Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Peter Pietrangelo of Sault Ste. Marie presented a research paper at the 2010 John Burroughs Nature Writing Conference and Seminar held during the summer at the State University of New York in Oneonta. The conference, "Old Lessons for a New Millennium: Nature Writing and Environmentalism in the 21st Century," focused on the work of writers who contributed to the early conservation movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the work of contemporary writers who are exerting an influence on the development of early 21st century environmentalism. Read more

Peter Pietrangelo ('10)
Liberal Studies, concentrations in both English and professional communication

Creative Writing

Be Creative!

An intimate program with enthusiastic faculty, the Creative Writing Program gives undergraduate students opportunities to get publishing experience before graduation. Unlike larger programs where your work may be lost in large workshop classes, our faculty are excited to work one-on-one with undergraduate students. To encourage innovation and experimentation as students develop their voices, all majors complete coursework in prose, poetry, and performance writing. A junior course lets students refine their voices and practice their craft in their preferred genre in a class where they will get feedback from students of multiple genres. Seniors take the Creative Writing Portfolio course, a capstone class in which students write a unified collection of publication-ready work in their preferred genre, working with the instructor of their choice on an independent study basis.

The department that once worked with the Unicorn Hunters to publish the Woods-Runner now provides editing and publishing opportunities for undergraduate English literature and creative writing students. Competitive internships are available for editors and readers in poetry and fiction through Border Crossing, the program's teaching journal, which occasionally publishes the very best student work alongside that of emerging and established writers. Students may also work on the Creative Works Collective, an experimental zine written, edited, and published monthly by the English Club. Every year, the English Department holds the Osborn Poetry Contest and the Fiction Short Story Contest. Submissions are due in the spring, with the winners announced at the end of the year.

Visiting Novelist

Jaimy Gordon

A 2010 National Book Award winner for her novel Lord of Misrule, Jaimy Gordon, talks shop with Lake Superior State University creative writing students on Feb. 20 in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Gordon spoke to the class about various aspects of the writing process. Her visit to LSSU culminated with an evening reading of her work and a reception that kicked off Lake State's Visiting Writers Series, set to bring highly acclaimed literary authors and poets to the campus. Newly hired English professor and novelist Janice Repka coordinated the visit.

Comedic Playwright!

Four Mondays

Michael D. Nelson of St. John's, Mich. wrote the "Four Mondays" to combine his two minor fields of study, creative writing and professional communication, with his bachelor's degree in liberal studies. He is using the production as his senior project.

LSSU Communication Prof. Gary Balfantz, Nelson's advisor, helped him develop the idea of writing the play, while LSSU Creative Writing Prof. Julie Barbour guided Nelson with his writing.

Nelson said that writing a play has been a drastic change of pace, since he is accustomed to writing short stories, mostly.

"Coming up with the idea wasn't easy. It took a long trip home to figure it out," he said.

Being a fan of comedic productions, he decided to write a story that revolves around him and a few friends later in life.

"The majority of the play takes place in a diner where the four friends try to grasp the adulthood aspect of growing up while talking about the impossible nature of women, life and the universe," he added. "They spend their Monday mornings drinking coffee, swapping outrageous ideas, and bantering back and forth with their favorite waitress, who is usually less than happy to see them."

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Jessica Hirt

"One of my favorite things about LSSU is its size. The classrooms, especially as you get to the upper levels, get smaller, so you not only have a chance to discuss your ideas in an honest, supportive manner, but you also get to know your professors and classmates. The upper level courses really allow you to focus on what you love, and the small class size allows you to have time to share and to discuss your ideas." [ more ]

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