Class Notes & Profiles

Man Pierced With Spears

(Cougnac Cave, France, c. 18,000 B.C.E.)

So much for those clean depictions done in resin, beeswax, burnt sage:
oxen rendered next to scrub birds, the meticulous feathers & hooves,

or the grace of those figures bowed in supplication, a mouth pressed
to a flute-like mark, the minutia of ornaments, a meshed tassel fringe,

whirled patterns on a carried shield. Here, instead, a rock-face slurred
with trembling, irregular lines: elongated, disproportionate,

splayed, twisted, & prone, the body slashed at his head, his thigh,
where his ribs begin. Sparse contour, mere outline of shape,

the earliest commemoration of human slaughter we know,
battered & barely recognizable as something like ourselves.

Pigment is the only moral here – it is crushed & smeared on stone.

— Matt Donovan ’95

The 2003-04 W.K. Rose Fellowship in the Creative Arts was awarded to Matt Donovan ’95. Currently a teacher in literature and creative writing at the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico, Donovan’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Threepenny Review, Gettysburg Review, and Poetry Ireland. He holds an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University in Belfast and an M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University. Donovan will give a reading on campus on October 11, 2004.

Made possible by a bequest from the estate of W.K. Rose, a Vassar English professor from 1956 to 1968, the fellowship encompasses writing, the visual arts (including film and video), and music composition. Andrew Porter ’94 is the recipient of the 2004-05 award. To read more about the fellowship, visit The deadline to apply for the 2005-06 fellowship is January 15, 2005.