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Key Issues in Black Feminism Presents #BlackGirl Magic

Aimee Meredith Cox

The Ethnography of Writing Yourself In…and Out

Shapeshifters:  Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship

Monday, April 24, 2016  7:15 p.m.

Beckham Hall

Book signing to follow.  Light refreshments will be served.

Co-sponsored by:

Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life; Anthropology Department; Feminism, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program; Office of Equity & Inclusion; and The Ethics Project

OCS Hiring Coordinators

Reblogged from: ENGAGE – Wesleyan University. (Go to the original post…)

Four student-led programs of the Office of Community Service are accepting applications for Coordinators. This is a great opportunity for a rising sophomore, junior, or senior to take on a leadership role in a service project on campus. You can apply for any of the four positions online here

Center for Prison Education

Their Work: Engage with incarcerated populations through a variety of activites organized and supported by the Center for Prison Education. Facilitate academic workshops that strive to provide a supportive space for ideas in prison at York Correctional Institute.Volunteer in classrooms at CJTS (Connecticut Juvenile Training School), a correctional facility for boys ages 14-17. Support the CPE through legislative research, act as writing tutors for the men in our college program, perform book requests for our students.

juliasstarJulia’s Star

Their Work: The Julia’s Star program brings Wesleyan students into contact with Middletown fifth graders, and through the interaction seeks to create a safe space for positive dialogue. Through the book and the session, we hope the students will understand the impact of stereotypes, both on a micro and a macro level. We hope they will learn how to share their identities and how to ask carefully and thoughtfully about one another’s. By collecting letters from the students, we retain a meaningful connection with Johanna’s family and keep her legacy alive and thriving here at Wes.


Their Work: Shining Hope for Communities-Wesleyan is the founding chapter of Shining Hope for Communities(SHOFCO), an international non-profit organization that began at Wesleyan in 2009.  SHOFCO seeks to address gender inequality and extreme poverty in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya by linking a tuition-free school for girls (The Kibera School for Girls) with social services for all.  SHOFCO-Wesleyan works with the Wesleyan and Middletown communities to improve understanding of issues that affects people in Kibera, to raise awareness of SHOFCO’s various projects in Kibera, and to fundraise in support of these projects.


wesCFPATheir Work: Connecticut Forest and Parks Association (CFPA) is Connecticut’s oldest conservation organization that works to preserve hiking trails, conserve land and forests, and educate the community. As a volunteer you could work to plan hikes for Wesleyan and our local community, set up events such as film screenings and lectures, create video podcasts that the CFPA will use to educate their hikers, and work on implementing an educational youth program at the CFPA headquarters located down the road from Wes! Working closely with the CFPA, students will have hands-on experiences and will work to create a strong and lasting community partnership.

What does an OCS Coordinator do?

–  Recruit and train volunteers (in collaboration with community partner, where appropriate). Include OrgSync training as part of process.

–  Maintain regular contact with community partner and student volunteers

–  Host at least one group meeting per semester

–  Trouble-shoot, advocate, support both volunteers and community partner

–  Motivate volunteers

–  Recognize and thank volunteers

–  Learn about other programs to assist students that may come into the office

–  Assist in office responsibilities (answering phones, questions from students, etc.)

–  Attend orientation and mini-retreat with OCS staff

–  Maintain regular office hours

–  Schedule vans, if needed

–  Attend staff meetings once a month and learning community, when scheduled

–  Meet formally one-on-one with OCS staff (number of meetings may vary)

–  Submit semester reports (1 page summary of program accomplishments)

–  Maintain regular presence on OrgSync

–  Update participant list on OrgSync each semester

Reblogged from: ENGAGE – Wesleyan University. (Go to the original post…)

Alicia Strong was selected to receive an Enrichment Grant from the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. With this grant, she participated in an inter-faith service trip over spring break. You can read Alicia’s reflection below, read past grantee reflections here, and visit thePCSE website to learn more about all of our grant programs.


alicia2 My experience on the Interfaith Service Trip was a truly enriching and fulfilling experience. I had the opportunity to travel to Pennsylvania with students from a variety of religious backgrounds in the name of service and faith.

The most eye-opening experience I had on my trip was working with refugees in an English class. The class had people from all over the world that came to America for a better life. I was surprised and touched to find how well they got along with alicia1each other despite their different nationalities and languages. This group of immigrants gave me hope for the fate of America. The love and acceptance they displayed to one another was incredible. They also taught me how difficult the English language is. I commend them for taking on the challenge.

One very humbling experience was working on low-income house through the Brethren Housing Association. The organization provided homes for homeless alicia3single mothers and their children. Before we began renovations, the director of the program showed us a video of some of the families they worked with. They were American families, just like mine, that ran into some very hard times. After we finished working on houses for the day, I was very proud of the results. Together we were able to deconstruct an entire Chimney and remove flooring from the entire second floor of the house. I was proud of our teamwork and grateful that I had the opportunity to give back.

The part of the trip that I will never forget is the love and compassion of my group. Everybody I worked with had such big hearts. We were always looking out for one another. The bonds I formed on this trip are lasting ones. Although we all came from different faith traditions, we were all able to unite for a common cause. I hope that we can bring our experiences back to Wesleyan and show everyone the beauty of love and community.

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Spring time at #Wesleyan, April 21. 

Reblogged from: The WesPress Blog. (Go to the original post…)

When we at Wesleyan University Press asked poet Marianne Boruch to select one of her favorite poems, she replied two poems by the late poet Russell Edson.


This being spring, specifically April, and heralded for a while now—for good and ill—under the name of Poetry (capital P), here’s part of an email I got in May 2006 from the late (infamous and beloved) Russell Edson. He wrote—

“Everything’s gotten kind of green. I suppose, since we didn’t create
the universe, we’ll just have to go on living our lives as if everything
was meant to happen.”

That’s not a poem, of course, and in fact Edson did create small riveting universe after universe in his prose poems, verse paragraphs, fables extraordinaire—whatever you want to call them. Here’s a favorite of mine….

        THE FALL

                        There was a man who found two leaves and came indoors holding them out
                saying to his parents that he was a tree.

                       To which they said then go into the yard and do not grow in the living-room
               as your roots may ruin the carpet.

                        He said I was fooling I am not a tree and he dropped his leaves.
                        But his parents said look it is fall.


What to say about such a moment?  What to say about a playfulness that is dead serious, poems that turn on us and suddenly there’s that huge void looming, in us and around us?

That’s poetry for you but but but…   Unlike prose which is “inherently tragic” since it moves “through time,” poetry is “joyous … no matter how gloomy its seeming content.” So Edson brilliantly argued in his essay “The Prose Poem in America.”  With its sense of “continuous life,” poetry “celebrates everything it touches” pretty much in spite of itself.  He said that too.

But there’s a certain humility required of poets, a crucial lightness of being. Note this wonderful piece of his:


                        There was once a hog theater where hogs performed as
                men, had men been hogs.

                        One hog said, I will be a hog in a field which has found a
                mouse which is being eaten by the same hog which is in the
                field and which has found the mouse, which I am performing
                as my contribution to the performer’s art.

                        Oh let’s just be hogs, cried an old hog.

                        And so the hogs streamed out of the theater crying, only
                hogs, only

                        hogs . . .


In that email from long ago, Edson wrote this before he signed off—

“Good news!  Poetry month has ended. Now we can return to reality.
Someone once said April is the cruelest month…”

–Marianne Boruch


Marianne Boruch is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including, the forthcoming Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing (2016); Cadaver, Speak (2014); The Book of Hours (2011), which won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; Grace, Fallen from (Wesleyan, 2008); and Poems: New & Selected (Wesleyan, 2004). She has also published a memoir, The Glimpse Traveler (2011), as well as two collections of prose on poetry, In the Blue Pharmacy (2005) and Poetry’s Old Air (1995).

Be sure to check out our new poetry!


Common Sense (Ted Greenwald)

Age of Reasons: Uncollected Poems 1969–1982 (Ted Greenwald)

Azure: Poems and Selections from the “Livre” (Stéphane Mallarmé)

Fauxhawk (Ben Doller)

Scarecrow (Robert Fernandez)

The Book of Landings (Mark McMorris)

A Sulfur Anthology (edited by Clayton Eshleman)

Reblogged from: Class of 2017. (Go to the original post…)

Summer Session – Register Now!

Summer Session registration is open – students are enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis. Don’t miss your chance to take the course of your choice this summer. Summer Session is unique – class meets every day, and students develop close bonds with peers and faculty through the immersion experience. To register, complete the registration form in the Summer Session bucket of your portfolio, and turn it in with payment to the Summer Session office (74 Wyllys). Financial aid recipients must register by this Friday April 22 to use their award. April 22 is also the priority deadline for housing; students who request housing but have not registered in a Summer Session course or provided alternate reasons for requesting housing will lose their summer assignment on April 25. Email summer@wesleyan.edu with any questions.


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In between classes, students gathered on College Row to discuss an online music program, April 20. #alwayslearning #Wesleyan University 

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Blooms on campus, April 20 at #Wesleyan University. 

Reblogged from: ENGAGE – Wesleyan University. (Go to the original post…)

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 10.59.00 AMCalling all volunteers for Feet to the Fire: Riverfront Encounter

Saturday May 7, 2016!  

Middletown’s annual eco-arts festival needs you! The festival will be held at Harbor Park from 12-5 on Saturday May 7th (but volunteer shifts start as early as 8 a.m.).  Our Facebook Event describes some of the highlights of the day — from main stage bands, to workshops, commissioned artworks, performances, environmental exhibitors, a craft fair, a video installation in the Harbor Park tunnel, food trucks, and lots of fun activities for kids. We are expecting 4,000 people if the weather is good — it’s going to be a blast. 
What’s in it for me? A free Riverfront Encounter t-shirt! And a chance to meet other volunteers and feel great about helping make this community event a big success. 
When do you need volunteers, and what will I be doing? Shifts start at 8 a.m. and continue till 7:00 p.m.. In the form below, you can choose a time slot that works for you. We need a lot of volunteers for the morning shift (setting up tables, chairs, and signs, and helping participants load in). Late afternoon/evening volunteers will help break down and clean up. Between 11 and 5:30, volunteers will be helping as needed — at water stations, information booths, stages, and more.

To volunteer, fill it out this Google Form.

Reblogged from: The WesPress Blog. (Go to the original post…)

When asked about her favorite poems, Brenda Hillman replied with “The Life is Preserved,” by Jameel Din, from the 1987 California Poets in the Schools statewide anthology, Thread Winding in the Loom.

I let the request slide for a while through neurotic indecision, then thought about poems I’ve enjoyed for a long time. One of the poems I’ve had on my wall for several decades was written by a child, Jameel Din, who was a student at Lakeshore School in San Francisco in the 1980s. I came across the poem in a Poets-in-the-Schools publication; Jameel’s teacher at the time was Grace Grafton. I wrote asking Grace for more information about the poem and she responded in an email: “Jameel’s poem was published in the 1987 California Poets in the Schools statewide anthology, Thread Winding in the Loom… each year CPITS publishes [the] anthology which features the best student poems, some poet-teacher poems and essays on teaching poetry by a few poet-teachers…” She noted that for almost 30 years she was active as a California Poets in the Schools poet-teacher, adding that she taught 5–15 poetry sessions in all grades 1–5. Because of the anthology, Grace wrote, “every kid I worked with had a poem ‘published’…Jameel was in fifth grade when ‘The Life is Preserved’ was published, about 10 years old, so he must be about 40 now…I probably taught him when he was in 4th grade also.”  Many thanks to Grace for all her work as a teacher and poet, thanks to CPITS and to all those poet-teachers out there.

Jameel’s featured poem goes like this:


The life is preserved
in itself, that is how
we are in existence. The
characters in nature exist
in a pattern. That is the
way it is meant to be.
Of the window we see
through, many portions are
left to fill in. Many seasons
will pass. Life will preserve
itself any way it can.
That is self-being. Time
is also preserved in itself.
Ancestors will be in their
time as will others. Many
squirrels will walk in the
distance. They are brown as
the trunks of tress in daylight.
The rabbits of the night
are near to the meadow.
They are near to all life.
The calls of the great ones
are of much power. The life
is preserved in itself, that
is how we are in existence.

Picture1There are many things I love about this poem: its philosophical efficiency; the plain diction (reminiscent of W.C. Williams); its combination of intimacy and detachment;  the short, linked sentences placed in lines with wandering caesuras; and most significantly, its tone and range.  This poem is not “spiritually bossy” the way some contemporary poems are, but instead demonstrates both assertiveness and openness. Its many ragged enjambments create a vibrant receptive music; the lines that end in “the” remind me of Oppen or Creeley, though Jameel’s declarative statements are not “oblique” in the way their sentences can be, enacting a kind of solitary existential angst and dilemmas of relationship. Instead, Jameel’s writing is that of a child stating the principles by which he lives and perceives the world, including the presence of ancestors with power, and brown squirrels the same color as the trees, the rabbits in the night, and so on. Had Jameel been an older writer, and had he not had a such a good poetry teacher, he would have been told to narrow his subject; writing about “life” is after all a rather large topic.

Jameel’s poem is a bit of an odd choice to put forth here. But for me it embodies many values of poetry I love over time, whether it the work of Dickinson or Hopkins or Lorine Niedecker or Forrest Gander or giovanni singleton; it is risky and free, and it is general and local.  As a child, I read single short poems aloud to myself, poems I grew to love, that can convey the vastness of mental moments in compressed forms. It doesn’t mean I don’t often love experimental postmodern projects or expansively social poetry or public installations or collaged mixed media writing. But at the core of my love for poetry is always the experience of a verbal event that can deliver quantum packets of strange energy. What we aspire to as poets is to deliver the news of imaginative language openly or secretly.  Sometimes we have readers we will never know about. Sometimes we work in obscurity, but we can imagine we have a few readers out there and can try to write poems for them that will last through multiple readings the way Jameel’s poem has for me.

–Brenda Hillman

Hillman_Brenda b-300-3

Brenda Hillman is the author of nine full-length collections from Wesleyan University Press, the most recent of which are Practical Water (2009), winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire (2013), which received  the International Griffin Poetry Prize for 2014. With Patricia Dienstfrey, she edited The Grand PermissionNew Writings on Poetics and Motherhood (Wesleyan, 2003), and has co-translated Poems from Above the Hill by Ashur Etwebi and Instances by Jeongrye Choi. Hillman teaches at St. Mary’s College where she is the Olivia C. Filippi Professor of Poetry; she is an activist for social and environmental justice.  Click here for author’s website.

Be sure to check out our new poetry!


Common Sense (Ted Greenwald)

Age of Reasons: Uncollected Poems 1969–1982 (Ted Greenwald)

Azure: Poems and Selections from the “Livre” (Stéphane Mallarmé)

Fauxhawk (Ben Doller)

Scarecrow (Robert Fernandez)

The Book of Landings (Mark McMorris)

A Sulfur Anthology (edited by Clayton Eshleman)

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