By Deanna Howes Spiro, Vice President of Communications, AJCU


By day, they are Jesuit college and university professors…by night, they are award-winning novelists, poets and playwrights! Meet the faculty who are helping to train the next generation of writers and creative thinkers on our campuses.

The idea for this issue of Connections came during one of my last trips before the pandemic curtailed travel for the rest of 2020. While on a trip to see my best friend in Denver last February, I visited Regis University and took a tour of the campus on a beautiful snowy day. If you haven’t had the chance to visit Regis, it’s a must-see for the next time you’re out West!

One thing that caught my eye on campus was a slim statue of James Joyce, the celebrated (and Jesuit-educated) Irish novelist, surrounded by several lines of his famous text in a ring. I found this statue so striking, and wondered which other Jesuit campuses are homes to notable writers, either in the form of sculpture, or (more likely) in the flesh?

Plenty, as it turns out, including many who serve as faculty in their schools’ MFA programs. So in this issue of Connections, you’ll learn about MFA programs at Regis and Fairfield University, and meet several creative faculty at Le Moyne College, Loyola University Chicago and the University of Detroit Mercy. And you will also learn about an upcoming virtual conference dedicated to one of the great Jesuit poets, Gerard Manley Hopkins. It will be held next June, and conference organizers are currently accepting submissions for papers.

At the end of a challenging year, I hope that this issue is a bit of a reprieve from today’s less uplifting headlines. I’ve taken great comfort in the way that books, both fiction and non-fiction, have managed to transport me to different worlds this year, at a few hundred pages at a time (happy to provide recommendations, if interested!). On behalf of my colleagues at AJCU, I wish you and yours a very happy, healthy and safe holiday season, including a peaceful and joyful new year.