Creative Writers Fire Up the Boiler Room

1378485_251098895014742_1308331899_n2013-2014 was an extremely productive academic year for the creative writing minor. The Boiler Room Reading Series kicked off, featuring faculty and student readers sharing original poetry, fiction and nonfiction at the University Art Gallery. For a full list of readers and photographs of the six events, please visit us on Facebook, courtesy of John Schulze, at!/boilerroomreadingseries?fref=photo.

In conjunction with the University Art Gallery exhibition, “Perceptions: Exploring Sense of Self and Place Through Art,” and with the generous support of the Visiting Lecture Committee, award winning fiction writer Chad Simpson contributed fiction, gave an author’s talk, and read from his 2013 collection, Tell Everyone I Said Hi. Barbara Ashwood, John Schulze, Magdelyn Helwig, Barbara Harroun, and Amy Patrick-Mossman also contributed original work.

Merrill Cole coordinated the Fred Case & Lola Austin Case Writer-in-Residences. In Fall and Spring respectively, fiction writer Susan Steinberg and poet Christopher Hennessy conferenced individually with students, attended classes, participated in a Q & A, and each gave a reading.

The 2014 Creative Writing Awards winners were: Sarah Lambach (1st Place Nonfiction), DiAnn Vulich (2nd Place Nonfiction), Juliana Goodman (3rd Place Nonfiction, 1st Place Fiction, 1st and 2nd Place Poetry), Corin Bodenhamer (2nd Place Fiction), Zach McGowan (3rd Place Fiction), and Victoria Drews (3rd Place Poetry). Congratulations to all!

Faculty Advisor, John Schulze, and Editors Corin Bodenhamer, Dana Breen, Juliana Goodman and Sarah Lombach have compiled the stunning 2014 edition of Elements, our very own literary magazine with a rich 50 year history. A release reception/reading is scheduled for Wednesday, May 7th at 7:00 p.m. in the University Art Gallery. Please join us!

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the creative writing minor organized a reading at the WCI Arts Center on Friday, April 25th at noon. Creative writing also partnered with English Education for a “Black Out Poetry” event led by undergraduate Kimberly Ackers on April 17th.

In student news, Juliana Goodman has been accepted to Purdue University’s MFA program and is a candidate for the prestigious John Kent Cooke Scholarship. Graduate Kathryn Brostowitz has been accepted in to Roosevelt University’s MFA program. Congratulations and best wishes to both!

In faculty news, Erika Wurth is on sabbatical. Her novel, Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend, will be released in 2014 by Curbside Splendor Press. John Shulze’s (Penn Stewart) novel Fertile Ground will be released October 7th 2014 by Knox Robinson Publishing. Merrill Cole’s recent publications include:“Objective Correlative” in Creative Resistance; “The Mystery of Statistics” and “Pirate” as the featured poet in poeticdiversity; “Edema” in Bellevue Literary Review. Barbara Ashwood’s “Rural Residents for Responsible Agriculture: Hog CAFOs and Democratic Action in Illinois” was published in the Journal of Rural Social Sciences, and she presented with Magdelyn Helwig, Nicole Hagstrom-Schmidt, Bill Knox, and Bill Thompson at the Conference on College Composition and Communication in March. Barbara Harroun’s work can be found this year in Friend’s Journal, Bird’s Thumb, and is forthcoming in Sugared Water, i70 Review, and Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland.