The English Department's Marathon Reading of Great Expectations
All students, faculty, friends, and acquaintances of the City College English Department are invited to join the Department for its annual marathon public reading of a great work of literature. In honor of the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, this year's selected work is Great Expectations
(1860-61). The readings will begin at 11 in the morning on Thursday, November 1, and continue over the next few days in the English Department’s Student Lounge (NAC 6/218), and refreshments will be served. If you are interested in giving a reading, please contact Yana Joseph
with your preferred day and time. See the attached schedule
for more details.
The CCNY Poetry Festival Celebrates 40 Years
On Friday, May 11th, The City College Poetry Festival celebrated its 40th anniversary with a day of readings by poets from all over the city, including elementary and highschool students, City College faculty, students, and alumni, and guest poets Patricia Smith and Richard Tillinghast. The annual festival is organized by the Poetry Outreach Center. Founded by Professor Emeritus Barry Wallenstein and currently directed by Lecturer Pamela Laskin, the Center organizes CCNY faculty and student poets to conduct writing workshops in NYC public elementary and high schools. A day of readings was followed by a celebration and a tribute to Barry Wallenstein. (Photo by Hubert Williams) View photos from the event
Gish Jen Visits City College
On Wednesday, April 4th, The City College hosted writer Gish Jen. An author of four novels and a story collection, her writing has appeared The New Yorker
and The Atlantic Monthly
. Her story "Birthmates" was selected by John Updike for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories of the Century
. Ms. Jen read excerpts from her most recent novel, World and Town
. She described the novel's protagonist as "living in one world while she feels another world tugging on her," a theme Ms. Jen explores in much of her work.
Sponsored by the Simon H. Rifkind Center for the Humanities, the Asian Studies Program, and the M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program, the event drew students, faculty, and alumni from multiple disciplines. Also in attendance was Gish Jen's father, Norman Jen, who taught Civil Engineering at City College. The event served as an opportunity for her to acknowledge her father's influence on her life and writing, and for alumni who were present to recognize his work at City College.
Drastic Dislocations by Barry Wallenstein
Professor emeritus Barry Wallenstein, a member of the Department for 40 plus years, and founder of City's Annual Spring Poetry Festival and the Poetry Outreach Center, has just come out with his 7th volume of poems, Drastic Dislocations: New and Selected Poems
The late Bill Matthews, poet and former City College Professor, wrote about his poetry: "There is an off-handed canniness of phrasing about [his] poems, a way of registering both emotional freight and the time it takes to carry it, that identifies a Barry Wallenstein poem right away." Grace Schulman writes of his latest book that it offers "many pleasures, among them the capacity of joy despite the full knowledge of life's limitations."
Barry Wallenstein will read on February 17th as a part of the CCNY MFA Reading Series (see "Upcoming Events
" for more details).
Word Up Community Bookshop
While many independent and chain bookstores have been closing nation-wide, CCNY alum Veronica Liu's community bookshop, Word Up, is buzzing with business and culture. Located at Broadway and 176th Street and run by over 60 volunteers, the store hosts readings, music shows, film screenings, workshops, community art projects, and events for kids in English, Spanish, and Russian. "In the past four months, more than 250 people have performed at the space," Veronica says, "and we have sold or distributed thousands of books to the community." Read more
Machiavelli: A Life Beyond Ideology and In Times of Danger by Paul Oppenheimer
Paul Oppenheimer's latest book, Machiavelli: A Life Beyond Ideology (Continuum), which the publisher describes as the first major academic biography of the author of The Prince in thirty years, came out in the UK on October 27th and will be out in the US on December 29th.
His fourth volume of poetry, a collection of sonnets entitled In Times of Danger (Spuyten Duyvil, January 2011), continues to receive strong reviews. Said poet Sarah White, "Oppenheimer possesses undeniable art and skill. His keen literary mind is one for which all readers should be grateful." In a recent full page discussion of the volume in American Book Review (July-August), Maggie Schwed writes, "In Times of Danger vigorously depicts the life and concerns of a man over the last decade….His increasing dismay with politics reaches from ancient times to our entry into the Iraq War….At the same time, he marvels at the powers of love and art to give human beings breathtaking, and sustaining, encounters with truth." Read more
Visitation Rites & My Life in Shoes by Pamela Laskin
CCNY Lecturer Pamela Laskin's novel, Visitation Rites
, was published in May by Diversion Press and her memoir, My Life in Shoes
, was published in October by World Audience. My Life in Shoes
explores the author's journey from childhood to adulthood through her relationship to shoes. Said writer Suzanne Weyn of the memoir: "With her usual no holds-barred honesty Pamela Laskin brings her unique perspective on being an outsider, mental illness, adolescence, love, loss, and survival within the different framework of the footwear she loved and loathed."
is a coming-of-age story of an adolescent girl dealing with a mentally ill mother and passive father in the aftermath of her parents' divorce and September 11th.
Outside the Bones Community Book Launch
Over 200 people attended the launch of Professor Lyn Di Iorio's novel, Outside the Bones
, at the Barnes and Nobles at 82nd Street and Broadway—the B&N team said it was the largest crowd they'd ever had. Professor Di Iorio read from the novel and then had an engaging conversation with writer Ernesto Quiñonez (Bodega Dreams
). Outside the Bones
was recently selected as #2 among the 2012 Top Ten "New" Latino Authors to Watch (and Read). Professor Di Iorio will be giving more readings in the coming months. For more information: www.outsidethebones.com
Edwidge Danticat Visits CCNY
On Friday, November 18th, City College hosted the Haitian American novelist, memoirist, short-story writer and children's book author Edwidge Danticat. Danticat was selected by the Langston Hughes Committee, lead by Professor Gordon Thompson, as the 38th recipient of CCNY's Langston Hughes Medal. The English Department hosted an afternoon reception with Ms. Danticat at which Professor Emily Raboteau spoke with the writer about her work and career and invited her to read from her recent book, Create Dangerously
. Ms. Danticat's reflections and reading were an inspiration to the many aspiring writers in the room. Read more
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