Calling all Topographers…

CFP Poster (Draft 2)


Multi-Discursions: Remapping the Topography of Thought

A colloquium hosted by Sigma Tau Delta Iota Chi Chapter, sponsored in part by the Department of English at California State University, Northridge.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

California State University, Northridge

Italo Calvino once asked, “Who are we, who is each one of us, if not a combinatoria of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined?” And while this question maintains its relevance, it is about time we turn our attention away from the individual, the “we,” and ask this question of the texts we produce and the environments in which they are produced.

Texts, like the minds that produce them, exist in a state of perpetual movement outwards through space and time. This occurs despite the constrictions of discourse, of discipline, or genre. The boundaries we tend to operate within are either proponents of stagnancy or archaic in their limitations, closing off possibilities more than it opens up, just waiting for contemporary voices and approaches to remap the pathways of thought, to reopen the field of the study.

We are calling for works that find themselves within, between, and crossing these pre-established pathways, forging into unfamiliar territory. We want works that define, merge, or shatter the boundaries between established discourses, genres, works that are multi-disciplinary in nature that attempt to discover, uncover, bridge, and forge new pathways of thought.

We welcome graduate and undergraduate papers, panels, and creative works that include but are not limited to:

Interdisciplinary Studies

World Literatures

Blended and Multi-Genre Writing: Hybridity, Liminality, Interstitiality

Poetry, Poetics, Lyric Essays

Unlikely Juxtapositions

Identity, Identities, Identification(s)

Creative Writing and Creative Writing Studies

Multi-Genre Approaches to English Studies

Please submit project, paper, and panel abstracts to by Saturday, December 27, 2014. Individual project and paper abstracts should be a maximum of 300 words. 500 words for panel abstracts.



November Meeting…

Hello, all!

Your good friends at Sigma Tau Delta Iota Chi will be hosting another meeting! We just love spending time with you…so come spend some time with us!


Date: November 18, 2014

Time: 4pm to 6pm

Location: Sierra Tower 703

Treats will be served, upcoming events will be discussed, good times will be had.


Upcoming Members’ Meeting!

Greetings and Salutations, Dear Friends.

We, the officers of Sigma Tau Delta, are pleased to invite you to join us for our first Members’ Meeting of the academic year! We’re very excited to meet new and prospective members, and are looking forward to getting together. There will be good conversation, there will be interesting information, and, most importantly, there will be snacks.

Come on up to Sierra Tower 703 at 4pm on Wednesday, the 24th of September. Bring your questions, bring your friends, bring your appetite for snacks and your thirst for knowledge (and also maybe juice). We’ll be talking about quite a few things, including our annual Spring Conference…this is definitely a meeting you’ll want to attend!

Should you have any problems attending, swing by the ol’ Facebook page for more information on how to get involved with our group!

K Kaz

Chief Publicity Officer, Sigma Tau Delta Iota Chi



Hey! It’s the Fall semester already!! What the heck?!


Come on by to California Pizza Kitchen in Northridge and help us ring in the new academic year! We’ll be around from 11am to 9pm–check out our Facebook  page for more details and a copy of the flyer you’ll need to bring with you…then come on out and help support your local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta!



Fall 2014 – New Board Members

Good morning, friends.

With the Fall semester looming closer than ever, now is the perfect time to introduce you to our new board members for the academic year… 


Glenn Collins – President

photo (5)

Glenn Collins studies Creative Writing and is entering his final year at CSUN, where he spends far too many days searching for the perfect tree. As a Taren who owes his existence to a G-type main sequence star, Glenn likely spends far too much time in the shade. He is currently working in the Teaching Associate program as well as the Learning Resource Center as a Supplemental Instructor. Glenn reads books about robots and wizards, but not always at the same time. His favorite smell is water, but his favorite sense is touch. 

A quick note from Glenn — “I feel honored and privileged to be working with such magical and mystical people as the President of Sigma Tau Delta Iota Chi.”


Nazanin (Naz) Keynejad – Vice President


Naz Keynejad is a second-year graduate student, studying English Literature with an emphasis on the Long Eighteenth Century. Her obsession with Jane Austen is only slightly trumped by her obsession with science fiction and fantasy stories. She is a self-proclaimed nerd (and proud of it), and will talk for hours about Austen or dragons (or both) if given the opportunity.


Eric Barnhart – Treasurer 


Eric is a Teaching Associate and third-year graduate student in English. He is a co-coordinator for the Graduate Reading Series and has been an active participant within the English community on campus in a number of positions (past and current), including: President of Sigma Tau Delta Iota Chi, Supplemental Instructor, Fiction Editor of The Northridge Review, Editor in Chief of The Northridge Review, and Student Writing Coordinator for the Northridge Creative Writing Circle. He currently lives among an ever-growing collection of books and can often be found somewhere beneath the magnolia trees between Jerome Richfield and Sierra Hall. 


Evelyn Giebler – Secretary 


Evelyn Giebler is a third and final-year graduate student at CSUN, pursuing her Master of Arts degree in English Literature. She is a fan of cats, coffee, and beards, among other things.


Kristin Kaz – Chief Publicity Officer


Kristin is a second-year graduate student, fighting the good fight for Rhetoric and Composition Studies. She currently serves as the President of CSUN’s Critical Theory Club and is a Senator for the College of Humanities. A Writing Consultant for the Learning Resource Center, Kristin also works alongside Glenn, Eric, Kirk and Gina as a Teaching Associate in the English Department. She can often be found tucked away in her office, listening to records. 


Kirk Sever – Secretary of New Membership


Kirk studies Creative Writing in CSUN’s graduate program. His poetry and fiction have appeared in various issues of The Northridge Review, and in 1999 he was a runner-up for the Academy of American Poets George Dillon Memorial Award. Kirk has served as a Supplemental Instructor for CSUN’s Learning Resource Center, and currently works as Teaching Associate. 


Gina Srmabekian – Historian 


Gina is a graduate student in the Creative Writing program at CSUN. She believes in an emphasis on writing across all spectrums–creative, critical, etc.–and has worked closely with The Northridge Review, in the pages of which you will find her published writing. Gina currently works as a Teaching Associate and is looking forward to shaping young minds through shared experiences.  


Rachelle Yousuf – Chapter Liaison 


Rachelle is a second-year graduate student of English Literature at CSUN. She works as a technical writer and document editor, as well as a book reviewer for the CBPR Online Journal, and is a freelance editor. In her spare time, she volunteers as the President of the Women’s National Book Association, Los Angeles. In addition to serving as Chapter Liaison for Sigma Tau Delta, Rachelle is the Treasurer for 4Humanities and the Vice President for the 18th Century Club.



So, that’s the board! Stay tuned for updates regarding upcoming events on and off campus, as well as information about our Fall book drive!


The envelope please…

In April, Sigma Tau Delta Iota Chi hosted their first-ever Poetry contest judged by Patty Seyburn, the award winning poet of such works as: Hilarity (2009), Mechanical Cluster (2002), and the upcoming Perfecta (2014) from What Books Press. We received a number of poems by a number of amazing writers and are thrilled at the level of work and unwavering support shown by the CSUN community.

So, without further ado, please help me in congratulating our winners!!!

Honorable Mention:

Justin La Torre for “Unrequited Canyons” 

Eric Barnhart for “I made you with these two” 

Cody Deitz for “Ritual”

First Prize:

Trista Payte for “Our Lady of Perpetual Deferral”

All four writers will be offered the opportunity to read with Patty Seyburn at a Sigma Tau Delta event scheduled for next semester (tentatively scheduled for October 2014). 

All selected poems will be acknowledged in the Fall 2014 edition of The Northridge Review.

Along with simply selecting the poems, Patty Seyburn graciously offered some insightful reasoning behind her selections.

“Unrequited Canyons” by Justin La Torre

“Unrequited Canyons” functions as an apostrophe to a state. Since a state cannot hear a poem, the reader gathers from this poem, which may fall into the category of “poems of place,” the complexity of a landscape that we know well and absorb into the way we think and move even after leaving. Bachelard talks about how the initial home impresses itself on the psyche. For this poet, the place contains a diversity of memory and impression, the sense of belonging and estrangement, birth and no small dose of mortality. The place’s immanence is palpable, and the sense of obligation that the poet feels toward his/her history is handled with grace, and a subtle emotional tenor. “Unrequited” implies a lack of reciprocity of affection, but the poem assays otherwise, and captures what it means to have a home to return to – no longer a common state.

“I made you with these two” by Eric Barnhart

The poem, “I made you with these two” (after Ed Skoog, whom I like quite a bit), engages the subject of language, which brackets the poem. In between, the poet interrogates the body for answers, as well as what would appear the difficulty of sand, which functions much as language: all slippage and residue, breaking down and accrual. The poet’s use of line break and stanza reflects a strong ear for pacing and the demands of breath, allowing images to stand alone and carry their weight. The excision of certain punctuation within and at the end of lines is balanced by the efficiency of these stanzaic “containers.” This poem feels both abstract and grounded, each strategy threatening dominance, then being reigned in by the other. The creative act described in the poem ultimately speaks before it disappears, but the fact of language remains even in the ethereal world. 

“Ritual” by Cody Deitz

“Ritual” begins where another poem by this author, “The Trick with Loss,” leaves off (they should follow one another in the poet’s collection). The energy that threatens to leach from “…Loss” infuses the couplets of “Ritual,” as the poet wisely looks to sensory detail and evocative image. There’s a “trick” in this poem, too – disappearing – but the poet refuses to allow the other the abandon his/her landscape, though diminishment is threatened. The subject-matter of this poem, the addiction, is handled without sentimentality, as the poet does her/his best to be the objective observer, while asking the necessary questions. The pull of “the uncontrollable” (what Shelley calls the west wind, a great force of nature), becomes emblematized by the desert, another great force, and the poem’s conclusion, which nods to the character’s self-effacement and self-abasement, reveals itself subtly, but with great resonance. 

“Our Lady of Perpetual Deferral” by Trista Payte:

The winning poem is “Our Lady of Perpetual Deferral.” The first indication that this would be my favorite was how many times I went back to “Our Lady…,” a title that speaks to the lexicon of faith, while referencing mortality (not too far afield) and the human propensity for delay, or dodging of responsibility. The duality, or otherness, contained within the poem, is clearly articulated, the reader not given to floundering for who is speaking at the sacrifice of meaning. While the text sprawls across the page, deftly (even, with elegance), the poem nods to a poetic inheritance: the famous mandrake of John Donne, “…Get a child with mandrake root.”

The use of white space accompanied by couplets, tercets and the occasional lone long line, creates a compelling pace, one which denies the reader certainty as she is not allowed a steady breath. It is not easy to write a poem with a central image of breast-feeding and its challenges, which speaks to the very core of motherhood and the various engagements and, potential betrayals of the body. To say the least, it is a weird time, and this poem manages to approach something deeply emotional with intellectual and philosophical fervor, reaching across gender lines, as the narrator finds herself in a state of perpetual diminishment, a sloughing-off of self-hood. Call in reinforcements, she says, but there is only the single self, and its valiant attempts at unity. The holy place is not where worship takes place, says the poem, but in the liminal space of process. 

For more information on the selection guidelines, please click: 2014 STD Poetry Contest Guidelines.

Once again, thank you to everyone who supported Sigma and entered the contest. We look forward to hearing our winners read with Patty Seyburn this coming Fall. I am sure it will be just as electrifying and earth shattering as this:


Are you ready?

The time is fast approaching for the Sigma Tau Delta, Iota Chi annual colloquium. Are you ready? We sure are!


We have a lot of fantastic presenters on deck, ready to showcase the excellent work they’ve been doing. Check out the conference website for the full list of presenters, moderators, and more!

The conference starts bright and early at 9:15am in the CSU, Northridge University Student Union, and everyone is welcome for some pre-panel breakfast and coffee at 8:30am. Lunch will be held from 12:00 to 1:00 and our very excellent speaker, Dodie Bellamy, will go on at 2:30 pm.

We are looking forward to seeing you all there, and we encourage everyone to come out and support the great things being done in English studies!



Spring Poetry Contest

Spring is here, and it’s time for Sigma Tau Delta, Iota Chi’s first ever Spring Poetry Contest! The contest will be judged by the talented and wonderful Patty Seyburn.

The deadline for submission will be March 31st, and the winner will be published in the Fall 2014 Northridge Review and will receive a signed copy of Patty Seyburn’s collection: Hilarity. The winner, along with finalists, will be given the opportunity to read their work with Patty Seyburn at an upcoming event. How cool is that?!

As in all things, there are a few guidelines for submitting:

  • We are looking for previously unpublished poems.
  • Each applicant can submit a maximum of three poems.
  • The entry fee is $5 per submission.

Submission packets should include two copies of each poem, a cover letter, and entry fee. Packets can be turned in to the English Department Office in ST 708 or to any Sigma Tau Delta Board Member. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at

Good luck!

Patty Seyburn Poetry Contest Flyer


Meeting of the Minds

First of all, thank you to everyone who came out to our meeting last week. It was wonderful to see so many of your smiling faces, especially when we all know how hectic and busy the semester can be.

For those of who you weren’t able to make it, please know that you were dearly missed, and we hope you will be able to make it to a meeting or event in the future! There were a lot of wonderful ideas and some great discussions during the meeting, and so here is a quick run down of what you might have missed:

book dumping out letters

ISMs Conference Updates:

  • March 22nd, 8:30am – 4:00pm in the USU.
  • It is important for Sigma members to participate in this event; not only presenting on panels or helping with set-up, but to be in attendance on panels and the keynote speech. We are currently accepting sign ups for volunteering at the conference, and if you are available to help out and sit in on some panels, please email us at
  • This event is open to the public, so invite friends/family members/friendly strangers.
  • Dodie Bellamy’s books will be available for purchase during the conference. We recommend familiarizing yourself with Bellamy’s work. She is all kinds of amazing. You should be able to find much of her work on-line or through the English databases on the Oviatt Library Website. Or, ask around and see if a friend can lend one of her books.
  • There will be flyers available and a website up soon.
  • Remember to announce this event in your classes. If you are an SI or TA, offer extra credit for the student’s attendance and perhaps a small report on what they saw.

Aimee Bender Reading:

  • April 24th, 2014. 8:00pm-10:00pm. Lake View Terrace, USU.
  • We are now beginning to take volunteers for this event as well. If you are interested, shoot us an email at, and we’ll put you on the volunteer email list.
  • This event is open to the public and, we encourage you to invite anyone who might interested in hearing her work.
  • A selection of Bender’s books will be available for purchase at the event. If you haven’t read her work, we recommend checking it out. She is fantastic. Trust us.

Upcoming Poetry Contest judged by Patty Seyburn

  • We will be accepting submissions starting March 1st through the 31st.
  • The details are still being ironed out, but if everything goes as planned, the winner will be published in the Fall 2014 edition of the Northridge Review, will receive a signed copy of Seyburn’s newest collection of poetry, and will also be able to read with Patty Seyburn at an upcoming STD sponsored reading later in the semester. Check back in in the coming days for more updates on how and where to submit your poetry, as well as contest rules!
  • Patty Seyburn received her MFA in poetry from UC Irvine and her PhD in Poetry and Literature from University of Houston. She is the co-editor of POOL: A Journal of Poetry; award winning author of three collections of poetry, and currently teaches at CSULB.


Many of our members are graduating this coming Spring. If you are one of them, and would like to order STD paraphernalia, such as an honor stole, medallion, or honor cords, please let us know before March 1st. We need to order these asap so that we can ensure they arrive prior to graduation. Pricing is as follows:

  • Honor stole: $19
  • Medallion: $11
  • Honor cords: $9 each
  • Medallion-Honor cord combination: $18
  • Medallion-Honor stole combination: $27

Please send us an email at if you would like to order something.

STD Journals

Sigma has two journals, The Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle and The Sigma Tau Delta Review. Both Journals are open to submit to from Tuesday, April 1st – Monday, May 12th. The Rectangle will accept one work of fiction/non-fiction; or up to three poems. Meanwhile, The Review will accept submissions of one critical essay. PLEASE NOTE: You are only allowed to submit to one of these journals during the submission period; choose your strongest work and good luck. You can find more information here:

Undergraduate Scholarships:

If you are an undergraduate there are a couple different scholarship opportunities you can take advantage of:

  • “Summer Program Scholarship” – up to $1,000 with proof of enrollment in a Summer Program. (Will not apply to CSUN Summer session)
  • “Study Abroad Scholarship” – up to $3,000. Sigma Tau Delta awards these scholarships to active, undergraduate members for the purposes of studying for an academic term or year in a certified, undergraduate program outside the country in which the nominating chapter is located.

Applications for these scholarships are accepted between March 4th and April 1st. IMPORTANT: Only three members are permitted to apply for each scholarship and must be approved by the Sigma Board. If you are interested in applying to these scholarships, please contact Eric Barnhart to set up a meeting before the end of February with your intent to apply.

Volunteering with the LA Festival of Books

Once again, we will be volunteering at the LA Festival of Books. If you are interested in being a part of this great experience, please send us an email. More detailed information will be forthcoming.


Congratulations to Chris Espinosa!

Congratulations are in order… So, everyone, raise a glass and toast the winner of our Flash Fiction contest, Chris Espinosa!


Chris Graduated from CSUN with a BA in English a few years ago and then proceeded to get lost for a few years. But that’s okay, because he likes getting lost. And while we are on the subject of things Chris likes, we can add roadrunners, kittens, travel, and the beach. He also loves the ocean and space (although he isn’t sold on this land stuff) and he also LOVES conspiracy theory. So Chris has returned to the English department, this time for a Master’s degree. But deep down, what he really wants is to be a writer. He primarily works in fiction. He used to write poetry until a theory class forced them apart, although like any passionately painful relationship, they are trying to work things out.

Currently, Chris is working in the world of fitness, where he trains and lectures navy seals, other military personnel and law enforcement, as well as the general public about strength training and nutrition. He has 3 certifications in nutrition and is a BioSignature Modulation Practitioner. However, all he really wants is to be chained to a desk and forced to write.

Congratulations, Chris! Everyone can look forward to reading Chris’ piece in the next edition of the Northridge Review! We’ll send another update out when that becomes available.

And thank you, to everyone who submitted. We appreciate all of your support.

Oh! And don’t forget, the deadline for submitting your abstract to the ISMS conference this Spring is fast approaching! Check out the CFP here, and then send us your abstracts to