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Faculty News

Clark Retires

Kevin Clark
John Hampsey paying tribute to Kevin Clark
at Clark’s retirement party. Photo: Leslie St. John

With a heavy heart, the department bade farewell to Kevin Clark in June. Clark has taught poetry writing and literature in the department since 1988. His extraordinary career and commitment to students is showcased by his winning of the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2002. In addition to his outstanding teaching, he has published two books of poetry (“In the Evening of No Warning” and “Self Portrait with Expletives”), a textbook (“The Mind’s Eye: A Guide to Writing Poetry”), several chapbooks and countless poems. Through his dedicated service on department and campus committees, he made this university a better place for faculty and students. We wish him all the best in his retirement – he surely has earned it!

To honor his tireless promotion of the arts on our polytechnic campus, the English Department is pleased to announce that it will name the department’s poetry writing contest in Clark’s honor. Starting next year, the department will have two named contests: the Al Landwehr Fiction Writing Contest and the Kevin Clark Poetry Writing Contest. The faculty, staff and students can think of no better way to honor Clark’s legacy than naming this contest after him.

Tenure and Promotion

Congratulations to the following faculty who have earned tenure and/or promotion this year!

Sophia ForsterSophia Forster
Tenure and promotion to associate professor.
Brenda HelmbrechtBrenda Helmbrecht
Promotion to full professor
Dustin StegnerDustin Stegner
Promotion to full professor

John Easterbrook

Early American Literature

John Easterbrook

John Easterbrook earned his master’s and doctorate in English and American literature from the Department of English at New York University. Born in England and raised in the Hudson Valley of New York, Easterbrook earned his bachelor’s in English from Manhattan College. After many years in New York City, he and his wife, Emma, moved to North Carolina in 2013. His research and teaching interests include the environmental humanities and the literature and ecology of early America. Easterbrook’s current scholarship focuses on early American representations of environmental crises. His work appears in “Early American Literature.” An avid backpacker, he looks forward to carrying his copy of John Muir’s “The Mountains of California” as he thru-hikes the John Muir Trail from Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney.

Mira Rosenthal


Mira Rosenthal

Mira Rosenthal is a poet, translator and scholar. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from the University of Houston and a doctorate in comparative literature from Indiana University. Her first book, “The Local World,” won the Wick Poetry Prize. She has received numerous awards and honors, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN American Center, the MacDowell Colony, and Stanford University, where she was a Stegner Fellow in poetry. Her translation of Polish poet Tomasz Różycki’s “Colonies” won the Northern California Book Award and was shortlisted for several other prizes, including the prestigious International Griffin Poetry Prize. Her scholarship on the work of Polish Nobel laureate Czesław Miłosz has been supported by grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Fulbright Foundation and elsewhere. In addition to writing an ongoing column for the American Poetry Review, she regularly published poems in such journals as Ploughshares, Harvard Review, Slate, PN Review, A Public Space, TriQuarterly and Oxford American. Rosenthal is originally from Northern California and is looking forward to returning to the land of Manzanita and morning fog with her husband and two daughters.


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