Senior Thesis Writing Workshop
October 23 | 4:00–5:30 | Barker 403
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Event is for English senior concentrators
currently writing a thesis
Morris Gray Poetry Reading featuring Frank Bidart
Frank Bidart is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Half-Light: Collected Poems (2017), Metaphysical Dog, which won the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His other books include Watching the Spring Festival, Star Dust, Desire, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965—90. He is also the co-editor of the Collected Poems of Robert Lowell. His many awards and honors include the Wallace Stevens Award, the Bollingen Prize, the Shelley Award from the Poetry Society of America, and The Paris Review’s first Bernard F. Conners Prize for “The War of Vaslav Nijinsky” in 1981. From 2003 to 2009, Bidart served as a chancellor of The Academy of American Poets.
Stratis Haviaris Reading Featuring Joanna Klink & Monica Youn
Joanna Klink is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Excerpts from a Secret Prophecy (Penguin 2015). Her poems have appeared in many anthologies, including Resistance, Rebellion, Life: 50 Poems Now and The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth Century Poetry. She has received awards and fellowships from The Rona Jaffe Foundation, Civitella Ranieri, The Bogliasco Foundation, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Trust of Amy Lowell. She teaches in the M.F.A. Program at The University of Montana.
Monica Youn is the author of three books of poetry, most recently BLACKACRE (2016), which won the William Carlos Williams Award (judged by Robin Coste Lewis). It was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN Open Book Award and longlisted for the National Book Award, as well as being named one of the best poetry collections of the year by the New York Times, the Washington Post and BuzzFeed. Her previous book IGNATZ (2010) was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her poems have been widely published, including in Poetry, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Lana Turner, The Paris Review, and The Best American Poetry. The daughter of Korean immigrants and a former lawyer, she lives in New York and teaches at Princeton University and in the Columbia and Sarah Lawrence MFA Programs.
Welcome Back BBQ
Novel Institutions: Contexts for the Study of Modern and Contemporary Fiction
Harvard Arts First Festival
ARTS FIRST, Harvard’s annual festival of faculty and student creativity, is celebrating its 25th anniversary on April 27-30! The following English concentrators are participating:
• Miriam Huettner ’17, Emerging Choreographers Showings, Friday-Saturday, Arts @29 Garden St.
• Dan Milaschewski ‘17, In the Beginning: The ARTS FIRST Creation Story (sort of), 11:30am, Saturday, Plaza Tent
• Max Lesser ‘19, New Grooves: Original Music Inspired by Visual Art, 1:00pm-2:20pm, Harvard Art Museums (ARTS FIRST Performance Fair, Saturday April 29)
• Duncan Saum ‘18, The Harvard Callbacks, 1:00pm-1:20pm, Plaza Tent (ARTS FIRST Performance Fair, Saturday April 29)
• Leon Pan ‘18, The Harvard Din & Tonics, 1:30pm-1:50pm, Plaza Tent (ARTS FIRST Performance Fair, Saturday April 29)
• Madeleine Tolk ‘19, Harvard Pops Orchestra, 2:00pm-2:20pm, Sanders Theatre (ARTS FIRST Performance Fair, Saturday April 29)
• Consuelo Hylton ‘18, Harvard Pops Orchestra, 2:00pm-2:20pm, Sanders Theatre (ARTS FIRST Performance Fair, Saturday April 29)
• Natalie Hodges ‘19, Music 189 Chamber Ensembles Performance, 2:30pm-4:20pm, Harvard Art Museums (ARTS FIRST Performance Fair, Saturday April 29)
• Layla Brittan ‘19, Radcliffe Pitches, 2:30pm-2:50pm, Plaza Tent (ARTS FIRST Performance Fair, Saturday April 29)
• Eli Schleicher ‘18, The Harvard Opportunes, 3:00pm-3:20pm, Yard Stage (ARTS FIRST Performance Fair, Saturday April 29)
• Ethan Pardue ‘19, Under Construction, 4:00pm-4:20pm, Adolphus Busch Hall (ARTS FIRST Performance Fair, Saturday April 29)
• Martine Thomas ‘18, The Brattle Street Chamber Players, 4:00pm-4:50pm, Memorial Church; Music 174r: Creative Music Workshop Collective, 3:00pm-3:20pm, Holden Chapel (ARTS FIRST Performance Fair, Saturday April 29)
• Sasha Scolnik-Brower ‘17, The Brattle Street Chamber Players, 4:00pm-4:50pm, Memorial Church; Music 189 Chamber Ensembles Performance, 2:30pm-4:20pm, Harvard Art Museums (ARTS FIRST Performance Fair, Saturday April 29)
Stratis Haviaris Lecture Featuring Cathy Park Hong
Hyperion Shakespeare Company presents: The Merchant of Venice
Hyperion Shakespeare Company presents:
Location: Adams Pool Theater
Friday April 21 at 8:00pm
Saturday April 22 at 2:30* & 7:30pm
Sunday April 23 at 2:30pm
*this performance will be followed by a talkback featuring Professor Stephen Greenblatt, John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University and Rebecca Powell, Student Activities Director at Harvard Hillel
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your FREE tickets now!
Antonio, the Merchant of Venice, lends three thousand ducats to his friend Bassanio in order to assist him in his wooing of the wealthy and beautiful Portia. Antonio’s own money is tied up in business ventures that depend on the safe return of his ships from sea, so he borrows the money from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender. Shylock lends the money against a bond. Failure to repay the loan on the agreed date will entitle Shylock to a pound of Antonio’s flesh. This performance contains themes of anti-semitism and racial intolerance.
Alice Oswald & Juan Felipe Herrera
Morris Gray Poetry Reading Featuring Alice Oswald & Juan Felipe Herrera
Poet Alice Oswald was trained as a classicist at New College, University of Oxford. Her first collection of poetry, The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile (1996), received a Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection. Oswald often works in book-length projects and is known for her interests in gardening, ecology, and music. Her second book, Dart (2002), was the outcome of years of primary and secondary research into the history, environment, and community along the River Dart in Devon, England. Oswald’s other collections of poetry include Woods, etc. (2005), winner of a Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize; Weeds and Wild Flowers (2009), illustrated by Jessica Greenman; A Sleepwalk on the Severn (2009); and Memorial (2011), a reworking of Homer’s Iliad that has received high critical praise for its innovative approach and stunning imagery, which won the 2013 Warwick Prize for writing. Oswald was the first poet to win the prize. Her latest book is Falling Awake (2016).
Juan Felipe Herrera is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States (2015-2016) and is the first Latino to hold the position. From 2012-2014, Herrera served as California State Poet Laureate. Herrera’s many collections of poetry include Notes on the Assemblage; Senegal Taxi; Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007. He is also the author of Crashboomlove: A Novel in Verse, which received the Americas Award. His books of prose for children include: SkateFate, Calling The Doves, which won the Ezra Jack Keats Award; Upside Down Boy, which was adapted into a musical for young audiences in New York City; and Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth.
Senior Creative Thesis Readings
Join us for an evening of readings from recently submitted senior creative theses. Readings include poetry, fiction, biography, playwriting, and music.
Newly Admitted Students Visit
Wednesday, March 29
Renaissance and Race & Ethnicity Colloquia | Reginald Wilburn, (Univ. New Hampshire), “Calling out Milton and putting him on Front Street in Charles Chesnutt’s The House Behind the Cedars” | 5:15-7PM, Barker 211
Long 18th Century & Romanticism Colloquium | Matthew Bevis, (Keble College, Oxford), “Wordsworth’s Idiocy” | 5PM, Barker 114
Thursday, March 30
Admitted Student Luncheon | 12-1:30PM, Thompson Room
Medieval Colloquium | Helen Cushman (Harvard University), “Pedagogical Theatre in Plays of Christ and the Doctors” | 5PM, Kates Room
COGS Welcome Party | Miles Osgood & Michael Allen’s House | Time TBD
Friday, March 31
Library Tour with Research Librarian, Odile Harter | 10 AM
GSAS Newly Admitted Students Orientation | Dudley House, Check-in 1PM
Morris Gray Poetry Reading Featuring Arthur Sze
First Year Luncheon
Hey first year students,
Interested in English? Then join us for a meet-n-greet and speak to current concentrators, faculty, graduate students, and staff. Lunch provided.
Tuesday, February 21st
Thompson Room, Barker Center
Harvard College Opera: “Le Nozze di Figaro”
Harvard LITFest, February 3-4
LITFest features internationally acclaimed authors and editors, readings of new work, panels, and hands-on workshops. Join us for a celebration of our literary community, whose vibrant past has changed the world of literature and whose current thinkers are transforming the future of writing.
- LITFest 2017 kicks off with a special edition of The Sloth storytelling hour and reception
- Tom Perrotta, award-winning writer and creator of HBO’s hit show The Leftovers, in conversation with TV writer and Harvard alum Nick Cuse
- “Breaking In” panel featuring recent alumni talking about their pathways towards publication
- Award-winning author James Carroll and in a discussion about writing and history with Richard Parker
- Lunchtime panel on food writing with Carla Martin, featuring a chocolate tasting
- Hands-on creative writing workshops in fiction writing with Anne Bernays and writing for television with David Madden
- Harvard Creative Writing faculty members share their perspective on a writing life and workshops
Get the full schedule here.
New Concentrator Welcome
Welcome to our new concentrators!
Join us for an evening of celebration with fellow concentrators and faculty over bar snacks and food. Get introduced to the program through our panels where we’ll review the following topics:
- Faculty advisers
- How to choose courses
- The Common Ground
- Creative Writing
- Thesis and Junior Tutorial
No class or work, then we expect to see you there!
Harvard English Department 2016 Graduate Symposium
For more information, please visit the Harvard English 2016 Graduate Symposium website.
Infinite Jest Marathon Reading
Hamlet’s Ghost Release Event
In the first act of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the Ghost of the dead King of Denmark appears to his son, setting off a chain of events that culminates in the play’s notoriously bloody finale. But how would this mysterious figure have been understood in Shakespeare’s world?
Join Professor Stephen Greenblatt as he discusses themes from his New HarvardX course, Hamlet’s Ghost, which will take learners through an exploration of the Ghost’s uncanny theatrical power and the historical contexts from which it emerged. Light refreshments will be served. Registration for the course is currently open at edX.
Quad-Wide English Study Break
Quad -Wide English Study Break
Hey Quad residents this break is for you!
English Student Advisory Committee members
will be on hand to answer any questions you
may have about English.
Stop by, take a break, and enjoy some
Location: Cabot SCR
(“A” Entryway, near the house manager’s house)
Humanities at Work: Alumni Panel
Roz Kaveney, Life In and Out of Writing
Roz Kaveney is a London-based poet, novelist, cultural commentator and occasional activist who works as a reviewer and in publishing: her writings have appeared widely since the 1980s, when she was a core member of the now-famed Midnight Rose Collective.
A regular writer for the Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement (among others) she is probably best known as editor of Reading The Vampire Slayer: The Complete, Unofficial Guide to Buffy and Angel (2001, 2004) and for her Lambda Award-winning novel of trans street life in 1970s Chicago, Tiny Pieces of Skull (2015).
Presented by The Harvard University Department of English and the Harvard University Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality.
This event is free and open to the public.
ROBERT GRENIER, poetry reading and visual presentation
Memorial for Daniel Aaron
Memorial Event for Daniel Aaron
Friday, September 23rd at 5 PM
Paine Hall, Music Building
Our beloved colleague—angelic friend, great scholar, gentle wit—Dan Aaron left us on Saturday 30 April. Dan, PhD ’43, was Victor S. Thomas Professor of English and American Literature Emeritus. He taught at Harvard between 1971 and 1983, and remained a constant, enlivening, evergreen presence in our community. —James Simpson
Welcome Back BBQ
Opening Days Academic Fair
Freshmen, stop by the Concentration Fair during Opening Days! We’ll be in the Science Plaza Tent answering all of your questions about the English Department and making course recommendations. Sophomores are encouraged to stop by from 4:30-5:30.
English Department Spring Teaching Workshop
A light lunch will be served from 12-1pm, Barker 024
Panels to follow from 1-3pm, Barker 024
Light lunch and coffee
Taylor Cowdery on learning how to ask productive questions
Julia Tejblum on improving your efficiency outside the classroom
Rebecca Kastleman on moments of silence and learning to listen
Hannah Doherty Hudson on teaching in the archive
Elizabeth Weckhurst on user-friendly professionalism
Miles Osgood on working with freshmen and reflections on the first year of teaching
Janet Zong on peer learning and revision workshops
Carra Glatt on teaching writing and close reading
Morris Gray Poetry Reading with Lucia Perillo
Lucia Perillo grew up in the suburbs of New York City. She earned a BA in wildlife management from McGill University in Montreal and worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before earning an MA in English from Syracuse University.
Perillo is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Dangerous Life (1989), which won the Norma Farber Award from the Poetry Society of America; The Body Mutinies (1996), winner of the Kate Tufts prize from Claremont University; The Oldest Map with the Name America (1999); Luck is Luck (2005), which was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize and won the Kingsley Tufts prize from Claremont University; Inseminating the Elephant (2009), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress; On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths (2012), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the winner of the Pacific Northwest Book Award; and most recently, Time Will Clean the Carcass Bones (2016).
She has published a book of essays, I’ve Heard the Vultures Singing (2005), and a book of short stories, Happiness is a Chemical in the Brain (2012). She has taught at Syracuse University, Southern Illinois University, Saint Martin’s University, and in the Warren Wilson MFA program. A former MacArthur fellow, Perillo lives in Olympia, Washington.
Readings in the Parlor with Jill Abramson
Advising Fortnight: The Humanities and Your Financial Future
Advising Fortnight: “What’s the Difference?”
2016 Boylston Prizes for Elocution
Advising Fortnight: Cupcakes & Sound Bites with the English Department
Advising Fortnight: Concentration Fair
Readings in the Parlor with Hillary Chute
2016 Boylston Prizes for Elocution
This competition is open to all sophomores, juniors, and seniors at Harvard College. The first round will be held on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016 at 4pm in Fong Auditorium, Boylston Hall. The final will take place on Thursday, March 31st, 2016 in Sever Hall, room 113.
The Boylston Prizes for Elocution are awarded through a competition “for the delivery of memorized selections from English, Greek, or Latin literature,” not to exceed five minutes in length. Cash prizes awarded to 1st and 2nd place.
Students interested in competing need to submit four hard copies of their selection to the English Department, in person, on or before the deadline. Submission deadline: Monday, March 21st 2016 at 4pm.
If you have any questions about this prize and how to submit, stop by the English department in the Barker Center (M-F, 9-5pm) or contact Case Q. Kerns via email at email@example.com or by phone at 617-495-2533.
The following are examples of submissions from past participants in the Boylston Prize Competition: Song of Myself, Walt Whitman; The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer, lines 413-480; A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf; Ulysses, Alfred Lord Tennyson, lines 1-70; Henry V, prologue, Shakespeare; Nelly Myers, A.R. Simmons; Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln; Medea, Euripides, lines 465-498.
The Spring Morris Gray Poetry Reading
Born in the Mojave Desert in Barstow, California, Forrest Gander grew up in Virginia and spent significant periods in San Francisco, Dolores Hidalgo (Mexico), and Eureka Springs, Arkansas before moving to Rhode Island. He holds degrees in both English literature and geology. The Trace, his second novel–about a couple whose car breaks down in the middle of the Mexican desert– was published in November 2014.
Concerned with the way we are revised and translated in encounters with the foreign, his book Core Samples from the World was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
The author of numerous other books of poetry, including Redstart: An Ecological Poetics and Science & Steepleflower, Gander also writes novels (As a Friend; The Trace), essays (A Faithful Existence) and translates. His most recent translations are Fungus Skull Eye Wing: Selected Poems of Alfonso D’Aquino and Watchword (which won the Villaurrutia Prize) by Pura López Colomé; Spectacle & Pigstyby Kiwao Nomura (winner of Best Translated Book Award); and Firefly Under the Tongue: Selected Poems of Coral Bracho (Finalist, PEN Translation Prize). His most recent anthologies are Pinholes in the Night: Essential Poems from Latin American (selected by Raúl Zurita) and Panic Cure: Poems from Spain for the 21st Century.
Gander’s poems appear in many literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad, and have been translated into a dozen languages. His books (see Books) in translation are available in France, Mexico, Chile, Spain, Bulgaria, Japan, Germany, and the Netherlands. He is a United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow and has received fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim, Whiting, and Howard Foundations. In 2011, he was awarded the Library of Congress Witter Bynner Fellowship. The Adele Kellenberg Seaver Professor of Literary Arts and Comparative Literature at Brown University, Gander teaches courses such as Poetry & Ethics, EcoPoetics, Latin American Death Trip, and Translation Theory & Practice.
Senior Champagne Reception
A celebration for all of our graduating seniors. Champagne and hors d’oeuvres will be served.
Winship Lecture: “Editing Shakespeare for the Digital Age” presented by Stephen Greenblatt
Houghton Library presents the 105th installment of the George Parker Winship Lecture, given by Stephen Greenblatt, John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities, with Misha Teramura and David Nee, doctoral candidates in the Department of English. Seating limited.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 5:30 P.M.
Writers Speak: Colm Tóibín in Conversation with Claire Messud
For more information visit Mahindra Humanities Center’s event webpage.
Robert B. Silvers Lecture: “Poets as Editors” presented by Helen Vendler
Robert B. Silvers Lecture: “Poets as Editors”
December 8, 2015 | 7.p.m. | Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
Cultural critic and poetry scholar Helen Vendler delivers this year’s Robert B. Silvers lecture, titled “Poets As Editors.”
Article from The New York Times Review of Books adapted from the original lecture.
Milton Marathon: An Epic Reading of “Paradise Lost”
2015 Graduate Symposium: Ecologies
November 12-13, 2015
Harvard University English Department Graduate Symposium Presents:
Professor Margaret Cohen (Stanford University),
“Underwater Adventures: The Inspiration of Toxic Atmosphere”
Thursday, November 12 | Fong Auditorium | 5-7 p.m.
Friday, November 13 | Thompson Room | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
For more information, please visit the Symposium Website
Please send all proposals to EnglishCoordinator@g.harvard.edu. If you have any questions or comments, or would like to be involved with the organization of the Symposium, contact Matthew Ocheltree (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Stratis Haviaras Reading with Ben Lerner and Geoffrey G. O’Brien
Ben Lerner is the author of three poetry collections, The Lichtenberg Figures, Angle of Yaw, and Mean Free Path. He was a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry, and in 2011 he became the first American to win the Preis der Stadt Münster für Internationale Poesie.
Geoffrey O’Brien was educated at Harvard University and the University of Iowa. He is the author of several poetry collections, including People on Sunday, Metropole, Green and Gray, and The Guns and Flags Project.
Sponsored by the Harvard Department of English
Co-Sponsored by the Woodberry Poetry Room
Inaugural Lincoln Kirstein Lecture: “‘Life Is Motion': Motion in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens” presented by Helen Vendler
Helen Vendler, a leading poetry critic and A. Kingsley Porter University Professor at Harvard University, will discuss the themes of movement and motion in the poetry of Wallace Stevens at the inaugural Lincoln Kirstein Lecture, to be held annually by the Center for Ballet and the Arts (CBA), New York University.
Entitled “Life Is Motion”: Motion in Wallace Stevens, the lecture will take place Wednesday, Nov. 4, 6 p.m. at the Bruno Walter Auditorium of the The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, located at 111 Amsterdam Avenue between 64th and 65th Streets.
In addition to being one of the world’s leading scholars on the poetry of Wallace Stevens, Vendler has written books on Emily Dickinson, W. B. Yeats, John Keats, and Seamus Heaney, among others.
“Nobody but Stevens would call a poem ‘Life is Motion.’ And nobody, later in life, would write another poem called ‘Chaos in Motion And Not in Motion,’” said Vendler, who will be tracking the flux of poems where both nature and human beings reveal changes of motion and emotion in Stevens’ thought and language. His favorite natural symbol for our minds in motion is the weather; and of our life, he says:
It is not in the premise that reality
Is a solid. It may be a shade that traverses
A dust, a force that traverses a shade.
Read more about the event via NYU Press Release
Boston Book Festival Fiction Keynote
Fiction Keynote: Colum McCann, interviewed by Claire Messud
Join Colum McCann as he discusses his latest publication, Thirteen Ways of Looking with Harvard English Senior Lecturer, and award-winning author, Claire Messud.
Writers in the Parlor Presents Michael Pollan
On Thursday, October 15 at noon, we’re welcoming food writer Michael Pollan to the Thompson Room for a conversation with Director of Creative Writing, Bret Anthony Johnston. All students may pick up tickets to the event in the English Department.
About Michael Pollan
For the past twenty-five years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the built environment. He is the author of Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation (2013) and of four New York Times bestsellers: Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (2010);In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008);The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006) and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001). The Omnivore’s Dilemma was named one of the ten best books of 2006 by both the New York Times and the Washington Post. It also won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, the James Beard Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. A young readers edition called The Omnivore’s Dilemma: the Secrets Behind What You Eat was published in 2009. In 2011, Pollan published a illustrated version of Food Rules with beautiful new paintings by Maira Kalman. The Botany of Desire received the Borders Original Voices Award for the best non-fiction work of 2001, and was recognized as a best book of the year by the American Booksellers Association and Amazon.com. PBS premiered a two-hour special documentary based on The Botany of Desire in fall 2009. Pollan is also the author of A Place of My Own (1997) and Second Nature (1991).
The Fall Morris Gray Poetry Reading
Laura Kasischke was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, 2012.
She has published nine novels, three of which have been made into feature films—“The Life Before Her Eyes,” “Suspicious River,” “White Bird in a Blizzard”—and eight books of poetry, most recently “Space, in Chains.” Her new poetry collection, “The Infinitesimals” will be published in May, 2014. She has also published the short story collection “If a Stranger Approaches You.”
She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as several Pushcart Prizes and numerous poetry awards and her writing has appeared in Best American Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Harper’s and The New Republic.