Sean Forbes wins first place in poetry contest

Poem “Double Dutch Champion” won first-place prize of $100 in the 2017 Al Savard Poetry Contest of the Connecticut Poetry Society. About the poem, the judge wrote: Deceptively simple, this gem of a poem juggles the athleticism of rope-jumping with the exigencies of an orphan’s life. It’s as if the whirring cadences of the poem and of double Dutch itself are meant to hide and assuage Dickensian sorrows, but can’t. The sorrows, the hard facts of loss, never go away. As a winning poem, it will be posted on the Connecticut Poetry Society (CPS) website.

Miss Collegiality: A Round table on Colleagues, Community, and the Work of our Work

April 3rd from 12-1 in room 240 (American Studies Library) Miss Collegiality: A Round table on Colleagues, Community, and the Work of our Work. The goal of the round table is to demystify some of the unspoken obligations graduate students have when participating in an English department, as well as talking through some of the expectations and experiences in preparation to become junior faculty.

Laura Wright, Micah Goodrich, Dr. Steve Mollmann, and Dr. Patrick Lawrence will be speaking for a bit, and then we hope to have a lot of time for audience questions and discussions. While our speakers will have some topics prepared, others may write down some questions, concerns, and topics you’d like to hear about on the shared GoogleDoc.

Careers for English Majors: Strategies, Options, and Ideas

March 27 4-6 p.m. in Austin 217 (Stern Room) the Writing Internship Program’s annual panel presentation and discussion for English majors: “Careers for English Majors: Strategies, Options, and Ideas.”  Students have found this event highly informative, practical, and inspiring.

Despite job market concerns and the pessimism English majors confront about their choice of major, job options open to the specific skills of English majors are now quite varied, and English majors are increasingly in demand.  The panelists below are testimony to the creative ways in which English majors are shaping careers for themselves.

Four UConn English majors (see below) will present information about their own careers and job search strategies.  Given their experiences and professions, they have valuable advice and will answer questions about job market realities as well as the logistics and anxieties of job searches and interviews. The panelists will discuss the value of the English major and other concerns about professional life after graduation.

  • As everyone knows, the current job market poses numerous challenges for job applicants.
  • These panelists will speak to those challenges and offer both practical advice and encouragement.

The panelists below bring a broad range of internship and post-undergraduate experience:

Carla Calandra (’16), Publisher Support and Editorial Assistant, Oxford University Press, New York City

Mary Malley (’16), Assistant Editor, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, New York City

Myles Udland (’12), Business News Reporter, Yahoo Finance, New York City

Eric Vo (’13), Health News Reporter and Editor, Aetna, Hartford, CT

Refreshments will be served.

If you have questions, please e-mail ruth.fairbanks@uconn.edu.


Irish Studies Reading by Brenda Murphy

11:00am March 23 (Tues.), BUSN 204

Brenda Murphy is Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus at UConn.  She is the author of twenty books, the most recent being Eugene O’Neill Remembered (2017), a biography in documents. The subject of her talk will be After the Voyage: An Irish American Story (2016), historical fiction based on the experience of her immigrant family in the Boston area from 1870 until the 1930s.

English Majors Admitted into the Neag’s Teacher Education Programs

The following sophomore English majors have been admitted to the Neag School of Education’s Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program for Secondary English Education.  Most will earn a BA in English, a BS in Education, and an MA in Education.

Nicole Gerardin

Kathrine Grant

Amy Hamby

Tommy Jacobsen

Casey Long

Shane Leury

Marisa Macek

Megan O’Connor

Shelby Phipps

Sadie Robinson

Justin Rogers

Rachel Ruiz

Anna Stachura

Gabrielle Strain

Clarissa Tan

Samantha White


The following sophomore English students have been admitted to the Neag School of Education’s Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program for Elementary Education.  Some will earn a BA in English along with BS and MA degrees in Education.  All will complete at least 24 credits in English as part of their content area concentration.

Gabrielle Bachoo

Aaron Blais

Kaitlyn Ferrara

Julia Gannon

Isabella Horan

Lauren Kumnick

Michela Mazzarrella

Alyssa O’Toole

Chantel Piniero

Courtney Rice

Konjit Richards-Johnson

Madeleine Rusk

Haley Shettles

Kathleen Shultz

Connor Strickland


The following sophomore English students have been admitted to the Neag School of Education’s Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program for Special Education.  Some will earn a BA in English along with BS and MA degrees in Education.  All will complete at least 24 credits in English as part of their content area concentration.

Alexis Bardos

Julia Devivo

Nadejah Green

Michael Griffin

Cassidy Jenkins

Lauren Knerr

Victoria Smith

Jami Zolotor


The following senior English majors (and a couple of former graduates) have been admitted to the Neag School of Education’s Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates for Secondary English Education.  All will earn an MA in Education.

Emma Bristow (graduated 2013)

Ryan Cerniglia

Sara Chilone

Kristine Fillian

Benjamin Friedman (BFA in Film Studies)

Lindsay Glick

Nathan Hatfield

Jacob Jones

Katherine Kelly

Kamola Rabbimova

Clifford Saccoccio

Thomas Shea (graduated 2016)

Kara Tierney

Stephanie Zamary


The following senior English majors have been admitted to the Neag School of Education’s Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates for Special Education.  All will earn an MA in Education.

Andrew Ernsky

Monique Giresi

Marisa Prattson

Julia Vitti


Graduate students land new jobs

Congratulations to Steve Mollmann (PhD ‘16) on landing a job as Term Assistant Professor of English and Writing at the University of Tampa, where he will start in the fall.

Melissa Bugdal (PhD tentative ’17) begins this fall as Assistant Professor of English and Director of the University Writing Center at Salisbury University, Maryland.

Christiana Salah (PhD ’16) will begin this fall as Assistant Professor of English, specializing in 19th- and 20th-century British literature, at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.


Kimiko Hahn at the UConn Bookstore

Poet Kimiko Hahn will spend two days at UConn this spring (March 22 and 23) as the Aetna Writer-in-Residence. She will read from her poetry on Wednesday, March 22, at 6pm in the UConn Bookstore in Storrs Center.

Six student writers will be selected to participate in one-on-one writing tutorials with Hahn. Graduate and Undergraduate Students are invited to participate. Students interested in participating should submit a typed 5-page manuscript of poetry to Professor Sean Forbes, English Department, Austin 208 or at sean.forbes@uconn.edu. Each manuscript must be accompanied by a cover sheet with the student’s name and all contact information. Manuscripts must be received by Friday, March 10, for consideration.

Kimiko Hahn was born in Mt. Kisco, New York, the child of artists, a Japanese American mother from Hawaii and a German American father from Wisconsin. She received a BA from Iowa University and an MA from Columbia University. She is the author of ten collections of poetry including Air Pocket (1989), The Artist’s Daughter (2002), and Toxic Flora (2010). She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Theodore Roethke Memorial Award, and the American Book Award. She is a Distinguished Professor in the English department at Queens College/CUNY.

The Aetna Writer-in-Residence Program began in 2003. Supported by funding from the Aetna Chair in Writing, UConn’s Creative Writing Program invites a nationally or internationally-known author to campus for a residency each semester. Each author spends three days on campus offering tutorials for students, holding Q&A sessions with the campus community, leading master classes in creative writing, sharing meals with students, and giving a public reading of his or her work. As a result of the Aetna Writer-in-Residence program, UConn graduate and undergraduate students can participate in an intense hands-on learning experience with some of today’s most exciting authors.

This event is sponsored by the Aetna Chair of Writing, the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute, the Creative Writing Program, and the UConn Bookstore.
Past Aetna Writers-in-Residence included Amber Dermont, Jericho Brown, Laura van den Berg, Camille Dungy, Jo-Ann Mapson, Eduardo C. Corral, Andre Dubus III, G.C. Waldrep, Margot Livesey, Shara McCallum, Connie Voisine, Edmund White,Colum McCann, Lynne McMahon, Fay Weldon, Phillis Levin, Allen Kurzweil, Naeem Murr, Steve Almond, C.D. Wright, Stuart O’Nan, and Beth Ann Fennelly.

A Clash of Cooks

The EGSA Community Committee’s “A Clash of Cooks,” will be held this Thursday, March 9th, in the Stern Lounge starting at noon.  All of the delicious entries the English graduate students have prepared, from Goat Cheese and Scallion Tarts, Guiness Molasses Bread, and Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai to Chicken Biriyani, Sausage and Spinach Quiche, and Coconut Cream Pie, will be available for a mere $4.99! Check out the menu to see what our talented competitors are bringing to the table!

Doors will open in the Stern at 12:00 and stay open until about 1:30. Dishes will be labeled in order to account for allergies and dietary restrictions. Drinks are provided. Remember, if you’ve participated in the contest, you do not need to pay the admission fee!

Another reminder: distinguished judges will award prizes for the winner in three categories: appetizer (or side), main dish, and dessert.

This year, we will also be introducing a People’s Choice Award. We will have a ballot box set up, and everyone (grad students and faculty alike!) will be able to vote for their favorite dish in any of the categories. The most votes wins the prize! People who have entered dishes in the Cook-off will be eligible to vote, and yes, you can vote for yourself.

This event is a great space to enjoy wonderful food with colleagues. It has raised a lot of money for EGSA in the past, and we are hoping it will be just as successful this year!

Must the Revolution Be Digital?

Thursday, March 9, 4pm in the Class of 1947 room in the Babbidge Library.

“Must the Revolution be Digital?” is a panel discussion featuring Zakia Salime and David Karpf. With the events of the Arab Spring and recent mobilization around the Movement for Black Lives, it is generally accepted that digital and social media have become crucial for activism and resistance. However, the debates around digital and online activism are fraught and complicated. One side argues that these new forms are inherently lazy, youth oriented, and remain embedded in neoliberal structures that foreclose revolution from reaching its full radical potential. Yet another argument claims these activisms are not disconnected from bodies on the ground and do the necessary work of generating immediacy and building community around shared causes.


Zakia Salime is Associate Professor at the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers and currently Visiting Associate Professor at Yale’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department. Her co-edited volume, with Frances Hasso, Freedom without Permission: Bodies and Space in the Arab Revolutions (2016, Duke University Press) investigates the embodied, sexualized and gendered spaces that were generated, transformed and reconfigured during the Arab uprisings.


David Karpf is Assistant Professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. He is the author of The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy (2012, Oxford University Press) and Analytic Activism: Digital Listening and the New Political Strategy (2017, Oxford University Press).


Sponsored by the UConn Humanities Institute’s Digital Humanities Reading Group and moderated by Bhakti Shringarpure.