2023 Literature Publications and Grants

*Indicates student co-author.

Cole, Henri. “Autumn Fern.” Poem. The New Yorker, December 4, 2023.

Abstract: This poem is an homage to the American poet James Merrill and recounts the planting of an autumn fern on his grave in Stonington, Connecticut.

Cole, Henri. “Chat Assis.” Poem. The New Criterion, vol. 41, no 7, 2023, pp. 36.

Abstract: I wrote this poem after locking eyes with a pregnant, feral cat on the steps of a great mosque.

Cole, Henri. “ELF-STORAGE.” Poem. The New Republic, May 18, 2023.

Abstract: This is a lightly humorous poem born from a misspelling on a warehouse.

Cole, Henri. Gravity and Center, Selected Sonnets, 1994-2022. Book of Poems. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2023.

Abstract: The poems collected in 'Gravity and Center' represent thirty years of work in the sonnet form. As I write in the afterword: I believe a poem is a sonnet if it behaves like one, and this doesn't mean rhyming iambic pentameter lines. More important is the psychological dimension, the little fractures and leaps and resolutions the poem enacts.

Cole, Henri. Blizzard. Translated into German by Henning Ahrens. Book of Poems. Hanser Verlag, 2023.

Abstract: 'Over the last fifteen years ... Cole has invented and mastered his own version of the sonnet, a compact lyric utterance that drills down on a single experience, moment, or startled vision, and surprises with every line ... It's true poetry, the thing we mean by the word.' -- NPR

Cole, Henri. “Komorebi.” Poem. The New Yorker, March 27, 2023

Abstract: This is a gentle meditation on life and being that found its genesis in the Japanese word for light filtering through trees.

Cole, Henri. “107 Water Street.” Poem. Poetry Magazine, vol. 222, no. 5, 2023.

Abstract: This poem was written after spending a month in American poet James Merrill's seashore home.

Cole, Henri. “Sow with Piglets.” Poem. The Threepenny Review, issue 173, 2023.

Abstract: This is a poem set in a plywood shed during an evening visit w/ a sow and her adorable piglets.

Cole, Henri. “Strength and Feeling in Motion: A Conversation with Henri Cole.” Interviewed by Janet Rodriguez. The Rumpus, March 29, 2023. 

Abstract: This interview was occasioned by the publication of my 11th book of poems. I think I manage to say some good things.

Cole, Henri. “Sunflower.” Poem. American Wildflowers: A Literary Field Guide, edited by Susan Barba, illustrations by Leanne Shapton. Abrams Books, 2022. [Published in 2022 but not previously celebrated]

Abstract: This poem is a sorrowful elegy for my mother.

Glück, Louise. “The Art of Poetry, #115, Louise Glück.” Interviewed by Henri Cole. The Paris Review, issue 246, 2023.

Abstract: This in-depth interview with the late Nobel laureate Louise Glück is part of the legendary and extensive interviewing project of The Paris Review.

Farrell, John. The Utopian Dilemma in the Western Political Imagination. Routledge, 2023.

Abstract: In this volume, John Farrell shows that political utopias—societies with laws and customs designed to short-circuit the foibles of human nature for the benefit of our collective existence—have a perennial opponent, the honor-based culture of aristocracy that dominated most of the world from ancient times into early modernity and whose status-based competitive psychology persists to the present day. While utopias aim at equality, the heroic imperative defends the need for personal and collective dignity. It asks the utopian, Do we really want to live in a world without struggle, without heroes, and without the stories they create? Because the utopian dilemma pits essential values against each other—equity versus freedom, dignity versus justice—few who confront it can simply take sides. Rather, the dilemma itself has been a generative stimulus for classic authors from Plato and Thomas More to George Orwell and Aldous Huxley. Farrell follows their struggles with the utopian dilemma and with each other, providing a deepened understanding of the moral and emotional dynamics of the western political imagination.

Ketels, Ellen. “ClergyChaucer Encyclopedia, edited by Richard Newhauser, Vincent Gillespie, Jessica Rosenfeld, and Katie Walter. Wiley, 2023, pp. 430-431.

Ketels, Ellen. “CountrysideChaucer Encyclopedia, edited by Richard Newhauser, Vincent Gillespie, Jessica Rosenfeld, and Katie Walter. Wiley, 2023, pp. 490-492.

Ketels, Ellen. “Mannyng, RobertChaucer Encyclopedia, edited by Richard Newhauser, Vincent Gillespie, Jessica Rosenfeld, and Katie Walter. Wiley, 2023, pp. 1146-1147.

Ketels, Ellen. “Mirk, JohnChaucer Encyclopedia, edited by Richard Newhauser, Vincent Gillespie, Jessica Rosenfeld, and Katie Walter. Wiley, 2023, pp. 1236-1237.

Ketels, Ellen. “Parson, TheChaucer Encyclopedia, edited by Richard Newhauser, Vincent Gillespie, Jessica Rosenfeld, and Katie Walter. Wiley, 2023, pp. 1382-1385.

Ketels, Ellen. Review of The Medieval Hospital: Literary Culture and Community in England 1350-1550, by Nicole Rice. Studies in the Age of Chaucer, vol 45, 2023, pp. 400-404.

Abstract: This is a review of Nicole Rice's massive new book on the “literary-cultural function” of the medieval hospital, a surprisingly robust and prolific engine of textual production and practice (4). Above and beyond their medical and spiritual functions, hospitals were dynamic laboratories for social and cultural work, and they emerge in this new literary history as the producers, sponsors, and archives of numerous genres. Looking at three hospitals in three major cites – St. Leonard’s, York; St. Bartholomew’s, London; and St. Mark’s, Bristol – Rice explores the rich, interconnected histories of hospital foundation and city formation, focusing in particular on their texts and reading communities, both of which both enabled the hospitals to reframe and reinvent themselves during the turbulent years of the Dissolution.

Ketels, Ellen. “Thinking with the Font: Ritual and Drama.” The Baptismal Font Canopy of St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich, edited by Amy Gillette and Zachary Stewart. Brill, 2023, pp 272-287.

Abstract: Beyond generating Christians, the font was good for thinking with. A monument that drew both the eye and the intellect, the font called up a wide range of devotional associations. It is impossible to know for certain what the parishioners of St. Peter Mancroft thought about when they encountered the canopied font at the west end of their church. I contend, however, that East Anglian drama, when explored in the context of late medieval ritual practice and vernacular instruction, offers key insight into the way Norfolk laypeople may have conceptualized the form and matter of baptism. I look in particular at the N-Town Plays, a composite collection of biblical plays assembled into a more conventional-seeming Creation-to-Doom cycle by a scribe-compiler in about 1468. The dialect of the plays has been identified as East Anglian but, unlike the other extant cycles, N-Town seems to have been intended for touring rather than for performance in a particular city, the N in its title likely standing for Nomen - as in 'insert relevant city name here.' Although among Middle English cycle plays N-Town is widely regarded as the most challenging to interpret, its codicological complexities should not deter us from examining this East Anglian cycle in connection with late medieval religious practice at St. Peter Mancroft. As I argue, the N-Town Baptism of Christ explores the biblical history of the sacrament in ways that illuminate its ritual and, more broadly, its contemplative significance for laity in the fifteenth century.

Ketels, Ellen “What Christ Might Say: Adapting the Last Judgment in the Prick of Conscience and Humbert’s De Dono Timoris.” New Medieval Literatures, vol. 23, 2023, pp. 44-65.

Abstract: In this article about the 14th-century poem _The Prick of Conscience_, I explore the poem's symbolic afterlife landscapes, looking in particular at the way it promises the reader special access to sacred sites, as surveyed by Christ himself. When Christ finally appears in the east in the Valley of Jehosaphat to sit in Judgment, our poet explains, he will pause for a moment and, from his vantage point in the sky, reflect on the sites visible beneath him. The Last Judgment would have been familiar to the poem's readers, but the Conscience-poet makes it newly dynamic by dramatizing Christ's personal reflection on the suffering he endured in order to make human salvation possible; this reflection occasions an autobiographical survey of the key sites of the Passion. In just 39 lines, a mere fraction of the poem, the Conscience-poet breathes new life into a commonplace scene by imagining what Christ might say about the places where he lived and died. Although brief, the passage nevertheless marks the longest, most detailed Middle English discussion of Last Judgment, including what will take place and where. Its source, identified long ago but never analyzed, is the Latin De Dono Timoris of Humbert of Romans (c. 1263-77). Despite the fact that much remains unknownv about the Prick of Conscience, including the identity of its author, the appearance of Humbert's passage offers a window onto the circulation and transmission of Dominican writings in late medieval England, particularly how these texts were selectively adapted for new audiences. As I argue, the Conscience-poet reframes the scene as a future reward, contingent upon salvation; curious readers get a glimpse of the end, but only those who turn their attention to living piously will be rewarded in full at Last Judgment.

Morrison, James. “Elaine May’s Awkward Age.” Women and the New Hollywood: Gender, Creative Labor, and 1970s American Cinema, edited by Aaron Hunter and Martha Shearer. Rutgers University Press, 2023, pp. 113-126.

Abstract: An article on Elaine May's three Hollywood films of the 1970s - three of only eight films total directed by women in that decade. The article places May's work in the context of the New Hollywood cinema.

Morrison, James. “Dreyer’s Witches.” Raritan, vol. 43, issue 1, 2023, pp. 83-105.

Abstract: A critical article on the representation of women in the work of Carl Th. Dreyer, one of the key figures in world cinema history. This piece appears in RARITAN, perhaps the most prestigious literary publication still extant in the U.S.

Morrison, James. “‘One Beautiful Thing That’s Mine’: Portrait of Jason and the New American Cinema.” Screening American Independent Film, edited by Wyatt Phillips and Justin Wyatt. Routledge, 2023, pp. 113-121.

Abstract: An article on PORTRAIT OF JASON, a landmark documentary about a gay Black man living in New York City in 1967. The article places the film in the contexts of documentary traditions and those of the New American Cinema, the most important avant-garde movement in the US in the 1960s.

External Grant: Omoto, Allen, Principle Investigator. Boyle, Nigel and Derik Smith, Co-Investigators. Justice Education Initiative, Mellon Foundation Grant 2023-2026, $1,100,000.

Abstract: This renewal grant has two main goals and will be accomplished through several programmatic activities:

  1. To establish a sustainable Justice Education Center (JEC) that will oversee the justice education major at Pitzer College, the inside-outside education program, and foster Claremont faculty and student development and programs. The JEC will expand educational research and development opportunities for faculty, students, and formerly incarcerated students and alumni. This JEC will serve all the Claremont Colleges and will seek to include incarcerated, or formerly incarcerated people in its programming and activities (as students, interns, research assistants, etc.).
  2. To continue to advance a College Pathways Initiative (CPI) at CRC prison in Norco, including to facilitate participation by other higher education institutions in offering coordinated or separate classes and degrees. Building on Pitzer’s first two BA cohorts of matriculated students at CRC prison, this initiative would be jointly planned with Norco College, and potentially CSUSB, and other regional colleges and universities.