Upcoming Events

The English Department sponsors and co-sponsors a variety of events throughout the year. Please check back often to see what's happening.

Events in English Presents: Pariah
Tuesday, February 26, 6:00 pm
Thomas 272

Teenage Alike (Adepero Oduye) lives in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood with her parents (Charles Parnell, Kim Wayans) and younger sister (Sahra Mellesse). A lesbian, Alike quietly embraces her identity and is looking for her first lover, but she wonders how much she can truly confide in her family, especially with her parents' marriage already strained.

Dolliver Sponsored Lecture: How Hamilton Makes History
Thursday, February 28, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Tahoma Room, Thomas Hall

Daniel Pollack-Pelzner will speak on “How Hamilton Makes History. ” Dr. Pollack-Pelzner is the Ronni Lacroute Chair in Shakespeare Studies at Linfield College in Oregon. His scholarship and teaching focus on literary and dramatic history. He has published widely about contemporary performance in articles on Shakespeare adaptations, Latinx theater, and Disney musicals for The New Yorker, Slate, and The New York Times. Dr. Pollack-Pelzner has also taught and written extensively about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton, which he sees as one of the most exciting American versions of a Shakespearean history play. He covered its opening in London’s West End for The New Yorker and reported on its controversial run in Puerto Rico for The Atlantic. Professor Pollack-Pelzner is a regular lecturer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the scholar-in-residence at the Portland Shakespeare Project.

Gaining Ground Film Screening and Conversation with the Filmmaker
Monday, March 11, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Rausch Auditorium

Gaining Ground explores the topics of food justice and environmental justice by following three intertwining narratives: the story of Urban Tilth, a community garden movement in Richmond, CA (a Bay Area city heavily polluted by oil refining) and the experience of two farms in Oregon that make the decision to go from conventional to organic farming. All three stories are compelling, but the story of Urban Tilth is especially so; a huge oil refinery fire nearby occurs midway through the filming, and we see how Urban Tilth director Doria Robinson—an amazing activist—and the organization’s many volunteers negotiate this challenge.

The filmmaker, Elaine Vasquez, will attend the screening. She and her partner, Barbara Bernstein, who did the sound for the film, will be available for a Q & A after the screening. Barbara produces radio documentaries on environmental issues for KBOO, and she herself has a lot of insight to share about regional environmental issues.

Events in English Presents: The Virgin Suicides
Tuesday, March 12, 6:00 pm
Thomas 272

In the suburbs of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, during the mid-1970s, a group of neighborhood boys—now grown men—reflect upon their memories of the five Lisbon sisters, ages 13 to 17. Unattainable due to their Catholic faith and overprotective parents, the girls—Therese, Mary, Bonnie, Lux, and Cecilia—are an enigma that fill the boys' conversations and dreams. After the youngest sister attempts suicide, the sisters are put under close scrutiny by their parents, eventually being confined to the home, which leads to their increasingly depressive and isolated behavior.

Where Do I Begin?
An Evening with Coco Screenwriter Matthew Aldrich
Thursday, March 14, 5:00-7:00 pm
Tahoma Room, Thomas Hall

Screenwriter Matthew Aldrich (COCO) shares his experience with the early stages of story development, as well as strategies he has learned to keep the process focused and meaningful.

Screenwriting Workshop
with Coco screenwriter Matthew Aldrich
Friday, March 15, 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Thomas Hall, Room 381

Students will get a chance to write sample pages of a project in development and receive professional feedback in a workshop setting. More information about  participating in the workshop is forthcoming. Be sure to check your email!

Poetry Reading
Monday, April 1. 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Tahoma Room, Thomas Hall

Claudia Castro Luna and (UPS alum) Glenna Cook, both of whom were finalists for this year’s WA State Book Awards, will read from their work at 7:00p.m. in the Tahoma Room. 

Claudia Castro Luna is Washington State Poet Laureate. She served as Seattle’s Civic Poet, from 2015-2017 and is the author of the Pushcart nominated Killing Marías (Two Sylvias Press) which was also shortlisted for WA State 2018 Book Award in poetry and This City, (Floating Bridge Press). She is also the creator of the acclaimed Seattle Poetic Grid. Castro Luna is a Hedgebrook and VONA alumna, a 2014 Jack Straw fellow, the recipient of individual artist grants from King County 4Culture and Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture. Born in El Salvador she came to the United States in 1981. She has an MA in Urban Planning, a teaching certificate and an MFA in poetry. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, La Bloga, Dialogo and Psychological Perspectives among others. Her non-fiction work can be read in several anthologies, among them This Is The Place: Women Writing About Home, (Seal Press) Claudia is currently working on a memoir, Like Water to Drink, about her experience escaping the civil war in El Salvador. Living in English and Spanish, she writes and teaches in Seattle where she gardens and keeps chickens with her husband and their three children. Since 2009, Claudia maintains Cipota bajo la Luna, a blog with reflections, writing and reviews.

Glenna Cook grew up in Olympia, Washington, where she married her husband, Kenneth, at age 18. They had three children (the oldest, a son, died of cancer in 2016), and have nine grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. In 1990, she retired as training manager at U.S. West Communications, after twenty-five years of service, then immediately enrolled in college. She graduated from University of Puget Sound, Magna cum Laude, at age fifty-eight, with a B.A. degree in English Literature. While at U.P.S., she won the Hearst Essay Prize for the Humanities,and the Nixeon Civille Handy Prize for Poetry. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi.

Events in English Presents: Game Night
Thursday, April 4, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Trimble Forum

Back by popular demand!  Come join students, faculty, and staff for a fun evening of board games, prizes, raffle drawings, and general merriment. Refreshments will be served.