News, Publications, and Presentations

Dr. Lilla Kopár and Dr. S. Beth Newman Ooi (English M.A. alumna and lecturer), in collaboration with Prof. Worthy Martin (PI, University of Virginia) and Prof. Nancy L. Wicker (Univ. of Mississippi), received a Digital Humanities research grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation to develop a new iconographic thesaurus of early medieval art. The Andvari Iconographic Thesaurus project will engage an expert group of thirteen scholars from twelve institutions over a period on nine months and will create a new digital tool to accurately describe the art of Northern Europe from the 4th to 12th century, with a special focus on no-Christian imagery.

Dr Lilla Kopár presented an illustrated public lecture on "The World of Norse Gods" in Georgetown on November 16, 2021, as part of the popular Profs & Pints DC lecture series.

Ph.D. student Kristin Lord's short story "Violet Winter" will appear on the Purple Wall Stories website on Feb. 1st, 2022.

Lecturer and English M.A. alumna Victoria Scrimer's chapter, "When the Play is Not the Thing: The Mueller Report and the Limits of Documentary Drama" appears in the book, Theater in a Post-Truth World: Text, Politics, and Performance which is now available for pre-order from Bloomsbury Publishing.

Dr. Kevin Rulo presented "Satire and Modernist Crisis" at the MLA Conference in January 2022 in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Taryn Okuma presented "Integrating Student-Run Journals and Experiential Learning Classes” in the Language and Literature Program Innovation Room at the MLA Conference in January 2022 in Washington, D.C.


Cover of Proteus Bound

New Book: Proteus Bound: Selected Translations, 2008-2020

Ryan Wilson's third book, Proteus Bound: Selected Translations, 2008-2020, was published by Franciscan University Press.

Praise for Proteus Bound:
From Homer to Pessoa, Ryan Wilson serves up a delicious sampler platter of Western European poetry spanning nearly three millennia. His aesthetic and historic catholicity and his formal mastery are reminiscent of John Frederick Nims, and the volume's alphabetical (rather than chronological) arrangement creates surprising and delightful juxtapositions (Catullus and Claudel, Sappho and Trakl, etc.), all made new in these finely tuned renderings.
- Geoffrey Brock, Editor of The FSG Book of 20th Century Italian Poetry

Did Ryan Wilson wager with himself that he could choose some of the most familiar poems in European literature and bring them so freshly into English that they are new again? If so, he owes himself a ten-spot, for Proteus Bound achieves that goal with seeming nonchalance. These translations are respectful but not staid, accurate but not persnickety, renewing but not distorting. In these pages, even Virgil is fun once more.
- Fred Chappell, winner of the Bollingen Prize for Poetry

Ryan Wilson’s translations are characterized by their sensitivity of tone and the musicality of their forms as in, for example, his wonderful version of Catullus’ Carmina III and his version of Horace’s Ode ii.15. Wilson’s choices are always responsible and responsive, as manifested in the elegant music of his versification.
- David Ferry, winner of the National Book Award

Ryan Wilson reminds us in the preface to his new collection that the “it” in Ezra Pound’s dictum, “Make it new,” was the tradition itself. Nothing renews the tradition more certainly than the attentions that a poet-translator of Wilson’s caliber gives to the great poems of the past. Proteus Bound is the proof of this, a generous piece of the Permanent Anthology, a selection from other languages and other times brought over into the present as poems in English. This is work that both honors the tradition and shows why we would wish to do such a thing.
- Charles Martin, winner of the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award
What a treasure! This invigorating book brings us close to some of the most beautiful lyric poems ever written. Ryan Wilson’s translations are, by turns, muscular and breezy and intense, capturing the intimacy of Horace, the passionate love of Catullus, and the street music of Baudelaire. Wilson is equally at home with the familiar and with the lesser known, with Dante as well as with the courtly love sonnets of La Compiuta Donzella or with the explosive images of Georg Heym. As implied by the title, Wilson’s method is protean: the translator is one who transforms himself into each of the various authors’ projections of self, inhabiting the soul of each persona. As a result, these great poets are still with us, and we are with them.
- Grace Schulman, winner of the Frost Medal for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement in American Poetry

This anthology of lyric poems and passages of epic, from antiquity to the 20th century, from Greek, Latin, Italian, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese, represents a sweeping literary education unto itself. In the appropriately titled Proteus Bound, Ryan Wilson speaks in tongues, and is spoken through, generously putting his gifts of technical aplomb and a tuneful ear at the service of other poets, across cultures and millennia.
- A.E. Stallings, winner of the MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant and Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

One feels a lifetime of poetic art bound between the covers of this book. Both Ryan Wilson’s lifetime—years of dedicated, disciplined, and devoted skill went into making this varying music for so many different voices—and the larger lifetime of the poetry of the West, the Classical tradition from Homer, Alcman, and Sappho to Trakl and Georg Heym. The elegance of Wilson’s verse is breathtaking: Horatian, really—alacrity, subtlety, wit, naturalness. This book is a civilization. May it enlighten and delight many.
– Rosanna Warren, former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets


Poetic Song Verse in the Media

Selected interviews and podcasts on Poetic Song Verse: Blues-Based Popular Music and Poetry by Mike Mattison and Ernest Suarez:


Upcoming History and MBS Event

MLA Student Essay Contest

The Modern Language Association seeks submissions from students of exemplary research papers written in MLA style for publication on MLA Handbook Plus, the only authorized digital resource providing online access to the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.

The five papers that best meet the submission criteria will be published on the site, and the authors of accepted papers will receive a certificate and a $50 gift card to an online bookstore. Papers will be evaluated by the MLA’s editorial team, and the finalists will be chosen by a committee composed of high school and college faculty members. Each student may submit one paper for consideration by the committee.

Length: 2,000–3,000 words. Works-cited-list entries do not count toward the word limit.
Language: Papers must be written in English.
Deadline: 18 January 2022

Please visit the MLA site for more information about the contest.


Write for The Annex!

If you are a current English major/minor or alumna/us of the department and would like to contribute to The Annex, please email Dr. Taryn Okuma ( The Annex is always seeking writers to contribute alumni profiles, faculty/class/program profiles, articles about department events, or original writing relevant to the newsletter's focus on the English Department.