Beverly resident assumes dual position

January Gill O'Neil

Salem State is pleased to announce the appointment of Beverly resident January Gill O’Neil as assistant professor in the English department, where she will serve as a member of the writing faculty, and executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. O’Neil will work half time in each position. In supporting the dual appointment, Salem State demonstrates not only its commitment to the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, which in 2011 named the city of Salem its home, but to enriching the artistic life of downtown Salem.

January Gill O’Neil holds an MFA from New York University, one of the most competitive programs in the field, where she was a student of Phil Levine, the current poet laureate of the United States. Her first poetry collection, Underlife (CavanKerry Press 2009), was a finalist for both the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award and the 2010 Paterson Poetry Prize. Her next collection, Misery Islands, will be published by CavanKerry Press in September 2014. A former administrator at Babson University and a guest lecturer in college classrooms, O’Neil brings an impressive publishing record to her new duties.

Her background in publishing and higher education technology and marketing with Houghton Mifflin and the Associated Press, according to English department chair Nancy Lusignan Schultz PhD, “brings additional strengths to the department. January Gill O’Neil is a brilliant and talented faculty member who provides important support to Salem State’s English programs. Her joint appointment as executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, in which she has already played a prominent organizational role,” Schultz continued, “will certainly be to both the university’s and the city’s advantage. Professor O’Neil is an outstanding addition to our faculty.”