Rutgers English Department News

Congratulations to Aimee LaBrie winner of Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize Adult Category Winner

210 5a4be69ce536e a3323Congratulations to Aimee LaBrie, the 2022 Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize Adult category winner with her short story collection, "Rage and Other Cages"! Judging the finalists, Nancy Pearl said, "Each one of these three finalists was a strong contender and choosing the winning entry was difficult. In the end, I went with the book that spoke to me most strongly." 

Aimee teaches creative writing at Rutgers and is the Senior Program Administrator for Writers House. Several of the stories in this winning collection were written in the class she took with Joyce Carol Oates and in England while supervising students during the study abroad program. Aimee’s short stories have appeared in the Minnesota Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, StoryQuarterly, Cimarron Review, Pleiades, Beloit Fiction Journal, Permafrost Magazine, and others. In 2020, her short story “Rage” won first place in Solstice Literary Magazine’s Annual Literary Contest and her novel in progress won the Key West Literary Seminar Emerging Writer Award. In 2007, her short story collection, Wonderful Girl, was awarded the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction and published in a small print run (University of North Texas Press 2007). Her short fiction has been nominated four times for Pushcart Prizes. In 2012 she won first place in the Zoetrope: All-Story’s Short Fiction Competition. 

Student Affairs Dedicates Reading Room to Professor Cheryl A. Wall

210 5a4be69ce536e a3323

Rutgers Student Affairs will dedicate a reading room of nearly 2,000 books from the personal library of Cheryl A. Wall, a longtime professor at the university and highly regarded scholar of African American literature, American literature, and feminist criticism. The new Dr. Cheryl A. Wall Reading Room is located in the Paul Robeson Cultural Center on Busch Campus. A ribbon-cutting and reception will be held from 4:30 pm to 7 pm, on Friday, Oct. 28, at the center which is named after distinguished Rutgers graduate Paul Robeson and serves as the center for Black student life in New Brunswick.


Enter the Two Sentence Horror Story Competition!

2sentenceEnter the Two Sentence Horror Story Competition!

Any current Rutgers employee or student may enter. Your submission must be no longer than two sentences and must be an original story.

Here is an example:
His hand crept toward me. I found this inexplicable, as I had dumped the rest of him in the river just this morning.

To submit your entry, use this link by Monday October 17th by 8:00 AM:

A link for voting will be sent out, and open from 8:00 AM Tuesday, October 18 - 8:00 AM Monday, October 31, 2022 (Halloween)! 
The two winners will be posted at noon on October 31st on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We may also post the runner ups!!
First prize - $50 to the Rutgers Bookstore
Second prize - $25 to the Rutgers Bookstore
Questions? Email Maria Knapp at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

pdfTwo Sentence Horror Story Competition Flyer

Alumnus Somerset County Teacher of the Year for 2022-23

Ian EvansIan Evans, who majored in English at Rutgers, was named Somerset County Teacher of the Year. Evans' teaching is influenced by his time at Rutgers. He helped institute the Writer's House Club at Hillsborough Middle School (HMS). The club is modeled after the Creative Writing program in the English Department. "No matter where you are, my goal is to help you get to where you want to be and show you the potential in yourself," Evans told "I think of reading and writing as being very much like 'How can we help you communicate the amazing stories you have with the world outside of you?'"

Read the full story on

Why D&D is Great for Young Writers

RPGDiceImageBy: Sean Wesen '22

Your ally, confident in their acrobatic abilities, leaps across the ledge and makes the one in a million mistake of loosing his grip. In a flash you quick draw your arcane focus, but can you cast the feather fall enchantment before he's a puddle on the bottom of the crevice?

You have been making small talk with the vault guard for a good while now and finally you can see your words infused with insidious magic have taken a hold of him as evidenced by his suddenly wild eyes darting to and fro. He can't tell ally from foe and suddenly bolts for the door. As you signal your fellow miscreants you smile knowing that the no one stands between you and treasures beyond your wildest dreams.

With the last of her energy you heals your broken body and you wake with a start. All around you your merry band of adventures lay beaten and unconscious. You are the last one standing and the levitating orb of flesh and eye stalks laughs maniacally. It seems as if all hope is lost, but you know this beast is on its last legs so to say, and if you can best it you have enough healing potions to stabilize your team. The odds aren't in your favor, but that doesn't stop you from raising you blade and charging forward with a mighty cry.

Read more ...

5 Reasons Why You Should Minor in Creative Writing

author editor Fence photo

By: Sean Wesen '22

Whether you're a seasoned Rutgers student or an incoming freshman, the decision of what to major or minor in can be a stressful one, even if it's one you don't have to make for another few years. It’s a difficult balance between what you're good at, what's marketable, what's profitable, and what's fun. Perhaps you're in that situation right now and are researching the creative writing minor in hopes of finding your answer. If that's the case, while we can't make the decision for you, we would be happy to walk you through the creative writing minor to decide if it's the right fit for you.

Read more ...

Welcome Back to Fall 2022 from Writers House

By: Sean Wesen '22

 WelcomeBackFall22Writers House welcomes you back to Rutgers! We hope your summer was a relaxing one and that you got some writing done and read books that you love. Now that you're back, we are happy to tell you that we have exciting things planned for the coming weeks.

Join us for a conversation about Southern history, the natural world, Black religious experience, and photographic practice, in conjunction with the exhibition Meeting Tonight: Two South Carolina African American Camp Meetings. Artist Holly Lynton and Rutgers professor Maurice Wallace discuss their collaboration on this project, which started in 2017. Lynton's photographs of camp meetings in the sacred outdoors are accompanied by Wallace's homiletical meditations. Together, image and text convey an emotional history and materialize a prayer for its undefined future.

Read more ...

Chair's Message July 1, 2022

Fall 2022

Welcome to the Department of English at Rutgers!

We are a vibrant group of scholars, teachers, students, and staff who are dedicated to the study of literature in English and to the arts of careful reading and effective writing. The largest unit in the School of Arts and Sciences, the English department encompasses multilingual language learners and those pursuing doctoral research, undergraduates taking their first courses in literary study and renowned poets and scholars at the forefront of their fields. Our department includes creative writers, book historians, literary theorists, film and media specialists, and experts in writing in English from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present, in the British Isles, the Americas, and across the globe.

Read more ...

Congratulations Maurice Wallace, recipient of a Presidential Outstanding Faculty Scholar Award

Congratulations to Maurice Wallace, recipient of a Presidential Outstanding Faculty Scholar Award. The award honors newly promoted full professors whose breadth of academic portfolios reflect outstanding research, scholarship, or creative work, as well as truly outstanding contributions to teaching along with extensive service to the Rutgers community and beyond.  Maurice's new book King's Vibrato is due out in September. 

King’s Vibrato explores the sonic character of Martin Luther King Jr.’s voice and its power to move the world. Providing a cultural history and critical theory of the black modernist soundscapes that helped inform King’s vocal timbre, Wallace shows how the qualities of King’s voice depended on a mix of ecclesial architecture and acoustics, musical instrumentation and sound technology, audience and song. He examines the acoustical architectures of the African American churches where King spoke and the centrality of the pipe organ in these churches, offers a black feminist critique of the influence of gospel on King, and outlines how variations in natural environments and sound amplifications made each of King’s three deliveries of the “I Have a Dream” speech unique. By mapping the vocal timbre of one of the most important figures of black hope and protest in American history, Wallace presents King as the embodiment of the sound of modern black thought. Duke University Press

Read more ...

Congratulations to Named Chair Faculty

Three named chairs have been awarded by the Board of Governors:  Elin Diamond has been awarded the Marius Bewley Chair, Evie Shockley has been awarded the Zora Neale Hurston Chair, and Carolyn Williams has been awarded the Kenneth Burke Chair.

Elin Diamond

Elin Diamond, Marius Bewley Chair

Evie Shockley

Evie Shockley, Zora Neale Hurston Chair

Carolyn Williams

Carolyn Williams, Kenneth Burke Chair


David Orr's review of Rhyme’s Rooms in NY Times

Cover of of Rhyme’s Rooms The Architecture of Poetry by Brad LeithauserDavid Orr’s article In Defense of Poetry, a review of Rhyme’s Rooms: The Architecture of Poetry by Brad Leithauser was printed in the March 17, 2022 issue of The New York Times.

If you write about poetry, you will at some point consider putting together a book introducing the art to general readers. “Poetry is so wonderful and yet so unpopular,” you will say to yourself. “If only more people understood how worthwhile it really is.” So you will collect your thoughts, make a couple of outlines, and then do your best to nudge our country’s most recalcitrant cultural practice just slightly closer to the audiences whose attention might — what? Help it? Help them? Surely both, you will think, even if only a little.

Read full review.



Jeffrey Lawrence - The Story of a Notebook: Sergio Chejfec

chejfeccoverJeffrey Lawrence ‘s article The Story of a Notebook: Sergio Chejfec on Writing by Hand is in the online magazine WORDS without BORDERS. It has an excerpt of Forgotten Manuscript (2015) by Chejfec with a 2022 translation from Spanish by Lawrence.

At the time of Sergio Chejfec’s death last Saturday, I had recently completed a translation of his 2015 book on writing and technology, "Forgotten Manuscript." The original version of the work, titled Últimas noticias de la escritura, already enjoys a cult status in the Spanish-speaking world, and Sergio and I had high hopes that its appearance in English would meet with a similar reception among Anglophone writers and readers. "Forgotten Manuscript" is a difficult text to categorize, existing somewhere between the genres of autobiography and literary theory, scholarly monograph and ruminative essay, diagnosis of the digital and homage to the vanishing art of handwritten composition.

 Read full article and excerpt of translation.


Feminists in Film - Letter in The New Yorker

176 5a3d30e5a3e1fDr. Sandy Flitterman-Lewis wrote about Jean Benoît-Lévy and Marie Epstein’s film La Maternelle in her letter printed in the March 14, 2022 edition of The New Yorker.

"As a feminist film scholar and an associate professor at Rutgers University, I greatly appreciated Elif Batuman’s Profile of the director Céline Sciamma (“Now You See Me,” February 7th). Sciamma speaks about the strong impression that Jean Benoît-Lévy and Marie Epstein’s film “La Maternelle” made on her grandmother. I felt similarly when I first saw the film, in 1977, at the urging of Epstein herself. Since then, I have devoted a significant part of my scholarship to Epstein’s work, and to “La Maternelle” in particular."

Read the full letter here.