Writing for College and Beyond Book Site Up

Bright Futures Publishing is providing marketing and administrative support for the new first-year writing textbook Writing for College and Beyond (Lulu Press, 2019). Contact Bright Futures Publishing for desk or review copies, and check out the book webpages for more information, including links to ordering information, the table of contents, the book flyer, testimonials, and a list of special feature.

Writing for College and Beyond is a new kind of first-year writing text, one that emphasizes connections between the writing students do in typical English composition classes and their future business and professional careers. It’s also fully customizable for departmental or group orders. Contact Bright Futures Publishing for more information.

Updates on Publishing

First, Writing for College and Beyond is now out and desk and review copies are available. Check out the book site, and if you’re a first-year writing instructor and would like a review or desk copy, or would like to review it for your journal, email me.






Next, Reading as Democracy in Crisis: Interpretation, Theory, History was published in April 2019. Consider ordering it for your library, for yourself, or for review in your journal. This edited anthology explores how crises in democracy during different historical periods influenced the development of different theories or methods of interpreting written works.




Rock and Romanticism: Blake and Wordsworth, Book Cover
Rock and Romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, and Rock from Dylan to U2 (2018) 
is doing great. It’s been nominated for an ASCAP music writing award and has been reviewed by ChoiceReview 19, and Rock Music Studies.







Cover Image, Rock and Romanticism: Post-Punk, Goth, and Metal as Dark Romanticisms
Rock and Romanticism: Post-Punk, Goth, and Metal as Dark Romanticisms
 (2018) is doing great too. It’s been reviewed by Review 19.







Finally, I’m happy to report that David Bowie and Romanticism: The Chameleon Poet and the Changeling Self is now under contract, and Women in Rock/Women in Literature: The Emancipation of Female Will is under consideration with a publisher.











































Writing for College and Beyond Now Available

I’m proud to announce that the first-year writing textbook Writing for College and Beyond is now available for order at the publisher’s website. The result of 18 years of teaching first year writing, I realized something many students need — and that most first year writing textbooks lack — are explanations of how the tasks students perform in their first year writing classes are common in business and professional contexts. If you’re tired of hearing freshman students complain about having to take “irrelevant” general education courses, this textbook is for you.

This text provides simple, step by step instructions in summary, synthesis, analysis, and argument with the needs of first generation and at-risk students in mind, and is one of the least expensive textbooks on the market, coming in at under $30.00. Check out the publisher’s page linked above, and email me at jamesrovira (at) gmail (dot) com if you’d like a review copy.

This text can be fully customized for departmental orders of eight sections or more, and you can talk to me about developing a fully online version of a first year writing course based on this textbook.

See the full book site at Bright Futures Publishing.

Review of Rhian Williams’s The Poetry Toolkit

Poetry Toolkit Amazon CoverRhian Williams, The Poetry Toolkit: The Essential Guide to Studying Poetry (Continuum 2009)

Rhian Williams’s The Poetry Toolkit: The Essential Guide to Studying Poetry is a readable, well-organised, and highly accessible introduction to the study of poetry for beginners.  The six main chapters of Williams’s book covers types of poems (such as epic, lyric, and ballad), poetic forms (variable, fixed, etc.), prosody, rhyme, stanzas, and wordplay (tropes, and schemes such as anaphora, epistrophe, and chiasmus).  Williams departs from the norm for these kinds of books with this organization, delaying her explanation of meter until well past the half-way mark.  As a result, she has to use and occasionally explain concepts that are not fully covered until much later in the book. Fortunately, these explanations are well integrated into the surrounding material, and even if they were not, the book is so transparently organized and presented that its chapters can be read in any order. Each chapter begins with an outline of its content and each point in the outline is marked within the chapter by a large header that includes a brief definition of the term covered. These headers are followed by section outlines in each section’s introductory paragraph.  As a result, there is no reason that an instructor could not begin with chapter three, Prosody, and teach forward, ending the book with chapters one and two.

Williams’s coverage of poetic form includes discussions of the history of the form as well as its characteristics, just as her coverage of meter and other technical elements includes a discussion of the effects that these elements have been employed to achieve throughout the history of western poetry.  Every discussion includes examples attended by clear explanations, so that Williams models effective reading and interpretation of poetry in every section of every chapter.  She covers more different kinds of poems and elements of poetry than either Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled or Paul Fussell’s Poetic Meter & Poetic Form, but the only non-western verse form that Williams covers is haiku.  Overall, Williams’s poetry handbook is more sophisticated than Fry’s (and, of course, less oriented toward poetry writing and more toward poetry reading), slightly less nuanced than Fussell’s, but also more consciously designed as a textbook for novice readers than Fussell’s.  I highly recommend Williams’s book for the study of poetry, especially if paired with a reader organized by poetic form.

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