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News @ Minnesota State University Moorhead

Archive for the ‘English’

Red Weather seeking poetry, prose, and visual art for inclusion in first issue

Posted on June 23, 2014

Red Weather, the now-biannual literary journal edited and designed by students at MSUM, is seeking poetry, prose, and/or visual art (photos, drawings, illustrations, paintings, prints, and any creative work that can be presented in an image file) for inclusion in the first issue of its thirty-fourth volume.

This year, we are releasing two issues instead of the traditional one. For the fall issue, we are seeking speculative fiction, poetry, and visual arts. Speculative fiction traditionally includes science fiction, fantasy, horror, weird, post-apocalyptic, paranormal, dystopian, alternate history, steampunk, and other similar genres. We are also accepting submissions from writers, poets, and artists outside of the MSUM community for this issue. Submissions are open to anyone and everyone who cares to submit. Please, submit your work (in any genre) to Red Weather for consideration.

The deadline for submission is September 15. For complete details, visit MSUM Red Weather on Facebook or go to

Making a Scene: The power of poetry

Posted on May 13, 2014

By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM

MOORHEAD – It’s been a banner year for Yahya Frederickson’s poetry.

The Minnesota State University Moorhead English professor was awarded a $5,000 Lake Region Arts Council/McKnight Fellowship literary/performance grant, his collection of poetry “The Gold Shop of Ba-‘Ali” won the 2013 Idaho Prize for Poetry and was published by Lost Horse Press, and an animator friend set two of his poems to video.

But the Moorhead poet, husband and father of a twin son and daughter in college isn’t new to literary success. Read the rest of this entry →

John D. Early retiring after 34 years of teaching

Posted on May 06, 2014

Dr. John D. Early, Professor of English, will retire after 34 years of teaching — 27 years at MSUM. He earned his Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of North Dakota. Among his service to the university and to the department, John chaired the Freshman English Committee for 12 years and was a member of the MFA faculty. During his tenure, John published two novels — Flesh and Metal and The Little Lame Balloonmen —as well as poetry and short fiction in various journals.

Turning the page: Honored with recent Minnesota Book Award, Vinz moves ahead on new projects

Posted on April 29, 2014

By: John Lamb, INFORUM

Seven years after Mark Vinz retired from MSUM, the popular teacher is still making an impact on the regional literary scene. Earlier this month he was honored at the Minnesota Book Awards for his writing achievements. David Samson / The Forum

MOORHEAD – Seven years after retiring from Minnesota State University Moorhead, Mark Vinz has two book projects in the works. That’s enough to make the 71-year-old seem pretty busy – to everyone but himself.

“I see people like David Ferreira, and I don’t think I’m doing anything,” Vinz says with a laugh, referring to his friend and fellow retiree, an active piano player around the area.

Vinz displays a fair amount of Midwestern modesty with his statement, especially since he was honored earlier this month at the Minnesota Book Awards. The Moorhead writer was given the Kay Sexton Award, an annual honor for a person or organization’s lifetime work promoting literature around the state.

Calling him, “one of the finest, most respected figures in the state’s literary history,” the program praised Vinz for his work not only as a writer and teacher of 40 years, but also as a publisher.

“Being a writer is very solitary. You don’t get much feedback except when publishing,” Vinz says. “To get that recognition by your peers is quite wonderful.” Read the rest of this entry →

Interdisciplinary partnership brings music and poetry together

Posted on April 10, 2014

Professor Terrie Manno, Music, and Kevin Zepper, MFA English, will present their collaborative music and poetry to students in Fox Theater on the Minnesota State University Minnesota campus on Friday, April 11 at 3 p.m. This is an interdisciplinary partnership Manno and Zepper began last year. Some of the work involves the William S. Burroughs “cut-up” approach to poetry.

This convocation will focus on artists working with other artists, integrating the arts and humanities in performance.

Poetry reading and book Launch of “The Gold Shop of Ba-‘Ali”

Posted on April 02, 2014

Please join Yahya Frederickson for a poetry reading and the book launch of his first full-length poetry collection, “The Gold Shop of Ba-’Ali,” on Thursday, April 3 at 4:30 p.m, in the CMU 101. Free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase.

Zepper to read poetry today at Southwest Minnesota State University

Posted on March 24, 2014

Professor Kevin Zepper, English, will be at Southwest Minnesota State University Visiting Writers Series on Monday, March 24 for a poetry reading. Kevin Zepper, author of “Sugartown” and three other chapbooks, will read from Noon – 1 p.m. at the Marshall-Lyon County Library and from 7-8 p.m. at SMSU, Charter Hall 201.

Zepper teaches at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Read the rest of this entry →

Robert Pender memorial service is March 29

Posted on March 19, 2014

Robert “Bob” Louis Pender, 78, (01/26/1936 – 02/27/2014) son of Louis and Louise (Burns) Pender of Chicago, IL, passed away February 27, 2014 at Sanford Health Palliative Care in Fargo.

Bob was born and raised in Chicago, IL, spending summers with family in Shawnee, OK. After high school, he served in the US Navy. He graduated with his bachelors and masters degrees from Memphis State University and with a PhD in English from Indiana University. Bob was a consummate learner: he learned to figure skate as an adult in his thirties and taught himself Japanese. In 1973, he married his wife, Chieko, in Osaka, Japan. Since then, he traveled extensively to Japan with his family and taught English at the Osaka YMCA and Minnesota State University campus in Akita, Japan. He was a fixture at MSUM, teaching English there for 33 years. Read the rest of this entry →

HBO documentary includes song from MSUM graduate, Amanda Nygard

Posted on March 18, 2014

“Bird Flew Hard,” a song from the Fargo-based roots trio Amanda Standalone and the Pastry Shop Girls is featured in the opening credits of the documentary “Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert,” which aired Monday, March 17 on HBO.

“It’s just validating that my song is interesting enough to attract some kind of attention from a film producer and maybe more people,” said Amanda Nygard, a 2013 Minnesota State University Moorhead graduate who wrote the song and included it in the band’s 2010 album “Millions of Blackbirds.”

A producer found “Bird Flew Hard” by entering stream-of-consciousness words related to the documentary’s themes into a search engine. Last fall, a music licensor contacted Nygard through the Amanda Standalone and the Pastry Shop Girls Facebook page. Read the rest of this entry →

Mark Vinz wins Minnesota Book Awards Kay Sexton Award

Posted on March 11, 2014

By Mary Ann Grossmann

Mark Vinz, fiction writer, poet and retired professor of English at Minnesota State University Moorhead, is winner of the Minnesota Book Awards 2014 Kay Sexton Award for outstanding work in fostering books, reading and literary activity. Sponsored by Common Good Books, the award honors Kay Sexton, who was an influential book buyer at B. Dalton Booksellers and the first recipient.

“Mni Sota Makoce, The Land of the Dakota,” by Gwen Westerman and Bruce White, will receive the 2014 Hognander Minnesota History Award. This biennial award, supported by the Hognander Family Foundation, recognizes and celebrates the most outstanding scholarly work published in 2012 or 2013 on a topic of Minnesota history. Read the rest of this entry →

Christiansen to present at Minnesota Writing and English Conference

Posted on February 21, 2014

Ryan C. Christiansen, MFA, an adjunct professor in the Department of English, will present at the 2014 Minnesota Writing and English Conference, which will be held April 3-4 at Century College in White Bear Lake, Minn. Christiansen’s presentation is titled “Fun and Games and Reasons to Write: Spurring technical writing literacy through role-play and game development,” and he will share how he is using board games, card games, and role-playing games, as well as a fictional game development company, as the reason for students to write technical documentation, including mission and vision statements, job advertisements, resumes, letters of application, instructions, proposals, feasibility reports, and web sites. Read the rest of this entry →

Zepper to present prose poetry at culture conference

Posted on February 19, 2014

Kevin Zepper, MFA, will present his prose poetry at the 35th Annual Southwest Popular and America Culture Conference in Albuquerque, N.M., on February 21. His presentation is titled “Finding Violins in “God”: A Cultivation of Poetry through Pop Music.”

Zepper is an Associate Professor in the English Department.

Submit your poetry, prose or art

Posted on February 13, 2014

Red Weather, the annual literary journal edited and designed by students at Minnesota State University Moorhead, wants your most polished poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, one-act plays, and visual art (photographs, illustrations, graphics, drawings, paintings, or other media) for inclusion in our thirty-third issue, Red Weather 2014.

Submission period ends February 22, 2014.

Frederickson receives award for “The Birds of Al-Merjeh Square: Poems from Syria”

Posted on January 13, 2014

Yahya Frederickson, English, won Finishing Line Press’s Open Chapbook Competition. His manuscript, “The Birds of Al-Merjeh Square: Poems from Syria” was selected by poet Christopher Bursk as the winner. In addition to publication, Frederickson received a $1,000 cash award.

MSUM English professor publishes poetry collection from years spent in Yemen

Posted on November 22, 2013

By: Meghan Feir

For a writer, few things are more thrilling than having your work, your art published. English professors are not beyond this excitement, so when Dr. Yahya Frederickson’s poetry collection, The Gold Shop of Ba-‘Ali, was chosen as the first-place winner of Lost Horse Press’ Idaho Prize for Poetry 2013 contest, it was the proverbial icing on an already sweet 2013.

Frederickson’s winning collection was based on the years he lived in Yemen, a country you may not hear spoken of very often. Located on the Gulf of Aden off the Arabian Sea, Yemen was his destination when he joined the Peace Corps in 1989, immediately after earning his MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana. Read the rest of this entry →

Call for submissions for Red Weather

Posted on November 14, 2013

Red Weather is looking for submissions for their 34th issue that will come out in Spring 2014. They publish only literary and artistic works by MSUM students, faculty, employees, visiting artists and alumni.

The submission period opens this Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, and runs through Feb. 15, 2014. Like them on Facebook, and submit your best creative work for a chance to be published.

Submit here.



Join the Writers Inspired Narrative Group session tonight

Posted on November 14, 2013

The Writers Inspired Narrative Group will meet Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m., in Weld Hall Study Library, Weld 201. This is a safe, non-judgmental environment for students to write about “Who am I?” resolving personal issues or concerns, and self-exploration. All students are welcome.

Facilitators for this student group are:

Dr. Lora Bertelsen: Hendrix Clinic and Counseling Center
Dr. Rachel Daigle: Independent Mental Health Clinician
Kevin Zepper, MFA: English Professor, MSUM Read the rest of this entry →

Tom McGrath Visiting Writers Series today

Posted on November 06, 2013

The Tom McGrath Writers Series convenes today at 4:30 p.m. in CMU101. Two New Rivers Press authors, professors Bradford Tice and David Haynes, will read from their newest publications, discuss how their books came to be, and field questions from the audience.

Dr. Tice teaches literature and writing at Nebraska Wesleyan University. He was New Rivers Press’ Many Voices Project prizewinner last year for his collection of poetry, Rare Earth. Rare Earth is his first book, but not his first publication or prizewinning work. Award-winning poet Jay Parini has this to say about Rare Earth: Read the rest of this entry →

Christiansen and Zepper present at The University of South Dakota

Posted on October 31, 2013

Professors’ Ryan C. Christiansen, MFA, and Kevin Zepper, MFA, will present at the John R. Milton Conference at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota, Oct. 31–Nov. 2.

Christiansen is the Publisher & CEO for Knuckledown Press LLC, which publishes literary fiction and creative nonfiction titles in English for worldwide distribution in electronic formats. Christiansen teaches English part-time at Minnesota State University Moorhead, North Dakota State College of Science, and North Dakota State University, and he is the Associate Editor for the Electronic Book Series at New Rivers Press. He is an experienced journalist and technical writer. Read the rest of this entry →

Writing workshop: creating art out of heart

Posted on October 14, 2013

Wolftree Magazine is joyously partnering with writer Randi Kay Olsen to debut its first Wolftree Workshop. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, Randi and the Wolftree Magazine creators will welcome you into the Wolftree Studio to learn, eat and build friendships. They will personally teach you basic elements of writing and take you through an effective process of creating a short piece of poetry, non-fiction, or fiction inspired by a favorite photograph or work of art that you will bring. Read the rest of this entry →

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