Month: January 2016

Reginald Dwayne Betts Poetry Reading

Poet Reginald Dwayne Betts  read on Wednesday, February 10, at 6 pm at the UConn Coop Bookstore in Storrs Center.

Betts grew up in Suitland, Maryland. He has authored two books of poetry, Bastards of the Reagan Era and Shahid Reads His Own Palm. He also wrote the memoir A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison, in which he recounts and reflects on his experience of nearly a decade of imprisonment following a carjacking that he participated in as a teenager. It was awarded the 2010 NAACP Image Award for nonfiction.

In addition to many other awards and recognitions, in 2012, President Barack Obama appointed Betts to the Coordinating Council of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Betts received an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College and is currently a student at Yale Law School.

Tutorials with Spring Aetna Writer-in-Residence, Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown will spend two days at UConn this spring (March 8 and 9) as the Aetna Writer-in-Residence. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown has written two award winning books of poetry, Please and The New Testament. He is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Emory University.

Six student writers will be selected to participate in one-on-one writing tutorials with Mr. Brown. Students interested in participating should submit a typed 5-page manuscript of poetry to Professor Sean Forbes, English Department, Austin 208. Each manuscript must be accompanied by a cover sheet with the student’s name and all contact information. Manuscripts must be received by Friday, February 26, 2016 for consideration.


Dinaw Mengestu: “Political Fictions”

Tuesday, February 2nd

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Storrs Campus, Konover Auditorium, Dodd Center

Dinaw Mengestu is an Ethiopian American novelist and writer. Since earning his MFA at Columbia University in 2005, he has published three novels, all of them New York Times Notable Books, including his most recent All Our Names. As a freelance journalist, he has written for Rolling Stone on the war in Darfur, and for Jane Magazine on the conflict in northern Uganda. His writing has also appeared in Harper’s, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous other publications. He was Lannan Foundation Chair in Poetics at Georgetown University from 2012-2015. Since his first book was published in 2007, he has received numerous literary awards, and was selected as a MacArthur Fellow in 2012.

During his talk, Mengestu spoke about his personal experience writing novels. His first novel failed, not because it wasn’t well written, but because it lacked important and meaningful details. Mengestu’s main point was that fictions should not exist in a vacuum. Politics and fiction go hand in hand. In order for a fictional world to be believable, it needs to contain certain political details, just like the real world.

Last Call for Long River Review Submissions

All undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to submit prose, poetry, and art for the Spring 2016 issue of the Long River Review for a chance to see their work published.

Submissions must be sent to by 11:59 on Thursday, February 11 to be considered. This includes all poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, translations, hybrid pieces, and/or otherwise uncategorized creative works.

Visiting Professor Garrett A. Sullivan, Jr.

Professor Garrett Sullivan is the Neag Visiting Professor for Spring 2016. He is a professor at Penn State where he teaches courses on early modern English literature and culture, especially drama. His research interests include the histories of emotion, cognition and embodiment; period conceptions of generation, vitality and humanness; British World War II film; the relationship between literary genre and early modern experiences of embodiment; and cartography, geography and early modern conceptions of land. Sullivan’s area of specialization is Renaissance Literature with particular interest in Renaissance drama, especially Shakespeare and Marlowe. He has authored, edited, and co-edited numerous works. Sullivan has also served as a trustee for the Shakespeare Association of America and on the Shakespeare Division Executive Committee of the MLA. In addition, he has co-curated two exhibitions at the Folger Shakespeare Library, one focused on early modern conceptions of history and the other on period ideas about sleeping and dreaming.

Caitlyn Durfee, University Scholar

Congratulations to Caitlyn Durfee, who has been selected as a 2016 University Scholar.

The University Scholar Program is one of the most prestigious programs for undergraduates at the University of Connecticut. Available to students from all of the University’s schools and colleges, the Program allows students to design and pursue an in-depth research project and to craft an individualized plan of study that supports their intellectual interests during their final three semesters.

Graduating as a University Scholar is considered the highest academic achievement the university bestows on undergraduate students. No more than 30 University Scholars are selected each year.