This is an archived article. For the latest news, go to the Advance Homepage
For more archives, go to the Advance Archive/Search Page.

 April 24, 2000

Curbstone Press Receives MacArthur Grant

A local nonprofit press with extensive ties to the University has been awarded a prestigious two-year grant by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Curbstone Press, a nonprofit literary organization in Willimantic, publishes creative literature that seeks to encourage intercultural understanding, promote human rights, and bring writers and literature programs to the community to promote literacy and learning. The MacArthur grant will support the press's strategic development plan.

The press was founded in 1975 by Alexander ("Sandy") Taylor and Judith Doyle, both UConn graduates, when James Scully, then a professor in the English department, returned after a year living in Chile under the repressive regime of General Pinochet. A book of poems he had written to expose human rights violations in Chile, Santiago Poems, became the first work published by Curbstone.

Human rights themes in the fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction Curbstone publishes include the repression experienced in several Latin American countries, the Latino experience in the U.S., the impact of the Vietnam War, and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Curbstone Press's commitment to social change "gives a voice to those unheard," says Matthew Proser, professor emeritus of English.

Proser is one of many University faculty, staff, and students who have volunteered their time and skills to Curbstone's publishing and outreach programs. Others have served on Curbstone's board of directors.

Curbstone also has published works by UConn authors and collaborated with many University organizations and departments to bring writers to campus.

The press has now developed a five-year strategic plan to stabilize its operations by increasing both earned income and revenue from individual donations. The plan will be launched this year with the support of the MacArthur Foundation grant. Taylor, one of the co-director's of the press, says the grant will play a key role in ensuring the future of Curbstone.

In addition to publishing, Curbstone Press works with local, state-wide, and national education and community organizations to stimulate reading and writing skills. In 1996, Curbstone launched the Windham Area Poetry Project, an arts partnership including the Windham Public Schools and the Windham Boxing Club, that sponsors a poetry festival each year. This year's festival will be held on Saturday, April 29, at Windham High School.

To enroll in the morning workshops or for more information, call (860) 423-5110 or e-mail:

Marisha Chinsky