Month: March 2018

Letters About Literature

The Neag School of Education, the UConn Department of English, and the Connecticut Writing Project (CWP) at UConn are proud to announce Connecticut’s winners of the 25th annual “Letters About Literature” competition, a nationwide contest sponsored by the Library of Congress for students in grades 4 through 12.

Three first-place winners have been selected. They now advance to the national competition, for which winners will be chosen later this month.

Follow the link below to see the winners’ names, and read their submissions!

2018 Letters About Literature Winners

First-Year Writing Wins Major Grant

First-Year Writing Wins Major Grant for Computer Classroom Renovation

In early February, we (The First-Year Writing Program) applied for a grant from the Steelcase Corporation to renovate our computer classroom (245). We are pleased to say that we have won this $67,000 grant to completely renovate the space, and that work on the room will begin immediately. We will have a fully functional classroom ready for the fall! The “Active Learning Center” will be a flexible space where you can work with students across different spaces within a learning ecosystem that can be configured for the work you are doing in each class session.

Aetna Celebration of Student Writing

Aetna Celebration of Student Writing

3:00–7:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 5, 2018
North Reading Room
Wilbur Cross Building
University of Connecticut, Storrs

The Aetna Celebration of Student Writing will open with student-led poster presentations from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Posters will showcase student research from writing-intensive courses at UConn (including First-Year Writing courses) and/or on the subject of writing, rhetoric, or a related topic.

Following the poster session, the Aetna Celebration of Student Writing will celebrate prize-winning academic and creative work by UConn students.



Poetry Reading

Julie Choffel will be reading from her work at UConn Hartford on April 4 at 4:00 PM, in the Hartford Public Library Atrium.

Choffel teaches writing at UConn and Tunxis Community College, and was recently named Poet Laureate of West Hartford. She is the author of The Hello Delay, a book of poems, and winner of the Poets Out Loud prize. Julie’s book will be available for purchase and a book signing will follow the reading.

The 55th Wallace Stevens Poetry Program

This Morning I Pray for My Enemies, by Joy Harjo


And whom do I call my enemy?

An enemy must be worthy of engagement.

I turn in the direction of the sun and keep walking.

It’s the heart that asks the question, not my furious mind.

The heart is the smaller cousin of the sun.

It sees and knows everything.

It hears the gnashing even as it hears the blessing.

The door to the mind should only be open from the heart.

An enemy who gets in, risks the danger of becoming a friend.


(Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, W. W. Norton, 2017).


Wednesday, March 28 & Thursday, March 29, 2018

Joy Harjo/The 55th Wallace Stevens Poetry Program

March 28: Konover Auditorium, 7:00 pm

March 29: Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts (160-172 Huyshope Avenue, Hartford), 1:30 pm


This program is sponsored by The Hartford. Additional support is provided by American Studies, UConn’s English Department, the Creative Writing Program, the English Speaker’s Fund, the Humanities Institute, and the Rightors Fund for Children’s Literature, all housed in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.


Joy Harjo’s eight books of poetry include Conflict Resolution for Holy BeingsHow We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, andShe Had Some Horses. Harjo’s memoir Crazy Brave won several awards, including the PEN USA Literary Award for Creative NonFiction and the American Book Award. She is the recipient of the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets for proven mastery in the art of poetry; a Guggenheim Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the United States Artist Fellowship. In 2014, she was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. A renowned musician, Harjo performs with her saxophone nationally and internationally, solo and with her band, the Arrow Dynamics. She has five award-winning CDs of music including the award-winning album Red DreamsA Trail Beyond Tears and Winding Through the Milky Way, which won a Native American Music Award for Best Female Artist of the Year in 2009. She is Professor of English and American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In the fall of 2016, she assumed the Chair of Excellence in Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Käpylä Translation Prize

The UConn Program in Literary Translation is delighted to announce that the winner of the inaugural Käpylä Translation Prize ($1,000) is J. Kates, for his outstanding translation of Paper-Thin Skin by Aigerim Tazhi, a Kazakhstani woman poet who writes in Russian. The judge, Burton Pike, selected the winner and shortlisted entries from a competitive pool of submissions spanning a striking diversity of genres and languages.

J. Katesis a well-known American poet, literary translator, and the president and co-director of Zephyr Press.

Among the Shortlisted Translators chosen by Burton Pike were three UConn graduate students:

Jeanne Bonner

Pauline Levy-Valensi

Brian Sneeden


Other Shortlisted Translators Include: 

Natascha Bruce

Jennifer Croft

Oleksandra Gordynchuk

Catherine Hammond

Jeremy Tiang


The Käpylä Translation Prize is an international prize awarded annually for an exceptional book-length translation project in poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction from any language into English. The Prize is hosted by UConn’s Program in Literary Translation, and sponsored by Käpylä Publishing.

“Paradigmatic Shifts: Race, Nation, and Personhood”

Event: “Paradigmatic Shifts: Race, Nation, and Personhood”

Location: UConn Bookstore, Storrs Center

Time: 12:30pm-5:15pm


Animated by the turbulent and shifting imaginaries of nations and societies signaled by mass protest and reinvigorated by social movements such as Black Lives Matter, Organizing to Protect the Undocumented, Occupy Wall Street, #SayHerName, South-South Cooperation, and global anti-austerity initiatives, this one-day workshop takes as a starting point the notion of “paradigmatic shifts.” Suggestive of profound changes in human experience and indicative of visionary acts, “paradigmatic shifts” function as apt lenses through which to consider, commemorate, and contemplate past, present, and future politics and sociocultural dynamics. Encompassing contestations concerning who does and does not belong to the state and, by extension, to the economic order, this focus on political instability and changing paradigms similarly highlights the intersectional qualities and location of spaces in-between as well as subjects often unseen. “Paradigmatic Shifts: Race, Nation, and Personhood” is both timely and urgent in its focus on new world orders, allegiances, and affiliations.

Please feel free to contact Cathy Schlund-Vials with any questions.

UConn Gives

This April 4-5, the UConn Foundation is running a two-day fundraising campaign called UConn Gives.  The Connecticut Writing Project has two entries in the campaign, one for the Summer Institute and one for Connecticut Student Writers magazine.  By following this link, You can both donate to the campaign or sign up to be an ambassador, which gives you a URL you can post to your Facebook page or other social media to help raise awareness of the CWP’s two campaigns.



Sneeden Featured in World Literature Today

PhD candidate Brian Sneeden is featured in the March 2018 publication of World Literature Today for his translation of Homerica, by Phoebe Giannisi.

Brian Sneeden’s poems have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Harvard Review Online, Ninth Letter, Third Coast, and other publications. He received his MFA from the University of Virginia, where he served as poetry editor for Meridian.