Author: Claire E. Reynolds

Aetna Writer-in-Residence Tara Betts

Wednesday, November 1

Tara Betts/Aetna Writer-in-Residence and Creative Sustenance Event

Barnes & Noble College Bookstore, Storrs Center, 6:3 0 pm

**This event is a benefit for the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic. Audience members are invited to make a donation after the reading.

Co-sponsored with the Aetna Chair of Writing and the Barnes & Noble College Bookstore


Tara Betts is the author of Break the Habit (2016) and Arc & Hue (2009). She is also one of the editors of The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives About Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century (2017). Betts has self-published small runs of several chapbooks: “Can I Hang?” (1999), “Switch” (2003), “Break the Habit” (2012), and “Circling Unexpectedly” (2013). Her most recent chapbook 7 x 7: kwansabas was published by Backbone Press in 2015. Her work has appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Essence Magazine, NYLON, and numerous anthologies. Betts was commissioned by the Peggy Choy Dance Company to write a series of poems and monologues for “THE GREATEST!: An Homage to Muhammad Ali” in 2011 and 2013. These writings were published on Winged City Press in April 2013 and were mentioned in the New York Times. In 2010, Essence named her as one of their “40 Favorite Poets.” After winning the 1999 Guild Complex’s Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award, she represented Chicago twice at the National Poetry Slam in 1999 and 2000. A Cave Canem graduate, she has had residencies from the Ragdale Foundation, Centrum and Caldera, and an Illinois Arts Council Artist fellowship. She holds a PhD in English from Binghamton University and a MFA in Creative Writing from New England College. She teaches at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Caroline Levine to Speak

Caroline Levine, the David and Kathleen Ryan Professor of the Humanities at Cornell University, will give a talk at 4pm on Wednesday, November 1, in the Class of 1947 Room in Homer Babbidge Library.

Caroline Levine is  the author of three books: The Serious Pleasures of Suspense: Victorian Realism and Narrative Doubt (2003), Provoking Democracy: Why We Need the Arts (2007), and Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network (2015). Forms recently won James Russell Lowell Prize from the Modern Language Association. As her Cornell webpage explains, Professor Levine has spent her career “asking how and why the humanities and the arts matter, especially in democratic societies. She argues for the understanding of forms and structures as crucial to understanding links between art and society.” Professor Levine will be giving a lecture from her current project on the role of generalization in the humanities, presenting “Reading for the Common Good: Sustainability, Routine, Infrastructure.”

This event is sponsored by the English Graduate Student Association and the Graduate Student Senate. Refreshments will be provided.

Halloween’s Celtic Roots

UConn IRISH STUDIES presents 2 TALKS ON HALLOWE’EN’s CELTIC ROOTS on Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Breann Leake and Joseph Leake       

11am in Austin 202–Breann Leake and Joseph Leake are PhD candidates in Medieval Studies working (respectively) on translation, adaptation, authorship, sedimented histories and etymologies, place-names, and Welsh literature in early medieval sources. Their talk, “Networks of Halloween’s Cultural and Devotional Pasts,” will provide an overview of how and why different cultural practices/traditions (Celtic, Roman, early Christian Catholicism and later Protestantism) become sedimented and lead to modern iterations of Hallowe’en. Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes!


Eileen Moore Quinn (by Skype)       

12:30pm in Austin 445

Eileen Moore Quinn (center) will present “‘With my Back to the Moon’: Halloween Customs in America after the Great Irish Famine.” Quinn is Professor of Anthropology at the College of Charleston, SC, where she teaches Anthropology, Folklore, and Irish and Irish American Studies. She is author of Irish American Folklore in New England (Academica P, 2009), and edited “Texts and Textures of Irish America,” a special issue of Irish Studies Review in 2015. Her work on the lore of post-Famine Irish-American women in New England appeared in Women and the Great Irish Famine (Quinnipiac UP, 2017).

Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes! for details

Patrick Hogan: Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor

Patrick Colm Hogan, 2017 Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of English, Cognitive Science, and Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, “Generative Principles of Story Style: Shakespeare and the Integration of Genres.”

Authors have their own characteristic ways of developing stories, which constitute their story style. One important kind of story development involves the mixing of genres.

Style is a distinctive pattern that has a particular scope (as in an author’€™s style or the style of a literary school) and level of application (as in verbal style or the style of story construction). Such a pattern derives from partially interrelated, generative principles. Perhaps the most useful account of literary genre begins with cross-cultural story structures–€”romantic, heroic, sacrificial, and so on. These structures are defined by the protagonist’s goals, the emotion systems that establish those goals, and procedures for intensifying the emotional impact of the story trajectory.

The production of individual works may be understood as resulting from the application of development principles to general structures, including genres. The extensive integration of genres is a striking, stylistic feature of many of Shakespeare’s works. It manifests and illustrates the preceding points about style, genre, and development.

Aetna Writer-in-Residence Jeff Parker

Tuesday, October 17

Jeff Parker/Aetna Writer-in-Residence

Barnes & Noble College Bookstore, Storrs Center, 6:30 pm

Co-sponsored with the Aetna Chair of Writing and the Barnes & Noble College Bookstore


Jeff Parker is the author of the nonfiction book Where Bears Roam the Streets: A Russian Journal (2015), the novel Ovenman (2007), and the short story collection The Taste of Penny (2010).  With Pasha Malla, he assembled the book of found sports poetry Erratic Fire, Erratic Passion (2015), and with Annie Liontas he edited A Manner of Being: Writers on Their Mentors (2015).  His short fiction and nonfiction have been published in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Ploughshares, Tin House, The Walrus, and many others. With Mikhail Iossel he co-edited two volumes of contemporary Russian prose in translation, Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia (2009) and Amerika:  Russian Writers View the United States (2004).  He also co-translated the novel Sankya by Zakhar Prilepin from the Russian.  He has taught at Eastern Michigan University, the University of Toronto, the Russian State University for the Humanities, and the University of Tampa, and he currently teaches in the MFA Program for Poets & Writers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  He is the co-founder and Director of the DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal.

Fred Biggs and Martha Cutter: Book Talk

Book talk and celebration for Fred Biggs’s Chaucer’s Decameron and the Origin of the Canterbury Tales and Martha Cutter’s The Illustrated Slave: Empathy, Graphic Narrative, and the Visual Culture of the Transatlantic Abolition Movement, 1800-1852. The authors will speak about their books and the interventions they make into how literary history has been understood.

Wednesday, Oct. 11, 1:30-3:00pm in Austin 217 (Stern). Refreshments will be served.

Long River Review Staff Needed

Do you want to work on The Long River Review, UConn’s nationally award-winning literary magazine?

Each year the Long River Review seeks editors and staff for the following positions:

Editor in Chief

Managing Editor

Fundraising Coordinator

Fiction Editor

Nonfiction Editor

Poetry Editor

Translation Editor

Interviews Editor

Blog Editor

Online Editor

Social Media/Publicity Coordinator

Copyediting Coordinator

Art Liaison

Editorial Reading Panels (fiction, nonfiction, poetry)

Students who wish to work on the Long River Review must register for English 3713, a practicum in literary journal editing, offered every spring. Class members read widely in contemporary literary magazines, familiarizing themselves with older established journals like Crab Orchard Review, The Kenyon Review, The Paris Review, and Poetry, as well as edgier new journals such as Tin House, One Story, and n+1. Readings are combined with short writings, research presentations, and hands-on editing work. The class culminates with the public release of its major project, that year’s issue of the Long River Review.

English 3713 is by permission only. Students who wish to apply should e-mail a one page letter detailing class standing, past English classes, and any other writing or editorial experience to Professor Forbes at by October 10. Interviews will be arranged in late October.