English department and Milne Library break new ground with National Book Review Month

SUNY Geneseo’s English department and Milne Library have launched the first ever National Book Review Month: a month dedicated to encouraging readers and writers to review books.

Readers are encouraged to post a 100-1000 word review at the NaRMo website, which also offers tips for reviewing and other resources. Or post a review to an online store or send one to a literary magazine.

National Book Review Month is committed to sharing a wealth of exciting contemporary literature. Dr. Lytton Smith, Assistant Professor of Poetry at SUNY Geneseo and a former publicist for presses including Four Way Books and Persea Books, said, “I despair every time I hear about the death of poetry or fiction or books in general; there’s more amazing contemporary writing out there than anyone would have time to read, and NaRMo is our way of beginning to help people find the books that are looking for them.”

Use #narmo and @getreviewing in whichever ways seem right to you!

English major Meghan Barrett wins Phi Beta Kappa writing internship

This news is so fresh that the press release below isn’t yet live on the Phi Beta Kappa website (though by the time you click that link, maybe they’ll have posted it).

English major (creative writing) Meghan Barrett has won a prestigious Phi Beta Kappa writing internship. Here’s the release:

MEGHAN BARRETT SELECTED FOR PHI BETA KAPPA WRITING INTERNSHIP

WASHINGTON, DC – The Phi Beta Kappa Society is pleased to announce that Meghan Barrett of the State University of New York at Geneseo has been selected for a 2016 Phi Beta Kappa Writing Internship.

The Phi Beta Kappa chapter at SUNY Geneseo recommended Meghan to work with the Society’s national office in Washington, DC. The internship begins this month and continues through May 2016.

A native of Penfield, New York, and a graduate of Our Lady of Mercy High School, Meghan is a senior with a double major in Biology and Creative Writing. She is also part of the college’s Edgar Fellows Honors Program and was inducted into the Alpha Delta of New York chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in 2015.

Meghan is also serving as a website management intern for the Geneseo Office of Sustainability and is a writer of book four of Liber Primus Games’s Narborion Saga. She is the President of Alpha Delta Epsilon regional sorority and was named Geneseo’s 2015 Outstanding Sorority Woman. Meghan plans to earn a PhD in Biology after completing her bachelor’s this spring—while continuing to write poetry, plays, and novels in her spare time.

Phi Beta Kappa’s writing internships are for juniors and seniors majoring in the liberal arts or sciences who attend institutions where our chapters are located. Interns must make a five-month commitment to the program and prepare a minimum of six publishable articles for the Society’s publication for news and alumni relations, The Key Reporter.

The program has two deadlines annually, for internships in the fall or spring of each academic year.

No more than 15 students are selected from a national pool in each round.

Jess Fenn article on Down-Syndrome screening in The Atlantic

Lecturer in English Dr. Jess Fenn has published an article in The Atlantic on Down-Syndrome screening.

Down-Syndrome Screening: A One-Parent Test for a Two-Parent Risk points out that while “research has shown that a father’s age can affect the risk of genetic abnormalities in a fetus . . . current testing methods still don’t take it into account.”

Dr. Fenn helped establish Geneseo’s NeuWrite/Edu initiative with Dr. Lytton Smith (English) and Dr. Olympia Nicodemi (Mathematics). Her work models the way creative writing and scientific research can come together to communicate new ideas to a wide audience.

Rob Doggett to speak on editing Yeats at upcoming conference in Rochester

rob_doggettProf. Rob Doggett will lecture on “Editing Yeats’s Early Poetry, Drama, and Fairy Tales” Friday, November 20 at 10:00 a.m. in the Galisano Midlevel Gateway Building of St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY.

The lecture is part of St. John Fisher’s two-day conference, W.B. Yeats at 150: A Celebration, marking the 150th anniversary of the poet’s birth.

Prof. Doggett is the author of Deep-Rooted Things: Empire and Nation in the Poetry and Drama of William Butler Yeats (University of Notre Dame Press, 2006) and editor of When You Are Old: Early Poems, Plays and Fairy Tales of William Butler Yeats (Penguin Classics, 2015).

Pier Gabrielle Foreman to deliver 2015 Walter Harding Lecture November 16

This year’s Walter Harding Lecture will be delivered by Pier Gabrielle Foreman, Ned B. Allen Professor of English and Professor of Black American Studies, University of Delaware.

Professor Foreman’s lecture, titled “To Speculate Darkly: Slavery, Black Visual Culture, and the Promises and Problems of Print,” will take place at 7:30 p.m. on November 16 in Doty Recital Hall on the SUNY Geneseo campus.

Pier Gabrielle Foreman Press ShotAs a scholar of African American studies and nineteenth-century literary history and culture, Prof. Foreman has examined the relationship between literary and activist practices. Her book Activist Sentiments: Reading Black Women In The Nineteenth Century (Univ. of Illinois Press, 2009), examines this relationship in the work of authors Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Wilson, Frances E.W. Harper, Victoria Earle Matthews, and Amelia Johnson.

Professor Foreman is co-editor, with Reginald Pitts, of the Penguin Classics edition of Harriet Wilson’s 1859 autobiographical novel Our Nig, Or, Sketches From The Life Of A Free Black, In A Two-Story White House, North. Showing That Slavery’s Shadows Fall Even There.

Active in digital as well as print scholarship, and committed to collaborative work that advances public understanding and engages the community, Professor Foreman serves as faculty director of the Colored Conventions Project, a digital humanities project that documents the 19th-century African-American conventions movement through crowdsourced transcriptions of convention minutes.

The Harding Lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Doty Hall lobby.

Download the poster (11×17).

New anthology includes Smith translation

Assistant Professor of English Lytton Smith’s translation of a short-story by Icelandic writer Kristín Ómarsdóttir has been included in the just-published anthology A Kind of Compass: Stories on Distance, out now from Tramp Press and edited by fiction writer Belinda McKeon.

The U.K. Sunday Times has described A Kind of Compass as a “vital collection,” while The UCD Observer dubs it a “perfect success.” Contributors to the volume include Sam Lipsyte, Gina Apostol, Porochista Khakpour, Francesca Marciano, Suzanne Scanlon, and Éilís Ní Dhuibhne.

Jacqueline Jones to deliver 2015 alumni lecture

jonesThis year’s English department alumni lecture will be delivered by Jacqueline Jones, Assistant Professor of English at Laguardia Community College — CUNY.

Jones’ lecture is entitled, “A Quasi-Religious Experience: Placing August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean within the Neo-Slave Narrative Tradition.”

The lecture take place at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 22 in Doty 300 (the Tower Room).

Jones graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2003.