Tag Archives: poetry

Student Profile: Maria Rovito

Maria Rovito is a grad student here at MU and works as the head graduate assistant. A few of her poems were recently published on a website called Ex-Ex Lit and in the magazine Brave New World. 

I am an MA student in English interested in American literature and disability studies. I have been a student at Millersville since 2012 and I plan on graduating in May 2019. After that, I hope to complete my PhD and find a job somewhere as either a literature/disability studies/medical humanities professor, or as an editor or publisher. I have also been a graduate assistant to the English department since 2017, and this year I was fortunate enough to become the head graduate assistant. It’s a lot of work but I enjoy working with faculty and students in class and for research projects.

Being a grad student is almost a completely different experience from being an undergrad—not only do you have to complete assigned readings, you usually have to do extra work in order to supplement the readings you are assigned. For example, most of what I have learned about disability studies has been a product of my own independent research: meaning I incorporate this knowledge into my classes, but I haven’t directly learned about it through my coursework. Luckily, Dr. Emily Baldys was hired this year, and I now have a mentor who researches and teaches critical disability studies and the theoretical implications of medicine and medical knowledge. It’s a growing field, but hopefully one day I will get hired and use what I have learned in an academic setting.

My poetry is considered conceptual or cyberpoetic—meaning that I work more as an information processor rather than a traditional “author.” I was a fan of conceptual and post-language poetry before taking Dr. Halden-Sullivan’s postmodern American poetry class, particularly authors such as Matthew McIntosh and Claudia Rankine. I find the Internet to be a fascinating place for the sheer amount of information one is able to find, and this is reflected in my poetry. Who is responsible for this information? Why do we have access to certain things, and others are blocked? I believe the Internet and technology is destroying what we deem to be classic “literature,” as we are writing less for humans and more for cyborgs, robots, and aliens—beings that are considered post-human and postmodern.

I particularly enjoy Kenneth Goldsmith’s concept of “uncreative writing”—meaning a process of writing where nothing is original, and everything is taken from an outside source. Some of my poetry is taken from medical documents, such as the DSM, or from random places on the Internet: government websites, chatrooms on Reddit, or I look at the source code for websites and transform it into code poetry. I find that the author as a processor objectively looks at this information and copies it directly into their poetry—there is no subjective, emotional involvement in conceptual poetry. I have read a thousand poems about grandma’s death or someone’s love life; we don’t need any more. Not to say these emotions aren’t valid; however, I am not interested in universal human experiences.

I submitted three of my poems to Ex-Ex-Lit, and the editor contacted me and said they wanted to use one of my poems in a magazine called Brave New World.

Right now I am more focused on getting my academic work published in research journals, rather than getting my creative work out there. I wrote over a hundred poems for Dr. Halden-Sullivan’s class, and I think I have years of content for submissions to magazines. I’m not sure how helpful getting creative work published is for literature and critical theory academics. I think the more diverse my skills are, the better chance I have of landing a solid academic job. I submit abstracts to as many conferences and journals as I can in the hopes that my research is making a positive impact on the discipline. I don’t think I’m the future Foucault or Derrida, but I do think my work is challenging traditional notions of what we call “literature” and all its implications.

Maria Rovito

George Street Press Open Submissions

Last Year's Magazine
Last Year’s Magazine

George Street Press (formally George Street Carnival) is Millersville University’s literary magazine, open to students and faculty alike. The magazine is completely student run and published at least once a year, full of poetry, short fiction, essays, creative nonfiction, photography, painting and sculpture. Kitsey Shehan is the President of the club with Sara Pizzo as the Vice-President.

If you are interested in assisting the publication, the club meets on Monday nights in Club De’Ville (the commuter lounge) in the lower level of the SMC at 8:30pm.

This year, the club will be accepting submissions until March 31st. One student/faculty/alumni university member may submit:

  • 3 poems (one poem cannot exceed two pages)
  • 2 pieces of prose (one piece should not exceed 4,000 words)
  • 2 pieces of non-fiction (one piece should not exceed 4,000 words)
  • 3 pieces of flash-fiction (each 500 words or less)
  • 5 pieces of original art (submit in .jpg format)
  • 1 experimental piece (found poems, screen-plays, the strange, genre-bending, and unknown)

To submit, please email GeorgeStreetPressSubmissions@gmail.com with your name, contact info (phone number/email), as well as any notes about your pieces for the editors. All documents must be in .docx or .doc format, and art pieces must be in .jpg format. Once a piece is printed into the magazine, the writer is officially a printed author! This is a perfect opportunity for English Majors to get ahead in the creative world. Here is the Get Involved page for more information on the club.