Category Archives: UVM prof

Nancy Welch speaks of writing, activism and keying into the voice that inspires

UVM professor and prose writer Nancy Welch joined us in the studio on March 18 to talk about the state of student activism and to read her short story, “Havazik.”

Listen to the show.

Read her story.

Welch’s short stories have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Greensboro Review, Threepenny Review and elsewhere, and her collection of stories, The Road from Prosperity, was published by Southern Methodist University Press.

Her latest book, Living Room: Teaching Public Writing in a Privatized World, is a series of essays on the struggle for public writing and public voice in an era of corporate privatization.

She is a professor in the UVM Department of English where she has taught classes in nonfiction and fiction writing, rhetorical theory, and literacy politics for the past 15 years.

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Filed under Coming up, Fiction, UVM prof

Poet Angela Patten speaks of her native Ireland and the enduring power of the past

Angela Patten

Angela Patten

Poet Angela Patten grew up in Dublin but has lived since 1977 in Vermont—currently in a hamlet named Jonesville, which is perhaps best known for its post office, where Long Trail hikers receive their mail. Patten’s life of transition inspires much of her poetry, and she joined us in the studio March 4th to share her work.

Download the show.

Read poems from her first book, Still Listening, which you’ll hear on the show.

Read poems from her latest book, Reliquaries, which you’ll hear on the show.

Visit her Web site, named Carraig Binn—a Celtic name for her home in the woods near Jonesville.


Angela Patten is a native of Dublin, Ireland. She moved to the United States and Vermont in 1977.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Vermont, she received an MFA in Writing from Vermont College.

Author of two poetry collections,Reliquaries (Salmon Poetry, 2007) and Still Listening (Salmon Poetry, 1999), she is also included in several anthologies includingCudovista Usta (Marvellous Mouth), Drustvo Apokalipsa (Slovenia, 2007); Salmon: A Journey in Poetry, 1981-2007, edited by Jessie Lendennie; The White Page/An Bhileog Bhan: Twentieth Century Irish Women Poets (Salmon Poetry, 1999); and Onion River: Six Vermont Poets (RNM Inc. 1997).

Her poems and essays have appeared in literary journals includingThe Literary Review; Prairie Schooner; Michigan Quarterly Review; Poetry Ireland Review; Calyx, Full Circle Journal, and others.

She is the recipient of a 2007 Creation grant from the Vermont Arts Council and a 2002 Vermont Arts Endowment grant from the Vermont Community Foundation.

She was a finalist in the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry (Nimrod International) in 2007 and in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Competition, (Ireland) in 1996.

Angela teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Vermont. She has presented her work at readings in Ireland, Germany, the Czech Republic, and throughout Vermont and New England.

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Poet Tina Escaja discusses Spain, America, womanhood and more

Poet Tina Escaja

Tina Escaja

Poet Tina Escaja joined us in the studio on Feb. 11 to read and discuss her poetry and her poetic preoccupations: women, Spain, American politics and so much more. She is joined by her friend, Helen Wagg, who translates Escaja’s Spanish-language poetry. As a result, listeners get the chance to hear the poems in their original Spanish and their English translations.

Listen to the show.

Visit her Web site.

Read some of the poems she reads on the show:

From Caída Libre (Free Fall)

From Código de barras (Bar Codes): Una, Grande, Libre (One, Great, Free)Luna morada (Black moon); Mujeres del mercado / Pescaderas del Caribe (Market Women / Fish Vendors)

The pictures that inspired Market Women are from Dan Higgins and were taken in Puerto Cabezas. See samples here.

For the poem “Oído: Pálpito y Ser” (Hearing: Pulse and Life), Higgins, who Escaja calls “my great collaborator,”created this video.

Escaja is originally from Spain and is Professor of Spanish at the University of Vermont. She has published extensively on gender and contemporary literature from Latin America and Spain, and is currently the President of the AILCFH (International Hispanic Women’s Association).

As a writer and scholar, Escaja has authored/edited more than 10 volumes of works that include essays, poetry, plays and fiction. An awarded poet, she has also created experimental and multimedia works, including hypertext, and has fruitfully collaborated and exhibited with artists from a variety of media.

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Tony Magistrale talks about women, men and the perils of Valentines Day

Tony Magistrale, a professor of English and chair of the English Department at the University of Vermont, joined us Feb. 5 to read from his collection of poems What She Says About Love.

Tony Magistrale

Listen to the show.

You’ll love the poetry. AND the great stories about Stephen King!

Magistrale has taught courses in writing and American literature at UVM since 1983, when he returned to the United States after a Fulbright post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Milan, Italy. He has lectured at many universities in North America and Western Europe, most recently serving as Visiting Professor of American Studies at the University of Augsburg, Germany.

He obtained a Ph.D at the University of Pittsburgh in 1981. He and his wife, Jennifer, and two sons, Christopher and Daniel, currently reside in South Burlington, Vermont.

Over the past two decades, Magistrale’s twenty books and numerous articles have covered a broad area of interests. He has published on the writing process, international study abroad, and his own poetry. But the majority of his books have centered on defining and tracing Anglo-American Gothicism, from its origins in eighteenth-century romanticism to its contemporary manifestations in popular culture, particularly in the work of Stephen King. Accordingly, a dozen of his scholarly books and many published journal articles have illuminated the genre’s narrative themes, psychological and social contexts, and historical development.

He is frequently cited in scholarly books dealing with the interdisciplinary aspects of American horror art, and has been interviewed and/or profiled on PBS television; ABC Radio, Australia; Vermont Public Radio; North Carolina Public Radio; and by the following national and international newspapers and magazines: The New Yorker, Cinescape, The National Review, The Miami Herald, The Boston Globe, Houston Chronicle, The Baltimore Sun, New York Daily News, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The St. Petersburg Times, Lighthouse Media One (London, England) and Oggi (Italy).

In 1997, Magistrale received the Kroespsch-Maurice Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Vermont. In 2001 he was presented the university’s George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award. And in 2003 he received the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Lecture Award.

Most recently, his book of poems, What She Says About Love, was awarded The Bordighera Poetry Prize for 2007. It will be published as a bilingual edition in November 2008 by The Bordighera Press.

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Major Jackson reads from his forthcoming book, “Holding Company”

Major Jackson // ©Marion Ettlinger

For our first writer of the season, we’re pleased to announce that we’ll be welcoming into the studio Major Jackson, whose books of poems are Hoops (2006, Norton) and Leaving Saturn (2002, University of Georgia Press).

Listen to the show.

Jackson has published poems and essays in American Poetry Review, Callaloo, The New Yorker, Paris Review, Poetry, and other literary magazines. Hoops was selected as a finalist for a NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry, and Leaving Saturn was awarded the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry.

His third volume of poetry, Holding Company, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton.

Jackson earned a B.A. from Temple University and an M.F.A. from the University of Oregon. He has worked as the curator of literary arts at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia and the Mountain Writers’ Center in Portland, and has taught at Columbia University, Xavier University of Louisiana, New York University, and University of Massachusetts – Lowell as the Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence.

Today, he lives in Burlington, Vermont, where he is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold Associate Professor at University of Vermont. He also serves as the Poetry Editor of the Harvard Review.

A video:

Major doesn’t read this poem on this particular show, but I love it and the video so much that I’ll post it anyway.

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A quick look back at Fall 2009 Writers @ WRUV

As we draw to the end of our first semester on the air, we take a moment to listen again to some of the guests about whom our listeners have been gushing: Philip Baruth, Suzi Wizowaty and Greg Bottoms.

Thanks to everyone who appeared and, even more, to those of you who have been listening in! We’ll be back in January with more Vermont writers.

Listen to the final show of the season.

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Filed under Essay, Fiction, UVM prof

Greg Bottoms reads “Dinner with Strangers”

Greg Bottoms photo

Greg Bottoms

UVM associate professor and author Greg Bottoms stops into the WRUV studios to talk about the allure of hate, the intersection between pain and creativity, and other lighthearted topics. Along the way, he shares his story “Dinner with Strangers,” which touches a bit on all of the above.

Listen to the show.

Read “Dinner with Strangers.”

Bottoms is the author of four books, including the memoir Angelhead: My Brother’s Descent into Madness, an Esquire Magazine “Book of the Year” in 2000; the prose collections Sentimental, Heartbroken Rednecks: Stories from the New South and Fight Scenes;  and the travel narrative The Colorful Apocalypse: Journeys in Outsider Art.

His essays, memoirs, and short stories have appeared in Esquire, The Oxford American, The Believer, Creative Nonfiction, Mississippi Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Utne, Salon, Killing the Buddha, and many other places, and have been translated into Spanish, Italian, and Turkish.

He has taught fiction and creative nonfiction writing at the University of Virginia, where he was a Henry Hoyns Creative Writing Fellow, Sweet Briar College, where he was a teaching and writing fellow and visiting assistant professor, and the University of Vermont, where he is now an associate professor of English.


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Philip Baruth reads “American Zombie Beauty”

Philip Baruth

Philip Baruth

Our first guest, Philip Baruth, reads from an unpublished story, “American Zombie Beauty,” in a show first broadcast on Oct. 15, 2009.

In the story, written for inclusion in an upcoming collection of writings about the Grateful Dead, Baruth imagines a world in which the Grateful Dead and the, well, simply dead have a lot more in common than you might think.

In an interview before and after his reading, the author speaks about his writing life, his political blog and what he’s reading now.

Listen to the show.

Visit the author’s political blog, Vermont Daily Briefing.

Philip Baruth is a novelist and a regular commentator for Vermont Public Radio. His commentary series, “Notes from the New Vermont,” has focused since 1998 on both the national and the local, the deeply political and the undeniably absurd.

“Birth Rate Blues,” his satirical take on Vermont’s low fertility stats, shared a 2009 Edward R. Murrow Award in the Overall Excellence category, then won a Public Radio News Directors Award several months later.

Baruth lives in Burlington, Vermont, and has taught at the University of Vermont since 1993.  His most recent novel, The Brothers Boswell (Soho Press), is a literary thriller, tracing the famous friendship between James Boswell and Samuel Johnson, author of the first modern dictionary.


Filed under Fiction, UVM prof