Considering The Poetic Biopic

It’s a good time to be a dead poet with aspirations for movie fame. Apparently Hollywood has decided that nothing says “serious filmmaking” like biopics about famous poets. Movie studios appear to be hopeful that the combination of film and poetry will also result in a shower of awards – and, in some cases, they might be right and the awards well deserved. Translating poets’ lives into dramatic film might…

Fall Brings….NaNoWriMo

On November 1, the (10th year!) of the National Novel Writing Month will commence. For those unfamiliar with the event, it’s essentially a “contract” that you make to write a novel in one month. You agree to write a certain number of words per day, and you also agree not to go back and edit those words until the whole blasted thing is over and done with. It’s all about…

Theorizing Anglo-Saxon Studies in Illinois

It’s not often that you can leave Texas and go someplace sunnier. But the persistent clouds hanging above DFW for the past ten days made the beautiful weather last week in Champaign, Illinois, feel yet more transcendent. It was the beginning of Fall in Illinois, but it felt like the height of summer in England, where even the hottest day is undercut with a note of chill. The huge and…

Literary Tercentenary: Samuel Johnson

18 September 2009 is the birthday of English Matters, the weblog of the University of Texas at Arlington English Department. It is also the 300th birthday of Samuel Johnson. There couldn’t be a better day to start a blog devoted to the English language and everything one can make of it. Samuel Johnson was a poet, journalist, essayist, playwright, fiction writer, biographer, conversationalist, editor, critic, raconteur, wit, devotional writer –…