All posts by Casey Crane

SPC professor lectures, reads at the American University of Paris

Daniel Lawless, Professor of English at St. Petersburg College, recently spoke at The American University of Paris on the subject of founding and editing an online/print journal.

Lawless is the creator and editor of Plume: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry. Now in its third year, Plume has garnered nation and international praise for its elegant design and roster of contributors, the latter including a veritable Who’s Who of modern poets, from Rae Armantrout to Rachel Zucker – which is to say, Pulitzer, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle, Forward, Booker, Lannan, and Ruth Lilly Prize/Award winners – and former and current Poets Laureate of the U.S. and the U.K.

Plume presents 12 poems online together with a longer Featured Selection each month, as well as cover art from the likes of Mark Strand and Laurie Simmons. Its annual print anthology comprises new work from a wide range of poets and has been adopted as a text in creative writing and MFA programs in a number of major U.S. universities.

Also while in Paris, Lawless participated in a reading organized by professor and poet Jeffrey Greene of The American University of Paris entitled An Evening Celebrating The Plume Anthology of Poetry, with Daniel Lawless (Editor), Marilyn Hacker, Claire Malroux, Emmanuel Moses, and Molly Lou Freeman.

Perhaps these names are unfamiliar to you? They are, in fact, luminaries of the contemporary poetry world. For example, Hacker is simply the most renowned translator of Francophone poetry working today. And Claire Malroux: all but beatified in France and the U.S. The same could be said of the much celebrated, multi-lingual Moses, and Freeman. The readings were bi-lingual, with Marilyn Hacker reading the work of each poet in English (to accommodate, in her words, some audience members’ “imperfect” French) or in some cases German or Italian, before the poets read from their originals. Mr. Lawless read from his own work.

In all, it was a fine excursion for all concerned. With its connection to Plume, and Lawless’s advocacy and promotion at such events (Plume readings have been held across the U.S. as well, in Chicago, Seattle, New York City, New Orleans and Cambridge), St. Petersburg College is well on its way to becoming a center of excellence in contemporary poetry, known for its writing program and its forward-thinking commitment to the advancement and publication of the best work by the best poets available today.

Don’t forget: the SPC/Plume Poetry Series continues with its third annual event at the Palladium in March 2015, with Richard Blanco, whom you might remember from his electrifying reading at a President Obama’s second inauguration. Blanco, as Billy Collins and Tess Gallagher/Larry Matsuda did before him, also will read and hold student Q&A sessions March 23-24 at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs and Clearwater campuses.

Bryson wins Best First Book award for ‘Feeling Lucky’

Cover of SPC faculty member Kathy Bryson's new book "Feeling Lucky."

First Coast Romance Writers logo for NERFACongratulations to Kathy Bryson, a communications adjunct at SPC’s Seminole Campus. Her first book, Feeling Lucky, received the 2014 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award – Best First Book from the First Coast Romance Writers Chapter 108 of the Romance Writers of America.

“This is a great affirmation for a lot of hard work,” said Bryson, who has been teaching at SPC since January 2009. “Even with all my training, writing a book was a whole new learning experience.

Feeling Lucky is a change from the usual paranormal romances because the central figure is a leprechaun, not a werewolf or a vampire. If you go back far enough in the mythology, they’re heroes, not little green men,” she said.

Published in June 2013, Feeling Lucky was her first of two books. Her newest release, Restless Spirits, was published June 16.

“Both of my books, Feeling Lucky and Restless Spirits, share the same background in fairy folklore, though each can be read independently,” Bryson said. “Shakespeare may have brought a long-standing feud to light in 1590-something with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but it’s heating up in the modern-day Midwest!”

Bryson received her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, a master’s degree in mass communications from San Jose State University in California, and a master’s degree in humanities from California State University at Dominguez Hills.

Sign Language Interpretation program has largest intern class ever

Eighteen students in the St. Petersburg College Sign Language Interpretation program are working in the community as interns in the Fall semester, the largest number since the program began more than 20 years ago.

Dedicated, certified faculty help prepare students in the program for this 240-hour, four-credit internship course, which is the culmination of one of the most respected training programs in the country.

The training program, which began in 1992, provides students with sign language skills, an understanding of deaf culture, knowledge of and experience in an interpreter’s role.

The internship experience allows interpreting students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to a professional environment while they build and polish their skill sets.

“We are very proud of the growth of the Sign Language Interpretation program and excited about sending these interns into the community to represent the college” said Dean Martha Campbell.

Professor Carol Downing will lead the interns comprised of two classes totaling 18 students while nationally certified interpreters from Pinellas, Manatee, Pasco-Hernando, and Hillsborough County will mentor students at their internship sites.

If you represent a business that employs nationally certified interpreters and would like to participate in hosting an interpreting intern in future semesters, please contact Amy Apicerno at 727-341-3102 or