Student Link College Home Link Search Link


Events & News

English @ Dickinson

English Abroad

English Around Dickinson

Writing Resources

Beyond Dickinson

Close Reading

Belles Lettres Literary Society

The Belles Lettres Literary Society (est. 1786) is the oldest student organization at the College and one of the oldest literary societies in the country. Belles Lettres is the parent organization of Dickinson's national literary magazine, The Dickinson Review. Staffed entirely by students, TDR has featured work from many prominent contemporary writers and has a rapidly growing list of subscribers. Belles Lettres also sponsors The Bonfire. Dickinson's student literary magazine. The Bonfire is staffed by members of Belles Lettres and features work by Dickinson's most talented student writers. Other Belles Lettres activities include student poetry readings (at least once a semester), a weekly show on the college's radio station (featuring student work), and special literary-themed parties and events. Professor Susan Perabo, writer-in-residence at the College, serves as the faculty adviser for both Belles Lettres and The Dickinson Review.

Stellfox Prize and Residency for Literary Excellence

Poet Rita Dove, Stellfox distinguished writer in 2006 and former poet laureate of the United States, spent two days on campus in November, giving a reading, answering questions from students, faculty, and the public, and tirelessly signing copies of her books.
She talked at length with students over lunch, and also helped re-create a key moment from Robert Frost's 1959 visit to Dickinson on the steps of Old West. The Stellfox residency series brings a highly respected author to campus every year not only for a public reading, but also for meaningful interaction with students.

Belfer Reading Series

Belfer Reading Series — Spring 2008
Brock Clarke '90 is the author of the award-winning novel An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England, Algonquin Press, 2007. He has published three previous books: The Ordinary White Boy, What We Won't Do, and Carrying the Torch. His stories and essays have appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, OneStory, the Believer, the Georgia Review, and the Southern Review and have appeared in the annual Pushcart Prize and New Stories from the South anthologies and on NPR's Selected Shorts. He lives in Cincinnati and teaches creative writing at the University of Cincinnati.


Renowned British novelist and Booker Prize winner Ian McEwan became the first recipient of the college's Stellfox Prize and Residency for Literary Excellence, funded by the Harold and Ethel L. Stellfox Visiting Scholars and Writers Program. McEwan became one of Britain's most visible commentators following his insightful essays after the tragic subway bombings in London the summer of 2005.

Prize-winning author Tobias Wolff read at Dickinson from his recently penned first novel Old School. Wolff may be best known for his 1989 memoir of childhood, This Boy's Life, which provided the basis for a 1993 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Barkin and Robert De Niro. Wolff's visit to Dickinson is the second in the Belfer Reading Series.

Award-winning novelist Rick Moody was the inaugural Dickinson College Belfer Reading Series lecturer. The Belfer Reading Series will bring notable writers to Dickinson each year. Moody read two short stories from his recent novel. Following the reading Rick answered questions and signed books for the audience.

The English department team took the trophy at the Frist Annual Dickinson Olympics sponsored by Student Senate to promote school spirit and to foster positive student-faculty relationships through academic and athletic events.



Susan Perabo, Chair star
Kelly Winters-Fazio, Department Coordinator star icon

English Department Dickinson College
PO Box 1773, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 17013-2896
Tel. 717-245-1347 star icon Fax. 717-245-1942

© 2006 English Department Dickinson College
© 2006 Site Design Garrick Chow, Michele Heile