Former ALSCW President Greg Delanty Awarded Inaugural David Ferry and Ellen LaForge Poetry Prize

Poet Greg Delanty has been named the first recipient of the David Ferry and Ellen LaForge Poetry Prize. The prize was established at Suffolk University through the generosity of the Ellen LaForge Memorial Foundation. It honors Ellen LaForge, a lifelong avid poetry lover and supporter, and poet and translator David Ferry. The prize, along with a $2,000 honorarium, is awarded to an accomplished poet who has also published books of translation.

Ferry — a Distinguished Visiting Poet at Suffolk for over a decade and winner of the National Book Award — participated in the ceremony, praising Delanty for the “immediacy of his language.”

ALSCW Meringoff Writing Award Winners

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2020 Meringoff Writing Awards! The awards include a prize of $3,500 each and publication in Literary Matters. The Meringoff Writing Awards are given annually in the categories of poetry, fiction, and  creative nonfiction.

1) Non-Fiction: Oliver Spivey for “’The Secret Rhythm of Chance’: The Nabokovian Vision of Tragedy in Pale Fire”

In Memoriam, Denis Donoghue

Denis Donoghue, who passed away on April 6th at the age of 92, played an important role in the early years of the ALSCW, known back then as the ALSC. Rosanna Warren remembers him: “He was a giant in every respect—a looming figure intellectually and physically. Streams of eloquence poured from his mouth when he spoke, perfectly formed periodic sentences, with precise and lengthy quotations from poetry and prose.” If there is a memory here of Yeats’s memory of Wilde (“I never before heard a man talking with perfect sentences…”), Denis would have appreciated it. ALSCW member Anthony Domestico has written a fine tribute at Commonweal. The link is here:

In Memoriam, Morris Dickstein

We mourn the passing of Morris Dickstein. Morris served as president of the ALSCW in 2007 and was a cherished friend of many in our organization. His books include Gates of Eden, Double Agent, Leopards in the TempleDancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression, and a memoir, Why Not Say What Happened: A Sentimental Education. He was a distinguished and beloved teacher, and an important member of the ALSCW for many years. He will be missed. Below is an obituary by his daughter, Rachel.

Meringoff Writing Awards

The Meringoff Writing Awards have deadlines of February 1, 2021. Everyone who enters the Meringoff Writing Awards competition must be a member of the ALSCW or sponsored by a member. Membership information is available on the ALSCW website ( Only previously unpublished submissions are accepted; if a submission is accepted by another journal, please inform us immediately by e-mailing

Meringoff Writing Awards (February 1st deadline)

An incursion into the oppressor’s mind that led to writing a novel-in-verse

Carmen Bugan discusses working with Cold War surveillance family archives and the process of creating literary characters from secret police transcripts, in order to understand the narrative of oppression. In the course of locating an appropriate form which could transform historical documents and personal experience into literature, deeper questions about what constitutes literary language surfaced, both as challenges and solutions to understanding the language we use when addressing historical trauma.Click here to read.

ALSCW Zoom Series: American Classics, American Crisis

We are delighted to invite you to the first installment of the ALSCW’s fall Zoom series. We are deeply grateful to our participants and to all of you for your support of the ALSCW (information on memberships and renewals can be found at  The panelists will take questions from the audience during the last twenty minutes of our session.  Please join our Zoom seminar through this link: Zoom Seminar Link (Click Here)

September 9th, 6 pm to 7:15 pm EST: “American Classics, American Crisis”

ALSCW Fall Zoom Series

We are delighted to announce the ALSCW’s fall Zoom series. As many of you know, the 25th annual conference of the ALSCW, which was scheduled at Yale University in October, was canceled because of the pandemic.  Our Zoom series in the fall of 2020 and in the spring of 2021 will help to keep our membership connected and to advance our organization’s mission to advance the study and creation of literature.  We are deeply grateful to our participants—it’s an incredibly talented lineup—and to all of you for your support of the ALSCW (information on memberships and renewals can be found at  We will send out a link a week to ten days before each event.

2020 ALSCW Annual Conference Postponed

We have discussed the 2020 annual conference, scheduled at Yale University from October 22-25, with the ALSCW Executive Committee and the Conference Committee, and regret to announce that we are postponing it for a year. We have asked the session leaders for the Yale conference if they could commit to October of 2021, and are pleased and grateful that many already have responded affirmatively. If you have submitted a proposal for the conference, we will keep it on hand for 2021. We plan to circulate the Call for Papers for the 2021 annual conference in early February, and hope to see you in New Haven in October of 2021 (the precise dates TBA).

Winners of the 2019 ALSCW Meringoff Writing Awards

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2019 ALSCW Meringoff Writing Awards!

Poetry: George David Clark, ‘Song of the Genie,’ ‘The Latch,’ and ‘Northern Lake”; Katie Peterson, “The Web”

George David Clark’s Reveille received the 2015 Miller Williams Prize and his recent poems can be found in AGNIThe Georgia ReviewThe Gettysburg ReviewEcotonePoetry NorthwestThe Southern Review, and elsewhere. His work has won awards from such journals as Southern Poetry ReviewNarrative Magazine, and Pleiades, and his honors include the Walter E. Dakin Fellowship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Lily Postdoctoral Fellowship from Valparaiso University, and the Olive B. O’Connor Fellowship from Colgate University. The editor of 32 Poems, he teaches creative writing at Washington & Jefferson College and lives in western Pennsylvania with his wife and their four young children.