Welcome from the Chair

A belated welcome back to FAU! We are all excited for a great 18-19 school year in the English department.

Last year was a time of transformation and excitement in the English Department, and we expect 18-19 to be as well. As I do each year, I would like to first and foremost congratulate our graduates and award winners, listed in the newsletter.  This past year, we were thrilled to welcome Paul Lisicky, author most recently of the memoir The Narrow Door, as our Lawrence A. Sanders Writer in Residence. We also hosted readings and lectures by poets, novelists, memoirists, agents, and scholars, including poet P. Scott Cunningham, Mary Blossom Lee poet Bob Hicok, agent Jeff Ourvan, poet Adrian Matejka, poet and memoirist Ira Sukrungruang, scholar Chandra Mohan, and novelist Carole Maso. Audiences were delighted and enthralled by all of the above! Another successful year was also completed in our Honors program in literary studies and in creative writing. For the third year in a row, Honors students were able to present their work in a public forum, receiving feedback and applause. As we look forward to the upcoming year, we are thrilled to welcome three new tenure-line faculty members: Shelby Johnson (Early American literature), Clarissa Chenovick (Renaissance/Early Modern literature), and Carla Thomas (Medieval literature and Digital Humanities). Recent Visiting Instructor Nico Cassanetti has been made a full-time Instructor, and we welcome aboard Curtis Dickerson and Cora Bresciano as new Visiting Instructors. Details about all of these newcomers are in the pages that follow. We also welcome back Profs. Becka McKay and Kate Schmitt from their half-year sabbaticals. They return with an armful of new poems and a renewed vigor.  This year, Profs. Papatya Bucak (Fall 18), Oliver Buckton, John Leeds (Spring 18), and Don Adams (full year) take sabbatical leave to dig deeply into their scholarship and/or creative work. Congratulations to them for winning these competitive awards! We sadly say a more permanent farewell to Prof. Dan Murtaugh who has chosen to retire after a long and illustrious career. He will be missed! This year, we look forward to another “Off the Page” Creative Writing series, which will include a reading by Prof. Andrew Furman from his latest novel, Goldens Are Here, along with visits by three alumni of the MFA program in creative writing, all of whom come armed with new books: Britanny Ackerman, Stephanie Anderson, and Mary Sheffield-Gentry. These familiar faces at FAU are joined by nationally acclaimed poets Danez Smith and Sy Hoahwah, multigenre writer John Keene, and agent/editor Renee Zuckerbrot. In addition to a public reading, Danez Smith, our Lawrence Sanders Writer in Residence, will teach a week-long course to our graduate students in mid-February. While last year saw the debut of our national literary journal, The Swamp Ape Review (www.swampapereview.com) in print form, this year hope to continue the tradition of both a print and online issue.  Meanwhile, Coastlines will continue to showcase the work of our undergraduates. Additional events will be posted on our departmental website (www.fau.edu/english). Please pay close attention to the site as we head into a pulse-pounding new year!

Eric Berlatsky 
Professor and Department Chair