Author: ban12002

57th Annual Wallace Stevens Poetry Program

The 57th Annual Wallace Stevens Poetry Program with D. A. Powell has been postponed until next spring due to the Governor’s State of Emergency and the shifting situation with Covid-19. We are sorry to have to reschedule this event that is a highlight of the year,  but we look forward to gathering and celebrating poetry at a time that’s safer for all.

Acclaimed poet D. A. Powell has been praised for both his gravity and his wit. As one critic wrote, “No accessible poet of his generation is half as original, and no poet as original is this accessible.” Powell’s early books, Tea (1998), Lunch (2000), and Cocktails (2004), are often read as a  trilogy on the AIDS epidemic. Powell’s fourth book, Chronic (2009), won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His latest collection, Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (2012) won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry. Fellow writer Carl Phillips describes Powell’s poems as “entirely of-the-moment while at every turn [announcing]… not merely an awareness, but an actual confidence with such prosodic traditions as the heroic couplet and the pentameter line, such cultural and literary traditions as those of the Old Testament and of meaningfully comic punning…. No fear, here, of heritage nor of music nor, refreshingly, of authority. Mr. Powell recognizes in the contemporary the latest manifestations of a much older tradition: namely, what it is to be human.” Powell has taught at Harvard and Columbia University, and is currently a Professor at the University of San Francisco.

The Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize

Calling all undergraduate and graduate student poets! The Wallace Stevens Poetry Program is now accepting submissions for this prestigious campus award. Prizes of $1000, $500, and $250 will be awarded to the winning poets. Students from any major at any UConn campus are eligible.

Deadline: December 9, 2019

Submit 1-8 poems.

We look forward to reading your work!

Full details and guidelines are posted on the Creative Writing Program Website.

Eleni Coundouriotis Brown Bag Event

Join the Department for a Faculty Brown Bag Event with Eleni Coundouriotis.

Wednesday, November 20 at 12:00 pm in the Stern Lounge (Austin 217).

“Refugee Experience and Historical Retrospection”

For literature scholars, the exile and an exilic sensibility of homelessness have a particular resonance associated with an ethics of reading marked by historical engagement.  Anthropologists are now using the term exile to recast the figure of the refugee. What happens in this shift from refugee to exile, especially considering that exile is not a term with any legal meaning? What can our literary sense of the term exile bring to the discussion of refugees as exiles?  To explore these questions, the paper examines the figure of the exile in the context of what Michel Agier has called the “existential community” of exodus for which historical retrospection becomes a means of political re-subjectification.

Sponsored by the Department of English Speakers and Symposia Committee. Drinks and desserts will be provided!


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.