October Newsletter from PSU English

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Yellow leaf in autumn

Welcome to October. All you pumpkin-spicy autumn-leafy Halloween enthusiasts must be especially happy. I’m hoping to reach out once a month or so during the semester to touch base about important (and occasionally amusing?) English-major (and English-major-adjacent) stuff. Thanks for your attention, and reach out with any questions, ideas, requests, etc. It’s a big newsletter, but I promise there’s GOOD STUFF IN HERE including a sneak peek at Spring 2023 English course offerings!


The PSU Poets & Writers are excited to announce that this semester’s issue of Centripetal is officially open for submissions! Centripetal is a magazine of art and writing produced once per semester by PSU Poets and Writers, featuring work by PSU students.

     They are now accepting submissions for poetry, fiction or art. Please include no more than four pieces of writing and four pieces of art in your submission, and please keep fiction pieces under 1000 words (if you’re a few words over, don’t stress😊). The deadline to submit is Saturday, October 15th. Once they have reviewed all submissions, they will let you know whether your work has been selected for this semester’s issue. Send your work to psupoetsandwriters@gmail.com

    If you’d like to get connected with PSU Poets & Writers, please contact Dan Harrison!


The sadness of having to cancel Cheryl Savageau’s October 13 Eagle Pond Poetry reading will be soothed by the JOY of having a Poets & Writers Open Mic in its place. Open Mics happen this semester at Groovy Noodle, on Main Street, with a 7PM starting time. Again, that’s Thursday, October 13. You can bring something to read, or you can just listen/hang out.

cover of Paul Rogalus's 'animals', featuring art of two orangutans.
cover of Abby Goode's 'Agrotopias,' featuring a print of a 19th century town planning sketch.

Congrats to English faculty Paul Rogalus and Abby Goode on their new books! Here are links to Paul’s book, Animals: New and Collected Micro Stories and Flash Fiction (you can also probably buy a copy from him personally) and Abby’s book, Agrotopias: An American Literary History of Sustainability. 

The Sustainability Studies Program is hosting a Fall Sustainability Social for students in Frost Commons, on Tuesday October 18th, 6-8pm. ALL MAJORS WELCOME! English Professor Abby Goode will present a talk on sustainability and literature, inspired by Agrotopias. Spread the word! Bring a friend!

Relatedly, the Holderness Public Library, Abby will host an “author talk” about Agrotopias, with Professor Goode on October 20, at 5PM,  at the Holderness Free Library. This reading is free and open to all. Bonus: Adam Di Filippe, the Holderness town librarian, is a PSU English alum!

SPEAKING OF HOW BOOKS ARE AWESOME: The Boston Book Festival is a veritable CAVALCADE of authors, books, and fellow word nerds. One way to access the festival is by VOLUNTEERING – a great opportunity to have some fun, meet some folks, get plugged into a LITERARY SCENE. Also, books. Tons and tons of books. The festival is October 29 at Copley in Boston, and here’s a LINK if you want to sign up to volunteer.

Red, black, and white logo for Boston Book Festival 2022

While you’re celebrating living in a world full of so many wonderful BOOKS, please also celebrate the fact that you can get a flu shot! Free! At campus health services. Just make an appointment at 603-535-2350 and take care of it, which is also taking care of yourself, and of each other. The latest Covid booster is also readily available at Rite Aid, just down the road. 

SPRING 2023 Classes

What? 2023! Indeed. The Spring 2023 schedule will soon be LIVE (October 14), and your advisor will be reaching out to discuss schedule planning and registration – but here’s a SNEAK PEEK at English major courses being offered in the upcoming semester:

EN2460: Rethinking Modern American Literature (Paul Rogalus)

EN2490: Rethinking Modern British Literature 1660-1945 (Joe Mealey)

EN2710: Creative Writing (Liz Ahl)

EN3067: Fiction Workshop (Kenneth Logan)

EN3387: Literature into Film (Paul Rogalus)

EN4318: Teaching Writing, Grades 5-12 (Kenneth Logan)

CM3095: Technical Communication (2 sections)

CM3675: Journalism in the Digital Age (Peter Miller)

“Special Topics” English Major courses for Spring

EN3760: Topics in Writing: Exploring Poetic Form(s) (Liz Ahl)

From the seventh century Arabic ghazal to the seventeenth century English sonnet to the twenty-first century “golden shovel,” poetry has a long and complex and living tradition, across diverse cultures and languages, of different poetic constraints and designs that infuse the genre. All poems have some kind of form or design — in this class we will focus our reading, writing, and thinking primarily on “fixed” forms — which may include haiku, pantoum, villanelle, sapphic stanzas, blank verse, paradelle, limerick, and sestina, to name a few. We will also study poetic meters and rhyme. At the end of the course, you will invent your own poetic form.

EN4805: Single Author: Shakespeare For Social Justice  (Nic Helms and Jessie Chapman)

Combining critical reading and performance, this course asks how Shakespeare today might best be used for social justice rather than as a reinforcement for traditional social norms. Shakespeare For Social Justice builds on techniques from the disciplines of English and Theatre to cultivate performance as an interdisciplinary approach to human identity, including (but not limited to) explorations of gender, sexuality, class, disability, race, and ethnicity.

IS 4220: INCO/INCAP “Signature Project” Course Sections of Interest to English Majors

Bodies and Justice: Addressing Inequities in American Healthcare, Reproductive Care, and Incarceration (co-taught by Nic Helms and Kristin Stelmok) 

What are the politics, narratives, and images associated with human bodies in American culture? How are human bodies affected by healthcare, racial and socioeconomic inequality, disability, and incarceration? Taking into account contemporary debates about bodily autonomy, healthcare and disability, and incarceration, this course offers an introduction to the tangled history and complex challenges surrounding bodies and justice in the U.S.

Leadership for Social Justice (taught by Rebecca Grant, IS 4002)

What does it mean to be a great leader? What are the attributes that make a leader successful? How can leaders influence and improve the human condition? In this course, students will explore their personal and disciplinary understandings of leadership and will embark on furthering their skills through readings, reflection, and collaborative work through the lens of mindful leadership. 

Inclusion is a Easy Thing to do Poorly (taught by Sarah Parsons)

In this section of IS 4220 we will use concepts included in Disability Theory and our personal and academic knowledge of living with a disability to consider the differences between accessible and inaccessible spaces. We will ask questions about why some spaces are inclusive while many are not and consider whether inclusion and accessibility are always necessary. Students will use this early consideration of the issues of accessibility and inclusion along with the theoretical infrastructure of disability theory to identify an issue associated with accessibility and inclusion to address on the PSU campus or our local community; and propose, create, and present a suggested solution to our community.

And, lastly but not least, an English-relevant, ONE-credit course you might consider:

CM1010: Copyright for Content Creators (Christin Wixson)

Times/days, modes, rooms, and other course information will be available in Course Search when it goes “live” on October 14. If you have questions about any of these courses, please reach out to the instructor – we’d love to hear from you. Descriptions of courses other than Single Author and Topics in Writing are all available in the PSU course catalog.

Finally, if there are any students interested in helping to promote our program to potential English majors or minors, we have one more “Open House” for prospective students tabling event – Friday, November 11 (yep, that’s Veteran’s Day). We’ll sit at the English table in the HUB Court Room, play with Liz’s vintage portable typewriter, and visit with students and their families. It’s pretty informal. There’s coffee and rolls and such. The catch: set up is at 8:30AM. If you think you might be interested and available, please reach out to Professor Ahl by replying to this email. 

We are really enjoying working and learning with you this semester – getting to know you and your ideas, your writing, your creativity and good spirits. Thanks for all you bring!


Liz Ahl, English Program Coordinator