New anthology includes Smith translation

Assistant Professor of English Lytton Smith’s translation of a short-story by Icelandic writer Kristín Ómarsdóttir has been included in the just-published anthology A Kind of Compass: Stories on Distance, out now from Tramp Press and edited by fiction writer Belinda McKeon.

The U.K. Sunday Times has described A Kind of Compass as a “vital collection,” while The UCD Observer dubs it a “perfect success.” Contributors to the volume include Sam Lipsyte, Gina Apostol, Porochista Khakpour, Francesca Marciano, Suzanne Scanlon, and Éilís Ní Dhuibhne.

Lytton Smith and Jón Gnarr at UR bookstore April 23

Update (April 20, 2015 at 7:17 a.m.): Dr. Smith’s translation of The Indian has been praised as “beautifully translated” and “hypnotic and heartbreaking” in a pre-publication review by Michael Schaub of NPR Books. You can read an excerpt of The Indian here.

07_27_2014_525x825_indian4Professor Lytton Smith will appear at the University of Rochester bookstore this Thursday, April 23, at 6 p.m. with Jón Gnarr, former punk rocker, mayor of Reykjavík, sitcom star, and author of The Indian, which Smith has translated into English for publisher Deep Vellum.

There will be a conversation between Smith and Gnarr, a reading from the book, and a chance to ask questions. The event is free and open to the public.

192px-Jon-gnarr-2011-ffm-098The Indian is a novel/memoir of Gnarr’s uncomfortable childhood, telling in black humor his isolation and his misdiagnosis as backwards because of his severe dyslexia and ADHD. Subjected to constant bullying, young Gnarr sets his bedroom on fire (accidentally), tries to fit in by self-piercing his ears at a Grease-themed school dance, and attempts to sail across the Reykjavík bay, almost washed out into the ocean.

The Indian is the first novel in a trilogy on Gnarr’s youth, and resonates with young readers as much as with parents of children with emotional and learning issues; The Indian is taught in schools throughout Iceland, resonating with readers of all ages. The Indian is out May 5th and Deep Vellum will publish the full trilogy throughout 2015-2016.

Summer 2014 Roundup

A few things that our faculty, students, and alumni have been up to recently:

  • Professor Rachel Hall was selected from a very competitive pool of applicants for an Ox-Bow Summer Arts Faculty Residency and Fellowship supported in part by an Art Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Geneseo alum (2010) Meghan Pipe’s short story “Contingencies” won third place in Glimmer Train’s Very Short Story Contest. One of the most respected short-story journals in print, Glimmer Train is represented in recent editions of the Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, New Stories from the Midwest, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, New Stories from the South, Best American Mystery Stories, Best of the West, and Best American Short Stories.
  • Professor Paul Schacht led a workshop at the Thoreau Society Annual Gathering on using the two websites created by the internet resource Digital Thoreau. One site — The Readers’ Thoreau — enables readers to engage in online conversation right in the margins of Thoreau’s works; the other — Walden: A Fluid Text Edition enables readers to follow changes to the manuscript of Thoreau’s Walden across the work’s long period of composition (1846-1854). Together with Professor Kristen Case (University of Maine, Farmington), Schacht has written an essay describing how Geneseo and UM students discussed Walden with each other using the The Readers’ Thoreau in spring 2014. The essay will appear in the December issue of the journal Pedagogy, published by Duke University Press.
  • Professor Ed Gillin led a panel of Geneseo students and alumni at the Thoreau Society Annual Gathering in a discussion of the Thoreau-Harding Project, the multi-semester Geneseo course in which students are building a replica Thoreau cabin on the Geneseo campus. On another panel, Gillin read a paper on “Thoreau, Wallace Stevens, ‘Sunday’ and ‘Sunday Morning.'”

Bernardine Evaristo to read from her work April 11

Bernardine Evaristo
Photo credit: Hayley Madden

Bernardine Evaristo returns to SUNY Geneseo on Friday, April 11 at 4 p.m. (Newton 204) to read from her work as part of the English department’s Literary Forum series. Evaristo is the author of seven books including her new novel, Mr Loverman, about a 74 year-old Caribbean London man who finally comes out of the closet (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, 2013 & Akashic Books, US, 2014). Evaristo’s writing, characterized by daring experimentation and subversion, playfully and humorously challenges the myths of various Afro-diasporic histories and identities. Mr Loverman dares to explore almost forbidden topics, such as the seeming prevalence of homophobia in the black community and slavery as its justification.

Since 1997 Evaristo has accepted invitations to take part in over 80 international tours as a writer. She gives readings and delivers talks, keynotes, workshops, and courses. She has held visiting fellowships and professorships. Her books are translated into several languages, including Mandarin. Her awards include the EMMA Best Book Award, Big Red Read, Orange Youth Panel Award, a NESTA Fellowship Award and an Arts Council Writer’s Award. She has won “Book of the Year” 13 times in British newspapers and magazines; The Emperor’s Babe was a Times “Book of the Decade.” Hello Mum has been chosen as one of 20 titles for World Book Night in 2014. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2006, and she received an MBE in 2009.

Author Steve Almond to read here October 9

17_almond_lgl Steve Almond, author of ten books — including the nonfiction Candy Freak and Rock and Roll Can Will Save Your Life, and the story collections My Life in Heavy Metal and the recent God Bless America — will read at SUNY Geneseo as part of the all-college hour Distinguished Speakers Series this Wednesday, October 9, in the College Union Ballroom.

The event begins at 2:30. There will be a reception and book signing afterwards, and the bookstore will have God Bless America for sale.

Prize-winning Author Andrea Levy Here April 29

Andrea Levy will read from her latest novel, The Long Song, on April 29 at 4 p.m. in Newton Hall 201. The event is free and open to the public.

The Long Song was shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker Prize in 2010 and was in contention for the Orange Prize in 2010. Set in Jamaica in the early 19th century, Levy’s novel explores the relationship between Great Britain and the Caribbean during the last years of slavery and the period immediately after emancipation. The daughter of Jamaican migrants herself, Levy uses her fiction to rewrite British history to include her ancestors.

Levy’s fourth novel, Small Island, won the Orange Prize and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award in 2004 and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 2005.

Levy will sign copies of her works, which will be on sale after the reading.

Levy’s visit to Geneseo is sponsored by the Department of English, the Office of the Provost, the Office of International Programs, Campus Auxiliary Services, Multicultural Programs and Services, and the Office of Residence Life.