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.


Please join us in welcoming the visiting writers featured in the Fall 2013 VOICES reading series:


Carlos Parada Ayala

      Thursday, September 19, 2013 
      8:15 PM, Daugherty-Palmer Commons

Carlos Parada Ayala

A recipient of Washington, DC's Commission on the Arts Larry Neal Poetry Award, Carlos Parada Ayala, is the author of the poetry book La luz de la tormenta/The Light of the Storm (Zozobra Publishing, 2013) and co-editor of the anthology Al pie de la Casa Blanca: Poetas hispanos de Washington, DC, published by the North American Academy of the Spanish Language (New York, 2010.) Co-edited with Argentinean poet Luis Alberto Ambroggio, the US Library of Congress selected this anthology to celebrate 400 years of Hispanic poetry in the United States in September 2010. Parada Ayala is a member of the poetry collective Late Night Hour and is a founding member of ParaEsoLaPalabra, a collective of writers, artists and activists whose goal was to promote the arts, music and literature in the Spanish speaking communities of the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Parada Ayala has participated in El Salvador’s International Gathering of Poets, the Festival of New Poetry and the Latin American Poetry Festival in New York, and in Washington DC’s Teatro de La Luna’s Poetry Marathon. His poetry has appeared in anthologies and cultural journals and has been included in the US Library of Congress’s poetry series The Poet and the Poem. Parada Ayala graduated from Amherst College with a degree in Spanish, Latin American and Brazilian literature.

Co. Sponsored by the Dept. of International Languages and Cultures

David Haskell

      Thursday, October 1, 2013  
      8:15 PM, Daugherty-Palmer Commons

David Haskell 

David Haskell’s work integrates scientific and contemplative studies of the natural world. In addition to numerous scientific articles on the ecology and evolution of animals, he has published essays and poems about science and nature. His book, The Forest Unseen, received numerous awards and was a finalist for the 2103 Pulitzer prize in non-fiction.

His classes have received national attention for the innovative ways in which they combine scientific exploration, contemplative practice, and action in the community. In 2009, the Carnegie and CASE Foundations named him Professor of the Year for Tennessee, an award given to college professors of who have achieved national distinction and whose work shows “extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching.” He has also served on the boards of land conservation groups.

Haskell holds degrees from the University of Oxford and from Cornell University. He is Professor of Biology at the University of the South and lives in Sewanee, Tennessee, with his wife Sarah Vance who runs Cudzoo Farm (, a homestead farm that produces hand-made goat milk soaps.



Truth Thomas

      Thursday, October 24, 2013  
      8:15 PM, Daugherty-Palmer Commons

Truth Thomas

Truth Thomas is a singer-songwriter and poet born in Knoxville, Tennessee and raised in Washington, DC. He studied creative writing at Howard University and earned his MFA in poetry at New England College. His collections include: Party of Black, A Day of Presence, Bottle of Life and Speak Water, finalist for the 2013 Phillis Wheatley Award and winner of the 2013 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry. His poems have appeared in over 100 publications, including The 100 Best African American Poems (edited by Nikki Giovanni), and been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He serves on the editorial boards of Tidal Basin Review and Little Patuxent Review, guest-editing the Social Justice issue for the latter, and is the founder of Cherry Castle Publishing. A former writer-in-residence for the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society (HoCoPoLitSo), he currently serves on the HoCoPoLitSo board.


Tony Quick & Michele K. Johnson

      Thursday, November 21, 2013  
      8:15 PM, Daugherty-Palmer Commons

Tony Quick michelephoto

Tony Quick is a Maryland native and a graduate of St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He primarily writes fiction and currently resides in Ames, Iowa and attends Iowa State University as a candidate for their MFA in Creative Writing & Environment program. He is an English instructor and fiction editor for Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment.

Michele K. Johnson is currently pursuing an MFA with a concentration in Poetry at George Mason University, where she also teaches Composition, Literature, and Creative Writing to undergraduate students. Along with teaching and studying, Michele works as Editor-in-Chief of So to Speak, one of the university's literary magazines. Her work has previously appeared in the Ucity ReviewOVS Magazine, and the Ampersand Review, among others. 

Charles Baxter

      Thursday, December 12, 2013
      8:15 PM, Daugherty-Palmer Commons

Charles Baxter

Charles Baxter is the author, most recently, of Gryphon: New and Selected Stories, published by Pantheon in January, 2011. He is also the author of The Soul Thief, published in 2008, by Pantheon, and of Saul and Patsy, published in 2003 by Pantheon. His third novel, The Feast of Love (Pantheon/Vintage), was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2000 and has been made into a film starring Morgan Freeman. He has published two other novels, First Light and Shadow Play, and four books of stories. He has also published essays on fiction collected in Burning Down the House (Graywolf) and Beyond Plot, and has edited or co-edited several books of essays, The Business of Memory, published by Graywolf, Bringing the Devil to His Knees (The University of Michigan Press), and A William Maxwell Portrait, published in 2004 by W. W. Norton. He has edited the stories of Sherwood Anderson, published by the Library of America in 2012. His book of poems, Imaginary Paintings, was published by Paris Review Editions. He also edited Best New American Voices 2001 (Harcourt) and was the judge for the Bakeless Prize in Fiction in 2004. He has received the Award of Merit in the Short Story and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Rea Award in the Short Story in 2012. He was born in Minneapolis in 1947, graduated from Macalester College with a B. A. degree in 1969, and the State University of New York at Buffalo with a Ph.D. in 1974, and lived for many years in Ann Arbor, Michigan. H has taught at Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, Stanford, and the University of Iowa. He now lives in Minneapolis and is currently the Edelstein-Keller Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, and Harper’s, among other journals and magazines. His fiction has been widely anthologized and translated into many languages.

All events are free and open to the public

For information about these readings or artists, please contact Dr. Karen Leona Anderson