On April 13, the English honor society Sigma Tau Delta held its 2015 initiation ceremony. This year's group of new members is one of the largest in recent years, with 20 new initiates: Angela Batt, Darcey Evans, Annastasia Glover, Heather Hathcock, Anthony Ho, Chelsey Jenkins, Maureen Kennedy, Emily Kobzar, Krista Kubie, Talitha Martin, Courtney Mitchell, Jensen Moore, Alison O'Hara-Arrington, Christianna Pope, Monica Schroeder, Kristina Scott, Lindsey Scrivner, John Thompson, Macie Tomson, Adam White, and Marissa Wright.
Congratulations to the winners of the essay prizes for the 2014-2015 academic year! Monica Schroeder won in the English literature category, Peter Rocha won in the American literature category, and Antony Walsh won the World literature prize.
Professor Eric McHenry has been named Poet Laureate of Kansas for the 2015-2017 term. He will tour the state and give public readings of his poetry over the next two years, while contiuing to teach creative writing classes at Washburn.
This year, four WU English majors presented their work at the 2014 National Undergraduate Literature Conference from April 3-5 at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Matt Dixon presented one of his short stories, and Hillary Hall, Alexandra Schafer, and Monica Schroeder presented scholarly papers on literary works. They were accompanied by faculty mentors Dr. Ben Beier and Dr. Erin Chamberlain.
On March 31, the English Department was co-sponsor of a day-long celebration of the life and work of Kansas Poet William Stafford, on the occasion of the centennial of his birth in 1914. Over 40 Kansas writers read Stafford poems, as well as their own work, and William Stafford’s son, Kim Stafford—a remarkable poet in his own right—delivered an evening keynote: “You Must Revise Your Life: 100 Years of Poetry and Peace.” The event was coordinated by English faculty including Tom Averill, Israel Wasserstein (who also guest edited a Stafford issue of North Dakota Quarterly), Liz Derrington, Karen Barron, Dennis Etzel, Eric McHenry, and Chairman Danny Wade.
On October 16, Dr. Stanley Lombardo, Professor of Classics at the University of Kansas and an internationally acclaimed literary translator, presented the 2013 Klemmer Lecture titled "Homer's Light."