Lannan Members


carolynforcheCarolyn Forché, Director

Carolyn Forché is the author of four books of poetry: Gathering The Tribes, which received the Yale Younger Poets Award, The Country Between Us, chosen as the Lamont Selection of the Academy of American Poets, The Angel of History, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and Blue Hour, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She compiled and edited Against Forgetting: Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness (1993). She has been a human rights activist for thirty years. A former Lannan Visiting Professor of Poetry, Forché is Professor of English and Director of Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown University.


Aminatta FornaAminatta Forna, Lannan Foundation Chair of Poetics

Aminatta Forna is a novelist, memoirist and essayist. She was born in Scotland and raised between Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom. Her novels are The Hired Man, The Memory of Love and Ancestor Stone. In 2002 she published a memoir of her dissident father and Sierra Leone, The Devil that Danced on the Water. All her books have won or been nominated for awards. Aminatta held the post of Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and was Sterling Brown Distinguished Visiting Professor at Williams College, MA, in 2011 and 2013. She is the current Lannan Foundation Chair of Poetics.


PATRICIA GUZMAN, Program Coordinator

Patricia Guzman is the Program Coordinator at Lannan Center. Born and raised in California, she attended UCLA where she received a BA in English Creative Writing. She then attended The New School in New York City where she earned an MFA in Poetry. Before coming to Lannan Center, Patricia worked at the Academy of American Poets. Her poems have appeared in The Adirondack ReviewThe Best American Poetry BlogWhite Stag, and elsewhere.



Jewel Pereyra is a researcher and writer originally from San Diego, California. She graduated from the University of California–Los Angeles with majors in American Literatures and Cultures and Women’s Studies. Her criticism appears in The Columbia Journal of Literary Criticism, UC Berkeley’s Comparative Literature Undergraduate Journal, and The California Journal of Women Writers, and her poems have been featured in Vagabond: A Multilingual Literary Journal and the Pomona Valley Review. She currently lives in Washington, DC.



John James earned his BA Summa Cum Laude from Bellarmine University, where his honors thesis on William Faulkner received the school’s Outstanding Thesis Award. In 2008, he received a fellowship from the English Speaking Union to study at Oxford University, and in 2011, he completed an MFA in poetry at Columbia University. His chapbook, Chthonic, won the 2014 CutBank Chapbook Competition, and his poems and essays appear in Boston ReviewThe Kenyon ReviewGulf CoastColorado ReviewBest New Poets 2013, and elsewhere. His interests include privacy and surveillance, ecopoetics, critical theory, and the elegy.


Lannan Committee Members

David GewanterDavid Gewanter

The late Thom Gunn has praised Gewanter for “offering a sense of obstacles, and of obstacles not overcome but ridden and thus dealt with…” and critic Sandra M. Gilbert declared his poetry “compellingly and brilliantly unnerving.” His work includes The Sleep of Reason and In The Belly, both published by the University of Chicago Press; and his most recent book of poems, War Bird, which takes on wartime America. He is a Professor of English at Georgetown University and a former Director of Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice.


Coilin ParsonsCóilín Parsons

Parsons’ research interests include Irish literature, global modernisms, theories of geography and space, cartography, and postcolonial literature and theory. He is also interested in archival research in literature, and theories and histories of colonial archives. His book, The Ordnance Survey and Modern Irish Literature, is forthcoming (April 2016) from Oxford University Press, while an edited volume, Relocations: Reading Culture in South Africa, is forthcoming (November 2015) from the University of Cape Town Press. A second book project, “Telescopic Modernism: The Novel and the Planet,” looks at how modernist writers from the anglophone world engage with the discourse and insights of astronomy in their attempts to figure the planet. Before coming to Georgetown in 2012, he taught at the University of Cape Town and at Columbia University.

mcmorrisMark McMorris

Mark McMorris has been a member of the Georgetown English Department since 1997. His research and teaching interests include 20th century poetry in English; postcolonial literature and theory; contemporary poetry; and poetry writing. A poet and critic, his work appears widely in periodicals and anthologies in the United States, and he is the author most recently of Entrepôt (2010), a book of poetry, and The Café at Light (2004), a book of lyric dialogue, prose, and verse. He was the Director of the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown from 2006-2009, and before that of Lannan Literary Programs, 1999-2003 and 2004-2005. Before coming to Georgetown, he lived for many years in Providence, RI, where he completed his graduate studies in comparative literature at Brown University and received an informal education in contemporary U.S. and French experimental writing. In 2005, he was the Roberta C. Holloway Visiting Professor of Poetry at the University of California, Berkeley.

Duncan WuDuncan Wu

Duncan Wu has been a Professor of English Literature at the Universities of Glasgow and Oxford, is a former Fellow of St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He has written extensively on the poetry and prose of the Romantic period and reviews film for Times Higher Education. He is currently working with Carolyn Forché on a sequel to her anthology Against Forgetting: Poetry of Witness, to be published by Norton in 2013.


Past Committee Members

Fanny HoweFanny Howe

Fanny Howe held the Lannan Chair in Poetry at Georgetown University for 2010-2012. Irish-American poet, novelist and essayist, she is among the most widely read of experimental writers. Howe is the author of more than twenty books and the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2009 Ruth Lilly Prize from the Academy of American Poets and the 2001 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. She has also won awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Poetry Foundation, the California Council for the Arts, and the Village Voice, as well as fellowships from the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe. Her recent works include Lyrics: The Poems, and two prose collections, The Winter Sun: Notes on a Vocation and The Wedding Dress: Meditations on Word and Life.

Sherry LinkonSherry Linkon

Sherry Lee Linkon is a Professor of English and Director of the Writing Program at Georgetown University. From 1997 to 2012, she was Co-Director of the Center for Working-Class Studies at Youngstown State University. With John Russo, she co-authored Steeltown USA: Work and Memory in Youngstown (Kansas, 2002) and co-edited New Working-Class Studies (Cornell, 2005). In addition to her work on deindustrialization and working-class culture, Linkon does research on student learning in the humanities and on social class in U.S. higher education. She was the founding President of the Working-Class Studies Association, and she edits a weekly blog, Working-Class Perspectives.

Patricia O'ConnorPatricia O’Connor

Patricia E. O’Connor is a sociolinguist and Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University. Her work in prisons, jails, and drug treatment centers situate her narrative research. Author of Speaking of Crime (2000), co-author of Literacy Behind Bars (1994), co-editor of Reflections special issue on Prison Literacies (2004), editor of “Discourse and Violence” volume of Discourse and Society (1995), she also contributed to Discourse and Silencing (Thiesmeyer, ed. 2003) and Critical Discourse Analysis: Theory and Interdisciplinarity (Wodak, ed. 2003). O’Connor teaches courses in Humanities and Writing; Critical methods: Narratology; Persuasive Writing; Narratives of Violence; Narratives of Migration; Prison Literature; Working Class Literature; and Appalachian Literature. With the Lannan Center, O’Connor is particularly interested in outreach to disadvantaged communities and to collaborating with Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar where she has taught a number of years.

Nathan HensleyNathan Hensley

Nathan K. Hensley works on nineteenth-century British literature (fiction, poetry, and political writing), critical theory, and the novel. His other interests include Anglophone modernism and the cultures of globalization. His current book project, “Forms of Empire: The Poetics of Victorian Sovereignty,” explores how literary writers of the Victorian period expanded the capacities of their medium to account for the ongoing violence of liberal modernity.


Samantha PintoSamantha Pinto

Samantha Pinto is an Assistant Professor of English at Georgetown University, where she teaches courses on African, African Diaspora, and Postcolonial Literature and Women’s & Gender Studies. She is the author of Difficult Diasporas, a book on literary aesthetics, diaspora studies, and feminist thought (Forthcoming, NYU Press, 2013). She is currently working on a second book project on African Diaspora celebrity and human rights.


Andrew RubinAndrew Rubin

Andrew N. Rubin is an Assistant Professor of English at Georgetown University. He is the author of Archives of Authority: Empire, Culture, and the Cold War (Princeton University Press, 2012), and the co-editor of both Adorno: A Critical Reader and The Edward Said Reader. He has written on the subject of twentieth century culture and politics for magazines and journals including The South Atlantic Quarterly, Alif: A Journal of Comparative Poetics, The Journal of Palestine Studies, The Nation magazine, The New Statesman and al-Ahram. He is currently completing a manuscript entitled Exiled in America: José Marti, Theodor Adorno, C.L.R. James, and Edward W. Said.

Henry Schwarz

Henry Schwarz has been a professor of English literature at Georgetown University since 1991. His fields of teaching and research include colonial and postcolonial world cultures, especially India, and literary theory and cultural studies. He has authored and edited eight academic books; his most recent publication is Constructing the Criminal Tribe in Colonial India: Acting Like a Thief (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). He was a founding member and Director of the Program on Justice and Peace at Georgetown from 1999 – 2007, and has directed two Lannan Symposia at Georgetown: Writers, Masses, Multitudes in 2007, and Cry Havoc! Poetry of War and Remembrance, 1968 – 2008 in 2009. He is currently General Editor of the 3 Vol. Blackwell Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies due out in 2012.