University of Mississippi

2013 Creative Writing Award Recipients Announced

Rachel Banka’s “The Dead-End” for the Evans Harrington Creative Writing Scholarship (Judge Melissa Ginsburg)

Jacob Donaldson’s “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” for the Ella Somerville Award in Poetry (Judge Ann Fisher-Wirth)

Vivian Lang’s “You and Henry, That One Time” for the Ella Somerville Award in Fiction (Judge Jack Pendarvis)

Kieran Lyons’s “Banyon” for the Bondurant Prize in Fiction (Judge Nic Brown)

Jessica Comola’s “Valentine” for the Bondurant Prize in Poetry (Judge Beth Spencer)

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Melissa Ginsburg signs Dear Weather Ghost at Off Square Books on April 24 at 5p.m.

safe_imageMelissa Ginsburg will sign her book of poems, Dear Weather Ghost, at Off Square Books on April 24 at 5:00p.m. and read at 5:30p.m.  See more here.

Authors Hannah and Ford Honored with Room in UM English Department

Second-floor Bondurant Hall lounge to be used for creative writing workshops, receptions and more.  See the full story here.RKJ_1939-G-300x168


Lindy Brady


Lindy Brady specializes in Old English, medieval Irish and Welsh, Old Norse, and Anglo-Latin languages and literatures. She teaches classes largely on Old and Middle English literature and the History of the English Language. Her research interests include multilingual and transcultural approaches to the Middle Ages, the role of the landscape in literature, and representations of identity in medieval texts. Her first book, Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England, is forthcoming from Manchester University Press (2017), and her current book project is a study of insular origin legends. She is editing an essay collection, Old English Tradition: Essays in Honor of J. R. Hall (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies) and has co-edited, with M. J. Toswell, an essay collection, Early English Poetic Culture and Meter: The Influence of G. R. Russom, forthcoming from Medieval Institute Publications (2016). She was a Text Technologies Fellow at Stanford University in June 2015 and the A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Medieval Studies in the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame for the 2015-2016 academic year. She also reviews scholarship for the “Poetry” section of the “Year’s Work in Old English Studies” for the Old English Newsletter.


  • Ph.D., University of Connecticut (2012)
  • M.A., Brown University (2008)
  • B.A., Brown University (2008)

Selected Publications:

  • “An Analogue to Wulf and Eadwacer in the Life of St. Bertellin of Stafford,” published in the Review of English Studies, January 2016: doi: 10.1093/res/hgv126
  • “Colonial Desire or Political Disengagement?: The Contested Landscape of Guthlac A,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 115 (2016): 61-78.
  • “St. Bertelme of Fécamp: St. Bertellin of Stafford by Another Name,” published in Notes & Queries, April 2016: doi: 10.1093/notesj/gjw085
  • “An Irish Sovereignty Motif in Laxdæla saga,” published in Scandinavian Studies 88 (2016): 60-76.
  • “Three Swords of Doomed Inheritance in Beowulf,” in Old English Tradition: Essays in Honor of J. R. Hall, edited collection in progress, under contract in the Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies Series with ACMRS, the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
  • “Boars and the Geats in Beowulf,” in Aspects of Early English Poetic Culture: Studies in Honour of Geoffrey R. Russom, co-edited with M. J. Toswell, forthcoming with Medieval Institute Publications (2016).
  • “The ‘Dark Welsh’ as Slaves and Slave Traders in Exeter Book Riddles 52 and 72,” English Studies 95 (2014): 235-55.
  • “Death and the Landscape of The Fortunes of Men,” Neophilologus 98 (2014): 325-36.
  • “Feminine Desire and Conditional Misogyny in Arthur and Gorlagon,” Arthuriana 24.3 (2014): 23-44.
  • “Apples on Willow Trees: a Metaphor for Grafting and Spiritual Succession in the Early Irish Saints’ Lives of Berach and Coemgen,” Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 31 (2012): 56-73.
  • “Antifeminist Tradition in Arthur and Gorlagon and the Quest to Understand Women,” Notes and Queries 59 (2012): 163-66.
  • “Booklet Ten of Peniarth 359: An Early Modern English Astrological Manual Encoded through Welsh Phonology,” Studia Celtica 45 (2011): 159-83.
  • “Echoes of Britons on a Fenland Frontier in the Old English Andreas,” The Review of English Studies 61 (2010): 669-89.

C136 Bondurant 

Steven Justice

imageSteven Justice moved to Ole Miss in 2013, after teaching for twenty-five years at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a medievalist, but writes and teaches about a long stretch of literary and intellectual history from late antiquity through early modernity; he is especially interested in the forms of thought that shape and differentiate cultural enterprises like literature and religious practice, and in the forms of self-reflection built into each of these. He has held major fellowships from the NEH, the University of California, the Princeton University Council of the Humanities, and the Stanford Humanities Center. His first book, Writing and Rebellion: England in 1381, won the Modern Language Association Prize for Best First Book in 1995.


  • 1985 Ph.D., Princeton University, English
  • 1980 B.A., Yale University, English

Teaching and Research Interests

  • Medieval European literary and intellectual history
  • criticism and theory

Recent publications

“Piers Plowman and Literary History.” In Cambridge Companion to Piers Plowman. Andrew Cole and Andrew Galloway, eds. Cambridge Uuniversity Press, forthcoming.

“Chaucer’s History-Effect.” In Answerable Style: Form, History, the Idea of the Literary in Late-Medieval England. Frank Grady and Andrew Galloway, eds. Ohio State University Press, 2013, 169-194.

“Eucharistic Miracle and Eucharistic Doubt.” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 42 (2012), 307-332.

“Preface to Fleming.” In Sacred and Profane in Chaucer and Medieval English Literature: Essays in Honour of John V. Fleming. Will Robbins and Robert Epstein, eds. University of Toronto Press, 2009, 205-20.

“Who Stole Robertson?” PMLA 124 (2009), 609-15.

“Literary History.” In Chaucer: Contemporary Appraoches. Susanna Fein and David Raybin, eds. Penn State University Press, 2009, 195-210

“Did the Middle Ages Believe in their Miracles?” Representations 103 (2008):1-29.

“Religious Dissent, Social Revolt, and ‘Ideology.’” In Christopher Dyer and Chris Wickham, eds. Rodney Hilton’s Middle Ages: Essays on his Historical Themes. Past and Present Supplement 1. Oxford University Press, 2007, 205-16.

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The Ecopoetry Anthology

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As the critic R. P. Blackmur said, poetry “adds to the stock of available reality.” In The Ecopoetry Anthology, editors Ann Fisher-Wirth and Laura-Gray Street present hundreds of poems that add to our reality about the natural world, its beauties and its degradations. This groundbreaking collection has the capacity to transform people’s lives aesthetically and politically. Poetry’s eloquent and ineffable power can work to enhance our understanding of the world beyond the human and lead us to act with more respect, humility, and stewardship toward the environment.

The poets collected here, of wide-ranging talents, backgrounds, and beliefs, speak in many voices to reinforce the most critical story of our time: that we must love and care for the planet and appreciate the integrated biological beauty that sustains us, or lose the only world we’ve got.


Shelf Awareness, Feb 11, 2013

Review: The Ecopoetry Anthology
The Ecopoetry Anthology by Ann Fisher-Wirth and Laura-Gray Street, editors (Trinity University Press, $24.95 paperback, 9781595341464, February 12, 2013)

What drew us to the magnet of your dying?…
Voyager, chief of the pelagic world,…
Master of the whale-roads,
let the white wings of the gulls
spread out their cover.|
You have become like us,
disgraced and mortal.
These powerful lines are from Stanley Kunitz’s “The Wellfleet Whale,” one of the many poems in Ann Fisher-Wirth and Laura-Gray Street’s rich and generous The Ecopoetry Anthology. Nature poetry has been around as long as poetry, Fisher-Wirth and Gray tell us, but, sometime around 1960, more people began to pay attention to an environment and nature in crisis–and poetry began to reflect this renewed attention.
“Poetry does not tamper with the world,” as William Carlos Williams wrote, “but moves it.” So here is an abundance of poems–praising songs, incantations, lists, elegies, rhapsodies, jeremiads–each in their very different ways bearing the power “to break through our dulled disregard, our carelessness, our despair, reawakening our sense of the vitality and beauty of nature.” All told, 320 poems by 208 poets–abundance indeed.
Part one presents poets, from Walt Whitman to Denise Levertov, who predate the environmental revolution. Next come 176 contemporaries, from A.R. Ammons to Robert Wrigley. It’s apropos that the first poem in this middle section is Ammons’s seminal piece, “Corson’s Inlet,” where he observes nature as he walks along his Jersey Shore dunes: “in nature there are few sharp lines: there are areas of/ primrose/ more or less dispersed.”
Fisher-Wirth and Gray have done a superb job of providing works by both well-known and lesser known poets. Alongside such luminaries as W.S. Merwin, Gary Snyder and Mary Oliver, one can discover beautiful and moving pieces by Patrick Lawler, Davis McCombs or Annie Boutelle. Some readers may be disappointed at the absence of a favorite poem, but most of the “great” nature pieces of the modern era are here, including Galway Kinnell’s overwhelming “The Bear,” Robert Bly’s moving prose poem “The Dead Seal” and Robert Hass’s mini-epic, “State of the Planet.” Hass also provides a wise introduction, noting that The Ecopoetry Anthology reveals the ways our “nature poetry developed toward an ecopoetics, toward the necessity of imagining a livable earth.” –Tom Lavoie
Shelf Talker: Here is bounty indeed–an innovative anthology drawing upon 150 years of American poetry about nature, animals and our precious environment.

2013 M.A. and Ph.D. Brochure

English_MA_PHD_brochure (1) (dragged)Click here to see our 2013 M.A./Ph.D Brochure.

Prospective graduate students, check out our 2013 M.A./Ph.D. Brochure

English_MA_PHD_brochure (1) (dragged)Click here to see our 2013 M.A./Ph.D Brochure.

Megan Abbott Selected as Grisham Writer-in-Residence

-1Crime fiction author Megan Abbott has been selected as the 2013-2014 Grisham Writer-in-Residence.  Click HERE for the full story.

Middlebrow Queer

415DVyRgB9L._AA160_by Jaime Harker

How could one write about gay life for the mainstream public in Cold War America? Many midcentury gay American writers, hampered by external and internal censors, never managed to do it. But Christopher Isherwood did, and what makes his accomplishment more remarkable is that while he was negotiating his identity as a gay writer, he was reinventing himself as an American one. Jaime Harker shows that Isherwood refashioned himself as an American writer following his emigration from England by immersing himself in the gay reading, writing, and publishing communities in Cold War America.

Drawing extensively on Isherwood’s archives, including manuscript drafts and unpublished correspondence with readers, publishers, and other writers, Middlebrow Queer demonstrates how Isherwood mainstreamed gay content for heterosexual readers in his postwar novels while also covertly writing for gay audiences and encouraging a symbiotic relationship between writer and reader. The result—in such novels as The World in the Evening, Down There on a Visit, A Single Man, and A Meeting by the River—was a complex, layered form of writing that Harker calls “middlebrow camp,” a mode that extended the boundaries of both gay and middlebrow fiction.

Weaving together biography, history, and literary criticism, Middlebrow Queer traces the continuous evolution of Isherwood’s simultaneously queer and American postwar authorial identity. In doing so, the book illuminates many aspects of Cold War America’s gay print cultures, from gay protest novels to “out” pulp fiction.