English & Writing News & Events

Penn-York Student Research Conference: 

Undergraduates are invited to submit their research projects for presentation at the Fifteenth Annual Penn-York Undergraduate Research Association Conference.  Undergraduates’ projects from all disciplines in the behavioral and social sciences, biological, computational, and physical sciences, health-related and applied sciences, and humanities are welcome.  The project can be either in progress or completed.  The presentation may be a 12-minute oral presentation, a poster presentation, or a display (exhibit) of artwork.  Three additional minutes will be allotted for questions and answers.

Registration Form

Houghton College’s Writing Festivals and Retreats

(annual, rotating between the festivals and retreats)

Past Festivals and Retreats

Writing Festival
April 4-5, 2014


  • Gary Schmidt
  • Sheila Stewart Nelson
  • Johanna van der Sterre

The festival is open to everyone; the retreat, to English and writing majors, minors, and concentrations at Houghton College.

Learn more about the festival

Houghton College's Faculty Excellence Award Booklets

The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Prize in Ethics Contest

The next deadline is December 2013.


Calvin College’s Festival of Faith and Writing (bi-annual)

Houghton College students, faculty, and staff regularly attend this phenomenal three-day literary event.


Recent Reading by Professor Emeritus Jack Leax

John Leax, Houghton College Professor Emeritus of Writing, presented a reading from his new collection of poems on Thursday, October 4 from 7-8 pm in the Recital Hall of the Greatbatch School of Music.

Listen to archived audio of the reading.

From the publisher's website:

In Recluse Freedom, a collection of new poems written from 1990 to 2010, John Leax offers a human history of family, community, and nation in conversation with a spiritual history—imagined, experienced and revealed. Readers who have already discovered Leax will welcome this new book. And, for others, Recluse Freedom will provide a fresh and rewarding introduction to this poet of the "still, small voice."

John Leax was for many years poet-in-residence at Houghton College in Houghton, New York. His poems have been published widely in anthologies and periodicals. His previous collections of poetry include Reaching into Silence (1974), The Task of Adam (1985), Country Labors (1991) and Tabloid News (2005).

• • • • •

"This book steps out of our culture of hectic voices and extravagant, self-aggrandizing gestures with a quietness that seems almost impossible. As Leax meditates on natural creatures, the land, memory, Chinese poetry, and the Psalms, he transforms himself into a trustworthy tour guide through a territory of profound solitude and stillness. Recluse Freedom is that rare thing—a book to sit with, to return to. In an age of jumpy bravado and addictive speed, it is a book to learn from. I love its restraint, its sly wit, and its wisdom."—Jeanne Murray Walker, author of New Tracks, Night Falling

"In Recluse Freedom, Leax delivers a series of profound descents—into language, into the flourishing phenomena of our surroundings, into the grittiness of our complicated lives—all of which avail for us the promise of continuing ascent. I am deeply grateful for his acute, compelling vision."—Scott Cairns, author of Compass of Affection

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