DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH FACULTY NEWS ARCHIVE
Jessica L. Walsh's New Poetry
Jessica L. Walsh, associate professor of English, is the author of the new poetry collection The Division of Standards to be published in May, 2012 by Finishing Line Press.
Readers can pre-order copies at Finishing Line Press.
Greg Herriges's New Fiction
Greg Herriges's new fiction collection The Bay of Marseilles and Other Stories was published in September of 2011 by Serving House Books. It features stories that have been previously published in US and UK journals, as well several new ones. Tony Romano (author of When the World Was Young) writes: "This is a brilliant collection of stories, precise in details—about possibility and yearning and loss and intimacy—and sweeping in scope. What a fine, fine book this is. One of Herriges's best."
Greg's essay "My Kid Brother" was just published (November 2011) in the nonfiction anthology Winter Tales: Men Writing About Aging, along with poems by Robert Pinsky, Billy Collins, an essay by Nobel Prize Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, and the last ever interview with Norman Mailer.
Kurt Hemmer and Tom Knoff's Rebel Roar: The Sound of Michael McClure Wins Major Award at Berkeley Video and Film Festival
In March 2003, the legendary poet Michael McClure performed at Harper College. McClure had been one of the readers at the historic Six Gallery Reading in San Francisco in 1955, which started the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance and ushered in the Beat Generation literary movement; he had been a mentor to Jim Morrison; he was friends and worked with Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Janis Joplin, Dennis Hopper , and Bob Dylan, He had published dozens of works and often performed his poetry with Ray Manzarek of The Doors providing musical accompaniment. With the help of a Department of Instructional Technology "Technology Grant," in the Fall of 2003 Kurt Hemmer of the English Department and Tom Knoff of the Department of Instructional Technology worked on a documentary about McClure using material they had filmed during McClure's visit to Harper combined with rare photographs provided by McClure and music provided by Manzarek. Knoff's remarkable craftsmanship resulted in an extraordinary documentary that even surprised McClure with its artistry.
The film was screened for the Harper College community in January 2004. A DVD for free distribution of the film was completed by Tom Knoff in March 2004. (Several universities requested copies for their archives, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) On 9 October 2004 the film was shown at the 18th Annual Lowell Celebrates Kerouac! Festival. In December 2004 it received the Gold Award for Documentary at The Aurora Awards in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was shown again at the 2005 Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico on 11 February 2005.
In the summer of 2008, Mel Vapour, the organizer for the Berkeley Video & Film Festival, requested that the film be submitted to the 17th Edition of the Berkeley Video & Film Festival. At this festival Tom Knoff and Kurt Hemmer received the Disc Makers Award. The film was promoted as one of the highlights of the festival, and Michael McClure and Kurt Hemmer were present at the Grand Festival Awards Presentation on 26 September 2008 (video clips of this can be seen on YouTube here and here). The film was screened for the first time for a public audience, with over 100 attendees, later that evening.
M. Glenn Taylor's First Novel, The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, Receives Critical Acclaim
M. Glenn Taylor's first novel, The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, published in June by West Virginia University Press, has received a wealth of critical attention and praise. From glowing reviews in national publications to inclusion in Barnes & Noble's Fall 2008 Great New Writers, Taylor, as one reviewer relates, is "out to make some big claims on your attention."
Taylor's novel tells the story of Trenchmouth Taggart, West Virginia's oldest living man, a man born and orphaned in 1903 and nick-named for his lifelong oral affliction. Beginning with Taggart's botched baptism in a frozen river, the novel artfully winds through Appalachia's most rugged terrain. Railroaders and coal companies bring change to the hills, and in the West Virginia coal mine wars, a boy hardens quick when he picks up a gun. Exile is his trophy, and he spends his adult years on the run. He changes his name and plays a mean mouth harp, and he keeps on running from his past, all the way to Chicago. But trouble will sniff even an old man down, and an outlaw will eventually run home. Here, Trenchmouth Taggart's story, like the best ballads, etches its mark deep upon the memory.
The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart is a big book. As Eric Miles Williamson notes in The Houston Chronicle, the novel is nothing less than a "stunning, fully realized, unique and ambitious book that proves there's still passion, fire and brilliance in the American novel."
Available Now: Greg Herriges' New Book, JD: A Memoir of a Time and a Journey
Greg Herriges' latest book, JD: A Memoir of a Time and a Journey, was recently published by Wordcraft Press. This powerful memoir documents Herriges' unusual journey to meet the reclusive J.D. Salinger, as the publisher notes: "In the mid-1970s, hiding out for nearly a decade, J. D. Salinger was already a literary legend, the lost leader and vanished wiseman of millions of readers around the world, from the USA to the USSR. An unreachable hero. Or was he? Enter inner-city teacher Greg Herriges, determined to fulfill his dream of meeting and speaking with the reclusive author. Herriges's tale is a double helix narrative of personal quest and romantic love as he and his former girlfriend, both young, big city high school teachers, hit the road one summer Kerouac-style on a mission to find the hidden giant, discovering America--and themselves--along the way."
Along with his memoir, Herriges has also published three novels--Someplace Safe, Secondary Attachments, and The Winter Dance Party Murders--as well as a number of short works that have appeared in such publications as Chicago Tribune Magazine, Social Issues Resources, The Literary Review, Story Quarterly, and The South Carolina Review. In addition, an interview with Herriges conducted by best-selling novelist Duff Brenna is slated for release later this month in The South Carolina Review.
Glenn Taylor's "The Story of a Hateful Man" Published in Mid-American Review
Glenn Taylor's most recent piece of short fiction, "The Story of a Hateful Man," is due to be published in the next issue of Mid-American Review. Along with publication, Taylor's story was singled out as the Editor's Choice for the 2005 Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award. "The Story of a Hateful Man" is Taylor's third story to be accepted for publication in the past year; "This Is How You Talk Electric" was published in Meridian, and "Somebody Up There Hates Isaac Blizzard" was published in The Chattahoochee Review.
Available Now: Rich Johnson's New Book, Saint Michael the Archangel in Medieval English Legend
Dr. Richard F. Johnson's comprehensive examination of the creation and dissemination of the legends of Saint Michael the Archangel--Saint Michael the Archangel in Medieval English Legend--was recently published by Boydell Press. Part I of this study identifies and analyzes the concerns, conflicts, and roles with which St Michael is associated from scriptural and apocryphal literature through the homiletic literature of the medieval period. Part II begins with a discussion of the vernacular recensions of the popular account of the archangel's earthly interventions (BHL 5948). A close examination of the legendary accounts in Old English, Anglo-Norman, and Middle English of the archangel in his roles as guardian, intercessor, psychopomp, and warrior-angel follows. The Appendices contain the first English translation of the archangel's hagiographic foundation-myth (BHL 5948); an annotated bibliographic list and motif index of textual materials relating to the archangel; and an essay on the iconographic representations of the archangel in medieval England.
Copies of Johnson's book can be purchased at the Harper College Bookstore or ordered online at Boydell.