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.”


“Without Magic or Miracle” Talk

Without Magic or Miracle: The ‘Romance of Silence’ and the Prehistory of Genderqueerness

October 25, 2019

2:00 p.m. in Oak 236

The Medieval Studies program welcomes Masha Raskolnikov (Cornell University) to speak on the prehistory of genderqueerness in the Old French ‘Romance of Silence’. We encourage and welcome everyone to attend!

Presented by the UConn Medieval Studies Program.

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!

Sean Forbes to Read at Inauguration

Our Director of Creative Writing, Sean Forbes, has been chosen to read two of his poems at the inauguration of UConn President Thomas Katsouleas on Friday, October 4. The poems, “An Oracle Remembering Providencia’s Formation” and “Isla Providencia,” are from Forbes’s book Providencia: A Book of Poems, published in 2013 by 2Leaf Press.


The inauguration will be in the Jorgensen, starting at 3pm.