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The Printing Press is the English Department Newsletter. Its purpose is to inform majors and minors about programs and activities within the department. The Press will inform readers of activities and opportunities outside of Monmouth College. For any questions or submissions, contact or



 Ted Kooser: Poet Laureate

by Johnathan Skidmore

Since Ted Kooser is coming to visit Burlington on Saturday, January 21, the editors at The Printing Press decided that it would be worthwhile to examine this poet in a little more detail for those of you who are not very familiar with him or his work. Ted Kooser is currently the Poet Laureate of the United States. Originally elected in 2004, Kooser is currently serving his second term as Poet Laureate. The Poet Laureate, in the United States, is officially appointed by the Library of Congress as a result of their literary abilities. Their duties include things such as composing poetry for state occasions, writing government sponsored inscriptions, and other government endeavors. Becoming a poet laureate is a great honor that Kooser shares with such literary giants as Geofry Chaucer, John Skelton, Tennyson, and yes, even Wordsworth.

          Kooser's receipt of the title is not to be taken lightly, however, as the list of his other accomplishments is quite lengthy. Kooser has received two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the Pushcart Prize, the Stanley Kunitz Prize, the James Boatwright Prize, a Merit Award from the Nebraska Arts Council, and he is also the co-winner of the 2003 Award for Poetry from the Society of Midland Authors.

          Born in Ames, Iowa, in 1939, Kooser was granted his bachelor's degree from Iowa State University in 1962. Kooser then moved to Nebraska where he earned his master's degree at the University of Nebraska in 1968. As a poet, Kooser has written ten collections of poetry for which he has received several awards. Sure Signs, a collection written in 1980, received the Society of Midland Authors Prize for the best book of poetry by a midwestern writer; Winter Morning Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison, written in 2000, won the 2001 Nebraska Book Award for Poetry; and Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps, a book of essays written in 2002, was awarded the Nebraska Book Award for Nonfiction in 2003. The book was also chosen as the Best Book Written by a Midwestern Writer for 2002 by Friends of American Writers, and it won the Gold Award for Autobiography in ForeWord Magazines Book of the Year Awards.
          Aside from his poetic and literary exploits, Kooser has led an interesting life. After graduating from his master's program, Kooser became a businessman, rising to become the vice president of the Lincoln Benefit Life insurance company in Nebraska. Kooser has since then retired from this position and is now a visiting professor of English at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Here is a selection of some of Kooser's poetry for which he has received much applause:

"Flying at Night"

Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations.
Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies
like a snowflake falling on water. Below us,
some farmer, feeling the chill of that distant death,
snaps on his yard light, drawing his sheds and barn
back into the little system of his care.
All night, the cities, like shimmering novas,
tug with bright streets at lonely lights like his.

"Selecting a Reader"

First, I would have her be beautiful,
and walking carefully up on my poetry
at the loneliest moment of an afternoon,
her hair still damp at the neck
from washing it. She should be wearing
a raincoat, an old one, dirty
from not having money enough for the cleaners.
She will take out her glasses, and there
in the bookstore, she will thumb
over my poems, then put the book back
up on its shelf. She will say to herself,
"For that kind of money, I can get
my raincoat cleaned." And she will.

Poems courtesy of PoemHunter


The Importance of Procrastination and
the Senior Portfolio

by Jamie Jasmer

In preparation for this article I had been thinking about the survey question that the Printing Press would be asking its readers: “What is your academic New Year’s resolution?”  In my mind I had made a prediction as to how I felt most people would respond: better attention to detail, strive for better grades, and the infamous time management issue that all college students seem to have, eliminate procrastination.  Almost everyone who is or has been a student, aside from a select few, has made themselves intimately known with that grand beast.  Yet, no matter how horrible the consequences that may result from our responsibility flaw, most of us never learn the lesson and we keep walking hand in hand with this monster.  We have all heard the horror stories of what procrastination can lead to such as missed deadlines, major points taken off of a paper, and the dreaded complete re-write.  Instead of giving you another story about the possible events that can occur, I thought I would take the time to help you prepare for an English major requirement that will be easy to procrastinate on, but one that you really should not put off until the last minute – The Senior Portfolio. 

            Once you declare that you are English major, you will begin to hear about the Senior portfolio that will eventually be due early in the semester when you take Senior Seminar.  The requirements of the portfolio itself are highlighted in great detail on the English department website; however, I thought I would offer a condensed version of what it entails.    The portfolio itself is a compilation of works that you have produced throughout your college career and especially those concerning your experience as English major.  The portfolio should reflect what you consider to be your best and most complete work, while also showing the progression that you have made as a student at Monmouth College.  Another major requirement of the portfolio is the inclusion of the Education-In-Progress Reports (EIP).  These reports are annual, self-written evaluations of your performance as an English student for the previous academic year and a forecasting of goals that you would like to achieve in the next academic year.  The EIPs for each academic year have different requirements that are listed on the portfolio website so pay careful attention to that detail.  This completion and work of this project starts the moment you enter Monmouth College. Save all of your graded work so that it can be included in your portfolio because the portfolios are reviewed by your advisor every spring.  The contents of the portfolios should be placed in a one inch three-ringed binder that should be labeled with your name and will be stored in the Mellinger Learning Center so that you and faculty can reach your portfolio if needed. 

            It is very easy for a student to put off working on this project, but in reality the amount of work that the portfolio requires is minimal.  However, if you are not keeping up with it throughout your four years at Monmouth College it may be overwhelming when it comes time for it to be turned in. Take the time to put some effort into this assignment before the very last minute and get a head start your New Year’s resolution with this project.  Eliminate procrastination and start now!  Just like any other academic project, if you procrastinate until the very last minute and fail to complete the assignment there are sever and dire consequences – you may not graduate!  




  • Chad Simpson Monmouth College Alumni of 1998 and current guest lecturer at MC has recently received a  Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in the prose category. This is a highly competitive award, with only 8 recipients for prose throughout the state every two years.  These awards are given annually to Illinois artists of exceptional talent in recognition of their outstanding work and commitment within the arts. Awards are made based upon the quality of the works submitted and the evolving professional accomplishments of the applicant.  Following is a link to the Illinois Arts Council homepage to learn more about the organization.

  • Poet Laureate Ted Kooser will read in Burlington on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 8 PM at the Burlington Golf Club.  Professor Craig Watson has rented the last MC van and will be driving interested students and colleagues to the event.  The van will be leaving from the Student Center Plaza promptly at 6:50.  This event if free of charge.  Please contact Dr. Watson for more information regarding this event or to reserve your seat in the van.  Please respond promptly if you are going to be attending the event and need a spot in the van; there are only 12 seats. 

  • The week of February 12 - 18 will be the International Writing Centers Week.  More information highlighting this event will be included in the next issue of the Printing Press.  You can also contact Steve Price if you have any questions regarding the Writing Center. 

  • The tutoring hours at the Mellinger Learning Center have changed. There are updated schedules posted around campus and there is also an updated version available on this website.  Please note that certain hours have changed and a new Japanese tutoring session has also been added.  To find this information quickly, please click here.


By Ashley Nuzzo

One Side Green

One side green, one side red
Can someone decide my fate instead?
Should I forget the words you said
Somehow they just keep ringing in my head
You’ve said before I’ll change I swear
I told you another tear I can not bear
You said you’ll show me how much you care
I got caught again in a slippery snare
You proved me wrong for a time or so
I then believed I could never let you go
Then in an instant you snapped on me though
I finally realized that I have to say no
I can’t tell you I’m not in pain
I can tell you I have more to gain
I have to find the rainbow after the rain
I have to escape the rain, before I go insane.
You keep asking me to stay
You plead for one more day
You tell me we’ll find a way
You always have something to say
I want to believe you
I honestly do.
I wish we could start anew
I think your apologies are overdue 


My Prince

Some day my prince will come,
With bright sparkling eyes,
He'll be different from other guys.
He'll be pure of heart, right from the start.
A polished personality, almost beyond reality
My friends will adore him,
He'll capture my family on a whim.
He'll be settled and stable, ready and able.
He'll have hobbies and delights,
Know the difference between wrong and rights.
He'll hold me close,
But still far enough away.
So I don't have to see him every solitary day
he'll understand my hopes, dreams and my wishes,
Shower me always with kisses.
He'll know exactly what to say,
To change a sky to blue, from gray.
He'll love me for me,
Never wish me to be.
He's out there somewhere, hoping I will care.
Some day my prince will come.


What is your academic New Year's resolution?

To write better papers or to continue not procrastinating.
~ Gail Gummerson

To meet women...maybe work a little, but mostly, meet women.
~ Brandon Athey

To achieve the unachievable for someone like me who is academically challenged: get good grades.
~ Ashley Downs

I suppose my academic New Years resolution is pretty general and... cliché, I suppose, but it's what I've resolved to do: I'm going to break my habits of the last seven years or so and actually do my homework. Simple, I know, but that's what I decided.
~ John Bridges

My academic New Year's resolution is not to turn the first draft of any paper more than four pages long.
~ Amanda Benham

My academic New Year's resolution is to keep up with my readings for all of my classes so I can follow along better... The whole semester through.
~ Ashley Nuzzo

Finish a script or two, FINALLY drop the ED cert., get another 3.0-or-greater semester, and pick up a minor.
~ Chadd Kaiser

My academic New Year's resolution is to keep up with my reading for all of my classes, fully apply myself, try to miss very few classes, and end my senior year with a bang. Basically, I want to avoid senioritis while still having the best semester yet.
~ Josie Melton

I would like to make it out of both Watson's and Hale's survey classes alive this semester.
~Kyle O'Keefe



Cultural Events Calendar

The Cultural Events Calendar is a monthly update on the special activities going on at Monmouth College and other campuses such as Western, Knox, and Augustana.


Writing Labs

Monday - Thursday                 3:00-5:00  pm
  Sunday - Thursday                 7:00-10:00 pm
Math Monday - Thursday                 3:00 - 5:00 pm
  Sunday - Thursday                 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Spanish Monday and Thursday             7:00 - 8:00 pm
  Tuesday and Wednesday         7:00 - 9:00 pm
French Tuesday and Thursday            7:00 - 9:00 pm
German Tuesday and Thursday            6:00 - 7:00 pm
Japanese Monday                                3:00 - 5:00 pm
  Thursday                              4:00 - 5:00 pm

          By appointment Only
            (3rd Floor of Wallace Hall)

Photograph courtesy of Johnathan Skidmore

Rob Hale, Professor of English, screens a film in Hewes Library, while looking quite studious.


Jamie Jasmer                                       Johnathan Skidmore                      



Features | Announcements | Survey Says | Mellinger Tutoring Hours
Student Entries | Cultural Events Calendar | Final Frame | Staff

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