2013-2014 Academic Year

Mary Szybist

October, 2014

Mary Szybist is most recently the author of Incarnadine, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry.

She, the recipient of followhsips from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endownment for the Arts, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress, and the Rockefeller Fondation's Bellagio Center.  Her work has appeared in such publications as Best American Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, and two Pushcart Prize anthologies.  Her first book Granted won the 2004 GLCA New Writers Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.  A native of Williamsport, Pennesylvania, she now lives in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches at Lewis and Clark College.

From the National Book Award citation:
Mary Szybist … recast(s) the myth of the Biblical Mary for this era. In vulnerable lyrics…with extraordinary sympathy and a light touch of humor, Szybist probes the nuances of love, loss, and the struggle for religious faith in a world that seems to argue against it. This is a religious book for nonbelievers, or a book of necessary doubts for the faithful.

Photo credit: Joni Kabana

This event is co-sponsored by the Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture and Fine Arts Programming

Larry Haeg

Feb. 27, 2014

Many joined us on February 27 for A Conversation with Larry Haeg and Lousi Johnston, a riveting interview with the author of Harriman vs Hill. Larry Haeg is an author and a former executive vice president of corporate communications for Wells Fargo, a former broadcast journalist, and a former Trustee of the College of Saint Benedict. His book is a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. The conversation was led by Dr. Louis Johnston, Associate Professor of Economics and holder of the Joseph P. Farry Professorship at Saint John's University serving the students of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University.

Larry Haeg

Roz Chast

Feb. 14, 2014

Roz Chast was at the College of Saint Benedict on February 14. As a staff cartoonist for The New Yorker, Chast uses humor to tackle the issues of our time, and more than 1,000 of her cartoons have been printed in the magazine since 1978. In addition to The New Yorker, Chast's cartoons have graced the pages of magazines such as Scientific American, the Harvard Business Review, and Redbook. Chast combined her favorite cartoons into her first book, Theories of Everything: Selected, Collected, and Health-Inspected Cartoons of Roz Chast, 1978-2006, and illustrated comedian Steve Martin's best-selling children's book, The Alphabet from A to Y, with Bonus Letter, Z.

Roz Chast

Brenda Hillman

Nov. 12, 2013

Hillman is a renowned poet, writing teacher, and non-violent activist. She has published seven collections of poetry and three chapbooks, as well as edited a collection of Emily Dickinson's poetry. Hillman has received numerous awards and fellowships for her work, including from the National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim Foundation. Her newest collection, Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire, was longlisted for the 2013 National Book Award in poetry. Hillman was here for a poetry reading on Tuesday, November 12.

Brenda Hillman

Ru Freeman

Oct. 23, 2013

Recipient of the 2013 Sister Mariella Gable Prize

Born in Sri Lanka, Ru Freeman found inspiration for her work in her family and country's pasts. Her political writing focuses on international humanitarian assistance and workers' rights, while her creative writing has been featured inGuernica and World Literature Today. Freeman published her first novel, A Disobedient Girl, in 2009; it was long-listed for the DCS Prize for South Asian Literature and translated into several languages. Her newest book, On Sal Mal Lane, uses her characteristic sensory detail, language, and humor to describe the plight of a Sri Lankan community in the five years before the country's civil war.

Freeman was in residence October 21-25 and read on Wednesday, October 23 for the Centennial Celebration of Sister Mariella Gable.

Ru Freeman

Katherine A. Powers

Oct. 22, 2012

On Tuesday, October 22, Katherine A. Powers read from Suitable Accommodations: An Autobiographical Story of Family Life: The Letters of J. F. Powers, 1942-1963. Powers edited this collection of her father's letters published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

A writer, editor and eldest daughter of J.F. Powers, sits down with Luke Mancuso (Associate Professor of English) in a video interview about her widely-praised book, that was published in the fall of 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Her book, Suitable Accommodations: An Autobiographical Story of Family Life: The Letters of J. F. Powers, is a collection of edited letters from her father that are compiled to show the true essence of J.F. Powers as a writer, an unorthodox Catholic and a family man. These letters show the undiscovered side of Powers. J.F. Powers (1917-99) won the 1963 National Book Award for his first novel, "Morte d'Urban," and was writer-in-residence here at CSB/SJU for a substantial amount of his career.

Katherine A. Powers

Community Reading

Oct. 16, 2013

The CSB Literary Arts Intstitute welcomed writers from the faculty and surrounding community for a reading on Wednesday, October 16, 2013. The community reading featured:

  • Sister Mara Faulkner, a just-retired faculty member, reading from her new poetry chapbook, Still Birth;
  • Karen Erickson, a faculty member, reading from her new poetry chapbook, Dwellings;
  • Larry Schug, a retired staff member, reading from his upcoming book of poetry, At Gloaming;
  • Bob Thimmesh, an alumnus of St. John's Prep and CSB/SJU, reading from his new book of poetry, Hear a Silence Roar;
  • Betsy Johnson-Miller, a faculty member, reading from her book of poetry, Fierce This Falling;
  • Rachel Marston, a faculty member, reading from her novel-in-progress, How to Speak to God;
  • Mary Willette Hughes, an alumna of CSB/SJU, reading from her book of poetry, The Shadow Loom Poems.

Straw into Gold

Oct. 10, 2013

Students, faculty, and community members learned how to grow, process, and transform flax into fabric at a one day workshop on Saturday, October 9 and public demonstration on Sunday, October 10.