Bringing It Home – The Saint Rose Blog

Saint Rose English Professor Barbara Ungar Wins Poetry Prize

Barbara Ungar, English professor at Saint RoseWe’re proud to say our students have the opportunity to learn from faculty who are outstanding in their field. Recently, Dr. Barbara Ungar, professor of English at Saint Rose, won the Ashland Poetry Press 2018 Richard Snyder Memorial Publication Prize for her manuscript “Save Our Ship.” You can get the book beginning fall 2019. Read more about the prize here.

Ungar says that “‘Save Our Ship’ is #MeToo meets Global Weirding, in an abecedarian (or alphabetical) arrangement, with Morse code to boot. It was inspired by work done by one of our (Saint Rose) art historians, Theresa Flanigan, on a renaissance didactic alphabet entitled ‘The Diverse Vices of Women, Alphabetized,’ supposed to teach women to control their sensual appetites, especially their desire for speech. I had to write back to that!”

Ungar is the author of several books of poetry, including “Immortal Medusa” (2015); “Charlotte Brontë, You Ruined My Life” (2011), “The Origin of the Milky Way” (2007), “Thrift” (2005), Sequel (2004), and “Neoclassical Barbra” (1998).

In 2015, “Immortal Medusa” was listed among only seven books of poetry named by Kirkus Reviews as the Best Indie Poetry of the year, explaining that the collection “establishes her as a contemporary poet of the first rank.” The review went on to say that “This poetry collection is like a bowl of fruit and cream: it’s so delicious, and it all goes down so easily, that you forget how much nutrition is there. She’s also the rare talent who can take nearly anything and make it into poetry. Everything is ore for her refinery, and she pulls inspiration from numerous and sundry sources, from the natural world to mystical Judaism to an exercise class for the elderly to a student’s essay.”

Ungar has worked at Saint Rose since 1995, and has written poems since she was 6 years old. She says she has never been drawn to one particular topic and writes about what strikes her. Read more about her approach to poetry here.

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