Month: April 2017

Poetry Rocks

POETRY ROCKS! Quarterly Poetry Series at Arts Center East, Vernon, Sunday, May 7, 2:00 pm

Rennie McQuilkin, Poet Laureate of Connecticut and the author of fourteen poetry collections, will read from his latest books, A Quorum of Saints and North of Eden. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, The Yale Review and elsewhere. He has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Connecticut Center for the Book. For nine years he directed the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, which he co-founded. He lives in Simsbury. Learn more at

Also featured is Joan Seliger Sidney, daughter of Holocaust survivors. Despite her Multiple Sclerosis, she swims, skis and rides horseback. Her books include Body of Diminishing Motion, The Way the Past Comes Back and Bereft and Blessed. She has won grants from the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, CT Commission on the Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center. Joan is Writer-in-Residence at UCONN’s Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life. She lives in Storrs. For more information, go to

Books will be available for sale and autographing!

Congratulations to Meghan Burns

Every year, a committee of English department graduate students selects one of their peers to receive the Aetna Graduate Teaching Award. This award recognizes a graduate student’s sustained commitment to and excellence in the teaching of writing. The committee is pleased to have chosen Meghan Burns for this year’s award.

Members of the committee were especially impressed by Meghan’s thoughtful and extensive feedback on student writing; her assignments, which combined innovativeness and fidelity to the pedagogical ideals of our program; and the wide variety of activities that she employed in her lesson plans, which genuinely created the lab- or workshop-like space for student engagement with writing to which so many of us, as instructors, aspire.

What is Equality?: Interrogating Economic Inequality, Past and Present

“What is Equality?: Interrogating Economic Inequality, Past and Present.” An exciting discussion on interdisciplinary arts and humanities methods for understanding economic inequality and influencing public debates on equality.

Monday, April 17, 2017, 4:30-6:00 at Konover Auditorium, followed by a reception

A public panel sponsored by the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute Public Discourse Project and organized by Sarah Winter (UConn, English) and Elaine Hadley (UChicago, English)


Keller Easterling, Yale School of Architecture, author of Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space

Michele Elam, English, Stanford University, author of The Souls of Mixed Folk: Race, Politics, and Aesthetics in the New Millennium

Seth Koven, History, Rutgers University, author of The Match Girl and the Heiress

Poetic Journeys Release Party

Poetic Journeys 2016-17 at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 24, Room 109 of the Art Building

The event will begin with a reception, followed by presentations by this year’s poets and designers.

Poetic Journeys was developed by the Creative Writing Program at the University of Connecticut and inspired by the New York MTA’s Poetry in Motion series, itself inspired by London’s Poems on the Underground. Poetic Journeys features poems written by UConn students, faculty, and staff on placards designed by students in the University’s Design Center.

Poetic Journeys began in the Fall of 2000, and subsequent series have been published annually. Poetic Journeys grants writers and designers a unique collaborative experience. It offers the campus community and visitors a poetic respite from their busy days, and an opportunity, each time they board a bus, to embark on a different kind of journey. Program sponsors include the Creative Writing Program, the Design Center, the Aetna Chair of Writing, the UConn Cooperative Bookstore, and UConn Transportation.

This year our release party will take place in room 109 of the Art Building, a beautiful gallery space ideal for showcasing this year’s Poetic Journeys designs. Come hear poets reading from their work, as well as UConn Design Center students discussing the artistic process of translating words into poetic images.

The reading and exhibition is free and open to the public. The Art Building is located on Bolton Road, next to the Connecticut Repertory Theater. Come on down for an exciting evening of words and images. Everyone is welcome. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information go to the Creative Writing Program website at or the Poetic Journeys website at or email Matthew Shelton at

Job Market Committee Workshop

Friday, April 21, 2:00 pm, Stern Lounge: Job Market Committee Workshop on showcasing your pedagogy (teaching philosophies and portfolios)

Graduate students who are planning on applying to academic jobs in the 2017-2018 academic year are particularly encouraged to attend. All faculty and graduate students are, of course, welcome.

UConn GALA teams up with Arts at the Capitol Theater

UConn’s Graduate Association for Literary Artists (GALA) will team up with Arts at the Capitol Theater (ACT) Magnet School for a joint reading at 6 pm on Friday, April 21, at the UConn Bookstore in Storrs Center. The reading will feature new work from ACT’s creative writing students alongside GALA’s graduate creative writers.


GALA is made up of graduate student creative writers from across the disciplines, working in poetry, prose, drama, and the other literary arts. The mission is to provide professional support for graduate creative writers, as well as to promote creative writing and the literary arts in the wider UConn community.

ACT is a public magnet high school located on Main Street in Willimantic, in the historic Capitol Theater building. ACT focuses on the performing arts and the integration of arts and academic curricula to enhance and enrich student learning. Students at the school choose between five disciplines or “majors” to study in depth. These include Acting, Audio/Visual, Creative Writing, Dance, and Theater Production. The Creative Writing department offers a range of classes including Introduction to Creative Writing, Advanced Fiction, Advanced Poetry, Mythology, Screenwriting (co-taught with Advanced A/V), and more.

The reading, co-sponsored by the UConn Bookstore, is free and open to the public. Please join us for what promises to be a memorable night of poetry in collaboration. Everyone is welcome.

For more information, visit the UConn Creative Writing Program’s website at

What Happened to the Commonplace Book?

What Happened to the Commonplace Book? 

A Story of Technological Change in Nineteenth-Century England       

Prof. Jillian Hess (CUNY, Bronx Community College)

Thursday, April 13, 5 p.m.

Austin 217 (Stern Lounge)

In the midst of proliferating technologies, nineteenth-century writers registered an all too familiar problem: how does one organize information so that it is most useful? In response, many authors chose to take up the commonplace-book tradition by categorizing quotations and information in their own personal notebooks. Coleridge transcribed extracts in his “Fly-Catchers,” Tennyson wrote commonplaces in his “Butcher’s Books,” and George Eliot collected historical information in her “Quarry.” As Oscar Wilde wrote in his Oxford commonplace book, “nothing is easier than to accumulate facts, nothing is so hard as to use them.” This talk explores how Romantic and Victorian authors used their commonplace books as information management tools, while telling the story of what happened to this ancient tradition in the face of technological change, shifting practices of reading, and new conceptions of authorship.

Irish Studies Reading by Kelly Sullivan

11:00 am April 13 (Thurs.), BUSN 204

Kelly Sullivan is a poet and fiction writer and Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow of Irish Studies at NYU with an expertise in Irish late modernism. Her novel, Winter Bayou (2006), was published by Lilliput Press, Dublin, and her poems and short fiction have appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, Salmagundi, The Moth, Southword, The Hopkins Review, and UnderWater New York. She has an MA from University College, Dublin, and a PhD in literature from Boston College. She will read from her poetry chapbook, Fell Year, forthcoming with Green Bottle Press (London) in spring 2017. Her poems engage with questions of private experience and public address, and chart dark pastoral landscapes and experiences of loss through human connections to the environment.