3 English Professors Publish Work
April 15, 2015
If creativity inspires creativity, then Drs. Terry Dalrymple, Laurence Musgrove and John Wegner must be setting off sparks in their classrooms.
All three, members of Angelo State University’s English faculty, have been or are about to be published this semester by Lamar University Press.
For Dalrymple, a 35-year faculty member, writing and publishing his short stories is a big part of his role as a professor.
“Teaching and writing complement each other perfectly,” he said. “Because I teach literature, I see a lot of really good work and I learn from that.”
The Kerrville native’s latest collection, titled “Love Stories (Sort Of),” was published in March. His other works of fiction include “Salvation,” a short story collection; “Fishing for Trouble,” a novel for middle readers; and “Texas 5X5: Twenty-Five Stories by Five Texas Writers,” which he co-authored. His stories also have been published in dozens of journals and anthologies, and he is the editor of “Texas Soundtrack: Texas Stories Inspired by Texas Music.”
A member of the Texas Institute of Letters, Dalrymple came to ASU while still working on his doctoral degree at Oklahoma State University.
Teaching and writing complement each other perfectly. Because I teach literature, I see a lot of really good work and I learn from that.
“I liked it so much here,” Dalrymple said. “I grew up in a small town. ASU also has a very positive and encouraging community of faculty.”
Dalrymple, who holds the John S. Cargile University Professorship, also launched ASU’s Concho River Review literary journal in 1987, encouraging fellow writers and providing an opportunity for many, including colleagues, to get their work published.
Wegner, a 17-year faculty member and the interim dean of ASU’s Freshman College, was one of those colleagues. His first published short fiction was in the Concho River Review. He has since published short stories in New Texas and Journal of the American Studies Association. His first collection of short stories, titled “Love is Not a Dirty Word,” was published in January.
A native of the Texas Gulf Coast who earned his doctorate at the University of North Texas, Wegner came to ASU as a research writer and, because of his role teaching fiction, began to experiment with writing it.
“In some ways, it’s all the same,” he said. “Good writing is good writing. But in a short story you have to be really tight and concise.”
“Your job is to teach well,” Wegner added, “and to pursue something, some life of the mind, whatever that is, to be actively engaged in scholarly and creative activity.”
That creative atmosphere drew Musgrove to Angelo State six years ago to serve as chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages.
“I’ve always written poetry, but it’s only since coming to Angelo State that I thought about publishing,” he said.
His first collection of poetry, titled “Local Bird,” is scheduled for publication soon.
A Houston native who earned a doctorate at the University of Oregon, Musgrove spent 10 years at Saint Xavier University in Chicago before joining the faculty at Angelo State.
“There were no creative writers there,” he said. “Coming here, knowing that the community was already here, that was a factor.”
Musgrove shares his love of writing poetry with two other faculty members, Drs. Chris Ellery and Julie Gates.
Ellery has published three collections of poems and one of his poems, titled “Shekinah,” won first prize in the 2014 Alexander and Dora Raynes Poetry Competition. A member of the Texas Institute of Letters, he holds a doctorate from Texas A&M University.
Gates, who holds a doctorate from the University of South Carolina, has had poetry published in the Concho River Review and other literary journals. Her poem “The Damned” is scheduled for publication in Blue Bonnet Review, a Houston-based literary journal.
Wegner and Musgrove also have blogs where they share their work and their thoughts. Wegner’s blog is Consistently Contradictory and Musgrove’s is The Illustrated Professor.
“I share every poem on my blog, on Facebook and Twitter,” Musgrove said. “It’s just the way I carry on a dialogue with my experience. It’s a form of journaling. It’s a response and a record of my experience.”
Creativity is an experience these ASU faculty members share with each other and especially with their creative writing students, setting an example the students can follow.
“It’s about overcoming fears,” Musgrove said. “They become more fearless. I think when someone says ‘I was inspired,’ they are really saying they are becoming less fearful.”