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About This Program

You’re passionate about the written word. Reading and writing are your ways of understanding the world — and yourself. You understand the power and complexity of language. English may be the major for you.

Why Utica College

Declaring an English major at Utica College means joining a close-knit community of literature lovers, writers and creative thinkers both in an out of the classroom. In the Literary Society, students host poetry readings and attend theater performances. And in producing Ampersand, the college’s yearly literary magazine, students showcase their literary and artistic work.

Harold Frederic, author
Harold Frederic, author

The Literary Society was formed as the Harold Frederic English Society  in the fall semester of 1999 to offer students both inside and outside the English major the opportunity to participate in and contribute to the literary and creative life of the college. It was originaLLY named in honor of the Utica native and noted nineteenth-century American novelist who chronicled the city's religious and ethnic groups at the turn of the century in his acclaimed novel The Damnation of Theron Ware. James Scannell, Associate Professor in the English department, is the club's faculty advisor.

In the past, the Society has hosted at Halloween a "Scary Poetry Reading" in which members of the club, the college community, and the greater Utica community read their favorite frightening verse by authors such as Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Browning. The Society was also influential raising funds to buy books for the Breakfast Reading Club, a reading program for young children at Kernan Elementary School in West Utica. 

The Literary Society puts on open mics, does community service around literacy, and has one literary themed outing a year. Meetings are weekly.

Those interested in participating should contact Professor James Scannell at

Membership Requirements

For induction into the Utica College chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honors society, the English Department's criteria include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Completion of two college courses in English language or literature beyond freshman courses (i.e., beyond those at the 100-level).
  • A minimum 3.5 GPA in English and Literature courses, and a 3.0 GPA overall.
  • Completion of 3 semesters of college course work, 2 at Utica College.
  • Good character demonstrated through consistent adherence to the principles of academic honesty and professional behavior as defined in the Utica College Student Code of Conduct.

To learn more about Sigma Tau Delta, please visit

A prize of $2,000 is given annually for a poetry collection published in the previous year by a resident of upstate New York. The winner will also give a reading and teach a master class at Utica College in April 2022. Submit two copies of a book of at least 48 pages published between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, and a curriculum vitae by August 31.

Competition Details

Quill Pen Graphic Solo

Prize: $2,000
For best poetry collection published by an Upstate author.

Submission Deadline:
August 31, 2021

Entry Fee:
There is no entry fee.

Final Judge:
(To be announced.)




Entry Instructions:
Send completed entry form, a brief CV listing creative and scholarly accomplishments, and two (2) copies of the work to:

Gary Leising
Utica College
School of Arts and Sciences
1600 Burrstone Road
Utica, NY 13502

**NOTE: Books may be sent in by author or publisher.


poetry competition tree

Submission Criteria:
Submitted work must be a book of poems in English, at least 48 pages long, published between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 by a resident of Upstate New York. Collections by more than one author, "collected" or "selected" volumes, collections of translations, self-published works, and vanity press publications are not eligible.

Additional Requirements:
Winner must agree, upon contest entry:

  • to give permission for portions of the winning work to be reproduced for publicity; and
  • to, at a mutually agreeable date in April 2022, 1) receive the award in person, 2) give a reading at Utica College, and 3) meet with students in a master class.

All books entered in competition will be donated to the Utica College library and the Utica Public Library.

Contact Information

Office of Admissions

(315) 792-3006

General Information


  • Major


  • B.A.


  • Utica Campus
Utica Excellence, Utica Value

English at Utica

Career Opportunities

With a core set of skills that can be readily applied to the work world, English majors can put their creativity and ability to convey written messages clearly and coherently to work in various fields, including:
    • Educator
    • Public Relations
    • Publishing
    • Journalism
    • Librarian
    • Pre-Law
Sigma Tau Delta logo


The Utica College English Department sponsors a chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society. Faculty members mentor students through independent study projects in all areas of literature, rhetoric, and linguistics.
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Experiencing the Arts

The Professor Harry F. and Mary Ruth Jackson Lunch Hour Series presents a series of literary and musical programs each semester, free of charge and open to students, faculty, staff, and the public.

What You'll Learn

Through the study of modern and ancient literature, English majors develop analytical and critical thinking skills, along with a broad perspective of the world around them. Taught by UC’s exceptional faculty that includes published authors, literary scholars, and linguists, English courses help students become articulate, intelligent communicators who are prepared for a wide range of career paths.

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English Faculty & Staff

English at Utica College

A Degree That Works

UC English alumni have gone on to success in business communications, teaching, law, journalism, advertising, and publishing, among many other fields.

Utica College - DePerno Hall

Student Voices: Rose Zaloom

Talking with Rose Zaloom, a UC English major with a double minor in theatre and creative writing, about how the program opportunities at Utica College fit perfectly with her plans of becoming a playwright and actor.

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Teaching through example

Among the esteemed English faculty at Utica College, you'll be learning from published professors of poetry, fiction, and literary criticism.

The Arts at Utica College

Academic Quad at Utica College

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