled, Trail of Cheers. [She’s afraid this might be the pinnacle of her career.] She is a professor in the MFA program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and makes her home both in Ada, Oklahoma and Illinois. She is at work on a new novel set in the Middle East.

Hardy Jones’s fiction and nonfiction has appeared in over a dozen journals. His novel Every Bitter Thing is forthcoming in May 2010 from Black Lawrence Press. Hardy is an Assistant Professor of English at Cameron University.

Leah Kayajanian is a student for the Master's degree in English Creative Writing at the University of Oklahoma, with plans to graduate in May of 2010. She is the author of a novel, The Places We Choose to Hide, and is working on a new novel as well. In addition, Leah performs as a stand-up comedian in the Oklahoma City area. Dr. Abigail Keegan is a Professor of English and Women's Literature at Oklahoma City University. In addition to essays on American and British writers and numerous poems, she has published two books of poetry, The Feast of the Assumptions and Oklahoma Journey and a critical book, Byron's Othered Self and Voice: Contextualizing the Homographic Signature. In 2007 she received a merit award from Byline Magazine's Silver Anniversary Poetry chapbook competition. Currently she is finishing a collection of poems titled Depending on the Weather.

Jennifer Kidney has a B.A. with Highest Honors in English from Oberlin College and a master's and Ph.D. in English from Yale University. She has more than twenty years of college-level teaching experience and has also worked as a poet-in-the-schools for the Oklahoma Arts Council, a technical writer, and an arts administrator. Since 1988 she has been director of "Let's Talk About It, Oklahoma," for which she received a Special Project Award from the Oklahoma Library Association in 2007. Currently, she is Director of Literature Programs (including "Let's Talk About It, Oklahoma") for the Oklahoma Humanities Council. She is the author of five books of poetry; her most recent book, Life List, was published in 2007. In 2004, she was one of twelve poets invited to read from her work at the Sundown Poetry Series, which is part of the annual Spoleto Festival hosted by the City of Charleston, South Carolina, and in 2006 and 2008, she was one of several poets nominated for Oklahoma Poet Laureate.

Molly Lemmons, author of Kind of Heart, retired from Mustang Schools in 2004 to focus on writing and storytelling. Molly has published many stories in periodicals as well as a column in newspapers in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas. She is a member of OWFI, OCWI, Oklahoma Presenters and Performers, Oklahoma Storytellers, Territory Tellers, and Tejas Storytelling Conference.

Jillian Logan is a student in the Master’s program in English at the University of South Dakota. As an undergraduate at Northwest Nazarene University she was awarded the William Bennett Poetry Prize. J.C. Mahan, aka, “Johnnie Catfish” is an everyday poet, writing poems about everything. He has had several poems published locally including entries in the Blood and Thunder journal. As an active street poet in the OKC area, he has participated in many readings and has printed four chap books. His other artistic endeavors are painting, pottery, and photography. He has recently started a publishing company, Funky Ranch Press. J C will be reading from his newest book, Conversing Art and Love.

Philip MacKenzie earned a MFA in creative writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato, in 2006. His poetry and fiction have appeared in Blue Earth Review and Minnesota River Review. He currently lives in Lawton, Oklahoma, and teaches Composition at Cameron University.

George McCormick received an MFA at Cornell University in 2006. He has taught English and Creative Writing at Cornell, Washington & Lee University, and now at Cameron University. Most recently he has published short stories in Hayden's Ferry Review, Willow Springs, and The Santa Monica Review. His chapbook, You Know Better But I Knew Larry Hinjos was published by the Wisconsin Union Press in 2003.

Jeanetta Mish is a native Oklahoman returned home after twenty years to grow good tomatoes; she also completed her Ph.D. in American Literature at the University of Oklahoma. Her poetry collection, Work Is Love Made Visible, was published by West End Press (in distribution partnership with the University of New Mexico Press) in March 2009. Jeanetta’s chapbook, Tongue Tied Woman, won the Edda Poetry Chapbook Competition for Women in 2002. She has published poetry recently in LABOR: Studies in Working Class History of the Americas, Oklahoma Today, Poetry Bay, and in “Walt’s Corner” of the The Long-Islander. Mish’s creative non-fiction essay, “This Oklahoma We Call Home,” appeared in the Fall/Winter 2008 issue of Crosstimbers. She lives in Norman, Oklahoma, with her husband, an engineering professor; they have a combined family of three sons, all between the ages of 17 and 19. For more information, visit

Bryan Mitschell is an Oklahoman poet, musician and songwriter. His literary work has previously appeared in The Lullwater Review, Mannequin Envy, Poetry Midwest, The Portland Review, The Roanoke Review, and several others. Bryan's poetry was also featured along with an interview in a recent issue of Tiger's Eye: A Journal of Poetry. He holds a Master's degree in Music Production from the University of Central Oklahoma and currently teaches music technology there as well.

Dr. Phillip Carroll Morgan is the award-winning author of The Fork-in-the-Road Indian Poetry Store (Salt Publishing, 2006), co-author of Reasoning Together: The Native Critics Collective (University of Oklahoma Press, 2008), and author of Chickasaw Renaissance (Chickasaw Press, 2010). The father of three children, he collaborates professionally with Kate A. Morgan, his painter-sculptor wife of 30 years, and lives on his family's original allotment farm in the northwestern region of the Chickasaw Nation. Phil currently works as staff writer for the Chickasaw Press here in Ada. He is a member of the Academy of American Poets.

Melissa Morphew, a native of Tennessee, is an associate professor at Sam Houston State University. Her work has appears in such journals as The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, Alaska Quarterly Review and Parnassus: Poetry in Review. She is the recipient of an Individual Artist’s Grant in Poetry from the Tennessee Arts Commission, winner of the Randall Jarrell International Poetry Prize, and winner of the W.B. Yeats Society Award in Poetry. She has been four times nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her poetry collections include Hunger and Heat: The Missionary Letters and The Garden Where All Loves End, and Fathom.

John Graves Morris
is returning for his fifth Scissortail Writers Festival. He is the author of the full-length collection Noise and Stories, published by Plain View Press in 2008, and a chapbook Learning to Love the Music, published by Rose Rock Press in 1999. His poems have appeared in such journals as The Chariton Review, Concho River Review, Westview, and Blood and Thunder. Recent work appears in Jelly Bucket and the Flint Hills Literary Lantern. He is completing his twenty-second year at Cameron University at which he serves as Professor of English.

Marcia Preston is the author of six novels. Her first two books were mysteries set in Southeastern Oklahoma. Song of the Bones won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for suspense fiction, as well as an Oklahoma Book Award. Her recent novels are mainstream fiction, one of them set largely in East and West Berlin during the Cold War years. Another title, The Butterfly House, became a bestseller in Great Britain. Before writing novels full time, Marcia edited two national magazines, was an active freelancer for dozens of publications, and taught English and creative writing at the high school level. She is immediate past president of the 600-member Oklahoma Writers Federation, and two-time winner of their annual Best Book of Fiction award. For twenty years, she edited and published ByLine, a monthly trade magazine for aspiring writers.

Elizabeth Raby’s poetry collections include Ink on Snow and The Year the Pears Bloomed Twice (by Virtual Artists Collective). Her poem, “Bride-to-Be,”was selected as the winning poem for Angelo State University’s 2010 Kelton Poetry Contest. Elizabeth was a poet-in-the-school in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and taught poetry at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. She is a Fellow of the Virginia Center of the Arts. Previous publications include three chapbooks and poems in publications such as The Texas Poetry Calendar in both 2009 and 2010, Sin Fronteras, Santa Fe Literary Review, U.S. 1 Worksheets, and Journal of New Jersey Poets. She holds a B.A. from Vassar College and an M.A. in English (Creative Writing) from Temple University.

Marcella Remund has both a BA and MA in Literature, with an emphasis is Creative Writing/Poetry, from the University of South Dakota. She teaches undergraduate English classes at USD, where she is also the faculty advisor for the University's student literary organization, the Vermillion Literary Project. She has been writing poems since age eight, when she wrote a eulogy for JFK. Marcella has self-published a chapbook of poems, Small Religions (Three Graces Press 2006) and a full-length collection, Finger Bones & Other Relics (Three Graces Press 2008). Her poem "Saint Joan of Arc (Maid of Fire)" was runner up for the 2009 Salem College Rite Dove Poetry award judged by Molly Peacock.

Greg Rodgers is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a writer, storyteller, workshop presenter, and oral historian who has performed in many universities and settings such as the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian. He completed a degree in Native American Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Greg’s short story, Harriet's Burden, is included in the 2006 Nov/Dec special Native American issue of Storytelling Magazine, and his book, Ghost of Mingo Creek was published in 2008 by Forty-Sixth Star Press.

Steven Schroeder received his Ph.D. in Ethics and Society from the University of Chicago in 1982. He is the co-founder, with composer Clarice Assad, of the Virtual Artists Collective (a "virtual" gathering of musicians, poets, and visual artists), which has published five full-length poetry collections each year since it began in 2004. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in After Hours, AmarilloBay, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Concho River Review, the Christian Science Monitor, the Cresset, Druskininkai Poetic Fall 2005, Georgetown Review, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Karamu, Macao Closer, Mid-America Poetry Review, Poetry East, Poetry Macao, Rambunctious Review, Rhino, Shichao, Sichuan Literature, Texas Review, TriQuarterly and other literary journals. He has published two chapbooks, Theory of Cats and Revolutionary Patience, and four full-length collections, Fallen Prose, The Imperfection of the Eye, Six Stops South, and (most recently) A Dim Sum of the Day Before. His most recent book in philosophy and religious studies is On Not Founding Rome: The Virtue of Hesitation. He teaches at the University of Chicago in the Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults and at Shenzhen University (China).

Carl Sennhenn
, retired English and Humanities professor at Rose State College, was appointed Poet Laureate in 2001 by former Governor Frank Keating. During his two-year-tenure as poet laureate, he worked with high school students across the state in their creative writing classes and gave poetry readings in and out of state. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, and his book Travels Through Enchanted Woods was awarded the 2006 Oklahoma Book Award in poetry. His current plans are to teach creative writing workshops for senior citizens as part of the Continuing Education program at Rose.

Sandra Soli was born in England and spent many years in radio broadcasting and regional theater before completing an honors M.A. in creative studies. She traveled in Oklahoma’s artist-in-residence program for a decade and served nine years as columnist and poetry editor for ByLine Magazine. Her second chapbook, What Trees Know, received the 2008 Oklahoma Book Award. Her articles and poetry are published widely; and her work has been featured on NPR and nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. In addition to her own work, she is dedicated to mentoring other writers throughout the region. Her favorite writing quotation is from Barbara Kingsolver: "There is no perfect time to write. There is only now.”

Jim Spurr is married to Aline Smith, Sr. Vice President, Operations Manager at Arvest Bank. He is retired after 47 years as an insurance adjustor and owner of Spurr Claim Service. He has an undergraduate degree from Oklahoma Baptist University. He is a nationally published poet, and his book of poems Open mike / Thursday Night was a finalist in the 2008 Oklahoma Book Awards. His book It's Cool at 2AM won 2nd place by " Palettes and Quills" contest in Ithaca, NY. Jim is an honorably discharged veteran having served in the mid fifties in the 82nd Airborne. Jim & Aline have lived their entire lives in Shawnee, OK where he hosts a popular, monthly poetry reading.

Constance Squires is the director of the M.F.A. program at the University of Central Oklahoma. Her short fiction has been published in the Atlantic Monthly, Identity Theory, Dublin Quarterly, Ginko Tree Review, Arkansas Review, Eclectica, and the New Delta Review, among other venues. She has won the Bob Shacochis Fiction Award, the Matt Clark Fiction Award, and the Briar Cliff Short Story award, and she has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize. Her first novel, Along the Watchtower, is forthcoming from Riverhead next year.

Jonathan Stalling is an Assistant Professor of English Literature at the University of Oklahoma specializing in twentieth-century/contemporary American poetry and East-West poetics. He is the Deputy Chief Editor, Chinese Literature Today Magazine, Editor, CLT Book Series, and the Senior Contributing Editor of World Literature Today. Stalling is also the Deputy Director of the "Center for the Study of China's Literature Abroad" at Beijing Normal University. Stalling was also recently a guest-editor of the special Korean Literature Issue of World Literature Today. He is the author of Poetics of Emptiness: Transformations of Asian Thought in American Poetry (Fordham University Press, Feb. 2010), and a co-editor of The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry, A Critical Edition (Fordham UP 2008). His first book of poetry, Grotto Heaven: A Revised Grammar Book (Chax Press) will be available soon. He is also the founder and director of the Mark Allen Everett Poetry Reading Series at the University of Oklahoma.

Donald Stinson started writing poems around late 1985 and published his first poem in a small literary magazine at Northeastern State University in 1987. Last May, he embarked on his newest writing project, a blog called The One-Year Poetry Project. The best of these daily poems will be collected in volume entitled Sparkling All the Way Down. Don holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Communication Arts from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah and a Ph.D. in English (concentrations in Practical Poetics and Contemporary Literature in English) from Oklahoma State University.

Jane Taylor has a Master’s in Creative Writing from University of Central Oklahoma, a Master of Library Science and a BA in Women’s Studies from O.U. She lives in Oklahoma City. She is a Virginia Center for Creative Arts Fellow. Journal publications include Red Cedar Review, Whetstone, Enigmatist, Red Plains Review, Calyx, Crosstimbers, Flyway, Third Wednesday, Rhino, et al. Recent publications posted at

Larry D. Thomas, 2008 Texas Poet Laureate and member of the Texas Institute of Letters, retired from his management position in the adult criminal justice system in 1998. Among the awards and prizes which he has received for his poetry are two Texas Review Poetry Prizes (2004 and 2001), the 2004 Violet Crown Award, 2003 Western Heritage Award, three Pushcart Prize nominations, a Poets' Prize nomination (West Chester University), and four Spur Award finalist citations. His latest collection of poems is The Skin of Light. Larry resides in Houston, Texas, with his wife, Dr. Lisa Thomas.

Tim Tingle is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation, native flute player, a highly sought-after speaker and storyteller, and award-winning author of Native American fiction and folklore. His Walking the Choctaw road was Storytelling World Magazine’s Best Anthology for 2003. The Oklahoma Reads Oklahoma program selected Walking the Choctaw Road as Book of the Year for 2005, as did Alaska Reads!, marking the first time of the one-bookone- state movement that a single book has been selected by two states in the same year. Other works by Tim include When Turtles Grew Feathers, Spirits Dark and Light, Crossing Bok Chitto and Texas Ghost Stories: Fifty Favorites for the Telling.

Hugh Tribbey is the author of four collections of poetry: Finish Your Sentence, Juvjula Detours, Asteroid, and Waitinale Glasses. Hugh has performed his poetry at the Austin International Poetry Festival, AWP Innovailers and Outsliders: Experimental Writers from Across the Country, the Woody Guthrie Festival, and the & Now Festival of Innovative Literature and Art, and he was a featured author with Gino Frangello and Jesse Seldess at William Allegrezza's Series A Reading in the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago. Hugh's poem "Reckoning" received honorable mention for the Academy of American Poets Prize, and the poem "Greyface" was nominated for the Associated Writing Programs Intro Journals Project. He is currently the Area Chair in Experimental Writing and Aesthetics for the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association. He holds a Ph.D. in Poetics and Contemporary Literature from Oklahoma State University and teaches literature and creative writing at East Central University.

Alvin Turner holds the Ph. D in history from Oklahoma State University and is emeritus dean of social sciences and humanities and professor of history at East Central University. His latest history book is L.W. Mark A Baptist Progressive in Oklahoma. He has written five other histories, eight chapters in different books and more than forty articles and encyclopedia entries dealing with aspects of regional and state history. Dr. Turner served as contributing editor for four different versions of The Rainbow Study Bible, and published fiction, poetry and book reviews in varied journals plus two chapbooks. His books include: First Family: A Centennial History of the First Baptist Church of Oklahoma, City, which he co-authored with Bob Blackburn, and Letters From the Dust Bowl, a finalist for the non -fiction award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book and for the Oklahoma Reads Oklahoma initiative. His latest poetry collection is Hanging Men.

Ron Wallace is a Native Oklahoman, born on Main Street in Durant, Oklahoma where he still resides with his wife Jane and son Matthew who is currently attending the University of Oklahoma. He is an adjunct professor of English at Southeastern Oklahoma State University after thirty years as an instructor and coach in the Oklahoma Public School System and the author of three volumes of poetry: Native Son (American Poems from the Heart of Oklahoma), a finalist in the 2007 Oklahoma Book Awards, Smoke and Stone (The Voices of Gettysburg ) and I Come from Cowboys… and Indians, the winner of the 2009 Oklahoma Writer's Federation Best Book of Poetry Award. His work has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies and has won several national and state awards. His fourth volume of poetry, Oklahoma Cantos will be published by TJMF Publishing of Indiana later this summer.

Sarah Webb is a retired English professor from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. She serves as poetry editor for Crosstimbers, and is co-editor for Just This, a zen arts magazine from the Austin Zen Center. She performs poetry chorally in Quartet, a poetry performance troupe (with Carol Hamilton, Carl Sennhenn, and Dena Madole). Sarah’s essays and poetry have been published in Zen Bow, Zen Gong, and Just This; in Oklahoma, The Oklahoma English Journal, Sugar Creek, and Westview; in Passager, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, and The Appalachee Quarterly, as well as other journals and anthologies.

Jim Wilson has an MFA in Creative Writing (Nonfiction, 2007) from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. He maintains "dual citizenship," living in Ada, Oklahoma in the summers and Urbana, Illinois during the school year where he's an archaeologist at the University of Illinois. For the last ten years Jim has written numerous archaeological reports about his project work throughout much of the Midwest, Mid Atlantic, and Southeast of the United States. His memoir-in-progress is titled The Journeyman, and is about becoming an archaeologist in 1980s, Civil War Lebanon. Since 2008, Jim has taught creative writing in Ada for the Chickasaw Nation's Summer Arts Academy. In 2009 he initiated Going Forward/Looking Back, a community archaeology and creative writing project at the Daggs' Prairie site, an early homestead in Ada.

John Yozzo: In his 23rd year of teaching here at ECU, John is finding his way around campus at last, and is happy to return to Scissortail. John is an occasional poet (occasional scholar, occasional deep-thinker), a native of Ponca City, Oklahoma and the spawn of the infamous University of Tulsa Program in Modern Letters. To paraphrase Seals and Crofts (a 70s folk duo): ‘he may never pass this way again’ (but then he might).”