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Emerson Faculty Win Praise for 2016 Publications

Emerson College faculty have published a wide range of books this year, from poetry collections and scholarly works to an industry how-to and even a children’s book.

Here’s a sampling of the work coming out of Emerson:

Earlier this year, Professor Daniel Tobin of the Writing, Literature and Publishing (WLP) Department, published a book-length poem, From Nothing (Four Way Books), a meditation on the life of Belgian physicist and priest Georges Lemaitre, known as the “father of the Big Bang.”

Library Journal said of the book, “His poems resemble vignettes or short stories, each creating a unique image and placing the reader squarely in that image, in that vision…Tobin’s world is, indeed, made of the marvels and the terrors.”

The book also got a boost from Visual and Media Arts (VMA) Associate Professor Harlan Bosmajian, who made a four-minute “trailer” for From Nothing, with help from Will Rogan, MFA ’13, of the Information Technology Department, who edited the film.

Mneesha Gellman, assistant professor in the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies, published Democratization and Memories of Violence: Ethnic minority rights movements in Mexico, Turkey, and El Salvador (Routledge) earlier this semester. The book details how ethnic minorities use memories of state violence to compel governments to cooperate with their agendas.

In a review, Vassar College Political Science Professor Katherine Hite wrote, “Gellman’s [book] brilliantly moves among social movement theory, memory studies, and the strictures of political science to demonstrate how marginalized communities around the world do ‘shaming and claiming’ so states recognize and at times [heed] their demands.”

In October, the Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series published two collections by WLP Professor John Skoyles: Inside Job, a book of new work, and Suddenly, It’s Evening: Selected Poems.

According to the publisher, “The poems in Inside Job range from intensely autobiographical lyrics to brief historical portraits of literary figures like Grace Paley and Jorge Luis Borges, to obituaries of idiosyncratic characters such as heavyweight boxing contenders and inventors of candy bars.” Harvard Review wrote, “Skoyles scrapes at the surface of everyday things and finds a wonderful strangeness just underneath.”

Suddenly, It’s Evening takes poems from Skoyles’s previous four collections; its title is from Italian poet Salvatore Quasimodo and “alludes to the temporal quality of existence, how one moves from sunlight to twilight in the course of a lifetime,” the publisher wrote. Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Alan Dugan called Skoyles’s poems “clear-eyed but passionate.”

WLP Associate Professor Jabari Asim published his eighth children’s book, Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis (Nancy Paulsen Books) in October. The picture book, illustrated by Caldecott Honor–winner E.B. White, tells the story of the early years of the Civil Rights leader and Georgia congressman.

Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, called the book “a moving portrait of the power of small actions and ‘learn[ing] to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves.’” Preaching to the Chickens also landed on the New York Times’ Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2016 list last month.

VMA Associate Professor Diane Lake wrote The Screenwriter’s Path: From Idea to Script to Sale (Routledge), which was released in October. The book is intended as both a reference manual and a step-by-step guide to getting the reader’s idea to the screen. According to the publisher, it’s earned praise from film faculty around the world, as well as Hollywood insiders.

“Rather than hawking trite formulas, this award-winning screenwriter provides helpful methods — including superb exercises — that are both simple and flexible, and that free the aspiring scripter to find her or his own special voice,” wrote Learning to Drive and 9 1/2 Weeks screenwriter Sarah Kernochan in a review. 

Lake also maintains a companion blog on her website, where she dispenses advice for screenwriters.

Journalism Professor Manny Paraschos’s digital book, The Boston Journalism Trail: Where American Journalism Started, was released November 13 on iTunes. The iBook “traces the bond between American journalism and Boston, where the first…American newspapers were published and where women and minorities also made journalism history,” according to the book’s description. The book springs from a website of the same name that Paraschos has created.

Did you have a book published too? We want to hear about it! Email

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