Fordham Honors Professor Chase

At the annual Convocation ceremony, held this year on March 10th at Lincoln Center, the Fordham community celebrated the considerable contributions of long-serving university professors, administrators, and staff, including the English Department’s own Professor Chase.

Father McShane thanked Professor Chase for his exceptional scholarship and pedagogy, and awarded Professor Chase the Bene Merenti metal for 20 years of service to Fordham University.

President McShane and Professor Chase

President McShane and Professor Chase

Here is the tribute written to honor Professor Chase:

“Anyone who knows Martin Chase understands his passion for the English language and literature in all its forms (including Old, Middle, and Modern). He is a leading expert in manuscript paleography and codicology, as well as the study of Anglo-Saxon literature. His groundbreaking research on Old Norse, a cousin to Modern English, is internationally known. Martin holds degrees from Oberlin College, the University of Michigan, the University of Toronto, the University of Copenhagen, and Weston School of Theology. It was in 1999 that Fordham wooed Martin away from a prestigious teaching post in Copenhagen.

He has contributed meaningfully to scholarship on medieval philology and literature, pursuing the enduring question of what makes us human. Along with numerous articles on skaldic poetry and Scandinavian medievalism, Martin’s archival work has yielded editions of Old Norse poetry, such as Einarr Skúlason’s Geisli. Martin’s translations have had enormous impact, giving scholarly access to poems such as the 14th-century Icelandic poem Lilja (or The Lily), which has been referred to as the “Norse Divine Comedy.” Recently, he has edited the collection Eddic, Skaldic, and Beyond: Poetic Variety in Medieval Iceland and Norway.

Martin is beloved by his students. His wisdom is valued by everyone who has served with him, including members of the Faculty Senate, University Research Council, the Center for Medieval Studies, Academic Integrity, Ignatian Pedagogy, and Fordham’s literary journal, Traditio. Martin’s reputation as a scholar is complemented by the contributions he has made as a member of the Society of Jesus for almost 40 years. Martin’s generous service to the University community and to his academic profession are a way of life.”

Congratulations to Professor Chase, and thank you for all you do for your students, for the English Department, and for Fordham University.

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Professor Hoffman Receives Bene Merenti Medal for 40 Years of Service

At the annual Convocation ceremony, held this year on March 10th at Lincoln Center, Professor Anne Hoffman received the Bene Merenti metal for 40 years of service to Fordham University.

“You make the routine miraculous,” President McShane said. “And you make everything at the University an occasion of grace because of the way in which you go about your work.” 

President McShane and Professor Hoffman

President McShane and Professor Hoffman

Here is the tribute celebrating Professor Hoffman’s considerable contributions to Fordham University:

“Anne Hoffman’s history is marked both by an unusually full commitment to Fordham and by an unusually complete engagement with scholarship. In the mid-1990s, she served as Chair of the Humanities Division at Lincoln Center and then as Associate Chair of the English Department. Her wholehearted involvement with the issues surrounding the merger of Fordham’s two campuses was graceful, collegial, and tolerant, supported by an encouraging belief that difficulties were surmountable.

Administrative work has been just one facet of Anne’s notably productive career. She has written two books and, since 1981, has published an article every year, as well as giving one or two lectures annually. This public aspect of her scholarship has been enlarged by her work closer to home, where her admired teaching has been recognized with the Outstanding Teaching in the Humanities Award. For generations of students, Anne has provided extraordinary continuity, mentoring them and forging friendships for years. She has directed four honors classes, the most recent one graduating last May. She was the prime mover in the interfaith initiative between studies in Judaism and Christianity, “Nostra Aetate.”

President McShane and Professor Hoffman

President McShane and Professor Hoffman

For about a dozen years, Anne served on the executive committee of the Women’s Studies Program, where she devised the Women’s Studies major. The ease and pleasure with which she has shared her interests—modern Hebrew literature, psychiatry, gender—has drawn many people. We are happy to honor this remarkable colleague, universally recognized for her sense of fairness, judiciousness, wisdom, and decency.”

Congratulations to Professor Hoffman, and thank you for all you have done for your students, for the English Department, and for Fordham University.

Professor Bly Honored

At the 2019 Convocation ceremony, held March 10th at Lincoln Center, Fordham University awarded Professor Mary Bly the Bene Merenti medal for her 20 years of dedicated service to Fordham.

“You are our treasure,” Fordham President Father McShane said. “The treasure that makes it possible for us to form young women and men to be women and men for others.”

President McShane and Professor Bly

President McShane and Professor Bly

This is the tribute written for Professor Bly:

“In her 20 years at Fordham, Mary Bly has contributed so much to our communal life that we might justly bestow perhaps a century’s worth of Bene Merenti medals on her, right here, right now. During her spectacular, overlapping triple stint as Director of Graduate Studies, of the Creative Writing Program, and of Professional Development, she transfigured for the better everything she touched. Thanks to her innovations, our doctoral students, now fully funded, enter the profession with a deeper sense of what their work entails, and our Creative Writing Program thrives as never before.

The same prodigious productivity suffuses everything that Mary does. Within the populous world of Shakespeare scholarship, Mary and her work shine star-bright. And then there is her second self: Eloisa James, prolific, bestselling romance novelist. Perhaps no other professor on Earth can hold audiences equally in thrall at the annual meetings of the Shakespeare Association of America, and of the romance fanfest KissCon.

But Mary’s most enthralled audiences are her Fordham students, who follow her from course to course, singing her praises everywhere, and manifesting throughout their work and lives the marks of her spellbinding, tirelessly attentive teaching. How then to sum up this force of nature, this magnificent shaper of books, thoughts, minds, and institutions? Perhaps by echoing three lines from Yeats:

Author, scholar, teacher she,
And all she does done perfectly,
As though she had but that one trade alone.”

Congratulations, Professor Bly, and thank you for all you have done for your students, for the English Department, and for the Fordham community at large.

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Professor Stone Receives Bene Merenti Medal

At the annual Convocation ceremony, held this year on March 10th at Lincoln Center, Professor Elizabeth Stone received the Bene Merenti metal for 40 years of service to Fordham University.

Father McShane lauded Professor Stone, as well as the other award recipients, for not only touching every aspect of life at Fordham, but for also extending their good works to the world at large.

President McShane with Professor Stone

President McShane with Professor Stone

Here is the tribute celebrating Professor Stone’s illustrious career:

“For Professor Elizabeth Stone, a story runs through it. There is her writing about storytelling: her book about family stories, and her beautiful, haunting memoir, A Boy I Once Knew, that braids her own story with the one told in volumes of diaries left to her by a former student after his death from AIDS. There is also her study of stories: her scholarship on biography and autobiography, and recently, her work on last wills and testaments, which, in an original turn, she shows to be a different kind of story, shaped from beyond the grave.

But the stories that truly distinguish the career—and character!—of Elizabeth Stone are of a more personal kind: for generations, she has helped the students in her classes, and especially at The Observer, the Lincoln Center student newspaper she founded and advised for many years. Elizabeth helps her students create not simply their writing but also their own professional lives, their own vocations, their own stories. The Observer has won many awards, but its journalistic distinction is only part of Elizabeth’s own story. More important is the community that she has built there, and in her classrooms generally. It is a community of inquiry, of story building, of support, and of personal creativity—and it is fueled by the generosity of Elizabeth Stone. This generosity is evident through all of her work, for 40 years and counting. Long may it run.”

Congratulations to Professor Stone, and thank you for all you do for your students, for the English Department, and for Fordham University.

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Call For Submissions: 2019 Creative Writing Prizes

We are now accepting applications for the 2019 Creative Writing Prizes. Submissions will be accepted until February 20th. 

Click on the titles of prizes to access guidelines and the online submission manager. 

Academy of American Poets Prize
Eligibility: Any Fordham student
1 prize of $100

Bernice Kilduff White & John J. White Creative Writing Prize
Eligibility: Rose Hill senior undergraduate students
1 prize Cash Amount to be determined.

Margaret Lamb/Writing to the Right-Hand Margin Prizes
Eligibility: Any Fordham student
1 prize of $100

Suzanna Cohen Legacy Foundation Prizes
Eligibility: Any Fordham student
4 prizes of $750

The Reid Family Prize
Eligibility: Any Fordham student
1 prize of $500

Professor Bly's Book Named Best of 2018

Congratulations to Mary Bly (pen name Eloisa James), whose novel Too Wilde to Wed has been named one of the ten best books of 2018 by Apple Books.


From Apple: “In 2018, Apple Books launched as a brand new app, making it effortless for iPhone and iPad users to discover and enjoy books and audiobooks. This year Apple Books celebrates works from a diverse group of authors,” including There There by Tommy Orange and American Marriage by Tayari Jones.

Too Wilde to Wed, a novel Booklist says marries “potent sensuality with a deliciously dry sense of humor,” also debuted at #7 on the New York Times best seller list and was picked as one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Month.

Congrats again to Professor Bly on this fabulous accomplishment.

5th Annual Golden Gloves Literary Competition & Fair

On December 7, the annual Golden Gloves Literary Competition and Fair took place at the Lincoln Center campus. Creative writing classes across Fordham presented their work to compete for three prizes: Ram d’Or (Best in Show), Best Experiment, and the Audience Award. This year, the presentations were judged by Gina Apostol, winner of the PEN Open Book Award for her novel Gun Dealer’s Daughter, and recipient of the Philippine National Book Award.

Before the event, attendants enjoyed a pizza dinner and had the opportunity to attend a campus Literary Fair, which featured the publications Bricolage, The Ampersand, The Comma, and MODE Magazine. Staff members in these groups fielded questions from students interested in writing for publication.

The competition itself featured ten different creative writing classes: Performance Criticism, Poetry - What Good is It?, Essay is a Verb, The Stuff of Fiction, Poetry of Witness, The Good Life, First Flint, Writing the World, Writing for Teens in an Adult World, and The Outsiders: Reading and Writing Fiction about Outsiders, Outcasts, Exiles, and Rebels.

Taylor Shaw, FCRH ‘19, appreciated the diversity of voices and topics represented by the classes.

“Everyone brought something different to the table this year, and I really liked that the pieces covered a broad variety of topics,” said Shaw. “From hilarious parodies of guilty pleasure young adult novels to hard-hitting and chilling reflections on the Kavanaugh trial and its surrounding context, the different works kept us engaged and at the edge of our seats for the entire competition.”

Judge, Gina Apostol read a selection from her new novel, Insurrecto. She was followed by Writer in Residence Nyssa Chow, who presented her multimedia story on a hunger striker in Trinidad, as well as scenes from her Still.Life. Exhibition.

As a student in Chow’s Multimedia and Narrative Practice class, Shaw was grateful for the opportunity to hear, see, and be inspired by her professor’s work.

“As her student, it was really gratifying to get to see her brilliant work after such a wonderful semester,” said Shaw. “We had such a great opportunity to see the skills we’d learned in action.”

The Ram d’Or (Best In Show) award was given to Professor Nyssa Chow’s Essay is a Verb class for their poignant commentary on sexual abuse and feminism after the Kavanaugh trial. Best Experiment went to the students of Professor Sarah Gambito’s The Good Life, for their interpretation of a dialogue with the succulent plants they had nurtured over the course of the semester. Finally, Molly Horan’s class, Writing for Teens in an Adult World, took home the Audience Award for its rollicking tribute to the young adult fiction genre.

Though saddened that this would be her last Golden Gloves, senior Evgenia Mantika, FCLC ‘19, expressed her appreciation of how the event brought the creative writing community together.

“Golden Gloves reminds creative writing students of the incredible community they are a part of,” said Mantikas. “It is a chance for us to be inspired by our peers, whether it be by expressing our voices politically or by writing brilliant young adult fiction.”