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More than 40 years ago, Cecilia Woloch began writing poetry as a teenager. Now, a creative writing lecturer in the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, Woloch was recently awarded a National Endowment of the Arts Poetry Fellowship.Woloch applied for the fellowship several times before, and when she finally received the fellowship this fall, she said she was not expecting it.“To tell the truth, I sent the application and then promptly forgot about it — this is a survival tactic, because writers have to deal with a lot of rejections,” Woloch wrote in an e-mail. “I find it’s best to just send things out into the world and … be pleasantly surprised when a positive response comes back.”Margaret Russett, chair of the Department of English, said that Woloch’s fellowship is a great honor for the department.“We are thrilled. She really deserves it and she’s been a very productive and admired colleague for a very long time,” Russett said.Eligibility for the NEA fellowship depends on factors such as previous published work. Anyone who meets eligibility requirement can apply and have their work reviewed, said Jon Peede, NEA director of literature.“It is an anonymous review process,” Peede said. “Nothing is known, whether you’re a graduate student or you’re an endowed chair.”Woloch has been a full-time lecturer at USC since fall 2006 before she taught here as an adjunct professor.She teaches courses in poetry writing, emphasizing the creative work students produce letting them experiment with language and poetry.Woloch said one of her favorite courses to teach, The Writer in the Community (ENGL 404), allows her to take about a dozen USC students to neighborhood schools and train students to write poetry.“The results are amazing, and life-changing for everyone involved. I worked as a poet in schools, and created community poetry programs, for many years before coming to USC, so it’s great to have this opportunity to pass the torch to my undergraduates,” Woloch said.She also said the fellowship will allow her to take some time off from her job as a lecturer and continue on her current project.“The dollar amount is $25,000, but the opportunity and encouragement it provides are priceless,” Woloch said. “The main purpose of the fellowship is to give writers the time to write, the time to research their work and possibly travel to locations that are essential to their work.”Woloch said she has been creating a long work in prose that resembles a travel memoir, which attempts to piece together a complex family history rooted in Eastern Europe.“I’ve traveled regularly to that part of the world for the past decade, and the manuscript I’ve been working on is shaping us as a socio-political mystery, in addition to memoir and biography,” Woloch said.By this time next year, Woloch said she hopes to have the material for the first draft of her work, at which point she will need more time to analyze and shape it into a coherent piece.Woloch frequently wrote about family and friends, relationships and the connections people form with one another.“I’m fascinated with how close poetry can come to describing the mysteries of human life and with the intensity and music that poetry can make of language,” Woloch said. “Something magical can happen between words, and that magic can be transmitted when the words are exactly right.”
Dear Editor,Last year an email was sent from Basil Williams, Chairman of the PNC, to Amna Ally, Joseph Harmon, Winston Felix and Raphael Trotman. In that email, he reminded them of some decisions that were taken by the PNC’s Elections Committee in preparing for the next elections.In it he spoke about their throwing on some mega parties to attract young people. A lot of money will be spent to bring artistes from the Caribbean and further afield. He is, no doubt, working on the assumption that by doing these ‘feel good things’, they will be able to shore-up their flagging support.In fact, he was explicit. Their disrespect for their supporters knows no bound. It is rooted in their philosophy that, give them a sport and they will forget their own conditions.Note that they are planning ‘a Carnival’ in May for Independence. This is the plan kicking in. Foreign artistes and huge parties are being planned. The ‘oil’ money is being spent in advance.He also had some other measures to deceive the Guyanese people, including temporary removal of some taxes and relaxation of the 2 a.m. curfew, until after elections.So, if they can succeed in postponing the elections for two years, as was done in 1990, then, with oil money, they hope to intoxicate the country with parties. They believe that that would make their supporters forget the abominable performance of the regime and make them stay with this corrupt and incompetent regime.In passing, it is interesting to note the persons who the email was addressed to. Is this the rigging team?The first step in the rigging ‘process’ is to postpone the elections and to splurge. They hope that that would serve as the explanation for an APNU ‘victory’ if they succeed in implementing their scheme.However, they should put in their equation that the PPP/C is not in the mood for any postponement, they could be putting the country in a constitutional crisis.Secondly, the crude way that they used to rig ‘in’ the past may not be possible now. The PPP/C is going to work hard to block every loophole, to prevent rigging.The new measure that was used in 2015 was bogus statements by poll. It would be hard for them to repeat that stunt in the next elections.They are using ‘their influence’ in the judiciary to frustrate the hearing of the Elections Petition case. That would expose them and their plants operating in GECOM. This is disgraceful.The PPP/C is working to deal with all their shenanigans. It needs the support of all democratic and peace loving people to stop the riggers.Amna Ally’s call is just a ruse to implement their diabolic plan. Let us ensure that they don’t succeed, and in so doing win back democratic government.Sincerely,Donald RamotarFormer President
1 After we all had a laugh at his Villarreal unveiling, Roberto Soldado scored on his debut for the Spanish club.The striker made the move from Tottenham earlier in the transfer window and when meeting his new fans, failed to find any of them when kicking footballs into the stands.But on La Liga’s opening day, Soldado put his side ahead in their 1-1 draw with Real Betis. He spent two seasons at Spurs, but found goals hard to come by and claimed he lost his confidence during his stay.Check out the goal below. Video: Roberto Soldado scores on his Villarreal debut