T h e  P r i n t i n g  P r e s s


Friday, February 9, 2001--Volume 4, Issue 1


The Printing Press is a bi-weekly newsletter for the students and faculty of the Monmouth College English Department. It contains information and news for the benefit and enjoyment of the students and professors alike. Visit the 2nd floor of the Mellinger Center to access materials mentioned in this newsletter. To submit a news item contact the editor at jblackbu@monm.edu.



After four years of serious schmoozing, not to mention a little hard work, Mark Willhardt’s Who’s Who In Twentieth Century World Poetry has finally hit the shelves of bookstores and libraries around the world. The volume encapsulates the lives and works of more than nine hundred of this century’s greatest and most influential world poets, making it an invaluable resource for scholars and general readers alike.


The process of compiling and editing such a book, however, is not without its difficulties. A task that was supposed to take two years to produce seven hundred entries with the help of 15 contributors blossomed into a four-year project that resulted in more than nine hundred entries written by 82 contributors.


Perhaps Willhardt's most daunting chore as the primary editor of this project was to find a large and diverse enough group of contributors willing to work for little more than some recognition and a copy of the book. To accomplish this feat, he sent out flyers and researched potential aid through academic conferences, steadily building a network of competent and eager scholars. Although some contributors were professional writers and editors, most were graduate students and junior professors from colleges and universities around the globe looking for an opportunity to get their name in print.


The other fundamental challenge of compiling such a volume is suggested by the book’s title. If you ask Willhardt, he’ll tell you that researching an entire century’s worth of poetry written by poets from across the globe isn’t an easy task. Even more difficult, however, is actually narrowing a vast number of selections down to an essential nine hundred without making any glaring omissions.


This book, however, does more than just provide succinct biographies and critical accounts of our century's greatest poets. It may also define what present and future generations read, and, thus, it is a grand attempt to create the canon of twentieth-century world poets.


Mark Willhardt's Who's Who In Twentieth Century World Poetry can be purchased at 20% off from Amazon.com right now.



Ciao Monmouth!


In the grand tradition of Henry James and Ernest Hemingway, I am now an expatriate (at least temporarily)! After being in Italy for a month, I'm finally starting to be able to find my way around the winding streets without a map, navigate the post office, and scoff at the swarms of dumb American "tourists" who eat on the steps of the Duomo.


Florence is a beautiful, noisy, compact city stuck somewhere between the cold haughtiness of northern Milan and the humble generosity of southern Sicily. Remnants of the city's long and storied past mingle with modern conveniences: stone palaces which once housed Florence's proud aristocracy now flaunt Gucci spring collections, and interior cobblestone streets which predate the Black Plague are now negotiated by tiny, specially-designed electric buses. The window of my apartment overlooks the Piazza Beccharia, once the eastern gate to the city and a site of Roman executions and now the home of one of the oldest "gelateria" (ice cream shops) in Florence.


The program itself consists of three classes: Italian, humanism, and art history. Italian is a necessity--it's an amazing revelation to find that people here actually do speak Italian all the time! Our classes are taught by crazy natives in a school with students from all over the world. The humanism course is a little muddier. We are examining classical texts and the ways in which they influenced the scholarly and religious thinking of a Christian Italian Renaissance population, which obviously means that we are reading those same classical texts along with others by Machiavelli and Petrarch. This class also involves actual weekly essays (this was a shock--I was hoping that Europe hadn't discovered the "thesis-focused essay" yet) and with three computers to be shared by 20 students, I am rediscovering the art of handwriting my papers. The art history class focuses on the patronage of the great Medici family and involves a lot of site and museum visits. After spending two and a half years in central Illinois, it's amazing to continually stumble upon important stuff. For our study of Donatello, for example, our class was able to simply walk four blocks to a church and look at the sculpture we had been reading about. Our days are fairly structured and classes are focused, but we have Fridays and weekends off for traveling and sightseeing.


So far, we have taken day trips to Siena, Ravenna (where Dante is buried), and Pisa (the leaning tower was spectacular!). We also had a four-day weekend last week when three friends and I had the opportunity to go to Prague. I was reminded of the close proximity of diverse European countries when we were standing in a travel agency looking at round trip ticket deals for under $200. We had the choice of at least 8 different destinations (Oslo, Budapest, Amsterdam, among others), all in different countries, for a weekend trip! Prague ended up being the perfect choice, though--its storybook atmosphere includes castles, golden statues, the famous Charles Bridge with the gate to the Old City, and the Franz Kafka Bookstore.


Florence really is a cultural hub: there are examples of Gothic and Baroque architecture on every street, exhibit openings every week, and classical concerts every night. All this renowned culture also has a lighter side, however. Among the sketches and models at a recent Leonardo da Vinci exhibit was an entire room devoted to his genius in using wind-powered technology for meat roasting. Grocery stores are also a treat given the creative product names. Among my favorites are Actigrip (cold medicine) and Air Action (my new favorite gum).


My experience thus far has not been without its share of embarrassing blunders, many of which have involved the public transportation system. The buses are incredibly complex: there are supposedly three different lines which run close to my house, but two have subsequent letter branches (the 23A, B, and C, for example), all of which end up at completely different places, and I have not been able to locate the third line at all. The craziest mix-up happened a couple of weeks ago, when my roommate and I caught the last bus on our way home from a night out, missed our stop, and ended up at least ten kilometers away from our apartment. Initially, we were not concerned, thinking that we could just ride the same bus back to the station, which would be considerably closer than walking home from the remote suburb where we had found ourselves, but since it was the last bus, the driver was not making the return trip. As he shut off the engine, giving us an odd look from his seat, we muttered something about the nearest taxi. Restarting the bus with a sigh, the driver asked us where we lived and actually drove the two of us all the way back into town without so much as a hostile (and in this case, well-deserved) word about the obtuseness of American students.


Tomorrow morning the group leaves for a weekend in Venice, and we should catch the first weekend of Carnival! Be prepared for stories of masks and mystery in the next report.


Ciao for now from your faithful correspondent, Rebecca



Western Reading Services is looking for submissions for its 2001 poetry anthology. Each poet may submit no more than two poems of 30 lines or less without subject or style limitations. A single $250 prize will be awarded to the "Editor's Choice" winner. The deadline for submissions is March 16, 2001. For more information contact the editor at jblackbu@monm.edu.



Boston University conducts a Master of Arts in Teaching program for liberal arts majors who have not yet completed professional education courses or are not certified as teachers. The program enables students to earn a teaching certificate in the state of Massachusetts which is reciprocal in nearly 40 other states. The twelve-month M.A.T. program also includes four graduate level courses in a student's academic field of choice. For more information contact the editor at jblackbu@monm.edu.



Current Jobs in Writing, Editing & Communications is a monthly bulletin containing more than 225 current openings in a variety of fields with nationwide and overseas companies. If you are interested in a career in writing, editing, or communications, email the editor at jblackbu@monm.edu to find out how to subscribe to this catalogue.



February 14 & 15

Best in Show--Director Chris Guest, the man who gave us Waiting for Guffman, returns with another mockumentary, this time set in the comically cutthroat world of dog show competition. Starring Christopher Guest, Bob Balaban, Eugene Levy, Michael McKean, Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey.
[Rated PG-13, 80 minutes]

February 21 & 22

An Affair of Love--Director Frederic Fonteyne explores love and sex in this provocative and beautifully shot film. Starring Nathalie Baye and Sergi Lopez. [Rated R, 78 minutes]


The International Film Series is at Cinemas I & II in Macomb. Shows begin at 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. All seats are $4.




3-5 p.m.


7-10 p.m.


The English Department's writing tutors can be found on the 3rd floor of the Mellinger Learning Center at the times listed above.