The Words

English Professor Michael Prior’s Recent Award Wins

Alice Asch ’22

Headshot of Professor Michael Prior

This semester, English professor and author Michael Prior has delightfully proven the theory that good things come in threes. In the past few months, he’s received a trio of prestigious accolades: the Canada-Japan Literary Award, a Jerome Hill Fellowship, and a New York Public Library (Cullman Center) Fellowship. Read more about his accolades here…


Parting Words: The English Department Versus the Apocolypse

Malcolm Cooke ’21

Here we are, at the end of another year of The Words, which means it’s time to engage in the ritual of some parting reflective words as Senior Newsletter Editor. And let me tell you, it’s hard. It’s something that is hard to make sense of at the end of an exceptionally hard year. It is hard to gather my thoughts and hard to put them into words.

I knew from when I first arrived at Macalester that my senior year would be surreal to experience on the most normal of terms, and that knowledge only grew more and more palpable as the ’21 I kept seeing stamped next to my name grew appalling closer to the current year. But I never could have anticipated the extent to which this year would go beyond the pale in its pandemonium. Read some more parting words here…

It Takes a Village: One English Professor’s Journey to Publication

Dalton Greene ’22

For many in the English department, the spring semester is a time of celebration: department award winners are announced, our seniors are sent off with care, and all reflect on another successful year in the books. For English professor Penelope Geng, this sense of success is especially notable, as this semester marked the publication of her first book. Read more about the book and her process here…

Wordplay with Becca Lewis

Kira Schukar ’22

Becca Lewis '21 sitting on the Macalester college campus under autumn treesThis month’s featured author, Becca Lewis ‘21, started writing when she was in elementary school. “I’ve always been an imaginative person,” she says. “And, as an adult, I see no reason to let that part of me go.” As she got older, Becca’s stories never lost their creativity. When she writes fiction, she typically follows the style of magical realism. “I’m fascinated by normal worlds with one or two fantastical elements,” she says. “Though I’m starting to embrace more of that weirdness and am currently working on a semi-surrealist piece for my capstone.”

This month, Becca has chosen two short personal essays to share with The Words, titled “On Reality” and “On Board.” The staff of The Words thanks Becca for her creative and beautiful contribution! Read Becca’s essays here…