The English Department proudly supports a variety of journals.
Digital Defoe is an open access, peer-reviewed online journal in which scholars and educators of eighteenth-century culture can share their work in multimedia as well as showcase new teaching methods, works in progress, and student voices. This cultural studies journal focuses on the works of early eighteenth-century author Daniel Defoe, perhaps most well known as the author of Robinson Crusoe but also an innovator of the novel, prolific poet, political pamphleteer, and even secret agent. The journal also welcomes submissions on any author or aspect of late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century culture.
Digital Defoe strives to meet four goals: to raise the bar for online educational content in history and literary studies with high quality, peer-reviewed, free access scholarly work; to bring student voices into the conversation with experts in the field; to emphasize the multicultural, global interests at stake in studying this period; and to provide a place to showcase as well as critique multimodal scholarship in the field. The journal accepts textual articles as well as multimodal material for its themed and open issues.
Euphemism is an online literary journal edited by undergraduate students at Illinois State University. They accept innovative poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and experimental forms from ISU students and from any and all writers who send submissions.
Spoon River Poetry Review (SRPR)
Contrary to popular belief, SRPR is not associated with Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology, but was titled after the river in central Illinois that was itself purportedly named for the freshwater mussel shells used by the region’s Native Americans and early colonists as eating utensils—as spoons. Today, SRPR revises its long-standing fascination with regionalism by celebrating a poetics of emplacement: writing that reveals the borders of our comfort zones as sites of connection rather than irreconcilable difference.
In this spirit, each biannual issue of SRPR features a chapbook-length collection of poems by a featured poet with an Illinois connection, as well as a robust variety of outstanding poems from across the nation and world that experiment with and sometimes cut the moorings by which we feel tethered to the known. Additional features in every issue of SRPR include “The SRPR Interview,” an in-depth conversation with our featured poet, as well as “The SRPR Review Essay,” a long analytical article by an established poet-critic on new books of contemporary poems. Poets recently published or forthcoming in SRPR include Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Ewa Chrusciel, Joshua Corey, Joanne Diaz, Arielle Greenberg, Michael Joyce, Edward Hirsch, Joanne Kyger, James Longenbach, Shane McCrae, Jamaal May, Hoa Nguyen, Dzvinia Orlowsky, Danielle Pafunda, Kristin Prevallet, Kit Robinson, Andrew Schelling, Jean Valentine, and Rachel Zucker, among many others.
Every winter issue of SRPR also features the winners of our annual Editors’ Prize contest ($1000 first place; $100 two runners up; 3-5 Honorable Mentions). Recent judges include David Baker, C.S. Giscombe, and Jeanne Marie Beaumont. Please see website for recent winners and guidelines.
Illinois English Bulletin
The Illinois English Bulletin is the oldest English publication in the state of Illinois beginning its publication in 1913, shortly after the Illinois Association of Teachers of English was founded.
The Illinois English Bulletin is the oldest English publication in the state of Illinois. It began publication in 1913, shortly after IATE was founded. The Bulletin is published three times a year and provides an outlet for several kinds of writing.
The winter issue features winning prose and poetry written by students in the state of Illinois. Teachers submitting student work must be IATE members and must verify that the work has been done by the students.
The spring issue includes writing from presenters at the fall IATE conference but also includes submissions from other writers from across the state and the nation.
The fall issue contains miscellaneous content but may include a particular theme or work that is guest edited.
Essay submissions relating to the teaching of language, literature, and writing from pre-kindergarten through college are always welcome.
For more information about the Illinois English Bulletin visit the IATE website, or please contact the journal’s editor:
Illinois State University
Campus Box 4240-English
Normal, IL 61790-4240
Phone: (309) 438-3667
Fax: (309) 438-5414
Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora
Founded in 1975, Obsidian supports—through publication and critical inquiry—the contemporary poetry, fiction, drama/performance, visual and media art of Africans globally. Since its inception, Obsidian has featured a range of acclaimed writers and critics including Elizabeth Alexander Houston A. Baker, Abena John Brown, Octavia Butler, Wanda Coleman, Thadious Davis, Melvin Dixon, Gerald Early, C.S. Giscombe, Terrance Hayes, Essex Hemphill, Gayl Jones, Yusef Komunyakaa, Brenda Marie Osbey, Claudia Rankine, Jerry Ward, and Gloria Wade Gayles among others. Recognized by the National Endowment of the Arts as one of the premier journals dedicated to Africa and African Diaspora Literatures, Obsidian is published biannually in print and online.
In 1975 Alvin Aubert founded Obsidian at SUNY (Fredonia) under the name Obsidian: Black Literature. Initially funded by Aubert and the support of individual contributors, over the following decades Obsidian would be published and supported by the resources of several universities. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, the journal was published by Wayne State University in Detroit under the name Obsidian II: Black Literature in Review. In 1985, Gerald Barrax took Obsidian II to North Carolina State University. Whilst there, Afaa Michael Weaver helped to transform the journal from Obsidian II to Obsidian III: Literature in the African Diaspora. Other editors emeriti during Obsidian’s tenure at NCSU include Doris Laryea, Joyce Pettis, Thomas Lisk, and Sheila Smith McKoy. In the fall of 2014, current editor Duriel E. Harris initiated the successful transfer of Obsidian to the Publications Unit at Illinois State University. With the publication of the spring 2015 issue dedicated to the work of Jeffery Renard Allen, Obsidian celebrates over 40 years of continuous publication and exhibits a new subtitle, Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora.
For more information, visit the Obsidian website.
Polyglossia is an English Studies research journal edited and judged by members of the Lambda Delta (ISU) chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society. All English majors and minors are welcome to submit essays. Polyglossia is published twice a year. The Fall issue features essays written by undergraduate students, and the Spring issue features essays written by graduate students.
The first undergraduate volume of Polyglossia was published in Fall 1997; the first graduate volume in Spring 2006. The title of the journal comes from a quotation by the Russian theorist M.M. Bakhtin, “The world becomes polyglot, once and for all and irreversibly. . . Languages throw light on each other: one language can, after all, see itself only in the light of another language.”
Sinclair Lewis Society Newsletter
The Sinclair Lewis Society Newsletter is published twice a year with help from the Publications Unit of the English Department. Each issue of the newsletter covers many topics including scholarly articles on Lewis’s novels and short stories, information on how to teach Lewis’s works, and interviews with Lewis scholars, including most recently Richard Lingeman, author of the new biography Sinclair Lewis: Rebel From Main Street.
Several newsletter departments appear in most issues, including Sinclair Lewis Notes, Sauk Centre News, Web Notes, and Collector’s Corner.
The IATE Newsletter is published twice each year, arriving in members’ mailboxes in August and March. In addition to providing information about the annual conference, the Newsletter includes a number of standard informational items, including messages from the IATE president and executive secretary; news from the IATE districts; calls for papers; and announcements.
Also included in each issue are member-generated features on topics of interest to English/Language Arts teachers in the state of Illinois. Especially welcome are short (up to 1200 words) essays and reflections on innovative approaches to teaching English/Language Arts and innovative uses of technology in the English/Language Arts classroom.
Finally, the Newsletter strives to recognize IATE members who have earned teaching-related awards, and we ask IATE members to notify us when they and/or their IATE-member colleagues are honored in this way.
The submission of short essays devoted to classroom strategies and experiences and/or the use of technology in the English/Language Arts classroom is always welcome. Send submissions or inquiries to Claire Lamonica.