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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.
February 11th, 2016
A Poetry Reading by Linda Gregerson
Linda Gregerson’s books of poetry include Prodigal: New and Selected Poems, 1976 to 2014 (Mariner Books, 2015);The Selvage (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012); Magnetic North (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007), a finalist for the National Book Award; Waterborne (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; The Woman Who Died in Her Sleep (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1996), a finalist for both The Poet’s Prize and the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; and Fire in the Conservatory (Dragon Gate Press, 1982).
In 2015, Gregerson was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She teaches American poetry and Renaissance literature at the University of Michigan, where she also directs the MFA program in creative writing.
February 22nd, 2016
Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements. Reading & presentation with Walidah Imarisha
All organizing is science fiction. Those wanting to change the world must first be able to dream of new worlds. That’s where Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements comes in. Join co-editor Walidah Imarisha for a reading and presentation/community conversation/discussion about radical science fiction and social change.
Sponsored by Ethnic Studies, Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement, Gender Studies and English
February 24th, 2016
A Poetry Reading by David Baker
David Baker is author of eleven books of poetry, most recently Never-Ending Birds (Norton), which won the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize in 2011, and a forthcoming volume, Scavenger Loop. His five books of prose include Show Me Your Environment: Essays on Poetry, Poets, and Poems (Michigan, 2014) and, with Ann Townsend, Radiant Lyre: Essays on Lyric Poetry (Graywolf, 2007). Among his awards are prizes and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Society of America, and Society of Midland Authors. He holds the Thomas B. Fordham Chair at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, and is Poetry Editor of The Kenyon Review.
March 3rd, 2016
A Poetry Reading by D.A. Powell
D. A. Powell’s most recent books are Repast (2014) and Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (2012) which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry. His honors include the Kingsley Tufts Prize in Poetry, the Shelley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America, and an Arts & Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. A former Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard, Powell has taught at University of Iowa, UT-Austin, Columbia, Davidson and Stanford. He lives in San Francisco.
March 8th, 2016
English Colloquium: Paul St. Amour, “Surface, Context, and Uncanny Historicism”
Paul K. Saint-Amour is Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. He works on Victorian and modernist literature, with special interests in the novel, law, trauma, and visual culture studies. Saint-Amour co-edits, with Jessica Berman, the Modernist Latitudes book series at Columbia UP. He edited the volume Modernism and Copyright (2011) for Oxford UP’s Modernist Literature and Culture series and has just completed a book entitled Tense Future: Modernism, Total War, Encyclopedic Form, (Oxford UP, 2015).