Month: February 2019

Christine Byrne (’19) to read poetry

Student Winners Poetry Reading

UConn is happy to host the winners of the Connecticut Poetry Circuit Student Poetry Contest, including UConn’s own Christine Byrne.


Tuesday, March 5, 6pm; Stern room, Austin 217.

Featuring: Christine Byrne, UCONN; Genie Johnson, Quinebaug Valley CC; Rachel Kaufman, Yale University; Louisa Mahoney, Trinity College; Maxim Schmidt, Albertus Magnus.


The Connecticut Poetry Circuit was established in 1968 to continue the work of the New England Poetry Circuit, which was founded in 1964 by the Academy of American Poets and Holly Stevens, daughter of the acclaimed poet and Hartford insurance executive Wallace Stevens. The work of the Circuit is guided by a panel of poets: Dick Allen, Randall Horton, Vivian Shipley, Clare Rossini and Kate Rushin. The Circuit is directed by James Gentile who is an English professor at Manchester Community College, the Circuit’s permanent home.

Forgotten Women: Writing Workshop

Is there a woman you admire—a personal hero, a special ancestor, an overlooked trailblazer, or marginalized voice? Time to honor her in an original literary work—your work! Ginny Lowe Connors, publisher of the anthology, Forgotten Women, and poet Sheryll Bedingfield will lead a writing workshop on how to turn facts into creative writing. They will also provide source materials for students looking for an inspiring woman to celebrate. There will be a voluntary open mic and info on how to submit work for publication.

Ginny Lowe Connors is the author of several poetry collections, including Toward the Hanging Tree: Poems of Salem Village (Antrim House, 2017), as well as The Unparalleled Beauty of a Crooked Line and Barbarians in the Kitchen. Her chapbook, Under the Porch, won the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize and she has earned numerous awards for individual poems. As Publisher of Grayson Books, Connors has also edited a number of poetry anthologies, including Forgotten Women: A Tribute in Poetry. A Board Member of the Connecticut Poetry Society, she is the editor of Connecticut River Review.

March 4 (Snow date 3/11), 4:00-6:00pm, Austin 217, Stern.


 Sponsored by the Aetna Chair of Writing and the Creative Writing Program.

Lauren Goodlad: “A Study in Distant Reading”

Lauren Goodlad (Rutgers)

“A Study in Distant Reading”

Thursday, February 21 at 4pm in Austin 217 (Stern)



It is a commonplace of our times that late (neoliberal) capitalism produces a relentless anti-historicism that fixates on the present as the only viable reality. In such a climate even self-styled enthusiasts of long duree histories adopt reductionist methods to make positivistic claims about cultural archives. In this talk, Goodlad looks at detective fiction to show how some recent methods miss opportunities to break down the supposed impasse of form and history. Turning to A Study in Scarlet, she argues Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1887 novella is prescient in elucidating problems of genre, place, and ontology which flummox even the newest of data models. In an irony that Sherlock Holmes’s fans will likely appreciate, the world’s first consulting detective was also the world’s first distant reader.


Goodlad is the author of The Victorian Geopolitical Aesthetic: Realism, Sovereignty and Transnational Experience (Oxford, 2015) and Victorian Literature and the Victorian State: Character and Governance in a Liberal Society (Johns Hopkins, 2003); and co-editor of Mad Men, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style, and the 1960s (Duke UP, 2013). She has also co-edited a number of journal special issues, including The Ends of History, a Summer 2013 special issue of Victorian StudiesStates of Welfare, a 2011 special issue of Occasion; and Comparative Human Rights, a 2010 special issue of the Journal of Human Rights.

IDEA Grant Winners

Congratulations to James Grindley and Jasmine Smith, both of the class of 2020, for winning IDEA Grants.

James will be writing “The Cut of a Steer: A Contemporary American Satire,” a 33-chapter, creative fiction novel in the broad genre of post-modern Neo American Gothic, where he will discuss a variety of current events that have defined the 21st century and the world we live in today.

Jasmine will create “Old/New/Inside/Out: An Exploration of Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture,” a visual journal documenting experiences in the traditional, yet advanced, country of Japan, with a specific interest in traditional vs. modern culture and the public opinion of both to cultivate a collection of artwork and creative writings for an exhibition and reading on campus.


Writers Who Edit, Editors Who Write Series

Aimee Nezhukumatathil was born to a Filipino mother and Malayali Indian father, and is the author of four books of poetry: Oceanic (2018), Lucky Fish (2011), winner of the Hoffer Grand Prize for Prose and Independent Books; At the Drive-In Volcano (2007), and Miracle Fruit (2003). Her collection of nature essays World of Wonder is forthcoming. With Ross Gay, she co-authored Lace & Pyrite (2014) a chapbook of nature poems. She serves as the poetry editor for Orion magazine. In 2014, she became one of the country’s youngest poets to achieve the rank of full Professor of English. She is now professor of English and teaches environmental literature and poetry writing in the MFA program at the University of Mississippi.

Sponsored by the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute, the Creative Writing Program and the UConn Bookstore.

Panel: Career Prospects in English

Career Prospects in English at 2-Year Colleges

Tuesday, February 19, 3:30-4:30, Stern Room

Please join us for a panel that explores rewarding, research-active careers in two-year colleges. Two local community college English professors (see bios below) will share their insights and field questions.

In 2016-17, 8.7 million students enrolled in public, two-year colleges, which represents more than a third of all undergraduates.

Newly arrived, mid-program, and dissertating graduate students are all encouraged to attend. This panel is not just for those on the job market but also for anyone who wants to learn more about the full range of possibilities for careers in English.  Faculty are also invited. The panelists can help us reflect on how our graduate program could better prepare students for faculty positions at community colleges

Jonathan Anderson, Professor of English, Quinebaug Valley Community College.  Jon, a UConn alum, is the author of Augur (Red Dragonfly Press, 2018), which was awarded the 2017 David Martinson/Meadowhawk Poetry Prize. Other books include Stomp and Sing (Curbstone Press/Northwestern University Press, 2005) and The Burden Note (Meridian Prize, 2014). He is also the editor of the anthology Seeds of Fire: Contemporary Poetry from the Other U.S.A. (Smokestack Books, 2008). His poems have appeared in many print and online venues, and he has been a featured reader at events in the US and UK.

James Gentile, Professor of English, Manchester Community College.  James is Director of the Connecticut Poetry Circuit and co-chair of the English Department at MCC, where he has also served as Co-Director of the Liberal Arts Division and Chair of the Center for Teaching for the community college system. Currently, he is co-chair of the Connecticut Coalition of English Teachers, the professional organization for all English faculty in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, and State Representative to the Two-Year College English Association-Northeast. He has worked with the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium on its online tutoring program in writing and with the Neag School of Education at UConn on a DHE grant-funded project focusing on universal design in instruction. Gentile holds a doctorate in English and comparative literature from Columbia University, with an emphasis on American literature.