Category: People

Winners of the Essay Contest!

We asked our most recent graduates to submit entries to an essay-writing contest on the topic of what they’ve done with their B.A. degrees in English, and we received over thirty entries. In her winning essay, “A Tale of Two Cities,” Lindsay King (Class of 2010) writes, “I have never been more convinced that literature is profound and sublime extension of the people and cultures which produce it, and had it not been for my undergraduate experience in both English and French, I do not know if I would have been able to come to appreciate or understand this reality as deeply as I currently do. Had I simply focused on what I was planning to do with my degrees rather than on who I was going to become, I know that I would not have grown into being the young woman that I am today….” Read the complete texts of Lindsay King’s winning essay and second place essays by Kaelan Connella, Adrienne D’Luna, and Ben Kahane.

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Mission Street Food: Recipes and Ideas from an Improbable Restaurant

In an article for Food and Wine Magazine, our department’s own Karen Leibowitz writes, “We weren’t chefs—I was a graduate student and my husband, Anthony Myint, was a line cook—but we thought it would be fun to sublet a taco cart and sell “PB&Js,” sandwiches stuffed with pork belly and jicama. We set up shop at 21st and Mission in San Francisco and called ourselves Mission Street Food.” Karen answers some of my excited questions about how studying literature helped her first, manage a restaurant, then write a funky cookbook, with her husband.

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YARN Wins Innovations in Reading Prize from National Book Foundation

Congratulations to the Young Adult Review Network (YARN), which has recently been awarded an Innovations in Reading Prize from the National Book Foundation. YARN was founded in 2010 as an independent online journal to publish fiction, poetry, and essays by teen-aged writers alongside the work of established and emerging adult contributors. Read full post…

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Remembering Flo Gibson

Audiobook pioneer and Berkeley alumna Flo Gibson died in January at the age of 86. Gibson founded Audio Book Contractors in 1983 and personally recorded over one-thousand titles, including works by Jane Austen, George Eliot, Henry James, and Leo Tolstoy. Born in San Francisco in 1924, Gibson studied dramatic literature at Berkeley, going on to New York’s Neighborhood Playhouse and a successful acting career, before beginning to record books for the Library of Congress in the 1970s. Her full obituary is available on-line at The New York Times.

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Chernin Program “Reads the Campus”

Over this past semester, the Chernin Mentoring Program has organized a wide array of activities designed to enrich and support the English major experience at Berkeley.  One particularly interesting activity was a new twist on the “campus tour,” an exercise in which the graduate student mentors showed the undergraduates how they can put the readings skills they learn in their English classes to work by reading the physical environment of the Berkeley campus. Read full post…

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