Saturday, February 27, 2010

Spring submission, event dates

There are a bunch of upcoming dates this semester I figured you'd want to know about:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Grammar Rules Change!

UTB/TSC English alumnae Alana Adams let us know about this important development in English grammar.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Only Great Minds Can Read This

Eonvrye that can raed this rsaie your hnad.

Only great minds can read this. This is weird, but interesting!

If you can raed this, you have a sgtrane mnid too.Can you raed this? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! If you can raed this forwrad it.

(a friend sent this to my by e-mail)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Found at by my dear friend Claudia R.:

(largely stolen from William Safire and then elaborated upon anonymously)
  1. A writer must not shift your point of view.
  2. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
  3. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
  4. Always pick on the correct idiom.
  5. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  6. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
  7. Avoid clichés like the plague. (They're old hat)
  8. Be more or less specific.
  9. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
  10. Contractions aren't necessary and shouldn't be used.
  11. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
  12. Don’t over-use exclamation points!!!!!
  13. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.
  14. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
  15. Employ the vernacular.
  16. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  17. Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  18. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
  19. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than under-statement.
  20. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  21. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  22. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
  23. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
  24. .If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.
  25. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  26. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.
  27. No sentence fragments.
  28. One should NEVER generalize.
  29. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  30. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
  31. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
  32. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  33. Puns are for children, not groan readers.
  34. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
  35. The adverb always follows the verb.
  36. The passive voice is to be ignored.
  37. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth-shaking ideas.
  38. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
  39. Who needs rhetorical questions?
  40. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
  41. Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects. And the last one...
  42. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Boundless" New Poetry Anthology

Don't forget to make your submission to the 2010 Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival Anthology and watch for more information about the 3rd Annual Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival (V.I.P.F.), April 22-25, 2010.

Boundless will be published this year as a perfect bound edition with an ISBN. Previous editons include poets from Texas, New York, and London. Be part of this exciting edition!

Poets do not have to attend our festival or register for our festival in order to submit for publication. (While this may change in the future, our open policy remains generous.)

  • Submit 1, 2, or 3 typewritten poems in a legible font.
  • Poems may be of any topic, any language. (We ask for a translation if it is not in English, however.)
  • 35-line limit per poem, not including title and spaces
  • E-mail Submissions Only. Mailed Submissions Will NOT Be Accepted!
  • E-mail submissinos to
  • No previously published poems, please, except from self-published chapbooks with limited distribution.
  • Do not place your name or other identifying information on the poems themselves.
Submit a cover letter that includes:
  • Your Name
  • Title of poem(s) or first line for an untitled poem
  • E-mail address AND phone number
  • A short bio – 50 words or less – focusing on your life as a writer
We strongly prefer to communicate by e-mail:
If you change your e-mail, let us know immediately.

NOTE: You must still mail your check, or money order (MADE OUT TO ART THAT HEALS, INC.), along with a SASE to:

Boundless Editorial Committee
1413 Jay Ave.
McAllen, TX 78504

An e-mail address is required for contact. If you will not collect your anthology in person, you should include a self-addressed stamped envelope (payable for $1.50). Presented by Art That Heals, Inc. in conjunction with the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and The Raúl Tijerina, Jr. Foundation

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Moon Book Circle at UTPA Library

The UTPA library is hosting another Gather & Gab on February 24, from 12-1 p.m. in the Schilling Room. They are discussing "New Moon" (from the "Twilight" series). 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Workshop to teach art of writing love letters

Our own Jenny Ashley is mentioned in The Brownsville Herald. Here is the link.

By JAZMINE ULLOA, The Brownsville Herald

One of the most legendary romances of the Victorian era happened through letters. Prohibited from seeing each other, English poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning exchanged nearly 600 love missives throughout the 20 months of their courtship.

Though the two resided in the same town, Elizabeth Browning’s father did not want her to leave home as she had fallen ill to a serious ailment and was disabled. But the couple grew closer through their correspondence and eventually eloped to Italy, where Browning is said to have died years later in the arms of her husband.

Their passionate epistles are among the most famous in the history of love letters — and more of a treasure now, historians say, in a world of Tweets, texts and Facebook messages. But this week, just in time for Valentine’s Day, Brownsville residents will have the chance to learn how to express their own feelings for their significant others like such English masters as the Brownings.

In the "Love of Letters" workshop held by the Brownsville Historical Association, participants will learn how to communicate via the hand-written letter, a lost art that requires more than 160 characters.

The workshop will review the history of love letters, spanning different time periods from as far back as the Romans, and attendees will learn how to draft their own romantic messages, said Jenny Ashley, who will lead the session.

"I am really excited to talk about the examples of love letters from famous people throughout history," said Ashley, an English graduate student at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. "It will be exciting to share some of the very personal words they have for their lovers."

Throughout history, there are countless examples of famous romantic correspondences, said Diana Dominguez, an English professor at UTB-TSC. Among her favorites, she counts the Browning’s letters and Beethoven’s amorous messages to someone he called his Immortal Beloved. And English poet John Keat’s last letter to his love, Fanny Brawn, after he was diagnosed with tuberculosis puts her to tears, she said.

That is the beauty of the hand-written letter, she explains," it connects you to others, including those in the past."

As a medieval scholar, Dominguez also said she does not look to traditional history books, which have been written by men, to put together the lives of women in the past.

"I find out what life was like for women from these periods through the letters and the diaries and the things they left behind that nobody thought was important because they were women," she said.

Everyone should take the time to write a hand-written letter at least three times a year, Dominguez said. Friday’s workshop will be a good opportunity to get started.

The session will begin 6 p.m. Friday at the Brownsville Heritage Complex in downtown and is free for members of the city’s historical association. The cost for nonmembers is $3.

"All I get in the mail now are bills," said Sarah Martinez, program coordinator for the Stillman House Museum and the Southmost Heritage Center. "Love letters are so personal. It takes more time and it is more intimate."

Friday, February 5, 2010

EGADS! Advisor to Speak on Her New Book

Dr. Diana V. Dominguez, EGADS! Advisor (among many other duties),will appear as part of the UTB/TSC South Padre Island Lecture Series for a talk on her upcoming book about Old Irish Warrior Queen Maeve, which will come out sometime in March.

"I would be thrilled if you can make it so I have some friendly faces in the audience," said Dominguez

The book is a revised, updated version of her dissertation: "A Gender Performance Analysis of Maeve Across a Number of Medieval Irish Tales That Form Part of the Ulster Cycle."  

The lecture in on Friday, February 26, and it will be at Club Padre, 5800 Padre Blvd., which is on the north end of the South Padre Island and across Padre Blvd. from Ted’s Restaurant.  The tickets will be $2, and they can be purchased at the SPI Visitor’s Center or at Club Padre.  The lecture will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. and should be finished by 6:30, except for the people that want to stay and ask more questions.

Love Letter Workshop Led by EGADS! Member, Feb. 12

This upcoming Friday, February 12 – just before Valentine's Day, the Brownsville Historical Association will be hosting a special workshop entitled "For the Love of Letters."  The workshop will be conducted by our own English graduate assistant Jenny Ashley.  At the workshop, you'll get a short history of the love letter, especially the art of letter-writing during the Victorian period, and then have some hands-on time to craft your own love letter.

Here is the information about the workshop as advertised by the Brownsville Historical Association.  I hope you will make the effort to go; it will be great support for Jenny, and the workshop really sounds like it will be fun.

The Brownsville Historical Association cordially invites you to spend a romantic evening with them. On Friday, February 12, at 6 pm, the BHA will host a love letter writing workshop just in time for Valentine’s Day. The cost is $3 for non-members and free for members. During the Victorian era, letters were used to express every type of emotion, but most especially and perhaps most importantly, love. Although letter writing may not be as common today as it was in the past, it can still bring happiness to both the sender and receiver. Join Jenny Ashley, graduate assistant at UTB-TSC, as she leads a workshop designed to tell the history of the love letter using real life love stories. Also, get a chance to let your feelings out by writing your own love letter to someone special in your life. Enjoy strawberries and champagne, along with a 15% discount on the book, For the Love of Letters by Samara O’Shea.
Brownsville Heritage Complex 1325 E. Washington St. Brownsville, TX 78520
The Brownsville Heritage Complex is attached to the Stillman House Museum, also 1324 E. Washington St. in downtown Brownsville.  There is a small parking lot in the Heritage Complex – street parking is available, and after 5 pm, there should be spots available on the street.

UTPA Summer Writing Program

I did this writing program last summer. It was fabulous! The only hitch is that you have to apply to their MFA program, with all the paperwork that involves. But if you want a Mexico vacation and you want to write, I recommend it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Journal of South Texas English Studies Call for Papers

Bridges and Borders: Exploring the Confluence of Languages, Disciplines, and Cultures

The Journal of South Texas English Studies is now welcoming submissions until March 5 for its second issue, themed “Bridges and Borders: Exploring the Confluence of Languages, Disciplines, and Cultures.”

Bridges are frequently built up and torn down, and borders often change. The boundaries between people, places and things blur and break. This happens with governments, but it is equally true in literature and rhetoric. Authors frequently challenge our notions of what is acceptable, they point out our close-mindedness, and they show us new paths.

The biannual journal, which is a collaboration between University of Texas at Brownsville graduate English students and the UTB English Department, also accepts a small number of poetry and creative prose submissions. Papers not connected to the theme will be considered, but those that follow the theme have the best chance to be published.

Scholarly papers can include topics in literature written in English, rhetoric and composition, and literary theory. These should not exceed 8,000 words and should be formatted according to the latest MLA style guide. There is no limit to the number of poems that may be submitted, but the total number of lines cannot exceed 100. We accept short fiction up to 1,500 words, flash fiction up to 800 words, and creative non-fiction up to 2,000 words.

Deadline for submissions is March 5. If you have any other questions or wish to make a submission (as a Microsoft Word attachment), please e-mail Editor Andrew Keese at For more information and for submission guidelines, please visit the journal’s website at

UTSA Graduate English Symposium Call for Proposals

2010 UTSA English Graduate Symposium

The 2010 UTSA English Graduate Student Symposium "Wild Tongues: Concepts of the Untamed in Scholarship, Teaching, Writing, and Beyond.”

Sponsored by the Department of English at the University of Texas at San Antonio

May 1, 2010 at The University of Texas San Antonio in San Antonio, TX

Keynote Speaker: Norma Alarcón

Proposal Submission Deadline: March 15, 2010

How do you tame a wild tongue, train it to be quiet, how do you bridle and saddle it? How do you make it lie down?
- Gloria Anzaldúa

What does it mean to be wild? Certainly “wild” is often a term associated with the unnatural, the uncultivated, or the abnormal. Throughout history, the wildest ideas have been the first to be subverted and repressed by dominant forces. Must our wild tongues be tamed, or cut out, as Gloria Anzaldúa posits in her essay “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”? Those who initially enact social, political, and educational change are often deemed as wild, unrestrained, undisciplined, and even dangerous. Yet, without transformation there is little growth in both the personal and political spheres. Change makes way for the new and breaks the idea of established practice and challenges our ideas of what is true. Wildness is in many ways the seed of evolution, and revolution, in our systems of belief, practice and creation. Anzaldúa alludes to this change and encourages that acts of incivility both complicate and reinvent our navigations of private, social, and political space.

This symposium seeks to explore concepts of the untamed within the practices of scholarship, teaching, writing, and any area that confronts or interrogates the impact of change and transformation on our lives. This interdisciplinary symposium will bring together graduate students, scholars, writers, and performers from throughout the central and border regions of Texas.

We invite papers that engage the concept of wild tongues in all of their forms. Papers may challenge, complicate, critique, or expand current conceptualizations of the untamed in all disciplines, including, but not limited to, literary, cultural, queer, feminist, environmental, American, political, subaltern, bicultural, and popular cultural studies.

We also encourage topics that propose new and imaginative approaches to discourse analysis, methodology, and pedagogy. Visual arts proposals are highly encouraged; the symposium will feature an exhibition of artistic responses such as paintings, drawings, and sculptures related to our theme. We also invite creative writing proposals that bridge disciplines and explore questions of revolution and imagination.
Some possible topics include:

- Language
- Desire
- Concepts of communities/nations/space
- Alternative literacies
- Pedagogies in the grade school, university, or feminist classroom
- Discourses of development, progress, and difference
- Feminist methodologies
- Discourses of nativism, hybridity, and mestizaje
- Rhetorics of nationhood, sovereignty, and terrorism
- Local and global policies
- Environmental studies
- Queer studies
- Popular Culture
- Science Fiction
- Film Studies
- Music Studies
- Imagination in the arts
- Poetry as a revolutionary art form
- Politics and poetry
- Body studies
- Technologies of imagination
- Socio-linguistic studies

Please submit 250-word individual abstracts or panel proposals (comprised of a 250-word abstract for the panel as a whole and titles for each paper) to by March 15, 2009. Paste your proposal into the body of the email message and include any technology requests. If submitting a work of art, please attach a low-resolution image of your piece, if possible, in addition to your abstract. The conference registration fee is $20.00 for pre-symposium registration and $25.00 for registration at the symposium.

Email Subject: Abstract for Wild Tongues
Deadline: March 15, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

UTB/TSC Research Symposium in March

The EGADS! Conference is in three weeks on Feb. 20, but another opportunity is coming up to present: The UTB/TSC Research Symposium. Present a paper at each, and you have two lines for your CV without ever having to travel!

12th Annual UTB/TSC Research Symposium
Open to UTB/TSC students, faculty and staff to present and view.
Friday, March 26, 2010, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: Luis Martínez, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, The Scripps Research Institute-Florida
Deadline for Submissions: March 1, 2010
For more information, visit