Lisa Sewell, PhD, associate professor of English, was recently appointed the Luckow Family Endowed Chair in English Literature in Villanova’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Chair recognizes an esteemed and nationally distinguished literature professor who exemplifies Villanova’s teacher-scholar model. Dr. Sewell will hold the position for five years.
Dr. Sewell is an accomplished author and poet. Her book of poetry, Impossible Object, won the 2014 Tenth Gate Prize from The Word Works, and she has been invited to read her work at prestigious institutions across the country including, Barnard College, Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania, Fordham University, CalPoly San Luis Obispo, University of the Pacific and Connecticut State University.
Dr. Sewell teaches courses in creative writing and contemporary American literature at Villanova, with a focus on women’s writing, feminist and gender theory, poetry, ecopoetics and twentieth century poetry movements. She also served as co-director of the Gender and Women’s Studies program from 2008 to 2016.
A prolific author, Dr. Sewell has gained high recognition for her literary and academic work. She has received grants and awards from the Leeway Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, and she has held residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Fundacion Valparaiso and The Tyrone Guthrie Center.
Her poems have been widely published in literary journals including Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Drunken Boat, Paris Review, Crab Orchard Review, Salamander and more. She co-edited American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics (Wesleyan 2007), authored Eleven More American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Poetics Across North America (Wesleyan 2012) and contributed chapters to collections that focus on 20th and 21st century North American poetry—most recently A History of Twentieth Century Women's Poetry (Cambridge 2016).
“Our department includes nationally recognized scholars of literature, as well as a number of award-winning writers, dedicated to their craft. With her PhD in English and her MFA in poetry, Dr. Sewell is both.” said Heather Hicks, PhD, Professor and Chair of the English Department. “I’m delighted to see her take on this new role as Luckow Chair, especially in light of the College's recently added creative writing minor.”
As Luckow Chair, Dr. Sewell intends to continue supporting the English Department’s colloquium series, as did her predecessor, Lauren Shohet, PhD. She also anticipates taking the work of the chair in a new direction, helping support the University's new creative writing minor and using the support of the chair to further her visibility and that of the College’s English Department by attending international and national artist’s retreats and conferences.
About the Luckow Family
Through their personal interest and The Luckow Family Foundation, Robert W. and Audrey Luckow have distinguished themselves as philanthropists who have generously supported a variety of worthy causes. In addition to providing critical resources to Villanova through endowing the Chair in English and supporting the University’s Annual Fund, their gifts have touched the lives of many in significant ways, from ensuring access to top-quality health care to providing spiritual, recreational and educational opportunities for children in need.
Beyond their kind financial support, the Luckows have contributed to the vitality of the University through their former service on the Parents Executive Committee, the lead parent volunteer group within University Advancement’s Parent Program that works with Villanova’s Office of Student Life, Career Center and Enrollment Management to create strategies to reach more parents and involve them more closely in the life of the University. Through the establishment of The Luckow Family Endowed Chair in English and The Luckow Family Endowed Fund for Scholarships in Education, the Luckow family has bolstered the innovative, mission-driven programs that serve to define the Villanova experience, distinguish the College and the University and provide students with a solid foundation of Augustinian values and knowledge.
About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With 39 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.