SUNY Canton Author Earns Hearst Fellowship

CANTON – SUNY Canton Assistant Professor Robert Strong, PhD., has won a competitive William Randolph Hearst Foundation Research Fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society.

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SUNY Canton's Assistant Professor Robert Strong, PhD

Strong, an award-winning author and poet, reached into one of the most turbulent times in American history for the inspiration for his newest manuscript, and the Hearst Foundation funding will be used to support his ongoing research. The upcoming publication is entitled Bright Advent.

“The book deals with a Puritan and Indian collaborative translation of the entire bible in the 1650s and related events leading to King Philip’s War,” Strong pointed out. “It will read much like a historical novel in verse and source.”

The Society’s goal in sponsoring Strong is to improve the ways that history is communicated, according to the society’s website. Strong’s manuscript investigates violence, language, and religion as it portrays the events and facts that lead to the creation of America.

King Philip’s War is known as one of the costliest in the history of America. It was fought between Native Americans tribes and English Settlers and their native allies in New England. More than half of all of the towns in New England’s were attacked by Native American warriors. Both sides suffered staggering losses in what was proportionately the deadliest war in American History.

The fellowship will provide Strong with a period of paid uninterrupted research, reading, and collegial discussion at the American Antiquarian Society, located in Worcester, Mass. Strong, who has already created the framework for the manuscript, plans on finishing his historical text during the course of the fellowship and publishing it through an independent publishing company.

Among other resources, Strong will be able to utilize the archives at the Society to add more details to his extensive historical research. “Writing lyric from history is an odd art,” Strong noted. “Often, the most trivial of details will emerge, within the imagination of the page, to be full-blown manifestations of larger truths.”

Strong was previously the first poet ever awarded a Mellon Short-Term Research Fellowship at the Massachusetts Historical Society, which led to the book Puritan Spectacle, published through Elixir Press in 2006. He’s edited Joyful Noise: An Anthology of American Spiritual Poetry published by Autumn House Press in 2006. Most recently, he authored an article for the March 2009 issue of The New England Quarterly about puritan conversion narratives.

Strong is faculty member in the School of Business and Liberal Arts. He is currently teaching Children’s Literature and sections of Creative Writing at the college.

“It’s fantastic that SUNY Canton provides the opportunity for both great teaching and research,” Strong said. “The excitement my students generate in class definitely carries over into my writing, and I’m certain my excitement carries over to my students.”

SUNY Canton offers a wide variety of career-driven bachelor’s, associate, and certificate programs, as well as three master’s degrees in conjunction with SUNYIT, Utica. Most of SUNY Canton’s new four-year programs are designed so students can take them on-campus, online, or both. SUNY Canton OnLine features more than 100 courses online each semester. The college’s athletic teams belong to the NAIA’s Sunrise Conference, enabling students to compete in their respective sports for four years.

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