A Prestigious Fellowship Awarded to Alissa Elliott

Congratulations to Upper School English teacher Alissa Elliott, whose own work and approach to teaching exemplifies what it means to be a lifelong learner.
The Sewanee School of Letters and Rivendell Writers’ Colony have announced that MFA student Alissa Elliott is the recipient of the 2017 School of Letters Rivendell Fellowship. Alissa will spend two weeks in residence on the Rivendell campus near Sewanee working on a poetry project while enjoying the Rivendell manor and the spectacular view of Lost Cove. The residency is awarded annually to either an MA or MFA student in the School of Letters.

"We love the writer's attention to meter, rhyme, and form for this unique project," said this year's judges. "This project and this poet deserve time at Rivendell!"

Alissa is working on a cycle of poems, The Berlin Flower Diary of Clara Schumann, inspired by an album of pressed flowers the pianist collected on concert tour between 1856 and 1859, the years immediately surrounding her husband's illness and death and the most intense phase of her lifelong friendship with Johannes Brahms. This project will translate the diary into English, reproduce the botanical arrangements where possible, and explore love, mental health, and the relationship between creative production and motherhood through the voices of historical and present-day characters.

Alissa teaches 10th and 11th grade English and directs an independent study in poetry at Randolph. She has presented about integrating critical theory into high school curriculum at the American Association of Philosophy Teachers and about using Frankenstein to interrogate STEM initiatives in design and biogenetic engineering at the International Zizek Studies Conference.

Congratulations, Alissa!