Newly Appointed Blog Steward

Hello, my name is Arthur Challenger Oemke and I am the new steward of the EMU Creative Writing Blog. This is my second year in the Creative Writing MA program. I will endeavour to maintain the blog’s up to date community news as well as introduce some new elements. My vision is that this blog communicates, not just speaks. I encourage feedback; inform me of your wants, needs, quandaries- share your anxieties. This is a safe space.

As the end of the world hastens toward us, our community, creative writers and those who enjoy the work of creative writers, must collaborate, comingling ideas and events, a reciprocal sharing of what we each have to offer. During this period of administration, it is my aim to deface and contort the current blog into a shape that more closely resembles the aesthetic of EMU’s Creative Writing Program. If you have questions or submissions I encourage you to explore the submissions’ page here.

I look forward to my term as blog steward and honoring the community.

EMU English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) begins this Fall

Starting in the Fall, EMU Graduate English Students from all programs will have the opportunity to become involved with the English Graduate Student Association (EGSA). To find out more and get involved, like the “EGSA at EMU” facebook group or contact Melissa or Chelsea directly through the email members function on the Grad Students in English group site on

Here is more information as articulated by Melissa Pompili and Chelsea Bromley, the graduate students who are responsible for taking this initiative:

The English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) at EMU is a social and professional organization formed specifically to serve the interests of the Eastern English graduate community and alumni. We are envisioning a facebook page as a contact point for graduate students where they can post invitations to events, share ideas, and where alumni can keep in touch with each other and offer advice to current students in the M.A. English specializations. The EGSA will hold monthly meetings, theory study circles, and also aims to bring a selected speaker to Eastern Michigan University each fall! The EGSA also promotes and values interaction between members of the various M.A. degree specializations within the English department. Graduate students across these specializations can learn much from each other, and EGSA aims to facilitate interaction between our diverse membership in order to further our common goals.

We need help from anyone who is interested as this summer draws to a close with writing a constitution which is a major step on the road to securing student organization status at Eastern. Official student organization status will enable us to have access to grant money from the university, provide a pathway to host on-campus events, and will also enable us to raise funds on campus for our organization. Through a generous start-up donation from the Journal of Narrative Theory we are able to invite a speaker to campus this fall, as well! We need help deciding on a speaker that would benefit M.A. students of all disciplines who is preferably already in the region. Please feel free to post possible speaker ideas in the comment section of the note titled “Fall 2012 Speaker.” Also, please feel free to start notes of your own if you have any ideas for the organization! We are currently also attempting to secure a large donation and put in place a fund-raising mechanism that (hopefully!) will be enough to either host a graduate student conference at Eastern or secure a half-time department assistantship position for future leaders. In either case, we hope that this organization can serve as a gateway to opportunity for English graduate students.

We are envisioning a communal space where current students can participate actively in the department—a space where alumni can stay in touch and offer advice to current students that are looking for jobs or applying to Ph.D. programs.

Take the “100 Words” challenge is a web site that challenges writers to write 100 words a day for a month.  Writers can then upload their batches to the web site to share with others.  Site creator Jeff Koyen explains:

This is an exercise in disciplined creativity. Writing exactly 100 words at a time — not a single word more, not a single word less — isn’t as easy as it sounds. The word count may be arbitrary, but the motive is not. To borrow from Proust, the tyranny of rhyme often brings out the poet’s best work. By working within a standardized form, the writer can concentrate on other matters.

Flash/micro fiction fans might consider taking Koyen up on his challenge or just visiting the site to explore some of the uploaded works.

Advice for Writers Blog

Ever wondered how can you get the full benefit of workshops and mentors, what and how you should publish, or how can you sustain your work as a writer?  Check out this blog providing advice to new writers on their literary work: Advice for Writers –

The blog is maintained by Zack Rogow, who teaches in the writing programs at University of Alaska, Anchorage and at California College of the Arts.

GA Application Workshop – Jan. 20, 5:30 p.m.

Attention current English graduate students:

GA Application Workshop
Friday, January 20th at 5:30 p.m.
Pray-Harrold Rm. 401

Wondering if you can handle being a Graduate Assistant while doing your MA? Wondering about how to pull together a strong application? Come chat with English faculty supervisors and current GAs about the English GA experience.

New Graduate Literature Class for Winter 2012

If anyone is still looking for a literature class this Winter, here’s an option (with only two seats left!): 


LITR 578: Classy Postcolonialisms

Prof. Natasa Kovacevic

Struggles against European colonialism are inextricably linked to a contestation and/or adaptation of capitalist class relations that the colonizers established in their former dominions to manage colonized labor and resources. We will look at the myriad ways in which social class enters postcolonial literature and theory, especially at the historical intersections of anti-colonial wars of national liberation, Cold War discourses, and the dissemination of socialist ideas worldwide.

Major themes:

  • Class stratification as a thematic concern in postcolonial literature and theory
  • Intersections of gender, class, and subalternity
  • Postcolonial socialist realism
  • Writing revolutionary violence
  • Postcolonial adaptations and renunciations of Marx
  • (Im)possibility of solidarity across anti-colonial lines
  • Theorizing neocolonialism
  • Global protests against neoliberal capitalism

Cognate possibility in Photography Department, Winter ’12

Graduate Creative Writing Students, are you looking for cognate work for your program?  Do you have an interest in photography?  Consider taking a Photography Portfolio course (ARTS 421/422) this Winter 2012 with Professor Jason DeMarte.  Several CRTW grad students have completed cognate work in the Photography Department in the past, and Grad students are always welcome to inquire about joining a photography class.

Some previous photography experience is required.  Contact Professor DeMarte at: jdemarte<at symbol> for more complete details and to begin the process of obtaining permission to register.  Be sure to touch base  with your Creative Writing advisor as well regarding your plans for cognate work.

Intro Students’ Installations in Pray-Harrold

Here’s a quick alert to interesting installation work in Pray-Harrold from Sarah Smarch:

Check out the posting board installation on the main floor of PH!

Inspired by studying recent BathHouse series poet, Taylor Brady, and the work of Jenny Holtzer (, both of my intro classes completed installations on the posting boards by the main floor elevators in Pray Harrold.  From Peter Middleton’s essay published in Pores journal ( on the text Poetry and Public Language (, we derived two parameters for public language:
1) Work that is shared with the public (public=strangers)
2) Work that comments on the time it is produced within