Tag Archives: Readings

Barbara Ungar Reading May 21

College of Saint Rose English Professor Barbara Ungar will read from her work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany on Thursday, May 21 at 7:30PM.


Barbara Ungar has published four books of poetry, most recently Immortal Medusa and Charlotte Brontë, You Ruined My Life, both Hilary Tham selections from The Word Works. Her prior books are Thrift and The Origin of the Milky Way, which won the Gival Press Poetry Award, a silver Independent Publishers award, a Hoffer award, and the Adirondack Center for Writing poetry award. She is also the author of several chapbooks and Haiku in English. She has published poems in Salmagundi, Rattle, The Nervous Breakdown, and many other journals. A professor of English at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, she coordinates their new MFA program. For more information, please see Barbaraungar.net.

The event also includes an open mic.

Sign-up starts at 7:00PM, with the reading beginning at 7:30.

The suggested donation is $3.00.


Notes from Minneapolis – An AWP Interview

Welcome back students and faculty from your trip to the 2015 AWP Conference held in Minneapolis, Minnesota!  Thanks so much for representing our department and The College of Saint Rose!

We asked students about conference, and here are some fun facts, photos, and thoughts from the trip!
Top 1

What was your favorite part about AWP? 

Sarah Sherman: The Write Bloody Super Poetry Party Showcase of Sweetness. Specifically, hearing Sarah Kay.

Amber O’Sullivan: The poetry readings and getting to talk to the poets after and get better acquainted with their work and writing process and selves.

Alyssa Cohorn: So many samples of literary magazines to take home! Not only are they great for airplane reading material, but you can really get a sense of where your writing could fit in and where it definitely doesn’t.

Samson Dikeman: The bookfair and the chaos of it.  I love that people will jump out at you and offer you free books and pens.

What was your least favorite part about AWP?

Sarah Sherman: Hearing uncontrollable laughter from a writer when she was told my thesis was a collection of essays written in the second person. (This was also a great moment, too, because it gave me a needed push to show people that maybe I can do this…and do it well. But, in reality, I’m sensitive, and it scared me.)

Amber O’Sullivan: Too much happening. Panels, booths, ahhh writers!

Alyssa Cohorn: Bar tabs.

Samson Dikeman: The weather.  It got much better, but a few of us walked to the conference in the rain one day.  It snowed another day.

Did you get to meet any authors that have inspired you?

Sarah Sherman: I met Sarah Kay, a poet, who is inspiring as a female writer.

Amber O’Sullivan: Yes! I met Joy Harjo and Simon Ortiz and got their autographs while my heart exploded a little from the inside out.

Alyssa Cohorn: Several. And I met some new authors that are now great inspirations.

Samson Dikeman: I got to hear some really amazing poets at the Write Bloody reading.

What were some of the panels you attended?  Thoughts on those?

Sarah Sherman: The most helpful panel I went to was called “Yes, Writing Is a Job: People Who Get Paid to Write.” It opened my eyes to different opportunities after getting an MFA and panelists provided helpful resources for finding these jobs.

Amber O’Sullivan: I went to “Character IS Plot, Plot IS Character” which was okay. The writers had a lot of varying advice that was sometimes contradicting though. I went to Post MFA tips as well which was worse since it was basically four people saying that you won’t have anything post MFA unless you get a residency, grant or fellowship. Thanks guys.

Alyssa Cohorn: I attended one on what to do after getting your MFA, and it amounted to an extended infomercial for people’s grants or weird artist colonies. I suggest finding out where your inspirations are talking and going from there.

Samson Dikeman: I made it through 14 minutes of one panel which was a record for me.  I don’t know what it is about the panels but I have a tough time staying focused while I’m there.

Favorite booth/journal?  Why?

Sarah Sherman: No Tokens Journal.  They were my favorite because they engaged with me the most. I got to speak with the nonfiction editor and asked her specific questions about my own work, which was encouraging. I plan to submit to them asap.

Amber O’Sullivan: Write Bloody because they were super fun to chill with and visit and they publish some of my favorite poets.

Alyssa Cohorn: Barrelhouse  was really cool and gave me a tiny plastic monkey.

Samson Dikeman: My favorite booth was the Write Bloody/University of Hell press booth.  I really enjoy the authors they put out.

What are your thoughts on Minneapolis?

Sarah Sherman: Unlike some of the others I traveled with, I wasn’t too impressed with Minneapolis. I’m sure a lot of it had to do with the day after day grayness in the sky (we got sun on our final days, thank God.) I always enjoy traveling to new places, though, so I don’t regret coming. I did have some tasty meals, so I guess that’s a plus.

Amber O’Sullivan: I love this city. Friendly, happy, interesting people, lots of dogs, weather is wild, fun bars, great restaurants, loving it.

Alyssa Cohorn: I LOVE THIS CITY. It’s weird, the weather is bizarre, and I’m still not sure I understand what a light rail is, but it was a good time and the people are overly friendly.

Samson Dikeman: Minneapolis is an interesting city with a seemingly inordinate amount of sex shops.  Other than that observation, I found it to be a charming city with some extremely kind and generous people.

Any tips or tricks about surviving a 3 day conference filled with writers and publishers?

Sarah Sherman: Be brave. Don’t let the intimidation of being around 11,000 people trying to do the same thing you are stop you from enjoying yourself.

Amber O’Sullivan: Deep breaths, network your ass off. Talk about your writing to these people, make an impression, and talk to these writers about writing!

Alyssa Cohorn: Bring comfy shoes; get ready to ask the same questions a lot, and pack enough concealer to hide your exhaustion.

Samson Dikeman: You have to take breaks and give yourself space in order to survive AWP.  There is so much energy (creative and otherwise) that you’ll get worn out if you don’t take naps.

Lee Geiselmann: Take it really slow. Don’t try to do everything in one day. Only go to 2 panels a day, but have a few backup panels to attend in case the ones you want to go to aren’t really what you want to see. Go to the readings at night.

Describe AWP in one word.

Sarah Sherman: Overwhelming

Alyssa Cohorn: Overwhelming.

Samson Dikeman: Dynamic.

Lee Geiselmann: Inspiring.

BU2 BU Top 5 Top 2

Event Announcement: “The Colored American Project: African American Print, Materiality and Digital Archives”

“The Colored American Project: African American Print, Materiality and Digital Archives”

Join CREST as Dr. Eurie Dahn and Dr. Brian Sweeney, both from the Department of English and CREST Residential Fellows, 2014-2015; present their joint digital humanities project about how they are creating a curated digital archive of the Colored American periodical.


March 30, 2015

5:00 PM


Location: Carondelet Symposium, Lally School of Education, 1009 Madison Ave.

Brian Sweeney’s Bio and Research Statement

Eurie Dahn’s Bio and Research Statement

Upcoming Event: MFA student Sarah Sherman reading

College of Saint Rose student Sarah Michelle Sherman will read from her work at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 7:30PM.

Sarah Michelle Sherman is a writer, teacher, bartender, graduate student pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at The College of Saint Rose, and managing editor of Pine Hills Review. Her work has appeared in Nailed MagazinePloughshares OnlineThe Helix, and Decades Review. She is also a contributing writer for Albany’s alternative newspaper, Metroland.

The event also includes an open mic.

Sign-up starts at 7:00PM, with the reading beginning at 7:30.

The suggested donation is $3.00.

Annual English Undergraduate Symposium

On Tuesday, April 3rd from 9:30am to 4:00pm, English Undergraduate students will be presenting their work in four different subject panels.

The panels will feature the four subject areas that students are able to explore in their English degrees: Literature, Writing, Film and New Media, and Performance. This event will be held in Standish Rooms A and B, Events and Activities Center and is free and open to the public! Everyone is welcome to come for all or part of this English-filled day!

Symposium schedule:                                                                                                          9:30am – 11am: Literary Analysis
11:15am – 12:30pm: Film and New Media Studies
12:30pm – 1pm: Lunch (Lunch will be provided)
1pm – 2pm: Creative Writing / Performance #1                                                      2:30pm – 4:00pm: Creative Writing / Performance #2

For more information about the English Undergraduate Symposium, contact Dr. Eurie Dahn at dahne@strose.edu.

This event is sponsored by the English Department and the College of Arts and Humanities at the College of Saint Rose.

Come Celebrate Dr. Ungar’s Latest Book of Poetry!

The English Department and the School of Arts and Humanities is having an event in celebration of the publication of Dr. Barbara Ungar’s latest book of poems, Charlotte Bronte, You Ruined My Life.  Dr. Ungar will be reading from her book at the event!

The event will be Thursday, October 13, 2011, from 5:30 to 6:30 in Standish A & B. This event is open to faculty and graduate students. Please come and celebrate Dr. Ungar’s fantastic accomplishment!

Please contact Prof. Dahn with questions, and a special thanks goes to Dean Lorna Shaw and Melanie Bowman for making this event possible.

From Process to Production: Jennifer Austin and Anne Dantz Discuss Their One-Acts

Student actors performing in Austin’s and Dantz’s plays include (left to right) Richard China, Celia Altidor, Maggie McCarthy, and Christina Mevec.

A black comedy about a bizarre family reunion and an edgy psychological thriller about a farm family in crisis: How do writers come up with these ideas? These are the plots of one-act plays by English graduate students Jennifer Austin and Anne Dantz. These two playwrights let us in on their processes as they anticipate the staged readings of their plays at St. Rose on Tuesday, April 19, at 7:00 pm in the Campus Theatre under the direction of Paul Lamar.

The idea for “Bitter Brunch,” by Jennifer Austin, began with characters. “My ideas spring from myself and people I know,” said Austin. “They become a combo of this, and then become their own beings.” Once she developed the characters Austin had an idea of where she wanted her play to go, but she kept an open mind commenting that, “Things often change in the process.” Austin said that one thing that she thinks is particularly interesting about writing characters for the stage as opposed to texts is that in texts characters “don’t always say what they mean. An actor’s actions on stage can reveal character nuances in a completely different way.” Austin also used Dr. Kenneth Krauss’s advice when thinking about writing: Write what you know. “It makes your writing nearer and more natural to you,” Austin said about taking Dr. Krauss’s advice. With her play being produced and staged, Austin does have some anxiety about seeing her work in action. “You have to let someone else take your baby and interpret it, but that’s the role of the director,” said Austin. In terms of the effect she wants on her audience, Austin said, “When you hear your words, it’s hard not to hear that internal critic saying ‘Oh, I should have written this instead.’ I just want it to invoke the emotion I intended.”

Anne Dantz took another approach in writing her play “Figment,” but like Austin, Dantz’s writing was grounded in what she knew. About her process Dantz said, “I read a newspaper article that covered a suicide of a farmer about 70 miles south of Albany. He shot half his heard of cows and himself. ” This event shocked and interested Dantz because it hit her at home. “I grew up on farms,” she said. “I know the kind of man this was and what could have driven him to this.” After being inspired by this tragic story, Dantz pulled from farmers she had known and the problems they faced to pose a possible reason that could have driven the farmer she read about to such an awful end.  While Dantz expressed no anxiety about seeing her words come to life, her only hope is that the audience will be entertained by what she has written.

Both Austin and Dantz expressed further hopes for their plays. Austin said she would like to turn her one-act drama into a screenplay. Austin commented, “My dream would be to sell the script, maybe to HBO or Showtime because they seem like a good fit for my story.” While Dantz had never written a play before “Figment” and said she doesn’t really consider herself a playwright, Dantz did comment, “It might be neat to see a community group put it on,” or she might just like to write for a community theatre group in the future.

Austin and Dantz had some advice to led to anyone who is interested in playwriting. “For any writer,” Austin said, “reading is at the top of the list, and for Drama, to see as many productions as possible is important. See as many plays as you can to be in that world and that mindset.” She also commented that “for Drama, a simple thing to do is to read your dialogue out loud and to write in contractions because that’s how people talk.” Dantz’s advice was simple: “Write what interests you, or what you think might interest others.” If you are interested in writing Drama, a good place to start might be by reading the favorites of Austin and Dantz. “Angels in America” by Tony Kushner and “How I Learned to Drive” by Paula Vogel are two of Austin’s favorite plays. “Henry IV” by William Shakespeare, along with anything else Shakespeare are among Dantz’s favorites.

The team of talent that will stage Austin’s and Dantz’s plays is led by Paul Lamar, who is standing-in for Dr. Krauss (on sabbatical). Lamar admits that he was “delighted, if slightly nervous,” when asked to direct in Krauss’s absence. Now he finds, “No need for the nerves.  The plays are first-rate, and the cast and crew, many of whom are Krauss alums, know their way through the production process. Now I’m just delighted.”

The staged readings of “Bitter Brunch” and “Figment” are one night only and free, so come early to see the talents of two of St. Rose’s playwrights in action!