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“Your job is to find what the world is trying to be.”
— William Stafford
The English Department’s rigorous curriculum introduces students to a shared literary tradition while encouraging intellectual independence. Our classes acquaint students with a wide range of British and American literature, teaching students to engage with the texts through close reading and literary analysis. Small class sizes allow students to build close relationships with our dynamic faculty of active scholars and creative writers, and ensure that students receive individual attention during class time and office hours. In the classroom, students participate in an interactive process of discussion and collaborative interpretation. Professors continually challenge students to argue thoughtfully and communicate effectively, both on the page and in real time.
We are a community beyond our classes, sponsoring many literary events open to the public throughout the year. In addition to hosting nationally recognized authors and critics as Mark Edmundson, Geoffrey O’Brien, and Lyn Hejinian, we regularly showcase the scholarly and creative work of our own faculty and students in colloquia and readings. Many students are also involved with the Lewis & Clark Literary Review, a student-produced literary magazine sponsored by the English Department. See Wordsworth, our department newsletter, to learn more.
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The Department of English is pleased to co-sponsor the
Visiting Writer’s Series with Watzek Library.
October 24th, 2017
A Poetry Reading by Rae Armantrout
Rae Armantrout is Professor Emerita of writing in the literature department at the University of California at San Diego. She has also taught at the California College of Arts and Crafts, Bard College, Naropa University, San Diego State University, and San Francisco State University.
Wesleyan University Press published Armantrout’s thirteenth book of poetry, Partly: Nesw and Selected Poems, 2001–2015, in 2016. Her previous poetry collections include Itself (Wesleyan 2015), Just Saying (Wesleyan 2013), Money Shot (Wesleyan 2011); Versed (Wesleyan 2009), which received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, and was a finalist for the National Book Award; Next Life (Wesleyan 2007), which was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best poetry books of 2007; Up to Speed (Wesleyan 2003), also selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best poetry books of the year, in 2003; Veil: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan, 2001), a finalist in the Poetry category for the 2002 PEN Center USA Literary Awards; and Just Saying (Wesleyan 2013).
October 25th, 2017
English Meet Your Major
Come hear from faculty and students about what it means to study English at Lewis & Clark. Mingle with English professors and ask questions of current majors. Pizza will be provided!
November 2nd, 2017
A Fiction Reading by John Freeman Gill
JOHN FREEMAN GILL is the author of the novel The Gargoyle Hunters (Knopf), a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick described by The New York Times as “marvelously evocative … eye-opening” and by The Washington Post as “unabashedly charming.” A native New Yorker and longtime New York Times contributor, he has written for The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, the International Herald Tribune, New York magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post Book World, and elsewhere. His Times articles have been anthologized in two New York Times books. A summa cum laude graduate of Yale University, where he won two prizes and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, he received an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. He lives in New York City with his wife, three children, and a smattering of gargoyles.
November 15th, 2017
A Poetry Reading by Layli Long Soldier
Layli Long Soldier holds a BFA in creative writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA from Bard College. Her poems have appeared in The American Poet, BOMB, POETRY Magazine, The New York Times, The Kenyon Review Online, American Indian Journal of Culture and Research, PEN America, The Brooklyn Rail, Eleven Eleven and Mud City, among others. She is a recipient of the NACF National Artist Fellowship, a Lannan Writing Fellowship, a Whiting Award and The J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize from POETRY. She is the author of Chromosomory (Q Ave Press, 2010) and WHEREAS (Graywolf Press, 2017). She resides in Santa Fe, NM.
November 30th, 2017
A Nonfiction Reading by Ryan White
Twice named one of the top writers in the country by the Society for Features Journalism, Ryan White spent nearly 16 years at the Oregonian covering sports, music, and culture. He has appeared on the public radio variety show Live Wire! as both an interviewer and an essayist. He has written for Sports Illustrated, the Wall Street Journal, the Dallas Morning News, the Washington Post, the Sacramento Bee, the Portland Mercury, and Portland Monthly magazine. His newest book is, Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All the Way.