English department welcomes new faculty

Lytton Smith

smithljPoet, critic, scholar, playwright, and translator Dr. Lytton Smith joins the department as Assistant Professor. He comes to us from the University of Hertfordshire, where he was Lecturer in Creative Writing. At Columbia University, he was awarded M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees in English and Comparative Literature, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. He holds a B.A. in English from University College, London.

Professor Smith is the author of several collections of poetry, most recently While You Were Approaching the Spectacle and Before You Were Transformed By It (2013). His poetry has appeared in such places as The Atlantic, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Greensboro Review, Laurel Review, and Tin House. His collection The All-Purpose Magical Tent won the Nightboat Prize in 2008.

Professor Smith’s critical writings focus on citizenship as well as poetry; he has an essay forthcoming in the volume In the Air: The Poetry of Peter Gizzi (Wesleyan University Press) and writes a monthly column for the Los Angeles Review of Books. He has authored two plays, and he wrote and co-produced the 2007 film Howard’s Way, a documentary about the poet Richard Howard.

Professor Smith’s translations from Icelandic include Kristin Ómarsdóttir’s Children in Reindeer Woods (2012), Bragi Ólafsson’s The Ambassador (2010), and poems by Magnús Sigur∂sson.

At SUNY Geneseo, Professor Smith will teach classes on general creative writing, the writing of poetry, literature, and humanities.

Jess Fenn

fenn Dr. Jess R. Fenn joins the department as Lecturer. She was most recently Visiting Assistant Professor in Medieval Literature and Culture at Birkbeck College, School of Arts, University of London. She holds M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, where she specialized in the literature of late medieval England. She also holds an M.A.T. from Hollins University and a B.A. from Swarthmore College.

Professor Fenn has published scholarly work on Geoffrey Chaucer in Studies in Philology (2013). Her short fiction has appeared in such places as Versal, PANK Magazine, and Flash: The International Short-Story Magazine. Her nonfiction work “Where We Went and What We Did There” won the Gulf Coast Prize in Nonfiction in 2013.

At SUNY Geneseo, Professor Fenn will teach courses on general creative writing, first-year writing, and literature. She will also direct the college’s interdisciplinary program in Medieval Studies.

Steve West

westsjStephen J. West (SUNY Geneseo ’02) joins the department as Lecturer. Professor West was most recently Instructor in English at West Virginia University. He holds M.A. and M.F.A. degrees in English from the University of Iowa. He graduated magna cum laude from Geneseo with B.A. degrees in English and Art Studio.

Professor West’s creative work has appeared in such places as Fugue, Wag’s Revue,, Spittoon, The Baltimore Review, PANK, and Prime Number Magazine. He has served as editor and columnist for THIS Literary Magazine

At SUNY Geneseo, Professor West will teach courses in general creative writing and literature. In addition, he will help oversee the department’s new requirement in self-reflective advising.

Irene Belyakov

Irene Belyakov has been Lecturer and Coordinator of the English as a Second Language program at SUNY Geneseo since 2000. As a new member of the English department, she will continue in these responsibilities.

Professor Belyakov teaches courses on ESOL and offers workshops through Geneseo’s Teaching and Learning Center to educate faculty and staff about second language development. As we recently reported, she is the recipient of the Harter Endowment for Faculty Mentoring Award.

Christopher Guyol

Dr. Christopher Guyol joins the department as Adjunct Lecturer in English. He holds B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in History, as well as a B.A. in Mathematics, from the University of Rochester, and an M.A. in Medieval History from the University of York. At SUNY Geneseo, Professor Guyol will teach courses in humanities.

Christopher Anderson

Christopher Anderson is a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. He holds M.A. and M.Div. degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Grove City College. At SUNY Geneseo, he will teach courses in first-year writing.