Dr. Robert Bensen (Lecturer in English) contributed five essays to the 2020 Eric Hoffer Prize-winning book, “Literary Geography: An Encyclopedia of Real and Imagined Settings.” The essays include a general study, “Place in Poetry,” and geographic surveys of individual poets: “The Geography of Paradise: Derek Walcott’s Islands,” “The Geography of Home: Seamus Heaney’s Ireland,” “The Geography of Travel: Elizabeth Bishop’s North and South America,” “The Geography of Then and Now: Richard Hugo’s West.” The volume was conceived and edited by Lynn-Marie Houston, who is a former student of Dr. Bensen.
The Eric Hoffer Book Award Honors the memory of the great American Philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting salient writing, as well as the independent spirit of small publishers. It is one of the largest international book awards for small, academic, and independent presses in the world.
In addition to teaching at SUNY Oneonta, Bensen is Emeritus Professor of English at Hartwick College, where he directed the writing programs from 1978-2017. At present, he conducts the “Seeing Things” intensive poetry workshop at Bright Hill Literary Center in Treadwell, NY.