All Upcoming Events
Tuesday, September 23 7:30 PM

Talk: "Shakespeare's Plants and Flowers," State Botanical Garden of Georgia

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia will host a reception and a talk on "Shakespeare's Plants and Flowers" by Professor Sujata Iyengar, Department of English, University of Georgia, on Tuesday, September 23, to celebrate a new exhibition in the Herb Garden that showcases Shakespeare's plants.

State Botanical Garden of Georgia, S. Milledge Avenue, 6.30pm (reception); 7.30pm (talk).

Wednesday, September 24 7:00 PM

Jordan SCOTT

Canadian poet Jordan Scott will read and screen photographs from his co-authored book Decomp at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 24, in the lab room at Ciné, 234 W. Hancock Ave. Sponsored by the University of Georgia’s Creative Writing Program, the event is free and open to the public.

A poet and educator in Vancouver, British Columbia, Scott is the author of three books of poetry. Decomp (Coach House Books), a photo essay and prose poem co-authored with poet Stephen Collis, was compiled after they left copies of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species to decay in five distinct ecosystems in British Columbia and, a year later, photographing the remains and reading poetry into nature’s decomposition processes.

Scott's first book of poetry, Silt (New Star Books), was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 2006. His follow-up volume, Blert (Coach House Books), explores the poetics of stuttering and was the subject of a short documentary commissioned by the National Film Board of Canada.

Scott acted as writer in residence at the International Writers’ and Translators’ Centre in Rhodes, Greece, and has lectured and performed at festivals throughout Europe and North America. In 2011, he was one of 10 Canadian poets selected to attend “North of Invention: A Canadian Poetry Festival” hosted by the University of Pennsylvania and the Poets House in New York City. Scott’s areas of poetic inquiry are speech dysfluencies, interrogation, found archives, and decompositions.

For more information on UGA’s Creative Writing Program, see

Please address questions to Andrew Zawacki (

Wednesday, October 22 4:30 PM

Jonathan Ellis, Senior Lecturer, University of Sheffield: "Last Letters: Keats, Bishop, and Hughes"

Sometimes it seems as if the death of letter writing is an annual event. As an Observer editorial recently put it: ‘Cultural treasures will be lost if we no longer put pen to paper.’ Such laments are not as new as one might think.The death of letter writing has long been forecast. Nineteenth-century writers expected the telegram to replace letter writing. Twentieth-century writers the telephone. Indeed, almost every generation of letter writers thinks it will be the last.
This lecture looks at the discourse of last letters in the writing of poets such as John Keats, Elizabeth Bishop, and Ted Hughes. In particular, it scrutinises the close relationship of the ‘last letter’ to aesthetic and theoretical debates about the permanence of art over life, mind over matter, writing over speech. The lecture will also address the elegiac strain in late twentieth-century letter writing, the sense among many poets that they are the very last letter writers.

Park Hall Monitor: Summer 2014

Park Hall Monitor: Summer 2014

As usual, the English department has been productive this year.

For the past few years, Assistant Professor Miriam Jacobson has organized a major seminar for faculty and graduate students on the “History of the Book”. Run with the support of the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, this seminar examines books as material objects. In the fall of 2013, she taught a graduate class related to this seminar in which her graduate students curated projects at the Hargrett Library, emphasizing Renaissance books that served useful roles in their cultural milieus. Called “Books in Action: What Books Allow Us to Do”, the student exhibits were installed in the rotunda of the Russell Special Collections Library.

Another scholar in the department who made an important contribution to the Hargrett is Dr. Elizabeth Kraft. She has been editing the novels of Samuel Richardson, one of the early novelists of eighteenth-century England, for the prestigious Cambridge University Press’s Complete Works of Samuel Richardson. This work required her to examine all editions of the novels, including editions of Sir Charles Grandison, Richardson’s famous attempt to produce a novel exploring the nature of male virtue. Professor Kraft found a rare copy of the third edition of this work online, and she needed to examine the book to determine what changes had been made from the previous edition. The department was able to purchase the novel and, when Professor Kraft had completed her analysis, to donate it to the Hargrett to make it available to all future students and scholars of Richardson’s work.

Associate Professor Charles Doyle has spent a professional lifetime studying the intersections among the areas of linguistics, folklore, and literature – what is known as philology, one of the earliest professional areas of study in English. His work has recently led to the publication of the Dictionary of Modern Proverbs (Yale University Press), which collects proverbs coined from 1900 to the present. Professor Doyle’s work often tracks down the origins of contemporary proverbs, tracing them back to previous centuries and unexpected groups of writers.

This will be my last introduction to the newsletter. I am stepping down as head and retiring from UGA. The newsletter, which we revived in 2011, has, I hope, found in you an interested audience in the goings on at Park Hall. Many thanks go to the first editors Drs. Chloe Wigston Smith and Barbara McCaskill, both of whom stepped down this year, and to Drs. Esra Santesso and Cynthia Turner Camp, who have taken over the editorial duties. Thanks, too, to Carmen Comeaux for her proofreading skills.

Please, keep in touch! In addition to the event listings on the department's webpage, you can now follow the English department on Twitter or like us on Facebook to keep tabs on departmental kudos and items of literary interest. If you find yourself in Athens, we would be pleased to see you at the lively lectures, readings, discussions, and symposia that our faculty organizes each semester.


Michael G. Moran, Head

For more, please read the latest version of the Park Hall Monitor, the department's newsletter.

Barbarous Antiquity: Reorienting the Past in the Poetry of Early Modern England
Barbarous Antiquity: Reorienting the Past in the Poetry of Early Modern England

New book by Assistant Professor of English, Miriam Jacobson.

Miriam Jacobson’s book Barbarous Antiquity: Reorienting the Past in the Poetry of Early Modern England has just been published by the University of Pennsylvania Press this Fall, 2014. The book  explores the role of poetry in negotiating and transposing England’s newly established mercantile relationship with the East, and its vexed relationship to the classical past. It is the first full length scholarly book to examine the engagement of Renaissance English poetry (as opposed to drama and prose) with the Ottoman Empire, Central Asia, and the Middle East, and it does this by focusing on the roles Eastern imported objects and ideas—sugar, zero, Arabian horses, Turkish bulbs, oriental pearls, dyes, and ink—play in poetry by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Spenser, and their contemporaries. Central to Jacobson’s argument is the transformative power of newly minted English words to describe these imported things, words that instigate change within the cultural and poetic landscape of early modern England.

Pavlić awarded National Poetry Series prize
Pavlić awarded National Poetry Series prize

Professor Ed Pavlić is one of our most accomplished faculty members, and even as a star among many, his sterling accomplishments as a poet, critic and cultural interlocutor stand out. His impressive resume recently received another bolded line as a winner of the Open Competition from the NPS for 2014:

The National Poetry Series recently announced the five winners of its 2014 Open Competition, which included "Let's Let That Are Not Yet: Inferno" by the University of Georgia's Ed Pavlić, a professor of English and creative writing in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.