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

Christine Wooley, 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.


John Lane

Co-hosted with the Environmental Studies Program

Thursday, 18 September
8:15 PM, Daugherty-Palmer Commons

John Lane

John Lane is a professor of Environmental Studies and English at Wofford College, where he also directs the Goodall Center for Environmental Studies.  He is the author of twelve books, including poetry, prose, and edited anthologies.  In 2011, Mercer University Press released his collection Abandoned Quarry:  New and Selected Poems, which won the Southeastern Independent Booksellers Alliance Award as the best poetry collection of the year.  In late 2012, Mercer also published Lane’s latest essay collection, Begin with Rock, End with Water.  His latest book is from Hub City Press, Web of Water:  a collaboration with four photographers exploring the Saluda-Reedy Watersheds in upcountry South Carolina. For five years, Lane wrote a column for the Greenville/Spartanburg Journal called “The Best of the Kudzu Telegraph.”

"Don't Worry, Baby: An Apology to Brian Wilson"

Saturday, 27 September
8:00 PM, Cole Cinema

Jeff Hammond

with Jeff Hammond, Professor of English and Reeves Distinguished Professor in the Liberal Arts

In the 1960s everyone was wild for the Beach Boys—everyone, that is, except a teenage drummer playing in three-chord rock bands in a small Ohio town. Now an English professor in late middle age, that kid drummer grew up to realize that his dismissal of the Beach Boys was woefully misguided. It might not be too late, however, to right an old wrong. After giving the music a more careful hearing and reflecting more sympathetically on the personal difficulties of their leader, Professor Hammond has come to see that he owes the Beach Boys a long-overdue apology. In this year’s Reeves Lecture, he delivers that apology by recanting his former errors and declaring that he is now a fan.

Jeffrey Hammond has taught literature and writing at St. Mary's College since 1990. He has published numerous scholarly articles and three books on early American literature, including The American Puritan Elegy: A Literary and Cultural Study (Cambridge UP, 2000). In his other life as a creative writer, his literary nonfiction has won two Pushcart Prizes, Shenandoah's Carter Prize for Essay, and the Missouri Review Editors' Prize and has appeared in such journals as American Scholar, Ohio Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Magazine, Gettysburg Review, and Fourth Genre. His nonfiction books include Ohio States: A Twentieth-Century Midwestern (Kent State UP, 2002), Small Comforts: Essays at Middle Age (Kent State UP, 2008), and Little Big World: Collecting Louis Marx and the American Fifties (U of Iowa P, 2010). In addition, Hammond has reflected on the College and its mission in This Place Where We Are (St. Mary's Press, 2006).

Graduate School Panel

Thursday, 16 October
4:00-6:00 PM, Boyden Gallery

Graduate School Panel on pursuing MFAs and PhDs in Creative Writing with St. Mary’s alumni Paul Clark ('05), Joe Hall ('04), Cheryl Quimba ('05), Caitlin Newcomer ('05), and Christine Dickler ('06)

Alumni Reading

Thursday, 16 October
8:15 PM, Daugherty-Palmer Commons

With a reception following the reading hosted by the Alumni Office in the Boyden Gallery, there will be an Alumni reading, introduced by past AVATAR editor and DeMatha English teacher Paul Clark ('05) and including poets Joe Hall ('04) and Cheryl Quimba ('05), fiction writer Caitlin Newcomer ('05), and essayist Christine Dickler ('06)

Paul Clark

Paul Clark (’05) has been teaching English at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, MD since 2005, where he founded the student literary magazine, Felix. Clark received his M.A. from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College.

Joe Hall

Joe Hall (’04) is the author of three books of poetry: Pigafetta Is My Wife (Black Ocean 2010), The Devotional Poems (Black Ocean 2013), and, in collaboration with Chad Hardy, The Container Store Vols I & II (SpringGun 2012). He currently resides with fellow poet Cheryl Quimba in Buffalo, New York, where Hall is studying commons, excess, waste flows, and poetics.

Cheryl Quimba

Cheryl Quimba (’05) holds an MFA in Poetry from Purdue University. Her poems have appeared in DusiePhoebeTinfishEveryday Genius1913, and Horseless Review, and her chapbook, Scattered Trees Grow in Some Tundra, is forthcoming from Sunnyoutside Press. She is the Poetry Editor of Free Inquiry magazine, and she works for Starcherone Books and Prometheus Books in Buffalo, New York.

Caitlin Newcomer

Caitlin Newcomer (’05) holds a PhD in American Literature from Florida State University and an MFA in Fiction from the Ohio State University.  She has published critical and creative work in venues such as GenreHayden's Ferry Review, The Cincinnati Review, and The Laurel Review.  Newcomer’s work has been shortlisted for The Best American Non-Required Reading, and she is also the co-editor of Perspectives on the Short Story, an anthology of global short fiction. 

Christine Dickler

Christine Dickler (’06) is a writer, editor, and graphic designer in New York City.  She earned her MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts from the University of Baltimore (recognized by Poets & Writers as one of nine distinctive MFA programs) and is especially moved by letterforms and grids, drafting supplies, and generally doing good by way of writing and design.  Dickler is the author of The Sea Like The Sky, a hand-bound work of literary nonfiction, and she currently works in church communications on Manhattan's Upper East Side


April Lindner

Co-hosted with the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Program

Thursday, 20 November
8:15 PM, Daugherty-Palmer Commons

April Lindner

April Lindner is the author of three Young Adult novels:  Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights; Jane, an update of Jane Eyre; and Love, Lucy, a retelling of E. M. Forster’s A Room With a View, forthcoming in early 2015 from Poppy.  Lindner also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped.  With R. S. Gwynn, she co-edited the anthology Contemporary American Poetry for Longman’s Penguin Pocket Academic series.  A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, Lindner lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and sons.

Robin Bates

Thursday, 11 December
8:15 PM, Daugherty-Palmer Commons

Robin Bates

Robin Bates has been teaching English at St. Mary’s College since 1981 and has twice been a Fulbright professor in Slovenia. The author of numerous film and literature articles as well as of one book, How Beowulf Can Save America: An Epic Hero’s Guide to Defeating the Politics of Rage, Bates blogs daily at about how immersion in literature is vital to one’s life. For Bates himself, when he was one of the plaintiffs in a civil rights suit brought by white and black families against the Franklin County school system, he drew strength from Huck’s friendship with Jim.  As a lonely teenager in a military high school, he felt himself understood by existentialist writers such as Dostoyevsky. At Carleton College, the poetry of D.H. Lawrence inspired him, and Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones was the key work for him after he graduated and entered the job market.  In the thirty-plus years since then, he feels privileged to have had students share with him their own literary life stories.


All events are free and open to the public

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