Month: October 2019

Margaret Gibson Poetry Reading

Margaret Gibson will give a Creative Sustenance Poetry Reading on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 6pm in the Storrs Center UConn Bookstore.

Creative Sustenance is a series hosted and sponsored by the Creative Writing Program to benefit the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic. Attendees are invited to make monetary or nonperishable goods donations after the reading.

Margaret Gibson, the Connecticut Poet Laureate, is the author of 12 collections of poetry including Not Hearing the Wood Thrush (2018). “Passage, ”a poem from this collection, was included in The Best American Poetry 2017. Her 2014 collection Broken Cup was a Finalist for the 2016 Poet’s Prize, and the title poem won a Pushcart Prize for 2016. Her awards include the Lamont Selection for Long Walks in the Afternoon (1982), the Melville Kane Award (co-winner) for Memories of the Future (1986), the Connecticut Book Award in Poetry for One Body (2008), and The Vigil (1993) was a Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry. Her memoir The Prodigal Daughter was published in 2008. She is UConn Professor Emerita of English.

Sarah Beth Durst Reading and Q&A

Award-winning fantasy writer and children’s book writer Sarah Beth Durst will be giving a reading and Q&A in the Stern Room at 6:30 on Tuesday, November 12, to which all are invited. There is also limited availability for her talk at 5:00 p.m. on how she worldbuilds differently for children’s and adult fantasy, in AUST 102 (please email Leigh Grossman at if interested).


Sarah Beth Durst is the author of nineteen fantasy books for children, teens, and adults, including The Girl Who Could Not DreamDrink Slay Love, and The Queens of Renthia series. She won an ALA Alex Award and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award three times. She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk.

Jen Manion Lecture and Workshop

Professor Jen Manion of Amherst College will visit UConn as our Fall 2019 Gender & History visiting scholar. They will be present for a lecture on Tuesday, Nov. 12 and a workshop on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

Lecture: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 4:30 pm at the Konover Auditorium. Manion will preview their forthcoming book, Female Husbands: A Trans History, 1740-1910 (Cambridge University Press, 2020). A public reception will follow.

Workshop: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 10-11:30 am in the Wood Hall Basement Lounge. There will be a seminar and discussion of a pre-circulated piece “The Category of the Human in Women’s and Gender History: A Trans Reflection.” Open to graduate students and faculty; pre-circulated paper available from Cornelia Dayton,

Professor Manion is Associate Professor of History at Amherst College. Manion’s books include Liberty’s Prisoners: Carceral Culture in Early America (2015) and, edited with Jim Downs, Taking Back the Academy: History of Activism, History as Activism (2014).

Poetry Readings and Open Mic

Poet, punk singer, and editor Matt Hart is the author of nine books of poems, including Everything Breaking/for Good (YesYes Books, 2019) and The Obliterations (Pickpocket Books, 2019). Additionally, his poems, reviews, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous print and online journals, including The Academy of American Poets online, Columbia Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Big BellCincinnati ReviewColdfrontKenyon Review online, and POETRY. A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati where he teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and plays in the band NEVERNEW:

Poet and educator Russell Dillon is the author of the full-length poetry collection Eternal Patrol and the chapbook Secret Damage, both from Forklift Books. His work has appeared in numerous print and online journals, including Bright Pink Mosquito, Coldfront Magazine5am; Forklift, Ohio; and Green Mountains Review. A graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars, he is also a co-editor of Big Bell Magazine.


We will have an open mic for students following the readings.

EGSA Speaker Event: David Gooblar

Save the date for EGSA’s first speaker event on Friday, Nov. 8, 2pm, McHugh Hall 206.

David Gooblar, PhD, will be discussing his new book, Missing Course: Everything They Never Taught You About College Teaching, published by Harvard University Press (August 2019). David holds a joint appointment in the Department of Rhetoric at the University of Iowa as well as in the Center for the Advancement of Learning at Temple University. He writes the “Pedagogy Unbound” column for the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Vitae site. Every two weeks, the column offers college instructors practical advice, informed by research, on how to create more effective student-centered classrooms. He also edits, an online space for college teachers to share their most valuable teaching tips. Please feel free to reach out to Leah Begg ( if you have any questions.

This event will be co-sponsored by UConn Humanities Institute (UCHI) and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL).

Faculty and graduate students alike are encouraged to attend!


Chris Dowd Talk at UConn

Chris Dowd, professor and Chair of the University of New Haven English Department, gave a talk on October 15 on the Irish origins of American pop culture. The event was sponsored by Irish Studies.

Dowd has an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College and a UConn MA and PhD in English. He is the author of The Construction of Irish Identity in American Literature (Routledge, 2011) and The Irish and the Origins of American Popular Culture (Routledge, 2018).

Michael Swanwick Reading

Michael Swanwick, recently described by The Wall Street Journal as “The finest world-builder since Tolkien,” gave a reading followed by Q&A in the Stern Room on October 15. He also gave a small talk on worldbuilding in fantasy before the reading.

Michael Swanwick is one of the most acclaimed and prolific science fiction and fantasy writers of his generation. He has received a Hugo Award for fiction in an unprecedented five out of six years and his work has been honored with the Nebula, Theodore Sturgeon, and World Fantasy Awards and nominations for the British Science Fiction Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award.

His stories have appeared in Omni, Penthouse, Amazing, Asimov’s, High Times, New Dimensions, Starlight, Universe, Full Spectrum, Triquarterly, and elsewhere. Many have been reprinted in Best of the Year anthologies, and translated for Japanese, Croatian, Dutch, Finnish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Chinese, Czech, and French publications.

Swanwick’s books include In The Drift, an Ace Special; Vacuum FlowersGriffin’s Egg; the Nebula Award-winning Stations Of The Tide; The Iron Dragon’s Daughter, a New York Times Notable Book; Jack Faust; Bones Of The Earth; The Dragons Of Babel; Dancing With Bears; and Chasing The Phoenix. His short fiction has been collected in Gravity’s Angels, A Geography Of Imaginary Lands, Moon Dogs, Tales Of Old Earth, and The Dog Said Bow-Wow. His flash fiction was collected in Cigar-Box Faust and Other Miniatures. A new collection, The Best Of Michael Swanwick, was recently published by Subterranean Press. His most recent published novel is The Iron Dragon’s Mother, completing a trilogy begun twenty-five years before with The Iron Dragon’s Daughter.

Brian Sneeden Featured as Poetry Daily Author of the Day

PhD student Brian Sneeden was featured as the author of the day on Oct. 1 on the national Poetry Daily website.

Again Is the First Time

Brian Sneeden

It is possible to have everything,

like listening for a music in the music.

Somehow I am walking down Patton

and Walnut, and somehow it is there—

the primordial quivering, catching a whiff

of magnitude down a side street:

a quality of sun and air, or the pairing

of two dead leaves on the sidewalk just so.

Turning, I pass a woman in a turtleneck,

a dog tied to a bench and find

the man who owes me twenty dollars.

It is possible to have everything, or at least

twenty dollars, which is also everything

when I spend it on a Death in the Afternoon

for my wife and myself, the champagne

and absinthe mixed to form a sort of cloud.

Like when I walked the Rue Delambre, at night,

blossoming inward like a chrysanthemum

for a small view of the Seine, and thought

for once, surely now is enough. To arrive

this late and still be the first. Like the body

saying, again for the first time. What

is everywhere offers itself, again, itself.