CURA Magazine: Issue No. 18


CURA: A Literary Magazine of Art and Action is thrilled to announce that Issue No. 18, "History of Now" is now live. Dedicated to the question What is the Story You Most Want to Tell?, this issue sought to give exposure to as many voices as possible and to show that there is no one voice, no one story that is more important than another. The issue features the responses of 109 different people. The responses are completely unedited— and in some cases, untranslated— to maintain the integrity and authenticity of these stories. Titles were pulled from submissions by the editors for untitled stories.

Within our current political context, it is even more pivotal to seek out unheard voices. There is so much to be learned from the everyday minutiae of someone's life, from their experiences, from the stories they choose to tell. The bombast of each news day is overwhelming; it makes it easy to forget the strength we hold.

4/25: Reid Family Writers of Color Reading Series with Robin Coste Lewis

On Tuesday, April 25th, Robin Coste Lewis will read from her award-winning book, Voyage of the Sable Venus, at the 2017 Reid Family Writers of Color Reading Series.

Robin Coste Lewis is a Provost’s Fellow in Poetry and Visual Studies at the University of Southern California. In 2015 she published her stunning poetry debut, Voyage of the Sable Venus. This first collection is one of surpassing imagination, maturity, and aesthetic dazzle. It was widely praised by critics and honored with the 2015 National Book Award for Poetry—the first poetry debut to do so since 1974.

Voyage of the Sable Venus is a meditation on the black female figure through time. In the center of the collection is the title poem, “Voyage of the Sable Venus,” an amazing narrative made up entirely of titles of artworks from ancient times to the present—titles that feature or in some way comment on the black female figure in Western art. The collection presents a new understanding of biography and self and is a thrilling testament to the complexity of race—a full embrace of its pleasure and horror, in equal parts.

Lewis is a Cave Canem fellow and a fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities. She received her MFA in poetry from NYU, and an MTS in Sanskrit and comparative religious literature from the Divinity School at Harvard University. A finalist for the Rita Dove Poetry Award, she has published her work in various journals and anthologies, including The Massachusetts ReviewCallalooThe Harvard Gay & Lesbian ReviewTransition: Women in Literary ArtsVIDAPhantom Limb, and Lambda Literary Review, among others. She has taught at Wheaton College, Hunter College, Hampshire College, and the NYU Low-Residency MFA in Paris. Lewis was born in Compton, California; her family is from New Orleans.


April 25, 2017 • 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm • Fordham Rose Hill

Talk/Reading with Q & A and book-signing to follow

Open to the Public



The Reid events are made possible through the generosity of Kenneth and Frances K. Reid and the sponsorship of the Fordham English and African & African American Studies departments, the Graduate Student Association and the Creative Writing Program.


Fordham English Senior Presents at the 9th Annual Undergraduate Research Workshop

English Department Senior Adam Fales (FCLC '17) presented a paper, "Herman Melville's Body: Archives, Absence, and Historical Literary Practice," drawn from his honors thesis research this past weekend at the 9th Annual Undergraduate Research Workshop at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  

Established as the Philadelphia Center for Early American Studies in 1978, and renamed in honor of its benefactor Robert L. McNeil, Jr., in 1998, the McNeil Center facilitates scholarly inquiry into the histories and cultures of North America in the Atlantic world before 1850, with a particular but by no means exclusive emphasis on the mid-Atlantic region.

Adam is writing his thesis under the direction of Professor Shonni Enelow, and his visit was sponsored by Professor Jordan Stein, who serves as Fordham's liaison to the McNeil Center.  As part of the workshop, all students are paired with a graduate student mentor, and Adam worked with Fordham English Ph.D. candidate (and fellow Kansan) Christy Pottroff, who is currently a 2016-17 Andrew W. Mellon Early American Literature and Material Texts Dissertation Fellow at the McNeil Center, and who delivered a formal comment on Adam's research at the workshop.

Fordham students are eligible to apply for undergraduate workshops and dissertation fellowships because Fordham is one of more than three dozen schools and libraries that make up the McNeil Center consortium.  Students who may be interested in presenting their work at the McNeil Center in the future should contact Professor Stein (jstein10@fordham).

Fordham English to Offer Graduate Courses at Lincoln Center Campus

In the 2017-2018 academic year, Fordham English is offering a selection of graduate courses at our Lincoln Center campus (113 W. 60th St.) to make our course offerings more accessible to students from the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC). Doctoral students from the following schools are eligible to enroll in these courses: Columbia University, CUNY Graduate Center, New York University, The New School, Princeton University, Rutgers University, and Stony Brook University. Students from IUDC institutions who wish to enroll in one of these graduate courses should contact Julie Kim, Director of Graduate Studies (

Fall 2017 Graduate Courses at Lincoln Center

ENGL 5718. MODERN LANGUAGE POLITICS.  Time: Fridays, 2:30-5:00 pm. Instructor: Rebecca Sanchez.

Description: Early twentieth-century literature and theory was preoccupied with the relationship between language and politics, from the acknowledgment of minority and non-standard linguistic forms, to questions over the relationship between violence and language (whether or not, to paraphrase Adorno, one can write poetry after Auschwitz), to the idea of literary form itself enacting a kind of political resistance. In this course, we will analyze some of the competing philosophies about language circulating during this period and interrogate how modernist writers responded and contributed to these discussions.

ENGL 6905. CONCEPTS OF CULTURETime: Fridays, 11:30 am-2:00 pm. Instructor: Glenn Hendler

Description: What do we talk about when we talk about “culture”? This class will explore this keyword in and around literary studies along two parallel tracks. First, we will explore the historical development of different concepts of culture over the last two centuries or so. Second, we will explore a range of theoretical perspectives from the past three decades that fit loosely under the rubric of Cultural Studies. Both tracks will necessitate broadly interdisciplinary approaches to the topic. We will explore, for instance, a relatively literary manifestation of the concept in Matthew Arnold’s Culture and Anarchy, but also how the concept of culture figures in the early history of the human sciences, including anthropology, sociology, and psychology. Similarly, since work in the contemporary field of Cultural Studies only rarely limits its objects of study to the literary, we will sample theoretical developments in the study of popular music, film and television, etc.

Spring 2018 Graduate Courses at Lincoln Center:

ENGL 5801. ANATOMY OF A BESTSELLER. Time: Fridays, 2:30-5:00 pm. Instructor: Mary Bly

Description: The class will deconstruct bestsellers in different genres, looking at the process from proposal, editing, finished manuscript and on to covers, marketing and promotion. Students will also develop their own bestseller project over the semester.

Join us for the next Voices Up! Concert - April 22, 2017

Voices Up! New Music, New Poetry in collaboration with Poets Out Loud

Saturday, April 22nd at 7:30 PM

Admission Free!

Featuring mezzo-soprano Kathryn Krasovec,

with Jesse Goldberg on piano

Kathryn Krasovec

Kathryn Krasovec


Music by Lawrence Kramer and Robin Julian Heifetz

Poetry by Elisabeth Frost, Emily Dickinson, and Hart Crane

Fordham University, Lincoln Center 

113 West 60th St., 12th-floor Lounge

Jesse Goldberg

Jesse Goldberg


Nearest subways:  59th St. Columbus Circle (1, B, D, A), 66th St. Lincoln Center (1).  Entrance to Fordham’s Lowenstein Building on the Northwest Corner of60th Street and Columbus Avenue.

The Artists' Bios – Voices Up! VIII April 22nd, 2017.

Kathryn Krasovec has performed on such prominent stages as The Metropolitan Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, Weill Hall/Carnegie Hall, National Theater of Prague and Theater Bremen in Germany. She returned to The Princeton Festival this past season as Mrs. Sedley in Peter Grimes, in a career which spans engagements throughout Europe, North America, and the Middle East.  Recently she sang the world premiere of Peacemakers by James Aikman with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. She debuted in Carnegie's Weill Hall in Mohammed Fairouz's Audenesque as soloist with the Mimesis Ensemble and was soloist with the Oratorio Society of New Jersey in Handel's Dettingen Te Deum and a work by Karl Jenkins, The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. She made her Princeton Festival debut as Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro. Her Spoleto USA debut came in Philip Glass’s Kepler and was recently engaged with Beth Morrison Productions of Missy Mazzoli’s, Song from the Uproar.

After winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as a Woodsprite in Rusalka, performed the roles of Blumenmädchen and Knappen in Parsifal and covered the role of Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Among her notable European accomplishments was the debut of Frid’s Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank in the title rolewith the Prague State Ope.  She was the first American to sing the title role in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen at the National Theater of Prague, where she also appeared in John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer at the National Theater of Prague

Jesse Goldberg graduated from Bard College in 2015 with Bachelor’s Degrees in Literature, Anthropology, and Music.  She will receive an artist’s certificate in May from the Bard Conservatory’s Advanced Performance Studies program. She was the recipient of a medal for “Best Accompanist” in the US “Music in the Parks” competition in 2009, of the 2014 Shafer Award for Performance awarded by Joan Tower, and of the 2015 Richard M. Siegel award for to a music student who demonstrates academic excellence. While at Bard, Jesse has accompanied undergraduate and graduate vocalists and musicians, played celesta with The Orchestra Now, played for the local high school and middle school choirs, accompanied local Suzuki violin classes, and accompanies at the Mannes preparatory division.

Elisabeth Frost is the author of All of Us: Poems (White Pine), Bindle (Ricochet Editions, a collaboration with the artist Dianne Kornberg), Rumor (Mermaid Tenement Press), A Theory of the Vowel (Red Glass Books), and the study The Feminist Avant-Garde in American Poetry (Iowa). Frost has received grants from the Rockefeller Foundation-Bellagio Center, the Fulbright Foundation, the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and others. She is Professor of English and Women’s/Gender/Sexuality Studies at Fordham University, where she edits the Poets Out Loud Prizes book series from Fordham University Press.

Robin Julian Heifetz earned a doctorate in music composition in 1978 from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He has served as composer-in-residence at Stiftelsen EMS Stockholm, Colgate University, Tel-Aviv University, Simon Fraser University (Canada), IPEM-Ghent (Belgium), and Audio-Digital Laboratories (Canada). Since 1998, his works have appeared in Russia on the record series Electroshock Presents: Electroacoustic Music. In 2014, a two-CD collection of his fixed media, mixed media, and text-sound compositions was released in Canada by Soundcarrier Music Network.  In 2017, a digital work appeared in Germany on a disc released by Janus Music & Sound.

Lawrence Kramer, Distinguished Professor of English and Music at Fordham, is a prolific author and a prizewinning composer whose works have been performed internationally.  His most recent book, The Thought of Music, was published last year by the University of California Press; his next, a retrospective collection, Song Acts: Writings on Words and Music will be published this summer by Brill.  His Sonata for Violin and Piano will premiere in June at the National Opera Center, and his string trio Trefoil in Stockholm in August.

Professors Elisabeth Frost and Lawrence Kramer Discuss Upcoming Voices Up! Concert, featuring original music and poetry

On Saturday, April 22nd, at 7:30 in the Lowenstein 12th Floor Lounge, the eighth in the spring Voices Up! concert series at the Lincoln Center campus will feature soprano Kathryn Krosovec performing song cycles involving creative work by two members of the English Department: “All of Us,” a song cycle by Robin Julian Heifetz based a poetic sequence by Fordham’s Elisabeth Frost, and “’The Stillness in the Air,” a song cycle by Fordham’s Lawrence Kramer based on poems by Emily Dickinson. 

Kathryn Krasovec has performed on such prominent stages as The Metropolitan Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, Weill Hall/Carnegie Hall, National Theater of Prague, and Theater Bremen in Germany.

In this interview, Elisabeth Frost and Lawrence Kramer talked to English Connect about the upcoming event.

1. How did this project come to be? 

LK: When Beth told me that Robin Heifetz was working on his setting of “All of Us” I immediately thought that the Voices Up! Series was the right place for its premiere.  The series works closely with the publication series Poets Out Loud Prizes, which Beth edits for Fordham University Press, and Beth has been a tireless supporter of the concert series since I started it in 2010.

2. Did you develop the material (i.e. the music and poetry) together or separately?

EF: “All of Us” is the poem of mine that became the text for Robin Heifetz’s song cycle. When I returned to New York after living in California and Pennsylvania for a decade, I became fascinated with apartment life—the lack of privacy, the constant awareness of others through the sounds that leak through walls and ceilings and floors in old New York City buildings. I heard my neighbors all the time—conversations, arguments, crying, sighing. I often knew more than I wanted to about their lives, but there was no intimacy in this. It felt like an unwanted experience of voyeurism, since for the most part I knew I wasn’t going to get beyond superficial acquaintance with the people I met in the halls or the elevator every day. What bothered me was the aloneness. Who are we, if not in relation? How do we negotiate shared space when there is no fundamental shared community that is the goal of this space? I combined a number of my own experiences with stories I was told by friends to make a 16-part portrait of a person struggling with being alone among others. The opening captures a key image: “This hive. / Us with our inside noise.” (This was well before Facebook and “hive mind,” by the way!) The lines throughout the poem are all as short and spare as these. Eventually, “All of Us” became the title poem of my 2011 book from White Pine Press, but that was a number of years after I wrote it.

3. What was the process of creating this work like? What are each of your processes? How is the process of working together? 

EF: As I mentioned, writing “All of Us” took a long time. Even when I was assembling my book of prose poems for White Pine, it wasn’t clear that this 16-part poem would be included. It was the brilliance of my editor, the poet Nickole Brown, to see that this series was very much in dialogue with the themes of intimacy and communication that the prose poems in the book explore.

LK: What American composer of art songs can resist trying to set Dickinson?  Part of this cycle goes back a decade or more (for a performance in Oxford) and part of it dates from last year.  Forming the cycle proved to be as much a literary as it was a musical project.  The songs have to add up to something, not just get strung together like beads, and Dickinson turns out to present some formidable (hence desirable) challenges in that department.  The cycle is about the two sides of a feeling that preoccupied Dickinson, namely awe, which she treats as both inspiring and terrifying.

4. How did Robin Julian Heifetz become involved? Is he a regular collaborator? 

EF: I met Robin during one of my first residencies at the MacDowell Colony, where lucky artists are able to retreat to work in complete privacy, while being housed and fed with exquisite care—and also having the extraordinary opportunity to meet other artists. I was there at the end of 2003 and, as usual, I hung out with the composers. I grew up in a family of classical musicians and was a violinist for many years. I have always been drawn to composers, and of course poets are always eager for potential collaborators. Robin and I both did presentations of our work in progress. Then years passed. He wrote to me early in 2015 to say that he was interested in collaborating on text/sound compositions, which he described to me as “a form of electroacoustic music developed in Sweden in the 1960s in which the text is of primary importance and the digital sounds are used to support the textual material.” I sent him a number of poems from All of Us, and over the next year he created several stunning compositions. He also expressed interest in setting the title poem in a more “conventional” song cycle for female voice and piano. The opportunity for live performance that the “Voices Up!” series offered was a huge incentive to him to complete this major work—it’s 38 minutes of music, and it took him a year and a half to write. He tells me it’s the longest work he has ever composed. Both Robin and I have Larry to thank for this performance! I know I have been blessed on many fronts in seeing this project come to be.  

5. Why did you choose to also include poetry by Emily Dickinson and Hart Crane? Why these particular poets for this project? 

LK:  The concert will open with a setting of two early poems by Crane—two poems interspersed with each other and set in a single song.  I have been a Crane enthusiast since high school, when I discovered him in an anthology borrowed with no great foresight from the public library.  A few years back I prepared the first scholarly annotated edition of his great long poem The Bridge; the edition is published by Fordham University Press.  One of my earlier song cycles involves extracts from The Bridge together with poems by Dickinson and Walt Whitman, so pairing Crane with Dickinson on the Voices Up! program seemed natural to me, especially since Crane claims Dickinson as one of his poetic forbears in a beautiful section of The Bridge entitled “Quaker Hill.”

6. How did singer Kathryn Krasovec and pianist Jesse Goldberg become involved? What do they bring to the piece? 

LK:  Sheer good luck in both cases.  The Dickinson songs are for mezzo-soprano.  Mezzos come in different varieties, and I was looking for just the right one when I was referred to Kathryn.  After listening to some recordings, I felt that she would be perfect for these songs, both vocally and dramatically, and, happily, she agreed.  Jesse I had heard perform at Bard College, where she studied (with my wife, Nancy Leonard, among others); she’s a terrific accompanist—that’s an art in its own right—and I was looking for an opportunity to bring her onto a Voices Up! program. 

7. Describe the Voices Up! series and Poets Out Loud series? What do they each seek to accomplish? How do they compare?

EF: When Larry started the “Voices Up!” series, one of his inspired ideas was to link it with Poets Out Loud. At this point, I had been editing the POL Prizes book series for Fordham Press for almost a decade. I launched the book series in 1999, when I also was running the POL Reading Series (now directed by Heather Dubrow). Larry had the marvelous idea of commissioning settings of poems by each year’s winners of the POL Prizes, the poets whose books are released by Fordham Press. This is such a gift to the poets—to have another artist engage with one’s work and transform it for a new medium is a profound experience.  

LK:  One other feature of the series is, whenever possible, to have the poets present at the concerts to read the poems that have been set for the occasion.  That way the audience gets to absorb the poetry in both the poet’s voice and the composer’s transformation of it.  There is too much poetry this time around for us to do that, but Beth will be on hand to talk about “All of Us” and put it in context.  I like to spread around the opportunity to compose for new poetry, so my own contributions to the concerts tend to focus on older figures such as Dickinson through to modernists such as Wallace Stevens.  But the one time I allowed myself to work on poems by a contemporary poet, Daneen Wardrop, from her prizewinning volume Cyclorama, the experience was especially rewarding.  The feeling of collaboration is powerful even though the poet and composer do their work independently.  But each also gets to surprise the other a little.

8. What do you hope the audience, and students in particular, take away from this event? 

EF: I hope people keep with them the music they hear and the poetry that helped that music come into being. I also hope they have a new, or deepened, sense of the vitality of how one artist’s work can inspire another’s—that is nothing short of miraculous.

LK:  I couldn’t say it better, so I won’t try. 

For more information about this event, including performer bios, see here:

And for this event on our calendar:

Don't miss Voices Up! New Music, New Poetry on April 22nd.