2017 Making Lit – Full Schedule

Making Lit logo_small

2017 William A. Fry Undergraduate Conference on Literature and Writing

March 2 – 4, 2017

Following the presenter bios is a full 2017 conference schedule.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more information, discussions, and live updates during the conference! Use the hashtag #TUMakingLit on Twitter and Instagram.

The Book Fair, anchored by Eighth Day Books, will be selling books by all of our visiting writers, along with their usual excellent selection of literary titles. The Book Fair will be held in Euler Atrium and is open:

Thurs, March 2:  1 – 4 pm
Fri, March 3:        8 – 5 pm
Sat, March 4:       9 – 12:30 pm

Keynote Presenters

TOM NOYES (fiction)

Friday, March 3, 7:30 PM
Cornwall Auditorium,
Boren Campus Center

tom-noyes-1  comebyhere

BA, Houghton College
MFA, Wichita State University
PhD, Ohio University

Tom Noyes’ most recent book, Come by Here: A Novella and Stories, won the 2013 Autumn House Prize in Fiction and a gold medal from the Independent Publishers Awards. He is the author of two other story collections, Spooky Action at a Distance and Other Stories (Dufour, 2008) and Behold Faith and Other Stories (Dufour, 2003), the latter of which was shortlisted for Stanford Libraries’ William Saroyan Award. His stories have appeared in such journals as American Literary Review, Ascent, Colorado Review, Image, Mid-American Review, New Ohio Review, Pleiades, and Sycamore Review, and he’s been awarded grants from Pennsylvania’s Council on the Arts and The Sustainability Arts Foundation.

He chairs the BFA program in creative writing at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, where he also serves as Assistant Director of the Humanities and as consulting editor for the literary magazine Lake Effect.


JESSICA MESMAN GRIFFITH (creative nonfiction)

Friday, March 3, 3:15 PM
Modelle Metcalf Visual Arts Center, Room 002

love-and-salt  jessica-mesman-griffith

BA, Louisiana State University
MFA, University of Pittsburgh

Jessica Mesman Griffith is the author, with Amy Andrews, of Love & Salt: A Spiritual Friendship in Letters, which won the 2014 Christopher Award. She is also author of Grace Filled Days (Loyola Press, 2016) and co-author of Daily Inspiration for Women (Loyola Press, 2014). She’s currently at work on a memoir called Eden Isles. Her book with her Sick Pilgrim co-founder, Jonathan Ryan, is forthcoming in 2017. Her work has appeared in Image, America, Christianity Today, and Notre Dame Magazine, among many others. She has recently spoken at the Festival of Faith and Writing, AWP, the Neiman Conference for Narrative Journalism at Harvard University, and on NPR’s Interfaith Voices.

As an MFA student at the University of Pittsburgh, she was managing editor of Creative Nonfiction, then completed a post-graduate Fellowship in the Erasmus Institute for Spiritual Autobiography at the University of Notre Dame. A native of Slidell, Louisiana, she lives in northern Michigan with her husband, the writer David Griffith, and their two children.


DAVID GRIFFITH (creative nonfiction)

Thursday, March 2, 3:00 PM
Euler Science Complex, Room 109

dave-1  good-war

BA, University of Notre Dame
MFA, University of Pittsburgh

David Griffith is Director of Creative Writing at Interlochen Center for the Arts. He is the author of A Good War is Hard to Find: The Art of Violence in America (Soft Skull Press, 2006), and is at work on a new manuscript called Pyramid Scheme: Making Art and Being Broke in America.

His essays and reviews have appeared in the Utne Reader, The Normal School, Image, Creative Nonfiction, Paris Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Mammoth, and many others, as well as in US and international anthologies. He lives in northern Michigan with his wife, the writer Jessica Mesman Griffith, and their two children.


GRACE TIFFANY (literary scholarship/fiction)

Thursday, March 2, 7:30 PM
Recital Hall,
Smith-Hermanson Music Center

father-had-a-daughter  grace-1  pilgrim

BA, Duke University
MA, PhD, University of Notre Dame

Grace Tiffany has taught Shakespeare and Renaissance literature at Fordham University, the University of New Orleans, and now at Western Michigan University. Her work has appeared in Shakespeare Studies, Texas Studies in Literature and Language, The Renaissance Quarterly, Comparative Drama, Christianity and Literature, and Renascence, among many others. In 2007, she received a College of Arts and Sciences award for her research and creative activity. She received a distinguished teaching award from WMU in 2010.

In addition to books of Shakespeare scholarship, she is the author of multiple novels set in the Renaissance or Middle Ages, including Will (Berkley 2004), My Father Had a Daughter (Berkley, 2003), Ariel (HarperCollins, 2005), The Turquoise Ring (Berkley, 2005), Paint (Bagwyn Books, 2013), and Gunpowder Percy (Bagwyn Books, 2016). My Father Had a Daughter appeared on the Booksense independent bookstores’ best books list. Ariel was listed as a best book by the National Library Association in 2006. The Turquoise Ring is a retelling of The Merchant of Venice from the perspective of the five women in the play.



Wednesday, March 1, 10:00 AM

shari  harmonist

BA, Goshen College
MFA, Indiana University

Shari Wagner is the Poet Laureate of Indiana for 2016-17. She is the author of The Harmonist at Nightfall: Poems of Indiana (Bottom Dog Press, 2013) and Evening Chore (Cascadia, 2005); co-author with her father of Making the Rounds: Memoirs of a Small-Town Doctor and A Hundred Camels: A Mission Doctor’s Murder Trial and Sojourn in Somalia; and editor of Returning: Stories from the Indianapolis Senior Center. Her poems and essays have appeared on The Writer’s Almanac and American Life in Poetry, and in North American Review, Shenandoah, The Christian Century, Black Warrior Review, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and many others.

She teaches writing at universities, grade schools, retirement homes, the Indiana Writers Center, and at Butler University’s Religion, Spirituality and the Arts seminar. Her Poet Laureate website is Through the Sycamores.



—Amy Peterson Reading, Signing, and Book Launch—

Saturday, March 4, 10:30 AM
Euler Legacy Commons

amy  amy-book

Amy Peterson teaches a variety of courses and works with the Honors program at Taylor University. Amy taught ESL in Southeast Asia before returning stateside to teach in California, Arkansas, and Washington. She has written for Books & Culture, Christianity Today, The Other Journal, Comment Magazine, The Cresset, The Living Church, and Art House America, among others. She holds a BA in English Literature from Texas A&M and an MA in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College, and is currently completing her MFA at Seattle Pacific University.

At the Making Literature Conference, Amy will launch her memoir Dangerous Territory (Discovery House), which is available for pre-order now.


—A Tribute to Brett Foster—

Friday, March 3, 4:30 PM
Modelle Metcalf Visual Arts Center, Room 002

Wheaton College Website Photos/ English Literature Department Faculty (Brett Foster), August 31, 2010

In 2015, we lost a dear friend and beloved member of the art-and-faith and Christian higher ed communities: poet, scholar, and Wheaton College professor Brett Foster. He was only 42. His legacy will be celebrated at Making Literature 2017, led by Professor David Wright of Monmouth College. Further details to come.


Parnassus Release Party and Awards Ceremony—

Thursday, March 2, 4:15 PM
Euler Legacy Commons

Join us as we celebrate the release of the 2017 issue of Parnassus, Taylor’s undergraduate literary journal, which has been in publication for over fifty years. Award winners will give readings from their work and refreshements will be served.



—The Book Fair—

Thurs, March 2:   1 – 4 pm
Fri, March 3:        8 – 5 pm
Sat, March 4:       9 – 12:30 pm

Making Literature is proud to announce that the 2017 Book Fair, featuring literary journals, publishers, and graduate programs, will be anchored by Eighth Day Books. Eighth Day will carry titles by our keynote speakers, as well as their usual stellar selection.


If you’re not familiar with the iconic bookstore, here is an intriguing introduction from their website:

From the beginning, we have not been a typical independent bookstore; we eschew the trendy, and do not carry books solely based on their salability. Instead, we’re selective, offering an eccentric community of books based on this organizing principle: if a book—be it literary, scientific, historical, or theological—sheds light on ultimate questions in an excellent way, then it’s a worthy candidate for inclusion in our catalog.

Reality doesn’t divide itself into “religious” and “literary” and “secular” spheres, so we don’t either. We’re convinced that all truths are related and every truth, if we pay attention rightly, directs our gaze toward God. One of our customers found us “eclectic but orthodox.” We like that.

For more about Eighth Day and proprietor Warren Farha, read Lauren Winner’s recap in Books & Culture, or the profile of Warren and the store in the New York Times.

All other book fair guests will be announced as soon as plans are finalized.



Thursday, March 2

9:00-1:00 Registration
(Smith-Hermanson Music Center: Recital Hall Foyer)

1:00-4:00 Registration
(Department of English office – Reade 206)

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

11:00-12:00 Student Sessions

A. Critical Essay Panel #1 – Life and Death in the Nineteenth Century (Reade 241)
Moderator: Jessica Wise

Krista Johnson (Wheaton College)
“The Womanist Christology of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s ‘The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point’”

Kathryn Hampshire (Ball State University)
“On Cinematography and Discomfort in 12 Years a Slave

Emily Barsic (Ball State University)
“The Cause of Death for Women like Edna Pontellier, Madame Reisz, and Kate Chopin”

B. Creative Writing Panel #1 – Poetry (Reade 143)
Moderator: Sarah Holmes

Serena Ellens (Anderson University)
“Tell Me a Story”

Abby Johnson (Anderson University)
“A Letter to Zelda Sayre”

Samantha Stimer (Anderson University)
“Fighting Pain with Pain, Blood with Blood”

C. Critical Essay Panel #2 – Head and Heart, Mind and Body (Reade 240)
Moderator: Kate Boxell

Chris Meier (Taylor University)
“The Head and the Heart: Wordsworth, Rousseau, and a Romantic Conception of Human Nature”

Ashley McGhee (Taylor University)
“Anne Elliot and Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Conflict of the Head and the Heart”

Hannah Hood (Taylor University)
“The Buried Life of Paul Dombey: An Examination of Dickens’s Dombey and Son Through the Lens of Matthew Arnold’s “The Buried Life”

12:00 Lunch
(Arthur L. Hodson Commons)

1:00-4:00 Book Fair (anchored by Eighth Day Books)
Euler Atrium

1:15-2:15 Student Sessions

A. Critical Essay Panel #3 – Symbolic Inversions and Connections (Reade 240)
Moderator: Hannah Hood

Heather Cook (Anderson University)
“Lewis’s Adaptation of the Literary Elements of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in His Own Quest Fantasy The Silver Chair

Hillary Foreman (Taylor University)
“Without Contraries is Digression: Gulliver’s Travels, The People in the Trees, and William Blake”

Kaylen Dwyer (Taylor University)
“Faulkner’s Holy Week: Inverted Christ Figures in The Sound and the Fury

B. Creative Writing Panel #2 – Creative Nonfiction (Reade 221)
Moderator: Sarah Wehlage

Camy Hanna (Taylor University)
“The Storm”

Christina Stump (Malone University)
“The Ecotourist”

Hannah Gears (Malone University)
“Say: Everyday, Say: Beautiful, Say: God”

C. Critical Essay Panel #4 – Literature and Moral Instruction (Reade 143)
Moderator: Grace Bolinger

Blair Hedges (Taylor University)
“Hospitality and Homicide: Moral Instruction in The Odyssey and Crime and Punishment

Micah Winters (Taylor University)
“Nature, Wit, and the Eternal in Augustan Criticism”

Kate Boxell (Taylor University)
“Progressions of Grace in Saint Augustine’s Confessions and Marilynne Robinson’s Lila

D. Digital Literature Review panel – Monsters (Reade 239)
Moderator: Abby Palmisano

Papers by the staff of Ball State University’s Digital Literature Review

2:30-3:00 Refreshments
(Euler 109)

3:00-4:00 Keynote reading: David Griffith (Euler 109)

4:15-5:30 Parnassus release party, with Parnassus award winners’ readings
(Euler Science Complex: Legacy Commons, 2nd floor, east end of building)

5:30 Dinner
(Arthur L. Hodson Commons)

7:30 Keynote address/reading: Grace Tiffany
(Smith-Hermanson Music Center: Recital Hall)

Friday, March 3

8:00-12:00 Registration
(English Department office – Reade 206)

8:00-5:00 Book Fair (anchored by Eighth Day Books)
(Euler Atrium)

8:45-9:45 Student Sessions

A. Critical Essay Panel #5 – Authorial Visions and Voices (Reade 240)
Moderator: Chris Meier

Charlotte McCash (Messiah College)
“Remaking Jane Austen: Film Adaptations of Pride and Prejudice

Sarah Holmes (Taylor University)
“Virginia Woolf as Outsider”

Jessica Wise (Taylor University)
“Speak My Speech: An Analysis of Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 2”

B. Creative Writing Panel #3 – Creative Nonfiction and Poetry (Reade 120)
Moderator: Sarah Wehlage

Lucas Fulton (Malone University)
“Assorted Poems”

Tyler Howell (Malone University)
“The Athlete’s Body and the Addict’s Son”

Brandon Best (Cedarville College)
“Blood Time”

C. Creative Writing Panel #4 – Fiction (Reade 220)
Moderator: Rachel Roberts

Ciera Horton (Wheaton College)
“The Oven Bird Problem”

Sophia Ross (Houghton College)
“Gone Places”

Hillary Foreman (Taylor University)
“The Determining Bits”

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

11:00-12:00 Student Sessions

A. Critical Essay Panel #6 – Adventures in Reading (Reade 240)
Moderator: Rachel Erskine

Ava Bergen (Houghton College)
“A Malleable Sense of Justice: Robin Hood’s Enduring Appeal to English Readers”

Rebekah Swank (Taylor University)
“The Empathetic Journey of Reading Frustration in The Crying of Lot 49

Abby Palmisano (Taylor University)
“Formal Disorder: Audience Confrontation with the Disorder of the Mind in Tristram Shandy and The Chairs

B. Creative Writing Panel #5 – Creative Nonfiction (Reade 241)
Moderator: Hannah Hood

Ellie Zumbach (Malone University)
“A Light in the Barn”

Jessica Wise (Taylor University)
“Dear Papa”

Riley Gable (Malone University)

C. Critical Essay Panel #7 – Appropriations of Language and Identity (Reade 143)
Moderator: Micah Winters

David Grandouiller (Cedarville University)
“The Duchess as a Dish: An Intertextual Reading of Nineteenth-Century, Cultural Hegemony as Cannibalism in Browning’s ‘The Last Duchess’”

Ciera Horton (Wheaton College)
“Coming Down a Raggae Wire: The Political Appropriation of Language in the Dub Poetry of Linton Kwesi Johnson”

Lisa Hemphill (Wheaton College)
“Interfacing and Identifying: People as Technology in Infinite Jest

12:00 Lunch
(Arthur L. Hodson Commons)

1:30-2:30 Student Sessions

A. Critical Essay Panel #8 – Limitation and Liberation (Reade 240)
Moderator: Rebekah Swank

Kaleb Schlatter (Huntington University)
“Achieving Autonomy: Sexual Repression and Rationale in Mrs. Dalloway

Brandon Best (Cedarville University)
“Liberation and Freedom in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four

Clair Harvey (Huntington University)
“Anne of Green Gables as a Symbol of Female Equality”

B. Creative Writing Panel #6 – Poetry (Reade 220)
Moderator: Jessica Wise

Ava Bergen (Houghton College)

Shanley Smith (Hope College)
“Static and Melody”

Sarah Holmes (Taylor University)
“Seven Poems”

C. Creative Writing Panel #7 – Creative Nonfiction (Reade 143)
Moderator: Abby Palmisano

David Grandouiller (Cedarville University)
“Jesus of Nazareth: History of a Sacred Body in Thirty-Six Frescoes”

Jana Strickler (Indiana Wesleyan University)
“Emmanuel in the Water”

Elizabeth Ensink (Hope College)
“Ecosystem of Echoes”

3:15-4:15 Keynote reading: Jessica Mesman Griffith
(Metcalf 002)

4:15-4:30 Refreshments
(outside Metcalf 002)

4:30-5:30 Tribute to Brett Foster
(Metcalf 002)

5:30 Dinner
(Arthur L. Hodson Commons)

7:30 Keynote address/reading: Tom Noyes
(Boren Campus Center: Cornwall Auditorium)

(Conference awards will be announced.)

Saturday, March 4

9:00-12:30 Book Fair – Complimentary continental breakfast
(Euler Atrium)

Anchored by Eighth Day Books

Meet and mingle with several of our keynote speakers

And representatives from:

Relief Journal
Discovery House publishers
Digital Literary Review
Ball State University Graduate English Department
The Cresset
Taylor University Department of English

10:30-11:30 Book Launch and Signing – Amy Peterson
(Euler: Legacy Commons)


***Special Saturday Note: The Taylor Theatre presents When the Rain Stops Falling

Mitchell Theater, 8:00pm

Like us on Facebook / follow us on Twitter for updates!

Use the hashtag #TUMakingLit on Twitter and Instagram during the conference.

Email makingliterature@gmail.com with questions.