by Melanie Plenda
The University of New Hampshire at Manchester announced that poet, teacher, and public intellectual Seth Abramson will join its faculty in the Fall of 2015. Abramson has been hired as an Assistant Professor of English and Writing Specialist at UNH Manchester.
Abramson comes to UNH Manchester from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he taught Creative Writing and Freshman Composition.
"We are thrilled and excited that Seth will be joining the UNH Manchester community," says Susanne F. Paterson, Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of English at UNH Manchester.
"The English Program and its students will benefit from Seth's expertise as a creative writer, Americanist, and teacher of students across the disciplines."
In addition to teaching, Abramson is a prolific author and active in the literary community. He's written several books, including a novel-in-verse titled The Suburban Ecstasies and the forthcoming Metamericana (2015) and DATA (2016), both mixed-genre collections.
Abramson has also attracted considerable attention for his poetry. His third book, Thievery, won the Akron Poetry Prize in 2012 and was the first runner-up for the Edna Meudt Book Prize in 2014. His second book, Northerners, won the Green Rose Prize from New Issues Poetry & Prose in 2010 and was named a top 25 National Bestseller by the Poetry Foundation of Chicago in May 2011. Additionally, Abramson is a regular contributor to Indiewire and The Huffington Post and is the Series Co-Editor of Best American Experimental Writing, an annual anthology whose second volume will be published in 2015 by Wesleyan University Press.
After earning his Bachelor's in English from Dartmouth College, where he graduated cum laude in 1998, Abramson went on to earn his JD from Harvard Law School in 2001. From there he went to work for the New Hampshire Public Defender's office in Nashua for six years.
"He has many years of public service as a public defender … and this will be a real asset for any of UNH Manchester's academic endeavors connected with the law," Paterson says. "These would include the new Homeland Security Program; our pre-law track; and any kind of professional preparation for a career in legal studies or social justice."
After leaving law, he attended the University of Iowa's famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop M.F.A. program, where he studied poetry. Abramson is currently finishing up his PhD in Literary Studies, with a specialization in Contemporary Poetry Studies and a minor in Creative Writing, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Abramson says that this fall he plans to work across departments to help students of any discipline with their written communication skills. In other words, he says, he will help creative writers to write with greater rhetorical awareness and technical writers to add more creativity to their writing.
"Because of his skills, the English Program will be able to kick-start its commitment to ensuring both students in the major and across the College in general have experience in writing in their disciplinary areas and preparation for writing in their professional careers," Paterson says. "Our goal as a Program is to ensure that each student who graduates from UNH Manchester has robust instruction in writing tailored to their particular academic and professional focus. Seth's willingness and commitment to help us do this are key, and we are excited to begin working with him when he gets here."
Abramson says he's also very excited about teaching a creative writing workshop this fall that helps students effectively write using the available and emerging technology, from social media to blog posts, multimedia projects to online journals.
"Any way that content can be delivered," he says, "Art can be delivered as well."
Paterson says in addition to Abramson's excellent record as a teacher, his extraordinary record of publication, and his generosity as a colleague, "Seth has a truly unique skill-set which will serve the community in ways that the English Program didn't envision when we were looking to fill the tenure-track Writing Specialist position. …One of Seth's mentors called him a 'dream hire' for any university lucky enough to hire him. We are that university, and we are delighted that he will be making us his academic home."
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