Pine Ridge Bake Sale Sets New Record

by Misha Saeedpour

On April 15th and 16th, the English Club held their annual bake sale in the McWhorter lobby. All proceedings from the bake sale go to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, to benefit their Boys and Girls Literacy program. This year we made around $1,300, which set a new bake sale record!

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Katie, Olivia, and Anna doing their part!

Family Literacy Day

Many BU English majors pitched in to share the joy of reading with kids in the Edgehill neighborhood at Family Literacy Day this past Saturday. This event is always a highlight of the Spring semester! Read on!! (click on title above for slideshow of images)

African American Read-In

On Wednesday in the Multi-Media Room of the Bunch Library, students and faculty gathered to read and listen to literary works at the African American Read-In. This convocation was part of a national event, founded in 1990 by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English with the intention of making literature a major emphasis of Black History Month.

 

A wide variety of writing was read: James Baldwin to Ta-Nehisi Coates; Maya Angelou to Lauryn Hill; Margaret Walker to Elizabeth Alexander. More than 15 readers came forward to read literature by these writers and others: Toni Morrison, Terrance Hayes, Robert Hayden, Melvin Dixon, Jesmyn Ward, and many more. Though the room was hot because of library remodeling, we hope everyone left with a resolve to seek out and read these authors and their works!

English Club Hosts Fundraising Bake Sale

By Rachel Petty

The Belmont University English Club will sponsor a bake sale to raise money for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation on Monday, March 26 and Tuesday, March 27 in the main lobby of McWhorter Hall.

The bake sale is an annual event for the English Club, and it is the department’s way of supporting a community in need.  “About a decade ago, we had a small group of professors who wanted to develop a relationship with the community of Pine Ridge,” said English Club faculty sponsor Sue Trout. “After their first trip there, one of our English professors, Cynthia Cox, spoke movingly about that life-changing and uplifting experience. But she also pointed out the crushing poverty that community continues to suffer.”

Each year, proceeds from the bake sale help fund Pine Ridge’s after-school literacy program. English department faculty member Dr. Robbie Pinter personally delivers the money raised from the bake sale during a yearly Maymester trip that she co-leads with religion professor Andy Watts.

Students and faculty in the English department will collaborate to bake treats and sell them to the Belmont community before students leave for Easter Break. “Buy a cookie and teach a child to read!” Professor Trout encouraged.

Sweets will be available for purchase in the McWhorter lobby from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.

So Poe: A Dead Poet’s Society Get-Together on Edgar Allen Poe

On Friday, the 20th of October, a handful of English students and professors Curtis and McDonnell congregated for a Dead Poet’s Society reading in the gazebo near Maddox and Wright Halls. It’s the gazebo with a statue of a raven on the tip of its roof that, with its endless and forbidding croak, seems to beckon for a group of nerdy Poe-enthusiasts to read and geek out there. While I obviously attended the meeting, I was not one of those Poe-enthusiasts only because I haven’t read that much Poe. I’m not certain if my colleagues were Poe-enthusiasts either, but there was one obvious Poe-enthusiast, the same one who organized the event and came up with the idea of having a Poe-day and a Dead Poet’s Society, and this was Dr. Curtis. Before the reading started, Dr. Curtis informed us of Poe’s life, and more specifically his death, since this was, after all, Dead Poet’s Society.

On an October night in 1849, Poe had disappeared from the city of Baltimore. He had been visiting his family in Richmond, Virginia. But he then turned up—and most likely turned up—in Baltimore on election day and was found unconscious in a gutter and wearing ill-fitting clothes. Many people suspected that because it was election day he was being used to conduct voter fraud. People now think he died of rabies because he kept falling in and out of consciousness and Dr. R. Michael Benitez wrote an article that pieces together various accounts of his death and argues quite persuasively for the possibility of his dying of rabies. So he very well could have been bitten by a rabid dog, a raccoon, or hopefully a bat.

The first reading was the hardest to start because nobody wanted to go first. Dr. Curtis didn’t want to start because he knew that he would get too intense. He told us that after “The Raven” came out it became a performance piece. Poe made a lot more money performing it and his other poems than he did publishing them. Curtis told us that women and nervous persons were highly affected in accounts of the time by what Poe wrote and that he developed a celebrity status by performing his works. Thus provided the context for Curtis’s reluctance to read first: when he reads Poe, watch out. He performs. “Let the crazy man in the gazebo do his thing” he said. Continue reading “So Poe: A Dead Poet’s Society Get-Together on Edgar Allen Poe”

English Majors Devour Halloween Brunch

 

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A goodly gathering of English folk.

There was plenty of good food and geeky conversation as the English majors gathered for the Halloween brunch last Friday in Beaman A&B. Costumed professors and students, while not in the majority, were readily evident, and a good time seemed to be had by all.

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Dr. McDonald helps prepare the food table.

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Professor Trout’s cupcake hotel featured plenty of cleavers, bats, and skulls on red velvet cupcakes.

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Professors John and Trout dressed as the Grady daughters from “The Shining.”

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Ben came dressed as Maxx. Or did Maxx come dressed as Ben?