Connecting with the Public Library — For the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, the beginning of November is a special time of the year, for this is when two of the public library’s signature events take place. On November 2, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation held Verse & Vino, the library’s biggest fundraising event. On November 4, the public library held EpicFest, a free, daylong festival celebrating children’s literature and literacy. I am pleased to report that members of our English Department contributed in significant ways to both of these events.
Peter Larkin, one of our part-time faculty members, is also a member of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation. In his role with the Foundation, Peter is one of the community leaders who helps makes Verse & Vino a reality. Angie Williams also helps make Verse & Vino happen by volunteering each year with the preparation for the event. This year the organizers of Verse & Vino celebrated prominent “local authors who have new books for adults published in 2017.” These authors included two of our faculty members (Bryn Chancellor and Andrew Hartley) and a graduate of our M.A. program (Mark de Castrique).
EpicFest relies heavily on volunteers to staff activity tables and help make this festival run smoothly. Chauna Wall, the Volunteer Coordinator for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, informed me that our students played a crucial role in helping out with EpicFest. Members of our various student organizations as well as students in several of our classes stepped up and volunteered their time. Approximately half of the of the total number of community volunteers who helped with EpicFest this year were our students.
One of the reasons the English Department and Charlotte Mecklenburg Library have so many connections is that we share core values. We both embrace the importance of literature and literacy, and we both are committed to engaging in meaningful ways with the larger community. The English Department and the public library are more than collaborators–we’re partners.
Kudos — As you know, I like to use my Monday Missives to share news about recent accomplishments by members of our department. Here is the latest news:
Paula Eckard recently presented a paper titled “Teaching the Familiar and Fantastic in Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel” at SAMLA 89 in Atlanta, GA in a session titled “Teaching the Bildungsroman: Reinventing Great Books for the 21st Century.”
Paula Martinac recently served as the judge for the Elizabeth Simpson Smith Short Story Award of the Charlotte Writers’ Club.
Malin Pereira has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the Furious Flower Poetry Center, the nation’s first academic center for Black poetry, housed at James Madison University.
Alan Rauch recently presented a paper called “Death and Recovery in Victorian Literature” at the Victorians Institute Conference at Furman University.
Upcoming Events and Deadlines— Here is information about upcoming events:
Nov. 7 — The Early Modern Paleography Society. EMPS will collaborate with EMROC (Early Modern Recipes Online Collective), a group of international scholars that is creating a database of recipe transcriptions, for EMROC’s 3rd Annual Transcribathon. The event will take place in the Atkins VisLab THIS TUES, Nov 7, 2-5pm.
Nov. 14 — The Personally Speaking presentation featuring Paula Eckard will take place on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, at UNC Charlotte Center City. Paula’s presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. A book signing and reception will follow her presentation. For more information and to RSVP, please click on the following link: https://exchange.uncc.edu/personally-speaking-looks-at-lostness-through-the-eyes-of-children/
Quirky Quiz Question — During Verse & Vino, the organizers played a short video about the history of our public library. According to this video, the library’s first major building was built in 1901 with funding provided by a famous philanthropist. Does anybody know the name of this philanthropist?
Last week’s answer: A troll
For the Haunted English Department Takeover costume contest, Angie William’s granddaughter (Hallie Edwards) dressed up as Herminone Granger from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Hallie’s great costume reminded me of the Halloween chapter in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Does anybody know what unexpected visitor showed up at this party and caused the party to come to a sudden end?