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English Professor’s Poetry Anthology is Selected for National Book Club List

Professor of English Mary Ann Miller, Ph.D. has received national recognition as her anthology “St. Peter’s B-list: Contemporary Poems Inspired by the Saints”  (Ave Maria Presss) has been selected for America Magazine’s, The Catholic Book Club list.

The anthology is listed in the fall books special literary issue. The Catholic Book Club features book reviews and literary discussion from America Media.

Mary Ann Miller

“I am so happy for the opportunity to extend the visibility of the wonderful poets in this collection and to spread the word that Catholicism is fertile ground for contemporary poetry,” said Miller.

St. Peter’s B-list was published in 2014 and features over 100 contemporary American poems, written by 70 poets from across the United States, that contain references to canonized saints.

The voices in these poems are not the saints themselves, speaking from distant times and places.  They are very contemporary voices, both male and female, from a wide range of social, regional, and occupational circumstances, who remember a saint, often despite a pervasive sense of doubt, in the midst of the spiritual struggles of daily life.

English News

Meet Your Major


This past Wednesday, October 23rd, the English Department hosted an event to discuss upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, recommended courses and much more! Each full-time faculty member took time to explain what was up and coming in the department. Although this departmental event was very informative, it was also a social event and students had the opportunity to mingle halfway through. Students spent the remainder of the time enjoying pizza and engaging in meaningful conversations with professors and peers. Although a majority of the students in attendance were English Majors, there were also students who were undecided and others who were considering an English Minor. If you or a peer missed out on this event and wish to learn more about becoming an English major look out for our upcoming meet your major event this spring.

English News

Caldwell University Commemorates the Third Edition of Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry by Colleen Brennan

Cover of 'Presence - A Journal of Catholic Poetry'


On April 18th, 2019, Caldwell University’s English Department hosted a poetry reading in the Westervelt Lecture Hall to commemorate the release of the third edition of Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry. According to Dr. Mary Ann Miller, the editor-in-chief of Presence, “The journal seeks to show the wide variety of ways God’s presence is communicated to and experienced by human beings and, in so doing, hopes to create a community of writers who recognize Catholicism as fertile ground for the flourishing of contemporary poetry” (http://www.catholicpoetryjournal.com/mission). The 2019 edition of the journal aptly contributes to its overarching mission of establishing community through writing due to its timely inclusion of poetry written by refugees. In partnership with the Faculty Commission of World Concerns, the English Department welcomed Arab American Book Award winner Gregory Orfalea and former Palestinian refugee and Professor Emeritus of American University in Cairo, Egypt Sharif Elmusa to read poems written by Syrian refugees, which were translated by Orfalea and Elmusa for this edition of Presence. Their translated works include “The Life of Photos” by Ibrahim Qa’duni, “A Door That Does Not Slap” by Wael al-Nassir, “Like a Bull Going Left & Right” by ‘Abir Abd al-Wahid, and “Life is Flight” by Lena ‘Atfa.

English News

The Gathering

Flyer for the gathering of the english department on May 1.

Near the end of every spring semester, Caldwell University’s English department hosts an annual event affectionately termed The Gathering, as it was started by Dr. Patricia Verrone, who taught several courses in Irish literature. Borrowed from Irish tradition, this event has been celebrated by Caldwell University’s English department for the past eight years. At this event in the Alumni Theater, the department honors juniors and seniors inducted into the English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, presents student awards, and welcomes all alumni who partake in this event. Additionally, a group of students led by Dr. Mary Lindroth perform a piece of drama from a given area of literary study. Faculty, students and alumni are encouraged to bring their friends and family to The Gathering.

The 2019 Gathering will be held on Wednesday May 1st at 6:30pm in the Alumni Theater. English majors, minors, and alumni planning to attend should rsvp to Alison Self at aself@caldwell.edu by April 27th. We look forward to seeing you there!

English News, Featured News

Walk-a-Mile, April 8, to Kick-off Sexual Assault Awareness Month Events   

Caldwell, N.J. –March 27, 2019 –   Caldwell University will mark Sexual Assault Awareness Month with  events including “Walk a Mile,” which will be held on Monday April 8, 2019 at 11:30 a.m. beginning at the Newman Center Plaza  at the university.  Caldwell’s theme for the month is “It’s  On Us.”

“At this lively Walk-a-Mile kick-off event, participants will pledge themselves to walk for a woman in their lives who have been impacted by sexual violence. While we know that sexual violence affects everyone — given Caldwell University’s rich history as an all-female institution, Walk-a-Mile will honor our past, while looking ahead at what each of us can do to help prevent sexual violence,” said Abdul Staten, director of Student Advocacy and Prevention Awareness.

The event is being sponsored by Athletics, the Office of Student Engagement and Student Advocacy & Prevention Awareness.

“During Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Caldwell University will hold events to celebrate, honor, and champion survivors of sexual violence. Because prevention is key, we recommit ourselves to building mechanisms whereby our entire community can participate in preventing sexual violence as well as other forms of interpersonal violence,” said Staten.

For further information, contact Abdul Staten at 973-618-3907 or astaten@caldwell.edu.



English News

Caldwell University English Department Colloquium


November 28th, 2018

Founded by Dr. Patricia Verrone in 2010, the annual fall Colloquium is a chance for the department to come together and share written works, and occasionally performances, from faculty-selected students with strong literary skills. During this event, students deliver a brief presentation of their essays by reading short excerpts of their writing, and summarizing the central arguments of their assignments. The annual Colloquium enables English majors and minors to articulate their thoughts and research in the presence of their fellow students and faculty members.

Kate Bielitz
Great Drama in Performance
Short Monologue from David Ives’ Adaptation of The Liar

John Sembrot
Modern Drama
“The Limits of Toleration: Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull  and Nilo Cruz’s Anna in the Tropics”

Colleen Brennan
American Novel
“American Literary Nationalism and Indian Extinction”

Kathryn Plummer
Masterpieces of Western Literature
“Hero or Human”

Bianca Caruso
English Literature
“Marlowe and Donne’s Take on Love”

Sabrina Micciche
Masterpieces of Western Literature
“The Willfulness of Medea in a Patriarchal Society: From Oppressive Betrayal to Reprehensible Justice”

Samantha Ashton
Contemporary Fiction
“Oppression in Never Let Me Go”

Lauren Facher
American Novel
“The Seduction Novel: Instructive or Subversive?”

English News

Mind the Gap: An Interview with Mary Ladany

– by Colleen Brennan

Mind the gap, New York Theatre Workshop Flyer. (Photo Credit: https://deskgram.net/explore/tags/mindthegapnytw)

On November 1 st , 2018, I interviewed Professor Mary Ladany to learn more about her involvement in a program with the New York Theater Workshop [NYTW] known as Mind the Gap: Intergenerational Theatre Workshop. This 10-week program, located in Manhattan, is offered to seven students between the ages of fourteen and nineteen, and seven “elders,” over the age of sixty. Dr. Mary Lindroth, who possesses a great interest in and knowledge of the dramatic arts encouraged Professor Ladany to become involved in the workshop.

According to Ladany, the focus of the program is primarily on listening activities that encourage each writer to create original compositions based on the inspiration derived through conversation. This workshop was created by the NYTW in 2009 in order to “foster meaningful dialogue among artists and audiences of diverse backgrounds and generations” (“Mind the
Gap”). While students and “elders” study well-known plays and monologues, they also share their own personal experiences and memories, which are then integrated into short works created by members of the program.

Professor Mary Ladany describes the program as the “educational arm of the New York Theatre Workshop.” Through her involvement, she has developed a more intuitive understanding of the very intentional aspects of dramatic dialogue, such as stage directions and pacing, and how these elements are essential to the performance of the actors and their conveyance of the central themes of the pieces. At the five-week mark in the program, each ‘elder’ is paired up with one student, and these two spend several weeks in conversation,
growing to know one another more deeply in order to prepare a final assignment that professional actors will perform.

The date of final performances for the current “Mind the Gap” workshop is December 10 th , 2018 at 4:00 PM at the New York Theater Workshop, 79 East 4th Street, (between Bowery & 2nd Ave.) New York, NY 10003.

In our discussion about the program, Professor Ladany was kind enough to share with me a short work, referred to as an object monologue, written by a high school sophomore named Nora. After speaking with Mary about a journal of letters that she shared with her mother during the year of 2002, Nora composed a short letter addressed to Mary from the journal itself, urging her to cherish and add entries to the journal, although her mother has passed. Nora writes, “I want you to hold the letters close to your heart and let the words wash over you…Remember the poems…They were for her, but now they are for you.”

Inspired by the relevance of this precious memento, Nora effectively recalls the essence of Mary’s relationship with her mother through the act of writing. Ultimately, this object monologue created through the Mind the Gap workshop granted Mary yet another rare gift that strengthens her relationship to her mother and provides relevance to this memento. Since this revival of interest, she has decided to add entries to the journal in order to continue the conversation with her mother that was begun in 2002. The uniqueness of this assignment enabled the participants in the workshop to create highly imaginative pieces that truly emphasize the sacred in the material. The Mind the Gap: Intergenerational Theatre Workshop indubitably sustains its promise to participants that they will learn to “investigate, listen and empathize with someone of another generation, while using playwriting as a tool to
understand and represent their unique experience.”

For more information on the Mind the Gap: Intergenerational Theatre Workshop, visit https://www.nytw.org/education/mind-the-gap/.

“Mind the Gap.” New York Theatre Workshop, New York Theatre Workshop,

English News, News

International Whitman Week (May 27th-June 1st, 2019)

Head Shot photo of Walt Whitman.

International Whitman Week (May 27th-June 1st, 2019)
The Transatlantic Walt Whitman Association

International Whitman Week is a week-long seminar and one-day symposium for students and scholars of Walt Whitman. It is free for participants and will be hosted in 2019 by New York University to coincide with the 200thanniversary of Whitman’s birth.

Whitman Week will include special guest lectures by Ed Folsom, Jerome Loving, and David Reynolds, walking tours of Whitman’s New York by Karen Karbiener and Greg Trupiano, tours of the major exhibition “Poet of the Body: New York’s Walt Whitman” (Grolier Club), a performance of Whitman settings by the renowned Dessoff Choirs, and a birthday party for Whitman featuring free wine (courtesy of Paumanok Vineyards) and birthday cake (thanks to the Whitman Birthplace).  For the first time, IWW will take place in several different locations throughout Whitman’s New York: Long Island, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.  Please take a moment to view the schedule and application:


Graduate and advanced undergraduate students are encouraged to apply for the seminar; independent scholars, collectors, and Whitman enthusiasts are also welcome to apply.  The deadline for seminar applications is December 15.

The final day of Whitman Week will include a symposium at the Grolier Club. We seek exciting new scholarship by promising scholars; please see the application for a list of topics under the general category of “Whitman and New York.”  The deadline for symposium applications is January 1.


English News

Sigma Tau Delta Gathering and Award Ceremony

Sigma Tau Delta
Chi Zeta Chapter

James G. Cardin Jr.
Savannah L. Heimall
Steven Hinkle
Megan Ann Ilievski
Annmarie May
Julia Lois Roach
Angeline Wedemeier
Cassandra E. Winnie

English Comprehensive Exam
“Distinction” Awards

Julia Lois Roach

Excellence in Writing Awards*
Sister Brigid Brady, O.P. Award:

Angeline Wedemeier

Sister Vivien Jennings, O.P. Award:

Cassandra  E. Winnie

Sister Elizabeth Michael Boyle, O.P. Award:

Ryan Tunison

Department Honors

Traditional Student: Cassandra E. Winnie
Adult Student: Faith Conklin

English News

Remembering Sister Vivien Jennings

By Colleen Brennan 

Sister Vivien Jennings, former president of Caldwell University, with other former faculty members.
Sister Vivien Jennings smiling.
Sister Vivien Jennings holing a certificate.
Sister Vivien Jennings with other faculty members.
Sister Vivien Jennings with other faculty members.
Caldwell University Faculty and students on tour with sister Vivien.
Sister Vivien.
Sister Vivien with President Dr. Blattner.

On May 5th, 2018, members of the Caldwell University community mourned the loss of Sister Vivien Jennings, O.P., who served as President of Caldwell College from 1984 to 1994. She was born in Jersey City to parents Eugene and Mary Alice, and had five sisters: Alice White, Eugenia Smith, Marion Sheridan, Marjorie Menz, and Harriet Jennings, all of whom she was predeceased by. On September 8th, 1952, she entered the Sisters of St. Dominic, received the Dominican habit on June 27th, 1953, made her first profession on June 28th, 1954, and made her final profession on June 28th, 1960.

Majoring in English, Sister Vivien earned her bachelor’s degree from Caldwell College, and went on to earn her master’s in English from Catholic University, her master’s degree in communications from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in English from Fordham. After receiving her Ph.D., Sister Vivien also attended Oxford University, the Harvard School of Education, as well as Colombia Teacher’s College and earned various degrees in education, English, and finance from these institutions. She faithfully served as a Dominican sister of Caldwell for sixty-six years.

Sister Vivien held various positions throughout her life, which include elementary school teacher at six schools across New Jersey, secondary school teacher at Lacordaire Academy in Upper Montclair, NJ, English professor at Caldwell College, and Sister Superior of the Caldwell Dominican Order from 1969 to 1979. She was the founder of the Link Educational Center in Newark, NJ and president of the Dominican Leadership Conference in 1978 and 1979. In addition to these titles, Sister Vivien served as the education director at Caldwell College from 1980 to 1982, telecommunications director at Barry University from 1982 to 1983, and public affairs director at Catholic Telecommunications Network in New York City from 1983 to 1984. She was an incredibly industrious woman, inspiring countless students and members of various communities to live with compassion, ever in the pursuit of education.

During her time as president of Caldwell College, several changes were made to the university that continue to positively impact our community. She was president when, in 1985, Caldwell College transformed from a strictly female institution to a co-educational college. She also aided in expanding intercollegiate athletics and introduced the Fanjeaux study-abroad program to the campus, which is still offered today and enables students to explore the Catholic-Dominican tradition on which the school is grounded.

In the last two years of her life, she worked with Caldwell University’s undergraduate English students, Abigail Wortman and Colleen Brennan  on a book-length study of the sociological problems currently impacting the globe. The completion and publishing of this final work with the title From Worry, to Mercy, to Hope has been undertaken by one of Sister Vivien’s nieces, who was also a Caldwell University graduate.

Sister Vivien will always be remembered fondly by the Caldwell University community as her works and accomplishments, and memories of her compassionate, driven spirit enable her memory to live on.