Our Favorite Talisman Posts & More

So the Talisman has certainly made a huge splash since its recent re-creation as a dynamic student life publication. Their website states their aim:

“Established in 2015, WKUTalisman.com aims to be a smart and humorous voice in the campus conversation.”

The results have been just that. We at FirstFloorCherry have laughed, cried, and stalked our fellow uber-creative English majors and are here to share our top posts on the web from this last year. Then we’d like to plug a little job opportunity or two.


Page’s pick:

Bowling Green Places That are Too Cool for Me by Rachel Doyel (junior Literature major)

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This post spoke right to Page. From the social anxieties, to the atmosphere of her favorite places, to the laughable absurdity of cool-ness. Thanks Rachel!


Ben’s pick:

The Best Cold Treats in Bowling Green by Emily Jones

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This post really encouraged Ben’s love of foodie posts. Also, Ben knows summer is coming and he will be referencing this post for places to find cold, refreshing goodies.


Collin’s Pick:

Ways to Avoid Writer’s Block During NaNoWriMo by Cameron Moreno

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Collin likes writing and hearing about how other people write so that he can keep on writing.

Cheesy allusion high alert:  If you write and find the WKU Talisman as refreshing as a cold treat, but fear it may be a little too cool for you, you should use your skills at overcoming writer’s block and apply anyway! Everyone’s writing steps up a level when they join a great team and challenge themselves.

There is also the Herald for those you you who have an interest in getting your name in print. Check out WKU Student Publications for more opportunities– just get your name out there!

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The Ashen Egg is Here!

In case you missed the email, the 2017 volume of The Ashen Egg has arrived! This year’s volume features essays by Hatim Alamri, Logan Anderson, Jessica Barksdale, Joshua Daniel, Elon Justice, Allison Millay, Megan Skaggs, and Phoebe Zimmerer.

Go pick up your copy in the English office (CH 135) today!

ashen egg 2017


The Ashen Egg publishes essays on literature, rhetoric, linguistics, film, and popular culture. Manuscripts generally range from 750 to 3000 words, though exceptions may be made for submissions of stellar quality. Though many submissions are research papers, they also welcome close readings and textual analysis. Submissions are accepted any time up through May 31.

See the Call for Papers and the Submission Cover Sheet.


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Conference Opportunity in Atlanta


Wondering how to top off your undergraduate experience with one last hoorah? Maybe you should look into SAMLA.

SAMLA is an Undergraduate Research Forum, a track of programming dedicated to hosting panels comprised of undergraduate presentations, at SAMLA 89. Undergraduates will present traditional papers in the standard format with the added benefit of an informed response from a senior SAMLA member serving as session respondent. They  hosted ten concurrent undergraduate sessions at last year’s conference in Jacksonville, and want to expand their undergraduate track to include even more sessions at this year’s conference in Atlanta.

SAMLA 89 will be held November 3–5, 2017 at the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta. This year’s conference theme is High Art/Low Art: Borders and Boundaries in Popular Culture. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to address the conference theme.

All 2017 undergraduates will be eligible to participate in the Undergraduate Research Forum in November.

The deadline to submit is September 8th. 

The Undergraduate Research Forum General Call for Papers Form is available here—this form is for the use of individual undergraduate students submitting paper proposals.

Undergraduates participating at SAMLA 89 will have their membership fee waived and will have their registration fee reduced to $40. Registered undergraduates are allowed – and encouraged! – to participate in all conference activities.

Participants in the Undergraduate Research Forum will also be eligible for the Undergraduate Essay Prize. The Undergraduate Essay Prize will include a $100 honorarium, complimentary registration for the SAMLA 90 conference in Birmingham, and publication of the winning paper in SAMLA News.

Much more information regarding SAMLA 89 is available on the SAMLA website.

Follow FirstFloorCherry for more conference news!

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Pulitzer Winners Announced

In case you don’t know what to read this weekend while you loaf in your hammock, we are here to share that 2017 Pulitzer Prize Winners have been announced.

From reporting to feature writing to all our most well-known genres, the list of winners covers several types of writing we English majors may end up creating ourselves.


Not sure what the Pulitzer Prize actually is?

The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the US. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Hungarian-born American Joseph Pulitzer who had made his fortune as a newspaper publisher. The award is administered by Columbia University in New York City. Prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories.

Here are a few select winners:


The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)

Image result for The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)

For a smart melding of realism and allegory that combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America.


Olio, by Tyehimba Jess (Wave Books)

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For a distinctive work that melds performance art with the deeper art of poetry to explore collective memory and challenge contemporary notions of race and identity.

General Nonfiction

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond (Crown)

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For a deeply researched exposé that showed how mass evictions after the 2008 economic crash were less a consequence than a cause of poverty.

Find your inspiration for that next paper or simply the how to spend a few hours this weekend on the list of Pulitzer Prize winners. Don’t forget to check out finalists too!

Happy (happy?) weekend reading FirstFloorCherrians!

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Submission Opportunity


Do you have a concern or passion for nature? Do you have a review on the industrial system? Chances are, if you do, it shows through in at least one or two of your written works. If this is the case, you could win $200 dollars and a shiny new line on your resume by submitting to win the Allen Miller Memorial Award for Writing on the Environment.

This award is established to ensure that writing on the environment will be honored at Western Kentucky University, and it will keep alive the memory of Alan Miller and his outstanding contributions to WKU.

Last year, when I heard about this award, I thought “I haven’t written about the environment lately” and shrugged it off. Finally, after further encouragement just before the deadline, I looked through my works and did in fact find that one of my papers met the (somewhat loose) criteria for submission. I submitted, and I won!

Now, I hope to be your encouragement to look through your archives and find out if anything you’ve written meets any one of these criteria in some way:

  • Emphasizes environmental issues
  • Exposes the presence of human beings and their role/impact in nature
  • Supports agrarianism—promoting rural societies, the support of agricultural groups, and the significance of the farmer
  • Addresses the current state of the environment and how it can be improved, be it locally, nationally, or globally
  • Discusses the relationships that exist in conservation and spirituality in the human/non-human world
  • Offers a criticism of pro-industrial development and the damage of nature
  • Promotes strategies in maintaining environmental sustainability

View the full flyer for more.

Found something that works? Great! Submit it in CH 135 before or on April 14, 2017.

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Choosing Courses Just Got Easier

Registration is coming April 10th and that means waking up very early to get the classes we want. Unless we want to make some big decisions while still half asleep, we have to decide now which classes to take in the fall.

Don’t worry, research on the matter doesn’t have to be as intimidating as Henry Hardin:

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For instance, we at First Floor Cherry have discovered that there is a brand new class available in the fall taught by Dr. Jerod Hollyfield. The course, called Postcolonial Studies, promises to be worthwhile. From the syllabus:

“Given WKU’s focus on international reach and the increased importance of understanding the globalized economy and culture, a Postcolonial Studies course is a vital addition to our department’s already dynamic curriculum. Postcolonial Studies is an ideal framework to understanding many of the issues that are most pressing in the world today from the Israeli/Palestine conflict and War on Terror to immigration and Puerto Rican statehood. One of the primary teaching challenges I’ve faced in recent years is the rising popularity of internet literary theory, those “ism” words that are often part of cultural conversations but usually misused and misunderstood. Courses like this new offering will open opportunities for students to really grapple with these complicated concepts and apply them to their own identities.”

Whether you want to sharpen your cultural awareness in Postcolonial Studies or pick up that needed survey course, the English department has you covered.

Stop by CH 135 to pick up the Selected English Department Course Descriptions booklet or view a copy now. Selected, of course, means that not all classes are included in the booklet, but if you want additional information on an upper-level course before taking the plunge, chances are it’s in there.

Good luck with registration FirstFloorCherry-ans!



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Come to the PW Club Meeting!

pw_clubThe second monthly meeting of the Professional Writing Club will take place next week on Tuesday, March 28th at 4:30 p.m. in Cherry Hall 124.

Come and get some pointers on how to prepare for job searches, from the very beginning search all the way through to the interview process.  You can also learn how to make that resume immaculate, which is a huge bonus.


(So this is a win-win if you ask me.)


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Spring means Goldenrod!

Goldenrod– more than an allergy-inducing plant or the state flower of Kentucky– is also the English Club’s yearly poetry festival. Goldenrod is a chance for you to show off your stuff and to learn from other poets.

Goldenrod 2016 Finalists

2016 Finalists

All students are welcome to submit their own original works of poetry. The top ten poets participate in a private workshop with a visiting poet, who also gives a reading during the Festival.

Last year’s poet was Gary McDowell, who we conducted a full-length interview with.

The year before that, the visiting poet was Silas House who was present via Skype.

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Students may submit up to five poems of no more than 150 lines before March 31, 2017. After submissions are turned in, the English club will narrow the poems down to ten finalists. The poems will then be submitted to a guest poet for final judging. The guest poet provides all ten finalists with a workshop and focuses specifically on their submitted works.

Senior Sara Ann Alexander has been a finalist twice and has this to say:

“It helped me get through the ‘imposter syndrome.’ First, getting to hear from artists who are experts in a craft I admire– a craft I love to read, write, and study– was immense. Knowing I was afforded the opportunity  because of the selection from a jury of my peers, who I somehow resonated with about such personal topics, also helped me connect to my WKU writing community.”

The main event will take place on April 17, 2017, with more details forthcoming.

The Goldenrod Poetry Festival is hosted by the English Club and questions can be directed to their email.

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Free Screening and Q/A Session for “An Uncommon Grace”

We all love movies. It’s ingrained in our very nature as Americans–nay, humans. So when one finds out that there is an opportunity for a free screening of a movie, one wouldn’t typically ask too many questions before they’re there, enjoying the show.

Or is that just me? Either way.

An Uncommon Grace is a movie currently airing on the Hallmark channel. It was recently filmed in the nearby rural counties we all know and love, Hart and Barren. See this film at a free public screening next week at the Historic Plaza Theatre.


The public screening will be on Saturday, March 25, at 4 p.m. But anyone who’s serious about life should come beforehand for the discussion and Q/A panel at 2 p.m. with some of those involved in the making of the film. It will be hosted by WKU’s very own Amy Bingham DeCesare!

We all need a break from our classwork. Yes, even the week after Spring Break. Is a week really enough?

There are not many ways you can go wrong with choosing to enjoy your Saturday night at the Historic Plaza Theatre.

Watch a trailer for the film here.

Follow First Floor Cherry for more info on upcoming film events!

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Try a Career on for Size: WKU English’s Unique Internship Program

In an article  written to help English majors find a job, Paul Corrigan emphasizes that internships are extremely valuable, and that, surprisingly, they are very hard for English majors to acquire. Not because we lack skills, but because most English departments across the country do not feature a “built-in” internship program. Corrigan says,

Internships offer a vital advantage on the job market. They give you real world work experience—an essential qualification. They help you make connections with people who might put in a good word for you or who might pass along to you opportunities or information about jobs. Also, internships allow you to explore whether you even want to work in a particular field. Finding out whether something is or is not for you can be of tremendous value. Finally, according to one survey, employers rate internships as the most important part of a resume, even over what you majored in or what your GPA is.

Lucky for us FirstFloorCherry-dwellers,  we do have the major advantage of a built-in internship program. Not only are internships accessible, they are quite diverse, ranging from teaching assistant to print and digital media design to, you guessed it, FirstFloorCherry blogger, and more.

If you have somewhere you want to intern that isn’t listed, no problem. The application allows for self-placement upon approval.

And Corrigan is right: in my last two interviews, the only thing they were interested in was my internship experience. I tried to talk about my skills in creating newsletters, they wanted to hear more about my social media experience; I tried to talk about my ability to edit, they wanted to know if and how long I had worked in a ‘real-world’ setting.

henry intern

Don’t panic, though, if you haven’t taken any internships. All you need is one semester to earn course credit by trying on a career. Applications are due by March 27, 2017 so that everything is nice and prepared by the time the fall semester starts.

Spend a couple hours over spring break filling out the application and have something to talk to employers about for years to come. Your future you will thank you.

Read about the internship experience in the department’s most recent internship profile on Kalyn Johnson.

Questions can be directed to Dr. Angela Jones at angela.jones@wku.edu if they aren’t answered by the department’s webpage.

Follow FirstFloorCherry for more unique opportunities!

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