COG Page to Screen animation headlines unique literary approach

Megan Merchant

Lullaby, by Megan Merchant, was described by 2015-2017 U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera as revealing “the sudden fall into dream, tenderness, awakenings and delicate and crystalline images – the tone and lines are just right and seem to be in the language of a forest at night and the unseen eye in the wave”.

Thus, her poem, one of the many submitted to USV students from USV’s competitions which draw entries from nearly all U.S. states, as well as 24 more countries including Zimbabwe, Sweden, England, Israel, Dubai, France, India, Canada, Mauritius, Indonesia and Singapore, became the winner of the 2016-2017 COG Poetry Awards.

To top it off, this past year Megan’s winning entry was then adapted into an animated film by students from USV’s animation and audio departments. As a literary journal, USV distinguishes itself by engaging students across campus in such projects.

The animation team of Kimberly Wong, Michelle Dixon, Jean-Pierre Rouleau, Christopher Kromrey, and Mel Aberin were advised by DAA faculty member David Perry. On the audio side of things, Blake Blasius edited dialog, Nixon Sanchez provided Sound Design and editing, while Barry Chandler contributed original music, all under the guidance of Julius Dobos.

Jasminne Mendez

Looking forward, the Library of Congress and NEA honoree Major Jackson announced Jasminne Mendez as the 2017-2018 USV Poetry Awards winner. Mendez’s work will be adapted for the screen over the course of one year.

Jackson, who succeeded Herrera as this year’s final judge, selected her poetry set Run, Irelia, Run, written in remembrance of victims of the Haitian Massacre of 1937. Of her work, he says, “Jasminne Mendez possesses a sense of the poem as sacrament and language hammered into song. One feels a passionate search for lineage and the sensuous turning of thought and imagery that leads to sanctuaries of silence and reverence.”

It is estimated that anywhere from 12,000-30,000 Haitians were slain that year in Dajabon, Dominican Republic – and Mendez says, “as a Dominican, I am very passionate about amplifying the voices of this experience.”

USV is a new type of college literary journal for a new type of reader. Strong storytelling is the underpinning. It bolsters our video and audio productions as well as the stories, poems, essays, and interviews we feature. We’re proud of our students’ work — and we congratulate Jasminne Mendez for being announced as the next Page to Screen winner.

At the annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference later this month in Tampa, Florida, which draws upwards of 12, 000 attendees, our students will present their experiences drawn from marrying literature with technology, which has allowed their journal to enter the international literary conversation.



Subscribe to the Newsletter