Students Librada (Nicole) Montero, Brandon Saavedra, and Assistant Professor of English and Liberal Arts & Sciences Program Coordinator Dr. Ria Banerjee traveled to London this month as part of the Poetry Abroad experience. From July 6th to the 14th, the Guttman cohort studied at the T.S. Eliot International Summer School, participating in seminars and workshops, attending poetry readings, field trips, and diving deep into the works and life of the famous English poet.
Guttman students were the youngest participants in attendance this year and had a chance to meet and interact with renowned faculty from the US and UK as well as graduate students, artists, and poetry enthusiasts. Dr. Banerjee, who initiated and organized the trip, said the nature of the experience and its mixed audience allowed Nicole and Brandon to “get their feet wet” in literary studies. It also gave them a chance to live “on campus” at the University of London and get a glimpse of college life in the UK. Brandon, who has admired London for a long time, said the city exceeded his expectations. “The culture, the vibe, just being there made me feel like I could stay there without looking back,” he reflected.
This year marked the first time Guttman or CUNY students participated in this immersive Eliot experience, thanks to a collaboration between Guttman and the Eliot Summer School, which co-sponsored the trip, providing travel expenses and bursaries for the students. The T.S. Eliot Summer School is hosted by the Institute of English Studies at the University of London, and is an established venue for students from all over the world and from many disciplines and levels of expertise to come together and appreciate historical and contemporary poetic voices.
The Poetry Abroad program adds to the college’s Global Guttman initiative, which creates opportunities for Guttman students to foster a deeper understanding of themselves in a global context and develop their sense of personal and social responsibility while enhancing intercultural skills applicable to a variety of academic and professional settings.