English Department

...now browsing by tag


Jamaica Kincaid to Deliver Stelloff Lecture, 10/2

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
Full disclosure: I took this from Skidnews.

Full disclosure: I lifted this from Skidnews.

This Thursday evening, October 2nd, at 8:00pm, writer and Harvard professor Jamaica Kincaid will deliver the English department’s annual Frances Stelloff Lecture.

This year’s Stelloff Lecture, which has previously been delivered by writers-of-books-you’ve-really-been-meaning-to-read like Jonathan Franzen and Zadie Smith, will feature Kincaid’s talk on “The Writer in Her World,” in addition to a Q&A session and book signing.

An Antiguan native, Kincaid has written a number of critically-acclaimed novels and memoirs, including Lucy, At The Bottom of the River, Autobiography of My Mother, Mr. Potter and A Small Place. Her work is consistently praised for its deft and brave exploration of difficult and controversial subject matter, specifically colonialism and issues of race, gender, and sexuality. In her review of Kincaid’s most recent novel See Then Now, Marie Arana of The Washington Post said the following of the novel–and Kincaid’s work in general:

Much of what we have come to expect from Kincaid is in evidence in…her rage against the Colonial spirit, a spirit that lives on in hierarchies based on skin color; her conviction that a separate world history can be told by women; her faith that the most important events we experience are hidden in small acts, seemingly inconsequential moments that define our humanity.

Kincaid is also a rather polarizing figure in the literary world, and plenty have criticized her writing style for being too “angry” and “simplistic.” So I’m sure the lecture will yield a tastily infuriating–yet interesting–tidbit or two.

The lecture will start at 8:00pm, and you’re guaranteed to be a more cultured person if you go. And bring a book or piece of paper for her to sign. Better yet, bring that essay you wrote about her for your EN110 class. I’m sure she’d love to read it.

Poetry/Fiction Reading from Jay Rogoff and Anthony Wallace

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

As if there isn’t already a ton of good shit going on tonight, the English department will be hosting a joint poetry/fiction reading featuring Skidmore English Professor Jay Rogoff and critically-acclaimed fiction writer Anthony Wallace in Davis Auditorium at 8:00pm.

English Professor Jay Rogoff has published five books of poetry, including The Cutoff: A Sequence, which won the Washington Prize for Poetry. Venerahis latest book of poems, was published back in February, and has praise such as the following:  “Drawing on the natural world, personal intimacy, and the imagination as evoked in visual art and biblical narrative, Rogoff’s poems detail our drive to both acts of veneration and submission to Venus’s sensuous power.” Jay Rogoff will be starting off the evening with a selection from the collection. You can listen to an interview in which he talks about the book here, and you can read a poem from the collection entitled “The Table” here.

Word on the street is that they’ll be selling copies of the book for pretty dope cheap, too.

Published in 2013, Wallace’s debut short story collection, The Old Priestwas a finalist for the 2014 PEN/Hemingway Award and was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and has been praised by critics and Amazon users alike. The description on Amazon sells it pretty well:

Through wry, ironic prose—and what feels like firsthand experience—Wallace describes a comic and often misguided search for self-knowledge in the most unlikely locations—like the Emerald City, a low-rent gambling den where a cocktail waitress dressed as an X-rated Dorothy offers gamblers more than a Scotch on the rocks; or the Bastille Hotel-Casino, where a dealer dressed as an eighteenth century footman deals five-dollar blackjack to a reminiscing Holocaust survivor.  Occasionally a real demon appears, but the collection is mostly about personal demons and the possibility of exorcising them.

If that doesn’t sell you, you can read the title short-story from the collection here. I’m no literary critic, but it’s pretty fucking good.

The event starts at 8:00pm in Davis Auditorium (on the second floor of Bolton) and probably won’t last more than an hour-and-a-half (if that), so if you want to get a bit of intellectual stimuli before the weekend hits, swing by and and hear the type of writing you’d probably find in The New Yorker, but at half the effort.

Melora Wolff Reading

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Melora Wolff, channeling Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail

Tomorrow, author and professor of English, Melora Wolff, will read a selection of her nonfiction works at the Surrey Inn.

Wolff specializes in teaching nonfiction creative writing, and her work has been been published in Best American Fantasy, Brick, Salmagundi, The Gettysburg Review, The New York Times, and The Southern Review, among others.

Wednesday March 27, 8pm @ Surrey Inn

Poetry Reading by Barry Goldensohn

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Goldensohn’s most recent book of poetry

Tomorrow night, professor of English and poetry, Barry Goldensohn, will deliver a reading of his works at the Surrey.

Goldensohn has published five books of poetry, most recently, The Listener Aspires to the Condition of Music. His work has appeared in Slate, The New York Review of Books, and other publications. He previously taught at the U of Iowa Writer’s Workshop and served as the dean of the School of Humanities and Arts at Hampshire College.

Thursday November 29, 8pm @ Surrey Inn

STERNWATCH: Steve Stern Making Moves

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Steve Stern is not actually a cartoon

Skidmore creative writing professor Steve Stern is having a pretty big week.

Two days ago, he wrote an article for NPR’s “You Must Read This” series about Frank Stanford, a somewhat forgotten Southern poet who penned the 15,283-lined, unpunctuated epic poem The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You in 1977, a year before his suicide. Stanford’s story is fascinating, and Stern describes The Battlefield as “a great Southern gothic fun house illuminated by lightning.” Cool stuff.

Also, Stern’s latest collection of short stories, The Book of Mischiefwas recently named one of 100 notable books of 2012 by The New York Times Book ReviewFellow novelist and Times critic Nathaniel Rich lauded the collection when it was published back in September.

Hey, mazel tov, Steve!

Lecture: “Inappropriate” Art in Children’s Books

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Inappropriate? Find out at the lecture

This afternoon, children’s book author/illustrator Elisha Cooper will deliver the annual Fox-Adler Lecture, titled “Inappropriate: The Art of Children’s Books.” The talk will take place at 5:15 in Gannett. A thousand apologies for dropping the ball.

Cooper has written books for children and adults, and has received numerous awards and commendations for his work.

Cooper’s life experience is the source of his creative accomplishments for children as well as adults. The New York Times calls Crawling: A Father’s First Year (2006) “A bravely honest memoir of parenthood.” Dance!, drawing upon Cooper’s own experience taking ballet at Yale to improve his football playing, was a New York Times Ten Best Illustrated winner in 2001. Beach—which presents a summer day at a midwestern beach he visited near Chicago—was a Society of Illustrators Gold Medal best illustrated book of the year in 2006. A visit to the Chicago Zoo with his daughters led to the creation of Beaver is Lost (2010). Cooper’s latest book, Homer (2012), features a big, loyal yellow lab named Homer, named after his own childhood dog.

There will be a reception following the lecture, where copies of Cooper’s book Homer will be available for purchase and signing.

Thursday, September 20 in Gannett @ 5:15pm

Attention English Majors: Submission Deadline Nears for Department Prizes

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

"Today, I think I'll spin a yarn about that time I went abroad and smoked weed with foreigners."

Do you want to make little to no money after college? Do you get As on essays? Do you have dreams of writing the Great American Novel a semi-autobiographical article for Thought Catalog about getting your first period?

You, sir or madam, are in luck, because the English Department offers many exciting (possibly lucrative) literary prizes in a wide variety of fields and is currently accepting submissions.

The prizes are categorized by poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and anybody can submit a piece. Those interested must hand in two copies of a completed manuscript to the English Department office by Friday, March 23.

Winning one of these things is probably a fabulous thing to have on your resume if you’re trying to get an unpaid internship at Vice or McSweeney’s or something. I’m sure it would also be a boon to your social capital, especially if the English Department gives you a medal (or perhaps a sash) to wear and show off at parties.

Deadline: Friday, March 23

Ha Jin to give Steloff Lecture

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Ha Jin

Ha Jin will be on campus this Thursday to deliver the annual Steloff lecture. The Steloff Lecture was established in 1967 by Frances Steloff, a native of Saratoga Springs who became a well-known patron of writers and founded the Gotham Book Mart in New York City. Steloff endowed the series as a way to bring outstanding literary and artistic talent to the college. The lecture often proves to be the academic event of the semester so be sure to try and make it Thursday night.

Jin was born in Communist China and fought in the People’s Liberation Army during the Cultural Revolution. He emigrated to the United States after Tiananmen Square and since has written in English. In 1999 Jin won the National Book Award for his novel ‘Waiting’.

The lecture is entitled ‘Personal Story, Historical Event’ and tickets are free. After the lecture Skidmore will be awarding Jin an honorary doctor of letters.  So please, either go to this to hear a great lecture, or to experience firsthand the ridiculousness of academic garb.

Thursday @ 8pm in Gannett



Student Poetry Reading @ Wilson Chapel

Monday, December 13th, 2010

You're a good poet Charlie Brown

Skidmore students currently or formerly enrolled in one of the college’s poetry writing workshops will be reading their own work and the work of more established poets Monday night in the Wilson Chapel. The reading will start at 6pm and like most English Department events will probably feature one or two trays of dry brownies for you to pick over.