Smith’s new book to be published by WTAW Press

By | College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty/Staff | No Comments

WTAW Press recently announced the forthcoming publishing of Delta State University professor Mike Smith’s full-length book, “And There Was Evening and There Was Morning.”

The book, to be published this fall, is a collection of essays by Smith, an associate professor of English and interim director of the Delta State Honors Program.

“No project of mine has meant or could mean more to me, and I am so grateful to WTAW Press for giving the book a home,” said Smith. “The essays deal with my first wife’s illness and death, four months after giving birth to our second child and the similar diagnosis and recovery of my stepdaughter three years later. The book begins with the odd coincidence that my first copy of my first wife’s book happened to arrive in the mail on the very day of my stepdaughter’s diagnosis.”

WTAW Press is the publishing arm of a longstanding reading series with locations in major cities across the country, so in addition to the book launch in September in San Francisco, Smith will be invited to read at the other locations over the next year and a half.

Additionally, Smith has published three collections of poetry, including “Multiverse,” a collection of two anagrammatic cycles. His translation of the first part of Goethe’s Faust was published by Shearsman Books in 2012, and he is co-editor of the anthology, “The Mint’s Invitation: Contemporary Chinese Short-Shorts in Translation,” forthcoming from Columbia University Press in the fall of 2017.

Together with software engineer Brandon Nelson, Smith created and curates The Zombie Poetry Project. The project is an experiment in machine-assisted composition. Smith’s 500-line poem, “Zombie Ride-Along,” which is published on the site, operates as the source text for the project.

“We invite visitors to input any English-language text into the field provided,” said Smith. “Using a set of language tools, this text will be syntactically matched with sections of the 500-line source poem to produce a new ‘zombified’ poem of random lineation.

Users can select sections of the new poem to re-zombify as many times as they like before submitting it. Selected new poems will be added to the growing anthology archived on the site:

In recent recognition, Smith was named by Image Journal as their Artist of the Month in January 2017.

A native of Philippi, West Virginia, Smith is a graduate of UNC-G, Hollins College, and the University of Notre Dame.

DSU Alumni Winter/Spring magazine published

By | Alumni, General | No Comments

Delta State’s Alumni and Foundation Magazine is making its way into the homes and businesses of alumni and friends. The cover of the Winter/Spring 2017 edition features GRAMMY® Museum Mississippi, which is located next door to the DSU Alumni and Foundation building.

This year’s publication also contains a special section outlining the University’s long-term goals and priorities, as set forth by President William N. LaForge.

Readers will enjoy other campus hot topics, such as the Delta State Radio, Wiley Planetarium, Alumni Awards, Alumni Spotlights, and the new Vice president for Student Affairs, Dr. Bernell Bennett. Additionally, Alumni and friends are able to keep up with fellow classmates in the “with the classes” section.

“We are excited to update all our alumni, donors, friends, and students on all the happenings at Delta State,” said Melissa Love, Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs. “There are so many reasons for alumni to visit campus and stay in touch with their alma mater. The magazine showcases many advancements being made on campus, as well as fun events throughout the year for students, alumni, and friends of the University.”

The Delta State Magazine is mailed to over 28,000 homes of alumni, friends, students, prospective students, faculty and staff nationally.

To view the Magazine online, go to

To update your information, visit

To stay up to date on the Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (, LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Save the dates for this year’s Go Green Weekend (April 8), Pig Pickin’ (Oct. 7) and Homecoming (Nov. 11).

Bolivar County Alumni Night a success

By | Alumni, General | No Comments

Fans and alumni ‘packed the house’ during Bolivar County Alumni Night at Walter Sillers Coliseum on Jan. 12.

The Delta State University Alumni Association, along with the Bolivar County Alumni Chapter, hosted the annual alumni event. The event began prior to the Lady Statesmen and Statesmen home basketball games.

All alumni who updated their information with the Alumni Association were entered into a drawing for a DSU gear prize pack or a YETI Hopper cooler. Active alumni members had their names put in the drawing twice. Jeff Lusk was the winning name drawn for the DSU gear, and Holly McKee was the winner of the YETI. The Alumni Association would like to thank everyone for attending.

The Lady Statesmen suffered their first home loss, while the Statesmen prevailed over the University of North Alabama.

To stay up to date with Alumni Association’s activities, follow these social media sites: Facebook (Statesmen Graduates), Twitter (@DSU_Alumni), Tumblr (, LinkedIn (DSU alumni), Instagram (dsualumni) and You Tube (dsualumni1). Save the date for this year’s Go Green Weekend (April 8), Pig Pickin’ (Oct. 7) and Homecoming (Nov. 11).

Dead trees to be removed from campus

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Three large trees that have begun to rot significantly will be removed from campus this weekend.

The trees, located along Fifth Avenue, pose a safety hazard to both people and buildings on campus, said Jeff Barkman, director of Facilities Management at Delta State University.

One tree, located at the corner of Maple Street and Fifth Avenue, has begun to drop very large limbs during strong winds due to rotting at the top of the tree, he said.IMG_1399

The other two trees, located outside of the Library, have rotted to the point that the wood has become like sawdust.

“If we get some more bad storms or high winds, those trees could come down easily,” Barkman said.

To replace the trees, Delta State will hold a ceremony on Earth Day in April to plant new trees on campus.

For more information, contact Jennifer Farish, director of Communications and Marketing, at 662-846-4675 or

University of Nebraska-Lincoln students visit The Delta Center

By | Delta Center, General | No Comments

The Delta Center For Culture and Learning at Delta State University recently hosted a group of 25 students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Service-Study ASB during their “Civil Rights: Past, Present, & Future” experiential learning tour of the South.

The group was treated to a cultural immersion experience led by Lee Aylward and Dr. Rolando Herts of The Delta Center. Their experiential learning day included a historical and programmatic overview of The Delta Center, Delta State and the Mississippi Delta region.

The group started their day at Ewing Hall and visited culturally significant landmarks including Dockery Farms, the Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden in Ruleville, the historic black town of Mound Bayou, the home of civil rights activist Amzie Moore, and the legendary rural juke joint Po Monkey’s Lounge.

Dr. Linda Moody, director of service learning in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Civic Engagement, brought the group of students to the Delta based on the reputation of The Delta Center’s “Most Southern Place on Earth” workshop funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“We were referred by a faculty member at Nebraska whose spouse attended the workshop a few years ago,” said Moody. “Their experience was so positive, so impactful. That referral has resulted in our program bringing students to The Delta Center and the Mississippi Delta for the past four years.”

Service-Study ASB places teams of college students in communities to engage in service and experiential learning during their summer, fall, winter or spring breaks. Through this program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln students learn about issues relevant to their local communities, such as poverty, civil rights, racism, immigration, literacy, hunger, homelessness, and the environment. Service projects have included Habitat For Humanity and disaster relief.

In addition to Cleveland, the group also spent time in the lower Mississippi Delta touring Vicksburg Military Park. After departing the Delta, the students traveled to Alabama to visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, and the Edmond Pettus Bridge in Selma where voting rights activists marched in 1965, leading to the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

“Our civil rights tour of the South is not complete without visiting the Mississippi Delta,” added Moody. “The Emmett Till tragedy launched the modern Civil Rights Movement, and Fannie Lou Hamer is a voting rights icon. The Mississippi Delta is ground zero and provides such a meaningful place-based context for this experiential learning program.”

The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of Mississippi Delta culture and history and its significance to the world through education, partnerships and community engagement. The Delta Center serves as the management entity of the MDNHA and is the home of the International Delta Blues Project. For more information, visit