Thursday, October 28, 2010

Colloquium on Literary Analysis--Friday at 9, Monday at 11

You are invited to attend a Colloquy on Literary Analysis:

Friday, October 29th (that’s tomorrow!) at 9 a.m. in HM 342 (Dr. Hada’s Critical Approaches to Prose class)


Monday, November 1st (that’s Monday) at 11 a.m. in HM 333 (Dr. Yarbrough’s American Literature Survey class).

Professors Benton, Grasso, Hada, McMahon, Walling, and Yarbrough will appear at one or both of these colloquium to discuss the qualities of the best, student-written literary analyses, and answer questions about how students can improve their skills as writers of literary analysis. We will also distribute a 4-page guideline to literary analysis that we have collectively authored.

If you are not already enrolled in Dr. Hada’s or Dr. Yarbrough’s classes, but would like to attend, please send me a note so we can make sure there are enough seats for everyone.

Thank you,

Steve Benton, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of English and Languages

Hamlet at ECU--Thursday, November 4 at noon!

You are invited to a free, one-hour presentation of:

     The Time is Out of Joint: A Study of Hamlet
       on Thursday, November 4, 2010,  at 12:00 noon
       in the Ataloa Theater of the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center,
       presented by the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival.

ECU’s Department of English and Languages and the Center of Continuing Education and Community Services host the 15th Annual Oklahoma Literary Arts Festival next Thursday, which offers workshops for high school students and teachers from 8:30-11:30 a.m.  Then, the general session is from 12:00-1:00 p.m., and features the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival’s touring version of Hamlet. The front section of the Ataloa Theater is reserved for the registered high school participants, but we are delighted to open up the rest of that beautiful auditorium to any ECU students, faculty, staff, or community members who would like to enjoy an hour of award-winning Shakespearean Theatre:

Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival presents the award-winning production of The Time Is Out of Joint: A Study of Hamlet.  This 50-minute version of Shakespeare’s classic provides all the pageantry, drama, and action of the original but in an abbreviated format.  Six highly talented actors play multiple parts in this touring production.  This show, under the nationally award-winning direction of Dell McLain, provides a fresh but respectful interpretation of one of the greatest dramas of all time.  McLain is a member of Actor’s Equity Association, the National Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, is a recipient of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Bronze Medallion and National Directing Fellowship, and is the Associate Artistic Director for the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival.

The Time Is Out of Joint:  A Study of Hamlet was originally created by the late OSF Artistic Director Dr. Molly Risso.  McLain divided the role of Hamlet itself among three actors who collectively represent the besieged young prince of Denmark.  “I went back to the work of legendary theatre innovator of the 60’s and 70’s Paul Baker,” McLain added.  “Baker was Molly’s mentor and had begun experimenting with this division of the part prior to founding the Dallas Theatre Center.”  McLain recently directed the production at the Blackbird Theatre in New York City.

  Admission is free.  If you have any questions, please call Ms. Charlee Lanis at 580-559-5457 ( or Dr. Teresa Rothrock at 580-559-5439 (

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Midsummer Night's Dream at ECU--Tuesday, November 2nd

On Tuesday November 2nd at 7:30pm Aquila Theatre will present Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center Ataloa Theatre. This timeless comedy has delighted audiences for centuries, and Aquila’s imaginative interpretation will renew the magic of Shakespeare’s plot. Set against a classical Athenian backdrop, A Midsummer Night’s Dream deals with the universal theme of love, and its attendant complications: passion, lust, frustration, depression, confusion, and, of course, marriage.
 Aquila’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been praised by The New York Times as “Timely and pleasing...this “Dream” soothes the eye and tickles the funny bone”. Aquila’s comedic mastery, physical ensemble techniques, and proven successes with their critically acclaimed productions of Shakespeare promise that this will be a Dream you won’t soon forget.
   Tickets are $18 for adults, and $15 for ECU Faculty, Staff & Students. Tickets may be purchased in advance by credit card at the ECU Bursar’s Office or at the HBFFAC Ticket Booth starting at 6pm the night of the performance.  Reservations are recommended. There is a free pre-performance discussion at 6:30pm in the Chalmers Herman theatre.

For more information, visit

This performance is sponsored in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council & ECU Cultural Activities Committee.

What the Critics Say…
“Unmistakable fun…” ~ Headline- Los Angeles Times
“…eclectically entertaining…” ~The New York Times
“This is the most exhilarating, inventive theater company that has put down roots here in many years.”~ The American Reporter
“…a truly innovative and potent theatrical achievement…” ~ The Bermuda Royal Gazette
 “The classics made relevant with superb acting and clever staging.” ~ The New Yorker

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ECU Haiku

The following are first-time attempts at haiku, recently written by students in Dr. Hada’s Non-Western literature course.

schoolyard merry-go-round
withering Oak
bum perched on sidewalk

(Tarek Nakad)

through winter wood
a bounding fox
to an icy glade

(Kaitlyn Hatton)

melting moon cloud
Indian Summer froze time
interstate love

(Sommer Stevens)

majestic mountains
green, yellow, red, orange, gold
refreshing autumn

(Kadee Wilbanks)

lonely dirt road
Autumn trees whisper
sunlight glows

(Angela Skinner)

unappreciated stone
ostentatious horizon
resigned ending

(Stephanie Davis)

memories shaken
thoughts painfully unraveled
unknown desires found

(Joshua Francis)

light shines in darkness
eyes closed protect against light
but still the light shines

(Rain Harrell)

Photo by Tim Byrne
changing of leaves
a dancer glides gracefully
tired hearts smile

(Sierra Barnhart)

contorted it lives
aware of the passing sun
uncurled it grasps

(KC Cole)

simple life
undesired obstacles abundant
distinct change

(Kasey Sheppard)

Photo by Adam Jones
old man in rocking chair
leaves falling at dusk
casualties of Time

                                (Lacie McCaskill)

leaves change
stone bench beside icy pond
large mocha - $3.49

(Josh McNeely)

dancing butterflies
fluttering in spring air
new beginnings

(Candace Grissom)

friends smiling, no worries
pain, loss and heartache
memories and laughter

                        (Betty Hargus)

Photo by Patrick Henson
cold breeze gray sky night
no lights as sky cries loud
screams are forgotten

(Rain Harrell)

Sycamore leaf
floating over granite
short-lived grace

(Ken Hada)

wind-swept grass
partners in creation

                        (Ken Hada)

dripping eaves
move a mountain of snow

(Ken Hada)

Photo by E. A. Roberts
crawling over cracked sidewalks
what might be

(Ken Hada)

crisp autumn air
moonlight shining bright
laughter, so full of life

(Angela Jasna)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Personal Statement Workshop

Who:                Writing Center director Kevin Davis will conduct a

What:               workshop for students needing to write a Personal Statement for admission to graduate school or a professional program on

When:              Thursday, 28 October, 4:00-5:00 in the

Where:            Academic Engagement Center, Faust Hall 159.

Please call (559-5331) or e-mail ( for additional information.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Prairie Home Hada

This just in:

Garrison Keillor, host of A Prairie Home Companion and of The Writer's Almanac, would like to include poems by Ken Hada in his program [That's Keillor on the left in the photo at right]. The poems and broadcast date are:

“Old Men” from Spare Parts October 25, 2010
“A Blessing” from Spare Parts October 27, 2010
“Mormon Missionaries Pay Me a Visit” from Spare Parts October 30, 2010

The Writer’s Almanac is a daily radio program produced by American Public Media (APM). In each program Mr. Keillor presents a list of cultural events and anniversaries, many associated with literature and literary figures, then ends with the poetry reading. APM currently distributes the program for broadcast to about 320 non-commercial public radio stations around the country. The program audio is also streamed and podcast from and archived on the APM website at and may be streamed, archived on carrying station websites as well. In addition, we would appreciate permission to put the text of the poem on those websites and promotional materials, only in connection with The Writer’s Almanac.

This, of course, means that all of us who know Dr. Hada are now just two degrees of separation away from Lindsey Lohan!  (And Meryl Streep.)  Woo hoo!

Congrats, Dr. Hada!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"The Hollow Men" is 75 years old

T. S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men" was published 75 years ago. Here are two video/readings of the poem:

Submit to Originals!

Originals, ECU's student literary magazine, is currently accepting submissions for its 2011 volume.

Students may submit original poetry, short fiction, drama, or screenplays.

Email submissions to by Oct. 29.

For more information, contact Dr. Mark Walling at 559-5440 or

Monday, October 11, 2010

World Literature Festival in Norman--October 20-22

Thank you, Dr. McMahon, for the heads up!  This happens during Fall Break, people, so it won't conflict with classes.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mon dieu!

If you haven't welcomed Mindie Dieu back to campus yet, the wagging finger of shame wags for thee (and for the editor of this blog).

She rejoined the faculty of the English and Languages department way back in August.

Grasso, Defoe and the "True-Bred Merchant"

ECU's very own Dr. Joshua Grasso has just had an article published in The Defoe Society's journal (exclusively on-line), Digital Defoe (click here to visit the journal's website). Dr Grasso's article appears after an article by Max Novak, one of the biggest scholars in the field.  That's Novak above at left,  Dr. Grasso on the right, and Defoe himself, a little lower down on the left.

Check out this message from Digital Defoe:

Dear Colleagues,

We are excited to announce the publication of the second issue of Digital Defoe: Studies in Defoe & His Contemporaries, the peer-reviewed, multi-media online journal of the Defoe Society that celebrates the works and culture of the late seventeenth to mid-eighteenth century. You can now access the second issue of the journal [ by clicking on this link] .

This issue, “Strangers, Gods, & Monsters,” features scholarly and pedagogical articles, two book reviews, a note, and recent dissertation and conference paper abstracts. We are also very pleased to feature a special online collection of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century critical writings on Defoe researched and compiled by Penny Pritchard. The articles, book reviews and note are as follows:

*Geoffrey Sill, “Defoe and the Birth of the Imaginary”
*Maximillian E. Novak, “Defoe’s Spirits, Apparitions and the Occult”
*Joshua Grasso, “The Providence of Pirates: Defoe and the ‘True-Bred Merchant’”
*Scott Nowka, “Building the Wall: Crusoe and the Other”
*Allison Muri, “Digital Natives or Digital Strangers? Teaching the Eighteenth Century Online, from Ctrl-F to Digital Editions”
*Gabriel Cervantes’s Review of A Critical Study of Daniel Defoe’s Verse: Recovering the Neglected Corpus of His Poetic Work, by Andreas K. E. Mueller
*Patrick Tonks’s Note on “Robinson Crusoe’s Brazilian Expedition and The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database” 

 . . . Thank you to all of our contributing authors and to all who helped make the second issue of Digital Defoe: Studies in Defoe & His Contemporaries possible,

Katherine Ellison and Holly Faith Nelson
Co-Editors, Digital Defoe
ISSN 1948-1802