2015 Conference

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2015 William A. Fry Undergraduate Conference on Literature and Writing

February 26 – 28, 2015

Following the presenter bios, there is a full 2015 conference schedule.

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Keynote Presenters

lineup 2015
(left to right: Jessie van Eerden, Angela Shannon, Scott Russell Sanders, Miho Nonaka)



BA, West Virginia University
MFA, University of Iowa

Jessie van Eerden is the author of Glorybound, her debut novel from WordFarm (2012). She lives in West Virginia where she directs the low-residency MFA writing program of West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Her work has appeared in publications such as The Oxford American, River Teeth, Image, Bellingham Review, and others. Her essays have been selected for inclusion in Dreams and Inward Journeys: A Rhetoric and Reader for Writers, Seventh Edition (Longman, 2010); Best American Spiritual Writing (Houghton Mifflin, 2006); and Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical (Cascade Books of Wipf and Stock, 2009). She was selected as the 2007-2008 Milton Fellow with Image and Seattle Pacific University.

David James Duncan said of Glorybound, “Jessie van Eerden has written the world a masterpiece.”


singing book

BA, Florida State University
MFA., Warren Wilson College

Angela Shannon is the author of the collection Singing the Bones Together, a 2004 Minnesota Book Awards finalist. She teaches English at Bethel University.

Her poems have been published in a variety of journals and anthologies, including TriQuarterly, Ploughshares, Where One Ends Another Begins: 150 Years of Minnesota Poetry, Beyond the Frontier: African American Poetry for the 21st Century, and the textbook A Multicultural Reader, Collection One: Many Voices Literature Series.

Her choreopoem Root Woman premiered at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theater in Evanston, Ill.


earth works

BA, Brown University
PhD, Cambridge University

Scott Russell Sanders is the author of twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including A Private History of Awe and A Conservationist Manifesto. The best of his essays from the past thirty years, plus nine new essays, are collected in Earth Works, published in 2012 by Indiana University Press.

Among his honors are the Lannan Literary Award, the John Burroughs Essay Award, the Mark Twain Award, the Cecil Woods Award for Nonfiction, the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2012 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His latest book is Divine Animal, a novel, published in 2014.

He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University, where he taught from 1971 to 2009. He and his wife, Ruth, a biochemist, have reared two children in their hometown of Bloomington, in the hardwood hill country of Indiana’s White River Valley.


new voices

BA (English), Wellesley College
MA (East Asian Studies), Harvard University
MFA (Creative Writing), Columbia University
PhD (English/Creative Writing), University of Houston

Miho Nonaka teaches English at Wheaton College. Her creative and scholarly work has appeared in publications such as Ploughshares, Cimarron Review, American Letters & Commentary, Satellite Convulsions: Poems from Tin House, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and in several books such as Tamura Ryuichi: On the Life & Work of a 20th Century Master, American Odysseys: Writings by New Americans: the Vilcek Foundation’s Anthology of Prominent Young Immigrant Writers, and The Helen Burns Poetry Anthology: New Voices from the Academy of American Poets Vol. 9, edited by Mark Doty.

Her literary research includes Japanese Modernism and the Avant-Garde. A recent article is about a postwar Japanese poet, Tamura Ryūichi, and his involvement with the literary magazine and group called Arechi (The Wasteland) under the influence of T. S. Eliot and W. H. Auden. She also researches works by Japanese Catholic authors, such as Endo Shusaku and Miura Ayako.



Hosted by the Taylor University Department of English


8:00-5:00 Registration (Smith-Hermanson Music Center: Recital Hall Foyer)

10:30-10:45 Welcome (Smith-Hermanson Music Center: Recital Hall)

11:00-12:00 Student Sessions

A. Creative Writing Panel #1 – Poetry (Reade 221)
Moderator: Matthew Klingstedt

Erica Warren (John Brown University)
“A Closer Look”

Veronica Toth (Taylor University)
“Finding the Faithful”

Katie Danner (John Brown University)
“The Mess of Learning: Choice Poems”

B. Critical Essay Panel #1 – Modernism’s Search for God (Reade 240)
Moderator: Audrey Ford

Davis Wetherell (Taylor University)
“The Progression and Promise of Water as Symbol in The Waste Land”

Heather Cook (Anderson University)
“The Emergence of the Imago Dei”

Blair Hedges (Taylor University)
“The Fisher King”

12:00 Lunch (Arthur L. Hodson Commons)

1:15-2:15 Student Sessions

A. Creative Writing Panel #2 – Creative Nonfiction: Family (Reade 212)
Moderator: Veronica Toth

Kaitlin Murray (Malone University)
“Nomad, or the Messes that Made Me”

Rebecca McNair (Ball State University)
“Moon City”

Lexi French (Abilene Christian University)

B. Critical Essay Panel #2 – Confrontations with Death and Despair (Reade 240)
Moderator: Alex Moore

Kelsey Emery (Taylor University)
“The Relationship Between Knowledge and Fear in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”

Marisa Vogel (Anderson University)
“Impressions of Death: John Donne’s Mutable Opinion and its Ethical Value”

Matthew Klingstedt (Taylor University)
“Sorrowful Love in Tennyson’s In Memorium

C. Critical Essay Panel #3 – Contextual Classifications in Literature and Art (Reade 143)
Moderator: Adam Kelly

Shannon Storrer (Taylor University)
“The Idealistic yet Human Father: A Juxtaposition of Father Archetypes in To Kill a Mockingbird and The Kite Runner

Andrea Miller (Anderson University)
The French Lieutenant’s Woman: A Pro-Feminist or Anti-Feminist Novel?”

Josh Vahle (Taylor University)
“All is Fair in Love and War (Except Love and War)”

2:30-3:30 Student Sessions

A. Creative Writing Panel #3 – Mixed Prose: Finding a Place (Reade 221)
Moderator: Kelsey Emery

Alexandria Rivera (Gordon College)

Kendra Jett (Malone University)
“Confessions of a Teenage Nurse”

Paula Weinman (Taylor University)
“Variations on The Secret Garden

B. Critical Essay Panel #4 – Symbol and Theme in World Literature (Reade 212)
Moderator: Morgan Storrer

Alex Moore (Taylor University)
“The Commune Rejects the Old Order / Ximen Ox Places One Hoof in Front of Another”

McKinley Terry (Abilene Christian University)
“Welsh Revival: Celtic Themes in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”

Audrey Ford (Taylor University)
“Unity and Discontinuity: How the Author, the Reader, and the Text Make Meaning in ‘Lost in Translation’ And Invisible Cities”

3:30-4:00 Refreshments
(Euler Science Complex: Legacy Lounge—2nd floor, east end of building)

4:00-5:30 Parnassus release party, with Parnassus award winners’ readings
(Euler Science Complex: Legacy Lounge—2nd floor, east end of building)

5:30 Dinner (Arthur L. Hodson Commons)

7:30 Presentation: Digital Literature Review, Ball State University

Keynote address: Miho Nonaka
(Smith-Hermanson Music Center: Recital Hall)
“Translating Endo Shusaku’s Silence: Literature of Faith and Human Weakness”



8:00-10:45 Registration
(Smith-Hermanson Music Center: Recital Hall Foyer)

NOTE: For registration or other assistance after 10:45, please go to the English Department office (Reade 206) or call 765-998-5141

8:45-9:45 Student Sessions

A. Creative Writing Panel #4 – Mixed Prose: Storytelling (Reade 240)
Moderator: Adam Kelly

Carli Stewart (Taylor University)

Bryce Schmidt (Malone University)
“Gray Matters”

Rebecca Hartman (Taylor University)
“Dies Cinerum”

B. Critical Essay Panel #5 – Gender and Connection in 20th-century American Literature (Reade 220)
Moderator: Kelsey Emery

Anna Tipton (Wheaton College)
“Does the Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog Depict a Byronic Hero?”

Morgan Storrer (Taylor University)
“A Comparative Character Analysis of Anna Karenina and Moll Flanders as They Relate to Society”

SarahRuth Brown (Taylor University)
“Saints or Survivors: Charity and Social Responsibility

10:00-10:50  Chapel (Rediger Chapel/Auditorium)

11:00-12:00  Student Sessions

A. Creative Writing Panel #5 – Mixed Prose: The Body (Reade 241)
Moderator: Audrey Ford

Sarah Hollowell (Ball State University)
“Fat Revolution”

Suzanne Rhee (Taylor University)

Caylie Mindling (Malone University)
“Semi-Permanent Tattoo Artist Wanted”

B. Critical Essay Panel #6 – Classical English Depictions of Gender (Reade 220)
Moderator: Matthew Klingstedt

Alyssa Johnson (Abilene Christian University)
“At Death Do They Part: The Gendered Suicides of Shakespeare’s Lovers”

Katie Danner (John Brown University)
“The Silent Struggle: Lavinia’s Search for Voice in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus

Bronwen Ellen Fetters (Huntington University)
“Chivalry or Chauvinism: Knighthood and Women in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

C. Critical Essay Panel #7 – Rationality, Religion, Redemption (Reade 218)
Moderator: Alex Moore

Paula Weinman (Taylor University)
“’Eve’s Allotted Grief’: Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Eve’s Miltonic Destiny”

Veronica Toth (Taylor University)
“’Nobody Never Says Nothing about Religion’: Absences of Christianity in Frances Burney’s Evelina

Malaina Yoder (Taylor University)
“How do the Religious Deal with Religion?: Marilynne Robinson’s Examination of Justice and Grace”

12:00  Lunch (Arthur L. Hodson Commons)

1:30-2:30 Student Sessions

A. Creative Writing Panel #6 – Poetry (Reade 240)
Moderator: Rebekah Swank

Brittany Means (Ball State University)
Assorted Poems

Corinne Hunt (John Brown University)

Makayla Schultz (John Brown University)
“The Art of Losing Isn’t Hard to Master”

B. Creative Writing Panel #7 – Fiction (Reade 220)
Moderator: Veronica Toth

Jaime Heller (Malone University)
“King Arthur Can’t Read”

Kristen Csuti (Malone University)
“Message in a Bottle”

Malinda Patterson (Taylor University)
“Watching the Birds”

3:15-4:15  Keynote interview: Angela Shannon and Miho Nonaka (Euler 109)

Refreshments will be served.

4:30-5:30 Keynote reading: Jessie van Eerden (Metcalf Center, Room 002)

Reading & Craft Talk: “The Midrashic Impulse”

5:30 Dinner (Arthur L. Hodson Commons)

7:30  Conference awards will be announced.

Keynote address: Scott Russell Sanders (Smith-Hermanson Music Center: Recital Hall)

“Pictures into Words”



9:30-12:30  BOOK FAIR (Euler Atrium) | Complimentary continental breakfast

9:30-10:00 Writing book reviews – Chris Smith, Englewood Review of Books (Euler 130)

10:30-11:30  Creative writing workshop – Tania Runyan (Euler 130)

(No pre-registration required; walk-ins welcome!)

Meet and mingle with…

Our keynote speakers:

Scott Russell Sanders
Jessie van Eerden
Angela Shannon
Miho Nonaka

TS Poetry Press authors:    

Tania Runyan (How to Read a Poem)
Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig (On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life that Lasts)

And representatives from:

Relief Journal
InterVarsity Press
Englewood Review of Books
The Cresset
Digital Literature Review
The Broken Plate
River Teeth

…as well as:

West Virginia Wesleyan College MFA program
Seattle Pacific University MFA program
Ball State University MA & PhD programs
Earlham School of Religion Ministry of Writing Colloquium
Abilene Christian University MA program


Tree of Life Bookstore (Taylor University) will be selling copies of books by our conference keynote speakers.
The Taylor University Department of English will be selling conference coffee mugs and tote bags as well.


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