Category Archives: General News

Washington DC Local Meeting, February 10, 2017

The ALSCW will be hosting a poetry reading on February 10th in Washington DC at the Catholic University of America. The event will feature Meena Alexander, Robin Becker, Michelle Boisseau, Marianne Boruch, Rosellen Brown, Heid Erdrich, Jan Freeman, Alice Friman, Allison Joseph, Thylias Moss, Alicia Ostriker, Rebecca Seiferle, Enid Shomer, Terese Svoboda, and Eleanor Wilner. Each poet will read one to two poems of her own, and one by a woman not present. The event is free and open to the public, and will take place in Caldwell Auditorium from 6 to 7:15 pm. A reception will follow.

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Congratulations to Many Distinguished Members!

Longtime member Kelly Cherry, who enjoyed a distinguished career teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been given a Lifetime Achievement Award from her alma mater, the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

Younger member Ryan Wilson, who is the ALSCW Office Manager and a graduate student at Catholic University, has won the Donald Justice Poetry Prize from the West Chester University Poetry Center.  The prize includes a cash stipend and book publication of his manuscript.

A version of the seminar paper—“Correspondences: Baudelaire’s Fleurs du mal and the Translation Tasks of Richard Howard and Walter Benjamin”– Mary Maxell gave at the 2016 annual conference will be published in the Yale Review.

ALSCW members Al Basile (the 2015 winner of the ALSCW Meringoff Poetry Prize), Luther Dickinson, and Mike Mattison of the Tedeschi Trucks Band have received nominations in multiple categories for the Blues Music Awards.

Congratulations to all!

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2017 ALSCW Dissertation Fellowship

The annual fellowship is designed to support an individual whose doctoral dissertation involves literary history and/or aesthetics by providing a three week residency at a cabin nestled on nine acres in the mountains of West Virginia. Preference is given to candidates whose dissertation is at an advanced stage. The cabin is fully equipped and has Internet service. The dates of the residency are flexible and to be determined by the fellowship recipient in consultation with the ALSCW. Applicants must submit a c.v., a chapter of their dissertation, a two page description of the entire dissertation, and three letters of recommendations. Materials should be submitted online to with the heading ALSCW Fellowship on the subject line of the email. Additional references and an occupancy agreement may be required. All applicants must be members of the ALSCW or sponsored by a member of the ALSCW. The deadline for submission is February 15th. The recipient of the fellowship will be notified by mid-March. Membership information is available at on our website (

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A Tribute to Geoffrey Hill

Thursday, November 10th, 7-8:30 pm

The Castle, 225 Bay State Road, Boston University.

Participants include Archie Burnett, David Ferry, Saskia Hamilton, Kenneth Haynes, George Kalogeris, Marcia Karp, Christopher Ricks, Jon Westling.


?Geoffrey Hill (1932-2016) published his first full collection of poems, For the Unfallen: Poems 1952-1958, in 1959 (Andre Deutsch), followed by King Log (A. Deutsch, 1968) and Mercian Hymns (A. Deutsch, 1971), which received the Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize. Hill went on to publish numerous books of poems, including Broken Hierarchies: Poems, 1952–2012 (Oxford University Press, 2013); Odi Barbare (Clutag Press, 2012); The Orchards of Syon (Penguin Books, 2002); The Triumph of Love(Houghton Mifflin, 1998), winner of the Heinemann Book Award; Canaan (Penguin Books, 1996), winner of the Kahn Award; and Tenebrae (A. Deutsch, 1978). Hill also published several collections of essays, journal and periodical articles, prose, and an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Brand (University of Minnesota Press, 1981). He received many honors and awards, including the Faber Memorial Prize, the Hawthornden Prize, the Loines Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the T.S. Eliot Award for Creative Writing from the Ingersoll Foundation, and a Churchill fellowship at the University of Bristol.

A Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford for fivey years, Hill was an honorary fellow of Keble College, Oxford, and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, London, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He taught at Emmanuel College, Boston and Cambridge Universities, and the Universities of Ibadan in Nigeria, Leeds, and Michigan at Ann Arbor. He also gave the Clark Lectures at Trinity College, Cambridge, and served as professor emeritus of English Literature and Religion and as co-director of the Editorial Institute at Boston University. In 2012, Hill was knighted for services to literature.

He died on June 30, 2016, at eighty-four years old.

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2016 Conference Program Now Available

The program for the Twentieth Annual ALSCW Conference to be held Thursday, October 27 to Sunday, October 30 at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC is now available at this link (click on the title if viewing from the home page then click on the link).

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Announcing the 2016 ALSCW Meringoff Writing Awards, Deadline Oct. 15

Meringoff Awards 2014

The Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers is pleased to announce three awards of $2,000 each: one in poetry, one in fiction, and one in nonfiction. Each writer may submit only one entry. All entries must be previously unpublished and must be postmarked no later than September 15, 2016. The winners will be announced in December, and the winning entries will be published in either Literary Imagination or Literary Matters. For current members of The Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers, there is no entry fee; for everyone else, membership in the ALSCW is required. The necessary information for membership can be found by clicking on “Membership” at the top of our web page or by clicking on this link. All members of the ALSCW receive the annual three issues of our flagship journal, Literary Imagination, as well as access to our newsletter and the ability to attend our conferences and local gatherings.

• For the Meringoff Poetry Award, each entry can be one poem, or a group of poems that add up to no more than 150 lines.

• For the Meringoff Fiction Award, each entry should be one story, or a chapter of a longer work, totaling no more than 25 double-spaced pages.

• For the Meringoff Nonfiction Award, each entry should be one nonfiction piece, or a chapter of a longer work, totaling no more than 25 double-spaced pages.

All entries will be judged anonymously. Please include THREE COPIES of your entry with your name, email address, postal address and phone number ON ONLY ONE OF THEM. All submissions should be postmarked not later than October 15 , 2016 to:

Stephen J. Meringoff Writing Awards
Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers
Marist Hall, The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Avenue NE, Washington D.C. 20064

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Our New Office Manager

We are delighted to announce that Ryan Wilson is the new Office Manager of the ALSCW headquarters in Washington, D.C.  He will also assume the editorship of Literary Matters.

Ryan, who is currently a doctoral student at The Catholic University of America, earned an M.F.A. from Boston University and an M.F.A. from Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, where he administered the program’s Graduate Reading Series.  At CUA he has organized the Crux Poetry festival and run two reading series. He has published more than fifty poems, articles, and translations from the Latin, Spanish, and French, and is finishing a dissertation on Dante’s and T.S. Eliot’s influences on Robert Penn Warren’s poetry. Ryan was awarded the Sankey Prize for Poetry at Johns Hopkins and he won the Traum Award for literary translation at Boston University. During the last calendar year he’s published four substantial articles, including an article on Donald Justice and the New Critics (originally presented at the 2013 ALSCW conference in Athens, Georgia) that appeared in The Sewanee Review, and was subsequently awarded the Walter Sullivan Prize for Promise in Criticism by that journal. Another article won the Eleanor Clark Award from The Robert Penn Warren Circle, and also appeared in The Sewanee Review. His poetry appears widely in journals, including 32 PoemsAble MuseThe Classical Outlook, First Things, The Hopkins Review, and Iron Horse Literary Review.  In the past few years, his poems have been finalists for the River Styx International Poetry Prize (2012), the Frost Farm Prize (2015), and the Morton Marr Prize from The Southwest Review (2014, 2015), and he was also nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He has twice been a finalist for the Vassar Miller Book Award (2014, 2015).

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Winners of 2015 Meringoff Writing Awards

Dear ALSCW members and friends:

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2015 Meringoff Writing Awards. The awards include a prize of $2,000 each and the possibility of publication in the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers journal, Literary Imagination, or its newsletter, Literary Matters. The Meringoff Writing Awards are given annually for a poem, a work of fiction, and a work of creative nonfiction.

1) Non-Fiction (Judges, Vincent Kling and Matthew DeForrest)

Winner: John Koelsch for “Chapter 19 ~ Final Day (Excerpt)”  

In Vietnam, John received a Bronze Star w. “V” Device for Valor, 2 Purple Hearts, and a C.I.B. His publications include a book of Vietnam poetry If I Could Find A Way … in 2015. He’s the 2016 President of Valley Writers a Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club.

2) Fiction (Judge, Frank Blessington)

Winner: Helen Storey for “Gris, Gris” 

Helen Storey recently completed her first novel, Gris-Gris, while earning her PhD at Bath Spa University, U.K.  Her short stories and poetry have won several awards and have been published in national journals. She is currently writing a new novel and teaching writing at Pennsylvania State University. When not writing, reading, or teaching, Helen fills her time dancing, traveling, and collecting wayward dogs

3) Poetry (Judges, Mark Halliday and George Kalogeris)


Al Basile for “A Straw in the Wind” 

Al Basile is best known in the blues community worldwide as a singer/songwriter/cornetist. He has been nominated five times by the Blues Foundation for a Blues Music Award as best horn player. The first recipient of a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Brown in 1970, he spent 25 years as a private school teacher; his poetry collection, A Lit House: 100 Poems 1975-2011 was published in 2012.

Robert B. Shaw for “Ferrying”

Robert B. Shaw is the Emily Dickinson Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College.  He is the author of Blank Verse: A Guide to Its History and Use (Ohio University Press) and of six volumes of poetry.  A new collection of poems, A Late Spring, and After, is forthcoming from Pinyon Publishing in fall, 2016.

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Announcing the 2016 Stephen J. Meringoff Secondary School Essay Contest, Deadline June 15

In accord with the wish of the ALSCW to foster and recognize
excellence in the critically important area of student writing of
analytical essays at the secondary school level, the ALSCW invites
submissions of analytical essays by students in grades 9 through 12
dealing with works of recognized literary merit. Papers may examine
style, characterization, rhetorical technique, structure, and so on,
and may be about individual poems, short stories, novels, plays, or
essays. Papers may also compare two carefully selected works.

The judges value lucid and lively expression, conceptual maturity, and
argumentation that is developed from compelling and careful attention
to specific passages. They do not seek term/research papers, but hope
to receive carefully crafted interpretive and analytical essays of
1500 to 2500 words. Essays written in fulfillment of school
assignments are welcome.

The winning essay will be published in Literary Matters, the online
quarterly publication of the Association of Literary Scholars,
Critics, and Writers, and the winning contestant will receive an award
of $1,500.

To be eligible for the prize, students must be a member of the
ALSCW or be sponsored by a teacher or high school that is an ALSCW member. For information about joining the ALSCW, go to

Entries must be postmarked no later than June 1, 2015. Three copies of each entry (only one with the student’s name on it) must be sent WITH THE DOWNLOADABLE ENTRY FORM (see below) to:

Association of Literary Scholars, Critics and Writers
Marist Hall
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave. NE
Washington, DC 20064

The printable entry form may be found at

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2016 Invitation and Call for Papers: ALSCW Conference

We are pleased to announce that the 2016 ALSCW Conference will take place from Thursday, October 27th to October 30h at the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. You can find the detailed call for papers by clicking here.

We have a tremendous event in the making.  The exceptional quality of the sessions, performances, and special events we are assembling will help us reach that goal.  If you have a university or another institutional affiliation, feel free to share the CFP with your colleagues, including people in the departments of English, Creative Writing, Classics, and Modern Languages.




Ernest Suarez

Vice President, ALSCW

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