Jo-Ann Mapson, the author of eleven novels and a book of short stories, read her work for an appreciative audience at Konover Auditorium on October 28. Her novels include Hank & Chloe, Blue Rodeo, which was made into a CBS TV movie starring Kris Kristofferson, The Wilder Sisters and Bad Girl Creek were both Los Angeles Times bestsellers, and Solomon’s Oak won the American Library Association’s RUSA award for women’s fiction. Her work is widely anthologized and her literary papers are being collected by Boston University’s 20th- Century Author’s Collection. She is core faculty and co-creator of The University of Alaska Anchorage’s low-residency MFA Program in Writing.
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.
Past Aetna Writers-in-Residence included Eduardo 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.
John Peters, “The Dismantlement of a Complex Instrument”
Marisol Gallo, “Freedom Writers: The ‘Invisible’ Period of Racism in America and Hollywood”
Dominique Martin, “Irene Adler: Making a Statement”
Sarah Coughlin, “The Communicative Paradox”
Rachel Silvia, “‘Tween aleph and beta I’: Crossing Lines of Difference with M. NourbeSe Philip’s Zong!“
Maria Seger, “The Ethics of Child Murder: Maternal Filicide and American Exceptionalism in Women’s Progressive Era Short Fiction”
Joseph Darda, “Antiwar Absolution in Joseph Heller’s Vietnam”
Alex Gatten, “Beyond the Ghost: Katherine Philips and the Queerness of Close Reading”
Emma Burris-Janssen, “Violating Viola: Re-Membering Female Agency in Mona Carid’s ‘Marriage’ and The Wing of Azrael“
Sophomore Honors have been awarded to English majors Katie Loughrey, Shannon Miller, Giorgina Paiella, Alan Polozov, and Kaila Toce.
Sophomore Honors is awarded to students enrolled in the Honors Program in recognition of their academic achievement, completion of Honors courses, and participation in Honors events. Two hundred and thirty-nine students from across UConn received the 2014 Sophomore Honors Certificate at the Fall Honors Ceremony on October 21, including our five English majors.
In addition, Giorgina Paiella presented an excellent keynote talk at the ceremony.
Congratulations to George Moore (English) and Jeremy DeAngelo (Medieval Studies), who have been accepted into the Folger Library’s spring 2015 seminar, “The Scale of Catastrophe: Ecology and Transition, Medieval to Modern.” The unusual selection of two members from the same university is a testament to the strength of both candidates.
In addition to teaching and advising our students this fall term, we have been busy presenting our work beyond the classroom.
Congratulations to PhD Candidate Jared Demick for the publication of his debut book of poems, The Hunger in Our Eyes (BlazeVOX, 2014). His poems, which he refers to as “encyclopedic poetricks,” focus on specific moments and aspects of America and American people. Topics range from historical and cultural pieces such as honky-tonk, country music, the Civil War, and the Dust Bowl to character pieces and personal reflections on everyday life. Demick incorporates dialogue into his poetry, and delighted his UConn Bookstore audience at a recent reading by channeling different accents and even breaking into song. In addition to writing his dissertation, “Alien Comforts: The Languages and Food of the Chinese Diaspora and Hawaiian ‘Locals’ in American Popular Culture,” Demick is Assistant Director of the UConn Creative Writing Program, editor of The Jivin’ Ladybug: A Skewered Journal of the Arts, and founder and director of the Nutmeg Writers’ Group. His interests include American literature, food studies, slangs, pidgins, creoles, and music in the Americas and creative writing.