The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture / Tagus Press is a multidisciplinary international studies and outreach unit dedicated to the study of the language, literatures and cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. Working in close partnership with the Department of Portuguese and the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, it is the oldest of these units devoted to Portuguese at UMass Dartmouth.


Frank X. Gaspar, Critically Acclaimed Author,
Teaches Course in Creative Writing at UMass Dartmouth in Fall 2010

Frank X. Gaspar
Frank X. Gaspar

August 30, 2010 — Dartmouth, MA. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture and Department of English announce the hire of Prof. Frank X. Gaspar of Antioch University Los Angeles, for Fall Semester 2010. Prof. Gaspar will teach a one-semester creative writing seminar entitled “Writing (and rewriting) Ethnic New England” in the Department of English, under the auspices of the Hélio and Amélia Pedroso/Luso-American Foundation Endowed Chair in Portuguese Studies.

The course proposes a study of techniques, strategies and stances used to explore, in writing, personal experience and ancestry as it relates to ethnic markers and a sense of place.  Among the several models used will be the novels Leaving Pico and Stealing Fatima, and the poetry collection, The Holyoke, as these will provide first-hand author analysis. All of these works grow out of the Portuguese-American culture. Other models from various ethnicities and from other regions of the country will be explored as well, with a view to welcoming all students to explore their diverse and various heritages. This course will focus on the writing of fiction and poetry and will use student writing as a principal means of learning and evaluation. This once-a-week seminar, taught in English, meets on Tuesdays, 3:30-6:00 p.m., beginning on September 7 and running until December. Everyone interested in creative writing is encouraged to enroll.

Frank Xavier Gaspar (born in Provincetown, MA, in 1946) is an American poet, novelist, and professor. Gaspar’s collections of poems all won prestigious awards: The Holyoke won the 1988 Morse Poetry Prize; Mass for the Grace of a Happy Death won the 1994 Anhinga Prize for Poetry; A Field Guide to the Heavens won the 1999 Brittingham Prize in Poetry; Night of a Thousand Blossoms (2004) was one of 12 books honored as the “Best Poetry of 2004” by Library Journal. Gaspar has published poems in Ploughshares, Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, and Gettysburg Review, among other literary publications. He is the recipient of many awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, multiple inclusion in Best American Poetry, and three Pushcart Prizes. His debut novel, Leaving Pico, was a Barnes and Noble Discover Award winner, a winner of the California Book Award, and a New York Times Notable in Paperback book. Of the latter work, the New York Times wrote, “Simple and satisfying, Gaspar’s novel is an expert portrait of the Portuguese immigrant experience, from its resistance to full integration to its smaller domestic squabbles.” His newest novel, Stealing Fatima, is recently out from Counterpoint Books.

Established in 2001 by the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, the Hélio and Amélia Pedroso/Luso-American Foundation Endowed Chair in Portuguese Studies allows for the yearly hire of a distinguished scholar, professor and/or author, specializing in the vast and varied Portuguese-speaking world comprised of over 220 million people in eight countries on four continents.