Chair's Message

Hello and happy holidays! I hope that you are enjoying this special time of year with family and close friends. It’s been a terrific fall semester here at the UK English Department, and I would like to take a moment and share some stories with you – here and via the web links below – on what’s been going on around Patterson Office Tower. 

In September, we were thrilled to partner with UK’s Gaines Center for the Humanities to bring 2016 Pulitzer Prize winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen to campus. This was our signature event in this year’s Visiting Writers Series. Before a packed house of 300 people from UK and the Lexington community, Viet gave a mesmerizing lecture that wove together his fiction and his experiences as a Vietnamese refugee. 

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s visit exemplifies the opportunities we make available for our students’ intellectual growth. Another major impetus right now is developing work-related internships that put the skills and knowledge students are learning in their classes to real use in the world.  We offer internships at the University Press of Kentucky, at local law firms, with local businesses, and at the public library, among others.  We are always looking to build more internship connections, so please reach out if you would like to get involved in this very meaningful way to help our students.

More personally, I want to invite you to get directly involved with your English Department and to support your alma mater in several ways. We’ve established the “Friends of English,” a core group of alumni and other friends who are interested in promoting our major and our department widely beyond the University. Our Friends both advocate for the English Department and help our students connect with internships and employers.  We also love to have alumni return to campus, meet with students, and talk to them about how their English experience has shaped their careers and lives.

Finally, I ask you to consider including the English Department in any holiday giving plans you may have. Financial support to our Development Fund allows us to support students with awards that recognize their achievements and help them to attain their goals, while a gift to our MFA Visiting Writers Fund allows us to bring exceptional authors to campus to enrich our students’ learning. 

Please contact me if you would like to discuss how to get involved, and I hope you are able to join us for one or more of our many events this spring.  

Jeff Clymer
Professor and Chair
Department of English

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