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Department News & Events

UVA English Department ranked among top 10 in nation
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

USA Today College ranks the University of Virginia’s English Department as one of the top ten places to get an English degree in the country. Citing outstanding programs and faculty, USA Today notes that students at UVa “have the opportunity to develop their understanding of their chosen field through cross-disciplinary coursework and discussion-based classes […] The classes expose students to the literary classics, while strengthening critical reading and writing skills.” Graduates of the English Department continue to succeed after college as well: they "are proficient in analyzing and interpreting a variety of texts and have the ability to express themselves thoughtfully and concisely. UVa English majors have gone on to find positions in government, business, law and more."

Read the full article here.

The Winter Read Wednesday at 7pm
Monday, January 26, 2015

The English Department will host a community reading and discussion event this Wednesday at 7:00pm in the Bryan Hall Faculty Lounge. The Winter Read will bring together undergrads, graduate students, and professors to discuss Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Professors Clare Kinney, Stephen Cushman, and Victor Luftig will start off the event with a panel discussion, then participants will break into groups to discuss the book over pizza. Come one and all! For more information or questions about the event, email Jesse Bordwin at jeb2sm@virginia.edu.

Lisa Russ Spaar finalist for the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing
Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Professor Lisa Russ Spaar is one of five finalists for the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing for the National Book Critics Circle Awards. These awards are some of the most prestigious American literary awards and are judged by a panel of critics and book review editors. Read more about the awards and other nominees here.

James Salter in residence at UVA
Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Author James Salter spoke to UVA Today recently about his time in residence with the UVA English Department's Creative Writing Program. The Kapnick Distinguished Writer-in-Residence Program, established last year in the tradition of William Faulkner’s legendary residencies at the University in 1957 and ’58, aims to bring writers of international stature to Charlottesville for one semester to teach and engage with U.Va. students and the literary community.

Salter, the inaugural writer to hold the post, is spending the fall semester at UVA, teaching a graduate workshop on fiction. He gave three public talks last month related to the art of fiction and will read from his work Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. in Nau Hall, room 101, to be followed by a book signing.

Read Salter's full interview with UVA Today here - and watch a video about the Kapnick Residency, including excerpts from Salter's interview, here.

 

Rita Dove Receives 2014 Weinstein Prize
Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Rita Dove, Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia, is the recipient of the 2014 Carole Weinstein Prize in Poetry. The prize was awarded at the 17th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards Celebration on October 18 at the Library of Virginia in Richmond. Established in 2005, the prize is awarded each year to a poet with strong connections to the commonwealth of Virginia. The $10,000 annual prize recognizes significant recent contribution to the art of poetry and is awarded on the basis of a range of achievement in the field of poetry.

Read the full press release below:

 

Rita Dove has served as Poet Laureate of the United States and consultant to the Library of Congress (1993-1995) and as Poet Laureate of Virginia (2004-2006). She holds honorary doctoral degrees from 25 American universities. She won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for Thomas & Beulah and numerous other literary awards and honors, including the 2008 Library of Virginia’s Literary Lifetime Achievement Award.
 
Now another prestigious literary honor is going to the multitalented poet. Dove, Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia, is the recipient of the 2014 Carole Weinstein Prize in Poetry. It will be awarded at the 17th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards Celebration on October 18 at the Library of Virginia in Richmond.  Established in 2005, the prize is awarded each year to a poet with strong connections to the commonwealth of Virginia. The $10,000 annual prize recognizes significant recent contribution to the art of poetry and is awarded on the basis of a range of achievement in the field of poetry.
 
Dove was selected by the current curators of the Weinstein Prize—Elizabeth Seydel “Buffy” Morgan, David Wojahn, Ron Smith, and Donald E. Selby Jr.—who wrote, “For more than four decades, Dove has been a vital presence in American verse, both by virtue of the ambition and resonance of her verse, and for her role as a public spokesperson for poetry during a time when its potential audience has never been larger. We are delighted to honor a poet of such accomplishment, sensitivity, and music. Rita Dove eschews the narrow and embraces the human. She speaks to all of us.”  Previous recipients of Weinstein Prize include George Garrett, R. T. Smith, Henry Hart, Elizabeth Seydel “Buffy” Morgan, Ron Smith, Kelly Cherry, Eleanor Ross Taylor, Charles Wright, and Lisa Russ Spaar.
 
In addition to her Pulitzer Prize-winning Thomas and Beulah, Dove is the author of eight other collections of poetry including Sonata Mulattica, American Smooth, Mother Love, On the Bus with Rosa Parks, Grace Notes, Museum, Selected Poem, and The Yellow House on the Corner.  She has also published a collection of stories, Fifth Sunday; a novel, Through the Ivory Gate; a collection of her Poet Laureate lectures, The Poet's World; a verse drama, The Darker Face of the Earth; and, as editor, The Penguin Anthology of 20th-Century American Poetry.
 
Other notable awards and honors that Dove has received are the 2011 National Medal of Arts from President Obama, the 1996 National Humanities Medal from President Clinton, the 2003 Emily Couric Leadership Award, the 2009 Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, and the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University.

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