Amber West’s Poems

Congratulations to Amber West (PhD ’14), whose first book of poems, Daughter Eraser, will be released this year by Finishing Line Press.

Yusef Komunyakaa writes that “Amber West’s Daughter Eraser surprises relentlessly, moving gracefully from heartbreak to humor. This poet delivers a playful theater of language, innuendo, and wit while teaching us how to assay the iron within irony. We can be thankful this new voice springs out of need and mercy.”

The collection features poems many of us enjoyed hearing Amber read while she was here in the PhD program, and her press is taking pre-orders now.

Camille Dungy

Poet Camille Dungy, the 2015 Aetna Writer-in-Residence, read her poetry March 10 at the Co-op Bookstore in Storrs Center and also conducted one-on-0ne writing tutorials with six students.

Camille Dungy is the author of three books of poetry: What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for PoisonSmith Blue; and Suck on the Marrow. Her poems have appeared in PoetryCallalooThe Missouri Review, and Crab Orchard Review. Her honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. She is the recipient of the 2011 American Book Award, a two-time recipient of the Northern California Book Award, and a two-time NAACP Image Award nominee. She is Professor of English at Colorado State University.


Inda Watrous, “Unsung Hero”

Inda Watrous, our undergraduate advisor, won the 2015 UConn Staff Spirit Award “Unsung Hero,” which recognizes a staff member who consistently goes above and beyond, without fanfare or public recognition. Inda always performs at a high level; takes initiative to solve problems and improve work situations; demonstrates reliability, perseverance, and a focus on results; and helps others by sharing knowledge of the institution’s practices. We are grateful for her expertise and energy.


Undergraduate Giorgina Paiella named University Scholar

Giorgina Paiella, named a University Scholar, has earned the university’s highest academic distinction.  The University Scholars are almost exclusively drawn from the sciences, and Giorgina is one of two people coming from a field in the humanitites.  Her advisors are Dwight Codr, Margaret Breen, Alenda Chang, and Mitchell Green.  Dwight Codr stated Paiella is “hands down the best student I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.”

Benjamin S. Grossberg: Writers Who Edit, Editors Who Write

Benjamin S. Grossberg gave a poetry reading at the Co-op Bookstore on February 24.  Grossberg is the author of three books of poetry: Space Traveler, Sweet Orchard (winner of the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry and a Lambda Literary Award), and Underwater Lengths in a Single Breath (winner of the Snyder Prize).  He has been the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and an Artist Fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council.  He is currently Director of Creative Writing and an associate professor at the University of Hartford.