Poetry Unites Continents
The Center for Applied Linguistic Studies of the Institute of Foreign Languages hosted Christopher Merrill, Professor of the University of Iowa (USA), Director of the International Writing Program, who came to Russia as a visiting American professor.
Christopher Merrill is a poet, writer, and journalist. His works have been translated into over forty languages; he has studied under Joseph Brodsky himself. Professor Merrill has participated in cultural diplomatic missions to more than 50 countries, in 2011-2018 worked in the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, and in April 2012 President Barack Obama appointed him to the National Commission on the Humanities.
The 1st-4th-year students of the IFL programs “Teacher Education” and “Translation and Translation Studies” attended Professor Merrill’s lecture on American poetry and reading and interpreting a poetic text. He also heartily shared anecdotes about his work as a journalist.
The students became participants of an engaging workshop.
Tatiana Gurieva, group 121:
“It was an amazing opportunity to listen to and communicate with a native speaker and hear a clear speech in the language we study. The topic of the lecture was spot-on as it is relevant for the students of our Institute. I personally enjoy poetry so it was interesting to learn something new in this field.”
Maria Tsyganok, group 124:
“It was a great experience for me to listen to a native speaker in real-time, to grasp intonations and specificity of pronunciation. I greatly enjoyed that Professor Merrill sprinkled his speech with anecdotes that enlivened his lecture. Overall, I have positive impressions only!”
Danil Magoev, group 141:
“It is great that I had an opportunity to attend a lecture and even take part in a workshop by Christopher Merrill. It was both engaging and informative. Each participant could try their hand in what is called creative writing by doing some exercises, and getting feedback from the amazing teacher and professional writer.”
Evgenia Soldak, group 141:
“The knowledge of stylistics and critical reading came in useful. The lecture was particularly encouraging and stimulating. I hope that the workshop has inspired several aspiring writers or poets among the IFL students.”
Vladislav Yanskauskas, group 141:
“The lecture was filled with stories from Christopher’s life. I enjoyed how different events in his life influenced his work. The workshop was productive and satisfying. It was thrilling to try on the role of an author and text editor and get quality, professional feedback from Christopher.”
Kseniya Yakovleva, group 132:
“I am genuinely thrilled to attend the lecture by Christopher Merrill. His amenable and engaging presentation and detailed analysis of poems inspire and spark interest in studying not only American poetry but American literature in the whole.”
Nadezhda Shablikova, Associate Professor of the Department of the English Language of the IFL:
“I believe that our students were lucky to attend a lecture by such an outstanding person. It was wonderful to see their interest and eagerness to do their best at the workshop. The approach of Christopher Merrill to studying poetry and writing resonates with me and I immensely enjoyed the conversation.”
The workshop featured Karelian writer Dmitry Novikov who presented the lecturer his new book A Flame Out of Sea in the English language.