New poetry collection by York professor examines suburban life through mythology

Noel Sloboda, assistant professor of English at Penn State York and Harrisburg Shakespeare Company dramaturg (literary consultant), is the author of a second full-length poetry collection, “Our Rarer Monsters,” which was released May 28. Published by Buffalo small press sunnyoutside, “Our Rarer Monsters” features art by Pittsburgh-area artist Marc Snyder.

“Our Rarer Monsters” delves beneath the surface of suburban life, exposing roots that bind us to the literary, cultural and mythological traditions of yesterday as we hurdle through the 21st century. Author Kristine Ong Muslim wrote that the collection “dazzles and provokes,” while Mihaela Moscaliuc wrote of the collection: “This is a world of delicious inter-textualities, bold imaginings and subtle music.”

Snyder, who contributed eight linocuts to illustrate the collection, earned his master of fine arts degree in printmaking from Indiana University, and has exhibited his work widely over the past 20 years. He said of the collaborative experience: “The poems were rich in both specific detail and literary and historical references, which made them fertile ground from which to develop the suite of linocuts.”

Sloboda will also comment on the collaborative experience at the 16th annual Great Writing International Creative Writing Conference, hosted in London later this month. This speech follows his presentation “Our Rarer Monsters: What We Share with Monsters Past and Present” at the Helsinki Poetics Conference in Finland in 2012.

Sloboda is the author of the poetry collection “Shell Games” (sunnyoutside, 2008) and “Stages” (sunnyoutside, 2010), a collection of poetry about Shakespeare productions. He has also written and several chapbooks, most recently “Circle Straight Back” (Cervená Barva Press, 2012).

At Penn State York, Sloboda regularly teaches Introduction to Creative Writing (ENG 050) and will be teaching the course in Summer Session 2 at the campus, which begins June 24. 

Sloboda is a graduate of Washington University, with a masters and doctorate in English and American studies, and also earned a bachelor of arts in English and philosophy from Connecticut College. He was the recipient of the 2005 James H. Burness Award for Excellence in Teaching at Penn State York and the 2006 recipient of the campus’ advising award in recognition of outstanding advising to students. Sloboda was the driving force behind the campus’ online student magazine, Any Other Word, and serves as its adviser.

An expert on Shakespeare, his work on Shakespearean film adaptations has appeared in “Studies in the Humanities” and in the collection “In/Fidelity: Essays on Film Adaptation” (Cambridge Scholars Press). He has contributed to the “Encyclopedia of American Literature,” the “Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction,” the “Student’s Companion to American Literary Characters” and the “Literary Contexts” series. His creative work has appeared in venues based in Canada, New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

To purchase a copy of “Our Rarer Monsters,” visit

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Last Updated January 09, 2015