2011 Stephen J. Meringoff Matching Grant for the ALSCW

/ /

Dear Members and Friends of the ALSCW,

Many of you may remember at last year’s ALSCW meeting at Princeton that President Greg Delanty announced that Stephen J. Meringoff of New York had promised us a $10,000 matching grant, contingent upon our raising the same sum from our membership. You all responded quickly and generously, and we more than raised the amount he asked of us. Mr. Meringoff was so impressed by this response that he matched it as well, and gave us considerably more besides.

As Greg announced at the Boston conference in October, Mr. Meringoff has issued the matching grant challenge again. I’m sure you know how valuable the ALSCW has been for you and your colleagues over the years, as a place where literary reading flourishes, where scholars from the Classics, from all periods and varieties of literature in English, from the Romance Languages, and from the Germanic and Slavic languages find common ground with poets and novelists, with writers and readers, with teachers, students, and professors, from around the world. The beauty, the insight into human things and into letters, and the joy of learning and of literary conversation we experienced last week at the Boston conference, are all too rare in the contemporary academic world, but the ALSCW always remains capable of reminding us why we sought to follow literary vocations.

In addition to our yearly conference, the ALSCW also thrice-yearly publishes Literary Imagination, a premiere journal of criticism, literary scholarship, poetry, and fiction. No periodical I can think of is both a journal of the arts and a journal of literary scholarship in quite the way Literary Imagination is; no periodical so well expresses why the practices of the literary arts and the practices of literary scholarship should go hand in hand.  The ALSCW also sponsors local meetings at Universities around the country, and has recently instituted the Stephen J. Meringoff award for the best essay by a secondary school student, to encourage serious literary study by young people.

We are profoundly grateful for your membership and support over the years. We think that the ALSCW is a great institution, and one that should continue to thrive over the years. Perhaps you can see your way clear to making a donation to help us reach the goal set by the Meringoff matching grant?

with all best wishes

John Burt
Professor of English
Brandeis University
President, Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers.