Shelly Sanders’ Summer 2011

0 Commentsby   |  09.18.11  |  Faculty Publications

Now that the temperatures have plummeted into the 90s for our Texas fall (and despite the irony, we’re grateful!), it seems like a good time to celebrate some of our faculty accomplishments from the summer—starting with Shelly Sanders, assistant professor, specializing in creative writing, young adult literature, and sports literature.

Most of us know that Shelly is getting ready for the arrival of baby Heath Nathan Sanders, due in early October! She’s excited to introduce him to the department, and we’re so looking forward to meeting him.

But even while she’s been preparing for Heath, Shelly’s also been creating in other ways:

With the support of an ACU Summer Stipend, she’s been working on a project to help solidify and increase the sustainability of the Community Writers Workshop (a free, month-long writing workshop for members of the Abilene community). Her project is titled, “Incorporating Service Learning and Undergraduate Workshops at ACU into the Community Writers Workshop.” We’re really impressed with and grateful for all Shelly does to engage creative writing throughout the city.

She’s also had two pieces accepted for publication in Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature, so soon we’ll be able to read even more of her great work in print:

1. “Bodies in Accelerated Motion” is a short story about a lonely young woman who attempts to show hospitality to her friend and running partner, only to relive the night when she was left in the dust during a charity 5K and berated further by a drunk imbecile who looks remarkably like Albert Einstein.

Image from a production of "The Cuban Swimmer," taken from the Santa Fe Sentinel at

2. “‘Mi Carne, Mi Sangre, Mis Ilusiones’: The Collision of Words and Worlds in Milcha Sanchez-Scott’s The Cuban Swimmer” is a critical paper centered on Hispanic playwright Sanchez-Scott’s 1985 experimental one-act play The Cuban Swimmer. I explore the way that the teenage swimmer Margarita’s physical body collides with the world of lo real marivolloso (the marvelous real), a term coined by Cuban essayist Alejo Carpentier, and how the miracle at the end of the play helps Margarita escape her father’s obsession with her mental concentration. Ultimately, breaking from the world of the present athletic struggle and into an alternate world of marvelous physicality—of dolphins, fish and her blood-drinking ancestor—resurrects her body in a new form that ripples with the play’s Latin Catholic imagery.

Congratulations on a wonderful summer, Shelly. We’re proud to know you!

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