2016 Villanova University Literary Festival

Here is the line-up for the 2016 Villanova University Literary Festival.  All readings are at 7pm and are followed by a reception and book signing.  The festival is free and open to the public.  

 

Gregory Pardlo

January 28: Gregory Pardlo

Cinema, Connelly Center

Gregory Pardlo’s ​collection​ Digest (Four Way Books) won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Digest​ was also shortlisted for the​ 2015 NAACP Image Award and is a current finalist for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. His other honors​ include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; his first collection Totem was selected by Brenda Hillman for the APR/Honickman Prize in 2007. Pardlo’s poems appear in​ The NationPloughshares, ​Tin HouseT​he Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American PoetryBest American Poetry, and elsewhere. Pardlo lives with his family in Brooklyn.

Daniel Torday

February 11:  Daniel Torday

Speaker’s Corner, Falvey Library

Daniel Torday is the author of the novel The Last Flight of Poxl West. His novella, The Sensualist, won the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for debut fiction. Torday’s stories and essays have appeared in Esquire Magazinen+1, The New York TimesThe Paris Review Daily and Tin House. A former editor at Esquire, Torday serves as an editor at The Kenyon Review. He is Director of Creative Writing at Bryn Mawr College.

Jean Valentine

February 23:  Jean Valentine

Radnor/St. David’s Room, Connelly Center

A longtime resident of New York City, Jean Valentine was named the State Poet of New York in 2008. Her first book of poems, Dream Barker and Other Poems, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award in 1965. Subsequent collections of poems include The River at Wolf (1992), Little Boat(2007), and Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965–2003, which won the National Book Award in 2004.

Glenn Patterson

March 17: Glenn Patterson

President’s Lounge, Connelly Center

* In conjunction with the Heimbold Professorship in Irish Studies

Glenn Patterson was born in Belfast and educated there and at the University of East Anglia where he studied for an MA in Creative Writing under Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter. He is the author of eight novels and two works of non-fiction. His plays and stories have been broadcast on Radio 3 and Radio 4 and articles and essays have appeared in the Guardian, Observer, Sunday Times, Independent, Irish Times, and Dublin Review. Before coming to Queen’s University Belfast as writer-in-residence (1994) he was Creative Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia and writer-in-residence at University College Cork. He has also presented numerous television documentaries and an arts review series for RTE. A film, Good Vibrations, co-written with Colin Carberry, was due for cinema release in 2013. In 2008 he was awarded a Lannan Literary Fellowship. He is a member of Aosdana.

Asali Solomon

April 14: Asali Solomon

Speaker’s Corner, Falvey Library

In conjunction with the Ida B. Wells lecture in Africana Studies

Asali Solomon is the author of the novel Disgruntled.  She received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award for her stories collected in Get Down, her first book; the volume was also a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. In 2007 she was named one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35. Solomon teaches English at Haverford College. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two sons.

Four Questions for Dr. Aisha D. Lockridge

lockridge

Dr. Aisha D. Lockridge

We have absolutely the best professors in the Writing Studies program!  Read on for Dr. Lockridge’s take on our four questions:

What is your current writing project? (Or do you have a link to a recent publication you’d like to share with our grad students?)

Much of what I write springs from common practices: teaching, participating in Black popular culture, and reading widely. Currently I am working on a manuscript chapter which examines the limits of racial passing set against the potential relief available in the vexed relationship between strategic essentialism and Afro-Pessimism in Matt Johnson’s Loving Day and will debut part of it at the 2016 College Language Association (CLA) Annual Conference. Initially inspired by Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, I am also completing a Revise and Resubmit article for Palimpsest on the performative possibilities of ignorance and ratchetedness as strategic tools for survival.  And finally, I am providing a link to an article, “Practice and Performance: Teaching Urban Literature at the Less than Liberal Arts,” published in Hybrid Pedagogy on my experience discovering the real value of, and methods for, teaching difficult texts in inhospitable environments for the good of students, teachers and institutions of higher learning: http://www.hybridpedagogy.com/journal/practice-performance-teaching-urban-literature-less-liberal-arts/

What are you reading, for work or pleasure?

I just finished Lev Grossman’s The Magicians and am making my way through Margo Jefferson’s Negroland, Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric, and a stack of undergraduate essays examining the gendered and technological connections between Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and Alex Garland’s film, Ex-Machina.

What are you listening to (music/podcast/radio program)?

Last download: Erykah Badu’s But You Caint Use My Phone. In current heavy rotation: Adele’s 25, Sza’s Z, Alice Smith’s She, B.O.B’s Strange Clouds, Bryson Tiller’s Trapsoul. I regularly listen to, and liberally quote from, the weekly podcast “The Read”.

When you’re not on campus, where’s your happy place?

Today, it’s reading a good book, completely undisturbed, in bright, natural light.

Website: aishalockridge.com     Twitter: @AishaDamali_PhD

Thanks for participating, Dr. Lockridge! Think I’ll check out those books you mentioned.

 

Ryan Halligan’s Parting Words for Writing Studies

Ryan Halligan is our next volunteer for the Parting Words questionnaire.

halligan

Ryan Halligan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have any parting words or shout-outs to share with current students and faculty?

Thanks to the director, faculty, and administrative staff of the Writing Studies program—all of them top notch. Thank you as well to my classmates who dedicated thoughtful responses during workshops and raised the bar by sharing their fantastic writing.

A special thank you to Father Brennan for his guidance and valuable input as my thesis advisor.

Which Writing Studies course or course reading was most interesting or useful to you? Why?

Creative Nonfiction with Dr. Spinner and Poetry with Professor Stanford. Both were workshops, and both invaluable. The genres share a real kinship: writing as a journey to discovery.

How do you plan to use your Master’s Degree in your career?  

I plan to teach as an adjunct for a part-time second job. Coursework like The Writing Teacher Writing with Dr. Green has motivated me to consider teaching again. Also, I’m going to keep up my practice of writing and submit, submit, submit.

Do you have any tips for future students about choosing classes, juggling the workload, or writing a thesis?

If you work full time, go easy on yourself and maybe take one or two classes at a time. Working inside of your available time and space allows for getting the most out of the course. The program’s catalogue offers a good range, so choose the classes that suit your needs/tastes/career goals. Don’t forget to try something                   new, as well.

Thanks for your input, Ryan, and congratulations!

Four Questions for Dr. Jo Alyson Parker

Dr. Parker was good enough to answer our four questions.  Check out her musical interests!

Dr. Parker in Cape Breton

Dr. Parker in
Cape Breton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is your current writing project? (Or do you have a link to a recent publication you’d like to share with our grad students?)

I’m currently working on a paper for the International Society for the Study of Time conference at the University of Edinburgh. It’s tentatively titled “Eternal Recursion, the Emergence/y of Metaconsciousness,and the Imperative for Closure,”and it deals with a genre of modern fiction and film that my co-author and I are calling time-loop narratives (such as Kate Atkinson’s novel Life after Life or the film Edge of Tomorrow). My most recent publication is “From Time’s Boomerang to Pointillist Mosaic: Translating Cloud Atlas into Film.” A brief excerpt from it can be accessed at the following link:

https://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/substance/v044/44.1.parker.pdf

I’m also the Managing Editor for KronoScope: Journal for the Study of Time. We have an online subscription in our library, so you can check it out there.

What are you reading, for work or pleasure?

I just finished Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, the first of her deservedly acclaimed Neapolitan novels, and Laura Lippman’s mystery Hush. I’ve begun reading Elvis Costello’s Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink.

What are you listening to (music/podcast/radio program)?

My Pandora stations are probably a good indicator of my, well, eclectic musical interests: Elvis Costello Radio, Bobby Short Radio, Stephen Sondheim Radio, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong Radio, Talking Heads Radio. And the Beatles, of course.

When you’re not on campus, where’s your happy place?

My happy place is the covered swing in my backyard on a not-too-hot day in summer. Sometimes I’m out there by myself with a book. Sometimes I’m with friends and family, ideally sipping Campari spritzes and nibbling on cherry peppers stuffed with prosciutto and cheese.

 

Thanks, Dr. Parker.  I plan to investigate those Pandora stations!

Parting Words by SJU Writer Don Philbrick

Don Philbrick (Nice beard)

Don Philbrick
(Nice beard)

Uglyville Cover

Don published Uglyville under the name Sawney Hatton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have any parting words or shout-outs to share with current students and faculty?

I didn’t know what to expect from a graduate writing program—besides the degree—but I can honestly say all my classes were engaging, enlightening, and enjoyable. This can be attributed to the outstanding professors in the program. Every one of them deserves commendation of the highest order.

I would like to spotlight a couple of folks: Tenaya Darlington, Graduate Director of Writing Studies and a damn fine professor, for all her guidance throughout my time in the program; and Dr. Paul Patterson, my thesis advisor, who helped me polish my novella UGLYVILLE into the shiny opus it is today. Both deserve extra credit for putting up with my nonsense. (As do all of my professors, come to think of it.)

Which Writing Studies course or course reading was most interesting or useful to you? Why?

The most invaluable part of my classes was the feedback from my instructors and peers, a talented bunch who really contributed to improving and encouraging my work. I hope I was able to return the favor in equal measure.

How do you plan to use your Master’s Degree in your career?

In addition to earning a living wage writing and editing, I would also love to teach. Pursuing my Master’s Degree has already opened more doors for me in all these arenas.

Do you have any tips for future students about choosing classes, juggling the workload, or writing a thesis?

Choose the classes that interest you. Don’t procrastinate about getting assignments done. Write the best thesis you can. Eliminate anybody who gets in your way.

Any advice about writing in general?

Pay attention. Pay attention to everything you read, everything you watch on TV and at the movies. Pay attention when you are strolling down the street, driving in traffic, or eating at a restaurant. The world—all the people, places, and things you encounter—is your source of information and inspiration. Greedily accept everything it has to offer.

Write. Write fearlessly. Write powerfully. Write diligently. Write.

Be your own cheerleader and champion. Successful writers put themselves out there. After you have your work thoroughly critiqued and edited, submit it to literary magazines, query agents and producers, self publish (gasp!) it. Whatever you have to do to get people to read your writing, do it. Do not be afraid to promote yourself. Do not be afraid of rejection. There are many great writers out there who are floundering in obscurity, and many not-so-great writers who have become popular and prosperous. The difference between a successful writer and an unsuccessful one often lies in how they sell themselves. Shine your light as far as you can cast it.

Thanks, Don.  Congrats on getting Uglyville published!