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Writer and Composer

Writers and Composers Make Beautiful Music

July 10, 2014

“Writer and Composer” is a unique interdisciplinary collaboration that draws students from three graduate-level classes offered through USC Dornsife and USC Thornton School of Music. Student writers, vocalists and…

Thoreau Prize winner T.C. Boyle, shown here at his Santa Barbara home, said he is pleased to receive the Thoreau Award recognizing the environmental themes running through his work. "It’s nice to know that somebody’s listening," he says. Photo by Philip Channing.

T.C. Boyle to Receive Thoreau Prize

April 28, 2014

T.C. Boyle, USC Writer in Residence and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at USC Dornsife, has won a top prize for his exceptional talents in nature writing. PEN New England will present this year’s Henry…

Humanities professors Joseph Boone, Macarena Gómez-Barris, María-Elena Martínez and James McHugh were awarded fellowships for work in the areas of Melville's literature, enlightenment thoughts on race and sex, the effects of eco-tourism in Ecuador and the history of alcohol in India. Illustration by Letty Avila.

From Melville to Medieval India

April 3, 2014

Four USC Dornsife professors have been selected for yearlong research or writing fellowships that will take them as far as India and Italy. Their research topics won over hundreds or, in some cases, thousands of applications…

USC Dornsife's Percival Everett wins a $25,000 National Endowment for the Arts creative writing grant, which he will use to fund his research in the Mediterranean for his next book. Photo by Philip Channing.

Percival Everett Awarded NEA Grant

January 7, 2014

Percival Everett, Distinguished Professor of English at USC Dornsife, has been awarded a 2014 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) creative writing fellowship. Everett is one of 38 authors, including nine Californians,…

University Professor Leo Braudy spent his teen years nurtured by B-movies, comic books and rock 'n' roll. He writes about his experiences in 1950s Philadelphia in his new memoir <em>Trying to Be Cool</em>. Portrait by Philip Channing.

One Cool Cat

December 13, 2013

As a teenager growing up in 1950s Philadelphia, Leo Braudy’s free time revolved around hanging out with friends at the local soda shop, listening to rock ‘n’ roll, watching horror films and thinking about…

Romanticizing the violence of the 19th century American frontiersman as a route to individual freedom is dangerous, USC Dornsife doctoral student Alex Young warns in a prize-winning paper. Doing so can serve as a justification for violent and racist politics, he said.

A New Frontier

December 13, 2013

In Quentin Tarantino’s blood-spattered film Django Unchained, set in pre-Civil War America, the eponymous hero is a black slave who has suffered brutal treatment at the hands of his murderous former owners, the Brittle…

The latest collection of poems by award-winning poet Mark Irwin, associate professor in the Ph.D. Creative Writing and Literature program at USC Dornsife, "balances precision against an enchanting and tonic strangeness," said reviewer Peter Campion. Photo by Steve Cohn.

The Metaphysical House

December 10, 2013

Mark Irwin’s new collection of poems Large White House Speaking (New Issues Poetry and Prose) has been published to critical acclaim. This large white house isn’t what you may think. Irwin has built something…

Dana Johnson, Judith Freeman and Richard Rayner, all USC Dornsife writers and faculty members, share the same muse: the city of Los Angeles. Photos by Cody Pickens.

Los Angeles by the Book

October 22, 2013

It was the 1970s and Judith Freeman was living in Sun Valley, Idaho, a ski instructor and horse wrangler by day, an aspiring writer by night. She’d never set foot in Los Angeles, yet she knew instinctively she needed to…

From left: Frank Ticheli of USC Thornton School of Music, David St. John of USC Dornsife and John Alexander, artistic director of the 140-voice chorale and the Pacific Symphony, link hands and take a bow. They received an outpouring of emotion from the audience with three curtain calls at their premiere of <em>The Shore</em> at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Photo by Andy Templeton.

Shifting Sands

June 10, 2013

The poem begins playfully with a boy at the ocean’s shore.First the tide surprisesAs it slowly risesThen the watersOf a boy’s fearsDisappear What is left seemsPearled & litThe gleaming stones& the boy…

Sean Little, who graduated from USC Dornsife in 2006 with a bachelor's in English, was inspired by his professor and mentor Alice Echols to use his English degree in an innovative way. Little photo by Erica Christianson. Echols photo by Philip Channing.

Getting That First Job

May 23, 2013

As many children do, Sean Little dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. Then the Manhattan Beach native decided spending his days in the sunshine as a lifeguard was his calling. By the time he reached high school, he felt a tug…