Story posted January 22, 2008
Harrison King McCann Professor of the English Language Emeritus Franklin Burroughs and Associate Professor of English and Acting Program Director of Africana Studies Peter Coviello were the subjects of a smelt fishing feature that aired January 27, 2008, on CBS Sunday Morning.
Burroughs, Coviello and their smelt fishing adventures were the focus of a Dec. 26, 2007, feature in The New York Times written by Nate Vinton '01.
In the article, "A Fishing Scene Set in Icy Maine," the reader is invited into a shanty atop the frozen Cathance River to share the experience with Burroughs and Coviello, literature professors who, over the years, have become smelting mates. (Listen to a podcast of Burroughs reading his awarding-winning essay Compression Wood.)
Rife with references to Herman Melville's Moby Dick, the article draws comparisons between the communal warmth of a smelt shanty and the cozy proximity of friends aboard a whaling vessel.
"Melville would have enjoyed the matey-ness and conviviality," says Coviello in the article. "Also, I bet something about the often outsized effort expended to haul in these really very small creatures would have appealed to his sense, not infrequently comic, of scale."