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: www.nevernew.net.

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 pedagogyunbound.com, an online space for college teachers to share their most valuable teaching tips. Please feel free to reach out to Leah Begg (leah.begg@uconn.edu) 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). CETL is also offering three “book club” lunch discussions prior to Gooblar’s visit. They will meet Oct. 18 (11:30-1:00), Oct. 25 (11:30-1:00), and Nov. 8 (11:30-1:00) (with Gooblar). We are asking people to commit to all 3 sessions.  CETL will provide lunch for all 3 meetings. Participants will receive a copy of the book prior to the first meeting.

Faculty and graduate students alike are encouraged to attend!

If interested, people should register for both of the sessions using the links below.

October 18 –https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=1076

October 25 –https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=1077

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.

Acclaimed Author Justin Torres Reading

Acclaimed fiction writer Justin Torres gave a public reading of his work on Tuesday, Oct. 8,  at 6pm at the UConn Bookstore in Storrs Center. 

Torres has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Tin House, The Washington Post, Glimmer Train, Flaunt and other publications, as well as nonfiction pieces in The Guardian and The Advocate. A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, he is the author of the novel We the Animals, which has been translated into fifteen languages and was recently adapted into a film. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for five Independent Spirit Awards. He was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and a Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library. The National Book Foundation named him one of 2012’s 5 under 35. He is Assistant Professor of English at UCLA.

The Mark Twain Distinguished Writer-in-Residence Program is sponsored by the Bloom Endowment Fund which was established by Lynn and Martin Bloom. Lynn Bloom is the former Aetna Chair of Writing and Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor in English and Martin is Professor Emeritus of Social Work at UConn. Their generous donation allows UConn’s Creative Writing Program to invite a nationally or internationally known prose author to campus for a residency every other fall semester. Each author gives a public reading, spends two or three days on campus offering tutorials for students, and shares meals with students and faculty. As a result of the Mark Twain Distinguished Writer-in-Residence Program, UConn graduate and undergraduate students can participate in an intense hands-on learning experience with some of today’s most exciting authors.

New Book by James Shivers

Charles Bernstein / American Innovator: More Numerous of: A Kinetic Approach is the first publication of James Shivers’s 2001 dissertation, now with a new foreward by Richard Deming. Deming says of Shivers’s work: “Shivers does not simply end at determining the work is difficult, complex. He asks instead what we can make out of that complexity, what we can take from a text that resists us.”


Margaret Gibson, CT Poet Laureate

Prof. Emerita Margaret Gibson, our new poet laureate, was interviewed by Randall Beach in Connecticut Magazine on August 27, 2019.

Gibson says she wants to “green” the state poet laureate position, “to be able to give voice to the fact that what we’re doing to the planet is endangering it and us and our children’s lives and our grandchildren’s lives.”

She sees today’s poets as having a double mission. In addition to issuing that “prophetic warning,” they can write about “our relationship with the living world” and helping others “fall in love with it — for its necessary and wild beauty.”

Prize for Brian Sneeden

Brian Sneeden has been awarded the 2019 Constantinides Memorial Translation Prize for his translation of Phoebe Giannisi’s 2016 collection of poetry Ραψωδία (excerpt submitted under the general title Rhapsody).

Nikos Panou, Chair of the evaluating committee, writes, “Sneeden’s translation does justice to the original as it preserves key aspects of the Greek text while exhibiting ample vitality and creative vision of its own. His renditions are at the same time meticulous and lyrical, precise and elegant, powerful and subtle. To make this feel easy and effortless when it is clearly the result of a thoughtful and sustained engagement with Giannisi’s poetry is a prizeworthy achievement indeed.”

Well done, Brian!