Jonathan Haynes: Scholarly Activity

On October 27, 2017, Professor Jonathan Haynes (English) will moderate a panel discussion of the films of Femi Odugbemi at Northwestern University. See flyer below.

Then, on October 30, 2017, Professor Haynes will deliver a lecture, "Trajectories of the Nigerian Film Industry," at Illinois State University in Normal.

Lewis Warsh: New Book

We are pleased to announce that Professor Lewis Warsh's new book -- Out of the Question: Selected Poems (1963-2003) [Station Hill Press of Barrytown, 2017] is available for purchase through Small Press Distribution. It will also be available at Warsh's upcoming reading with Cedar Sigo at the Poetry Project. See our earlier post for further information about that reading.

Undergraduate Courses, Spring 2018

Danny Lyon, "Turn of the Century Brownstone Apartments Being Painted and Renovated by Their Owners in Brooklyn" (1974).
US National Archives, No known copyright restrictions. Link

These course descriptions are provided by the professors teaching the courses.

For more information, write to them directly.

Get English Department faculty contact info here

English Majors — Before you register, make an appointment to meet with Wayne Berninger to review your outstanding requirements. Then register as early as possible to keep courses from being canceled.

Non-Majors — The writing and analytical skills gained in English courses are useful in a variety of professions. Any student may take these courses as general electives. A minor in English (four courses 100 or above) will satisfy the Distribution Requirement for any major. For more information, make an appointment to meet with Wayne Berninger.

Downtown Brooklyn: Call for Submissions -- Issue 27

Poets & writers!

Please submit poems and/or fiction for issue #27 of


the literary magazine of the LIU Brooklyn English Department

Submission deadline: 8 December 2017!

Who can submit work? Students, faculty & staff at LIU Brooklyn. This includes alumni & former employees of LIU Brooklyn, as well as Visiting Writers in the Creative Writing MFA program & writers who read in the English Department’s Voices of the Rainbow reading series. We consider poetry &/or fiction in a wide variety of traditional as well as experimental forms.

How to submit? Save your submission as a single Word document (not a separate file for each piece) & send it as an attachment to The first page of your document should be a cover letter. Include your name as you’d like it to appear, your e-mail address, & a short bio statement, in which you describe how you are connected to LIU Brooklyn. Are you a student? Say whether you are undergrad or grad, what your major or degree program is, & your expected date of graduation. If you are an alum, tell us what your major was & what degree you earned, as well as the year you graduated. Are you faculty or former faculty? Tell us your department, what your title is or was & what you teach or taught. Are you a staff member or former staff member? Tell us your title & what kind of work you do or did. If relevant, list recent publications, productions, or performances of your work. You will receive confirmation by e-mail that we have received your submissions. We will then notify as to acceptance ASAP, and the new issue should come out in time for the start of the Fall 2018 semester.

Patrick Horrigan: Reading

Professor Patrick E. Horrigan (English) will give a reading of new work as part of the COOL STORIES performance series on Friday, October 27th @ 7pm, at El Barrio's Artspace PS 109.

215 East 99th Street

Admission is FREE! 

Barbara Henning: Upcoming Reading

Professor Barbara Henning (English) will be reading with fellow poets Cliff Fyman and John Godfrey.

Sunday, October 22, 2017
4:30 PM

Zinc Bar
82 West 3rd Street

Lewis Warsh: Upcoming Reading

photo: Dan Wonderly

Professor Lewis Warsh (English / Creative Writing) will read with Cedar Sigo at the Poetry Project.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
8:00 PM

More info.

Carol Allen: New Book

Professor Carol Allen (English) is the author of the new book Journeys and Journals: Women's Mystery Writing and Migration in the African Diaspora (Peter Lang International Academic Publishers, December 2016). 

From the publisher's website: "Using literary criticism, theory, and sociohistoric data, this book brings into conversation black migrations with mystery novels by African American women, novels which explore fully the psychic, economic, and spiritual impact of mass migratory movements."

More info.

Srividhya Swaminathan: New Book

Professor Srividhya Swaminathan (English) is co-editor of a new volume. The Cinematic Eighteenth Century: History, Culture, and Adaptation is a collection of essays that focus on the broad variety of interpretations of the eighteenth century onto film and television. The essays push the concept of adaptation in film studies to new theoretical models and examine both the straightforward text to film works, like the lucrative Jane Austen franchise, and appropriations of the eighteenth-century milieu, like the Caribbean pirate narrative and the African slave institution. Co-edited with Steven W. Thomas (Wagner College), this collection seeks to break new ground in the crossover between film and literary studies.

More info.

Barbara Henning: New Poems

Congratulations to Professor Barbara Henning (English), who has three new poems ("digigrams") in the online journal Rascal. The poems appear as both texts and audio files of Henning reading.

Patrick Horrigan: Actors With Accents

Professor Patrick E. Horrigan (English) and co-host Eduardo Leanez invite you to the next evening of


An evening of monologues, scenes, songs, comedy, drama, and wall-to-wall accents.

Friday, October 6, 2017 @ 7PM

Teatro SEA
107 Suffolk St.

Admission is FREE but donations are always welcome.


More info.

Deborah Mutnick: Humanities New York Grant Recipient

Professor Deborah Mutnick (English) has been awarded an action grant from Humanities New York for the Souls of Lefferts Community Writing / Publishing Project.

Here's an overview of the project:

Souls of Lefferts combines black-and-white photographs with life stories of subjects documenting rapid change in a Brooklyn neighborhood. Prospect Lefferts Gardens' working-class, multiracial, predominantly immigrant West Indian community is threatened by unfettered, high-rise development, rising rents and prices, and gentrification by new, mostly white commercial and residential tenants. This process of gentrification was already underway when Courtney Mooney started photographing Prospect Lefferts Gardens (PLG) residents in 2015. Joined by Deborah Mutnick in early 2016, the project has so far produced hundreds of photos and more than a dozen oral histories. It has involved LIU Brooklyn students in interviewing, transcribing, and writing narratives. Most recently, students participated in the first round of community publishing, working with PLG residents to publish their writing. Two new series of community writing workshops will be held in the community in fall 2017 and spring 2018 culminating in the production of two more booklets to be archived in the Brooklyn Collection at the Brooklyn Public Library.

More info.

Introducing LIU Brooklyn CUSP (Campus-Community Urban Sustainability Program)

More info.

Howard Pflanzer: Poetry Reading

Howard Pflanzer, formerly an adjunct professor in the LIU Brooklyn English Department, and a longtime contributor to the department's literary magazine, Downtown Brooklyn, will be reading with three other poets in the Brownstone Poets series on Saturday, September 16, 2017, at 2:30PM, at the Park Plaza Restaurant 220 Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn Heights. 

Betsy Hall: Professional Development News

Oxford University Press has invited Professor Betsy Hall (English Department; Assistant Director of the Writing Program ) to review Arguing the Case (Garon Scott, managing editor) pre-publication.

Also, in October 2017, Hall will serve on the proposal review committee for the upcoming 37th Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience to be held in San Antonio, Texas, February 10-13, 2018.

John High: Book Launch Party & Reading in Paris

Professor John High (English Department & Creative Writing MFA Program) is on sabbatical during the 2017-18 academic year. We are pleased to announce that there will be a book launch party and reading in Paris on September 8, 2017, for his new book of poems, vanishing acts

Downtown Brooklyn: A Journal of Writing

the latest issue

We are pleased to announce the publication of Issue #26! This is the first issue to appear in the form of a Tumblr blog (no print, no PDF)...

Read Issue #26

previous online issues

In 2014, budget cuts at the university forced us to abandon print and begin publishing the magazine online. Therefore, Issues #23-25 are available only in PDF via the following links.

Read Issue #25

Read Issue #24

Read Issue #23

back issues in print

Issues #1-22 are available for reading in the periodicals collection of the LIU Brooklyn Library (they cannot be checked out). 

A limited number of free copies of some of these issues may be available from the Editor. See Wayne Berninger in Humanities 454.

Issues #1-22 are also available for study in the Little Magazine Collection at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

writing assignments from the editor

Visit our Facebook page for a steady stream of tongue-in-cheek (or are they?) "writing assignments."

about the magazine

The university environment exposes us to a variety of personalities and ideas, but on a primarily commuter campus, it's easy to feel alienated from each other and from the overall campus culture. It's difficult to take advantage of what your campus has to offer if you always have to rush straight to the subway after class. It's hard enough just to get to class on time, let alone find out that the person next to you in the elevator is a great writer. But who knows?

The person sitting behind you in class might be your future favorite novelist or the next [insert name of favorite poet]. If you aren't tuned in to what other people are doing on campus, you're really missing out.

The literary magazine of the English Department at LIU Brooklyn, Downtown Brooklyn: A Journal of Writing (ISSN 1536-8475) was founded in 1992 to showcase poetry and literary prose by writers at LIU Brooklyn. One issue has appeared every year since 1992. The magazine showcases a wide variety of work (in traditional forms as well as more experimental styles) by undergrads; grad students; alumni; current and former faculty; and administrative, clerical and other staff from across the Campus—not only from English. Our aesthetic is eclectic. Our mission is to promote not any particular style but all the different kinds of writing being created on campus.

Watch this blog for the next call for submissions and for news about the publication of each new issue.