Blog on hiatus!

Hello friends,

As the semester draws to a close and summer approaches, our blog will officially enter a hiatus state until fall 2018. Although this means we will no longer offer content on a consistent weekly schedule, the blog will still be open to rolling submissions by our 2017-2018 staff through the duration of the summer. Keep an eye out!

Additionally, be sure to check out our latest print publication (Hothouse‘s decennial issue!), available in digital format here. We also have free copies available to UT students in Brad Humphries’ office, PAR 114.

Thank you for all your support this past year! We hope you’ve enjoying reading our posts as much as we’ve enjoyed writing them. Remember that you can easily access our archived posts by looking through specific category tags on the right-hand side of our blog. Or, if you’re looking for pieces by one particular author, you can type[firstname]-[lastname] in the search bar. Happy reading!


Interview with John Morán Gonzáles

Written by Guadalupe Rodriguez

Texas land is huge—with approximately 28 million people, the faces of Texas are colorful, and filled with different experiences. From rich stories of black and Latino people, to the stories of Native Americans, UT’s English Department attempts to account for some of the faces of Texas and beyond.

One colorful face from Texas that is also an advocate for these stories is Professor John Morán Gonzáles. His unique story follows a nontraditional English pathway. Initially a pre-med and English double major, he chose English for graduate school instead of medical school.

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Queer Indigenous Poet Tommy Pico’s Breaks the Boundaries of Poetry

Written by Jeff Rose

The work of queer and indigenous poet Tommy Pico fangirls over the songs of Amy Winehouse in one stanza, claps  back at gay men in the next, and then ruminates over Native American microaggressions. His work delves into his identity and experiences as a gay Kumeyaay man originally from the Viejas Indian Reservation but living in New York. Experimental, unique, and inspiring, Pico’s epic poetry speaks for his Native American people and for queer experiences.

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An English Major in England

Written by Kendall Talbot

My mother likes to say I was born in the wrong country. I prefer tea over coffee (with milk and sugar, please), and I talk about the royal family as if they were my own (my invitation to Harry and Meghan’s wedding must have gotten lost in the mail). I cherish my well-worn copies of Jane Austen’s novels, as well as the multitude of BBC products they inspired (the Mr. Darcy Lake Scene™ changed my life). I adore gloomy weather (especially when it’s raining), and I have been in love with Hugh Grant since the age of twelve (even though I now know he’s old enough to be my father). Above all, however, I have always dreamed of studying literature at Oxford. I used to think that was my way into England—going to school there.

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Reading Motivation and Where to Find It

Written by Madalyn Campbell

In general, humans respond well to validation. Do something and get a reward, any reward. Is the simple reward of a job well done enough? For some people that is plenty, but for others there has to be something more to doing a task. How do we make ourselves read in this world where a million other things are happening? You could use your ride on the bus to read a few pages or you could get on social media and get a few “likes” on your status. There are no thumbs up for reading, no one to tell you “good job.” The reward of reading those few pages is the few pages themselves. But, if that isn’t enough for you, what do you do? Does reading just fall by the wayside forever in favor of other things?

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6 Poems to Read Post-Graduation

Written by Angie Carrera

As this graduation season quickly approaches, we must begin to contemplate life after, and the terror that is adulthood. Our experiences begin to diverge, and we begin to encounter things that we must face alone. Though we confront what’s next by ourselves, this does not mean that we are the first to experience these things. Here are six poems that speak to these varying experiences and might offer some insight on how to navigate them.

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2018: the Year of Short-Story Vending Machines

Written by Morgan Southworth

In 2015, there were only a few machines in France that produced short stories at the press of a button. Today, there are copies of these machines around the world, with thirty in the United States alone.

The concept is simple: Short Edition, a French publishing company, began creating machines that print short stories you could read on the go. These machines are located in public places like hotels, museums, train stations, etc. A short story—varying from one to three to five minutes in length—is printed from an online database of more than 100,000 submissions chosen from various writing contests and picked by Short Edition’s judges. These stories are printed on a long piece of paper resembling a receipt, and the stories printed are chosen at random. You won’t know what kind of story you have until you read it. The condensed length makes these stories very accessible to non-readers or to those in a rush. Even if the story does not contain a plot or theme you are normally fond of, the stories are easily digestible and will keep you entertained while you wait for the bus or take a quick break before continuing your errands. The next story you print is just as likely to be up your particular genre-loving alley as not, so there’s no reason not to come back for more.

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Could Vandalizng Books Make You a More Authentic Reader?

Written by Caitlin Smith

Earlier this month, Georgia Grainger, an employee of Dundee, Scotland’s Charleston Library, found herself in the middle of a literary mystery. A patron came to her with an odd question: why did all of the seventh pages in the books she had been checking out have the seven underlined? Turns out the answer is pretty simple: elderly library patrons keep track of the books they’ve read with small markings, so they don’t wind up with the same book a second time.

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Sexual Assault Scandal Spurs Head of Nobel Selection Committee to Resign

Written by Grace Mappes

The Swedish Academy is one of the most prestigious literary institutions in the world. Per the terms of Alfred Nobel’s will, the eighteen-member academy votes on the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in a secret ballot every year. But this year, in the wake of the #MeToo scandals, sexual assault allegations threaten to tear this centuries-old institution apart.

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