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English Department Events​

Raquel Salas Rivera Reading ​Black and white photo of Raquel Salas Rivera
Feb. 17, 2022
Virtual Reading
11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Raquel Salas Rivera is a Puerto Rican poet, translator, and editor. His honors include being named the 2018-19 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia and receiving the New Voices Award from Puerto Rico's Festival de la Palabra. He is the author of five full-length poetry books. His third book, lo terciario/ the tertiary won the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry and was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award. His fourth book, while they sleep (under the bed is another country), was longlisted for the 2020 Pen America Open Book Award and was a finalist for CLMP's 2020 Firecracker Award. His fifth book, x/ex/exis: poemas para la nación/ poems for the nation, won the inaugural Ambroggio Prize. antes que isla es volcán/before island is volcano, his sixth book, is an imaginative leap into Puerto Rico's decolonial future and is forthcoming from Beacon Press in 2022. Thanks to a 2021 National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship, he is translating the poetry of his grandfather, Sotero Rivera Avilés. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania and writes and teaches in Puerto Rico. Alongside the Colectivo and the University of Houston's USLDH team, and with a three-year grant from the Mellon Foundation, he serves as investigator and head translator for El proyecto de la literatura puertorriqueña/ The Puerto Rican Literature Project, a free, bilingual, user-friendly and open access digital portal that users within and outside academia can use to learn about and teach Puerto Rican poetry.​  Sponsored by the Cultural Enrichment Center, the Department of English and the Center for Latino Studies


blue background with thick and thin curving black lines Creative Writing Faculty Reading​​
March 8, 2022
TDECU Tour Room, 4 p.m.

Creative writing faculty: Jane Creighton, Lau Cesarco Eglin and Steven Wolfe​​. ​Sponsored by the Department of English and the Cultural Enrichment Center.

blue background with thick and thin curving black lines Creative Writing Faculty Reading​​
March 30, 2022
TDECU Tour Room, 4 p.m.

Creative writing faculty: Anthony Sutton, Daniel Peña, Stalina Villarreal​​. ​Sponsored by the Department of English and the Cultural Enrichment Center.

UHD ALumn Ana Laurel The Art of Advocacy​: A Creative Career, Ana Laurel UHD Alum​
April 11, 2022
A629, 2:30 p.m.

Ms. Laurel is a UHD alum with a B.A. in English, a staff attorney at Texas Rio Grande Aide and Equal Justice Works' Disaster Recovery Legal Corps Fellow. ​Sponsored by the Department of English and the Cultural Enrichment Center.


Mike Hilbig sitting at a table smiling wearing a hat Creative Writing Faculty Reading and Book Signing
April 18, 2022
TDECU Tour Room
2:30 p.m.

Mike Hilbig will do a reading and signing of his book "Judgement Day and Other White Lies."


Faculty & Student News​​​

Dr. Godwin Agboka and Dr. Natalia Matveeva published "The Citizenship and Advocacy in Technical Communication"

Dr. Mike Duncan is published in the Chronicle of Higher Education on the problems of anonymous peer reviewing.

Daniel Peña Furthers Creative Writing Program's Legacy

BA in English graduate Maritsa Leyva Martinez is recognized for her work as a community writer as she completes an MFA in Creative Writing at Arizona State University.



Photograph of English Professor, Dr. Sandra Dahlberg

Dr. Sandra Dahlberg

For 20 years, Dr. Sandra Dahlberg has served as a professor of English at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD). Entering college as a 30-year-old freshman and single parent, Dahlberg worked her way through college and finally arrived at UHD in 1997.

Dahlberg relates to UHD’s unique student body and feels that the wide range of ages and lifestyles add to the UHD experience. In addition to teaching, Dahlberg serves on UHD’s Faculty Senate and mentors students. She also is engaged in groundbreaking research that will contribute to the timeline of events for historians of early America and Britain.

As a self-proclaimed “Americanist,” Dahlberg has spent much of her academic career researching the early American colonies, studying topics such as America’s first settlers, indentured servants, settlers’ first interactions with Native Americans. Additionally, she has authored scholarly articles covering social class and poverty.

While researching the Frethorne piece at The British Library in London, Dahlberg came into contact with microfilm containing what she thought was a travel diary written by a man named Richard Traunter as he traveled through the Carolina-Virginia Piedmont area. The dates of the manuscript were outside of the time period she usually works in, but her interest was piqued. “When I found it, I thought that it was going to be just about this guy doing this backwoods trek,” she said. “I thought this is cool. And as I got into it, I found out that it’s more than that.” After transcribing the piece, Dahlberg realized that this document would be integral in clarifying the timeline of what went on in the Carolinas in the late 1600s and early 1700s. It was written in 1698—two years before the known benchmark document we use for understanding the Carolinas. According to Dahlberg’s research, Traunter was sent by the Board of Trade in London to search for silver and the manuscript shows connections with John Locke, Isaac Newton and Charles Montague. “A lot of the work that I’ve done has dealt with the interaction between native people and Europeans,” she said. “So, Traunter was interesting because he represented that element of my research.”

According to his diary, Traunter was connected to major historical figures across the Atlantic, Dahlberg said. Likewise, it references two of the only recorded Native Americans from this time period. Dahlberg tracked the Traunter manuscript to the Virginia Historical Society, which she worked with to transcribe the actual documents.

“For the people who research this time period, it’s going to have a huge effect,” she said. “We are able to look at things like where different native people were living; the conditions that they were living in; and how the small pox epidemic affected them.” According to Dahlberg, these facts are important because the small amount of available records didn’t keep track of this marginalized group of people as individuals. Her work will help to paint a clearer picture of these first interactions during the late 1600s.

Dahlberg uses many methods to conduct her research and is sharing it with UHD. Currently, she is teaching the English course, “Literature Culture of America Before 1800,” in which students work and edit some of the primary documents that have been helpful to her in the Richard Traunter research. Her students are gaining skills that will be valuable to them in their own careers.

(From UHD's Skyline written by Gator Correspondent Cymone Caldwell, UHD Honors Program student majoring in English literature)



Last updated 4/25/2022 4:00 AM