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Jane Forsyth (’11) with Dr. Ernest Suarez, chair of the Department of English at The Catholic University of America, at the annual conference of Robert Penn Warren Circle Jane Forsyth (’11) with Dr. Ernest Suarez, chair of the Department of English at The Catholic University of America, at the annual conference of the Robert Penn Warren Circle

“I would like to extend my hearty congratulations to Jane Forsyth,” writes Dr. Ernest Suarez, chair of the Department of English at The Catholic University of America, “winner of the 2019 Eleanor Clark Prize for best essay by a junior scholar.”

A member of the Thomas Aquinas College Class of 2011, and now a doctoral student in English Literature at CUA, Miss Forsyth received the award at a recent conference at the Kentucky home of the late poet, novelist, and educator Robert Penn Warren.  Her award-winning essay was entitled “‘Pattern of Meaning’: Symbolic Dynamism as a Formal Structure in ‘The Waste Land’ and ‘The Well Wrought Urn.’” In a post on his department’s blog, Dr. Suarez notes that “the judges praised Jane’s essay … for its insights, originality, and stylistic elegance.”

The Eleanor Clark Prize is presented at the annual conference of the Robert Penn Warren Circle, which, for 29 years has honored the legacy of its namesake, the only author ever to have won Pulitzer prizes for both fiction and poetry. “Participants in the Robert Penn Warren Circle are united by their love for Warren and other critics who promoted ways of reading literature which attend to form and aesthetics rather than current theory or pragmatic concerns,” Miss Forsyth explains. “My paper examined ways in which the poetics of Cleanth Brook, a colleague of Warren, were inspired by the poetic innovations of modernist poetry, particularly by T. S. Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land.’ I was honored to receive this award from such an extraordinary group of academics.”

Miss Forsyth earned her master’s degree in English literature at CUA in 2018. This fall she will begin her final year of coursework toward her doctorate.