Looking for a little culture? The latest production from the SJU Theatre Company is How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel, directed by SJU English professor Laura Patillo.
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 Nation, Ploughshares, Tin House, The Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. Pardlo lives with his family in Brooklyn.
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 Magazine, n+1, The New York Times, The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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