Tag Archive for English Department

Poet, Fiction Writer Speak at Distinguished Writers Series

As part of the Writing at Wesleyan Russell House Series, poet Bernadette Mayer spoke and read prose Oct. 14. Mayer is the author of more than two dozen volumes of poetry, including Midwinter Day, Sonnets, The Desires of Mothers to Please Others in Letters, and Poetry State Forest. A former director of the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery and co-editor of the conceptual magazine 0 to 9, Mayer has been a key figure on the New York poetry scene for decades.

As part of the Distinguished Writers Series at Wesleyan, poet Bernadette Mayer spoke and read prose Oct. 14. Mayer is the author of more than two dozen volumes of poetry, including Midwinter Day, Sonnets, The Desires of Mothers to Please Others in Letters, and Poetry State Forest. A former director of the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery and co-editor of the conceptual magazine 0 to 9, Mayer has been a key figure on the New York poetry scene for decades.

Mayer's visit was organized by Elizabeth Willis, the Shapiro-Silverberg Associate Professor of Creative Writing, associate professor of English.

Mayer's visit was organized by Elizabeth Willis, the Shapiro-Silverberg Associate Professor of Creative Writing, associate professor of English.

Fiction writer John Brandon spoke on Oct. 21. Brandon is the author of the novel Arkansas and the forthcoming novel The Semester. He is currently the Grisham Writer-in-Residence at University of Mississippi.

Fiction writer John Brandon spoke on Oct. 21. Brandon is the author of the novel Arkansas and the forthcoming novel The Semester. He is currently the Grisham Writer-in-Residence at University of Mississippi.

Brandon's visit was organized by Deb Olin Unferth, assistant professor of English. (Photos by Jeffrey Katzin '10)

Brandon's visit was organized by Deb Olin Unferth, assistant professor of English. (Photos by Jeffrey Katzin '10)

For more information on the Distinguished Writers Series go to: http://www.wesleyan.edu/writing/distinguished_writers/

Deb Olin Unferth: New English Department Faculty Member

Deb Olin Unferth joined the Department of English in fall.

Deb Olin Unferth joined the Department of English in fall.

Deb Olin Unferth has joined the Department of English as assistant professor. She specializes in fiction writing, innovative literature, the short story and the novel.

She says she was attracted to Wesleyan because of its well-known writing program.

“Wesleyan is a fantastic liberal arts school,” Unferth says. “I am very excited to be here. I am enjoying my classes immensely. The students are excellent—in ability, focus, creativity, intelligence, and temperament.”

Unferth has a B.A. in philosophy with distinction from the University of Colorado, where she was Phi Beta Kappa. In 1998, she earned her M.F.A. in creative writing from Syracuse University.

Unferth’s debut novel Vacation was published by McSweeney’s in October 2008. The book garnered her the Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell First Novelist Award for 2009.

Reed Guest Author at Festival of Reading

Kit Reed

Kit Reed

Kit Reed, resident writer in the English Department, participated in the 17th Annual Festival of Reading in St. Petersburg, Fla., Oct. 24.  Reed was one of dozens of authors who spoke to the community about a particular book.

According to the St. Petersburg Times Festival author biography, Reed is “One of our brightest cultural commentators. ” Often anthologized, her short stories appear in venues ranging from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Asimov’s SF and Omni to The Yale Review, The Kenyon Review and The Norton Anthology of American Literature.

During the festival, Reed spoke about her book, Enclave.

Faculty Kick-Off Writing Programs’s Fall Readings

Anne Greene, director of Writing Programs, adjunct professor of English, introduces the Writing Programs' Fall Faculty Reading series Sept. 23 in Russell House.

Anne Greene, director of Writing Programs, adjunct professor of English, introduces the Writing Programs' Fall Faculty Reading series Sept. 23 in Russell House.

Deb Olin Unferth, assistant professor of English, reads from her work. Unferth is the author of a collection of stories, Minor Robberies, and a novel, Vacation, both published by McSweeney’s. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, 3rd Bed, Fence, and other publications. She has received a Pushcart Prize, a Creative Capital Grant from the Warhol Foundation, and in 2009 the Cabell First Novelist Award.

Deb Olin Unferth, assistant professor of English, reads from her work. Unferth is the author of a collection of stories, Minor Robberies, and a novel, Vacation, both published by McSweeney’s. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, 3rd Bed, Fence, and other publications. She has received a Pushcart Prize, a Creative Capital Grant from the Warhol Foundation, and in 2009 the Cabell First Novelist Award.

Poetry and nonfiction by Lisa Cohen, assistant professor of English, have appeared in numerous journals, including Ploughshares, Lit, Barrow Street, GLQ, Fashion Theory, Bookforum, The Boston Review, and Voice Literary Supplement. She is currently completing a group biography of three early 20th century figures—the fashion professional Madge Garland, the fan and collector Mercedes de Acosta, and the eccentric scholar Esther Murphy.

Poetry and nonfiction by Lisa Cohen, assistant professor of English, have appeared in numerous journals, including Ploughshares, Lit, Barrow Street, GLQ, Fashion Theory, Bookforum, The Boston Review, and Voice Literary Supplement. She is currently completing a group biography of three early 20th century figures—the fashion professional Madge Garland, the fan and collector Mercedes de Acosta, and the eccentric scholar Esther Murphy.

Elizabeth Willis, the Shapiro-Silverberg Associate Professor of Creative Writing, is the author of four books of poetry, Second Law, The Human Abstract, Turneresque, and Meteoric Flowers. Her work has been selected for the National Poetry Series and her awards include the Boston Review Prize, an award from the Howard Foundation, a Walter N. Thayer Fellowship for the Arts, and a grant from the California Arts Council.  (Photos by Stefan Weinberger '10)

Elizabeth Willis, the Shapiro-Silverberg Associate Professor of Creative Writing, is the author of four books of poetry: Second Law, The Human Abstract, Turneresque, and Meteoric Flowers. Her work has been selected for the National Poetry Series and her awards include the Boston Review Prize, an award from the Howard Foundation, a Walter N. Thayer Fellowship for the Arts, and a grant from the California Arts Council. (Photos by Stefan Weinberger '10)

To view upcoming guest speakers go to:
http://newsletter.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2009/09/22/writing-programs-announces-fall-faculty-readings/

Slotkin Publishes Book on the Civil War’s Battle of the Crater

NO QUARTER JACKET ARTRichard Slotkin, the Olin Professor of English Emeritus, is the author of the book, No Quarter: The Battle of the Crater, 1864 published by Random House on July 21.

No Quarter is a dramatic recount of one of the Civil War’s most pivotal events — the Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864.

At first glance, the Union’s plan seemed brilliant. A regiment of miners would burrow beneath a Confederate fort, pack the tunnel with explosives, and blow a hole in the enemy lines. Then a specially trained division of African American infantry would spearhead a powerful assault to exploit the breach created by the explosion. Thus, in one decisive action, the Union would marshal its mastery of technology and resources, as well as demonstrate the superior morale generated by the Army of the Potomac’s embrace of emancipation. At stake

Slotkin’s Abe in Lincoln Anthology

A chapter from the novel, Abe, written by Richard Slotkin, the Olin Professor of English, emeritus, was reprinted in The Lincoln Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and Legacy from 1860 to Now, published by the Library of America No. 192, edited by Harold Holzer. The anthology was prepared in honor of the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth, and is being sold separately and as part of a boxed set with Library of America’s edition of Lincoln’s writings and speeches.

Amy Bloom ’75 Part of Distinguished Writers Series

The Spring 2009 Distinguished Writers Series features a short story author, New York Times Magazine writer, student poets and a Pulitzer Prize winning author.

Amy Bloom ’75, the 2009 Jacob Julien Visiting Writer, will speak at 8 p.m. Feb. 18 in Russell House. Bloom is the author of the novel Love Invents Us, the short story collection A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You, and the nonfiction work Normal. Her most recent novel, Away, was a New York Times bestseller, and she has received the National Magazine Award and been nominated for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and numerous anthologies here and abroad.

Carlo Rotella will speak at 8 p.m. Feb. 25 in Russell House. Rotella is the author of October Cities, Good With Their Hands,

Students Attend Prop. 8 Reading at Wellesley College

Students

Pictured, from left, Cherrie Moraga, poet/writer and Demian Pritchard, visiting assistant professor of Latina/o literature and culture in the English Department, pose for a photograph with Wesleyan students Emily Evnen '10, Alicia Garrison '09, Hope Steinman-Iacullo '09, Elizabeth Busch '10, Dan Heinrich Manuyag '10, Elissa Martel '10, and Christie Kontopidis '10.

A group of Wesleyan students, led by Demian Pritchard, visiting assistant professor of Latina/o literature and culture in the English Department, attended a reading by Cherríe Moraga at Wellesley College Nov. 20.

Moraga is an influential and prolific Chicana lesbian writer of poetry, drama and essays. She is known for mixing genre in her writing as she engages issues of sexuality, race, gender and class – alongside questions of nation and language.

Her reading was titled “Still Loving in the Still War Years,” a play on the title of one of her most widely read books: Loving in the War Years, and inspired by the recent California passage of Proposition 8 barring the right for gays and lesbians to marry in the state – a right won in California recently, and quickly lost.

Moraga read from an in-process essay about her relationships with her mother and her teenage son as a frame for her reading from another in- process essay on President-elect Obama. In her essay she called upon the nation to remember its responsibility to continue to participate in the process of “change” asked for by Obama – to transform the work gone into his election inspired by “the audacity of hope” to a long-term politics of continued participation, which she called “the tenacity of hope.”

(Photo and text contributed by Demian Pritchard)