Partnering with Kingston University — On Friday of last week, Provost Joan Lorden officially approved our proposed MA/MFA Dual Degree Program with Kingston University. Since her counterpart at Kingston University had already signed the agreement, we are now cleared to launch this dual degree program in creative writing. We will begin the process of launching the program this coming fall semester, and we expect to enroll students in the program starting in the fall 2020 semester.
The approval of our MA/MFA dual degree program with Kingston University marks the culmination of a long and complex negotiation process involving many administrators from both UNC Charlotte and Kingston University. It also, however, marks an important moment in our English Department’s long relationship with Kingston University. UNC Charlotte and Kingston University have been partners since 1981, and members of our department have participated in this partnership in various ways over the years.
Two members of our English Department have served as the Kingston Resident Director, which is a position that involves advising UNC Charlotte students who participate in our longstanding exchange program with Kingston University. Susan Gardner served as the Resident Director during the 2006-07 academic year, and Beth Gargano served in this position during the 2012-13 academic year.
Our English Department has also hosted several visiting writers from Kingston University. The first of these writers was Micah Nathan, who taught an advanced fiction writing course for us during the spring 2015 semester. In 2016, Michelle Cahill visited the department followed by Howard Cunnell in 2017. Last year poet and critic Siobhán Campbell visited the department and also participated in our Center City Literary Festival. Kirk Melnikoff, Allison Hutchcraft, and Bryn Chancellor played key roles in organizing these visits.
Our faculty exchange program with Kingston University has also involved members of our department leading workshops and giving readings at Kingston University. Over the years, Aimee Parkison, Andrew Hartley, and Allison Hutchcraft have all participated in activities organized by Kingston University’s creative writing program. I should also note that James McGavran was scheduled to teach a course on memoir writing at Kingston University, but his unexpected death prevented him from teaching this course.
With the implementation of our MA/MFA dual degree program, our longstanding relationship with Kingston University has evolved into a true collaboration. I am reminded of the famous line from the end of Casablanca in which Rick Blaine, played by Humphrey Bogart, says, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
Allison Hutchcraft’s “Good News!” — Last week Allison Hutchcraft sent me an email that started with this re message: “Good News!” I like good news, so I opened her email right away, and I was thrilled to read the following: “I’m writing with very good news. My poetry collection Swale has been named the 2019 Editor’s Choice by New Issues Poetry & Prose and will be published in the fall of 2020. I am ecstatic. I’ve long admired New Issues and the wonderful poets they publish, and I am honored to be in their company.”
In my opinion, this news deserves more than one measly explanation mark. I know that Allison is a very talented poet and all, but I think that her re message needs to be revised. Here is my edited version: “Fantastic News!!!!!!!!!” For more information about Allison’s Fantastic News!!!!!!!!!, please click on the following link: https://newissuespress.com/
Quirky Quiz Question — Casablanca is set in a country located in north Africa. What is the name of this country?
Last week’s answer: John Travolta
Welcome Back, Kotter launched the acting career of a now-famous actor. This actor has starred in such films as Urban Cowboy and Pulp Fiction. What is the name of this actor?