Sunday, December 12, 2010

Commencement 2011: The December Version

In 1905, Einstein was an "obscure Swiss patent clerk."
This fall's commencement address was delivered by Reggie Whitten, co-founder and managing partner of the Whitten Burrage law firm in Oklahoma City, co-founder of the Whitten-Newman Foundation, "which helps children realize their potential," and Pros for Africa, an international relief organization that "provides necessities for disadvantaged children of war, poverty and natural disaster."  Mr. Whitten used the example of Albert Einstein and the power of the atomic bomb to remind graduates that "world-changing events . . . can come from one person." "Through the power of education, you can make your dreams come true," he added, so "make sure that you don't dream small."

I counted eight English majors listed in the program as candidates for Bachelor's degrees:  James K Brockman, Jenny Lynn Crelia, Ashley Renee Deskin, Allison Renee' Finley, Travis Lynn Gasaway, Shannon Allie McKim, Trevor Michael Smith, and Coby Lynn Thornton.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Anthology of Oklahoma Writing Released

Mongrel Empire Press, An Eclectic Publishing House specializing in regional and unusual literary works, announces the upcoming release of Ain't Nobody That Can Sing Like Me: New Oklahoma Writing.

The anthology's title is taken from a Woody Guthrie lyric entitled "Way Down Yonder in the Minor Key": "Way down yonder in the minor key/There ain't nobody that can sing like me." (Click here to see a video featuring a version of the song performed by Billy Bragg and Natalie Merchant.)

Jeanetta Calhoun Mish
The collection was first compiled and released as a special edition #35 of Sugar Mule Literary Journal ( The print version includes all selections from the online version, plus works from four additional authors. An introduction by the editor, award-winning Oklahoma poet Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, opens the collection.

This groundbreaking anthology includes 188 selections of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, and visual art by 78 writers and 2 visual artists who currently live in the state. Many of the authors have published their work previously; several are published here for the first time. Oklahomans will be pleased to find many of their favorite regional authors and will undoubtedly find new favorites. Ada area authors include: Michael West, ECU student Christopher Clark, and ECU faculty and instructors Jeanne Dunbar Green, Ken Hada, Hugh Tribbey, Mark Walling and former dean Alvin Turner.  People from outside the state can enjoy top-notch writing that is not limited by regionalism but instead energized by it. 

The anthology is available at,, and Bookstores and other retailers can order either directly from the Press (at any time) or from Ingram & Taylor (after December 15); Mongrel Empire Press offers standard trade discounts and return (

Billy Bragg and Natalie Merchant sing Woody Guthrie's "Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fall Honors Showcase 2010

English majors Kaci Plunkett, Alex Taussig, Ben Nicolls, and Jenny Crelia (who will be graduating December 11th, and who successfully defended her thesis last week) will be presenting Honors Projects at the Honors Showcase Thursday, Dec 2, at 4 p.m. in Estep Auditorium.

They would appreciate your interest and support.