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Welcome to the official blog for Villanova's Graduate English Program! Come back often for updates on conference opportunities, guest speakers, student accomplishments, alumni news, and more. Also be sure to check out our Facebook page for more updates.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The "Great CATsby" English Department Promo Event Attended by Over 100 Freshmen

On Thursday, October 7, over a hundred undergraduates gathered to take in a presentation about the Great Gatsby. Dr. Lutes performed a miracle of precalculation to order pizzas, we moved the chairs out of the way to make room for whomever might come, those of us in costume read our parts over, and then all we had was to wait. We started being surprised at around 50 students, but in the end over 100 students showed up.

The goal of the evening was to remind them of what they knew of the Great Gatsby, and perhaps to challenge them to think about it in new ways. Dr. Lutes gave a quick presentation on new possibilities for reading The Great Gatsby, especially reminding the students how pronounced race is in the text. The four volunteer readers read a passage from the novel, the scene in which Gatsby shows Daisy his shirts and she bursts into tears. Then we broke into groups.

The discussion was lively! Each student was eager to contribute what they remembered to the discussion, and Dr. Lutes's prepping of the discussion leaders had given us some good ways to elicit reactions. My group focused primarily on the motivations of Daisy and Gatsby, understanding them as seeing each other more for what each represented, rather than for who they were, although that was complicated a little bit as we kept chatting. I found my group of (all girls!) ready to dialogue with each other.

There was a collection of majors present, and with the main goal of moving them toward a major in English, it did seem that the event was exciting to everyone, regardless of the path they will take. Just opening up anyone's eyes to the idea that talking about literature can happen over pizza and among friends, and can include pop culture references, was I think entirely eye-opening for some of these freshmen! 








The English Department Takes a Break


On October 6, the Villanova English Department took a collective study break in the form of our newest tradition - Coffee Break! Dr. Hicks, Dr. Radcliffe, and other professors were in attendance, along with undergraduate and graduate English students, for conversation and the all-important ingredient: truly good coffee.

Dr. Lisa Sewell Wins the Tenth Gate Prize

LISA SEWELL is the WINNER of the First Annual Tenth Gate Prize!


English department professor Lisa Sewell has won the 2014 Tenth Gate prize for her poetry manuscript, Impossible Object. The prize includes a cash award of $1000 and book publication in the spring of 2015. The imprint was founded to honor and publish mid-career poets.

Impossible Object is Sewell's fourth poetry collection, following the chapbook Long Corridor (Seven Kitchens Press, 2009), and full-length collections Name Withheld (Four Way Books, 2006) and The Way Out (Alice James Books, 1998).

Says Series Editor Leslie McGrath, "Lisa Sewell's poems are shot through with an adhesive intelligence born of the accretion of craft, discernment, and engagement with the world. This is exactly the kind of collection for which the Tenth Gate prize was developed."

Sewell is also co-editor, with Claudia Rankine, of two essay collections that focus on 21st Century North American poets. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Ploughshares, Paris Review and Harvard Review. She has been awarded a Leeway Foundation Grant and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

This is the first annual award of the Tenth Gate Prize, an imprint of The Word Works. Impossible Object will be available by advance order for $17 plus $4 shipping and handling at The Word Works website (click here) or from SPD.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Coffee Break Monday, October 5 at 4 PM

The English Department Invites You to a Midterm Coffee Break!




Come hang out with English majors, graduate students, and faculty and enjoy free cookies and gourmet coffee.

Monday, October 6th at 4:00 p.m. in the Second Floor Lounge of Falvey Library (Located in the back area of the second floor).

http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/artsci/english.html