Spring into Writing Contest for Mount Students

The deadline is Friday, April 23 to submit your writing to the 11th Annual Creative Writing contest at the Mount. Cash prizes!

Poetry submissions may be up to 25 lines and prose (fiction or creative non-fiction) up to 750 words. You can submit up to 2 entries per category, each as a pdf or Word file, to writing@msvu.ca. The deadline is April 23, before midnight (Atlantic Time).

To ensure impartial judging, don’t put your name anywhere on the attached files. Please list the title of each piece you are submitting in the body of your email.

The contest is sponsored by the Mount’s Writing Initiatives Committee and the Mount Library.

Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe WordPress.com Blog

WordPress.com is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

Fall-Winter 2021-2022 Course Descriptions

Planning your schedule for next Fall and Winter? Although registration is still a few weeks away, it’s never too early to make an appointment with an English faculty advisor and to select your English or Writing courses. Download the course booklet below for descriptions, times, instructors, and more, or go to the Course Guide webpage.

If you don’t have a faculty advisor, contact our administrative assistant, Tracy McDonald, at tracy.mcdonald@msvu.ca.

2021 Bad Poetry Reading

This highly anticipated annual event in the English Department is coming soon! On April 1st, join us for readings of bad poetry, all published, some by famous writers — even they can miss the mark!

April Fools’ Day

7 p.m.

RSVP Diane.Piccitto@msvu.ca by 29 March

Online platform will be announced.

All students, faculty, staff, and friends are welcome.

Michelle Russell qualifies for the Olympics!

Congratulations, Michelle! Former English student Michelle Russell (B.A. Honours 2020) qualified for the Olympics in the K-4 event in last week’s trials in Burnaby B.C. She’ll be heading to the Tokyo Games this summer.

To read more about Michelle’s paddling victories, you can check out the following stories:

“Six Canadian Sprint Paddlers Punch Ticket to Tokyo” by Canoe Kayak Canada, March 12, 2021.

Cheema’s Russell Qualifies for Tokyo Olympics after K-4 500m Win at Trials” by Glenn MacDonald, The Chronicle-Herald, March 14, 2021.

Fall River Paddler Wins Spot at Tokyo Olympics.” by Paul Palmeter, CBC News Nova Scotia, March 16, 2021.

2021 Honours Colloquium

English Honours student Darcy Eisan will be presenting his thesis research on

Thursday, March 18 at 4:30 p.m.

“A Drag Queen’s Best Friend: Queering the Iconography of Marilyn Monroe”

RSVP for the link to this annual department event by emailing Karen.Macfarlane@msvu.ca; subject line “colloquium.”

Students, friends, faculty, staff are all welcome.

Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference 2021

The AAUEC will be held virtually this year with an online Literary Festival on March 5th and 6th organized by Memorial University in Newfoundland. The Mount will be represented by five students who have been selected to present their creative and critical writing. The conference also features a keynote address on Friday night by author Maria Reva and a creative writing workshop on Saturday. Please download the program for more details and links to all the panels.

This conference is always a unique opportunity for English students from different Atlantic universities to get to know each other and to listen to each other’s work. This year’s virtual conference will make it easy to take some time this weekend to log on for some intellectual stimulation while supporting the following Mount presenters:

Saturday March 6

9:00 -10:30

Panel 1A: Stacey Blackburn, “Triple Consciousness-The Forced, Fractured Black Identity”

Panel 1B: Olivia Landry, “ghost girls never sleep”


Panel 2B: Sophia Godsoe, “God of Oblivion”


Panel 3A: Darcy Eisan, “‘Smashing China, Smashing ‘Voice’: The Chorus and Polyphony in Atwood and Woolf”


Panel 4A:

Jules Sabourin, “Subtler Wings: The Influence of French Symbolists of T.S. Eliot’s Early Poetry”

Julia Hines, “The Reciprocal Relationship and Peculiar Portraitures of Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein”

Download the full program with links to all of the panels here:

English Department Dramatic Reading: Lysistrata

 The English Department invites you to join us for a reading of the Classical Greek comedy Lysistrata by Aristophanes. This bawdy play explores love, war, and power. In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, the reading will take place Thursday, February 11 at 4:30 p.m. (online platform TBA). This is a casual event – no preparation or acting skills necessary, and electronic texts will be provided. You can also just come and listen. To RSVP or to sign up for a role, contact Dr. Diane Piccitto (diane.piccitto@msvu.ca) by February 8. All students, staff, administrators, and faculty are welcome.  

Thursday 11 February
4:30 p.m.

Link will be provided.
RSVP to diane.piccitto@msvu.ca

Congratulations to Dr. Diane Piccitto, recipient of the Early Career Research Award!

Dr. Diane Piccitto received the Mount’s Early Career Research Award at the November 1st Convocation, which you can watch in its entirety here.

Take a look at her dramatic “Research Minutes” video illustrating her research on William Blake and Romantic theatre:

You can also read more about Dr. Piccitto’s work in the following article, reblogged from the Mount’s website.

Posted: November 4, 2020. https://www.msvu.ca/dr-diane-piccitto-named-2020-recipient-of-the-msvu-early-career-research-award/

Dr. Diane Piccitto, Associate Professor in the Department of English at Mount Saint Vincent University, was awarded the Early Career Research Award at the Fall Convocation on Sunday, November 1st, 2020. The Early Career Research Award was established to recognize a faculty member at the beginning of their career who is pursuing exciting and innovative research in their field.

Dr. Piccitto’s research focusses on the poet and painter William Blake, on Romantic drama and on Victorian writers, specifically interrelations among identity, action, and performance in the Romantic period. In her own words, “I am exploring the representation of individual identity and collective identities in connection with transgression in works by Blake and other Romantic authors, such as Joanna Baillie and Lord Byron.” Dr. Piccitto is especially interested in “how the notion of transgression and its importance to an understanding of the self has the power to create socio-political change, as well as its implications for generic categories.”

After receiving her PhD in English in 2010 from the University of Western Ontario, Dr. Piccitto served as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. She served two terms as Lecturer and Associate Lecturer at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom before becoming a faculty member in the English Department at MSVU in 2015.

As a result of her research, she was invited to contribute an article on “Teaching Blake’s Illuminated Books Performatively, or How to Do (Dramatic) Things with Blake” in Teaching Romanticism XXVI: Drama, part 2, an online series on rethinking how to teach Romantic drama, published in Romantic Textualities in 2018.

Dr. Piccitto is no stranger to the world-class publisher Palgrave Macmillan Press. She published her first monograph in 2014, entitled Blake’s Drama, Theatre, Performance and Identity in the Illuminated Books, and in 2015, Dr. Piccitto co-edited a book entitled Romanticism, Rousseau, Switzerland: New Prospects, with the prestigious publisher. She has published four chapters in books, including one in 2016 with the distinguished press de Gruyter. Her most recent chapter publication (in 2018) in Beastly Blake was entitled “Apocalyptical visitations, heroism, and intersections of the human and the not human in Blake’s Milton.”  Dr. Piccitto’s most recent article publication, “Engaging Learners Through Experiential and High Impact Practices in Higher Education,” is a co-written report based on a presentation given by Dr. Piccitto and MSVU colleagues, Dr. Reina Green and Dr. Anna Smol, at the 2018 Atlantic Universities’ Teaching Showcase (AUTS). The article was recently published in the AUTS conference proceedings.

Currently, she is co-editing the Visual Life of Romantic Theatre 1770-1830, which will be published by the University of Michigan Press. Referee and colleague Dr. Anna Smol, Professor in the Department of English, reflects on the words of a reviewer of Dr. Piccitto’s co-edited volume of essays titled The Visual Life of Romantic Theatre, 1770-1830: “This will not just be a collection but a field-defining conversation.” Additionally, Dr. Piccitto is currently writing the following chapter to be included in this co-edited collection: “Vision and Spectacle in Byron’s Cain and Blake’s The Ghost of Abel.”

Dr. Graham Fraser, Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of English had this to say about his colleague: “Diane Piccitto has already achieved international recognition as a Blake scholar. She has produced a voluminous body of scholarly work which would do justice to a much more senior scholar, and which includes books that leading scholars in her field believe ‘will change the way we think about Blake’ .”

Early this year, Dr. Piccitto co-presented with Dr. Geneviève Boulet a workshop at the MSVU Girls Conference. The workshop, titled “Cracking the Code,” showed the important connections between Math and English.

Dr. Piccitto has served on many university committees, including the University Senate. She is currently President of the MSVU Faculty Association. Dr. Piccitto’s work in creating a supportive and welcoming mechanism for reaching LGBTQ+ faculty and staff led to the organization of the first Mount employee contribution to the Halifax Pride parade. And together with other colleagues, she is delivering courses in Queer Studies at MSVU.

Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition, Dr. Piccitto!

Fall Convocation Highlights

You can watch the entire Virtual Convocation held last Sunday, November 1st, in the video below. This Convocation celebrated both Spring and Fall graduates. You can also find our look back over the last year in the English Department along with a list of our Spring graduates here, and our Fall graduates here.

Some highlights from this Convocation include Tess Spencer’s Valedictory speech and Dr. Diane Piccitto’s Early Career Research Award.

English Major Tess Spencer, Valedictorian
Dr. Diane Piccitto, Early Career Research Award

You’ll find the speech by Tess at 10:52 and the Research Award for Dr. Piccitto at 1:25:09 in the Convocation video:

Congratulations to everyone!