Reading by Dorothy Wickenden, Author and Editor of the New Yorker 4/11, 8 p.m.

Come to the reading on Wednesday night by Dorothy Wickenden, Executive Editor of The New Yorker and author of Nothing Daunted, “an alternative Western.” The book juxtaposes “a saga about two cosseted women from New York” who went West to work as teachers in 1916 (one of whom was her grandmother) with the violence of the expansion of the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

 Her reading is at 8 p.m. in Russell House. There is a q+a at 4:15 in Albritton 311 for students.



Author Edwidge Danticat to read Feb. 8, 8 p.m., The Chapel



Edwidge Danticat is the author of Breath, Eyes, Memory,
Krik? Krak!
(a National Book Award finalist), The Farming of Bones (an American Book Award winner), and the novel-in-stories, The Dew Breaker. Her memoir, Brother, I’m Dying, was a 2007 finalist for the National Book Award and a 2008 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, her most recent book, is a collection of essays. She is a MacArthur Fellow and a recipient of the Langston Hughes medal.


Wednesday, February 8th

8 P.M.

Memorial Chapel

221 High Street

Middletown, CT 06459


Co-sponsored by the English Department, the African American Studies Program, the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, the Office of Diversity and Strategic Partnerships, the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, 

and Academic Affairs

EVENT INFORMATION: or 860.685.3448


CAAS’s First Book Series: Prof. Oneka LaBennet ’94 on “She’s Mad Real: Popular Culture and West Indian Girls in Brooklyn” — Tues., 4:15 p.m.

Please join us tomorrow in CAAS’s Vanguard Lounge for the final speaker in the First Book Series. 

Anthropologist  Oneka LaBennet ’94 is Assistant Professor of African-American Studies and Women’s Studies at Fordham University. She received her Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from Harvard University in 2002. She will discuss her first book,  She’s Mad Real: Popular Culture and West Indian Girls in Brooklyn (New York University Press, 2011), an examination of West Indian adolescent girls’ complex negotiations of raced and and gendered identities within the context of American and Caribbean popular culture in Brooklyn. LaBennet is also Research Director for the Bronx African American History Project (BAAHP) where she leads a hip hop history initiative.


The talk will be followed by a book signing. 

The event is free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Joan Chiari in AFAM at ext: 3569.

GRST & WTCT: Reading by Christopher Kloeble — 10/18


The German Studies Department and the Writing Center invite you to meet Christopher Kloeble on Tuesday, October 18, 2011, at 6:00 p.m., in the Shapiro Center/Allbritton 311. Join us for stories by Christopher Kloeble and a sneak preview of his latest novel, Almost Everything Very Fast, which will be published in March 2012. Mr. Kloeble will read in English and German. English translations will be available for the parts he reads in German. A discussion will follow.

More Information on our News blog

Reading by Jim Shepard — Russell House, 9/28


September 28 — 8 p.m. — Russell House

Jim Shepard is the author of six novels and four collections of short stories.  His novel, Project X, won the 2005 Libary of Congress/Massachusetts Book Award, and his 2010 collection, Like You’d Understand, Anyway, was a finalist for the National Book Award.  He has been a columnist on film for The Believer and is the recipient of a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation.  He teaches at Williams College.

Writing at Wesleyan presents this reading as part of The Russell House Series/Prose, Poetry, and Music.  Support for this series is provided by Writing at Wesleyan, the English Department, the Center for the Arts, and the Wesleyan University Press.  Thanks also goes to the Sonnenblick, Jakobson, and Kim-Frank families, Gerard Koeppel, and supporters of the Jacob Julien and Millett writing events.

Carib Week: “Unheard Voices” 3/30

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

 “Unheard Voices”:  Caribbean Poetry, An Exhibition of West Indian Writings

Students will present written work on the Caribbean. The evening will culminate with readings by renowned writer, Professor of English/Editor of The Caribbean Writer at the University of the Virgin Islands, Dr. Opal Palmer Adisa.

Albritton 7:30 p.m.

Poet Susan Howe and Musician David Grubbs — tonight

Please join us for a performance by poet Susan Howe and composer David Grubbs

Wednesday, December 1, 2010  8 P.M.   CFA Hall

Renowned poet Susan Howe is a major force in contemporary letters and author of over a dozen books of poetry and critical prose, including Singularities, The Non-Conformist’s Memorial,  Souls of the Labadie Tract, My Emily Dickinson, and the forthcoming That This. She has collaborated with David Grubbs on two CDs. Howe is the English Department’s Distinguished Visiting Writer for 2010-11.

David Grubbs has released 11 solo albums and is known for his collaborations with writers and visual artists. He directs the Blue Chopsticks record label and is completing the book Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, The Sixties, and Sound Recording.

Both artists will be available for a Q & A the same day from 4:15-5:00 at the Shapiro Writing Center’s events room (3R in Allbritton).

These events are co-sponsored by the English Department, the Music Department, and Writing at Wesleyan.

 For more information contact / x 3582 or visit

An American Playwright, Arthur Kopit — 11/3

Are you interested in American theater and playwriting?

Well, Arthur Kopit is one of America’s greatest playwrights and the English department is proud to be the main sponsor of his reading/talk at Russell House this Wednesday, November 3 at 8:00 p.m.: 


Most of his plays are American classics (see the cool poster). He achieved an international reputation for his absurdist play, OH DAD, POOR DAD, MAMA’S HUNG YOU IN THE CLOSET AND I’M FEELIN’ SO SAD (1963) when he was fresh out of Harvard, where he majored in English.  He was gearing up to write INDIANS (1969) when he was a Writer-in-Residence at Wesleyan in the late 1960s.  The play is about Buffalo Bill and the ideological work he performed (and disavowed as ideological work)).  He is forced to perform–in a kind of Hell–his hyper-theatrical “Wild West” show schtick over and over again until he realizes how the myths and stereotypes he purveyed and profited from recast the systemic genocide of Indians and theft of Indian land as “Wild West”–White West–adventure.   The play doubles as an implied critique of the Vietnam War–the government and media, in effect, assigned the North Vietnamese the role of foreign “Indians.”  INDIANS is what I would describe as one of the greatest “American Studies” plays ever written. 

Arthur Kopit is not only phenomenally creative and brilliant, he is witty and gracious.  Now you have a chance to meet him.  He loves Wes.  Also of interest:  his plays have travelled to Hollywood.  INDIANS was re-worked as a Robert Altman film starring Paul Newman as Buffalo Bill:  Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson (1976).  And his play NINE was just re-worked as the film Nine (2009), which received four Oscar nominations and starred Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, and Sophia Loren.

Best, Joel Pfister, Kenan Professor of the Humanities, Chair, Department of English

Poetry Reading: Brenda Coultas 4/14

Brenda Coultas will read at Russell House

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

BRENDA COULTAS is the author of The Marvelous Bones of Time (2008) and A Handmade Museum (2003) from Coffee House Press. Coultas’s poetry is deeply invested in the local, blending lyricism with documentary reality. She is the recipient of the Norma Farber Prize from The Poetry Society of America, a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, and a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council residency.   

A reception and book signing will follow.

Yom HaShoah–Holocaust Remembrance Day: Readers Needed!

Holocaust Remembrance DayWith Earth Week just around the corner, remember that pollution is not only our over-flowing landfills and rising greenhouse gases, but is also the hate that deteriorates our world.  Healing the world does not just mean picking up litter and planting new trees, but doing whatever we can to stop the hate that murders people for their race, religion, gender, sexuality or any other reason…

This upcoming week is Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. Traditionally, students and professors at Wesleyan participate in a 24-hour long name reading of Holocaust victims. This year, Yom HaShoah falls on the night of the 11th. We will be doing a sunset-to-sunset reading in the lobby of the Exley Science Center from Sunday 4/11 to Monday 4/12.

There will be an opening and closing Community Collective Ceremony 7-8pm Sunday 4/11 and 6-7pm Monday 4/12.   This “Collective Ceremony” is a time and space for the community to contribute music, poetry, stories, and reflections. 

 READERS NEEDED! Please see ) to sign up for a time-slot between 8pm Sunday 4/11 and 6pm Monday 4/12.  You can also email Evelyn Israel ( with your time preference.

About Yom HaShoah:
This event is one of efforts world-wide to never forget the 6 million and more murdered in the Holocaust.  Sadly we have yet to see an end to genocide in the world.  Reading the names of victims is very powerful both for the reader and the listener.  I hope you will consider taking a part in this effort. 
Questions?? Email: