Gregory Wolfe to Read at Elliot Bay Books

November 30th, 2015 § 0

Gregory Wolfe, English Department Editor-in-Residence, will read from his new book, The Operation of Grace, which collects a decade’s worth of insightful essays first published in the pages of Image, a journal of spirituality and the arts.

Saturday, December 5, 7:00 p.m.
Elliot Bay Book Company

This reading is free and open to the public.

About The Operation of Grace: Wolfe’s explorations are located in the sometimes fraught, always fruitful intersection of art and faith—with a profound openness to divine mystery. “Mystery lies in the borderland between the knowable and the unknowable,” Wolfe writes. Whether his subject is ancient cave painting, the writing of Samuel Johnson, Andrei Tarkovsky’s filmography, or childhood asthma, he strides toward this “borderland” and shows us it is teeming with life.

The Operation of Grace represents a decade of Wolfe’s gentle insistence that art and religion offer illuminating analogies to one another: art deepens faith through the empathetic reach of the imagination and faith anchors art in a vision beyond the artist’s ego. This volume demonstrates once again why novelist Ron Hansen has spoken of Wolfe as “one of the most incisive and persuasive voices of our generation.”

Heading Towards Thanksgiving Break

November 19th, 2015 § 0

Week Eight of autumn quarter is wrapping up, and in the English Department students and instructors alike are heading into the final push of the term. Fall quarter is a curious creature because the winter holidays begin before the term actually ends. We may be ready for a holiday break all right, exhausted as we all are by the pace of the quarter system. But the holidays come too early nevertheless, because work—and sometimes the most important work of the quarter—still needs to be done.

We’re talking here about the intrusion, into the tail-end of autumn quarter, of Thanksgiving, which happens just before the big, final push of the quarter: the concluding week of classes right after the holiday, then final exams the following Monday through Wednesday.

This seasonal mini-break can provide time for everyone to catch a breath and some extra time for completing assignments and papers (writing them or grading them) and to celebrate briefly with family and friends before the onslaught of final exams. But Thanksgiving break can also put us in the holiday mood long before we should be—that is, if we want to finish the quarter without the distraction of a holiday warmth and excitement that somehow feels un-earned by the satisfying completion of yet another quarter.

And here is what is truly curious about this odd rhythm of fall quarter. A holiday so central to our acknowledgment of Providence’s work in our lives tugs us toward gratitude at the same time as, in the back of our minds and hearts, we feel reluctant to give ourselves fully over to it, for all the above reasons. It’s as if, being good sons and daughters of the Pilgrims whose tentative beginnings on this continent we celebrate on Thanksgiving, we must hold back on our acceptance of grace because we may not feel totally entitled to it. Not yet. There’s more work to be done to make us worthy, to allow us rest.

How can we acknowledge fully the gifts of grace while also persevering in our academic expression of what powers these gifts have stirred within us? Maybe Thanksgiving’s quirky intrusion into our academic lives can teach us to acknowledge a well-provided grace that comes un-earned, that cannot be earned, and simply to keep going. We’re allowed to catch a breath when we can, then rest when we can rest.

Internships Available at Seattle Met Magazine

November 14th, 2015 § 0

From Darren Davis, Associate Editor of Seattle Met magazine:

“I’m looking for budding journalists for Seattle Met’s internship program!

“We are currently hiring for our winter/spring and summer terms (internships start in Feb and June, respectively). School credit is available for students who need an immersive internship in a professional setting to fulfill an academic requirement. Recent graduates are also eligible for the internship.

“I look for the following in applicants: independent, quick learners with great writing skills, detail orientation, prior office work experience, references who can speak to writing skills and conscientiousness/level of detail, strong GPA and extracurriculars, and good organization skills.”

The internship listing is online at

Dr. Peter Moe Appointed Director of Campus Writing

November 12th, 2015 § 0

Peter Moe is SPU’s new Director of Campus Writing. Dr. Moe will oversee SPU’s new first-year writing curriculum (to be implemented in the fall of 2016), run our Writing Center, and help professors improve how they teach writing in course across the university, particularly those that are writing-intensive, or “W” courses.

Born and raised in Washington State, Dr. Moe has just finished doctoral work at the University of Pittsburgh. “I wanted to return to the Northwest, to its whales, volcanoes, waters, and forests,” he says. “Seattle Pacific University fits the bill geographically,” but its attractions for Dr. Moe go well beyond it being simply a place to work back home. A person keen to read and write on many topics, Dr. Moe chose to work at SPU because, he says, “SPU gives me space to follow these varied research interests.”

“That sounds obvious; it’d be expected that an English professor write and read regularly,” adds Dr. Moe. But running a writing program is a demanding job. So, he insists, “it’s not a matter of having time, but of making time” to read and write, “and it’s also not only a matter of reading fueling writing, but of my reading and writing in tandem nourishing my work in the classroom.”

The English Department is happy to welcome Dr. Moe to SPU.

South Africa Study Abroad Info Session

November 6th, 2015 § 0

The next info session on the English Department’s South Africa Study Abroad trip, led by Dr. Kimberly Segall, takes place Tuesday, December 1st from 12:30-1:30 in Marston-Watson 253.

See the earlier post on this trip for specifics–coursework, credits, and costs.

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