The Literature and Language Department has established four annual writing awards to be presented to MMC students: the Joseph P. Clancy Award for Poetry, the Dymphna Leonard Award for Fiction, the John Costello Award for Creative Nonfiction, and the Priscilla H. Costello Award for Essay Writing. Each honor is named after a distinguished former member of the Literature and Language Department faculty. Award winners receive a cash prize of $150.
The Joseph P. Clancy Award for Poetry is selected from material published in The Marymount Manhattan Review. The editorial staff has set up a network of outside reviewers who will read all submissions and select the award recipient.
Joseph P. Clancy, Ph.D., is a poet and internationally known translator of Welsh poetry and plays. Dr. Clancy began teaching at MMC in its earliest years and quickly developed a following for his courses in Chaucer, Medieval Literature, Augustan Literature, and American Romanticism. He pursued his interest in theater with passion, taking courses in acting, staging, and directing. He directed College theater productions and also plays presented at community theaters. Among the courses he developed, his popular Children's Literature course brought mythic imagination to the foreground of class discussions. His publications include The Earliest Welsh Poetry; Medieval Welsh Lyrics; The Significance of Flesh: Poems 1950-1980; Pendragon: Arthur and His Britain; and here & there: poems 1984-1993. He and his wife, Gerrie (an MMC alumnae), reside in Wales.
The Dymphna Leonard Award for Fiction is selected from material published in The Marymount Manhattan Review. A network of outside reviewers will read all submissions and select the award recipient.
Dymphna Leonard, RSHM and Ph.D., is fondly remembered for her engaging and enthusiastic teaching and her many contributions as a Divisional Chair of both Humanities and the Fine and Performing Arts. Keenly interested in theater as well as literature, she developed a Children's Theater course that performed off as well as on campus. With her great energy and administrative ability, Dymphna founded the Continuing Education Program and served as its first Director. She was also renowned for her sense of humor and for the personal support she extended to students.
The John Costello Award for Creative Nonfiction is selected from material published in The Marymount Manhattan Review. A network of outside reviewers will read all submissions and select the award recipient.
John Costello, M.A. During his forty-three years on the faculty, John Costello taught more than seventy different courses, including Classical Literature, Medieval Literature, Renaissance Literature, Romantic Literature, Victorian Literature, and 20th Century Literature. He also developed and team-taught numerous interdisciplinary courses with colleagues in Art History, History, Music, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, and Theater. He returned to graduate study in music and in post-colonial history and literature, developing several courses in Post-Colonial Literature that enriched the English Department's curriculum. He headed the English Department for thirty-two years, served as Coordinator of the Humanities major, and on three separate occasions was elected Chair of the Humanities Division.
The Priscilla H. Costello Award for Essay Writing will be given to an English and World Literatures major in her or his junior or senior year. All majors will be invited to submit works of literary interpretation and criticism. The Department faculty will review all submissions and select the winning entry.
Priscilla H. Costello, Ph.D., was a driving force for academic excellence in her teaching, her mentoring, and her commitment to curriculum development at the College. Dr. Costello set high standards for her students and is legendary for her support of essay and research paper revision. She was involved in establishing the Critical Thinking Program in the 1970s and served as its Director during the early years. Her graduate study on women and Victorian literature led her to develop the Woman as Subject, Author, and Audience course, while her post-doctorate work at New York University's graduate department of Cinema Studies led to the Film and Literature course. Dr. Costello was the first Director of the Alpha Chi Honor Society (1979) and the first sponsor of the annual Honors Colloquium, which she directed for a number of years. She also served as Vice President for Academic Affairs from January 1988 to June 1989.