Welcome to the blog for the Villanova English department! Visit often for updates on department events, guest speakers, faculty and student accomplishments, and reviews and musings from professors and undergraduates alike.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Prof. Lisa Sewell Wins the Tenth Gate Prize

LISA SEWELL is the WINNER of the First Annual Tenth Gate Prize!

English department professor Lisa Sewell has won the 2014 Tenth Gate prize for her poetry manuscript, Impossible Object. The prize includes a cash award of $1000 and book publication in the spring of 2015. The imprint was founded to honor and publish mid-career poets.

Impossible Object is Sewell's fourth poetry collection, following the chapbook Long Corridor (Seven Kitchens Press, 2009), and full-length collections Name Withheld (Four Way Books, 2006) and The Way Out (Alice James Books, 1998).

Says Series Editor Leslie McGrath, "Lisa Sewell's poems are shot through with an adhesive intelligence born of the accretion of craft, discernment, and engagement with the world. This is exactly the kind of collection for which the Tenth Gate prize was developed."

Sewell is also co-editor, with Claudia Rankine, of two essay collections that focus on 21st Century North American poets. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Ploughshares, Paris Review and Harvard Review. She has been awarded a Leeway Foundation Grant and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

This is the first annual award of the Tenth Gate Prize, an imprint of The Word Works.  Impossible Object will be available by advance order for $17 plus $4 shipping and handling at The Word Works website (click here) or from SPD.

Prof. Lisa Sewell

English Department Advisory Committee 2014-15

Students on the Advisory Committee serve as consultants for the English department and as advisors for younger majors and prospective majors.  This fall they will also be involved in the planning of a variety of special events.  We have found the committee to be an invaluable departmental resource and would welcome your contribution to it. Please contact Prof. Michael Berthold if you are interested in joining.

Some members of this year's committee:  Jenny Lee, Aisha Chughtai, Kelly Kohler, Marielle Alexander

Marielle Alexander
I am a Junior English major with minors in Writing and Rhetoric and Psychology.  I plat to attend graduate school at Villanova for secondary education and go on to teach secondary school English.  I am also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) and I volunteer at various university and community events.

Aisha Chughtai
I am a Biology and English double major with minors in Spanish and Humanities.  My aspirations include attending medical school and pursuing global health initiatives, and my background as an English major will definitely help propel me in this career, because it allows me to bring new perspectives and ideas to an otherwise largely scientific field.

Eugene Gonzales (Junior)

Kelly Kohler
I am a Junior English and Education major.  I am extremely interested in teaching English at the high school level and was fortunate enough to get a teaching internship this past summer.  In the future I hope to attend graduate school and continue to explore the possibilities presented to me by my degree in English.

Jenny Lee
I am a Senior English major from Haworth, New Jersey.  I am also pursuing a concentration in Writing and Rhetoric as well as a minor in Communications.  After graduating, I hope to go into online publishing and write articles for various digital platforms.

Danielle Sekerak
I am a junior English major from Monroe, Ct.  Before stepping onto Villanova’s campus as a freshman, I made a pact with myself that I would graduate from college with a degree in something that I loved.  I did not want my college experience to be clouded with classes that I didn’t enjoy.  I had always had a special affinity for English, and although I came in as pre-med, I declared my English major first semester of my sophomore year.  Since then, I’ve taken a variety of courses, and what I have truly come to love about the English major is that when I read and write, I feel most like myself.  This major is very much a learning process and an expressive one;  I’ve learned more about myself while taking these classes than in any other classes. My English courses have definitely enhanced my attention to detail and my ability to properly articulate my thoughts; these skills—among others—have helped me in my roles outside of the classroom. For example, I served on the Orientation Steering Committee and was able to apply what I learned in the classroom to this campus activity. Although I am not entirely sure what I want to do after I graduate, I know that being able to critically think and then express those thoughts will help me in any job.

Lily Suh (Senior)

Kristina Sumfleth
I am a Junior English major with minors in Irish Studies and Classics. I am an aspiring photographer who is currently aiming to go to graduate school for photography in New York City and eventually I would like to be a photojournalist for National Geographic. My favorite books are currently The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series and Jane Eyre.  I also have a penchant for poetry, especially the work of Emily Bronte, Edgar Allan Poe and William Butler Yeats. This past summer I studied abroad in Galway through the Irish Studies Program and also worked at a local newspaper in my hometown as a freelance photojournalist. While at Villanova during the year I am a photographer for the Villanovan, on the Judo Club, and last year I was a part of the Sophomore Service Learning Community.

Jessica Swoboda
I am a Senior English major with a second major in Humanities on the Honors Thesis track.  I spent this past summer researching representations of grace in the works of Flannery O'Connor.  At the conclusion of the summer, I was able to make an argument about O'Connor's newly published A Prayer Journal (2013), based on the Thomistic account of grace, art, and virtue in Jacques Maritain's Art and Scholasticism (1920).  For my Honors Thesis, I'm using O'Connor as my gateway into the question: how is the supernatural represented in 20th century literature in a secular society? Aside from my interest in 20th century literature and love for the English major, I'm also a member of the Varsity Field Hockey team and a tutor in the Writing Center.

Villanova on Set

Villanova on Set: Film, TV, and Entertainment Industry Immersion Program
Applications are being accepted for the 2015 Villanova on Set Program.  Villanova on Set is designed to expose Villanova students to the various facets of the Hollywood television and film industry, and the English department has been involved with the planning of the program.  Over a six-day period, students will gain an understanding of the culture and geography of Los Angeles, creative and production processes, the importance of networking, and the basics of business and media management.  Potential site visits include Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, NBC Universal, HBO, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Technicolor, United Talent Agency, UCLA, and Illuminate. Potential social activities include tourist stops and sightseeing in and around Los Angeles and Hollywood.

The program runs from January 4-9, 2015, and is open to students from all schools and colleges at Villanova.  The application deadline is Oct. 20.  For additional information, click here.  If you have questions, please contact:  ii.luscri@villanova.edu

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Prof. Lutes and Nelly Bly

Radio station WHYY (90.9 FM) will be interviewing Prof. Jean Lutes about her edition of Nelly Bly this Wednesday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 am.  The interview may be linked to a Philadelphia Fringe festival show about Nellie Bly, Nellie/Nellie, a music-driven dance theater exploration of Bly's Ten Days in a Mad-House.  Nellie/Nellie is playing this Thursday through Saturday  at 8:00 pm at the Broad Street Ministry (in their big historic sanctuary in Center City). Tickets are free and you can click here to reserve them.

You can also click here to listen to Prof. Lutes' July 4 discussion of Nelly Bly on the WBEZ "Nerdette Podcast"--the Great Lady Nerds of American History special.