Books that Cook
Professor of English Jennifer Cognard-Black's new book, Books that Cook: The Making of a Literary Meal, is being published by NYU Press this August.

Program Information

Ben Click, Chair
Professor of English

Office staff: 240-895-4225

Alumni—where are they now?

Monica Powell

Monica Powell (class of 2011) graduated with an English major and a WGSX minor. She currently lives in Washington DC, where she works in theatre education with the Young Playwright's Theatre and the Shakespeare Theatre Company.


Student Spotlight

Maria Smaldone

Maria Smalldone finds doors opening for her in Oxford, while studying at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.


Each spring, the Department of English presents the following four awards:

The English Department Award for Scholarship
Traditionally presented to a senior English major who has excelled in critical analysis and writing, demonstrating the highest levels of scholarly achievement

Previous winners:

2000     Jessica Deyerle Carnahan
2001     Molly Katherine Robey
2002     Gwendolyn Degentesh
2003     Jeffrey Marcus Skarin
2004     Sarah Elizabeth Hughes
2005     Elizabeth Hart Bergstrom
2006     Thomas Edward Lindsay
2007     Bradfield Edward Dittrich
2008     Jessica Lee Dunckel
2009     Matthew S. Decker
2010    Kristen V. Blargen
2011     Melanie Kokolios 
2012     Elizabeth Durrant
2013     Tiko Mason 

The Michael S. Glaser Award for Creative Writing (renamed in 2008)
Traditionally presented to a student who is both gifted and dedicated to the craft of writing, who has strived to hone his or her skills while at St. Mary’s, and who shows promise of future, lifelong creative achievement

Previous winners:

2000     Robert E. Friesel
2001     Mark Andrew Gallagher
2002     Johanna Lynne Costa
2003     Miranda K. Williams
2004     Christine Renee Neff
2005     Meghan Fitzgerald Quinn
2006     Tobias Graham Bates
2007     James Dennis O'Brien
2008     Claire Elaine Fenton
2009     Mary Katherine Clapp
2010     Tony Quick
2011     Sasha Todak
2012     Jesse Furgurson
2013     Matt Anthony 

The Margaret Eagle Dixon Award in Literature
Traditionally presented to the senior English major who has contributed the most to the English program through service to the department, the college, and his or her peers

Previous winners:

2001     Bo Anders Knutson
2002     Jessica Marie Speedling
2003     Nicole E. Ring
2004     Diana Marie Ekelman
2005     Caitlin Elizabeth Newcomer
2006     Matthew John Sargent
2007     Karyn Lea Montanaro Sailstad
2008     Lauren Nichole Hannon
2009     Zachary Edward Pajak
2010     Alex Swope
2011     Nona Landis
2012     Jonathan Wagner
2013     Katherine Grein 

The Gail Parmentier Arts Alliance Award for Creative Writing
Traditionally presented to a student who is not only a fine writer, but has also contributed meaningfully to the life of writing and the community of writers at St. Mary's

Previous winners:

2001     Sarah Catherine Magruder
2002     Yolanda Mercedes Scott
2003     Janna Slack
2004     Joseph Christopher Hall
2005     Cheryl Delfonso Quimba
2006     Christine Marie Dickler
2007     Sarah Marie Barr
2008     Meghan Anne Sullivan
2009     Jarrett S. Fleagle
2010     Melissa Newcomb
2011     Mary Walters 
2012     Elizabeth Bookhultz
2013     Lindsey Siferd 

The Lannan Fellowships

The Lannan Literary Awards and Fellowships were established in 1989 to honor both established and emerging writers whose work is of exceptional quality. Over the last 20 years, Lannan Foundation, through its Awards and Fellowships program, has awarded 173 writers and poets more than $13 million. The awards recognize writers who have made significant contributions to English-language literature. The fellowships recognize writers of distinctive literary merit who demonstrate potential for continued outstanding work.

Through its Literary Awards and Fellowships program, the Foundation hopes to stimulate the creation of literature written originally in the English language and to develop a wider audience for contemporary prose and poetry. Additional Foundation literary activities include Grants to nonprofit organizations including small, nonprofit presses with an emphasis on works in translation, and the Lannan Writing Residency in Marfa, Texas. The Foundation also produces a literary reading series, Readings & Conversations in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


St. Mary's maintains a chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honors society. Members of Sigma Tau Delta have the opportunity to submit essays for publication in the  Sigma Tau Delta journal, and to attend and present work at the annual convention. They are also eligible to apply for scholarships and internships (both undergraduate and graduate) offered through the  society.

In order to apply for membership in the St. Mary's chapter, students must meet the following criteria:

1) Have completed at least 6 English classes at the 200-level or higher at SMC or CMRS (transfer work from other institutions does not apply);
2) Have achieved a GPA of at least 3.84 in their 200-400 level English coursework at SMC (for this computation, CMRS grades do not apply).

Students interested in nominating themselves for membership should contact the Department Chair. Calls for self-nomination will be sent out early in each semester; new members will be inducted twice annually, in September and in April.