Arts & Entertainment

Red Dog Reading Series, Tuesday Nights @ 7 p.m.

Written by Alaina Dopico

Groundhog Day has come and gone, and the prediction was glum. More slush, more chill, more reasons to stay inside on Tuesday night, turn on a pot of warm cider, and Zoom into Red Dog, Carlow’s poetry reading series. 

Red Dog began in 2006 and was originally called The Hungry Sphinx. Kayla Sargeson was the first emcee and remained until she graduated. 15 years later, another former emcee, Halsey Hyer, and the current emcee, Cheyenne Matthews, were both readers of the Red Dog reading on Feb. 9.

The evening – a team-up with The Critical Point, the student-run literary and arts journal at Carlow University since 1988 – brought together awardees from the journal’s annual awards. Awarded works of poetry, critical writing, and fiction were all featured at the reading. 

Featured readers and their awarded works: 

  • The Critical Point Award in Art: Emily Armstrong’s “Nina Singing Sugar in My Bowl” 
  • The Critical Point Award in Creative Writing: Cheyenne Matthews’ “Black Blood, Blue Lights” 
    • Honorable Mention: Ashley Anderson’s “The stars made me forget I was human”  
    • Honorable Mention: Halsey Hyer’s “Train Wakes Me Up Every Hour with Dreams of You” 
  • The Critical Point Award in Critical Writing: Caitlin McDonough’s “The Petrarchan Lover in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, or What You Will”  
    • Honorable Mention: Angel Barker’s “The Expectations of Complacency” 
  • Jane Candia Coleman Award in Fiction: Madeline Longmore’s “Clara Rose” 
  • Marilyn P. Donnelly Award in Poetry: Cheyenne Matthews’ “Drowning” 
    • 1st Honorable Mention in Poetry: Cameron Short’s “Fog seen from the Allegheny Jail”  
    • 2nd Honorable Mention in Poetry: Hope Mercer’s “Mom’s boyfriend guilty on all counts” 
Flyer for Red Dog Reading Series meeting from February 9th, featuring awardees from the 2020 Critical Point journal.
The Critical Point Red Dog Reading from Feb. 9 via Facebook

Jan Beatty, faculty advisor for Red Dog said, “Our mission has been to combine writers from the academy and the community, with emerging and well-known writers.” Red Dog’s 2021 inaugural event hosted Michael Lockett and Sara McNally. Lockett has his MFA and has been published in the Northern Appalachian Review. McNally has a chapbook forthcoming from Seven Kitchens Press. Red Dog is successful in their mission to provide a group of writers ranging from fresh-faced to seasoned, often calling back alumni to inspire current student writers. Their reading on Feb. 16 features Doralee Brooks and Diane Kerr.

The Critical Point journal is accepting submissions from undergraduate students at Carlow for the 2021 edition until Feb. 19 at midnight. Submissions should be sent to For more information on how and what to submit, follow The Critical Point on Facebook and Instagram.

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