Category: English News

English News, News

Q&A with Kate Bielitz

Kate Bielitz, a graduating senior is headed to graduate school and has given us a little insight on being an English major!
1. What is the exact name of the degree you will be working towards at Montclair State?/Name of Program

At Montclair State University, I will be studying for a Master’s Degree in English, which means I’ll be strictly studying literature. We are offered a wide variety of courses/classes and do not have to conform to one area of study in particular. However, I am most likely going to gear my studies toward British Literature, as that has always been my favorite type of literature to study here at Caldwell, particularly the Renaissance.

2. How has your work at Caldwell prepared you for grad schooA image of Kate Bielitzl and what are you interested in studying at MSU?

Caldwell University has prepared me immensely for graduate school. I will always say this, but taking the Literary Criticism course I took in the Fall 2019 semester, reminded me why I want to study literature. That course opened my eyes to the many ways we can look at literature, and reminded me of how timeless literature truly is. Within that course, we looked at The Great Gatsby in many different lenses, such as a feminist lens, an African American lens, a Marxist lens, etc, and it was truly amazing to understand how to interpret a novel like that in so many ways when I was only taught to look at it one way. To me, that is the beauty of being an English major–to have the ability to think critically, analyze deeply, and have the ability to be open-minded. The professors and courses I took at Caldwell truly taught me how to do all three. The professors at Caldwell have always believed in me, always helped me become a stronger writer and to analyze just a little bit more. With having a wide variety of courses to choose from at Caldwell, I was able to try out many different eras, which is what I felt was important since I knew by my junior year, I was going to want to study literature in a graduate setting. Montclair’s graduate program reminds me a lot of our program: just a few required courses and the rest free electives, which I love because you are able to find your own interests and what you are good at, and build upon that. (Also a special thank you to Dr. Kornacki for helping me by ordering us graduate school books, meeting with me on a regular basis, and believing in my abilities)

3. Is there any advice you might be able to give to students who are currently working towards an English degree? Or maybe to someone who is looking into becoming an English major?

My advice for anyone who is in the English program here at Caldwell, or thinking about becoming a part of the English program, is to take different era courses. You will find what interests you the most by taking many different courses. Even if you do not feel like you would be good at it (my feelings toward Shakespeare courses), you will learn how to read literature the correct way. I always say: take the challenging courses, take upon the challenge, because you always almost end up much better at something when you are challenged. Also, READ. Read the text, then reread it again until you know exactly what you are reading. If you need help, use the resources available. Do not struggle alone. Caldwell offers many ways to improve: the professors themselves are always eager to help, and especially the Writing Center is available if you prefer to receive help from a peer. Even if you are taking a challenging course, you should never feel like you cannot improve. We all are capable of much more we give ourselves credit for. Being an English major here at Caldwell University reminded me that I am capable of understanding literature I thought I never would such as The Iliad, various Shakespeare plays, and MOST of the early literature. Once we are taught something the correct way, there is no going back!


English News

Book Review

Book Reviews Cover Photo Fall 2019

Check out the excerpts from book reviews submitted by undergraduate students in the Journal Editing class that was offered by the Department of English at Caldwell University in the Fall 2019 semester in conjunction with the submission period for Presence 2020?. The books reviewed represent the students’ choices from among the books reviewed by professionals in ?Presence 2020?. Poets reviewed are: William Baer, Susan Baller-Shepard, David Craig, Barbara Crooker,  Père Jacques de Foïard-Brown with Marilyn Nelson, D. G. Geis, Maria Giura, Lorraine Healy, Philip C. Kolin, Orlando Ricardo Menes, Tim J. Myers, Christine Valters Paintner, Martha Silano, and Sheryl St. Germain.

English News, Featured News, News

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” ( 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


Every spring semester, Caldwell University’s English department hosts an The flyer of English Department about the gatheringannual event affectionately termed The Gathering, as it was started by Dr. Patricia Verrone, who taught several courses in Irish literature. Borrowed from the 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 performs 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 2020 Gathering will be held on Thursday, April 30th at 6:30 pm in the Alumni Theater. English majors, minors, and alumni planning to attend should rsvp to Amber Edrington at 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



English News

Caldwell University English Department Colloquium

English Department students and faculty members coming together to share written works, and occasionally performances in the annual fall Colloquium.
English Department students and faculty members coming together to share written works, and occasionally performances in the annual fall Colloquium.
English Department students and faculty members coming together to share written works, and occasionally performances in the annual fall Colloquium.
English Department students and faculty members coming together to share written works, and occasionally performances in the annual fall 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?”