Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois

Illinois Department of English Blog


Welcome to the Department of English blog.

My name is Vicki Mahaffey and I took over as
head of the department on July 1, 2016. I'll be using this site to post updates and information of interest to our faculty, students, and alumni,
along with reflections about our discipline(s) in particular and the humanities in general. As anyone who has ever worked or studied here knows, the Department of English is a vibrant place. If you have something you'd like to see posted here, or if you want to contact me about the content of this blog, drop me an email at

Thursday, July 19, 2012

No Animals We Could Name

 Blogging has been slow of late, dear reader, though not because there aren't always things to blog about.  I've been doing some academic writing of late and that--for me at least--means trying to devote 100% of my attention to the task.  But I'm back, and here's something you'll be interested in...

A few weeks back, Ted Sanders's book No Animals We Could Name was printed by Graywolf Press.  As many of you will know, Graywolf is a very well-known and prestigious literary publishing house.  For instance, if you go to their homepage you'll see that a book of theirs won the Pulitzer Prize this year for poetry.  This is an impressive venue, in other words.  What makes it even more impressive is that this collection of stories is being published by Graywolf after being selected as the winner of the 2011 Bakeless Prize for Fiction.  As every writer knows, it can be hard to garner attention for new work, and this is a very splashy way to make an entrance onto the literary scene!

Ted is a graduate of our MFA program and is currently a Lecturer in our department.  I couldn't be happier for him and this is a book I cannot wait to read.  Instead of pasting in an inadequate book description, let me direct you to an online review of the book that strikes me as being at once smart and helpfully descriptive, from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Star Tribune.  You can find the link to the review here.

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