2015 English department writing awards

Congratulations to the SUNY Geneseo students who took first, second, and third place this year in the categories of critical essay, diversity studies, first-year critical writing, research, creative non-fiction, literary fiction, and poetry. Congratulations as well to the students who won in each of three categories for work in Africana/Black studies.

John H. Parry Award: Critical Essay

  1. Sean Neill, “Towards a Theory of Auto Horror”
  2. Sarah Simon, “Erupt/Endure”
  3. Liam Cody, “Repurposing Bodies in ‘The Grauballe Man'” and Zachary Muhlbauer, “Tom Wolfe’s Never-Never Land (What?)”

Jérome de Rômanet de Beaune Award: Diversity Studies

  1. Meghan Kearns, “No Magic Here: Archival Violence and the Body”
  2. Kyle Parnell, “Disability as Metaphor in Curricular Literature: A Case Study on Of Mice and Men
  3. Emily Ercolano, “Kramer vs. Kramer: The Subversion and Affirmation of Masculine Hegemony in the Male Mother”

Irene E. Smith Award: First-Year Critical Writing

  1. Noah Chichester, “We Shall Overcome: Ferguson and the History of Black Protest in America”
  2. Sophie Boka, “Destabilizing Definitions”
  3. Halee Finn, “Optimism Can Influence Perspective”

Research Paper Award

  1. Harrison Hartsough, “Constitutional Rights as an Unfunded Mandate: The Problems with the Implementation of Gideon v. Wainwright in New York State”
  2. Connor Valvo, “The Place of Theory of Mind in The Catcher in the Rye
  3. Sean Fischer and Benjamin Wach, “United We Stand: An Ethical Framework for Literary Criticism, A Case Study Analysis”

Creative Non-Fiction Award

  1. Erin Koehler, “The Phototroph”
  2. Kathryn Waring, “Open Diary”
  3. Lara Elmayan, “Scavengers”

Lucy Harmon Award: Literary Fiction

  1. Katie Soares, “Kill the Carrier”
  2. Sophie Boka, “To Know One”
  3. Marissa Canarelli, “The Magpie”

Mary Thomas Award: Poetry

  1. Chrissy Montelli, “Aftermath of: Twin Mental Health Evaluations”
  2. Lara Elmayan, “Last Prayer to Mack Wolford”
  3. Codie Hazen, “[Unspecified Endocrine Disorder]”

Africana/Black Studies Award

  • Best Critical/Analytical Essay: Sean Neill
  • Best Research Paper: Cassandra Nicol
  • Best Creative Writing: Devon Poniatowski

Poet M. NourbeSe Philip to perform here April 28 at 7 p.m.

Afro-Canadian poet, writer, and activist M. NourbeSe Philip will perform from her recent book, Zong!, a radical collection of poetry that tries to come to terms with the 1781 tragedy of the slave-ship Zong, from which ship over 150 African men, women, and children were thrown overboard as part of an insurance claim. Zong colorNo one was ever tried for their murder, and all that survives recording the incident is a two-page legal decision, Gregson v. Gilbert, named for and concerned with the ship’s owners and insurers, not the Africans onboard. It has been described by Juliana Spahr as “exceptional and uniquely moving.”

Philip’s performance will be accompanied by an original musical composition by SUNY Geneseo’s Glenn McClure.

The event, which will be held at Doty Hall on the SUNY Geneseo campus, is free and open to the public; books will be available for purchase.map

M. NourbeSe Philip is the acclaimed author of four books of poetry, two collections of essays, a play, a novel, several short stories, and other writings; her work features in the Norton Anthology of English Literature. The recipient of many illustrious international awards, including the Casa de las Americas prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a McDowell Fellowship, a Chalmers Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Foundation residency, Philip has read and performed her work internationally, including as writer-in-residence at the University of the West Indies and as part of The Scream Literary Festival. She lives and writes in Toronto, where she has previously been the writer-in-residence at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore.

Lytton Smith and Jón Gnarr at UR bookstore April 23

Update (April 20, 2015 at 7:17 a.m.): Dr. Smith’s translation of The Indian has been praised as “beautifully translated” and “hypnotic and heartbreaking” in a pre-publication review by Michael Schaub of NPR Books. You can read an excerpt of The Indian here.

07_27_2014_525x825_indian4Professor Lytton Smith will appear at the University of Rochester bookstore this Thursday, April 23, at 6 p.m. with Jón Gnarr, former punk rocker, mayor of Reykjavík, sitcom star, and author of The Indian, which Smith has translated into English for publisher Deep Vellum.

There will be a conversation between Smith and Gnarr, a reading from the book, and a chance to ask questions. The event is free and open to the public.

192px-Jon-gnarr-2011-ffm-098The Indian is a novel/memoir of Gnarr’s uncomfortable childhood, telling in black humor his isolation and his misdiagnosis as backwards because of his severe dyslexia and ADHD. Subjected to constant bullying, young Gnarr sets his bedroom on fire (accidentally), tries to fit in by self-piercing his ears at a Grease-themed school dance, and attempts to sail across the Reykjavík bay, almost washed out into the ocean.

The Indian is the first novel in a trilogy on Gnarr’s youth, and resonates with young readers as much as with parents of children with emotional and learning issues; The Indian is taught in schools throughout Iceland, resonating with readers of all ages. The Indian is out May 5th and Deep Vellum will publish the full trilogy throughout 2015-2016.

Actors from Ireland’s Curlew Theatre Company to perform J. M. Synge adaptation on April 10

Aran PosterTegolin Knowland and Sean Coyne of the Curlew Theatre, Tullycross, Ireland will perform Eamon Grennan’s adaptation of John Millinton Synge’s The Aran Islands: A Dramatic Recital for Two Voices on Friday, April 10, 2015 at 7 p.m. in the Geneseo Riviera theater. The event, which is free and open to the pubic, is sponsored by the departments of English and History at SUNY Geneseo.

Between May 1898 and October 1901, John Millington Synge, a Dubliner, spent just under four months (accumulated over four separate visits) on Inishmaan, the middle island of the three Aran Islands lying off the West Coast of Ireland. From the diary and notebooks he kept while there, he composed his travel book, The Aran Islands. Eamon Grennan (well known Irish poet) has taken a number of fairly representative moments from The Aran Islands and turned them into a kind of collage to represent as much as possible what the book is like and something of its flavor. It is partly a romantic lyrical evocation of this wild place, partly a series of anecdotes, partly an almost anthropological study of the people’s lives, their habits, their folk-tales and so on. First performed at the Clifden Arts Festival in Western Ireland, this dramatic recital offers American audiences a rare opportunity to experience the fine work of Ireland’s Curlew Theatre Company.