English Department News

Spring 12 Events

Save the dates for these special events.

Book Swap--Downtown  Feb. 23-29, Sharky's Cove

Book Swap--Hawai'i Loa Feb. 22-29, Academic Center

Ko'olau Workshops  March 3, 2012 Hawai'i Loa Campus

Sigma Tau Delta presents Lisa Kanae,  March 10, Paul and Vi Loo Theatre, Hawai'i Loa Campus

Faculty Reading, March 14, Warmer Auditorium 2:00 -2:55

Majors Meeting, March 21 Warmer Auditorium 1:00- 2;45

Student Reading, April 4, LB Mezz 1 2:00-2:55

James Vaughn Reading, April 23, Warmer Auditorium 2;00-2:55

Recordings from past workshops can be found in the library archives.

 James Vaughan Reading

James Vaughan Reader

Susan Lee St. John relaxes before the reading.

James Vaughan Winner Reading Held April 23

A small group of faculty and students sat in a semi-circle to enjoy Susan Lee St. John reading her poetry and prose pieces on Monday, April 23, in Warmer Auditorium from 2:00 to 2:55pm.  Among the poems that she read was the poem that won her HPU’s  James Vaughan prize of $250.00 this year. The poem is called “Medusa’s Child” and was written as part of a writing assignment in a workshop, in which she had to write about an illness. The subject of the poem is a young girl who has a disease in which muscle tissue turns into bone. The poem is beautiful in its tone and imagery, and is very poignant. Other poems St. John read were about her daughter’s long toes—quite amusing as well as a loving tribute to them—and Enchanted Lake, where St. John lives. Everyone there appreciated and  praised the author’s writing.  We will have next year’s reading for the new winner in the Spring of 2013, possibly earlier in the semester.

 Student Reading

Student reading spring 2012

Student Reading Represents Varying Themes, Styles

About 15 HPU students read from their own creative works in LB Mezz 1 on April 4 from 2-2:55pm. Some read short stories while the majority read or performed their poetry. Subjects ranged from anorexia and bulimia to dreams to environmental pollution to Rodin’s sculpture of St. John the Baptist.. In one poem the speaker is the Earth itself who was addressing human to take part in her vital breath. Another is a series of  journal entries by someone who is seeing a psychiatrist. There were two readings of stories written as responses to established literary works: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour.” In addition, one student wrote a poem in response to Anthony Hecht’s poem “The Dover Bitch,” which is in itself a humorous parody of  Matthew Arnold’s very serious poem “Dover Beach.” All in all, everyone could see that we have no shortage of creative talent here at HPU.  If you did not make it to this reading, there is one every semester, so look out for the one in the Fall.

By Patrice M. Wilson, PhD

Majors Meeting

English majors and faculty defy classroom hierarchy by meeting in one large circle in Warmer Auditorium.


English majors and faculty defy classroom hierarchy by meeting in one large circle in Warmer Auditorium.

About 40 English majors, faculty, and other students came and went during a 2-hour meeting period on Wednesday, March 21, to become either acquainted or more acquainted with each other and English Department course offerings, not only for now but for the future as well. Many of the majors who attended are new, but some “old-timers” were also there to discuss the major, and the English, Film Studies, and Writing minors, all of which are offered by the English Department. There were free pizza and fliers with information about courses that will be given in Summer and Fall 2012, including the many interesting ENG 2000-level courses which meet certain General Education requirements. Those of you who could not make it to the meeting should contact Department Chair Laurie Leach (lleach@hpu.edu)to update yourself on what is happening in the English Department, which is always buzzing with good news. For instance, you might want to pick up a handout that will help you map out what courses you want to take to complete your major, or look into the upper division courses that are going be offered.

Faculty Reading

 Faculty Readers Andrew Godefroy, Eve Youngdale, and Tyler McMahon.

Faculty Readers Andrew Godefroy, Eve Youngdale, and Tyler McMahon.

On Wednesday, March 14, fifty persons attended the English Department Faculty Reading, featuring Tyler McMahon, Eve Youngdale, and Andrew Godefroy. Mr. McMahon red from his current novel published by St. Martin’s Press this year, titled HOW THE MISTAKES WERE MADE. The story is about a woman who was famous during the beginning of the grunge era of music in Seattle in the 80s. She works with a new musical group in the 90s called the Mistakes—and she makes some understandable mistakes of her own. Eve Youngdale read from her poetry thesis for her MA at UH. Some of them were about her family environment and about nature.  Andrew Godefroy read from a poignant short story about a father and daughter who had just lost their wife/mother in a car accident. All three readers teach in the English Department, Mr. McMahon teaches full-time and the other two are valuable members of our adjunct faculty.  Everyone enjoyed the reading, and we are all looking forward to the next Faculty Reading in the Fall.

By Patrice M. Wilson, PhD

Fall 2011 Recap

Fall 2011 began with the Hawaii Pacific Review release party celebrating 25 years of publishing the magazine. The English department hosted a book swap on September 30 to encourage reading for pleasure, and some of the donated books were made available in Sharky's Cove for students' reading enjoyment all semester long.  Hosting literary readings is one thing we are known for.  Patrice Wilson, Adele Ne Jame and Deborah Ross shared their poetry and prose on October 12 and students presented their work on November 15.   Both Adele Nejame and Tyler Mchmahon published new books in the second half of 2011 and participated in several public readings. HPU also hosted a reading by four Renshi poets in our Local Writers Reading Series at the Paul and Vi Loo theatre.  Many English majors and faculty also visted the theatre in November to attend the play House of Blue Leaves.  Mark Tjarks' play  Caliban and the First Tourist Luau was presented  by Da Kine Readers Theatre. To read more  about these events visit our Fall 2011 news page.