Tag Archive for Wesleyan University Press

NEA Supports Center for the Arts, Wesleyan U. Press

As part of a recent National Endowment for the Arts grant, Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts was awarded funds for the 2017-2018 Breaking Ground Dance Series. Upcoming performances this season include the return of Urban Bush Women, performing the Connecticut premiere of ‘Walking with 'Trane’ on March 3.

As part of a recent National Endowment for the Arts grant, Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts was awarded funds for the Breaking Ground Dance Series. Upcoming performances during the 2016-2017 season include the return of Urban Bush Women, performing the Connecticut premiere of ‘Walking with ‘Trane’ on March 3.

The National Endowment for the Arts approved more than $30 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement are Art Works grants of $30,000 for Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts‘ Breaking Ground Dance Series and $25,000 to support Wesleyan University Press in the publication and promotion of books of poetry.

The Art Works category focuses on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

The Breaking Ground Dance Series at the Center for the Arts, now in its 17th season at Wesleyan, features cutting-edge choreography, world-renowned companies and companies pushing the boundaries of the art form. Upcoming performances this season include the return of Urban Bush Women on March 3. The company will be performing the Connecticut premiere of ‘Walking with ‘Trane,’ an ethereal investigation conjuring the essence of John Coltrane, inspired by the musical life and spiritual journey of the famed jazz saxophonist.

Past companies from the U.S. and abroad that have been featured on the Breaking Ground Dance Series include Bebe Miller Company, Camille A. Brown, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group, Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, Chunky Move, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, and Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. The Center for the Arts partners with Wesleyan’s Dance Department and a subcommittee of their faculty and students to select the companies and plan their residencies.

“Dance is arguably the most under-supported of the performing arts, so funding from the NEA significantly enhances the CFA’s ability to bring dance artists of the highest caliber to Connecticut audiences,” said Laura Paul, interim director of the Center for the Arts. “And beyond the dollars, it is a real point of pride to have the NEA as a funding partner.”

Wesleyan University Press will publish authors Kamau Brathwaite, Camille Dungy, Shane McCrae, Erin Moure, Evie Shockley and Gina Athena Ulysse, who is professor of anthropology and feminist, gender and sexuality studies at Wesleyan. Books will be accompanied by online reader companions, and will be promoted through author readings and workshops, social media, and the press’s website, among other means.

“We are delighted to have the support of the National Endowment for the Arts for the poetry titles that will be published in 2017,” said Wesleyan University Press Director Suzanna Tamminen. “The books coming out this year are tuned to concerns about the planet, about violence in the streets, faraway and in our own homes. At the same time these poems uplift us, and break us out of routine molds of thought. Over the years, this kind of support from the NEA has helped us to reach thousands of people, with readings at libraries, universities, public parks, museums, theaters, schools, bookstores and clubs. We are very excited about this year’s books, and grateful to the NEA for supporting the Press and these works of art.”

A portion of the grant will also enable reading tours for each author.

“The arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts and Wesleyan University Press, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”

Breakfast with Brian

Breakfast at O'Rourke's (Wesleyan University Press)

Breakfast at O’Rourke’s, published by Wesleyan University Press.

A Wesleyan alumnus from Chicago. A faculty film aficionado. A martial arts teacher and that teacher’s teacher, a tenth-degree black belt visiting from Germany. Four elementary school students, here as a reward for good deeds, along with their principal and school nurse.

This is breakfast at O’Rourke’s, and the scene this morning is a lot like owner Brian O’Rourke’s namesake everything-and-the-kitchen-sink breakfast: an eclectic mix of ingredients combined in ways you would never expect. You never know what you’re going to get, but it always works, and it’s always delicious.

Humanities Open Book Program Supports Out of Print Book Digitizing

Wesleyan recently received a $100,000 grant through the Humanities Open Book Program for digitizing select titles in the areas of dance and theater that were previously published by Wesleyan University Press but are no longer in print.

The Open Book Program is sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities, and is part of the agency-wide initiative called The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square. The purpose of the Open Book grant is to make out-of-print titles previously published by academic presses widely available in an open access (free) e-book format.

WesPress Publications Win 2 Poetry Awards in 2016

9780819575050A poetry collection published by Wesleyan University Press was named a Tufts Poetry Awards 2016 Finalist.

The Little Edges, written by Fred Moten, was published by WesPress in 2014. The Little Edges is a collection of poems that extends Moten’s experiments in what he calls “shaped prose”—a way of arranging prose in rhythmic blocks, or sometimes shards, in the interest of audio-visual patterning. Shaped prose is a form that works the “little edges” of lyric and discourse, and radiates out into the space between them.

As occasional pieces, many of the poems in the book are the result of a request or commission to comment upon a work of art, or to memorialize a particular moment or person. In Moten’s poems, the matter and energy of a singular event or person are transformed by their entrance into the social space that they, in turn, transform.

The Tufts poetry awards

NEA, NEH Supports Wesleyan U. Press, Humanities Books, Fellowships at Wesleyan

On Dec. 8, Wesleyan received a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts and two grants from National Endowment for the Humanities. The grants will support a poetry program at Wesleyan University Press, a faculty fellowship, and electronic dance and theater publications.

The NEA provided an Art Works award of $25,000 to Wesleyan University Press to support its poetry program. The Art Works category of the NEA supports the creation and presentation of both new and existing work — a goal that aligns with the mission of the Wesleyan University Press, a program that has already published an internationally renowned poetry series, which collected five Pulitzer Prizes, a Bollingen, and two National Book Awards.

“The arts are part of our everyday lives — no matter who you are or where you live – they have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities, and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like the one from Wesleyan University Press offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

The Art Works award will support the publication and promotion of books of poetry. The press will publish works by Rae Armantrout, Blunt Research Group, Peter Gizzi, Ted Greenwald and Mark McMorris. Books will be accompanied by online reader companions for teachers, students and general readers, and will be promoted through social media, the press’s website, newsletter and author events.

Sumarsam, University Professor of Music, received a $50,400 fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to fund his project titled “Expressing and Contesting Java-Islam through Performing Arts in Indonesia.” Sumarsam is planning to complete this fellowship during the Spring 2017 and Fall 2017 semesters.

In addition, Wesleyan’s Humanities Open Book Program will receive $100,000 from the NEH for a reissue of 18 foundational books in dance and theater as free e-publications.

Read more in this Middletown Press article.

Longley ’82 Speaks at Friends of Wesleyan Library Event

Adobe Photoshop PDFOn April 21, Dione Longley ’82 spoke about her new book, Heroes for All Time: Connecticut Civil War Soldiers Tell Their Stories, co-authored by Buck Zaidel (Wesleyan University Press), in the Davison Rare Book Room at Olin Memorial Library as part of the 2015 Friends of the Wesleyan Library Annual Meeting Talk. The book uses soldiers’ letters and diaries, and written accounts by nurses, doctors, soldiers’ families, and volunteers on the home front to vividly portray the war. Hundreds of period photographs (most, previously unpublished) add to the narrative.

Longley was director of the Middlesex County Historical Society in Middletown for 20 years.  Now a public historian and writer, she lives in Higganum.

Dione Longley '82 spoke about "Heroes for All Time: Connecticut Civil War Soldiers Tell Their Stories," co-authored by Buck Zaidel,  on April 21 (Photo by Dat Vu '15.)

Dione Longley ’82 spoke about “Heroes for All Time: Connecticut Civil War Soldiers Tell Their Stories,” co-authored by Buck Zaidel, on April 21. (Photo by Dat Vu ’15.)

 

Wes Press Books Named a “Must Read,” “Outstanding”

Three Wesleyan University Press books received recent accolades.

What is Amazing by Heather Christle, was named a finalist in the 2013 Massachusetts Book Awards. It also is included in “2013 Must Read Books” campaign, aimed at Massachusetts public libraries.

When Magoo Flew: The Rise and Fall of the Animation Studio UPA by Adam Abraham received an “Outstanding” ranking from 2013 University Press Books Committee of the American Association of School Librarians. Outstanding titles are considered “essential additions to most library collections.”

According to the committee, When Magoo Flow is a “readable and surprising history of the groundbreaking animation studio, UPA. From its roots in early Walt Disney Studios to ordeals during the McCarthy Era, UPA tried to reinvent animation in ways that were stylistically and thematically more serious than work done at is rival studios. This book has guest appearances by James Dean, Aldous Huxley, Richard Nixon, and a cast of millions. Readers will see cartoons and Mr. Magoo in an entirely new light.”

Always in Trouble: An Oral History of ESP-Disk’, the Most Outrageous Record Label in America by Jason Weiss, received a 2013 Certificate of Merit from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research in Record Labels.

Tamminen Named a Top HuffPo Advocate for American Poetry

In the Aug. 13 edition of The Huffington Post, Suzanna Tamminen, editor-in-chief of Wesleyan University Press, was named one of the “Top 200 Advocates for American Poetry.”

WesPress publishes between four and six poetry titles a year.  Among the authors are John Ashbery, Michael Davidson, Reachel Blau DuPlessis, Kenneth Goldsmith, Susan Howe, Heather McHugh and Kevin Young, among others.

“Many of those who bring new people to an appreciation of poetry, and/or more people into conversations about how to re-centralize (if not re-popularize) poetry in American culture, are either genre-hybridic authors (e.g., poet-editors, poet-critics, poet-essayists, or poet-scholars) or in fact write no poetry whatsoever, even as they do as much or more than any working poet does to promote contemporary verse in America,” the article states.

Wes Press Books Garner Recognition, Awards

Three Science Fiction Novellas

Three Science Fiction Novellas is published by Wesleyan University Press.

Wesleyan University Press publications have received awards and accolades this summer.

Three Science Fiction Novellas, translated from the French by Danièle Chatelain and George Slusser, was named a 2013 Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Award finalist. The SF&F Translation Awards “reward the translation of science fiction, fantasy, and related fiction from other languages into English. They exist both to promote the fiction of non-English-speaking authors and to highlight the valuable work done by translators.”

The Connecticut League of History Organizations awarded Ella Grasso: Connecticut’s Pioneering Governor by Jon Purmont with a  2013 Award of Merit.

We Modern People: Science Fiction and the Making of Russian Modernity by Anindita Banerjee was recognized as “an erudite and thoughtful study of Soviet science fiction” by Sciencemag.org.

In addition, Pura Lopez-Colomé’s and translator Forrest Gander read poems on KCRW radio from the bilingual addition of Watchword, while reflecting on poetry and translation, intuition and abstraction, and metaphor and illness.

5 Questions With . . . Resident Writer Kit Reed on New Books

Kit Reed (Photo by Beth Gwynn)

Kit Reed (Photo by Beth Gwynn)

In this issue of the Wesleyan Connection, we speak with Kit Reed, resident writer in the English Department. Reed recently published two new books, Son of Destruction (Severn House), in which a reporter searches for his father and winds up investigating cases of human spontaneous combustion; and The Story Until Now (Wesleyan University Press), a rich collection of 35 stories that displays the range and complexity of her work.

In a recent review of Reed’s two books in The New York Times, thriller writer Chelsea Cain wrote: “Reed finds humanity in the most fantastic places. She does it without pretension. And she does it with a sense of humor and no apologies. In my Museum of American Writers, I’d have a statue of Kit Reed in the lobby.”

Q: You’ve described yourself as “transgenred.” Would you talk about that?

A: Mother Isn’t Dead She’s Only Sleeping, my first novel, was a comic novel, set in Fort Jude, Florida. At War As Children, my second, was elegiac; both were drawn immediately from life. The third, The Better Part, was drawn from life but included one imagined detail: The narrator was the daughter of a man who ran the world’s largest correctional school for troubled teens. I’ve always been interested in dystopias, which makes some editors believe it’s SF—that is, speculative fiction, where writers can expand their imaginations beyond the seen world. The novels have, variously, been marketed accordingly, and the short fiction goes where editors who like a particular story take them, which means they’ve been in The Yale Review, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, The Kenyon Review, Asimov’s SF, Missouri Review, New Haven Review, and… and… You get the idea. And I’m described as a “literary” writer (The Norton Anthology)!

George Saunders and Karen Russell came that route somewhat later. Editorial territory is less hostile now, and few reviewers have picked up on the fact that they are writing (shhh) SF, but that’s what they’re doing. It’s a friendlier climate for, OK, works that expand the imagination.

Literary, sometimes comic, always reality-based, but sometimes SF, oh right, and a couple of psychothrillers in the ’90s. In short, I’m “transgenred” because I don’t belong anywhere.

Q: What inspired your latest novel?

Novel by Kit Reed

Novel by Kit Reed

A: A spectacular instance of spontaneous human combustion in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Wesleyan U. Press Donates Book to 850 Connecticut Libraries

A book published by Wesleyan University Press, titled, Making Freedom: The Extraordinary Life of Venture Smith, will be distributed for free to about 850 municipal, middle school and high school libraries statewide. The books are being donated through the generosity of an anonymous donor.

The book is about the life of Venture Smith, “an African slave who bought his freedom and became a prominent farmer and trader in 18th century Connecticut,” according to The Day of New London, Conn., which wrote about an event in Hartford announcing the book’s distribution.

At the event, Suzanna Tamminen, director and editor-in-chief of Wesleyan University Press, was joined by Connecticut’s Senator Richard Blumenthal, and Congressmen Rosa DeLauro, Joe Courtney, Jim Himes and Elizabeth Esty, as well as NAACP President Scot Esdaile and descendants of Venture Smith and of his owners.

Kaplan Fund Supports de Boer’s Forthcoming Book

Wesleyan University Press received a grant for $2,500 on Dec. 14 from the J.M. Kaplan Fund. The award will support of Jelle Zeilinga de Boer’s forthcoming book New Haven’s Sentinels: the Art and Science of East Rock and West Rock. de Boer is Harold T. Stearns Professor of Earth Science, Emeritus at Wesleyan.